- Receive a letter from Queen Barenziah of Wayrest.
- Meet her at Castle Wayrest and learn what she wants.
- Steal the Book from Gortwog, or reclaim it from the necromancers who got to it first.
- Return the book to either Gortwog or Barenziah for a reward.
Everybody does silly things when he or she is young. Queen Barenziah only did one; however, now it is coming back to haunt her. She made private confessions to someone about various events in her life, and the individual decided to write about them. Unfortunately someone found a few chapters and sold them to Gortwog, Warlord of the Orcs. If the chapters were made public, they would humiliate Barenziah and the Emperor. Barenziah has asked you to steal the manuscript back from the Orsinium citadel. You should hurry, because if you don't get it within six days, the manuscript will be stolen by necromancers.
If You Beat the Necromancers to Orsinium
Upon entering the stronghold, you will find yourself in the main hall, together with Gortwog and three orcs. The warlord will not attack you unless provoked, but the soldier will attack you as soon as he detects you. Go past Gortwog and through the left door at the back of the great hall. Once you open the door the orc shaman will attack you. Follow the hallway up and go through the door. Beware of the various orc warriors and shamans you will encounter along your way. In the bowels of the stronghold you may even encounter some Daedroths.
Follow the hallway further upwards.
Follow the hallway until you come to an intersection, from there go south.
Follow the hallway until you come to a sort of dining-room. Leave the room through the west door.
Go down the hallway and through the door.
Walk down the hallway until you come to a door. Go through it and you will find yourself in a huge chamber with a hollow truncated pyramid.
The manuscript you are seeking is in a room down at the base of the pyramid, but the doors are magically locked. To unseal them, you'll have to reach the upper level. However if you have an Open spell, and can cast it a few times, you can directly go down and open the doors with your magic. Otherwise you must unlock them first. If you cannot levitate to the level above by yourself, jump into the fountain in the northeast corner of the chamber, it will teleport you to the platform right above the pyramid. Alternatively, you can take the staircase behind the south door, which will also lead to the upper level.
From there, take the west staircase up. At the first intersection head east than go south to reach a second intersection. Head east again past a third intersection and turn north at the fourth intersection. If you follow this way to the end you will encounter an orc warlord standing just in front of a handwheel. Kill him and turn the wheel, it will unlock the doors down in the truncated pyramid.
Go back and down to the bottom of the pyramid, either jump or use magic. Take care of the various orcs that will waiting at the bottom and enter the east room. The manuscript which you are seeking is just in front of you on a pedestal. To get out of the pyramid either levitate or pull the lever in the east room. It will assemble some stairs, that you can climb to reach a handwheel. Turning this wheel will teleport you to the platform above the pyramid. Return the manuscript either to Barenziah or Gortwog.
If the Necromancers Beat You to the Book
In case you haven't got the book within six days, you will be contacted by Gortwog in a vision. He asks you to meet him in Orsinium. If you answer his bidding, he wants you to retrieve the book from Scourg Barrow for him. He promises you a jewelry if you are successful.
Travel to Scourg Barrow in the Dragontail Mountains. It will be easiest to leave this place if you drop a teleportation anchor near the entrance.
In the first room of Scourg Barrow, open the second coffin from your left to reveal a secret pitfall.
Drop down and follow the passage to a room with eight doors and two zombies doors, go through the door immediately to your left.
Follow the hallway until you reach a fork.
Instead of turning left, which would lead you to the King of Worms, turn right and go up, past a grizzly bear. Open the door at the end of the hallway and ascend down the rift. There is no path leading down, so you must either jump down or use magic.
Follow the rift south, engage the animals along the way and then turn east.
Follow the rift further south, but beware of humanoid enemies along the way.
Turn west and you will eventually reach a spot with four passages. The first passage north leads to the book, but it is blocked by a closed portcullis. There is a hidden passage to the south. Although it is well hidden, it is clearly visible on your map. Clicking the wall of the cave will open this passage, follow it.
When you reach a small circular cave, kill the foe there and turn the handwheel on the ground, this will open the portcullis.
Go back to the rift and enter the now open passage to the north.
Follow the hallway and you will reach a room with two mummies and a lich. Destroy them all and pick up the book's page lying on a pedestal. Return it either to Barenziah or Gortwog.
I've Got the Book, Now What?
You have the choice of either giving the book back to Barenziah or Gortwog. Whichever person you give it to will like you better, and the other person will like you less. The necromancers will hate you in any case.
Your reward and reputation bonuses depend upon the person to whom you choose to give the book:
- If you give it to Gortwog the reward should be a random piece of jewelry, but because of a bug you will actually get nothing. Reputation +15 with Orsinium and Gortwog, +7 with associated factions; -20 with Wayrest and Queen Barenziah, -10 with associated factions
- If you give it to Barenziah the reward will be a random amount of gold (plus information if you snatched the book from the Necromancers).
If you return the book to Gortwog, you will gain/lose reputation according to the table below.
|Orsinium's associated Factions||+7|
|Wayrest's associated Factions||-10|
If you return the book to Barenziah, you will gain reputation according to the table below.
|Wayrest's associated Factions||+5|
If you retrieved the book from Scourg Barrow, you will lose additional reputation according to the table below.
|The King of Worms||-20|
(Allies/Enemies affiliations for listed factions are not considered)
Stronghold of Orsinium:
- The overall time limit of this quest is 150 days, starting from the moment you get Barenziah's note.
- The Real Barenziah is the book she intends for you to search for. The book is published in Morrowind and Oblivion, apparently censored by Barenziah, as it lacks the offending passages. In fact, in The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal, Barenziah will talk about her trusted friend who is the author.
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