|The Ultimate Heist|
The Old Way
|Prerequisite||Boots of Springheel Jak|
1000 Independent Thievery
|Reward||Gray Cowl of Nocturnal|
Key to Thieves Guild Hall
Advanced to Guildmaster
|Type||Thieves Guild quest|
The final piece the Gray Fox needs to complete his grand (but unrevealed) scheme is an Elder Scroll from the Imperial City Palace itself. To start, he gives the Hero the Boots of Springheel Jak, which he believes they may need at some point, as well as the Arrow of Extrication, which supposedly should unlock something.
As preparation, be sure to bring a bow, torches, a few arrows and plenty of lockpicks. The Skeleton Key, received from Nocturnal, is a very handy item to have if already acquired. Also, make sure to bring silver arrows if the Hero is a bowman, and leave behind the least needed items if one wishes.
First, go to the Imperial City Palace in the Imperial City. Head inside, make a left and pick the lock on the door to the Palace Basement. Once inside, walk a few feet, turn right, and head to the other end of the room (north side); watch out for a patrolling guard. Activate the giant hourglass, the Glass of Time to unlock the 'Old Way' escape tunnel. This step is optional, due to a game glitch that will allow the Hero to enter the sewers regardless, however the map will not update unless the hero activates the Glass of Time.
Second, go back the way you came and head to the Arboretum and continue to the northeastern gate. A grate on the ground by a tree is the entrance to the South East Tunnels. Inside, go on to the Beneath the Bloodworks area.
Beware of vampires throughout this area, as well as several other creatures. If you contract Porphyric Hemophilia, seek a cure immediately, using a cure disease potion or pray at a city chapel. Once arriving at some stairs, make a right, keep going straight, and then you’ll see a door to the left. You’ll need to open some gates with nearby turn wheels to get to the Imperial Palace Sewers.
Once inside the Sewers, cross the bridge and head down the stairs. Watch out for the Wraiths in this area. Go through the northwest hall and the Hero’ll come to a large circular room with a pool of water. Go through the hallway to the next room, then go through the next hallway and through the gate. Head through the Strange Door to the Old Way, using the Glass of Time.
The Old WayEdit
In the Old Way, watch the ground carefully for traps. The ruins are populated with leveled undead. Go down the hall, make a left and go through the door into another room called Old Way. Be careful as there are more enemies appearing here, mostly skeletal and Ethereal Undead. Fight them and make way through the rooms and corridors, then go towards and enter The Lost Catacombs. If it's hard to find, look for the hole in the wall, climb through and there will be two zombies.
Again, fight or sneak through; there is only one way to go. Head north, then east through a large area with a few enemies in the lighted center, then north again. When arriving at two tunnels, take the right one. Follow it through and you should get to a very large elvish-origin room. Use the Springheel Jak Boots to get on the ledge to activate the switches to open the first gate. Go straight through it and through the door to the Hall of Epochs.
Inside the Hall of Epochs, go straight up the steps to the three statues. There’ll be a message that the Hero need to find the keyhole. Go around back to the large walls that look like pillars and there one will get a message that they need to lower those walls. There is a gate when facing south, head through it and find the button and press it. Then continue through there, fighting to another room named the Hall of Epochs.
In the room, push the button to open the secret wall to the south east. In the last chamber, where there are two catacomb rooms on each side, there will be a chest and a button above it, press it. Then head back to the large room with the statues.
Now the big walls are down. Fight the two zombies who appears, then stand on the small square on the small bridge and look straight across at the big center statue. Now one can see that there is a hole to shoot arrows through (the keyhole). Aim directly at the statue's nose for a perfect bullseye but practice with a few regular arrows first.
When hitting the hole with an arrow one can hear a loud "thunk" sound. This marks a hit. Do a save first before shooting the Arrow of Extrication even though one can pick it up. Then fire the Arrow of Extrication in through the keyhole.
Once the Hero approaches the door, the two statues will come alive and fight them if interacted with. Defeat them and prepare for the next step in sneak mode and go through the door back to the palace. It is recommended to save your game at this point.
The Hero will end up in the Imperial Palace Guard Room where four guards are sleeping regardless of the time of day. They will awaken immediately in most cases and automatically change into full armor, even with a Sneak level over 100. There are several ways to deal with this: using chameleon spells/potions, invisibility spells/potions (which wear off the moment you interact with anything—including opening doors), or kill the Palace Guards without fear of a bounty. Using frenzy or summoning spells on the guards will help level the playing field for the hero, as an additional guard will run in from the hall, presumably due to the sound of combat, so the hero will battle five simultaneously.
Sneak out and make a right into the Library, following the pathway up. (The left door goes to the Elder Council Chambers and requires a key.) Sneak forward more, until they reach a door to the library on the left. Pick the lock on the door, enter and make a right and follow the hallway. Pull the lever behind the blind priest, go back around to the front of the priest gate and into the library.
Sit on the chair. Beware, if the Hero tries to talk to the blind priests they will raise the alarm and they will have to escape the palace without the scroll and then will have to repeat the quest again. It is advisable to save frequently.
A Blind Priest will come down and give the Hero the Elder Scroll. Do not talk to any of the priests, as they will not give over the scroll and the quest can't be finished. Look far enough round to bring up the cross hair and activate it so the Hero can read and then take the Elder Scroll.
Save at this point: PS3 users may encounter a quest-breaking glitch at this point.
Sneak up the stairs, the priests may not notice, even if the Hero directly in front of them. Pick the lock, then make a left and pick the lock into the Moth Priest’s Chambers. Go around and pick the lock to the Imperial Battlemage’s Chambers. It may seem advisable to look around and loot if one desire, as the Hero won't be able to go back here again.
There the Hero might run into a female mage wearing a red velvet blouse and pants. She is a member of the Mages Guild so pickpocketing her may result in expulsion if the Hero are a member if caught. Don't worry about the bloodprice, because the Gray Fox took it off. Pick the lock into the bedroom. Make sure the Hero are wearing the Boots of Springheel Jak if one decide this, as they’ll be falling soon.
Go to the fireplace and escape through there and fall to the Old Way. Some guides mention getting arrested as the easy way out. Do NOT get arrested!!! This can cause a quest-breaking glitch, causing the quest not to update past the point of being discovered. Regardless, the Hero can keep the boots of Springheel Jak. Alternatively, an extremely high acrobatics skill will make the falling damage tolerable (potions, spells, and scrolls to increase acrobatics are all very helpful. Any gear besides the Springheel Jak that can increase acrobatics also works, but be sure to save before you try this method.)
Once fallen down, go back the same way they came here and return to the Gray Fox with the Scroll. He asks the Hero of one last thing before the reward: take a Wedding Ring to Countess Millona Umbranox in Anvil and gauge her reaction. If she asks who’s it from, say it’s from a stranger who wants them to have it.
Revelation at Castle AnvilEdit
Head to Castle Anvil and give the wedding ring to her. She'll discover that it’s her husband’s ring and that she deeply misses her husband. The Stranger will walk up, and will turn into the Gray Fox. He takes off his mask, and reveals that he is Count Corvus Umbranox, her long-lost husband.
He wore the mask ten years ago when it was inherited from the former Thieves Guild guildmaster and lost his identity for 10 years. Corvus renounces his life of thievery, names the Hero the new guildmaster and gives them the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, which is no longer cursed. Wearing it in public will cause guards to attack them, however people will not recognize that they are the Gray Fox if it is removed it in front of them.
Corvus also reveals that Emer Dareloth is the true thief of Nocturnal's cowl. History, having been altered by the magic of the Cowl, now allows the Thieves Guild to have formed a guildhall at the ruins of Dareloth at the Imperial City Waterfront, where the Hero first met Armand.
Amusei has given me another message from the Gray Fox. I am to meet him at Othrelo's house in the Elven Gardens district in the Imperial City.
The Gray Fox intends to steal one of the Elder Scrolls from the Imperial Palace. The audacity of such a theft is astounding! The Gray Fox has laid out the plan for me. It's not simple, but he has given me a written copy for my reference. He has even set aside the guild rule of blood price for this heist. Now I just have to execute the plan. The first step is to infiltrate the Imperial Palace and activate the Glass of Time, whatever that is.
I have activated the Glass of Time. According to the Gray Fox, the door to the Old Way in the Imperials Sewers should now be open. Now I just have to find it.
I have found the sewer entrance that the Gray Fox told me to look for. Now I need to find the Old Way.
I have found the Old Way. This is clearly a long abandoned sub-basement of the Imperial City. It looks like it's going to be a long journey to get into the Imperial Palace this way. I need to find the door that connects to the palace interior. If I remember correctly, I will need the the Arrow Extrication to unlock time in order to open that door.
There must be some secret way to open this door. I'll bet this is where I have to use the Arrow of Extrication. Most likely I have to be standing in a special place for the keyhole to open up. It will be somewhere with a clear view of this pillar.
These walls look like they are meant to move. Maybe the place I need to stand to fire the arrow is behind them. I'd better look for a way to get through them.
This must be the spot. Standing on this pressure plate opens the pedestal at the far end of the room. I should practice with normal arrows a few times before trying the Arrow of Extrication. I will only get one try.
I've used the Arrow of Extrication to activate the door and open the secret way into the palace. There is no telling where I might end up. I should take care to extinguish my lights, muffle my footsteps, and be stealthy as I enter the door.
I've seated myself in the reading chair. Now I just have to wait for them to bring me the scroll. So long as I don't speak to any of them, the priests seem to be assuming I am Celia Camoran.
I have the Elder Scroll! This is the treasure of the century. My name shall be known across Tamriel for this theft! Now to get it back to the Gray Fox. The way back is blocked. I'll have to go upstairs to find a way out. Even through they are blind, these monks will not be easy to sneak past.
I have escaped from the Imperial Palace by jumping down a chimney chute in Ocato's bedroom. I hope the royal battlemage won't mind my misusing his ash flue. I can only hope my fall doesn't end too abruptly. I wonder if this is what the Gray Fox said I would need the Boots of Springheel Jak for?
The Gray Fox has yet to pay me for stealing the Elder Scroll from the Imperial Palace. To get my reward, I have to present a ring to Millona Umbranox, the Countess of Anvil, and gauge her reaction to it. I don't understand what this has to do with the Elder Scroll, but for now I'll trust him.
The Gray Fox, who is no longer the Gray Fox, but is now Corvus Umbranox, has given me the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal. I am now the new Gray Fox and the new guildmaster of the Thieves Guild. Due to the magic of the cowl, the Thieves of the guild will not notice the change. However, since the curse is lifted, I can remove the cowl and be recognized as myself again. Interestingly, the cowl's magic makes it so that anyone seeing me remove the cowl does not associate me with the Gray Fox.
History has been rewritten. I should go see the new Thieves Guild Hall in the Imperial City Waterfront. The Gray Fox, or Count Corvus as he is now known, told me that I get to run the place.
Keeping the Boots of Springheel JakEdit
- When jumping down the chute, do not wear the Boots of Springheel Jak. Wearing the boots while dropping down will destroy them (as in removing them from the inventory). Full health or drink a fortify endurance potion will help keeping from dying. High Agility, Acrobatics, and Fortify Health potions will help as well.
- Another way of falling without destroying them is dropping everything. That way the Hero will fall on a cushy pillow without dying. Then pick every thing back up and go on your way.
- Another way to keep the Springheel Jak boots is to equip any bow and any amount of Dremora Field Arrows BEFORE jumping. After jumping, they should still lose the boots; however, if the Hero shoots the very next guard that appears with the Dremora arrows (killing the guard or not) the boots will reappear back inside the inventory.
Another way to keep them is to not wear them and on the way down the chute hold the walk forward command. They'll land instead on a platform that is raised about three stone blocks above the lowest part of the floor. The Hero will lose health but likely not die. Make sure they are sneaking before so they land still sneaking.
- This will not work on the or the version of the game, as it will not allow them to drop items while they're in the air.
- Keeping the boots and the arrow keeps them in the inventory as 'quest' items. For PC-players: use the console to type: Player.RemoveItem 00022DB5.
- Even after the quest is finished, the Boots, as well as the scroll containing the Plan for the Big Heist, will still be considered quest items, preventing the Hero from dropping them. Although they have no weight, some may find the extra items slightly annoying, and will have to resort to the Console to remove it. Xbox 360 and PS3 players currently have no way to remove lingering quest items such as these.
This section contains bugs related to The Ultimate Heist. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- A bug can occur if one pick up the Arrow of Extrication after hitting the keyhole. If picking it up, it will remain in the inventory as a Quest Item.
- It is not possible to stand up after sitting down in the chair in the library. Thus the monks continue to attack and you cannot do anything about it. You cannot even draw your weapons or cast spells as you are sitting down. Just reload your last save.
- Solution: As soon as you sit down go into sneak mode.
- After this quest, you can not sit down on any chairs, stools, etc. When you activate a chair, you will stand and not be able to move. The only way to fix this is reload a previous save, or let an enemy attack and hope to knock you down.
- XBOX360 A bug will occur at the Statue with the keyhole. If you miss the shot, you will need to recover the Arrow. Upon returning you will be unable to use the arrow, receiving the message "you cannot fire this Quest arrow", making shooting again impossible. Reloading a save from before the arrow was fired does not reset the glitch. Reloading the autosave from the very start of the Sewers does, making this glitch a seriously annoying one.
- If you're playing a Vampire over 75, then the Countess will not talk to you until you feed.
- Amusei will not deliver the message in Elven Gardens District (waited for days and nothing happened, after going to Green Emperor Way in the Imperial city it took only 1 hour wait and Amusei appeared).
- The two big walls in the room with the statue will not lower, thus making it impossible to finish the quest. However, if you run back and press the button that lowers the walls again, it may solve this issue. You may need to repeat more than once until all the walls come down or at least so can reach the center pressure plate. (the walls may be down only partially but the gates in the center may still have opened.
- Also, when you arrive in Castle Anvil, if the countess is not in the throne room, waiting until somewhere between 9am and 10am is not a good idea, because talking to the countess will freeze your game.
- If you attack someone in the palace your quest log will be to get out asap even without the Elder Scroll. DO NOT DO THIS, as it will result in you not being able to complete the quest and the Gray Fox tells you to leave him until you get the scroll.
- If you fail to get the scroll, reload from saving on the pressure plate, and wait 24 hours, the arrow will be missing and cannot be found. Then, you must restart the quest to finish it.
- While escaping from the Imperial Tower, a quest-breaking bug will occur if the Hero tries to surrender to the guards. Whether paying the fine or serving jail time, the quest will not update and will direct the Hero back to the Imperial Palace to find a way out of the tower. Additionally, the Gray Fox will not spawn at Othrelos' House, making the bug impossible to patch and the only solution being to reload the game from a save file prior to being discovered.
- Sometimes, if you fence too much gold prior to finishing the quest The Boots of Springheel Jak, you may not get a quest update for Independent Thievery, making the Thieves Guild questline impossible to finish.