Ancestral Adversity is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. The Vestige meets one of Narsis Dren's assisants, and is tasked with aiding the adventurer in exploring several of Vvardenfell's ancestral tombs.


Elfbetta, a personal assistant to the famed explorer Narsis Dren, informed me that the adventurer is investigating the ancestral tombs that dot the Vvardenfell landscape. They apparently uncovered an old scroll that hints at hidden treasure.

Quick walkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to Elfbetta the Shy near Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  2. Find Narsis Dren in Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  3. Investigate the creature
  4. Explore Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  5. Talk to Narsis Dren
  6. Follow Narsis Dren
  7. Meet Elfbetta outside Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  8. Go to Veloth Ancestral Tomb
  9. Find Narsis Dren in Veloth Ancestral Tomb
  10. Free Narsis Dren by selecting the third panel from the left
  11. Find the hidden passage by:
    Placing the ancient arrow on Ondre Veloth's altar
    Placing the the hand mirror on Llirala Veloth's altar
    Placing the sack of grain on Elms Veloth's altar
    Placing the ornate goblet on Valyne Veloth's altar
  12. Play the harp and enter the Undertomb
  13. Enter the Undertomb Mausoleums
  14. Free Narsis again by selecting the second panel from the right
  15. Enter the Mausoleum of the Elders
  16. Solve the floor puzzle and enter the Tomb of the Matriarch
  17. Defeat Matriarch Rathila
  18. Enter the Treasure Vault
  19. Either push Narsis down the well or convince him to adorn the story


Upon discovering the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb, the Vestige will encounter a Nord woman called Elfbetta. When spoken to, Elfbetta will tell them the following:

Ancestral Adversity 2

One moment... let me finish this though... Hmmm, what's this word? I wish my dear Narsis would return so I could ask. His handwriting is atrocious! Ah, well, I'll just write "inky-black darkness." That sounds like the tomb he described to me!

What tomb are you talking about? The nearby Dreloth tomb, of course. My employer, the famous adventurer Narsis Dren, explores its depths, searching for a hidden treasure even as we speak. I hope to get to investigate a tomb one day. For now, I'm content to be Narsis's assistant.
What does an assistant know about hidden treasure? I'm the personal assistant to Naris Dren and I know a great deal about a good many things! I found the scroll that mentioned the treasure, after all. Narsis has been gone a long time, though. Even missed lunch today, and he never skips a meal.
I can go into the Dreloth tomb and look for Narsis Dren. You'll go and check on Narsis? How sweet! I'll make certain you get a mention in his next book. I suppose he just lost track of time studying an intriguing relic or some such, but I'll feel so much better if you go into Dreloth and see if he's all right.
Can I ask you a few questions before I enter the tomb? Certainly! I'd be more than happy to tell you all about the great Narsis Dren and his exciting adventures! What do you want to know?
Tell me more about the hidden treasure. I suppose I can take credit for that. I found an old scroll in a Telvanni bookshop and took it right to Narsis for analysis. His translation indicated there were secret passages inside. He said secret passages mean hidden treasure, so here we are!
Tell me more about Narsis Dren. You don't know the great Narsis Dren? He explores the world's most dangerous locations and writes books so that his beloved admirers can experience his adventures vicariously. Just reading his words will send little thrills up and down your spine.
You really admire Narsis Dren, don't you? It's much more than mere admiration! Narsis Dren fills my heart the way mead fills an earthen jar. Some day, we will undergo the ritual of Mara and live happily as husband and wife. Elfbetta Dren... it has a certain flair, don't you think?

The Vestige is now tasked with locating Narsis within the Dreloth Ancestral Tomb. Once inside the tomb, by following the pathways, they will find Dren standing infront of an ancient altar. When spoken to, Dren will say the following:

Ancestral Adversity 3

Can you smell it? The dust of ancient Elves permeates the very air of this old tomb. Ooh, that's a good phrase. I must remember it for my next book! But tell me, what brings you to this lonely place?

Your assistant, Elfbetta, sent me to check on you. Assistant? Oh, you mean that young Nord woman who's been hanging about? Very kind of her, but Narsis Dren doesn't need to be coddled! I'm in the middle of a very important undertaking. There's more to this old tomb than meets the eye!
What's so special about this tomb? According to an old scroll I discovered, this tomb was built atop two older structures. Imagine, secret chambers that haven't been opened for centuries! And the family died out ages ago. No one to contest my findings. Except that creature over there.
Elfbetta mentioned an old scroll, too. She did, did she? Probably told you she found it. Well, I had to translate it. And from the ancient Elven, no less! Difficult, even for me. Before I could begin my investigation, however, that creature over there appeared to harass me!
Ancestral Adversity 4

The "creature."

Dren wants the Vestige to find out what the creature's true intentions are before they can explore the rest of the tomb. After following the stairs to the lower levels of the tomb, the Vestige will see a large shadow on the wall. Nearing the creature will reveal that it is actually just a small spider, however, afterwich the message "The ominous shadow belongs to a tiny spider feasting upon a long-dead scamp. Neither one poses any threat whatsoever." will appear.

Now that the creature's been dealt with, the Vestige can start exploring the tomb with Narsis. Following Narsis will lead them through several rooms with some basic loot (obsidian, ash, pristine water, Blueprint: Nord Cart, Hay), and eventually the Ancestory Prayer Room. Once inside, the Vestige must speak to Narsis again:

Ancestral Adversity 5

This isn't right. Where's the treasure vault? The hidden chambers? This tomb deeply disappoints Narsis Dren.

What were you expecting to find here? Something more interesting than a boring burial chamber. This ancient scroll indicates that if you honor the ancestors, they reveal... I can't quite make out this word. I'm having a hard time translating some of these old idioms.

Vvardenfell has a lot of tombs. Are you sure this is the correct one? Are you questioning my expertise? Ancient Elven is like a second language to me and scholars across Tamriel revere my ability to make sense of historic gibberish! Still, I could check my notes again, just to be sure...

Ancestral Adversity 6

The Grievous Twilight.

After going through his notes again, Dren will come across a translation issue, and will exit the room. Following him will lead the Vestige to a Grievous Twilight. Dren asks them to defeat the creature, and meet Elfbetta outside once they are done. Speaking to Elfbetta will reveal Narsis exited the tomb in excitement, saying he was going to "find a mage to open a portal.". Furthermore, he asked Elfbetta to tell the Vestige the scroll wasn't actually pointing towards the Dreloth tomb, but rather the Veloth tomb. The Vestige will have to make their way to the Veloth Ancestral Tomb, which is located on the west coast of Vvardenfell, south of Gnisis. Once there, they will have to locate Dren within the tomb. Upon entering the tomb and following the path, however, it is revealed Narsis has again managed to find himself trapped:

Who's out there? No, never mind. I don't care. I just want to get out of here. It's dark and it's cramped and it smells like an Argonian's armpit.

How did you get locked in here? I recognize that voice! I knew you'd come find me! As for my current predicament, how was I supposed to know it was a trap? The door slammed shut and locked behind me!
How do I open the door? There's probably a button or something nearby. In my experience, there's always something pushable. I remember seeing Daedric symbols on plates along the walls. Try pushing a button that's divisible by three. Three has always been lucky for my.
Divisibly by three? Now you're just trying to prolong my agony! Divisible by three! Try pushing the sixth panel from the left. Or the third panel. Or maybe the eight panel. Any of the panels in a position that's divisible by three!
Ancestral Adversity 7

The burial chamber.

The Vestige must enter the room right of the door behind which Dren is trapped, and select the third panel from the left. This will open the doors, and free Narsis. After being freed, Narsis will engage in conversation with the Vestige, thanking them for their "relatively minor contribution" and urging them to search the tomb for a hidden passage. Following Narsis through the tomb will eventually lead to a large burial chamber, with four altars, and a mysterious harp at the centre of it, completing the "Locate the Hidden Passage" objective. Speaking to Narsis will reveal the following:

According to the ancient scroll, there's a secret entrance that leads to the hidden passage somewhere in this chamber.

How do we find the secret entrance? I don't see an obvious lever or switch. That's too bad. Examine anything that looks unusual. That harp for instance. That's an odd accouterment for a burial chamber. I also spot an old tome strategically placed for our reference. Interesting...

Following Narsis' instructions, the Vestige must investigate the old tomb and discover it is an account of the lives of several Velothi family members. After reading the tomb, they must proceed to the engraved pedestal at the centre of the burial chamber. Activating the pedestal shows a piece of engraved marble reading:

The harp, as silent as brave hearts
Stands guard over four valiant souls
Honor their memories with offerings true

Llirala Veloth—Her kindness and grace reflected good upon her family name

Ondre Veloth—Master Archer of Molag Amur

Valyne Veloth—Toasted her enemies, to their deaths and hers

Elms Veloth—Nourished all but himself during the hunger year

Ancestral Adversity 8

The ornate goblet on Valyne Veloth's tomb.

After reading the pedestal, the Vestige must pick up the four items placed in the sand below them; a hand mirror, an ornate goblet, a sack of grain and an ancient arrow. Each of the items serves as an offering to each of the four Velothi family members. Offering the right offerings to the right family members opens the hidden passage and will allow the Vestige and Narsis to exit the burial chamber:

  • Ancient arrow—Tomb of Ondre Veloth
  • Hand mirror—Tomb of Llirala Veloth
  • Sack of grain—Tomb of Elms Veloth
  • Ornate goblet—Tomb of Valyne Veloth

After placing each item on their corresponding tomb, the Vestige must play the metallic harp in the center of the chamber and open the secret passage to the undertomb. After entering the undertomb, Narsis will say the following:

Ancestral Adversity 9

Isn't it exciting? We're the first living creatures to set foot down here in more than a hundred years! This will definitely get an entire chapter in my book!

You were right. A hidden passage led to an older section of the tomb. And that surprises you? Haven't you read my books? This is very similar to that time I unearthed the secret chambers of the Master Thief of Elsweyr. A pity my apprentice on that excursions refused to heed my advice. Walked right into a nasty trap.
What do you suggest we do next? We search! You lead the way while I watch for the tell-tale signs of a valuable item of historic significance. Hopefully even a relic of Saint Veloth himself! This is the part where our adventure gets really exciting!
How do you recognize items of historic significance? Oh, that's a skill I developed. Finely honed in the heat of battle—both metaphorical and physical! So lead on, my erstwhile apprentice. And do watch for any guardians or traps that might be waiting in hiding.
Is that why you always want me to go first? Going first? That's an honor I wouldn't dream of denying you! And I'll be right behind you, offering advice and watching for opportunities to teach valuable lessons. You won't get this king of an education at any university or academy.
Is that what you told your apprentice in Elsweyr? Something along those lines. But he was too eager, running ahead before I could offer him the advantage of my experience. You don't seem to have that quirk. In fact, quite the opposite. It seems like you want to stand here and talk forever.

Convinced the Undertomb contains valuable treasure, the Vestige must follow Narsis deeper into the tomb, defeating a Wraith and several Bone Flayers along the way, until eventually reaching the door to the Undertomb Mausoleums.

After entering the undertomb, the Vestige will face another Wraith, several skeletons and a Hunger. After the battle, the Vestige will have to free Narsis again, who has yet again managed to trigger one of the traps in the tomb, saying:

Damn these trapped spaces and their tempting gaps! I hate to be a bother, but could you get me out of here please?

You seem to have a knack for getting into tight situations. So good of you to notice! I'm quite proud of my ability to turn any situation into a dramatic scene for my next book! Anyway, I believe you'll find another series of wall plates to push in the chamber to my right.
I could just leave you in there.' That's a rather ungrateful attitude after I graciously agreed to take you under my wing! If you don't let me out, however, we won't be able to use the key I found in here. I'm quite certain it opens the way into the next section of the tomb.
There's another section? Almost certainly! The scroll clearly described a final treasure vault, and we haven't come across anything like that yet. So, do a Dark Elf favor and go push a wall plate. It's the second one from the left. Or is it the right?
Ancestral Adversity Puzzle Solved

The correct path to take.

Selecting the second wall plate from the left will open the doors of the trap and free Narsis. The Vestige must then follow Nersis into a different section of the tomb; the Mausoleums of the Elders. Once there, they will have to solve a pressure plate puzzle in order to advance to the next section of the mausoleum.

After solving the floor puzzle, the Vestige must follow Narsis into the next chamber, which has a stone pedestal at the center, and a skull placed on top of it, covered in gold and emeralds. After Narsis takes the skull for himself, a pathway leading to the Tomb of the Matriarch will be revealed. Inside the tomb, the Vestige will have to face several waves of skeletons, Bone Flayers, Risen Dead and at the end of the tomb, a bone colossus named Matriarch Rathila.

After defeating the creatures, the Vestige can proceed into the treasure vault, where Narsis will tell them the following:

Ancestral Adversity 10

My translation was nearly perfect, so how could this be? Where are the relics? The treasure? There's nothing here but some old crates and a decrepit old well!

I guess that old scroll was wrong. No, that's impossible. Ancient scrolls lead to discovery and treasure, not disappointment! I blame you, apprentice. You obviously don't have the attitude and temperament necessary to make great discoveries. You've ruined my expedition!
Wasn't it worth it just for the adventure? Isn't that a noble sentiment! But noble sentiments don't pay the bills or sell my books! You wouldn't understand. You have no sense of what it takes to do what Narsis Dren does. You're nothing more than an... apprentice.

The Vestige is now offered two options; either trick Narsis into thinking the treasure is located inside the ancient well and pushing him in, or tell him he can likely make the entire adventure sound good on paper. Either way, the Vestige will be rewared with a set of pauldrons and a leveled amount of gold.



Journal Entry
  • Objective: Find Narsis Dren in Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  • Objective: Investigate the Creature
  • Objective: Explore Dreloth Ancestral Tomb
  • Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
  • Objective: See What Narsis Plans to Do
  • Objective: Follow Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Meet Elfbetta Outside the Tomb
  • Objective: Go to Veloth Ancestral Tomb
  • Objective: Find Narsis Dren in Veloth Ancestral Tomb
  • Objective: Free Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Locate the Hidden Passage
  • Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Find a Hidden Passage
  • Objective: Enter the Undertomb
  • Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Find the Treasure
  • Objective: Free Narsis Again
  • Objective: Solve the Floor Puzzle
  • Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Enter the Tomb of the Matriarch
  • Objective: Find the Treasure Vault
  • Objective: Talk to Narsis Dren
  • Objective: Push Narsis Down the Well
    Or Convince Him to Embellish the Story
  • Objective: Talk to Elfbetta
  • Quest complete


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