Online:The Endless War

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Participate in the Observer's game to win the mages' freedom.
Zone: Coldharbour
Objective: Cliffs of Failure — Win the Battle of the Cliffs and set the mages free.
Quest Giver: The Observer
Location(s): Cliffs of Failure
Next Quest: A Bargain With Shadows, A Thorn in Your Side or The Will of the Worm
Reward: The Observer's Battle Boots
High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: High
Win the war to free the mages
I discovered the Cliffs of Failure, where Molag Bal's failed servants compete to get back into his good graces. Lost members of the Mages Guild have been ensnared in this twisted game, and I need to join in to save them.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to the Observer.
  2. Take the Portal to the Battlegrounds Antechamber.
  3. Find and aid the mages.
  4. Return to the Observer and choose a side.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

A New Challenger Joins the Game[edit]

When you enter the Cliffs of Failure, you will hear an argument between Estre, Thallik Wormfather, and Angof the Undying:

Estre: "Your troops grow weak, Thallik. The Worm Cult isn't what it once was. And this mage isn't going to change that."
Thallik: "You throw peasants at me, Estre. You confuse weakness with boredom. My mage will do just fine."
Estre: "Believe what you will. When I am victorious and you grovel before me, I will remind you of this moment and how wrong you were."
Angof: "You two bicker like a couple of married old Nords. You didn't even notice the new arrival."
Estre: "Another one? Where do they all come from? I swear, they pop up like rabbits."
Angof: "This one is different. Special. I think this one will make a good addition to my team."

You can talk with this ensemble of characters for some answers, but if you want to rescue the mages you'll need to talk to the Observer:

"Why have you wandered into the Cliffs of Failure, mortal? Are you curious as to what you must face here? Do you wonder why we haven't destroyed you? Or why these mages are bound before us?
I have answers, of course—if you are willing to listen."
I'll listen.
"The three standing beside me have either failed the Lord of Schemes in life or become bound to him in death.
Redemption calls to each of them. But to win back the Dark Lord's favor, they must first win my game. And no one has ever won my game."
And why are the mages here?
"Why, these mages have joined the game! Sides have been drawn and tasks assigned. First, they each must perform a small deed for their new masters.
If they survive that, then the fun begins—they can start killing each other."
Let them go. Now.
"You ask so nicely, but no. Once you begin the game, only victory or defeat can set you free.
You, however, shall add an element of surprise and excitement to the game. Will you rush bravely into the fray? Or will you turn and run like a coward?"

At this point, the bound mages will have been teleported into the battleground. You can ask him about the game or attempt to intimidate him into releasing them, to which he will be unmoved. The Observer finds you to be an interesting addition to the game—a wildcard if you will—your role as helping hand to the trapped mages.

Wildcard on the Battlefield[edit]

Juline Ginis[edit]

"Why, my dear friend? Why have you done this?"

Enter the nearby portal to join in the current round of the Endless Game. After crossing the Battlegrounds Antechamber and entering the Cliffs of Failure proper you'll witness Mim leaving Juline wounded and apologizing for his betrayal:

Mim: "This one is so sorry, Juline. I do this because I must. One of us has to make it out of here and get back to our mission."
<Mim runs off.>
Juline Ginis: "Why, my dear friend? Why have you done this?"

Talk with the wounded Juline:

"You … you came with us to stop Molag Bal, didn't you?
I'm sorry you got caught up in this stupid game, too. Well, take my life. Finish me. I refuse to participate in this travesty."
I'm not going to kill you. I'm here to help you.
"Really? Well, your timing is terrible. Couldn't you have shown up before we started killing each other?
I'm … sorry. It's not your fault. I'm just frustrated in myself. And a little in pain. Can you believe Mim stabbed me?"
Why did Mim stab you?
"Mim talked about a plan to get us out of this … said we just needed to play along. But as soon as we got down here, the Dark Elf fled and the cat stabbed me. Said everything would be all right.
Never trust a cat."
What task were you given?
"Angof selected me. The bastard who tried to destroy Glenumbra picks the Breton. Of all the arrogance and gall!
I guess it doesn't matter now. He gave me these strange seeds. Said they'd help if I planted them."
Strange seeds?
"Angof told me to plant the seeds in the corpses of the fallen. He seemed desperate, but there was also a kind of compassion in his eyes.
Here. Take them. I don't want them. You can perform this task. Maybe that will help us."
Stay here. I'll plant the seeds for you.
A strange crop from strange seeds

Speaking with Juline she expresses her refusal to be a pawn in the game. Mim stabbed her and Relmus left them as soon as they were put in play. She is the chosen pawn of Angof and will hand you some Strange Seeds. After you kill an enemy, you can implant one of Angof's seeds in their corpse. They then turn into a Bloodthorn Zombie and run off before vanishing. Killing multiple soldiers at once will only give you one zombie. Planting seeds immediately after killing each one may work.

Once completed, you can return to Juline, only to find Angof tending a confused Juline's wounds. He will be dismissive of you now that you have completed his task.

"This woman will live. I have made sure of that. She is too valuable to lose so early in the contest.
You may have accomplished her task, but I know she will help me in the end. For this reason, her life is not forfeit."
It almost sounds like you care.
"Do not attempt to know my heart, mortal.
Juline is pure. Unlike the rest of my army, she's not tainted by corruption. I need one such as her if I am to win this war."
All this just so you can serve Molag Bal once more?
"Serve the Lord of Schemes? Never again, mortal!
I fight this battle to live. To reverse what I'd become. This magic that made me like this hides in this realm. As does the magic to restore me."
You want to be mortal?
"I want to become whole again. That's why I play this ridiculous game.
Now leave me. The seeds have increased my forces and given me the numbers I need to win this war. That's all I required of you."

With Juline assisted, you can go find one of the other mages.


"Stay away from Mim! Don't … don't make this one hurt you."

An on edge Mim will be due south of Juline, a surrounded by the corpses of three zombies.

"Stay away from Mim!
Don't … don't make this one hurt you. Mim will win this game. Mim will beat everyone and get us out of here. All of us!"
Calm down. I'm here to help.
"Help? You can't help. We're stuck here. Fighting to the death. No one gets out alive. That's just how the game works.
Mim will kill them all. Even the Observer. Then he'll have to let us out. He can't hold us here if he's dead!"
I agree that the Observer is the problem here.
"Glad to hear it! Good to know you weren't fooled by his promises. Or are you just saying that?
Maybe he sent you to follow Mim. Maybe you're part of his game. This one doesn't know what to believe! And this stupid rune Thallik gave me. It's useless!"
What did Thallik say the rune does? (All of the above options lead to this reply.)
"He said it harnessed the power of the dead, whatever that means. Called it his death rune. It's dark magic and Mim wants no part of it!
Show Mim you actually want to help and figure out what to do with the rune. Maybe we can use it against him."
Thallik gave you no instructions at all?'
"Thallik said to look for the runes on the ground. Some kind of circle. The moons take Mim if this one understood a word he said!
You figure it out. Just don't make Mim regret this. This one is trusting you because you haven't attacked Mim. Yet."

He is Thallik's chosen pawn and is frustrated by the "useless" rune he was given. Mim will hand you the Death Rune and ask you to figure it out. Find Thallik's Rune Circle a little northwest of Mim. Thallik Wormfather will be standing there and can be asked about the rune, he will also be disappointed that you didn't kill Mim.

"The death rune transforms you. Every death you deal in this form fills the rune."
"So you ended up with my rune? Interesting. You're either working with the cat or you killed him. I'd prefer the latter, of course, but perhaps that's just me.
Still, there's a way for everyone to win today."
What are you talking about?
"The rune you carry is more powerful than you can imagine. If the cat knew its true potential, he would never have given it up.
The power of the dead flows through the rune. Necromancy, some call it. But the rune serves another purpose, as well."
What other purpose?
"The death rune transforms you. Every death you deal in this form fills the rune. I intend to use the fully charged rune to escape this plane. Not even the Observer will be able to stop me.
And I'll remember anyone who assisted me, of course."
Tell me how the death rune works.
"Use the rune within this circle and you will transform. Then the rune will absorb the essence of everything you slay.
The more you kill, the stronger the rune becomes. But don't linger. The death rune's transformative power lasts only so long."

Activate the rune in the circle and kill any enemies to charge it. The rune grants you Thallik's Embrace and has a limited duration but the 5 minutes is more than enough time for the objective. Kill seven enemies and then return to Mim. He will be in a more compassionate frame of mind and he bids you help his companions as well.

"The scent of death lingers about you.
This one supposes you found a way to harness the true power of the rune, yes?"
Yes, Thallik told me how to use the rune.
"Then our journey continues for a while longer. Watching our steps from here on out, yes?
If you can still help my companions, Mim asks that you do so. We need to find a way out of this. Together."

Continue to travel the battlefield looking for mages to assist.


"Can anyone assist me?"

Relmus can be found to the east and standing on the edge of a precipice, sobbing when you find him. You talk him down and he expresses similar sentiments to Juline but has lost Estre's shadow.

"I can end this nightmare … one step and it would all be over. No more worries. No more unpleasant options. I wouldn't have to hurt anyone ….
Just one single step."
Don't do anything rash. I'm here to help.
"Help? No one can help us. We're already dead. Lost. Forgotten. More playthings for Molag Bal.
We can't win this dreadful game. No one can. Why even bother trying?"
Don't give up. Remember why we came here.
"I couldn't even hold on to the one thing I needed to survive. It's useless. Either I fight for naught or I end it all here and now.
I refuse to play this game. I refuse to fight against my friends and allies. It's better this way."
You lost something? Let me help you find it.
"The shadow … the one Lady Estre gave me. She said it would protect me.
But when I refused to fight, to aid the shadow, it claimed I was unworthy. It said I wasn't fit to own such a fine shadow. And then my only chance to survive walked away."
I'll find the shadow for you.

His refusal to participate caused the shadow to declare him unworthy and leave. The shadow is the Shadow Court Jester and can be found capering on a platform back near the entrance not far from Juline.

"A new contestant arrives, peering out from cold, cold eyes. But what does this mean? Only the Shadow Court can glean!
Choose wisely or we shall see your demise!"
Are you the shadow that Relmus lost?
"Relmus would not fiddle, and my loyalty must be bought with both rhyme and riddle.
The Dark Elf is weak, and I refuse to be meek. So someone stronger I seek! Is it you, I must ask? For this one simple task―find my lovely lady's carnival mask!"
Tell me more about this mask.
"A mask of beauty and style, it gives my lady power of shadow and guile. It broke and fell, at a party so swell, and now neither of us knows where it does dwell.
So to this place I'm sent, to seek, to repent. And to find where that pesky mask went!"
I'll find Lady Estre's mask.
"When the job is done, we can resume the fun, with the Dark Elf safe and unspoken. But finding the mask is no easy task, for its pieces are scattered and broken.
I know the locations. I know your motivations. So listen well with great expectations!"
I'm listening.
"Three pieces to find, each of a kind.
The first below the rock bridge, where the spiky vines live. The second one stays, near where the river meets my gaze. And the third piece sits, by the frozen giant's bits. So now we are intertwined!"
Recover the three pieces of the mask. Got it.
Find the Piece By the Broken, Frozen Giants

The Jester found Relmus too weak and unworthy, but he will assist you in finding the scattered pieces of Lady Estre's carnival mask by joining you [verification needed — does this still happen?]. While the clues help, the quest markers narrow the locations of the three Pieces of Broken Mask. One spot is next to a broken statue and will look like a skull on the ground.

After you have recovered the three pieces, you can return to the Shadow Jester, only to find that Lady Estre is waiting for you with Relmus submissively kneeling at her side.

"I invite you to join my team. We'd be perfect together. It makes perfect sense. That's why I'm so glad I thought of it!"
"Do you see my court jester? Isn't he handsome? In life, I knew him and other members of the Shadow Court. We worked together on more than one occasion. Doesn't he dance like a Daedra?
Oh, but you must be wondering why I'm here to greet you."
The question had crossed my mind.
"What? Can't you read my mind? I tease! I tease!
I came to thank you for the service you provided me. A service I didn't even ask you to do. The Dark Elf here … such a poor fellow. The things he considered doing to himself. Very sad."
What do you really want?
"Direct and to the point. I can appreciate that. We have so much in common, you and I!
I wanted you to know that you're exceeding the Observer's expectations. He thought you'd be dead by now. He certainly didn't expect you to run and save everyone."
Why does what I do matter to the Observer?
"Because you need to decide soon. The Observer won't let you play the game much longer if you don't select a side.
I invite you to join my team. We'd be perfect together. It makes perfect sense. That's why I'm so glad I thought of it!"

After some flattery she will get straight to the point, she is offering you a spot on her team and mentions that the Observer won't let you stay neutral for long. Now that you have helped Relmus, you can either find someone else to help or you will have completed your task.

Choosing a Team[edit]

"The only way to save your mages is to follow the rules and win the game. Now, choose a side or leave the mages to their fate."

After helping all three mages, you'll need to return to the Observer's platform. The Observer will be watching the projections of the Mages. As for you, he will be thrilled by the variable you bring to his game and will give you a special privilege.

"You make a mockery of my game, mortal. By all calculations, the mages should be dead by now. But no. They still live.
I must say, however, that my game hasn't been this exciting in a long time. So I grant you the ultimate boon. The right to choose!"
And what would I be deciding on?
"You must pick a side in the game. There is no other option. The rules are built into the very fabric of this domain. The only way to save your mages is to follow the rules and win the game.
Now, choose a side or leave the mages to their fate."

You have the option of speaking to the three contestants to listen to the recruitment pitch before you make a choice. This choice will be irreversible and will decide what you do next.

I can defeat your game.
"So you believe. You must win the war first.
Now who will you choose? Angof of the Reach? Thallik of the Wormcult? Or Kinlady Estre, the former Altmer Princess? You may speak to them once more before you make your decision."
I'll side with Angof.
"Angof the Undying grows weaker. He doubts the choices he's made. Regret overwhelms him and pushes him to desperate measures.
Are you sure you wish to side with one who carries such a debilitating burden?"
I'm sure.
"So you have chosen. So shall it be.
Your allegiance has been pledged to Angof of the Reach."
I'll free the mages, but not with him.


I'll side with Thallik.
"Thallik, one-time servant of Mannimarco, sees nothing but death and desires nothing but power. There is more evil in his soul than you could find in a hundred mortals.
Are you sure you wish to side with one whose soul is blacker than the night?"
I'm sure.
"So you have chosen. So shall it be.
Your allegiance has been pledged to Thallik Wormtongue 
I'll free the mages, but not with him.


I'll side with Kinlady Estre.
"Kinlady Estre of the silver tongue. Quick-witted and capable of bargaining her soul over and over. How many Daedric lords have won and lost it, I do not know.
Are you sure you want to side with one who is so deceptive?"
I'm sure.
"So you have chosen. So shall it be.
Your allegiance has been pledged to Kinlady Estre of the Summerset Isles."
I'll free the mages, but not with her.

-unchecked- When you make your decision, you will receive the The Observer's Battle Boots and some gold. From this point, you will be assisting either; Angof the Undying, High Kinlady Estre or Thallik Wormfather.

Quest Stages[edit]

The Endless War
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I need to locate the Mages Guild members and talk to them about their role in this game. I might be able to use what I learn to free them.
Objective: Aid the Mages Guild Members: 0/3
(Helping Juline)
Hidden Objective: Find Juline
Objective Hint: Place the Seeds on the Dead: 0/6
I placed Angof's seeds, I should return to Juline and let her know.
Objective Hint: Return to Juline
(Helping Mim)
Hidden Objective: Find Mim
Objective Hint: Find Thallik's Rune Circle
The death rune will transform me if I use it at a rune circle.
Objective Hint: Use the Death Rune at a Rune Circle
I have a limited amount of time in this necromantic form to fill the death rune with the essences of those I slay.
Objective Hint: Fill the Death Rune by Slaying Opponents: 0/7
I charged the death rune. I should return to Mim to let him know what I did.
Objective Hint: Return to Mim
(Helping Relmus)
Hidden Objective: Find Relmus
Objective Hint: Find Relmus' Lost Shadow
This Shadow Court Jester has suggested I seek out Estre's mask, which was Relmus's original task. Upon collecting them, I might be able to convince them that Relmus succeeded.
Objective Hint: Find the Piece By the Bridge Where Vines Live
Objective Hint: Find the Piece Where the River Meets the Gaze
Objective Hint: Find the Piece By the Broken, Frozen Giants
I found the three pieces of Lady Estre's broken mask. I should return them to the shadow.
Objective Hint: Return to the Shadow
I need to return to the Observer's Watch, the floating platform above the Cliffs of Failure. I should speak to the Observer and determine what my next steps in this game are as I try to set the Mages Guild members free.
Objective: Talk to The Observer
☑Finishes quest I decided which side to join in this strange game. I should talk to the Observer and let him know my choice.
Objective: Talk to The Observer
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