Elder Scrolls

Untaxing the Poor

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Untaxing the Poor is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The Imperial Watch normally doesn't collect taxes from the poor at the waterfront; however, Watch Captain Hieronymus Lex has actually collected them this time. It probably cost them more to collect the taxes than the total amount of taxes received. Armand Christophe wants the Hero to take them back, along with the tax records.


It's suggested that the Hero begin this quest right after they talked to Christophe, or between 12:40 and 1:10 on Turdas, as this time gives the easiest entrance. Hieronymus Lex is located in the South Guard Tower accessible through the Temple District and Arboretum.

Lex's quarters are on the top floor. Usually a couple guards are in the first room. Ignore them and head upstairs. Although entering the second room is considered trespassing, the Hero won't receive a bounty. They will be given several warnings by the guards until they receive a bounty.

The ladder to the next floor will always be a few feet to the left of the previous one. Lex's quarters on the top are locked, so bring lockpicks or use the skeleton key if it has been acquired already. Lex should be asleep but enter sneak mode just in case so he doesn't rouse. If there is an Imperial Guard that stops the Hero, just cast a Charm spell (like Voice of the Emperor) and they can easily try to open the desk.

One can also use an invisibility spell before entering the room, or use a charm spell. The desk where the money and tax records are stored is to the right, it is also locked. Be careful about waking him up. After stealing the list and taxes go back downstairs, return to the Garden of Dareloth, and wait for Christophe.

Armand is pleased with their efforts, though he finds the amount they stole less than what he expected. In return, he lets them keep the tax money.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon receiving this quest:

Armand of the Thieves Guild has asked me to recover the tax records and taxes collected by the Imperial Watch. They are being held by an over-zealous Captain called Hieronymus Lex in the South Watchtower.

  • Update: After learning of Lex's office:

I learned that Hieronymus Lex has an office in the South Watchtower. That's probably where he keeps the taxes and tax records. I should check it out.

  • Update: After finding the tax records:

I found the tax records. Now to get them back to Armand in the Waterfront district.

  • Update: After returning to Armand:

I returned the tax records and taxes to Armand. He let me keep the gold. The Gray Fox will redistribute them to the peasants in the Waterfront district using money from the guild treasury. Armand has promoted me to Footpad in the Thieves Guild.

  • Quest complete


  • The Hero can steal from Lex, too, if they are a decent thief. He has some additional gold, a valuable sword, and there's even a Nirnroot in his quarters.
  • Lex cannot die, he only gets knocked unconscious, and it isn't possible to steal from an unconscious body.

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