The Paper Mirror


The Paper Mirror
Quest Giver None / Breton
Locations Anise’s Cabin, the Windpeak Inn, Redoran’s Retreat, Castle Dour Dungeon
Prerequisites None
Related Quests None
Enemy Level PC x 1 (Max: 30) Class CombatBarbarian
Quest ID BookQuest3DNPC Editor ID xx191004
NPCs Theron
Reward The Writer’s Dagger, optional gold (1-500)

The Paper Mirror is a nested revenge story that simultaneously guides the player down a specific path while seemingly offers choices in actions. While one character, Theron, pursues his former allies for their betrayal, he is also the target of a mysterious writer’s vengeance. Central to the quest are a series of books that foretells much of the sequence of events. Will the player follow the plot as it is written or create his or her own ending?

A strange encounter
The quest can be started by talking to the NPC simply named “Breton” found wandering around The Winking Skeever in Solitude. Upon initiating the conversation, the man will comment on how he wish to leave Skyrim as soon as possible. Further questioning reveals a spooky experience in the basement of a witch’s cabin to be the source of his apprehension. The quest will start, prompting the player to investigate the cellar in Anise’s Cabin near Riverwood. Alternatively the quest can start without talking to the Breton if the player finds and reads volume 1 of The Paper Mirror in Anise’s cellar directly.


An unassuming book with red covers can be found on the bookshelf after entering the cellar. By reading the book, the player finds him or herself to be part of the story. Stranger still, it appears to tell of events that have yet occurred and predicts the player will meet a man named Theron in the Windpeak Inn for a job.

Chasing the story
Following the narrative to the Windpeak Inn in Dawnstar, the player can find Theron in the corner of the inn. Initiating conversation with him will offer up the dialogue option suggested by the book, along with a few others. It doesn’t matter how the player responds, it turns out, as Theron assume the player to be a mercenary hired for the job by his fence, Argis. Follow Theron outside of the inn and listen to his story about narrowly escaping a bandit mutiny. He will forcegreet the player after his story, any of the dialogue options will prompt him to tell the player to meet outside of Redoran’s Retreat and progress the quest.


Traveling to Redoran’s Retreat, the player will find two of Theron’s bandits are already waiting outside of the hideout. Theron will appear as the player approaches the entrance and tells the group to kill anyone inside. After the scene finishes, head into the cave and proceed with slaughtering the inhabitants. After killing the bandit chief named Javid, follow the quest objective to find and read Volume 3 of The Paper Mirror on a table near the bedrolls. Again, the book eerily describes the current events of the quest as it unfolds and predicts the following scene with Theron. Watch the scene play out as it’s described in the book, which offers some background on the possible identity and motivations of the writer. After the scene ends, Theron will again forcegreet the player and ask how he/she met Argis. Most of the dialogue options will turn him and his two guards hostile and the player will need to kill them. After Theron is dead, the new quest objective will ask the player to find Volume 4 of The Paper Mirror at the Writer’s location described in Volume 3. The second volume of the series can be looted off of Theron which provides additional background of the events leading up to the quest.


Find the mysterious writer
Heading back to Solitude where it all started, the player can now find Volume 4 of The Paper Mirror on a desk in the back corner of the upper floor of the Castle Dour Dungeon. Reading the book indicates the Writer of the story has found some sort of closure and has moved on while providing the player with closure to the story as well. The quest will be marked as complete with Theron dead and the Writer gone. The Writer’s Dagger (an enchanted elven dagger) can be found next to the book on the table.


Story with a different ending
If the appropriate dialogue option is selected and the player passes the persuasion check when Theron asks the player how he/she met Argis, he will not turn hostile and instead give the player some amount of gold reward (max: 500) but warns that the player will no longer be welcome the next time they meet. This will enable an alternate version of Volume 4 of The Paper Mirror in Castle Dour Dungeon. Upon reading the book, a ghostly apparition of the Writer will appear and attack the player. The quest is complete after defeating the Writer and the Writer’s Dagger can be looted from his remains.

– Volume 2 can be pickpocketed from Theron if he remains alive
– Theron is no longer essential after reading Volume 3, so the player can kill him even if he does not turn hostile from the dialogue options. However, the alternate Volume 4 will still be enabled and the Writer will still attack the player in Castle Dour
– If Theron is alive after the completion of the quest, he will be added to the bandit faction and will be hostile the next time the player enters Redoran’s Retreat

The Paper Mirror (BookQuest3DNPC)
Stage Information
0 Speak to the Breton in Winking Skeever about why he is scared
1 Investigate Anise’s Cabin cellar near Riverwood
10 Follow the book’s story to the Windpeak Inn in Dawnstar
20 Listen to Theron’s story
30 Meet Theron outside of Redoran’s Retreat
50 Kill the bandits in Redoran’s Retreat
60 Read Volume 3 of The Paper Mirror
70 Watch Theron talk about the amulet
85 Theron remains alive and gives player gold reward
90 Theron turns hostile and attacks the player
100 Find Volume 4 of The Paper Mirror in Castle Dour Dungeon
150 The Writer is enabled and attacks the player
200 Quest marked as complete

6 thoughts on “The Paper Mirror”

  1. I was hoping that the “wood elf” would have had dialogue options once Theron was dispatched. I’m curious as to how Larkspur would have reacted.

  2. Will this quest be broken if Anise is dead? Because she just got mauled by a werewolf, and that’s kinda permanent without console commands.

    1. No, it doesn’t matter if she’s alive or dead. The book should be there regardless. You will have to kill her after you come out of the basement anyways since she always turn hostile.

  3. I’ve talked to the Breton, found and read the book from Anise’s cabin, and the quest was added to my journal. However, Theron is not anywhere to be found in Windpeak Inn.

    1. well, the quest is set up correctly and i’ve never been able to replicate this, ever.

      my only guess is if theron’s alias didn’t fill, it’s related to a mod conflict, say something that edits the windpeak inn.

      but as far as I know, there’s nothing more I can do on my end. i’ve checked the “allow reserved” box and “allow disabled” box. even the “allow dead” box for good measure. it’s set up properly and works 100% in testing. the rest is up to the game to follow through.

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