Online:A Deadly Secret
- Search for Councilor Jirich.
- Talk to Milona Hanus.
- Talk to Eveli Sharp-Arrow.
- Find Councilor Faleria and Councilor Sophus.
- Search Councilor Jirich's Manor.
- Report to Councilor Lovidicus in Leyawiin Castle.
- Meet with Councilor Abor at Fort Blueblood.
- Warn Councilor Faleria and Councilor Vandacia.
- Talk to Councilor Lovidicus in Leyawiin Castle.
Starting the Quest
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 dialogue:
- 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
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.
Searching the Swamps
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.
Warning the Councilors
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
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
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?"
Warning Councilor Vandacia
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
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.