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|# of Zones||1|
|Respawn Time||10 days|
Bust of the Gray Fox
The Red Kitchen Reader
|Console Location Code(s)|
|Eastern part of Riften|
Riftweald Manor is a relatively well-secured property that was given as a gift to Mercer Frey after the Black-Briars confiscated it from its previous owners. It is immediately next to the Temple of Mara and the Hall of the Dead, and conveniently near the Thieves Guild secret entrance.
Mercer commissioned the design and installation of a unique drop down ramp system at the rear of the house, probably designed for quick escapes. This escape provides you with a singular point of entry as the ramp can be lowered externally by firing an arrow or ranged magic at the operating mechanism under the balcony. The ramps leads to an expert-locked door which can be opened with the key found on Vald, an easily dispatched guard hired by Mercer to guard the property. Vald can be dealt with in a number of ways; see the related quest for details.
When you enter the manor via the ramp, you will actually be on the second floor of the home. The first room you will find yourself in is full of crates, barrels and sacks, all with items of clutter on them. There is a wall shelf with a bottle of wine and a few goblets on it and two of the barrels contain random meat. In the northwestern corner are double wooden doors. Through these you are likely to face at least one of the three leveled bandits employed to guard the house. The room has a barred door, which is locked in place blocking access to a balcony. This room contains an empty table and chair, a set of shelves, a wooden bench with a small table beside it, with a bottle of alto wine on top. In the far corner there is a pair of chairs with another small table between them. There are two doorways off of this room and a flight of stairs leading down. The first of these is to the right of the barred entrance, which leads into a storeroom containing a tall wardrobe of random clothes, a long end table, several rolled up rugs and some disused furniture.
The second doorway leads into the master bedroom, which contains an owned double bed coming diagonally out from the southeastern corner. There is an unlocked long chest at the foot of the bed, a wall shelf holding a bottle of each: alto wine, wine and Nord mead, two tall wardrobes containing a selection of fine clothes, three sets of shelves holding a copy of The Amulet of Kings, a bottle of alto wine and one of wine, a selection of fine crockery, a medium coin purse, two bottles of Nord mead and three loose septims. There are also two chairs pulled up in front of a lit fireplace.
Down the stairs is another large room with a barred door that is also locked in place preventing access from the street. To the right of this, opposite the bottom of the stairs, is a set of shelves holding a Dibella statue and three bottles of Black-Briar Mead. A food barrel is in the corner to the right. Under the stairs you've just descended are several crates with food sacks on top. Beside these is a cupboard with a bunch of tundra cotton on the shelf. There is a wooden bench to the left of the closed double doors and opposite is a long end table holding a copy of Nords Arise! and a chair at either end. To the left of the end table is a disused cooking pot. Further to the east, a table with four chairs arranged around it has been laid with four salmon steaks, a baked potato, a sweet roll, a loaf of bread, a bottle of alto wine, and an eidar cheese wheel. Against the wall, behind the table, is a set of shelves holding more fine crockery, a bottle of alto wine and one of Nord mead. The wall conceals a flight of stairs leading down into the cellar. By the top of the stairs is a set of shelves holding a potion of minor healing, a potion of minor stamina, two cabbages, a sweet roll, four potatoes, and several loaves of bread and wheels of cheese.
Descending the stairs to the cellar leads to a single room without any other exits. Under the stairs is a bale of straw, a cupboard holding a bottle of wine and a food barrel. An L-shaped counter runs almost the length of the room with two shelves underneath holding a boiled creme treat, a sweet roll, an apple pie, a kettle containing two cabbages, several loaves of bread, two bulbs of garlic, a potion of regeneration, several pieces of cheese, a cast iron pot containing potatoes, a bottle of Nord mead, a loose cabbage, a gourd, another cast iron pot containing two raw rabbit legs, and a bunch of jazbay grapes. There is yet another cast iron pot on the floor in front of the counter containing a bottle of Nord mead. To the right of the counter is a pile of firewood with a woodcutter's axe lying beside it. Hanging from the ceiling are three bunches of dried frost mirriam, two bunches of dried elves ear and two garlic braids, with a third braid hanging from the corner of a wall shelf.
The double doors in the previous room lead into a room with a long wooden table with a ruined book, an iron dagger, a bottle of wine, a food sack, a loaf of bread, cheese wheel, and a note from the engineer, identified as Kiltinius Dandoril, who completed the balcony ramp and floor mechanism. Also in the room, against the walls are: a stack of crates with a couple of food sacks on top, a set of shelves holding a medium coin purse, and two bottles of wine, a food barrel, and a tall wardrobe containing fine clothes and boots. There is also a suspicious cabinet that contains a pair of fine boots and a false back panel. This panel may also be activated by a pull chain on the pillar to your left as you face the cabinet, or by a pull bar behind the panel on the right.
Beyond the panel is a food barrel at the top of a flight of stairs leading down into another part of the cellar. This part of the cellar is very dirty with cobwebs everywhere. At the bottom of the stairs is a room with some crates, sacks and unusable barrels. There is also a long wooden table with a random potion of magicka. A hole in one of the walls leads into the sewer network. As you enter the passage there are metal bars in front of you with a wooden chest behind the bars. In front of the bars is a pressure plate that triggers a spear trap from the floor behind the bars. The passage continues to the left and enters a room where most of the floor is rigged with flame spout traps. There is a safe path, however, if you decide to run straight through, the damage is quite minor if you are prepared properly. The safe route is to start at the far southern end, then three squares west, turn north and walk to the end, turn west and walk to the end and then south to the end, where the passage continues.
The next passage has another pressure plate in the middle that triggers a poison dart trap to fire from the ceiling. Continue along the passage and on your right is a short passage that brings you to the unlocked wooden chest seen through the bars. The passage turns to the left a short distance further, as you approach swinging blades and a battering ram will start to swing across the passage. Level with the ram are alcoves on both sides of the passage, these have various crates, sacks and barrels in. Once past the blades you come to a flight of stairs leading down, and to the south. At the bottom there are bars on your left with an expert trapped door that, if tripped, fires massive amounts of poisoned darts rapidly from the ceiling, which can really do a lot of damage quickly. Jumping back is the easiest way to avoid them. Through the door is a room that contains a wooden table and chair with Mercer's Plans, the Bust of the Gray Fox, which you can sell to Delvin Mallory as part of The Litany of Larceny Thieves Guild quest, a bowl containing various gems, a gold necklace, and a gold ring. Also on the table is a copy of the Sneak skill book The Red Kitchen Reader, a copy of The Lusty Argonian Maid, v1, four loose septims, and a note from R to M (presumably M for Mercer) discussing a successful theft. To the right of the table is a burial urn and Chillrend, a unique weapon in an expert-locked display case. To the left of the tables is an unlocked Dwemer chest and set of shelves holding copies of The Ransom of Zarek, Of Fjori and Holgeir, Songs of the Return, Vol 56, The Real Barenziah, v5, Chance's Folly, Dwemer Inquiries Vol I, The Song of Pelinal, v4, Rising Threat, Vol. II, Antecedants of Dwemer Law, a gourd and a food sack.
There is an alternative passage out of this room, on the other side of the bars seen before the door. The passage leads to the top of a flight of stairs with a door at the bottom that leads into the Ratway Vaults. Beyond the door is a hole in the floor where you can drop and on the edge opposite is a Danger shadowmark. You come out on the top level in an alcove of the three leveled room within the vaults. Following to path to the right leads back to The Ragged Flagon.
- The Unrelenting Force dragon shout also can be used to trigger the mechanism.
- The house will remain open to access after completing the quest. The bandits will respawn, along with the food, coin purses, and potions within.
- There is a Danger shadowmark by the cellar entrance to The Ratway Vaults, and a Guild shadowmark by the front and back doors.