|Location||Russafeld, Red Temple Catacombs|
- Old Wounds: Hunt down a ghostly killer in Russafeld.
- A New Alliance: Attend a meeting with the Proxy Queen to ensure the Crystal Tower is protected.
As you approach the investigators, you can hear them talking above the victim's body.
- Tarnamir: "An examiner's quorum needs three members. You both know this."
- Jurisreeve Soravil: "Not this again..."
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "It's not just superstition, Soravil. We need outside perspective."
- Jurisreeve Soravil: "So, what? We just randomly recruit the next adventurer that passes by?"
If you have not yet talked to Tarnamir, she'll direct you to him: "Step back, if you please. There's a murder inverstigation underway. Unless you have something to contribute? In that case, talk to Tarnamir." After talking to Tarnamir, she'll say, "So you'll be joining us? Good. Call me Lorne. No need for flowery titles. We Altmer have too many names already. I'm glad you're here. Outsiders often make the best admanens. A fresh pair of eyes will be essential here. More essential than usual."
- Why is that especially important now?
- "It's a long and depressing story—one I'm not keen to recount. For now, just know that whoever murdered Halimorion took great pains to make it look like the work of the Ghost of the Green—a killer that Soravil and I apprehended decades ago."
- What about this murder reminds you of the Ghost of the Green?
- "The Ghost always left a signature to let us know it was him. He killed each victim with a single Wood Elf arrow to the heart, then laid a fern over the body. The fern is here, but the shot was sloppy and the arrow is of High Elven make. It's odd."
- What do you need me to do?
- "I need to examine the body in more detail. Can you do a sweep of the vineyard? If you find anything, blow this whistle. It also might be worth questioning people in town. They'll be more forthcoming with an outsider."
If you talk to her again before investigating, she'll repeat your task: "Take a look around the grape fields and let me know if you find anything. You may also want to speak to some of the witnesses here. They may be more forthcoming with you than they have been with us."
- Can you tell me more about examiner's quorums?
- "Of course. Jurisreeves always travel in groups of three. A quorum comprises three distinct roles—a revelator-naganwe for magical inquiry, an admanen to inspect and advise, and a thalmilan to parse the clues and render a verdict."
- And all three roles are required?
- "Officially? Yes. We High Elves have many fine qualities, but we still fall prey to superstition. You see, the number two is considered ... inauspicious. We rarely do anything in twos—aside from romantic coupling, of course."
- Why do High Elves distrust the number two?
- "It's complicated. Two implies duality—two simple forces in opposition. People don't like to talk about it in polite company, but the real reason we distrust it is that it's the number of Man."
- How is it the number of Man?
- "I'll tell you what the curates told me. Man sees the world as a seesaw—full of opposing forces. Day and night, good and evil, life and death. But this is a defective worldview. Without a third force, a fulcrum, a seesaw is just a flat board."
- Do you believe that?
- "Honestly? I think it's high-minded navel-gazing. But, its a superstition with utility. Having three investigators leads to more thorough investigations. In the end, that's all I care about."
Searching the grape-fields, you come across the body of a young Bosmer woman named Farril. Using the whistle will call the jurisreeves to your spot.
- Jurisreeve Soravil: "Another body. Delightful."
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "Oh dear, blood on her hands and blouse ... but no slashing wounds? This doesn't fit the pattern. The Ghost always kills with a bow. This was spur of the moment ... unexpected. Maybe she fought back."
- Jurisreeve Soravil: "Why do you insist on puzzling these things over like an ephem? You know the death-memory ritual. It's a simple—."
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "Enough, Soravil. You know that's forbidden. Admanen, look around and see if you can find the source of this blood."
If you talk to her, she says, "Two victims now. I can't let this happen again."
- What was that Soravil was talking about? A death-memory ritual?
- "It's a forbidden practice—that's all you need to know."
- If I'm going to serve as your admanen, I need to know everything.
- "Fine. It's a controversial ritual we used to employ during investigations. A sufficiently powerful mage can summon up visions of murders using necromancy on the victims. It's a powerful tool, but evidence suggests it may harm the subject's soul."
- Harm in what way?
- "If too little time has passed, the spirit may become disoriented. Reliving their final moments could trap their consciousness in a recursive loop—trapping them in that moment for ... well, no one knows how long. We don't know all the specifics-"
- So now it's forbidden?
- "Yes. Exactly. And with good reason. Soravil would do well to remember that."
Find a Bloodstained Sickle in a Suspicious Sack. Report back to Lorne.
- "You found something? So did I. It looks like Farril was strangled, not stabbed. This blood must be the attacker's. A sickle? Hmm. Blood on the blade. She must have used it to defend herself—then the attacker hid it. This blood could be the key."
- Can we use the blood on the sickle to find out who the killer is?
- "I intend to, yes, I'm a fair hand at alchemy. You'd be surprised how useful it can be in my line of work. I've caught more killers with flasks and alembics than I have with any sword. My husband used to say .... Sorry."
- Is something wrong?
- "I suppose it's past time I told you. The Ghost murdered seventeen people before we caught him. His last victim was my husband. Soravil's wife committed suicide when she heard the news. They were having an affair, you see. It was a difficult time."
- I'm sorry.
- "It's fine. I just ... now you see why we needed a neutral party. Enough. Lets get back on task. I'd like you to search Halimorion's villa. It's just southwest of here. He was unpopular. If we can find out why, we might be able to establish a motive."
If you talk to her again before leaving to search the villa, she says, "I'm sorry, but my experiments on the blood may take a while. I'm sure you can handle this house-search without me. Just keep a keen eye out for anything suspicious." Find a Letter to Tarnamir in the villa which sheds some light on the possible motives. Meet Lorne outside.
- "Sorry, I don't mean to be checking up on you. I just think better when I walk and the blood is still simmering in the alembic. It will be some time before I have the results. Did you find anything of use in Halimorion's villa?"
- I found this letter. Halimorion might have been abusing his Wood Elf workers—Farril specifically.
- "From what I hear, the accusations are almost certainly true. So, Halimorion was making unwanted advances. Of course."
- Of course?
- "The original Ghost's murder-spree started with a High Elf farmer who took liberties with his Bosmer laborers. We never published the details of that investigation. It can't be a coincidence. This new Ghost must be someone in the know. Someone close."
- Any ideas?
- "None that I'm keen to share. Not yet, anyway. For now, lets go with what we know. The Wood Elves have motive. Soravil went down to their cottage east of here to look around. Meet him there, and see if you can shake anything loose. I have to think."
If you don't leave her alone to think, she says, "I suggest you let Soravil do the talking. He may play the role of the insufferable ass, but he can be very persuasive—charming even, when he puts his mind to it." You find evidence that a young Wood Elf named Celan killed Halimorion, but as you and Soravil go to confront him inside the Red Temple Catacombs, he is killed by another Ghost of the Green with an arrow. Show the arrow to Lorne in the winery.
- "You're back—and not a moment too soon. Do you have something for me?"
- A Wood Elf called Celan killed Halimorion, but a second Ghost of the Green shot and killed Celan.
- "A second Ghost. I suspected as much. And he killed this Celan with that arrow? Another High Elf hunting arrow—like the one that killed Halimorion. Celan had motive. This second Ghost provided the costume, the weaponry. But why?"
- He told me to tell you that your "past is hunting your present."
- "So this isn't about Halimorion. It isn't about the Wood Elves or Altmer prejudice. It's about me. It's always been about me. I knew it. I knew this was too convenient. I also know the Mer who killed Farril couldn't be this Celan."
- "I just finished experimenting on the blood from Farril's sickle. It was Altmer blood. This second Ghost isn't some Wood Elf zealot—he's a High Elf, like me. I moved the bodies to Tarnamir's manor. We should ... maybe we missed something."
- I'll be right behind you.
As you enter the manor, Lorne cries out: "What? This place has been ... what happened here? Oh no. No, no, no. Tarnamir? Tarnamir, are you here?" She finally finds the bodies. "Tarnamir? No. No. I can't..." The bodies of Halimorion, Farril, Celan, and Tarnamir are laid before the fireplace, forming a cross. Lorne kneels down before them and says, "Just give me a moment. I need to process this .... Have to keep a clear head." As you search the area, you find scratches of Elven writing on the wall. On closer inspection, it reads "eluvein." She asks you, "You found something?" Talk to Lorne.
- "This is a message. Everything in this room—it's all meant to tell us something. What's that on the wall?"
- Someone scratched the word "Eluvein" into the wall.
- "Eluvein is another name for the hilas owl. Eluveins lay their eggs, then abandon them. We use that word to describe people who are cold-hearted or aloof. Then there's the bodies, arranged to mimic Mara's cross. This is about love. Intimacy."
- Someone who loved you?
- "Or more likely, someone I failed to love. There's only one suspect left. A mer with means, motive, and deep understanding of the Ghost of the Green ...."
- "It ... no, it can't be. The Ghost of the Green ruined Soravil's life, just as he ruined mine. If not for the Ghost, Soravil's wife would likely still be alive. I have to know. I'm sorry for what you're about to see. Auri-El forgive me."
- What are you going to do?
- "Stand back and I'll show you. You already saw how Celan died. Now we'll see the others."
She performs the death-memory ritual and as the dead relive their last moments, we see Soravil killing Farril, and Tarnamir identifies his killer, the Ghost of the Green, also as Soravil.
- Halimorion: "What's this? A tiny Ghost of the Green? Ha! Run along, whelp, before—." Celan shoots Halimorion.
- Celan: "What have I done?"
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "Celan definitely killed Halimorion. Now, Farril."
- Farril: "Who—who are you?"
- Soravil: "I'm afraid you've seen too much. You poor thing."
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "Soravil was observing Celan when Farril saw him. She slashed him with her sickle before he overpowered her."
- Tarnamir: "So it is you. Shame on you."
- The Ghost of the Green: "The shame is Lorne's, old mer. Now she'll have your death on her conscience too."
- Tarnamir: "No, Soravil. This is you, and you alone."
- The Ghost of the Green: "Give my regards to my loving wife, and Lorne's degenerate husband." Soravil then shoots Tarnamir.
- Tarnamir: "Lorne..."
- The Ghost of the Green: "I know you're watching, Lorne. Now that I've broken your spirit, and you've broken your vow, come to the place where my wife is buried. There, I will break your body."
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "I need some air. I'll be outside."
You find the visibly shaken Lorne outside, on the way to the Red Temple.. "How could he blame me for this? Is it not enough that I lost my husband? Damn him. His wife was buried here. This is where we'll find him." Talk to her.
- "You're sticking by my side? Even after I used that death-memory ritual? I appraciate that, admanen. Truly. I suppose I owe you a bit of an explanation."
- Yes, tell me what this is really about.
- "I told you how the Ghost of the Green killed my husband. Soravil's wife, my husband's lover, was overcome with grief. I think she truly loved him. As soon as she heard the news, she climbed into the washtub, opened her wrists, and died."
- And Soravil blames you for that?
- "Not for that—for what came after. Soravil wanted us to mend each others wounds—perhaps even fall in love and make a life together. I just couldn't. I focused on the work and pushed him away. He grew detached. Bitter. Now, I need to stop him."
"Come. Let's put an end to this." Follow her to the Red Temple and pursue Soravil.
- Jurisreeve Lorne: "Soravil! I know you're here! What do you want from me?"
- The Ghost of the Green: "Oh Lorne, I've already taken so much. Your teacher, your honor, your pride ... there's only one thing left for me to take."
- The Ghost of the Green: "Your life."
He shoots her with an arrow and flees. Lorne will say, "Soravil... Don't worry about me. Go! We can't let Soravil escape again!" If you try to talk to her, she'll urge you again to pursue him: "Don't ... don't worry about me. Find Soravil... Go!" Defeat Soravil, then return to her.
- "Soravil. Is he...? He is. It's done then, isn't it? I knew he wouldn't come quietly. In the end, I bear the blame. A killer right beside me and I didn't see it until more lives were lost. I'm glad you were here, admanen."
- Are you all right?
- "I will be. The arrow struck near my collarbone. Soravil was a gifted marksman. Maybe he couldn't see as well through the mask, or it was nerves ... or maybe he didn't really want me dead after all. Just one more question I'll never have answered."
- Is there anything else I can do?
- "One more thing, if you're willing. I'm certain that Soravil never spoke to Celan's parents, given that this was all his scheme to begin with. They lost their son and they don't know why. It was you that avanged him. You should tell them that."
- What about you?
- "I just need a moment here alone. Ironic that this came to head in such a holy place. Maybe I can find some absolution here. Or at least some small measure of peace."
- So, Soravil did all this just to hurt you.
- "He did. Perhaps I deserved it. But all those people—an innocent girl, a naive young mer ... a dear friend. They paid the price, while I still live. I don't know if I'll ever make peace with that."
- Soravil was a madman. This wasn't your fault.
- "You're right, I suppose. I just wish I had been better. A better jurisreeve. A better wife. A better friend. Maybe I could have prevented all this. I'm sorry. Thank you for your kind words. I will try to take them to heart. You have my word."
After you talk to Celan's mother, the grieving parents leave Russafeld. Lorne comments, "A hard thing to witness. There are rarely any happy endings in this line of work. You just have to remember that things would be much worse had you not been here. That matters." Afterwards, she is lost in thought and cannot be talked to.
A New Alliance
- "Congratulations, admanen. I usually avoid gatherings like this, but I'm trying to, I don't know... open up.
For what it's worth, I told the Sapiarchs what you did for the people of Russafeld. And for me. Thank you again, my friend—for everything."