Oblivion:An Unexpected Voyage

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The Bloated Float Inn has been hijacked by brigands while you slept!
Quest Giver: Sleeping at the inn in the Waterfront District
Location(s): Imperial City, Waterfront District
Reward: Blackwater Blade, level-dependent amount of gold
ID: MS31
The Bloated Float Inn

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Sleep on The Bloated Float; you will awaken to find it hijacked.
  2. Speak with Lynch about the gang now commandeering the inn and free the bouncer, Graman gro-Marad.
  3. Speak with and kill Minx.
  4. Speak with and kill Wrath to obtain his key.
  5. Make your way to the cabin to find the leader of the gang.
  6. Decide whether to kill her or negotiate with her. Negotiate successfully and she'll surrender herself and her sword; Ormil will apprehend her.
  7. Rest again in your room: the ship will be back at the dock when you wake up.
  8. Speak with Ormil about the gang to receive your reward in gold.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Go to The Bloated Float Inn in the Waterfront district of the Imperial City. Speak to Ormil, the publican, and rent a room for 10 gold. Head below the deck to your new room. Now you must sleep, but before doing so, move the pitcher to find a bag with some gems (see Notes section below). When you wake up, your journal will update to tell you that the Bloated Float has been put out to sea.


Leave your room and you will immediately run into a bandit named Lynch. Talk to him (the correct options are the bottom of the two responses each time) to obtain some important quest-related information:

"Hey! Who in Oblivion are you? You don't look like one of the Blackwater Brigands!"
"None of your business"
"Intruders are my business. I think instead of locking you in the storage room with the bouncer, I'm going to dump your body overboard."
"Just a passenger"
"What? I was told there are only two others on board. I locked the bouncer in the Storage Room and she has the owner. So that leaves you. Now, I'll ask again. Who are you?"
"I'm from the City Watch"
"City Watch? I doubt it. But since you have aligned yourself with them, I think it's time to put an end to this conversation."
"I'm a member of your gang"
"There's no one else in our group except the four of us. The Blackwater Brigands don't just take on new members out of the clear blue sky. When we formed the Brigands three months ago, I was told no more than a four way split on all the profits! So stop telling lies and tell me what you're doing here!"
"I'm not going to say"
"Then perhaps my sword can find the words that your mouth cannot!"
  • Red-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation ends with Lynch attacking you.
  • Green-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation continues.
  • Blue-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation either begins or ends there and that no other option exists but that one.

You've now learned that the Blackwater Brigands, the gang that has taken over the Bloated Float, are a small group of four that formed three months ago. Moreover, Lynch just told you that their leader is holding the ship's captain hostage, and he himself is guarding the sole other person, the inn's bouncer, in the storage room nearby.

Kill Lynch to get the key to the storage room. You'll also find his instructions. Use the key to open the storage room and free the bouncer, Graman gro-Marad. He tells you he can steer the ship back to the city, but that you'll need to clear out the remaining bandits and unlock the top deck for him to do so.


Up the stairs, you'll meet the next bandit, Minx. Talk to her (selecting the bottom dialogue choices again) to learn some more important information regarding the Bloated Float's unexpected departure:

"Ho there! Where do you think you're going! Selene's not going to like this one bit... I wasn't to be disturbed!"
"I'm getting off this boat."
"The only way you're getting off this boat is when we throw your corpse over the side! Hahahaha!"
"Lynch sent me up here"
"Lynch sent you up here? Why? Did he send you to talk to Selene?"
"No. He sent me to help you"
"You are a liar! Lynch had specific instructions not to disturb me. Since you came from below decks, you must have gotten past Lynch. I swear, you will not get past me!"
"Yes. I'm to assist her"
"What does she need assistance with? She has Ormil under her own watchful eye in his cabin. Something isn't right here. What happened to Lynch?"
"He's dead"
"You? You bested Lynch? I always knew he was out of practice. Oh well, I suppose it's up to me to do his job for him as usual!"
  • Red-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation ends with Minx attacking you.
  • Green-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation continues.
  • Blue-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation either begins or ends there and that no other option exists but that one.

Minx revealed some important information quite by accident: the most useful of it being that Selene, the gang's leader, is holding Ormil hostage in his own cabin.


Killing Minx will net you the key to the upper deck, so go up the stairs and unlock the door. You will come face to face with the third bandit, Wrath, on the top deck. Talk to him, being sure to choose the bottom dialogue options:

"Wha-- ? What are you doing up here? They find the 'Golden Galleon' yet?"
"Get away from that wheel!"
"Over my dead body!"
"I'm awaiting orders."
"Orders? Selene didn't tell me about this, and I don't remember her taking on someone else to help us find the Gold Galleon. When did all this happen?"
"Liar! We never met yesterday! You're an intruder!"
"Three days ago"
"Damn that woman! She promised a four part split when we recover the 'Golden Galleon'. She never said anything about splitting it five ways! She said when we got back to the safe house in Bravil, we would divide the loot after she fenced the damn thing. Do Lynch and Minx know about this?"
"Lynch and Minx are dead."
"Well, since they're out of the way, if I kill you, that means Selene and I split the take two ways. This heist is getting better and better!"
  • Red-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation ends with Wrath attacking you.
  • Green-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation continues.
  • Blue-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation either begins or ends there and that no other option exists but that one.

Wrath is perhaps the most conversationally lucrative of Selene's three henchmen, as he tells you that the Brigands took over the ship in order to find a highly valuable "Golden Galleon", which they planned to fence upon returning to their safe house in Bravil.

Kill Wrath to obtain the key to the captain's cabin where Ormil, the innkeeper, is being held. Head back indoors and tell Graman gro-Marad that the coast is clear. He'll head to the top deck and stand by the wheel, but refuse to return to port until Ormil has been rescued.


Inside the captain's cabin you'll find Selene, the leader and final member of the Blackwater Brigands, holding Ormil hostage. You now have two choices: kill her, or talk her out of fighting by using the information you've learned from the previous bandits. If you decide to kill her, skip to the Reward section below. If you decide to spare her life, you'll need to once more choose the bottom responses when you speak to her. The specific answers to select are bolded and in green below:

"How'd you get in here?"
"Shut up and release Ormil!"
"Ha! Those will be the last words that leave your lips!"
"I took the key from Wrath"
"Wrath? I told him to guard the wheel and not talk to anybody. Who are you?"
"I'm just the ship's cook"
"There's no cook on board the Bloated Float! How dare you try and make a fool of me! After I deal with you, I'll feed your body to the slaughterfish!"
"I'm here to join the gang"
"Hahaha! We made a solemn pact not to let anyone else join the gang. I can remember it clearly even though it was..."
"... four months ago?"
"Wrong, fool. I've grown tired of this guessing game. I've much to do and you're in the way. I aim to rectify that!"
"... three months ago?"
"What? Can no one in this gang keep things secret? I suppose you know why we've taken over the Bloated Float as well!"
"To ransom your prisoners"
"We aren't here for that! My patience is at an end, as will soon be your life!"
"To find the Golden Galleon"
"H—how did you know about that? No matter. Once I've taken care of you, we'll scuttle the ship and be off to our safe house. No one will find us there."
"You mean in Cheydinhal?"
"Wrong, fetcher! I'm tired of this conversation! Time to end it with steel!"
"You mean in Bravil?"
"A-again you have surprised me with your knowledge of our operation. I suspect Lynch didn't check all the inn rooms before we departed. You must have been hiding down there and made your way up here. How did you get past Minx, Wrath and Lynch?"
"I've killed all of them"
"Impossible! You defeated the three of them alone? I –I'm humbled by your skill, and fear that assaulting you would lead to my own quick demise. Please accept my surrender. Here's my blade. Please. No treasure is worth my life. The Bloated Float is yours."
  • Red-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation ends with Selene attacking you.
  • Green-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation continues.
  • Blue-colored dialogue indicates that the conversation either begins or ends there and that no other option exists but that one.

Once you tell her that they're dead, she'll surrender and hand over her sword, the Blackwater Blade. Talk to Ormil and select the "Selene" option; he'll instruct you to escort Selene to a room on the inn deck where she'll be locked up.


Return to Ormil for the back-story of why the bandits hijacked the ship. Business had been waning, so he invented the story of the "Golden Galleon," a statuette of a ship made of solid gold. He spread rumors that it was hidden somewhere within the Bloated Float, in order to attract the business of adventurers and the curious. The Blackwater Brigands had hijacked the ship to hunt down this fictional treasure. After Ormil finishes explaining, head back down to your room and rest again. When you wake up, the ship will be back at the Imperial City docks. Talk to Ormil for your level dependent gold reward.

Gold Reward[edit]

Level Reward
1-4 75 Gold
5-9 150 Gold
10-14 225 Gold
15-19 300 Gold
20-24 375 Gold
25+ 450 Gold


  • After renting the bed there is a 0.1 hour game time delay before the quest will start. Thus, you need to wait at least 12 seconds (real time) before sleeping in order to trigger it.
  • Make sure to loot everything you want from the Brigands before heading back to your room to rest for the second time, as all of the corpses will vanish once you have returned to the Imperial City. Alternatively, you can remove it from the corpses and drop it onto the floor. After the corpses are removed, this loot will remain. Note that if you drop the loot in Ormil's cabin, retrieving it will be considered trespassing after the ship has returned to port.
  • In your cabin on the table near your bed, there is a secret sack inside the clay pitcher. Move the pitcher to one side to find a "hidden bag" with a few jewels inside. You can retrieve the loot even if you have not started this quest.
  • If you are trying to control when you level up, note that you have to use a bed twice to start and finish this quest. This may also mean missing five potential skill training sessions if you have more than one level-up due.
  • Obtaining Ormil's Cabin Key earlier from Ormil will not work. This is because there are actually two separate keys sharing the same name. One is the default key, the other is only used for this quest.
  • There is no way to jump off the boat while it is at sea, nor to fast travel.
  • It is possible to complete this quest without ever having to engage in a fight as long as you have an invisibility spell. Cast invisibility before Lynch starts a conversation with you. After a couple minutes of running around looking for you he will unlock the storage room door on his own. Graman will then punch Lynch to death while he stands around looking for you. Go upstairs and talk to Minx, and then run back down and cast invisibility. Graman will pick up Lynch's sword (or any other weapon that you drop on the ground), and kill Minx while she too stands around looking for you. Use this same tactic with Wrath. For Selene you can either let Ormil get his revenge and punch her to death, or you can lure her up to the wheel and let Graman take care of her quickly.
  • Even if you don't free Graman, he will find his way up to the top deck and act as if you freed him.
  • Strangely, killing the brigands before they talk to you (using one hit kills, frenzy, provoking them, etc.) will enable the journal to update with all the information you would get from talking to them, even though you never heard them tell you anything.
  • Be aware that Ormil and Graman gro-Marad are Waterfront residents, and so accidentally hitting them during combat will trigger expulsion from the Thieves Guild. In the cramped quarters of the ship's rooms, it is easy to accidentally hit them with a stray fireball, so beware.
  • The Dark Brotherhood quest A Knife in the Dark will not trigger when sleeping in The Bloated Float Inn before An Unexpected Voyage is completed.
  • Ormil may require you to pay for lodgings a second time in order to complete this quest. Be sure to have an extra 10 gold available, or items to sell in order to obtain the needed gold.
  • During this quest, your character is given the opportunity to claim, unsuccessfully, to be the ship's cook, mimicking dialogue from the Steven Seagal movie Under Siege (see here).
  • On the inn deck there is a door to a room to which you can lead Selene to; this door cannot be entered normally. However, on the PC you can use the console command 'activate' while referring the door and thus enter the room (which appears in a different map). However, you will not find anything useful there, nor anything that can be sold. Selene will not actually be present in the room.
  • If you choose to kill Selene, be prepared for a difficult fight if you are a low level character whose primary method of combat is melee. Her Blackwater Blade will quickly drain your fatigue and keep it at a constant zero, which effectively renders your character immobile and unable to fight back. Restore Fatigue potions help alleviate the fatigue drain from her weapon.
  • Some unused voice files hint that the Blackwater Brigands were meant to be called Blackwater Raiders at some point in development.
  • The Blackwater Brigands also appear in the Dead Man's Dread Creation for Skyrim Special Edition. A note in that game mentions an old Imperial woman speaking of the Golden Galleon, implying that Selene survives and refounds the group.


  • Do not start this quest while the Thieves Guild quest The Elven Maiden is also active. Doing so will crash the game.
    • PC Only This issue has been addressed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch; This quest will not start until you have completed The Elven Maiden.
    • On PC You can fix this by making the Elven Maiden your current quest, using the console command movetoqt and finishing off the Elven Maiden quest, making An Unexpected Voyage your current quest again and completing it and then using the console command afterwards and resting in the bed to get everything set straight again.
  • It is possible for a stealth-based character to acquire all needed keys and lock up Selene without having to fight or kill any members of the Blackwater Brigands. However, doing so will glitch the quest and prevent the ship from returning to the Imperial City. This bug may be resolved by either murdering Lynch (adding the "Blackwater Brigands" conversation topic) or adding the missing topic via the console ("addTopic c1bb"). Return to Ormil and you will finish the quest with the least possible number of casualties. All of the Blackwater Brigands will disappear on arrival at the Waterfront.
  • Finishing this quest may cause Servatius Quintilius to show up prematurely, due to a bug in scripting.
  • Do not rent the room from Ormil and then kill him. The quest will start but be impossible to complete without console codes.

Journal Entries[edit]

An Unexpected Voyage (MS31)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I've awakened to find that the Bloated Float has somehow put to sea with myself on board. I need to find the owner and discover what's happened.
20 I've killed a thief named Lynch. Apparently, he's a member of some group calling themselves the "Blackwater Brigands". They must have hijacked the Bloated Float and put her out to sea! It appears that Lynch has locked the Bloated Float's bouncer in the Storage Room. I should search his body and see if there's a key to free him.
30 I've found the Bloated Float's bouncer, Graman gro-Marad, locked in a supply room. he confirmed that the ship has been hijacked and that the owner, Ormil, was also taken. Graman told me that if I can get him to the ship's wheel on the top deck, he could take the Bloated Float back to the Imperial City. I should now make my way up to the Tavern Deck.
40 I've killed a second thief, this one a Dark Elf named Minx. Seems like these thieves are using strange code names. The only useful bit of advice I discovered is that their leader seems to be named Selene. I should search her belongings for anything of use, then make my way to the top deck and secure the ship's wheel for Graman.
50 I've slain yet another thief, this one a large Nord named Wrath. He was guarding the ship's wheel. He mentioned that they hijacked the Bloated Float to recover something called the "Golden Galleon". I should now get Graman and tell him that the path to the ship's wheel is safe.
60 Graman said he wouldn't sail the ship while the Bloated Float's owner, Ormil, is still in danger. I need to rescue Ormil in the captain's cabin to get the ship underway.
70 After discussing the futility of her plan, Selene has agreed to hand back the control of the Bloated Float to Ormil. I should speak to Ormil to find out what he wishes me to do with her.
75 Ormil has instructed me to escort Selene to the room next to mine on the inn deck where she'll be locked in until we arrive at port. I should do so before the Bloated Float can get underway.
78 Selene is now safely locked inside a room on the inn deck. I should return to Ormil and let him know, so we can finally get this ship home.
80 I've decided to kill Selene. Now that she's dead, I should speak to Ormil.
90 Ormil has explained that the treasure the thieves were looking for was just a publicity stunt he created to drum up more business for the tavern. He never expected to have the Bloated Float hijacked as a result of that stunt. He then suggested I get some sleep again for the voyage back to the Imperial City. I should do so to stay out of their way.
95 The Bloated Float has arrived back at the Imperial City. I should speak with Ormil before I disembark.
100 Yes☑ Ormil presented me with a bag of gold, and explained to me that the Imperial City guard had been looking for Selene, and there was a reward for her capture.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On PC It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage MS31 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.