Daggerfall:Who Gets the Totem

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Let the bidding begin.
Quest Giver: Lady Brisienna at a random tavern in the Iliac Bay
Location(s): Castle Daggerfall
Prerequisite Quest: Orcish Treaty, Lysandus' Revenge, and Lich's Soul
Next Quest: Journey to Aetherius
Reward: 10,000 gold, 100,000 gold, Fame, Necromancer's Amulet, Warlock's Ring, Nothing
ID: S0000008
Suggested Spells: Levitate, Recall, and Water Breathing
Required Level: 10
 
The Totem of Tiber Septim

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Receive a letter from Lady Brisienna.
  2. Meet with her and hear her plea.
  3. Go to Castle Daggerfall and find the Totem of Tiber Septim in the Treasury.
  4. Give the Totem to one of the powers in the Iliac Bay.
  5. Receive a message from Nulfaga in your mind.
  6. Meet the old sorceress at Castle Shedungent in the Wrothgarian Mountains.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

An Urgent Matter[edit]

After you have completed the Lysandus' Revenge, Soul of a Lich, and Orcish Emancipation quests, you receive a letter:

A cheerful young woman hands you a letter and then walks away, whistling.

Check your inventory for the letter. It is from Lady Brisienna, and reads:

(Player's name),
Come at once to (town) in
(region). I will be waiting at
(tavern) for you. The fate
of the empire could be at stake.
-- Lady Brisienna

The region where Lady Brisienna's current town is located depends on which of the three required quests you completed as the last. Head to this town and locate the tavern named in the letter. Enter it and speak to her.

Lady Brisienna Returns[edit]

Upon your arrival, Lady Brisienna tells you:

"(Player's first name), I'm glad you could meet me here. The Blades and your emperor need you again. You may or may not be aware that the Totem of Tiber Septim has been found. For a brief time Lord Woodborne of Wayrest had it. Where he got it from is still a mystery. The Blades mounted an assault upon Woodborne Hall to retrieve it. Although the Hall fell, many of our number fell with it.
We sacked the Woodborne Hall, but the Totem was gone. I have reason to believe that Gothryd has the Totem. The Blades no longer have the men to mount an assault on Castle Daggerfall. You have shown yourself to be quite adept at getting in and out of these places. Would you go into Castle Daggerfall and retrieve the Totem of Tiber Septim?"

Accept, and she replies:

"I knew I could count on you (player's first name). The Totem is most likely in the Daggerfall treasury. It is a huge room, quite unmistakable. I am leaving in a couple of days. I shall send word to you where you can meet me after you get the Totem. Should you succeed, the Emperor has instructed me to gift you with an artifact of great power and renown. Warlock's Ring!

If you have read Lord Woodborne's diary, you know that he and Gothryd had been associates for some time due to some common interests. While Brisienna asks you to get the Totem and bring it to her, at the same time five other people are also very interested in gaining possession of it. They are the Underking, Gortwog, King Eadwyre, Queen Akorithi, and the King of Worms. If they like you, they will send you letters promising great rewards if you give them the Totem. If they don't like you, they will send thugs to steal it once you get out of Castle Daggerfall.

Finding the Totem[edit]

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 01.png

Go through the southwest door of the throne room and follow the hallway. Head through the door and you will enter a room with an archer. Leave the room through the north door, which will be locked. Go through the door in the small room and you will reach a huge room with a central tower and various crossroads.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 02.png

You must reach the top platform of the central tower. The easiest way is to levitate up there, but you can also go up the stairs in the central tower. There will be many archers in this huge room. Once you have reached the top platform, follow the causeway north and exit through the north door.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 03.png

You will find yourself again in a big room. Follow the ledge west and go north past a knight.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 04.png

Go through the east door at the end of the ledge. There will be an enemy in the hallway next to a door. Go through that door and you will be in the treasury vault of Castle Daggerfall.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 05.png

The treasury is a giant cube with 12 chambers hovering in the air and numerous knights and battlemages in the surrounding room. There are many treasures in this cube, and the Totem will also be found in one of its chambers. But first, you must sink it to the ground. To do this, go to the very bottom of this huge room, a square pit filled knee-deep with water and some slaughterfish.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 06.png

At the bottom are two passages at each cardinal direction. The southwest passage leads to a room with a slaughterfish and three chains. Pulling the right chain will cast a water-breathing spell on you. The middle chain will teleport you to a ledge at the top of the vault. The left chain will teleport you also to the top of the vault but in mid-air. Each chain can be used only once.

The southeast passage leads to a room flooded with water. There will be an ice atronach and a handwheel in this room. Turning the handwheel will sink the giant cube. However, it will now cover the pit, so you must use one of the chains to get out.

DF-map-Who Gets the Totem 07.png
The Totem of Tiber Septim

Once you are out of the pit, go to the top of the cube. There is a lever in the center; pulling it will lower the blue bars that block entry into some of the treasury's chambers. The totem can be found in the middle chamber of the northwest corner, lying on a pedestal. Pick it up and make your escape. If you haven't set a Recall anchor, you must make your way back through the dungeon and throne room. Beware, as all the throne room guards will now be hostile and engage you on sight. Leave the castle quickly to avoid unnecessary encounters.

Note: after you have picked up the Totem, it is advised that you not speak to King Gothryd until you have fully exited the castle (see bugs).

Setting Events In Motion[edit]

Shortly after you pick up the Totem, it will speak to you in your mind:

A voice in your head intones...
"You are (player's name). You are my new host. Know this now and resolutely. You are not worthy to carry the Totem of Tiber Septim. Only those of his blood line may carry me. I will give you a year and a day to accomplish this."

The Totem's warning means that only someone of royal blood may wield it; those worthy of this are King Gothryd, Queen Akorithi, King Eadwyre, Gortwog, the Underking, the King of Worms, and Emperor Uriel Septim VII. You have one year and one day to decide who to give the Totem to. Otherwise, it will abandon you for a new owner.

After you acquire the Totem, you can potentially receive a letter from each major faction in the Iliac Bay, except Gothryd, provided you have a high enough reputation with them. Gothryd will simply send his men after you as soon as you leave Castle Daggerfall with the Totem, regardless of your reputation with him. The reputations required to gain each respective letter are as follows:

Person Reputation Required
Akorithi 5 or more
Eadwyre 15 or more
Gortwog 10 or more
Gothryd No letter
The King of Worms Zero or more
The Underking Zero or more
Brisienna (Uriel VII) Any

Each letter sender promises you a great reward if you present them with the Totem. Decide who is worthy to bear the Totem, it is entirely your decision. Essentially, this decision determines which faction will "win" in the end, so choose wisely.

If the quest is still active and your reputation with a specific faction drops below the threshold needed to receive their letter, that individual will send their minions after you to take the Totem by force. This also happens automatically if you exit Castle Daggerfall with the Totem and your reputation is already below the threshold needed to receive the faction's letter. This is permanent; if you raise your reputation with an attacking faction above the letter threshold, they will not stop attacking and you will not receive a letter.

Taking Sides[edit]

Queen Akorithi[edit]

If you receive a letter from Akorithi:

A page dressed in the livery of Sentinel hands you a letter, and silently walks away.

Her letter reads:

(Player's name),
You are on a quest to retrieve the Totem of
Tiber Septim. Do not deny it. My spies have
confirmed this. The Totem is not for commoners,
and you cannot use it. Bring the Totem to me
and I will pay you 100,000 gold pieces.
It is a king's ransom by any measure.
You should be warned, neither Wayrest nor
Daggerfall are loyal to the throne. I am the
only regent on the Iliac Bay that can be trusted.
The others will only use it to destroy me.
Akorithi
Queen of Sentinel

Head to Castle Sentinel and speak to the queen to present her with the Totem. Akorithi says:

"The Totem of Tiber Septim! It is a priceless artifact. I shall guard it well and keep the rebellious powers of Daggerfall and Wayrest in check. Take your reward (player's first name). You have earned it ten fold. You must keep your keen eyes open for the Mantella. Any rumors must be hunted down with vigor. Without the Mantella, the Totem is useless."

King Eadwyre[edit]

If you receive a letter from Eadwyre:

A portly man bearing the standard of Wayrest approaches you with a letter. His somber expression never changes, and he speaks not a word. He leaves as silently as he arrived.

His letter reads:

Noble (player's name),
My ears have picked up rumors that you are
searching for the Totem of Tiber Septim. I
too have hunted for this wondrous artifact
for many years. Should you find it, I would
pay you a healthy ransom, enough to buy your
own ship. I will match or exceed any price
that Gothryd or Akorithi might offer. Never
forget your real friends.
King Eadwyre, of Wayrest

Head to Castle Wayrest and speak to the king to present him with the Totem. Eadwyre takes the Totem and sneers:

"Fool! Did you really think I would pay you for the Totem? Kill the (player's race)!"

The castle guards immediately become hostile, and Eadwyre's battlemages begin appearing to attack you. Make a quick exit.

Gortwog[edit]

If you receive a letter from Gortwog:

A heavily cloaked figure shuffles toward you. As you prepare to defend yourself, a gnarled green hand shoots forth with a letter. Stunned, you do nothing as the figure shuffles away.

His letter reads:

(Player's name),
You are not orcish. How could you possibly
understand what it is like? My people are
treated like barbarians. Slaughtered upon
sight. Is it so unusual that we respond in
kind? Violence begets violence.
I aspire to raise my race from the mire. I
will bring them to equal standing with the
other races of Tamriel. To do this I must
have the Totem of Tiber Septim. I will not
insult you by promises that no blood will
be shed. I do swear by my crown and by my
heirs I shall not attempt to hold sway
beyond the borders of Orsinium. My goal is
not to conquer Tamriel, but to create the
orcish homeland. I am in possession of an
artifact that I am sure you would want to
possess. It is yours if you but give me
the Totem of Tiber Septim.
-- Gortwog, Warlord and King

Head to Orsinium and enter the fortress. Speak to the Gortwog to present him with the Totem, and he responds:

"A nation of Orcs is within my grasp. You have given my people a chance at freedom, (player's name). Should you ever recover the Mantella itself, I shall reward you thrice over for it."

King Gothryd[edit]

Gothryd doesn't send a letter. Instead, he sends his knights to take the Totem by force. When you hit the first of these minions, you will be given an ultimatum:

"Hand over the Totem, or we'll slaughter you where you stand. Well? Are you going to give it to us, or make us take it from you?"

Refuse, and the knights resume attacking with the reply:

"Then we'll just have to take it."

Hand over the Totem, and be told:

"Coward. Now get lost. Oh yeah. I was told you should go see Nalfuga [sic], whoever that is."

If you agree to surrender the Totem but are not currently in possession of it, the knight grows angry:

"You don't even have it! Now I'm going to kill you just for the fun of it."

If you surrender the Totem to the knights, you will not receive a reward. However, if you head to Castle Daggerfall and present the Totem to King Gothryd directly, he will give you a reward and say:

"I see you have come to your senses. I should have you slain, but I have more honor than that. Instead I shall reward you. Here take 10,000 gold pieces for your turnabout loyalty. Deliver the Mantella to me, and my trust in you will be once again restored."

The King of Worms[edit]

If you receive a letter from the King of Worms:

A hand grips your wrist from behind. Spinning, you open your mouth to shout for the guards. A skeletal hand stuffs a letter into your mouth. The heavily robed skeleton releases your wrist and turns away, unnoticed by other passerby.

His letter reads:

(Player's name),
You will soon have the Totem of Tiber Septim
in your hands. It is forseen in the stars,
and I have read them. Know you this. All of
mortal stature are filled with pride and greed.
To give the Totem to any of them is to let
loose mortal vanity upon this world. They will
destroy the very thing they covet.
I have no earthly desires. I have no mortal
pride, no petty greed. Only one such as I
can wield the Totem safely, for I would take
it into the Aetherius and leave behind this
earthly shell. So long as the Totem exists,
it is a danger to all on Tamriel. Bring me
the Totem and I will safeguard the world.
I will not offer you gold or gems. I will
offer you what only I can give. Fame. Your
reputation throughout Tamriel will soar.
Lord of the Necromancers,
King of the Worms

Head to Scourg Barrow and speak to the Necromancer to present him with the Totem. The King of Worms exclaims:

"The Totem! At last it is within my grasp. You have done well, (player's first name). I shall remember this when I have transformed. Search now for the Mantella. Without it, the Totem is worthless. In the mean time, enjoy the adoration of the world."

For information on this reward, see the chart below.

The Underking[edit]

If you receive a letter from the Underking:

A letter floats through the air toward you. Strangely, nobody else seems to notice it. The letter tucks inself [sic] into your pack.

His letter reads:

(Player's name),
Centuries ago, Tiber Septim ruled the land
and forged an empire with great Numidium. The
secret of Numidium's power lies in its heart,
carried within the Mantella. It is the heart
of Tiber Septim's battlemage. It is my heart. It
is my Mantella. It is my Totem. It belongs to
me, and to none other.
I have won and lost an empire. I have no desire
to tamper further with mortal affairs. I have in
my possession Necromancer's Amulet, one of the
world's greatest artifacts. You may have it in
in exchange for the Totem.
My most loyal agent will await your arrival in
(regional temple) of (region), at (temple).
Underking

Head to the temple, then find and speak to the Agent to present the Underking with the Totem. The Agent tells you:

"The Underking will be most pleased. He has searched many life times for this lost item. I have been instructed to give you this object. Use it wisely. Should you ever locate the Mantella, the Underking would be most appreciative."

Uriel Septim VII[edit]

To give the Totem to the emperor, you must go through Lady Brisienna. Her letter appears in your inventory without a delivery notification. It reads:

(Player's name),
If you are reading this, you must have gotten
the Totem and escaped from the dungeons of
Castle Daggerfall. I am in (new town),
of (region) at (building).
Bring the Totem there as soon as possible.
-- Lady Brisienna

Head to this new location and speak to Brisienna to present the Totem to Emperor Uriel VII. She tells you:

"Your Emperor will be most grateful. The Totem could have started a civil war in the wrong hands. Thank you (player's first name). Now you must away to Nulfaga. She holds the key to the Mantella. Free the Mantella, and the Emperor controls Great Numidium through the Totem."

Reward[edit]

Your reward depends on which individual you choose to give the Totem of Tiber Septim to:

  • Akorithi: 100,000 gold.
  • Eadwyre: Promises gold, but instead sends his battlemages after you.
  • Gortwog: It was originally intended that he give you the Warlock's Ring; as of the latest official patch the reward is the Chrysamere. However, due to a bug you will get nothing regardless of which version is installed (see bugs).
  • Gothryd: 10,000 gold.
  • King of Worms: Fame. However, this does not work and you receive nothing (see bugs).
  • Underking: Necromancer's Amulet.
  • Lady Brisienna: Warlock's Ring.

Once the Totem of Tiber Septim is in the hands of a worthy bearer, you receive a vision:

The unmistakable voice of Nulfaga speaks softly in your head, "I see that the Totem has found its way into the hands of someone with royal blood. I think it is time you paid me another visit here in Shedungent (player's name). Your work is not yet done."

Prepare yourself and head to Castle Shedungent, where Nulfaga waits to send you off on the final part of the Main Quest.

Reputation Gain/Loss[edit]

The only reputation changes awarded by this quest come from the King of Worms' reward:

Fame Given By the King of Worms[edit]

If you give the Totem to the King of Worms, you are supposed to get a lot of reputation. For details, see the table below.

Faction/Person Reputation Gain Reputation Gain for Associates
The Akatosh Chantry and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
Sentinel and Akorithi as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Order of Arkay and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Dark Brotherhood as well as associated factions +100 +50
The House of Dibella and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
Wayrest and Eadwyre as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Fighters Guild as well as associated factions +100 +50
Daggerfall and Gothryd as well as associated factions +100 +50
The School of Julianos and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Temple of Kynareth and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Mages Guild as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Benevolence of Mara and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Merchants +100 +50
The Temple of Stendarr and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Thieves Guild as well as associated factions +100 +50
The Resolution of Zenithar and its Deity as well as associated factions +100 +50

(Allies/Enemies affiliations for listed factions are not considered)

Note: due to a bug in the questfile, these reputation gains will not be awarded. See bugs for a third-party patch which corrects this error.

Enemies[edit]

Notes[edit]

Bugs[edit]

  • If you present the Totem to Gortwog, it was originally intended that he reward you with the Warlock's Ring. As of the latest patch (v1.07.213), he should now give you the Chrysamere instead. However, the specific command to give you either artifact is missing from the questfile and in the end you get nothing from him.
    • DFQFIX addresses this bug; Gortwog will properly award you the Chrysamere.
  • Due to a bug in the game engine you cannot complete the quest if you give the Totem to Gothryd or his men.
Doing so causes a game-breaking situation at the end of the final quest, leaving you stuck and unable to complete it at all.
  • DFQFIX addresses this bug; you can now give the Totem to Gothryd or his men without issue.
  • Occasionally, if you give the Totem to Gothryd or his knights, Nulfaga's dialogue fails to appear. Since the appearance of this dialogue is necessary to trigger the next (and final) quest, this is also game-breaking bug.
    • The latest release of DFQFIX corrects this bug; you can now give the Totem to Gothryd or his men without this consequence.
  • The fame the King of Worms promises is not actually given.
    • Installing DFQFIX will allow you to receive this reward as intended.
  • Any payment you may get from Queen Akorithi or King Gothryd goes directly into your inventory and is not given to you via a menu screen. To add these payments to your wallet, you must first drop them on the ground or into your wagon, then pick them up again from there. Picking up the piles of gold directly from your inventory will cause them to vanish permanently. Since you can never carry 100,000 gold even with 100 strength, you may want to wait until you are in a bank before doing this with Queen Akorithi's reward.
  • The journal entry that should appear when you accept Lady Brisienna's mission may be missing.
    • DFQFIX restores this missing entry, and also adds a notification when you have received her second letter.
  • If you refuse Lady Brisienna's request to get the Totem, the quest will remain active forever even though it is now impossible to embark upon it.
    • DFQFIX addresses this; if you refuse the quest, it will now end.

Quest Log[edit]

Who Gets the Totem (S0000008)
Stage/
Index
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
0 (Date): Lady Brisienna has asked me to bring her the Totem of Tiber Septim. It is hidden in the treasury of Castle Daggerfall. She fears that assassins are after her, and will send me a letter revealing her current whereabouts when I escape the castle. Whoever holds the Totem has the potential to control mighty Numidium and forge a new empire, just like Tiber Septim did so long ago.
1 (Date): The Totem of Tiber Septim spoke to me in my head! It claims that only those with royal blood can lay claim to the Totem. It has given me one year and one day to decide who shall be its true wielder.


Prev: Orcish Treaty,
Lysandus' Revenge, and
Lich's Soul
Up: Main Quest Next: Journey to Aetherius