- Make your way into Sundercliff Watch and Sundercliff Village.
- Find Frathen Drothan's cabin and read his journal.
- Find the Drothmeri Commander and the Forgemaster to retrieve an Enchanted Bezoar from each.
- Place the bezoars in the Enchanted Pedestals to open the entrance to Varsa Baalim.
- Explore Varsa Baalim to find the entrance to the Nefarivigum.
- Kill Frathen Drothan and retrieve Mehrunes Razor.
The lost Ayleid City Varsa Baalim has been unearthed by a rogue Telvanni arch-mage in pursuit of a fearsome Daedric Artifact, Mehrunes Razor, which he believes will give him the power he needs to topple the Imperial reign—but what horrors lie in wait beneath the Valus mountains, and can you overcome them to claim Mehrunes Razor as your own?
After installing the plug-in you will receive a new quest, indicating that you have heard rumors about Mehrunes Razor being uncovered and that you should check it out. A quest marker pops up, leading you to Sundercliff Watch, a fort ruin on the extreme eastern edge of Cyrodiil, right next to Lake Canulus. If you start a new game with this plug-in loaded, the quest will be given to you right after you enter the sewers from the sanctum in the tutorial level.
Upon entering the ruin, you'll see a small bandit-style camp in the first room, with a couple Drothmeri soldiers. Kill or evade the soldiers and proceed down the corridor to a double door. If you try to open it, you are told that "A voice beyond the door calls out: Who gathers stormclouds over Nirn?"; at first, your only option in response is to say nothing. If you check the "abandoned knapsack" right next to the door you will find a small diary. Of immediate interest is the password ("Chimer"). The rest of the diary is an entertaining read, revealing that the steward on the other side of the door (according to a note) is supposed to keep an eye on the cousin of Drothan, who appears to be in charge of opening the door. In order to find Drothan there is a journal in his cabin that provides more information.
Use the password to open the door, and deal with the Drothmeri steward, recruits, soldiers, and veterans on the other side. The Steward's Registry on the table reveals that Drothan has been amassing a few troops here. Continue exploring the fort ruins, and you will find a door to the next area, "Sundercliff Village".
Before you leave this area, you may wish to go back to the start and dump your loot in the chest on the left side of the first room or another suitable container.
There really is a village in Sundercliff Village... the village is in a huge underground cavern, large enough to contain a half dozen houses, occupied by more of the Drothmeri army, and a handful of Argonian laborers. If you're just interested in getting through the quest, follow your map arrow, which is leading you through to the next area in search of Drothan's cabin.
If you're interested in exploring, though, take some time to check out the village. Be prepared to kill or avoid a lot of people. If you choose to kill them you can collect a lot of loot, including leveled armor, weapons, and a few enchanted items. Additional loot can be found in various chests (inside the houses) and hutches (outside).
The most interesting building in the village is the "Jail", in the northwest corner of the main cave. Inside you will find a Morag Tong Assassin locked in a prison cell. A jailor's letter on a table reveals that the jailor has been trying unsuccessfully to find the writ revealing the assassin's target. On the same table are two pairs of the rare, zero-weight wrist irons. The assassin isn't particularly talkative, and doesn't seem interested in asking to be released. What to do with him is really just a matter of personal preference. If you release him, he will skulk off to proceed with his assassination; you are likely to cross paths with him again later, and he may help you by killing off a few enemies. You may prefer to just kill him and acquire his enchanted armor, which has various unique and powerful enchantments, as detailed on this page. If you let him go he will end up outside of the Inn of Ill Omen, found during the Dark Brotherhood initiation quest.
The Village connects to two other areas: "Sundercliff Forge" (entrance on the east side of the main cave), and "Sundercliff Commune". The commune has two entrances, both on the west side of the main cave, one on the upper level, and one on the lower level. Your map arrow suggests you should proceed to Sundercliff Commune, through whichever of the two doors is closest.
Sundercliff Commune features an upper level with a few more houses. A deep chasm in the middle can be descended via a long wooden ramp, revealing another house and an entrance to an Ayleid ruin. For now the ruin is inaccessible, because some type of enchantment is blocking the entrance. The destination you're looking for, "Frathen Drothan's Quarter's", is on the upper level, to the north of the chasm. Depending upon which door you used to get here from Sundercliff Village, you may be on either the upper or the lower level.
In Drothan's cabin you will find his journal sitting on a table; reading it updates your quest to tell you that your next job is to find two enchanted bezoars in order to be able to access the Ayleid ruin, Varsa Baalim. Before moving on it is worth doing a thorough search of Drothan's cabin. Items of particular interest include:
- The book Treatise on Ayleidic Cities that provides more of the backstory.
- A Varla Stone.
- Two vials of Trichobezoar Extract.
- Several Scrolls of Transmutation. Two are out in the open; seven more are hidden behind a locked false wall (on the east side of the room).
Drothan's journal told you that the enchanted bezoars were entrusted to his two lieutenants, the Drothmeri Commander and the Forgemaster. The easiest is to start with the commander, whose house is right next door. If you released the Morag Tong Assassin, he is likely to show up here just as you arrive and assassinate the commander for you (leaving you free to loot the commander's corpse). The bezoar is upstairs on a side table.
You may also want to explore the Veteran's Lodge on the lower level, where there is another boss-level chest (and a couple Drothmeri veterans looking for a fight). Outside in Sundercliff Commune you can also find several chests with gold, and an underground potato plant patch, complete with its own gardener!
Your next destination is the Forgemaster. To find him, you will need to head back to Sundercliff Village and cross to the east side of the main cave, where you'll find the door to Sundercliff Forge. Exploring Sundercliff Forge you will realize that you are on the upper of two levels, but there is no way at the moment to get to the lower level; you can just look down through some shafts in the floor. There is a rock wall right by the entrance, but you can't open it from here. Your only option is to proceed to the next area: "Sundercliff Mines".
Once you get to the mines, you will find a new bunch of minions to mince. Some are the familiar Drothmeri soldiers, but you will also find many Khajiit and Argonian laborers, who like to fight with rakes and hoes.
You enter the mines on the lower level of a large cavern, filled with iron veins. The passage to the upper level is in the southeast corner. The various parts of the upper level are connected by narrow walkways; make your way to the northeast corner where you will find a small passageway that leads back to the Forge (watch out for rockfalls!).
This door leads you down to the lower level of the Forge, occupied by an Armor Apprentice, a Weapons Apprentice, and the Forgemaster himself. The Apprentice's Note on the table in one room, and the Letter Home on the table in another provide some entertainment. You may want to take the time to tip all the buckets hanging from the ceiling, all of which contain some loot. In most cases, it is just the ubiquitous iron ore nugget (which is pretty worthless by itself, but don't forget about the Scrolls of Transmutation), but other buckets will contain some more valuable gems. You can also collect a good deal of iron boots and longswords.
Your target here is the Forgemaster. Killing him will yield a couple unique enchanted items, namely a Forgemaster's Amulet and Forgemaster's Smock; his other armor and weapons may also be enchanted. The bezoar is in the Forgemaster's tent, along with some gems and a boss-level chest (and look under the Forgemaster's bed to find his hidden bedtime reading material). Having accomplished your goal of finding the second bezoar, you can now return to Sundercliff Village via a shortcut passageway in the northwest corner of the forge; pull the rope to lower the rock wall.
Now that you've obtained both bezoars, you can proceed to open the door to Varsa Baalim. The entrance is back at the lower level of Sundercliff Commune. Activate each of the two "Enchanted Pedestals" by either side of the door to put the bezoars in place; you will then be told that you have dispelled Drothan's barrier.
You will first enter an "Excavated Ruin", where you can watch a combat between a pair of vampires and a Drothmeri soldier. Other than that, there is little of interest. Run through to the other side, and open the door to Varsa Baalim proper.
As soon as your screen loads, you'll get another quest update, saying that "there's no telling what I may encounter here...," a not-so-subtle warning to be ready for combat. You should see some people fighting below you... more of Drothan's army taking on a handful of vampires. Both groups will gladly attack you given the chance, so you're best off hanging back and letting them do as much damage to each other as possible before joining the fray.
Once everyone has been taken care of, take some time to explore this new area, which consists of yet another huge underground cavern, filled with surface-type Ayleid ruin features. There are a couple of doors you can access. Two lead to Cava Arpenia, which is just a small, optional, side area with more vampires, a dead Drothmeri veteran, and one Ayleid cask. The door you really want is for Cava Beldameld, and is located to the west past some very tilted sets of stairs. Cava Beldameld is also small and boring (one vampire), but it leads to a new section of Varsa Baalim.
There, you will find more Drothmeri and vampires fighting each other, again. Backtracking to the east of the door to Cava Beldameld you will find a chest and an Ayleid cask with some gold and other loot. Then proceed northward through a maze of ruined walls, eventually angling to the northeast. Keep your eye open for Ayleid casks hidden in a few corners, and also watch out for the never-ending vampire attacks. Your destination is the door to Cava Marspanga where (surprise, surprise) another group of Drothmeri and vampires are battling, along with a dead Drothmeri veteran. Clean them out, collect the loot from the Ayleid casks, and head back up the stairs into yet another section of Varsa Baalim.
As an alternative to this method, players with sufficient acrobatics skills will be able to leap onto a halved pillar, then vault over a nearby wall, allowing quick and easy entry to the Nefarivigum without having to clean out two caverns first.
You're almost there! Head to your left (northeast) out of the door, up a small ramp of debris that leads you on top of some ruined walls. Stay up there, crossing the platforms and walls, and you will come to a garden-variety Ayleid ruin spiral entrance. This is at last the Nefarivigum, which based on Drothan's journals was his destination and the location of Mehrunes Razor.
Continue down the stairs and you'll see Drothan studying a statue. If he hasn't seen you, sneak over to his bedroll and read his field journal to find out what he's learned about retrieving the Razor.
There are a few ways events can play out at this point. The basic approach would be to kill Drothan yourself and then to read his diary to figure out what method you find appropriate to get the Razor. One option is to force open the gate leading to the Razor; if your strength is greater than 90, the gate will open. Even if you are not strong enough to open the gate, simply attempting will wake up the champion, Msirae Faythung. The other option is to take the Beating Heart from the champion's chest and eat it, upon which you will gain four Infamy points and contract the diseases Porphyric Hemophilia and Cannibal's Prion. Either way, the champion will wake up and attack; however, he will steadily lose health throughout the fight if you chose to take the heart. Alternatively, you can take the heart and then force the gate. The champion will awaken and still take damage, but you won't get Cannibal's Prion, Porphyric Hemophilia, or the 4 infamy points. Once you have killed the champion, he will vanish along with his weapon (even if you try to pick it up, it will crumble to dust).
Another approach involves getting Drothan and the champion to fight each other, allowing you to simply finish off the victor. One way to do this is to sneak over to the gate and attempt to force it open yourself. Regardless of your strength, the champion will awaken and the two will fight, even if you were detected. If your strength is greater than 90, you could take the Razor and leave through the newly revealed door if you do not want any of Drothan's enchanted items. Another option is to sneak over to the champion, steal the heart, back off from the two and eat it. The champion will awaken and fight Drothan. Alternatively, you can steal the heart and force the gate, which will, once again, cause the two to fight each other. If, in any of these situations, Drothan is victorious, the gate will open, yet Drothan will return to studying the statue as if the champion was still there and ignore the now accessible Razor.
Regardless of which method you choose, proceed through the door, and pick up the Razor. Quest complete!
When you grab the Razor, the back wall drops out revealing a door to the Forgotten Tunnels. There's a couple of rats and/or mud crabs in here, no big deal. Once you get to the end, there's a submerged door that will pop you back out in Lake Canulus just south of Sundercliff Watch.
- It is possible to complete this quest without killing anyone, by sneaking through the entire dungeon. The Bezoars can be obtained by sneaking past the Commander and the Forgemaster. If you want the assassin's goods, follow him to the Commander and save when the two begin fighting. Reload until the Commander is victorious. When you reach Drothan, simply sneak over and attempt to open the gate: this triggers the Guardian to attack Drothan. Save and let the fight continue: if Drothan dies, reload until Drothan is victorious. When the Guardian dies the gate opens, while Drothan resumes meditating in front of the now-empty casket.
- When you are in the mines and the forge, hit the buckets that hang overhead with an arrow, a spell or, if you can jump high enough, a sword. Most of the time they contain worthless iron ore, but some have gold nuggets and perfect gems in them.
- Even if you kill all the named figures in the dungeon, the ordinary Drothmeri soldiers will respawn, sometimes with enchanted weapons and/or armor. This makes Sundercliff Watch an excellent place to visit now and then to improve your bank balance, and possibly find rare enchanted weapons or armor.
- If you don't use the Beating Heart during the quest, you can save it for later. It can be used at any time to catch Porphyric Hemophilia, if you would like to become a vampire.
- There are several notes/diary entries in the quest, including one involving a body of a Drothmeri soldier you'll find near the outer walls of the ruins. The body is holding a quill and there is An Undelivered Letter next to him containing his final thoughts, including his realization that Drothan is a madman.
- In the Forge you can find "A Letter Home" on a table talking about one of the apprentice's relative/spouse living in Vvardenfell and working for Desele. She says it pays well. (Morrowind players may be familiar with Desele's establishment, "House of Earthly Delights".)
- With a high enough Acrobatics skill, it is possible to jump from Varsa Baalim to the entrance of the Nefarivigum. This will bypass the majority of the Ayleid ruins.
- In the Excavated Ruin area, you will come to a lookout where you see an adjacent area. If you use the
tclconsole command, you can explore the area and find a door there leading to an 'UNUSED CELL'. If you go through the door, you will be in a blank space the developers made for two NPCs that are sometimes seen walking to the door from the lookout. If you try to go over the edge of the cell, a message will pop up saying "You should not be here".
- There is a bug associated with the downloaded version of this plug-in (the bug was fixed in the version included on the Knights of the Nine CD/DVD and on Steam). When you install it, the default Daedric War Axe will be replaced by a weaker one which crumbles to dust when you pick it up. The only way to avoid this is to get your Daedric War Axe(s) enchanted prior to installing the plug-in. This will give them a new FormID and thus preserve their stats when the plug-in is installed. If you've already installed it and are suffering from the bug, there's not much you can do, other than uninstall the plug-in (which will cause you to lose all loot acquired from it). Or just don't use Daedric War Axes. This bug does not affect Bound Axes, enchanted Daedric War Axes (such as the War Axe of the Inferno), or the Durable Daedric War Axes added by the Shivering Isles.
- This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion DLC Patches.
- You will still be able to use any Daedric War Axes that are already in your possession prior to installing the plug-in. You will also be able to use Daedric War Axes taken from chests or from the inventories of others; only war axes on the ground will crumble when you pick them up. However, even in these cases, the statistics of the war axes have still been altered, causing the war axes to do significantly less damage (base damage 8 instead of 22) than they should.
- Daedric Banishing may be subject to Reflect Spell; in other words, using Mehrunes Razor on enemies capable of reflecting spells may cause your character to die unexpectedly.
- This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion DLC Patches.
|Unearthing Mehrunes Razor (DL9MehrunesQuest)|
|Stage||Finishes Quest||Journal Entry|
|10||I've heard talk of a lost Ayleid City called Varsa Baalim where Mehrunes Razor is hidden. If I search the ruins of Sundercliff Watch in the Eastern Niben, I may be able to find the lost city and recover this powerful daedric artifact.|
|15||I've entered Sundercliff Watch, and can begin my search for Mehrunes Razor.|
|17||A diary I've found contains a password to explore further, and seems to indicate that some kind of army is amassing here, led by somebody named Drothan. If I can find the journal in his cabin, I may be able to learn more.|
|20||I've found the door to Varsa Baalim. An enchantment blocks the door; I suspect two nearby pedestals may be a clue to dispelling the barrier.|
|30||I've read Drothan's Journal. He's gone into Varsa Baalim in search of something called the 'Nefarivigum', which he believes protects Mehrunes Razor. He has left enchanted bezoars in the care of his Commander and Forgemaster. With these bezoars, I'll be able to dispel his enchantment and follow him into Varsa Baalim.|
|40||I've found a bezoar, this may help me bypass the enchantment on the door to Varsa Baalim. Perhaps Drothan's journal can tell me more.|
|50||I've found a second bezoar and suspect that I can now dispel the enchanted barrier on Varsa Baalim's door.|
|60||I've dispelled Drothan's barrier and can now follow him into Varsa Baalim.|
|70||I've entered the lost Ayleid city of Varsa Baalim. There's no telling what I may encounter here; I must be on my guard.|
|80||Frathen Drothan is dead, and with him dies any threat the Drothmeri Army may have posed to the Empire.|
|90||I've entered the Nefarivigum and read Drothan's notes. They seem to indicate that by eating the heart of Dagon's champion, I'll be allowed to retrieve the Razor. Drothan seemed to suspect some other means of claiming the dagger, though he seemed unsure how.|
|100||I've recovered Mehrunes Razor, a potent daedric dagger which has a chance to instantly destroy an opponent.|
- Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
- Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
- If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
- It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering
setstage DL9MehrunesQuest stage, where
stageis the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.