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||Starting Location: Any City
|Starting NPC: Amusei
|Possible Reward(s): Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild
After completing the Boots of Springheel Jak
quest, the Gray Fox will send Amusei out to deliver you one final message. You're to meet him at Othrelo's home in Imperial City's Elven Gardens district. This particular house is in the northeast corner of the district, right next to the entrance into the North Watch Tower. When you speak with the Gray Fox, he asks you if you're ready for "one last great heist." If you accept, you'll find yourself participating in one of the most elaborate quests in the game.
The Gray Fox has been planning this heist for over eleven years and tells you that it will be written about and talked about for decades to come. There is no buyer for this item - instead, this is something the Gray Fox has a personal need for and the reward for obtaining it will be "worth far more than mere money." Excited yet? I thought so. You are to steal steal one of the Elder Scrolls from the Imperial Palace, which just so happens to be kept behind a door that cannot be breached.
However, Savilla's Stone has revealed an alterate path around the door through the Old Way - a long forgotten escape route used by Imperial Emperors centuries ago. To unseal the entrance, you must sneak into the basement of the Imperial Palace and activate the Glass of Time, though the Gray Fox doesn't even know what that is. The entrance can be reached through the Imperial Sewers and, to make things a little easier, the Gray Fox has pickpocketed the key to the sewer gate from Ocata himself. The Gray Fox's scrying with Savilla's Stone has revealed that you will need a couple of tools to complete this task, though it hasn't shown him what the actual obstacles will be. The tools you'll need? The Arrow of Extrication
and the Boots of Springheel Jak
. The Gray Fox hands these over to you, stating that the boots will allow you to jump to an unreachable place and protect you from a long fall, and that the arrow will be required to unlock the final door.
Once you're inside the palace itself, you're to find the reading room where the blind priests will deliver a scroll to you. Well, the priests actually think they're delivering it to someone named Celia Camoran, but the Gray Fox has caused her to be "unavoidably detained", so you're going to receive the scroll in her absence. As long as you don't speak, the blindfolded priests will never know the difference. As the head of the Thieves Guild, the Gray Fox is waiving the bloodprice for anyone you kill during this heist, though he cannot stop the watch from putting a price on your head. You can techically make it through the entire mission without killing anyone, though, so this shouldn't prove to be much of a problem. To make sure you don't forget any of these instructions, the Gray Fox hands you a document called Plan for the Big Heist. You'll want to refer to this often.
Alright, let's get started. Leave Othrelo's house and fast-travel to the Imperial City Palace district. Enter the Elder Council Chambers and take the outer hallway to your left until you reach the door leading into the basement. Pick the lock, then sneak through the clutter lying in the central chamber (while avoiding the patrolling guard) until you reach the far end and spy the Glass of Time. Activate it, after which you'll receive a journal entry that the door to the Old Way in the Imperial Sewers should now be open.
Next, fast-travel to the Imperial City Arboretum district and use your compass to find the Grate to the South East Tunnel. Make your way through the first locked gate, then turn the wheel on the wall to open the second one impeding your progress. Hop into the water in the next room and follow it to your left. Open the gate to your right and go through the entrance into the level simply called Beneath the Bloodworks. Things get considerably tougher on this level, as you'll start encountering vampires. Slay your way through this second level until you reach a pair of slough gates in a water trench that require the turn of a wheel in an adjacent room to open up. Past the slough gates, you'll find the gate requiring the Imperial City Sewer key up to your left. Just beyond the gate you'll find a manhole leading into the Imperial Palace sewers.
This third level is patrolled by more vampires, but you'll also find a handful of coffins and chests to loot. Continue through a couple of water-filled sewer chambers until you reach a "Strange Door to the Old Way." This is a long abandoned sub-basement of the Imperial City and your journal states that it's going to be "a long journey to get into the Imperial Palace this way." You better believe it. You'll be hacking your way through numerous undead in a labyrinth of stonework, followed by a series of caverns when you reach The Lost Catacombs. Take things slow so you don't get overwhelmed by the creatures in your path and you'll eventually emerge from the caverns into a large hall.
This hall is where you'll be making use of the Boots of Springheel Jak
. Put them on (if you haven't already) and hop up onto the north platform where the stairway has corroded away. Once you're up there, hang a right and push the block with the blue gem. Run along the platform to the far side and push the opposite block, which will open the door leading into the Hall of Epochs.
Move into the Hall of Epochs until you're able to ascend the flight of stairs at the end of the main pathway. When you reach this point, your journal will be updated with a note that you most likely have to use the Arrow of Extrication
to open the door, and that you'll most likely have to stand in a special place for the keyhole to open up. Take one of the routes to your left or right once you reach the top of the stairs and you'll get another journal entry that the back walls look like they are meant to move. The place where you need to fire the arrow is most likely behind them.
Unlock the gate along the south wall, just behind one of the moveable sections. This leads into another chamber with a block you can trigger just off to your left. Push the block in, then hop down and kill any monsters in the room before running through the stone doorway that just opened. Pass through the door you find there into the Hall of Epoch's next chamber. Slay the undead in this large hall, loot the Ayleid casks and chest in the small room to your right, then continue on down two more sloping hallways until you reach a final chamber with an Ayleid reliquary and another moveable block. Loot the reliquary for some very nice treasures, then push the block and return to the original chamber where you needed to use the Arrow of Extrication
When you return to the original chamber, the two big blocks of moveable wall have descended, granting you access to the central location with the glowing red gem. When you stand on the pressure plate near the gem, a journal entry tells you that this must be the spot because the pressure plate has opened up the pedestal at the far end of the room. Sure enough, you'll notice that the pedestal has spun around and a small hole in the man's chest has opened up for the arrow to pass through. Practice a few times with regular arrows if you have them, and make sure you save your game. You'll only get one try with the Arrow of Extrication
. Once you have the proper angle figured out, launch the arrow to activate the secret door leading into the palace. A journal entry will suggest that you extinguish any lights, muffle your footsteps, and use stealth before entering the door. You don't have any idea where you'll end up.
Just before you get to the newly revealed door, the two statues flanking the pedestal come to life and attack you. Engage in melee or use the large room to fend them off with ranged missiles or spells, then make the proper preparations and step through the door into the Imperial Guard Quarters. You'll emerge from within a fireplace and will most likely be surrounded by sleeping guards. Sneak through the first wooden door, pick the lock on the next, then take a left and follow the hallway up to the Elder Scrolls Library. Move forward through this patrolled hallway until you find a locked door to your left leading into the library's main chambers. Take the next pathway to your right and flip the switch behind the unsuspecting Blind Moth Priest. This will open another door back behind you at the far end of the hallway.
Once you're in the central room, sit down at the reading chair near the fire. A female priest will descend the spiraling staircase and place the Elder Scroll immediately in front of you (it's for Lady Camoran actually, but you're her, remember?). Once you grab the scroll, you will have successfully completed the heist of the century, but now you have to escape the palace. Sneak upstairs past the priests and pick the locked door leading back into the outer ring of the library. The left pathway leads up to the Moth Priest Quarters and the Imperial Battlemage Quarters. When you reach the Imperial Battlemage quarters, sneak into the battlemage's private chamber (Evangeline Beanique may be here) and use the grating inside the fireplace. This will drop you down a chimney chute into the Old Way. The fall won't hurt if you're fortunate enough to be wearing the Boots of Springheel Jak
, but they will be destroyed in the process. If your character is very powerful and has the proper skill level, you may be able to drop all the way down without dying, therefore keeping the boots. Either way, take the pathway to the east and return to the Palace Sewers, then make your way through the original three entry levels to eventually emerge on the waterfront to the southeast of Imperial City.
Fast-travel to the Elven Gardens district and return to Othrelo's home so you can tell the Gray Fox about your victory. He can hardly believe that you pulled it off and tells you that it took him seven years to learn how to translate the scroll. It will take him awhile to decipher it, so he gives you one last task. He hands you a wedding ring to bring to Countess Umbranox in Anvil. You're to tell her that a stranger wanted her to have it and then watch her reaction.
You've probably figured out what's going on at this point, so make haste to Castle Anvil and speak with Countess Umbranox so things can play out. She's very surprised to see the ring that once belonged to her missing husband, and finally mentions that she'd give anything to see him once more. After speaking those words, the Gray Fox will enter and proclaim that he is actually Lady Umbranox's husband, Corvus. She'll deny him for being the leader of the Thieves Guild, so he renounces his life of crime forever and hands you the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal
so that you may take his place. He also presents you with the Guildmaster's Key, granting you entrance into the Thieves Guild Hall in the Imperial City Waterfront district.
So! Count Corvus has resumed his place next to Lady Umbranox, and you're the new guildmaster. Fast-travel to the Imperial City Waterfront district and pay a visit to the Garden of Dareloth where your days of thieving all began. There is now a door into Dareloth's basement, which can be opened with the key Corvus gave you. On the top floor, you'll find that the private quarters contains many of the items you acquired for the guild - Savilla's Stone, the Waterfront Tax Records, and Lex's Transfer Orders. Welcome to your new home!