Online:Soul Shriven in Coldharbour
- Locate The Benefactor.
- Listen to Lyris Titanborn and escape the prison cell.
- Talk to The Prophet and head into the Bleeding Forge.
- Head into the Towers of Eyes and destroy a Coldharbour Sentinel.
- Talk to Cadwell then enter the Undercroft.
- Reach the Prophet's Cell and disable the Dark Pinions.
- Enter the Anchor Mooring and defeat the Child of Bones.
- Escape Coldharbour.
- If you only own the base game of ESO, this will be the first quest of the game, and you will begin as a Prisoner. Otherwise, you will begin this quest with the Hooded Figure.
A Hooded Figure
When you first arrive in a major city, you will be approached by a Hooded Figure, who'll ask to speak to you:
- "Greetings. My benefactor wishes to speak to you about a matter that could affect the fate of our world."
- What does your benefactor want?
- "If my benefactor wished to discuss details in the open, why send a messenger? The matter is for your ears only."
- Fine then.
- "My benefactor awaits nearby. Do not tarry."
- I'll go now.
If you're in the Aldmeri Dominion, travel to the ship The Interim Suitor at the Vulkhel Guard docks, and if you are in the Ebonheart Pact cross the street to the Sadreno House. If you are a member of the Daggerfall Covenant, you will need to head to the Patheirry House. The Benefactor, however, is incapacitated, and will be unable to speak:
You begin your adventure locked in a cave-like prison cell littered with bones, located deep within the bowels of Coldharbour. As you approach the door, Lyris Titanborn will approach: "Whoa, there! Are you all right? The name's Lyris."
She'll then proceed to smash the lock on your cell: "I hope you've still got some fight left in you. You're going to need it."
Exit the cell and follow Lyris over to the body of a Dremora Churl. "Dead. Must have been the runt of the litter." If you're playing through the quest as the tutorial, she'll instruct you to pick up its Cast-Off Iron Greatsword. Once you have done so, follow Lyris down the passageway. "Keep your weapon ready and stay sharp. This place is full of surprises."
As you continue through the dark tunnels, another Dremora Churl bursts out of the ground. If you're playing through it, the tutorial freezes the action to guide you though attacking the enemy. Otherwise, you're free to kill it on your own. Once it is defeated, continue to follow Lyris into a larger room. She will urge you along the way : "Keep moving! There are more Daedra on the way! Let's keep moving!" Three Soul Shriven prisoners are trying to keep a door closed, while something large pummels it from the other side. One of them, an Argonian named Er-Jaseen, calls out as you approach: "Don't stop, now. Keep moving! More guards are on the way!" Lyris will agree: "Let's go!"
Sure enough, as you enter a room filled with a number of torture cages, a Dremora Kynval appears. The tutorial guides you through blocking an enemy's heavy attack, indicated by the yellow starburst around the enemy, and exploiting the resulting effect of them being knocked off balance using a heavy attack yourself. Afterwards, you are immediately confronted by a Dremora Kyngald, who begins to cast a spell. Here, you are introduced to interrupting a special attack, indicated by the red starburst. Once again, you can exploit while the enemy is disoriented. A disoriented or off-balance enemy is indicated by the swirling circle around their head.
Defeat the enemies, and follow Lyris: "Let's get out of here, my friend."As you approach the door, a glowing rune appears before you and a ghostly figure known as The Prophet appears. Lyris will say: "The Prophet!" He will talk to you: "Greetings, Vestige. Like you, I am a prisoner in this place. You must rescue me. And I, in turn, must rescue you." Following this cryptic introduction, Lyris asks to speak with you: "Hold a moment. Come here, we need to talk."
"The Prophet! He's a prisoner here, too. It was very dangerous for him to speak to you, even for a moment. He must think you can help me."
If you ask what you need to help her to do, Lyris replies: "Break him out, of course! Believe me, I can use all the help I can get. That blind old man is the only person alive who can help us get back home. Tamriel's a long way from here." Ask her where you go from here, and she replies: "These tunnels will eventually take us to the Towers of Eyes. That's where we'll find the Sentinels." Asking what the Sentinels are, she elaborates: "Magical constructs created by Molag Bal to guide his vision in Coldharbour. The Sentinels are connected. If we destroy one, the others will be blinded. with any luck, that will buy us the time we need to free the Prophet." Asking how it can be destroyed, she admits: "I've no idea. Brute force? We'll find a way. We have to. Be ready for anything. I doubt Molag Bal left the Sentinels unguarded."
Telling her that you still have many questions, she agrees to answer then as best she can. This presents two options:
- Who is this Prophet: "He's a strange one, no doubt about it, but he's the wisest man I've ever met. He sees things. The past, the future."
- What is this place? Where am I?: "You're obviously not in Tamriel anymore. Think of the most miserable, depressing place you've ever been in your life. That's paradise compared to Coldharbour. And to top it off, well ... there is no easy way to say it. You're dead."
Asking her how it's possible that you are having this conversation with her, she replies: "I don't know. Once we rescue the Prophet, he can tell you about the Gods and the ways of Oblivion. I don't understand any of it, myself."
Asking her who killed you, she reveals: "A man named Mannimarco. His Worm Cult is doing some kind of ritual back in Tamriel. They sacrificed you and everyone in this prison, to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. After you died, whatever was left showed up here. They call you Soul Shriven." Asking her what that means, she expands: "It means you're a slave and you'll spend the rest of eternity in Coldharbour, working under the lash of the Daedra. Unless of course, you come with me." Asking if she is dead too, she will reply: "No, I wasn't sacrificed. The Prophet and I were brought here ... conventionally, if that makes any sense. But we're prisoners here, same as you."
Asking how you will get the Prophet out, she warns: "It won't be easy. The place is watched by magical constructs called Sentinels. We won't stand a chance unless we can blind them. I'll tell you more when we get there. And we'll never get there if we don't get moving." Once the conversation has ended, head into the Bleeding Forge.
When you enter the forge, you see Vaekar the Forgemaster holding a soul shriven by the neck. Watch the scene play out, and Vaekar will attack. Kill him to continue, and once you've defeated him Lyris will congratulate you on your skills: "Well played, friend! Arkay's beard, you're good in a fight!"
If you are playing this quest as the tutorial, opening the character menu shows that you are now at level 2, and you have gained a skill point. You have also gained an attribute point, which can now used to increase either your Health, Magicka or Stamina.
The Prophet will also comment on the battle, speaking with no apparent source: "The God of Brutality knows of your escape. Hurry!"
Follow the tunnel to reach a door that leads to the Towers of Eyes.
Destroy the Sentinels
Upon reaching this area, Lyris says: "The God of Schemes can see every part of Coldharbour. We need to distract him.". You can speak to her for more elaboration: "The Sentinels are connected. If we destroy one, the others will also be blinded for a time."
Proceed down the stairs ahead, into a large open area, dotted with dead trees and makeshift camps. A long river runs through the middle and many Dremora and Clannfear are dispersed through the region, along with a number of Soul Shriven. Proceed up one of the hills, fighting off the Feral Shriven and daedra you encounter along the way. Lyris will warn you: "Try to be inconspicuous. We just got free of this place. The last thing we need is to get recaptured. I'll keep watch." Here, the tutorial introduces sneaking, and you must attack the Sentinel without it seeing you by approaching it from behind. Otherwise, simply hit it once. After you destroy the Sentinel, Lyris mentions: "Quickly, while he's blinded we must get to the Prophet's Cell." Head back down the stone walkway and south towards a cell door. If you talk to Lyris directly, she'll say: "The Prophet's enclosure isn't far. Let's go!"
As you approach the gate, it bursts into a glowing blue arcane fire, and Molag Bal himself says: "Fool! You will never escape my realm." Lyris exclaims: "Herma-Mora's wagging tongue! The door's warded. We'll never get in this way.". Speaking to her further, she'll decide on a new course of action:
"Damn it! Destroying the Sentinel must have triggered these wards. We'll need to find another way in. Hmm. Maybe Cadwell can help us.". Asking who Cadwell is, she explains: "Cadwell is the oldest of the Soul Shriven. After years of torment, Soul Shriven usually go insane and turn feral, but not Cadwell. He was already insane before he left Tamriel. Mad as a box of frogs, but completely harmless. You'll see." Asking how a mad man can help, she replies: "Cadwell sees things as he wishes them to be. To him, Coldharbour is a wondrous place. It's his home. And he knows it like the back of his hand. He's usually down by the river. Let's go find him."
Head downstream along the river to find a small gathering of Soul Shriven by a campfire, surrounding Cadwell as he plays the lute, singing a nonsensical song. Speak to him, and he'll joyfully greet you: "Hello, what's this? Out for a stroll, then? Lovely day for it." Asking if he is Cadwell, he replies: "Sir Cadwell, yes indeed. A pleasure! And fair Lyris! Good to see you m'dear! How are you, then?" Explaining to him that you seek to get into the Prophet's enclosure, he replies: "Oh dear, oh dear. Well that is inconvenient, isn't it? Tell you what—I happen to know another way in! Much more of a scenic route. Rather a fun little jaunt, actually. Full of traps, and corpses, and nasty beasties filling up the bits in between." Asking how you will get through, he replies: "Rather cautiously, I expect. Watch your step, hold your nose, and do mind the traps. There'll like as not be a fair dose of running and skull-bashing as well." Finally asking where the entrance is, he replies: "Follow the river. You'll find the door to the Undercroft at the water's end. Once you're inside, stick to the light and you'll find a ladder that will take you right up to the Prophet, straightaway. Do give him my best!" He then ends with: "Best of luck. Do check in now and again, won't you?"
Lyris remarks: "Cadwell seems to think this Undercroft is a delightful place. That probably means it's a death trap. We'd better be careful." She'll then proceed to run down the river, and you would be well-advised to follow.
Once you reach it, you'll find that the door to the Undercroft is locked. Lyris remarks impatiently: "The sooner you get that door open, the sooner we can get out of here." This introduces the Lockpicking system, and you have 60 seconds to try to pick the lock—unlike most other locks in the game. Once you have successfully picked it, or just forced it open, you can enter the Undercroft.
Just as Cadwell remarked, the gloomy and dank Undercroft is lined with traps and corpses. If you talk to Lyris, she'll say: "This place stinks of death and decay." Several trunks and urns containing leveled items can also be found throughout. Head forward, and a skeletal warrior will dig its way out of the ground. Dispatch it and continue forward, taking care to avoid the numerous flamethrower traps lining the walls. Continue to traverse your way though the winding tunnels and pools of water until you reach a staircase leading up to the Prophet's Cell.
The Prophet's Cell
As soon as you enter the cell, Lyris exclaims: "The Prophet's cage should be just ahead. Quickly now! We haven't much time." and runs ahead. "All right. The good news is, we made it here in one piece and the Prophet looks unharmed. Now the bad news. It's going to be up to you to keep him safe and get him back to Tamriel. I'm not going with you." Follow her to reach a vast cavern housing a number of spiked rock formations, piles of spent Soul Gems and pools of Azure Plasm. At the center of the room is a large ritual circle, above which the Prophet hangs in a magical force-field.
Speak to Lyris to find out the plan: "There's a trick to opening the cell. The only way for a prisoner to leave is for another living soul to take their place. I need to swap places with the Prophet." Asking her if there another way, she replies: "Believe me, I wish there was. But ... I don't see anyone else here with a beating heart, do you? If Molag Bal isn't stopped he'll destroy everyone and everything we've ever loved."
Tell her you're ready, and she will conclude: "Once it's done, get moving. The Prophet will know where to go, but he'll need your eyes, and your protection." When you have finished speaking, you will need to defend Lyris from two Dremora Baunekyns. When you defeat each one, its essence will fly off to feed a respective Dark Pinion. The two Dark Pinions are found on the north and south sides of Lyris. Head over to each one and disable it. Once this has been completed the exchange will begin to take place. Lyris is raised off the floor and catapulted towards the center of the chamber, while at the same time, the Prophet is ejected from his cell. The two pass through each other mid-way, before the Prophet collapses on the floor in front of you. Lyris can now be seen imprisoned inside the force-field. The Prophet will exclaim: "Freedom! I remember this feeling. It will be fleeting though, if Molag Bal has his way."
Speaking to the Prophet, he says: "Thank the Divines, you are safe! There is that, at least. Lyris sacrificed everything, that we might go free. Her sacrifice must not be in vain." If you ask if there is a way you can take her with you, he will continue: "I wish that were possible. But I promise you, once we escape Coldharbour we will find a way to rescue her together, Vestige." He then further explains your title of Vestige: "That is the name I have given you. You are but a trace of your former self. A soulless one. An empty vessel that longs to be filled. It is as the Scrolls foretold, but not exactly as I imagined." Asking why Lyris calls him the Prophet, he will elaborate: "That is what I have come to be called. My true name is lost—even to me. Years of torment have taken their toll. Quickly now, we must make haste to the Anchor! The Anchors are Daedric machines of the darkest magic. Their chains bind our world and pull it towards Coldharbour. I can use one of these Anchors to return us to Tamriel, but you must lead me to it."
Once you have ended dialogue, the Prophet will say: "Up the stairs, quickly! We must get to the anchor mooring!" Next, head to the far side of the room. Head up the stairs, through the tunnel and into The Anchor Mooring.
The Child of Bones
Upon entering the Anchor Mooring, you are instructed to reach the Mooring Base. The Prophet will exclaim: "There it is! The Dark Anchor Mooring."
Suddenly, Molag Bal appears before you from the Anchor Mooring and bellows: "A mortal thinks it can defy me. Futile. Soon your world will be in my chains." before disappearing and summoning the Child of Bones. The Prophet will run ahead and say: "Come, I will protect you!" During battle, the bone colossus will primarily use melee attacks. There will also be one final tutorial instructing you how to break free of a crowd-control effect.
Escape to Tamriel
Once the colossus has been defeated, the Prophet will call to you: "A moment, Vestige." Speak to the Prophet, who explains: "The Dark Anchor's portal is high above us. I will prepare a spell to lift us to it. But first you must re-attune yourself to Nirn in order to regain your physical form. To do this, you will need a skyshard."
Asking what a Skyshard is, he elaborates: "A shard of Aetherial magicka that carries the essence of Nirn. Some link them to Lorkhan, the missing god of creation. If you collect and absorb its power, it should restore your corporeal form. I will summon one of these shards for you to absorb."
Next, the Prophet will stand before the anchor mooring, raise his staff and begin his summon: "Shard of Aetherius, fall upon us now and anoint us with your blessing." As the Skyshard appears before you, he prompts you to collect it: "There. Quickly! Collect the Skyshard." Selecting the skyshard causes a beam of light to engulf you, and levitate you briefly from the ground. Once the power has been absorbed, you will receive a short message outlining skyshards in the tutorial.
Once you have collected it, blinding light fills the room and the Prophet begins his ritual: "Great Akatosh, Dragon God of Time! I require your strength! Let the way be opened! Let these wandering souls return home! Let the will of Molag Bal be denied!"
As soon as the ritual is complete, the entire anchor mooring fizzles with lightning and a large rift opens up at the top. The Prophet yells: "Hurry! We must go now." and runs forward up the staircase. As he reaches the top, the anchor levitates him up from the ground and into the portal. Follow him, and escape to Tamriel.
You will be transported to one of three locations based on the faction you have joined:
Members of the Aldmeri Dominion will find themselves in Khenarthi's Roost, with the option to go to Auridon after awakening.
Members of the Daggerfall Covenant will find themselves in Stros M'Kai, with the option to go to Glenumbra after awakening.
Members of the Ebonheart Pact will find themselves in Bleakrock Isle, with the option to go to Stonefalls after awakening.
Irrespective of this, you will awaken next to a ghostly Prophet, who will remark: "The Vestige awakens, once again. Come here, we must speak." Talk to him, and he'll continue: "As I feared, we arrived in different locations.". Where he will say he is depends on your faction.
If you are part of the Aldmeri Dominion, he will say: "I am in a city near the sea, in a land of eternal spring. The air smells of the ocean, and of markets, and gardens."
If you are part of the Daggerfall Covenant, he will say: "I am in a city of industry, where men speak of intrigues and plots beneath layers of innuendo and pleasantry."
If you are part of the Ebonheart Pact, he will say: "I am in a place with the smell of burning ash on a hot wind, and the sounds of a distant battle."
Regardless of where he says he is, the Prophet will conclude: "It matters not. You have awakened once again, and we must set you on your path."
- How long was I unconscious?
- "Days? Weeks? I cannot tell. The voyage between worlds disrupted all sense of time and space.
- I know only that you were deposited into the sea, and some charitable soul fished you out and brought you to dry land."
- What should I do now?
- "I'm afraid you will have to decide that for yourself.
- I must focus on searching for a way to repay Lyris's bold sacrifice. I cannot simply abandon her to the wrath of Molag Bal."
- When will I see you again?
- "I cannot foresee that. Not yet. But we will meet again. There is still much we need to accomplish."
This marks the end of the quest. The Prophet will have additional dialogue about your current location and the first quest in the alliance questline, which will also vary based on the faction you are part of. The next main quest, The Harborage, does not begin straight away; rather, the Prophet will contact you through an ethereal projection when you enter a safe area, such as a settlement.
You will earn the following achievement for completing this quest:
|Soul Shriven in Coldharbour||10||Complete Main Quest Chapter 1||Dye: Soul Shriven Gray|
After completing the quest, the Prophet will elaborate on the situation in Tamriel:
- "Be wary, vestige. Our very plane of existence is in peril. The threat of Molag Bal looms across all Tamriel, and chaos spreads in its shadow.
- Danger roams the land and will assume many forms. Do not let it catch you off-guard."
- Where should I go?
- "You must find your own path. But perhaps there is a reason for the place in which you find yourself.
- Explore. Search for a cause to lend your hand. Join with others. You might even seek out those who rescued you from the sea. The choice is yours."
- You think there are many who need my help?
- "Indeed. I sense that even now there are good people near you who face grave danger. They need your assistance should you be willing to give it.
- To thwart the will of Molag Bal, we must skirmish with evil wherever it rears its head."
- And there are others who would join me in this?
- Who would I join up with?
- "We do not face these troubled times alone. Many shall rise up to fight this tide of darkness.
- Wherever you go, you will encounter others who share your courage and valor. Help them if you can, and enlist their aid if you have need of it."
To start the alliance story, you will need to find those who rescued you. Upon exiting the location you wake up in, you will meet someone who will present you with the introductory quest for your alliance:
- After you have completed the tutorial once, you may skip it for new characters.
- Prior to Update 10, you were sent to Auridon, Glenumbra or Stonefalls at the conclusion of the tutorial, requiring you to backtrack to the "starter islands" in order to play the storyline quests in the intended order.
- During the beta, you were sent to Khenarthi's Roost, Stros M'Kai or Bleakrock Isle as you are now, but you were forced to complete those quests before gaining access to the mainland. This was viewed unfavorably by players and reviewers, resulting in the pre-Update 10 setup of being sent straight to the first main zone.
- Prior to Update 6, Er-Jaseen had a more prominent role, including being the character who broke you out of your prison cell.