Daggerfall:The Riddle

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Find the answer to a riddle.
Location(s): Any Merchant or Innkeeper
Reward: Random Gold
Reputation Gain: see Reputation Gain/Loss
ID: a0c01y03
Required Reputation: One or more reputation
Difficulty: Hard
The merchant can't solve the riddle, even with help

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to a Merchant or Innkeeper.
  2. Travel to the town your employer mentioned
  3. Find and talk to your employer's lover.
  4. Travel to the town where the lover's mentor's teacher lives.
  5. Find and speak to the teacher in a library.
  6. Head to the dungeon named by the teacher.
  7. Find and speak to the mentor in the named dungeon and get the answer.
  8. Return to your employer within the time limit (3 months) and collect your reward.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

The lover appreciates the flowers in any case
Next stop, the library
The wisest teachers surround themselves with books
The lover's mentor chose this place for the solitude
The mentor has the answer you seek - just don't ask what the table is for

A Confounding Conundrum[edit]

Speak to a merchant or innkeeper, who says:

"I am (employer's name), and I need the services of a hunter of men. I am in love with (lover's name). Alas, (he/she) refuses to marry unless I prove my worthiness by answering a riddle (his/her) mentor (mentor's name) left behind when (he/she) vanished. I need you to find (him/her) and find the answer to (his/her) riddle. I will pay you (random gold) gold pieces if you succeed."


The merchant or innkeeper goes on:

"The only person who might help you find (mentor's name) is (lover's name). (He/She) can be found in (lover's town). Take these flowers. They are (him/her [sic]) favorites. They may gain you some favor with (him/her). Here is a letter with (mentor's name)'s riddle inscribed upon it. If you have not returned in three months, I will assume that you have failed."


The merchant or innkeeper answers:

"I will continue my search for an adventurer willing to take up my charge. If you meet anyone who would be interested in such a quest, direct them to (employer's name)."

Solving the Riddle[edit]

The letter containing the riddle can be found in your inventory. It reads as follows:

Speak not of love or hate, but tell me this; what gift can you give to me, that I can never buy for myself?

Even if you've already figured it out, you must still find the lover's mentor to confirm the answer. Unfortunately, the mentor is a bit of a hermit and not easily found. To begin your search, travel to the town where your employer's lover lives and ask around to discover their whereabouts. Once you have a building name, enter it and give the flowers to the lover, who says:

"The (flowers) were not really necessary. (Mentor's name) left to study under the famous teacher (teacher's name) in (teacher's town). If you give (him/her) this book, (he/she) may look upon you favorably."

The book will be a random title; once you have it, head for the teacher's town. Ask around to find the teacher's location, which will be a library. Find the teacher and deliver the book, and receive some information:

"(Mentor's name) asked me not to reveal (his/her) whereabouts to strangers. However, since you bring (book title) from (lover's name) you are clearly not just some stranger. (Mentor's name) secluded (him/her)- self in a dungeon to study arcane lore. I have marked its location on your map. Good luck, (player's name)."

The quest becomes a dungeon crawl at this point. Head to the dungeon the teacher directed you to and find the lover's mentor within. When you interrupt the mentor's study of arcane lore, you will be shouted at:

"I hate being bothered! If the only way to get you to leave me alone is to give you the answer to that stupid riddle, then here, take it. Now get out of here before I summon a fire daedra to show you the way."

Take another look at the note with the riddle on it, you will find it has been appended with the answer:

Speak not of love or hate, but tell me this; what gift can you give to to me, that I can never buy for myself?
-- It's KINDNESS, stupid!

Now that you have the answer, head back to your employer, return the answered letter, and collect your reward.


Upon receiving the letter, your employer wastes no time getting to the answer:

(Employer's name) rips open the letter from (mentor's name). "Kindness! Of course. Now I understand why (lover's name) sent me on this quest. It is not enough to love (him/her), I have to show (him/her) kindness as well. You have been most helpful, (player's first name). Here is the gold I promised you."

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 mentor's teacher will always stay at a library in the current region. So if the current region doesn't have a single library like some of the smaller regions of the Iliac Bay, then the teacher will be missing from the quest and therefore it can't be completed.

Additional Dialogue[edit]

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

  • "(Employer's name) is smitten with love. (He/She) has been trying to get (lover's name) to accept a marriage proposal for ages."

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

  • "I hear that (lover's name) over in (lover's town) married. (Employer's name) will be heartbroken when (he/she) finds out."

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

  • "Good news! (Lover's name) and (employer's name) were married recently."

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

  • "Anything for the (player's race) that found the answer to my riddle. (Lover's name) and I are married you know."

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

  • "You are the (player's race) that was unable to find the answer to the hermit's riddle. I have no use for failed heroes."

Quest Log[edit]

The Riddle (a0c01y03)
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
0 (Date): (Employer's name) of (employer's town) asked me to find (mentor's name). Supposedly, (mentor's name) has the answer to a riddle. The only clue I have is that (he/she) once worked with (lover's name) in (lover's town).
1 On (date), I spoke with (lover's name). (He/She) told me that (mentor's name) left to study under (teacher's name) in (teacher's town).
2 On (date), I met with (mentor's name)'s teacher, (teacher's name) of (teacher's town). (He/She) said that (mentor's name) had secluded (him/her)self in (dungeon).