Oblivion:Untaxing the Poor

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Steal the tax records for the Waterfront residents.
Quest Giver: Armand Christophe in the Waterfront District
Location(s): Waterfront District, Imperial Arboretum, Temple District, South Watch Tower
Prerequisite Quest: May the Best Thief Win, 50 gold fenced
Next Quest: The Elven Maiden
Reward: Tax gold, Promotion to Footpad
Fame/Infamy: Infamy +2
ID: TG02taxes
Difficulty: Low
The desk in Hieronymus Lex's quarters

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Meet with Armand after fencing 50 gold in stolen goods.
  2. Locate Hieronymus Lex's quarters in the South Watchtower.
  3. Steal the tax records and money from Lex's desk.
  4. Return to Armand.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

After you've fenced 50 gold's worth of goods, you can meet Armand at midnight behind the Abandoned Shack in the Waterfront District.

He Took from the Poor?[edit]

Armand will inform you that Hieronymus Lex has recently collected taxes from the poor residents of the Waterfront District, seemingly as both a warning and punishment for them being complicit in assisting the Gray Fox. The Gray Fox wants you to right this wrong by stealing back the money and the tax records from Lex's quarters in the South Watchtower.

Steal in, Steal out[edit]

Locate the South Watchtower in the Imperial City – either via your map or by asking any of the city's beggars. You can enter the watchtower from either the Temple District or Arboretum District.

As a main hub for Imperial guards, this can seem a little daunting when you first enter the Watchtower's main area. Guards will be changing shifts, eating meals, and generally wandering about. The Watchtower consists of four levels: the foyer area where the guards eat, first and second floor sleeping quarters, and finally Lex's private quarters. You need to get all the way up to Lex's quarters undetected. You are allowed to be in the foyer area; however, the guards' sleeping quarters and Lex's private quarters are restricted, and you will be arrested for trespassing if you are caught in these areas (you will be warned and asked to leave first). There are shift changes all day long, but two windows exist when no guards should be present on the ground floor: 9am - 11am and 9pm - 11pm. In practice, the clear times will start about 20-30 minutes later, as guards will be heading back from patrol or guard duty and going upstairs to rest.

You need to ensure that you are quick or undetected when accessing the second and third levels; otherwise, you may get arrested for trespassing. Be careful, because guards might also randomly walk into the room with you; hence, it is best to wait until the shift has changed and the guards have all retired. Use whatever additional means necessary for your stealth, such as chameleon or invisibility effects.

You will need to pick the lock on the final access ladder to enter Lex's quarters. Be careful not to wake Lex (if he's sleeping) and hope that no one follows you into his room, as you will be arrested on sight. Once you enter Lex's quarters, there is a locked desk immediately to your right which contains what you're looking for: the tax records and the gold. You can take them both, but you only need the tax records.

A Subtle Message[edit]

Return to Armand at his midnight rendezvous point. He will let you keep the money, since he just "wanted to let the Watch know they went too far." You will also receive a promotion to Footpad and 2 Infamy points.

Blood Price[edit]

Although there is a Blood Price quest related to Untaxing the Poor, there appears to be no way of triggering it.


  • On Xbox An achievement will be unlocked upon being promoted to Footpad.
  • After you complete this quest, a special edition of the Black Horse Courier is published: Poor Burdened by Taxes!.
  • The tax records you acquire during the quest contain some interesting details:
    • Two of the people in the tax records: Astay Haymon and Skarla Wirich, do not actually appear in-game.
    • The records will also list one Raven Camoran among the Waterfront Residents. Raven is a minor antagonist in the main quest, and can never be found in the Watefront District.
    • The list also states that Myvryna Arano was "exempted" from the tax collection, foreshadowing her involvement in a future Thieves Guild quest.
    • Although the records show a total of 52 gold coins being collected, there are 53 to be found in Hieronymous Lex's desk.

Journal Entries[edit]

Untaxing the Poor (TG02taxes)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Armand of the Thieves Guild has asked me to recover the tax records and taxes collected by the Imperial Watch. They are being held by an over-zealous Captain named Hieronymus Lex in the South Watchtower.
15 I learned that Hieronymus Lex has an office in the South Watchtower. That's probably where he keeps the taxes and tax records. I should check it out.
20 I found the tax records. Now to get them back to Armand in the Waterfront district.
30 Finishes quest☑ I returned the tax records and taxes to Armand. He let me keep the gold. The Gray Fox will redistribute them to the peasants in the Waterfront district using money from the guild treasury. Armand has promoted me to Footpad in the Thieves Guild.
Blood Price (TG02BloodPrice)
20 I have slain someone while trying to recover the tax records. Armand will not be happy about this if he finds out. Murder is against the Thieves Guild rules. It will cost me 1000 gold per person slain to get back into the guild. Unfortunately, he will only talk to me after midnight in the Garden of Dareloth.
21 Armand has kicked me out of the Thieves Guild for violating one of the three rules. I killed someone while attempting to recover the tax records. Blood price is 1000 gold coins for each murder. I have to pay it to get back into the guild. Unfortunately, he will only talk to me after midnight in the Garden of Dareloth.
25 Finishes quest☑ I paid my blood price to be readmitted into the Thieves Guild. With that out of the way, Armand has promoted me to Footpad in the Thieves Guild.
  • 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 TG02taxes 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.
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