Online:A Melodic Mistake

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Discover why miners are going mad.
Zone: Vvardenfell
Objective: Gnisis — Save the people of Gnisis from economic ruin.
Quest Giver: Manore Mobaner
Location(s): Gnisis
Next Quest: Hatching a Plan
Reward: Kwama-Cutter
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: High Experience
ID: 5872
"Whatever's down there has still got a grip on him."
The Gnisis Egg Mine has been shuttered. Some kind of mysterious illness has taken hold there. Unfortunately, many workers remain trapped inside.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Manore Mobaner.
  2. Talk to Foreman Lathdar.
  3. Speak to the addled workers inside the mine.
  4. Investigate the kwama queen.
  5. Delve deeper to locate the source of the sound.
  6. Get past the barrier.
  7. Find the source and fix the problem with the machine.
  8. Talk to Revus.
  9. Return to the foreman.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Learn about the Problem in the Mine[edit]

As you enter Gnisis, you'll find Manore Mobaner trying to reassure an angry Ulves Llothas.

Manore Mobaner: "For the eightieth time, help is on the way! I've received assurances from House Redoran. They will handle this trouble in the mine. You need only be patient!"
Ulves Llothas: "Patient? The foreman just dragged another egg-hand out of the mine and he's worse than the rest! This is on your head, Mobaner!"

Apparently, there's been some trouble at the local egg mine, and the miners are having to be dragged out. House Redoran, which administers the town, has been called in, but no one has arrived yet. This seems like the perfect opportunity for a freelance adventurer, so after Ulves stalks away, speak to Manore:

"I presume you've come here seeking work? I'm afraid the mine may be closed for some time yet. Not too long, of course!
Anyway, feel free to stay as long as your coin-purse allows. Our innkeeper will no doubt appreciate the business."
What's going on in the mine?
"Some of our egg-hands have fallen ill. We've elected to keep them in the mines until we find the source of the sickness. Just a precaution, mind you.
Surveyors from House Redoran should be arriving any minute to, you know … survey."
So you've trapped these sick egg-hands in the mine?
"Trapped? No! Don't be absurd. It's not as if they're itching to leave.
Look, House Redoran will sort this out. Speak to Foreman Lathdar if you have other questions. He's just over there, by the mine entrance. I have other matters to attend to."
I think I will talk to Foreman Lathdar.
"We really do have things well in hand, I assure you.
It's only a matter of time before my Redoran kinsmen arrive, truly. They wouldn't dare leave a renowned second-deputy prefect like me waiting for long."

He says the trouble is a sickness, and they've elected to keep the affected miners in the mine until they are sorted out. However, he does hint that they aren't exactly able to get out on their own. He directs you to speak to the foreman if you want to help.

Head up to the mine. You'll pass by a Nord bard who has been kicked out of the Temple on the way; remember him for the next quest.

Vigard the Sparrow: "Wait! Don't shut me out! I have different songs I can sing! Think of the miners!"
Vigard the Sparrow: "Damned fanatics. They've no respect for the craft."

You can choose to talk to him:

"Are you here to mock me too? Here to pile yet another indignity upon my well-sculpted shoulders? Do your worst!"
What are you talking about?
"These damned Dark Elves cast me out! I went to them, lute in hand, to offer my aid and they mocked me. Me! Vigard the Sparrow!
They don't realize I can heal the miners with the power of music!"
What's wrong with the miners?
"I don't have all the details. Something about cursed music? That brute Lathdar cast me out when I tried to ply my trade at the mine.
Uncultured simpleton! He doesn't understand the restorative power of song! Music can only be conquered by music!"
Have you heard this music the miners are talking about?
"Oh, gods no. I'm not about to set foot in that mine.
What happens if I hear this music and the melody catches my ear? Such a cursed tune might meddle with my own creative genius. I follow my own unique muse, friend. I'm no plagiarist!"

A group of miners is gathered around the entrance, including the latest victim of the 'sickness', Thagbruth. He's in pretty bad shape, rambling on about a song that needs to be fixed.

Thagbruth : "Can't you hear it? The song? It's all wrong! We have to … we have to fix it!"
Rashihi : "Bah! Fresh air's not going to do the trick, boss. Whatever's down there has still got a grip on him."

You'll get no help from him or Rashihi, so talk to the foreman instead. He says there's a strange noise in the mine that's driving everything that hears it—the kwama have gone rabid, and the egg-hands become obsessed with fixing the song. They have to be dragged out of the mine. If you talk to him more, he'll mention another clue to this mystery: earthquakes have been hitting the area for weeks, caving in parts of the mine, and they may have uncovered something better left buried:

"Well it's about damned time! You daffy House Redoran types have … wait, you're not House Redoran. Bah! Should have known better.
You'd best move on, stranger. This mine's cursed. It'll snatch you up just like poor Thagbruth if you aren't careful."
Tell me more about what's going on in the mine.
"Sorry for growling and moping. We've just been waiting for these damned Redoran surveyors so long. Kind of lost hope, you know?
My egg-hands are in buckets of trouble. Some strange noise is turning their brains to pudding. Driving the kwama mad too."
What is the sound doing to the egg-hands, exactly?
"It's put a hex on them. They won't budge. They just pace and hum and blubber like idiots. Practically had to beat Thagbruth senseless to drag him out here.
Something in that noise … that song. It's got them by the beards and won't let go."
Maybe I could help you investigate.
"Mara's mercy! Thank you, friend. I'm supposed to wait until the Redoran surveyors show up, but to Sovngarde with that! I want my people home safe.
Do what you need to do, but don't stay in there long. I don't want that song to claim you too."
Can you tell me more about this song?
"Well, it's barely a song. It's just a mash of notes, you know? Crawls up behind your eyeballs and makes you dizzy. Paranoid.
I've been working in these mines for years and I've never heard the like. Might have something to do with all the quakes."
"Yeah. I don't know if you noticed, but Red Mountain's been pretty ornery lately. We've been dealing with minor cave-ins for weeks.
Could be that one of those tremors uncovered something it shouldn't have."
"Good luck in there, and mind the kwama. None of this will make a damn bit of difference if you wind up bug-food.
They're normally gentle as newborn lambs. 'Course, lambs don't have pincers the size of hedge shears. Just be careful, all right?"

Explore the Mine[edit]

Head inside the mine. There are dead miners lying everywhere, as well as a few living ones who will only hum a few notes over and over as you pass by. Only a few are more coherent—though not by much. You'll need to speak to them to figure out this mystery. The first one is just to the left at the four-way intersection. As you approach her, you'll hear the "song" for the first time and she'll yell:

Alcorana : "You hear it don't you? But it's not as it should be …. Not at all."

Speak to her directly, and she'll say:

"The song is calling! You hear it, don't you? I can see it behind your eyes … swimming in there. Can you see the melody? The harmony? Please, you have to see it."
What did I hear just now?
"A song. The song. Do you see how it shimmers? Do you see its tones? Its colors? It should help make things clear—make things whole. But it doesn't. It doesn't! It has to be fixed!"
How do I fix it?
"Open your ears. You have to find it. The melody. It's shattered and hidden, you see? Tucked away in the noise. But it's there. It has to be. It has to be!"
"It's not right. It has to be right …."

The second is straight through the intersection, at the edge of an underground lake. As you approach him, he'll say:

Gauldur Berard : "It's not time yet. It should be quiet. It should be sleeping. Damned groundquakes … must have been. Must have been!"

Speak to him and he'll tell you:

"What are you—? No! I can't leave. Not yet!
I tried to follow the foreman. I did! But it won't let me. Not until everything is as it should be. Not until everything is perfect!"
Slow down. The song is doing this to you?
"Yes! Yes, the song. You've heard it. I can tell.
It should be quiet. It isn't ready. It isn't perfect. But someone interfered. The ground shook and … the meddling! They broke it! They ruined it!"
So a person is responsible for this?
"Yes! But not one of us. No, it's a tinkerer. A meddler! Poking around and breaking things. Soiling them!
He has to be punished. Yes! The song has to be pure. Has to be perfect! If not, the consequences … oh, the consequences!"
Try to stay calm. I'll find this meddler.

Both people are clearly addled, but you get an important piece of information: someone is behind the madness, and there is a way to fix it.

Head deeper into the mine, passing by the nursery on the way, and enter a large central chamber with the kwama queen—or what's left of her. Examine the body, and it becomes obvious that her own children killed her:

<The Kwama Queen lies motionless. From the surroundings, it looks like its own kwama children were responsible.>

Just then, you'll hear the "song" for the second time, and then a third miner speaks up from nearby, echoing what you just discovered.

Destaine Stegine : "The queen is dead. Dead and gone, just like the rest. The song made it happen. Made them do it."

Speak to him next:

"Kwama, Breton, queen, egg-hand—all the same. All just meat. They killed her. Killed their own queen.
Do you see what it does? What it's doing? Broken. All broken. Just the mine for now, but soon? Everywhere."
What do you mean, "everywhere?"
"It's spun out of control. Can't you feel it? It echoes and grows. Echoes and grows. Soon it will be too loud for the mine to contain. Everyone will hear it. Everyone. And then ….
No! We have to fix it!"
Where is it coming from? What do I need to do to fix it?
"Has to be fixed. Has to be perfect."
<The miner no longer speaks. He only hums a melody.>

He has an ominous warning hidden in his ramblings, that the song will spread outside the mind if left unchecked, but you'll get nothing else new out of him. There is, however, a narrow path to the north. It's the only way forward.

A Dwarven Tonal Barrier

The mine suddenly looks much more like a natural tunnel, complete with glowing mushrooms. The foreman was right—new areas of the cave system have been uncovered. Then you'll start running across signs of a Dwemer ruin: gears, pots, and even the occasional spider. At one point, you'll jump down into the ruin proper and start finding centurions as well. Along the way you'll hear the "song" three more times.

Head ever deeper to find an obstacle: a strange barrier at the other end of a chamber, powered by an invincible centurion. In the chamber itself is Centurion Mthgrazzen. It wanders back and forth in front of a gem on a pedestal. Watch it for a moment and you'll notice something: while it is within a certain distance of the gem, a link appears between them and it gains a shield that makes it much more difficult to beat. At the farthest reach of its patrol, the link, and subsequently the shield, disappear.

The best strategy is to pull it out of the reach of the gem and kill it as fast as possible. Spiders and spheres will also spawn during the fight, and the still-living ones will continue to hound you after Mthgrazzen is dead, but no new ones will appear after the boss' death.

Grab the gem, a Dwarven Tonal Prism, and use it on the barrier. This will kill the other centurion and dispel the barrier. Go on past, into an area where the Dwemer structures have been overtaken by nature, and enter the Dwarven Sanctum.

Fix the Machine[edit]

The Dwarven resonator

Finally, you'll see the source of this madness: a huge machine with switches and glowing lights—and standing before it, someone who is clearly not a miner. He mutters to himself as you approach, beating himself up over breaking the machine.

Revus Demnevanni : "Argh! I really thought I had it that time. Curse you, you buzzing hunk of junk! This is spite, isn't it? I'm sorry I broke you, all right?"
Revus Demnevanni : "I should never have touched this damned thing. Stupid Revus. Just have to tinker with everything, don't you? Ugh."

Talk to him and he'll be startled:

"Agh! Gracious, you nearly gave me a heart attack. You're a Redoran enforcer, aren't you? Look, I'm near to fixing this thing, I promise.
Wait. How are you not a mumbling imbecile? Don't bother answering. I can't hear a thing. Ears are plugged, see?"
What's going on with this device?
"Sieve lice? Oh dear, you're just as mad as the others, aren't you?
Try to focus. This resonator is broken. I need to set these dials to the correct sequence, but I can't hear the tones. Are you aware of any sequence it could be set to? Just nod."
<Nod your head, "yes.">
""Excellent!" he said, expecting the worst.
Just turn these dials until you think they're in the correct sequence. That lever there seems to execute the pattern. I'm sure that if the dials are in the correct position … something will happen."
<Shake your head, "no.">
"Well, that's disappointing. But random tinkering is the mother of invention, right?
I need you to turn the dials until you think they're in the right position, then pull that lever. Anything you might have heard or seen could help. I believe in you."
All right. Here goes.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be of much use. Even if I could hear the tones, I wouldn't know how to arrange them.
You must have heard or seen something on your trip down here, right? Clues of some kind? Just try to remember."
What about these kwama egg-hands? Could they help?
"Well … I'm not sure how a kwama leg gland could help us, but you certainly get points for creativity.
Ah, I just had an idea. Maybe one of these kwama egg-hands could help! They're in poor condition, but they might hum or mumble something useful."
What is this thing, exactly?
<Point at Dwarven device.> What is this thing?
"Ah. It's a tonal resonator. Very powerful and very, very broken.
I'll be happy to tell you all about it once you've fixed it. We're on a bit of a time-table. No offense, but I think the tonal stimuli have already made you a bit … scattered."

Apparently, he plugged his ears to avoid succumbing to the noise as well, which means that he didn't hear you approach, nor can he hear you question him. He won't be of much help for the moment, but he does tell you how to work the machine: turn the dials until you think they're in the correct position, then throw the lever to execute it.

Fiddle with the machine as long as you need. If you chose to talk to Revus again, he will have suggested that the egg-hands may hum or mumble something important. Indeed, they've been humming since you entered the mine. Every miner you've passed by has been humming the same sequence of notes, over and over. This is the correct tune, but you need to translate that into the positions of the machine's dials.

The sequence to fix the Dwarven resonator is as follows (from left to right): middle-bottom-top-top-bottom. The red lights will flash yellow when they are in the correct position and you pull the lever. scattered."

If you fail to get the sequence right, he'll say:

Revus Demnevanni : "Well, that didn't work. But keep trying! There are only one thousand twenty-four possible combinations, after all. We'll have it in no time!"

Once you've got the right sequence, Revus will be overjoyed, even as the miners return to their senses and run away. He will yell that he has a camp in the next section and to meet him there.

Revus Demnevanni : "Something's happening …. I think you got it!"
Revus Demnevanni : "Yes, that's it! It's working! I hope!"
Miner : "What … what happened? Come on, let's get out of here!"
Revus Demnevanni : "Ha! See? Everything worked out. I have a small camp set outside of this room. We can talk there."

At the camp, you'll see Revus warming himself by his fire. He isn't sure whether the egg-hands will be okay, but he promises to try to help fix the situation. He bids you return to the foreman, but you can talk to him a bit more about what he was doing and his theories about the machine's purpose:

"Ah, the hero of the hour! You have my deepest thanks and most heartfelt compliments. The fact that you fixed it in your clearly addled condition … exemplary work. Just exemplary!
Seems like it's quieted down. I do hope it stays that way."
What happened back there?
"I can offer little more than a guess. When you corrected the melody, the resonator returned to a dormant state. Some kind of slumbering function to conserve energy maybe?
What matters is that it's quieted down, thank goodness."
Do you think the egg-hands will be all right?
"Oh dear, I hope so. Their exposure was fairly limited. If they had remained for another day though? Difficult to say.
Please, let the foreman know how truly sorry I am. If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to call on me at my tower."
Thank you. I'll speak to the foreman.
"I do wish I could have done a more thorough study of the resonator. What do you think they would do with such a device? Enslavement perhaps? No … not enslavement. That's too obvious."
Can I ask you something?
"Please! After all you've done, I'd say you're entitled to ask me several somethings."
What was that machine, exactly?
"A Dwarven resonator. A tonal amplification device meant to alter thought patterns. That's my hypothesis anyway.
The tones clearly have a powerful effect on the brain. To the Dwarves though? It might have sounded like a lovely song and nothing more."
You mentioned it might have been used for slavery?
"Well, not slavery in the conventional sense.
The tone wouldn't compel the listeners to work, so much as it would make working a source of profound pleasure. So the workers would be eager to work, you see? They might have even paid for the privilege!"
So slavery through mind-control?
"Well, again, "slavery" is a clumsy description. It's more like a transaction. Labor in exchange for brief pleasurable sensations. Much like the skooma trade. I guess that's not much better than slavery, is it?
Of course this is all just conjecture."
Why were you fiddling with this device?
"I hail from House Telvanni—a house obsessed with magical antiquity. We suffer from a peculiar need to tinker with … well, everything.
I won't make excuses. I knew there were risks. But I honestly had no idea that the miners would be exposed."
Didn't you know about the Gnisis mines being connected?
"Of course not! I've spent years surveying this ruin. I took so many precautions!
Unfortunately, when I engaged the resonator there were a number of minor tremors. They breached the wall between the ruin and the mine. The rest is tragic history."
You were down here the entire time?
"Yes. Several days, in fact.
I erected a series of aural wards to protect myself from the resonator's effects, but I could tell I was slipping. Another few days and I'd have been as mad as those egg-hands. I had to get creative."
"Yes! The wondrous power of kwama wax! Given a few minutes of heat exposure, it hardens and expands. Great for plugging leaks, mending furniture, and protecting you from ancient Dwarven brain-scramblers.
First rate stuff."

Take the back exit and return to Gnisis. Foreman Lathdar can be found outside the Resting Kwama inn, along with Manore Mobaner and a group of miners. Speak to Manore before the foreman and he'll ask:

"How did all these miners get here? Are you… are you responsible for this?"

Speak with Lathdar. When you tell him the short version of what happened, he correctly guesses Revus was responsible—turns out Revus may have caused some trouble before. Never to this magnitude though. Lathdar is angry, but grateful that his people are safe:

"You did it! My egg-hands started stumbling out of the mine a few minutes ago. They've got some bumps and scrapes and more than a few headaches, but otherwise no worse for the wear.
What happened down there?"
A Dark Elf mage accidentally activated a Dwarven mind control device.
"A Dwarven what? How did—? I've worked those mines for years and I've never seen a scrap of Dwarf mischief.
Where is this snow-backed Dark Elf? It was that Telvanni skeever, Revus, wasn't it?"
Yes, it was Revus. He says he's sorry and offered to help get the mine back on track.
"Hrmph. More Telvanni trickery! And to think, I'd almost warmed to that little dolt.
Ugh. Enough grumbling. I'm just grateful that my people are alive and safe."
Me too.
"It's only because of you, friend. I'll raise a bottle of mead to you every night, from now until World's End.
Please, take this. You've more than earned it for what you've done."

At this point of the conversation he'll give you a reward. You can continue the dialogue to start the next quest, Hatching a Plan, if you wish.

After you're done with speaking to him and complete the quest, Mobaner will exclaim:

Manore Mobaner : "I knew that Telvanni would betray us eventually! We should have cast him out years ago!"

Approach Mobaner directly and he'll tell you:

"That skeeving Telvanni mage acts like he has good intentions, but the truth always comes out eventually. He's trying to sabotage Gnisis and bring down House Redoran!
Just wait until my Redoran compatriots arrive. They'll put an end to his mischief."
They never did show up, did they?
"Ugh! Again with the churlish accusations! No, they haven't arrived. Yet.
Truthfully, we should be honored! They clearly think we're well equipped to deal with our own problems. It's really a compliment when you think about it."
Why would House Redoran care if Revus caused this mess?
"Finding out that a Telvanni mage endangered their property? Oh, that will get their attention for sure.
House Redoran has no great love for House Telvanni. They would never pass up an opportunity to put their collective thumb in the magisters' eyes."


  • Foreman Lathdar and his miners as well as Vigard the Sparrow won't exist in Gnisis before starting the quest.
    • The named crazed miners won't exist inside the mine before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
  • While the objective description for the objective after inspecting the dead kwama queen states the egg-hand appears after you inspect her, Destaine Stegine is already present within the room as you enter it for the first time.
  • Centurion Mthgrazzen won't exist within the Dwemer ruins before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
    • As a result, the barrier it casts is not there either, though the crystal powering it is, which is inactive then.
  • Revus Demnevanni won't exist in the Dwemer ruins before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
  • Revus mentions there are "one thousand twenty-four" possible combinations, but there are actually only two hundred forty-three.
  • During the tonal puzzle, the miners will sometimes hum the combination again but there is no way to manually make them to do it and the rate at which they hum is random and can be very far between.


  • During the objective to disable the barrier within the Dwemer ruins, it's possible to bypass it by performing an attack that pulls you to an enemy, such as Critical Charge, against the patrolling dwarven centurion in the corridor behind the barrier. Once behind the barrier, it will disappear but the objective remains to disable it. ?
    • Running away from the barrier's location and coming back to it makes it reappear, and you can turn it off from your side, granted you have prism in your inventory. If not, you will have to make your way back to the barrier by either exiting the dungeon or wayshrine back to Gnisis, reach the barrier again and turn it off normally.

Quest Stages[edit]

A Melodic Mistake
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
The egg-mine's foreman, Lathdar, is keeping an eye on things near the mine entrance. I should speak to him.
Objective: Talk to the Foreman Lathdar
The egg-hands trapped within the mine are acting strangely and refusing to come out. I must enter the mine to determine what's causing their erratic behavior.
Objective: Investigate the Disturbance in the Mine
I found several deranged egg-hands, all of whom were babbling about a strange song. I'll need to delve deeper into the mine if I'm to find out where this "music" is coming from.
Objective: Delve Deeper into the Mine
I found the corpse of the kwama's queen, killed by her own workers. While I was examining the remains, another crazed egg-hand appeared. I should see what he has to say.
Objective: Talk to Destaine
A string of groundquakes have opened a breach in the mine's wall. The sound appears to be coming from that direction. I should delve deeper to find the source.
Objective: Locate the Source of the Sound
I encountered a powerful barrier, erected by a Dwarven mechanism, that's blocking my progress. I'll need to find some way to get past this strange obstacle.
Objective: Find a Way Past the Dwarven Barrier
The eerie tones are getting louder. I need to delve even deeper into the ruins to find the source of the sound.
Objective: Find the Source of the Sound
I found a Dark Elf tinkering with a strange Dwarven machine. He may know more about what's causing the sound, or better yet, how to stop it.
Objective: Talk to Revus
The Dark Elf, Revus, needs my help to fix the Dwarven resonator. I must set the valves in the correct position, then pull the release lever. The egg-hands have been humming a song since I arrived. Maybe there's a clue hidden in the melody.
Objective: Fix the Dwarven Resonator
I fixed the Dwarven resonator and liberated the egg-hands. I should speak to the Dark Elf mage, Revus, and find out why this happened.
Objective: Talk to Revus
Finishes quest☑ I deactivated the Dwarven resonator and saved Gnisis' egg-hands. I should get back to Foreman Lathdar in Gnisis and catch him up on all that's happened.
Objective: Talk to Foreman Lathdar
* 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.