He previously worked for Maven Black-Briar, but, during a job transporting the Quill of Gemination across Lake Honrich, he crashed the boat and lost the quill. Since then, he has been in debt to Maven and worked as a guard watching over Riftweald Manor, owned by Mercer Frey.
Vald will always be wearing some variation of Fur Armor, the kind most bandits wear. He will also be using any low level one-handed weapon, such as an Iron Mace or a Steel Sword.
During the quest the Dragonborn must infiltrate Mercer Frey's house; however, Vald is keeping guard of it and must be either killed, pickpocketed or persuaded to part with the key. (It is possible that the persuation option only shows if wearing an Amulet of Dibella.)
However, if the Dragonborn speaks to Vex, she reveals that Vald only cares about money and that erasing his debts with Maven Black-Briar would gain his good side. If the Dragonborn speaks to Maven Black-Briar and asks to have his debt erased, then she will ask the Dragonborn to find the lost Quill of Gemination, which is locked in a strongbox in the wreckage of Vald's ship in Lake Honrich. If Vald cannot be spoken to because he is attacking, spells like Calm or Harmony to make him stop. For those that have not trained their Illusion skills to a high enough level yet when those do not work, but happen to have the Bend Will dragonshout from the Dragonborn DLC, can also use this shout to calm Vald so that he can be spoken to.
Upon retrieving the quill and returning it to Maven, she will erase Vald's debt. Informing Vald that his debt is erased will result in him happily allowing the Dragonborn into Mercer's house before leaving Riften. After leaving Riften (whether after having his debt erased or after having been convinced that Mercer needs him in Markath), he disappears and is not seen again in the game.
A way around this is to lower the ramp, as this should make him unlock the door and attack. Let him attack and then kill him, or have characters kill him. Either way works. Now it is clear to proceed with the quest.
This section contains bugs related to Vald. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- If the Dragonborn tries to pickpocket the key from Vald and is detected, they will not be able to talk to him after giving Maven the Quill. Even paying off any accrued bounty will not make it possible to talk to him. Dual casting an Illusion spell (such as Calm) with the relevant perks may be the only way to make this possible.
- Sometimes, if the Dragonborn tries to talk to Vald through the fence after collecting the quill for Maven and getting his debt cleared he will turn hostile and run around looking for the Dragonborn. If they go around to the other fence behind the building (past the Thieves Guild entrance) and he will walk up to them and initiate conversation.