Blackwood

Online:A Deadly Secret

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ON-qico-Zone Story.png Find and warn former Elder Council members in Blackwood.
Zone: Blackwood
Zone StoryThis quest is part of the Zone Story
Quest Giver: Captain Rian Liore, Brigadine Antonius
Location(s): Leyawiin, Councilor Jirich's Manor, Leyawiin Castle, Fort Blueblood, Tidewater Cave, Gideon, Twyllbek Ruins
Next Quest: An Unexpected Adversary
Reward: Armored Gauntlets of the Ivory Brigade
Very High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Very High Experience
ID: 6615
Ominous dealings are occurring in Blackwood...
Captain Rian Liore, commander of Leyawiin's Ivory Brigade, needs help investigating the disappearance of a city councilor.


Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Search for Councilor Jirich.
  2. Talk to Milona Hanus.
  3. Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow.
  4. Find Councilor Faleria and Councilor Sophus.
  5. Search Councilor Jirich's Manor.
  6. Report to Councilor Lovidicus in Leyawiin Castle.
  7. Meet with Councilor Abor at Fort Blueblood.
  8. Warn Councilor Faleria and Councilor Vandacia.
    1. Travel to Tidewater Cave and talk to Councilor Faleria.
    2. Speak with Councilor Vandacia in Gideon.
      1. Talk to Elam Drals in Twyllbek Ruins.
  9. Talk to Councilor Lovidicus in Leyawiin Castle.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Starting the Quest[edit]

Having arrived in Blackwood, speak with Captain Rian Liore outside of Leyawiin after picking up the quest in the Collections Menu or getting it from Brigadine Antonius.

Like the other quests beginning Chapter storylines, there are several ways to begin A Deadly Secret:

  • You can find the prompt to start it in the Collections Menu under the Stories sub-section and Chapter tab. This will lead you to Captain Rian Liore in front of the northwestern Leyawiin gates or on the docks.
  • If you are near the wayshrines of Leyawiin, Gideon, or Telepe, you can encounter Brigadine Antonius, who will have the following dialog:
Brigadine Antonius: "You there! The Ivory Brigade has need of you!"

Approach and speak with him to find out more.

"You look like you've got your wits about you. Care to make a bit of extra gold working for Leyawiin's Ivory Brigade?
I've been asked by my captain to find someone who can handle themselves. We need help with a delicate situation."
What's the situation?
"Deadly secrets. Assassins. Murder! And now apparently a councilor has gone missing. Between the war, bandits, and cultists, the Ivory Brigade is like the Nord that tries to plug a leaking cask of mead only to realize he doesn't have enough fingers!"
What do you need me to do?
"Talk to my commander, Captain Rian Liore. You can find him just outside the city gates, trying to appease some of the nobles.
Tell him I sent you and he'll put you right to work, I'm sure."
I'll go speak to Captain Rian Liore.

Prologue quest: The Emperor's Secret

A Conversation with the Captain[edit]

However you start the quest, the next step in the quest will be to talk to Captain Rian outside the city walls. When you first meet him he is busy reassuring a trio of nervous nobles, saying:

Captain Rian Liore: "You have my word. If the councilor is in Leyawiin or the surrounding countryside, the Ivory Brigade will find her."
<He notices you and calls you over.>
Captain Rian Liore: "You there. A moment of your time, please."

Speak with him to find out what's troubling the city.

"Leyawiin has problems enough, and now the predictions of the Wood Elf archer seem to be coming true. Damn these old Imperial secrets!
Councilor Jirich has disappeared and my Ivory Brigade is spread thin as a sliver of butter on day-old bread."
Tell me more about this Wood Elf archer and the Imperial secrets.
"The Wood Elf, Eveli Sharp-Arrow. She brought news that the Dark Brotherhood was targeting members of the Elder Council. All because of some secret of the Longhouse Emperors.
We took her warning seriously, but Jirich refused brigadine protection."
You think the Dark Brotherhood harmed Councilor Jirich?
"With that guild of assassins, I'm not sure what to think. But Jirich is missing and I don't have enough brigadines at the ready to conduct a proper search.
You look capable. So, care to earn some gold and help us determine the councilor's fate?"
I'll try to find Councilor Jirich.
"Here. Let me update your map. These are places Jirich visits during her daily routine. If something befell her, it happened somewhere along this path.
Meanwhile, I have Eveli Sharp-Arrow checking locations in the city. She was very eager to help."

He marks two spots in the Leyawiin swamps on your map, and you are then able to ask him about the missing Councilor, the situation in the city and its mode of governance, the locations he highlighted for you to search and Eveli Sharp-Arrow, your cheerful Wood Elf companion. Additionally, if you have completed the prologue quest The Emperor's Secret, you are also able to confirm her rather fanciful-sounding story about the Dark Brotherhood assassinating Farrul Lupus. At this point you can either enter Leyawiin to see the sights, shops, and wayshrine or get right to the Captain's investigation.

Too late

Searching the Swamps[edit]

You're going to cross the bridge heading east of Leyawiin and follow the riverbank south, then head up a dirt path east until you reach a cave. You'll find a Letter to Councilor Lovidicus atop a rock inside the cave. Once you've read it, exit the cave and head back across the bridge, towards the Event Exchange. Once you reach the Event Exchange, head north up the islet. There, you'll find the councilor's picnic site and a Letter from Farrul Lupus.

After you read it, you'll be approached by Milona Hanus:

Milona Hanus: "Councilor Jirich? Oh, pardon me! You're not the councilor."

Talk to her.

"Apologies. I heard you stumbling about and thought it might be Councilor Jirich."
Who are you?
"Oh, no one important, I assure you! I'm simply one of the councilor's aides. I help her with paperwork mostly. Run errands. That sort of thing."
Captain Rian sent me to find the councilor. He thinks she might be in danger.
"She initially refused the captain's offer, but she received a letter that made her … uneasy.
Last I saw, she was headed back to the city by way of the eastern gate. But she never returned to her manor, so I came to look for her. Please, find her!"

Milona asks you to check the area around the eastern gate for Councilor Jirich. Head south along the riverside, back towards the bridge near the event exchange. You'll find Councilor Jirich dying in the water, leaning against a broken stone stele of Argonian make. There's a Mysterious Note by her side: it appears to be a Dark Brotherhood calling card. Speak to her in her final moments.

"I refused to believe … but Farrul … Lovidicus … they were right."
What happened to you, councilor?
"I was attacked … an assassin ….
You must warn the others … the councilors … Leovic's secret. It will be … the death … of us … all …."

Just then, Eveli Sharp-Arrow shows up. Get her up to speed on the situation.

Completed Blackwood Prologue:
First Time Meeting:
Met Eveli Previously:
"Damn it! Looks like we were both too late. It's just like I expected when we found that list with all the councilors' names on it. I hate being right when somebody dies.
Glad to see you made it here, by the way. Did you happen to see who killed her?"
I didn't see who attacked her, but there's a note beside her body.
"The mark of the Dark Brotherhood, just like Farrul Lupus.
Remember I said I was going to find Lovidicus? Well, I did. And turns out, he's the head of the city's Chamber of Legates! I just wish another person hadn't died because of this damn secret."
Remind me about the secret.
"The secret of the Longhouse Emperors. It has something to do with the Four Ambitions of Mehrunes Dagon. I think they're Daedric weapons, but that's all we know so far.
Remember, I was working for Farrul Lupus. He sent me to find that strange tome."
I found a letter to Councilor Jirich from Farrul Lupus. It warned her that she was in danger.
"Right. And we found that list with all the councilors' names on it. Farrul's, too. The one that suggested they all knew something about the Ambitions.
Since Farrul was murdered, I figured the others were in danger, too. Looks like I was right."
Do you know where the rest of the councilors are?
"Let me have your map. This is where Councilors Faleria and Sophus were, last time I checked. Go warn them. Convince them the threat is real.
Then meet me at Councilor Jirich's manor in the city. Maybe we can find something more about this secret."
I'll go warn the councilors, then meet you at Jirich's manor.
"Damn it! I'm too late. Poor Councilor Jirich. She didn't deserve to die like that. At least, I don't think she did.
Did you see what happened? Who attacked her?"
I didn't see who attacked her, but there's a note beside her body.
"The mark of the Dark Brotherhood, just like with Farrul Lupus.
Er, sorry. I'm working for Councilor Lovidicus, the head of the Chamber of Legates. I came to Leyawiin to warn him after I stumbled across some secret concerning the Longhouse Emperors."
I'm working for Captain Rian Liore. He sent me to find the councilor. What's that about a secret?
"It relates to something called the Four Ambitions of Mehrunes Dagon. I think they're Daedric weapons, but I'm still puzzling that out.
I was working for Farrul Lupus before he was murdered. Found a strange tome with Daedric markings at his behest."
I found a letter to Councilor Jirich from Farrul Lupus. It warned her she was in danger.
"Yeah, that's what brought me here. I found a list of names. Farrul Lupus and members of the Elder Council. It said they all knew something about this secret. Since Farrul was murdered, I figured the others were in danger, too. Looks like I was right."
Who are the other councilors?
"Let me have your map. I'll mark where Councilors Faleria and Sophus were last seen. Go warn them. Convince them to take precautions.
Then meet me at Councilor Jirich's manor in the city. Maybe we can find something to shed more light on this secret."
I'll go warn the councilors, then meet you at Jirich's manor.
"Damn it! I'm too late. Poor Councilor Jirich. She didn't deserve to die like that. At least, I don't think she did.
Glad to see you, by the way. Did you happen to get here in time to see who killed her?"
(?)

Warning the Councilors[edit]

Eveli wants you to check up on Councilor Faleria and Councilor Sophus. Sophus lives in a cabin with his wife and dog north of Undertow Cavern. Faleria is staying at a fisherman's hut along the coast south of Leyawiin. Pick one to warn; it doesn't matter which.

Sophus' wife said that he went for walk with his dog; you'll find Sophus dead a ways away from his home.

Faleria is alive, and is being guarded. You should inform Faleria about the Dark Brotherhood activities. She will tell you of a secret stash in her manor that contains Counsilor Jirich's records. Head there and examine it with Eveli: it has an Imperial code at the bottom, but Eveli's brother can decode it with no issues.

The next stop is the castle of Leyawiin, where you have to report to Captain Rian and then speak to Councilor Lovidicus: the latter will mention the names of the remaining councilors to be warned: Abor, Faleria, Itinia, and Vandacia, Faleria of which being the one of the four that you've already warned. You can ask him what he knows about the Four Ambitions and why is his name on the list but he will deny everything. Instead he will ask you to travel to Fort Blueblood and convince Councilor Abor to return to Leyawiin.

Warning Councilor Abor[edit]

Eveli mentions that Fort Blueblood is located east, across the river— more precisely, it is northeast of the Ayleid Well nearby. When you get there, you should talk to Commander Ortin, and insist to see Councilor Abor. The commander has set her up at the watchtower, but one of the servants hasn't seen her sister since the councilor was given a meal. Enter the watchtower behind you, only to see that Councilor Abor has been murdered by now. Investigate the crime scene: a book with torn pages, the mark of the Black Hand, and the uneaten food. After a brief discussion with Eveli, return to Ortin with your unfortunate news.

After you inform Ortin, he will task you to find a missing servant, named Talaise. Talk to three servants in the castle: one tells you of the lock on the pantry, another tells you that Talaise took the key with her, and another mentions how Abor started to burn documents. Talk to Eveli to sum up what you've learned— most importantly, that Abor likely knew too much— then go to the pantry outside of the house. Down there, you will find the missing servant's body: and another Black Hand. As per usual, Eveli wants to talk about the evidence, but this time, you both go over the Dark Brotherhood's methods; if you're a member of the Dark Brotherhood, you'll admit to it, and tell her that this isn't how the organization operates, but if you aren't, she comes to a similar conclusion herself. Eveli will tell you where the other two councilors are located— and, if you ask about it, the odd vision she just had— then part ways once you leave the fort.

After you report back to Commander Ortin, find the two remaining councilors. Councilor Vandacia is in Gideon to the East and Councilor Falaria is in Tidewater Cave to the Southwest.

Warning Councilor Falaria[edit]

Falaria is located deep in Tidewater Cave, her brigandines having packed up a majority of her records.

Councilor Faleria: "Ah, the mercenary. A few moment's later and you would have found an empty cave."

Speak with her and tell her what has happened:

"Your timing really is impeccable. We've already packed up my records and were about to head out.
But what news of the other councilors? Did your warnings reach them in time?"
Councilors Sophus and Abor were murdered, just like Jirich. You need to go to Leyawiin Castle.
"All three of them? That's disheartening news.
Well, I'll take my records to Leyawiin. Perhaps between the two of us, Councilor Lovidicus and I can ascertain what past incident has returned to haunt us."
What kind of records did you keep down here?
"Oh, just a lifetime of public service and bureaucracy. Mostly financial records, but also meeting notes, ledgers, those sorts of things.
I oversaw budgets and finances, the collection of taxes, public works. And I kept immaculate records."
We found Jirich's files, where you said. Lovidicus sent for a scribe to decipher the coded portions.
"That's good to hear. Emperor Leovic loved to hide things in coded documents.
But what about Councilor Vandacia? Do we know if he's still safe in Gideon?"
Have not warned Councilor Vandacia:
Already warned Councilor Vandacia:
I'm on my way to warn Councilor Vandacia next.
"Perfect. Remind him he's too old to play the hero and I want to see him in Leyawiin Castle immediately if not sooner.
These brigadines will make sure I get to the city safely. Me and my records both. Gods speed, mercenary."
I already warned Councilor Vandacia. He's on his way to Leyawiin.
"Perfect. I look forward to conferring with the remaining members of the old Elder Council.
These brigadines will make sure I get to the city safely. Me and my records both. I'll see you in Leyawiin, mercenary."

Warning Councilor Vandacia[edit]

In Gideon, the guards of Councilor Vandacia managed to capture the assassin. You have to question him, but by the time you get there he has already escaped, having corroded the lock. Follow the acidic trail which he left behind, which leads to the Twyllbek Ruins. The acid tracks through it and to a suspicious-looking bookshelf: the chamber behind it has a letter from the Dark Brotherhood on the floor.

Once you read the letter, the assassin will show himself on the other side of a metal gate, and will recognize you if you are a member of the Dark Brotherhood yourself. He will deny his involvement in the killing of the council members, especially since the Dark Brotherhood never fails on kills. Head back to Gideon and talk to Councilor Vandacia, who denies everything the assassin (and organization) claims: meanwhile, Keshu is nowhere to be seen..

Returning to Leyawiin[edit]

Go back to Leyawiin castle; when you enter the Legates Chamber in the castle, the councilors and legates will be gathered:

Councilor Vandacia: "The Dark Brotherhood. They must be driven out of Blackwood."
Councilor Lovidicus: "I still can't figure out why they would be targeting us, Vandacia."
Councilor Vandacia: "Eliminate the threat first. Then we can seek answers."

Talk to Councilor Lovidicus about the evidence you have gathered.

"All of the remaining councilors in Blackwood are gathered here in the castle—Faleria, Vandacia, and myself. While we await the arrival of the scribe I sent for, tell me what you uncovered in Gideon. I'm not sure I agree with Vandacia's assessment."
I found a letter. It talked about reestablishing a Dark Brotherhood sanctuary in Bloodrun Cave.
"Yes, I remember reports of their presence early in Moricar's reign, but they were driven out. The assassins must see this as the perfect opportunity to reclaim their base, but what does that have to do with Leovic's secret and the Ambitions?"
I'm not sure. And why are they assassinating the councilors?
"Vandacia, Faleria, and I were just discussing that. We think Leovic had each of the councilors unknowingly working on a different aspect of the Ambitions project. They each had access to a piece of the puzzle, but no one but Leovic knew everything."
So someone called upon the Dark Brotherhood to murder the councilors to preserve the secret?
"That's our prevailing theory. If the councilors ever came together to compare notes, the truth of the Ambitions would be revealed.
To stop that from happening, the Dark Brotherhood was sent to kill my colleagues."
The Dark Brotherhood agent claimed they weren't responsible for the murders of the councilors.
"Indeed? Very curious. Still, I'm hesitant to take the word of an admitted killer at face value. Not with so much at stake. Regardless, their very presence still poses a threat to all of Blackwood. The sanctuary cannot be allowed to reopen."
Maybe the coded documents Eveli and I recovered can tell us more.
"Jirich's and Sophus's documents contain information written in Imperial code. I sent for the scribe Beragon, but he has yet to arrive. Until then, the councilors will remain safe within these walls.
You have done well so far and have my thanks."

He will give you Armored Gauntlets of the Ivory Brigade and a decent amount of gold for your efforts.

Quest Stages[edit]

A Deadly Secret
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I need to find Captain Rian Liore and talk to him to get more information. I should tell him that Brigadine Antonius sent me.
Objective: Talk to Captain Rian Liore
Latest start Captain Rian marked two locations on my map, places where he wants me to start looking for the missing councilor. I should investigate the sites.
Objective: Find Councilor Jirich
Objective Hint: Search Along the River
Objective Hint: Find the Cave

(Once you find the cave)

Objective Hint: Search the Cave
A woman mistook me for Councilor Jirich. I should speak to her and see what she knows about the missing councilor.
Objective: Talk to Milona
The councilor's aide said she last saw Jirich heading back to Leyawiin by way of the city's eastern gate. I should see if I can find any sign of the councilor between here and the gate.
Objective: Find Councilor Jirich

(Appears as you near her location)

Objective Hint: Follow the Cry for Help
I found Councilor Jirich, gravely wounded, not far from the city's eastern gate. I need to speak with her and find out what happened.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Jirich
Councilor Jirich was attacked and she died shortly after I found her. But Eveli Sharp-Arrow has arrived. I should talk to her.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
While Eveli investigates Councilor Jirich's manor, I need to warn two other councilors, Councilor Sophus and Councilor Faleria, about the threat on their lives.
Complete one: Warn Councilor Faleria or Warn Councilor Sophus
I encountered Councilor Sophus's wife. I should ask her about her husband's whereabouts.(if choosing to warn Councilor Sophus)
Objective: Talk to Lunia Sophus
Councilor Sophus went out for a walk with his dog Chaero. I should try to find them.
Objective: Find Councilor Sophus
I found Councilor Sophus's body and another Dark Brotherhood note. I should talk to his wife and see if I can learn anything else about what happened here.
Objective: Talk to Lunia Sophus
Before I report to Captain Rian or take Sophus's sealed scroll to Councilor Lovidicus, I need to meet Eveli Sharp-Arrow at Councilor Jirich's manor in Leyawiin.(after warning the councilors)
Objective: Investigate Councilor Jirich's Manor
I entered the manor and found Eveli Sharp-Arrow. I should tell her about the secret compartment in the nightstand that Councilor Faleria informed me about.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
Councilor Faleria told me that Councilor Jirich kept secret documents in a hidden compartment in her nightstand. I should investigate there.
Objective: Find Councilor Jirich's Records
I found Councilor Jirich's records in a compartment in her nightstand. I should see what they actually pertain to.
Objective: Examine Councilor Jirich's Records
Councilor Jirich's records include an order from Emperor Leovic. I should talk to Eveli about this discovery.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
Eveli and I need to go to Leyawiin Castle and speak to Councilor Lovidicus about what we know so far.
Objective: Go to Leyawiin Castle
Captain Rian Liore is waiting outside the legate chambers. I should fill him in on what Eveli and I learned.
Objective: Talk to Captain Rian Liore
I found Councilor Lovidicus in Leyawiin Castle. I should speak with him.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Lovidicus
While Councilor Lovidicus sends for a scribe to decipher the Imperial code in the documents I gathered, he asked me to travel to Fort Blueblood and convince Councilor Abor to return to Leyawiin.
Objective: Go to Fort Blueblood
I should present myself to the Fort Blueblood commander before I attempt to locate Councilor Abor.
Objective: Talk to Commander Ortin
Councilor Abor has taken up residence in the watchtower at Fort Blueblood and asked not to be disturbed. I have permission from Commander Ortin to enter the tower so I can convince her to return to Leyawiin.
Objective: Enter the Watchtower
We entered the watchtower and found Councilor Abor dead. Murdered! I should look around and see if I can figure out what happened here.
Objective: Investigate the Murder Scene: 0/3
I should discuss the clues we found in the watchtower with Eveli Sharp-Arrow.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
I should inform Commander Ortin about Councilor Abor and let him know there was no sign of the servant in the watchtower.
Objective: Talk to Commander Ortin
Commander Ortin asked Eveli and I to investigate the missing servant and her connection to the councilor's murder. He suggested we ask the other servants working in the kitchen and dining hall.
Objective: Talk to the Servants: 0/3
Eveli wants to review what we learned by questioning the servants. I should talk to her.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
It seems that the missing servant may have visited the pantry before taking Councilor Abor's meal to the watchtower. We should take a look and see if we can find any indication of what happened to her there.
Objective: Search the Pantry
Talaise the servant was murdered. I should talk to Eveli about this development.
Objective: Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow
I should report to Commander Ortin before I leave Fort Blueblood and let him know what happened to the missing servant.
Objective: Talk to Commander Ortin
While Eveli returns to Leyawiin to consult with Councilor Lovidicus, I need to go to Tidewater Cave to talk to Councilor Faleria, and to Gideon to warn Councilor Vandacia.
Complete one: Warn Councilor Vandacia or Find Councilor Faleria
(Stage appears when you find Councilor Faleria)
I need to make sure that Councilor Faleria finished her business at Tidewater Cave and will return to Leyawiin for her safety.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Faleria
(Stage appears if you found Councilor Faleria beforehand.)
I need to go to Gideon and warn Councilor Vandacia about the assassination attempts. Eveli suggested I could find him in the Gideon courthouse.
Objective: Warn Councilor Vandacia
(Start here if you chose to warn Vandacia first)

I arrived in Gideon and it seems that Councilor Vandacia survived an attack. I should speak to him and find out what happened.

Objective: Talk to Councilor Vandacia
Councilor Vandacia says his personal guard thwarted his assassin and he's been imprisoned in a cell in the courthouse basement. I should go down and interrogate the prisoner.
Objective: Talk to the Assassin
The assassin somehow disabled the cell lock and escaped. I should examine the lock and determine what happened.
Objective: Examine the Corroded Lock
Whatever acid the assassin used to destroy the lock appears to have dripped as he escaped and left a trail. I should follow it.
Objective: Follow the Trail of Acid
The assassin's trail leads into the Twyllbek Ruins. I should continue to follow him.
Objective: Search the Twyllbek Ruins
The assassin's trail ends at a bookshelf in the drainworks. I should investigate the area.
Objective: Examine the Bookshelf
The assassin's trail led to a hidden chamber. I should look around.
Objective: Search the Hidden Chamber
The assassin wishes to speak with me.
Objective: Talk to Elam Drals
(next quest goes to Faleria, if you notified Vandacia first)

The assassin, Elam Drals, claims the Dark Brotherhood didn't kill the councilors and that he never attacked Councilor Vandacia. I should return to the courthouse and show Vandacia the letter I found.

Objective: Talk to Councilor Vandacia
I warned everyone I could. Now to return to Leyawiin Castle and report to Councilor Lovidicus.
Objective: Go to Leyawiin Castle
I arrived at Leyawiin Castle. Now I should report to Councilor Lovidicus and let him know what I uncovered.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Lovidicus
Finishes quest☑ The remaining councilors have gathered in Leyawiin Castle for their own protection. I should ask Councilor Lovidicus about the coded documents Eveli and I recovered from Councilor Jirich and Sophus.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Lovidicus
Notes
* Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the game and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • 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 any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.