Elder Scrolls

Ill Met by Moonlight

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Ill Met by Moonlight
TESV Ill Met By Moonlight
Quest Giver Mathies Caerellia
Location Falkreath
Prerequisite None
Reward Savior's Hide or Ring of Hircine
Type Daedric Quest
Ill Met by Moonlight is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


"There are stories in Falkreath of a strange vagrant who savagely killed a little girl."

"I've met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine has punished by preventing his transformations. He's given me the ring he stole and asked me to entreat Hircine for forgiveness"
―The Dragonborn


Prince of hunt

White Stag

NOTE: The following can be skipped altogether by glitching through the bars of the cell holding Sinding, using a basket or a kettle and the Whirlwind Sprint Shout. After speaking to him, you can then kill him and skin him from within the cell. The Aspect of Hircine will then appear and reward you with the Saviour's Hide if you choose to kill him.

In Falkreath, the Dragonborn begins this quest by asking Mathies Caerellia, the father of the little girl who was killed; and then speaking to Sinding, a prisoner in the Falkreath Barracks. Alternatively, Sinding can be spoken to directly to start the quest. He will tell the Dragonborn of a rare animal, The White Stag, that needs to be killed to appease Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt. Sinding gives the Dragonborn the Cursed Ring of Hircine that auto-equips and can't be unequipped. While worn, it causes the wearer to transform into a werewolf at random times, even if they are already a werewolf. After that, Sinding escapes. After killing the animal Sinding spoke of, its spirit appears and approaches the Dragonborn allowing Hircine to speak through it. He commands the Dragonborn to go to the place where Sinding has fled, and to kill him to gain the favor of Hircine.

NOTE: Those who have not completed the Companions quest-line, to the point of gaining lycanthropy, will not be affected by the Cursed Ring of Hircine, making the ring useless and the player unable to use their ring slot.

The ring can be unequipped if the Dragonborn activates Beast Form of their own accord. The ring will then unequip.

Once arriving at Bloated Man's Grotto, the Dragonborn will meet some hunters, who are outmatched by the werewolf, Sinding. The Dragonborn can choose to kill Sinding or to ally with him and kill all the hunters. The reward received varies depending on this choice:

  1. If Sinding is killed, and his skin taken, Hircine appears and rewards the Dragonborn with the Savior's Hide, a leather-based light armor which gives magic and poison resist.
  2. If the Dragonborn spares Sinding and kills the hunters, Hircine will appear upon leaving the grotto and commend the Dragonborn for turning the hunt "inside out", giving his blessing and transforming the ring into the Ring of Hircine. This ring gives the Dragonborn unlimited werewolf transformations per day.
  3. Both items can be obtained by killing all the hunters, going outside the grotto and claiming the Ring of Hircine, then going back in and killing Sinding to get his skin.
    1.  PS3   360  Tricking Sinding into believing that the Dragonborn is helping him by killing the hunters, then meeting Hircine outside will provide his blessing and the ring. Afterwards, re-entering the grotto, killing and skinning Sinding (he will be in werewolf form), will make Hircine appear thus allowing the Dragonborn to obtain the Savior's Hide. Both items count toward the achievement: Oblivion Walker, making the achievement obtainable even if another Daedric quest is failed.
    2. If the above doesn't work, then changing the order might: the Dragonborn should kill and skin Sinding immediately after killing the hunters and talking to him. As soon as the Hircine spirit appears, the player should back out of the conversation and run out of the grotto where the stag spirit will appear and bless the ring breaking the curse. Returning into the grotto and carrying on the conversation with the Hircine spirit will make him bless the skin turning it into Savior's Hide. (Confirmed on PS3 and 360)
    3. If you leave the grotto along with Sinding after killing all the hunters, the elk spirit will appear outside the cave, so back out of the conversation and kill the werewolf, then skin him and speak with the spirit emerging from Sinding's corpse. Tribute the pelt and he will bless it into the Savior's Hide. Speak to the elk spirit again and he will remove the curse from the ring. (PC and PS3 Confirmed)
    4. Alternately, the player can agree to assist Sinding, and proceed to kill the hunters. Once they are all dead, immediately betray Sinding by attacking and killing him. Skin him, and Hircine will appear and grant the player the Savior's Hide. As the player exits the cave, Hircine will appear again in the form of a ghostly White Stag. He will initiate dialogue with the player, and if the player selects the first option of dialogue, Hircine will grant the Dragonborn with his blessing and give him/her with the Ring. (Confirmed on 360 as of September 8, 2012)(Confirmed on PS3 as of July 17, 2012)
    5. The Saviors Hide can be obtained after the Ring of Hircine is obtained and the quest completed by killing and skinning Sinding before he runs off. The player must then return to the Falkreath jail and go to Sinding's cell where a ghost and Sinding's body are inside. By placing a bucket or plate against the bars and using whirlwind sprint, players are able to noclip into the cell and speak with the ghost to receive the Saviours Hide. Stealing the bucket or using a shout against the guard may be used to escape the cell. Alternately, getting out the way players got in will also work. Occasionally, the Aspect of Hircine will come to the bars if a player fails to pass through them and will speak to the player. Keeping the item off of the bars and using whirlwind sprint will get the Aspect of Hircine's attention. (Confirmed on PS3 as of August 12, 2012)

Note: The Cursed Ring can turn the Dragonborn into a werewolf. If they choose to continue through Bloated Man's Grotto like this, they will need to transform back into their normal form before speaking with:

Sindling after killing the hunters,


Hircine's spirit after killing Sinding,


Hircine's stag spirit after leaving the grotto.

To transform back, the easiest way is to wait a few hours. For some reason this quest keeps the player in werewolf form for a very long time.

The Cursed Ring of Hircine can be removed from the player's inventory by any of the above.


"I met Sinding, a werewolf that the Daedric Lord Hircine had punished by preventing his transformations. I helped kill him as a service to Hircine, and have been rewarded with Savior's Hide."

"I met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine had punished by preventing his transformations. I defended him against the hunters that Hircine sent to end his life, and earned his friendship."



Location of the hidden chest (bottom right)

Four chests can be found in this area, even after it is changed during the quest:

  • After entering into the main part of the cavern, a chest is hidden behind a dead, hollowed out trunk on ledge before the waterfall (see first picture).
  • An unlocked chest is hidden at the bottom of the small water pool under the initial waterfall.
  • An unlocked chest can be found in the built up area, in front of the Talos Shrine and statue.
    Bloated Mans Grotto Master Chest Location

    Bloated Man's Grotto Master Chest Location (jump up on the ledge where the Lightning Rune is)

  • A master locked chest is hidden near the dead deer on a ledge behind boulders (see second picture).

There is also a gold ore deposit at the top of one of the rock mounds overlooking the entire cave.

Side Notes

  • If Sinding is killed either before or after helping him kill the hunters, he cannot be resurrected via console after he has been skinned. This is because at that point he has been scripted to die.
  • If Sinding's Skin is taken after killing him it will briefly be in the player's inventory and is a gray, slightly more concave version of a Goat Hide. Sinding's Skin is actually a named version of the miscellaneous item, Werewolf Pelt.
  • If Mathies is killed before obtaining the quest it can be started by going straight to Sinding.
  • If you turn into a werewolf while youlre going to the Bloated Man's Grotto the Cursed Ring Of Hircine will become unequipped.
  • If you use the Storm Call shout while killing the hunters it will also kill Sinding.


  • "Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania," is Oberon's first line in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a play written by William Shakespeare.
  • There is also a WW2 book with this name, later made in to a film starring Dirk Bogarde.
  • The White Stag is a reference to "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" due to the fact the player is hunting down a White Stag which is what King Arthur had hunted and dreamed to hunt down as well.


  •  360   After using the glitch first mentioned in the walkthrough, the White Stag and the Aspect of Hircine can still be found in the location where you would normally need to slay it. After slaying the beast, when you approach the Aspect of Hircine you have the prompt to speak to him, but no dialogue box will appear on-screen. This doesn't seem to hinder anything during gameplay.
  •  PC   It is possible that one may have to wait for an in-game month to pass before it is possible to re-enter the cave.
  • Sometimes going directly to the jail in trying to start the quest by talking to Sinding, may result in finding him in werewolf form and unable to talk leaving the quest unstartable and uncompletable.
  • Near the end of the grotto when siding with Sinding, all the NPCs in the area may become permanently invisible or take flight.
  • It is possible for the White Stag to relocate to a position on the map beyond the world limits, making it impossible to finish this quest.
  • After wearing the Cursed ring, and turning into a werewolf manually, it may be impossible to return to normal self.
  • Sinding is unable to be spoken with in the jail because he is stuck or simply won't move from the back wall.
    • Fixes -
    • Leave and reenter the jail.
    • Use the Unrelenting Force Shout on Sinding then leave and reenter the jail.
    • Attack Sinding with spells or ranged weaponry and yield.
    •  PC   It is possible to use the player.moveto command to simply jump into the cell with Sinding(Ref ID 000EF441 or 00090CE1). The only way to leave the cell is again using the command to move you to your follower (if you have one) or any NPC other than Sinding.
  •  PC   It is possible to continue the quest without killing the White Stag by typing "setstage DA05 50" in the command prompt. After using the command and search the next location through the quest objective it will show the wrong part of map or the marker will not show up at all. search the map manually for the marker, if you can not find it, click here for the location.
  • Sinding will turn hostile if spells, even nonhostile ones such as healing spells, are cast at him. After three "attacks" from the player he will respond in kind.
  • If the character tells Sinding that the intent is to kill him, and ends up killing (accidentally or purposely) the hunters, the quest may glitch and Sinding will follow the Dragonborn as if he was hunting the hunters. The quest will not progress and Sinding will be invulnerable to damage. The only way to fix this is to reload a previous save.
  • It is possible, that after killing Great White Elk, Sinding will remain in the cell, even though everyone says that he escaped.
  • Sometimes the ring will not take effect after Hircine removes the curse. Reloading a previous save and getting the ring again fixes this.
  • It is possible to keep the Cursed Ring of Hircine while still getting one or both of the final quest rewards. After defeating the hunters, although the Cursed Ring cannot be removed, it can be dropped or stored. If the player stores it in one of the chests inside, Hircine will still give the uncursed ring even though it isn't in the player's inventory. It can then be retrived. Note: Storing the Cursed Ring on a dead body will make it disappear, as the bodies disappear after speaking with Hircine.
  • When using fast travel, there can be a transformation from which the player can not recover. To avoid this, travel to the grotto manually.
  •  PS3   When riding on a horse when a transformation occurs the camera will remain focused on the horse and will no longer follow the player. This is a bit awkward when the player attempts to move away from the horse and can no longer see themselves or the terrain around them. This camera focus on the horse remains even after you return to normal form. It is recommended to not ride a horse while holding the ring or reload an earlier save.
  •  360   Getting both items for this quest(Savior's Hide/Ring of Hircine) does not always count as 2 for the Oblivion Walker Achievement, it may only count as 1. Patch 3 may have fixed an issue with both only counting as 1.
  • If The Dragonborn travels to Bloated Man's Grotto to kill or aid Sinding, but leaves before killing him or the hunters, he may appear back in his Falkreath Jail cell in his Werewolf form. While he can be killed through the bars (with assistance from the jail guard), he can't be skinned to complete the quest as the cell cannot be opened).*If the Dragonborn is in his Werewolf form, he is still able to talk to Sinding telling him he was sent to kill him. Alternatively, if the hunters are killed, Sinding will still be in his cell. It is possible to return Bloated Man's Grotto with a follower and use the console command moveto to jump to his cell and either speak to Sinding or kill and skin him, then use moveto to jump back to the follower in the grotto. This will allow the quest to be finished normally.
  • It is possible to obtain the Savior's Hide from the very beginning of the quest and thus bypass large portions of the quest including hunting the white stag and the activities in Bloated Man's Grotto. After speaking with Sinding and agreeing to help him the player can attack him in his jail cell using arrows or spells and kill him. Although this may take several tries his body will sometimes fall right next to the bars which will allow the player to skin him and, make the aspect of Hircine appear and gift the Savior's Hide to the player right there in Falkreath jail.
  •  360   The armor received after killing Sinding may not show in inventory, and the game may freeze.
  • After killing the Hunters and receiving the Ring of Hircine, then killing and skinning Siding to obtain the saviours hide. Siding may appear in the waterfall area of the grotto alive and well despite the fact the Dragonborn had just killed him.
  • On occasion, Sinding may remain in his cell rather than escape, or even escape then return to the cell somehow. This renders the quest uncontinuable, and cannot be fixed.
  • If you obtain the Ring of Hircine then go back into the cave to kill Sinding, do not use werewolf form to do so. This may cause the game to glitch and you won't be able to skin Sinding to get the Savior's Hide.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Ill Met by Moonlight

  • Sinding can't walk

    3 messages
    • Some times just walking out of the jail then going back in will make it work, also you can try reloading, or using "Unrelenting Force" on h...
    • This problem is happening to me too on the ps3 version. I tried leaving then coming back into the jail multiple times, but he doesn't try...
  • Master chest

    • There are hidden master chest. Neratar and Ra'kheran bodies you able to jum at west ledge of the mountain and find chest will master level lock...

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