Daggerfall:Nocturnal's Quest

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Slay a malicious spellcaster for Nocturnal, the Lady of the Night.
Location(s): Any Daedra Summoner on the 8th of Hearth Fire.
Reward: Skeleton's Key
Reputation Gain: see Reputation Gain/Loss
ID: 40c00y00
Difficulty: Hard
 
Nocturnal, Daedric Regent of darkness and mystery

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Summon Nocturnal on the 8th of Hearth Fire.
  2. Head to the dungeon named by Nocturnal.
  3. Find and kill a mage.
  4. (Optional) Embark on a quest for another artifact.
  5. Travel to the town named by Nocturnal.
  6. Meet her worshipper there within the time limit and receive the Skeleton's Key.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

The Mistress of the Night[edit]

Nocturnal starts whispering to the player:

"You wish, (player's name), for power. With it you can thrash at shadows and have a hope. If I brought you this hope, what would you bring me? Would you destroy one who brings me pain?"

Accept[edit]

Nocturnal goes on:

"Would you? You would be my anesthesia? You will go to the lair of the Mage (mage's name) at (dungeon) and slay (him/her)? Ah, (player's first name), for that I would give to you my Skeleton's Key which I have entrusted to my slave (worshipper's name). After (mage's name) lies dead, go to (town) and meet my slave at (building). You will recognize (him/her) easily - a (worshipper's description). There you will receive the Skeleton's Key. And now, I must return to my cold palace of Oblivion. I will await news."

Decline[edit]

Nocturnal answers sadly:

"As I thought, no heart at all. We shall have no contract then, you and I, and, disappointed, return I to my cold palace. The souls within are no kinder than those here, but there, they follow."

The Skeleton's Key[edit]

The mage would rather strike a bargain

Travel to the dungeon named by the Daedra Prince and find the mage within. There may be multiple mages inside the dungeon, but you must slay the specified target for the quest to count as a success. When hit for the first time, the mage will offer you a deal:

"Wait! I know that Nocturnal has sent you, and that she has promised you the Skeleton's Key. But if it is truly power you seek, I can top her offer -- if you cease your attack, I will tell you where to find (artifact). Do you agree to my offer?"

The artifact in question will be Auriel's Bow, unless you already have that artifact in your inventory. If you do, the mage instead offers the Warlock's Ring.

Accept the Offer[edit]

The mage continues:

"Excellent. I knew you had a mercenary's heart. (Artifact) lies hidden in (artifact dungeon). You have only to find it and you will be a power to be reckoned with indeed. Now, I bid you good day, lest you decide to claim both (artifact) and the Skeleton's Key by killing me. A mercenary heart such as yours should not be trusted too far!"

Accepting the offer means betraying Nocturnal; after about a day she will send her minions after you. In addition you will lose 20 reputation with the Daedra Prince.

Travel to this new dungeon and find the artifact within. It will look like some rusty dungeon equipment, so you may want to use Info Mode (by default, the F3-key) when you come across any such items. It will say "You see a Auriel's Bow" etc., if you have located the artifact. Pick it up and leave the dungeon.

Two to thirty in-game minutes after picking up the artifact, the following message appears:

Mocking laughter echoes in your mind,
"You should have known better than to trust me, (player's name). Perhaps this shadow of power can satisfy your craving for a time, while you rage vainly against those who actually possess it. Me for example. I do hope sweet Nocturnal won't be too displeased with your treachery."
(Artifact) crumbles to dust in your hand.

Thus, this option ends in failure; you receive no reward and are out the cost of summoning Nocturnal.

Decline the Offer[edit]

Kill the mage. When the spellcaster dies, a message appears:

"You have slain (mage's name). Prince Nocturnal will now rest easier."

Now that the mage is no more, head to the town where Nocturnal's loyal slave waits for you. Ask around to locate the correct building and enter it. Speak to Nocturnal's worshipper for your reward.

Reward[edit]

Nocturnal's Worshipper

Speak to Nocturnal's worshipper and hear:

"So, you're (player's name), right? I'm (worshipper's name). I must say, I was wondering what kind of (player's race) it took to glide into a Mage's stronghold, murder the owner, and trip right on out. Very impressive. Nocturnal is likewise intrigued by you, hence this gift: Skeleton's Key. Be careful with it, (player's first name)."

Reputation Gain/Loss[edit]

If you successfully complete the Daedra Prince's task and receive the artifact, you will gain reputation according to the table below.

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

If you fail the quest, you will lose reputation according to the table below.

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

Additional Reputation[edit]

If you betrayed Nocturnal by accepting the mage's offer, you will lose 20 reputation with her.

Faction Reputation Gain
Nocturnal -20

Enemies[edit]

  • Random dungeon monsters
  • Quest Target: One Mage
  • 4x One Frost Daedra every three in-game minutes (100% chance) if you betray Nocturnal
DF-creature-Frost Daedra.gif

Notes[edit]

  • Although in-game sources say Nocturnal's summoning day is the 3rd of Hearth Fire, it is actually the 8th.

Bugs[edit]

  • The original quest is broken and will not work the way it was intended. However there is fixed version of this quest which offers also an alternate outcome along with a third possible artifact, the Staff of Magnus. This fix can be found here.
    • However this patch does not work the way it was intended by its creator and Auriel's Bow remains the one and only artifact you can get from the mage.
      • There is also a fix available for this issue; it can be found here.
  • You should be able to ask NPCs about Nocturnal, but her name may appear as a random name instead. The NPCs will still provide information on the Daedra Prince, however.

Additional Dialogue[edit]

If you ask an NPC about Nocturnal's worshipper, you may hear:

  • "(Worshipper's name) is one of the regulars at (building), just (direction) of here."
  • "(Worshipper's name) is a (worshipper's description) who haunts (building). That's to the (direction)."

If you ask an NPC about Nocturnal, they may say:

  • "Nocturnal is the mysterious Lady of the Night, one of the Daedric Regents."
  • "Nocturnal is a Regent of Oblivion, whose sphere is darkness and mystery."

If you ask an NPC about The Skeleton's Key, you may be told:

  • "The Skeleton's Key can open any lock."

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

  • "(Mage's name) is a sneaky one -- (he/she) brings the whole Mages Guild under suspicion."
  • "I can't trust anyone at the Mages Guild, knowing (mage's name) is a member."

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

  • "I knew (mage's name) was in some kind of trouble, why else would (he/she) leave so quickly?
  • "The Mages Guild must have decided (mage's name) was a liability to their image."

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

  • "Well, I can't say I'm surprised about (mage's name); (his/her) past caught up to (him/her)."
  • "I don't even think the Archmagister is sad to hear of the death of (mage's name)."

Quest Log[edit]

Nocturnal's Quest (40c00y00)
Stage/
Index
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
0 (Date): I now have a contract with Nocturnal, one of the Daedric Princes of Oblivion. I have agreed to slay the Mage (mage's name) in (his/her) stronghold of (dungeon) in exchange for Nocturnal's artifact, the Skeleton's Key. I must have the deed done and meet her agent (worshipper's name) in (building) of (town) in (time limit) days or I will have failed the contract. This may mean something worse than just me not getting the Skeleton's Key.
1 (Date): (Mage's name) offered me Auriel's Bow in exchange for (his/her) life, and I could not resist. (He/She) said that it is somewhere in (artifact dungeon). Since I have already betrayed Nocturnal, I may as well try to find it.
2 (Date): (Mage's name) offered me the Warlock's Ring in exchange for (his/her) life, and I could not resist. (He/She) said that it is somewhere in (artifact dungeon). Since I have already betrayed Nocturnal, I may as well try to find it.