Online:Ancestral Adversity

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Quick Summary: written by MolagBallet, not checked

Walkthrough: written by Ray75228, not checked

Quest Stages: written by Tib, checked by MolagBallet

Accompany Narsis Dren on a Vvardenfell grave robbing expedition.
Zone: Vvardenfell
Objective: Veloth Ancestral Tomb — Help Narsis Dren discover the secret of the Veloth Tomb.
Quest Giver: Elfbetta the Shy outside Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
Location(s): Dreloth Ancestral Tomb, Veloth Ancestral Tomb
Reward: Pauldrons of the Warrior-Poet
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Standard Experience
Defeat Dren's "dangerous creature"
Elfbetta, personal assistant to the famed explorer Narsis Dren, informed me that the adventurer is investigating the ancestral tombs that dot the Vvardenfell landscape. They apparently uncovered an old scroll that hints at hidden treasure.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Enter Dreloth Ancestral Tomb and find Narsis Dren.
  2. Follow Narsis Dren through the tomb and defeat the monster within.
  3. Meet Narsis Dren at Veloth Ancestral Tomb on the west coast of Vvardenfell.
  4. Solve the ancestor puzzle.
  5. Delve the tomb and defeat Matriarch Rathila.
  6. Settle the matter with Narsis Dren.
  7. Speak with Elfbetta the Shy outside of the tomb.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Dreloth Ancestral Tomb[edit]

At a camp outside the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb, you'll find two assistants of Narsis Dren, Elfbetta the Shy and Borfree Dull-Blade. Speak to Elfbetta to start the quest.

Borfree likes to talk about the virtues of Scrib Jelly as a condiment. Before starting the quest, he'll say:

"Did you know that the Dark Elves make jelly out of scribs? You'd think bug jelly would taste awful, but spread it on bread and it's divine!"

Elfbetta will express concern for her employer, Narsis Dren, as he has failed to return from exploring inside the tomb.

"One moment … let me finish this thought …. Hmm, what's this word? I wish my dear Narsis Dren would return so I could ask. His handwriting is atrocious!
Ah, well, I'll just write "inky-black darkness." That sounds like the tomb he described to me!"
What tomb are you talking about?
"The nearby Dreloth Ancestral Tomb, of course. My employer, the famous adventurer Narsis Dren, explores its depths, searching for hidden treasure even as we speak.
I hope to get to investigate a tomb one day. For now, I'm content to be Narsis's assistant."
What does an assistant know about hidden treasure?
"I am the personal assistant to Narsis Dren and I know a great deal about a good many things! I found the old scroll that mentioned the treasure, after all.
Narsis has been gone a long time, though. Even missed lunch today, and he never skips a meal."
I can go into the Dreloth tomb and look for Narsis Dren
"You'll check on Narsis? How sweet! I will make certain you get a mention in his next book.
I suppose he just lost track of time studying an intriguing relic or some such, but I'll feel so much better if you go into Dreloth and see if he's all right."
Can I ask you a few questions before I enter the tomb?
"Certainly! I'd be more than happy to tell you all about the great Narsis Dren and his exciting adventures!
What do you want to know?"
Tell me more about the hidden treasure.
"I suppose I can take credit for that. I found an old scroll in a Telvanni bookshop and took it right to Narsis for analysis.
His translation indicated there were secret passages inside. he said secret passages mean hidden treasure, so here we are!"
Who's Narsis Dren again? / Tell me more about Narsis Dren.
"You don't know the great Narsis Dren? He explores the world's most dangerous locations and writes books so that his beloved admirers can experience his adventures vicariously. Just reading his words will send little thrills up and down your spine."
You really admire Narsis Dren, don't you?
"It's much more than mere admiration! Narsis Dren fills my heart the way mead fills an earthen jar. Some day, we will undergo the ritual of Mara and live happily as husband and wife!
Elfbetta Dren … it has a certain flair, don't you think?"

After agreeing to help look for the wayward treasure hunter, you can speak to Borfree again:

"I wonder what other delicacies the Dark Elves make? You'd think that after all these years at the side of the great Narsis Dren I would know more about his culture. I suppose he's more interested in the ancient past than in talking about the present."
How come Elfbetta didn't send you into the tomb to check on Narsis?
"Into the tomb? That tomb over there? Well, that wouldn't work out so well. You see, I have a powerful fear of ghosts. Ghosts, spirits, windows—anything you can see through, really.
No, I don't go anywhere near tombs. Too many ghosts for my taste."

Upon entering the tomb, you will encounter Narsis.

Narsis Dren: "Not so loud! That creature in the next chamber is a tricky one."
<Looks you over.>
Narsis Dren: "You must be my new apprentice! Well, let's start the lesson, shall we?"

Dren assumes you're his new assistant and will make remarks about a "dangerous creature". Questioning Dren will reveal he is looking to raid the tomb for all its worth, as apparently the tomb sits above two other long forgotten structures that have not been touched for centuries. But before continuing, he'll ask you to dispatch the "creature" plaguing the adjacent room.

First time meeting:
If you met Narsis Dren previously in Wrothgar:
"Can you smell it? The dust of ancient Elves permeates the very air of this old tomb.
Ooh, that's a good phrase. I must remember it for my next book! But tell me, what brings you to this lonely place?"
"Hmm. You look familiar. Let me think. The cave full of nereids? The incident with Morella the Cruel and the Mephala cultists? No, no. I remember. The draugr incident! We helped the Orcs out of a jam, as I recall.
What brings you down here, friend?"
Your assistant, Elfbetta, sent me to check on you.
"Assistant? Oh, you mean that young Nord woman who's been hanging about? Very kind of her, but Narsis Dren doesn't need to be coddled!
I'm in the middle of a very important undertaking. There's more to this old tomb than meets the eye!"
What's so special about this tomb?
"According to an old scroll I discovered, this tomb was built atop two older structures. Imagine, secret chambers that haven't been opened in centuries! And the family died out ages ago. No one to contest my findings.
Except that creature over there."
Elfbetta mentioned an old scroll. / Elfbetta mentioned an old scroll, too.
"She did, did she? Probably told you she found it. Well, I had to translate it. And from the ancient Elven, no less! Difficult, even for me.
Before I could begin my investigation, however, that creature over there appeared to harass me!"
Tell me more about this creature.
"It's a sneaky one. Silent as a tomb and twice as deadly. Even its shadow is terrifying, but it won't get the jump on Narsis Dren!
Slip into the chamber and see what its intentions are. I'll wait here, poised to leap to your aid as necessary."
You seem to have weathered the Exile's Barrow incident without too much trouble. (Option if previously met Narsis in Wrothgar)
"It takes more than a few shambling corpses to stop the formidable Narsis Dren!
Come to think of it, I seem to remember that you weren't as helpful as I'd hoped once we got into that ancient Nord barrow. There was a sarcophagus, as I recall …."
Did you write a book about that adventure?
"Hmm? Oh, yes. My most popular volume to date! "Narsis Dren and the Draugr Dilemma." Surprised you haven't read it. It's captivating!
Help me get through this tomb and I'll let you have a copy—at a substantial discount!"
Very well, I'll go look.
"Go on. See what mischief that creature has planned for us. Just be careful. From the cast of its shadow, I'd say it's either a rabid ogrim or maybe an ardent hagraven.
I've never had much luck when it comes to hagravens …."

Investigating reveals the creature is just a tiny spider feasting on a dead scamp with a lantern next to is projecting its shadow onto the nearby wall. You can examine the dead scamp:

"<The ominous shadow belongs to a tiny spider feasting upon a long-dead scamp. Neither poses any threat whatsoever.>"

Once you've revealed the fact, Dren will lead you through the tomb.

Narsis Dren:"I knew there was nothing to worry about."
Narsis Dren:"Now lead on, my stalwart companion! This tomb won't explore itself."

Enter the Ancestor Prayer Room at the end of the tomb, it turns out to be rather plain and small:

Narsis Dren:"This isn't what I expected. It's rather ... Small."

Speaking with him, he'll consult the scroll:

"This isn't right. Where's the treasure vault? The hidden chambers? This tomb deeply disappoints Narsis Dren."
What were you expecting to find here?
"Something more interesting than a boring burial chamber.
This ancient scroll indicates that if you honor the ancestors, they reveal … I can't quite make out this word. I'm having a hard time translating some of these old idioms."
Vvardenfell has a lot of tombs. Are you sure this is the correct one?
"Are you questioning my expertise? Ancient Elven is like a second language to me and scholars across Tamriel revere my ability to make sense of historic gibberish!
Still, I could check my notes again, just to be sure …."
Why don't you do that.

After some consternation and doubt that he has the right tomb, he presses a button and disappears behind a door. At this you can watch Narsis puzzle it out:

Narsis Dren: "Hmm, let me see. This squiggle means "tomb" …."
Narsis Dren: "Oh, wait That's "V," not "D."
Narsis Dren: "Veloth tomb! Ooh, what's this button do?"
<He presses the nearby button and a monster is summoned.>

Follow Dren and you'll come across a Grievous Twilight. He'll ask you to defeat the beast and meet Elfbetta outside once you're done (and promptly sneaks out of the tomb).

Narsis Dren: "Deal with that, will you? Then talk to Elfbetta outside!"

Defeat the Grievous Twilight, raid the urns, and exit the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb. If you speak to Borfree before Elfbetta, he'll say:

"Glad to see Narsis wasn't eaten by a ghost! I wonder where he ran off to in such a hurry, though?
I bet Elfbetta knows. Narsis tells her everything."

Speak to Elfbetta. She'll tell you to meet Dren at the Veloth tomb on the west coast:

"Narsis shot out of that tomb so fast! Just like that time my sister laughed so hard and mead spurted out her nose! Narsis was so excited, he went to find a mage to open a portal. Told us to meet him there.
Borfree, pack up! We need to move!"
Did Narsis say where he was going?
"He did. And he told me to tell you. But why he needs your help when he has me, well, that's just beyond my comprehension.
Narsis said that he found new information. He said that the scroll was not about Dreloth tomb---it pointed toward Veloth tomb!"
Any idea where Veloth tomb is located?
"You better get moving if you're going to help my Narsis. Veloth tomb is on the west coast, just south of Gnisis.
Borfree can make his own way, just like you. He's reliable like that. Me? I might hire a mage. Portals are so much nicer than walking."

Speak to her before leaving:

"I better get Borfree to start packing so we can head for the Veloth tomb. He's sweet but kind of simple. I think it's wonderful that Narsis keeps the poor fellow employed, even though he requires a lot of supervision."

You can speak to Bolfree once again before leaving:

"Another tomb? And clear on the other side of Vvardenfell? This sounds dangerous to me, but Narsis Dren is the famous adventurer and all. I'm just here to haul around his very heavy possessions."

Veloth Ancestral Tomb[edit]

Once you reach the Veloth Ancestral Tomb, you'll find Elfbetta lying on her side outside of the tomb. You can talk to her first and once again she will ask you to look for Dren.

"I see you found your way. It's nice that you want to help my Narsis, but he doesn't really require another assistant. I'm quite capable of taking care of his many … wants and desires."
Did Narsis Dren already enter the tomb?
"Oh yes. We had a lovely meal by candlelight, talked about the new book he's working on, drank some wine. Then off he went, like a flash, into the tomb!
Unfortunately, I have not heard so much as a peep out of him in a guar's age."
Is there a reason to be worried?
"No, of course not. This is Narsis Dren we're talking about! Famed hero and adventurer.
If you aren't too busy, though, I'd appreciate it if you could head inside and check on him. Just in case. Sometimes Narsis gets a little distracted, you know."

Entering the tomb will reveal that Dren has got himself locked behind a door. He'll explain how he didn't realize it was a trap and asks you to try to unlock the door with the plates along the wall that have Daedric runes inscribed on them.

Locked Door: "Hello? is someone out there? I seem to have locked myself in!"
"Who's out there? No, never mind. I don't care. I just want to get out of here.
It's dark and it's cramped and it smells like an Argonian's armpit."
How did you get locked in there?
"I recognize that voice! I knew you'd come and find me! As for my current predicament, how was I supposed to know it was a trap? The door slammed shut and locked behind me!
So, do a Dark Elf a favor and open the door like a good apprentice. Please."
How do I open the door?
"There's probably a button or something nearby. In my experience, there's always something pushable. I remember seeing Daedric symbols on plates along the wall.
Try pushing a button that's divisible by three. Three has always been lucky for me."
Divisible by three?
"Now you're just trying to prolong my agony!
Divisible by three! Try pushing the sixth panel from the left. Or the third panel. Or maybe the eight panel. Any of the panels in a position that's divisible by three!"

He offers guidance by trying something that's "divisible by three". Looking at the wall, select the third from the left. Once you find the right panel, he'll emerge. Pressing an incorrect button apparently delivers a small degree of pain to Dren and elicits various responses:

  • "Ow! Something just shocked me!"
  • "Ow! What are you doing out there?"
  • "All right, that was just mean!"
  • "Ouch! Try pushing the correct button this time!"
  • "Yow! You did that on purpose, didn't you?"

After working out the puzzle, Narsis will be freed and exclaim proudly:

Narsis Dren:"Another obstacle overcome by the great Narsis Dren!"

Talk with him to see what he wants to do next:

"I find that escaping from an ancient trap really gets the heart pumping—provided it doesn't take too long, of course.
I couldn't have done it without your relatively minor contribution. Thank you."
So are you sure this is the tomb you were looking for?
"Indeed. Veloth Tomb! Now we need to locate the hidden passages mentioned in the scroll and the relics of Saint Veloth will be mine! Um, to write about in my next book, of course.
Stick close, apprentice. These tombs can be dangerous to the unwary."
What should we look for?
"I could tell you, but I work on an instinctual level. I know relics of historical value when I see them.
Apprentice, you lead the way. I expect that locked door was the worst this tomb has in store for us. It's smooth sailing from here, I'm certain!"
What about the hidden passages?
"Ah, yes, the old scroll. It did mention hidden passages. That's what attracted me in the first place. So, I'll look for relics and hidden passages while you keep an eye out for any unexpected dangers.
See? We make a great team, apprentice!"
You think Saint Veloth is buried here?
"Saint Veloth? Perhaps. It's more likely he's buried in his shrine in Deshaan. This is the family tomb. Did I tell you my mother traces her lineage to this noble line?
Whatever we're going to find, it won't happen if we keep standing here. So …."
  • Saint Veloth's shrine is in Deshaan? (If you have not completed A Saint Asunder)
"One of them. And it's one of the larger and more significant ones, too. You should visit the place if you're ever in that part of the world.
Now, I'd really like to get on with the exploring if you don't mind."
"And I've chatted with the shade of my Great Aunt Attivinia. She was as unpleasant in death as she was in life.
Is there a point to regaling me with the story of your minor exploits?"
Just that the shrine contains the saints bones and other relics.
"Of course it did. Probably had his preserved toe for good measure. I'm not interested in bones. I'm looking for blessed relics sent as gifts to his beloved family. Heirlooms they buried with them in this tomb. Can we get to the exploring now, please?"
All right, let's look around.

Continue to follow Dren. Along the way through the tomb, he will comment on the various things he finds:

Narsis Dren: "Ooh! This might be Veloth's long sought after right pauldron!"
Narsis Dren: "Remarkable hanging. Early Second Era perhaps?"
Narsis Dren: "Ah! The main chamber must be down these stairs!"

Dren will eventually lead you to a room where he asks you to look for a secret entrance.

Narsis Dren:"Now, this is a burial chamber! We just need to find the entrance to the hidden passages."

Talk to him to ask about the secret passage and the tomb:

"According to the old scroll, there's a secret entrance that leads to the hidden passages somewhere in this chamber."
How do we find the secret entrance?
"I don't see an obvious lever or switch. That's too bad. Examine anything that looks unusual. That harp for instance. That's an odd accouterment for a burial chamber.
I also spot an old tome strategically placed for our reference. Interesting …."
Why am I examining the unusual items exactly?
"I need to supervise! You are my apprentice, after all. Now get down there and find the hidden passage.
Only the richest, most well-to-do families could afford to hide their true resting places so that no one could disturb or defile them. Imagine!"
But aren't we disturbing them?
"Historical research isn't defilement! It's … enriching the knowledge of future generations. My calling is noble and above reproach. It says so in my very first book!
Now, go find that entrance!"

Speak to him and he'll add:

"Do you require supervision already? Very well, let me ponder the particulars ….
My instincts tell me you should look for some sort of ancient inscription. Or maybe you should just read that book over there."

The harp strings are silent for now but the harp pedestal is engraved, read the inscription, which hints that you need honor four souls with appropriate offerings. You can consult with Dren at this point:

"More advice? Very well.
It's obvious from the inscription that we need to honor the memory of these departed souls by making appropriate offerings to each. That book over there may provide additional clues if you need them."

Then read the book Honored Ancestors for more hints. And take the four relics from the center of the room and place the appropriate relics to the correct tombs.

Llirala = mirror
Ondre = arrow
Valyne = goblet
Elms = grain

As you progress:

Narsis Dren:"The brazier ignited. That's a good sign."
Narsis Dren:"You're a natural! Although, I suppose my mentoring has honed your talent."
Narsis Dren:"Happy to see the ancestors aren't materializing. I find ghosts to be rather boorish."

Completing the puzzle:

Narsis Dren:"Oh well done! Perhaps I should charge for my tutelage?

Speaking to him afterwards, he'll suggest using the harp:

"Yes, yes, you figured out which offerings pleased the ancestors. Makes you feel all tingly inside, doesn't it?
But I still don't see an entrance to the hidden passages. Didn't the inscription mention something about a harp?"

Upon playing the harp the hidden door is revealed:

Narsis Dren:"We did it! On to the Undertomb, apprentice!"

Follow Dren going through the door.

Narsis Dren:"No dawdling, apprentice! There's treasure nearby, I can practically smell it!"

Speaking with him before descending into the Undertomb:

"Isn't it exciting? We're the first living creatures to set foot down here in more than a hundred years! This will definitely get an entire chapter in my next book!"
You were right. A hidden passage led to an older section of the tomb.
"And that surprises you? Haven't you read my books? This is very similar to that time I unearthed the secret chambers of the Master Thief of Elsweyr.
A pity my apprentice on that excursion refused to heed my advice. Walked right into a nasty trap."
What do you suggest we do next?
"We search! You lead the way while I watch for the tell-tale signs of a valuable item of historical significance. Hopefully even a relic of Saint Veloth himself!
This is the part where our adventure gets really exciting!"
How do you recognize items of historic significance?
"Oh, that's a skill I developed. Finely honed in the heat of battle—both metaphorical and physical!
So lead on, my erstwhile apprentice. And do watch for any guardians or traps that might be waiting in hiding."
Is that why you always want me to go first?
"Going first? That's an honor I wouldn't dream of denying you! And I'll be right behind you, offering advice and watching for opportunities to teach valuable lessons.
You won't get this kind of education at any university or academy."
Is that what you told your apprentice in Elsweyr?
"Something along those lines. But he was too eager, running ahead before I could offer him the advantage of my experience.
You don't seem to have that quirk. In fact, quite the opposite. It seems like you want to stand here and talk forever."
Very well, let's go.

Continue to follow Dren, looting and slaying. As you encounter undead creatures each time, Dren will make some comments along the way:

Narsis Dren:"Hmm. Nothing important in there."
Narsis Dren:"An ornate coffer! I'll take a look while you deal with any other issues that may arise."
Narsis Dren:"Keep your eyes peeled for traps, apprentice!"

While you make your way through, you need to have a chat with him again about the scroll:

"Pity that old scroll didn't include some sort of map."
Where did your assistant find that old scroll?
"You keep bringing up that strange Nord woman. I believe she said she found the scroll at a shop in Sadrith Mora. Once she noticed the ancient Elven, she brought it to me straight away."
So you'll share credit for this discovery with Elfbetta?
"What? No, of course not. She'll get a thank you, in the fine print. But I translated the scroll. I braved the dangers of the tomb. I did all the hard work.
With some help from you. Which I will gladly acknowledge when I write this thrilling tale."

Narsis will they run ahead again, passing all sorts of undead creatures, leaving you to deal with all enemies along the way:

Narsis Dren:"I'm sure you can handle this!"
Narsis Dren:"Well, that's not something you see every day. Great opportunity for you to impress me, though."

After going through another door, you need to speak with Dren again:

"What a large vault! Imagine the expense that went into hollowing out a space this big."
Do other Vvardenfell tombs have hidden chambers like this one?
"The ancestral tombs vary in size from single chambers to massive crypts, but I never heard of hidden passages until I translated that scroll.
I believe the Veloth tomb is unique in all of Vvardenfell. As such, it will make a magnificent tale."
Won't the descendants of the Veloth line be angry that we're rummaging around in their tomb?
"If the family still exists, they'll be thrilled to hear that the famed explorer Narsis Dren has deigned to bring attention to their tomb."
Does't anything you "discover" belong to them?
"The Veloth family is welcome to any little trinkets we may find. All I care about are the big items of historic significance.
Narsis Dren is a historian, an explorer. I'm not some tomb robber of ill repute."

You will then encounter three waves of enemies attacking, including a Hunger.

Narsis Dren:"I believe I see the treasure vault on the other side of this chamber!"
Narsis Dren:"Away, foul creatures!"
Narsis Dren:"The Bracelet of Indrel Veloth, I'm sure of it!"

Once again you'll find Dren trapped behind another locked door. He'll ask you to press some more plates to release him. If you threaten to leave him in there, he'll note that he found a key to the next section of the tomb.

"Damn these trapped spaces and their tempting gaps! I hate to be a bother, but could you get me out of here please?"
You seem to have a knack for getting into tight situations.
"So good of you to notice! I'm quite proud of my ability to turn any situation into a dramatic scene for my next book!
Anyway, I believe you'll find another series of wall plates to push in that chamber to my right."
I could just leave you in there.
"That's a rather ungrateful attitude after I graciously agreed to take you under my wing! If you don't let me out, however, we won't be able to use the key I found in here. I'm quite certain it opens the way into the next section of the tomb."
There's another section?
"Almost certainly! The scroll clearly described a final treasure vault, and we haven't come across anything like that yet.
So, do a Dark Elf a favor and go push a wall plate. It's the second one from the left. Or is it the right?"
All right, I'll see if the wall plates will open this door.

Press the second button from the right to release him. If the wrong button is pressed the trap will give Narsis a shock:

Narsis Dren:"Ow! Something just shocked me!"
Narsis Dren:"Ow! What are you doing out there?"
Narsis Dren:"All right, that was just mean!"
Narsis Dren:"Ouch! Try pushing the correct button this time!"
Narsis Dren:"Yow! You did that on purpose, didn't you?"

Upon releasing Narsis from the trap:

Narsis Dren:"I found a jeweled glove and a sturdy key! Let's see if it opens the way into the next section of the tomb."
<He uses the key.>
Narsis Dren:"Ah, sweet freedom! Onward!"

Follow him through yet another door, you will need to fight off more undead:

Narsis Dren:"You deal with this. I wouldn't want to deny you a chance to demonstrate your impressive combat prowess."
Narsis Dren:"So many spirits! Why they prefer tombs like this is beyond me!"

Next you'll reach the tile puzzle room. You need to solve the floor tile puzzle and open the gate:

Narsis Dren:"Tiles set in the floor. I've seen this before."
Narsis Dren:"Panels on the walls. Do you see any differences?"
Narsis Dren:"I suppose the order is important, but a few of the panels have fallen into disrepair"

Talking to him about the puzzle:

"Think of the stone tiles set into the floor as a giant locking mechanism. We just need to determine the proper combination to open the way forward.
Of course, there's probably some kind of conundrum built in."
You've dealt with a puzzle like this before?
"Of course! But no two puzzles are ever exactly the same.
The scroll describe a proper path to ancient honors. Or was it to honor the ancients? No matter, close enough. We just need to determine the correct order in which to walk the stone tiles."
What happens if we get it wrong?
"That's where the conundrum comes in.
Check the panels on the wall and see if they provide any insights. I'll supervise and run through the Huge Catalog of Adventure Obstacles and How to Counteract Them. I memorized it for just such situations."
Well, let me know if you think of something.

On the left and right walls you see Daedric letters. Step on the corresponding floor tiles in the same order. More hints could be found by reading Very Old Note next to the right wall and exaiming Veloth Floor Puzzle next to the left wall, which enables you to pick up a map showing the floor tiles and Daedric letters written on tiles, together with some arrows as guidance.

If you do it right each floor tile will glow as you step on it. Starting with the second tile from the left, it is then forward, right, forward, forward, right, forward (spelling the word "VBERMAC"). As you press tiles, he'll comment:

Narsis Dren: "That's it! Just step in the proper order and the way will be opened!"
Narsis Dren: "Did you see that flash of gold? A blessing from Saint Veloth for sure!"

The next chamber is revealed, Dren will then grab the golden skull found inside:

Narsis Dren: "Come to Narsis, you beautiful golden head, you!"
Narsis Dren: "And look, another passage opens! That will lead to the treasure vault, most assuredly!"

Continue to follow Dren as he picks up a gold skull with emerald eyes and "ignore any odd sounds".

"I'm just guessing, mind you, but I dare say that skull belonged to a son or grandson of Saint Veloth! What a spectacular discovery!"
Maybe you should have left the skull where you found it?
"Nonsense! Did you see it? Emeralds for eyes, covered in gold. It's better than anything in my collection.
Don't let odd sounds disturb you. I learned long ago to just hum the tune to the Red Mountain drinking song and keep moving forward."
But the skull was hidden behind a gate, with magic protecting it from people like us.
"There are no people like us! We solved the puzzle and uncovered the secret. You did all the work, of course, but I had it figured out the moment we entered the chamber. I was ready to help if you needed it.
Now, let's see what's waiting inside."
Very well, let's continue on.
Narsis Dren: "To the ancient crypt! My next book is going to be a trilogy for sure!"

Next is an underground cavern. Dren is impressed with the well-preserved corpses, until they start to attack.

Narsis Dren: "Well, this isn't at all what I expected."
Narsis Dren: "This place is ancient. These must be Veloth's earliest ancestors."
Narsis Dren: "I'll perform a thorough historical examination while you … deal with any inconveniences that happen our way."
Narsis Dren: "Look at this! Preserved bodies, not cremated ashed! A technique that pre-dates the earliest Dark Elves."

As you fight off any enemies, he'll remark:

Narsis Dren: "I expected your technique to be a little more graceful than that."

At the end defeat the boss Matriarch Rathila.

Narsis Dren: "Oh dear, I don't like the look of this. I'm sure you can manage."
Narsis Dren: "Aim for vital parts! They have to have vital parts!"

Once the Bone Colossus is down, he'll move on. Follow Dren into the next section.

Narsis Dren: "Ancient stairs! Those often lead to ancient treasures!"

In the last room, Dren is disappointed to find a bunch of broken crates and an old well.

Narsis Dren: "This is disappointing. Where's all the treasure?"
Narsis Dren: "Nothing but some broken crates and an old well!"
Narsis Dren: "Narsis Dren never fails like this. I blame you, apprentice!"

You can tell him to embellish the adventure in his next book or trick him and tell him the treasure is down the old well. Once he gets to the edge, you can push him in for his just rewards.

"My translation was nearly perfect, so how could this be? where are the relics? The treasure? There's nothing here but some busted old crates and a decrepit old well!"
I guess that old scroll was wrong.
"No, that's impossible. Ancient scrolls lead to discovery and treasure, not disappointment!
I blame you, apprentice. You obviously don't have the attitude and temperament necessary to make great discoveries. You've ruined my expedition!"
Wasn't it worth it just for the adventure?
"Isn't that a noble sentiment! But noble sentiments don't pay the bills or sell my books!
You wouldn't understand. You have no sense of what it takes to do what Narsis Dren does. You're nothing more than an … apprentice."
I'm sure you can make it sound good when you write it.
"Bend the truth for dramatic effect? Unconventional, but it would be a shame to disappoint my adoring readers with a lackluster ending ….
You know, I like the way you think, apprentice!"
Your adoring readers will devour that story, Narsis.
Narsis Dren: "I can't wait to write this all down. To my camp, apprentice!"

Outside, you'll hear:

Narsis Dren: "I can't wait to write this all down. To my camp, apprentice!"
Narsis Dren: "This expedition might make for my most exciting tale yet! That was probably Saint Veloth's mother!"
Elfbetta the Shy: "Oh Narsis, that's wonderful news! I can't wait to read it!"
Narsis Dren: "That will have to wait. I must get to Vivec City. I'll leave it to you to compensate my trusty assistant."

Narsis will run off without another word. Speak to Elfbetta to complete the quest:

"Ah, Narsis! Always rushing here and there. Oh, how I love him!
I am glad to see he did not leave you in that dusty old tomb. You wouldn't believe how many apprentices he tends to lose along the way."
I suppose this will make another exciting tale for the famous Narsis Dren.
"Oh yes! Before you arrived, he was telling us all about it. I am certain it's going to make for a great story—his best yet! And he was so feisty!
Allow me to pay you for your service. It is the standard rate for Narsis's apprentices."

After the quest, she'll say:

"It may seem like Narsis's books write themselves, but he uses dedicated assistants such as myself to get all the words down on paper.
It is a very important task! And I love that Narsis trusts me to know his own mind."

Didn't I read somewhere that the Chimer hid treasure in their wells? [Trick Narsis]
"Of Course! Narsis Dren and the Well of Gold! One of my earliest adventures! Why didn't I think of that?
I take back everything I said. You are a good apprentice! Now, let's see what they hid away in that old well …."
You might want to get a closer look.

Narsis walks over to the well and looks inside:

Narsis Dren:"I think you're right, apprentice. There's no water down there. And I definitely see a gleam of gold!"

At the prompt, push Narsis into the well.

Narsis Dren: "Hey!"
Narsis Dren: "I assume that was a mistake on your part!"
Narsis Dren: "I reiterate my earlier observation. You're a terrible apprentice!"
Narsis Dren: "Hello? Is anyone there? A little help please?"

You can then meet Elfbetta outside, who is talking to Borfree:

Elfbetta the Shy: "Borfree, now is not the time to take a break. Narsis will be out soon, I'm sure."

You can tell her Dren's "well" and is exploring "one more hole", at which point she'll give you your reward.

"It's good to see you again. Finished exploring the tomb? But where's Narsis? I do miss that Dark Elf terribly, you know."
Narsis is doing quite well. He wanted to check out one more hole in the ground.
"That sounds like my Narsis! Always wanting to explore just one more nook and cranny! I assume he'll be along shortly for one of my shoulder rubs.
Allow me to pay you for your service. It is the standard rate for Narsis's apprentices."

When talking to her after finishing the quest:

"Narsis still hasn't returned from the tomb. I don't suppose you'd … no, probably not.
I'll wait for a few more moments and then send Borfree in to look for him. I'm sure all is well, but I can't help this feeling that something went wrong …."

Either option you choose, Borfree will finally arrive and you can talk to him after exiting the tomb. He will return to talking about the virtues of Scrib Jelly as a condiment.


  • Narsis Dren won't exist inside Dreloth Ancestral Tomb before starting the quest.
  • The spider feasting on the dead scamp cannot be killed.
  • Speaking to Elfbetta before Dren, she'll tell you she discovered a scroll about the tomb. Dren will first tell you he found it, but when called on it, will clarify that he translated it.
  • It's not mandatory to kill the grievous twilight in Dreloth Ancestral Tomb. You can run past it and interact with the exit door, as long as you are not actively being attacked.
    • Similarly, Matriarch Rathila can also be skipped in the Veloth Undertomb, as there is enough space to walk nearby without aggroing it and enter the next area.
  • Pressing the wrong plates when Dren is trapped will cause him to be mildly tortured, if you so wish.
  • The book "Honored Ancestors" and the Engraved Pedestal lack the typical golden glow of readable notes.
  • In Veloth Undertomb, if you follow Narsis Dren closely, you are likely to get hit by traps.


  • Narsis Dren will progress all the way to the praying room even if you walk past him without speaking with him or inspecting the room with the shadow if you obtained the next objective from him. If done so, after you go back to examine the room, Narsis will appear again in the beginning hallway, and will remain there instead of appearing in the prayer room to continue the next objective. Narsis cannot be spoken to where he is standing in the hallway, blocking further progress in the quest. ?
    • Abandoning the quest and restarting clears this issue.
  • If running fast to the door to the praying room, Narsis Dren can be seen teleporting abruptly to it instead of running behind you. ?
  • Narsis Dren walks into and clips through the doors into the praying room once you are on the other side of them. ?
    • Narsis Dren clips through again in a similar fashion when he becomes locked a second time, in the Veloth Undertomb. ?
  • Narsis Dren's pathing temporarily becomes broken while he makes his way to the deeper chamber of Veloth Ancestral Tomb. He becomes still for a few seconds, then his pathing rectifies itself, leading him to walk at very high speed for the rest of it. ?
  • A quest marker appears over the book that Narsis Dren mentions while in the main chamber of Veloth Ancestral Tomb. However, no actual objective, hint or optional objective appear in the quest HUD to match it. Reading the book doesn't remove the quest marker either. The quest marker appears prematurely as the book does play a role but in the next objective. ?
  • During the objective to place the offerings, only three markers appear on the local map instead of four. ?
  • In the Veloth Undertomb, if you walk further than Narsis Dren at his initial spot, it counts the objective to speak with him as completed and he continues deeper into the tomb. ?
    • At several points, Narsis Dren will come to a standstill and to offer more dialogue. A quest marker appears above him each time but no objective, hint or optional objective appears in the quest HUD to match. Same as above, continuing to walk past him cancels this and makes him continue onward. ?
  • In Veloth Undertomb, the objective "Find the Treasure" appears simply as "Undertomb" when viewing it on the local map. ?
  • Skeletons in Veloth Undertomb make no noise when they dig out of the sand. ?
  • While it's possible to complete the floor puzzle without speaking to Narsis Dren, as the hint states, doing so results in an invisible wall preventing you access into the treasure room after the gate pulls up. Speaking with him after this and completing the hint still results in the invisible wall remaining in place, with the puzzle complete, and Narsis Dren remaining in place rather than going into the treasure chamber, blocking the quest. ?
    • Logging out and logging back in resets you at the start of the puzzle, with the hint available again. Completing the hint and completing the puzzle carefully avoids this issue occurring a second time.
  • After talking to Narsis Dren once he has acquired the golden skull, he will use the door opening animation while still in the skull room, then disappear, instead of actually running to the door in the next corridor. ?
  • Towards the end, Narsis Dren doesn't always meet his cues and is not in the right place to get the next stage of the quest.
    • Workaround: Leaving and re-entering the area sometimes helps, though you may have to resort to abandoning the quest and starting over.


Quest Stages[edit]

Ancestral Adversity
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Elfbetta asked me to enter the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb and check on Narsis Dren. He's been gone for a long time and she's starting to get worried.
Objective: Find Narsis Dren in Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
Narsis has been observing a creature in the next chamber, watching its shadow and waiting for it to make its move. He wants me to slip into the chamber and see what the creature's true intentions are before we explore the rest of the tomb.
Objective: Investigate the Creature
Narsis wants me to help him explore the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb.
Objective: Explore Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
Narsis seems disappointed that we didn't find anything significant down here. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Objective: See What Narsis Plans to Do
I should follow Narsis Dren and listen to what he has to say.
Objective: Follow Narsis Dren
Narsis made a significant discovery and ran off, telling me to talk to his assistant back outside the Dreloth tomb. Unfortunately, he also accidentally called forth a monster and left me to deal with it. Thanks, Narsis!
Objective: Meet Elfbetta Outside the Tomb
Elfbetta said that Narsis went to the Veloth Ancestral Tomb, clear across Vvardenfell. It's on the western coast, just south of Gnisis. I should head there and see if Narsis needs any more help.
Objective: Go to Veloth Ancestral Tomb
I should enter the Veloth Ancestral Tomb and see if I can locate Narsis Dren.
Objective: Find Narsis Dren in Veloth Ancestral Tomb
Objective Hint: Open the Locked Door
Narsis Dren managed to lock himself behind a door in the Veloth tomb's first chamber, but I managed to set him free. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Narsis Dren insists that hidden passages in the Veloth tomb lead to historic relics and untold treasure. He wants me to help him search the tomb and find the hidden passage.
Objective: Locate the Hidden Passage
We arrived at what looks like the final chamber in the Veloth tomb, but Narsis insists there is more to explore. We just need to locate a hidden passage. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Narsis wants me to examine the harp that stands on a pedestal in a prominent location in the chamber. It might reveal a clue as to how to find the entrance to the hidden passages.
Objective: Find a Hidden Passage
Objective Hint: Examine the Engraved Pedestal
Objective Hint: Determine Appropriate Offerings
Objective Hint: Honor the Four Ancestors
Objective Hint: Sound the Harp
I solved the puzzle and revealed the entrance to the hidden passages Narsis was looking for. Of course, he ran ahead. I should follow him and enter the Undertomb.
Objective: Enter the Undertomb
Narsis was right about there being a hidden section of Veloth tomb. I should talk to him and see how he wants to proceed.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Narsis thinks the Undertomb must contain a valuable treasure. I agreed to help him find it.
Objective: Find the Treasure
Objective Hint: Free Narsis Again
To proceed deeper into the tomb, we need to open the locked gate. Narsis thinks the stone tiles set into the floor form a locking mechanism of some sort. We just need to solve the puzzle to move forward.
Objective: Solve the Floor Puzzle
Objective Hint: Talk to Narsis Dren
Solving the unusual Daedric puzzle revealed a golden skull in a hidden chamber. Narsis grabbed it and another passage opened. I should talk to Narsis and see what he thinks of all this.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Narsis wants to keep going, deeper into the tomb. I should follow him into the ancient crypt we just uncovered.
Objective: Enter the Tomb of the Matriarch
Narsis is sure there is a treasure room or vault in the ancient crypt beneath the Veloth tomb. I should help him find it.
Objective: Find the Treasure Vault
Narsis entered an old chamber that he believes must be the treasure vault. I should follow him.
Objective: Enter the Treasure Vault
This doesn't look like a treasure vault and Narsis is clearly disappointed. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
Objective Hint: Push Narsis Dren
Finishes quest☑ I should head back outside and let Elfbetta know that Narsis isn't doing well.
Objective: Talk to Elfbetta
* 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.
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