|Reward||One of three Nightingale Blessings|
Leader of the Thieves Guild
|Type||Thieves Guild main quest|
- Enter the Twilight Sepulcher
- Speak to the Nightingale Sentinel
- Follow the Pilgrim's Path
- (Optional) Retrieve Nystrom's Journal
- Return the Skeleton Key to Ebonmere
- Listen to Nocturnal
- Speak to Karliah
- Choose Nightingale Role
You must take the Pilgrim's Path to the Twilight Sepulcher in order to put the Skeleton Key back where it belongs. As you enter the Sepulcher, you stumble upon the ghost of Gallus Desidenius, the Nightingale murdered by Mercer Frey. He warns you that, because the Key is missing, the other ghosts have been corrupted and are now hostile to you. When asked about the trials ahead of you in order to reach the Ebonmere Lock, he advises you to look for a journal that belonged to Nystrom. His skeleton is to your left as you look at Gallus.
Nystrom's journal holds some clues to the trials:
"Shadows of their former selves, sentinels of the dark. They wander ever more and deal swift death to defilers
"Above all they stand, vigilance everlasting. Beholden the murk yet contentious of the glow."
"Offer what She desires most, but reject the material. For her greatest want is that which cannot be seen, felt or carried."
"Direct and yet indirect. The path to salvation a route of cunning with fortune betraying the foolish."
"The journey is complete, the Empress's embrace awaits the fallen. Hesitate not if you wish to gift her your eternal devotion."
Nystrom also says that the man who gave him the clues "mumbled nonsensical phrases like "night is the new day" and how he was the "ghost of the sun"."
For the first trial, you face the shadows of their former selves, sentinels of the dark - Nightingale ghosts, hostile and powerful. You can either sneak past or kill them. If you decide to kill them, be sure to look behind the desk in the room to the left. There is a button that lowers a stone wall. In the small room, you will find loot. The room also contains an alchemy table.For the second trial, night is the new day: avoid the light and stay on the darkest path. Sprinting and using Whirlwind shout will make it easier.
For the fourth trial, avoid the traps: watch your step and use Whirlwind Sprint or Become Ethereal. Be careful with the doors. Before you find the first trap, there is a locked iron door to your left that can be used to avoid the traps (you should have a the skeleton key to easly open the locked iron door) but you may be seen by ghosts (in the pit to the left are 2 skill books: Proper Lock Design and Sacred Witness). The swinging axes can inflict diseases upon you, even if you are a werewolf or vampire.
For the third trial, In the room with the statue and a dead bandit lying in front of it, there are two sconces to either side of the statue. To the left of the left hand sconce there is a chain, and at the right hand side of the right sconce there is a second chain. Pull the two chains to open the door behind the statue.
Enter the Twilight Sepulcher Inner Sanctum, fall into the pit and search Anders' skeleton; read the message. Wait a few seconds until the Skeleton Key reacts. The ground will disappear and you will return the Skeleton Key to the Ebonmere Lock. You will summon Nocturnal, who will bid you to drink from the Ebonmere, "for this is where the Agent of Nocturnal is born".You must then speak to Karliah, and she explains to you the choice you must make between the Agent of Strife, Subterfuge and Stealth. To pick one, you must simply step on the corresponding moon. They give you greater Powers, usable once a day. After you speak to Karliah, Gallus' ghost will appear and they will speak shortly before he goes to the Evergloam. Karliah, then, goes back to Nightingale Hall.
PowersShadowcloak of Stealth
- The crescent moon represents this power, which makes the player the master of remaining unseen. Once a day you can become invisible while crouching for 120 seconds, much like the Shadow Stone.
- The half moon represents this power, which allows the player to utilize shadow to cloud the judgment of those around them. Once a day, you can activate it for 30 seconds in order to make people and creatures on the spell's area of effect attack anyone nearby.
- The full moon represents this power, which, when used, instantly absorbs 100 Health points from the target. This power can also be used once a day.
- You can switch out your ability after waiting a day from the last time you selected one.
- The Pilgrim's Path contains various loot, including skill books, potions, and soul gems. The Pilgrim's Path becomes inacccessible once you use the key to open Ebonmere, so take the loot while you walk the path in the quest, if you want it.
- If you hold off on completing the quest, you can use the Skeleton Key to open locks in Skyrim, much like previous Elder Scrolls games. The Skeleton Key will never break.
- It is recommended to not return the Skeleton Key until you either reach the Unbreakable lockpick perk, or are able to become the Thieves Guild Guildmaster.
- Dungeon Lock Outs cannot be entered with this key, as it still counts as a lockpick.
- If you have the second "Hard answers" (glitch when you complete the Arch-mage line) leaving the last objective "speak to Karliah" incomplete you may complete it after Nocturnal's dialogue for a second "Nightgale Blade" reward for a duplicate item. It seems as though when the reward given is pro-rated according to your current level. (i.e. the earlier blade will be weaker than the second blade if you progressed significantly between the two - example nightingale blade #1 (original) 43dmg absorb 15 health / 15 stamina, nightingale blade #2 (duplicate from bug) 50dmg absorb 25 health / 25 stamina) which ended up being better than an ebony sword - I waited quite a while before completing the quest so I could use the skeleton key everywhere - the damage quoted includes perk modifiers. http://i39.tinypic.com/birxg1.jpg
- During the first test there is a secret door in the room with the Nightingale stting down. It can be opened by pressing the button on the floor to the left of the seat under the table.
| Darkness Returns|
Complete "Darkness Returns"