Online:Scales of Retribution

Elder Scrolls Online: Quests: Shadowfen / Side Quests
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Help defeat the Dominion at Murkwater.
Zone: Shadowfen
Objective: Murkwater — Help the Shadowscales destroy the Dominion's foothold.
Quest Giver: Silent-Moss
Location(s): Murkwater
Next Quest: What Happened at Murkwater
Reward: Histwood Bow
High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: High
Let it burn!
The Dominion established a foothold in the small town of Murkwater. The Argonian Shadowscales intend to take back the town by force.

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Talk to Silent-Moss.
  2. Rescue the Shadowscales.
  3. Meet the Shadowscales at the rendezvous point.
  4. Save the people of Murkwater.
  5. Find Haj-Tulm and the Keystone.
  6. Talk to Silent-Moss.
  7. Collect fire salts and kill the Dominion commanders.
  8. Spread the fire salts around the river.
  9. Return to Silent-Moss.
  10. Return to Pale-Heart.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

Speak to Silent-Moss to begin the quest:

"Keep your voice down. The Dominion has taken Murkwater. We can't afford to be caught."
What are they doing here?
"Murkwater is a simple fishing village, but the Ayleid once called it home. Ancient artifacts and dark secrets hide beneath the swamp.
Agents went in to uncover the Dominion's purpose. Batar-Meej, Nuwisha, and Radithax. They haven't returned."
Do you think they've been captured?
"I'm certain of it. If you can find and rescue them, meet us at our rendezvous on the hillside overlooking Murkwater.
We need to know what our Shadowscales learned. The Dominion must expect a powerful prize to send a force this large."
I'll do what I can.
"Step lightly. The Dominion fills the swamp like rotted weeds."
Where is the Dominion keeping your friends?
"I spotted Batar-Meej tied up over there. And I heard Nuwisha's voice coming from the cave nearby.
As for Radithax, he must be deeper in the Dominion's camp."
What's your stake in this?
"We're Shadowscales, born under the sign of the Shadow and trained as assassins from birth.
We're called upon to sway the balance of power, or right wrongs, in and around Black Marsh."
Why are assassins fighting Dominion soldiers?
"We officially hold allegiance to no one. But we're Argonians, and if the Dominion steals treasures from our land to establish a seat of power, we must stop them.
Though ... we're somewhat out of our element here."

Let's start with Batar-Meej, who has been tied to a post at a camp directly south of the Murkwater Wayshrine. Speak to him to untie him:

"Are you here to help?"
Yes. Silent-Moss sent me.
"In that case, don't just stand there! Release me! I must report to Pale-Heart before any more soldiers get here.
Is the rendezvous the same?"
"Excellent. Then we haven't been discovered yet. I'll see you there."

Next, let's aid Radithax, who is tied to a tree at a Dominion encampment on the river between Murkwater and Hissmir. Speak to him to free him:

"Friend or foe? Speak up. I may be a prisoner, but I won't be toyed with."
I'm here to free you.
"Just the words I want to hear. Cut me loose!
I've got plans for these low-life dryskins. I'm sure Pale-Heart would approve."
Silent-Moss said to meet at the rendezvous.
"Good. That's on the hill over there.
I could use you in my future plans. See you soon."

Finally, we need to assist Nuwisha, who is southeast of us, in a tunnel directly adjacent to an entrance to Murkwater. Both ends of the tunnel are guarded by Dominion personnel, so unlike with the prior two Shadowscales, it is impossible to reach Nuwisha without fighting unless you have a cloak spell. Once you've fought your way in, you'll find Nuwisha tied to a post; speak to her to free her:

"By Sithis, it's about time. I can't believe it's taken this long to send someone.
You're here to free me, right?"
Yes. Silent-Moss sent me.
"Nice to know some of us weren't captured. I'm sure I'll never hear the end of this.
Now if you could untie me, I'll be on my way."
Silent-Moss said to meet at the rendezvous.
"Then the plan hasn't changed. Hopefully, I'll see you there.
At least you made it this far without getting caught."

Now, exit the tunnel and head to the rendezvous point: an Argonian hut atop a hill at the southwest edge of Murkwater, overlooking the nearby Ayleid ruin. The Shadowscales are waiting inside; speak to their leader, Pale-Heart:

"You must be the one Radithax spoke of. Our agents owe you their lives."
I hope they had the information you needed.
"Indeed. The Dominion is searching for an Ayleid artifact, the Relleis Lor keystone. Radithax believes it's too powerful to fall into their hands.
The citizens of Murkwater that weren't killed in the invasion are being forced to excavate for it."
What's the plan then?
"Take this whistle. Our first priority is to save Murkwater's people.
When you locate them, use the whistle to signal my agents. They'll take care of the rest."
What about the keystone?
"The Dominion took particular interest in a local scholar named Haj-Tulm. She was spotted, accompanied by two guards, headed to the eastern Ayleid ruins.
I believe Haj-Tulm can lead us to the keystone."
What exactly is the keystone?
[Persuade] I'm doing most of the heavy lifting here. Care to give me a little more support?
"You can't see the work we do from the shadows. However, this operation would be doomed if it weren't for you ….
Ask Nuwisha to lend you one of her agents."
What exactly is the keystone? [advances quest; loses the Persuade opportunity]
"The keystone is a relic that can tap into the power of Loriasel, an Ayleid ruin here in Shadowfen.
If someone obtained all the keystones they'd have control over Loriasel, and that would grant them immense power."
Why is this one called the Relleis Lor keystone?
"The Ayleids kept the keystones separated. One was hidden in Relleis Lor, the ruins you see around Murkwater.
The Dominion must have learned this and sent a force to recover it."

If you convinced Pale-Heart to lend you additional aid, then you can speak to Nuwisha to gain a temporary follower:

"This is beyond what we usually handle. But the Shadowscales are up for any task."
Pale-Heart sent me. She said you could offer some help.
"Did she, now? I suppose I can spare one of my scouts.
Tell me what you need. Do you prefer someone good with a bow or good with a blade?"
I prefer someone who can handle a blade.
"A rogue it is. Watch his back. I'd like to see him return in one piece."
Thank you. [returns to top level of dialogue tree]
I changed my mind. I'd prefer an archer. [see below]
I prefer someone who can handle a bow.
"One of my archers will suffice. She'll take good care of you."
Thank you. [returns to top level of dialogue tree]
I changed my mind. I'd prefer a rogue. [see above]
Why did you volunteer for this operation?
"Where Pale-Heart goes, I follow. She and I are clutch-mates, hatched at the same time, and trained together from our youth.
We share an unbreakable bond."

Your task now is to enter Murkwater and rescue Ushmeek, Neer, and Okalg. When you approach one of these townspeople, you'll get a prompt to "Use Shadowscale's Whistle."

Let's begin with Ushmeek, who can be reached by navigating around the ruins until you get to an opening; you'll have to kill the lone Dominion soldier guarding him. Use the Shadowscale's whistle. Nuwisha, cloaked, will appear and use smoke bombs to renew her cloak and cloak Ushmeek, before escorting him to safety:

Ushmeek: "What's going on?"
Nuwisha: "Escape with me now, while no one is looking."
Ushmeek: "Shadowscales! I guess its [sic] my lucky day."

Now, let's go for Neer. From our current position, we can reach him without any opposition by heading directly east until we reach the water, and then sticking to the water until we reach a hollowed-out tree stump. Neer is being guarded by two Dominion soldiers, with a third patrolling close by; kill them, and then use the Shadowscale's whistle to signal Batar-Meej, who will cloak and escort Neer:

Neer: "Who are you?"
Batar-Meej: "I'm here to help. Do what I do and no one will see us."
Neer: "Lead the way. I hope retribution comes next."

Finally, we need to assist Okalg. If we head up the nearby Ayleid steps, then we'll have a relatively clear path to him. Use the Shadowscale's whistle to signal Radithax, who will get Okalg to safety:

Okalg: "What is this?"
Radithax: "Follow me closely, I'll keep you hidden."
Okalg: "I couldn't bear to dig much longer! I'm glad you came."

Now, we need to look for any sign of Haj-Tulm. As it happens, she's tied up very close to our position. Speak to her:

"Who's there? I didn't kill your Dominion friends. I warned them, but they didn't listen."
I'm working with the Shadowscales. What happened here?
"I thought no one would come for us.
I've searched many years for the keystone, and had a breakthrough before the Dominion arrived. I tried to mislead them, but they found my notes."
What happened to the keystone?
"It should be in one of the chests we unearthed. Be careful as you open them. An ancient evil guards the keystone."
Do you need help?
"Find the keystone first, and worry about me second. Who knows when Dominion reinforcements will show up?"

There are several Ayleid Chests in the area. Most are placed inside of large stone pillars of the same design as the one that Haj-Tulm is sitting against, but one is sitting beside a collapsed pillar by the shoreline. Search the chests. Each chest that does not contain the keystone will spawn two hostile skeletons when interacted with. Once you find the keystone, Silent-Moss will speak to you:

Silent-Moss: "I have new orders from Pale-Heart, come speak to me at the excavation site."

You'll find him back with Haj-Tulm. Speak to him:

"Don't worry about Haj-Tulm, I'll patch her up.
Did you find the keystone? Pale-Heart is eager to proceed."
Yes, I found it.
"Very good. Pale-Heart will be pleased.
Are you ready to take back the town from those Dominion scum?"
I'm ready.
"We've learned that the Dominion brought a large shipment of crystallized fire salts. These salts are highly flammable.
We want you to assault their ship, collect the fire salts and then spread them around the river."
Sounds easy enough.
"If that's not enough, why not kill their leaders? Velelya and Khasar-dro command the Dominion forces from the ship.
Now is our best chance to create confusion among their ranks."
What will you be doing during all of this?
"The Shadowscales are going to systematically kill every Dominion soldier we can get our hands on once the river is on fire.
We are currently studying their troop movements and getting our agents into position."

The ship in question is the Shaveskin's Lament, a Renrijra Maor vessel docked directly south of Murkwater's map marker. It's guarded by an entire camp of Renrijra personnel, but the deck is relatively clear, and that's where you'll find Velelya and Khasar-dro, whom you'll have to fight together. Once they're dead, enter the ship and head to the bottom, where you'll find a sack of fire salts. Loot it, and head topside.

There are four specific places along the shoreline where you'll want to throw the fire salts into the river. Go to each place, stand on dry ground (or rock or wood), and throw the salts. The game will not allow you to throw the salts if you're standing even in inch-high water, because for the purposes of this quest objective that counts as "swimming."

Once you've contaminated the river, find Silent-Moss west of the ship and speak to him:

"You've done excellent work. Our agents are in place; all that's left is to set fire to the river.
Once the river is ablaze, we'll strike hard from the shadows and take back Murkwater. Are you ready?"
I'm ready.
"You should have the honor of lighting the fire, after all you've done for us.
I've stacked up a pile of wood, light the remaining fire salts and set everything ablaze."
What should I do when the fire is lit?
"Pale-Heart requested you return to her. Leave the fighting to us, and we will live up to your previous example.
Now, light the fire! Show them how Shadowscales return a favor."

Silent-Moss has gathered a pile of branches to serve as kindling. Interact with it, and after a blinding white flash, a few medium-sized fires will erupt along the river, with one touching the ship. Pale-Heart, the other Shadowscales, and the civilians are back at the Shadowscales' original rendezvous point: the hut overlooking the ruins. Speak to Pale-Heart:

"I could hear the fire salts exploding from here. Good work. My agents will make quick work of the Dominion's forces.
Now, to end this. Do you still have the Relleis Lor keystone?"
Yes, I have it.
"Radithax and I think you should be the one invested with the power of the Relleis Lor keystone. The only way to acquire it is by absorbing the stone.
Radithax knows the ritual."
Why me?
"Because the Shadowscales know you're someone we can count on, someone who sees things through to the end. You deserve to possess its power.
Are you ready to begin the ritual?"
Yes, start the ritual.

You'll be immobilized for a bit while a cutscene plays:

Pale-Heart: "Radithax, if you will."
Radithax: "Of course. May Sithis watch over you, my friend."

Radithax will use the keystone to imbue you with energy, before a small blast knocks him to his knees.

Pale-Heart: "Radithax, are you hurt?"
Radithax: "I'll be fine. I have the marsh in my veins."

Speak to Pale-Heart to complete the quest:

"You and the keystone are now one. Its power resides within you."
What can I do with the keystone?
"You'll know when the time comes. By now, my agents should have retaken Murkwater. They'll be celebrating in the village as we speak."


  • When searching for the keystone, it will always be in the last of the four chests that you check.

Quest StagesEdit

Scales of Retribution
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I should search the occupied village of Murkwater for the missing Shadowscale agents: Batar-Meej, Nuwisha, and Radithax.
Objective: Rescue Batar-Meej
Objective: Rescue Nuwisha
Objective: Rescue Radithax
Now that I've rescued the Shadowscale agents, I should meet their leader, Pale-Heart, at the rendezvous. Silent-Moss said it's on a hill at [sic] southwest edge of Murkwater.
Objective: Rendezvous with the Shadowscales
I met with Pale-Heart, who asked me to assist the Shadowscales in rescuing the townsfolk of Murkwater. Then I must look for the Rellis [sic] Lor Keystone.
Objective: Signal Shadowscales to Save Townsfolk: 0 / 3
Optional Step: Talk to Nuwisha
Hidden Objective: Rescue Ushmeek
Hidden Objective: Rescue Neer
Hidden Objective: Rescue Okalg
Pale-Heart mentioned the Dominion took a particular interest in a local named Haj-Tulm. She was last seen near the esatern Ayleid ruins accompanied by two Dominion guards.

I should head there and find her.

Objective: Locate Haj-Tulm
Haj-Tulm tracked the Rellis [sic] Lor keystone. It is one [sic] of numerous Ayleid chests that have been unearthed at the eastern Ayleid ruins. I should search the chests for the keystone.
Objective: Find the Relleis Lor Keystone
Now that I've retrived [sic] the Relleis Lor keystone, I should find Silent-Moss.

He's waiting for me at an excavation site in Murkwater.

Objective: Talk to Silent-Moss
Silent-Moss asked me to kill the Dominion leaders, and to collect crystallized fire salts from the Dominion ship. Once I have the fire salts, I'll spread them on the river to destroy the Dominion's lifeline, their ship.
Objective: Kill Khasar-dro and Velelya
Objective: Collect Fire Salts
I've killed the Dominion leaders and collected the fire salts. Now I should spread the fire salts around the river. I can toss the salts from the river shore.
Objective: Use Fire Salts Along the River: 0 / 4
Objective Hint: Throw from the River Shore
I've spread the fire salts all along the river. Now I need to meet with Silent-Moss east [sic] of the Dominion's ship.
Objective: Talk to Silent-Moss
The Shadowscales are in place, ready to take back Murkwater. All that's left is to light fire salts, which will destroy the Dominion ship. The Shadowscales have decided that should be my honor.
Objective: Light Fire Salts
I've burnt the Dominion ships and retrieved the Relleis Lor keystone, I [sic] should return to Pale-Heart in Murkwater.
Objective: Talk to Pale-Heart
☑Finishes quest I've taken part in a ritual that bound the Rellis [sic] Lor keystone to me. I should speak to Pale-Heart to see what's next.
Objective: Talk to Pale-Heart