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Location Crypt of Hearts
Race High Elf Gender Female
Health (?)
Reaction Friendly
Other Information
Condition Spirit
The shard of Alanwe

Alanwe was a High Elf instructor in the art of adventuring and the wife of Nerien'eth, who was corrupted by Daedra and sentenced her to unending torment in the Crypt of Hearts.

Her husband erroneously believed she had an affair with another of the teachers, was jealous of her childhood friend and her best student, who criticized his work. Alanwe was forced to watch as each of them were tortured, while her soul was split into three parts called Shards of Alanwe.

When her soul is reformed, she swears to stay at the crypt until she can stop her husband.

Related Quests[edit]


Crypt of Hearts[edit]

Lover's Torment[edit]

Once the creatures tormenting her are destroyed, she can be spoken to.

"Please. No more. I can't take any more …."
What's happened to you?
"I'm long dead, stranger. But I suffer torment unending thanks to my husband, Nerien'eth. The Daedra gripped their wretched claws on his soul—turned him wicked. Turned him against me.
All that you see was the … result."
How can I help?
"My husband—the twisted creature he became, cursed me. Broke my soul into three pieces, and sealed them in phylacteries.
If the phylacteries were broken, I would rest, but they're guarded by vile beasts."
I'll find the fragments of your soul and free them.

She can then be asked about the past of the Crypt of Hearts.

"I have long dreamed of kind words and a way out, but I think this task is beyond you, my friend.
The first phylactery is up ahead, watched by impossible creatures. You cannot defeat them. No one can."
What is this place?
"In time long past, this was the Agea Relle, where I taught the trade of adventuring.
My husband, Nerien'eth has broken it, made it a Crypt of Hearts, where my spirit, and the spirit of my students will suffer for as long as his magic lasts."
First Phylactery[edit]

Once the First Phylactery is destroyed:

Shard of Alanwe: "I'm free …."

She can then be spoken to:

"I … I thank you. I didn't … I wasn't expecting you would be so capable. You've ended Anconath's torture, and freed a fragment of my soul.
Are you willing to do more? My soul remains bound, and the Daedra are torturing others."
I'll help. Tell me what to do.
"Two fragments of my soul remain imprisoned. Free them, and I would … I would finally be able to move on.
Anconath's cries have echoed through this chamber for years. The silence now is almost deafening."
I'll find the next fragment of your soul and free it.

You can ask her some questions before moving on.

"Another fragment of my soul lies to the south. It's heavily guarded, so be wary.
I would not fault you for turning back. It only gets tougher from here."
Who was Anconath?
"He was a fellow instructor, here at the Agea Relle, teaching the discipline of Destruction magic.
Losing him was a tragedy to me, and to the magical community. I hope he rests in peace."
Why did your husband do this to Anconath?
"He thought the two of us were having an affair."
I see.
"He was wrong, of course. But his accusation cut deep, just the same.
Almost as deep as the torture he inflicted on our souls—for years. To this day I'm not sure why he believes it, except to say the Daedra must have whispered it in his ear."
Tell me more about your husband.
"There's no defending what he's done. To me, or the others in the school.
But I failed to save him from himself. Given the chance, I would try again."
What do you mean?
"He made a pact. A Daedric pact. Nerien'eth was proficient with magic, but he could never do all this on his own.
I could have stopped him before he completed it. I should have."
There are Daedra involved?
"I've found that where there is misery and torment, the Daedra are not far behind.
Yes, my husband appealed to the Daedra for power. He got it. Everything you've seen, he used Daedric spells to create."
Second Phylactery[edit]

Coming across her second phylactery, she has a few things to say periodically. The longer you wait before smashing the phylactery, the more she will say. Her comments can be in any order, with the exception that she will not repeat a comment immediately after saying it.

Shard of Alanwe: "Why must he continue to suffer, Nerien'eth? Stop!"
Shard of Alanwe: "Stop! Please!"
Shard of Alanwe: "You've done enough, Nerien'eth! Stay your blade!"
Shard of Alanwe: "Spare him this misery, Nerien'eth! You've done enough!"

She will stop as soon as the phylactery is destroyed, saying:

Shard of Alanwe: "You have my thanks friend.""

She can be spoken with again to find the location of the third shard:

"Rulanir didn't deserve that. No one does."
There should be one fragment of your soul left. Where is it?/I'll free the last fragment of your soul.
"Your determination gives me hope. I resigned myself to the pain a long time ago.
You'll find the last fragment through the gate in the south-east."
I'll free the last fragment of your soul.
"A powerful lich guards the last fragment, plucked out of history and summoned by my husband. He's ravaging the soul of one of my students.
I would die again to help that student—but I can't. Please, save him if you can."
Who was Rulanir?
"He was the school's blademaster, a fellow instructor."
Why would Nerien'eth torture him?
"Rulanir was an old friend, and my husband knew that whatever pain was inflicted on Rulanir, I would regret."
Third Phylactery[edit]

When you reach the third phylactery:

Shard of Alanwe: "Stop! You've done enough! Leave Faindor alone!"
<Break the Phylactery.>
Shard of Alanwe: "I am ever grateful."

She can be then spoken to:

"Thank you for freeing me. For freeing Faindor.
Our tormentors washed him in fire during the day, and he slept only to face the same all over again. I hope he can rest easy, now."
That should have been the last soul fragment. Are you free?
"I did not dare to hope you would make it this far, but your abilities have been astonishing.
The pieces of my soul are free, though my husband left two Daedric minions, Ilambris-Athor and Illambris-Zavon 
[sic], to prevent the shards from reuniting."
What do you mean?
"The Daedra maintain spells that will keep the shards from ever merging—my soul from reforming.
My husband meant for my pain to be the likes of torture in Oblivion. How better to ensure that than to bring denizens of Oblivion to me?"
But will killing those Daedra free you?
"Yes. If you are willing to face them, defeating those Daedra will dispel their magic, and allow my soul to reform.
They ruminate on new tortures in a chamber to the south of here."
I'll defeat Illambris-Athor and Illambris-Zavon.
Who was Faindor?
"A student of mine.
I was fond of him."
Was he a good student?
"He was the opposite. He was the unruly son of a noble Altmer family, and he resented me and everyone here.
But he had an instinctual, magical spark that the Mages Guild lacked the patience to stoke."
What happened to him?
"He became the greatest mage the Agea Relle ever produced. Better than my husband, said the Altmeri diplomats who visited during Faindor's graduation.
The day Faindor was to leave, my husband solidified his Daedric pact. And you know Faindor's fate."

You can ask her about Faindor and the Illambris twins again, but this time she will greet you by saying:

"I never hoped that I would ever be free, but I thank you for unbinding this fragment of my soul.
You've helped Faindor, too, and that brings me a sense of peace that I am unable to express."
Freeing the Souls[edit]

Once Ilambris-Athor and Illambris-Zaven are defeated, Alanwe will appear:

Alanwe's Soul: "Do you feel that?"
Alanwe's Soul: "The others are returning!"

At this, all the newly freed spirits will begin to appear in the chamber, including her fellow instructors and student.

Anconath: "I don't know where you found your new friends, Alanwe, but they don't seem to fear death. It's admirable."
Alanwe's Soul: "They can speak to that better than I, but they're bested my husband's minions. We owe them everything."
Faindor: "Indeed"
<He looks around to see just how many spirits are in the room.>
Faindor: "By the Empyrean Light—I didn't know Nerien'eth had tortured so many of us. That whoreson dog!"
Rulanir: "Easy, Faindor. He'll pay when the time comes, but we don't want you rushing off to die. Again."
Anconath: "Our friends killed his Daedric pets. He may come looking for us, and we need to be ready."

Alwanwe can then be spoken to to complete Lover's Torment.

"You've done the impossible! I've seen those Daedric fiends flay the souls of my friends with but a word. Your power must be immense. Dwarfed only by your generosity.
I … the shards have merged and my soul is whole, once more."
What will you do now?
"Give you my gratitude.
The Daedra drove Nerien'eth to do this. I know it. I would leave this plane, but I cannot, knowing Nerien'eth is still out there. He may return, and on that day, I will do everything I can to free him from Daedric influence."

She can then be asked about the school and the other souls.

"You have freed not only my soul, but the souls of all the students caught in my husband's attack.
Your actions right a wrong that was long overdue."
What spurred you to found this school?
"My husband and I met as adventurers. We founded this school to teach practical sorcery and use-of-arms as survival skills.
The world can be a dangerous place, and we wanted to give our students the means to tame it. Like we did. Had I known …."
Go on.
"Had I known what my husband would ultimately become, and what he would do to this school and his students—I would never have built it.
In a way, I gave the Daedra all those lives. Years of torment out of something that should have been wonderful."
How many souls from the school did your husband torment?
"There were a great many—but they've all been freed, now. The ones you saw, Faindor, Rulanir, Anconath … myself. We were the ones he most despised.
The others were trapped within the walls, to bear witness."


While progressing through the Crypt of Hearts, past conversations of Alanwe will play out, showing her relationships with the fellow victims of Nerien'eth.

The first memory is of a conversation between Alanwe and Anconath, which plays soon after the first phylactery is destroyed:

Anconath talks to Alanwe
Anconath: "Alanwe. Do you have a moment? I was hoping to speak to you about a new lesson plan. But I think I may have a more pressing issue."
Alanwe: "I wanted to speak to you, as well—what's this I hear about you teaching advanced destruction? I want the students able to defend themselves in the backwoods of Tamriel, but I don't want them learning how to fight a war—or burning the school down."
Anconath: "And yet you hired a war wizard—can this conversation wait? Your husband—"
Alanwe: "Nerien'eth? What is it?"
Anconath: "He thinks you and I are having an affair."
Alanwe: "An affair? With you?"
<Alanwe laughs.>
Anconath: "Why is that humorous?"
Alanwe: "No reason in particular."

The second conversation is between Rulanir and Alanwe:

Alanwe and Rulanir
Rulanir: "Alanwe, I don't think your husband enjoys my company."
Alanwe: "They say that when someone professes another's dislike for them, they really mean the opposite."
Rulanir: "He hisses at me when I walk past."
Alanwe: "Stop it."
Rulanir: "It's true! I don't know what you see in him. You realize in the grand scheme of your marriage—he's the one who wins?"
Alanwe: "I will take that as a compliment, Rulanir. But look around. Look what he helped me to build. The Agea Relle and its students are more beautiful than I ever dreamed. How can you doubt his character?"
Rulanir: "That is not a reason to love someone."
Alanwe: "He was my husband before we built the school, Rulanir. And it's not like you haven't gained from his work. Being our blademaster is the first steady job you've held since the Fighters Guild kicked you out."
Rulanir: "I'll be back on the roads of Tamriel soon enough. And maybe you'll come to your senses and adventure with me, again."
Alanwe: "Keep dreaming, Rulanir. This school is the world to me, now."

The final conversation is between Alanwe and Faindor, her student:

Alanwe talks to Faindor
Alanwe: "Faindor!"
Faindor: "What?"
Alanwe: "How many times do I have to tell you not to rewrite Nerien'eth's texts? It's incredibly irritating. And insulting."
Faindor: "His books are wrong. All of this is pointless conjecture. You lot should be paying me to fix his work. The incoming classes will benefit greatly from my edits."
Alanwe: "By the Empyrean Light! The Altmeri do not openly criticize their elders! Were you conceived by Orcs? What's wrong with you?"
Faindor: "I might as well be an Orc, the way my parents shipped me off to you. But you know that, don't you, Alanwe? You're all such lovely Elves."
Alanwe: "I … apologize. Put the books back where you found them, and I shall leave it at that. You have talent, Faindor. Don't waste it showing off. If you think you can do better, prove it to us, when the time comes."
Faindor: "Please, have you read this garbage? Your husband knows nothing about conjuration. What does he even teach here? What is his purpose? Besides paying for this building? He's an insult to your kind. Your kind meaning mages. All the mages. In the world."
Alanwe: "Shut your mouth, Faindor! You're a horrible youth!"

Crypt of Hearts II[edit]

Edge of Darkness[edit]

When you arrive inside the Crypt, Alanwe will be trying to protect her students from Nerien'eth who has returned to the Crypt of Hearts in the interim between Lover's Torment and now. You can only watch through a locked gate.

Alanwe: "Leave the students be! I'm the one you want!"
Nerien'eth: "I don't know how you lot escaped from torture, but it will resume."
Alanwe: "You are not yourself, Nerien'eth—let me help you."
Nerien'eth: "Help yourself, wretch."
Alanwe: "Wait!"

He will leave and then you can ask her what has happened since the last time you were there.

"Did you arrive from the surface? You need to take leave of this place.
There's a war on down here."
What's happening?
"My husband, Nerien'eth, made a Daedric pact that granted him lichdom. He ... slayed me, slayed our students.
Then his minions tortured our spirits for years within these walls before you set us free. But he's returned."
I'll deal with him.
"Auriel must guide your steps for you to return today. I … accept your offer.
Nerien'eth is more powerful than I have ever known him to be. If we're to contest with him, we should go to his study up ahead—it's where he'll be."
Let's go.
"The students and I thought we could defeat Nerien'eth when he returned. We were wrong.
But even a lich as powerful as he's become can be beaten if we destroy his body. We just need to find him. Let's check his study up ahead. I'll meet you there."
I want to know more about what happened here.
"You did us a great service when you freed us from the Daedra that Nerien'eth left to torment us. But I'm afraid your heroics have been undone.
Nerien'eth returned as my students and I thought he would."
requirements for this response? doesn't appear if completed Lover's Torment
I want to know more about what happened here.
"My husband and I met as adventurers. We built this place as a school to teach practical sorcery and use-of-arms as survival skills.
The world can be a dangerous place, and we wanted to give our students the means to tame it. Like we did."
So what happened?
My husband made a Daedric pact. One night, the Daedra, under contract with my husband, invaded the walls of this academy.
They slayed us, tortured our souls for years before we were freed. But my husband has returned."
You were freed? Why didn't you leave?
"For the sake of others my husband might harm, we stayed. We knew he would one day, return, and we thought we could stop him. I was the stronger mage in life—not so anymore.
He's retaken the souls of my students."
Tell me more about Nerien'eth.
"He made the Daedric pact that is the cause of all that you see. The Daedra granted him lichdom.
Together, they turned this school into a torture chamber for the souls of my students. And myself."
Why would he do this?
"Nerien'eth believes that I wronged him. I don't understand why.
Everything he's done here is some kind of sick retribution. He said so when he killed me, my students. He says so now, as he captures their souls."
So you've done nothing to him?
"Not by any sane measure of logic.
Perhaps the Daedra whispers lies to him, to drive him further into madness. Perhaps he truly believes it."
Any ideas on how we might defeat Nerien'eth?
"Even a lich will die when one destroys his physical body. Let's head to his study. He'll likely be there.
I don't see a way to stop Nerien'eth without direct conflict. I've already tried appealing to his morality. What's left of it."
OR requirements for 2nd option?
"Not easily. We can beat him by destroying his physical body, but he defeated us alone, arrayed against myself and all my students. He is far more powerful than he was in life.
We should head to his study. It's likely we'll find him there."
Finding the Study[edit]

She will ask for your help in stopping Nerien'eth, and suggests the first place you look is in his study. When you jump down into the ruined library, she will warn you about the guards:

Alanwe: "It's just up ahead."
Alanwe: "And it's under guard. Be careful."

After you defeat Ruzozuzalpamaz, she will compliment you:

Alanwe: "You're formidable. Perhaps we have a chance at this. Let me take my students out of the Daedra's reach."
Alanwe: "Nerien'eth will answer for this. He has to."

She will then run off in the direction of the study. Once there she will unlock the door for you.

Alanwe: "I'll open the lock on the other side. The study is just a bit farther."

Once unlocked, she will run in the direction of their old bedroom.

Alanwe: "This way! Whatever he keeps in here now, it's well-guarded."
Nerien'eth: "Out! The lot of you! You've no right to enter!"
Alanwe: "This was our bedroom. We used to store our adventuring relics here."
Alanwe: "It's warded. Quite a defense for such a small room. There must be a way to open it—and these statues didn't used to be here."

When you interact with the statues, the door will open, unfortunately a guard was posted inside.

Alanwe: "A guardian! Watch out!"
Alanwe: "The bedroom is open! Follow as you can!"
"This is where I died."
Alanwe's mummified body

Once you have dealt with the guardian, you can enter the bedroom to find Alanwe staring at her own body.

Alanwe: "This is where I died."
Alanwe: "My husband's journal mentions a ritual that brought the Daedra, performed out in the rain. Only a few courtyards on the grounds, so let's seek them out."

Alanwe can be questioned further.

"All these years. He kept the body. It's been so long, and the torture of my soul so recent … I had forgotten.
It was a single stab through the chest with a blade so sharp it pierced my ward. Possibly with the Daedric blade he now wields."
What do we do now?
"Nerien'eth is still out there. But his journal mentions a Daedric ritual, the one he invoked years ago in his attack on this school.
He probably used it to return."
What should we do about it?
"We need to find the ritual site and stop the flow of Daedra into this plane.
There's still Nerien'eth to deal with, but he'll be close."
Tell me more about Nerien'eth's ritual./Tell me more about the ritual Nerien'eth performed.
"Nerien'eth's journal only refers to the broad process, but he cast a ritual to bring the Daedra here.
If we find the ritual site, we can stem their flow into this plane. No doubt he'll be there to confront us when we do."
What did the journal say about that Daedric blade?/What did the journal say about the artifact?
"The journal did not refer to the weapon by name. No mention of how Nerien'eth obtained it, or what kind of macabre sorcery is sealed inside it. Only a short note that it may drive its user to madness—in exchange for power.
We have to find him."
Are you still worried about him?
"I'm afraid I can only worry about what he'll do with that weapon.
He wrote that it whispers to him. As his notes imply, perhaps it drove him to madness. It would be a measure of peace to know the blade was my enemy all these years. Not my husband."

If you interact with her body, she will burn it with blue flame.

Alanwe: "I can't stand looking at this any longer."
Seeking the Ritual Site[edit]

Once you leave the bedroom, you will need to search the three courtyards around to find where the daedra are coming from and the likely place Nerien'eth is hiding.

Alanwe: "The daedra have destroyed much of the school."
Alanwe: "Let's keep moving."

At two of the possible ritual sites, she will quickly state that it isn't the right spot.

Alanwe: "The ritual site isn't here. We should keep moving."
Alanwe: "There's no ritual site here. Let's keep moving."

After deafeating the Ilambris Amalgam she will comment on it.

Alanwe: "The Brothers Ilambris—defeated again. A shame Daedra don't stay dead."

You may talk to her again, but aside from her initial statement her dialogue is the same from the discussion in her bedroom.

"The journal mentioned rain. Nerien'eth must have cast the ritual in an outdoor space. It shouldn't be far.
Be on your guard. He'll show no mercy if we meet, and that Daedric artifact he wields casts an ill aura."

Once you arrive at the final chamber where Mezeluth guards the portal, Alanwe will call out to Nerien'eth.

Alanwe: "Nerien'eth. That blade you wield. How did you come upon it?"
Nerien'eth: "All that should concern you is that it counsels me. It convinced me of your betrayal, of the need for the students to pay for their insolence."
Alanwe: "It has led you astray."
Nerien'eth: "On the contrary, this Blade grants me a clarity I never had in life. And I will have you respect it."

When Mezeluth is defeated, Alanwe will run up to the portal.

Alanwe: "A portal! This must be the ritual site—where the Daedra are coming through. And where Nerien'eth is waiting."
Alanwe: "We'll meet on the other side. Be wary."
Confronting Nerien'eth[edit]

When you enter Nerien'eth's chamber, Alanwe will try to reason with him for the final time.

Alanwe: "Nerien'eth. Cease this madness. My friends have defeated your horde. Lay down your blade."
Nerien'eth: "You so love the sound of your own voice. Couldn't you see the Blade wanted you here all along?"
Alanwe: "The blade! I can hear the whispers from it. By the Divines—so many lives."
<Alanwe clutches at her head and starts to scream in pain.>
Nerien'eth: "The Blade hungers for you—for the connection between us. And I give it gladly!"

Alanwe then disappears.

Following Nerien'eth's defeat at the end of Crypt of Hearts II, Alanwe can be spoken to complete the quest:

"Thank you, my friends. Nerien'eth was no longer the man I knew.
Perhaps he never was."
What happens now?
"I had hoped until the end that Nerien'eth could be redeemed. He never gave us the chance. I suppose I have to decide what to do with this blade. Try to move on. Whatever that means at this point.
Thank you again―you proved invaluable today."
A Final Sacrifice[edit]

Upon completing the quest, Alanwe will commune with the bust of Mephala:

Alanwe: "You did it! He's... gone."
Whispering Lady: "The mortal did well in feeding my killing word. My black edge."
Alanwe: "Who are you?"
Whispering Lady: "Never has the whispering from that blade been so... pronounced."
Alanwe: "You're the Daedric fiend that created it, aren't you? That weapon must never again be allowed to influence mortals."
Whispering Lady: "It has hurt you, has it not? Perhaps you could destroy it. Disable it. I could help you."
Alanwe: "You think I trust you, the one who twisted my husband, murdered my students? I will send the blade away, and I will do so on my own terms―no matter the cost. It will travel far, ever slipping from the hands that desire it. This cannot happen again."
Whispering Lady: "The Blade will fight you. It is fully empowered, and it wishes to return home."
Alanwe: "Never... again!" [Alanwe casts a spell on the blade, disappearing along with it]
Whispering Lady: "Mortals never fail to amuse. That edge was fully sharpened, and would have seen great use at my side in the days to come, but Alanwe gave everything to cast it away. There is nothing left to take from her. You and I, however, will meet again."

Alanwe disappears after casting a spell to banish the Ebony Blade, and according to the spirits in the dungeon, she sacrificed herself to make sure it would not return to Tamriel for a long time.