|Locations||Markarth Warrens, Silverblood Inn, Solitude Docks, Shattered Plank Cave, Rothvine Manor|
|Prerequisites||The Forsworn Conspiracy|
|Enemy Level||PC x 1.5||Class||CombatMageDestruction|
|Quest ID||WarrensQuest||Editor ID||021C0F1E|
|NPCs||Vardath, Prompt-But-Bashful, Sergius, Amsien, Boot, The Captain, Ralothi, Fassius, Nobleman, Rothvine Guard|
|Reward||1000 gold and Vardath available as a mercenary, or a key to a chest in Swindlers Den (contents: 400 gold, 1 flawless emerald, 2 flawless amethysts, 3 flawless diamonds), plus Prompt-But-Bashful as a slave, Amsien freed to later be recruited as a house servant.|
In Stolen Property, the player explores the slave trade in Skyrim when asked to help rescue a slave. It has two different locations and multiple outcomes, depending on the player’s choices.
Give a Man Enough Ale and He’ll Give You his Blood for Free
When the player tries to initiate conversation with a distressed beggar in the Markarth Warrens, he commits suicide. A nearby Breton congratulates him on his escape from a life of bondage and considers the fine line between paying such a low wage that subsistence is barely achievable, and slavery. He introduces himself as Vardath, a former slave trader. He adds that someone close to him has made him reconsider the morality of his profession, a woman he wishes to rescue. He invites the player to join him for a drink and makes his way to the Silverblood Inn.
At the inn, he buys the player a drink and explains his current predicament. Though appreciating the moral objections to slavery, he opines that it’s a fact of life and for some a tradition. Getting by on high profits and moral disengagement, everything changed when he discovered a woman he cares deeply about is a slave. Now he plans to rescue her and leave the slave trade, but requires someone to pose as his slave for the purposes of infiltration.
Having outlined the three main roles the majority of slaves fulfil, he invites the player to choose their disguise, or allows them to suggest they pose as a slave buyer if they have the initiation fee (1000 gold). The player is instructed to find their chosen disguise and meet up with him later.
If the player has opted to pose as a slave, Vardath will meet them at the Solitude docks and travel to Shattered Plank Cave, where the slaves perform menial labour and are sorted for auction. If they have chosen to pose as a slave buyer, he will meet them outside Rothvine Manor, where the slave auctions are held.
Shattered Plank Cave
If the player chooses the role of slave, they will be transported by boat to Shattered Plank Cave and find themselves queuing to see The Captain, who will call them over and explain that he’s in charge. After some deliberation, he’ll opt to keep them at the cave while he decides where to place them.
Away from the others, Vardath will confide that he smuggled in some shivs on a previous visit. When a slaver approaches, he issues an order to hand out the bread to the other slaves. Having distributed the shivs under this pretence, he will move onto the next stage of his plan; to start a riot and stop the slave boat from departing. He’ll ascend a ramp and kill the guard at the top, then share his plan to kill The Captain and his archer from this vantage point. He invites the player to take the shot if they wish.
With The Captain killed, the slavers will turn hostile, and the prisoners will follow the Dragonborn and fight them. Lowering bridges and running to the other side of the cave, the player will come to the boat and find an Argonian slave called Prompt-But-Bashful, who’ll join the group. Vardath will observe that the woman he wishes to rescue is nowhere to be found, and suggest finding an exit.
Outside, the freed slave Amsien will remark that Vardath and one of the Imperial slaves stayed behind in the cave. Returning, the player will discover Vardath asking the Imperial if his name is Sergius, informing him that he’s there to kill him for stealing from his employer. The player is given the choice to kill Vardath or let him kill Sergius. If the player chooses to kill Vardath, a relieved Sergius will give them the key to his chest in Swindlers Den. Alternatively, allowing Sergius to be killed will cause Vardath to give a 1000 gold share of his fee and the ability to later hire him as a mercenary for 500 gold. Vardath will explain that he’s a hired killer who manipulated the Dragonborn with an emotionally compelling and fictional story.
Back outside the cave, Vardath will say that he’s heading back to the Silverblood Inn, and invite the player to join him for a drink. Amsien will head to the Riverside Shack where the Dragonborn can later recruit him as a house servant.
Alternatively, should the player choose to play the role of a slave buyer, Vardath will instruct them to wear fine clothes, bring 1000 gold, and meet him outside Rothvine Manor. On meeting, he’ll direct the player inside and suggest they participate in the auction to dispel any doubts of their identity. Meanwhile, he’ll remain outside and chat to one of the guards.
Inside, a slave auction is in progress. After taking a seat, Ralothi the auctioneer will invite the player to commence the bidding on an Argonian maid. If the player chooses to participate, an outright high bid will win her for 2000 gold, while offering 500 gold will entice two nobles to start bidding and raise the winning bid to 3000.
Returning outside, the player discovers that Vardath has killed both of the guards and disguised himself in one of their outfits. He shares his plan to pose as guards to gain entry to the slave pen, and directs the player to loot the other dead guard and wear their Rothvine armour.
If the player rejects his plan and declares they’d rather kill him, he’ll attack them. On returning to the manor, the auctioneer will ask about the commotion, and depending on the player’s response will either turn hostile along with the rest of the staff, or thank them, refund their initiation fee and waive any costs incurred during the auction.
If following Vardath’s plan, the player must approach the guard at the door to the slave enclosure and persuade him to grant them access. Failing will cause all the staff to attack. The player will then need to loot the key from one of the corpses and either assign Prompt-But-Bashful to one of their houses or grant her freedom.
Once inside the room with the slaves, Vardath will ask one of them if his name is Sergius, explain he’s been hired to kill him for stealing from his employer, and draw his dagger. The player can choose to kill Vardath and be rewarded with the key to Sergius’ chest in Swindlers Den, or allow Vardath to carry out his assassination and be given 1000 gold and the ability to later hire him as a mercenary.
If Vardath is killed, Ralothi will ask what happened and depending on the response, either refund their initiation fee and any costs, or attack the player with the rest of the staff.
If allowed to live, Vardath will remind the player that they can go to a room upstairs to change back into their fine clothes and pay Fassius the accountant for any slave they’ve bid on, allowing them to assign Prompt-But-Bashful to one of their houses or set her free. With that done, they can decide whether to dress as a guard and sneak back out unchallenged, or kill the staff and free the remaining slaves.
Outside, Vardath will explain his ruse and suggest the player join him for a drink at the Silverblood Inn, where he can be found from now on. If liberated, Amsien will take up residence at the Riverside Shack in the Eastmarch hold, later asking the player to escort him to Darkwater crossing and offering the chance to recruit him as a house servant.
– A letter from one of Gabania’s men can be found in the Rothvine Manor slave room, suggesting he runs the Skyrim slave trade.
– Depending on how the player initially asks who Vardath is, he will tell them that either his Mother or his Lover is the slave he wishes to free.
|Stolen Property (WarrensQuest)|
|0||Talk to the beggar at the Warrens in Markarth.|
|30||Follow Vardath to the Silverblood Inn.|
|42||Find wench or barkeeper clothes and meet Vardath at the Solitude docks.|
|44||Find miners clothes and meet Vardath at the Solitude docks.|
|46||Find farm or merchant clothes and meet Vardath at the Solitude docks.|
|48||Find fine clothes and meet Vardath outside Rothvine Manor.|
|80||Attend the auction.|
|90||Take a seat at the auction.|
|160||Speak to Vardath.|
|170||Equip the Rothvine guard armour and return to the manor.|
|180||Convince the guard to give you access to the locked room.|
|200||(optional) Kill Vardath before he executes the Imperial.|
|220||Speak to the Imperial slave.|
|309||Stand before The Captain.|
|319||Retrieve the shivs.|
|320||Pass the shivs to the slaves.|
|350||Kill The Captain.|
|360||Stop the boat from departing.|
|369||Speak to Vardath.|
|370||Escape from Shattered Plank Cave.|
|510||Speak to the auctioneer.|