Shadows of the Hist


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Location Cradle of Shadows
Race Argonian Gender Female
Reaction Friendly
Other Information
Faction(s) Dark Brotherhood
Shadowscales (Former)

Hides-the-Ashes is an Argonian member of the Dark Brotherhood and former Shadowscale found inside the Cradle of Shadows. She needs your help to find and rescue her mentor.

Related Quests[edit]

Quest-Related Events[edit]

When you first arrive in the Cradle of Shadows, Hides-the-Ashes can be found crouched nearby, examining the bodies of some dead Argonian Shadowscales. She will want to who you are and what you are doing there.

"Hold it! Who are you?"
I'm <Player Name>. What happened here?
"A massacre. My mentor, Tsatva-Lan, was supposed to be investigating this ruin—looking for rival assassins from a group called the Silken Ring. I guess he found them.
These poor bastards were part of his dagger-clutch. But … doesn't make sense."
What doesn't make sense?
"Tsatva and his second-scale, Geel-Ma, are missing. And these wounds, these footprints … it's like they didn't even see the attack coming.
Tsatva-Lan and Geel-Ma must have been captured. I intend to get them out of here. Alive if possible."
I could help you find them.

You can then ask her some questions. If your character has not completed the quest:

"I appreciate the help. Just keep a firm grip on those weapons, all right? Whoever or whatever killed these Shadowscales is sure to be lurking in the Cradle somewhere."

If your character has completed the quest:

"Here to explore the Cradle? Well, watch your step.
My mentor, Tsatva-Lan, is missing. Abducted by the Silken Ring no doubt. If you're offering aid, I won't turn it down. I've only got two blades, and this place is packed with spider-worshipers."
Tell me about this Tsatva-Lan. / Tell me more about Tsatva-Lan. / Tell me about Tsatva-Lan.
"He's charming, ruthless, meticulous—the perfect assassin.
Honestly, it's been a while since we last spoke. He was my chief instructor in the Shadowscales, but once I joined the Dark Brotherhood, we fell out of touch. It happens."
If you haven't spoken to him, how did you hear about his mission here?
"I make it my business to stay informed. The circles we travel in are very small. Assassins who don't keep tabs on friends and rivals tend not to last very long."
What is the Silken Ring? / What is this Silken Ring you mentioned?
"Hrm. Mongrels and deserters from the Dark Brotherhood, the Morag Tong, even the Shadowscales.
It was just an embarrassment at first, but now they're targeting former associates, killing reliable informants … spoiling for a fight it seems."
Do they have a leader?
"Two. An ex-Morag Tong operative named Dranos Velador, and a mysterious matron named Velidreth. They call her the Lady of Lace. As far as I know, no one outside the Silken Ring has ever seen her."
Do you think she's here?
"It wouldn't surprise me. The Ring's established a few smaller enclaves, but nothing like this.
If Velidreth is here, we'll find her. And if we find her, we'll nail her head to the door of this place. Assassination's all about showmanship, you know?"
What can you tell me about the Shadowscales?
"We're Sithis's judgment. Any Argonian born under the Shadow is pledged to the order and trained in the arts of secrecy and murder."
From birth?
"From birth or close to it. There's religious education, trials, and an uncomfortable amount of sap-licking. Eventually, mercifully, some of us are handed over to the Dark Brotherhood to serve Sithis abroad."
Sounds like you didn't enjoy it.
"I didn't.
Life in the swamp is … I'm looking for kinder word than "primitive." Tsatva was the only Saxhleel worth speaking to. He's not a slave to the old ways. He's headstrong. Independent. You don't see much of that in Black Marsh."

After clearing the room before the Spider Caves:

Hides-the-Ashes: "Love what you've done with the place. Messy. Sends a message, yeah?"
<Hides-the-Ashes looks at the door>
Hides-the-Ashes: "Portcullises over the gates? I didn't expect them to roll out the welcome mat, but this seems excessive. We're going to have to find another way out of here."
<She looks around>
Hides-the-Ashes: "Ah. Lever. And just out of reach, too. Typical. Find a way up there. It'll open at least one of these gates, I guarantee it."
Hides-the-Ashes: "I'll hold this room while you're gone. Don't dawdle, all right?"

If you speak with her before leaving she'll comment:

"They could have had the decency to leave us a ladder or something. Never trust a crazy spider-cultist to have your best interests in mind."

When you return from the Spider Caves and pulled lever on the higher level, Hides-the-Ashes will be fighting a Spiderkith.

Hides-the-Ashes: "I've got this. Push the lever!"
<She kills the Spiderkith.>
Hides-the-Ashes: "Creepy little bastard …."
Hides-the-Ashes: "Sorry. Can't stand these things. Spiderkith. They attacked as soon as you left. We must be on the right track."
Hides-the-Ashes: "At least one of the doors is open now. Go have a look. I'll hang back, just in case we get more visitors."

Speaking to her here:

"We've really stirred up the nest. If we want to rescue Tsatva-Lan and Geel-Ma we'll have to move quickly."

After defeating the Votary of Velidreth, Hides enters the room.

Hides-the-Ashes: "I heard screeching. Giant spiders? No surprise there … wait."

<She notices a grate. You can see into the room below through it; the room behind the door you unlocked with the lever.>

Hides-the-Ashes: "It's the Ring's field captain, Dranos Velador and … no. No, no, no."
Tsatva-Lan: "It is done, Velador. The remaining Shadowscales are dealt with."
Dranos Velador: "I'm afraid you're mistaken, my friend. Another member of your tribe has breached the gates."
Tsatva-Lan: "Hides-the-Ashes. If she is here, she will die like the rest. Now, you wanted proof of my loyalty? Bear witness."
Geel-Ma: "Tsatva-Lan, what are you—? You do not need to do this!"
Geel-Ma: "No!"
<Tsatva-Lan kills Geel-Ma>
Dranos Velador: "Well done, my scaled friend. You have cast off your old skin, and the Silken Ring welcomes you as a brother. Seek out Velidreth and receive your blessing."
<Hides will run off to another room.>
Hides-the-Ashes: "That bastard. He didn't even let Geel-Ma die with a knife in his hand."
Hides-the-Ashes: "I need a moment to … sort this out. Kill that smoke-skin bastard, Dranos, and we'll regroup afterward."

Speaking with her after this exchange:

"I am sorry I misled you. I really thought that Tsatva had been take. Foolish sentiment, yeah? Not a mistake I'll make again, trust me."
You seem ….
"Tense? Yeah, finding out that a trusted friend has become a murderous traitor will do that to you."
So, do you plan to capture him, or—?
"If by "capture" you mean "terminate with extreme prejudice," then yes, that's exactly what I plan to do.
He's murdered his shell-kin, and thrown in his lot with filthy spider worshipers. That's not the kind of blasphemy you get to walk away from."
He's probably still in the next room. If we go in together—?
"Maybe. I could … no. No, thank you. I'm upset. I never kill anyone when I'm upset. Just have to take a moment. Let it simmer, yeah? Put things in perspective. You understand."
All right. Any advice for facing Velador?
"Don't get stabbed? Sorry, that's the full extent of what I can offer right now.
I've never tangled with Dranos, but I've heard all the stories. Rumor is he drinks spider venom and eats the liver of any man he kills. He's fast. Too fast. Be careful."

After defeating Dranos, Hides-the-Ashes enters the room:

Hides-the-Ashes: "Tsatva's gone, isn't he? Damn it. I should have been here. I could have … never mind."
<She examines the statue hanging from the ceiling>
Hides-the-Ashes: "Mephala. Night Mother's mercy, I am so sick of looking at her smug face. Remind me to smash this thing when Tsatva's … when we're done."
Hides-the-Ashes: "I'll double back to make sure he hasn't fled. You keep going and find this Velidreth."

In the room before the catacombs, you will find her standing over the body of a dead atronach:

Hides-the-Ashes: "Ah, you made it. Good. Have a look at this atronach. You ever seen a light like this?"

Once someone picks up the ember, the Silken Ring members who were hiding will be made visible once in range:

Hides-the-Ashes: "What the—they're everywhere! Cut them down!"

After they are dead she'll continue:

Hides-the-Ashes: "Nice work. I can't believe I didn't see them. I guess we keep to the light, yeah?"
Hides-the-Ashes: "Now, let's find Tsatva and his new sweetheart, Velidreth. Time to end this."

Speaking with her after the enemies are dead:

"Velidreth is close, I can feel it. Tsatva too.
Take what you want from this Lady of Lace, but leave Tsatva to me."

During the fight with Velidreth, she might appear to dispatch a Silken Ring member blocking the players from exiting the catacombs:

Hides-the-Ashes: "(?)"
Hides-the-Ashes: "This is going to hurt."
Hides-the-Ashes: "Shh. It'll be over soon."
Hides-the-Ashes: "You're not having very good luck today."
Hides-the-Ashes: "Give my regards to Sithis."

After killing Velidreth, Tsatva-Lan will emerge from one of the passages to speak with Hides-the-Ashes on ground level:

Hides-the-Ashes: "Tsatva-Lan. Funny meeting you here."
Tsatva-Lan: "Hides-the-Ashes … I'm impressed you made it so far. Haven't stopped dragging that right heel on the parry, though. I taught you better than that."
Hides-the-Ashes: "Ha. Yes. Well, old friend, it appears that the student has become the teacher. Today's lesson: the price of disloyalty."

At this point you can speak with Hides-the-Ashes to see what she'll do with Tsatva-Lan:

"I wonder if he was always this smug, and I just didn't see it. That I could have been so blind—it's an unsettling thought.
Anyway, well done. I had no idea Velidreth would be so dangerous … and fat. I couldn't have done this without you."
What happens now?
"What happens now? I utter a prayer to Sithis and send this traitor down dead-man's river. If I had the time, I'd do something really spectacular, but I can hear the spiders closing in. A bolt in the head will have to do.
Again, you have my thanks."

After receiving a reward and completing the quest, Hides-the-Ashes and Tsatva-Lan will continue to talk:

Hides-the-Ashes: "All right, Tsatva. Time to lick the tree."
Tsatva-Lan: "So abrupt! Don't you want to know why?"
Hides-the-Ashes: "Won't make any difference."
Tsatva-Lan: "You can indulge me this one last lesson. A final kindness for an old friend."
Hides-the-Ashes: "Fine. Talk."
Tsatva-Lan: "I knew you could be reasonable. The truth is that you are weak. The Shadowscales are weak. The Dark Brotherhood is weak. Your traditions are worthless pretense. It took me a long time to see it. Too long."
Hides-the-Ashes: "And these spider-worshipers know better?"
Tsatva-Lan: "They do. Sithis comes for us all, old friend. You kill in his name, but do not understand his nature. Mephala does. Very soon, she will make you understand. All of you."
Hides-the-Ashes: "I look forward to hearing from her. Goodbye, Tsatva-Lan."
<Hides-the-Ashes takes out a crossbow and kills Tsatva-Lan.>
Hides-the-Ashes: "Pay my respects to Sithis, old man."

You can then speak with Hides-the-Ashes:

"What a day. I've killed a lot of people in my life, but I have the feeling that this one won't wash out easily.
Do yourself a favor and look in on your friends from time to time. A lot can go wrong if you're not paying attention. Trust me."