Oblivion:Untaxing the Poor
- Meet with Armand after fencing 50 gold in stolen goods.
- Locate Hieronymus Lex's quarters in the South Watchtower.
- Steal the tax records and money from Lex's desk.
- Return to Armand.
He Took from the Poor?
Armand will inform you that Hieronymus Lex has recently collected taxes from the poor residents of the Waterfront District, seemingly as both a warning and punishment for them being complicit in assisting the Gray Fox. The Gray Fox wants you to right this wrong by stealing back the money and the tax records from Lex's quarters in the South Watchtower.
Steal in, Steal out
As a main hub for Imperial guards, this can seem a little daunting when you first enter the Watchtower's main area. Guards will be changing shifts, eating meals, and generally wandering about. The Watchtower consists of four levels: the foyer area where the guards eat, first and second floor sleeping quarters, and finally Lex's private quarters. You need to get all the way up to Lex's quarters undetected. You are allowed to be in the foyer area; however, the guards' sleeping quarters and Lex's private quarters are restricted, and you will be arrested for trespassing if you are caught in these areas (you will be warned and asked to leave first). There are shift changes all day long, but two windows exist when no guards should be present on the ground floor: 9am - 11am and 9pm - 11pm. In practice, the clear times will start about 20-30 minutes later, as guards will be heading back from patrol or guard duty and going upstairs to rest.
You need to ensure that you are quick or undetected when accessing the second and third levels; otherwise, you may get arrested for trespassing. Be careful, because guards might also randomly walk into the room with you; hence, it is best to wait until the shift has changed and the guards have all retired. Use whatever additional means necessary for your stealth, such as chameleon or invisibility effects.
You will need to pick the lock on the final access ladder to enter Lex's quarters. Be careful not to wake Lex (if he's sleeping) and hope that no one follows you into his room, as you will be arrested on sight. Once you enter Lex's quarters, there is a locked desk immediately to your right which contains what you're looking for: the tax records and the gold. You can take them both, but you only need the tax records.
A Subtle Message
Return to Armand at his midnight rendezvous point. He will let you keep the money, since he just "wanted to let the Watch know they went too far." You will also receive a promotion to Footpad and 2 Infamy points.
Although there is a Blood Price quest related to Untaxing the Poor, there appears to be no way of triggering it.
- You can complete the quest at almost any time, even if the tower is full of guards; the key is speed. In sneak mode, go up the first ladder (even if in full view of the guards), turn left and go up the second; turn left again, unlock and ascend the third; turn right, empty the desk and reverse the previous steps. It is possible to grab the records and the Nirnroot even after having been seen ascending the first ladder.
- After you complete this quest, a special edition of the Black Horse Courier is published: Poor Burdened by Taxes!.
- Among the denizens of the Waterfront District, the tax records will also list one Raven Camoran, a minor antagonist of the Main Quest line.
- Two of the people in the tax records: Astay Haymon, and Skarla Wirich, do not appear in game.
- The list also states that Myvryna Arano was "exempted" from the tax collection, foreshadowing her involvement in a future Thieves Guild quest.
- Even if you do get caught after getting the tax record, just pay the gold and you will keep the tax record.
- Although the Waterfront Tax Records shows a total of 52 gold coins being collected, there are 53 in Hieronymous Lex's desk.
- If you have the Knights of the Nine plug-in, the +2 Infamy gained from completing these quests automatically unequips the Crusaders' Relics and requires you to redo the Pilgrimage, even if you had 0 Infamy in the first place.
- An achievement will be unlocked upon being promoted to Footpad.
- Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
- Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
- If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
- It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering
setstage TG02taxes stage, where
stageis the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.
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