Circus of Cheerful Slaughter is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls Online. Valaste cannot find anything in "Circus of Cheerful Slaughter" that tells her what the next of Sheogorath's trials is. She lets the Vestige try to read the book, and they are transported to Circus of Cheerful Slaughter.
Sheogorath wants to put on a play about the Mages Guild and the alliances. He enlists the Vestige to help.
- Talk to Valaste.
- Read "Circus of Cheerful Slaughter."
- Talk to Sheogorath.
- Find Sheogorath in Heartholdhelm. (Ebonheart/Stormhold/Windhelm)
- Kill Ebonheart Pact actors.
- Kill Pact lead actors
- Find Sheogorath in Skyroot Hearth. (Skywatch/Elden Root/Woodhearth)
- Watch Queen Ayrenn's speech.
- Kill Aldmeri Dominion actors.
- Kill Queen Ayrenn.
- Find Sheogorath in Daggerwaymore. (Daggerfall/Wayrest/Evermore)
- Save the Guild members.
- Kill High King Emeric.
- Talk to Sheogorath.
- Collect the book.
- Return to Valaste.
Arch-Mage Shalidor informs the Vestige that Valaste is having trouble understanding the latest tome and may need the Vestige's help. Shalidor urges the Vestige to visit her as soon as possible. Shalidor claims this last tome is "nothing but nonsense" and blames it on the Mad God being "a deranged skeever."
At the Guildhall, Valaste complains about the tome making no sense even after translating it, unlike the previous two tomes. She fears she may be missing something. The Vestige offers to read the tome, which can be found on a desk near Valaste. Upon reading the tome, the Vestige is transported to the Shivering Isles and to where Sheogorath is waiting. Haskill is also present, and if spoken to, he will simply praise the Vestige for their punctuality.
Sheogorath welcomes the Vestige to the Circus of Cheerful Slaughter and calls the Vestige the "star" of the show. He claims the Vestige is going to perform a play he wrote himself called "The Folly of Isolation," a tragedy and a comedy, both at once, or as he calls it, "a tromedy." Sheogorath explains if the Vestige wants the next tome, he needs to be entertained. He says he can only light Prince Maleel - who can be seen standing behind Sheogorath - on fire so many times before it gets boring.
Sheogorath says the play is set in Tamriel and is about the Alliance War and the Mages Guild, the latter which does not want anything to do with the war. The play has three acts, and the Vestige's job is to isolate members of the Mages Guild from the "bloodthirsty, political, and warmongering sons of silkworms," by killing them.
Sheogorath proceeds to set Prince Maleel on fire, causing the undead Prince to run away in the direction of the first act of the play, as Sheogorath intended. Once the conversation is over, the Vestige can find a note on a table detailing the first act, and there are other notes detailing the remaining acts elsewhere. Proceeding down the path ahead, the Vestige may find Prince Maleel dead on the ground. Further along, the Vestige will discover a group of spectral individuals standing around in a large circle, called "Theater Goer."
Moving past them, the Vestige will meet up with Sheogorath. He asks if they are ready and explains the opening act features the Ebonheart Pact, who are currently at peace despite their historical conflicts. Sheogorath claims he's written himself a small part to give the Pact members a little "push." He basically walks over to them and yells, "Hey! You hate each other, remember?"
Sheogorath's words seemingly prompt the Pact members to become hostile, forcing the Vestige to kill all of the actors. More actors show up later, going by the names of important individuals, such as Jorunn the Skald-King. These actors must be killed too.
Further along, the Vestige will encounter three spectral individuals. They seem to be a vision of someone's memory. Valaste is among the trio, sitting on the ground and being talked down at by the other two. Another vision further along depicts Vanus Galerion admitting Valaste into the Mages Guild, who calls it the "best day of her life." A lone vision of Valaste can be found agonizing over the text of a tome she can't make sense of. She accuses herself of being an idiot.
Once the Vestige has located Sheogorath, he claims they have paused for a brief intermission. He offers the Vestige some cheese. The Vestige wants to skip it, prompting Sheogorath to explain the next act involves the Aldmeri Dominion. The Vestige correctly guesses they must kill more actors. At the location of the act, Queen Ayrenn is giving a speech, during which she murders three actors herself. Once she is done speaking, the Vestige must kill the remaining actors.
Once Queen Ayrenn is dead, the Vestige must travel to Sheogorath's location, Along the way, they will encounter more visions involving Valaste and later, Arch-Mage Shalidor. One vision is of Shalidor expressing his joy of finally creating Eyevea, the next vision shows him disregarding the Folium Discognitum, which he claims wasn't worth trading Eyevea for.
The next vision shows Shalidor cursing Sheogorath, his wife Ulfsild, and announce he will show everyone how his name will "ring across history." The next vision shows Shalidor hard at work and completely ignoring Ulfsild, who becomes so distressed she abandons her husband.
Once the Vestige reaches Sheogorath, he will claim the third act always brings him down because it means the play is almost over. He wants it to go on forever. Sheogorath then inquires about the sideshows and asks if the Vestige enjoyed his little "illusionary performances." The Vestige asks what the third act is about, but Sheogorath refuses to say, preferring to "show, don't tell."
After the conversation, Sheogorath lists out the cast members, which include Valaste, Vanus Galerion and Arch-Mage Shalidor, as well as members of the Daggerfall Covenant. It soon becomes apparent that the Daggerfall Covenant actors, led by King Emeric, intend to attack the Mages Guild members. The Vestige must protect them.
Once the actors are killed, including King Emeric, the Vestige will approach Sheogorath and request for the tome. Sheogorath says he wasn't impressed with their performance but concedes once the Vestige points out they had a deal. Sheogorath reassures the Vestige that the tome will take them back to the Mages Guildhall.
The Vestige must retrieve the tome within the building behind Sheogorath. Inside, they will encounter one final vision. It is of Valaste talking nonsensically to herself about a monkey. Once the Vestige has read the tome, they will return to the Guildhall and see the real Valaste.
The Vestige will present the new tome to Valaste, who promises to begin translating it immediately. She rewards the Vestige for their efforts. The Vestige will also explain a bit about the trial and receive commentary from Valaste. Either way, the quest is complete.
- Thespian's Ring