Online:Like Blood from a Stone

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Venture into the depths of an old ebony mine to investigate a mystery.
Zone: Vvardenfell
Objective: Vassir-Didanat Mine — Uncover the mystery beneath the Vassir-Didanat Mine.
Quest Giver: Malur Rethan
Location(s): Vassir-Didanat Mine
Reward: Blackstone Hammer of the War Maiden
Diamond Necklace
Diamond Ring (If you give the scroll to Rayveth)
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Standard Experience
What happened in Vassir-Didanat mine?
A Dark Elf businessman named Malur Rethan is convinced that his brother and partner, Benar, is hiding something in the Vassir-Didanat ebony mine. He asked me to investigate.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Malur Rethan
  2. Find a key and enter the mine.
  3. Delve through the mine and learn more about what happened.
  4. Return to Malur Rethan
  5. Find Benar Rethan
  6. Talk to Councilor Rayveth
  7. Confront Rethan.
  8. Choose whether to destroy the scroll or trust the Hlaalu Councilor with it.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

You'll find a Dunmer named Malur Rethan just outside of Balmora. Speaking with him reveals that he needs someone to investigate what's happening at the Vassir-Didanat ebony mine. He thinks his brother is hiding something from him. You're going to need to get a key to get inside. You can either pickpocket it off of a man named Foreman Nox, or you can take one from his brother's office in their manor up the hill.

If you choose to steal a key from the manor, you'll need to unlock the simple lock on the front door and sneak past the hired guards patrolling the inside of the building. The first floor guard will move back and forth between the entrance doorway and the northern part of the room. She will conveniently face away from the door and towards the wall respectively during her rotations. The second floor guard patrols between the office and a room at the top of the stairs. He faces in to the doorways of each room he stands by. Be wary of which direction he's facing when you enter and make your escape. Other than that, sneaking in and out is a breeze, and you shouldn't have to engage either of the guards.

Once you have a key, enter the mine. There is a note near a corpse that may be of interest to you not too far from the mine's entrance, on the left. As you progress through the cave, you'll begin see strange corpses on the ground. Not too far in, you see some strange purple mist. Standing in it hurts you, so don't linger in it too long. Soon enough, you'll end up having to fight strange feral creatures with glowing purple eyes.

Follow the cavern until you've ended up at the southern portion of the mine. In a corridor, you'll find a letter. Read it and continue. On a desk a little further in, you'll find some incriminating evidence: a letter, this time more important. It's from Foreman Nox, and it mentions a scheme and an alchemist: Gavros. Pick it up and be on your way deeper into the mine. You should find this Gavros character in the Daedric ruin mentioned in the letter.

Fight through the Stonefiends. The ruins are just ahead. Try not to die in the purple mist. The journal you find in the next chamber alongside the other clues you've found should be enough to tell you that the Stonefiends you've been killing are the former laborers who worked in this mine, and that they have been deliberately turned into fake ebony (and not very good imitation ebony, according to Gavros) using an alchemical concoction created by Gavros the alchemist, hence the purple mist you've been seeing. Rethan intends to sell the fake ebony to his buyers, who don't care if it's genuine product or not as long as it's able to pass a cursory inspection.

Further in the ruins, you find a shrine to Clavicus Vile. Turning left at the shrine leads you to the Daedric Laboratory. The laboratory is full of purple mist. On a table lies a copy of The Vile Truth of Barbas and a more important document, some relevant research notes. Having read the research notes, you need to find the man behind these experiments. Delve further. Gavros is in the next chamber, sitting on a bench in front of a grate with purple mist spewing forth. He doesn't look too well.

Talk to him. He reveals that Master Rethan hired him to study a Daedric text that held the formula for turning living flesh into an imperfect imitation of ebony. He made the mistake of turning the liquid concoction into a vapor, making it impossible to contain. Gavros is very pessimistic about his situation, but shows zero remorse for the deaths his actions caused. He tells you to take the nearby scroll and to be careful with it, as wealth comes at a price. Take the [Formula] scroll from nearby table, enter the Lift Room and leave Gavros to die.

Interacting with the lift will take you back up to the tunnel close to the entrance. Leave the mine and talk to Malur Rethan about your findings. You'll find him in the same place, loitering outside Balmora.

He will tell you to head to the manor and detain Benar Rethan while Malur reports to the Hlaalu Councilor, Rayveth. When you arrive, you will find Benar dead at the hands of an assassin. Kill the assassin and take her orders. Reading them reveals that Malur was very much in on the plan and was going to have you killed after sending you to clear the Stonefiends out of the mine, and continue where Gavros left off. The intention was to make it look like you and Benar killed each other.

With the damning evidence in hand, intrude upon Malur's meeting with Councilor Rayveth.

Head to the Randy Netch Inn in Balmora. Bring the evidence to the Councilor, who will tell you to kill Malur. Enter his city residence across the river and dispose of him and take the Formula. He is located downstairs. Once Malur is dead, return to the councilman. He will thank you and show a great deal of interest in obtaining the Formula from you. Here you have to make a choice:

"Quietly now. Is it finished?"
Malur Rethan is dead.
"Well then, this unfortunate little tale comes to an end. I've already dispatched some of my best agents to clean up Rethan Manor. We'll tend to Malur's apartment and the mine next. Well done.
Now, what of this mysterious scroll?"
I have it here.
"Excellent. Best hand it over to me. Something so dangerous should not fall into the wrong hands. House Hlaalu can keep it safe, or destroy it if we deem it necessary.
This will earn you some favor with our House. I'll even double your pay."

Take it. <Hand over the scroll.>
"You've proven to be a reliable assistant. House Hlaalu values reliability. I would say it's been a pleasure, but this whole affair has left me with quite a headache. Still, I may call upon you again in the future.
Here. Double pay, as promised."
"Our business has concluded. The monetary reward is not all you have earned. Hlaalu will remember this. For now, however, it is best that we let things die down."

No one should have this. <Destroy the scroll.>
"You sniveling little s'wit. Do you know how valuable-? Nevemind. What's done is done. But don't expect any extra coin from me now. You'll have what was promised for killing Malur and not a drake more.
This had better buy your silence as well."
"There is nothing more for us to discuss. You curried our favor by helping us deal with Malur, and then squandered that when you destroyed the formula in some attempt at a righteous display.
I have no further use for you."

Whichever you choose, the quest is finished now, with a minor difference in reward based on your choice.


  • Foreman Nox won't exist in Balmora before starting the quest.
  • The Letter to Master Rethan and Gavros's Research Notes lack the typical glow of readable notes.
  • Gavros won't exist in the deeper part of the laboratory until reaching the related objective.
  • It's possible to use the lift to go back up without speaking to Gavros first, though once on the upper level you cannot take the lift back down, so it is not advised.
  • Despite Malur Rethan saying that Councilor Rayveth is staying at the inn in the city, the councilor won't exist there until the related objective.
  • The Assassin's Orders already appear physically at Rethan Manor before starting the quest, though they are not readable then.
    • Despite being physically picked up after reading them, they don't appear in your quest items.

Quest Stages[edit]

Like Blood from a Stone
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I need a key to gain access to the mine. The mine's foreman, Nox, carries one that I could pickpocket. Benar also keeps one under guard in the Rethan manor house.
Complete one: Obtain Benar Rethan's Key or Obtain the Foreman's Key
I acquired a key. I should use it to gain access to the mine.
Objective: Unlock the Vassir-Didanat Mine
I must search the mine for any evidence of wrongdoing.
Objective: Search the Mine
According to a document I found, an alchemist named Gavros is conducting vile experiments in a Daedric shrine deep within the mine. I should explore the ruin.
Objective: Search the Daedric Ruins
I found even more incriminating documents describing Gavros' experiments. I must find this mysterious alchemist.
Objective: Find Gavros
I found Gavros. He appears to be in poor condition. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Gavros
Gavros utilized a Daedric alchemical formula to turn people into something resembling ebony. I should claim the scroll containing the formula before it falls into the wrong hands.
Objective: Take the Mysterious Formula
I discovered the secret of Vassir-Didanat's success and acquired the Daedric formula that made it possible. I should report my findings to Malur Rethan.
Objective: Talk to Malur Rethan
I gave Malur a summary of the mine's condition, as well as the scroll containing the Daedric formula. While he reports these findings to a Hlaalu councilman, I must track down Benar and detain him until Hlaalu constables arrive.
Objective: Find Benar at Rethan Manor
Benar lays slain, and I've been ambushed by his murderer. I must kill this mysterious assassin.
Objective: Defeat the Assassin
The assassin dropped an interesting document. I should read it.
Objective: Take the Assassin's Orders
It appears that Malur, not Benar, orchestrated the horrors in the Vassir-Didanat ebony mine. He plotted to frame Benar and I to avoid suspicion. I must track him down in the nearby town of Balmora.
Objective: Go to Malur's Meeting with Councilor Rayveth
Malur is no where to be found, but the Hlaalu trade baron he reports to, Councilor Rayveth, lounges nearby. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Rayveth
Councilor Rayveth urged me to kill Malur to resolve the situation in the Vassir-Didanat mine. I must track the corrupt businessman to his residence in Balmora and end his vile scheme.
Objective: Kill Malur Rethan
Malur still carries the Daedric formula. I should take it back.
Objective: Take the Formula
I killed Malur and reacquired the formula. I should return to Rayveth to resolve this business. He will likely ask for the scroll. I must decide what to do with this powerful document.
Objective: Return to Councilor Rayveth
Finishes quest☑ (If you choose to hand over the scroll)
I decided to give the Daedric scroll to Rayveth. I should talk to him to receive my reward.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Rayveth
Finishes quest☑ (If you choose to destroy the scroll)
I decided to destroy the Daedric scroll. I should discuss my reward with Rayveth. The payment may be significantly reduced, but he still owes me something.
Objective: Talk to Councilor Rayveth
* 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.