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Online:An Unexpected Adversary

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Quick Summary: written by ElderScrollsBjorn, Talyyn, checked by MolagBallet

Walkthrough: written by MolagBallet, not checked

Quest Stages: written by Talyyn, checked by MolagBallet
ON-qico-Zone Story.png Unmask the mysterious faction behind the deaths of former Elder Councilors in Blackwood.
Zone: Blackwood
Zone StoryThis quest is part of the Zone Story
Quest Giver: Eveli Sharp-Arrow, Captain Rian Liore
Location(s): Bloodrun Cave, Leyawiin Castle, Leyawiin, Welke
Previous Quest: A Deadly Secret
Next Quest: A Hidden Vault
Reward: Waking Flame's Bow of Rebellion
1 Skill Point
Very High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Very High Experience
ID: 6616
"Alright, so what were we discussing before they so rudely interrupted us?"
The last surviving members of the Imperial Elder Council in Blackwood have sought refuge in Leyawiin Castle. I need to determine the true nature of the threat posed by the Dark Brotherhood and how it relates to Leovic's secret.

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak with Eveli Sharp-Arrow in Leyawiin Castle.
  2. Go to Bloodrun Cave and search for the hidden Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.
  3. Talk to Elam Drals.
  4. Defend yourself from cultists and explore the sanctuary.
  5. Enter the portal with Elam Drals to Welke.
  6. Explore the Ayleid ruins for clues of the Waking Flame's plans.
  7. Travel to Leyawiin to warn the council.
  8. Find Eveli and fight your way through the castle while looking for the council members.
  9. Reach Councilor Lovidicus and defeat the Disciple of Aspiration.
  10. Leave the castle and talk to Beragon and Councilor Lovidicus.
  11. Speak with Eveli Sharp-Arrow.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

After your conversation with Eveli Sharp-Arrow you may ask Captain Rian Liore for additional information. Either way your next objective is to explore Bloodrun Cave. The entrance to the sanctuary lies at the southern end of the cave, beyond the delve boss.

You'll pass through a broken section of wall behind the boss arena to locate the Black Door. In order to enter, you need to answer the door's riddle. The correct answer is Death, my brother.

"What is the sound that fills the unending silence?"
Death, my brother.
"Welcome home."

The Black Door permits you to enter the old run-down Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. Inside, you'll find Elam Drals, the assassin from before, with a few of his coworkers.

Elam Drals: "Still looking for your murderer? Well, you've come to the wrong place, my friends."
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "We found the black hands beside every body!"
Elam Drals: "Must I say it again? You've been duped! And the Dark Brotherhood has been set up to take the blame."

Speak with him for a bit of context.

Not a Dark Brotherhood Member:
Dark Brotherhood Member:
"Haven't we had this conversation already? The Dark Brotherhood didn't murder those councilors. I have no quarrel with you, and you none with me.
Now turn around and leave before you force me to do something you'll definitely regret."
If you didn't kill the councilors, Leyawiin demands to know what you're doing in Blackwood.
"Leyawiin demands, does it? Very well.
This sanctuary belongs to the Dark Brotherhood. It has for a very long time. I've been given the joyous task of reopening it. I assure you, we're a business. We have no designs on Leyawiin or the councilors."
If not the Dark Brotherhood, then who's been murdering the councilors?
"Obviously, some enemy of the councilors who wants to confuse you. Throw suspicion on the Dark Brotherhood. Keep you chasing after shadows while they accomplish whatever it is they hope to do.
Perhaps we can work together to—What?"
Look out!
"Haven't we already had this conversation, [brother/sister]? Tell your little Wood Elf friend that we are not her enemy and go find the real killers.
You know that the Dark Brotherhood doesn't play coy. If this was our doing, we would proudly admit it."
We need answers, Elam.
"I'd like some, too. I'm curious to find out who has the gall to frame the Dark Brotherhood. And rather successfully, I might add. That's no small feat.
Whoever it is, they managed to trick the lot of us. Crafty indeed."
Do you have any leads?
"Nothing substantial. You're the closest link we have to whoever this unknown enemy happens to be.
Now that you're here, maybe you can—what?"
Look out!
Investigate the Waking Flame's base of operations in Welke

A portal opens up behind Elam while he's talking, and Waking Flame goons emerge. He kills them and orders his companions to secure the sanctuary. Head east through the door to traverse the sanctuary's old storage halls. At the end of the hall, you'll encounter a Waking Flame Battlemage holding a portal open, commanding his cohorts to fall back and warn their high priests. Elam kills the poor sod, leaving his portal open, and beckons you over to speak.

"I assume this will satisfy your masters in Leyawiin? The Dark Brotherhood is not your enemy.
The Order of the Waking Flame invaded our sanctuary and killed my brothers and sisters. I can't let them get away with that."
Why would cultists attack the sanctuary?
"Seems to me the cultists didn't want you talking to me. Didn't want you hearing me tell you for the hundredth time that the Dark Brotherhood didn't kill those councilors.
If you ask me, those are your murderers. The Order of the Waking Flame."
The cultists do seem to be after the same thing Eveli and I are looking for.
"Opportunity and motive. Look, I don't know what that may be and I don't want to know. But I do want to step through this portal and stick my dagger in their high priest's throat.
Care to come along?"
I'll go with you into the portal.
"Good. Now you'll see how a Dark Brotherhood assassin deals with unsanctioned targets. And please notice that I won't be dropping any notes or leaflets along the way.
Come on. Let's go before the portal closes."

Hop through the portal to find out where the Waking Flame were trying to flee to. While you're exploring with Elam, Eveli will return to Leyawiin to inform the Councilors of what happened in Bloodrun Cave. You'll end up in Welke, an Ayleid ruin. Elam will accompany you as you fight your way through the cultists. As a follower, he can channel a ring of magic that allows you to activate a synergy while you're standing in it.

Forgery exposed! Enigmatic assassin tells all in this exclusive scoop

Head up the stairs to find the High Priest's Orders on an altar and read them. Knowing you would be an obstacle, it appears the cult's high priest sent their underlings to the sanctuary specifically to kill you, Eveli, and the Brotherhood agents. At the southwest end of the room, you'll find a pile of Mysterious Notes, obviously forgeries of the Dark Brotherhood calling card. The cult has been killing the councilors and using these notes to cover their tracks.

Head down the stairs leading to the center of the room to find the mortuary. You'll want to investigate one of the cultist corpses to find an Order of the Waking Flame Amulet. Once you've investigated all three areas of interest, speak with Elam about your findings before continuing to explore the ruins. You'll head through a large stone door to progress. The path through the ruin is fairly linear. You'll end up eavesdropping on two cult members through a grate at the southwest end next room: Acolyte Sondas and Disastrix Zansora.

Acolyte Sondas: "We failed to kill all the assassins. And the Wood Elf and the mercenary are still alive."
Disastrix Zansora: "Yes, the high priest isn't going to be happy about that, but we retrieved the cache hidden in the old sanctuary."
Acolyte Sondas: "With the contents of the cache, the high priest should be able to determine where to find the first Ambition."
Disastrix Zansora: "Agreed. And we will soon have the location of another one of the Ambitions. As just another Imperial councilor, the high priest has them all fooled!"

After their conversation, they both use their amulets on a nearby pedestal and disappear. Speak to Elam before pushing forward. In the next hallway, take a right turn at the bend. Instead of pushing right at the next fork, head left into the small room with the pedestal and talk to Elam Drals. He suggests you use your pilfered amulet on the pedestal: do so, and a portal appears. Hop through it, and you'll find yourself in a different section of the ruins. The cultists you eavesdropped on will ambush you in the next room. They're pretty weak, so you shouldn't have much trouble with them. Once they're defeated, an armored green daedroth appears through a portal to menace you. Kill it and move forward to reach the shrine.

You'll find a note entitled Preserve the Secret to the left of the entrance and Disastrix Zansora's Journal on a bench to the right. The journal reveals that the cultists have found the location of something known as the first Ambition, and that they intend on retrieving it. The letter indicates that the cult's high priest is actually Councilor Vandacia. The cult is also planning an attack on Leyawiin Castle. Speak to Elam Drals: he suggests that you return to Leyawiin and warn the councilors. Enter the nearby portal and find your way out of the ruins. You'll end up back at the portal pedestal, so you should head straight to find the exit.

Welke lies a ways west of the Bloodrun Wayshrine. Travel to Leyawiin and book it for the castle, which sits on the east end of the city. Captain Rian Liore stands in front of the main gate: Brigadine Sergeant Ponius and Brigadine Virgil are pounding on the door. Virgil reveals that the door is barred from the other side: the captain orders you to join Eveli in breaching the barracks.

"Faleria, with everything at stake, how could I not?"

Head up the wooden stairs to the south. Eveli slays two Waking Flame Battlemages alongside Brigadines Cartiar and Pazipa: she calls you over to talk once she notices you.

"Oh, thank Y'ffre you're back! Captain Rian and I … they tricked us! Lured us out of the castle.
Now the place is locked down and I don't know if any of the councilors are still alive. I've mucked this up real good."
Councilor Vandacia is behind everything. He's the high priest of the Order of the Waking Flame.
"Vandacia? That … traitor! He tricked us. Lied to us. Had his own colleagues murdered. And all to get his hands on a few Daedric weapons?
But Lyranth the Dremora. She told me that the fate of the world was at stake. We need to reach the councilors."
Does that door lead into the castle?
"Yes. The barracks connect to the rest of the castle. Since I dispatched the cultist guards, we can get to the councilors and the legates this way.
Let's go but stay alert. We're not sure how many of those cracked acorns are waiting for us in there."

Enter the castle and fight through the cultists. Past the library, you'll find Vandacia and Faleria facing off on a balcony. Vandacia blasts Faleria over the railing to her death before teleporting away. Once you reach the other side of the room, Eveli will run down the stairs to meet her brother, Beragon. She insists that he comes with you.

Councilor Lovidicus is in peril

Continue searching for Councilor Lovidicus. Head down into the front foyer, where you'll find a daedroth feasting on Councilor Faleria's flaming corpse. The rest of the castle is blocked off by piled furniture: your only option is to head out the front door and into the courtyard. There, Vandacia is levitating Lovidicus over a ledge by the throat.

Councilor Lovidicus: "Vandacia, you traitor …."
Councilor Vandacia: "I will finish what the Longhouse Emperors started, Lovidicus. I will set loose the power of the Four Ambitions!"
Councilor Vandacia: "Lord Dagon, hear your high priest! Send forth a champion to destroy these meddlers!"

Vandacia summons the Disciple of Aspiration before fleeing the scene. Beragon steps up to heal him. Defeat the summoned ruinach, and the Ivory Brigade will barge through the front gate to take the councilor to safety. Follow them out and speak with Beragon and Councilor Lovidicus. The councilor suggests you speak with Governor Keshu in Gideon about the Ambitions. You'll need to talk to Eveli to complete the quest.

"Damn! I can't believe Vandacia is a traitor and a cult leader! And he killed Faleria … almost killed Lovidicus!
He's been ahead of us the entire time. We can't let him get to the Ambitions. We just can't!"
Councilor Lovidicus recommends we go to Gideon and ask Keshu about the term ojel-bak.
"All right, we have a plan. In the meantime, we saved Councilor Lovidicus, cleared the Dark Brotherhood of the murders, and determined Vandacia is the traitor and leader of the cult.
You did good, my friend. Here, your share of our compensation."

Quest StagesEdit

An Unexpected Adversary
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Eveli is waiting for me in Leyawiin Castle. I should go and meet her there.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
  The letter I found indicates that the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary is somewhere inside Bloodrun Cave. I should meet Eveli there so we can renew our investigation.
Objective: Go to Bloodrun Cave
Optional Step: Talk to Captain Rian Liore
I arrived at Bloodrun Cave. I should speak with Eveli about what to do next.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
While Eveli trails behind to watch our backs, I should head deeper into Bloodrun Cave and see if I can locate the entrance to the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary.
Objective: Find the Sanctuary Entrance
We found a crack in the cave wall that led to some sort of ancient ruin. Eveli thinks we may have found the entrance to the sanctuary. I should talk to her before we proceed.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
Eveli thinks the black door ahead of us leads to the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. I should examine the door and try to open it. Maybe the letter I found will help with that.
Objective: Examine the Black Door
We opened the black door. Now to enter the sanctuary and see what we can find.
Objective: Enter the Sanctuary
Elam Drals and a few other Dark Brotherhood assassins were waiting for us inside. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
The Order of the Waking Flame cultists have invaded the sanctuary. I need to explore the rest of the installation and figure out what's going on here.
Objective: Explore the Sanctuary
The cultists are attempting to retreat, but Elam Drals killed one before they could close the portal. I should talk to Elam and see if he knows why the cultists attacked.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
Elam Drals plans to enter the cultists' portal and make them pay for attacking and killing his Dark Brotherhood brothers and sisters. I should accompany him to learn more about the cult's plans.
Objective: Enter the Portal
The portal deposited us in what appears to be an old Ayleid ruin. We need to look around and see if we can find any sign of the Order of the Waking Flame or what their true agenda happens to be.
Objective: Explore the Ayleid Ruins
I uncovered several clues in the ruins. I should talk to Elam about what we discovered.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
Elam suggests we continue to explore the ruins and see if we can find the high priest of the Order of the Waking Flame.
Objective: Explore the Ayleid Ruins
Elam noticed two Waking Flame cultists just ahead. We should listen to see if they reveal any pertinent information.
Objective: Observe the Conversation
I should speak with Elam about the conversation we just overheard.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
The cultists revealed they found hidden documents in the sanctuary that pointed them to the location of one of the Ambitions. They also claimed one of the councilors is secretly their high priest. We need to find a pedestal so we can follow them.
Objective: Find Another Pedestal
We found another pedestal. I should see what Elam has to say before I try to use the amulet to open a portal.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
I should try to use the Waking Flame amulet on the pedestal to see if it will really open a portal.
Objective: Use the Amulet
The amulet opened a portal. I should enter the portal and see where it leads.
Objective: Enter the Portal
The portal took us to another section of the Ayleid ruin. I should keep exploring.
Objective: Explore the Ayleid Ruins
We reached a chamber that appears to be some sort of shrine to Mehrunes Dagon. I should look around.
Objective: Investigate the Shrine Chamber: 0/2
Hidden Objective: Letter of Instructions
Hidden Objective: Vandacia's Notes
I should discuss what we found in the shrine chamber with Elam Drals.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
I need to return to Leyawiin and warn the remaining council members of Councilor Vandacia's betrayal and imminent attack.
Objective: Warn the Councilors
Castle Leyawiin is already under siege. With the main gates blocked, Captain Rian suggests I meet Eveli at the barracks and try to get inside that way.
Objective: Find Eveli Sharp-Arrow
Optional Step: Talk to Captain Rian Liore
I found Eveli at the barracks entrance. I should speak with her about what's happening.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
I need to enter Leyawiin Castle to try to save the remaining councilors and legates.
Objective: Enter Leyawiin Castle
Now that I'm inside Leyawiin Castle, I need to find Councilors Lovidicus and Faleria and make sure they're all right.
Objective: Find the Councilors
We witnessed Vandacia strike down Councilor Faleria before he vanished. We need to keep looking and find Councilor Lovidicus before Vandacia gets to him as well.
Objective: Find Councilor Lovidicus
Vandacia tossed Councilor Loviducus from the balcony before teleporting away, but he summoned a champion of Mehrunes Dagon to block our path. I must confront the creature.
Objective: Defeat the Disciple of Aspiration
Vandacia escaped, but at least Councilor Lovidicus is still alive. I should leave the castle courtyard now.
Objective: Leave Leyawiin Castle
Beragon said he had something important to tell me about the investigation. I should speak with him.
Objective: Talk to Beragon
Councilor Lovidicus may know more about the clue Beragon deciphered. I should speak with him.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Lovidicus
Finishes quest  Councilor Lovidicus suggested Eveli and I speak with Keshu the Black Fin in Gideon. She may know what natural landmark the term ojel-bak refers to. I should tell Eveli what we need to do.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
* Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the game and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • 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 any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
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