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Location Vandacia's Deadlands Keep, Blackwood, Gideon, Fort Redmane, Deadlands: The Ashen Forest, The Brandfire Reformatory, Destruction's Solace, Fort Sundercliff
Race Nord Gender Male
Reaction Friendly

Sombren is a Nord and one of Mehrunes Dagon's Ambitions. He is first encountered when you infiltrate a Waking Flame event at Vandacia's Deadlands Keep.

Related Quests[edit]

Quest-Related Events[edit]

A Mysterious Event[edit]

After you and Eveli Sharp-Arrow successfully enter the keep, you can her can do some investigation beyond the entry hall where everyone is gathered. When you find the audience chamber, you will see someone chained up at the other end of the room. When you approach him, he will speak to you:

Sombren: "I'll tell you what I told Vandacia … I'm Sombren and I won't perform for the pleasure of a Dagon cult!"

Talk to Sombren, he will initially want nothing to do with you:

"So, Vandacia has let some of his pet nobles come by to gawk at his prize? Away, you vultures!"
We're not nobles. We're here to stop whatever Vandacia has planned.
"There aren't enough of you to stop Vandacia. He has an army of elite soldiers, crazed cultists, and Daedra creatures given to him by Mehrunes Dagon personally. You're hopelessly outclassed."
And what's your role in all this?
"Me? I'm the main event at this infernal affair. Vandacia plans to sacrifice me to his Daedric Prince. Referred to me as one of the Four Ambitions of Mehrunes Dagon.
Apparently, they think my death will grant them all unlimited power."
Is that what you are? One of the Ambitions?
"I don't know. Maybe. My mentor used that term once or twice, but I never paid it much mind.
Look, to stop Vandacia, you need to get me out of here. Find the key to unlock these chains. Kynreeve Dezerog has a copy. His chamber's to the north."

Speaking with him again, he will urge you to hurry:

"I'd prefer not to be sacrificed today, if it's all the same to you.
Find the key that unlocks these chains. There should be a copy in Kynreeve Dezerog's chamber in the northern portion of the keep. Hurry, please!"
any questions you ask at this point?

Eveli will stay and keep guard while you go find Kynreeve Dezerog's chamber and take the Prisoner Key. However, when you return to the audience chamber, Eveli will be waiting outside with bad news. Vandacia has gathered his nobles guests (including Lyranth) and brought them to the chamber to watch his demonstration. Eveli will then have the idea of you causing a distraction so you can free Sombren before it is too late.

Sombren is to be sacrificed

Once inside the chamber, you can witness Vandacia speaking to the cultists as he presents Sombren as an Ambition—whose death will grant them all power. As Vandacia speaks, he gathers red energy into his hand which covers Sombren. On your signal, Eveli will run in and shoot the planted reeker beetles, causing noxious green smoke to fill the room. The guests and Vandacia will flee, leaving you able to release Sombren.

Sombren: "Thank you, stranger."
Lyranth: "Damn, the high priest is getting away."
<Lyranth turns and begins running.>
Lyranth: "No matter. Come. If we can reach the entry hall, I can open a portal back to Nirn."
<Eveli and Sombren follow her out.>

After fighting your way through enemies trying to stop you, you reach the entry hall. However, Sombren will collapse to the ground, the demonstration having left him exhausted:

Sombren: "I need … I need a moment …."
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "Get up, Sombren! We need to get out of here!"
Sombren: "I can't … too exhausted …."
<At this point, Valkynaz Orran will arrive with his minions to stop you.>
Valkynaz Orran: "Stop them! Recapture the Ambition at all costs!"
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "I'll help Sombren! You need to deal with those Dremora!"

Once you have defeated the Valkynaz, Lyranth will be able to make a portal for you to escape. On the other side, Eveli and Sombren will be waiting for you in the ruins outside Gideon. You can then speak with Sombren:

"Thank you for getting me out of that place. I am in your debt."
Can you tell me where you came from? How Vandacia captured you?
"That story would take too long to tell. Let's just say I made the mistake of returning to a place where I once lived. I wasn't paying attention. Suddenly I was surrounded by Vandacia's cultists.
They overpowered me and I woke up in chains."
I should take you to the other Ambitions.
"Yes, I would like to meet these other Ambitions. Find out who they are … what we are. And learn more about this power Vandacia seems intent on taking from us.
Lead on and I will follow."
Let's go.

Sombren will then become your follower as you lead him to the Temple of Dibella in Gideon.

Sombren: "Lead the way, my friend!"

If you talk to him during the walk:

"I owe you, my friend. And Sombren always repays his debts.
But for now, I'd like to meet these other Ambitions and get some rest. This ordeal has been very tiring, to say the least."

Once in the temple, you will find Calia and Destron talking to each other before they notice Sombren, who stops some distance from them:

Sombren: "Go, my friend. Go see Eveli. The twins and I have much to discuss."
<Sombren turns to the twins.>
Destron: "I'm Destron. And this is my sister, Calia. But who are you?"
Sombren: "My name is Sombren. And I, like you, am an Ambition."
Calia: "Another Ambition? Truly? How very nice to meet you!"

You can talk to him before you leave:

"Thanks for getting me out of Vandacia's clutches. I thought I could handle myself, but the cultists took me unaware and would have sacrificed me to Mehrunes Dagon if not for your timely arrival.
Go see Eveli. The twins and I have much to discuss."
What will you and the twins talk about?
"Oh, we have much to discuss. Find out how our experiences growing up are the same. And more importantly, how they might have been different.
Don't worry. I just want us to get to know each other a little better."
As you wish. But if you know something that can help us stop Vandacia, I hope you share it.
"Of course. We won't keep anything like that from you. I give you my word.
Now, if you'll excuse us, I'd like to get to know the other Ambitions."

Weapons of Destruction[edit]

After reporting to Keshu the Black Fin in her office, the Argonian will explain that with Ambitions being housed in the city, it has become a target for the Waking Flame. She then suggests speaking with Sombren and seeing what he knows. When you enter the Temple of Dibella, you will find Calia and Destron. Destron will be encouraging Calia to practice using her powers on the nearby target dummy:

Destron: "Go on, Calia. Unleash your power. Just like back in the sanctum."
Calia: "All right, if you say so."
<Calia creates a jet of flame in her hands.>
Sombren: "No, wait!"
<The flames suddenly become bigger and Calia jerks back.>
Calia: "Something's wrong!"
Destron: "Pull back, Calia. Pull back!"
Calia: "I can't!"
Extinguishing Calia's flame
<The flames continue to go out of control and Destron shields his face. Sombren runs into the room.>
Sombren: "Hold on. Let me help. There!"
<Ice forms in Sombren's hands and he manages to extinguish Calia's fire.>
Destron: "How did you do that?"
Sombren: "Practice. I trained to control my powers after I left my vault."

You can then speak with Sombren who will explain why Calia's loss of control occurred and his own experiences:

"When I was freed from my vault, it took months for my own power to reach such levels, and then it nearly destroyed me. I'm surprised Calia's gotten to that point so quickly after her release."
Why did Calia lose control like that?
"Our powers grow exponentially once we leave the protection of the vaults. It's what they were constructed for. But Calia's power has advanced much faster than mine did. It almost consumed her.
If not for my mentor, the same would have befallen me."
How did you get out of your vault? And what's that about a mentor?
"When Duke Varen's forces came through, they set me free. To them, I was just another political prisoner. I wandered without a purpose for a time until my power reached a level similar to what you saw here.
That's when my mentor found me."
Do you think this mentor can help Calia and Destron learn to control their powers?
"I don't see why not. Plus, it will probably be safer if the three of us leave for a while. There's an old shrine northwest of here. Let's meet there.
I suggest you tell your Wood Elf companion where we're going. She seems like the sort to worry."
Good idea. I'll tell Eveli, then meet you at the shrine.

You can then ask Sombren some questions before finding Eveli:

"Find us in the marsh to the northwest. I'll take Calia and Destron and meet you at the shrine. Don't worry, I'll protect them. The cultists won't surprise me again.
Just let your Wood Elf friend know that we have the twins and will keep them safe."
What do you mean when you say Calia's power will consume her?
"Why do you think Emperor Leovic had those vaults constructed? They contain and limit our power. Without them, the power would grow and expand until it destroyed us.
The vaults were supposed to keep us alive long enough to learn to control our power."
Then why was Vandacia planning to kill you?
"Right, about that.
Obviously what I thought I knew and the truth aren't exactly the same. Regardless, without the protection of the vault, Calia's and Destron's powers will eventually kill them."
But you believe your mentor can teach them to control their powers?
"She was able to train me. She also had a method for suppressing my power until I could contain it on my own. Without her, I wouldn't be here today.
She can help Destron and Calia. I'm sure of it."
Governor Keshu suggested we might want to leave Gideon for a while.
"The governor is wise. A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one. And if we're no longer inside the city, Vandacia's cultists have no reason to attack it."
How did you wind up locked in the Deadlands, by the way?
"I wasn't paying attention. My mentor warned me that I was going to be hunted, but I didn't listen. I returned to my old vault to see if I could learn more about who and what I am. The cultists ambushed me. Knocked me out before I could respond."
Tell me more about your mentor.
"I was raised in a vault, just like the twins. Isolated, ignorant of the world outside. All I knew was that I was different. Special, somehow.
Duke Varen's forces set me free when I was sixteen. My mentor found me some months later."
How did that come about?
"I fell in with mercenaries, wandering and learning to fight even as my power grew. I was beginning to lose control when my mentor appeared. She was a shaman of sorts. She taught me how to master my power, but she never referred to me as an Ambition."
I still don't understand how she found you.
"She said she had been looking for me. She knew of Mehrunes Dagon's interest in a hidden secret and had been searching for it, but it wasn't until my power began to manifest outside the vault that she was able to locate me.
She saved my life."

After checking in Eveli, you can meet the Ambitions in the ruins, where Sombren will summon his mentor to speak with:

Meeting Sombren's Mentor
Sombren: "All I ask is that you all keep an open mind."
<Purple magic dances in Sombren's hands as he summons the projection of Xynaa.>
Calia: "That's … a Dremora!"
Destron: "Sombren, what's going on here?"
Sombren: "Easy, everyone. This is Xynaa. She can help us. Mercenary, why don't you speak to her?"

Speaking with Sombren before Xynaa, he will assure you:

"Despite appearances, Xynaa is a friend. She took me in and mentored me. Taught me to control my power when I thought it was going to tear me apart. She's the only reason I'm standing here today.
Talk to Xynaa. She'll explain everything."

When you talk with the Xynaa, she quickly realizes why she has been contacted. The Dremora further explains that the twins will need to meet her in person, but before that they need to be attuned to the Deadlands. Otherwise bad things could happen. She then directs you to Sombren, who will explain things further:

"As I said. Xynaa helped me. And she can help Calia and Destron. We just have to trust her. And if you can't trust her, trust me."
You should have told us your mentor was a Dremora.
"Forgive me, but in my experience, most of Nirn takes a dark view of Dremora.
Xynaa found me when I was at my worst. If she wanted me dead, she could have killed me years ago or just let me destroy myself. Instead, she helped me. Taught me control."
I know a Dremora. She must want something out of you.
"Oh, of that I'm certain. Competition in the Deadlands is fierce, especially among the non-aligned Dremora. I know that she seeks allies to call upon when the need arises. Having three Ambitions who owe you a favor, that's like gold to Xynaa."
Tell me about this attunement process Xynaa was talking about.
"Let me mark your map. Xynaa told me where to find these slivers of the Deadlands when I needed them.
Dagon cultists often enshrine these shards whenever they find them. You'd be surprised how often chunks of Oblivion make their way to Nirn."
And what do we do with these slivers once we find them?
"I'll describe the process when you return. I need to prepare a portal at a place where the planar boundaries are thin. Take Calia and Destron and gather the slivers. Then I can attune them to the Deadlands. I also marked where to meet me on your map."
All right, I'll take the twins and find these slivers of the Deadlands.

Afterwards, you can ask some more questions about attunement relating to you:

"Our powers interact strangely with the natural forces of the Deadlands. That's why we need to be attuned. Of course, I underwent the process years ago. Now we must help the twins do the same.
Keep them safe. Then meet me on the road south of Gideon."
So I don't need to be attuned?
"No. You're not an Ambition. Besides, you've been to the Deadlands already and suffered no ill effects.
If the twins attempted that before we attune them, the plane would rip them apart. Our power, it's connected to Mehrunes Dagon in some way."
And what does that mean?
"I'm not entirely sure. I just know that there's some element of Mehrunes Dagon inside us. And it wants to return whence it came. I think that's what Vandacia hoped to accomplish by killing me.
Anyway, I'd rather not see that happen. To any of us."

Calia and Destron will then follow you around as you collect the two Oblivion slivers. Once you have both, you can take the road south. Sombren will be waiting by the road, near the path leading to the Plateau of the Traveler. Sombren will eventually cut in an interaction between the 2 siblings:

Destron: "<Hums merrily>"
Calia: "Destron stop! This is serious."
Destron: "Relax, Calia. We're on an adventure!"
Calia: "Destron, be serious! Our own powers could destroy us!"
Destron: "That won't happen! I won't let it."
Calia: "It might not be up to you."
Destron: "Calia... we'll figure this out."
Sombren: "We're doing this to avoid all that. Did you gather the slivers?"

Speaking to Sombren about the slivers:

"You found the Deadlands slivers? Good.
I set up the portal at the top of the hill behind me. I'll attune Calia and Destron. Then we can make our way to the summit."
What should I be doing while you attune the twins?
"I need you to deal with a complication for me."
A complication?
"Creatures were drawn to the hillside by my actions. Could you make sure the path to the top is clear?
The last thing we need is for some mundane and random threat to provoke a response from Calia or Destron."
I'll make sure the way is clear and meet you at the top.

He will then take the slivers from you and begin the attunement process, orange magic appearing in his hands:

"We'll join you at the top of the hill after I finish attuning Calia and Destron.
Just make sure the path is safe for when we follow after you."
Creating a portal to the Ashen Forest

After you clear the path to the Plateau of the Traveler, the trio of Ambitions will catch up to you. Sombren will instruct the twins:

Sombren: "All right, just like we discussed. Focus on the slivers of Deadlands."
Destron: "It's working!"
<Red magic appears in the trio's hands and a portal is opened.>
Calia: "I've never traveled by portal before .…"
Sombren: "Quick, step inside! Follow when you're ready, friend."
<Calia, Destron and Sombren walk into the portal.>

On the other side, you will find yourself in The Ashen Forest, an isolated part of the Deadlands. While Calia and Destron look out over the landscape, Sombren will be by the side of Xynaa's projection:

"Welcome to the Ashen Forest, my friend, deep in the heart of the Deadlands.
Talk to Xynaa. She'll tell you what you need to do. Unlike when I did it, the twins will have each other and you when they walk the Path of the Obelisks."

Speaking with Xynaa, she explains that the twins need to walk the Path of the Obelisks to her sanctuary and view what the Obelisks show them. You are to guide them and act as a witness to the visions. Once more Calia and Destron will become your followers. Sombren will apologize for being unable to help:

"I wish I could help, but I've already walked this path. I can't walk it again. This is something Destron and Calia have to do on their own, but I'm glad you'll be there to help them.
Be safe and finish quickly. We haven't a moment to waste."

While on the path, you will find and activate the Obelisks of Origin and Empowerment. These show visions of the twins' past, including when and how they were empowered as infants. At the third Obelisk, a portal will appear instead. It leads you to the ruined Ruby Throne, where the Emperor of Tamriel—Emperor Vandacia—waits for you. Speaking with the smug Vandacia, he explains that this is the future and he won in the end. Sombren will then arrive the portal:

Sombren: "Mercenary! Time to go. Through the portal, quickly!"

Speaking with Sombren before leaving:

"Come, friend. This is no place for us to linger!"
After witnessing the inevitable

When you are back in the Ashen Forest, Calia and Destron are shaken by what the witnessed. Sombren is trying to get them to snap out of it:

Calia: "Vandacia … he had us displayed like … trophies …."
Destron: "We saw our future … we're doomed …."
Sombren: "Snap out of it! What you saw was just one possible inevitability. Nothing is set in stone."

Sombren will try and assure you that the future is not set in stone:

"The Obelisk of Inevitability reveals just one possible future. True, it's the most likely outcome, but it isn't the only one.
Now that we know where things are heading, we can work to change the course."
So Vandacia is going to win? Mehrunes Dagon is going to claim our world?
"We're dealing with forces beyond our understanding. It was always going to be a difficult journey. But the Obelisk of Inevitability only shows what will happen if events continue on their current course.
That future hasn't happened … yet."
So what do we do?
"The perils of visiting oracles. Are we better off knowing what is to come or continuing on in blissful ignorance?
I believe our choices matter. I choose to resist Mehrunes Dagon, and no vision will sway me from that path. I hope you feel the same."

If you talk with Sombren again:

"I can feel Calia and Destron's power growing with each passing moment. I won't be able to help them contain it much longer. We must enter Xynaa's sanctuary without delay. It's right over there."

After you have spoken with all three of them, they will run up the stairs into Xynaa's Sanctuary. Once inside Sombren will be standing next to Xynaa and cannot be spoken to. Speaking with Xynaa, she will ask you why you are helping the Ambitions before telling the group to follow her into the nearby Processional Hall to begin the twin's training:

A sudden betrayal
Xynaa: "We must begin the ritual at once. This way."
Calia: "Stay close, friend. I'll feel better knowing you're nearby."

As you enter the other room and walk up the isle, there is a flash of light and everyone is frozen in place.

Calia: "What's happening? What's going on?"
Sombren: "Xynaa, what are you doing?"
<Xynaa turns around.>
Xynaa: "Helping you fulfill your purpose. You are Ambitions. You belong to Mehrunes Dagon!"
<Your vision goes black as you fall.>

When you come to, a groggy and injured Sombren be nearby:

Sombren: "Uh … what happened?"
<He staggers to his feet.>
Sombren: "No, Xynaa, damn it! You betrayed us!"

Talk to Sombren, he will already know where you both landed. He also has to reconcile Xynaa's betrayal:

"Damn her! Xynaa betrayed us and cast us into the Spidernest!"
What's the Spidernest?
"It's a dungeon beneath her sanctuary. She sends her enemies here to die.
But we aren't her enemies! She's saved my life many times. If she'd wanted to hurt me, she could have done so long ago. Why turn against me now?"
She mentioned Mehrunes Dagon. I think she plans to give the twins to him.
"I don't want to believe that, but I heard what she said too. And she completely drained my energy. I can't call upon my power until it recharges.
We need to find a way out of here. We need to get to Calia and Destron before Xynaa turns them over."
How will we help the twins if Xynaa refuses to show them how to control their power?
"First things first. I need to restore my power. Let me think ….
Xynaa told me about an old foe she destroyed. Tossed them into this place and kept their skull as a trophy. It may hold enough energy to recharge my power immediately!"
You rest. Just tell me where to find the skull.
"The skull is in the treasure chamber. You can get there through the east door. Retrieve it and meet me at the door in the north.
When you find me, I'll be in a meditative state. Present the skull and I'll do the rest."

Before you recover Menthyx's Skull, you can ask some questions:

Who was this old foe of Xynaa's?
"Menthyx, an ancient rival. Challenging him was one of the last tasks Xynaa assigned to me as she trained me to control my power.
Together, we vanquished Menthyx and left his bones in the Spidernest."
Don't Daedra just dissipate when they die?
"Xynaa did something to Menthyx to chain his essence here forever. She kept him from coming back by trapping his power here, below her temple.
That's also why the skull contains energy. Energy I can use to recharge my own power."
Why would Xynaa drain your power and toss you down here?
"She probably didn't want to have to deal with three Ambitions and you at the same time.
She needs our powers at their full strength for whatever she has planned. She reversed what I did. I can feel it. Calia and Destron's powers have been unleashed."
She unleashed their power without teaching them to control it? Won't that consume them?
"Eventually, but probably not before she completes whatever she has in mind.
Hurry, we need that skull. With it I can recharge my power and help the twins. Then, when they aren't in imminent danger of exploding, we can figure out the rest."
How can you get power out of a skull?
"The skull contains the trapped essence of a powerful Daedric lord. If Xynaa had simply killed her rival, he would have returned like Daedra do. So instead she trapped a portion of his energy to keep him from coming back."
And you can use that energy to recharge your power?
"You heard Xynaa. My power is of both Oblivion and Nirn. I can use a spark from the trapped essence of a Daedric lord to recharge my power.
That means Xynaa's old enemy will be freed to return someday. Not that I care about that any more."

After retrieveing the skull, you can bring it to Sombren who will be kneeling before the door leading to Xynaa's Sanctum:

Sombren: "I can feel the residual energy. Hold the skull toward me, please."

Using the skull on Sombren, red light will flow into him:

Sombren: "While my power finishes recharging, take a look at what I found. I left it over there."

Xynaa's Book of Contracts can be found to the left of him. Talking to him before reading the book:

"I'll be ready in a moment. In the meantime, examine that book I found as I made my way through the cellar. It explains a lot."
Stopping Xynaa

The book shows that that Xynaa assisted in the Ambitions' creation and was using Sombren from the start. After reading the book, Sombren will be ready to confront Xynaa:

Sombren: "All right, I'm ready. Follow me!"

Following him into the next room, you will find the twins magically bound while Xynaa conducts her ritual:

Sombren: "She's doing something to the twins!"
<The same magic Xynaa is using gathers in his hands.>
Sombren: "I'll help Calia and Destron. You deal with Xynaa."

When you have killed Xynaa, the twins will be freed and are angry at Sombren:

Calia: "Xynaa … she was going to sacrifice us to Mehrunes Dagon!"
Destron: "Sombren! How could you bring us to this … this monster?"
Sombren: "She wasn't like this. I didn't know."
Calia: "Destron, help me open a portal. Like Sombren showed us on the hilltop."
<The twins open a portal and leave.>
Sombren: "This wasn't how it was supposed to turn out. Come on, let's go after them."
Broken Trust

Enter the portal to Gideon, you can witness their conversation in the street. Destron is in no mood for apologies and Calia is trying to be the peacemaker. So you'll end up speaking to Sombren:

"Xynaa … she never gave me any indication that she was going to betray us. That she was involved in our creation and wanted to sacrifice us to Mehrunes Dagon.
At least the twins don't appear to be in imminent danger of exploding."
Do you think it's true? That you were created to transform the power Dagon placed inside you?
"Let me take another look at Xynaa's contracts. Yes, it's here.
Xynaa used a holy book to show Vandacia how to create the Four Ambitions. Could it have been the Mysterium Xarxes? She was always loyal to Dagon. She never wanted to help us at all."
I wonder where the fourth Ambition is. So far, we only know of three of you.
"Hopefully, they're either still locked in a vault or wandering free like I was. I hate to think that Vandacia captured them while we were busy elsewhere.
I'm … I'm not sure what we should do next, my friend. It's beginning to seem hopeless."
We'll find a way to defeat Vandacia and save the Ambitions. All of you.
"I hope you're right, but I can't see a way ahead from here. If all else fails, we'll destroy ourselves before we let Dagon win.
We're the keys to unlock the barriers between here and the Deadlands. We can't allow ourselves to fall into his hands."
Take the twins back to the temple while I go talk to Keshu. We'll come up with something.

Continuing to talk with Sombren:

"Calia and Destron. They have no reason to trust me, not any more.
But I'll still protect them. And somehow, I'll find a way to earn their trust again."
Can you keep Calia and Destron from destroying themselves?
"Whatever Xynaa did to prepare them to be sacrificed, it seems to have dampened their power. How long that will last, I have no idea. But until their power builds to uncontrollable levels again, they should be able to use it to help us."
What happens after that?
"I'll try to train the twins as Xynaa trained me. If all else fails, I can take them back to the Deadlands. The realm seems to naturally siphon off our energy and keep it at manageable levels.
Not my first choice, but it will serve as a last resort."

As you leave to report back to Keshu, the trio will head back into the Temple of Dibella:

Sombren: "I'm sorry. I had no idea Xynaa meant to betray us."
Destron: "She wanted to kill us, Sombren! An apology isn't going to cut it!
Calia: "Destron, Xynaa betrayed Sombren, too."
Destron: "Because he was stupid enough to trust her!"
Sombren: "I will make this right. I promise."
Calia: "Let's return to the temple. We shouldn't be discussing this in the street."

Pyre of Ambition[edit]

After your trip to the Deadlands, you will learn from Governor Keshu that the Waking Flame forces have been gathering outside Gideon. Keshu will have a plan to move the Ambitions to the more defensible Fort Redmane, so they can both protect the Ambitions and prevent the city from being caught in the battle. After you have spoken with Eveli, you will need to meet with the Ambitions in the Temple of Dibella and tell them the plan. Sombren will be sitting away from the twins and sharpening his axe:

"Something's going on, isn't it? It seems like every Black Fin legionnaire is in a hurry today.
Let me guess. Vandacia is coming for us again."
Eveli will be here shortly to escort you to Fort Redmane. We can protect you better there.
"I know the place. It's an old Imperial garrison, isn't it? I passed by it during my travels after Varen's forces released me from my vault.
A fort is more defensible than Gideon, anyway. I see the logic. But aren't you coming with us?"
I'll meet you there. First I'm going to try to gather additional allies to help defend the fort.
"I swear to protect the twins in your absence. I took Xynaa at her word, and it nearly cost Calia and Destron their lives. I'll die before I put them in danger again."

Speaking with him again before leaving:

"I'll make sure the twins are ready to move to Fort Redmane when Eveli gives the word."

After you have recruited your allies, you can meet up with the forces outside Fort Redmane. You can speak with Sombren before talking to Eveli and Keshu:

"This old fort's in decent shape. The Black Fins have done a great job with their renovations. Governor Keshu was wise to move us here.
I'll fight alongside you when the time comes. You can count on me."
Stay close to the twins. We think Vandacia is going to try to capture the three of you.
"He'll be in for a surprise if he does. I may not have figured out how to teach Calia and Destron to control their powers, but I've been working with them on using their powers safely. We won't let anyone take us anywhere we don't want to go."
You think it's safe for Calia and Destron to use their powers at all?
"They're still learning, but as long as I'm present to guide them, the risk isn't too great. I can devote my attention to shaping the power they release. And the strength of three Ambitions in concert will be difficult for any foe to overcome."

Once you have spoken with Governor Keshu, the plan to protect the Ambitions will begin. Captain Rian Liore will begin to give orders, and Eveli will lead the Ambitions into the fort. Once you enter the fort, Waking Flame forces will teleported in. When you find Eveli, she will tell you the Ambitions ran to the west and that you will need to catch up with them. In the inner bailey you will find Sombren and the twins surrounded by dead bodies:

Sombren: "Over here, mercenary!"
Calia: "Vandacia's forces, they're everywhere!"
Destron: "Sombren, I sense more of them. They're coming!"
<Oblivion portals then appear nearby.>
Sombren: "All of you, under the shield!"
<Sombren spreads his arms wide and an icy dome appears around him.>

Sombren will maintain the shield while you and twins fight off the enemies. Once you have defeated them all:

Sombren: "Time to move. Stay close!"

You can then follow the group until another wave of enemies appear:

Sombren: "There's more coming. All of you, under the shield!"

Afterwards it will be time to move again:

Sombren: "Keep going. Move!"

Following Sombren, you will soon see a calm Councilor Vandacia waiting on the nearby wall, where he addresses Sombren:

Councilor Vandacia: "Sombren, you're only delaying the inevitable."
Sombren: "Monster! Because of you, our parents are dead!"
Councilor Vandacia: "They were the chosen of Mehrunes Dagon, rewarded beyond their station."
<Destron walks out in front on the group.>
Destron: "I'm going to kill you, Vandacia!"
Councilor Vandacia: "Who shall I sacrifice first? Perhaps the sister …?"
Destron: "You leave Calia alone, you bastard!"
<Destron throws a lightning bolt at Vandacia who is unphased. Vandacia's red magic grips Destron and he is pulled helplessly towards Vandacia.>
Calia: "Destron!"
Councilor Vandacia: "You are an Ambition, boy. Let me help you fulfill your purpose!"
<Destron then bursts into red energy as a beam of light surrounds Vandacia. Calia falls to her knees.>
Sombren: "Destron, no!"
Calia: "No!"
Councilor Vandacia: "Lord Dagon, I return to you the power of this Ambition! Let the realms merge so you may walk among us!"
<The light intensifies until Mehrunes Dagon appears towering over the fort. The sky will have changed to show that the local area is now merging with Oblivion.>
Sombren: "The sky! And Mehrunes Dagon! How is he here?"
Mehrunes Dagon: "This is my opposition? How easily I shall crush them!"
<Mehrunes Dagon then dismisses the group and turns away. Sombren and Calia run into the keep.>
Sombren: "Into the keep! Quickly!"
Councilor Vandacia: "The worlds are merging, Sombren! There is no escape. When you tire of running, I will be waiting in the courtyard."
<Vandacia teleports away.>

Running after Sombren and Calia you can witness Calia unleash her rage on the cultists in your way:

Calia: "I hate you! Just leave us alone!"
<Calia throws dark fire at the cultists and kills them all.>
Sombren: "Calia, you can't unleash your power like that! You could lose control!"
<Calia turns to Sombren.>
Calia: "What does it matter? You saw what he did to Destron. He's going to do the same to us."

Eveli will then arrive behind you and can then listen to Sombren's plan involving the book Eveli has been carrying:

Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "Broken branches! What happened here?"
Sombren: "Vandacia sacrificed Destron, allowing Mehrunes Dagon to drag us into his realm. Eveli, I need the book you're carrying."
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "You know about that?"
Sombren: "It's a part of Dagon, just like Calia and me. I sensed it the moment I met you. I think I can use it to weaken Vandacia. Give us a fighting chance."
<Eveli hands over the book to Sombren.>
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "All right … what are you going to do with it?"
Sombren: "Take the fight to Vandacia in the courtyard. He won't expect that. Meanwhile, I need time to prepare."
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "Go fight the super powerful Daedric priest? How?"
Sombren: "Just keep him busy. Then, with the help of this book, I'll take care of the rest."
<Eveli turns to you.>
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "All right, Sombren needs us to buy him some time. Let's get to the courtyard!"

Before you make your way through the crumbling keep to the courtyard, you can speak with Sombren, Calia and Eveli before leaving:

"I can't let Destron's death be for nothing. With this book, I think I can help us defeat Vandacia and once again separate the realms."
You said you knew Eveli had that book when we first found you. How?
"I can't explain how being an Ambition works. I don't really know myself. But I can sense things that are like me. That have the same taint of Dagon upon them. This book practically reeks of it.
I think this is the Mysterium Xarxes."
The Dremora who helped us, Lyranth. That's what she called it.
"Xynaa's contracts mentioned it. The rites it describes allowed Vandacia to imbue us with a portion of Dagon's energy. I think he took a little for himself along the way, which is why he's so powerful.
I want to try to take that energy away from him."
Will that help us defeat him and return Fort Redmane to Blackwood?
"I'm not sure we left Blackwood. The two realms are merging around this fort. We could be on Nirn. Or in the Deadlands. Or maybe someplace in between.
If I can weaken Vandacia and you can destroy him, that might break the connection and set us free."
Then do what you can, Sombren. We'll be ready.

Speaking with Sombren again:

"I refuse to let them sacrifice the remaining Ambitions. Somehow, I'm able to read this accursed book. Just keep Vandacia busy long enough for me to figure out these rituals and incantations."

You can then race back through the keep to the courtyard, all the while you will be able to hear Mehrunes Dagon taunting the defenders as the fight. In the ruined courtyard, Vandacia will be surrounded by a shield and will be channelling magic. Sombren and Calia run into the middle of the courtyard:

Councilor Vandacia: "The power of the Lord of Fire and Flood flows through me! You cannot stop what is happening!"
Sombren: "Get ready, Calia! Just like I showed you!"
Calia: "You're going to pay, Vandacia! Mercenary, help us drain his power!"
Calia: "This is for my brother!"
<Calia throw fire at Vandacia's shield.>
Councilor Vandacia: "You dare? Merging the realms is delicate work. One mistake and both could be destroyed!"
<Vandacia notices the book in Sombren's hands.>
Councilor Vandacia: "The master's tome? Give me that, boy!"
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "I'm with you, my friend! We'll defeat Vandacia together!"
<Sombren creates a shield around the group and the fight begins.>

During the fight, Sombren will be maintaining his ice shield. The mechanics of this fight involve fighting off the Daedra and cultists coming through the portals, while Sombren and Calia charge their Synergy. Once the Ambition's Wrath synergy is ready, Sombren will call out and when you activate it Calia will fire off her magic to distrupt Vandacia's shields.

The following lines are said by Sombren when Ambition's Wrath is ready:

Sombren: "We can drain Vandacia's power. Just give the order."
Sombren: "Calia will attack Vandacia when you give the word."
Sombren: "We're ready! Tell Calia when to strike!"

Midway through the fight, Vandacia will appeal to Dagon for more power:

Councilor Vandacia: "Lord Dagon, I need more power!"
Sombren: "Vandacia's weakening!"

In the final part of the fight, Vandacia will have had enough and teleports down into courtyard-while knocking Sombren and Calia to the ground. It will be just you with some arrow support fighting Vandacia, but near the end Sombren and Calia will recover enough to attack Vandacia a final time.

When Vandacia is dead, Dagon's link to the world is severed. The Daedric Prince will then approach the wall, fall to his nears and then address the Ambitions and you:

Mehrunes Dagon: "You defeated my high priest, mortals? That was … unexpected."
Mehrunes Dagon: "And before he completed the merging. That is unfortunate."
<Mehrunes Dagon stretches out his hand towards the Ambitions.>
Mehrunes Dagon: "Though this realm slips from my grasp, your fate is inevitable. You will join me or die, Ambitions. It is why you were created."

<Dagon's body dissolves into red light and the sky becomes normal again. Calia falls to her knees.>

Sombren: "We did it. We stopped Vandacia from merging the realms and opening the way for Mehrunes Dagon."
Calia: "But my brother … Destron is still dead …."
<Sombren approaches Calia and kneels beside her.>
Sombren: "I failed Destron, but I won't fail you."

At this Eveli will jump down into the courtyard:

Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "All right! Without Vandacia or his master, the cult doesn't stand a chance!"
Elam Drals: "At least the sky looks normal again."
<Sombren and Calia stand up and begin to leave the fort.>
Calia: "I … I need to get out of this place."
Sombren: "This way, Calia. Come with me."

After you leave the keep, you will find Sombren and Calia at the camp. You will need to speak with both of them:

"I've been alone my entire life. First in my vault, then in my wanderings. I finally found a real family, and I let one of them get taken from me.
I promise you, I won't allow that to happen again."
I'm sorry about Destron, but we stopped Vandacia and saved Tamriel.
"For now, but I don't think it's over. There's another Ambition to find. And I can't imagine Mehrunes Dagon and his followers leaving us alone after all the time and planning that went into creating us.
I think we'll head back to the temple for now."
What will you do with the Mysterium Xarxes?
"I … I'm not sure. It belongs to Eveli, not me. I'd like to study it. See if there's some way to free the Ambitions and change our destiny, but I know it's also dangerous.
Let me think about it a little more, then I'll talk with Eveli."
Mehrunes Dagon said you would join him or die. We need to make sure neither of those things happen.
"Daedra spin great lies from small truths when it suits them. I know that now. It was Xynaa's last lesson to me.
We won't join him and I won't let him kill us. We just need to come up with a way to keep any of that from happening."
Any idea on how we find the remaining Ambition?
"Yes, I wonder who he is. Or she. Are they still trapped inside a vault? Or did they find a way to escape, like I did?
I hate to think of them alone and unprotected, but maybe it's better if they remain hidden."
Won't they be in danger of destroying themselves, though?
"Right. I almost forgot about that. I need to figure out how to keep Calia from being consumed by her ever-increasing power. And them, too, once we find them.
I suppose I have a lot to consider, and not a lot of time to do it."

Speaking to him again before you speak to Calia:

"Forgive me, but I have a lot to think about.
We can talk some more later, all right?"

Speaking with him again before going over to Keshu and Eveli:

"It looks like Governor Keshu and Eveli are making plans. You better go and see what they're thinking. I want to stay here and talk to Calia for a while."

Heroes of Blackwood[edit]

After the battle at Fort Redmane, Keshu the Black Fin will be hosting a celebration for everyone's efforts in Gideon. She will ask you to go to the Temple of Dibella to invite Sombren and Calia. But when you get there, Priest Larusa will tell you that the pair have left to visit some ruins to the north of the city. Eveli will accompany you through the swamp where you find Sombren attempting to open a portal as he reads from the Mysterium Xarxes:

Calia: "How much longer, Sombren? This place makes me feel uneasy."
Sombren: "Not long now. I'm almost—oh. It seems we have company."

You can then speak with Sombren to see what they are doing:

"I'm actually glad you found us. I didn't want to leave without an explanation, but I'm afraid that Calia doesn't have a lot of time."
Sombren, what's going on?
"Calia's power is recharging faster than I anticipated. It will soon reach the point where I won't be able to help her. Then, she'll either release it and destroy everything around her, or it will consume her.
Either way, people die. Including Calia."
So what are you planning to do?
"Use the Mysterium Xarxes to open a portal to the Deadlands. It's the only place I can think of where Calia will be safe. The realm naturally siphons off a portion of our power. That will give me time to teach Calia to control it on her own."
But the Deadlands. You'll be walking right into Mehrunes Dagon's realm.
"It's a big place. Xynaa taught me how to avoid notice there. And it's the last place Dagon's followers will think to look for us. As soon as Calia can control her power, we'll come back. I promise.
Thank you, my friend. For everything."

Afterwards, Sombren will open a portal and he and Calia will leave, but not before Sombren speaks to Eveli:

Sombren: "I'll return the book when we come back, Eveli."
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "Nah, you keep it. I think it was meant for you."

The Last Ambition[edit]

While you're speaking to Emperor Moricar. a portal opens and Sombren, Calia, Lyranth, and Eveli arrive. Sombren destroys the Emperor's souls:

Sombren: "We are not property or playthings, Moricar!"
Calia: "Sombren, no!"
Emperor Moricar: "You are what we created you to be."
Sombren: "You wanted a weapon? Then taste my power!"
<Sombren turns the spirits into blocks of ice and they shatter.>
Calia: "Oh, Sombren, why?"
Eveli Sharp-Arrow: "Hey, friend. We better talk."

Speak to Sombren:

"I almost decided not to accompany Lyranth, but now I'm glad she insisted. How else would I have gotten the opportunity to punish the Longhouse Emperors for what they did to us. And finding the last Ambition? That's just a welcome surprise."
Why did you destroy the souls of the emperors? We could have learned more from them.
"I have no interest in more of their lies. And neither should you. I gave the Longhouse Emperors exactly what they wanted—my power!
Besides, they'll reform in this place eventually. I just couldn't allow them to corrupt the last Ambition."
What do you mean, corrupt her?
"Those men were evil when they were alive. Do you think an existence of torture in the Deadlands would change that?
The last Ambition needs to learn from Calia and me. I sense that same power inside her that courses through us. We belong together."
Emperor Moricar suggested there was a way to defeat Mehrunes Dagon using the Ambitions.
"A fantasy. We can't hope to stand against the Prince of Destruction.
Look, I've learned a lot since last we spoke. Too much to explain and too little that you would understand. It's time for the Ambitions to take our destiny in our own hands."

If you try to speak to him again, he'll dismiss you:

"Please, not now. I need to think."

Once you tell Eveli you're ready to leave, Sombren takes Calia and The Anchorite into a portal, despite Lyranth's protestations:

Sombren: "You're one of us, Anchorite. An Ambition. Do you know what that means?"
The Anchorite: "I don't know a lot of things, it seems."
Sombren: "I can answer your questions. Come with us, to a place meant only for Ambitions. I'll show you."
Lyranth: "No. We need to stay together."
The Anchorite: "I'm sorry, Lyranth. I need to do this."
Lyranth: "Damn it, that was a mistake that may cost us dearly."

Through your investigations, you discover that Sombren has turned against you and plans to deliver the ambitions to Dagon. Arrive at Ambition's End on Annihilarch's Summit and you'll find you're too late:

Calia: "Sombren, stop! This is insane! We're not coming with you!"
Sombren: "Damn it, they found us! This is not your concern!"
Sombren: "Only Mehrunes Dagon can teach us, help us control our powers! It's all in his book!"
Sombren: "But I can't let you interfere. Destron, deal with them!"
Calia: "Destron? Sombren, what have you done?"

Sombren summons Destron:

Destron's Echo: "I—I must obey …. You will not pass!"
Sombren: "Destron, come forth! Let my memory of you destroy them."
Destron's Echo: "You let me die!"
Destron's Echo: "I won't let that happen to Calia!"
Destron's Echo: "Sombren will save us!"

Defeat Destron:

Destron's Echo: "Calia, I'm sorry …."
Sombren: "I'm doing what's necessary, Calia. For all of us. Your power is better off in my hands."

Sombren absorbs Calia's power, but The Anchorite reflexively casts her own power to stop him:

The Anchorite: "Sombren! Leave her alone!"

Sombren is thrown into a portal.

Ambition's End[edit]

At The Lava Court in Destruction's End, you'll hear Dagon giving instructions to Sombren:

Mehrunes Dagon: "Sombren, when I begin the merge, I will need your power to complete it."
Mehrunes Dagon: "Sombren, open the portal to Nirn!"
Mehrunes Dagon: "Forward, my warriors! The way to the mortal realm is clear!"
Sombren: "Yes, Lord Dagon! Your will is my command!"

As you approach, Sombren will open a portal to Nirn. Lyranth will try to stop him, but he will enter the portal to Fort Sundercliff. You will need to navigate the fort to reach him again and stop Dagon.

Sombren: "I will not allow you to interfere!"

While fighting him, he will occasionally fall to his knees. During these points of weakness, The Anchorite is able to draw his egonymic from him so you can use it against Dagon. When Sombren becomes overwhelmed, he'll plead to Dagon for help:

  • Sombren: "Dagon! Please, help me!"
  • Sombren: "Dagon, I cannot do this on my own! Aid me!"

During the fight, he will say this after being assisted by Dagon: Sombren: "Why are you fighting me? Do you want Destron to have died for nothing?"

When Sombren falls, Dagon will aid the Ambition and restore his strength:

Mehrunes Dagon: "Ambition! There is still work to be done."
Sombren: "Yes, Lord Dagon! I will not fail you!"

You will eventually defeat Sombren permanently, resulting in his death.

Old Life Observance[edit]

The spirit of Sombren

After his death, the spirit of Sombren may return from Aetherius and appear to you during the New Life Festival event quest Old Life Observance when you perform a remembrance ceremony at one of the Old Life shrines.


  • If spoken to during certain story sequences, Sombren will not enter into dialogue and will instead respond with generic ambient Nord dialogue using a different voice actor. ?
  • During Weapons of Destruction, when meeting with Sombren after collecting the Oblivion slivers, Sombren cannot be interacted with and Calia and Destron will not appear. ?
    • Relog into the game, Sombren can then be spoken with and the quest progressed.