She may be found inside The White Hall in Dawnstar. She can also be seen outside Silus Vesuius' house arguing with Silus when the Dragonborn is about to begin the quest "Pieces of the Past". She advises the Dragonborn against entering his house.
Madena reveals she is a veteran of the Great War, and she recounts what she witnessed. She disapproved of using magic to kill young Elven men and women; she vowed never to use magic for destruction, but only to assist the people of Dawnstar.
"I served in the Great War as a Legion battlemage. I've no desire to go back."
- Are you the court wizard? "If you could call it that. The Jarl can make all the demands in the world, I'm not setting one foot on the battlefield. I fought in the Great War. I cut enough young lives short, I'm not going to do it again."
- You mentioned the Great War. "About 30 years ago, the Aldmeri Dominion invaded the Empire. It was a surprise attack, caught everyone off guard. They ended up sacking the Imperial City. I was there, blasting apart young Elven men and women with Fireballs and Lightning Bolts. By Akatosh, all the blood. The smell of flesh burned and pulled apart by magic. I never want to do that to another soul ever again."
- Where can I learn more about magic? "Magic is... frowned upon in Skyrim. Only the mages at the College of Winterhold teach it freely. If you wish to learn, join them."
- What's this about nightmares? "You haven't heard? All of Dawnstar hasn't had a decent night's rest in days. People are having nightmares they swear are real. They go to bed, but they wake up more tired than yesterday. I've heard that a priest of Mara has come, saying that the Divines will lift this curse somehow, but that remains to be seen."
"I beg you, don't go into Silus's museum."
- Who's Silus? What's this museum? "Silus comes from one of the oldest families in Dawnstar. They have a complicated history. Several of his ancestors belonged to the Mythic Dawn, the cult that almost destroyed Tamriel. His family's involvement was only found out well after the crisis had died down, but it still ruined their reputation. They were outcasts. And now Silus is back and this museum to the Mythic Dawn is his way of trying to rebuild his family's pride. It's misguided."
- The Mythic Dawn? Who are they? "Not a student of history I see. It's for the best. They're a group that should be forgotten. The only thing you need to know is that they almost destroyed the world, and they were stopped. A long time ago."
Leave of absenceEdit
Madena: "Skald, I've been meaning to ask you for a leave of absence. I wish to return to High Rock until this war is over."
Skald: "You wish to leave now? In Skyrim's moment of triumph, just before we cast off the yoke of Imperial rule?"
Madena: "Yes, that's exactly what I'm asking. I'm not a Nord, I'm a Breton, and I have no wish to fight this war."
Skald: "I don't think so, Madena. There will be no deserters in this hold, and that's final."
Court Wizard NeutralityEdit
Skald: "Madena, can we count on your spells to assist us in this war? The Empire is bound to bring their battlemages against us."
Madena: "I told you before, Skald, I have no interest in taking sides in this war. I've no desire to be killed."
Skald: "What good is a court mage if she refuses to fight? Where's your sense of duty?"
Madena: "When I came here, my only duties were to cure crop diseases and occasionally light a bonfire on holidays. I didn't sign up to kill."
Skald: "Fine, but this isn't over Madena. We'll talk again."
Madena: "Your ancestors wouldn't want this, Silus!"
Silus: "Why should I hide from it? This is my family's legacy!"
Madena: "It's the past! Dead oaths on dead lips. Let it stay there."
Silus: "The museum is opening, Madena."
Brina: "Madena, I was wondering if you could help me with something. Your magic would be invaluable."
Madena: "If this is about battle magic, forget it. I've told every Jarl I've served under that I won't...."
Brina: "Actually, I was just wondering if you could make sure people are tended to if they get hurt. I'm sure you wouldn't object to that."
Madena: "I, well, no of course not. I would be glad to help."
Brina: "Thank you, Madena. I appreciate your assistance."
Here to help, not play politicsEdit
Horik: "I want you to know I don't trust you, Madena. And I'll be watching you."
Madena: "I'll tell you the same thing I told Skald. I'm here to help the people of Dawnstar, not play politics. Point your suspicions of treachery elsewhere."
Horik: "So you say. We'll see if that's true when the Stormcloaks make their move."
Madena: "Well, at the first sign of battle I'll be comfortably sitting in my room, waiting for it to end, so don't you worry."
Madena: "I've seen you walking with a bit of pain sometimes, Horik."
Horik: "I'm fine, Madena."
Madena: "I know old men sometimes have pains in their legs when they rise from bed. I know a few spells that could help."
Horik: "I said I'm fine, Madena. I won't have some court mage fixing me up like some magical experiment."
Madena: "Still suspicious of me. Well, don't say I never offered."
- "I'm here to lend my magic to the people of Dawnstar."
- "I had hoped life would be simpler here, but war seems to find a way of following me."
- "I'll work my spells and potions for whoever is willing to leave Dawnstar in peace."
- "Back to another fine day in Dawnstar."
- "If you're here about the nightmares, I'm afraid my pleas to the College of Winterhold go unheard."
- "That museum is a mistake."
- She will send hired thugs in response to theft of her property.
- She shares some similarities with Falkreath's priest of Arkay, Runil: Both fought in the Great War, and both vowed to only use their magic for good afterwards.