Online:The Grip of Madness

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ON-qico-Normal.png Discover why a town's citizens are killing each other.
Zone: Grahtwood
Faction: Aldmeri Dominion
Objective: Required for Cadwell's Almanac Southpoint — Save Southpoint from madness.
Quest Giver: Soldier Garion, Captain Elonthor
Location(s): Southpoint, Cathedral of the Golden Path
Concurrent Quest: Fit to Rule
Reward: Sheogorath's Choice
1 Skill Point
386 Gold, Silver(?) Gold, Gold(?) Gold
XP Gain: 2940
Recommended Level: 18
Southpoint is under Daedric influence

Southpoint's citizens are killing one another in the streets. Dominion soldiers cordoned off the town, but are in dire need of assistance.

Quick Walkthrough

  1. Talk to Captain Elonthor.
  2. Talk to Daraneth and find the missing scouts.
  3. Distract the bears.
  4. Get into the laboratory.
  5. Enter the cathedral.
  6. Confront the mayor.
  7. Escape the catacombs.
  8. Confront the mayor again.

Detailed Walkthrough

City Under Quarantine

When you approach Southpoint, Soldier Garion runs out to stop you from entering the village. The city's inhabitants are under quarantine because they are killing each other in the streets. She says Captain Elonthor may need help evacuating survivors.

Captain Elonthor is on the road outside of town. He sent three scouts into the city to investigate, but none have returned. He refuses to send anyone else inside until he knows what happened to his scouts. You offer to find out what happened to them. He refers you to an "eccentric" Southpoint citizen who also volunteered to help the scouts, Daraneth. He suggests you speak to her with respect because she has an important position in Elden Root. After he tells you where Daraneth is, you can ask him three questions about the situation in Southpoint. He hints at other quests in the Gray Mire and Falinesti Winter Site if you ask him why the guard is spread so thin.

"Strange reports arrived in Elden Root a week ago. Little things, people acting oddly. But when a Southpoint guard delivered his own severed tongue to the Altmer Embassy, someone noticed. If we weren't spread so thin, we'd have been here earlier."—Captain Elonthor

The Eccentric Inhabitants of Southpoint

Daraneth walks past the tents behind Elonthor once you finish talking to him.

"Did Captain Elonthor send you to mock me? Did you come to tell me I don't know the work of a Daedric Prince when I see one?"

She believes the swift onset of madness could only be caused by Sheogorath.

Finding the Scouts

You can enter the city through a break in the wall behind Elonthor. The scouts are in three different houses inside the city.

The closest house to the entrance is Vylie's House. You and Daraneth search the house but find no scout. You can talk to Vylie, however. She mentions a "new mayor" who is "cleaning things up." She believes the people killing each other in the streets are simply part of the "cleaning brigade." She says the mayor told them not to leave until the city is entirely clean. The people who disobey the mayor are thrown into the catacombs, and the mayor has declared Southpoint is no longer part of the Dominion.

The Southpoint Inn is west of Vylie's House, just to the right of it when you leave. Go up the stairs to enter. There are no scouts here either. You can talk to Ennis, who claims he is making beds for the Eight Divines. He saw the mayor promise the scouts' hearts to the Wood Elves.

The final house, Pixet's House, is to the south. Lieutenant Hervarion is tied up in the corner.

"It's not time yet! The mayor said you can't eat me until dinner!"
We're here to free you, not eat you.

Hervarion says the mayor turned the other two scouts into bears and decided the townspeople should have him for dinner. The mayor locked himself in the cathedral behind a magical barrier. You untie Lieutenant Hervarion, and he runs off to speak to the Captain.

Bear Hunting and Daraneth's Scroll

Talk to Daraneth. She believes she can reverse the mayor's magic and turn the bears back into scouts. However, she needs you to be the bait—distract them while she casts the spell. After you help her deal with the bears, she will find a scroll in her basement laboratory that will unseal the cathedral.

Find the source of the lightning strikes

One bear is in the tower south of Pixet's House. You only need to fight for a few seconds, then the bear will turn back into a scout. The second scout, Scout Malvir, is to the north by the water.

Daraneth's house is across the water. When you enter, a storm appears inside the house, causing area of effect lightning damage if you aren't careful. Talk to Daraneth outside her house. She thinks someone conjured this storm from the highest point in town, besides the cathedral—the old Colovian tower.

Climb the wooden docks and head to the tower, while avoiding the lightning. At the top of the tower is Rufinus. You can choose to push him off the tower and kill him, or try to discuss the situation. However, after you try to talk about it the first time, you will need the Persuasion Perk to convince him to stop. If you do not have this perk, you will have to push him off the tower to complete the quest. If you persuade him, he realizes pushing people away is the source of his problems. He is knocked down by lightning, but survives.

Return to Daraneth's house and open the door on the ground to the laboratory. Take the Old Scroll from the desk, then head to the cathedral. Use the scroll on the cathedral door, then enter the Cathedral of the Golden Path.

The Mayor of Southpoint

Sheogorath reveals himself

Once you enter the cathedral, Daraneth will begin talking to Mayor Aulus. He says Sheogorath promised him power and respect but cursed his tongue. Sheogorath pops out of Daraneth. Now that Sheogorath is offering to take away his gift, Mayor Aulus pleads to keep it. Sheogorath is convinced and uses some kind of purple spell on you, and you black out.

You awaken in a cell with Daraneth. She says she recognized the signs, but Sheogorath was in her laboratory waiting for her. The only way to save Southpoint is to kill Mayor Aulus or convince Sheogorath to take him back to Oblivion.

Sheogorath appears outside the cell. He thinks you trying to kill the mayor should motivate Aulus. He agrees to leave if Aulus defeats you.

Escape the Catacombs

You need to find a way out. The door to your cell is now open. If you saved Rufinus, he will be sitting on the ground. He offers to use the last of his lightning to defeat the mayor and demands to accompany you.

Bridge Puzzles

The First Bridge

Head west to the door to the Central Catacombs. As you approach the bridge, Sheogorath appears in a cloud of purple butterflies and raises the bridge. In order to lower the bridge, you need to enter the East Sepulcher. The lever is at the south end of the room.

The Second Bridge

Pull the lever, head back and cross the bridge. However, Sheogorath raises the next bridge. Talk to him. You can choose to fight his friend (a Daedroth named Free Will) or pull another lever.

In the cathedral, he and Sheogorath will speak first. Talk to Aulus. If you have the Intimidation Perk, you can convince him to go back to Oblivion with Sheogorath. Otherwise, you will have to keep your deal with Sheogorath and kill Aulus.

Talk to Sheogorath. He gives you a reward and leaves.


  • If you have completed the first quest of [verification needed] the Mages Guild questline, Sheogorath will begin the conversation in the cell with "Well, if it isn't my old friend Hunts-For-Books!"

Quest Stages

The Grip of Madness
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Objective: Talk to Captain Elonthor
Objective: Talk to Daraneth
Objective: Elinwe Comments 1
Objective: Vylie's House
Objective: Q1
Objective: Southpoint Inn
Objective: Q3
Objective: Q2
Objective: Find the Scouts
Objective: Bear
Objective: Save the Scouts
Objective: Go to Daraneth's Laboratory
Objective: Climb the Colovian Tower
Objective: Talk to Rufinus
Objective: Collect the Old Scroll
Objective: Use the Old Scroll
Objective: Confront the Mayor
Objective: Talk to Sheogorath
Objective: Find a Way Out of the Catacombs
Objective: Lower the Bridge
Objective: Bridge Down
Objective: Lower the Second Bridge
Objective: Chapel Fire Spawners
Objective: Trigger Theatre
Objective: Kill Mayor Aulus
Hidden Objective: Pixot's House
Objective: Listen to Sheogorath's Response
Objective: Destroy Free Will