Information at a Price
Quest Information
Starting Location: Imperial City Arcane University
Starting NPC: Hannibal Traven
Possible Reward(s): None

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Now that you've completed the Liberation or Apprehension? quest for Hannibal, he's confident that you're able to do complete more of his urgent tasks. This time, he tells you that Count Hassildor of Skingrad has "vital information" that he's willing to share with the council, and that he's requested you personally to relinquish the information over to. Your journal tells you to speak with Hal-Liurz in the Skingrad Castle county hall, so that's where we're headed next.

Fast-travel to Castle Skingrad and strike up a conversation with Hal-Liurz. She will tell you that the Count is expecting you and will have you wait in the main hall while she informs him of your arrival. Give the Count a fair amount of time and he'll eventually make it down to your location. He explains that the information he has for the council "will not be met with smiles and handshakes", though he doesn't say anything more. Before he'll share the information, he wants you to take care of a small nuisance for him. It seems that a nest of vampires has recently sprung up in Bloodcrust Cavern and are posing a threat to the town... and the Count. The vampire presence has drawn vampire hunters to Skingrad and the Count fears that his identity will be compromised if they stay. Since you can act with impunity, the Count wants you to get rid of the hunters either by killing them or running them out of town and then route the vampires out of the nearby cavern. Do these tasks, and the Count will tell you what you need to know.

To finish this quest in the quickest fashion with the least amount of work, leave the castle and enter Skingrad's city limits. Head over to the Two Sisters Lodge and speak with the proprietor, Mog gra-Mogakh, to learn that the vampire hunters are staying at the inn. She tells you that they eat every afternoon and that they "bed down" just before midnight. Wait around until either of these times approach and you'll be able to get all four of the vampire hunters - Eridor, Vontus Idolus, Carsten, and Shamar - in the same place. If it's during their evening visit, all four men eventually make their way up to the third floor and bunk together in the two northern rooms. You can either wipe them out while they're vulnerable, or speak with the leader, Eridor, and tell him that the vampires are holed up in Bloodcrust Cavern. If you take the latter approach, Eridor wakes up his fellow hunters and they immediately leave for the cavern.

Regardless of which method you chose, you'll want to make a visit to Bloodcrust Cavern yourself. Even if Eridor and his men are able to kill all of the vampires, there is plenty of loot to be had, so you won't want to miss the spoils. However, if Eridor and his men are wiped out by the vampires, then you'll have to finish off the remaining ones yourself. The cave itself is just outside Skingrad to the southeast and makes for a quick journey. If you've given Eridor and his men ample time to get there, then they'll already be locked in battle with the vampires and you may find a few dead ones strewn about the caves. There are ten vampires in all, so if Eridor's men are doing well and only a few vampires remain, you may want to fire a couple of wild shots from your bow into the backs of the hunters. The idea is to make sure both sides mostly wipe each other out so you can finish off whomever remains. If you don't feel comfortable with murdering the hunters, then just help them finish off the vampires and they'll agree to leave town once they're all dead anyway.

When you've received two journal updates that the vampires and hunters are both taken care of, you can return to the castle and tell Hal-Liurz you're here to see the Count again. When Janus Hassildor finally arrives (he takes his time, doesn't he?), he'll agree to discuss the information with you. He'll tell you that "an old acquaintance" of the Mages Guild has returned to Cyrodiil and that it puts the guild in great danger. The threat is a "nearly invincible" Necromancer named Mannimarco, and the Count knows that he has established himself somewhere in the northern reaches of Cyrodiil.

With this information at hand, return to Arch-Mage Traven and alert him of the danger the Count told you about. He foolishly believed that Necromancy had been all but stamped out, but Mannimarco's return presents a grave threat. He promises to consult the Council about how to proceed next and the quest concludes. If you speak to Traven again, you're unable to ask about any other tasks, as he's so busy with the council.

Wait around for 48 hours and then speak with Traven again. He'll tell you that the Council is in complete disarray at the return of Mannimarco and nobody seems to know why the King of Worms has targeted the guild. While the guild tries to discern the reason for Mannimarco's plans for attack, Traven wants you to go to Bruma on his behalf. The guild's leader, Jeanne Frasoric, has not contacted the Arch-Mage in quite some time and he's worried that something might be amiss. This begins the A Plot Revealed quest.