Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

A Watery Grave is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Vicente Valtieri gives the Hero the task to eliminate a Breton sea captain named Gaston Tussaud in the cabin of his pirate ship, the Marie Elena.


The ship can be found in the Imperial City Waterfront District. There are two ships in the Waterfront, the Marie Elena being the western-most one with pirates patrolling near it, guarding it against any trespassers who stray too close to the captain's quarters.


The Marie Elena.

Head over to the Waterfront District in the Imperial City and locate the Marie Elena. Either walk onto the ship and fight with the pirates onboard or sneak past them until reaching the Captain's cabin, or use other methods to get on board.

Alternative methods to enter[]

One method of entrance is to get on the stone path west of the ship where there are a bunch of crates lined up. The pirates are loading all of these boxes onto the ship. Walk up to the northernmost crate and the player will be asked if they want to hide in the crate. Do so and they will be loaded inside the ship.

The second method of entrance to the captain's cabin is to jump from the dock onto the balcony of the ship and pick the lock, which could prove difficult for a low level Hero lacking in a high security score, as the lock is fixed at the very hard level. If the Hero is able to pick the lock, the best way to fight the captain is to run out the rear door once he begins to fight them and swim to shore. The captain will just pace back and forth on the rear deck and the Hero can shoot arrows with impunity.

A third way of entrance is to hide inside the crate, then go up a level. Wait for the pirates to finish their conversation. When they finish, go quickly back to where the Hero entered the ship and go as far back as possible (a detect life spell helps here) and wait for the pirates to pass. Go down the hall where they were talking, and to the left is a small alcove with a ladder. Take this ladder up directly to the captain's cabin. Either wait until around 10pm when the captain goes to sleep and sneak attack him, or enter and attack him.

A fourth method is to provoke the pirates on the deck by taking items from the crates, or simply walking/jumping onto the ship. Eventually, they will attack but the city guards will dispatch them with ease. Then, wait to enter the captain's cabin at night or early morning. The Hero can pickpocket the sleeping captain, take his key and desired gold, loot his chest, and kill him.

A fifth method is to buy a poisoned apple from M'raaj-Dar in the sanctuary. Leap on to the balcony on the back end of the ship and unlock the door. If this is done at night the captain will be asleep. Take all food in the room, including from containers, then reverse pickpocket the captain and place the apple in his inventory. Once the captain wakes up and eats the apple, it will kill him without alerting anyone.

Captain Murder[]

Captain Tussaud dead on the floor.

When the captain has been eliminated, two pirates will come down to check on the captain. The Hero may either kill the pirates or hide from them until they leave. If the Hero immediately leaves the room when the pirates knock on the door, the pirates can be avoided altogether. After they're dead or gone, search the captain's body for the key to his chest. In his chest there are some gems and Gold.

When confronted by the pirates, if the Hero runs out on deck and onto the waterfront, the city guards will assist in killing the pirates.

If it is not desirable to fight the crew members, hide at the opposite side of the trapdoor that leads to the outside of the cabin (the two pirates that enter will face towards the trapdoor) thus once they enter, quickly leave and there will be no need to battle. Another method is to use the captain's key to unlock the exit door to the bow and jump into the waters.

Exit the Marie Elena and travel back to Vicente Valtieri to report the success and to receive the reward, the Black Band.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon receiving the quest:

I must go to the Waterfront District in the Imperial City and gain access to the pirate ship Marie Elena, so I can kill Captain Gaston Tussaud. I may be able to smuggle myself onboard with the cargo, in one of the packing crates.

  • Update: After hiding the crate:

Just as expected, the crate I hid in has been transported to the ship's hold. I must now find and kill the Captain, Gaston Tussaud. He's probably in his cabin, at the rear of the ship, on a higher deck.

  • Update: After entering the captain's cabin:

I have gained access to the Captain's cabin of the ship Marie Elena. I must now kill Gaston Tussaud.

  • Update: After killing the captain:

Gaston Tussaud is dead. I must now return to the Sanctuary and speak with Vicente Valtieri to receive my reward.

  • Quest complete


  • An easier and quicker method to complete this quest is by running straight to the captain's cabin and killing the captain. Then run out and let the Imperial City guards take care of the remaining pirates.
  • It is easier to just run to the end of the dock (by the crate one can get inside) and jump onto the rear of the ship, pick the lock on the door and attack the captain from behind and come out the same way.
  • Note that once the pirates and Tussaud are all dead, the ship basically becomes a free "house" for the Hero to use if they desire. The Captain's Chest does not respawn (confirmed on XBox360; GotY edition), so if they've kept the key they are able to store their items in there. The bed can be used for resting, and the captain drops some rather fashionable clothes if the Hero wishes to take them.
  • There can be two Flawless Pearls, a Flawless Emerald, and 100 Gold in his chest.


This section contains bugs related to A Watery Grave. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PC   360   PS3   There is a glitch in this quest that can cause the Hero's horse to disappear permanently. If one chooses to get on board the ship by hiding inside the crate on the dock, and they are riding a horse when accepting the "hide in crate" option, both the Hero and the horse will be loaded into the ship's cargo hold. This dooms the horse to be trapped within the ship forever. The horse cannot be rescued using fast travel, even after leaving the ship.
  •  PC   If one is playing on the PC, the horse can be rescued with the console command movetoqt which moves the Hero and the horse to the current quest target. Make sure beforehand to select a quest with an outdoors target; if the target is indoors then the horse will be stuck there instead. Another way of rescuing a horse is to use the console command player.coc (insert target code here). Make sure the target code is an outside location, or else one and their horse will be stuck inside another location. A third method is to open the command console, click the horse, close console, and once outside re-open the console and type moveto player. The horse should appear at the designated location.


Dark Brotherhood
Dark Brotherhood Quests A Knife in the DarkThe Renegade Shadowscale (optional)Darkness Eternal (optional)
Vicente Valtieri Quests A Watery GraveAccidents HappenScheduled for ExecutionThe Assassinated Man
Ocheeva Quests The Lonely WandererBad MedicineWhodunit?Permanent Retirement
Lucien Lachance Quest The Purification
Dead Drop Orders Quests Affairs of a WizardNext of KinBroken VowsFinal JusticeA Matter of HonorThe Coldest SleepA Kiss Before DyingFollowing a LeadHonor Thy Mother
Epilogue Quest Whispers of Death