Shivering:Taxonomy of Obsession

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Help a Dunmer finish her research.
Quest Giver: Mirili Ulven in Highcross
Location(s): Highcross
Reward: Leveled Gold
ID: SE37
Mirili's bestiary

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Talk to Mirili Ulven about her research.
  2. Collect the ingredients and return them to her.
  3. Talk to Mirili Ulven about her bestiary.
  4. Bring her each of the animals.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Note: This quest has several bugs, mostly in the part where you find animals for Mirili. It may be helpful to review this entire page, plus possibly the talk page, before proceeding.

Starting the Quest[edit]

In Highcross, you will get a topic pop up saying "Mirili's Research". Asking around and mentioning this will only receive comments on how obsessed she is with plants and animals, so you will have to ask Mirili Ulven herself. She can be found at her house after dark, but before then she will be outside collecting samples around the Settlement.

When you have found Mirili, she will be very secretive about her research, assuming you wish to ruin it. After further persuading (getting her disposition up to 60) she will be surprised that you actually want to help her. She gives you a list of various rare items to collect and says she will pay you 10 gold coins for each sample. Despite this, she will only pay for one sample of each item.

Finding the Ingredients[edit]

Note that Mirili Ulven will accept stolen samples of any ingredient, and she will accept ingredients that were collected before the quest started. Simply collecting ingredients as you explore Shivering Isles and do other quests will usually be enough to get most or all of the ingredients, possibly allowing you to complete this portion of the quest within seconds of starting it. However, two ingredients are dropped from creatures (Scalon and Shambles) which do not appear randomly until you are at least level 7. If you are of a lower level than that, Xaselm is the easiest place to find both Scalon Fins (as well as one guaranteed Scalon) and Shambles Marrow.

Each ingredient's article provides full details on where that ingredient can be found; only plants particularly close to Highcross are mentioned here. It may be useful to print or save a copy of the ingredient list to use as a checklist of the ingredients you've delivered.

  • Alocasia Fruit - Harvested from an Alocasia plant; a few can be found right outside her front door, to the left of her house.
  • Aster Bloom Core - Harvested from Aster Bloom plants. One is growing in the archway of Bruscus Dannus' house.
  • Black Tar - Harvested from Dementia-variety Mushroom Tree Saplings and Black Tar plants.
  • Blister Pod Cap - Harvested from Blister Pod plants, which are only found in Dementia.
  • Congealed Putrescence - Harvested from Putrid Gigantea plants, which are only found in Dementia.
  • Digestive Slime (a.k.a., Letifer Orca Digestive Slime) - Harvested from Letifer Orca Planta, which is only found in Dementia.
  • Elytra Ichor - Collected from the corpse of any Elytra.
  • Flame Stalk - Harvested from Flame Stalk plants, which mostly grow in Mania caves.
  • Fungus Stalk - Harvested from Fungus Stalk plants, which only grow in Dementia.
  • Gas Bladder (a.k.a., Red Kelp Gas Bladder) - Harvested from Red Kelp plants. Some plants can be found growing outside Ebrocca, a ruin southeast of Highcross.
  • Gnarl Bark - Collected from the corpses of Gnarls.
  • Grummite Eggs - Harvested from Grummite Egg Mounds and Sacs, which are more common in Dementia. May also be found on any Grummite.
  • Hound Tooth - Collected from the corpses of Skinned Hounds.
  • Hunger Tongue - Collected from the corpses of Hungers.
  • Hydnum Azure Giant Spore - Harvested from Hydnum Azure plants, some of which are growing on the large mushroom tree between Mirili's house and Bruscus' house.
  • Pod Pit (a.k.a., Water Root Pod Pit) - Harvested from Water Root Pod plants, which grow in Dementia.
  • Rot Scale - Harvested from Rot Scale plants, which grow in Dementia caves.
  • Scalon Fin - Collected from corpses of Scalons.
  • Screaming Maw - Harvested from Screaming Maw plants, which grow in Mania caves.
  • Shambles Marrow (a.k.a., Bone Marrow) - Collected from corpses of Shambles, some of which can be found at Ebrocca southeast of Highcross. Shambles may also yield Bone Shards, which Mirili does not want.
  • Swamp Tentacle - Harvested from Swamp Tentacle plants, which are found in Dementia.
  • Thorn Hook - Harvested from Thorn Hook plants, which grow in Dementia caves.
  • Void Essence - Collected from corpses of Flesh Atronachs.
  • Watcher's Eye - Harvested from Watcher's Eye plants, which grow in Dementia caves.
  • Withering Moon - Harvested from Withering Moon plants, which grow in Dementia caves.
  • Worm's Head Cap - Harvested from Worm's Head plants, one of which grows outside Mirili's house, on a rock to the right of the bottom of the steps leading to her front door.

To check if you've sold her one of everything, exit dialogue with her, and then talk to her again. If she's got all the ingredients, she will have a line about how you have helped her complete "chapters 23 and 48" of her taxonomy book.

The Next (and Final) Step[edit]

(This can be done before completing the Item List)

After finding and giving a few of the wanted ingredients to Mirili, she will remind you to ask her about her bestiary. She explains that she wants to start collecting animals and that she wants you to lure the animals to her. If you are at least apprentice level in Illusion skill, she offers to sell you Command Creature spells with which you can calm and lure the animals back to her, depending on their levels. Depending upon skill level, she will offer the spells Mirili's Apprentice Command, Mirili's Journeyman Command, and Mirili's Expert Command.

Each of the four creatures requires you to have found a certain number of ingredients before Mirili will speak with you about that creature. You will receive a leveled gold reward once each creature is brought to her:

  • Baliwog (must have found 6 ingredients) - Mirili first requests that you bring back a Baliwog, a giant lizard-like creature. Any type of Baliwog will do. Baliwogs can be found along most shorelines, and occasionally on the road.
  • Elytra (must have found 12 ingredients) - The second beast that Mirili wants you to bring is an Elytra. Places where Elytra can be found are detailed on the Elytra Ichor article. Elytra Nobles are the most powerful version of the creature that you can capture with the expert spell she gives you.
  • Gnarl (must have found 18 ingredients) - The third beast to collect is a Gnarl. Places where Gnarls can be found are detailed on the Gnarl Bark article. The spell Mirili gives you won't affect an Elder Gnarl, but will be sufficient for lesser versions of the creature.
  • Scalon (must have found 24 ingredients) - Places where Scalons can be found are detailed on the Scalon Fin article. Scalons cannot be found outdoors until level 9, so this stage of the quest cannot be completed by lower level characters. Mirili will allude to this by informing lower-level characters that they're not yet powerful enough, though the quest will proceed normally otherwise.

Tactics that can be used for any of the creatures include:

  • You can use Mirili's command spell to compel a creature to follow you back to Highcross; you can also use your own command spell. Custom spells with magnitude 100 can be particularly helpful for dealing with high-level creatures. Keep in mind that her spells are cheaper in Magicka cost than normal.
  • Alternatively, you can find a creature and just let the creature chase you back to Highcross. It is best to use this tactic early in the morning when the residents of Highcross are inside: any residents will attack your creature.
  • Similarly, if you're bringing them in along the Overlook Road, watch out for Golden Saint patrols as they'll likely kill your creature.
  • Be advised that Scalons have a very slow walking speed; it may be more efficient to let them chase you (they can cover more distance with their jump attacks) instead of commanding them.

Once in Highcross, getting Mirili to subdue the creature without killing it can also be a challenge. Sometimes, even in close proximity, Mirili won't turn hostile towards the creature. Tactics to get her to subdue it include:

  • You can lead (or be chased by) the creature straight into one of the holding pens in the center of town, then close the gate behind you. Finding Mirili before the creature is in a holding pen is generally not recommended, since Mirili will not try to tame the beast until your command spell has worn off, at which point she is likely to kill the beast.
  • If you can't get the above tip to work, then while Mirili is outside the town, attack the creature three times with your weakest spell/attack while it's still under your control. This will encourage Mirili to join the fight. At that point, cast protect or heal spells on the creature until Mirili can subdue it.


  • Occasionally it may be possible for you to get one of the creatures you have under your command to follow you inside Mirili's house which allows you to let her capture it in a controlled environment where the other villagers will not interfere, lessening the chance of the creature's death. This, however, cannot always be done.
  • The creature found afterwards in Mirili's Bestiary always has the same appearance, independent from the variant you captured. For example, a captured Elytra will be replaced by the same "Mirili's Elytra", whether it was an Elytra Matron or an Elytra Hatchling.
  • Something you can do to help your creature survive the encounter with Mirili is to cast spells on it such as "Protect Other" and "Remedy Friend" during the fight. Doing this should allow the creature to last longer, thus giving Mirili more time to subdue it.
  • Mirili's Command Spells cannot be bought after completing the bestiary part of this quest. These are cost effective spells, so you may want to wait on completing that part.
    • Fortify Illusion can be used to purchase these spells without needing to raise your Illusion skill.
  • To avoid any possible bugs finish the ingredients part first, you may not get the last part of the bestiary quest otherwise.


  • The other residents of Highcross may attack your creatures on sight, even if the creatures are under control of a command spell. To avoid this, you may wish to take a roundabout route and enter the town from the south, or choose to only enter town at times when the other residents are not around.
  • After Mirili takes the Baliwog, she may be stuck in the house, and won't subdue the Elytra, which promptly kills everyone else in town. Casting a frenzy spell on her gets her out (popping her one in the face works, too), but then she's stuck again when the next beast is brought. You can try to avoid Mirili getting stuck in the house, but it requires quickness and a bit of luck, so save before trying. Once a creature is tamed, follow Mirili into her house, and speak to her. She will reward you. Then exit the conversation and immediately head out of the house through the door. If you can get out of the house before Mirili does her greeting that forces you back into a conversation with her, she should follow you out in about an hour, and not get stuck. Outside, you can speak to her again normally about the next creature she wants you to capture.
  • After bringing all the ingredients, Mirili's dialogue reverts back to the initial, "Want to help. Here's a list." Her dialogue does not change to reflect the fact that you have collected all the ingredients until the bestiary portion of the quest is also completed.
  • After you have given her all the ingredients, Mirili will begin to follow you from a distance. An example is leaving through the portal to Cyrodiil and returning later to find her right at the beginning where Haskill first was introduced, only to say she is busy and walk off. She may even follow you to Cyrodiil and then stay there. She stands by the portal, but doesn't come back through. You can talk to her, but she doesn't go back through. If you sleep in a bed anywhere within SI except Duke/Duchess' private quarters; your sleep gets interrupted by her intrusion into your bed. She doesn't seem to follow you to places she cannot reach; (e.g. A bed in Dire Warren) so the risk of her getting stuck within SI is minimal but be sure to save before leaving SI.
  • If you give Mirili multiple ingredients at once, she may not pay you for some of them.
  • During the quest, Mirili will sometimes go through the portal to Cyrodiil and stay at the door in the Heartlands next to S'fara and Gaius Prentus. The only known workaround at this point is to load a previous savegame as she will never go back through the portal, even when attacked. You can attempt to spawn the remaining creatures via console commands, but she will always attack them and won't subdue them like she is supposed to.

Journal Entries[edit]

Taxonomy of Obsession (SE37)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Mirili Ulven of Highcross is willing to pay 10 gold coins for samples of various rare items. She'll only pay for one sample of each though. She gave me a list of the items she is interested in.
20 Mirili Ulven has asked that I capture a Baliwog for her. All I need to do is get it close to her and she'll subdue it. She has promised to reward me handsomely.
25 Mirili Ulven has paid me for capturing a Baliwog.
30 Mirili Ulven has asked that I capture an Elytra for her. All I need to do is get it close to her and she'll subdue it. She has promised to reward me handsomely.
35 Mirili Ulven has paid me for capturing an Elytra.
40 Mirili Ulven has asked that I capture a Gnarl for her. All I need to do is get it close to her and she'll subdue it. She has promised to reward me handsomely.
45 Mirili Ulven has paid me for capturing a Gnarl.
50 Mirili Ulven has asked that I capture a Scalon for her. All I need to do is get it close to her and she'll subdue it. She has promised to reward me handsomely.
55 Mirili Ulven has paid me for capturing a Scalon.
200 Finishes quest☑ Mirili has all of her plants and animals now. Her beastiary is complete and her taxonomy of plantlife is complete.
210 Finishes quest☑ Mirili Ulven has died. I'll never understand what she was trying to accomplish with her taxonomy.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On PC It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage SE37 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.