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||Starting Location: Bravil
|Starting NPC: S'Krivva
|Possible Reward(s): 400 Gold
After you've achieved the 400 Gold fencing requirement, S'Krivva tells you about a special book called The Lost Histories of Tamriel. The Thieves Guild already sent a cat burglar by the name of Theranis to Skingrad in search of the book, but he never returned. Since the Gray Fox himself hunts for the book, the guild wants you to find Theranis and help him track down the book. If he is unwilling or unable to return with the book, bring the book back yourself.
Your journey obviously starts in Skingrad, so fast-travel there and find a local beggar like Foul Fagus. Inquire about Theranis to learn that he was bragging about stealing something from the castle while drinking at the Two Sisters Lodge, and was overheard by Captain Dion. The good captain hauled Theranis to the castle's dungeon and he hasn't been seen since. You're going to need to get inside the dungeon, so fast-travel to the castle and start snooping around.
There a few different methods to seeing the inside of Skingrad's jail. The first way is to simply get arrested. Your journal will reflect this option after you try bribing the jailor with 50 Gold down in the castle dungeon. He'll turn your bribe down, so fire an arrow at him for being so honest and he'll give you the option of rotting away in jail. Before doing so, though, make sure you have some lockpicks available (or even some of the Open spells available to casters) to break out of your cell.
The second way in is to sneak past the jailor and pick the lock into the cell block area. You'll need a considerable amount of skill to pull this off, but it can be done. The jailor is fairly perceptive and the door to the cell block has a difficult lock to pick, so don't even attempt this route unless you have an above average score for your sneak and security skills.
The final route involves getting a job at the castle. If you ask one of the guards about "Work in Castle Skingrad", they'll tell you that the Count's butler, Shum gro-Yargu, is looking for some help. You'll also learn that Shum rarely leaves the castle, but when he does he goes to the West Weald Inn at 10:00am and then the Colovian Trader at noon. Track down Shum and ask him about a job to receive the "slop drudge" position. Hey, at least the job will get you past the jailor and into the cell block without a hitch.
When you finally get into the cell block, you won't see Theranis anywhere. However, a man by the name of Larthjar the Laggard is locked up, so you'll want to interrogate him before giving up. If you help him escape from his cell, Larthjar will tell you that the prisoners are occasionally taken away by a "pale lady." He doesn't know what happens to them, but he does know that they're never seen again after the third time they get hauled away. Theranis was recently taken away for his third time, and his Argonian cellmate was just hauled off less than an hour ago. The Argonian didn't go willingly and was bleeding profusely during the struggle.
Move to the end of the hallway to find blood spattered on the floor and wall. It seems to lead up to the end of the hallway, and you can just barely see the outlines of a hidden door in the center of the wall. Pull the "strange candle" on the right wall and the secret door will swing open.
Follow the blood spatterings until you eventually descend into the castle's wine cellar. Pull the sconce hanging on the right pillar and it will reveal another secret passageway through the middle wine cask. It's in here that you'll confront the "pale lady", and she will attack you as soon as you get within range. Cut her down using melee or ranged, then search the room to find bottles of human blood, Theranis' carcass, and - lo and behold! - your good friend Amusei.
Amusei was locked up in Skingrad after getting caught trying to steal a fish. He was Theranis' Argonian cellmate, though, so he's your key to finding the book. If you inquire about it, Amusei promises to tell you the book's location if you get him out of the castle. Use the key found on the vampire's corpse to open his cell, then sneak out via the same route you took to get here. Once you're outside the castle, keep moving until you start descending the road the leads to Skingrad. Eventually, you'll receive a journal update that you should ask Amusei about the book, and the Argonian makes true to his promise. He tells you that the book is located by a bush behind Nerastarel's house in Skingrad.
Nerastarel's house is on the northern side of Skingrad, just to the west of Summitmist Manor and the eastern gate. The Lost Histories of Tamriel is lying near the bush, just as Amusei told you. Grab it and then fast-travel to Bravil to report your findings to S'Krivva.
S'Krivva isn't very happy to hear that Theranis was killed, but she is happy to see the book. Apparently the Gray Fox has been searching for it for many years. You're awarded 400 Gold for completing the task, and if you've fenced over 500 Gold worth of stolen items as part of the Independent Thievery
quest, S'Krivva offers you another quest called Taking Care of Lex