The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search

Investigate the rumors being spread about a local character.
Location(s): Any Merchant or Innkeeper
Reward: A magical item
Reputation Gain: see Reputation Gain/Loss
ID: a0c01y13
Required Reputation: One or more reputation
Difficulty: Hard
The victim of some vicious gossip

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to a Merchant or an Innkeeper.
  2. Ask around in town until you are pointed to a tavern.
  3. Find a local gossip and learn of a certain letter.
  4. Find your employer's residence in the local town.
  5. Enter the residence, find the letter, and take it.
  6. Confront your employer with the content of the letter.
  7. Head to the dungeon named by your employer.
  8. Find the lover of your employer's sister.
  9. Escort him to the place he mentions within the time limit and collect your reward.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Lies and Slander[edit]

Speak to a merchant or innkeeper, who says:

"Good day. (Employer's name) is the name. You may have heard of me lately. Somebody has been filling the streets with horrible lies concerning my private life. I'll pay (random gold) gold to the person who puts a stop to them. What do you say?"


"The malicious, downright libelous rumors about me must cease and desist immediately. I need someone anonymous to trace these rumors back to their infernal source. Would (random gold) gold pieces be enough to buy your investigative skills in this matter?"


The merchant or innkeeper goes on:

"You will? Excellent. Come back when you have some proof of who's behind all these nasty rumors about me. I'll give you the gold then. If you're not back within a month, I will assume that you have failed."


The merchant or innkeeper answers:

"I guess you heard the one about me not keeping my promises. Damn lies!"

Hitting the Streets[edit]

The local gossip is filling her friend's ear with scandalous tales
Getting into your employer's home may require a little burglary
The letter, about to be blown down the ladder well
The lover will be grateful for the rescue

Ask around in town about your employer and you will eventually hear some of these rumors. Keep asking until you are given some information about what is going on. If you can access a Spymaster through either the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood, this will be much easier. Eventually, you will be given the name of a tavern. Head there and locate a local gossip, who blurts out:

"What's that you say? (Employer's name)? I have heard something...but we must keep our voices low. Seems that (his/her) sister, (sister's name), was having a hard time with her lover. I believe his name is (lover's name). I do know that there was a deal struck between (employer's name) and (his/her) sister to have (lover's name) dealt with. I'm not sure how, but a young chap I met says he delivered a letter from (sister's name) outlining the plan to (employer's name)."

This letter sounds like a clue, but your employer will not divulge anything if asked. To continue, ask around about your employer further, and eventually someone will reveal where they live. Asking about the residence will eventually point you in the right direction. Head to the residence, which may be locked up tight; if so, either pick the entrance door's lock, cast an Open spell, or break the door down. Enter the home and search for the letter. Take it and read it:

(Employer's name),
My words will be quick. (Lover's name) is too
much as you have said, and a little scare
may be what is needed. I'll be leaving on a trip
tonight, so tomorrow at sunset
you should take him. I'll be in touch again,
but I don't imagine we will need to continue
for more than a week.
-(Sister's name)

With the letter as evidence of something untoward going on, head back to your employer. When confronted with its contents, your employer will plead:

"What?! What is this? Oh my... Please, please don't kill me! My sister put me up to it...I didn't mean any harm. She only asked that I scare him a little, you know, make him appreciate her more. I know I shouldn't have done it. Now I'm in over my head... you see, I paid a group of bandits to take him away and lock him in (dungeon). I figured this would scare him enough... but he hasn't returned! I went too far...I know. Please...you must rescue him! I thought I could cover it up, but I can't any more. You've got to rescue him, if he's not back when my sister returns...well, she'll kill me for sure!"

Head to the dungeon he just mentioned and find the sister's lover within. When you have found him he will greet you by saying:

"Thank (god's name) someone has found me! I thought I'd never get out of here. I've been wandering around these passages for days, trying to stay alive. What is that you say? (Sister's name) and (employer's name) are behind all this! Well, you get me back to (sister's residence) in (town) and I'll reward you well. And then I will take care of those two!"

Escort the lover to the sister's house within the time limit to receive your reward from him. If you fail to return him to in time, he leaves without giving you a reward and says:

(Lover's name) says, "Thanks for your help, (player's name), but I'll find my own way home from here."


Upon arriving at the sister's home, her lover will thank you and say:

"You have been honorable, (player's name). I thank you. Take this (magic item), my most prized possession, it is the least I can offer. We are friends forever, and I owe you. Leave (employer's name) and (sister's name) to me, I have something planned for them."

Reputation Gain/Loss[edit]

A successfully completed quest results in a reputation gain according to the table below.

Faction/Person Reputation Gain
Questgiver's faction +5
Questgiver's associated factions +2

A failed quest (time limit expired) results in a reputation loss according to the table below.

Faction/Person Reputation Gain
Questgiver's faction -2
Questgiver's associated factions -1


  • Random dungeon monsters


  • The game engine may experience problems in this quest, which will result in missing quest locations. For further information, see this article.

Additional Dialogue[edit]

  • When you ask an NPC about your employer, a positive response yields one of the rumors he or she is angry about being spread:
    • "(Employer's name) is a big topic these days."
    • "(Employer's name) has been staying at (residence)."
    • "(Employer's name)'s sister's lover is missing."
    • "You can usually find (employer's name) at (shop)."
    • "(Employer's name)? You find (him/her) either at (shop), or at home at (residence)."
    • "(Employer's name) is well liked in (town)."
    • "You should try (tavern), the good gossip is always there."
    • "(Employer's name) is often seen shopping with (his/her) sister, (sister's name)."
    • "(Employer's name) has been stealing from (tavern). Or was that someone else?"
    • "(Employer's name) murdered his sister."
    • "(Employer's name)'s father was raised by orcs."
    • "(Employer's name) has taken an orc lover."
    • "(Employer's name) has been stealing from the temples."
    • "(Employer's name) is in league with the orcs."
    • "There are more rumors about (employer's name) then anyone else in (town) this week."
    • "(Employer's name) promised to kidnap (his/her) sister's lover."
    • "There is so much talk around these parts of nothing."
    • "(Employer's name) doesn't keep (his/her) promises."
    • "(Employer's name) has been keeping some secrets."
    • "Everone [sic] around here has their own stories."
    • "There's always talk at (tavern)."

If you ask an NPC about the sister's lover, they may tell you:

  • "(Lover's name) is (sister's name)'s lover. You know, I haven't seen him around lately."
  • "(Lover's name) hasn't been seen around town in days. I bet (employer's name) is behind it somehow."

If you speak to the quest giver while this quest is in progress, they may say:

  • "Lies, all lies I say! I hate those nasty street rumors, please hurry up and put a stop to them!"

After you have accepted this quest, NPCs may say when asked for any news:

  • "I heard that (employer's name) keeps slaves!"
  • "(Employer's name) beats (his/her) spouse."

If you fail the quest, NPCs may say when asked for any news:

  • "(Employer's name) is a pariah. Nobody in town wants anything to do with (him/her). You have heard all the things (he/she) has done?"

If you successfully complete the quest, NPCs may say when asked for any news:

  • "(Lover's name) was rescued from (dungeon) by some (player's race). Hey! Aren't you that (player's race)?"

If you successfully complete the quest, the quest giver may later greet you with:

  • "You must think I am a horrible person after what I did to my sister's lover (lover's name). Let me make it up to you."

If you failed the quest, the quest giver will greet you with:

  • "You failed me! My sister no longer speaks to me and it's your fault."

Quest Log[edit]

Defamation (a0c01y13)
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
0 (Date): Someone has been spreading rumors around (town) about (employer's name). (He/She) has hired me to put a stop to them for (random gold) gold. I have 1 month to return with proof of my success.
1 (Date): I have learned that (employer's name) made a deal with (his/her) sister, (sister's name), to kidnap her lover, (lover's name). There is a letter received by (employer's name) that outlines the plan.
2 (Date): I have shown (employer's name) the letter outlining the plan to kidnap (lover's name), and (employer's name) has now divulged that (he/she) hired some bandits to lock him away in (dungeon). (He/She) begged for his life and asked that I rescue (lover's name).
3 (Date): I have found (lover's name) and am escorting him back to (sister's residence) in (town).