Online:Rising to Retainer

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Quick Summary: not written

Walkthrough: written by Alpha Kenny Buddy, Retroambassador, not checked

Quest Stages: not written
Help Sun-in-Shadow become a Retainer.
Zone: Vvardenfell
Quest Giver: Sun-in-Shadow, Eoki
Location(s): Sadrith Mora, Vos, Esutanamus
Prerequisite Quest: A Hireling of House Telvanni
Next Quest: Objections and Obstacles
Reward: Telvanni Retainer's Ring
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Standard Experience XP
ID: 5859
Sun-in-Shadow has a plan
The recently freed Argonian slave, Sun-in-Shadow, seeks to continue her climb through the ranks of House Telvanni. She needs my help to claim the next title.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Speak to Sun-in-Shadow.
  2. Ask Eoki or residents of Vos about someone wanting to sell their land.
  3. Rescue Seythen Rendo.
  4. Find out who intercepted the deed.
  5. Talk to Sun-in-Shadow about what to do next.
  6. Steal the deed back.
  7. Give the deed to Sun-in-Shadow.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

After Sun-in-Shadow is freed in the previous quest, speak to her. You still have the original goal to reach, after all: Eoki's freedom. (Alternatively, you can initiate the quest by speaking to Eoki still in garden)

"A hireling! Can you believe it?
Not much of a title, I know, but I've spent a lifetime earning it."
What will you do next?
"I'll burn these rags, polish my scales, and work even harder.
The next few days are critical—I can't afford any slip-ups. Magisters circle new hirelings like cliff racers. If they see any sign of weakness, they swoop in and pick the bones clean."
What about Eoki? Can you free him now?
"Not yet, no. Like I said, even the smallest mistake could spell disaster. It's still too early.
I can't say more—not here, anyway. Too many listening ears. Meet me in my new quarters, all right? I have a plan that might speed things along."
I'll come by when I can.
"You go ahead. I think I'll linger here a while. Who knows when they'll let me back in."

Travel to Sun-in-Shadow's new home. She will be happy to see you: "Welcome, sera. Sorry about the mess. Believe it or not, this place feels like a palace compared to my old slave quarters. With any luck, I won't stay here long. I've hatched a plan that might catapult me to the rank of House retainer!"

"Welcome, sera. Sorry about the mess. Believe it or not, this place feels like a palace compared to my old slave quarters.
With any luck, I won't stay here long. I've hatched a plan that might catapult me to the rank of House retainer!"
What's the plan?
"I'm glad you asked!
Retrieving scrolls and relics, gathering up roots and mushrooms—that's what the Magisters expect from hirelings. Trust me when I say nothing stunts advancement like doing the expected."
So how do you plan to defy their expectations?
"Real estate. Surprised? Good.
Master Firuth's been making secret inquiries—looking for land near Vos. Eoki knows a farmer who may be willing to sell his plot. If I purchase the deed and give it to Firuth, he might sponsor my next promotion."
I'll look into it.
"I knew I could count on you. Here's the gold. I'll not pay a drake more than what's in that pouch … mostly because I don't have a drake more than what's in that pouch.
Eoki can provide more details, or you can just ask around Vos yourself."
You can ask her a few more questions before moving on.
How's life as a free woman?
"Fantastic! I bought new clothes, see? And no more sharing a room with eight other people. This space belongs to me. It's mine.
Best of all, I can stop hiding. I don't have to tuck my tomes under blankets or hide scrolls in my bodice. I can just be."
As a hireling, do you still work for the Magisters?
"Of course. Everyone works for the Magisters in one way or another.
Hirelings occupy the lowest rung on the ladder, aside from slaves of course. But we can earn a wage and study in peace. We can even refuse a task, if we wish. It's remarkable!"
You seemed fairly independent even before you were made a hireling.
"I enjoyed more freedom than most, it's true. Most of the marsh-born slaves hated me for it. Called me "smoke-scale," "elf-heart" … and much, much worse.
But, that's all behind me now. I won."
You won?
"I harnessed my ambition, served my masters with loyalty and discretion and earned my freedom. They whine like belly-sick guars and rot in chains. It doesn't get any clearer than that."
How goes the plan to free Eoki?
"I told you before, these things take time. I can't simply buy him because hirelings aren't allowed to own slaves—and I can't just set him free without jeopardizing my position in the House.
This requires patience and an overabundance of caution."
Who owns him currently?
"Archmagister Otheri. None of the other Magisters would have him. Too many escape attempts.
Then there's the matter of his magical aptitude. The Telvanni abhor Hist-magic and make him wear suppression manacles all the time … even when he sleeps."
If you removed the manacles, could he use his magic to escape?
"Doubtful. Hist magic doesn't operate by the same rules as Telvanni spellcraft. I think that's why the Magisters hate it so much.
I can't say for certain, but I doubt there's anything in Eoki's repertoire that could get him out of Sadrith Mora."
Why does Master Firuth want this land near Vos?
"From what I gather, he wants to build a new tower there. I've no idea why. Mistress Dratha essentially owns Vos, and I can tell you, she does not welcome intruders.
If I was mad enough to antagonize one of the Magisters, it would not be Dratha."
If that's the case, are you sure you should be helping him?
"I only need him to survive long enough to sponsor me. He won't break ground on his tower anytime soon. Plus, there's a rumor that Dratha suffers from some mysterious illness. It could be Firuth's doing. You never can tell with the Telvanni."

For Sale: By Owner[edit]

You need to find someone near Vos who is looking to sell land. You can ask Eoki, or head to Vos and ask around town. In Vos you can ask Mertis Othren, Zashanti, and Lilyamah. The only ones with the information you are looking for are Lilyamah and Eoki. If choosing to speak to Lilyamah

"You're not from around here, are you? Tall Papa be praised. I've had about enough of the local gossip."
I'm looking for someone who might be willing to sell me some land near Vos.
"Hmm. I don't know for sure, but Ninave Rendo was chewing my ear off a few days ago. She's been trying to convince her husband Barys to move back to Balmora.
She loves the finer things, you see? Trust me when I say, Vos is short on finer things."
Where can I find Ninave Rendo?
"Frankly, I wouldn't bother with Ninave. Talk to her husband, Barys. They own a small farm just north of town.
Mind you don't wander into the Daedric ruin though. Why these Dark Elves haven't torn the place down is beyond me."
The watchful overseer

Seeking out Eoki will have you travel to a field, where he is under the watchful eye of Overseer Mertisi:

"(if Argonian) Greetings, egg-kin. We must speak quickly. The overseers grow suspicious when I speak to free-scale Argonians like you. It is almost like they do not trust me."
"(if non-Argonian) Greetings. We must speak quickly. The overseers grow nosy and suspicious."
Sun-in-Shadow said you may know a farmer near Vos who's willing to sell their land.
"I do. Otheri banished me to those farms for a time. I spent thirty days in the dry-box and heard many things.
A saltrice farmer named Barys Rendo grumbled like a sick crocodile. His wife called Vos a "backwater sty." He would sell. Why do you ask?"
Sun-in-Shadow gave me gold to purchase some land for her.
"She gave you gold? I thought …. My heart told me that she gathered coin to purchase my freedom.
She probably seeks to parlay this into an even greater sum. I trust her judgment, even if I do not fully understand it. Good luck, my friend."

You can start the conversation again, and he'll say:

"I wish I could do as much for Sun-in-Shadow as you have done."
When will Sun-in-Shadow be able to free you?
"I wish I could say soon. Unfortunately, the Telvanni Dark Elves observe many silly rules. Lower castes cannot own slaves. I do not know why.
Once she becomes an oathman, she will have the means to free me—then we will escape this place."
What will the two of you do once you're free?
"We Saxhleel struggle with the future, but I often gaze into the pond and dream.
My heart tastes Hist-sap for the first time. I teach her Jel and share root-secrets by candlelight. We paddle still rivers, hunt, and fish. These dreams keep me going."
Sun-in-Shadow seems pretty happy being a Telvanni Mage.
"Your croaks ring true, but she knows nothing of the larger world.
My heart hatched here in Vvardenfell, far from the Hist. Once she hears the cries of the hackwings, smells the peat, and feels the mud on her scales, she will forget about this place."

The Owner

Travel to Vos, where you will find Barys Rendo tending to his troubled farm.

"Ah, another adventurer. If you've come looking for saltrice, you'll have better luck in the market. Slim harvest, you know, and we're a bit shorthanded at the moment.
My son, Seythen, has gone missing, you see. You haven't run into him have you?"
I'm afraid not. I actually came to ask if you'd be interested in selling your farm.
"Wouldn't I! I gave up work as a financier in Balmora for a chance at the simple life. I love it here, but my wife … she struggles with the agrarian life.
We'd jump at the chance to leave, believe me—but not before finding our boy."
If I find your son, you'll sell me your plot?
"Yes, in an instant! Like I said, Ninave's practically packed her bags already. If you bring back our boy, we'll sell.
Seythen's always been a thrill-seeker. Probably got lost in that Daedric ruin, Esutanamus. You'll find it just east of here."
What can you tell me about this Daedric ruin?
"It's called Esutanamus. Seythen's taken an interest in Daedric history. A waste of time if you ask me, but I do admire his enthusiasm.
We spoke about the shrine just a few days before he vanished. Apparently it venerates that monster, Molag Bal."
Have you seen any Daedra there?
"I don't go anywhere near that place. We've got enough troubles here. Lean harvests, clumsy Telvanni wizards, my wife henpecking me to death …. No, I'll not invite some plague from the House of Troubles as well."
All right. I'll see what I can do.
"Thank you, serjo. Be careful, and Three protect you."
Seythen, Exhausted

Seythen Rendo can be found not far from the entrance to the Daedric ruin, sneaking out on his own. As he is doing so, a Winged Twilight will appear, with him exclaiming "Not again!" as it swoops him up and drags him farther into the ruins. Following the Twilight will have you discover him in a pile of bones and meat, treats for the Twilight's "pet". As you approach him again, he'll call out:

Seythen Rendo: "Hey! Over here!"

Speaking to Seythen will have him explain the bizarre predicament he's fallen into:

"Someone without wings and razor-sharp teeth! There's a sight for sore eyes."
Seythen Rendo? Your parents sent me.
"That's me! Seythen Rendo, explorer extraordinaire!
My parents are worried? Typical. My mother barely trusts me to push a broom, let alone investigate a ruin. Of course, things could be better. I've attracted the attention of some winged twilights."
What do you mean, attracted?
"Every time I try to make my escape, they swoop down on my head—not to hurt me, mind you. They just sort of tussle my hair with their claws and push me back into the ruins, cooing all the while.
I think they see me as some kind of pet."
I'll distract them. You make a run for it.
"A daring escape! You'll have to slay them, eh? Pity. Of course, I did see them tear an Ashlander apart as he wandered by, so I won't shed too many tears.
I'll make a run for it. We can meet up west of here, towards Vos. Be careful!"
Get ready. I'll distract them.

He will start to run out, shouting "Agh! The matriarch is coming! Be careful! I'll run straight back to Vos!" Despite the numerous Daedra in the ruin, at this point, you can simply walk out of the ruin, without even engaging a single Twilight. Meet him outside the ruins, for a confrontation with his father:

Seythen: "You came after me? You're getting as bad as mother. I'm not a child!"
Barys: "Believe me, I'd rather be bagging our crop, but you know how your mother is. She won't give me a moment's peace."
Seythen: "Fine.... I just need a breather."
Find the farmer's son

Seythen then leans against a nearby tree, refusing to speak anymore, while his father shows exasperation. Speaking to Barys will have him explain why he came out to meet you two:

"There you are. Sorry to check up on you. I knew you had the situation well in hand, but Ninave practically kicked me out. Said not to come back without Seythen. I'm glad I won't be going back empty-handed."
He attracted the attentions of some winged twilights.
"Attracted the attentions …? Never mind, I don't want to know.
I'll miss this place, but Vehk knows I'm not much of a farmer. I'm just glad I got to thank you in person. Your partner, Mertis, already paid me for the deed to the property."
My partner? I don't have a partner.
"What? Oh dear. The fellow was very convincing. Caught me right before I set out to find Seythen.
He wasn't much of a conversationalist—just paid me a hefty sum of gold and snatched up the deed. He set out toward Vos once we finished the sale."

If you speak to him again, he'll say:

"I'm terribly sorry about this business with Mertis. I can typically smell a bad deal the minute it walks through the door. Must be losing my edge."

With that said, your business becomes to determine who intercepted Sun-in-Shadow's plan. Head west out of Vos and you will hear Wizard Jinrisa speaking to Mertis, an agent of hers who also appears as one citizen you can ask about the information of land for sale. She'll tell Mertis to handle you as she teleports away.

Mertis Othren : "Here's the deed, Lady Jinrisa."
Wizard Jinrisa : "Good. Deal with any loose ends."

Mertis will then attack.

Mertis Othren : "Well, if it isn't my favorite loose end. Time to tie it off."

After dispatching him, search his bag to find a note, which explains the plot was targeted against Master Firuth more than it was against Sun-in-Shadow. Regardless of the intention, travel back to Sun-in-Shadow for your next move.

Returning the Deed[edit]

Sun-in-Shadow will be surprised at your early return:

"Back so soon? Well, you're quite the negotiator!
I trust you found a suitable property outside Vos?"
Not exactly. A Dark Elf swept in, bought the deed, and gave it to a wizard named Jinrisa.
"Jinrisa? Interesting. That envious hag never misses an opportunity to stick a thumb in Firuth's eye.
Listen carefully. I need you to acquire that deed as quickly as possible—before she makes it public that she's bought land near Vos."
How do you suggest I do that?
"I suggest you use all available means. You can begin by searching the Adept's Hall in Tel Naga.
I will warn you that the Adept's Hall is not open to outsiders. You'll need to be careful while searching for the deed, so as to not raise suspicion."
I understand.
"Jinrisa's offered us a chance to double our winnings. If we acquire the deed and embarrass her in the process, Firuth's bound to support my promotion!"

Further conversation with Sun-in-Shadow will have her comment on Jinrisa's abilities:

"I doubt Jinrisa's been especially careful with the deed. There's a reason she's never advanced beyond the rank of wizard.
Unless I miss my guess, you'll find the document tucked away in Tel Naga somewhere. Good fortune, sera."

Sneaking into Tel Naga will have you quickly come across Jinrisa, bragging about her plan: "Should I offer him the land at a ridiculous price?" While she is boasting about her triumph over Firuth, the deed can swiftly be obtained from an unsecured dresser.

Walk out of Tel Naga, with the deed in hand, to find Sun-in-Shadow waiting for you:

"Did you find the deed? I'd hate to think that clumsy wizard, Jinrisa, outnixed me on this."
I got the deed back from Jinrisa. You can give it to Firuth, as you planned.
"Oh no, no. I can't do it myself. It's not subtle, or even polite, if a Telvanni just bluntly demands this thing or that service!
I'm sorry to impose once again, but could you give the deed to Master Firuth on my behalf?"
I suppose I can deliver it.
"I know I've asked a lot. Trust me, payment is forthcoming.
Just offer the deed to Firuth, and tell him that Sun-in-Shadow would like his written support for her elevation to the rank of retainer. Make it subtle … but not too subtle, you know?"
Where can I find Master Firuth?
"Just west of here, in a place called Hanud. Firuth values his privacy, so be wary of atronachs and traps—and don't be surprised if he's a bit … eccentric.
Meet me in the Council Hall, when you return. I have a very good feeling about this!"
"Fair warning—Master Firuth may say some strange things. Do me a favor and try not to laugh, all right? He may seem odd, but he's still a powerful mage. Don't forget that."

With that said, head to Hanud, where Firuth will be speaking to a skull named Gerald:

"Ugh. More visitors? I have those atronachs out there for a reason. Can't you see there's no room?
Oh for Vehk's sake, never mind. What do you want from us?"
Sun-in-Shadow thought you might be interested in the deed to some land outside of Vos.
"Did she now? How prescient! Quite impressive, wouldn't you say, Gerald …? Yes, I thought so too.
I'm glad she chose to give it to me, and not that guar-faced bumbler, Jinrisa. I suppose she wants something in return. These hirelings always do."
Yes. She'd appreciate your written support for her promotion to retainer.
"Ah, yet another social climber. How tiresome. Still, exchanging a simple endorsement for valuable property seems like quite the bargain. Very well—it's a deal.
Gerald, be a dear and fetch me that pen …. Oh fine, I'll get it myself."

He'll spend a few moments writing, before producing the requested document:

Master Firuth : "This should do. Now, off with you. My friends and I have pressing business. So much to do!"

Speak to him again and he'll bark:

"Didn't you hear me? I said scoot!"
What do you plan to do with this land?
"Build a tower of course! This place grows too crowded. We're practically sitting in each others' pockets! Gerald and I need room.
There's also the matter of appearances. Towers bespeak a certain degree of majestic erudition."
Who is this Gerald you keep talking to?
"You can't see him, can you? Hardly a surprise. He rarely shows himself to lesser minds.
Gerald serves as my assistant, attending to various tasks I'd rather not … yes, I'm getting to that! For Ayem's sake. He also keeps the others at bay."
The others?
"Yes! This throng of hangers-on! Hundreds of unwanted guests! Constantly bickering and bumbling into one another. Day after day—night after night. It's exhausting!
Without Gerald … well, I can hardly imagine."
I don't see anyone.
"Of course you don't. Of course you don't!
Ugh. I tire of this conversation. The others are bad enough. Be off! I have work to do."
Sun-in-Shadow and Angharal Suth

Return to Tel Naga to find Sun-in-Shadow speaking to Angharal Suth:

Angharal Suth: "We will review the request soon. In the meantime, continue your studies."
Sun-in-Shadow: "Muthsera Suth is most kind. I thank you."

Speak to Sun-in-Shadow, who will be happy at your return:

"Ha! I recognize that swagger. Firuth agreed to my demands, didn't he?"
Yes. Master Firuth agreed to endorse you.
I ran into Councilor Angharal just a moment ago—totally by chance, I might add. I asked her about the potential for advancement, and she hedged a bit. This endorsement will make all the difference."
Here's the writ. Firuth seemed pleased with the deal.
"Well, that makes two of us! I took no pleasure in spending all that coin, but as a retainer, I'll be able to double that sum before long.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a writ to deliver! Thank you again, my friend."

Sun-in-Shadow will rush off to begin her next schemes, just as Eoki arrives, trying to reach her before she slips inside:

Eoki : "Always, she is busy and in a hurry."
"She is always busy these days. I worry she flirts with the flames of the sun and does not know to fear the fire."
What's wrong, Eoki?
"My heart and I have barely spoken. She strains her spines both day and night, poring through tomes and hatching her schemes. Her eyes are fixed on the next rank ... and the next after that. I fear for her. A soul without rest grows dim as twilight."
So she hasn't shared her next plan with you?
"No, she has not. All to the good, I guess. A finless fish weakens the shoal. But enough about me. You, my friend, are a mighty swimmer. Seek her out in her stone dwelling-place. If I know my heart, she will certainly have a task for you."
All right, I'll talk to her.

At this point, the next quest will start.

If speaking with Eoki again:

"I wish I could do as much for Sun-in-Shadow as you have done."


  • The pouch of gold Sun-in-Shadow gives you to buy the deed isn't added to your quest items.
  • Mertis Othren and Zashanti won't exist in Vos before starting the quest. They won't exist at all either (except for Merthis later) if you get the information from Eoki before going to Vos.
    • Baris and Ninave Rendo won't exist at their farm right near Vos before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
      • Seythen won't exist at Esutanamus before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
  • While Seythen implies multiple winged twilights have been harassing him in the ruins, only the Twilight Matriach appears while he makes his escape.
  • The Rendo Property Deed cannot be read once it is in your quest items.
  • Master Firuth won't exist at Hanud Tower before starting the quest or reaching the related objective.
  • Despite Sun-in-Shadow warning about atronachs and traps on the way to Master Firuth, he is simply found in the open outside of his tower, with no hazards on the way to him.
    • Master Firuth himself also refers to atronachs that don't exist during his dialogue.

Quest Stages[edit]

Rising to Retainer
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I should find Sun-in-Shadow's new home and talk to her about her plans to rise further in the ranks of House Telvanni.
Objective: Talk to Sun-in-Shadow in Private
I must travel to Vos and find someone who is willing to sell their land.
Objective: Find Someone Willing to Sell Land Near Vos
Objective Hint: Talk to Eoki or Ask Citizens in Vos
Apparently, a farmer named Barys Rendo may be willing to sell his plot. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Barys Rendo
The farmer, Barys Rendo, agreed to sell me his land, but not before I find his son, Seythen. According to Barys, Seythen probably lost his way inside the Daedric ruin, Esutanamus. I should go to the ruin to look for him.
Objective: Go to Esutanamus Shrine
I found Esutanamus. I must find Seythen and urge him to return to the Rendo family farm.
Objective: Find Seythen Rendo
I rescued Seythen Rendo from a roost of troublesome winged twilights. He ran on ahead, toward Vos. I should catch up to him and make sure he makes it home.
Objective: Meet Seythen Rendo
Barys was out looking for his son and met up with him. I should talk to him and settle the purchase the Rendo farm plot.
Objective: Talk to Barys Rendo
Someone named Mertis purchased the deed to Barys Rendo's property before I returned from Esutanamus. I should track this imposter down.
Objective: Track Down Mertis Othren
It seems that a wizard named Jinrisa engineered the plot to steal the deed from me. I should tell Sun-in-Shadow that Jinrisa acquired the Rendo's farm.
Objective: Talk to Sun-in-Shadow
Optional Step: Collect Additional Evidence
I must find a way to retrieve the land deed from Jinrisa. According to Sun-in-Shadow, Jinrisa probably hid the document in the Tel Naga Adept's Hall.
Objective: Get the Deed From Jinrisa
Objective Hint: Go to Tel Naga Adept's Hall
I retrieved the deed. I should give it to Sun-in-Shadow.
Objective: Talk to Sun-in-Shadow
Sun-in-Shadow urged me to deliver the deed to Magister Firuth on her behalf. Hopefully he'll furnish me with a writ of endorsement, encouraging the council to elevate Sun-in-Shadow to Retainer.
Objective: Deliver the Deed to Master Firuth
Firuth completed Sun-in-Shadow's writ of endorsement. I should take it.
Objective: Take Firuth's Writ
Master Firuth agreed to Sun-in-Shadow's terms and gave me a writ of endorsement in exchange for the land deed. I should take the writ to Sun-in-Shadow.
Objective: Deliver the Writ to Sun-in-Shadow
Finishes quest☑ I should deliver Firuth's writ of endorsement to Sun-in-Shadow.
Objective: Talk to Sun-in-Shadow
* 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.