Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Confront the King is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Hannibal Traven tasks the Hero with killing Mannimarco, the King of Worms. Traven promotes the Hero to Arch-Mage, sacrifices himself and puts his own soul into the Colossal Black Soul Gem.


Arch-Mage's quarters[]

After Hannibal has sacrificed himself and died, search his body and take his key and the Soul Gem. Head to Echo Cave, where the King of Worms can be found.

Echo Cave[]

Bolar Savel at Echo Cave

Outside the cave, Bolor Savel, Mannimarco's last lieutenant and guardian of Echo Cave, will be waiting. He gives a speech and states he will die protecting the key, and then attacks.

After taking his key, enter the cave, which has Necromancers and leveled undead. Go through the cave to the bottom level where Mannimarco awaits. He also has a speech, in which he recognizes the growing annoyance the Hero is to necromancers, and then uses his enthrall spell (the same spell that turned Mucianus Allias into a worm thrall) on them.

Mannimarco's lair

However, the presence of the Colossal Black Soul Gem in the Hero's possession negates this effect. Thus robbed of his critical weapon, he attacks. Mannimarco is seven levels above the Hero, with an array of spells and scrolls. He is also standing next to a lever that activated a claw trap. Once slain, he can be looted for the Staff of Worms, which reanimates the dead, and his unique Necromancer robes.

Arcane University[]

Head back to the University, where Raminus Polus will acknowledges the Hero as Arch-Mage and provide guidance on what to do next. Becoming Arch-Mage has several benefits:

  • A unique set of Arch-Mage robes and hood.
  • Access to the Arch-Mage's quarters.
  • Ability to enlist two apprentices as followers.
  • An Enchanted Chest which multiplies any ingredient put in it after 24 hours (not including Nirnroot and ingredients from the Shivering Isles).

Speak to Raminus about Alchemy Acquisitions after being made Arch-Mage for a short quest regarding the chest.


Journal Entry
  • Update: After accepting the quest from Traven:

Hannibal Traven has promoted me to Arch-Mage, and has tasked me with stopping the King of Worms. I need to take the Black Soul Gem to Echo Cave and confront him.

  • Update: After arriving at Echo Cave:

I've arrived at Echo Cave, and have gained access to Mannimarco's lair. I need to find him inside, and put an end to him.

  • Update: After killing Mannimarco:

I have killed the King of Worms. I should return to the Arcane University to announce his defeat.

  • Update: After talking to Raminus Polus:

Raminus Polus thanked me for putting an end to the King of Worms, and has recognized me as Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild.

  • Quest complete


  • It is possible to pickpocket Mannimarco's staff, although it has little practical use at this point as its only effect is to reanimate a dead character. Since the Hero cannot leave the area until Mannimarco is dead, the only person to use it on is Mannimarco himself.
  • The chest at the end of the bed in the Arch-Mage's quarters resets itself periodically. Do not store items in it. Furthermore, while the nightstand next to the bed does not reset, it still has scripts on it so it is also not sensible to store items in it, either.
  • The Colossal Black Soul Gem is not actually required to complete the quest. Mannimarco's enthrall spell will have no effect with or without it. Also, the Colossal Black Soul Gem becomes an non-removable quest item, so leaving it on Traven's body is desirable for console players.
  • All the items previously locked in display cases in Mages Guild buildings are no longer considered stolen. The only items still considered "stealable" are on and around the counter in the room left of the entrance of the Anvil Mages Guild.


This section contains bugs related to Confront the King. 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  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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.
  • Mannimarco cannot be killed because all attacks (including magic) go right through him.
    •  PC (Fix)   Type "kill" on the console after clicking Mannimarco.
    •  360   PS3   Solution: load an earlier savegame.
    • Solution: Lead him into the water to drown if he is hostile.
    • Solution: Use reflect damage/spell gear. His spells reflected back will hurt him.
  • There is also a chance that when Hannibal Traven takes his life to fill the Black Soul Gem, he will not actually die. The soul gem can be pickpocketed from him and the quest continued with no issue.
    • Solution: reload a previous save.
  • If the skeleton from earlier inside the cave pursues you to Mannimarco, there is a chance that Mannimarco will not give his speech. Instead, he will stand there and cower, saying things like "Look out!"