Blackwood

Online:The Face of Change

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Investigate strange disappearances from a dull farming village.
Zone: Blackwood
Objective: Farmer's Nook — Help Alchemy solve the mysteries of Farmer's Nook.
Quest Giver: Alchemy, Edgard Jarnot or Come One, Come All!
Location(s): Farmer's Nook, Rellesel Retreat, Annyce Favraud's Dream
Reward: Reveries Juggler's Blade
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Standard Experience XP
ID: 6636
 
I found a flier mentioning a troupe from the House of Reveries putting on a show.
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I encountered a wary fisherman who warned me away from Farmer's Nook, a nearby town. He claims people have been vanishing and directed his suspicions at a group of masked Elves who arrived recently. I should probably look into this.
<><><>
There are strange things afoot in the sleepy little town of Farmer's Nook, and not just the arrival of a troupe of colorful entertainers. People are vanishing, only to return somehow different.


Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Alchemy at the House of Reveries camp.
  2. Speak with Bradon Davaux, Jahhouz, Heseph Perrick about their experiences.
  3. Talk to Maelle Favraud and investigate her house.
  4. Accompany Alchemy and search for Annyce Favraud's play house.
  5. Investigate the play house and talk to Alchemy about what you find.
  6. Search for Annyce Favraud in the marsh.
  7. Investigate the Ayleid ruins and talk to Alchemy.
  8. Return to Farmer's Nook.
  9. Speak to Annyce Favraud at the Happy Crow.
  10. Find the Ayleid ruins northwest of town with Alchemy.
  11. Gain entry into the ruins.
  12. Investigate the ruins and talk to Alchemy.
  13. Enter Annyce Favraud's Dream.
  14. Speak to Annyce Favraud and convince her to wake up.
  15. Talk to the awoken Annyce Favraud.
  16. Return to Farmer's Nook and speak to Bradon Davaux.
  17. Locate and talk to Cres.
  18. Speak to Alchemy and make a decision on what to do with Cres.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Starting the Quest[edit]

You can start the quest by reading the flier Come One, Come All! or heading to the House of Reveries camp south of Farmer's Nook. As you approach the camp, you will see Alchemy talking to Heseph Perrick:

Alchemy: "I admit, it's quite a story, but I know the difference between a tall tale and a large problem. I'll help however I can."
Heseph Perrick: "I shudder to think what your Elven circus would consider far-fetched. I'm not so sure I believe it myself …."

Speak with Alchemy.

First time meeting:
Met Alchemy in Summerset:
"Greetings, traveler. If you've come to witness the marvels and mysteries of our troupe, I hope you haven't traveled far. Our performance is postponed indefinitely.
On account of drama, ironically enough."
What seems to be the trouble?
"My, my, you're as free roaming as a traveling circus. I wouldn't have expected we'd cross paths on the other side of Tamriel. I would invite you to join us as a guest performer, but our show is canceled indefinitely.
On account of drama. Ironically."
What seems to be the trouble?
"There's a more sinister mischief in Farmer's Nook than the sort the House of Reveries trades in. I hear of townsfolk disappearing, only to turn up and act oddly.
We only set camp recently, but the locals fear we've somehow caused their plight."
Do you have any idea what's happening here?
"None. That farmer, Heseph, said his sister was among the afflicted, and she died recently. At least he thought she died, but she left no corpse.
I must clear the troupe's name. With the locals wary as they are, though, I need help. And I can pay."
All right. I'll help you get to the bottom of this.
"Heseph mentioned that two of his neighbors also had loved ones vanish: Bradon Davaux and Jahhouz. Speak with them. They may be more open with a less … grandiose traveler.
You might also speak with Heseph directly, if you wish."

Optional: Speak with Heseph[edit]

"So, working with the mummers. They may seem strange, but you're safer resting at their camp than at the inn—not to say Bradon runs a poor establishment, mind, there's just strangeness afoot in our little village."
I'm helping Alchemy with your problem. She suggested I hear your story for myself.
"Folk have been going missing of late, including my sister, Cylle. Never for long, a few days, just enough to plant a worry before they wander back as if nothing happened. But something did. They come back different. Like … everything's unfamiliar."
Like she forgot everything?
"Weren't her memory. She could recall details down to where she last left the salt, but acted like she'd never tasted it. She'd bring up things I'd long forgotten as if they happened yesterday. Started dredging up old hurts we'd put past us long ago."
Could they have been related to her disappearing?
"Can't say. Felt like she wanted to relive the past. Good and bad. Don't know what would have brought that on. We lead quiet lives now—happy lives, I thought. Led, I suppose. She's gone now. If it was even her in the first place."
What happened to her?
"Cylle lead me to our old swimming hole. Hadn't been there in decades. She dove right in, like we did as kids … I—I looked away before she struck the water. She hit hard. When I screwed up the courage to look, just inky black water. She was gone."

Talk to the Villagers[edit]

You can start by asking Bradon Davaux or Jahhouz. Bradon is the innkeeper of the Happy Crow, you'll find him with a broom in his hands, sweeping the floor.

"We're out of mead and no hot meals. If those are luxuries to which you're accustomed, you can keep on moving and find another inn."
I'm looking into the disappearances and the strange way people are acting when they return.
"What are you? Some sort of adventurer? Yeah. Yeah, you look the part. Sorry I was short with you. Since Igmund passed, I've had to work twice as hard and twice as long to run the inn. It's done my manner no favors."
What happened to Igmund?
"Damned fool. He wanted to build a bonfire and drink the night away like we used to. Haven't seen Igmund down mead like that since we were barely men. He lost his legs and tumbled into the fire. Nothing but cinders left by the time I dowsed the blaze."
No remains?
"Not so much of a scrap of clothing. Just black, tarry ashes. Never seen anything throw such a thick black smoke, but it didn't smell like you'd expect. Hair and burned flesh. More like old hay, or musty linens. Wasn't natural."

Jahhouz is normally tending to his horses. You'll find him brushing a white horse in front of his house, which is on the west side of town.

"Ah! Careful! You—you might have scared the mare. Who are you? What do you want?"
I'm looking into the disappearances and the strange way people are acting when they return.
"You've come about Bugtail. I knew someone would, but my neighbors have kept their distance since he returned. I cannot blame them. I scarcely wished to take him back myself—not after Igmund and Cylle—but I couldn't bring myself to turn him away."
Are you afraid of Bugtail?
"Yes. Or rather, I fear I will share his fate. Bugtail rode out to deliver a horse despite my protest. The gelding returned, he did not. Before, I would have been the first to go looking, but I dreaded he'd return—like the others—and he did."
Where is he now?
"Dead. Or gone … for now. Even the horses could tell something was wrong with him. I fought with this one's reins as he groomed her, but she started and kicked Bugtail. Ink sprayed everywhere. When I cleared my eyes, it was all that remained."

You'll then be approached by Maelle Favraud who'll want a word with you concerning the disappearances.

Annyce Goes Missing[edit]

You'll quickly see what makes the poor woman worry:

"So, you're the one's been asking questions about the people who've gone missing, then come back wrong?"
That's right. Do you know something?
"I don't like involving strangers in our affairs, but my daughter's gone. Not the first time—or even the fourth—that Annyce has run off, but … well, you've heard what befell the others.
I'm worried she's in real danger."
When did you last see Annyce?
"A few days ago. I'd punished her for neglecting her chores, again. She must have snuck out in the night. I couldn't find hide nor hair of her in the morning. She hasn't been home since. She's a stubborn one, but normally she'd have come back by now."
You're afraid she's vanished like the others?
"I just want to know she's all right. I hate asking a stranger to do this, but no one else has the spine to leave the Nook right now and I can't go traipsing after that rapscallion like I used to.
Will you find Annyce and bring her back to me?"
Where should I start my search for Annyce?
"Our house is just over there, on the west side of town. There may be something among Annyce's things that points to where she ran off to, but my nerves are too frayed to see it. I'm at my wits end."

You can then head to Maelle Favraud's House and look for clues. You'll find a Burnt Handbill in the fireplace, and a Notched Butcher Knife on the nightstand by the front door. Annyse's Crude Fort Plans are under her bed. It might tell you where she's gone, but you won't have to find her mother to tell her of your discoveries since she'll call you from near the door as soon as you're done with your inspection.

"We don't have much, I know. Annyce never fails to remind me. Have you found anything that might lead to my daughter?"
I found some fragments of a burned note in the fireplace. Was that yours?
"That's just some old handbill Annyce had been hanging onto. Months old. Some vessel seeking fresh-faced deck hands that's long since pulled up anchor. I pitched it into the hearth after our last argument.
Probably why she left, but not where."
Your butcher knife has taken some real abuse.
"When Annyce was little, we couldn't keep her away from it. She'd grab it when we weren't looking and batter the walls and stairs, pretending it was her pirate sword. Drove my husband crazy.
I've made due for so long I never bothered to replace it."
What about this map? I found it under her bed.
"What's that doing out? Annyce's plan for a fort. My husband built it for her when she was about six. Must be a moldering wreck by now. Unless ….
If she hasn't run off to join that Elf circus, she might be there. It was east of here, in the hills."
I'll check it out.

You could do this alone, but it'd be without counting on Alchemy's part in your adventure. She feels a bit responsible as the villagers think the House of Reveries has something to do with all the story. She'll offer to accompany you, and you have the option to tell her about your findings.

"You've been gone for some time. You managed to persuade the locals to share their stories with you, yes? Did their firelight tales share any common themes?"
All the victims wanted to reminisce about the past and disappeared again after sudden accidents.
"Restless phantoms returning to say their last goodbyes before being spirited away once more? This really is beginning to sound like a ghost story. It's all a little too coincidental, don't you think?
There has to be a common cause …."
Maelle Favraud asked me to look for her missing daughter, Annyce. Have you seen her?
"You and Heseph have been our only visitors at the camp. If Annyce has only recently gone missing, there may still be a chance for us to find her before she becomes the latest victim in this ghost story. Do you have any leads?"
It appears Annyce might have run away to an old play fort in the hills near here.
"Seeking out a more comforting time, no doubt. Let's hope she hasn't escaped into the arms of a monster.
I'll follow your lead. My expertise in stage combat won't do us much good, but I have a few other talents and tricks up my sleeve."
Let's head to the play fort.

Alchemy will become your follower, as you head to the play fort to the east.

Dreams Gone Bad[edit]

Soon enough, you'll reach the fort and start looking for clues. There are four objects you are looking for. First, footprints lie in the mud, suggesting one or more people came here recently. Then, you'll come across a Battered Training Sword and Leyawiin Dock Schedule, confirming Annyce never stopped to play the pirate during all these years. Finally, in the backpack, you'll find Fresh Food. Alchemy will have a theory:

Alchemy: "I can picture our young heroine, wielding her imagination like a saber and cutting her way through all manner of adventure."
Alchemy: "I crave adventure and freedom. Play is my only escape."
Alchemy: "I come here to plan. I fantasize about leaving. Doubt holds me back. I need someone to believe in me."
Alchemy: "So often, I'm alone, but today I have a visitor. Someone I trust. I go with them. I've never been more excited!"

You can then talk to her to listen as she gets in Annyce's character :

"I believe I have thrust to the heart of the matter. Hear me out."
What was it you were doing there?
"Getting into character, you could say. Preparing for a part is all about understanding my role. How they think. How they feel. Anything and everything about who they are.
I have always had a good head for details and it serves me well as an actress."
What did you learn about Annyce then?
"She's young, or at least young at heart. She's unhappy with her life, but she feels trapped. She has a dream to follow, but she's too scared to go it alone.
Only now, she's found help."
How do you know that?
"One place to sleep. Yet two mugs on the crate, both unfinished. And, of course, two sets of footprints heading south—into the marsh—dancing all the way.
The only way forward is to follow in their steps. Shall we dance too?"
Let's see what we find in the marsh, then.

The trail leads to an Ayleid ruin with numerous bookshelves in a nearly perfect state. Not what you expect to find while roaming the marshes. Maybe you can find something to tell you where Maelle's daugther is gone ? There are three thing you can find that Alchemy with comment on: The torn up The Saga of Captain Wereshark Vol. 3

Alchemy: "This book is well worn, but hardly old. Given the subject matter, I'd wager it belonged to Annyce."

The Dry Ashes inside the Ancient Urn:

Alchemy: "Despite the smell I don't think that's a funerary urn. The ashes are too fresh."

The Burnt Paper inside the brazier:

Alchemy: "There are bits of paper in this brazier, but most of these books are too soggy for tinder."

Someone has been to this ruin not long ago, and this special someone has burnt some things. Alchemy will once again have an idea of what occured here:

"I believe Annyce came here and performed some sort of ritual, and not the sort conjured from an overactive imagination. Whoever she followed here convinced her to make an offering to this place."
What makes you say that?
"I'm certain that well-worn adventure book was a dear possession to Annyce. She wouldn't have torn pages from it for a lark. She burned them in that brazier with her own blood for some ritual purpose."
Any idea what that could be?
"Daedric rituals weren't on my curriculum in the College of Sapiarchs, but I've studied enough magic to puzzle this out.
There's a good chance Annyce will return to town, like the others. If she does, confront her about this."
All right. I'll head back now.

Annyce's Doppleganger[edit]

Return to Farmer's Nook to see that Annyce came back. She's staying at the inn, so don't hesitate to ask her some questions.

"What's the big deal? This is the seventh time I tried running away in three years. Why are they all gawping at me like they're afraid to blink?"
You're not the first person to disappear recently.
"Do I—no, I don't know you. Why do you care? And none of those people disappeared, they went after their dreams. I'm not the only one who has those you know? Nobody wants to be stuck in Farmer's Nook for their whole life."
But they all came back. Like you.
"They just didn't want anyone to miss them. It's why I'm here now. I didn't want the last time my mom saw me to be after another fight.
But they have to let us go sometime."
You make it sound like they're dead.
"What? No—no! It's not like they're buried in a crypt or anything! I'm just trying to say I'm not the only one who felt trapped here.
I don't know why I'm telling you all this. I don't even know you!"

Alchemy will then interrupt you and tell you to talk with her in private. It seems important enough to do what she says.

"So, that's Annyce Favraud. What do you make of her?"
I don't have anything to compare her to, but she might know more than she's letting on.
"How apropos considering that little library we found is a shrine to Hermaeus Mora. Though I'm still not sure how the Demon of Knowledge fits into this puzzle of ours. Why would Annyce consort with it? Perhaps I should have made an offering of my own?"
You're saying Annyce was dealing with Daedra?
"It certainly looks that way. I didn't find anything relating to the ritual that was performed at that shrine, but some of those moldy tomes shed a little light on things. The Ayleids who used to live out here revered Mora as their principle Prince."
How does that help us?
"The shrine we found was simply one of many ruins. I discovered record of another ruin near to Farmer's Nook. If we're dealing with a cult or some other servants of Mora, it would make the perfect hideaway. What do you say we go check it out?"
Could be worth investigating. Let's go.
"The ruin I spoke of is north of town. Not too far. I'll have a word with the innkeeper and Heseph about keeping Annyce occupied while we work, but if you wish to speak with anyone else before we head out I'll wait here."
Are you that worried about Annyce?
"We have reason to suspect that Annyce is somehow involved in this mystery, better to assume she is playing the role of the villain until we know more.
Even if she's simply another victim of circumstance, it's safer for everyone that she stay put."

Head to Rellesel Retreat. You've the option to go talk to Maelle about her daughter before:

"She's back. She's safe. It feels like I've pulled my heart from a vice. Sorry I troubled you with another of Annyce's tantrums."
Everything seems normal then? Nothing unusual?
"No, nothing. She looks right as rain and I'd recognize that attitude anywhere.
I know what you're driving at. You're saying I should be worried? Well, out with it."
Your daughter did some kind of ritual out in the marsh. You might want to watch her closely.
"Ritual? Feh, what nonsense has gotten into the girl's head now? Annyce doesn't know the first thing about magic, she's just got an overactive imagination and too much free time.
Well, thank you for telling me. I'll mention it when I ground her."
You know her better than I do. I just wanted to make sure she's all right.
"Didn't mean to bite your head off. You've got good reason to worry.
She's certainly the picture of Annyce, but I'll talk to her and make certain nothing strange has come of her."

It's time to explore some ruins and hopefully understand what's going on...

The Rellesel Retreat Riddles[edit]

Alchemy wants you to lead the way in case there's any danger. You notice a door and try to open it, obviously without good results: a magical ward repels you and Mighty Flicka appears. Alchemy seems to recognize her:

Alchemy: "Look out she's … Mighty Flicka? From the Saga of Captain Wereshark? That, I did not expect."

You can ask Alchemy for advice.

"I'm afraid I only have a cursory knowledge of the Captain Wereshark series. I find adventure stories rather shallow for a genre that professes to explore great depths.
Try flipping through that book for inspiration, or improvise."
What about forcing my way through?
"While that would make an extraordinary claim for the Game of Boasts, the Mighty Flicka there is nothing more than an illusion. The ward upon the door you'll find much stronger."
So how do we break the ward?
"We don't. Trying to dispel or break it with force would be an undertaking, if not an impossibility. Unlocking it, however, might simply require you to play the part the guardian expects you to play.
And you have the script on hand."
The script?
"No need to be so literal, love, it makes for dull lines. The book used in the ritual at that shrine earlier: the Saga of Captain Wereshark. That should give you some insight into how the guardian expects you to respond. Convince it that we belong."

A copy of The Saga of Captain Wereshark Vol. 2 is on the ground nearby. The book will provide all of the answers you need for the following sequence. Regardless, Flicka will allow you to answer as many times as you want until you answer her riddle correctly. Flicka asks you a question, and your responses are as follows: For treasure, To find glory in battle, and To serve our captain. The correct answer is To find glory in battle:

"Ha! Think you can sail with me, wee one? I've felled Giants like trees! I've slapped a Dragon around until it got down and licked my hand! I've kicked Molag Bal in the arse, once, and he begged me to do it again!
Answer me this: why do we sail?"
To find glory in battle.
"And there you have it! What worth is booty if it isn't earned? What is a battle if ya don't cut a bloody swathe through your enemies? We sail for honor! For glory!
Now brace yourself, wee one. Ye face the Argonian next!"
The Argonian?

When you've answered the riddle correctly, she disappears, and Hard-Scales takes her place and asks you another question. You'll have three options: To see new lands, To meet Sithis, and To find rare artifacts. The correct answer is To meet Sithis. Again, you can give him as many wrong answers as you like without consequence.

"The high seas run deeper than any river, filled with the blood of enemies. A challenge awaits you, sailor. Are you prepared to give our journey your all, or will you wilt like a mushroom in summer?
Tell me! Speak true! Why do we sail?"
To meet Sithis.
"I erect the spine of respect.
I have fought countless monsters alongside the Wereshark, yet none has ever bested me in battle, much to my regret. One day, I hope, I will meet that which can kill me. Now, face Two-Scars and rejoice in Sithis!"
Very well.

Once you answer Hard-Scales' question successfully, Galena appears to test you. Your options are Because your crew is your family, Because there's strength in numbers, and Because you'd have no one to talk to. The correct answer is Because your crew is your family.

"So you've impressed the big bear and the hard turtle? So what? I walk in the shadow and sleep in the trees! I drink snake venom and piss honeyed mead! I'm the baddest, sharpest, meanest pirate on the high seas, but I don't sail alone.
Why?"
Because your crew is your family.
"That's right! We're family! Every one of us, from the Cap'n himself to the lowliest swabber of decks, is one big happy, fierce, terrifying family! No mere crew can hold a candle to us, because we're not a crew. We're blood!
Welcome aboard, kin!"
Thanks.

You can then enter the ruin.

Annyce's Dream[edit]

Inside, you'll find all the people who had vanished from Farmer's Nook. They seem to be well, except for their deep sleep no one can pull them out of. Alchemy, trained in spells of all sorts before becoming a member of the House of Reveries, has an idea:

"This is no normal sleep, but it's oddly benign for a curse. None of these people appear to be in distress, in fact they seem to be dozing quite serenely. Some of them have been missing for weeks, yet they show no signs of poor health."
So they're not in any danger?
"Not from the spell they're under, no, though why they were made to sleep and what our mystery stranger intends for them is still very much unknown."
Can we wake them?
"I believe so, but I'm not entirely certain we should. Right now the spell isn't doing any harm, but tampering with it could change that. I'd like to get a better idea how Annyce and the others came under this spell before I start striking it through."
What do you have in mind?
"Now that you've rehearsed your role, let's cast you as a pirate in her fantasy. See if you can reach Annyce within her dream and get her to wake up."
I can try.

At this, Alchemy will begin weaving her spell:

Alchemy: "When you're ready, place a hand on Annyce's forehead and start counting sails."

The dream is taking place on the Wereshark's ship, under the attack of Prince Vaugr. To find Annyce, you can ask the crew, either Mighty Flicka, Hard-Scales or Galena Two-Scars (this is optional and you can directly go to Annyce on Vaugr's ship).

Flicka will say:

"Sailor! What are you doing wandering around? Get across that gangplank and take the fight to these damned draugr!
If you're worried about Captain Wereshark, don't be. I won't let a single one of those embalmed bastards past me."
I need to find Annyce Favraud.
"You mean Red Annyce, the Crimson Shrike? Then you need to head to the thick of it, sailor! As soon as Prince Vaugr's crew boarded us, she made straight for his throat!
Last I saw, she was hounding the cadaver back onto his own ship!"
Where is Captain Wereshark?
"Belowdecks, of course, searching for a way to break this cursed calm. It's Prince Vaugr's work, have no doubt of that. Yet even his foul magics won't tame the crew of the Pale Spirit.
The Captain will find a way to put the wind back in our sails!"

Hard-Scales will tell you to find your own kills:

"Sithis does not require I maintain my knives, but it does make it easier to do their work.
You'll have to find your own kills, sailor. These have already been claimed."
Can you tell me where Annyce Favraud is?
"The Crimson Shrike tore through here chasing Prince Vaugr. He moves fast for one of those wither-bones. Too fast for my liking.
She drove him below decks. Prince Vaugr, cornered in his own hold—delicious."
Prince Vaugr?
"The Merciless. Yes. We may have upset him when we made off with his entire cache of ancient jewels and three chestfuls of gold. Yet he will rue the day he challenged the crew of the Pale Spirit.
Soon enough, we'll make an end of him. We always do."

Galena will tell you Annyce "Red Shrike" deserves her name:

"The stores on this ship are as bare as the arse of Reinhardt No-Pants.
Ah, poor Reinhardt. He'd of loved to see Red Annyce give Prince Vaugr his comeuppance."
I need to find Annyce Favraud.
"Red Annyce flew after Prince Vaugr like … well, like the shrike that she is! He ran somewhere aft once we pushed his boarding party back.
She's not going to let the prince get away. Count on that."

Once you found Annyce, try to wake her up from her dream:

"f you came to help, you have my thanks—but it's not needed. Looks like Prince Vaugr is going down with his ship.
Not that the ship is going down, I mean. It just—you know what I mean."
This is a dream, Annyce. You need to wake up.
"What did you—no, no, no! I'm Red Annyce, the Crimson Shrike, and I'll skewer any swab who says otherwise!"
Trust me. None of this is real.
"Stow it, sailor. With Prince Vaugr dead, we need to find his treasure. Check his cabin, while I search the rest of the hold.
This adventure isn't done until we've secured that treasure. Savvy?"
I guess I'll look for Prince Vaugr's treasure.

Find the Prince's treasure : a copy of the book about Captain Wereshark adventures, and show it to Annyce to finish convincing her she's dreaming.

"Prince Vaugr's treasure was a book? Didn't know old dead eyes could read!
Well, let's get it back to Captain Wereshark. Maybe it'll help break the curse!"
You should look at this book, Annyce.
"Red Annyce to you, swabby …! This book—this is—this is about Captain Wereshark. And Flicka, and the others … I don't understand.
This … this is all a story. But where am I? Why aren't I in the book?"
We found you dreaming in an Ayleid ruin. You're under a spell. I entered your dream to wake you.
"I … I remember it now. I remember it all.
Dammit, Cres! You said I could finally escape, and no one would come for me! They wouldn't even know I was gone! That was the deal!"
Deal? Did you ask for this?
"Cres said that they would make it so I could finally live out my dreams. I could have this life, and they would take my place. I'd finally be free of Farmer's Nook and my mom wouldn't ever need to worry about my life of piracy."
That's not fair to her. You'd both be living a lie.
"I know! It was too perfect. I knew it was too perfect. Dreams don't last. That's why they're dreams.
Just a few more moments. It was just getting good."
Five more minutes.

Leave the dream and return to Alchemy.

Cres-tions and Answers[edit]

"You're awake! Good. It's been a while since I've worked any magic that didn't involve sleight of hand.
Annyce is still soundly asleep. Could you not get through to her in the dream?"
She wanted to enjoy the dream a little longer. She's part of Captain Wereshark's crew.
"So she's stepped right into the story that's inspired her since she was little. That explains the ritual with that book. How better to keep her under the spell than to put her in a prison she wouldn't want to escape? Insidious."
It's not a prison. She made a deal with someone called Cres.
"You're telling me this Cres didn't take her place, they traded for it? And not just her, but everyone here. What does Cres have to gain from these bargains? To infiltrate the town? What could a sleepy village offer someone who can create dreams?"
What should we do with the dreamers?
"The deal they made isn't so harmless as they might have believed. You've seen how frightened the villagers are. How many more need to vanish before Cres has whatever it is they want.
They won't like it, but we should wake them and end this farce."
All right.

You have to wake Annyce. Alchemy will then proceed to break the spell on the dreamers:

Alchemy: "Here we go. Pray that a rude awakening is the worst they have to suffer."
<Magic gathers in her hands.>
Alchemy: "It's ready. Wake Annyce, and the curse will break."
<Waking up Annyce, there will be a flash of light and everyone will be awake and unhappy.>
Annyce Favraud: "Farewell, Captain …."
Cylle Perrick: "No! He promised!"
Igmund Davaux: "My gold!"
Bugtail: "My sweetrolls!"

You have to ask Annyce about Cres and how she ended up in this situation:

"All right, so we're awake. Dreams shattered. A life of brooms and boredom ahead. Happy now?"
I need to know about Cres.
"Cres is … different. They looked like Bugtail when they approached me, but his clothes were covered in ink and he seemed unwell. He … they confessed that they weren't who they appeared to be, but they needed my help."
You didn't find that suspicious?
"Cres didn't look suspicious to me. Just sad. Vulnerable. They said they screwed up again. That they couldn't be who they were trying to be.
Cres knew I didn't want to stay in Farmer's Nook, so they offered to take my place."
Do you know why Cres wanted to trade places?
"I think they were running away too. From a life they didn't want to go back to. You know how many times I tried to do that? But I could never just leave my mom behind. Alone. I thought we'd all be happy this way."
You think your mother would be happy with a substitute?

Then her mother Maelle will storm into the place to see by herself if her daughter is allright. She has finally discovered Cres is impersonating her. When she hears your question, she answers by the negative:

Maelle Favraud: "She would not."
Annyce Favraud: "Mother?"
<Annyce walks up to Maelle.>
Annyce Favraud: "I'm sorry."
Maelle Favraud: "If you wanted to be rid of me so bad, you could have sent a fake who did her chores."

You can also ask the cured villagers and talk to Alchemy. You can start with Heseph's sister, Cylle:

"How could you do this? How could you wake me? Cres said I would live in that dream forever!"
What was your dream about?
"It was a damned sight better than this! I had a castle, servants, suitors hanging off my every word … I had everything I ever wanted!
You don't know what it was like for us, growing up. We had nothing! We still have nothing."
What about your brother, Heseph?
"Heseph? Heseph seems happy with his plow and his pigs. He's a grown man and more capable than I am at fending for himself. He doesn't need me anymore. And Cres was supposed to keep him company. We barely speak anymore as it is."
Your brother thinks you're dead. He's grieving for you.
"Dead? Oh, Heseph, I never wanted that ….
I … I suppose I need to talk to him. Like we used to. He deserves that much."
He'd like that.

Then Bradon's brother, Igmund:

"Where are we? Some kind of tomb? Where's my treasure? Last I remember I was in my treasure room."
You were under a spell. We woke you up.
"Wait? So this is real? The dream is gone? My treasure's gone? Why would you do that?"
The deal you made with Cres was a mistake. Your brother thinks you're dead.
"Why would he think I'm dead? That's not what Cres promised. They said they'd just be me. They even agreed to do my chores! Was that all a bunch of hogwash?"
No, Cres did pretend to be you. They just got drunk and fell in a bonfire.
"Pft. Heck of a way to go. Wait, is Cres dead then? Dammit. I guess there's no hope making another deal."

Finally, talk to Jahhouz's friend and fellow ex-slave, Bugtail:

"So delicious. So moist, and rich, and warm. So much frosting. This one can just barely still taste them."
What are you talking about?
"The sweetrolls! The most delicious, moist, warm, fragrant sweetrolls to ever leave a baker's oven!
Bugtail ate them often. Bugtail had them all!"
You had a dream about sweetrolls?
"Yes! What else would one dream about? Have you never known the ecstasy of sweet moon-sugar cream melting upon your tongue? This one has not tasted true sugar since he left Elsweyr. He has missed it so"
Couldn't you have gotten sweetrolls without resorting to Daedric pacts?
"So he could. If he were satisfied with iced rolls grown stale from weeks on the road. But when one offers the chance to have them at their freshest and most perfect, always and forever, why would Bugtail not take such a bargain?"

See what Alchemy thinks of all of this:

"Much as I love a happy ending, we haven't quite reached the conclusion just yet. You should speak to Annyce's mother about the imposter. We mustn't let Cres escape."
Annyce was dreaming of being part of Captain Wereshark's crew. Is that why we saw pirates outside?
"It could be that the two spells were mingling. That's not something seen often. Or perhaps it's simply that this Cres person was also inspired by Annyce's dream."
Why would they choose to become a poor farm girl then?
"Why indeed? It's easy to guess what motivated these people to pursue their wildest dreams, but the workings of this Cres's mind are inscrutable.
What would you do, if you were them? Would you leap at the chance to live a perfect fantasy?"
People need me here. I'd never abandon the real world.
"That's the rub, isn't it? Dreams are selfish things. To chase them, you risk leaving things behind—maybe everything. We all have to decide what we're willing to sacrifice in pursuit.
Not everyone possesses your sense of obligation."
I will admit, it is tempting.
"Indeed. We've all had to make choices about what we're willing to risk to attain our desires. Cres's bargain promises perfection without the sacrifice. Who wouldn't be tempted?
Is a life without need or want truly fulfilling? I can't say."
These people seem devastated by being woken from their dreams.
"They have a look about them, one I've seen before. It's the look of a skooma addict, sick and desperate on the street. Lost without their escape."
Will they recover?
"With the help and support of those who love them, one can hope. Ultimately, it will be up to each of them to decide what's most important to them."

Then Annyce's mother will thank you and tell you where she left the other Annyce.

"Thank you for finding my girl. I'd never imagine she'd have gone to such lengths to get away from here.
I should have listened sooner."
What are you doing out here?
"I followed you. I was glad to see Annyce back in town, but I knew deep down that wasn't my girl and watching her act the part made the worry in my gut so much worse. I had to see for myself."
Where did you leave the imposter?
"Back at the Happy Crow. I told Bradon he could put whatever she liked on my tab if it kept her occupied.
If you wish to find the freeloader, that's where she'll be."
Thanks for the tip.

When you arrive at Farmer's Nook, you'll find Bradon searching for Annyce.

"Have you seen Annyce? She ran off. I knew I shouldn't have let Heseph watch her alone!"
Explain what happened.
"Maelle ask me to keep the girl occupied, so I kept her mug full and listened to her go on about her pirate stories. Was getting famished, so I asked Heseph to watch her while I made a stew.
That was the last I saw her, until I heard Heseph calling."
What'd he have to say about it?
"They were playing cards when she just bolted out of her chair like a snake bit her and ran out the door. He chased her, but Heseph's not much of a runner. Said Annyce was headed east out of town.
Maelle's going to have my hide for this."
It's all right, the real Annyce is with her mother. They're on their way back now.
"Hold on, real Annyce? Who was it we've been watching this whole time?"
An imposter named Cres. Maelle can explain, I need to catch up to them.
"Like I said, Annyce—or Cres—or whoever went tearing off out of town to the east. You might catch up with them if you get a move on."

Cres, still appearing as Annyce, is hiding in the small Ayleid ruins you've seen at the beginning of your search. He tries to convince you to let him take your place:

"You! You're the one I don't know. Why are you here? I—I didn't run away again! I promise."
I know you're not really Annyce, Cres.
"Excuse me, you don't even know me. I—I am Annyce. I can prove it. Ask me anything."
We already woke Annyce and everyone else.
"Uh—um, I'm her twin sister …?
I can't be Annyce anymore. I know. Maybe I could be someone else? What about you? Can I be you?"
No, Cres. It's over.

Alchemy tries to unmask the imposter:

Alchemy: "Enough of this charade, Cres. Off with your false face."
<Blue light gathers in Alchemy's hands.>
Cres: "What are you—ah!"
<Annyce is replaced by a Watchling. There is a beat and then Alchemy points at them.>
Alchemy: "You're … a Daedra?"
"Wait! Don't hurt me! I didn't do anything! I just gave them what they wanted!"
Why are you trading places with the people in this town?
"I just want to live. Like you. I'm so tired of watching.
I don't want to go back! Don't make me go back!"
Back where?
"To the unbound library of the One Who Knows. To record what was observed. That is our purpose. To watch your lives and ink the details down. Day in, day out. Always the same.
They know it too! The people here. That's why I offered an escape!"
Why did you keep making these deals?
"I kept getting it wrong. Being a person. Despite all I knew, I kept making mistakes. Bad, painful mistakes I couldn't undo. So, I had to try again. And again. Life is hard … but that makes it interesting!
Please, let me stay. Don't send me back."
I'll discuss it with my friend.
"Yes! Please! I didn't mean to cause any trouble. I won't cause anymore trouble."

Now it is time to ask Alchemy about her opinion.

Have not met Alchemy beforehand:
Met Alchemy in Summerset:
"So, this pitiable creature wants to escape its lot in life too. Even Daedra dare to dream. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't feel some sympathy for its plight."
What do you mean?
"When a Hopeful becomes a Player in the House of Reveries, they cast off their old identity and assume their new role completely. Such a serious commitment attracts only those who most desire an escape from their prior circumstances. I'm no different."
"So, this pitiable creature wants to escape its lot in life too. Even Daedra dare to dream. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't feel some sympathy for its plight."
You both went to great lengths to escape your lot in life.
"I know that suffocating feeling far too well, and the desperation to escape it. I know what it's like to be blinded by the need for liberation. Cres and I both caused more pain than we ever intended."
You want to be lenient on them?
"Misguided as Cres was, I don't believe they acted in malice. There aren't many stories of compassionate Daedra, but it seems at least some of them might be true.
The question is, does this little Daedra's story have to end in tragedy?"
You have an alternative?
"It may fly in the face of common sense, but I think Cres might have the makings of a fine Player. They're a bit … unrefined, but taking on a new role seems to come naturally, and they'll never forget their lines.
I could sponsor them to the House."
Making a deal with Daedra rarely leads to anything good. We need to send Cres back to Oblivion.
That sounds like a perfect fit for them. They should join your troupe.
Let me talk to Cres some more, before we come to a decision.
[Ends Conversation]

Then it is time to make your decision.

"Has speaking with Cres convinced you, one way or another? I am growing fonder of sponsoring them for the House by the moment, but—I'll admit—I can be a hopeless romantic at times.
What do you think we should do with Cres?"
Making a deal with Daedra rarely leads to anything good. We need to send Cres back to Oblivion.
(?)
That sounds like a perfect fit for them. They should join your troupe.
"I thought so, and my eye for talent is one of the best among the Players. By the time Cres presents themself before the Grand Maestro, I will have transformed them into a master thespian. I'll stake my reputation on it."
I have no doubt.
"All's well that ends well, as they say. This certainly wasn't the direction I expected this story to take, but a good mystery always keeps you guessing.
You were a grand co-star. If we ever adapt Investigator Vale for the stage I'll be sure to call."
(Ends Quest)
Let me talk to Cres some more, before we come to a decision.
[Ends Conversation]

If you decided that Cres should join the House of Reveries, then Alchemy will come forward and make the offer:

Alchemy: "All right, Cres. I have a deal for you."
Cres: "You do? Does this mean I can stay?"
Alchemy: "No. Not in Famer's [sic] Nook anyway."
Cres: "Oh … does it mean I don't have to go back to the library?"
Alchemy: "Yes, and you will get to live a great many incredible lives."
Cres: "I can? What do you need me to do?"
Alchemy: "Watch, and learn. You're going to be my apprentice. Now, let's get you a mask."
<They begin walking along the path to the road.>

If you decided that Cres should be banished:

(?)

Either way, the quest ends there, as you are rewarded the Reveries Juggler's Blade and some gold. If you chose to let Cres stay, they'll have taken the name of Dreamer next time you see them at the House of Reveries camp.

Quest Stages[edit]

The Face of Change
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
I should investigate the performers camped near Farmer's Nook.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Latest start Alchemy tells me that the people in town have been reluctant to speak to her and her troupe. She asked me to speak with several people in town who had their loved ones vanish to try and get the whole story.
Objective: Talk to Bradon Davaux
Objective: Talk to Jahhouz
Optional Step: Talk to Heseph Perrick
A woman approached me while I was questioning the locals about the strange disappearances. I should see what she wants.
Objective: Talk to Maelle Favraud
Maelle Favraud said her daughter ran away recently and she worries that Annyce may fall victim to the same circumstances that befell the other townfolk. I agreed to search for Annyce and she told me I might want to start my search at their home.
Objective: Search Maelle Favraud's House: 0/3
Hidden Objective: Examine the Hearth Ashes
Hidden Objective: Examine the Butcher Knife
Hidden Objective: Examine the Rolled Scroll
I found a few unusual things around Maelle and Annyce's home, but I don't have a clear picture of how they fit together. I should speak to Maelle and see what she makes of things.
Objective: Talk to Maelle Favraud
Maelle suspects that Annyce might have run off to her childhood play fort. I should look for her there.
Objective: Search for Annyce Favraud
Alchemy was waiting for me outside Maelle's house. I should bring her up to speed on what I learned.
Optional Step: Talk to Alchemy
We found Annyce's old play fort, but it's still in very good condition and shows signs of recent use. I should look around.
Objective: Investigate the Play Fort: 0/4
Hidden Objective: Examine the Training Sword
Hidden Objective: Examine the Shipping Schedule
Hidden Objective: Examine the Backpack
Hidden Objective: Examine the Footprints
Alchemy and I found a few things around the fort but nothing obviously pointing to Annyce's whereabouts. They have inspired Alchemy, however, and she seems to be channeling Annyce's motivations.
Objective: Watch Alchemy
Alchemy seems to have a theory about Annyce. I should speak to her about what she's thinking.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Alchemy feels confident that she's got a read on Annyce's motivations and she noticed some clues that Annyce may have had help running away. There are some tracks leading out into the marsh. We should take our search that way.
Objective: Search for Annyce Favraud
Annyce's trail lead to a small ruin in the marsh, filled with books. There's no sign of Annyce, but I should search the small ruin for clues.
Objective: Investigate the Ruin: 0/3
Hidden Objective: Examine the Urn
Hidden Objective: Examine the Brazier
Hidden Objective: Examine the Book
There are signs that someone has been to this ruin recently and burned some things. I should see what Alchemy makes of what we found.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Alchemy believes that some sort of ritual was conducted at the ruin, but Annyce's trail ends here. Alchemy wants to remain at the ruin a while longer to study things in more detail. She suggests I go back to town and keep an eye out for Annyce.
Objective: Return to Farmer's Nook
It appears that Annyce has returned to Farmer's Nook. She's at the Happy Crow Inn. I should speak to her.
Objective: Talk to Annyce Favraud
I spoke to Annyce, but she didn't seem to want to share any details about what happened to her. Alchemy pulled me aside to talk in private, I should hear what she has to say.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Alchemy informed me that the ruin where we found the ritual was one of many Ayleid ruins in the area devoted to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Forbidden Knowledge. Alchemy wants to investigate another, larger ruin north of town.
Objective: Go to the Ayleid Ruin
Optional Step: Talk to Maelle Favraud
Alchemy and I found the Ayleid ruin she mentioned. She'd like me to lead the way in case there's danger. I should try the door.
Objective: Investigate the Ayleid Ruin
When I tried to open the tomb, a magical ward repelled me and a guardian appeared. Alchemy seemed to recognize them as a character from the book we found. I should speak to the guardian to see about gaining entry to the ruin.
Objective: Gain Entry to the Ruin
Hidden Objective: Satisfy Mighty Flicka
Hidden Objective: Satisfy Hard-Scales
Hidden Objective: Satisfy Galena Two-Scars

Perhaps Alchemy will have some idea what is going on.

Objective Hint: Talk to Alchemy
I dealt with all of the guardians preventing me from entering the Ayleid ruin. Time to explore it.
Objective: Investigate the Ayleid Ruin: 0/4
We found all the people who had vanished from Farmer's Nook in the ruin, alive and well, but locked in a deep sleep. I should speak to Alchemy about this.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Alchemy believes she can help me enter Annyce's dream. She asked me to make contact with Annyce and convince her to wake up.
Objective: Enter Annyce Favraud's Dream
Annyce's dream is taking place on a ship in the middle of the sea. I should search the boat and talk to her.
Objective: Find Annyce Favraud
I found Annyce in her dream. I should speak with her and convince her to wake up.
Objective: Talk to Annyce Favraud
Annyce will not speak to me until I've found Prince Vaugr's treasure. It should be in his cabin.
Objective: Claim Prince Vaugr's Treasure
I found Prince Vaugr's treasure—a copy of the book that inspired Annyce's dream. I should show it to her and convince her to wake up.
Objective: Talk to Annyce Favraud
Annyce has agreed to give up her dream, though she wants a few more moments to enjoy it. I should return to the waking world and report to Alchemy.
Objective: Leave the Dream
Annyce has agreed to give up her dream, though she wants a few more moments to enjoy it. I should report to Alchemy.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
Alchemy seems more confident that she can safely break the spell on the dreamers. I should wait for her to finish her attempt.
Objective: Watch Alchemy
Alchemy's spell is ready. She instructed me to wake Annyce to dispel her dream and those of the other villagers.
Objective: Wake Annyce Favraud
Annyce and the others are awake, but they aren't happy about it. I should speak to Annyce and find out how she wound up like this.
Objective: Talk to Annyce Favraud
With Annynce and the others awakened from their supernatural dream, I should head back to Farmer's Nook and confront Cres about their involvement in this.
Objective: Confront Cres
Optional Step: Talk to Alchemy and the Cured Villagers

Annyce's mother arrived while I was questioning Annyce. I should speak to Maelle about the imposter, Cres.

Optional Step: Talk to Maelle Favraud
I arrived to find Bradon searching for Annyce. I should find out what happened from him.
Objective: Talk to Bradon Davaux
Bradon said that "Annyce" suddenly rushed out of the inn and ran out of town, but he couldn't keep up with her. I should head after her and see if I can catch Cres.
Objective: Pursue Cres
I found "Annyce" hiding in the small Ayleid ruin we found before. Time to confront Cres.
Objective: Talk to Cres
Cres tried to maintain their ruse, but became desperate as it became clear their plan was foiled. Cres wanted to bargain with me, but Alchemy arrived. She's trying to unmask the imposter.
Objective: Watch Alchemy
Alchemy's spell revealed Cres to actually be a small Daedra. I should question the creature about its intentions.
Objective: Talk to Cres
Cres confessed that they do not enjoy their existence in the service of Hermaeus Mora and was bargaining with the disillusioned townsfolk to take over their lives in Farmer's Nook. I should speak to Alchemy about what we should do with the Daedra.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
(A choice is made here)

Alchemy sympathizes with Cres's plight and suggested that she might be able to give them the life they desire as a part of the House of Reveries. I need to decide whether that's a good idea or if it would be safer to send Cres back to Oblivion.

Objective: Decide Cres's Fate
Hidden Objective: Banish Cres
Hidden Objective: Help Cres
☑Finishes quest I agreed that Alchemy should offer Cres a place in the House of Reveries. She will make a pact with the Daedra and give them a life as a member of her troupe.
Objective: Talk to Alchemy
☑Finishes quest I decided that it would be best to send Cres back to Oblivion. Alchemy will banish them.
Objective: (?)
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