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Not to be confused with Misdirection (Perk).
Misdirection is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Because of the recent events, Hieronymus Lex has pulled guards from all over the Imperial City to the Waterfront in an attempt to root out members of the guild including the Gray Fox.


Talk to S'Krivva in Bravil and she will tell the Hero that Hieronymus Lex has pulled guards from all over the Imperial City to the Waterfront in an attempt to root out members of the guild including the Gray Fox. The Thieves' Guild must stop him at all costs or the guild may be finished for good. She will then tell them to meet with Methredhel in the Imperial City.

Travel to another area of the Imperial City other than the Waterfront and talk to the beggars. After a "donation" (or with a high Personality and maxed persuasion minigame), they will say that Methredhel is hiding out in the Talos Plaza District. Travel there and go to Dynari Amnis's house and talk to Methredhel.

Methredhel says she has a plan. The guild will stage a series of high-profile thefts in different areas of the city. Due to the lack of guards, the thefts should prove easy. That will give Lex a bad reputation and force him to return all the guards to their original stations. The Hero's job is to swipe Hrormir's Icestaff from the Arch-Mage's Quarters in the Arcane University and leave a note in the bedside table beside him. She adds one final piece of information; the Arch-Mage sleeps between 1:00 AM and 7:00 AM. Note: if not a member of the Mages Guild, the hero will be trespassing on every level after the entry way (*see Join the Mages Guild). Additionally, if the hero is caught stealing, they will be kicked out of the Mages Guild, unless the hero is the Arch-Mage.

Head to the Arcane University during the designated time slot and enter the Arch-Mage's lobby. Take the first portal to the left, then on the second floor take the one on the right. Hrormir's Icestaff is on the chest of drawers right in front so go over and take it. Now they need to leave the note in the nightstand beside the bed, no key is needed as the note will slide into the nightstand without unlocking it.

If this does not work they'll have to pickpocket the key from the Arch-Mage. Be careful doing this if they are also a member of the Mages Guild because if they get caught they'll get kicked out. Likewise, if the Hero have already become Arch-mage, they may simply walk into the Arch-mage quarters and take it.

Save beforehand if you leave the note before taking the staff. See Bug explanation below.

Head back to Methredhel and tell her of the success stealing the staff. She is pleased that all the thefts were successful and will then ask the Hero to spy on Lex until something noteworthy happens.

Head back to the Waterfront and once they are within earshot of Lex, a Dremora will come up to him and deliver a message. Lex reads the note, then begins to lead the Imperial Legion out of the Waterfront, leaving the note behind. Look at it and one'll see that it's from Raminus Polus, one of the heads from the University. He is angry that a thief stole something from right under the Arch-Mage's nose, but even more so that Lex took away the very guards that could have stopped it from happening. Pick the note up and return it to Methredhel.

Methredhel is glad that the plan was a success, but does not want the Mage's Guild to become enemies with the Thieve's Guild. She orders the Hero to return the staff and as the Hero can't just stroll into the Arcane University with the staff in hand, as that would get them arrested or possibly killed, she wants them to place the staff in a chest belonging to a former University researcher by the name of Ontus Vanin. As a former member of the Mage's Guild and their unwitting accomplice, he will return the staff without putting the Hero in danger.

Ontus' house is conveniently located right here in the Talos Plaza District. Wait for him to leave the house in the afternoon and break in. Go to the second floor and open the chest and the staff will automatically be inside. Then return to S'Krivva for the reward.

S'Krivva knows that Lex has left the Waterfront and gives the Hero a gold reward and a promotion. They now have access to Luciana Galena in Bravil as a fence.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon receiving the quest:

S'Krivva tells me that Hieronymus Lex, Captain of the Imperial Watch, has pulled guards from all over the Imperial City to lockdown the Waterfront. He has vowed to remain there until someone rats out the Gray Fox. If I want to help I have to find Methredhel. She is hiding somewhere in the Imperial City.

  • Update: After speaking to Methredhel:

Methredhel has a plan to force Hieronymus Lex to lift his siege [sic] of the Waterfront. Myself and four other Thieves Guild operatives will go on a crime spree. Each of us is assigned a high profile item to steal. I am to steal Hrormir's staff from the Archmage's room at the Arcane University. I have a note I am supposed to leave in his nightstand.

  • Update: After obtaining Hrormir's Icestaff:

I have Hrormir's Icestaff. All I need to do is leave the note in the nightstand.

  • Update: After putting the note in the night stand:

I slid the note into the Archmage's night stand. Now to get the staff back to Methredhel.

  • Update: After giving the Icestaff to Methredhel:

I gave the Icestaff to Methredhel. She says we need to wait for the nobles and wizards to act. She wants me to watch Lex until he is ordered to leave the Waterfront. I have to make sure I get close enough to him to overhear any conversations. When he does, I report back to Methredhel.

  • Update: After watching Hieronymus Lex:

While spying on Hieronymus Lex, I saw a Dremora delivered a note to him. Lex has begun moving his watchmen out of the Waterfront. I think this is the signal for me to report back to Methredhel. Lex dropped that note. I wonder if I can find it?

  • Update: After reading the note that Hieronymus Lex dropped:

I read the note that Hieronymus Lex dropped. Apparently he used guards from the Arcane University in his lockdown of the Waterfront. The wizards are blaming him for the theft of the Icestaff.

  • Update: After speaking to Methredhel:

Methredhel has one last task for me. It's too dangerous to return Hrormir's Icestaff directly to the Arcane University. Instead, I have to put the Icestaff into a chest in Ontus Vanin's home. He is a researcher for the Arcane University and will certainly find it there.

  • Update: After planting the Icestaff:

I've planted the Icestaff in the chest in Ontus' bedroom. I should go see S'Krivva and collect my reward.

  • Update: After reporting to S'Krivva:

S'Krivva was very pleased. The Arcane University has forced Hieronymus Lex to break his siege of the Waterfront. She paid me the 300 gold coins she promised. I have been promoted to Cat Burglar within the Thieves Guild.

  • Quest complete


  • Removing the Icestaff from the box after placing it inside will not complete the quest.
  • Leaving the note (stage 20) triggers the onscreen message to return to Methredel and triggers stage 30. This leaves the Hero with no staff. Taking the staff, stage 19, gives the message to leave the note, but the nightstand cannot be unlocked to perform this action a second time. The console cannot undo stages, so another console command (hypothetically) or a revert to an earlier save would be necessary.
  • After the quest is finished and the reward have been received, one will be able to steal the Icestaff again from the Arch-Mage's room.
  • Come back later after completing the quest, one can open the drawer and take the Gray Fox's note. But it will be a stolen item and cannot be removed from the inventory, because the game still considers it a quest item.
  • If all the beggars have been killed you will be stuck in a glitch.
  • If the Hero does not rank high enough in the Mages' Guild for walking through the Council Chambers not to be considered trespassing (Warlock+, though casual access may be granted for quests) then either Irlav Jarol or Caranya may follow them into the Arch Mage's quarters. If they proceed to attack, they will grab the Icestaff from the table and attack them with it. If the Hero yields to them, they will still have the Icestaff on their person and it will need to be pickpocketed, as waiting until one of them steals the Bloodworm Helm or Necromancer's Amulet resets their inventory when found.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Misdirection

  • Misdirection quest game-breaking bug

    2 messages
    • In the Misdirection Thieves Guild quest, where you have to steal a staff and leave a note in the table, I wasnt given the note. This makes ...
    • The command to get the note should be - player.additem 0000A1B1 1
  • Misdirection Quest Bug

    3 messages
    • He should be at the Waterfront among the shacks i think the best time to look is around 3pm to 10pm (judging by his schedule on UESP). If your...
    • Ya, unfortunately its on PS3. 

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