|Faction(s)||CrimeFactionRift; Riften Honorhall Orphanage Faction; TownRiftenFaction|
Constance Michel is an Imperial citizen who works at Honorhall Orphanage in Riften. While the orphanage leader Grelod the Kind mistreats the children with beatings and verbal abuse, Constance is entirely different and takes great pride in making the children feel safe and loved.
With Grelod shouting at her and the orphans all the time, Constance's workday is a long one. She sleeps behind closed doors near the dining area until 5am and immediately starts wandering around the orphanage, at times cooking or relaxing on one of the available chairs. At 10am she enters the food storage room and stays there for an hour before she proceeds with her wandering. At 3pm, it is time for the children's only meal of the day and Constance will reluctantly take a seat next to Grelod and listen to her complaints for an hour. She spends her evening strolling around as usual until her late bedtime at 1am. There are two exceptions to this routine; when you enter the orphanage for the first time, she will stand in the background while Grelod yells at the orphans. If Grelod is killed, however, she will run around in wild panic, screaming and yelling, while the mistreated children will cheer with joy.
If spoken to directly:
- Tell me about Grelod the Kind.
- "I will do nothing of the sort. You have no business here. I'm sorry, but you really must leave."
If she witnesses Grelod being killed:
- "Grelod... murdered. Here. I... I need... air... You... you... Get out of here! Get out!"
- "Just... leave here! Leave us alone!"
When approached, it becomes clear that she is terrified that your presence will anger Grelod and she will say:
- "You really shouldn't be in here."
- "I'm sorry, but the children aren't up for adoption right now. You should go."
- "My only concern is for the children. The poor darlings have no one else."
After witnessing Grelod's introductory speech to the orphans:
- Is Grelod always like that?
- "Sadly, yes. Even the townsfolk have taken to calling her 'Grelod the Kind.' Her very existence has become something of a running joke. Grelod runs this orphanage because she's old, and set in her ways, and doesn't know any other life. These children need love, and comfort. I try... But... I'm sorry, you should go. The children aren't up for adoption, and it's cruel to get their hopes up. Besides, Grelod hates... visitors."
When exiting conversation she will encourage you to leave with:
- "If there's nothing else, I really must ask you to leave."
When all is said and done and the Innocence Lost quest is completed, Constance will be the only adult in the orphanage and as such, the new leader. The children will be much happier, although Constance will never forget what happened:
- "I can't believe Grelod is dead. I had no love for the woman, but to be murdered, in cold blood..."
After Hearthfire is installed, Constance will start talking about adoption:
- "This war has created so many orphans, and so few are willing to open their hearts to them..."
Speaking to her:
- Could I adopt one of your children?
Her response will differ depending on a few conditions:
|Innocence Lost not completed||"I'm sorry, no. Grelod is the headmistress here, and she's decided not to allow any adoptions right now.
I... I wish things were otherwise. All of these children deserve a better home. But there's nothing I can do."
|Innocence Lost completed||"Why yes, yes of course! What a wonderful surprise!"|
|Adoption process has been started before||"Very well, let's try this again..."|
|You have already adopted two children||"You already have children, don't you? I'm sorry, but I can't let you adopt anyone else."|
When you can adopt she will ask you questions:
- What do I need to do?
- "First, I'll need to ask you a few questions.
- <Player Name>.
- "What do you do for a living?"
Depending on your progress in the game, you may have a variety of responses to choose from:
|"I'm the Dragonborn."||"What? If you aren't going to be... wait. Shor, you're serious! Well, I... all right then."|
|"I'm the Harbinger of the Companions."|
|"I'm the College of Winterhold."of the|
|"I'm an Assassin."||"What? What kind of a joke is this? Look, don't waste my time. Come back when you're ready to discuss this for real."|
|"I'm a Thief."|
|"I'm an Adventurer."||"Mmm-hmm."|
|"I'm a Mercenary."|
- "Where will your child be living?"
If you don't own a house with a children's bedroom:
- needs player dialogue
- "...Look, let's be realistic. You're an adventurer. It's not exactly a safe or reliable profession.
I need to be sure your child will have a safe, stable home to grow up in.
Show me that you can support a child. Buy a house. Furnish it. Then come back, and we'll talk."
Speaking to her again:
- "I'm sorry, but until you own a home with a room for your children, I can't allow you to adopt anyone."
If you speak to her again after buying and furnishing a house:
- needs player dialogue
- "Yes, of course! That's wonderful news!"
If you do own a house with a children's bedroom:
- At my house in <City>.
If you own a Creation Club house, you'll be able to move your child there.
- At <House Name>.
Once you have successfully completed the questionnaire, she will say:
- "That's all I need from you. Congratulations! I think you'll make an excellent parent.
Go meet the children and decide who you'd like to adopt.
Once you've made a decision, I'll collect their things and be sure they make it over to your house."
Speaking to her again:
- "Go on, speak to the children! I'm sure they're eager to meet you."
If you return to her after adopting one of the orphans, and this is the first child you've adopted, she will say:
- "Congratulations! If you ever want to adopt another child, you'll always be welcome here."
Or if you have now adopted two children:
- "Congratulations. I hope you have a wonderful life together."
Observing daily life in the orphanage will reveal the cause of Constance's nervousness. When she least expects it, Grelod may yell "Constance!" and share a random complaint about one of the children. A tired Constance will then say "Yes, Grelod?" and choose from at set of overbearing replies to calm her down:
- "Samuel is getting to be a problem. Fancies himself something of a 'leader' to the other children. Put an end to the nonsense, or I will."
- "Hroar's crying is keeping me up at night. I'll give you one chance to talk the tears out of him, or he's getting the belt."
- "I can't abide Samuel's constant talk of his parents. 'They're coming for me.' 'This is only temporary.' The boy must accept his fate."
- "Seven septims are missing from my purse. I know it was Runa. You get those coins back, or by Stendarr, I'll see her rot in the dungeon."
- "This place is filthy. I've a mind to cancel all town privileges unless those brats start pulling their weight."
- "The stores are running low. We'll need to water down the milk again. Besides, don't want the little darlings getting fat."
- "We haven't had an adoption in months. At this rate, we'll be stuck with these brats forever. We need to get the word out. A sale, if need be."
- "All right. I'll take care of it."
- "I'll handle it. No need to blow things out of proportion."
- "Please, just let me handle it. It's not a problem."
- "Okay, okay. I'll deal with it."
- Her love for the orphans has not gone unnoticed, as the children will describe the differences between Grelod and Constance's way of handling things. Hroar will tell you, "I ain't afraid of the old hag. Still, I wish Constance was in charge. She treats us real good. Constance, sometimes she gives me little snacks. Which is good, 'cause we only get but one meal. Late, too, in the afternoon. I'm a growing boy. I need as much food as I can get." Runa Fair-Shield will, when asked about Grelod, add: "I hate her. Everyone hates her. She's the meanest person I ever met. Sometimes she even locks us in the... room. Constance tries to stop her, and is real good to us, but it's never enough." Constance's sweetness will eventually save her life, as escaped orphan Aventus Aretino specifically requests that Constance be spared, saying, "Please don't kill Constance Michel. She really is kind."