Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Clavicus Vile.
"A mortal! Wonderful. Always a pleasure. Perhaps you'll do a service for me, mortal. And I'll reward you. A fair bargain, don't you think? You will retrieve for me a sword, a very special sword. It contains the soul of Umbra, a hero I have had dealings with in the past. Bring the sword to me, and I'll reward you with my Masque. You'll not find a better bargain, mortal. Begin your search in Pell's Gate."
―Clavicus Vile[src]

Clavicus Vile is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. One of Clavicus Vile's worshipers has told the Hero that in order to summon the Daedra, an offering of 500 Gold must be given to the statue.


Obtain 500 Gold and go to Clavicus Vile's Shrine which is southwest of the Imperial City Waterfront and just northeast of Ceyatatar.

After activating the shrine, Clavicus Vile speaks of a sword he wishes to recover, Umbra. When the Statuette of a Dog is given, continue on to Pell's Gate.

After the Hero has walked for a bit, the statuette will speak, introducing itself as Barbas and warning not to return the sword to Clavicus Vile.

Pell's Gate[]

In Pell's Gate, talk to Irroke the Wide. The Hero will learn that his old apprentice, formerly known as Lenwin, found the sword Umbra which tainted her and she began to name herself after the sword. She joined a group of mercenaries to satisfy her lust for blood but Irroke the Wide later heard that ended.


Arriving at Vindasel

The goal to the west, in an Ayleid ruin, Vindasel. The ruin is not deep, but there is a crusher and a gas trap inside.

Upon reaching the destination, it will be clear that Umbra is not only the name of the sword, but also the person that wields it (or rather, an alias the wielder assumes). Kill Umbra and take the sword and Umbra's Ebony Armor. Return to the shrine and the Hero has the choice of returning the sword in exchange for the Masque or keeping the sword.

Shrine of Clavicus Vile[]

At the Shrine

When returning to the Shrine, the choice of either keeping Umbra or giving it to Clavicus for reward will be present (a dialog will appear, asking for the sword).

"You've brought the sword! Now give it to me, as we agreed. Umbra and I have unfinished business."
―Clavicus Vile[src]

If the choice is made to return it, the reward will be the Daedric artifact of the Masque of Clavicus Vile. The quest will finish either way, so even the decision is to keep Umbra, the Hero can still do the quest at the Shrine of Hermaeus Mora.

If chosen to give the sword:

"Excellent! A pitiful sword with a pitiful soul in exchange for a Masque fit for a god. You've gotten the better of this bargain, mortal. Now, I have business to attend to. Run along. Perhaps I'll be looking for you again...."
―Clavicus Vile[src]

If chosen to keep the sword:

"You would dare?!?! We had a bargain, little hero. You would risk my wrath for a pitiful little sword? I will be watching you mortal. And waiting."
―Clavicus Vile[src]


Journal Entry
  • Update: After speaking to a follower:

One of Clavicus Vile's worshippers has told me that in order to summon the Daedra, an offering of 500 gold must be given to the statue. [You must be level 20 to begin this quest.]

  • Update: After offering to Clavicus Vile:

When I gave my offering at the Shrine of Clavicus Vile, the Daedra Lord told me about Umbra, and how he wishes me to return to him the Umbra Sword. I should start my search in Pell's Gate.

  • Update: After Barbas speaks to the Hero:

Barbas, the Hound of Clavicus Vile, has spoken to me through the figurine that appeared in my pack. He tells me that returning the Umbra Sword to Clavicus Vile is a mistake, likely to cause great ruin to Vile's domain.

  • Update: After finding out more information about Umbra:

I've been told that Umbra was once a resident of Pell's Gate, but now has left. Some claim to have seen her recently near the Vindasel Ruins.

  • Update: After meeting Umbra and talking to her:

I have met the one called Umbra and been offered a choice: stay and fight, or leave in peace.

  • Update: If they decide to leave Umbra in peace:

I have chosen to leave Umbra in peace. I should return to the Shrine of Clavicus Vile and make my decision known to the Daedra Lord.

  • Update: If they decide to kill her and retrieve the sword:

I have retrieved the Umbra Sword.

  • Update: If you return the sword to Clavicus Vile:

Clavicus Vile appreciated my efforts. He has taken the Umbra Sword and rewarded me with the Masque of Clavicus Vile.

  • Update: If you decide not to return the sword to Clavicus Vile:

Clavicus Vile was not pleased that I elected not to return to him the Umbra Sword.

  • Quest complete


  • For tips on defeating Umbra, see the Umbra article.
  • If one decides to keep the sword, the followers of Clavicus will attack him/her to give him the sword and gain fame for himself and it will no longer be weightless. It will then have a weight of 45 WeightIcon.png.
  • By choosing to side with Barbas (Clavicus Vile's dog) when he speaks through the Statuette of a Dog (which appears in the inventory upon starting the quest) and not kill Umbra, the dog in the statue completely disappears.
  • Barbas's warning about giving Umbra to Clavicus Vile turned out to be true: forty years later the Umbra spirit attacked Clavicus and fled from his realm, powering the Infernal City of Umbriel which went on a path of destruction in Tamriel, namely destroying Gideon, Stormhold, and Lilmoth in Black Marsh, parts of Morrowind, and Cheydinhal in Cyrodiil.[1][2]


This section contains bugs related to Clavicus Vile (Quest). 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   There is a bug where either keeping or giving the sword to Vile, the game freezes 5 seconds later. To avoid this, simply keep Umbra and don't return to the shrine. Unfortunately, this will not allow one to do the "Shrine of Hermaeus Mora" quest. This bug can be defeated by first finding the Shrine of Hermaeus Mora, then as soon as Clavicus Vile stops talking fast travel to Shrine of Hermaeus Mora and activate the statue as fast as possible.
    •  360 (Fix)   Do not obtain the quest before getting the Umbra Sword. First, kill Umbra and get the sword. Second, go to the Shrine and then obtain the quest from Ma'Raska. The quest will then automatically go to the stage where the player has to give the sword to Vile or refuse Vile's offer. This way, the player never gets Barbas' statue and the game never crashes. The quest can then be completed normally.
  •  PC   360   PS3   It is possible to go to Vindasel and kill Umbra even if the player isn't level 20 or hasn't given an offering. One can then take the sword and finish the quest without starting it. (Not truly a bug, just a way around part of the quest.)
    •  PC   360   PS3   Solution: One way to avoid the bug is by going to Vindasel and killing Umbra before the quest, then going to the shrine and starting the quest. If the quest has already been started and this bug is active, they can get past it (regardless of giving the sword or not) by fast traveling to Cheydinhal East gate immediately after he stops talking and the quest updates. The dog statue should start talking, then be removed from the player's inventory without freezing. Note: The dog statue is what causes the bug. The dog statue being removed is what makes the game freeze up, but fast traveling to Cheydinhal East Gate removes the dog without freezing.