Dunbarrow Cove
Quest Information
Starting Location: Any Zone
Starting NPC: None
Possible Reward(s): Your own personal stronghold!

Did we miss anything during this quest? Is there something we didn't discover? Let us know!

After installing Bethesda Softworks' official Thieves Den plug-in, you'll receive a journal entry describing a great battle that took place in Anvil Bay (this entry pops up immediately if you've loaded a game in progress or just after Uriel Septim is killed if you've started a new game). The entry states that a legendary pirate named Torradan ap Dugal was defeated by the first Count of Anvil and that his final resting place (and that of his ship, the Black Flag) is rumored to be in a hidden underground cavern beneath Castle Anvil.

Being the adventuring type that you are, you'll no doubt want to investigate the rumor further. Luckily, Dunbarrow Cove is now marked on your map, allowing you to start your investigation immediately. Fast-travel to the newly discovered location (just to the southeast of Anvil) to receive a new journal entry stating that the nearby cave may lead underneath Castle Anvil, where Dunbarrow Cove resides. You'll find the cave mentioned in your journal embedded in the rock across the shallow waterway, so wade across and enter its depths. There isn't anything you can do in Smuggler's Cave (yet), so you can just run straight ahead once inside to reach a door leading to Dunbarrow Cove.

Another journal entry explains that you've found the remains of Torradan's ship, the Black Flag. When you explore further, you'll find that the cove is inhabited by the many pirates that perished here so long ago. If you want to plunder the cove and set up refuge here, you'll need to put the Red Sabre Skeletons and their captain to rest. The skeletal pirates are scattered around the ship, but they should be easy for you to track down as they're marked on your compass. All of the Red Sabre Skeletons should go down without too much of a problem, but Cap'n Dugal (located in the Captain's Quarters) will prove to be a much tougher adversary. He's armed with a powerful cutlass and knows how to use it. When he eventually falls, you'll find four installments to Cap'n Dugal's Journal, all of which reveal some history about this so-called "Terror of the Gold Coast" and his band of buccaneers, the Red Sabre.

When all seven undead pirates have been wiped out, a journal entry will explain that you've claimed Dunbarrow Cove as your own. However, the Black Flag is in terrible condition after hundreds of years underground, so the entry tells you to visit Dahlia Rackham of the Clarabella in order to hire a crew that can help you turn Dunbarrow Cove into "a suitable base of operations."

Return through Smuggler's Cave and exit out to the shallow waters to the south of Anvil. Fast-travel to the Anvil Lighthouse and follow the water's edge until you reach the last ship on the southeastern section of Anvil's dock. Move through the door on the ship's main deck to enter the Sea Tub Clarabella and then speak with Dahlia once inside. If you inquire about "Dunbarrow Cove Upgrades," Dahlia provides you with a list of six options: hire a fence (1000 Gold), hire a fletcher (1000 Gold), upgrade your quarters (500 Gold), hire a security expert (1000 Gold), hire a spymaster (1000 Gold), and hire a supplier (1000 Gold).

Each of Dahlia's options updates your quest journal. Hiring a fence gives you an entry about Khafiz, a warthog-loving crewmember that will help you smuggle any stolen goods you might "acquire." Hiring a fletcher brings Melliwin the Mongrel to the cove, a black market fletcher capable of providing you with marksman supplies and training that you "won't be able to find elsewhere." Upgrading your quarters allows you to "sleep more comfortably." Hiring a security expert gets you the famous housebreaker Tahm Blackwell that can train both you and your crew in the art of subterfuge. Hiring a spymaster adds Kavon Kren to your crew, whose "expertise in stealth will be invaluable." And, finally, hiring a supplier grants you access to Jak Silver, a man capable of tracking down all manner of hard-to-find items. Should you purchase all upgrades for Dunbarrow Cove, a journal entry will explain that you can now send your crewmembers out on missions and get a share of their plunder each week.

Returning to Dunbarrow Cove after even purchasing just a few of the upgrades makes a noticeable difference. It isn't the dark, foreboding place it was before. The Captain's Quarters is especially worth its upgrade price, as it's now much better lit and is home to a bed and storage chest. The storage chest already contains a Smuggler's Key, which will open the door back in the Smuggler's Cave leading into a secret passage behind the Dining Hall of Castle Anvil. The perfect means to burglarize!

You'll find the various henchmen you've hired spread around the Cove. Tahm Blackwell is in the northwest corner of Dunbarrow Cove, providing you with various useful Security-based potions and spells, as well as Security training. Kovan Kren can usually be found in the northeast corner and offers Sneak-based spells and Sneak training. Melliwin resides in the southeast corner, where she'll train you in Marksman in addition to selling you some nice archery equipment and speed/agility/Marksman-based spells. Khafiz and Bacon are in the northern jail section, providing you with a means to train your Mercantile skill, sell stolen items (without being a member of the Thieves Guild), and buy some fairly nice magical equipment. Finally, there's Jak Silver, who awaits you on the central deck of the Black Flag. Jak is the guy you'll need to see to train your Speechcraft and purchase potions of concealment and lockpicks.

With all upgrades purchased, you will have caught the attention of a few would-be pirates that are now hanging around on the top deck of the Black Flag. These are the fellows that you can send out to plunder each week and enjoy a share of their loot (up to 2000 gold each week!). It's just too bad you can't sail out and enjoy the life of a pirate yourself.