Online:Ruthless Competition

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Help a group of treasure hunters find an Argonian relic before their competitor.
Zone: Shadowfen
Quest Giver: Cyrodilic Collections Needs You! pamphlet in the Coin Brothers' Cornerclub
Next Quest: The Cursed Skull
Reward: Very High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Very High Experience
ID: 6226
Cyrodilic Collections, a society dedicated to locating and restoring Argonian antiquities, seeks help in its mission. They want to stay ahead of their competition and preserve every piece of Argonian culture they can.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Concordia Mercius in Vulkhel Guard (Auridon), Daggerfall (Glenumbra) or Davon's Watch (Stonefalls).
  2. Gather information from Grethaa, Eshundir and Urzashi in the local Outlaws Refuge.
  3. Report to Concordia Mercius.
  4. Retrieve the Argonian antiquities from the Sunless Hollow.
  5. Return to Concordia Mercius.
  6. Talk to Eshundir.
  7. Investigate Chid-Moska Ruins.
  8. (Optional) Talk to Jee-Lar and take his boat to Stormhold.
  9. Talk to Concordia Mercius.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

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For more information, see the help files, the style guide, and this article's talk page.

Starting the Quest[edit]

The quest can be started from the letter "Cyrodilic Collections Needs You!" lying in the Coin Brothers' Cornerclub in Stormhold and is described as "A leaflet from Cyrodilic Collections requests that you seek out Concordia Mercius for an important mission. Find Concordia to start a quest to help the historical society and glimpse what's next in the Elder Scrolls Online's ongoing adventures."

After reading the leaflet, you should seek out Concordia Mercius in one of the following towns, Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall or Davon's Watch. She will be standing with her horse and calling out to passers-by, go and introduce yourself:

"You look capable. I could use some help, if you aren't afraid of a ruthless, dastardly scoundrel.
Let me start again. I represent Cyrodilic Collections, a society dedicated to finding, retrieving, and restoring lost treasures of the Argonians."
What kind of help do you need?
"Our society consists of me, my sister, and a few associates. We've been preparing an expedition to return the antiquities we've recovered to Murkmire, deep in the heart of Black Marsh. Unfortunately, our competition has become... aggressive."
The ruthless, dastardly scoundrel you mentioned?
"One and the same! Margus Derius. He's a looter of history who cares only about profit. He was a member of our society until he stole our research and disappeared.
I need you to infiltrate the nearby Outlaws Refuge and find out what Margus is up to."
I'll see what I can learn about Margus Derius.
"While I've never visited an Outlaws Refuge myself, I have it on good authority that all manner of ne'er-do-wells frequent such places. Scoundrels, black marketeers, and smugglers of ill repute!
Just the sort of company that Margus keeps."

The Outlaws Refuge[edit]

After agreeing to help find out information on Margus Derius, you will need to head to the Outlaws Refuge in town and talk anyone who may know him. Luckily for you, there will be three; Eshundir, Grethaa and Urzashi. These can be done in any order.


Eshundir is a Redguard smuggler who is also considered an expert on Argonian Relics:

"A thousand greetings, wayfarer. This is no place for casual visitors. You have wandered into a nest of vipers.
But have no fear. Eshundir will take care of you. Come closer and let us conduct business."
You're Eshundir the smuggler? I need to ask you about something.
"I prefer merchant to smuggler, but call me what you will. I transport rare and valuable antiquities—no questions asked. I'm also considered the most knowledgeable Argonian relics expert outside of Black Marsh.
So, how can I help you this day?"
What can you tell me about a person named Margus Derius?
"Ah, I know Margus well! We both deal in antiquities. He actually approached me recently. As a consultant, you understand. So I'm familiar with Margus's current plans.
I am happy to share that information—in exchange for a simple favor."

There are two ways to go about this, you can either complete his requests or intimidate him into giving you information. If you want to do the favor:

All right. Tell me what you want me to do.
"I require a wamasu egg. Not just any egg, mind you. A specific egg from a specific nest. Let me mark the location on your map.
Bring me an egg from that nest and I'll tell you more about Margus than you really care to know."
I'll get you the wamasu egg.
"Do not take too long. I want an egg, not a hatchling, after all!
May a hundred shades of luck color your days, wayfarer."

He wants you to collect a Wamasu Egg from one of the world bosses, its location will depend on your faction:

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Nest Location Seaside Scarp Camp Trapjaw's Cove Shivering Shrine

After you reach the nest location, it is entirely possible to use stealth and collect the egg without fighting the boss. Otherwise, you may need a couple of fellow adventurers to take the boss down. Once you have the wamasu egg, you can return to him:

"Welcome back, wayfarer. Was your journey successful? Have you acquired one of those beautiful eggs as I requested?"
Here's the wamasu egg you sent me for.
"What an exquisite specimen! Well done, my friend, well done!
As for the information you required, know that Margus has involved himself with a band of thugs and outlaws. They hide in a dark cave like poisonous mushrooms."
What else can you tell me about this cave?
"I can tell you that the cave is called Sunless Hollow, and it's located not too far from here.
I have one more bit of advice. Margus and his associates are dangerous. Should you find them, I suggest caution. And that concludes our business."

Alternatively, if you have an Intimidating Presence, you can instead bypass collecting the wamasu egg and make him talk.

[Intimidate] I don't have time for this. Tell me about Margus now or I'll beat the information out of you!
"Such aggression! There is no need to threaten violence, my friend. Eshundir said he would take care of you, and indeed he will.
Margus has associated himself with a band of thugs and outlaws. They hide in a cave like rabid guar."
Tell me more about this cave.
"The cave is called the Sunless Hollow, and it's located not too far from here.
I have one more secret for you, wayfarer, so listen well. Margus and his associates are dangerous. I suggest caution. And with that, our business comes to an end."

In both cases he will reveal that Margus has been spending time in a local cave known as the Sunless Hollow.


Grethaa is an elegant Nord information broker with a taste for fashion:

"If you're looking for information, then you've come to the right place! I am the most knowledgeable broker in the refuge.
On the other hand, if you work for the town guard, I have no idea what we're talking about."
I seek information about Margus Derius.
"Well, information is my primary business, and business is good! Which reminds me, I never give anything away for free. Especially information.
Perform a favor for me. Then I'll tell you what I know about Margus Derius."
What kind of favor are we talking about?
"The best kind, one that benefits us both!
Allow me to mark a house on your map. Inside you'll find a crate that contains an elegant jacket. I'm something of a snappy dresser and I want that jacket. Bring it to me and I'll tell you all about Margus."

She will send you to one of the houses in town, its location depending on your faction:

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
House Watch Captain Astanya's Home Gane House Sethri House

You will need to pick the lock of the front door, make sure no guards are watching. Once inside, steal the Elegant Jacket and return to Grethaa:

"A little bird told me you were on your way down here. It also mentioned that you had something that would make both of us very happy.
Is it true? Were you able to acquire the elegant jacket?"
Here's the elegant jacket you requested.
"Perfect! Did you know this jacket belonged to an associate of Margus Derius? There should be a note in the pocket. Ah, here it is.
And this confirms the information I promised to share with you. Margus works with a group called the Blackguards."
Who are the Blackguards?
"Just one of the most dangerous bands of outlaws to emerge from the swamps of Black Marsh! The group supposedly started years ago in Blackrose Prison.
I'm not sure why Margus and the Blackguards are working together, but nothing good will come of it."

Keeping her word, Grethaa will reveal that Margus has been working with a group of bandits known as the Blackguards who have been working out of the Black Marsh.


Urzashi is a Khajiit antiques dealer who works in the black market:

"The black market is closed. This one has inventories to catalog and my assistant has yet to return. I sent him to retrieve a package, but he never came back.
Bother someone else, please."
Does your black market deal in Argonian antiquities?
"You don't take a hint very well, do you? To answer your question, this market buys and sells certain items of historic value. We maintain an extensive list of wealthy collectors and are always on the lookout for specific relics.
Why do you ask?"
I need to find out about a collector named Margus Derius.
"You want to know about Margus? Interesting. Very well. Perform a service and this one will tell you what you want to know.
Locate my assistant and bring him back, or at least tell me if it is time to hire a new one. Good help is so hard to find."
Where did your assistant go?
"This one sent Argar to an old ruin. He was to pick up a package from some thieves we do business with and bring it to me. Here, let me mark the location on your map.
Go, find out what happened to him. Then I will tell you about Margus Derius."

She will ask you to find her assistant who hasn't returned from a recent job. His location will be one of the delves within the zone.

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Delve Bewan Cryptwatch Fort Sheogorath's Tongue

Once you reach the delve, you will need to fight your way through until you find Argar. Unfortunately, you will find his body near the boss of the delve. Pick up Argar's Notched Sword as proof and return to Urzashi:

"Was your search successful? Were you able to find my assistant, Argar?"
I found this notched sword beside your assistant's body.
"This one wishes it weren't, but that is definitely Argar's blade. Such are the risks when one deals with the criminal element.
Well, no use crying over spilled moon-sugar. You provided a service. Now remind me what you wanted to know."
Anything you can tell me about Margus Derius would be appreciated.
"This one hears rumors. Margus Derius searches for Argonian relics of considerable power. Something from the time of the great Argonian civilization, as I understand it.
Margus has a hidden storehouse for these relics, but that's all this one knows."

Urzashi will mention that Margus Derius has been focused on finding magically powerful Argonian artifacts.

The Sunless Hollow[edit]

After learning all you can from the contacts, you can return to Concordia and tell her what you have learnt. Namely, that Margus is collecting powerful artifacts and he working with the Blackguards and their ill-gotten gains are in a nearby cave:

"Oh good, you're back. I just returned from my own investigations. I followed a lead, but the trail ran cold. Very disappointing.
So tell me what happened in the Outlaws Refuge. Were you able to learn anything new about Margus Derius?"
Margus Derius is working with thugs from Black Marsh called the Blackguards.
"The Blackguards? My sister's tangled with them in Murkmire.
I need to warn Jee-Lar. He's one of our agents. I've got him looking into Margus as well, but you seem to be having more luck. What else did you learn?"
Margus and the Blackguards are looking for powerful Argonian relics. They have a hidden storehouse.
"That's troubling. If we don't act fast, those antiquities will disappear and the Argonians will lose a little more of their history.
If only we knew where this hidden storehouse was located..."
It's in a cave called the Sunless Hollow.
"You are a wonder, my friend! I know exactly where that cave is. Allow me to mark the location on your map.
Are you willing to see this through? I'll rally Jee-Lar, but time is of the essence. Will you go to Sunless Hollow and recover the relics?"
I'll head there immediately.
"I'll send word to Jee-Lar and get him to meet you at the Sunless Hollow.
In the meantime, please be careful. Margus is dangerous, and what my sister has told me about the Blackguards would make your skin crawl!"

Luckily for you Concordia knows the location of the cave and will mark it out on your map. She will send you to collect the Argonian Relics and mentions that her associate will meet you there.

Inside the Sunless Hollow, you will have to deal with the Blackguards guarding the cave (Raiders, Alchemists, Poison Archers and Vinecallers). In the small camp, the journal of Margus Derius can be found, which sheds some light on his motives. Eventually, you will climb a slope where the Argonian artifacts are being kept, inside two chests. When you retrieve the Argonian Charm Necklace and Xal-Toh Tablet an Argonian will appear behind you and begin shouting at you.

Jee-Lar: "That doesn't belong to you!"

He can be spoken to assure him of your intentions:

"Answer quick! Are you a Blackguard or are you the friend Concordia sent me to assist?"
I'm a friend of Concordia. I recovered these antiquities for Cyrodilic Collections.
"Sounds like you didn't need Jee-Lar's help after all. Ah well. I'm not anxious to fight with these Blackguards anyway.
I erect the spine of greeting, new friend of Jee-Lar. I am happy to meet you, and that's a fact!"
How long have you worked for Cyrodilic Collections?
"I have been with Concordia and her sister from the beginning! I left my home in Murkmire to help recover the stolen past of my people. And to participate in adventures. All very exciting!
Head back to Concordia and I'll meet you there."
I'll see you there.

After you spoken with him, you can return to Concordia and hand over the artifacts.

"Tell me your trip to Sunless Hollow was successful, my friend. I could use a little good news right about now."
I recovered these antiquities from the Sunless Hollow, but there was no sign of Margus Derius.
"Let me see what you found. Hmm. An Argonian charm necklace. See the amulet? That's a river stone. The Imperial Legion called them swamp coins. And this is a Xal-Toh tablet. That literally translates as sacred secret. Very interesting …."
Are these items significant in some way?
"An old legend involves a necklace and a tablet. If I'm right …. Return to the Outlaws Refuge and talk to Eshundir the smuggler. He's an expert on Argonian lore. Ask him what he knows about those relics. Meanwhile, there's a book I need to look at."
I'll go have another talk with Eshundir.
"Eshundir the smuggler considers Cyrodilic Collections to be bad for his business, but he knows an awful lot about obscure Argonian antiquities. While you show him those relics, I want to refer to a book on the legends of Black Marsh I read once."

Concordia will send you back to Eshundir to find out more information.

Jee-Lar can be found near Concordia. If you talk with him before approaching Concordia:

"You were quick, though not as quick as Jee-Lar, and that's a fact!"
I did have to carry these Argonian antiquities back with me.
"And you should show them to Concordia, fast-fast! She's been waiting for you to return and wants to hear all about what you found in the Sunless Hollow."
Are all Argonians from Murkmire interested in ancient Argonian history?
"Not as many as you would expect. Most Argonians from Murkmire are more interested in the here and now. They believe that the past is dead and gone and best forgotten.
Me? Oh, the past has always fascinated me. That's why I joined up with Concordia!"

If you talk with Jee-Lar after approaching Concordia:

"I'm glad you've taken an interest in our cause. Concordia and Famia know the ruins. I know Murkmire's swamps and rivers. And you know how to get things down! The four of us will accomplish great-great things!"

A Deadly Message[edit]

When you enter the Outlaw Refuge, when you arrive you'll hear Urzashi screaming.

Urzashi "Oh, Eshundir, I told you not to deal with Margus Derius."

When you approach, she will be standing over the body of the recently murdered Eshundir. When you talk with her, she will blame you for putting her friend in danger.

"You! This is all your fault! Oh, criminal activity always carries a certain amount of danger, but your questions have brought this wamasu poo down upon our heads!
Poor Eshundir. He didn't deserve this fate."
What happened down here?
"This one has no proof, but I'm sure Margus sent one of his Blackguard thugs to silence poor Eshundir. I feel it in my tail
Grethaa slipped away at the first sign of trouble and I hid in a crate. Eshundir...he wasn't so lucky."
I was hoping Eshundir could tell me about these Argonian antiques.
"Antiquities, you say? Let me have a look. Hmm. This one is not the expert that Eshundir is. Was. But this tablet tells the secret of an Argonian nightmare idol. Very rare. Probably dangerous.
Why did you make me touch these things? Take them back!"
A nightmare idol? I don't understand.
No, I will say nothing else. This one prefers to keep her blood inside her body! But these items point to other relics. Relics Margus needs to reach his ultimate goal, whatever that is.
The Blackguard murderer, maybe he left a clue you could follow?"
Good idea. I'll take a look around.

You will need to look for clues, nearby you can find a bloody Bone Knife and a Blackguard Note. Reading the note will reveal a particular location is important to the Blackguard's plans, after reading the letter, Jee-Lar will arrive.

Jee-Lar: "Over here, friend of Concordia!"

He will be waiting near the entrance to the refuge and must be told about the new developments.

"There you are! Was the smuggler able to tell you anything about those antiquities you found? Concordia certainly seems to think they might be important.
I'm still learning to understand dryskin emotions, but I'm pretty sure she's concerned."
Eshundir was murdered, but I learned that the antiquities are leading Margus to something important.
"Concordia mentioned something about the Xal-Toh tablet. An old legend. Reminds me of a story my egg-mother used to tell me about a cursed skull....
That's a worry for later. Concordia sent me to help you right before she departed."
Where did Concordia go?
"Concordia has a camp in Shadowfen, outside Stormhold. She went to check on things and do a little more research on the items you recovered.
As for us, we need to figure out how to find Margus, fast-fast!"'
The murderer dropped a note. It says Margus is gathering the Blackguards at the Chid-Moska Ruins.
"Chid-Moska? That's in Shadowfen and that's a fact! We should hurry if we want to stop Margus and the Blackguards!
I can arrange transportation for us. Just tell me when you're ready to go."

If you are ready to go, the conversation will immediately end and you will be teleported to Shadowfen.

I'm ready. Let's go!

However, if you need some time to get prepared, he is willing to wait.

I'm not ready to go just yet.
"All right. Do what you need to do. When you're ready, find me and we can travel to Shadowfen."

Shadowfen and the Chid-Moska Ruins[edit]

Once you arrive in Shadowfen, you can ask Jee-Lar about the Xal-Toh tablet you retrieved and the legend he thinks is associated with it.

"The ruins are up ahead. I'll wait here and make sure the boat stays safe. There are all kinds of horrible creatures in the swamp and some of them eat boats. That's a fact!"
Before I enter the ruins, tell me about the Xal-Toh tablet and the legend you mentioned.
"Well, Xal-Toh, means "sacred secret." Each tablet contains its own mystery.
I think this one is related to the legend of Beela-Kaar. He was an ancient Argonian sorcerer. Terrorized most of the Black Marsh, or so the story goes."
What does an ancient sorcerer have to do with all this?
"Not the sorcerer, but the relic he left behind. The legend claims that Beela-Kaar used his considerable arcane energy to imbue his skull with a powerful curse when he died. The process turned the skull into solid gold!"
Do you think that's what they're after in the ruins?
"That seems unlikely. The story I heard claims that the skull was hidden on an island off the coast of the Black Marsh. Margus probably has the Blackguards looking for more clues that point to the skull's exact location.
Be careful in there, my friend."

The Chid-Moska Ruins will be nearby. If you have visited these ruins previously, the previous outlaws will have been replaced by Blackguards. You will need to find out why they are here, fight your way through them till you arrive in the main chamber. A sinister Argonian Nightmare Idol will be sitting on the siderail of the xanmeer stairs there will also be a note nearby.

Once you leave the ruins, you will need to deliver the idol to Concordia. You could take the scenic route there or you can use Jee-Lar's small boat, which will take you to the shore adjacent to the Cyrodillic Collections camp in Stormhold.

"You found something? And you made it out alive! You continue to surprise me, my friend.
Hop in the boat and we'll head for Concordia's camp outside Stormhold."

However you reach her, report your experiences and hand the idol over.

"Finally! You don't know how worried I was for you and Jee-Lar! After I heard about the murder in the Outlaws Refuge, all I could imagine was you and my agent lying in a ditch somewhere.
I don't suppose you learned more about Margus's plans?"
The black marketeer told me the Xal-Toh tablet revealed the secret of an Argonian nightmare idol.
"That corresponds with what I was able to determine. And I'm sure it's somehow related to legends of Beela-Kaar.
But what happened to you and Jee-Lar after you left the Outlaws Refuge? Were you able to track down Margus?"
No, but a clue led us to the Chid-Moska Ruins. That's where I recovered this nightmare idol.
"Hmm. What an excellent specimen! But see this opening on the back of the statue? A cavity, but whatever was stored inside it is missing.
It looks like Margus Derius continues to remain one step ahead of us, curse his arrogant eyes!"
So what does all this mean? What is Margus Derius actually looking for?
"Only one conclusion makes sense. Margus seeks the Golden Skull of Beela-Kaar. Whatever was inside the idol could lead him right to it!
A worry for later. Right now, know that Cyrodilic Collections appreciates your help. Take this with our thanks."

You now have a name for what Margus Derius seeks. Take your reward and continue talking with Concordia to continue your search.


Quest Stages[edit]

Ruthless Competition
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
The leaflet said to meet Concordia Mercius in Vulkhel Guard, Davon's Watch, or Daggerfall.
Objective: Talk to Concordia Mercius
Latest start Concordia Mercius asked me to go to the nearby Outlaws Refuge to talk to a black marketeer, an information broker, and a smuggler to see what I can learn about an unscrupulous competitor of Cyrodilic Collections named Margus Derius.
Objective: Go to the Outlaws Refuge
I need to talk to a smuggler, a black marketeer, and an information broker that deals in stolen antiquities in the Outlaws Refuge to learn more about Cyrodilic Collections' competition, Margus Derius.
Objective: Gather Information About Margus Derius
Objective Hint: Acquire an Elegant Jacket for Grethaa
Objective Hint: Find Urzashi's Assistant
Objective Hint: Retrieve a Wamasu Egg for Eshundir
I should return to Concordia and share the information I received from contacts in the Outlaws Refuge with her. Namely, Margus Derius is working with the Blackguards and has hidden a number of Argonian relics in a place called the Sunless Hollow.
Objective: Talk to Concordia Mercius
Concordia Mercius asked me to go to the Sunless Hollow to try to recover the Argonian antiquities that Margus Derius and the Blackguards have acquired.
Objective: Go to the Sunless Hollow
Now that I'm inside the Sunless Hollow, I need to find any Argonian antiquities that Margus and the Blackguards have hidden here.
Objective: Retrieve Argonian Antiquities
I should return to Concordia Mercius and show her these Argonian antiquities I recovered from the Sunless Hollow.
Objective: Talk to Concordia Mercius
Optional Step: Talk to Jee-Lar
Concordia thinks that there's something significant about the two antiquities I recovered in the Sunless Hollow. She wants me to return to the nearby Outlaws Refuge and consult with one of the experts who helped us earlier.
Objective: Talk to Eshundir
Something terrible has occurred in the Outlaws Refuge! I should see if Urzashi can tell me what happened.
Objective: Talk to Urzashi
Urzashi thinks that Margus Derius is on the trail of something that the antiquities he's been collecting are leading him to. With nothing else to go on, she suggested that the Blackguard who killed Eshundir might have left some clues.
Objective: Look for Clues
Jee-Lar arrived. I should let him know what I found out.
Objective: Talk to Jee-Lar
Jee-Lar arranged for our transportation to Shadowfen. Now to locate the Chid-Moska Ruins and get inside.
Objective: Enter the Chid-Moska Ruins
Objective Hint: Talk to Jee-Lar
The Blackguards are searching for something inside the Chid-Moska Ruins. I need to find out what they're up to and put a stop to it.
Objective: Discover What the Blackguards Are Up To
The Blackguards have uncovered an Argonian nightmare idol. I need to retrieve the idol and take it back to Concordia Mercius.
Objective: Retrieve the Nightmare Idol
I recovered the Argonian nightmare idol that the Blackguards found in the Chid-Moska Ruins. I need to go to Stormhold and find Concordia's camp so I can tell her all about what we discovered.
Objective: Go to Stormhold
Optional Step: Use Jee-Lar's Boat
There's Concordia's camp. I should go and talk to her and show her this idol I found in the ruins.
Objective: Talk to Concordia Mercius
Finishes quest☑ I should talk to Concordia Mercius and see if she can help me determine what Margus Derius is trying to accomplish.
Objective: Talk to Concordia Mercius
* 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.
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