Morrowind

Online:Breaking Through the Fog

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Discover why a town's lighthouse went dark.
Zone: Vvardenfell
Objective: Seyda Neen — Investigate slaver activity in the port city of Seyda Neen.
Quest Giver: Deminah Salvi
Location(s): Seyda Neen, Firemoth Island
Reward: Governor's Ring of the War Maiden
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: High
The only witness to the night the light went out
Someone extinguished Seyda Neen's lighthouse to cause a shipwreck. Deputy Governor Deminah Salvi suspects slavers and asked me to help her investigate the matter.


Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Sergeant Delms.
  2. Find out what the witness knows.
  3. Use the code words to root out the agent.
  4. Talk to Deminah Salvi.
  5. Steal the parchment, or have another do it for you.
  6. Return to Deminah.
  7. Travel to Firemoth Island.
  8. Rescue slaves and find evidence of conspiracy.
  9. Return to the Governor's office.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Lights Out[edit]

Near Seyda Neen's lighthouse, Deminah Salvi will hail you with, "Outlander! A word." Speak to her.

"By order of the deputy governor of Seyda Neen, which happens to be me, the lighthouse is closed until further notice.
On the other hand, I seek an outlander who's willing to do a little work."
What kind of work are you talking about?
"I need someone without ties to the area to look into a matter for me.
It seems the lighthouse was broken into. The flame was extinguished. As a result, a ship crashed along the shore. There were fewer bodies than expected, both living and dead."
You want me to figure out who put out the flame?
"I suspect slavers were involved. Which means they had help here in town. I find that unacceptable.
Discover who doused the lamp fire. They'll lead us to the slavers. Question Delms, who was on duty that night. He's in the lighthouse."
I'll talk to the lighthouse guard.

This will begin the quest, set the completion objective for Seyda Neen, and direct you to your first task: questioning Sergeant Delms. However, you can talk with Deminah for some more background information.

When you've gotten everything you need from her, head on up to the lighthouse behind her. Climb the stairs up to the top and be careful not to fall when you get out onto the platform — there aren't any rails and it's a long way down. Sergeant Delms can be found by the brazier, warming his hands.

"Halt! No one's allowed up here!"
Deputy Governor Salvi asked me to look into the shipwreck.
"She asked you to—an outlander? Isn't it enough she stuck me up here to guard the flame indefinitely, but now she's looking for help outside the house guard?
Ah, what else can I expect after what happened the other night?"
Tell me what happened.
"Findun sent a barrel of his finest ale for Watch Captain Bethes's birthday. Powerful stuff. One cup and we could barely keep our eyes open. The entire Regiment was knocked on its collective arse."
"When I came to my senses, I saw that the fire had gone out."
So you don't know who put out the flame?
"Look, once I heard the crash along the shore, it was all I could do to get moving and raise the alarm.
Cherishes-Water loves to loiter near the lighthouse. Maybe she noticed something. If you're intent on doing our job, you should talk to her."

That was some strong ale indeed. Head back down the stairs and outside.

Water is Life[edit]

If you head toward Seyda Neen's wayshrine from the lighthouse you'll run right into a large shallow pond and the aptly-named Cherishes-Water relaxing in it. Though she's not even facing the lighthouse, she is your only lead at the moment, so see what this enigmatic Argonian has to say.

"Do you mind? Your dirty foot coverings are contaminating my pond."
Were you here the night of the shipwreck? Did you see anyone near the lighthouse that night?
"So direct, you are. It makes my tongue wither and the answers dry up in my mouth.
Go and bother someone else with your parching questions."
Are you looking for gold to answer my questions?
[Intimidate] The deputy governor can ask you instead.

If you have the Intimidating Presence perk from the Fighters Guild skill tree, you can choose the second option to skip ahead and get Cherishes-Water's information immediately. If not, you'll have to take the long way and do a favor for her first.

Are you looking for gold to answer my questions?
"Now you insult me? I'll have you know I can take care of myself!
Since you mentioned it, I have noticed that my favorite pond has become somewhat stagnant. I bet if we had some of Findun's Special Blend, my throat would moisten right back up."
Findun's Special Blend?
"Findun collects it from a secret location, where the sea meets the swamp in perfect harmony. Contains just enough salt to nourish my scales without drying them.
You can buy it from him or fill a bucket yourself. Then we can talk."
Fine. I'll get you a bucket of Findun's Special Blend.
Straight from the source

As she says, there are two places to get the special water: from Findun the merchant, or from his source. The blend costs 30 gold from Findun, and you can buy it in the same interface as the rest of the general goods he sells. When you buy it he will say, "Is that for Cherishes-Water? Poor dear. Her scales are very sensitive, you know."

Alternatively, you can save your gold and grab the sea-and-swamp water yourself. There isn't a specific marker to direct you to the correct spot; rather, the area to search encompasses the entirety of Seyda Neen and some of the outlying parts, such as the silt strider. In fact, the secret location Cherishes-Water spoke of is very close to the caravaner's tower; a little northwest of the silt strider's legs, on the seaward side of a log. Collect the blend and return to Cherishes-Water.

When you pour the mixture into the pond, she will exclaim, "Ah! That feels much better!" and be ready to tell you what she knows of the night the lighthouse went dark.

"Now that's the proper way to ask a question!
As a matter of fact, I did notice someone near the lighthouse that night."
Who did you see near the lighthouse that night?
"You keep asking the wrong question. I did not see anyone that night—I felt them! They made ripples in the water. I felt them stop by the tree that overlooks my pond. Then they moved off, toward the lighthouse.
Look to the tree, moist one."
And you never bothered to check out the tree?
"I prefer my waters to remain still. Calm.
Prying causes ripples, and ripples lead to more dry questions."

The Ending of the Words[edit]

The tree near Cherishes-Water's pond contains a note when you search it, as well as the ruby meant to be payment for the job. Evidently, whoever doused the lighthouse flame was tricked into doing so: the note claims the merchant vessel was a pirate ship, and the unjustly imprisoned were freed by the wreck. The note also references the Tribunal, citing 'holy work' and using the famous closing lines of Vivec's sermons as a passphrase.

Time to track down the agent. Luckily, you have the secret words and just need to go around town quoting them at the townsfolk until one of them reveals themselves to be the agent. This is the list of people you can ask and their (dead end) responses:

Citizen Response
Cherishes-Water "Talk of gods makes my scales itch. If the Living Gods really cared, they wouldn't make me suffer. Now take your religious foolishness and peddle it someplace else."
Chow-Chow "That's something to do with the Tribunal, isn't it? I'm sorry, but I really try not to pay too much attention to the Dark Elves and their strange religion."
Findun "Oh, that's from the Dark Elf scriptures, isn't it? Enigmatic and beautiful.
I've been trying to catch up on my reading, but I've been so busy, busy, busy."
Governor Omellian "What? What did you say?
I suggest you leave now, before I set the guards upon you."
Sergeant Delms "Don't you have better things to do than quote my religion at me?"
Sergeant Garil "Word of advice. Don't mention anything related to the Tribunal to the governor. He's not happy with some recent rules and regulations that have come down from on high."
Snarzikha "Ha! That's a good one! That Tribunal nonsense is almost as funny as some of the things I heard in Wrothgar.
Say, if you want to get together later, I know a couple of bawdy stories that I'd love to share."
Watch Captain Bethes "Really, Outlander, it's commendable that you're trying to learn our ways, but the words of the Tribunal just sound silly when you say them like that. I suggest you stick to sight-seeing and leave the religion to us."

The agent is in Findun's store. Her name is Marise Rothrano, and she seems to be some kind of assistant, asking you to take a look at the goods when you speak to her. Say the words, however, and her entire demeanor changes:

"The ending of the words is ALMSIVI."
"Keep it down! We don't want to attract undue attention."
"But what happened? I thought I was supposed to go to the drop? You didn't come all this way just to give me my reward, did you?"
I have your reward.
"Already? Let me see! Oh, it's beautiful! I love working for the Tribunal. It's so much better than trying to earn a living as a thief in Vivec City."
"But where's your helmet? I've never seen an Ordinator out of uniform before."
An Ordinator has you sabotage the lighthouse?
"Oh, right. We're not supposed to talk about Ordinators and the Tribunal in such a public place. But it feels good to be doing holy work for a change! And such a simple task, snuffing out the lighthouse flame."
"I mean, ALMSIVI is the ending of words."
One more thing. How did you get past the guards?
"Oh, that was easy! I put a sleeping draught in the ale they ordered for Watch Captain Bethes's birthday. The guards were unconscious within the hour."
"I hope I can be of service again. For the Tribunal!"
"And the ending of words is ALMSIVI."

Time to give the deputy governor your findings. She's on the boat just outside the Census and Excise Office.

"Unfortunately, the wreck of the vessel provided no additional clues. Were you able to discover anything during your investigation?"
Marise Rothrano says the Tribunal hired her to extinguish the lighthouse lamp.
"The young woman who works with the grocer? I doubt the Tribunal would ask her to do something so reckless. Do you have any proof other than her word?"
I found this note in a hollow tree, along with a ruby that was her payment.
"Hmm, this is disturbing. This parchment feels just like the sheets that Governor Omellian special orders from High Rock.
I'm going to need you to acquire another sample from the governor's office. It's the only way to be certain."
Can't you just ask the governor to give you a few sheets?
"Not if I don't want him to know I suspect that's he's working with the slavers. Or the Tribunal, though I still consider that to be some sort of fabrication.
"No, if I alert him too soon, he'll just cover his tracks."
So you want me to steal paper from the governor's office?
"Not the office. He keeps it in his private quarters, accessed through the guard house.
But I"d never suggest that you sneak into his quarters and steal a blank sheet of his special parchment. That would be against the law. Do you understand me?"
I understand. I'll get another sheet of parchment from the governor's private quarters.

At this point, you can either do exactly what Deminah asked and sneak into the governor's quarters yourself, or you can get Marise to put her former-thief skills to use and steal the paper for you. Keep in mind that having Marise do it will allow the governor to get away at the end of the quest, whereas doing it yourself may give you the good ending, as it were. You have to do it correctly, though, as detailed here.

Paper Work[edit]

If you want to get your hands dirty, head to the building across the way from the Census and Excise Office and connected to it by a raised corridor. This is the Guard House, and you will be committing a crime just by being here. Sneak into the building and look to your right. Before you head up the stairs there, wait for the guard — Sergeant Delms again — to patrol to the top of them and away. If he sees you, he will attack and give you a bounty, likely forcing you to kill him. Does allowing him to see you/killing him make the Governor escape? Then quickly sneak up and hide in the convenient Hiding Spot before he turns around again. When he returns to the stairs make a break for the room at the end of the hall: the governor's room.

The governor's residence sits on top of the Census and Excise Office, and consists of a couple desks, a bed, and a small sitting area. Your target is the paper lying out in the open on the desk to the right. Steal it (make sure you stay in sneak the entire time you are in the building, and watch down the hall for Delms, as he can spot you from the doorway where he stops) and your journal will update, directing you to the other desk. An unfinished report is there, claiming that there is no slaver activity on Firemoth Island and that the shipwreck was just an accident. You already know the latter isn't true.

If you have sharp eyes (or were looking for more to loot) you may spot the Ordinator helm on the shelf on the other side of the room. It's a bit more evidence, as Marise did say she had been meeting with an Ordinator. Could Omellian have been wearing his dead son's helmet? However, before you steal it, keep in mind that its absence will alert the Governor and lock you out of the satisfaction of seeing him arrested. If you mention it to Deminah, there will also be an extra step to complete before you get to Firemoth.

Head out onto the balcony and jump down to the docks, or take the long way around past Delms, and return to Deminah on the ship.

"Back again? So tell me, you didn't do anything unlawful now, did you?"
Here's the parchment. Also, there was a report that Firemoth Island was free of slaver activity.
"That's odd. We haven't done a search of Firemoth Island since Governor Omellian declared that the House Guard was better used patrolling farther up the coast."
"And these parchment sheets definitely match. This is very disturbing ...."
You think the governor is working with the slavers?
"What I think doesn't matter. We need evidence. But we also need to launch a rescue. Slavery is illegal in Pact territory. It's time to visit Firemoth Island."
"Hopefully, somewhere along the way we'll find more proof of Governor Omellian's ties to all this."

At this point, if you stole the helm, there will be two options available. The first will continue the quest, the second will derail it a bit. She did stress not to alert the governor he was under suspicion, after all....

If you did not steal the helm, only the first option will be available.

Let's go to Firemoth Island.
"Attack before the soldiers have assembled? That's not a prudent course of action. We need to muster our forces, make plans and contingencies, unlock the armory—what was that?"
A light flared and illuminated the lighthouse.
"That's a distress signal! And it came from Firemoth Island!"
"No time to prepare. We have to rescue the slavers' prisoners!"
Call out your soldiers. I'll take this ship and head to the island.

Head down to the deck and activate the ship's wheel to go to Firemoth Island.

Botched Job[edit]

This course is only available if you steal the helm and then decide to tell Deminah about it.

I found this Ordinator helm in the Governor's quarters. Marise said she spoke to an Ordinator.
"You fool! The governor might miss a single sheet of blank parchment, but his dead son's helmet? There's no way I can overlook this breach of the law."
I can put the helmet back where I found it.
"No. Too risky. My only option is to make this appear to be a common burglary."
"Your role in this affair ends here. You're under arrest."
[Persuade] You need me to rescue the prisoners from the slavers.
You're going to arrest me? I was helping you!
"Try not to mention that when the guards hail you away."
"I'm sorry, but you'll be better off in a cell until all this is over."
But what if I ...?

You'll black out and wake up on the bottom level of the Guard House, in a cell you may have seen the last time you were here. Looks like you'll have to sit this grand adventure out... but who's that at the door? It's Marise Rothrano! She informs you, while picking the lock, that a distress signal came from Firemoth and everyone rushed off. Time to save the day, and redeem yourself in the process.

Get back to the ship and activate the wheel to follow them.

The Rescue[edit]

Safe and sound

You'll land on the beach of Firemoth Island. You won't be able to get inside the compound on the hill — you'll only see that if you make a new character and go through the tutorial, Broken Bonds — but all the action is on the beach, anyway. There are four captives to rescue, all guarded by a couple or more slavers. Don't forget you also need to find evidence of the conspiracy here.

Fight back the slavers and rescue each would-be slave. The evidence you need is the captain's note, pinned to a post at the docks. The slaver captain suspects that Governor Omellian's feet have gone cold and he's ordered a Morag Tong hit on the captain to cover his tracks. It's more than enough evidence for your needs.

The rescued captives are waiting by a small boat to go back to Seyda Neen. Take them back to the town and, when you arrive, go to the governor's office.

Depending on which route you took, it can go one of two ways: either Deminah and Governor Omellian will be there waiting for your arrival, or Deminah will be helping an injured Sergeant Garil, who tried to stop Omellian as he fled.

If you stole the helm, told Deminah about it, and were jailed:

"Your intervention on Firemoth Island was ... unexpected. But the slavers' captives are safe. Do you have anything else to report?"
I found this note on the island.
"The Governor called upon the Morag Tong to hide his involvement, but it appears they simply brought it to light. As this note and the other evidence you uncovered clearly states, he was working with the slavers."
"On behalf of Seyda Neen, thank you."

If you stole the parchment yourself, but not the helm, Deminah will say as you enter the room, "My associate will be here soon. Patience, Governor."

"I informed the governor that the captives we rescued from Firemoth Island are safe and sound. Do you have anything you'd like to add?"
I found this note on the island.
"This note, along with the other evidence you uncovered, clearly implicates the governor as working with the slavers. Well done!
You have provided a great service to Seyda Neen. I'll take it from here."

Either way, you will receive the Governor's Ring of the War Maiden and some gold, and the Seyda Neen objective will complete. If you managed to get the Governor caught in time, you can stay to watch a little scene where he is arrested.

Govenor Omellian: "Well, I suppose we're done here. I have a silt strider waiting."
Deminah Salvi: "No. Governor Omellian, I am placing you under arrest for promoting slavery in Pact territory."
Govenor Omellian: "How dare you accuse me of such a thing! You have no proof!"
Deminah Salvi: "A note on your parchment which led to the sabotage of the lighthouse and a shipwreck off our coast. A letter naming you as the slaver captain's partner. Do you deny your involvement?"
Govenor Omellian: "That proves nothing! I'll have you hanged for this!"
Sergeant Delms: "The document you requested, Deputy Governor."
Deminah Salvi: "And your report to Vivec City claiming Firemoth Island to be free of slaver activity, written before we eradicated the slaver base."
Govenor Omellian: "Delms! You can't believe these blatant lies about me!"
Sergeant Delms: "My duty is clear, traitor."
Deminah Salvi: "Secure him."
Sergeant Delms: "Yes, Governor Salvi."

Notes[edit]

  • This quest and Broken Bonds are mutually exclusive. New characters created after the release of Morrowind (and who don't own any other Chapters) can start off with Broken Bonds as their very first quest, meaning only older characters or new characters that skip the tutorial can complete this quest.
  • If Governor Omellian escapes justice, Deminah and Sergeant Delms can later be found in various locations, having chased him across Vvardenfell.
  • After the completing the quest, Marise Rothrano can be found in the Mournhold Royal Bazaar.

Quest Stages[edit]

Breaking Through the Fog
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Sergeant Delms was on duty the night the light went dark. I should start my investigation by speaking to him.
Objective: Talk to Sergeant Delms
Sergeant Delms said the entire watch was indisposed that night after celebrating their captain's birthday. Delms thinks Cherishes-Water might have seen something, though. I should talk to her.
Objective: Talk to Cherishes-Water
Cherishes-Water refuses to tell me what she knows unless I bring her Findun's Special Blend for her pond. I can gather some where the sea tide meets the swamp water, or I can buy it from Findun's Goods in Seyda Neen.
Objective: Acquire Findun's Special Blend
I obtained some of Findun's Special Blend. I should pour it into Cherishes-Water's pond so she'll tell me what she saw the night of the shipwreck.
Objective: Pour Findun's Special Blend
Cherishes-Water felt someone sneak through the pond and stop at the tree on the far side before heading in the direction of the lighthouse. I should search the tree and see what I can find.
Objective: Search the Tree
I found a ruby and a note in the tree. The note addresses the saboteur and ends with a pass phrase containing the word ALMSIVI. I should use the pass phrase on various townsfolk and see if I get a response.
Objective: Ask Townsfolk About ALMSIVI
I discovered that Marise Rothrano sabotaged the lighthouse. She believes she is working for the Tribunal. I should tell Deminah Salvi what I've learned.
Objective: Talk to Deminah Salvi
Deminah Salvi thinks the note is written on a sheet of the governor's special parchment, but she needs a sample to be sure. I can steal a sheet from the governor's private quarters in the guard tower, or I can trick Marise into stealing it for me.
Complete one:
Objective: Steal the Governor's Parchment
Objective: Ask Marise to Steal the Parchment
While obtaining a sheet of the governor's special parchment, I noticed an unfinished report nearby. I should read the report before I head back to Deminah Salvi.
Objective: Read the Unfinished Report
I acquired a sheet of the governor's special parchment and also learned about a report that assured there was no slaver activity on Firemoth Island. I should bring the parchment to Deminah Salvi and tell her what I discovered.
Objective: Talk to Deminah Salvi
Deminah Salvi threw me in a cell for stealing Nivel Omellian's Ordinator helm. Luckily, Marise Rothrano freed me and said Deminah Salvi headed to Firemoth Island. I should follow her and see if I can redeem myself.
Objective: Escape the Guard House
A distress signal fired from Firemoth Island indicates that something is happening there. I need to get to the island, rescue the captured prisoners, and find evidence confirming Governor Omellian's involvement.
Objective: Rescue Slaves: 0/4
Objective: Search for Evidenece
☑Finishes quest I freed the captives on Firemoth Island and found a letter from the slaver captain. It indicated that the governor was involved and tried to clean up behind him by having the captain assassinated. I should report back to Deminah Salvi in Seyda Neen.
Objective: Talk to Deminah Salvi