Online:Count Verandis Ravenwatch

Elder Scrolls Online: People
Count Verandis Ravenwatch
(lore page)
Location Ravenwatch Castle
Race Altmer Gender Male
Health 60370
Reaction Friendly
Other Information
Faction(s) House Ravenwatch (leader), Daggerfall Covenant
Gray Host (formerly)
Condition Vampire
Count Verandis Ravenwatch

Count Verandis Ravenwatch is an Altmer vampire who lives in Ravenwatch Castle in Rivenspire. He leads a small team of vampires who have learned how to fight blood hunger and do not kill the people who provide their blood meals. He is involved throughout the main Rivenspire questline.

You first meet him in Shornhelm during the quest Shornhelm Divided, arguing with Countess Eselde Tamrith and Baron Alard Dorell. Countess Tamrith, a keen follower of Arkay, is suspicious of him because of his vampirism and because he used to be friends with Baron Montclair, the instigator of the current hostilities. However Baron Dorell and later, High King Emeric himself, assure you that Count Ravenwatch is loyal to the crown and to be trusted. Ironically perhaps, depending on choices you make during The Blood-Splattered Shield, he may assist Countess Tamrith's sister, Captain Janeve after she is turned by Reezal-Jul.

To some extent, the situation with Baron Montclair is Count Ravenwatch's "fault". Baron Montclair's wife, Baroness Leila, fell ill and was close to death. Baron Montclair wanted Verandis to turn her into a vampire, so that she would live. Leila, however, did not wish to be a vampire, and instead Verandis used an Ayleid relic to cure her. Unfortunately her illness returned, and Baron Montclair forced his wife, daughter, and Count Ravenwatch to locate a more powerful Ayleid relic, the Lightless Remnant. As you later discover from Ayleid spirits, this relic had been corrupted in ancient times, and it was corrupted further when the vampire came into contact with it. This caused the entire Montclair family to become vampires themselves. Leila asked Verandis to kill her rather than live as a vampire, and her decision enraged Baron Montclair to the point where he decided to unleash bloodfiends upon the people of Rivenspire. Count Ravenwatch felt great remorse for his involvement, and issued a Proclamation stating his loyalty to King Emeric and desire to destroy the Lightless Remnant.

Related QuestsEdit

Quest-Related EventsEdit

RivenspireEdit

Shornhelm DividedEdit

When you first meet him, he will look like a normal Altmer noble. Enter the Shornhelm Chapel and you'll find the Count, Baron Alard Dorell, and Countess Eselde Tamrith in a heated discussion:

Baron Alard Dorell: "You sent the Guard west? To chase a rumor? We need those troops to protect Shornhelm!"
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Only some of them, Baron. My father would have done the same. Captain Janeve will discover the truth and report back."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Countess, Baron, please. We must remain focused. As long as Montclair controls the upper city, the whole region remains at risk."
Baron Alard Dorell: "How can we trust you, Count Ravenwatch? Your friendship with Montclair is well known. What did you offer those captains to betray us?"
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "I care for the Count even less than you, Baron, but he hasn't done anything to warrant such accusations—yet."
Baron Alard Dorell: "We must end this debate and take action! Make an example of the two traitors and retake the upper city! How can the two of you not see that?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I do not disagree, Baron, but we need to proceed with caution. There is more to this situation than meets the eye."
<Verandis turns around and walks away.>
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I know I make you both nervous. Perhaps we should continue this after our blood has cooled."
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Mind your tempers, gentlemen. We have a visitor. Come forward, friend, and state your business."
<Baron Dorell turns away from Countess Tamrith.>
Baron Alard Dorell: "Bah! You both try my patience. I can almost understand what drove Montclair to abandon our triumvirate."

It is possible to speak to Verandis before talking to Countess Tamrith. In that case he will say:

"You should probably speak to Countess Tamrith. I'm not an official member of this triumvirate."

After your conversation with the Countess, you have the opportunity to speak with Verandis who will warn you to be cautious and will hint at Montclair's motives:

"Heed my words, friend. There is more to Montclair's betrayal than the Baron and the Countess know.
I suggest you proceed with caution when you enter the upper city."
Who are you?
"I am a lesser noble of the city, offering what assistance I can during this time of trouble."
Baron Montclair is your friend?
"The Baron and I were friends, yes. Good friends. But that was before this madness overtook him."
Dorell and Tamrith don't seem to like you.
"Dorell sees traitors behind every pillar, but his intentions are good. He truly cares for Rivenspire and its people.
He simply has the social skills of a sober Nord."
What about the Countess?
"Tamrith is overly occupied with spiritual matters. She'd rather pray for my lost soul than engage in a rational discussion. Much like her mother.
Her late father was another matter. Sensible, strong, pragmatic. Her younger sister takes after him."
The Countess has a younger sister?
"Yes. Captain Janeve of the Rivenspire Guard. In fact, the Countess just sent the good Captain to investigate disturbing rumors from the western countryside.
But rumors are for later. We have a more immediate problem right here in Shornhelm."

You'll next meet the count inside the Fevered Mews:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Not so fast, my friend. You don't have to deal with this on your own."

You can then ask him why he is there:

"I assume you have come to rescue the nobles and stop Montclair's reinforcements. But Reezal-Jul is here, you shouldn't have to face him alone."
How did you find out about this place?
"I am not without resources of my own. When I discovered that Montclair had left the city and heard that nobles had been taken captive, it wasn't difficult to ferret out the mad Argonian's hiding place."
You have spies working for you?
"I have... loyal associates. Let's leave it at that for the time being. Suffice to say, we have nothing but Rivenspire's best interests at heart.
Now, let's go rescue those nobles."
Can you tell me anything about Reezal-Jul?
"The Argonian? He has been at Montclair's side for a long time. He is a skilled warrior and alchemist. I believe he may also have darker interests, including necromancy.
Understand this: Reezal-Jul is powerful and not quite sane."

The count will become a follower and assist you in fighting the Montlair forces. If you speak to him as you move through the mews, he'll say:

"I'm surprised Baron Dorell didn't accompany you here. He's never been one to shy away from getting his hands bloody in defense of House and country."

After you've released the last prisoner, you can ask:

Why are you so anxious to help resolve the situation in Shornhelm?
"Shornhelm's stability affects all of Rivenspire. If Montclair and his allies take over the city, I fear all of Rivenspire would soon fall.
And then they would look beyond out borders. He's always fancied himself the true heir to Ranser's throne."
That doesn't explain everything.
"I usually leave politics to the other nobles. I prefer to deal quietly with... more unusual problems.
As for the why of things, I call it an obligation. But now is not the time to discuss the past."

As you near Reezal-Jul's location, he'll offer:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I suspect that Reezal-Jul is behind that stone door. Along with his portal. We need to stop him from bringing through more reinforcements."

Inside Reezal-Jul's cave there will be a portal that is allowing reinforcements to enter the city. You can ask Verandis to close it for you:

"I can feel the magic. There's a portal close by. We need to close it before we're overrun by more Montclair soldiers."
You need to close the portal.
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I should be able to close the portal. It won't take me more than a few seconds."
<Verandis does some magic.>
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There. That should keep them out. Shornhelm will be safe now."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I shall begin my research at once. Try to determine where Reezal-Jul has gone. In the meantime, you should seek out the High King."

You will need to speak with him before you leave and he will mention the arrival of the High King to Shornhelm:

"With the portal closed, we've stopped Reezal-Jul from sneaking more Montclair troops into the city.
It's frustrating, though, that Reezal-Jul slipped away. That Argonian is sly and cowardly."
Any idea where Reezal-Jul disappeared to?
"No, and that's what worries me. He must be tracked down and dealt with. Swiftly.
Thanks to your efforts, though, Montclair's plan to take control of Shornhelm has been stopped. You should inform High King Emeric and the other nobles."
Is the High King in Shornhelm?
"According to my sources, he was close before I entered the Mews. I have no doubt that the Shornhelm Guard has reclaimed the upper city.
I assume Dorell, Tamrith, and the High King are even now in Shornhelm Castle. Give Emeric my regards."

If you try to speak to him again, he'll snap:

"Why are you still here? I need to concentrate if I'm going to learn anything important here. And you need to go talk to High King Emeric."

Dream-Walk Into DarknessEdit

Entering Ravenwatch Castle, you find Verandis and Gwendis at the dinner table... feeding on Kallin, one of the servants of House Ravenwatch. Verandis is trying to teach better table manners to his protégé:

Verandis: "Gwendis, my child, slow down. You eat too fast. You don't want to harm poor Kallin."
Gwendis: "We need to feed to get stronger. When Montclair shows up, I want to be ready."
Verandis: "That is not our way, child, and you know it. Stop feasting! Now!"
Gwendis: "Fine. Whatever. I mean... I'm sorry Count Verandis. You know I really want to help."
Verandis: "Of course, my child. Now, let's clear away our meal and welcome our friend. Kallin, as always, I thank you for sharing your life's blood with us."
Kallin: "I live to please, my lord."
Verandis more noticeably appearing as a vampire, having not recently fed

Speaking to the count afterwards, he apologizes for the surprise and will ask for assistance so he can tell you the entire story.

"I apologize if the scene before you makes you uncomfortable. I did not expect you to arrive during our meal time.
As for why I kept my true nature hidden? Well, let's just say that Emeric insisted. And one does not refuse the High King lightly."
You're a vampire?
"I have been called far worse. But I prefer to think of myself and my companions as gifted. We are not ashamed of our condition. We are not monsters.
Now this is the part where you gasp and ask calmly, "How can I trust you?""
That's exactly my point. You're a vampire!
"We all have to eat. But unlike your meals, my sustenance voluntarily allows me to sup. And then it gets to walk away and go on with its life.
When was the last time a deer or a rabbit approached you and gladly died so that you could have your fill?"
[Intimidate] Vampires are evil! I must destroy you!
"There's the reaction I was waiting for! But what will attacking me gain you? A sound beating? The enmity of my friend the High King?
Understand this—no one knows Montclair better than I. If you hope to defeat him, you need my help."
All right. So where do we begin?
"You were able to drive off Reezal-Jul and take back Shornhelm. Those were no small feats, I assure you. But Emeric needs our help to restore Rivenspire's Tranquility.
You need to understand. There is more to Montclair than simple ambition."
You've hinted at this before. Tell me what you're talking about.
"Walk with me and I'll explain. There is much I need to show you and time grows short."
High King Emeric said I should trust you.
"The High King is a wise man, which is why I supported him and not the mad king, Ranser.
We all have the ability to make our own decisions. Long ago, I decided to live in peace with the mortal world, not feast upon it."
Can you tell me anything that can help us deal with Montclair?
"You were able to drive off Reezal-Jul and take back Shornhelm. Those were no small feats, I assure you. But Emeric needs our help to restore Rivenspire's tranquility.
You need to understand. There is more to Montclair than simple ambition."
'You've hinted at this before. Tell me what you're talking about.
"Walk with me and I'll explain. There is much I need to show you and time grows short."

Leaving the table, he says:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Adusa, please make sure Gwendis behaves herself. Poor Kallin needs time to recover."
Adusa-Daro: "The little one gets no dessert this evening. Adusa will make sure."

As he walks to library, he will explain his proposal, namely for you to relive his memories and view them from an outsider's perspective:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "To understand the path that Montclair follows, you must understand how he came to walk upon it. I believe the key to stopping him hides within my own memories.
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Memories are elusive shadows, hiding truths behind our own perceptions. But what if someone else could examine them? What would they see that we do not?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'd like to try something, if you're willing."

He then offers you the Dream-Walk Potion.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This potion will allow you to dreamwalk through my memories. Perhaps your eyes will see what I have missed."

Before drinking the potion, you have the option of asking him further questions:

"I would never bring an outsider into my memories if I didn't believe it was imperative.
The memories we will revisit. They are … painful for me. It is with a heavy heart that I ask you to embark upon this journey with me."
I need to know more before I agree to this.
"Ask your questions, then. I will answer what I can."
What's in this potion?
"Nothing that will harm you, rest assured. The mixture contains various herbs, dusk nectar, and a few drops of my blood. But don't worry. It takes more than a little blood to turn someone into a vampire."
What if I choose not to drink the potion?
"Then we learn nothing new. Montclair continues his campaign and Rivenspire eventually falls. It is inevitable. Please. As you will see, I have blind spots where Montclair is concerned. I need a fresh perspective to determine our next moves."
Why me? Why not one of your vampires?
"They know me too well, and they are used to acquiescing to my will. They don't have the perspective, the distance, to see beyond what I saw. I need someone who has proven their worth, a relative stranger that I can trust."
The player (left) as a flashback version of Verandis while his present-day projection (right) addresses you

Now you can drink the potion and your vision will go dark. When you return to your senses, you will be seeing through the eyes of the Count in his memories. A spectral Verandis will comment on the strangeness of the situation:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I must say, it's rather strange seeing you as … me."

You see the Baron and his daughter at the bedside of the dying Baroness Leila Montclair.

Lleraya Montclair: "Mother… please. You have to take the medicine. Reezal-Jul can help you!"
Baroness Leila Montclair: "Oh, sweet daughter. I can't go on like this. I don't want to spend my final days as an experiment. Instead, let me spend them with the ones I love."

The Count comments as he watches this scene play out:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Even in retrospect, reliving this is difficult. Her pain, her suffering. She had so much courage."

While speaking with the Baron, he will ask you to turn Leila in a vampire. Your choice will change what is said. If you choose to offer the gift to Leila she will gently turn it down.

When spoken with, Verandis will regret not doing what the Baron asked in light what happened afterwards:

"Perhaps I should have done as Baron Montclair asked. Given Leila my gift. Maybe then this war would never have started. We'd all still be friends. Rivenspire would be at peace.
It doesn't matter now, though. What's done is done."
Have you noticed anything you missed?
"No, I remember all of this as though it were only yesterday. But there has to be something else, something I missed or failed to understand the significance of.
Keep exploring. Let your unique perspective guide you."

Otherwise, after speaking with the Baron and his daughter, Verandis will feel that he has forgotten something.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Something's wrong. I have vague recollections of talking to someone else, but why can't I remember? You need to look around, see what we missed …."

The Argonian Reezal-Jul can be found nearby and can be spoken with. He will ask you to convince the Baron to allow him to use a shard of an Ayleid relic to heal Leila.

After speaking with Reezal-Jul, the next memory begins. It becomes clear that the relic was used and healing was a sucess:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Without your help, my friend, I would have never recalled that Reezal-Jul lead us to the Ayleid relic. What else have I forgotten, I wonder?"

The gathered group begin to chat among themselves.

Baron Wylon Montclair: "Three cheers for Verandis! He gave me the means to save my beautiful wife!"
Baroness Leila Montclair: "Yes, to our dear friend, Verandis! How can we ever repay him?"
Gwendis: "He is great, isn't he? And so handsome! But I want to cheer about this wine. By the Divines, this stuff is delicious!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We were so happy at this moment. We were all together, friends and family, enjoying each other's company. For the final time …."

Baroness Leila walks over to you.

Baroness Leila Montclair: "Verandis, may I speak to you for a moment? Alone."

The Verandis who is watching this play out is confused:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I … I don't recall speaking with Leila. Why can't I remember that?"

If you had refused to make Leila a vampire, speak to him and he'll share his confusion:

"Reezal-Jul knew about the Ayleid relic the entire time. He convinced me to give it to Wylon. Why didn't I remember that?
And this memory. I recall our celebration, the toasts. But this moment, talking to Leila … I don't remember that happening."
Tell me more about this celebration.

Either way, he'll say:

"As I now recall, Reezal-Jul gave me a shard—a piece of an Ayleid relic. I presented it to Montclair and he, in turn, used it to heal his wife. In less than a day, Leila was recovering and on her feet again.
It was nothing short of miraculous."
The shard cured her?
"Not exactly. It helped, but I can't remember why. We were here, celebrating Leila's improved condition, when …. And that's all I can recall.
I'm sure the key is hidden in my memories. Please, explore this moment and see what you can learn."
"These missing moments from my memory … they concern me greatly.
You must talk to everyone. Discover the things that I have somehow forgotten."

While speaking with the guests, you learn that the healing effects are fading from Leila. You can also find Reezal-Jul in an adjacent room where he is examining a shard of the Ayleid relic. He notes that it reacts differently to Verandis and when questioned will ask for your help in translating texts relating to the main artifact.

When you speak with Verandis again he will elaborate on what happened:

"I remember now. The translation—we misinterpreted it. We assumed the Crag housed a powerful healing artifact. But we were wrong.
The hillside community, though. Why didn't I ever look into that?"
Do you know what this means?
"Not exactly. Not yet. But I will figure this out.
In the meantime, there is one more memory I want you to explore. We ascended the Doomcrag. And that's where everything changed."
What's the Doomcrag?
"A perilous peak that rises from the mountains to the north. It has always been a haunted, desolate place.
Look for anything I may have missed. But more, I want you to see what happened to Montclair. I want you to understand why he must be stopped."

When you appear in the third memory, you will find yourself climbing the winding path up the Doomcrag with Gwendis, Baron Wylon, Baroness Lelia, Lleraya Montclair and Reezul-Jul. The Baron will be furious with Verandis and will blame him for what is happening to his wife. You will fight your way through undead Ayleids and bone colossi. If you try to speak with the Baron about the misgivings you have as you get closer to the relic, he will rebuff you.

After a final plea to Baron Wylon, he will begin the ritual. Midway through the ritual he will ask for your help and you will need to touch the Lightless Remenant

Baron Wylon Montclair: "Verandis, we need you! We need your power! Quickly! Touch the relic and help us!"

Once you touch it, the Baron will complete the ritual and it will go horribly wrong. The power will fill the four participants, tranforming them into vampires. However, Leila's change will have gone wrong and she will approach Verandis, asking for him to make the pain stop. She will then become hostile, forcing you to protect yourself. The Baron will yell in dismay when she dies, swearing revenge. Gwendis then appears to rescue you and the memory ends.

With the final memory explore, you wake up in the library and can speak with the Count.

"Remarkable! What a strange sensation of new recollections and old. I believe that Reezal-Jul somehow removed those moments from my memory. But you were able to restore them.
And now you understand what we are facing."
I'm not sure what I actually saw.
"Disorientation is understandable.
Somehow, when I joined the ritual, I altered the power of the relic. I turned Leila into a monster. I had to kill her. And Montclair and the others... they became vampires imbued with the power of the relic."
How did you escape?
"I have Gwendis to thank for that. She pulled me out of there before Montclair and the others were fully recovered.
Now Montclair claims he wants to end death and suffering. That he wants to take the throne of Ranser. And it's all my fault."
So what happens now?
"The Ayleid text referred to an outpost in the hills. I need to find out where that is. It may be that the answer to defeating Montclair can be found in this hidden location.
But first things first. There is a more urgent matter for you to deal with."

The Blood-Splattered ShieldEdit

After learning the backstory behind the Montclairs, Verandis will have another task for you.

"Now you know how this sordid situation began. And you know how I, to my great and everlasting shame, helped Baron Montclair reach the Lightless Remnant.
But now to more immediate matters. I know where Reezal-Jul can be found."
Then I should go after the mad Argonian.
"Not so fast, my enthusiastic friend. My agents have learned that Reezal-Jul struck in the west and is still in the area.
Captain Janeve, Countess Tamrith's younger sister, has established a camp for displaced refugees. She must be warned about this."
I can take word to her.
"I had hoped you would make such an offer. My instincts tell me that Reezal-Jul allowed the refugees to survive. It's a trap. It has to be.
Find the camp and tell the Captain what I have learned. Then help her end this threat once and for all."
I'll find Captain Janeve and warn her about Reezal-Jul.
"While you go to Camp Tamrith and help deal with Reezal-Jul, I shall look into the gaps in my memory that you helped uncover. There must be something important in the hills to the east. Why else would the mad Argonian have taken those memories?"

The Concealing VeilEdit

Meeting him outside the Lorkrata Hills ruins, he greets you:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There you are! I hope you didn't have any trouble finding this place."

You can then ask him about the place and what he needs you to:

"Ah, I take it Gwendis found you? And I assume that you dealt with Reezal-Jul? Then we are ready to begin. Let's find out why they tried so hard to hide this place from my memories."
What is this place?
"A forgotten tumble of ruins in the desolate Lorkrata Hills. I found a trap door that should grant us access to the chambers beneath, but it's locked tight. Look around for a way to open the trap door and I'll meet you at the west tower."
I'll try to find a way to open the trap door.
"I advise caution, my friend. As with Reezal-Jul and Camp Tamrith, I have a feeling that the enemy remains at least one step ahead of us. Since I assume that Montclair's memory was never affected, who knows what we may find in the ruins below?"
Can I ask a few questions?
"Of course. It isn't as though we're trying to save Rivenspire or anything, now is it? Go ahead. Ask your questions."
I understand Montclair and Reezal-Jul's role in all this, but what about Lleraya?
"Lleraya was a sweet young woman, committed to her family and infatuated with me. She didn't ask for what happened to her, but that doesn't excuse her behavior since."
What do you mean?
"Her father gave her command of a portion of his troops—just as he did with Reezal-Jul. She's been active in the north and east, creating bloodfiends and causing chaos. I assume she has her eye on Northpoint. It would make a handsome prize."
What are we looking for here?
"When you restored my missing memories, I recalled that the Ayleid manuscript mentioned two ancient outposts—the Doomcrag and a place in the hills to the east. My research indicates that an Ayleid ruin lies beneath this abandoned Breton fortress."
What do you hope to find down there?
"I'm not sure. But there must be something here that we need. Why else would the two Ayleid outposts be linked as they are in the manuscript?
First, however, we need a way to open the path down. Without that, this ruin is nothing but a dead end."

If you have not accepted this quest from Gwendis (and will thus accept it from Verandis himself), the first part of the conversation will be somewhat different, though the part where you may ask him some optional questions remains the same:

"Ah, you made it. I was hoping you'd find your way to these forlorn hills."
I bring news. Reezal-Jul is dead. But what is this place?
"A forgotten tumble of ruins in the desolate Lorkrata Hills. We need to reach the chambers below, but the door I found is locked.
Search for a method to grant us access and I'll meet you at the western tower."
Anything else before I go?
"I advise caution, my friend. Our enemy has been one step ahead of us the entire time.
I'm certain that, unlike me, Montclair had no trouble with his memory. Who knows what we may find in the ruins below?"
I'll try to find a way to unlock the trap door.

After searching the ruins you will find a key, which you should bring to Verandis who can be found at the western tower.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Over here! Did you find anything that might help us?"

If you try talking to him before finding the key:

"What are you still doing standing there? We have to find a way to get that trap door open!"

If you have the key in hand:

"You found a key? Very good. Enter the ruins and I'll follow right behind you."
I need to ask you something before we go down there.
"More questions? You are a curious one. But who am I to deny your intellectual fulfillment. Ask, and I shall answer."
What are we looking for again?
"Something Ayleid, that's all I know. The fragments of manuscript I was able to study weren't very specific about what was stored at the Lorkrata site.
I have high hopes, however, that we will find something we can use against Montclair."
What can we expect down there?
"I honestly have no idea. But that lock is new, so we could be facing bandits or Montclair troops. Or they just locked the door and moved on. Ruins do have a habit of attracting monsters, however.
If we work together, I have no doubt we can succeed."

Beyond the trap door, you notice something bright ahead:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The way ahead … can it be? It is! A veil has been cast upon these ruins!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "It is just as I expected. Lleraya knew I'd come here, and has placed an obstacle in our way."

He is not very happy about this development.

"As I feared. The delay caused by my missing memories allowed Montclair to reach this place before us.
This veil … it has Lleraya's deft touch about is."
Veil? What do you mean?
"Lleraya has placed a veil upon these ruins. It's a simple illusion spell that she amplified using the power of the Lightless Remnant. It hides the true topography and makes us see exactly what she wants.
She set the trap and we walked right into it."
So what do we do now?
"We push forward. Lleraya's veil is far from perfect, and she made it specifically to hinder me and my vampiric charges.
She wasn't expecting you, however. You should be able to guide us through the veil using the tears that litter the illusion."

You examine the first bright tear in the illusion right before you. The scene changes, the lava pool disappears. Count Verandis exclaims:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You did it! You were able to widen the tear so that we can see the path ahead, as it truly is!"

As you explore the ruins and fight some undead enemies, he may make comments during the fight:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Coordinate our attacks! Make every blow count!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We've disturbed this ancient place and awoken its guardians!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I can handle these pitiful creatures."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Now you shall witness the true power of Verandis Ravenwatch."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Together, we can fight our way through!"

Soon afterwards, you will find your way blocked by a portcullis:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The way ahead appears blocked. But I'm sure it's another illusion."

He is right; another tear is right behind you. After examining it, the scene changes again, multiple fire traps litter the corridors.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The veil hid this gauntlet of traps from us. We need to move through this area with caution."

You can speak with you before you make your way past the traps:

"Lleraya put a lot of effort into this veil. She really wants to keep us from finding whatever the Ayleids hid down here."
You don't think she found it?
"No. In fact, I'm certain she hasn't.
The undead guardians. The active traps. I believe that Lleraya placed her veil and moved on. I'm sure she imagined I would stumble through the illusion and fall victim to the place's original defenses."
Is Lleraya more powerful than you?
"I'm not sure.
She was a young and talented mage when the Remnant turned her into a vampire. With the added power of the relic, who can tell the true limits of her ability? I'm just sorry it corrupted her once good-hearted spirit."
Were you expecting these traps?
"Expected? No, but I'm not surprised. Traps are not uncommon in ancient ruins, after all.
Proceed with caution, my friend. Let's not make Lleraya's job easier by rushing blindly forward."

After avoiding the traps, you two come to a chasm in the floor.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "A real chasm or another illusion? We probably shouldn't chance it. See if you can locate another tear."

If you speak to Verandis before investigating whether this chasm is real or not, he has the following things to say:

"The way is blocked. I assume this is another part of Lleraya's illusion. Look for another tear and see if you can show us the true path from here."
Do we really need to keep searching?
"Montclair easily defeated me at the Doomcrag. We can't afford to ignore anything that might give us an advantage.
I don't know what we're going to find down here, but the Ayleids seemed to think this place was important."
Aren't we losing more time stumbling around down here?
"Speed won't help us if we wind up rushing to our defeat.
We need to learn as much as we can before we attempt to confront Montclair."

Of course, you find and activate another tear.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This way! With the veil torn, I can see a way up over there."

Before examining the next tear, you can ask him some questions. Verandis will be annoyed but will comply:

"We must be getting close. The secret of Lorkrata should be soon within our grasp."
I have a few more questions.
"Of course you do. I suppose now is as good a time as any for you to ask them."
Where are Lleraya and Monclair?
"I can't be sure, but Adusa and Gwendis noticed some unusual activity near Northpoint. I believe that is where we will resume the hunt once we are finished here."
What do you think we're going to find here?
"Your guess is as good as mine. It could be another Ayleid relic, perhaps a weapon or a defense of some sort. Or maybe more Ayleid texts. We certainly need information about the Doomcrag, the Lightless Remnant, and the powers Montclair has gained."
Explain how the veil works again.
"Lleraya placed the veil over these ruined chambers to hide the true path from us. But her spell is imperfect, and small tears mar the surface of the veil.
You have been able to rip the tears asunder, revealing what lies hidden behind them."

If you speak to him again at this point, he adds:

"At the moment, we're still trapped beneath Lleraya's veil. See if you can find another tear in the spell so that we can leave this place.
I just hope the book is still with us when the illusion dissipates."

Soon you will reach a door which appears to be blocked by rubble:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Another obstacle. Look how the rubble blocks those doors. Come talk to me when you have a moment."

Speak with him to continue:

"We need to clear this portion of the veil so that we can move forward. See if you can rip open a tear and shred this illusion."
Is this real or an illusion? Should I find another tear?
"We're close to the end of the veil. I can feel it. Beyond that door lies the oldest section of the ruins—a section that dates back to the ancient Ayleids.
We just need to locate another tear. If there isn't one, our quest may come to naught."

If you choose to directly head to the tear instead of first going to the blocked door, Verandis's opening sentences will be the same, but your response will be somewhat different:

Are you ready to move forward?
"Whenever you are, my friend. I just hope there are a sufficient number of tears for you to rip apart. I'd hate to get trapped within Lleraya's veil with no way out."

Once the illusion is cleared, the doors will be accessible:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Hopefully, that's the last of the veil. Let's see if we can get through that door now."

You reach the double door and Verandis runs on through.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Well done, my friend. I'll meet you on the other side."

On the other side, you find yourself in a vast room, the relic chamber.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I think what we're looking for is just beyond this chamber."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The item we seek is through here. Follow me."

He is right, he finds an interesting book which is glowing with blue-green light.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This must be what we're looking for! Amazing! It's as though as it's been waiting for us all of this time!
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I wonder … Is this book real or just another of Lleraya's illusions?"

Verandis picks up the book without apparent ill effects and begins to read through:

"Remarkable. It appears to be an intact volume of Ayleid lore. If it's real, then this is what we came here to ….
No. This can't be correct."
What does the book say?
"This is all about the Remnant of Light. Before it became corrupted.
It mentions that the remnant requires a vessel to make full use of its limitless potential. A container for its abundant power."
Is Montclair that vessel?
"That seems likely. Between the relic's magic and the vampiric abilities I inadvertently provided, Montclair has become more powerful than I expected.
The book also says that if we break the vessel, we break the relic. I will need to think upon that."

You locate another tear and you find yourself outside the ruins with the Count and the book in tow.

"Well, my friend, it appears that the book is real and not part of Lleraya's illusion. I believe it will be of great help to us in the trials ahead.
That said, I have much research to do. Ancient Ayleid isn't my native language, you know."
Is this book really going to help us?
"I believe so, yes. I have much more reading to do before we get to that point, though.
Know that we wouldn't have this advantage if not for you. I could never have navigated Lleraya's veil without your help."

The quest is concluded and you receive a pair of Ravenwatch Boots as a reward.

Northpoint In PerilEdit

Still outside Lorkrata ruins, he will ask you to travel to Northpoint:

"While I continue my research, you should head to Northpoint. Gwendis caught wind of Lleraya in that area, and I had her direct Dorell and Tamrith to take their troops north.
I'm sure they'd appreciate any help you can provide."
What can you tell me about Northpoint?
"Baron Dorell considers Northpoint to be his seat of power. He has a number of holdings there, including a lucrative maritime endeavor.
It makes sense that Montclair would send Lleraya there. If they control Northpoint, they control the north."
Should I look for anyone in particular when I get to Northpoint?
"Gwendis reported that Northpoint has been sealed. I fear Montclair already controls the city.
Find Baron Dorell. He commands the troops amassing outside the city. I'm sure he has a plan in motion. Talk to the Baron and see what you can do to help."
I'll find Baron Dorell.
"I expect that Baron Dorell and his troops will have found a good vantage point outside the city.
While you help them liberate Northpoint, I'll continue to study the Ayleid book we discovered."

You can ask some questions before you leave:

I have a few questions before I go.
"Very well. Ask your questions. And then I expect you to make your way to Northpoint with all due haste."
Have you finished translating that Ayleid book?
"Finished? I have only just begun! And I certainly won't make any progress while we stand here and continue to discuss matters that have little immediate relevance to the mission at hand."
Are you certain that Lleraya commands the troops at Northpoint?
"Certain? No. But her hand was definitely present here at Lorkrata, and we know she commands Montclair's forces in this area.
I expect you will face Lleraya before your work at Northpoint comes to an end."
Has there been any sign of Baron Montclair recently?
"As far as I can tell, no one other than Reezal-Jul and Lleraya have seen Montclair since the events at Doomcrag a few weeks ago. He could still be atop that desolate peak.
On the other hand, he could be anywhere. So stay on your guard."

The Liberation of NorthpointEdit

While under Lleraya's curse, he contacts you as a projection:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You need to resist her, my friend! You must break free of her spell before all is lost! Just as in Lorkrata, Lleraya has cast a veil. It hides her, protects her.
You must find a way to enter the illusion. The basement! I can feel slight imperfections in the spell down there..."

You find the tear in the veil and break the spell.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The veil is a powerful illusion. But just as at Lorkrata, you can manipulate its power using a tear. You have entered the veil. Now, find Lleraya and finish this!"

While fighting you, Lleraya will occasionally drain the essence of nobles to replenish her strength. This essence manifests itself in the form of spheres that slowly drift towards her. Whenever this happens, you may hear Verandis's projection exclaim:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Use the spheres against her! Destroy them and take them as your own!"

If you allow the fight to drag on for long enough, you may hear the following exchange between Lleraya and Verandis's projection:

Lady Lleraya Montclair: "Why do you hate me Verandis? Why can't you love me?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This should never have happened this way. Look how my efforts went astray."

After defeating Lleraya, he once again appears as a projection.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Poor Lleraya. I never wanted it to come to this."

You can then speak with him:

"I had hoped to save Lleraya from this fate. Or else, I should have been the one to end her campaign.
I'm sorry this unfortunate task fell to you."
I'm not sure I understand what happened here.
"Lleraya gathered the nobles here, played with them, forced them to love her. It was the closest she could get to real happiness since the loss of her mother.
When she was done playing, she was going to turn them all into bloodfiends."
This veil is slightly different from the one at Lorkrata.
"Your perceptions are excellent. She used this veil in two ways—to hide herself and to overwhelm your senses with illusion.
Unlike Lorkrata, instead of shredding the veil, this time you used the veil to enter Lleraya's illusion."
What happened to the nobles?
"With Lleraya's death, the power of the veil fades. As soon as it dissipates, the nobles will appear.
But now the final confrontation draws near. Gather our forces and meet me at the Shrouded Pass. We must return to the Doomcrag to end this."

Puzzle of the PassEdit

You meet him again at the military camp by Shrouded Pass.

"My friend, I am sorry you had to be the one to end Lleraya's troubled existence. It was unfortunate, but necessary. And now if we are to save Rivenspire, we must engage in another unfortunate act. The time to deal with Baron Montclair is upon us."
Are you sure Baron Montclair is here?
"Montclair is here. Of that there can be no doubt. He waits atop the Doomcrag, where he somehow activated ancient defenses to block our path. We need to find a way around these defenses and then set up portals to transport our troops up the mountain."
What can I do to help?
"The book we uncovered at Lorkrata contains maps of the ruins, among other things. These maps show two portal chambers leading to the top of the Doomcrag. If you can reach the first chamber and open a portal, we can begin moving troops into position."
I'll find a way to reach the first portal chamber.
"Be on your guard. In addition to activating ancient defense, Baron Montclair has somehow awakened the Ayleid guardians that haunt these ruins. You may have to deal with them as well as you make your way into the first portal chamber."
Can I ask a few questions before I begin?
"Of course. But let's try to move this along. I fear Baron Dorell will charge straight into an Ayleid trap in his haste to make something happen."
Why is this place called the Shrouded Pass?
"A recent appellation, it refers to the thick fog that develops within the pass up the mountain.
But my translation of the text tells me this was once a great place of learning and worship, with pilgrimages occurring daily to the top of the Doomcrag."
You said something about defenses being triggered?
"Baron Montclair must have triggered the ancient wards. Many of the passages have barriers that were not present the last time I was here.
He also seems to have disturbed the bones of the ancient Ayleids. They are now awake and angry that we're here."
How do we stop Baron Montclair?
"The Lorkrata text may provide us with some insight that will help us deal with Baron Montclair. I just need to finish my translation.
This requires great care and concentration. I don't want to make an error that will cost us dearly later."

You solve the puzzle in Varlasel and reach the first portal chamber. "I knew you would find the chamber and open the portal."

What should I do next?
"As out troops emerge from the portal and take up position outside, you need to make your way to the second portal chamber. Once you activate that portal, we can get the troops that much closer to the top of the Doomcrag."
Then what happens?
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We must step through each door we come upon in turn. For now, you need to reach the second portal chamber."
"Go on. The second portal chamber should be on the third level. I want to make sure this portal is stable and then I'll follow after you."

In the Chamber of the Stone Guardian, Verandis is clearly frustrated.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Another barrier blocks our way. Look around and see if you can find a way to disable it."
"I can use the Lorkrata text to help translate the Ayleid words carved upon the pedestals. Why don't you examine the statue by the barrier? It has an important air about it."

While you look at the statues in the chamber, he adds helpful comments.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Anga... that could mean iron, or cold. I suppose this one refers to winter."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Morilatta? The dark light? Dusk? I think this one is referring to autumn."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The green shine? That's close but not quite right. I'm guessing this refers to summer."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Larelleis... The time of sweet water? That must refer to spring rains."

If you try to speak to him, he'll comment:

"Did I see the flutter of butterfly wings? It must have been a trick of the light."

Should you speak with him again after you have solved the second riddle, he says:

"This chamber has a calming effect. I wonder if this was where the pilgrims rested on their way to visit the uppermost chamber?"

And talking to him after you have solved the third riddle prompts him to say:

"That statue... it's so cold. It feels like the dead of winter."

With his help, you successfully solve the riddles. "The barrier has fallen. The portal chamber should be just a short way ahead."

"None of these defenses were active when Montclair and I first came here. I wonder if that would have made a difference in what happened after?"

You may now enter Ceynaril and open the second portal.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Doomcrag waits just beyond this chamber. The Doomcrag and Baron Montclair."
"Activate the portal in this chamber so that the rest of the troops can join us."

If you speak with him after activating the portal but before speaking with Baron Dorell, he reflects on Lleraya's sad fate:

"Poor Lleraya. I had hoped to find a way to bring her back from the brink of madness, but it was not meant to be.
I will not be blinded by sentiment when it comes to Baron Montclair. No. To save Rivenspire, we have only one course left before us."

Speak with him again after you have talked to Baron Dorell to finish the quest and to receive your reward, an Ayleid Greatsword and some gold:

"Once again, you succeeded at the task set before you. Well done, my friend."
I think everyone is here. The pass is ours.
"A battle won, but the war rages on. We must reach the Lightless Remnant and destroy it. But Montclair will grow more desperate the closer we get to that cursed relic. Are you ready, my friend? Once more into the breach?"

The Lightless RemnantEdit

"I fear that Montclair will have a surprise or two waiting for us within the Doomcrag. I suddenly have the feeling that bringing an army up here was a terrible mistake."
A mistake? What are you talking about?
"Never mind that now. We must reach the Lightless Remnant and end this madness.
Tell the troops to remain here. They need to make sure none of Montclair's soldiers follow us up into the Doomcrag."
You had us bring the troops all the way up here just to stand guard?
"Do not question me! If my orders aren't followed to the letter, Montclair will defeat us and Rivenspire will be lost!
Talk to Countess Tamrith and Baron Dorell. Tell them what I have said. Then meet me at the bridge that leads to the Doomcrag."
All right. I'll pass on your order to Dorell and Tamrith.
"The soldiers must stay here. They must hold this position or all will be lost."

When you climb high enough, you'll find Verandis speaking with Gwendis.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You must do exactly as I taught you. The power of the Remnant will call to you, tempt you. You must be strong enough to withstand that lure."
Gwendis: "I'm ready for this. You know that. Stop treating me like I'm a novice, Verandis."
Gwendis: "I won't fail you. I won't let you down."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You have never disappointed me, Gwendis. But the Remnant is more powerful than you can imagine. Be on your guard. Now head inside. I'll join you in a moment."

Speak with the Count.

"I trust you have spoken to Tamrith and Dorell. Are the soldiers standing guard at the second portal?"
Tamrith and Dorell won't wait. They want to see this through to the end.
"The fools! I just wish I would have realized our mistake before we made it this far."
You mentioned that before. What mistake did we make?
"I didn't think. Didn't realize that our proximity to the Remnant would be our undoing.
The Remnant feeds off life. Devours it. Not only will Gwendis and I be susceptible to its lure, but the soldiers—they're just more fodder for the blood-curse."
I can try to make them see reason.
"No. It's too late for that now. We have to move forward and hope we're not overwhelmed by our own forces.
But if any of them turn into bloodfiends, I promise to end their suffering as quickly as possible."

Verandis stops during your climb.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is where it happened. Where Leila died and Montclair... changed."
Gwendis: "Where are Montclair's forces? I thought for sure we'd have to fight a horde of bloodfiends to make it through this place."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Montclair is a strategist. He's waiting for us to make a mistake that he can take advantage of. I fear that mistake is about to be made."
Baron Alard Dorell: "Soldiers, spread out! Secure this chamber!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You should have heeded my warning, Baron. This is no place for you."
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "You would deny our moment of glory, Count? The Light shines on us this day!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There is no light here, Countess. Only darkness and death."
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Arkay protect us! What is that?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Baron Montclair. He's here."
Baron Alard Dorell: "Troops! On my command!"

Suddenly, the cursed Baron appears.

Baron Wylon Montclair: "Welcome, Verandis! And like a good guest, I see you've brought me gifts to play with."
Baron Wylon Montclair: "Allow me to grant my blessing to your army."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is exactly what I feared! He's turned our own troops into bloodfiends!"
Baron Wylon Montclair: "How does it feel to watch those who you care about turn against you, Verandis? How does it feel?"
Baron Wylon Montclair: "My wife … my daughter … you've taken everything I've ever loved, Verandis!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Wylon, I'm sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen."
Baron Wylon Montclair: "My daughter loved you, Verandis. She loved you!"
Gwendis: "The Remnant … the power. It drove Lleraya insane! Are those giant skeletons?"

You will be forced to fight a bone colossus.

Baron Wylon Montclair: "You've grown strong, Verandis. Your allies grant you strength."
Baron Alard Dorell: "Come out and face us, you coward! You can't hide from us forever!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Wylon, please. We can find a way to free you from this power."
Baron Wylon Montclair: "To what end, my old friend? My wife is dead. My daughter, killed by your own hand. What do I have, if not this power?"
Baron Wylon Montclair: "I think I'd prefer to let you experience my pain. My suffering. To let you see what it's like to lose everything you hold dear!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Montclair! Stop this madness!"
Baron Wylon Montclair: "Come, Gwendis. You look famished. Allow me to prepare you a feast fit for my new queen!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Montclair! Please!"

Speak to Verandis.

"I never should have brought everyone here. I should have handled this on my own.
You're in danger as well. Montclair will eventually try to use you against me."
Where did he take the others?
"Montclair has never left the Remnant chamber. He was able to defeat us by working through a projection!
I assume he's teleported Gwendis and the others to his side."
So how do we stop Montclair?
"I am still connected to the one who turned me. The answer to our problem rests with him.
If we're going to defeat Montclair, you must trust me this one last time. I will not betray you."
The one who turned you?
"We can discuss that later. For now, we need to reach Gwendis before the Remnant corrupts her and she feasts upon the others.
Head upstairs and I'll follow right behind you."
Let's go find Gwendis and the others.
"I can feel them. Gwendis, Tamrith, and Dorell are still alive. But I can also feel Gwendis' hunger. She won't be able to hold back much longer.
We must be ready to do whatever is necessary. Let's go."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Be on your guard. Montclair will do everything he can to stop us."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "If Gwendis has been harmed, or any of our friends …. I'll show him no mercy."

A bit higher up, Verandis rejoins you and you find Gwendis:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis? What has he done to you?"
Gwendis: "Verandis … help. Please, help me. Their blood … smells so good! These restraints. They won't hold me back much longer."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You must control yourself, Gwendis. We'll find a way to get you out of there."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Show yourself, Wylon! Tell me what you want!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Damn you, Montclair! Answer me! I'm sorry, my friend, but it seems we're going to have to play Montclair's game to free the others."

Speak to him and he'll tell you:

"If we don't get Gwendis out of there soon, those restraints will break and she'll feed on the nobles."
What's going on here?
"Montclair has constructed a blood ward to imprison Gwendis and the others.
The Remnant. It's proximity is playing havoc with Gwendis' hunger. The urge to feed is stronger in her than ever."
What about these statues? What are they doing?
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The statues! Their magic is too strong! Use the gargoyles to help you destroy them!"
"He's using Ayleid magic to increase the power of the ward. I'll do my best to dispel it, but I think we'll need to destroy the statues if I'm going to have any chance to succeed.
You must protect me while I attempt to unravel the spell."
Protect you? From what?
"Montclair will strike when I'm distracted. You must keep me safe or we'll never reach Gwendis in time.
One more thing. Watch for an opportunity to destroy the statues. As long as they power the ward, my efforts will be less effective. Are you ready?"
I'm ready.
"Then may luck be upon us both."

While freeing Gwendis:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Hold on just a while longer, Gwendis. We're going to get you out of there."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The power is dropping!"

After freeing Gwendis:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch:: "Gwendis, are you all right?"
Gwendis: "I … I did it. I resisted! I didn't feed. Wait, what happened to the nobles? Did … did I remember wrong?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "They're fine. Merely unconscious. I'm proud of your restraint, Gwendis."
Darien Gautier: "What's going on in here? Is the Countess all right?"
Skordo the Knife: "Damn it, Darien! Slow down! Wait for me, you long-legged bastard!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Baron and the Countess are fine. But you both arrived just in time to move them to safety."
Darien Gautier: "Take them out? But we just got here. We want to help take down Montclair! Neither of us has had a good fight in … well, it's been at least a couple of minutes."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Darien. This battle is not one that you and Skordo can win. Leave Montclair to us."
Darien Gautier: "But … but … oh, very well! But I get to help take down the next would-be world conqueror we come across. Deal?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "As you wish, brave Darien, as you wish. And now, my friend, the time has come to face Montclair."

Speak with Verandis:

"Rivenspire needs Tamrith and Dorell. They cannot be allowed to perish here.
I need to help get them to safety before I join you up above."
I thought Skordo and Darien would take care of that?
"They will, with my help. Besides, I can't face Montclair just yet. There are preparations I must make to ensure our success.
But time grows short and you must distract Montclair to give me the time I need for my preparations."
I don't understand.
"If Montclair dies while connected to the Remnant, the relic breaks and unleashes its curse upon Rivenspire. No one would be safe from the bloodfiend plague.
We need to stop Montclair, but we need to do so in a way that doesn't doom Rivenspire."
And how do we do that?
"That, my friend, is what I still need to work out. And while I do that, I need you to keep Montclair busy.
You have done more than I ever hoped, my friend, and I am proud to have fought beside you. Now go. We both have jobs left to do."
"Remember, the man that Montclair was is gone now. He no longer exists. Only the monster remains.
So don't hold back. Keep him busy until I can join you."

After killing Baron Montclair:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Remnant … it's cracking. You did it!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The power threatens to break free. I can feel it … the power. I could consume it. Become stronger than I ever imagined …."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No! I can't give in to this temptation. I must remove the Remnant from this place … take it to the plane of my master. We need to talk … this one last time."

Talk to the Count.

"Time is against us, my friend. I must remove the Remnant from this place before it's too late.
I … I need you to do something for me first, though."
What do you need?
"Adusa … my oldest, most trusted ally. Tell her that House Ravenwatch is hers now. She must carry on our work … continue to train Gwendis … and any others who need her help."
I don't understand. Why are you talking like this?
"Because I need to take this relic out of this realm. It needs to be transported to a place where it can't do any harm.
I have made a deal with my master. Molag Bal has agreed to take me and the relic to Coldharbour."
You're giving the Lightless Remnant to Molag Bal?
"It is the only way to make certain that Rivenspire is saved. Molag Bal will take the relic into his realm.
Rivenspire, all of Nirn, will be safe."
There must be another way.
"The deal has already been made. It's either this or allow everyone to turn into the very fiends we worked so hard to save them from.
There is no other way. Tell Gwendis that I will miss her. She was always so full of life. Farewell, my friend."
Do what you think is best.
"I thank you for your trust. Rivenspire will be safe and life will go on.
Tell Gwendis that I'll miss her. That I'm proud of her. Farewell, my friend."

And with that, you will be teleported out of the Doomcrag.

Markarth PrologueEdit

The Gray CouncilEdit

While investigating the Gray Host's past during The Ravenwatch Inquiry with Gwendis, you will discover that Verandis was once part of the Gray Host. After traveling to the island of Grayhome to find answers, Gwendis will have you drink the Dream-Walk potion and relive Verandis' memories of his visit there.

Upon discovering Verandis's Journal and his research into resurrection, Gwendis will decide to use the ritual and Verandis's Reliquary to summon someone to give answers. Verandis' role during the ritual is different depending on whether or not you've completed the Rivenspire storyline. If you haven't completed the Rivenspire storyline then you will summon Exarch Turvon to interrogate him. However, in the case of completing the Rivenspire storyline, you will instead bring Verandis back from Coldharbour. Both quest branches come with their own challenges.

Rivenspire Not Complete Rivenspire Complete

After you place the reliquary, Exarch Turvon emerges from the Stone Husk in a burst of blue light. He's half-mad from the process of returning.

When you kill the Exarch, he cries out in despair as he's sent back to Coldharbour. A bright flash of blue light consumes the chamber as his corpse falls.

Exarch Turvon: "No! Not again!"

Count Ravenwatch enters the ritual chamber.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis, what have you done?"
Gwendis: "Verandis! What are you doing here?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Who do you think sealed this place, child? I came as soon as my wards were disturbed."
Gwendis: "Verandis, you should have told me about the Gray Council!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "So you know, Gwendis? Come, let us all speak outside."

They exit the chamber together. Your loot from the battle is in a chest near the exit. Speak with him. If you've never met Count Verandis:

"So you're the one who helped my ward Gwendis with her inquiries? If I had been completely honest with her, I could have saved you both the trouble.
Please, accept my apologies."

If you've previously assisted Count Verandis somewhere in Rivenspire:

"We meet again. I see you've been helping Gwendis with her inquiries. If I had been completely honest with her, I could have saved you both the trouble.
Please, accept my apologies."
Why didn't you tell Gwendis about being a member of the Gray Council?
"That was the ancient past. There was no reason to mention my involvement with the Gray Host. I never imagined they would return.
Rada al-Saran and I were friends once. I tried to convince him to take a different path, but to no avail."
I dream-walked through your memories. I saw what you said to him and the others.
"You saw? Then know that I regret not trying harder. If I pushed, could I have averted the war? I suppose we'll never know.
Regardless, Gwendis informs me that Rada al-Saran may be alive. And somehow, the Gray Host has returned to threaten our world."
So what happens now?
"Now? Now I take up the mantle of what you and Gwendis started. We must find out what this revived Gray Host plans and devise a way to stop them.
When the time comes, House Ravenwatch will send for you. I pray you will continue to aid us."
I'll be ready when you call.
"I'll let you and Gwendis conclude your business. Then she and I will have a long talk."

After the quest:

Gwendis: "So, any other thousand-year-old secrets I should know about?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Do you really want to hear all the sordid details of my past, Gwendis?"

Speaking to him after the quest:

"The Gray Host must be dealt with. When the time comes, I hope you will be at our side. Until then, be well, my friend."

After you place the reliquary, Count Verandis Ravenwatch emerges from the Stone Husk in a burst of blue light. He's half-mad from the process of returning.

Gwendis: "Verandis! Is that really you?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Must … feed!"

He attacks you.

Gwendis: "Stop! It's me, Gwendis!"

When his health is lowered a little bit:

Gwendis: "Verandis! No!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I thirst!"

When you defeat the Count, he'll simply exclaim "No...".

Gwendis: "Oh, Verandis, are you all right?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "My apologies. The process … doesn't leave one in their right mind."
Gwendis: "I'm just glad you're alive! But Verandis, we need to talk."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Of course, my child. Let us all go outside and speak."

They exit the chamber together. Your loot from the battle is in a chest near the exit. Speak with him.

"I didn't expect to ever see you again, my friend. After we parted at the Doomcrag, I resigned myself to an eternity in Coldharbour.
But it seems my fate was not yet written. You and Gwendis saved me. I am more grateful than you can ever imagine."
Gwendis and I discovered your connection to the Gray Host.
"That is … unfortunate. I believed that part of my past was dead and buried. My involvement with the Gray Council ended so very long ago.
Rada al-Saran and I were friends once. I tried to convince him to take a different path, but to no avail."
I dream-walked through your memories. I saw what you said to him and the others.
"Then know that I truly regret not trying harder to convince Rada al-Saran and the Gray Council. Perhaps I could have averted the war. Alas, we'll never know.
But why the sudden interest in ancient history? Why this obsession with the Gray Host?"
Gwendis and I discovered that Rada al-Saran is still alive. The Gray Host has returned.
"What? How is that even possible? What am I saying? Haven't I just returned from the dead?
I must look into this. Find out what the Gray Host has planned. When the time comes, House Ravenwatch will send for you. I pray you will answer that call."
I'll be ready when you send word.
"You have no idea what torments I suffered in Coldharbour. I appreciate the efforts you and Gwendis went through to rescue me.
Finish your business with my ward. I … I need a few moments to collect myself."

Speaking with him again after the quest:

"My ward and I have much to discuss. I owe her an explanation. And I need time to adjust. Returning from Coldharbour … it doesn't seem completely real.
I promise, after that I will find out what the Gray Host has planned. I give you my word."

After completing the quest and walking away:

Gwendis: "I never thought I'd see you again. So much has happened."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I know, Gwendis. We have much to discuss. Come, let us return to Ravenwatch Castle."

MarkarthEdit

The Despot of MarkarthEdit

When you approach, you'll find him speaking to Sentry Bodfe.

Sentry Bodfe: "Be off, reeker. Ard Caddach refuses to see you. Now go before I gut you."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The ard needs to hear what I have to say, my friend. It is imperative that we speak."

If this is your first meeting, he'll greet you with:

"Reachfolk. I don't believe I've ever dealt with a more distrustful lot. I'm here on urgent business, but the Despot of Markarth refuses to see me. While the Gray Host gathers, he hides behind his sentries and his walls, thinking to escape their fury."

Otherwise he'll say:

"Good to see you, my friend. I could use an ally in this desolate place. The Gray Host has turned its attention upon the Reach, but the local ruler refuses my help. This so-called Despot of Markarth thinks walls and sentries will hold back their fury."

Either way he'll get you up to speed on what he knows:

The Despot of Markarth?
"Ard Caddach. He rules the Reach from Understone Keep in Markarth.
I've come to offer my help against the Gray Host, but he has turned me away time and time again. Meanwhile, even here, in the shadow of the city, the Gray Host plots and conspires."
Tell me more about the Gray Host.
"It's an alliance of vampires, witches, and werewolves bent on slaughter and destruction. To protect the Reach, I need to learn why the Gray Host has come here. And I need to secure the cooperation of Ard Caddach.
Would you be willing to help me?"
I'll help figure out what the Gray Host is planning and get you in to see the Despot of Markarth.

After agreeing to help, he'll give you more direction:

"With your help, we may save the Reach yet. While I continue to exert diplomatic pressure, I need you to find information the ard will consider valuable. Something concerning the rebels that plague his rule, perhaps.
Start by talking to the sentry."
How will information help get us an audience with Ard Caddach?
"Reachfolk deal in bargains. They respect strength and skill. And they believe in rewarding favors. If we can bring something important to the ard while demonstrating these qualities, I think he'll agree to hear us out."
You really want to work with someone called the Despot of Markarth?
"If we're to stop the Gray Host and help the Reach, we don't have a choice. At the very least, we need his resources and support.
In my time here, I've heard about these rebels, but I'm not sure the extent of their rebellion. See what you can learn."
I'll see what I can learn about the rebels and their rebellion.
"Remember, remain respectful but wary when dealing with Reachfolk. They don't suffer long speeches—or even short ones. Keep your conversation with the sentry brief and to the point.
Once you find something, meet me in Markarth at Understone Keep."
Why has the Gray Host come to the Reach?
"This Gray Host is somehow connected to the army that ravaged the land in the First Era. Like their ancient counterpart, I assume they seek to conquer and destroy. I need to learn more to know for sure.
Meanwhile, we must get the Reach to prepare."
But the Reachfolk are barbarians, aren't they?
"No, of course not.
I won't mince words. The Reachmen are a stubborn and unruly people. They resort to violence at the least provocation. But despite the opinion of most of civilized Tamriel, they aren't frothing barbarians."
They're not?
"The Reachfolk possess a distinct culture that you'll see during your time here. They also enjoy the same capacity for virtue and evil as Bretons, Nords, and the other peoples of Tamriel.
Animal skins don't make one a barbarian. Actions do."
(If you have completed Greymoor)I stopped the Gray Host in Western Skyrim.
"Yes. So my ward Fennorian has told me. Which is even more of a reason for you to help me here in the Reach.
Whatever Rada al-Saran began in Western Skyrim, I believe he has something even more terrible in mind for the Reachfolk."
Tell me more about the Despot of Markarth.
"An appellation he earned, as I understand it.
Ard Caddach is said to be ruthless and powerful, a cruel leader who seeks the ruin of Tamriel and the death of any who reject the spirits—or what you and I call the Daedric Princes."
Is any of that true?
"That he's a king of broken antlers and carrion crows who eats the hearts of his enemies and hunts children for sport? Perhaps, but the legend always overshadows the reality.
Caddach's legend is a mix of Daggerfall insults and Reach superstitions."
Do you know anything about Ard Caddach that's true?
"He's a canny leader who applies both caution and brutality in equal measure.
He calls himself ard, the king of the fort, but his rule isn't absolute. Most Reach clans respect him, however. His help will be crucial in the battles ahead."
(If you have not [verification needed — completed/started] the Greymoor chapter)Why do you care about this Gray Host and the Reach?
"As a noble of Rivenspire, I'm here under the guise of a diplomatic mission. However, as the leader of the Ravenwatch, my real purpose remains to protect mortals from all manner of supernatural threats."
The Ravenwatch?
"Brace yourself. The Ravenwatch consists of honorable vampires dedicated to restraining the less-desirable elements in our brethren. This mandate extends to other supernatural threats, of which the Gray Host is certainly one.
And yes, I am a vampire."
You're good vampires that kill evil vampires?
"We do not kill unless no other option presents itself.
We seek to offer our kin a different path. To help them find a way to live alongside mortals without fear or temptation. By words and deeds if possible. By force, if necessary."
I don't have a problem working with a vampire.
"I appreciate the sentiment. The Ravenwatch seeks to build a world where mortals and supernaturals can live together in peace. The Gray Host has a different idea, which is why I've come to stop them.
I give you my solemn oath—you can trust me."
(If you've met before)It's good to see you again, Verandis.
"And you, as well. I only wish we weren't in the midst of yet another crisis.
I formed the Ravenwatch to deal with this type of eventuality. But even with centuries to prepare, I find myself caught off guard. And Caddach's stubbornness doesn't help."
Have you made any other discoveries since your return at Grayhome?
"Yes. But too few.
We tracked Rada al-Saran to the Reach and found the place crawling with Gray Host warriors. He's here for a reason, and I think it goes beyond simple conquest, but the truth of his motives elude me."

Speak to Bodfe and he'll add:

"I heard what the sentry said. Why would Caddach recall his soldiers and leave the Gray Host unmolested? That makes no sense.
Go. Learn more about these so-called witch-rebels. We can use what you find to get us into Ard Caddach's throne room."

After you gather the information requested by Sentry Bodfe, you'll need to meet the Count in Understone Keep.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Here, my friend. Was your hunt successful?"

Speak to the Count.

"You couldn't have timed your arrival any better. Ard Caddach holds court as we speak. We'll never have a better chance to gain an audience with him.
Did your investigation uncover anything we can use? What did you learn?"
The rebel leader might be Arana. They're gathering in the eastern hills.
"Arana? I've heard that name during my time here. Did you happen to learn what these rebels are rebelling against?"
Not exactly, but they have spies in the city, urging people to flee to the hills.
"Flee the city? With the Gray Host prowling the countryside? Well, that's three valuable pieces of information.
I want you to represent me before Ard Caddach. Explain what you learned and convince him to finally agree to meet with me."
I'll present my findings and try to convince Ard Caddach to meet with you.
"Speak with the ard's sentry. You'll need to convince her to gain an audience with Caddach.
I think the information you uncovered about the rebels will be enough to interest the Despot of Markarth, but you can never be certain with Reachfolk."
Why don't you come with me to speak to Ard Caddach?
"I'm lucky to have made it this far into the city. Caddach and his entourage have little patience for a noble such as myself. Especially a noble from a land they consider to be the home of their enemy. No, this task is better in your hands."
So what will you be doing while I'm trying to see Ard Caddach?
"I shall wait around here and continue to discreetly learn what I can about the Reach and its people. I also want to think about Arana and her rebels. Maybe there's a way to add them to our arsenal.
Go. I'll be here when you get back."

After you speak with Sentry Bodfre and gain an audience with Ard Caddach, you can speak to Verandis again.

"The sentry granted you an audience with Ard Caddach? Then go and talk to the man. The sooner he agrees to cooperate with us, the sooner we can deal with the Gray Host.""

After you speak with Ard Caddach, you have the option telling the Count about your conversation with the ard.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Over here, my friend. How went your audience with the ard?"
"Before you run off, tell me about your audience with Ard Caddach."
Ard Caddach sent me to his advisor, Lady Belain. They asked me to find the rebel leader, Arana.
"Impressive! You accomplished more in mere moments than I have been able to do since I arrived in this savage land.
Find Arana. See if the witch-rebels will join our cause. I will continue my own investigations and meet you back here."

After your experience in Valthume, Verandis will be eagerly awaiting news:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Welcome back, my friend. Tell me what you learned."
"Your arrival is fortuitous, as I have only just returned myself.
Were you able to make contact with the rebels? Did you meet with Arana?"
Yes. I also learned that Lady Belain is a vampire. She's in league with the Gray Host.
"I sensed some deception, but her illusion is powerful. How else did she hide her nature from me?
As for Arana, do you think we can convince her and her rebels to join our cause?"
Perhaps. She sent me to spy on Belain and I wound up talking to the Gray Host leader, Rada al-Saran.
"You spoke to Rada? Did he—? No matter. If Rada al-Saran is here, our time grows short.
Talk to Caddach. If he deems what you tell him worthy, maybe he'll finally be willing to work with me. Then we can figure out how to deal with the Gray Host."
All right, I'll talk to Ard Caddach.
"It was only a matter of time before Rada and I crossed paths again. I just didn't think it would be this soon."
Tell me more about Rada al-Saran.
"Rada al-Saran and I … we have a complicated history.
There was a time when Rada and I stood united in purpose. To preserve the lives and welfare of vampires. Then, as now, our kin suffered under Molag Bal's curse and the cruelty of mortal hunters."
You had some sort of falling out?
"Not exactly. At least, not all at once.
When I first met Rada, he was immensely proud but utterly consumed by his failures. He tried to find relief in bloodshed and battle, but he was truly lost. I did my best to help him."
Did it work?
"Yes. His blood lust gave way to introspection, and introspection led to study. He was already a peerless scholar. All ansei were. But he became fascinated with vampire texts.
Eventually, he found a new purpose."
A new purpose?
"Vampiric salvation. To accomplish this, he needed to break Molag Bal's hold over us and stop mortals from hunting us. I counseled peace with mortals, and for a time he agreed.
But things changed and I left the Gray Host. I thought he died with them."

If you have completed The Gray Council, you can say

I knew you were part of the Gray Host, but you never told me why you joined them.
"I sought to make the world a better place. I thought the Gray Council could help, but when it became the Gray Host ….
I formed the Ravenwatch as an atonement. For things I failed to do. Friends I failed to save—from mortals and from themselves."

Otherwise, you can ask:

You were part of the Gray Host?
"I was. And even now, centuries later, I still carry that shame.
The Ravenwatch is more than a noble house and a fellowship of good vampires. It's an atonement. For things I failed to do. Friends I failed to save—from mortals and from themselves."

After speaking to the ard, he'll warn:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Belain hasn't returned, but she could have other eyes here in court. Be wary."
"I've been watching, but Lady Belain hasn't returned to Understone Keep yet. I wonder how the ard plans to deal with her.
Speaking of Ard Caddach, will he meet with me now? Will he help us stop Rada al-Saran and the Gray Host?"
Ard Caddach will meet with you, but he wants to keep Belain close for now.
"That's some progress, at least. And farther than I was able to get on my own. Thank you.
I'll talk to Caddach, then I'd like to make contact with Arana. We'll need the rebels' help and more if we're going to defeat the Gray Host."

Blood of the ReachEdit

Verandis will continue to give you your next assignment:

"Your investigations uncovered that Ard Caddach's advisor, Lady Belain, is working with the Gray Host. And that she's a vampire. To hide that from me takes great power.
Tell me exactly what you heard during Rada al-Saran's conversation with her."
Lady Belain mentioned her influence over the ard and that Markarth would soon be full of Reachfolk.
"With your warning, Ard Caddach can decide what to do with Lady Belain's advice in the future. As to why they care that Reachfolk gather within the city, I'll need to think about that.
Did you hear anything else of significance during their exchange?"
Rada al-Saran said he needs something called the Arkthzand Keystone. He sent Belain to find it.
"Rada tried to use Dwarven devices once, but nothing came of it. Interesting.
As I toured the city, I met Nolovan. He works with Dwarven scrap in the southeast section of Markarth. Maybe he can lead us to this keystone before Lady Belain acquires it."
All right, I'll find Nolovan and ask him about the Arkthzand Keystone.
"Despite occupying the ruins of their lost civilization, few Reachfolk want anything to do with Dwarven devices. That's why Nolovan intrigued me.
While you deal with him, I'll seek out Arana's rebels. If I can't find them, they will surely notice me."
I thought you also wanted to talk to Ard Caddach?
"And so I shall. Briefly. Caddach has a city full of Reachfolk to deal with, so I don't want to unduly distract him. Then I need to locate Arana.
If we can get the rebels to work with us against the Gray Host, we'll have more than a fighting chance."

After dealing with the scrap merchant, Gwendis will find you and tell you to meet Verandis and Arana at Rebel's Retreat. Arrive and you'll hear:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Ah, Arana, here comes my associate now."
Arana: "Aye, that one I know. Very well, Verandis. I'll speak to them."
"I take it you received my message from Gwendis? Good. I could use your help.
I've made some progress getting through to Arana, but she isn't completely ready to fully trust a vampire. She seems to like you, however. Talk to her, if you would."

Arana will need you to gather some ingredients in order to call on Hircine for guidance in order to translate the map you received. Verandis will be intrigued:

"This sounds like some sort of summoning ritual. Interesting.
An alliance with Arana and her rebels is essential. We will need to add their strength to ours to defeat the Gray Host, so do as she asks."

Gather the components and meet everyone at the ritual site. Verandis will give you a warning before starting the ritual:

"Arana is ready to begin the ritual. You just need to give her the components you gathered.
Remember, rituals have power. When the spirits speak, we should heed their words."

After the ritual is complete, you can speak to him again:

"Between the Ravenwatch's expertise and Arana's knowledge of the Reach, we have a fighting chance against the Gray Host.
Just stay mindful. Even sealed by a Daedric ritual, this alliance remains young and fragile. We must nurture it."
I have a map that might lead to the keystone.
"Yes, Bthar-Zel. I overheard while you were speaking to Arana. We discussed finding it while you were gathering the ritual components. Locating the keystone is your next priority.
Arana indicated that she wanted to accompany you."
What will you and Gwendis do while we're looking for the keystone?
"Gwendis brought news from Markarth. Lady Belain has departed the city and she intends to give chase. I will assist her in the hope that pursuing Belain might turn up something useful.
Just don't let that keystone fall into Rada al-Saran's hands."
I'll begin my search now. Good hunting.

If you haven't spoken to Arana:

"Speak to Arana. Find out what she thinks the ritual showed her."

Once you have spoken to Arana:

"Keep Arana safe, my friend. Without her, I'm not sure the rebels will honor our new agreement."

Verandis and Gwendis catch up to you outside Bthar-Zel, having lost Lady Belain's trail.

Gwendis: "This looks promising."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Indeed. A Dwarven lock of some kind, I suspect."
"As soon as we lost Lady Belain's trail, we decided to instead pick up yours.
And I see you've had some success. If the entrance to Bthar-Zel is here, I'm certain we can find it."

Once you've solved to puzzle to reveal the door, Arana will notice something wrong:

Arana: "That did it! Wait—arggh! Something's not right … a darkness …."
Gwendis: "Arana! Are you all right?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "An ominous turn. Come, my friend. Let's talk."
"The door opened, but something happened to Arana. She mentioned something about a darkness.
We should check on her, but we also need to determine that the keystone we seek is here."
Do you know what happened to Arana?
"No, but she has a sensitivity that I do not possess. Most powerful witches do. Let's hope she recovers quickly.
It is said that mechanical horrors guard the depths of Bthar-Zel. No matter what, we must find the keystone."
I understand. Let's get moving.
"Mind the shadows and be on your guard. In addition to the mechanical traps and defenders, we know that Lady Belain is also seeking the keystone."
How could Lady Belain get into the ruins ahead of us?
"Lady Belain has had more time to research the Arkthzand Keystone than we did. She may have already known about this location and the hidden door. Or she may know a different way to get inside.
Then again, she may be looking somewhere else entirely."
You think we're in the wrong place?
"I certainly hope not. Between the Dwarven scrap dealer and Arana's ritual, everything seems to point to this location.
I only mean that Lady Belain may be operating off of a totally different set of suppositions."
Why do you think the Gray Host needs the Arkthzand Keystone?
"Dwarven keystones not only provide access to forbidden or otherwise sealed areas, they also tend to radiate ancient magic. The uses for such a relic are potentially limitless.
I won't be able to determine more until I see the keystone itself."

Inside the ruin, Verandis and Gwendis will run ahead:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis and I can cover more ground on our own. Let's find the keystone!"
<They both vanish>

When you reach the balcony overlooking the keystone room, you'll see Verandis and Gwendis enter the chamber.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There! That must be the Arkthzand Keystone!" Before they can reach the keystone Rada al-Saran appears and freezes them in place:
Rada al-Saran: "Verandis? So it's true, you are alive. Nevertheless, the keystone is mine."
Lady Belain: "I told you I saw him, skulking around Markarth. He's not as impressive as you led me to believe."
Rada al-Saran: "Enough, Belain. Take the keystone. My Verandis would give chase. This pathetic creature? I don't know what it will decide to do."

Verandis and Gwendis become free of the spell and give chase:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada, you must listen. There's still time to make things right. Rada. Rada!"
<The two vanish again>

When you exit Bthar-Zel, you'll see Verandis and Gwendis on the balcony overlooking Arkthzand Cavern.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis, think this through."
Gwendis: "No. They slipped the noose once. That's not going to happen again."

She disappears in a cloud of red mist to give chase to Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain.

"My friend. I thought I could catch Rada and Lady Belain. Convince him to ….
Anyway, I'm sorry I failed us. They acquired the keystone and escaped across the river. Toward that Dwarven structure in the distance."
So what do we do now, Verandis?
"Unlike Gwendis, we can't rush off without a plan. Clear heads will win the day, mark my words.
This contest is far from over. With a fresh trail to follow and new allies at our side, victory is closer than ever. And much of that is because of you."

The Study of SoulsEdit

If you leave and accept the quest from Gwendis, he greets you as follows:

"Ah, good. You received my message. I was almost tempted to go exploring. This is Blackreach, my friend! The legendary land beneath the land. If I had realized it existed, I would have come here long ago.
No matter. Are you still with me in this?"

If you accept the quest from Verandis:

"This must be Blackreach. I've read the legends, but I never thought it was real. The stories hardly do it justice. Perhaps one day I'll have an opportunity to explore it more fully. For now, we have work to do.
Are you still with me, my friend?"
I'm with you, but Lady Belain has the Arkthzand Keystone.
"Ah, the keystone. What is it and how is it connected to that Dwarven structure? Why are they so important to Rada and Lady Belain? Perhaps they seek to harness some sort of Dwarven sorcery?
Regardless, we can't allow them to achieve their goal."
Should we go after them?
"Yes, but we need to proceed with caution. We don't know the purpose of the keystone, and we don't know what they plan to do with it. That said, we are not without our own talents.
We can overcome any obstacles and find a way forward. We always do."
Let's go find a way into that Dwarven ruin.

Speaking with him further after accepting the quest:

"I'll meet you across the river. Together, we'll find a way to enter that ruin.
Seeing Rada again. It reopened many old wounds. He wasn't always the villain. At least, I like to think he wasn't. Ah, a fool's hope is a dangerous thing."
You seem conflicted about Rada al-Saran.
"Conflicted? I suppose you could say that. We were friends once. Partners in a great and noble undertaking. And then Rada … changed. Or maybe it was me. Who can say?
He betrayed what we believed in. And then he died. Or at least, I thought he did."
But we have to stop Rada al-Saran, right?
"Without a doubt. Rada's plans, whatever they are, will prove catastrophic to the mortal realm if allowed to proceed unchecked. I hope I can talk to him. Appeal to his better half and make him see reason.
If not, I'll do whatever I must to end this."
Why didn't you realize Lady Belain is a vampire?
"We have the ability to mask our condition from mortals, but it takes a powerful vampire indeed to hide from another of our kind. As much as I hate to admit it, Belain fooled me.
I can tell you this—she's unlike any vampire I've met before."
What do you mean?
"All vampires carry the stain of Molag Bal. It's the inescapable reality of our condition. But Lady Belain, I sensed something else inside her. A vacant darkness.
Still, if I can speak to Rada, perhaps we can settle this without bloodshed."
Any guess as to what they plan to do with the Arkthzand Keystone?
"I was able to study the keystone briefly before Rada and Belain snatched it away. It's a faceted stone bound by a metal band. Obviously of Dwarven design.
I'm not a Dwemer expert, but the keystone … it could have a thousand different uses."
But you must have encountered something like it in all your travels.
"Well, it shares some similarities with Ayleid welkynd stones, but as far as I know, the Ayleids and Dwarves had little to do with each other. It's puzzling.
Magicked stones often serve as power sources, as well as keys and even weapons."
Using it as a power source or a key seems more likely, seeing that they took it to that ruin.
"I reached that same conclusion, my friend. Let's get over there and find out, shall we?
And if the opportunity presents itself, perhaps I can get Rada to see reason and abandon this destructive course he's set for the Gray Host."

As you descend the stairs and move towards the ruin, he leaves in a cloud of red mist.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'll meet you outside the ruin, my friend."

When you approach him in front of the Library of Arkthzand:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There you are. We have a problem."

Speak with him.

"This is where Rada and Lady Belain entered the structure, but I can't find any way to open the doors. I suspect this may be why they needed the keystone."
So how do we follow them without a keystone of our own?
"A good question. Let's look around. Not all of the ruin remains intact. Portions have crumbled over the ages. Perhaps we can find a path through the rubble.
Just be cautious. I've seen both constructs and shadowy creatures prowling this ruin.""
Constructs and shadowy creatures?
"The constructs are Dwarven and expected. The shadows … some sort of beings made of inky darkness. Quite unsettling. And potentially dangerous.
Something unusual has taken hold of this place."
Any idea what this place might have been?
"I wish I could say for certain. I've done precious little reading on Dwarven ruins. I do seem to recall the name Arkthzand being connected to a university or library ….
This place does have a sort of academic look to it, don't you think?"
The shadow beings you mentioned. Do you think they're Dwarves?
"I see nothing Dwarven in their manner or appearance. Dwarves were meticulous scholars. Their constructs, their architecture. Everything was precise and controlled. These shades are like wild animals.
Whatever spawned them may not be Dwarven at all."
Arana sensed something down here. She called it a darkness.
"Reach magic strikes me as wild and unpredictable. Arana clearly shares a strong connection with the ebb and flow of the spirits, though.
She might have sensed these creatures, but I suspect something else caused her distress."
Something else?
"The source of these shadow beings. These shades. I sense a corruption … a void.
The longer I'm close to it, the more I suspect it may be the very thing that drew Rada and Lady Belain here in the first place. Stay alert, my friend."

Speaking to him again:

"These pockets of dark energy—I've never seen anything like them. I sense … well, I sense nothing. A void.
We should be cautious, but we must continue the search."

When you approach the blocked western entrance:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That door is clearly blocked. And that strange energy …? Wait. Is there something on the floor?"

After reading the note, he prompts you to speak with him.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Anything worth reporting about the contents of that note?"

Talk to the Count.

"That parchment appears relatively fresh and intact.
What does it say?"
It's written by a Gray Host pentarch. Apparently, this is the Library of Arkthzand.
"The Library of Arkthzand. Hmm. Interesting. I assume a Dwarven library houses more than simply books.
Anything else of pertinence written there?"
It suggests that Lady Belain wants to awaken some sort of dark relic.
"A dark relic? That sounds ominous. And quite likely related to the darkness that Arana sensed and I now feel as well. That could be the source of these shades.
Anything else?"
It mentions void portals, strange energy pockets that can be harnessed to travel short distances.
"Void portals, a dark relic resonating power, and strange shades … we can't let any of this fall into Rada and Lady Belain's hands.
Let's see what we can find on the other side of this structure."
All right, I'll keep looking.

Speaking to him again before moving on:

"Let's approach these pockets of energy and void portals with caution, my friend. We still don't know exactly what they're capable of."

If you abandon the quest at this point and speak with him:

"Keep looking, my friend. We can still catch up to Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain if we hurry."

Approaching the northern void portal yard.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Such destruction! And not the slow decay of time. Something terrible happened here."

After reading Void Portals, he'll notice the Void Shard on the ground.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That's a strange-looking shard …."
"Do you see that shard sticking up from the rubble? Like a piece of solid darkness.
Take a look and see what you make of it."
I'll take a look, but what do you think caused all this damage?
"Not the ravages of time, that much is certain. It seems as though this part of the structure simply … imploded. The force behind this damage must have been incredible.
The question is, what produced such power? Could it be the dark relic?"

After picking up the Void Shard:

"Another note and a strange shard. What do you think, my friend?"
The note says the pentarch figured out how to use the void portals. it mentions shards like this.
"Interesting. The shard reminds me of something torn from the darkest corner of Oblivion.
As unsettling as that object is, I think we should hold on to it. Especially if we can use it to navigate the void portals."
The note says the pentarch was pulled through the portals by one of these shards.
"I suggest you try to use a shard to propel yourself through one of the void portals.
The risks are significant, but if we can turn these strange pockets of energy to our advantage, we have to attempt it."

Speaking with him again:

"Look for the smaller void portals. With any luck, we can use these pockets of energy to access the library.
Just don't lose your grip on that shard. And try to avoid the larger breaches. We don't want to get pulled into some nether realm."

After successfully warping through your first void portal with the shard:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "It worked! Well done, my friend."

Approaching the western void portal:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Above you. Try to make a connection with that portal."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Look up there, between the columns. Do you see that portal?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Up there. Try concentrating on that pocket of energy."

Speaking with him after navigating up to the entrance:

"You did it, my friend! We traveled through these so-called void portals and are hardly the worse for the wear.
We may catch up to Rada and Lady Belain yet! Let's see if the doors over there can be opened."

Upon entering the library:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is … impressive."

You must speak with him here.

""This place … I had no idea! I knew the Dwarves created some magnificent structures, but this is amazing.
And look, more of those void portals in the higher portions of this … the only word that comes to mind is … cathedral."
Why are there so many void portals in and around the library?
"Until we find the source, I can only speculate. We need to locate it, learn more about this energy, and determine the true nature of these shades.
If Rada and Lady Belain can harness this dark energy, I hate to imagine what they could accomplish."
What do you think they want with this dark energy?
"The longer I spend in close proximity, the more I pick up from the shades. I sense fragmented thoughts and raw emotion. They remind me of pure rage and unbridled pain.
Perhaps exploring the library will yield some answers."

Speaking with him again before exploring the library:

"The few Dwarven ruins I've visited were cramped and industrial affairs. Whatever scholars walked these halls must have been among the elite.
Let us explore this place and see if we can find Rada and Lady Belain. They must be deeper inside."

In the hallway to the west, you'll witness a Shade drop from a portal.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Shades. I sense their presence in every dark corner. Keep going."

In the western room:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The path ends here, but there's a door up above. We need to find a way to reach it."

Speaking with him here:

"With the path ahead blocked, our only option appears to be the door above us.
However, I sense something on the other side. I smell oil. I hear the whine of ancient gears. Proceed with caution, my friend."
Do you think I can use the void portals to reach the door?
"An excellent idea, though you might have to get creative to reach the very top."
But you sense some sort of danger beyond that door?
"Danger, but it seems related to this Dwarven structure and not the dark energy we're tracking. I doubt it's anything we can't handle.
Just be careful as you traverse the portals. A fall from those heights could prove deadly. Even for you."

Upon entering the Containment Chamber, Verandis observes a trapped Shade.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This appears to be some sort of containment apparatus. And there's a shade trapped at the center."

Speaking with him here:

"Look how this strange apparatus appears to utilize the energy pockets. Was that shade imprisoned purposefully, or was it caught within the device by accident?
No matter. It's torture is evident. We must find a way to set it free."

After you read the nearby note:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Another sheet of parchment? Bring it here."

You must speak with him in order to progress.

"Might that be another observation by the Gray Host pentarch? What secrets does it reveal this time?"
The apparatus somehow focuses the void energy. I think he tried to use it to stabilize a breach.
"Of course! Despite all the knowledge he gained, he made a mistake. That trapped shade … that's the Gray Host pentarch!
We should attempt to free him, if not out of mercy, then to determine what he knows about the dark energy and its source."
The note suggests that the void crystals can be rotated to focus the energy.
"Very well. Manipulate the crystals and see if you can set the tortured shade free.
Just exercise caution, my friend. I would hate to see you trapped within the apparatus alongside the Gray Host pentarch."

Speaking with him again:

"The key to freeing the tortured shade lies in the manipulation of the dark energy. Rotate the void crystals until the containment field collapses."

Rotating a crystal:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That's it! Keep repositioning the crystals to reflect the energy."

Channeling the void energy to an apparatus in the corner of the room:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That did something! Try to connect the crystals at all four corners of the room."

After rotating the southernmost crystal four times:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Something is happening! Try activating the remaining two platforms."

Once you free the Shade, it speaks.

Pentarch Cievernes: "Help … me …."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That did it! Quickly, now. Question the shade before it dissipates!"

Speaking with him here:

"Quickly, my friend. Speak to the shade. There's no telling how long it will persist."

You must speak with him after talking to Pentarch Cievernes.

"Such anguish, such pain. Souls trapped in Molag Bal's realm wither over the centuries, but this Dark Heart. It stripped that creature of its vitality almost instantly.
I wish it had told us more and could have been more coherent."
We know that Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain are seeking something called the Dark Heart.
"Yes, but apparently for different purposes.
Unstable breaches in the fabric of reality. Imploded chambers. Trapped shades. Everything points to some terrible Dwarven experiment that went astray. This dark energy is clearly powerful. And dangerous."
What could Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain want with something like that?
"As the shade implied, they each seek the Dark Heart for a different reason. I can only imagine what Rada would do with such power. As for Belain, he called her the vessel that never fills. A curious description.
Regardless, we must find them."
Does beneath stars and spheres mean anything to you?
"It must have something to do with the sky above. Or perhaps constellations, such as those that led us to Bthar-Zel.
In any event, it's evident that the dark current flowing through this place traps souls and twists them into these shades."
The shade made it sound as though the Dark Heart is alive.
"Perhaps it does possess life of a sort. Certainly it holds a vast amount of power. Power enough that we can't allow Rada or Lady Belain to get their hands on it.
Come, my friend. Let's continue our hunt."

Speaking with him again before moving on:

"Come, my friend. Let's continue our search. Rada and Lady Belain can't be too far ahead of us."

Entering the eastern hallway:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Watch for signs of the Gray Host. That should point us toward Rada and Belain."

Exiting the library:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Stars and spheres, of course. An orrery!"

As you approach the edge, he says:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada and Belain, we found them. Let's listen in."

After you listen to their conversation:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Reach witch prophecies? What fates are you tempting now, Rada?"

Speak with him to continue.

"As we speculated, the keystone does more than open doors. Rada and Lady Belain plan to use it to restart the orrery.
The question remains … why? And what role does this Dark Heart play in their schemes?"
She mentioned Reach witch prophecies. Do you know what she's talking about?
"I'm not sure. We know the Gray Host has Reach witches among its ranks. Perhaps a local coven has some role in all this.
We need to speak with Arana. To learn about Reach witch prophecies, we might as well go to an expert."
Should we go after Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain?
"Without the keystone or more of those void portals, we can't get down into the orrery chamber. I'll stay here and try to pick up their trail. I need you to go to Rebel's Retreat and see what you can learn from Arana."

If you try to speak to him again, he simply says:

"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. I want to see what else I can learn here. Maybe figure out where Rada and Belain have gone.
You just focus on talking to Arana."

The Dark HeartEdit

Gwendis will track you down at Rebel's Retreat and ask you to meet Verandis at Nighthollow Keep. You'll find him and Gwendis overlooking the fortress below:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Perfect timing, my friend. I think the Dark Heart is close by."
"The pockets of energy we discovered in the Library of Arkthzand, they're even stronger here. The Void energy permeates that ancient keep.
I suspect the Dark Heart hides somewhere inside. And I fear that it's growing stronger."
Arana's sister sacrificed much of her clan to attempt to awaken the Dark Heart.
"Interesting. The Dark Heart hasn't fully awakened, but I did feel it stir.
We need to find the Dark Heart, whatever it is, and prevent Rada and Belain from using it. I thought it was a Dwarven artifact, but then why was I drawn to Nighthollow Keep?"
What do you know about Nighthollow Keep?
"Very little, I'm afraid. The whole idea of a kingdom of ancient vampire clans hiding in the depths of Blackreach … I thought it was nothing more than a legend.
Let's explore the keep and see what we can learn while we try to find the Dark Heart."
All right, I'll help you search Nighthollow Keep.
"Let's you and I split up and search the keep while Gwendis returns to Markarth. We know Lady Belain has something in mind for the city and one of us should be close at hand.
Inside, look for personal items. I can use them to glean information."
How will personal items help you learn anything about Nighthollow Keep?
"One of my talents involves auramancy magic. Certain inanimate objects, especially items that hold significant personal value, can become imbued with the auras of those who possessed them.
Sometimes I can read vague impressions. Sometimes … more."
Tell me more about auramancy.
"Important events and powerful emotions leave a mark on their surroundings. Auramancy deals with evoking memories from the auras left behind on objects.
It's an arcane art that I have perfected over the centuries. It often helps me in my work."
How do you think it will help us here?
"Auramancy is a useful tool for unraveling the history of ancient places. Clearly this keep was once great. Now it's forgotten, yet a power our enemies covet stirs within.
I think the story of this place is the story of the Dark Heart."
Could these Nighthollow vampires be related to Rada al-Saran?
"I don't see how. Rada al-Saran was a Yokudan swordmaster before he came to Tamriel. His vampirism is the result of a meeting with Molag Bal. At least, that's how I understand it.
Lady Belain, however. Her origins are unknown to me."
Is that why the search for the Dark Heart is leading us to Nighthollow Keep?
"A good question. We know that Rada promises freedom to the Gray Host. He spent centuries bringing the various elements of his plan together. How the Nighthollow fit in, I can't say. At least not yet.
Hopefully, the answers await us in the keep."

Verandis will send Gwendis back to Markarth to keep an eye on things there:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Now, Gwendis, you know I never ask anything without good reason. Markarth is in danger."
Gwendis: "Fine! But when the real action starts, I won't sit on the side and let you deal with all the danger."
Nighthollow Study
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There you are! See if you can find a personal object within this ancient study."

If you speak to him here:

"A study, from the looks of it. See if you can find something I can draw a memory from."

He'll react when you loot the Cracked Insignia from the Coffer:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Did you find something? Bring it here."

Speak to him.

"What did you find? My auramancy works best on a personal possession, something with an emotional aura or even an arcane residue clinging to it."
I found some sort of old insignia. Will that work?
"Let me see … hmm. A pity the stone is damaged, but it still retains a trace of a magical aura.
There are different ways to evoke echoes of the past. Objects that people wore or carried tend to collect and hold strong impressions."
Do you know what that insignia is?
"No, but it appears to be a pin or an emblem of some kind. The owner would have worn it on their clothing, close to their body. Good.
Let's see if it has anything to show us. Keep your eyes open and observe."
I'll watch and see what your magic reveals.

Verandis will cast is auromancy spell and you'll witness the following:

Lord Idrisin: "A gift for me, my love?"
Lady Belain: "I have chosen. Tonight, you and Rhainne will drink from the Dark Heart."
Lord Idrisin: "I have longed for this moment, my lady."
Lady Belain: "Soon you will be a lord of the Nighthollow clan. One of my chosen!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "So Lady Belain did belong to the Nighthollow clan. Interesting …."

If you speak to him, he'll elucidate:

"I sensed that Lady Belain was ancient, but the vision confirms she was not only part of the Nighthollow clan—she was their leader! The Dark Heart gets more interesting at every turn. How did they drink from it? For that matter, what did they drink?"
Will any of that help you figure out what the Dark Heart is?
"Yes, but we need more information. I can deduce that the Dark Heart is some sort of power source, that much is obvious. And it's tied to the Void energy we encountered.
Plus, the currents got stronger when Arana's sister sacrificed her clan mates."
Why are the vampires here so different? They're more like crazed monsters than intelligent beings.
"Yes, I noticed that, too. Whether due to the long centuries of isolation or something more sinister, they are shadows of their former selves.
Take the insignia with you and keep exploring. Now that it's charged, more memories may reveal themselves."
I don't understand.
"I cast auramancy upon the insignia. The lingering magic may reveal additional scenes from the past as you explore these halls. Phantasms, really. Harmless.
And keep watch for more void portals. As at Arkthzand, they may help you navigate this place."
I'll look for void portals and watch for memories as I explore.

If you speak to him again before leaving, he'll say:

"These insignias must have been important to the Nighthollow. Hang on to the damaged one. The magic I cast on it may rouse more memories as you explore these halls.
If you find an undamaged insignia, bring it to me. A whole one may reveal more."
Nighthollow Suite
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Ah, this looks promising. A noble's chamber, I think. Take a look around."

If you speak to him before finding anything important:

"This room is better preserved than most of the others I've explored. It was apparently the suite of someone important.
Look around. Something here must hold a strong memory."

He'll acknowledge when you've found the Dark Insignia in the Coffer to the northwest:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Have you found something I can cast my auramancy upon?"

Speak to him once you have the insignia.

"My explorations have turned up very little, but it looks like you've had better luck. What did you find?"
I found another insignia. It appears to be undamaged.
"Exactly what I was hoping for. I suspect the Nighthollow nobles wore these as a badge of rank.
Let's see what we can learn with a little more auramancy."
I'll watch while you perform your magic.

The second vision:

Lord Idrisin: "We broke through. The way to the Dark Heart is open. "
Lady Belain: "But the Heart falters. Something is wrong."
Lady Rhainne: "The damn Dwarves! If they depleted its energy … ."
Lady Belain: "Seal the Dark Halls. Until the Heart recovers, only those who bear the sign of the inner circle may partake of its gifts."

Speak with Verandis about this vision.

"I think I understand what happened to the Nighthollow clan. I suspect Lady Belain is the survivor of a long decline. While the rest of her clan slid into madness, she alone remained to carry on their legacy.
Such a bitter pill for a proud vampire."
What did we just see?
"That memory comes from a later time. The lord spoke of opening a way to the Dark Heart, which implies the Nighthollow lost access to it at some point.
But what are these Dark Halls Lady Belain spoke of? Where can we find them?"
Maybe the Dark Halls lead to the Dark Heart?
"Perhaps. And maybe we have the key. Lady Belain said that only those who bare the sign of the inner circle can utilize the Heart. That must refer to the insignias you found.
Let's look for these Dark Halls."
I'll look for an entrance to the Dark Halls.

You can ask him a few questions before progressing.

"More than likely, the Dark Halls lie below us somewhere. See if you can find a way down while I attempt to trace the currents of void energy that radiate throughout this ruin.
One of us should find a way through."
Vampires, Dwarves, Reach witches … who does the Dark Heart really belong to?
"The best answer may be none of them. I suspect the Dark Heart may have been here before all of them. More than likely, they found it and made use of it. Across the ages, different people may have been drawn to its power.
We may never know for sure."
Do you think it drew Rada al-Saran?
"Perhaps. Curious, isn't it? I wonder if the Dark Heart has a purpose of its own.
We better keep going. Until we actually find this thing, all we have are guesses."
Black Diamond Chamber
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I think this is the entrance to the Dark Halls."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "As you can see, powerful magic wards the door. Perhaps I can draw a memory from it."

Verandis casts auromancy again for a third vision:

Rada al-Saran: "A dormant Dark Heart is of little use to us, Belain."
Lady Belain: "It can be awakened, but I need to get the help of the Reach witches."
Rada al-Saran: "Patience, Belain. Not until I restore the Gray Host. Not until we unlock the orrery."
Lady Belain: "More delays! Very well. But the Dark Heart must beat again, Rada al-Saran. Nothing else matters."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "It seems Rada came here a long time ago. This is the most recent memory, but it's still centuries old."

Speak with him about what you saw.

"Did you see? Rada and Belain made some sort of deal centuries ago. And now the conditions of that deal have almost been fulfilled.
We can't let them fully awaken the Dark Heart!"
Didn't Nathari's sacrifices already awaken the Dark Heart?
"I've been thinking about what you told me. I believe the Ghostsong ritual primed the Dark Heart, opening a path between this world and the Void. The void energy is stronger here, but it lacks direction.
I fear they require a greater sacrifice."
A greater sacrifice?
"Something as powerful as the Dark Heart that's been asleep for millennia may stir from the taste of a few souls, but I suspect it needs a banquet to awaken fully.
Perhaps, if we hurry, it won't come to that."
Lady Belain said she was ready to awaken the Heart centuries ago. Why wait until now?
"Because Rada had not yet raised a new army. And he had other preparations to make, no doubt. Centuries don't matter much to immortal vampires.
Now, hold up the intact insignia. Let's see if we're right and it grants us access to the Dark Halls."

If you speak to him again, he'll say:

"Use the insignia at the door. Let's see if it dispels the ward and grants us access to the Dark Halls."
The Dark Halls
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "A tunnel? The Nighthollow left the Dark Heart where they found it instead of bringing it to their keep? Strange."

If you speak to him in the tunnel, he'll say one of the following:

"This tunnel must be the work of thralls. Few vampires would stoop to perform such labor."
"The effort put into digging these tunnels. The Dark Heart was clearly vital to the Nighthollow clan's power."
"We must be getting close to the Dark Heart, my friend. Soon we shall have the answers that have thus far eluded us."

Further into the cave, Verandis will spring ahead:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Hold! Someone left these belongings here. They may have a story to tell."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "A well-made weapon, placed with care. Let me try my auramancy."

Verandis casts for a fourth vision:

Lord Idrisin: "Belain, we're dying. There's nothing you can do."
Lady Belain: "I refuse to accept that, Idrisin. But one of us must remain strong to save the others."
Lady Belain: "I will take the remaining energy from the Dark Heart. It will sustain me until I determine how to make it beat again."
Lord Idrisin: "No, Belain. You know blood no longer sustains us. If you take the last of the Heart's energy, the rest of us will starve …."

Speak with him about the memory.

"How horrible. The Dark Heart gave the Nighthollow unbelievable power, but they were dependent on it. They lost the ability to draw sustenance from blood.
As the Dark Heart slowed and fell into slumber, they became diminished."
Except for Lady Belain.
"It appears that Lady Belain took the last of the void energy for herself. Enough to saturate her and keep her strong through all these long centuries. While the clan around her starved and turned feral."
Couldn't they just go back to feeding on blood like other vampires?
"Apparently not. Feeding on void energy changed them. They lost the ability to take nourishment from the blood of mortals.
I suspect Lady Belain believes that her clan will recover once the Dark Heart begins to beat again. And she's probably correct."
Let's move forward.

If you're a vampire, you can ask an additional question:

Could I free myself of the thirst for blood by drinking from the Dark Heart?
"I admit the thought has crossed my mind. But we would be trading one master for another. Besides, allowing the Dark Heart to awaken … that's not something I want to risk."

The door to the next area has the same red warding spell as the Dark Halls had:

"It appears that the door ahead is also warded. Try the Nighthollow insignia again and see if it opens."
The Dark Heart
Dark Heart Chamber

Make your way through the tunnel and you'll see a dark orb rising from the ground, the Dark Heart.

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Can you feel the void energy? That's the Dark Heart!"

Lady Belain, Lord Idrisin, and Rada al-Saran appear beneath the heart:

Lady Belain: "The Dark Heart must be fed! I will see to Markarth."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada, no! You must not awaken the Dark Heart!"
Rada al-Saran: "I stopped heeding your advice a long, long time ago, Verandis."
Lady Belain: "Idrisin, slay these meddlers!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Deal with Lady Belain's minions. I'll try to stop Rada."

Lady Belain teleports away while Rada teleports to a higher rock outcropping and begins to cast a spell on the heart. Verandis teleports to another platform and tries to counter Rada's magic.

Rada al-Saran: "Fulfilling an oath and saving my brethren … our brethren. This is the way it must be, Verandis. You'll understand. In time."

Once you've defeated Idrisin, join Verandis above:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Dark Heart awakens! I can't stop it!"
Rada al-Saran: "Feed, you heart of darkness! Feed on the souls of Markarth and soon my brethren will be free!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Those souls … the people of Markarth! Rada … what have you done?"

Talk to Verandis about what just happened.

"The Dark Heart. A piece of the primal Void trapped in our world. No wonder it warps the very weave of existence all around it.
Look up. We're directly beneath the Library of Arkthzand. The Dark Heart, it powers the orrery. But to what end?"
What did Rada al-Saran mean, feed on the souls of Markarth?
"The Dark Heart feeds on death. You saw that when the Ghostsong clan was sacrificed. Only he's offering the Heart a much larger feast—all the Reachfolk in Markarth.
He sent Lady Belain there to finish what has undoubtedly already begun."
Ard Caddach called all the clans to take shelter in the city.
"Correct. As part of Lady Belain's peace with the Gray Host. Just another horrible deception.
Let's get out of this place. There may still be a way to save the people of Markarth."
I'll meet you outside.

After you exit the conversation, he says:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That lift over there, it should take us to the library grounds. Hurry!"

If you speak to him before using the lift, he'll say:

"Let's get out of here, my friend. I'd rather talk away from this source of darkness."
Markarth's souls are being drawn inside!

Take the lift back to Arkthzand. You're greeted with the horrific site of the dome of the Library illuminated with thousands of souls:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Look at the dome! Markarth's souls are being drawn inside!"

Speak to him to end the quest.

"I now understand the what of our enemy's plan, if not the why of it. Rada had centuries to set this in motion, yet I don't see how the orrery can free the Gray Host.
As for Lady Belain … the Dark Heart beats again. Her Nighthollow are reborn."
So Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain have won?
"No, not yet. Our enemy has gained a momentary success, but now we know the extent of their plans. Knowledge is a powerful weapon, my friend.
This isn't over. We can still pull victory from the Void. Because of you, we still have a chance."

A Feast of SoulsEdit

"Our enemy advances on two fronts, my friend, and we must match them move for move.
Rada al-Saran has activated the orrery, while Lady Belain has gone to Markarth. Worse, the Dark Heart beats stronger with every soul that flows into it."
What do you want me to do?
"The attack on Markarth has begun, but we can still save the city if we hurry. Go, warn Ard Caddach. Tell him to defend his people. Every life saved is one less soul for the Dark Heart."
What about Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain?
"I will deal with Rada. After you warn Caddach, find Lady Belain. Defeat her and the Reachfolk will stand a better chance against the assaulting army. And if you can end the massacre, that will stop the flow of energy into the Dark Heart.
Now, go!"
I'll go to Markarth and warn Ard Caddach.

After agreeing to go to Markarth you can as Verandis for a recap:

"I'll find a way to deal with Rada. Lady Belain and the Gray Host, I leave in your hands.
Stop them from feeding the Dark Heart and it should fall dormant again. With any luck, that will put an end to whatever Rada plans to do with the orrery."
Before I go, remind me what Rada al-Saran and Lady Belain are doing again.
"They both seek to awaken the Dark Heart so they can use the void energy it releases for their own ends.
Currently, Rada has activated the orrery in the library for some unknown purpose, while Belain has gone to Markarth to lead the Gray Host army."
I should stay here and help you stop Rada al-Saran.
"No. Rada is my problem to deal with. I need you to save Markarth. Maybe if the deaths stop, the Heart will return to its slumber.
I'll delay Rada, try to buy us time. I can't overpower him, but I may be able to reason with him. We were friends once."
What does Rada al-Saran plan to use the orrery for?
"I wish I could say for certain. We know the Dark Heart allows pockets of void energy to seep into our world. Perhaps he plans to use the orrery to focus that power. Or to open a larger tear into the Void.
Whatever he plans, I need to stop him."
Why would Rada al-Saran allow Lady Belain to lead his army?
"The majority of Rada's troops here in the Reach are new recruits. He doesn't have that many experienced commanders to rely on. Besides, Lady Belain has a vested interest in sacrificing as many lives to the Dark Heart as she can."
A vested interest?
"As we learned in Nighthollow Keep, Belain's clan of vampires can only feed on the energy of the Dark Heart. As long as it slumbers, her people remain starving beasts.
If she can complete the massacre of Markarth, she can fully awaken the Heart."

Do as Verandis asks and go to Markarth. You'll end up back at the library steps with Verandis and Gwendis in mid-argument:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I am as frustrated as you are, Gwendis. We don't have a keystone, and I haven't been able to discern another way to get inside."
"Try as I might, I haven't been able to penetrate the wards on the door into the orrery. The Dwarven magic is too powerful. Without a keystone of our own, we'll never get inside."
Arana couldn't stop Lady Belain, but she led me to another keystone. I have it right here.
"Another keystone? It seems the spirits of the Reach smile favorably upon us, after all!
But you say Lady Belain escaped from Arana? Any idea where she may have gone?"
Arana was wounded in the battle, but she heard Lady Belain say she was returning to the orrery.
"No one has entered or departed by these doors in all the time I've been here. It's clear that Rada and Belain know more about this old Dwarven structure than we do, though.
They must have another way to come and go as they need."
Should we try to use the keystone I acquired?
"By all means! If it works, we can finally confront Rada and Lady Belain. Together, perhaps we'll fare better than Arana."
All right, let's go.

As you open the door, he'll remark:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I can get through to Rada. I must!"

Inside, you'll see Rada already at the orrery:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada! Stop this!"
Rada al-Saran: "There is no stopping it now, Verandis. A few more adjustments to this infernal machine and all will be ready."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This won't save your brothers and sisters. I told you it's impossible!"

Rada grips Verandis in a spell, lifting him helplessly off the ground:

Rada al-Saran: "Oh, but you're wrong. About so many things. Can't you feel it, Verandis? The tug of the Dark Heart on your cursed soul."
Gwendis: "Leave him alone!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Dark Heart …. You're going to sever our souls from Bal?"
Rada al-Saran: "You see? Once I gather the exarchs to my side, my ancient promise will be fulfilled."

Rada releases Verandis who falls to the ground. Meanwhile, Lady Belain appears before you:

Rada al-Saran: "Belain, spare Verandis and his cherished daughter. Dispose of the rest."
Lady Belain: "Come and gaze upon the Heart. Come and witness my true power!"

Lady Belain turns into a Vampire Lord while your world goes black.

After Lady Belain is defeated, Arana will create a portal back to the Orrery. When you arrive, your friends are trying to stop the machine:

Gwendis: "Verandis, the orrery won't slow down!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Ah, my friend, your timing is perfect. Get to the far platform and throw the switch!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "It will take all of us to stop this infernal machine!"

Go to the far side of the room and throw the switch:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We did it, my friends. Now tell me, what of Lady Belain?"
"If you hadn't arrived when you did, Gwendis and I would not have been able to power down the orrery. Thank you.
But tell me. What of Arana and Lady Belain? I could feel them … it was like a battle in the darkness."
Lady Belain took me to the Dark Heart chamber. Arana arrived. She helped me defeat Belain.
"So it was Belain's death I felt in the darkness. Rada was right. For some reason, the connection I have to the Dark Heart is strong. But there was something else … another sensation.
Where's Arana, my friend?"
Arana said Namira suppressed her wounds so she could defeat Belain. After the battle, she died.
"Arana dead? That's another soul lost to the Void. Between her and those that perished at Markarth, the Dark Heart ate well this day.
I'd like you to return to Understone Keep. Tell Ard Caddach that despite what we have lost, Markarth is safe."
I'll tell Ard Caddach the news.
"Tell Ard Caddach the news. I want to study this machine a little longer. Something here will shed light on Rada's purpose.
I know Rada won't rest until he saves the Gray Host from its ancient curse—no matter what that means for the rest of us."
What exactly did Rada al-Saran accomplish here?
"Rada used the orrery to focus the Void energy. He created a portal to travel somewhere, but the specific destination eludes me.
He did say he needed to gather his exarchs, the original warlords of the Gray Council. The leaders of the Gray Host."
So the Gray Host is still a threat?
"An immediate one? No, I don't think so. With Rada gone and Lady Belain dead, the Gray Host forces here in the Reach will eventually break up and fade into the shadows. Eventually."
But Rada al-Saran is still out there.
"Yes, but he's finished with Markarth and the Reach. I think he got what he wanted from the orrery and the Dark Heart. At least for now.
Don't worry. I'll figure out what else he has planned. And together we will deal with it. When the time is right."

Return to Understone Keep from the Chamber of the Dark Heart and everyone will be awaiting your return. After speaking to the ard, Verandis arrives:

"We stopped Lady Belain from gorging the Dark Heart with all the souls of Markarth, but we can't bring back the dead. Still, the Heart awakened but never reached full power.
We turned back the Gray Host and killed Belain. That's a victory, my friend."
Did you learn anything else from the orrery?
"The orrery remains charged with Void energy. But the Dark Heart was never completely filled and it already wanes. That means we denied Rada al-Saran a limitless source of power.
Rada may have escaped for the moment, but we will find him."
What about the Nighthollow vampires?
"Any surviving Nighthollow clan members are bound to the Dark Heart. As it wanes, so will they. When you destroyed Lady Belain, you sealed the doom of her entire clan.
That threat is ended forever, thanks to you and Arana."
And do you still sense the Dark Heart?
"Yes. Whether through the use of the orrery or some other means, Rada tied the Void energy to the Gray Host. And due to my past affiliation, that seems to include me.
I can feel it. Hear its dark whisper. I need to ponder the implications."
Should we go after Rada al-Saran now?
"Soon. For now, savor this victory. The courage of mortals, not some buried relic, is the true heart of the Reach. You've saved countless lives, and proved to the Reachfolk that not all outsiders are a threat to this land.
Rada's time will come."

The End of EternityEdit

"I know you have only had a moment's peace, but we must renew our hunt for Rada al-Saran with all due haste. The setbacks will not slow Rada for long, and he's likely closer to his true goal than we know."
What is Rada al-Saran's true goal?
"That, I have yet to determine. But consider what he's wrought thus far—harrowstorms across Western Skyrim to revive the Gray Host. Here, the souls of Markarth reaped to empower the Dark Heart. Both great sacrifices, but I fear worse is yet to come."
What could be worse than all those deaths?
"A good question. Despite your success stopping High King Svargrim and Lady Belain, the reawakening of the Dark Heart has provided the Dwarven orrery with a frightening source of power. But to what end?
I need your help to ascertain the answer."
I'll help you. Do you know where we should start looking for Rada al-Saran?
<Verandis winces in pain>
"A moment. Sometimes the intensity of the currents flowing through the darkness can be … overwhelming. There.
Fennorian reports that Gray Host leaders gather north of Markarth. I believe Rada is there, preparing them for what's to come."
The currents flowing through the darkness?
"It's nothing—I … I don't want to concern the others. Whatever Rada did at the orrery, it connected the Gray Host to the Dark Heart. And that includes me.
Like the souls of Markarth that the Heart consumed, a part of me is caught within the Void."
What does that mean?
"I don't know. I can feel the Dark Heart's pulse. A throbbing that grows stronger as the Heart becomes more powerful. But it hasn't consumed me. In fact, like Arana and Lady Belain, I may be able to draw upon it—though I haven't attempted that yet."
Let's go find Rada al-Saran.
"Investigate the Gray Host activity in the foothills north of Markarth, near Bthardamz. Fennorian will meet you there.
Gwendis and I will return to the orrery at Arkthzand. Join us once you uncover Rada's plans."
What do you hope to find at the Arkthzand orrery?
"It's clear the orrery plays an integral part in Rada's plans, but the specifics elude me. The Dark Heart, the orrery, the harrowstorms. They are all connected. Smaller pieces of a much grander scheme. Of that much I'm certain.
I need to learn more."
Arkthzand Orrery

After meeting Fennorian and Lyris at Bthardamz, you decide to meet Verandis and Gwendis back at the orrery. Inside the orrery, Fennorian and Lyris will have made it there before you. Fennorian is filling in Verandis:

Fennorian: "He escaped, count, but we intercepted this letter."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch:<Visibly pained> "A moment, Fennorian. The darkness … has passed. Well done acquiring this letter."
Gwendis: "Never mind the pat on the back, Verandis! What happened?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "It's nothing. A distraction. Our friend has arrived and we must not waste any time."

Speak to him and he'll confess he's slowly losing himself to the Dark Heart:

"The Dark Heart … the episodes grow more frequent. Each time the currents swell, it's like I'm losing myself to the darkness.
We must uncover Rada's plans before that happens. Perhaps this coded message will tell us more about the Darkstorm."
Can you decipher the message?
"I see that Rada has employed his mother tongue to obscure the message, but I remember his language and the Gray Host ciphers well.
This—this isn't a dispatch. It's a letter. To me."
Is he taunting us?
"No, he—he's trying to persuade me. Convince me that his path is the right one. Prove to me that the dream we once shared is within reach.
The letter outlines, in essence, the recipe for Rada's Darkstorm."
Can we use that to stop it?
"Not in and of itself. He wants me to follow in his footsteps. To see what he did and learn the truth of what he promises. In doing so, however, I will discover how to stop it.
He's baring his throat to me, confident I will not bite. But I must."
Where is he telling you to go?
"I must seek a place in the Reach where the land was sundered from Tamriel. Then I must study the Void through Nighthollow eyes. Finally, I must learn about keystones in Bthar-Zel.
In my current state, I don't trust myself. Will you go in my stead?"
I'll take this journey in your place.
"I leave the course of your journey up to you, but these three will go ahead to assist you.
Lyris to Understone Keep, Gwendis to the Nighthollow Archives, and Fennorian to Bthar-Zel."
I'll meet each of them at the appointed place.
"I'm sorry to put this all upon your shoulders, but it's better that I remove myself from this journey. You can see what Rada intends to show me with impartial eyes.
Learn the secrets of the Darkstorm and together we'll unravel Rada's plans."
This could be a trap.
"That's a distinct possibility, but I don't believe Rada intends to kill me. At least not yet. He has something to prove. That need will stay his hand better than any armor.
We don't have the luxury of ignoring his invitation in any case."
Why would Rada al-Saran jeopardize his plan just to prove something to you?
"Rada is a prideful man. When I deserted the Gray Host, it wounded him deeply. He wants to prove that I was wrong to doubt him.
What he doesn't understand is that I never doubted what he could accomplish. I just feared what it would cost."
Are you sure it's a good idea to leave you here alone?
"If this is a trap, you're the one walking into it. But if he does return to the orrery while you're gone, I will buy whatever time I can.
Until then, there are things I also need to accomplish."
What do you plan to do while we're gone?
"I'll study the Heart and the orrery. Try to learn enough so that we can make use of whatever you discover when the time comes.
I will also examine my own condition. I must ascertain that I can control this darkness and not be controlled by it."
I have questions about our search.
"Yes, of course. Rada didn't reveal everything in his letter, but if there's something I can answer for you, I will."
What is this land sundered from Tamriel that you want Lyris and I to find?
"That one is as much a mystery to me as it is to you. But Rada provided a clue. He said it was a place in the Reach. Who better to ask about locations in this part of the world than Ard Caddach?
Meet Lyris in Markarth and seek the ard's counsel."
What does he mean to study the Void through Nighthollow eyes?
"I can only speculate, but we know the Nighthollow clan had an intimate connection to the Void through the Dark Heart. It makes sense they studied it over the many years that it sustained them.
I noticed an archive in their keep when we were there."
So I should go with Gwendis to the Nighthollow Archive?
"Yes. See what secrets they gathered at the height of their power.
I only hope that the archive has weathered the centuries better than the Nighthollow clan themselves."
Where do the keystones fit into the Gray Host's plans?
"We know Rada needed a keystone to enter this chamber and calibrate the orrery to the Dark Heart. Go to Bthar-Zel. Fennorian will help you discover whatever secret awaits there concerning the Dwarven keystones."
I had other questions.
"I'll answer them as best I can, but every moment we delay puts us another pace behind Rada."
<Dialogue repeats from above...>
Nighthollow Keep

Inside the Nighthollow Archives, you'll witness another auromancy vision of Verandis and Rada from some unknown past:

Verandis: "Gods, I can't get the smell of her blood off my hands."
Rada al-Saran: "It was a mercy, you know that."
Verandis: "I ruined her, Rada! Body and soul! I played god and Lisolda paid the price. I'm a damned fool."
Rada al-Saran: "A fool once told me there is no such thing as damnation, only souls who have lost hope."
Verandis: "That's not fair, Rada."
Rada al-Saran: "You said it with such conviction, I could not argue. You have not forgotten our promise, I hope."
Verandis: "We'll seek salvation together. Thank you, Rada."
Bthar-Zel

Another vision:

Rada al-Saran: "This is feasible?"
Verandis: "No, Rada, merely a possibility. But the soul binding required—"
Rada al-Saran: "We can save our kindred from Coldharbour's torment and you quibble over the cost? Is your heart so cold?"
Verandis: "Even if you returned our kindred to life, Molag Bal's claim to their souls would remain. Our contracts are inviolable."
Rada al-Saran: "Another obstacle to overcome—"
Verandis: "You think the Prince of Domination is merely an obstacle? Rada, listen to yourself!"
Rada al-Saran: "Kneeling when I should have stood proud was the greatest mistake I ever made. I will not repeat it."
Understone Keep

Activate the trinket nearby and another vision plays:

Verandis: "Rada?"
Verandis: "Are those my notes?"
Rada al-Saran: "Hmm? Verandis! Forgive me. As ever, your genius captivates me. I had no idea you made such progress."
Verandis: "I'm still no closer to a viable solution."
Rada al-Saran: "You're closer than you think."
Verandis: "How can you know that?"
Rada al-Saran: "I discussed your findings with a new ally. They claim it will work. Only your trepidation holds us back."
Verandis: "I … I thought you'd changed, that you sought penance. I won't participate in mass murder!"
Rada al-Saran: "Our dream is within reach and you're still concerned for the mortals? Verandis!"
Return to the Orrery

Back in the Orrery Chamber, you'll hear Verandis trying to defend his actions:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The past is ancient history. Rada's intentions were to sway me back to his side."
Lyris Titanborn: "That's not good enough, count. Why didn't you tell us that this was all your fault?"
Fennorian: "Father, it wasn't just your research that let him revive the Gray Host. The actual procedure was your creation!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You don't understand. Please, tell me you found out more about the Darkstorm."

Speak to him:

"The others see conspiracies where there are none. Just past sins that I thought long buried.
They say you found everything that Rada wanted me to discover. Tell me about the sundered land, the Nighthollow's studies, and the secret of the keystones."
I found this strange stone at the site where the land was sundered from Tamriel.
"Remember, the journey Rada sent me on—the one you took in my place—it was to follow in his footsteps. To see how he reached this moment in time.
This stone, it's a shard of Oblivion lost in our world. How would that help him save the Gray Host?"
This is the Nighthollow Testament. It's not written in a language I can read.
"To see the Void through Nighthollow eyes. Yes, it's written in the tongue of the first vampires. I can read it, but barely. In addition to other things, this is basically a spell book. It's full of rituals to appease and make use of the Dark Heart."
We found this unassembled keystone in the Bthar-Zel ruins.
"Was the point to show me the inner workings of the mysterious Dwarven keystones? We know Rada used one to link the Dark Heart's power to not only the orrery, but to the Gray Host as well.
I can feel the pull of the Heart just thinking about it."
How does any of this help us stop the Darkstorm?
"What you discovered doesn't tell us much about the Darkstorm. At least not yet. But a picture is beginning to form in my mind.
Rada's letter provided one more clue. He claims to have a laboratory inside this very structure. We just have to find it."
Rada al-Saran has a laboratory? I thought he left that sort of thing to others.
"It's true that Rada often relied on myself and later Tzinghalis to handle his research and experiments. But he wasn't without his own skills when it came to arcana and alchemy.
I suppose during his long isolation, he had to increase his aptitude."
Is it safe to leave the orrery unprotected while we search for the laboratory?
"Who would remain behind that could stand against Rada? I fear that even together we would be hard pressed to stop him. We'll need every advantage for the end battle, should it come to that.
Perhaps if I can learn how to call upon the darkness …."
How are you dealing with your connection to the Dark Heart?
"The darkness crashes against my mind like waves slamming into the shore. It can be … distracting. I can function normally, with the occasional need to pause and let the sensation pass.
I can't yet control the darkness, but I haven't been idle."
What have you learned?
"Using my auramancy, I turned the magic on the orrery itself.
I've learned much about how the orrery operates. It is quite fascinating. I also ascertained the approximate location of Rada's laboratory, but a more thorough search is required."

You're small group starts the search for Rada:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Come, Ravenwatch, Titanborn. We can't let the specters of the past distract us from our mission."
Lyris Titanborn: "Very well, count."
The Library
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'll remain by your side as we search."

If you speak to him during your search, he'll only say:

"Rada has been working in secret for a very long time. His laboratory will no doubt be well concealed. Our search must be thorough."

On an upper balcony:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I think we're getting closer."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "A moment. I sense …. Rada has been this way."

In the Concealed Chamber:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Careful! That Nighthollow vampire radiates with the power of the Dark Heart!"

Once you finally find the laboratory:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada's laboratory. I see he's adopted Tzinghalis's methods."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Yes, this is it. I can feel the echoes of Rada's work here."
"Rada has taken my research in directions I never imagined. Dwemer machines, Nighthollow rites, Reach witchcraft—all arrayed around that pedestal."
Can you make sense of it?
"Yes, I'm beginning to see how the pieces you retrieved fit together. He's building a bridge through the Void. The Oblivion shard serves as a lodestone to point to his destination, but Coldharbour is precisely the place he would want to avoid."
Why is that?
"Rada has always sought to escape Molag Bal's hold on his soul. Coldharbour is the place where Bal's power is absolute. It makes no sense … unless Coldharbour isn't his destination.
Gather the others, we need to re-create Rada's ritual."
All right, what do we need to do?
"Fennorian will reproduce the Reach alchemy while Gwendis performs the Nighthollow rites. You must manage the Dwemer machines controlling the tonal, aetheric, and kinetic energies.
I will attempt to scry the stone and direct you accordingly."
Tell me more about what I need to do.
"These Dwemer devices are similar to pieces of the orrery itself. They manipulate various cosmic forces—tonal, aetheric, and kinetic—to chart the expanse of the Void.
You must keep these forces under control for my scrying to succeed."
How do I do that?
"The components you retrieved from B'thar-zel showed me that the keystones consist of these same sorts of devices, just on a smaller scale. As I conduct the ritual, I'll indicate what parts of the process require your intervention.
Be on your toes."
What are we trying to achieve by doing this?
"Rada pointed us to the means and method of recreating his work. There's something he wants for me to see here and I believe the only way to truly understand what he's done is by repeating it ourselves.
I only hope the risk is worth it."
What risk?
"We are attempting to harness forces never intended to be combined to peer into the infinite churning chaos we call the Void. I only suggest we try because it appears Rada has proven it can be done.
Besides, we have no other choice."

At this point it's a race against to clock to make sure all pieces of the ritual stay in balance. Verandis will shout commands at the room literally starts to fill with energy:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Now, to begin. Start by adding aetheric power."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Now, quickly—I need more kinetic power!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Now, some tonal energy!"
Fennorian: "The Reach ritual—it's catalyzing too quickly!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Quickly—help Fennorian!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We're losing kinetic energy—I need more!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I need an influx of aetheric power!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis needs your help with the Nighthollow rite!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Adjust the tonal frequency, quickly!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We almost have it! Just a little more."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'm losing control of it! Reduce the kinetic energy!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Nighthollow rite is surging! Help Gwendis!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The tonal harmonics are in discord! Change the output!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "To Fennorian! We'll need the alchemical reaction soon!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Recalibrate the aetheric power! It's too little!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The kinetic mechanism is off-balance! Set it right!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We're close! Help Gwendis with the Nighthollow rite once more!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Catalyze the Reach alchemy! Now!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Initiate a tonal cascade! And hang on!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I can see it! I can see everything!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Argh!"

Once it is complete, you can speak to him about what happened:

"Rada found it. A piece of land sundered from the Reach, caught between Mundus and Oblivion. It is both and neither. Outside the grasp of Bal, or any Prince for that matter.
He plans to gift the Gray Host with this sanctuary."
For what purpose?
"Don't you see? In their own realm, free from Molag Bal's tyranny, the Gray Host can live forever. And with the connection to Mundus and the power of the Dark Heart, their conquests might never end.
And now I see … the purpose of the Darkstorm …."
What do you mean?

Before he can answer, Verandis shrieks in pain:

"Arrgh! The Dark Heart … Rada's drawing on its power. I can feel it tearing away.
To the orrery! Hurry!"
I'll get to the orrery as fast as I can.
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "To the orrery! Hurry!"

Everyone heads the orrery. Inside you'll find Rada al-Saran at the machine's platform:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada! Stop! Don't make me fight you!"
Rada al-Saran: "This is the chance you never thought possible."
Rada al-Saran: "The door to our salvation stands open, Verandis. Come. Finish what we started. All will be forgiven."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Arrgh! Rada, don't do this!"
Rada al-Saran: "The Void energy is consuming you, Verandis. I can show you how to control it. Just follow me."

Rada vanishes:

Lyris Titanborn: "What happened? Where'd the bastard go this time?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "He's gone, Lyris. To the one place where he can complete his plan."

Speak to Verandis:

"I understand it all clearly now. Rada has opened the gateway to his sanctuary. In that distant realm, he can summon his Darkstorm using the power of the Dark Heart.
He'll consume the Reach to fulfill his promise."
Consume the Reach? That doesn't sound good.
"No. Not good at all. The Darkstorm requires power on an unprecedented scale. Darkness that will cover the Reach and send every mortal soul it touches into the Dark Heart. In turn, the power of the Heart will flow through the orrery to feed the storm."
But what will the Darkstorm do?
"It will tear the Gray Host from Molag Bal's clutches and preserve them for eternity in his sanctuary realm. Death will become as much a petty inconvenience to them as to any Daedra. They will become truly immortal."
How do we stop the Darkstorm?
"To end the Darkstorm once it's begun, I need to enter Rada's sanctuary realm and take control of the ritual.
I can't ask you to join me, but I won't dissuade you if your course is set.

Just know that I can't guarantee we'll be able to return."

How do we enter Rada al-Saran's sanctuary realm?
"Rada showed us the door and we forged the key. I have to follow. I have to stop the Darkstorm. For as you have seen from Rada's auramancy, this monstrosity is my creation.
Whether you decide to accompany me or not, know that I value our friendship."

Kingdom of AshEdit

"Rada has started the ritual in his sanctuary realm. I can feel the pull in the darkness. Soon, the Darkstorm will consume the energy in the Dark Heart. Then more people of the Reach will die to feed the Heart and power this apocalyptic storm."
How do we get to the sanctuary realm?
"Rada aligned the orrery in order to make his escape. Use the keystone on the Dwarven mechanisms that control it. That should open a breach we can travel through.
Then maybe I'll have a chance to stop this storm I created."
You said the Darkstorm is your creation?
"I never intended my theories to be turned into reality. When my research into a way to grant mortals the same immortality as vampires kept leading down dark paths, I abandoned it. I should have also destroyed it.
Rada corrupted it for his own ends."
I'll try to open a breach into the Void.
"When you're ready, activate the mechanisms on each of those platforms in sequence. This process should be less risky than what we attempted earlier. I believe."
You believe?
"Rada has already aligned the device to point to our destination. Theoretically, we need only reactivate the orrery to open the gateway.
Be on your guard nevertheless."

As you activate the Aetheric Beacons, Verandis will cry out:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Ah! I can feel it drawing on the power of the Dark Heart."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The sensation … overwhelming. Keep going!"

Once the three beacons as activated:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There. It's done. Let's talk before we rush in."

He'll then turn to his Ravenwatch family:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis. Fennorian. You shall remain here."
Gwendis: "What? No way!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Someone must keep the orrery in operation. You may give me an earful when we return."
Gwendis: "I'm holding you to that! Understand?"

Speak to him:

"We are about to travel into the unknown. Take a moment. Speak to our companions. Make whatever peace will calm your soul.
When you're ready, we shall enter the portal together."
Anything you want to say before we go?
"I … no.
Nothing else needs to be said."
Are you sure?
"I think we've all spent enough time dwelling on my past. I know what must be done.
All that remains is that I must do it."
All right.
[Persuade] I know this is deeply personal to you. I'm offering to listen, that's all.
"I have worked all my life to atone for the hubris of my first years as a vampire. Rada went to great lengths to remind me of my damnation.
And I still can't control the darkness racing through my blood. I may not be able to do what must be done."
I heard there's no such thing as damnation, only people who have lost hope.
"Those words keep returning to haunt me. They never fail to make me feel foolish—both for having said them and for doubting them.
Things may look hopeless from here, but there may be a better vantage on the other side. Only one way to find out."
I'll be right behind you.
"The portal into the Dark Heart stands open and waiting. Let's just hope it leads where I think it does."
Are you ready to face Rada al-Saran?
"As ready as I can be. I don't have the luxury of walking away this time.
Let's get moving. The more active the Dark Heart becomes, the harder it is for me to concentrate. It's like a constant barrage of noise I can't hear, but I can certainly feel."
How does the orrery work, exactly?
"Exactly? I have no idea. But Rada aligned it to open a specific destination. I can sense the Darkstorm gathering, so he must have reached it.
Of course, the chaotic forces of the Void may change our trajectory and hurl us into the vast emptiness."
I'll hope for the best.

As you head to the portal, you'll hear:

Gwendis: "I expect you back before Fennorian gets bored. Don't make me come in there after you."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "We shall endeavor to return shortly. Farewell, my friends."
Lyris Titanborn: "Are we leaping into the gaping portal or not?"
Grayhaven

As you and Lyris search for Verandis, you'll hear his voice:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada, stop! I don't want to fight you."
Rada al-Saran: "Look at you, Verandis. The Dark Heart is overwhelming you."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I won't do as you—argh!"
Rada al-Saran: "Will you really embrace death and damnation just to spite me, old friend?"
Lyris Titanborn: "Verandis is in trouble! We have to hurry."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada …."
Rada al-Saran: "I forgive you, Verandis. You didn't turn your back on our dream. You lost hope. That is my gift to you."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You really think we'll have peace here?"
Lyris Titanborn: "Don't you do it, count. Don't you dare!"

At the storm's center, you'll hear Rada's final plea for Verandis to join him.

Rada al-Saran: "Not even Molag Bal can threaten us here. The Gray Host will be an unstoppable force. Nothing will be beyond our reach."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Rada. Your dream was never mine. It ends here."
Rada al-Saran: "Verandis! We are nearly free! Verandis!"

A massive explosion blinds you to reveal Verandis immobile on the ground and Rada hostile. Just when you think you've defeated Rada, he calls upon his true power. Rada turns into an Ashen Lord, but luckily Verandis awakes:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You'll never win through brute force! We need a new strategy!"
Rada al-Saran: "The Ashen Lord calls you to serve!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I can feel the Dark Heart tugging on those souls! Strike down more of the Gray Host—I have a plan!"
Rada al-Saran: "Now can you see how far beneath me you are?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That's it, keep feeding their souls to the Dark Heart. I can use this power."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'll need more souls to cage Rada again! Continue to slay the Gray Host!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "All of the souls are collected and must be released!"
Rada al-Saran: "Hahaha! Sometimes this power almost feels worth the price I paid."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I've woven a trap! Bring Rada to me!"

Do as Verandis asks and draw Rada into Verandis' magical hemisphere:

Rada al-Saran: "Argh! Verandis! You dare raise your hand to me?"

Once the power of Verandis' spell is depleted, Rada will be free once more. Verandis will call this spell a few more times as you battle:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That's it! I'll have the soul trap ready in a moment!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Bring Rada to the soul trap!"
Verandis says goodbye to Rada

Finally, with Rada defeated, Verandis will kneel down next to his defeated spirit and say his goodbyes:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Goodbye, Rada. I wish I could have found salvation for us both."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Ah! The Darkstorm rages! I must take control!"
Lyris Titanborn: "It will kill you!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "If I don't stop the Darkstorm, then my death will be the least of our worries!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gods—this power. It's everything Rada said it would be."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I … I see. I can't end the Darkstorm. Not yet."

Speak to him:

"You and Lyris must go. While I still possess the power of the Dark Heart, I can open a gateway to the orrery. Return home."
You aren't coming?
"I can only control the Darkstorm from here. I understand now what must be done to stop it. I can use the power of the Dark Heart, one last time. When I am finished, the energy will be gone and our gate to the orrery will be closed. You understand?"
There's no other way?
"Not any that can make everything right. I brought about this tragedy, through my naivete. Through my selfish desires. Through my damn ideals and curiosity.
It's my time of reckoning. Not yours."
I understand.

Verandis opens a portal back to the orrery:

"Thank you for standing by me. I've made so many mistakes in my long existence, but putting my faith in you was not one of them. You trusted me, even when I was unworthy of that trust.
Tell my wards—my family—I'm sorry to break another promise."
What will happen to you here?
"I don't know. If the Dark Heart does not drag me away, it may release its hold on me, but that will not be much cause for celebration. Alive or dead, I may remain trapped in this twilight realm."
What do you mean?
"Rada chose this realm to escape the reach of Molag Bal. If it truly is beyond the Daedric Princes' influence, then it may be outside the reach of Aetherius as well. A gray, empty purgatory for me and Rada. A fitting prison."
You think Rada al-Saran is still here?
"For all the wrongs he's done, I still pray he's found some peace away from the torments of Molag Bal. It might not satisfy your sense of justice, but it's my hope … for an old friend.
Just a theory. One I may be testing soon."

After you go through the portal, Verandis and Lyris will speak:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is farewell."
Lyris Titanborn: "I don't want to owe you, Verandis."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Have faith. Rada's last gift was hope."

Second ChancesEdit

"Do forgive my ghastly appearance."

In Understone Keep, Arana will tell you you have "a friend who's journeyed a long way to thank you personally for all you've done". Go to the place in the keep she indicated and Verandis will appear in a flash of Void energy. His appearance will have changed significantly, as he now possesses colorless pale skin, completely white eyes, and grey hair. He will greet you with:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting, my friend. Do forgive my ghastly appearance."
"It seems I spoke too soon when I bade you a final farewell. I'm glad to have the opportunity to see you again, my friend. None of this would have been possible without you."
I thought you had to stay behind.
"As did I. When I took hold of the Darkstorm's power, I believed it would be the last thing I ever did. It was a force no mortal hand should wield. Still, with it I was able to draw the souls out of the Dark Heart. Return them to where they belonged."
Was that how you made it back?
"No. As the last of the Dark Heart's power ebbed away, I should have been trapped in Rada's sanctuary realm. But I was forced out. Pushed, I'd say.
I fell into the darkness of the slumbering Heart. Then I emerged from it like a moth from a cocoon."
How so?
"My soul became part of the Dark Heart, smelted inextricably into the fabric of its existence. So long as it remains dormant, its hold over me is tolerable, but I am bound to it nonetheless."
What will you do now?
"If I am to be wed to this power, then I must ensure that it never gets used again. For that to happen, both the Heart and I must fade into obscurity.
House Ravenwatch will carry on without me. Arana will send them here to receive the news soon."
I see.
"I have no regrets. You gave me the opportunity to reckon with my past and pay penance. This journey has brought closure to the life of Count Verandis Ravenwatch. I have a fresh start.
As do we all. The kings are soon to speak. You should be there."
Will I see you again?
"I have no idea what the future holds, but you seem to be the axis upon which this world turns. If it still has some use for me, I'm sure our paths will cross again.
Until then, my friend."

As you say your goodbyes, you hear voices come in behind you:

Gwendis: "Arana said they'd be this way, come o—"
<Gwendis stops and covers her mouth>
Fennorian: "F—father!"
Gwendis: "You—they said you were gone …."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I was. And I will be again. We have much to discuss, but I will not be returning to House Ravenwatch."
Adusa-daro: "But who will—"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You three have no more need of a guardian. It's time I put the future of the Ravenwatch in your hands."
Gwendis: "But … you'll still visit, right?"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Every chance I get."

Speak to him again and he'll say:

"Now, I must bid farewell to my beloved wards. I've never been comfortable with goodbyes, but I should realize by now that they're rarely forever.
I won't be joining the festivities, but rest assured I will be watching."

Taking up the MantleEdit

Verandis in Blackreach

Following the completion of Second Chances, Verandis will relocate to Blackreach: Arkthzand Cavern. He can be found just north of the Arkthzand Wayshrine, overlooking the cavern from a Dwarven balcony at the entrance to Bthar-Zel. He will call out to you as you approach:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I did not expect any company, my friend."

Speak to him and he will continue:

"You caught me in a moment of quiet contemplation … but, please, join me."
What are you contemplating?
"I have lived a very long time. Even by High Elf standards, I am ancient. I confess, I often embraced the routine as a distraction from the gnawing dread of my curse. Many times I sought a home, a family, and a cause.
Yet I never remain for long."
You regret that?
"It was not always my choice. Seeing the lengths that Rada went to save the Gray Host makes me question my commitment. Did I ever fight that hard for those I loved? Or did I just convince myself I had to move on because it was easier to start over?"
Have you found your answer?
"Not yet. I think I may have gotten it right this time, however. I built something that will outlast me. The Ravenwatch are able, caring, devoted. I raised them well.
It's comforting to know I have somewhere to return, even if only occasionally."
I'm sure they'll be glad to see you whenever you do.
"They are my family. You as well. I had not confided in anyone since Rada, until you took up my cause.
I … I would like to bequeath my name to you, if you will have it."
I will.
"Then it's in good hands.
Thank you for coming to visit, my friend. This little chat has dispelled some of the gloom hanging over me."
Until next time.

Verandis will then bestow upon you the title "of House Ravenwatch" and you will earn the achievement Taking up the Mantle. He will exit dialogue and comment:

Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The bonds of friendship weave a net that will catch you when you fall.
Rada said that, though the sentiment is much more martial in the original Yokudan.
May you always be surrounded by those who will catch you when you need them most."

After this, he will remain at Bthar-Zel, looking towards the Arkthzand Orrery in the distance. If you speak to him again, he will say:

"I should return to the Dark Heart soon. I grow weary if I'm away from it for too long. Plus, I need no additional reasons to nod off as I trudge through the Nighthollow Testament.
Until next time, my friend."

The next time you return, he will be gone.

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

The Gray CouncilEdit

Count Verandis Ravenwatch
Location Grayhome
Race Altmer Gender Male
Health 127470 (hostile), 15000 (friendly) Difficulty ON-misc-Boss 1.png
Reaction Varies
Other Information
Faction(s) House Ravenwatch
Condition Vampire
Verandis's shield

In the case you and Gwendis attempt to summon Verandis in Grayhome, you will be forced to fight him as he will be ravenously hungry and hostile to you both. During this fight, there will be phases where casts an invunerablity shield upon himself as his health goes down. Destroying his summon will destroy the shield.

During this fight Verandis will use the following abilities:

Fright Force
A basic ranged magical attack.
Clever Bat Swarm
A large circular AoE attack centered around Verandis which is cast when the circle fills out. The area will be filled with red mist and bats, and deals damage over time.
Vampiric Feed
Deals magic damage over time for five seconds, you need to break free to interrupt the ability.
Vampiric Mines
He will summon several red magical mines around himself in a circular pattern. They function like Daedric Mines
Invulnerability Blood Shield
When he reaches 1/3 and 2/3 his total health, he will form a shield around himself and he becomes invulnerable. Killing the Bloodknight Specters he summons will remove the shield.needs proper name
Summon Bloodknight Specter
He will summon one or two Bloodknight Specter after he casts his shield.

MarkarthEdit

When Verandis accompanies you as a follower during Markarth quests, he wields a staff. He casts purple circles on the ground that appear for five seconds, casting continuously for about 30 seconds. If you stand in one of his circles, it grants you Vampiric Vitality, granting you Minor Force.

TrailersEdit

Markarth Gameplay TrailerEdit

Count Verandis Ravenwatch narrates the trailer:

The trailer opens on Grayhome and inside Gwendis is seen performing the Stone Husk resurrection ritual.

"Cold ... Skyrim was never this cold before. It's the chill of the grave."

The ritual is completed and the Husk shatters, with Verandis rising from his knees where it once stood.

"Something I know of, all too well."

Video cuts to the Dark Heart of Skyrim Logo screen, before showing scenes of Markarth and Rada al-Saran.

"The unbreachable Markarth. Why have you brought your Gray Host here, Rada al-Saran?"

The Library of Arkthzand and Blackreach is seen.

"What do you seek in the ruins below?"

A montage showing a Dynastor, Void creatures playing with portals, and then some Vampiric enemies.

"An ancient darkness stirs. But it will not remain in the shadows."

Reachmen are seen worshipping a Void-tainted female Vampire Lord. The video then shows several player characters fighting previously shown enemies.

"We must put an end to this madness! With our light, our strength, our hope!"

A montage of scenes in the Reach, interspersed with the words "Experience the epic finale". The music then changes to an ominous tone and a heartbeat can be heard; the video shows shots of a harrowstorm and a burning Markarth. It then shows Lyris Titanborn and Rada al-Saran standing on a cliff, with Lyris in trouble before the screen goes dark. The last scene is the trio of player characters are seen riding towards Markarth, which glows with a green light.

"We must take back Skyrim."

AchievementsEdit

There is one achievement associated with this NPC:

Achievement Points Description
ON-icon-achievement-Taking up the Mantle.png Taking up the Mantle 10 Speak to Verandis in Blackreach after completing Second Chances.

NotesEdit

  • You eventually discover that despite Count Ravenwatch's kindness and strong moral code, the "master" who turned him was Molag Bal. This would make him a pure-blooded Vampire.
  • He is voiced by Jonah Scott (IMDb).[1] He was previously voiced by Joseph Gatt (IMDb) in the base game.[2]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit