The Thalmor wiped out his family back in Valenwood during one of their purges. Since then, he has hated the Thalmor. The Thalmor don't realize who he really is, giving him the opportunity to infiltrate.
Malborn is the inside man in the Thalmor Embassy. He serves drinks at the parties. He offers to smuggle any equipment the player wishes to take into the embassy.
Upon entering the embassy using the invitation provided by Delphine, the player will be approached by Elenwen. Elenwen will start a conversation, asking a lot of questions, but she is interrupted by Malborn. This is most likely so the Dragonborn does not get discovered as an infiltrator. When asked for a drink, Malborn will instead tell the Dragonborn to cause a distraction, so the Dragonborn can slip into the embassy unnoticed. Once inside, Malborn will blackmail the cook not to report both the Dragonborn and himself. He will then guide the player to a chest containing the equipment he smuggled in earlier on in the quest. From this point onwards, the Dragonborn no longer receives any more help from Malborn.
After infiltrating the Solar and finding a prisoner, two Thalmor guards will enter the dungeon with Malborn in custody. His cover is blown. If Malborn survives, he will go to the New Gnisis Cornerclub in Windhelm.
If he is kept alive during your escape, Malborn can be found in the New Gnisis Cornerclub in Windhelm. He says he wishes to escape to Morrowind, but believes the Thalmor have sent a Khajiit named J'datharr to assassinate him. If you kill J'datharr he will award the player a leveled amount of gold and leave Windhelm. When followed, he disappears when he reaches the Decree of Monument at Refugees' Rest, which means he has crossed the Skyrim-Morrowind border into Morrowind. Though if there are enemies present along the way, he will likely be killed.
- Malborn may be killed by a frost troll, bandit, dragon or ice wolf making his escape.
- If you save Malborn, he will run to a peninsula north east of Solitude where he will idle or run around and fight horkers until he dies or the player leaves.
- Malborn dies quickly. This may also make him a good candidate for harvesting Bosmer blood for the Discerning the Transmundane quest. Only after helping him escape to Morrowind this is recommended.
- A different version of Malborn can be found at the Dead Body Cleanup Cell, which can be accessed by typing the command
coc WIDeadBodyCleanupCell(PC only) into the console.
- It is shown in J'datharr's note that Malborn is actually not his name, though his true name is never revealed.
- He may die upon character creation.
- If Malborn is kept alive during "Diplomatic Immunity," he may not appear at New Gnisis Cornerclub immediately afterward; it may take several days or even weeks of in-game time for him to appear.