Side Quest: No One Escapes Cidhna Mine

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You'll trigger this quest after completing the quest The Forsworn Conspiracy and after getting thrown in jail by the Markarth city guards.


You'll begin this quest inside Cidhna Mine (#1). You won't have your regular equipment with you, which means you'll have to survive for a while wearing Footwraps and a Roughspun Tunic. You'll get your equipment back at the end of the quest.

The first thing you should do in this quest is talk to Uraccen (#2). He'll tell you that in order to see Madanach (#7), you'll have to get past his bodyguard Borkul the Beast (#3). He'll also tell you that Grisvar (#4) has an extra Shiv, which you might be able to convince him to give up.

There are a few ways to get past Borkul:
  • You can give him a Shiv to pay the "toll." You can get a Shiv from Grisvar (#4) or Duach (#6).

  • You can beat him in a brawl.

  • You can pass a persuade check.

  • You can bribe him with Skooma. You can get Skooma from Duach (#6).
Past Borkul, you'll meet Madanach, the Forsworn King (#7). He'll try to convince you to join the Forsworn. You'll have two ways to proceed:
  • You can work with Madanach. For this case you'll need to listen to Braig's story (#5) and then kill Grisvar (#4). If you don't have a Shiv and you don't want to use a Pickaxe, then you can ask Madanach for assistance and he'll give you a Shiv. Afterwards, Madanach will lead you and the remaining prisoners through a previously locked gate (#8) and into the Markarth Ruins (Exit A).

    Inside the ruins you'll have to deal with some frostbite spiders (#9) and dwarven spheres (#10), but with a half a dozen people helping you, the battles shouldn't be too bad. Past the spiders you'll come to Kaie. She'll give you all of your equipment, and Madanach will also reward you with Armor of the Old Gods, Boots of the Old Gods, Gauntlets of the Old Gods, and a Helmet of the Old Gods.

    When you exit the ruins, you'll be stopped by Thonar Silver-Blood and several Markarth city guards. The Forsworn will attack them and defeat them easily, and then they'll fight their way out of the city, killing any more city guards who get in their way. Outside of the city, the Forsworn will head for Druadach Redoubt, where they'll begin plotting their revenge.

  • You can kill Madanach and possibly some of the other prisoners. On Madanach's corpse you'll find Madanach's Key and Madanach's Note. The key will allow you to unlock a gate (#8) and enter the Markarth Ruins (Exit A). Inside the ruins you'll have to deal with some frostbite spiders (#9) and dwarven spheres (#10). If your level is too low, then you might need to run past these enemies and head straight for the exit (Exit B). When you get outside, you'll meet Thonar Silver-Blood, who will return your equipment to you, give you a Silver-Blood Family Ring, and tell you that you've been pardoned.

1 - Starting Cell

2 - Uraccen

3 - Borkul the Beast

4 - Grisvar

You'll find Grisvar in this part of the mine. If you give him Skooma, then he'll give you a Shiv.

5 - Braig

6 - Duach

You'll find Duach in this part of the mine. From talking to Grisvar (#4), you'll learn that Duach has Skooma. There are a few ways you can get it from him: you can pass a persuade check, you can beat him in a brawl, or you can pickpocket it from him. After brawling with Duach, he'll have a Shiv in his inventory, which you can steal from him. But if you get a Shiv from Duach, then you won't be able to get one from Grisvar.

7 - Madanach

8 - Locked Gate

9 - Frostbite Spiders

10 - Dwarven Spheres

  1. Doorway between Cidhna Mine and the Markarth Ruins.
  2. Exit to Markarth.




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