Clavicus Vile
Quest Information
Starting Location: Clavicus Vile's Shrine
Starting NPC: Ma'Raska
Possible Reward(s): Masque of Clavicus Vile

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This particular Daedric quest requires you to be at least level 20 to begin it. Once you meet that requirement, pay a visit to Clavicus Vile's Shrine located just off The Gold Road between Skingrad and Imperial City. When you arrive, speak with Ma'Raska to learn that Lord Clavicus is looking for an offering of 500 Gold. Present the money to the statue of Clavicus Vile and he will ask you to retrieve a sword for him. The sword contains the soul of Umbra, a hero that Clavicus has had "past dealings" with. Clavicus suggests that you begin your search in Pell's Gate.

To reach Pell's Gate, head straight east from Clavicus Vile's Shrine until you reach the Red Ring Road. Once you're on the road, follow it toward the southeast until you see the small settlement of Pell's Gate. On your way there, you will hear the voice of Barbas, the Hound of Clavicus Vile. It seems that Barbas managed to nestle himself inside your pack as the Statuette of a Dog and claims that you've made a bad deal. He goes on to say that the hero Umbra is "bad business" and that should just walk away and leave things be rather than trying to finish the quest.

Assuming you don't take Barbas' advice, talk with Irroke the Wide when you reach Pell's Gate. With a high enough disposition, he will tell you that the Umbra sword is a jet black blade capable of stealing a man's soul. His former apprentice, Lenwin, is the one who found the sword originally. She started to become bloodthirsty after finding it, and even started to call herself Umbra. Irroke explains that she left Pell's Gate to sign on with some mercenaries, but that gig didn't last long either. He hasn't seen her in years, but some people claim to have spotted her near the Vindasel Ruins.

You most likely passed the Vindasel Ruins on your way to Pell's Gate, so backtrack westward down the Red Ring Road until you reach them and then enter the stone door leading into their depths. There is only one level to this dungeon and the only defense between you and Umbra are a few rats, a spike trap, and a gas trap. Eventually you'll see a large room off to your right, where a heavily armored woman stands guard. When you speak with her, you'll learn that she is Umbra and she's not very pleased to see you. If you ask her about Pell's Gate, she will demand to know if they sent you here to kill her. She then offers you a choice - leave alive or stay and fight.

To finish the quest, you'll have to tell her "we fight." As soon as the conversation ends, Umbra will draw her blade and start a full frontal assault on you. She's quick and nimble and will prove to be a very difficult battle. Use whatever strategy fits you best to take her down, then loot Umbra from her corpse. In addition to the sword, make sure you grab Umbra's Ebony Shield, Umbra's Ebony Boots, Umbra's Ebony Cuirass, Umbra's Ebony Gauntlets, Umbra's Ebony Greaves, and Umbra's Ebony Helmet. Quite a haul!

Once you have the sword in your possession, Barbas will offer you one final warning not to bring the sword back to Clavicus. In fact, at this point, you may want to consider his suggestion. The sword is one of the most powerful weapons in the game and the reward you'll receive for bringing it back to Clavicus isn't nearly as good. However, if you plan on completing all the Daedric quests, then you'll need to finish this one. Why? Because the Hermaeus Mora quest requires that all other Daedric quests before it are completed before you can even start it. It's a difficult decision, and one ultimately up to you. There's certainly no harm in at least delaying the completion of this quest, at the very least.

When you finally make your way back to Clavicus Vile's Shrine, Clavicus will see that you have brought the sword and tell you that he has "unfinished business" with Umbra. If you hand it over, Clavicus provides you with the Masque of Clavicus Vile as a reward, then tells you to "run along" as he has business to attend to. Hmm.