Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"Honningbrew's owner, Sabjorn, is about to hold a tasting for Whiterun's Captain of the Guard and we're going to poison the mead."
Mallus Maccius[src]

Dampened Spirits is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must shut down Honningbrew Meadery, a business competing with Black-Briar Meadery, for Maven Black-Briar.


I've been sent to speak to Maven Blackbriar, head of the wealthiest most influential family in Riften. According to Brynjolf, she has a job of utmost importance for me and I need to follow her directions to the letter.


  1. Speak to Maven Black-Briar
  2. Speak to Mallus Maccius
  3. Speak to Sabjorn
  4. Poison the nest
  5. Poison the Honningbrew vat
  6. Attend the tasting ceremony
  7. Identify Sabjorn's silent partner
  8. Return to Maven Black-Briar
  9. Return to Brynjolf


The first step in the quest is to speak with Maven Black-Briar. She will be waiting upstairs in The Bee and Barb, wandering around town during daylight, or in the Black-Briar Meadery in Riften. She asks the Dragonborn to shut down a competitor, the newly opened Honningbrew Meadery, and to find out how its owner Sabjorn has managed so quickly to fund its opening.

Next, it is necessary to find and speak with Mallus Maccius. He will be waiting in The Bannered Mare in Whiterun. He tells the Dragonborn to ask Sabjorn for work clearing out pests that Mallus has lured into the meadery. The Dragonborn is to fulfill this job, poisoning the meadery vat in the process.

Sabjorn will give the Dragonborn a key to the meadery's basement with instructions to kill all the pests and to poison their nest. This presents the opportunity to poison the vats as well. Getting to the nest is straightforward, but there are quite a few skeevers, venomfang skeevers, and some frostbite spiders along the way. However, the real challenge is dealing with Hamelyn; a mage living next to the nest. He uses a fairly powerful magic attack (which appears to be random, but may vary depending on the Dragonborn's level). If the Dragonborn is a werewolf, transforming may be a good option: roaring will cause him to enter a state of Fear, offering an excellent chance to kill him. One can also paralyze him (via the Ice Form Dragon shout, the Paralyze spell, or paralysis-enchanted weapons) to prevent him from attacking, then retaliating or sneaking past. He can also be killed with a sneak attack from behind if one's Sneak and One or Two-Handed skill is high enough. Another option is to use Frenzy on him and the skeevers, then repeatedly sneak attack after using Calm on him.

After Hamelyn is dealt with, the nest can be poisoned, and then the Dragonborn can then enter the tunnel.

The area to poison the nest is the pile of hay to the right of the alchemy lab. The area where poison can be used is fairly small.

Going through the tunnel to the Honningbrew Boilery, it is possible to go up the stairs and pour the poison into the vat. The door's key hangs right next to it. Afterwards, Sabjorn needs to be told that the job is done.

Now it is time to attend the tasting ceremony. Commander Caius or Sinmir tastes the mead (depending on the Dragonborn's Civil War allegiance) and is unhappy with it. He puts Mallus in charge and drags Sabjorn off to Dragonsreach Dungeon.

At this point, Mallus will help locate the books that identify Sabjorn's "silent partner." Upstairs, a promissory note is in Sabjorn's dresser. Behind the door to the right of the dresser is the Honningbrew Decanter (a larceny target), which can be sold to Delvin Mallory.

Upon returning to Riften, Maven Black-Briar can be given the note. She tells the Dragonborn to take the information to Brynjolf, who acknowledges the findings and sends the Dragonborn to Mercer Frey (who he feels will be able to identify the symbol on the note and shed some light on the Thieves Guild's anonymous adversary). The quest "Scoundrel's Folly" then begins.


Upon returning to Maven Black-Briar, the Dragonborn is given either a leveled enchanted dagger, sword, or mace and Mallus will become available as a fence.


Dampened Spirits – TG03
ID Journal Entry
10 I've been sent to speak to Maven Black-Briar, head of the wealthiest most influential family in Riften. According to Brynjolf, she has a job of utmost importance for me and I need to follow her directions to the letter.
  • Objective 10: Speak to Maven Black-Briar
20 Maven Black-Briar has sent me to Whiterun where I am to meet with someone named Mallus Maccius. Together, our goal is to bring down one of Maven's competitors, Honningbrew Meadery and discover where he obtained the financing to take her on.
  • Objective 20: Speak to Mallus Maccius
30 I've become a key component in a cunning plan to frame Honningbrew Meadery's owner, Sabjorn, and have him imprisoned. The first part of the scheme is to approach Sabjorn under the guise of assistance with a pest problem he's having thanks to Mallus's tinkering.
  • Objective 30: Speak to Sabjorn
40 Sabjorn has provided me with poison I'm to apply to the nests deep within the tunnels under Honningbrew Meadery. As Mallus predicted, I should be able to use the very same poison to taint Sabjorn's mead as well.
  • Objective 45: Poison the Nest
  • Objective 50: Poison the Honningbrew Vat
  • Objective 60: Return to Sabjorn
  • Objective 70: Attend the tasting ceremony
80 The plan worked perfectly and Whiterun's Captain of the Guard was stricken with illness when he drank the poisoned mead. Sabjorn's been carted off to jail and Honningbrew Meadery is now closed.
  • Objective 80: Speak to Mallus Maccius
90 Now that Mallus's position as the owner of Honningbrew Meadery has been secured, I need to find any information explaining how Sabjorn was able to fund this costly operation.
  • Objective 90: Identify Sabjorn's silent partner
  • Objective 100: Return to Maven Black-Briar
  • Objective 110: Return to Brynjolf
200 The information I obtained from Honningbrew Meadery points to the same anonymous buyer of Goldenglow Estate. If successful, this individual would have completely estranged Maven Black-Briar from the Guild and destroyed it economically. It's becoming painfully obvious that it's time to shed some light on our mysterious adversary before they have a chance to strike again.
  • Quest complete


  • When going to Sabjorn's room in his office to collect his notes, under his bed in a bedpan, one will find a bottle of Black-Briar Mead.
  • On Sabjorn's desk, there is a note from Maven Black-Briar regarding his meadery. It can be assumed from the note that Maven has repeatedly tried to buy Honningbrew from Sabjorn without success.
  • If Serana is brought into the meadery after completing the quest, she will occasionally approach the barrel Caius drank from, pour and drink an invisible goblet of mead from it. She may also do so during the quest, stalling the quest indefinitely until the player moves away or tells her to do something.
  • Caius will always appear for the tasting, even if the quest "Battle for Whiterun" is completed for the Stormcloaks and Sinmir replaces him as head of the guard.
  • Within the brewery and boilery the Dragonborn can steal and take up to 406 (possibly more) bottles of Honningbrew Mead.
  • If the Dragonborn captures Riften for the Empire in the Civil War before completing this quest, Maven Black-Briar will not be seen in Mistveil Keep until it is complete.
  • If the Honningbrew Mead is stolen from the barrels in the back of the meadery before the quest is finished and you return after the quest is finished, the barrels will be refilled with Black-Briar Mead, allowing you to steal the mead again and make even more gold.


This section contains bugs related to Dampened Spirits. 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.
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  •  PC   360   PS3   PS4   NX   Breaking into Honningbrew Meadery at any point before the quest is assigned will prevent Brynjolf from giving it to you after completing "Loud and Clear".
  •  PC   360   PS3   If Maven Black-Briar is not spoken to shortly after being given the quest, the quest may bug out and the Thieves Guild quest line cannot be continued.
    •  PC (Fix)   An inelegant but effective solution is to open the console and enter the command setstage TG04 1. That will allow the bugged quest to be entirely skipped and the Thieves Guild questline to continue.
  •  PC   360   PS3   PS4   NX   To complete the Thieves guild quest "Loud And Clear," the Dragonborn must talk to Brynjolf. However, Brynjolf may not assign "Dampened Spirits" despite providing the necessary dialogue and task. Speaking to Maven as Brynjolf asks will not trigger any new dialogue on her part.
    • This may be worked around by saving before talking to Brynjolf, then talking to him.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   Patch 1.4 fixes this bug. If the quest is bugged, downloading the patch and letting it run for 20 minutes will allow the quest to automatically start.
  •  360   PS3   When going through the caverns, near some bear traps, there is an un-activated tripwire. If the Dragonborn dies sometime after tripping it, and respawns, the wire will appear broken as if already tripped, however it is indeed un-activated.
  • After completing the quest correctly and continuing on with the Thieves Guild storyline, in some cases Mallus will never operate correctly as a fence. He has dialogue options that correspond with the quest being completed correctly, and other dialogue that indicates he will buy things, but he never opens up a merchant window.
  • After Commander Caius escorts Sabjorn out, Commander Caius may not spawn in Whiterun anymore.
  • Commander Caius will be Commander of the Whiterun Guards even if the Stormcloaks take control of Whiterun and exile him with Balgruuf the Greater.
  • If there is a bounty for Whiterun, the game may freeze when doing part of the quest.
  •  360   Sometimes Maven will not give a leveled weapon, instead giving an extremely low level weapon, such as an iron dagger.
  •  PS3   After sneaking past Hamelyn, he will re-appear in the boilery and continue attacking.
  • Sometimes after the quest is finished, when taking to Mallus the quest log will not reflect that he has been spoken to, making it impossible to progress.
    • This can be fixed by reloading a save from before the quest.
  •  360   The Honningbrew Decanter may not appear.