I'm only able to do game guides at the moment. Quest in the Shivering Isles are more complex than those in Oblivion and I've also resolved to write longer, more detailed walkthroughs. When the quest walkthroughs are finished, however, you'll see a lot more of the old TES Traveler content return.
Well, the gaming media can't stop talking about Oblivion and the Shivering Isles. But then again, neither can I. This site is evidence of that.
And for those of you who are interested in Bethesda's other First Person RPG pursuits, there's a new Fallout 3 site on the scene. It's called the Fallout 3 Survival Kit and it's run by some girl with a wierd name. Le... Le Driver? Wierd.
Screenshot of the Week - Charlie's Angels
GAME GUIDES Shivering Isles Main Quest
The Cold Flame of Agnon
Talk to Sheogorath.
S: “Now, to the reason for your being here, and the likely cause of your death.” PC: “What do you mean?”
“You’ll be stopping the Greymarch. Altering the course of events, breaking the cycle. A fly in the ointment, a new cause for a different effect. We’re going to change things. No! Things will be different this time around . You’ll be my champion. You’ll grow powerful. You’ll grow to be… Me! A new prince of Madness. A new Sheogorath. Or you’ll die trying.”
If you ask why Sheogorath has picked you, he’ll give avague, amusing answer, ending in a threat. This is Oblivionish for: you're the player character. Duh!
Then, to the most important question:
“How can I be a Daedric Prince?”
“A fair question. You won’t, really. At least I don’t think so. But you’ll have power. My power. Try not to lose it, it’s a pain to replace. For all intents and purposes, you’ll be a me. A me to fight the him. Because I won’t be around. It’s simple really, if you don’t think about it.”
Where will you be?”
“Not here. Didn’t I say that? I’m never here when Juggalag walks. It’s one of the rules. I’ve told you too much for now. Listen to me prattle on. I can see your mortal brain straining. We’ll talk more later.” PC: “What’s next?”
Now... You’ve seen the Great torch that burns brightly over New Sheoth. No? Because it doesn’t! But it should!” Etc. He reminds you to make use of Haskill.
Sheogorath wants me to relight the Great Torch of New Sheoth. I need to go to the ruins of Cylarne, kindle the Flame of Agnon there, and return with its holy fire. Sheogorath warned me that the Golden Saints and Dark Seducers who guard the shrine often fight each other, so I should proceed cautiously.
The ruins of Cylarne are located just beneath where it says The Isle of Flame on the map. A path leads there from Overlook road. Once there, mind the Knights of Order Obelisk out the front. Getting close enough that the Obelisk will start spawning Knights is not a good idea at this point in the game.
Once inside Cylarne’s walls you’ll enter a pristine courtyard with two gates. The gate on your left is guarded by a Dark Seducer, Vika. The gate on your right is guarded by a Golden Saint, Chuna. Both gates are locked. Talking to Vika, the Dark Seducer, will yield a hostile response. She asks you to state your business at Cylarne. If you answer that you are here on Sheogorath’s business you’ll be given the Master Key to Cylarne – allowing you to enter and to open any door. Tell her you need to light the Flame of Agnon and you’ll be hit with a few strange words: Aureals, Grakedrig Ulfri… Your journal clears it up a little.
I should speak to Ulfri, the Dark Seducer commander, about kindling the Flame of Agnon.
But wait a moment: you may not want the help of the Dark Seducers with this quest. Speak to Chuna and you will have essentially the same conversation, with a few words switched around. You’ll receive a similar journal entry:
I should speak to Kaneh, the Golden Saint commander, about kindling the Flame of Agnon.
If you walk into the area where the Golden Saints are gathering together, you can overhear a conversation between the lieutenant, Mirel, and the Golden Saint commander. You receive this journal entry:
I overheard two Golden Saint officers arguing about the best way to attack the Dark Seducers. The lieutenant, Mirel, mentioned something about the Underdeep, a secret side passage leading to the Dark Seducer altar. I should find out more about this passage from Mirel.
This clears things up a bit. It seems the Flame of Agnon must be lit from two points – one is currently controlled by the Dark Seducers, the other by the Golden Saints. Both sides want to light the flame and claim the bounty for themselves, hence the impending battle. You will have to choose which side you want to join with in order to defeat the other. Before you make your choice, you might want to suss out the Dark Seducer camp.
Head through the gate which is guarded by Vika, through the ancient door and into what I'll call the Dark Seducer HQ. Continue through the door, through the chamber attended by a Dark Seducer, and past the two urns. A soldier named Stela will come through the door and challenge your presence, asking what you are doing inside Cylarne. You’ll receive several options to respond – but remember that both the Dark Seducers and Golden Saints respond to the word ‘Sheogorath’ like a dog responds to the word ‘walkies’. Drop the Prince of Madness’ name and Stela is all of a sudden at your service.
You can speak to her on a number of topics. Exhaust them all to get a better overview of the situation. The Altar of Rapture is held by the Aureals – the ‘so-called Golden Saints’. The Altar of Despair is held by the Mazken – the Dark Seducers. The holy flame can only be lit from both altars. Here you get to make a choice. Which side of madness do you prefer, Mania or Dementia? Will you work with the Golden Saints, or the Dark Seducers?
This quest plays out differently depending on who you choose, so I will write a walkthrough for both choices. The side you pick doesn't mean you are aligned with that side for the rest of the main quest, however. It would be a good idea to make a new save here, in case you want to change your mind later on, or replay the quest supporting a different side after you complete it the first time. Which side you pick is really a matter of your character’s personal preference. Do the words paranoia, chaos, pain, torment and fear bring him/her pleasure, or does she/he prefer mania, euphoria, wierdness, eccentricity and hedonism? The distinction is not so clear as good and evil.
Maps to help you out
I want to help the Dark Seducers (Mazken) defeat the Golden Saints
This quest is quite open ended. You can fight the Golden Saints in two ways:
Wait until they attack and defend against the attack.
Lead them into an ambush.
This walkthrough will detail the second option – the sneakiest one. You’re welcome to try the first if you find it more appealing, though.
Head onwards into the next large chamber in the Dark Seducer HQ. You’ll receive a journal entry with some important tactical information if you were to fight against the Mazken. But you’re fighting for them, so you can instead take that as a cue to turn up the stairs on your right and enter the chamber where Grakedrig Ulfri is hanging out. She challenges your presence within the Dark Seducer HQ. Tell here you’re here to light the Flame of Agnon, and she’ll say you’ve arrived just in time to help defend the Altar of Despair. Keep talking with her and eventually she’ll ask whether you want to defend the Altar, lead the Saints into an ambush, talk to the Saints first, or not get involved. You can pick either of the first two, but this walkthrough will explicitly cover option two: lead the Saints into an ambush. It just sounds so much more wonderfully malicious, doesn’t it?
Tell Grakedrig Ulfri your intentions. She’s startled that the Golden Saint commander, Kaneh, was audacious enough to plan an attack via the Underdeep. You’re going to use their plan against them, however. Under the guise of aiding the Aureals you’ll lead them through the Underdeep where a deployment of Dark Seducers lay in wait. Betrayal is something Dementia’s residents and sympathisers do well.
Ulfri rushes off to issue the new orders. You’re instructed to return to Kaneh and set things in motion. Head back to the assembly of Golden Saints and speak to Aurmazl Kaneh. Drop the ‘S’ word and all hostilities will be swept aside. Talk battle plans, and ask “What about the Underdeep?”. Wisely, she’s not too fond of the idea, and seems to have anticipated a surprise attack. Apprach the ‘battle plans’ topic again and insist the Underdeep is used (“I’ll help, but use the Underdeep”). She asks why she should be persuaded by you when her own lieutenant failed to change her mind. Reply: “The Underdeep is undefended. [Lie]”. She asks if you’ve seen this with your own eyes, as she must be sure this isn’t a trap. Allay her fears: “It isn’t a trap. [Lie]”. She’s convinced. That wasn’t very hard, was it? You’ve now locked in place the tactically soundest battle, though it won’t be a walk in the park.
Aurmazl Kaneh orders her Golden Saints into action. You should save, as the battle ahead is quite tough. They proceed through the Underdeep door at a run. Follow them closely until they reach a watery area. The ambush is sprung, replete with dart traps and ranged attacks. At this point, the Golden Saints will turn on you, realizing your betrayal. Fight alongside the Dark Seducers, staying within the first watery chamber until all the Mazken there have been defeated, or until the Golden Saints move on. As long as the Saints are distracted by Mazken opponents they should not pay you too much attention, allowing you to throw in a few spells, slashes or bludgeons without taking too much damage in return.
The next area contains a falling rock trap, so be careful to avoid it. There are a few more Dark Seducers to provide backup up the stairs. Keep in mind that this battle is losable – there are a finite number of Dark Seducers and you do not want to be left to take on several Golden Saints at once on your own. Once Kaneh has fallen you’ll receive a journal entry telling you to finish off the rest of the Golden Saints. When they’ve all been defeated you receive a journal entry:
The Golden Saints in Cylarne have been utterly destroyed. I should speak to Ulfri about lighting the Flame of Agnon now that her forces control both of the altars.
Your quest marker will point you in the direction of the Mazken commander. She tells you that she’s already ordered the Altar of Rapture lit, and that it is her honor to sacrifice herself on the Altar of Despair. Say what? The altars can be kindled only by the willing death of an immortal. But don’t worry – she’s actually quite overjoyed to have that opportunity.
Make your way to the Altar of Despair, or follow Ulfri there. She kneels to pray at the altar, surrounded by loyal followers, and is consumed by a firestorm of green flame. You receive a journal entry:
Ulfri sacrificed herself on the Altar of Despair in order to light the Flame of Agnon. I can now retrieve the Flame from the courtyard and bring it back to New Sheoth as Sheogorath commanded.
Before you leave, you might want to try walking your character into the flame and going into vanity view. It doesn’t hurt your character, and it looks cool. Fodder for a few screenshots, at least…
Another thing to do before you head off is to speak with one of the praying Dark Seducers. She says that they will toast your name at Pinnacle Rock. Ask her about that location and you’ll learn that it’s the main Dark Seducer base in the Shivering Isles. Probably an interesting visit – though perhaps we’ll end up going there as part of a quest, anyway. You’ll receive a map marker for Pinnacle Rock.
Oh, wait, another thing for you to do before you leave. See all those urns around the altar? You can find a few goodies among the ashen remains. Skip down to the next section of the walkthrough, where the outcome is the same for players who supported the Mazken or the Aureals.
I want to help the Gold Saints (Aureals) defeat the Dark Seducers
This quest can be completed in several ways:
Attack the Dark Seducers by blazing through their HQ. This is the hardest option.
Attack via the Underdeep, surprising the Dark Seducers.
Alert the Dark Seducers of the Golden Saints’ plans to attack via the Underdeep. Have them relocate their defensive forces to the Underdeep, then attack via the Dark Seducers HQ where the Altar of Despair lies, relatively undefended.
Option two, attack via the Underdeep, surprising the Dark Seducers, is tactically your best bet. Nothing’s to stop you trying the others, and they all lead to a battle to exterminate the Dark Seducer forces – only the location is different. But we'll cover option two in this guide.
At this point you’re already inside the Dark Seducer HQ, so why not do some scouting? Continue onwards to where Stela said Ulfri would be. You’ll receive a journal entry as you walk through the well-defended halls:
The main passage leading to the Altar of Despair is strongly defended by the Dark Seducers. I should scout the Underdeep to see if it might provide an easier attack route.
Head up the stairs on your right and you’ll be confronted by the Grakedrig Ulfri. She challenges your presence within the Dark Seducer HQ. Tell here you’re here to light the Flame of Agnon, and she’ll say you’ve arrived just in time to help defend the Altar of Despair. You can keep talking with her, though eventually she’ll ask whether you want to defend the altar, lead the Saints into an ambush, let you talk to the Saints first, or not get involved. If you’re still planning to help the Saints, pick either of the last two options and be on your way. Head back to Kaneh where the Golden Saints are assembling for attack.
You’ll find Aurmazl Kaneh praying at the Altar of Rapture. She challenges you, but drop the ‘S’ word and her hostility will be swept aside. Ask about the Flame of Agnon, then about Battle plans. Tell her you’ll scout the Dark Seducer position – she won’t accept your recommendation of the Underdeep unless you can assure her it’s secure. Offer to scout it and she instructs you to return at once when you have their deployments.
Because you’ve already visited the main section of the Dark Seducer’s base you’ve already completed one half of your task. Head into the Underkeep and follow your quest marker until you reach the heart of the Underdeep. You're given a journal entry:
The Dark Seducers are defending the main passage to the Altar of Despair in strength. The Underdeep, by contrast, appears to be only lightly defended. This information might convince Kaneh to attack through the Underdeep.
Make your way out of the Underdeep and back to Kaneh. Talk about battle plans again and agree to help the Golden Saints, but tell Kaneh to use the Underdeep. When she questions your suggestion, tell her that the Underdeep is lightly defended, and that you’ve seen this with your own eyes. Kaneh draws her sword and orders the troops onwards, and through the door to the Underdeep.
While traveling through the Underdeep you’ll encounter only meagre resistance. Stick close to the Golden Saints and you probably won’t have to lift a finger. Head into the Altar of Despair where the real battle begins.
Stick close to the Golden Saints. This means that the Dark Seducers will be more likely to focus their attacks on them than you. Throughout the course of the battle you’ll receive a journal entry telling you that the Dark Seducers’ commander has been killed, and to finish off the rest of her fighters to win the battle. Once the last Dark Seducer is dead you’ll receive a journal entry:
The Dark Seducers in Cylarne have been utterly destroyed. I should speak to Kaneh about lighting the Flame of Agnon now that her forces control both of the altars.
Your quest marker will lead you to her. Kaneh says that she has selected a sacrifice for the Altar of Despair: herself.
She is overjoyed at the opportunity to die in such a manner. She walks on to the altar and is consumed with brilliant flame. You receive a journal entry:
Kaneh sacrificed herself on the Altar of Despair in order to light the Flame of Agnon. I can now retrieve the Flame from the courtyard and bring it back to New Sheoth as Sheogorath commanded.
You should stop to loot the bodies of the Mazken and Aureals. Both have some cool weapons and shields you can claim.
At this point, the quest outcome becomes the same
Head out into the courtyard. The Flames of Agnon are hard to miss. Walk into the flames and you’ll receive the Flame of Agnon ability. Step out and you’ll receive a journal entry:
I stepped into the Flame of Agnon and am now ablaze with the holy fire. I should return to New Sheoth and light the Great Torch in the Sacellum Arden-Sul.
It’d be quite tempting to ignore the demands of the quest and go adventuring across Cyrodiil and the Isles all ablaze. It would certainly add something to your character’s legend! You’ll find the flames tend to obscure your vision quite a bit, though, and it might be best to spend a little time in vanity mode and then get yourself together. Fast travel back Crucible in New Sheoth and follow your map marker to a door leading to the Sacellum Arden-Sul.
Once inside you’ll be approached by a robed man named Dervenin. He encourages you to light the Great Torch on the Mania side, thus becoming a hero to the people of Bliss.
Tell him you’re leaning towards Dementia… and he’ll try to tempt you with the promise of a more ‘earthly reward’: the Raiment of Arden-Sul. Answer that you’ll think about it and see what kind of ‘earthly reward’ Dementia has to offer by speaking to Arctus, dressed in blue robes. He’ll exhort you to light the Torch for Dementia. You should tell him that you’re leaning towards Mania, to prompt an offer of a more material award: the Ring of Intrigue – a boon for those who would gain access to hidden knowledge.
The Raiment of Arden-Sul is a blue and gold outfit which bears Fortify Intelligence, Shield, Resist Paralysis and Fortify Willpower enchantments.
The Raiment of Intrigue is a black outfit which bears Fortify Speed, Fortify Security, Fortify Sneak and Fortify Luck enchantments.
If you decide to light the Torch on the Dementia side (the left) walk into the shallow bowl on the left and it will become ignited, and in so doing, close off the shallow bowl on the Mania side. Speak with Arctus to receive the Raiment of Intrigue.
If you decide to light the Torch on the Mania side (the right) walk into the shallow bowl on the right and it will become ignited, and in so doing, close off the shallow bowl on the Dementia side. Speak with Dervenin to receive the Raiment of Arden-Sul.
When you’ve made your choice and collected your reward, you might notice that the Sacellum of Arden-Sul is now populated by one extra body: Sheogorath. He sits on a pew, drumming his fingers on the handle of his cane.
The Ritual of Accession
Sheogorath: “Aren’t you off to a good start. That’s important: for me. Really – your work is going to save me a lot of time.” PC: “Save you time?” S: “The Greymarch is upon us, and the Ordering begins. Armies of Order sweep my realm. Death, destruction! Then I have to pick up the pieces. And there are always lots of pieces. I don’t like it, having to rebuild my realm every era. Sometimes I forget where things go, like New Sheoth. I can never remember where it goes! You’ll change that, break the cycle. And then I’ll have my realm to come back to. I’ve never actually tried that before…” PC: “I can stop the Greymarch?” S: “Why not? Something has to work. Once, I dug a pit, and filled it with clouds. Or was it clowns? It doesn’t matter, it didn’t slow ‘em down. To be honest it wasn’t the best idea. And it really began to smell! Must have been clowns. Clouds don’t smell bad – they taste of butter, and tears. Bit this is all new! A fresh idea – something I hadn’t thought of, until I did! It’s sure to work. Even though it might not.” PC: “What now?” S: “Now? You’ll need the respect of my citizens. They’ll need a leader – someone to look up to when I’m gone. They’re the backbone of any great land. Except where the backbone is an actual backbone. Have you ever been to Malacath’s realm?... You’ll need to control one of the Courts of Madness. Replace a current Duke, or a Duchess. Whichever. That will command respect. The people will rally around you. Their love, their admiration, their complaints, whatever. As long as it keeps them on our side.” PC: “Won’t the Dukes be displeased?” PC: “No. No, no, no. Absolutely not. Well…. Yes. Absolutely. Bit of a shame for them. But sometimes you need to break a few eggs, or skulls. There are rules… even in the Isles.” He continues for a bit, and you get a journal entry:
I’ve been directed by Sheogorath to become the sovereign of Mania or Dementia. He’s suggested I speak to Arctus, High Priest of Dementia or Dervenin, High Priest of Mania at the Sacellum Arden-Sul here in New Sheoth to learn more.
Speak with Dervenin and ask him about replacing a Duke. Even if you’re not planning on choosing to become Duke of Mania, it’s a good idea to see what both sides have to offer. He says that Arden-Sul was the Shivering Isles’ greatest duke, and is celebrated with the Ritual of Accession – the path to Maniac Bliss. You can ask him about the history if you like – particularly if you want to hear Dervenin say the word ‘sex’. Teehee, Bethesda, you’re naauughty. Ask him what to do, and you’ll receive a journal entry:
I’ve spoken to Dervenin, High Priest of Mania. The Ritual of Accession for Mania requires the current ruler to commit suicide by taking three doses of Greemote, which is lethal. Then his drug-tainted blod must be brought to the Altar of Arden-Sul at the Sacellum. I should now speak to Arctus to learn of Dementia’s ritual.
Speak to Arctus and ask him about the Ritual of Accession. You can ask him about the history and learn that Dementia teaching has a very different take on the events of that night. Ask him what to do, and you’ll receive a journal entry.
I’ve spoken with Arctus, High Priest of Dementia. The Ritual of Accession for Dementia is simply; Syl would have to be slain by the proposed successor, and her heart brought to the Altar of Arden-Sul at the Sacellum. After I decide which ritual to undertake, I should return to Sheogorath and inform him of my choice.
This choice is quite a powerful one. I’ll write a walkthrough for both decisions: the decision to claim the rule Mania, or the decision to claim the rule of Dementia. If you want to know which one will yield the greatest rewards, then you can read through both walkthroughs. If you simply wish to choose the one that most suits your character, read only that one. I’ll do Dementia first.
Ritual of Dementia
Speak to Sheogorath about ‘Decision’. He’ll remind you that once you've chosen which Duke you want to replace, there’s no going back. The choice is indeed final. Tell him that you choose Syl, Duchess of Dementia. You receive a journal entry:
To learn more about Syl’s routine, I should begin by asking around New Sheoth about Syl to determine the best way to get close enough to kill her.
It might be worth starting with the person who not too long ago was also trying to kill Syl: Anya Herrick. Find her within the Palace or wandering around the Palace Grounds and ask her about Syl. She’ll tell you that she fears Sheogorath wants her replaced, and is thus keeping out of sight. Talk to Anya about ‘Replaced’. Apparently, she’s yet to be bested in any combat… but – before going on, she stops herself. This is Oblivionish for “You have to play the Speechcraft mini-game/chore now.” Raise her disposition to 60 or higher, and her tune changes. Ask her how you can get close to Syl. She says she can distract at least two guards, and get them to leave her wing of the palace. You’ll receive a journal entry:
I’ve informed Anya Herrick of my plans to replace Syl. She seems somewhat hesitant, but claims she will create a distraction and rid the interior of the Dementia wing of the Palace of its Elite Dark Seducers. I should now attempt to speak with Kithlan.
You can probably find him wandering around the Palace Grounds. Understandably, he’s a little peeved about the whole previous torturing thing. His disposition, for me, was 3! Ask him about Replacing Syl and he’ll shoot you down. Once again, let’s do some persuading. A lot, in my case!
Raise his disposition, like Anya’s, to 60 or above. He’s now at your service. Ask him whether he can get you close to Syl. He’ll give you a key which unlocks any door in her wing of the palace. You receive a journal entry:
I’ve informed Kithlan of my plans to replace Syl. He seems eager to help, and has provided me with a key to the Dementia wing of the Palace. I should now infiltrate Syl’s wing of the Palace, and end the Duchess of Dementia’s life.
You’ll need to head into Syl’s Throneroom, then use your newly acquired key to unlock the door to her ‘PrivateGardens’. I was attacked by two Dark Seducers there. It seems like Anya hasn’t done such a good job! They’re not too difficult to deal with. At the east end of the gardens is a door to the Duchess’ Quarters. Once inside, you’ll receive a journal entry:
I’ve entered Syl’s Private Chambers. I now need to locate Syl herself and put an end to her reign as Duke of Dementia.
Head inside and you’ll see your new friend, Anya Herrick. You can talk to her, though she’s not happy about it. She says she’s done what you asked – now get on with it. Head onwards towards Syl’s bed where a sleeping figure lies. Except, the figure is not sleeping – she’s dead. The figure is also not Syl, but, as the newly arrived Kithlan informs you, one of the many decoys she uses to throw would-be killers off her trail. She’s escaped via the tunnel entrance in her PrivateGarden. Worse, Kithlan believes her escape may be a way to lure you into an ambush.
As tempting as it might be, hold off stripping her quarters of loot until after you’ve finished the quest and Syl is dead. You can then take everything without it being considered theft.
Head back into Syl’s PrivateGardens and follow your quest marker to a Bust of Sheogorath. Activate it to reveal a ladder down to Xirethard.
If Xirethard is designed as an emergency escape route for Syl, you can expect a lot of traps and other dangers have been installed to throw of would-be persuers. I took screenshots of the whole dungeon in order to make a map, but Fraps didn't save them, so I'll try to describe things verbally.
The first trap you'll encounter consists of a network of corridors containing statues which fire Drain Health spells in a continuous stream. This looks more dangerous than it is. As long as you stick against the walls and take the most direct route possible you should be fine. Even if you do get hit, the damage is minimal.
The next area contains a different kind of test: Dark Seducers. If you have ranged attacks, fire a spell/arrow up at the Mazken on the bridge. When they counter-attack, use the sides of the doorframe as cover. You can dispatch them quickly this way. If you lack ranged firepower, however, they are manageable in direct combat too.
The next area is a suspicious looking chamber with no apparent exits. Walk about half way through the room and the walls will slide apart at several points, revealing three Dark Seducers which quickly leap in to attack. Follow the long corridor onwards until you reach a door to the depths of Xirethard.
Once inside the depths you enter a chamber containing two Dark Seducers. Chairs and tables have been piled up to create a barrier against your approach. Furniture has also been piled up against the door, blocking your entry. Examine the room and you’ll notice a switch on the side of one of the statues (on the northern side of the room, near the urn). Press it, and the wall at the back of the alcove slides sideways, revealing another passage.
Follow the passage onwards until you hit another switch and wall. This secret doorway opens into the room Syl blocked access to. You’re on the right track.
The next area is a long corridor. As you proceed down it, two Dark Seducers will approach to stop your progress. Deal with them and continue.
A Dark Seducer guards the stairs in the next ruined chamber. Deal with her. Your quest marker indicates that what you want is through the big metal door. Open it, and you’ll see Syl in the distance – armed and ready. You can fire from afar, or approach. Either way, battle begins. Your foes? Syl and two Dark Seducers. She doesn’t seem too much more difficult than a Dark Seducer, though her weapon packs a nasty punch. Kill Syl first, then deal with the Dark Seducers. You might want to withdraw into the ruined chamber, and use the natural obstacles to give you opportunities for ranged attacks on your persuers. When Syl falls you receive a journal entry:
I’ve slain Syl. I should now remove her heart.
Activate Syl’s body as you would any other corpse when searching it and you can remove Syl’s heart. Your journal tells you to make your way back to the Altar of Arden-Sul at the Sacellum.
If you want, you can explore the Subterrane before you leave. Be warned though: you’ll face worse than Dark Seducers down there. You will also find some awesome loot! Be sure to search every nook and cranny, and you'll find a Dark Chest of Wonders.
When you’ve finished dungeoneering, head back to the Sacellum. Activate the Altar of Arden-Sul to place Syl’s heart upon it. The heart is consumed by the holy flame of Arden’s will, and the Ritual of Dementia is complete. Arctus approaches to congratulate you and address you by your new title: Duchess/Duke of Dementia. Speak to Sheogorath, though he’s interrupted before he can say much. Interrupted by Thadon, Duke of Mania, flanked by two Dark Seducers. They exchange harsh words, and you receive a journal entry:
After informing Sheogorath of my victory, Thadon, the Duke of Mania, became furious. Before he departed the Sacellum he threatened that we hadn’t heard the last of him. I should speak with Sheogorath about the next step in his plan.
He didn’t just threaten that we’d not seen the last of him – he said he was going to fight for Juggalag. Talk to Sheogorath, and he’ll acknowledge what you’re thinking: why the hell did ‘ya let him go?! Apparently, he did so because this has never happened before, and he’s curious to see the results. You now have the ability to summon Dark Seducers, and you also receive the Ring of Lordship. To counterbalance this you receive some bad news: the Greymarch has swept the Fringe. Sheogorath's armies are already there, but he orders you to see what you can do to help.
The Ring of Lordship holds Fortify Endurance, Resist Poison and Chameleon enchantments. It also makes you a little bit see through (because of the Chameleon effect) which is quite cool. Another perk which is not mentioned is that you now have free access to the PrivateGardens and the Duchess’ Quarters in the House of Dementia – and you’re free to make the Duchess’ Quarters your own (and take all the cool stuff inside without it being seen as stealing). You’ll have to find something to do with that pesky body on the bed, though…
[Insert off-color joke here involving Falanu Hlaalu of All Things Alchemical in Skingrad]
The Ritual of Mania
Speak to Sheogorath about ‘Decision’. He’ll remind you that once you choose which Duke you want to replace, there’s no going back. The choice is indeed final. Tell him that you choose Thadon, Duke of Mania. He calls it a safer choice, saying: you might survive this one. You receive a journal entry:
I should begin asking around New Sheoth about Thadon’s court and learn the best way to get him to overdose on Greemote without his knowledge.
It make sense to start with the one closest to him. Head to the House of Mania and speak with Wide-Eye. She adores Thadon, and lists Greenmote as one of his (and her) primary pleasures – one she’d indulge in more often if she didn’t have such a demanding routine. Ask about her ‘Daily Routine’. She’s unwilling to tell you specifics – but the topic’s still highlighted gold. Bump her disposition up to 60 to learn that after a bit of reading in the garden and after running her ‘special’ errand at she goes shopping, then returns back at for dinner. Gundlar laces Thadon’s meal with just a hint of Greenmote, she says. Ask about Greenmote to learn what it is and that it is kept in the Greenmote Silo. Only a select few know the Silo’s location, but that select few are sworn to secrecy. You receive a journal entry:
Wide-Eye has described to me a bit of her routine. I’ll need to find where she gets Greenmote from and obtain some without being discovered. Wide-Eye mentions she does a “special errand” at every day. I should follow her and see where she goes.
At on any given day you can find Wide-Eye reading in the Halcyon Conservatory located within the House of Mania, near where Thadon paints. At 12 sharp she heads back into Thadon’s throneroom and out into the Palace Grounds, then descends the stairs and turns into the northern garden, walking across it to what appears to be a rather unremarkable alcove. Your journal instructs you to watch what she does from your current vantage point. She activates a statue and it turns once and drops away to reveal a ladder leading underground. You receive a journal entry:
I’ve observed Wide-Eye activating the secret entrance to the Greenmote Silo. I need to get inside and procure two extra doses of the drug without getting caught.
This is tricky. If you played Morrowind, you’ll remember the quest inside that floating prison in Vivec, where you had to sneak around without any of the Golden Saints seeing you. Well, guess what – now you have to sneak around without any of the Golden Saints seeing you… again! Those of you who completed the Thieve’s Guild or Dark Brotherhood quests will enjoy this. Those of you with characters handicapped by a poor sneak skill would be advised to save often and in a number of slots. Once you cross a brightly lit room without being detected, shove yourself up against a shadowy wall and make a new save. Proceeding slowly and carefully you can make it through, even if your sneak skill is modest. I've recommended the easiest route on the map below.
Whichever way you do it, you’ll eventually make your way to a huge pile of Greenmote. Activate it to grab a few doses. You’ll receive a journal entry:
I’ve obtained two doses of Greenmote. Inow need to sneak into Thadon’s kitchen sometime before eight o’clock and attempt to slip an extra dose into his evening meal and his wine without being seen – or otherwise try again tomorrow night. Gundlar prepares the meal in the morning, so I’ll have to wait until the afternoon to poison his food.
Head to the Halcyon Conservatory’s eastern end. There you’ll find the locked door to the Duke’s Quarters. Wait until the patrolling Golden Saints are out of sight and sneak as you unlock the door. Once inside, you’re up for some more tricky sneaking. Save often, and in different slots. Your objective is to reach the back room containing Thadon’s Wine and Thadon’s meal. Here’s how I did it.
Save in a new slot once inside the door (1), then wait until the Aureal have their backs turned to you and sneak to your left and into the shadowy alcove behind the first statue (2). Make a new save. Wait until the Aureal have their backs turned again and sneak around into the next alcove (3). New save. From there, stick against the wall to the left and jump on top of the barrels. Jump across all three, while sneaking, and drop down into the shadowy area behind the stacked crates and barrels (4). Wait once again until the Aureal have their backs turned and sneak down the passage into the room with Thadon’s Meal and Wine in it. Wait while sneaking in the shadowy area on the opposite wall of the room, next to the pillar (5), until the Aureal enters the room and turns around. When she’s turned around, activate Thadon’s meal on the table to put the Greenmote in it, and in Thadon's Wine (on the second shelf of the wine cabinet) to put Greenmote in that too. You’ll receive a journal entry:
I’ve slipped an extra dose of Greemnote into Thadon’s meal and Thadon’s wine. I should proceed to the dining area at for the evening feast and watch the effect the Greenmote overdose has on Thadon.
Sneak out the way you entered, and don’t forget to save often. Once you exit into the Halcyon Conservatory breathe a sigh of relief and head to Thadon’s Throneroom. At Thadon will eat. You’ll eventually receive a journal entry telling you to watch what happens to Thadon. After the meal, he rises to make a soliloquy – an incredibly boring one. The bit where his heart explodes is certainly the most entertaining bit. You’ll receive a journal entry once he collapses to the ground.
After Thadon rose to deliver an odd soliloquy, he clutched his heart and fell to the ground dead. I should now collect as much of his tainted blood as possible.
Activate Thadon’s body to take a vial of his drug-tainted blood from it. The next time you activate his body you can loot it and take his Diadem of Euphoria. It functions as a helmet and bears Fortify Speechcraft, Resist Magic and Fortify Magicka enchantments. You might want to save wearing it for when you’re crowned as the Duke/Duchess of Mania, though. Because that’s probably the only time you’ll wear it – it looking so ridiculous and all.
You might look into getting a new chef...
Head to the Sacellum of Arden-Sul with the vial of Thadon's blood in hand. Sheogorath stands in waiting, flanked by two Golden Saints. Approach the Altar and activate it. You pour Thadon’s blood into the bowl, and it is consumed by Arden-Sul’s will. Dervenin will approach and address you by your new title: Duchess/Duke of Mania.
Speak to Sheogorath, but you’ll be quickly interrupted by Lady Syl. She seems positively outraged that Thadon is dead, and that you’re his replacement. She decides that the only way she can be safe is to join the Forces of Order – as a Priestess of Juggalag.
You receive a journal entry:
After informing Sheogorath of my victory, Syl, the Duchess of Dementia became furious. Before she stormed out of the Sacellum, she threatened that we hadn’t heard the last of her. I should continue speaking to Sheogorath to receive my rewards of office.
He anticipates you question: why did you let her go? Curiosity, it seems. A Duke has never committed treason before, and he’s interested to see what happens. Anyway, he’ll give you your rewards. Firstly, you now have the power to summon Golden Saints. You’ll also receive the Ring of Lordship. You don’t have long to revel in your new position before the new orders come: you’re to go to Sheogorath’s forces on the Fringe and find a way to help them against the Forces of Order.
The Ring of Lordship bears Fortify Personality, Resist Disease and Shield enchantments. You’ll also receive one more perk that isn’t mentioned: the Dukes’ Quarters, which you can now claim as your base of operations. Sweet.
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