- Find Barbas the dog near Falkreath. The meat given to the Dragonborn by Lod is not necessary to lure him, hence why it isn't marked as a quest item.
- Follow Barbas to the Shrine of Clavicus Vile in Haemar's Shame (one can return to Lod for a reward at this point). Be prepared to fight a host of vampires and their thralls once inside. Talk to the Daedric Prince by activating the statue.
- Retrieve the Rueful Axe for Clavicus Vile in Rimerock Burrow. A named mage, Sebastian Lort, can be killed along with a flame atronach, but there is not much resistance otherwise. If ones Sneak skill is high enough, the Rueful Axe can be stolen without killing Sebastian Lort.
- Return to the shrine of Clavicus Vile in Haemar's Shame. (If one delays returning to the shrine, one can keep the axe and keep Barbas as a follower and have him in addition to another follower. Barbas is a good follower because he cannot die, go down, or take damage. Unfortunately, for stealth-oriented characters, he will see the Dragonborn in stealth and will get a bounty if he sees them steal, kill etc.)
- Kill Barbas to keep the Rueful Axe or spare him to receive the Masque of Clavicus Vile (if going for the Oblivion Walker achievement/trophy, take Clavicus Vile's Masque).
At any time after finding the dog, the Dragonborn may return to Lod for a small reward (25 ) by telling him, "The dog was more trouble than he was worth." He has no special comment even if Barbas is accompanying the Dragonborn.
It is not necessary to have Barbas follow the Dragonborn. At any time after receiving the mission from the shrine, Barbas can be ordered to stop following the Dragonborn, at which point he will automatically return to Haemar's Shame on his own. When the Dragonborn eventually returns after retrieving the Rueful Axe, Barbas will be waiting in the chamber with the Shrine. As Haemar's Shame will refill with vampires between visits, Barbas' presence in the final chamber will be helpful as he will help clear out the vampires before the Dragonborn even enters the room.
The quest can be obtained once the Dragonborn reaches level 10. A guard or Lod himself (whether the quest "Some Light Theft" is completed or not) will say he has been looking for a dog and spotted one near the entrance of Falkreath. Lod can be persuaded for half payment (25 can be received) or the task can be taken.
Barbas can be found west of Falkreath along the road beyond the fork where he will approach the Dragonborn. They can return to Lod once Barbas is found, hand in the quest and then return to Barbas where he is waiting. Barbas will also warn the Dragonborn not to make any deals with Clavicus Vile.
Barbas will lead the Dragonborn to Haemar's Shame where the Dragonborn and Barbas will fight vampires and their thralls together, depending on current level. Haemar's Shame is located directly in between Ivarstead and Fort Neugrad. There are a few leveled enchanted items, an arcane enchanter and an alchemy lab. The Shrine of Clavicus Vile is located deeper in the cave, guarded by four to five vampires. Activate the statue of Clavicus Vile and he will ask what he can do for the Dragonborn.
The Dragonborn will be tasked with retrieving the Rueful Axe from Rimerock Burrow. Barbas can be kept as a follower or told to stay. Behind the statue on the upper walkway is a chest with some leveled items and a chain that opens a barricaded tunnel leading back to Skyrim.
Barbas can provide history on the Rueful Axe if asked, saying: "One of Clavicus's little jests. A wizard named Sebastian Lort had a daughter who worshiped Hircine. When the daughter became a werewolf it drove Sebastian over the edge. He couldn't stand to see his little girl take on such a bestial form. The wizard wished for the ability to end his daughter's curse. Clavicus gave him an axe."
Rimerock Burrow is a small cave in the far northwest of Skyrim. At the end of a short tunnel, there will be a flame atronach and Sebastian Lort, a Breton mage. He may summon a frost atronach. The axe itself will be laying on a long table opposite an Arcane Enchanter. Behind them is a room with a chest containing leveled loot.
The Dragonborn must now return to Clavicus Vile. They are given a choice to either kill Barbas and keep the Rueful Axe or to spare Barbas and receive Vile's boon, the Masque of Clavicus Vile. Once the choice is made, the quest is finished, and the reward is received.
Dialogue with Clavicus VileEdit
Lord Vile, I have a request of you. "By all means, let's hear it. It's the least I could do, since you already helped me grant one final wish for my last worshippers... They were suffering so from vampirism, and begged me for a cure. Then you came in and ended their misery! I couldn't have planned it better myself. So, what's your heart's desire? What kind of deal can we strike?"
- I'm just here to reunite you with Barbas. "Ugh. That insufferable pup? Forget it. Request denied. No deal. I'm glad to be rid of him. Even if it does mean I'm stuck in this pitiful shrine, in the back end of... nowhere. Well... perhaps there is a way he could earn his place back at my side. Maybe. But no promises."
- An end to the civil war that plagues this land. "Oh, if I had my full power, granting that would be trivial. I'd simply snap my fingers, and everyone in Skyrim would die. War resolved. As much as I hate to say it, you're almost as powerful as I am right now. But that's just because half of my power resides in that mutt, Barbas. Come to think of it, I know of a win-win situation for both of us."
- The power to crush all before me! "
As much as I hate to say it, you're almost as powerful as I am right now. But that's just because half of my power resides in that mutt, Barbas. Come to think of it, I know of a win-win situation for both of us."
- What's your offer? "There's an axe. An incredibly powerful axe. An axe powerful enough for me to have quite a bit of fun, indeed. If you bring it to me, I'll grant you my boon. No strings attached. No messy surprises. At least, not for you. As I recall, it's resting in Rimerock Burrow. Barbas can lead you to it. The little mutt might even earn his place back at my side."
If approached again:
What did you want, again? "In Rimerock Burrow, there's an artifact called the Rueful Axe. Bring it to me, and I'll take Barbas back. Simple as that."
After obtaining the axe:
"Ah, you've got the axe! And my dog. Splendid."
- We're back. Now fulfill your enbd of the bargain. "Excellent work. A hero and his faithful companion, retrieving the ancient artifact for the prince. It's almost... storybook. Ah, but it almost seems a shame to give a weapon like that away, doesn't it? I suppose I could be persuaded to let you keep it... But only if you use the axe to kill Barbas. Simple as that."
- I sure would like to keep this axe... "And I could absorb the spirit of poor, dead Barbas. He'd still be reunited with me. And I'm sure Barbas doesn't want me to have that axe. He'd want it this way. The choice is yours, friend. We're all counting on you to make the right decision. Put him out of our misery!"
- No deal. Take the axe and take back Barbas! "Hrmph. You're no fun at all. Guess I'll have to make my own fun elsewhere. And with the pup back, I'll be restored to my full power. There's a whole world just waiting for me!"
If told to kill Barbas, and approached again:
I've been thinking it over... "And?"
After killing Barbas:
He's dead. Are we done here? "Absolutely! Now I can reabsorb his body, and return to full power. All without having to listen to his whining. Oh, sure, he'll be back in a century or two, but think of the fun I can have 'til then. Enjoy that axe! And don't worry about poor old Barbas. After all, he really should have picked a better friend..."
In Dawnguard, one may come across Barbas and the statue at Haemar's Shame. He may still be there, depending if one has done this quest. During the Dawnguard mission, if Barbas is still alive he will try to kill the vampires they are fighting. He never dies and therefore, provides good help.
|Introduction – DA03Start|
|5||A guard outside Falkreath mentioned the Blacksmith Lod is looking for a Dog and offering a reward.
|A Daedra's Best Friend – DA03|
|25||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who said he wanted my help. He's waiting outside Haemar's Shame
|50||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who said he had a falling out with his master and wanted my help. He's waiting outside Haemar's Shame.
|70||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who had a falling out with his master Clavicus Vile. Clavicus has agreed to take Barbas back if Barbas and I retrieve the Rueful Axe.
|150||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who had a falling out with his master Clavicus Vile. I've retrieved the Rueful axe for Clavicus. I can keep the axe if I kill Barbas or I can return the axe, reunite Barbas and Clavicus Vile and receive the Masque of Clavicus Vile.|
|155||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who had a falling out with his master Clavicus Vile. I've retrieved the Rueful Axe for Clavicus who offered me a deal. I decided to kill Barbas and keep the Rueful Axe.
|200||I ran in to a talking dog named Barbas who had a falling out with his master Clavicus Vile. I've retrieved the Rueful Axe for Clavicus who offered me a deal. I decided to reunite Barbas and Vile and received the Masque of Clavicus Vile.
- This is one of the few Daedric quests where the Dragonborn is not supposed to kill the daedra's target in order to receive the artifact.
- If Barbas is killed, Clavicus Vile will mutter, "He should have chosen a better companion."
- If this is the last Daedric Artifact needed for the Oblivion Walker achievement, and you wish to keep the Rueful Axe, save before making the choice then choose to take the mask, so you will get the achievement, then load the most recent save file, kill Barbas and both the axe and the achievement can be obtained with the same save.
- If Clavicus Vile is asked for, "The strength to crush all who oppose me!" when first encountered, he will act surprised, remarking that the Dragonborn's strength is unrivaled already, and that giving them any extra power would be redundant.
- Barbas can be kept as an invincible follower if the player chooses not to complete the quest. He does not occupy a legitimate follower slot, so the Dragonborn can have multiple followers.
- Prior to starting the quest, a leveled conjurer will inhabit Rimerock Burrow. When the quest is started, the conjurer will be renamed Sebastian Lort.
This section contains bugs related to A Daedra's Best Friend. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to show Bugs|