Unearthing Mehrunes' Razor is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The lost Ayleid City Varsa Baalim has been unearthed by a rogue House Telvanni arch-mage in pursuit of a fearsome daedric artifact, Mehrunes Razor, which he believes will give him the power he needs to topple the Imperial reign -- but what horrors lie in wait beneath the Valus mountains, and can the Hero overcome them to claim Mehrunes Razor as their own?
After installing the plug-in the Hero will receive a letter, indicating that they have heard rumors about Mehrunes Razor being uncovered and that they should investigate. A quest marker pops up, leading them to Sundercliff Watch, a fort ruin on the extreme eastern edge of Cyrodiil, right next to Lake Canulus. If starting a new game with this plug-in loaded, the quest will be given to the Hero right after they enter the sewers from the sanctum in the tutorial level.
Upon entering the ruin, the Hero will see a small bandit-style camp in the first room, with a few Drothmeri Soldiers. Kill or evade the soldiers and proceed down the corridor to a double door. Trying to open it, they are told that "A voice beyond the door calls out: Who gathers stormclouds over Nirn?"; at first, the only option in response is to say nothing.
Check the "abandoned knapsack" right next to the door to find a Small Diary. Of immediate interest is the password "Chimer". The rest of the diary is an entertaining read, revealing that the steward on the other side of the door, according to a note, is supposed to keep an eye on the cousin of Drothan, who appears to be in charge of opening the door. In order to find Drothan there is a journal in his cabin that provides more information.
Use the password to open the door and deal with the steward, recruits, soldiers, and veterans on the other side. The Steward's Registry on the table reveals that Drothan has been amassing a few troops here. Continue exploring the fort ruins, and the Hero will find a door to the next area, Sundercliff Village.
Before leaving this area, one may wish to go back to the start and leave the loot in the inventory in the chest on the left side of the first room or another suitable container.
There really is a village in Sundercliff Village... the village is in a huge underground cavern, large enough to contain a half dozen houses, occupied by more of the Drothmeri Army and a handful of Argonian laborers. Follow the map arrow, which is leading through to the next area, Sundercliff Commune, in search of Drothan's cabin. The commune has two entrances, both on the west side of the main cave, one on the upper level, and one on the lower level. The map arrow suggests one should proceed to the commune through whichever of the two doors is closest.
Passing the "Jail" on the way, in the northwest corner of the main cave, go inside and one will find a Morag Tong assassin locked in a prison cell. A Jailor's Letter on a table reveals that the jailor has been trying unsuccessfully to find the writ revealing the assassin's target. On the same table are two pairs of the rare, zero-weight Wrist Irons.
The assassin isn't particularly talkative, and doesn't seem interested in asking to be released. What to do with him is really just a matter of personal preference. If one release him, he will skulk off to proceed with his assassination; the Hero are likely to cross paths with him again later and he may help by killing off a few enemies. If he is let go, he will end up outside of the Inn of Ill Omen, unless he's killed.
Sundercliff Commune features an upper level with a few more houses. A deep chasm in the middle can be descended via a long wooden ramp, revealing another house and the entrance to Varsa Baalim. For now the ruin is inaccessible, because some type of enchantment is blocking the entrance. The destination now is Frathen Drothan's Quarter's on the upper level to the north of the chasm. Depending upon which door one used to get here from Sundercliff Village, one may be on either the upper or the lower level.
In Drothan's cabin they will find his journal sitting on a table; reading it updates the quest to tell them that the next job is to find two enchanted bezoars in order to be able to access the Ayleid ruin Varsa Baalim. Before moving on it is worth doing a thorough search of Drothan's cabin. Items of particular interest include:
- The book Treatise on Ayleidic Cities that provides more of the backstory.
- A Varla Stone.
- Two vials of Trichobezoar Extract.
- Several scrolls of Transmutation. Two are out in the open; seven more are hidden behind a locked false wall (on the east side of the room).
Drothan's journal said that the enchanted bezoars were entrusted to his two lieutenants, the Drothmeri Commander and The Forgemaster. The easiest is to start with the commander, whose house is right next door. If one released the Morag Tong Assassin, he is likely to show up here just as the Hero arrive and assassinate the commander for them. The bezoar is upstairs on a side table.
One may also want to explore the Veteran's Lodge on the lower level, where there is another boss-level chest and a couple Drothmeri veterans to fight. Outside in Sundercliff Commune one can also find several chests with and an underground potato plant patch, complete with its own gardener. Follow the marker to the next destination, the forge.
Sundercliff Forge and MinesEdit
To find the Forgemaster the Hero will need to head back to Sundercliff Village and cross to the east side of the main cave, where the door to Sundercliff Forge is. When entering the Sundercliff Forge one will realize it's the upper of two levels, but there is no way at the moment to get to the lower level; one can just look down through some shafts in the floor. There is a rock wall right by the entrance, but it can't be opened from here. The only option is to proceed to the next area: Sundercliff Mines.
The Hero will enter the mines on the lower level of a large cavern, filled with iron veins where many Khajiit and Argonian laborers are mining, and who like to fight with rakes and hoes, all of which are Blunt two-handed weapons.
The passage to the upper level is in the southeast corner. The various parts of the upper level are connected by narrow walkways; continue to the northeast corner where one will find a small passageway that leads back to the Forge (watch out for rockfalls!).
This door leads to the lower level of the Forge, occupied by an Armor Apprentice, a Weapons Apprentice and the Forgemaster himself. The Apprentice's Note on the table in one room, and the Letter Home on the table in another provide some entertainment.
The target here is the Forgemaster. Killing him will yield a couple unique enchanted items, namely a Forgemaster's Amulet and Forgemaster's Smock; his other armor and weapons may also be enchanted. The bezoar is in the Forgemaster's tent, along with some gems and a boss-level chest (and look under the Forgemaster's bed to find his hidden bedtime reading material). Having accomplished the goal of finding the second bezoar, one can now return to Sundercliff Village via a shortcut passageway in the northwest corner of the forge; pull the rope to lower the rock wall.
Proceed to open the door to Varsa Baalim, the entrance is back at the lower level of Sundercliff Commune. Activate each of the two "Enchanted Pedestals" by either side of the door to put the bezoars in place; the Hero will then be told that they have dispelled Drothan's barrier.
They will first enter an Excavated Ruin, where one can watch a combat between a pair of vampires and a Drothmeri soldier. Other than that, there is little of interest. Run through to the other side, and open the door to Varsa Baalim proper.
As soon as the screen loads, there'll be another quest update, saying that "there's no telling what I may encounter here...," a not-so-subtle warning to be ready for combat. The Hero should see some people fighting below... more of Drothan's army taking on a handful of vampires. Both groups will gladly attack the Hero given the chance, so they're best off hanging back and letting them do as much damage to each other as possible before joining the fray.
Once everyone has been taken care of, an option is to take some time to explore this new area, which consists of yet another huge underground cavern, filled with surface-type Ayleid ruin features or continue on and follow the map marker to the Cava Beldameld. It is located to the west, past some very tilted sets of stairs and it leads to a new section of Varsa Baalim.
Here the Hero will find more Drothmeri and vampires fighting each other. Backtracking to the east of the door to Cava Beldameld one will find a chest and an Ayleid cask with some gold and other loot. Then proceed northward through a maze of ruined walls, eventually angling to the northeast. Keep an eye open for Ayleid Casks hidden in a few corners and also watch out for more vampire attacks. The destination is the door to Cava Marspanga where another group of Drothmeri and vampires are battling along with a dead Drothmeri veteran. After all are killed, collect the loot from the Ayleid casks and head back up the stairs into yet another section of Varsa Baalim.
As an alternative to this method, those with sufficient Acrobatics skills will be able to leap onto a halved pillar, then vault over a nearby wall allowing a quick and easy entry to the Nefarivigum without having to clean out two caverns first.
Head to the left (northeast) out of the door, up a small ramp of debris that leads to the top of some ruined walls. Stay up there, crossing the platforms and walls and one will come to a garden-variety Ayleid Ruin spiral entrance. This is at last the Nefarivigum, which based on Drothan's journals was his destination and the location of Mehrunes Razor.
Continue down the stairs and Drothan is there, studying a statue. If he hasn't seen the Hero, sneak over to his bedroll and read his field journal to find out what he's learned about retrieving the Razor.
There are a few ways to choose from at this point.
- The basic approach would be to kill Drothen and then to read his diary to figure out what method one find appropriate to get the Razor. One option is to force open the gate leading to the Razor; if the strength is greater than 90 the gate will open. Even if not strong enough to open the gate, simply attempting will wake up the champion.
- The other option is to take the Beating Heart from the champion's chest and eat it, upon which one will gain four infamy points and contract the diseases Porphyric Hemophilia and Cannibal's Prion.
Either way, the champion will wake up and attack, however he will steadily lose health throughout the fight if one chose to take the heart. Alternatively take the heart and then force the gate. The champion will awaken and still take damage but the Hero won't get Cannibal's Prion, Porphyric Hemophilia, or the four infamy points. Once the champion is killed he will vanish along with his weapon (even trying to pick it up, it will crumble to dust).
- Another approach involves getting Drothan and the champion to fight each other, allowing the Hero to simply finish off the victor. One way to do this is to sneak over to the gate and attempt to force it open. Regardless of strength, the champion will awaken and the two will fight even if detected. If the strength is greater than 90 the Hero will be able to take the Razor and leave through the newly revealed door if one does not want any of Drothan's enchanted items.
- Another option is to sneak over to the champion and steal the heart, back off from the two and eat it. The champion will awaken and fight Drothan.
- Alternatively, one can steal the heart and force the gate which will once again cause the two to fight each other. If in any of these situations, Drothan is victorious the gate will open, yet Drothan will return to studying the statue as if the champion was still there and ignore the now accessible Razor.
Regardless of which method one chose, proceed through the door and pick up the Razor. The back wall drops out revealing a door to the Forgotten Tunnels. There's a couple of rats and/or mud crabs in here. When getting to the end there's a submerged door that will exit out in Lake Canulus just south of Sundercliff Watch.
I've heard talk of the lost Ayleid City called Varsa Baalim where Mehrunes Razor is hidden. If I search the ruins of Sundercliff Watch in the Eastern Niben, I may be able to find the lost city and recover this powerful daedic artifact.
I've entered Sundercliff Watch, and can begin my search for Mehrunes Razor.
A diary I've found contains a password to explore further, and seems to indicate that some kind of army is amassing here, led by somebody named Drothan. If I can find the journal in his cabin, I may be able to learn more.
I've read Drothan's Journal. He's gone into Varsa Baalim in search of something called the 'Nefarivigum', which he believes protects Mehrunes Razor. He has left enchanted bezoars in the care of his Commander and Forgemaster. With these bezoars, I'll be able to dispel his enchantment and follow him into Varsa Baalim.
I've found the door to Varsa Baalim. An enchantment blocks the door; I suspect two nearby pedestals may be a clue to dispelling the barrier.
I've dispelled Drothan's barrier and can now follow him into Varsa Baalim.
I've entered the lost Ayleid city of Varsa Baalim. There's no telling what I may encounter here; I must be on guard.
I've entered the Nefarivigum and read Drothan's notes. They seem to indicate that by eating the heart of Dagon's champion, I'll be allowed to retrieve the Razor. Drothan seemed to suspect some other means of claiming the dagger, though he seemed unsure how.
Frathen Drothan is dead, and with him dies any threat the Drothmeri Army may have posed to the Empire.
I've recovered Mehrunes Razor, a potent daedric dagger which has a chance to instantly destroy an opponent.
- This entirely new area is full of unsuspecting enemies with respectable amounts of armor. Training any skill is convenient and easy, so one may find it favorable to come back with a lot of weapons and feather potions for some veritable loot and plenty of training.