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||Starting Location: Any City
|Starting NPC: Methredhel
|Possible Reward(s): 500 Gold
After you've hit your goal of 600 Gold worth of fenced items as part of the Independent Thievery
quest, you'll receive a popup reminder that one of Gray Fox's messengers will be calling on you. The journal entry also mentions that you should wait in the Imperial City if you want them to find you quickly. Fast-travel to any of the Imperial City's districts and simply wait for 24 hours. Eventually, you'll leave the waiting screen and Methredhel will appear with a message for you. She'll tell you that the Gray Fox has a task for you and that you should meet him at Helvius Cecia's house in Bruma.
Fast-travel to Bruma's east gate and then hang your first left to find Helvius' home several doors down (right after the curve). The Gray Fox is waiting for you in the basement, and seems pleased that you've finally arrived. He asks you to retrieve a crystal called Savilla's Stone from a monastery called the Temple of the Ancestor Moths. The crystal has special properties that will give the Gray Fox an advantage... to do what, he doesn't say. As usual, you aren't supposed to kill anyone, but the Gray Fox does tell you that there will be no bloodprice for slaying the stone's guardians - human or inhuman. When he receives word that the crystal has been stolen, he will be waiting for you back here at Helvius' home.
The temple itself is located far to the northeast, below the "s" in The Ferall Mountains marked on your map. When you arrive, another journal entry will suggest that you might be able to persuade one of the monk's to assist you. The monk you're looking for is Holger. Boost your disposition with him in any way possible, then ask him about the stone. He'll confirm that Savilla's Stone is here in the catacombs, and will even show you how to enter them if you ask. He'll bring you into the nearby crypt and lead you to the door, adding that you should be discreet and try not to bother the other monks. Opening the door gets you another journal entry essentially telling you that killing the monks within the catacombs is fair game and that no bloodprice will have to be paid for them.
The catacombs are comprised of four levels, all of which are patrolled by Blind Moth Priests or some kind of variation depending on your level. These priests are fairly tough in a battle and will attack you the second they detect your presence, so sneak around them whenever possible. If your lockpick skill isn't very good, you'll probably want to kill or pickpocket at least one priest to get their Ancestor Moth Key. This will get you through a lot of the locked doors.
When you reach the third level, your surroundings will turn to caverns and you'll start encountering traps. If you avoid the tripwires, though, you can save yourself from getting hit by spiked iron balls and rolling logs. At one point, you'll get trapped in a room filled with damaging fumes. Pull the ropes inside the chamber until one of the stones blocking your way descends below and continue on your way. When you reach the door leading to the fourth level, you'll encounter a final monster of some kind (a Faded Wraith for me). Take the creature down however you'd like, then move through the door into the final cavernous level.
There isn't much to the fourth level. A raised platform at the center of the large chamber actually contains two stones - Savilla's Stone and a floating red crystal that fires columns of frost when you draw near it. Take out the priest guarding the area, then make a sprint for Savilla's Stone. If you time it properly, you can actually avoid taking a whole lot of damage (or possibly none at all). If you're having trouble, use a Telekinesis spell to get the stone from a distance. Once you have the stone, head down the northeast tunnel (the southwest tunnel just leads to another high-level creature) to reach a ladder leading out of the catacombs. You'll also find a chest containing a document called Instructions: the Gray Cowl that sheds some light on where the Gray Fox's mask may have come from. What exactly will Savilla's Stone be used for?
Return to the Gray Fox in the basement of Helvius' home in Bruma. Before handing him the stone, asking him about "Nocturnal's Cowl." He'll ask you where you heard about it, to which you should answer "From a note in the monastery." This will get a confession of sorts out of the Gray Fox, in which he claims that you actually knew him before he had the mask - yet you don't remember. In fact, not even his own family remembers him, nor do you remember his true name even though he's already said it twice during your conversation. It's part of the curse of wearing Nocturnal's Cowl and the Gray Fox would do anything to be rid of it. Interesting.
When you hand him the stone, the Gray Fox gleefully proclaims that he can now see the palace defenses. He doesn't say a whole lot else, other than telling you that you'll be called on again once he's learned everything he can from the stone. He'll then hand you 500 Gold as your reward and request that you both leave Helvius' house and part ways... for now.
If you've already fenced over 700 Gold worth of stolen items, then you can simply return to the streets of Bruma and wait another 24 hours until you receive another message. Your latest journal entry will tell you to return to the Imperial City if you want the messenger to find you quickly, but I've found that staying in Bruma gets you a message a lot faster. If you need to fence more goods, fast-travel to Anvil and pay another visit to Orrin once you've looted some more houses. It shouldn't take long to reach your goal. Once you meet the requirement, wait in the streets of Bruma until you are called on by... Amusei! The swifty Argonian has progressed through the ranks of the Thieves Guild and is now a messenger for the Gray Fox himself. This will lead to the Arrow of Extrication