A Rat Problem
Quest Information
Starting Location: Anvil Fighters Guild
Starting NPC: Azzan
Possible Reward(s): 500 Gold, Speechcraft or Acrobatics Training

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This quest could technically be the second one that you participate in for the Fighters Guild (if you already did the The Desolate Mine quest for Burz gro-Khash in Cheydinhal), but you're probably better off making it your first. If you haven't already joined the Fighters Guild, you can sign up with Azzan right here in Anvil, Vilena Donton in Chorrol, or Burz gro-Khash in Cheydinhal. You will need a clean slate with the local authorities for the Fighters Guild to accept you, so pay any outstanding bounties you might have before inquiring about joining. Once you're a full-fledged member, Azzan will give you this first (or second) contract.

It seems that Arvena Thelas is having a problem with rats in her house. Azzan tells you that she can explain the problem better than he, and asks that you visit her home to discuss it further. Arvena's home is located on the north side of the road, just two doors to the west of the Anvil Fighters Guild. When you speak with her, you'll be surprised to hear that she wants the rats in her basement, but something has been killing them off. She wants you to go into the basement and investigate how her "poor babies" are getting killed off.

When you arrive in the basement, you'll encounter a starving mountain lion attacking a nest of rats. After you've killed it, you'll receive a journal entry that the lions must be sneaking in through a hole in the wall somewhere and that you should notify Arvena about the problem. When you break the news to her, Arvena becomes worried and wants you to find a hunter by the name of Pinarus Inventius. Apparently he knows this area "inside and out" and will know what to do.

Pinarus has a home here in Anvil, though he isn't always there. Use your compass to track him down and then tell him about the mountain lions. To help calm the Dark Elf woman, Pinarus suggests that the two of you go hunting for mountain lions in the vicinity. He leads you out of the city gates and up the path to a small nest of four starving mountain lions. When they've all been dispatched of, Pinarus tells you to report the news to Arvena and then bids you farewell.

Unfortunately, Arvena doesn't believe that you've "fixed" the problem. In fact, she tells you that there is a second mountain lion in her basement now. Descend into the basement, kill it, and then return to her once more. This time, Arvena is convinced that someone's out to get her. She suggests that her next door neighbor, Quill-Weave, has never liked her or her "sweet little pets." She claims that Quill-Weave has been sneaking around in the back of her house at night and wants you to keep an eye out for her to find out what she's up to.

You can't just accuse Quill-Weave without any proof. To get the proof you need, wait around near the hole in the back of Arven's home during the evening hours. At around 8:00pm, Quill-Weave will sneak up to the hole and leave some meat outside. A journal entry tells you to confront her, so go ahead and do just that. Quill-Weave will claim that she didn't mean to attract any mountain lions with the rotten meat. Instead, she just wanted to lure the rats outside so that the city guards could take care of the problem. She would rather you didn't tell Arvena about this, and offers to teach you in Acrobatics if you keep this a secret between the two of you.

Unless you'd really like some extra skill in Acrobatics, it really isn't worth keeping the whole thing a secret. If you report to Arvena and tell her that Quill-Weave was involved, she'll reward you with 500 Gold and even train you in Speechcraft. If you tell Arvena that Quill-Weave wasn't involved, you only receive the gold, so it's really a matter of which skill you'd prefer some extra points in.

Regardless of how the quest ends, it's time to return to Azzan. If this is the first quest you've done for the Fighters Guild, ask him for advancement and he'll promote you to Apprentice. He doesn't offer any other sort of reward or congratulations, though. He just presents you with another contract, this time initiating the The Unfortunate Shopkeeper quest.