Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Crimes of the Past is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls Online. Marisette asks the Vestige for help in finding Gerard Althen, a man who has been found guilty of war crimes during the Ranser's War.


The Ring of Daggers has tracked down a war criminal named Gerard Althen, who once served as King Ranser's spymaster. He's hiding somewhere in Sanguine Barrows and I've agreed to find him and bring him out.

Quick walkthrough[]

  1. Find a clue to the hiding place
  2. Search the Central Crypt
  3. Read the letter in Althen's Pack
  4. Talk to Althen
  5. Find House Dorell key
  6. Find House Tamrith key
  7. Activate south lever
  8. Activate north lever
  9. Enter the Sanguine Barrows Crypt
  10. Talk to Althen
  11. Help Althen escape
  12. Talk to Althen
  13. Take Althen to the Ring of Daggers (Optional)


The Vestige can find Marisette southwest of Sanguine Barrows. Once she is spoken to, she will begin to explain her situation and ask the Vestige for help, saying:

"I know you. Daggerfall. That mad plan to take on Molag Bal. Crazy. Let me ask you, though. If someone committed a heinous crime—slaughtering innocent people and such— could they ever be forgiven, or should they suffer for the rest of their lives?"

Why are you asking me this? "Because that's the scenario here. I've tracked down a man named Gerard Althen. Althen ordered the massacre of hundreds of innocent people during Ranser's War and then vanished. After ten years, I finally found him. I just need help bringing him in."
What kind of help do you need? "I need someone to fight their way into the barrows and find his hiding place. It shouldn't be too hard. One of Althen's old cronies came to help him escape. Trolls got to him, but he must've been carrying a clue to Althen's hiding place."
All right. I'll go see what I can find. "You're smart. Working for the Ring of Daggers has two great benefits. First, we reward our friends generously. Second, we don't worry about trials and laws and silly things like that. Get Althen to Hoarfrost Downs and he will pay for what he did."
Can I ask you about something? "You certainly can. I may or may not be obliged to answer, but you can certainly ask."
What exactly were Althen's crimes? "Althen was King Ranser's spymaster and head of security. During the war, when High King Emeric struck an alliance with the Orcs, Ranser went mad. He had Althen round up hundreds of innocent Orc civilians and put them to the sword."

So he was acting on King Ranser's orders? "Of course, but that makes him no less guilty. The dog that bites cannot blame his master for letting him off the chain. Althen willfully organized the slaughter of innocent people, and he will pay for that crime no matter how long it takes."

How will he be punished? "If you must know, he will die. And most likely, it will be a slow and painful death. The contract is with High King Emeric. He hired us to track Althen down. We can bring him in dead or alive. It's our choice."
Why would you chose to kill him? "In addition to his crimes, Althen made the mistake of crossing the Ring of Daggers. He tortured and killed the lover of our leader, Copper Dariah. All that remained of the man was an eye. I suspect Copper will begin with one of Althen's eyes."
Can you tell me more about the Ring of Daggers? "We work on a contractual basis. Guards, soldiers, scouts, couriers. Whatever the client needs, we provide. We swear allegiance to no one, but work for a variety of interests within the Daggerfall Covenant—often even for the High King himself."

Afterwards, the Vestige will then need to seek out the first hidden clue. This clue, a Letter from Althen, will be found beside a corpse being eating by a Troll. This letter will reveal that Althen is in the Sanguine Barrows Crypt. Once the door is knocked upon, Gerard Althen, will speak out from behind the door, and will say:

"Who's out there? Turenn? Tell me that's you."

Open the door, Althen. "For you? I don't think so. Who do you work for? The Ring of Daggers? If so, you're wasting your time. You can't get it, and I have enough supplies to survive in here for quite some time...however long it takes until my friends come for me."
Your friend Turenn was killed by the trolls. "Turenn is dead? You saw him? Oh gods! I—I needed him to get me out! The door can only be opened from the outside. I don't have enough supplies to last forever! I'll die in here!"
I can open the door if you'll tell me how. "Of course you will. And then you'll hand me over to the Ring of Daggers! I'm no fool. I am in a bind here, though. Perhaps I can persuade you to have mercy. You should know that despite my past, I'm actually a very good person now."
You expect me to take your word for that? "Well...no. There's a letter in my pack, though! It would give me some credibility. I dropped my pack out in the barrows, but if you'll find and read that letter, I'll tell you how to open the door. And if you still want to turn me in, so be it."
That sounds reasonable. "All right. I believe I dropped my pack by an altar just north of the crypt. You'll find the letter in there. If you read it, you'll see! I'm a changed man. I've done everything I can do to make amends. Please, just read it and come back."

After this, the Vestige will need to go to an altar north of the crypt to find his letter. Along the way, there will be multiple Skeevers and a Spriggan. Once the letter from his pack is read, the Vestige must then return to him in order know how to release him. Once he is spoken to, he will give the Vestige the needed instructions:

"You're back? Thank the gods! The walls of this crypt are closing in on me now. Ever since I realized I might die in here. Funny how the mind does that. Did you find my pack though? Did you find the letter?"

Yes, I read the letter. "Very well. I hope it's given you something to think about before deciding my fate. Regardless, I suppose it's my turn to hold up my end of the bargain. Unfortunately, this door was designed to be absolutely secure against intruders."
What do I have to do to get it open? "The door is controlled by two levers on either side of the barrow above. As if that weren't enough, you'll need keys to activate the levers. The keys are buried inside the Dorell and Tamrith family crypts. I am sorry this is so much trouble."
Don't worry. I'll get the keys, activate the levers, and open the door. "Yes. And then I get to find out what my fate is to be. I hope you're really thinking about this."

In order to activate the levers to open the door, the Vestige will need to retrieve their corresponding keys. The House Dorell key can be found in a crypt southwest of the Sanguine Barrow, while the House Tamrith key can be found in a crypt directly east. Within both crypts are multiple Skeevers and a Troll. The general location of the keys within the crypts are almost identical, except that the House Dorell key will need to be dug out from a dirt pile in the left corner of the room, while the House Tamrith key will need to be dug out of a dirt pile in the right corner of the room.

After both of the keys are retrieved, the Vestige will then need to activate the south and north levers. The north lever is located on a hill directly in front of the entrance of the House Dorell crypt. It will be behind a boulder that is guarded by another troll.

Behind the entrance of Tamrith crypt to the left is a chest, as well as Orichalcum Ore. There will also be two trolls, which will be found near a hole containing a skeleton and the book "Modern Heretics." The south lever can be found behind a boulder on a hill directly in front of the entrance.

Once this is done, the Vestige can then be able to enter the Sanguine Barrows Crypt to speak with Althen. He will speak to the Vestige with a somber and humble tone, saying:

"So here we are. The moment of truth. I can now look upon the face of the one who will be my judge. I hope you understand that I am in no way trying to deny my past wrongdoings, nor would I argue that those acts should be forgiven."

I understand. "If you read the letter in my pack, then you at least know that I've done what I can in the years since the war to make amends for the things I did. Even if you decide to hand me over to the Ring of Daggers, I will at least die knowing I tried."
Do you want to know my decision now? "No. I prefer you take your time making this choice. I need to get out of these barrows either way, so you can take me to the Ring of Daggers or you can take me to the other side of the barrows and set me free. It's up to you."
I want to ask you something. "Of course. If there's anything I can tell you to increase my chance of meriting your mercy, I am more than happy to oblige. What would you like to know?"
What crimes did you commit during the war? "Please, don't ask me about that. Anything but that. Ask me about the things I've done since the war. The things I did under king Ranser...they were terrible. Hard to think about, let alone speak of. Please. Anything but that."
Sorry. I want to hear you say it. "Fine, damn it! You want to know what I did? I'll tell you. When the Orcs turned on us, Ranser ordered me to arrest and interrogate all Orcs in Rivenspire, and I did. If they resisted or seemed suspicious, I had them executed. There."

Do you really think you've made amends? "I know that one can never truly wipe the past clean, and certainly not in my case, but I've done what I can. I've sent gold and gifts to the orphanage in Orsinium and I've spent years years tracking down the ancient tomes of Orc history for their library."

Have you done anything else? "Um...yes? I've fed stray dogs, opened doors for old ladies and handed out moon-sugar candy to children. That may sound petty, but the point is that I've tried."
How did you end up locked in the crypt? "Well, originally the plan was quite genius. The Ring of Daggers has been on my trail for years, and everywhere I've gone, I've made sure to have a backup plan. When I came to Moira's Hope, I found this tomb, and I added a few safeguards."
But why put the door controls outside? "Well, part of that was the original design of the crypt, but I liked that about it. The Ring of Daggers has ways of getting inside a man's head. I worried they might glamour me and trick me into opening the door. This seemed like a fail-safe."
All right. Let's get moving. "I'm yours to do with as you will. Whatever you decide, I will go along. My fate is in your hands."

After exiting the barrows, the Vestige has two choices to choose from. One can either take Althen to the Ring of Daggers, or decide to let him go. There will be a corresponding marker for each choice. The location marker to take him to the Ring of Daggers will be located north-west, while the location marker to free Althen will be south-east.

If one decides to take him to the Ring of Daggers, the Vestige must travel to Hroarfrost Downs and speak to Marisette. She will appear to be very pleased, saying:

"You followed through? Excellent. I worried he'd convince you to set him free, then we'd have to track down both of you. That would have been unpleasant. Forget that, though. Can't tell you how glad I am to finally have this bastard in custody." He's all yours. "You've earned my esteem, my friend, and that's no small thing. You're a friend to the Ring of Daggers now. I have a feeling we'll cross paths again someday. May the gods watch over you until then."

She will then give the Vestige the Barrow Hammer and a leveled amount of Gold, completing the quest. Marisette will show disdain towards Althen, sneering at his attempts to make amends. She will tell him that he deserves a slow an painful death; at this, he will then double over in pain. Annoyed, Marisette will kick him to get up, and they will both walk away.

Alternatively, if he is taken to be freed, he will be very grateful, responding with:

"I don't see anyone from the Ring of Daggers. Does that mean...you've chosen to let me go free?"

Yes. You're free to go. "Thank you. Thank you so much. I promise you, whatever efforts I made to redeem myself before, they will be doubled. Every hour, for the rest of my life, I will try to earn the reprieve you've given me."

He will then reward the Vestige the Barrow Hammer and a leveled amount of Gold, completing the quest. After this, a woman, named Gabria, will materialize behind him. He will appear shocked, thanking her for coming and asking for her help. She will respond by saying that Turenn had already planned everything, having Althen to be disguised as a merchant in Orsinium. After this, she will vanish, and Althen will thank the Vestige once more for their help. He will then disappear in the same manner as Gabriella.


  • Barrow Hammer of Necropotence
  • 73–302 Gold