Elder Scrolls

Scoundrel's Folly

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Scoundrel's Folly
Scoundrel's Folly
Quest Giver Mercer Frey
Location The Winking Skeever, Solitude, Brinewater Grotto, East Empire Company Warehouse
Prerequisite Dampened Spirits
Next Quest Speaking With Silence
Reward Assorted Soul Gems
Upgraded Thieves Guild Armor
Faction Thieves Guild
Type Thieves Guild, Main quest
Quest ID TG04
Scoundrel's Folly is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
This is the fifth quest in the Thieves Guild questline.



The quest begins by speaking to Mercer Frey. He thinks he may have finally caught the Guild's anonymous adversary slipping up. From the note provided by the Dragonborn, he deduces that they are likely using an old Guild contact at the East Empire Trading Company in Solitude as a go between. He figures it is Gulum-Ei and wants him shaken down for information.

If the Dragonborn choses to speak to Brynjolf before leaving, he'll give more details of who Gulum-Ei is and his involvement with the Guild. He says that Gulum-Ei has no honor and in order to gain any useful information from him, he will need to either be bought off or folllowed in order to gain information that could be used as leverage against him. Either way, Brynjolf makes it clear... Do Not Kill Gulum-Ei. If he is killed, there will be no reward from Mercer Frey.


Gulum-Ei will most likely be in the Winking Skeever in Solitude. It is possible to persuade him with high enough Speech skill. Otherwise, he plays stupid at first, in which case bribing him is the only way to get information. If the Bribe option is selected, he will say that he has a client that wants a case of Firebrand Wine, which can be stolen from the Blue Palace.

Getting the wine is easy enough - it can just be picked up at the Blue Palace. It's relatively close to the entrance, so the Dragonborn should be able to follow the quest marker to locate the wine.

After getting him the wine, he claims not to know anything except that the woman in question has a grudge against Mercer Frey.

At this point, he heads out of Solitude down towards the docks and into the East Empire Company Warehouse. He can be pickpocketed for the key to the warehouse.

East Empire Company WarehouseEdit

Following him into the warehouse requires stealth. It may be easiest to stay on top of the shelves to follow him since the guards are always patrolling, and there's a ramp just behind the small hut near the entrance. An alternative is to remain in the water below the docks. If the guards or Gulum-Ei catch the Dragonborn, they will attack, but they can be killed for no bounty.

Upon reaching the end of the shelves, up the stairs and straight on is a small ledge. It is possible to walk across then drop down onto the walkway. At this stage the easiest way to follow him is just to drop into the water and move as slowly and quietly as possible. He can then be followed out of the water, up a ramp through a hidden door.

At the farthest northern point is an elevated building. To get to the building there is another ramp leading up to the left of the one to the hidden door. Inside the building on a table is the East Empire Shipping Map, which can be sold to Delvin. Alternatively, the Dragonborn can swim directly across the bay and wait for him under the docks, then follow him into Brinewater Grotto.

Brinewater GrottoEdit

Inside the grotto are several hostile bandits. There are two choices here: sneak past them (rather difficult at lower levels), or eliminate them. There is a bandit swimming in the water, so sneaking can be tricky, but it is possible to sneak past him underwater. There is a chest underwater where he is. A way to get by the bandit in the water and the one on top is, after seeing the two bandits on the dock talking to each other and right before going up those stairs, to the right is a spider web which can be cut down with a weapon. Beyond are three frostbite spiders. Note that the bandits are levelled, and that engaging one can alert the others, making the ensuing fight very difficult. Another effective strategy is to climb up on top of the cages where Gulum-Ei is found and use a bow or spells from there, beyond the bandits' reach.

When confronted at the end of the line, Gulum-Ei identifies the real target, Karliah. She murdered the former Guild Master and is now after Mercer. Gulum-Ei pleads innocent. He can be killed, but if spared, he becomes available as a fence. Killing him will also forfeit the reward from Mercer.

Return to Mercer FreyEdit

Returning to Mercer with the location Gulum-Ei said she was headed ('Where the End Began') completes this quest and begins the next, Speaking With Silence.


  1. Hood - Prices are 15% better (up 5% from 10%).
  2. Cuirass - Carrying capacity increased to 35 points (up 15 points from 20 points).
  3. Gloves - Lockpicking is 25% easier (up 10% from the 15%).
  4. Boots - Pickpocket success is 25% better (up 10% from the 15%).


  • With a high enough sneak skill it is possible to reach Gulum-Ei without being detected by any of the bandits.
  • The Dragonborn will only be detected when speaking to him, which leads to the comical scenario of several bandits engaging in combat whilst calmly holding a conversation with him. This can be deadly, as the health bar will not be displayed whilst in conversation.
  • With the silent casting perk, it is possible to conjure something and stay unseen. The bandits will attack it, but Gulum-Ei will run off in another direction. This way it might be possible to speak with him without the bandits attacking.
  • If the Dragonborn stays in the shadows by the gate, Gulum-Ei will notice them first and walk over to them. Fighting can be avoided during the conversation.


Journal Entry


  • Objective: Speak to Mercer Frey
  • Objective: Speak to Gulum-Ei
  • Objective: Steal case of Firebrand Wine
  • Objective: Get information from Gulum-Ei
  • Objective: Shadow Gulum-Ei
  • Objective: Confront Gulum-Ei
  • Objective: Return to Mercer Frey

Thanks to Gulum-Ei's confession, a former member of the Thieves Guild named Karliah has been identified as its anonymous adversary. Worse still, I've discovered that she was the same Dunmer who murdered Gallus, the Guild's previous Guild Master and who's apparently resurfaced after all these years to do the same to Mercer Frey.

  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to Scoundrel's Folly. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.

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