Elder Scrolls

Lost Histories

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Lost Histories is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. S'Krivva wants the Hero to find out what happened to a missing thief by the name of Theranis. He was sent to Skingrad to purloin a rare book, Lost Histories of Tamriel, from the wizard in the castle there. She wants the Hero to bring the book back; apparently the Gray Fox is very interested in it.


Enter the jailEdit

After speaking to S'Krivva, head for Skingrad and track down one of the local beggars to find out what's been happening. With the usual application of coinage, the Hero learns that Theranis was last seen being dragged off to the castle dungeons, the result of bragging about stealing something from the castle and foolish enough, he did this in the Two Sisters Lodge where the Captain of the Skingrad Guard was drinking at the time. To talk to Theranis, the Hero is going to have to get into the dungeons somehow. There are several ways to enter the prison dungeon.

Method oneEdit

Follow the marker to the town gate, leave and climb the hill up to the castle. Make way down to the dungeons and talk to the jailer. Bribery doesn't work on him, unfortunately, but he does mention that Shum gro-Yarug the Count's butler, is looking to hire people to work at the castle. Follow the marker to track him down.

Handily, Shum gro-Yarug is looking for somebody to deal with the prisoners. The pay's lousy and he failed to find anyone for the job, so he requires absolutely no persuasion to let the Hero do it. He tells them to feed the prisoners once a day (he doesn't care when) and that the guards will open the door when asked. Head back down to the dungeon, where the guard will open the door.

Method twoEdit

Simply sneak into the prison dungeon with a ranged Open Hard Lock spell, or pickpocket the jailor for the key.

Method threeEdit

Bypass the prison completely and sneak through Castle Skingrad's rooms and into the Wine Cellar, then follow the blood stains on the ground.

Method fourEdit

One may speak to Larthjar the Laggard in a double cell of the castle prison. Gaining entrance is as simple as committing a minor but jailable offense. Moreover, while serving the sentence, the Hero can gain knowledge of the work that Shum gro-Yarug is offering from one of the passing guards.

Method fiveEdit

Tell the guard the Hero wish to see the prisoners, and he will follow them in. Once inside tell him again about seeing the prisoners and he will retreat back to his post by the door.

Larthjar the LaggardEdit

Lost Histories Hidden Door

Hidden door

Once inside the cell area, the Hero's marker will point to a prisoner by the name of Larthjar the Laggard. Talking to him reveals that Theranis was held in one of the other cells with an Argonian prisoner, but that an individual called the Pale Lady took him some time ago. She takes people on a regular basis, it seems, and nobody ever returns after their third time. This was the third time she'd taken Theranis. Larthjar also notes that the Argonian was taken only an hour ago, struggling and bleeding quite badly.

At the far end of the cell block, there is a decidedly door-shaped mark on the end wall. On the wall to the right, there's a candle holder. Use it and the secret door will swing open, revealing a passageway carved into the rocks with what suspiciously looks like fresh bloodstains on the floor. Follow the passageway, through a door into an area near the Castle Skingrad Wine Cellar, until the end of the passageway and another secret door. Turn the handle on the wall to open it.

Lost Histories Winecellar

The wine cellar

Continue to follow the bloodstains on the floor down into the wine cellar, where the stains seem to end in front of a large wine barrel. Another secret door is behind the center barrel. To open it, activate the unlit candle holder that's on the back side of the right pole.

Follow the passageway to find the Pale Lady waiting. She is a vampire and clearly lacking any social politeness and she attacks on sight. She uses an invisibility spell to give the Hero a few problems, however a hero with a high stealth skills or items can sneak up on the Pale Lady and hit her for critical damage.

Once she is dealt with there's time to notice Theranis' body lying on the ground. The Argonian prisoner is still alive in a nearby cell. Talk to him and it turns out to be Amusei again, back in captivity. Unsurprisingly, he's rather grateful to the Hero and relates that Theranis gave him a message about a treasure to be taken back to the Thieves Guild. Get him out of the castle and Amusei will reveal this message. The key to the cell along with a general castle key, can be found on the Pale Lady's body. Note: It may be necessary to reverse pickpocket Amusei, giving him the Skingrad Castle Key to prevent an issue with him being unable to follow through doors. Saving before pickpocketing is recommended.

Escaping the castleEdit

Escaping the castle is a bit tough because once the Hero and Amusei are discovered by the guards they will know both are escaping prisoners and the castle guards will act accordingly. Let Amusei out and head back out through the wine cellar. Turn right and go through into the dining area. Go through the dining area itself and take the right door in the small alcove through into the County Hall. They'll end up in a passage off to one side of the hall rather than the hall itself. Note: The hero may have to wait for an hour for Amusei to catch up if he fails to follow through the door.

Opposite is a door out into the courtyard. Head out through the gate and off along the causeway leading to the castle. Follow the marker until a message appear that they've successfully escaped. Amusei will then pass on Theranis' message.

Retrieving and returning the bookEdit

Lost Histories Book

The lost book

Theranis has hidden the book, Lost Histories of Tamriel, under a bush near a well behind Nerastarel's House in Skingrad. Following the marker leads the Hero right to it.

Get back to Bravil and give the book to S'Krivva. She'll be sad about Theranis' death but she will be pleased about the book, telling the Hero that the Gray Fox has been looking for it for many years. She then gives them their reward of 400 GoldIcon.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon accepting the quest:

S'Krivva of the Thieves Guild has asked me to find out what happened to the thief named Theranis. He was sent to steal a book entitled Lost Histories of Tamriel from the wizard in Castle Skingrad. My job is to recover the book. S'Krivva doesn't care if Theranis delivers it to her or I do. I'm getting 400 gold coins either way.

  • Update: When discovering Theranis' fate in Skingrad:

I discovered that Theranis was arrested. It seems he was found in a tavern, drunk and bragging about stealing something from Castle Skingrad. The Captain of the Skingrad Guard overheard him and arrested him. I'm going to have to break into the dungeon if I want to speak to Theranis.

  • Update: After talking to the butler about a job:

It seems that the butler, Shum gro-Yarug, is hiring up at Castle Skingrad. Penetrating the castle would be much easier if I had that job.

  • Update: After becoming a servant at Castle Skingrad:

I got myself hired as a servant in Castle Skingrad. I only have access to the Great Keep, but that should help. Shum gro-Yarug says that the jailors will open the prison door for me. Now I just have to find Theranis.

  • Update: Talking to Larthjar in prison:

The only prisoner in Castle Skingrad's jail is Larthjar. He told me that the Pale Lady, whoever she is, took Theranis days ago. I don't like the sound of that. There was an Argonian prisoner in the same cell as Theranis. Apparently he was also takes by the Pale Lady just a couple of hours ago. The Argonian put up quite a struggle and was bleeding. It's the only clue I've got right now. I'd better follow it.

  • Update: Finding Theranis' body in the hidden wine cellar:

Theranis is dead. I found his body in the secret chamber with Amusei and the Pale Lady.

  • Update: After talking to Amusei:

The Argonian in the cell with Theranis turned out to be Amusei! Before he died, Theranis told Amusei where he hid a special treasure, which I assume is the book. If I can get him out of there, Amusei will tell me where the book is hidden. Of course being seen helping a known prisoner to escape is a crime. I'll have to avoid the guards in the castle.

  • Update: After escaping the castle (crossing the bridge and going down the path):

Amusei and I escaped from Castle Skingrad. Let's see if he will keep his word and tell me about the book.

  • Update: After getting the book's location from Amusei:

Amusei was grateful for being saved from the Pale Lady and told me where to find the book. It's under a bush, behind Nerastarel's house, near a well.

  • Update: After retrieving the book:

I have the Lost Histories of Tamriel. Now all I have to do is return it to S'Krivva in Bravil.

  • Update: After returning the book:

S'Krivva has rewarded me for recovering Lost Histories of Tamriel.

  • Quest complete


  •  PC   360   Larthjar the Laggard plays a somewhat important part in the escape. When the Hero inquire of him about the Argonian and Pale Lady, he will offer the option of letting him escape his cell. If the invitation is disregarded, when they enter the wine cellar a guard and Shum gro-Yarug will be waiting. Therefore, unless the plan is to kill a guard and knock Gro-Yarug unconscious, it would probably be wise to allow him his freedom.


This section contains bugs related to Lost Histories. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • After picking up the book and trying to fast travel or wait, it will say the guards are pursuing. However, the Bounty will be zero. If the Hero talks to the Guards, nothing will happen. This will stop after a while.

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