A nameless and enigmatic assassin, the Drake of Blades serves as a member of the remnants of the Akaviri Dragonguard. She is socially awkward, preferring not to talk with people or make conversation. Despite her placid demeanour, she is often accredited with creating brutal scenes featuring cultists' severed heads and dead Daedra.
When the Vestige meets her in person, she is awkward and shy with clear social anxiety, which she herself attributes to her high level of perception, preferring to understand people by their actions rather than in conversation and is thus not the sort of person who has social interactions often. Nonetheless, she remains determined to drive out Molag Bal.
"Your general was telling you to keep an eye out for me, right? Here I am."
So you're the Dragonguard I was told about?"Right ... I'm sorry. Introductions should come first. I apologize. I am the Drake of Blades."
The Drake of—?"Blades. Yes. I'm a member of the Dragonguard. Or, I should say, the true Dragonguard. We were driven underground by the Empress Regent Clivia. Just as well. We are sworn to serve the true heir of the Dragon. She is certainly not that."
What are you doing down here in the sewer?"I'm conducting an investigation—the only investigation that matters. Your friends have provided a great distraction with all their fighting and dying, but I've hit a wall and I ... I need your help. I wouldn't ask if it weren't important, believe me."
Why should I help you?"Because you're not an idiot. You're not an idiot are you? Sorry. I'm looking into a plot. The plot. Molag Bal is looking for something. Something powerful. I fear that if we don't find out what it is, we'll all pay dearly."
Looking for something? Can you be more specific?"Truthfully? No. Not yet. But we can change that. I need an extra set of eyes and ears. You look reasonably capable, assertive, so on and so on. If we pool out assets, we should be able to foil Molag Bal's plans"
Where would we start?"In the districts. There are six in all. Molag Bal has tried to cover his tracks by scattering his operation—hiding it in plain sight. But he's prideful and sloppy. He's left clues. We just need to find them and piece the puzzle together. Simple."
And if I did decide to help you, how would I get to the districts?"Your clumsy militiamen have staked out routes through the drainage system. They rolled out ladders to mark entrances. The hub is just over there—can't miss it. it's filthy, but surprisingly efficient. So what do you say? Will you help me?"
Yes, I'll help you."I can understand if you're dubious. Skeptical. I would be. All I ask is that you go to the districts and stay watchful. I'll do the same. Small beginning and such. Simple. If you're half as capable as I think you are, we'll be meeting again soon."
After the quest:
"So. You're making a stupid face. I'm assuming you have questions? Sorry, It's not a stupid face. It's just—never mind. I have ... difficulties."
Why do you call yourself the Drake of Blades?"It's a simple misdirection. All members of the Dragonguard have assumed pseudonyms. There's a Drake of Shields, a Drake of Staves, and so on. It gives us the freedom to act in both plainclothes and uniform."
But why "Blades?""That's a question for the leadership. I like to think it reflects on my keen intellect, but I have no idea. It was probably random. Then again, the Drake of Crowns is a clumsy, short-sighted ass, so maybe there's something to it. Royalty."
Are you all right?"Of course I am. Am I ... ? I'm being awkward, aren't I? I apologize. I'm not very good ... with people, I mean. I usually just avoid talking to people entirely. This is the longest conversation I've had in months."
Nerves?"Something like that. I guess. I'm perceptive. "Gifted," they say, I can tell when someone's lying, or anxious, or plotting something, just by looking at them. But it's too much sometimes—especially when they start talking to me."
Must be difficult."Yes and no. For better or worse, it made me who I am. I couldn't really talk to people, so I had to learn about them through observation. It honed ,y senses—made me focus on the little things. Details. That's a valuable skill in my profession."
Why do yo need my help?"You have assets that I don't. Influence, connections... charisma. You're an accomplished warrior. You obviously have no love for the Daedra. We have common enemies, common goals. It's simple."
Do you have any take in the War of the Three Banners?"Are you joking? Oh, you're not. No, I'm not interested in petty border disputes."
So you don't care who claims the city?"You still being serious aren't you? No. I don't care who "claims" the city. The occupations could last for twenty days or twenty centuries. Doesn't matter. When Akatosh's heir arrives, the old order, all of it, will be swept away."
So you're waiting for the next Dragonborn Emperor?"We all are. But that's barely relevant at this point. Let's focus on the Daedra, all right?"
"You didn’t come to pray, did you? The Temple District is no place for pilgrims - not anymore. I’m sorry if I seem distracted. I lost something."
What did you lose?"Who. When the anchors fell, I made contact with a priest named Egnatius. He’s old... with very distracting teeth, but wiser than most. I’m certain he can help us stop whatever Molag Bal has planned for the city. Unfortunately, he’s been captured."
Do you know where they took him?"Not yet. Molag Bal obvious knows his value. They don’t keep him in one place for long. Daedra have been torturing the city’s clergy near the shrines to the Eight. We should split up and free those priests. Hopefully Egnatius will be among them."
I’ll search the shrines to the Eight and rescue any priests I find there."Meet me in the rectory when you’re finished - it should be safe there. Now stay low. You don’t want to be strung up like the rest of these dolts. We’re just going to find Egnatius and get out of here, right? We’re agreed....? Just nod."
Are you all right?"Yes, of course I am. Is this really relevant? We have work to do."
Why are you so anxious?"I don’t see that it’s any of your business. But this is obviously going to be an issue... This place makes me uncomfortable. The Temple District, I mean. Well, I should clarify - the people here make me uncomfortable. Religious people."
Why?"It’s the expectation. Everyone is supposed to act differently here. I don’t know how to do that. Out in the world, life is messy. But not here. Before the invasion, it was so clean and everyone was so polite. It’s all pretense. I hate it."
Do you follow the Divines?"No. No one does - not really. The Nine Doctrines provide very clear instructions. They’re concise. Simple. But I kill, and spy, and steal. It’s my profession. I could act like I keep to their commands, but that would be lying - and I hate lies."
But don’t the Dragonguard veneration Akatosh?"Veneration is not the same thing as obedience. Look, every moment we spent squabbling about theology is another eternity of torture for those priests. Let’s just get back to the task at hand, yes? Yes."
What can you tell me about Egnatius?"I already told you about his teeth, didn’t I? Sorry. Egnatius is very wise. Confused, but wise."
Confused, how?"He’s a priest. Religion is all about elevating what you can’t see over what you can. It’s absurd. Even so, he’s a genius - or near to it. Had the ear of some Imperial councilors before Mannimarco hedged him out."
And you think he can help us?"I know he can. I wouldn’t waste time and resources on him otherwise. I don’t make a practice of saving useless people. You know that. That came out wrong. All people are sort of useful... I guess. I don’t know. I’m just trying to be polite."
After finding out that Egnatius has been captured:
"It’s about time. You didn’t find him either? Damn. We may be too late."
One of the priests told me that the Daedra took Egnatius to the Temple of the One."Well, that complicates things. Do you know how many Daedra are guarding the Temple? It’s somewhere between “a lot” and “too many”. Unfortunately, we don’t have much of a choice. People don’t last long in there. We have to strike now."
What’s the plan?"“Plan.” No, I don’t think we have time for that. We’ll have to improvise. This is where I’m supposed to be encouraging, isn’t it? I’m sorry. I’ll create a distraction. You slip in during the confusion, slay Egnatius’ captors, and escape. Simple."
And after that?"Make sure Egnatius makes it to safety, extract any information you can, then meet me back at the alliance base. He definitely knows something. I’d help question him if I was, you know... not me. So it goes. Good luck."
All right, I’ll rescue Egnatius and meet you back at the alliance base.
After Father Egnatius:
"You freed Egnatius, yes. I’d hate to think I was coursed down like a hare for nothing."
Egnatius is safe. He said that Molag Bal is looking for information on a scroll he found."Well, with or without the scroll. Egnatius is an asset. He speaks a dozen dead languages, can read a dozen more. He knows the city better than I do. He’s also remarkably spry for an old person. We’ll find a use for him."
""He came to her with his...." Oh. Well, that's colorful. Mara's mercy, what a waste of paper."
What are you reading?"The Cane and something, something... It's fiction. Useless. But it's still part of our heritage. We have to keep it safe. The Daedra have been torching every book they can find. All except one. It's a tome of some kind, kept locked away."
What do you think is in this book they refuse to burn?"I have no idea, but it must be important. I tried to get Sergianus, the Chief Archivist, to smuggle it out for me. But he bungled the job and got himself captured. He'll no doubt need rescuing. Start with the book, though. It's in a strongbox nearby."
I'll find the book and see if I can rescue the Chief Archivist while I'm at it.
After finding the book and saving the Chief Archivist:
"Hey. Judging by the soot on you, I'm guessing it's done? That or you look like you took a fireball to the face."
It's done. I have the book and I rescued Chief Archivist Sergianus."Excellent. May I have it, please? Whatever it is, the Daedra must think it's important."
Here you go. What's "The Sublime Brazier?""Sublime what? Oh. Well... that's troubling. Did you read this? You can read, right?"
Yes, I read it. What do you make of it?"Apparently, the Sublime Brazier is a relic the emperors use to light the Dragonfires - those mystical flames that keep the Daedra from entering our world. But it doesn't make sense. The Dragonguard should know about this - should be protecting it. How are we expected to turn back the Daedra if... nevermind. Sorry. I just hate surprises."
So why were the Daedra holding on to this book?"They obviously have plans for this Brazier. They must be looking for insights into how it works. Weaknesses. I suppose we should be thankful that they didn't destroy the book. I've got a lot of reading to do."
So what's the plan?"For now, we stay watchful. This book is obviously connected to a greater plot. I'll be in touch once I figure out what the Sublime Brazier has to do with the invasion. So yes, I'm reading now. Can you go, please? You're in my light."
"I've been watching them turn over graves... the Worm Cult, I mean. It's an ugly business, isn't it? I used to come here to clear my head. It was quiet - peaceful. Now it's full of these idiots. Shame."
Why is the Worm Cult digging up these bodies?"They're raising the dead. Most are being outfitted as soldiers, but something's off. I've been watching one group in particular - branded skeletons digging in random locations. They're clearly looking for something, I just don't know what."
You said they branded skeletons? What does that mean?"Necromancers often brand skeletons to bind them to a specific task. In this case, digging. If you can steal a Daedric brand and a chapel key from one of these cultists, we might be able to discover what Molag Bal and his skeletons are digging for."
All right. I'll find a Daedric Brand and a key to the chapel."Any one of these cultists could be carrying the Daedric Brand or a key to the chapel. So... happy hunting? I have to track down a lead of my own. Once you've branded a skeleton and heard what it has to say, meet me in the Undertaker's Office."
What can you tell me about the Daedric Brand?"Ever handled a cattle brand? Same principle. There's a hot end - press it onto a skull. Should be a simple matter of waiting for the skeleton to assemble and makes it confession. Don't worry if the skeleton falls apart. These things take practice."
What do you mean by "make its confession?""Right. The brand binds the skeleton to a single, very specific task. Once you've set the mark, the skeleton should recite the details of the task aloud. That will tell us everything we need to know about what they're looking for."
So the skeleton will talk?"Yes. And also no. It should be like an echo of the caster's will... or something. Honestly, I don't know all the details. I don't make a practice of casting spells on dead people. I just read a lot."
Can you tell me anything else about the skeletons."I'm not sure what you mean. They're reanimated dead people. I actually quite like skeletons. It's a shame they're so repulsive and dangerous. I'm sure that sounds bad. Please remember, I am not a crazy person."
Why do you like skeletons?"They never lie. Spycraft is all about observation - scraping away lies to find the truth. I'm very good at it, but it makes my head hurt. Skeletons are what they are, and that's it. It's refreshing. That doesn't make them any less dangerous though."
Why do we need a key to the chapel?"It's quiet, and full of skeletons. You shouldn't be disturbed there. The worm cultists were storing bones there for a while, but now they tend to avoid it. Locked it up tight. It's not all that surprising. It still smells of incense. It feels holy."
That enough to keep them out?"Well, I also hanged a few of their leaders in there. Right over the altar. That made an impression. Why are you making a face? Oh... sacrilege. Right. The Eight will understand. After all, it helped keep the cultists out. Ends and means. Simple."
After collecting the brands and chapel key and using them on Skeletons:
"You made it. Excellent. I'm sorry about the mess, but this cultist was not very forthcoming. All I got was this map. What did you find?"
Molag Bal's skeletons are digging up the "Dragonfire Cathedral.""Dragonfire cathedral? Are you sure you heard that correctly? Skeletons aren't all that articulate?"
A ghostly voice said to seek the Dragonfire Cathedral and "quench the light.""Hm. That must have been disconcerting."
What do you know about the Dragonfire Cathedral?"It's a legend. Folktale... like Arkay's magic breeches. According to the story, Alessia received a vision from Akatosh in one of the old Ayleid shrines beneath the city. Her followers tore it down and built a cathedral there."
Why would Molag Bal want to find it?"The cathedral is supposed to be the resting place of Akatosh's "second gift" to Alessia - a powerful relic. What the relic actually does? I have no idea. Molag Bal must be after this relic - that's why he's looking for the cathedral."
So how do we stop him?"The map I took from this idiot points to the crematorium. I'll bet that's where Molag Bal's skeletons are digging now. Honestly, I'm not convinced that the Dragonfire Cathedral is real. But we can't take the risk. We have to stop them."
So we go to the crematorium and..."We demolish the dig site. Worm cultists have been using concentrated kindlepitch to clear rubble. The Xivkyn Soulbranders have been distributing it since they arrived. If you can acquire some, we can use it to destroy their operation."
All right. I'll find some Kindlepitch and meet you at the crematorium."Once I've finished disposing of the body, I'll make for the crematorium. It's probably full of cultists. I'll try to thin the herd before you arrive. By that I mean I'm going to kill them all, in case that wasn’t clear."
So this cultist didn't have any other information?"None that he was keen to share. He did a lot of begging. Sentiment. I learned a lot about his mother, for instance. I don't know why people always talk about their mothers. It's probably my fault. I've never been a very good interrogator. The Vestige collects kindlepitch and blows up the dig site before meeting the Drake of Blades back in the sewers."
After collecting the kindlepitch and blowing up the dig site:
"You look awful! I'm sorry, that sounded bad. You look... unkempt. To be honest, neither of us should have been standing that close to an explosion. My ears are still ringing. So Molag Bal's dig is completely destroyed?"
Yes, it's done."Excellent. This will buy us some time. If the Dragonfire Cathedral actually exists, we need to make sure it doesn't fall into Molag Bal's hands, right? Yes. Take this for your trouble, and stay in touch. There's more to Molag Bal's plan, I know it."
When returning to the Drake of Blades in the Sewers:
"You're back - good. I just finished looking through some of this correspondence and ... Wait, what's that? A scroll? It looks ancient. Where did you find it?"
It's magic. It made a garrison of Imperial soldiers immortal."So that's how they did it... I've been watching that garrison since the beginning. Caudex is difficult to read. Talented, but stubborn. Honestly, I'm surprised he gave this to you. I'll hold on to it for now. We'll find a use for it eventually."
"Weren't you just in the Arena District? You should go back. It's easier to get work done when the games are on. It's an excellent distraction. So, yes. Go make some trouble. I might have something for you here later on."
When completing the quest:
" I've been looking through some of the Dragonguard's older texts. There are cryptic references to the Dragonfire Cathedral, but it will take some time to find. At least Molag Bal narrowed the search for us. That's why he'll lose in the end. He's sloppy."
The Rat told me that Molag Bal is trying to keep the Dragonfires from ever burning again."The Rat? Yes, I met him once. He was wearing a mask made from someone's small clothes and was covered in his own sick. He's completely mad. Then again, he has a talent. He knows this city better than anyone - and he's quiet. Very quiet."
He seemed very certain."Your face... You believe him, don't you. Perfect. I admit, it makes sense. The Dragonfires are the key to ejecting the Daedra permanently. If Molag Bal could extinguish them forever, that would be very, very bad. We'll have to keep digging."
How would you suggest we do that?"At this point? We stay patient and watchful. Also quiet. If Molag Bal catches our scent, we may lose him completely. We have motive now, but the bones of a plot aren't enough. We need plans, names, timetables... Keep watching. I'll do the same."
"You haven't seen any legionaries that seem out of place, have you? He'd be shorter than I am, lean, with very little hair."
You'll need to be more specific. What's the problem?"My contact in Legion Zero, Captain Regilus, is missing. He's sharp. Tenacious. A good man―I guess. Anyway, I haven't heard from him in weeks. He drank that Coldharbour brew to maintain his cover. I'm afraid it may have gotten the better of him."
I'll look for him. Any idea where he might be?"We use a system. When I want to meet, I draw the seal of the Dragonguard on a wall near the thoroughfare crossing. That's the signal to meet in the sewer hideout. I'll mark it on your map. I'm not convinced he'll show, but... he's valuable."
I'll seek him out and find out where he's been."If you see him, please tell him how angry I am. Or maybe "disappointed" is better. Just... whatever. You know what I mean. Use your imagination."
Why do you think he'll show for me and not for you?"I'm... difficult. He could simply be avoiding me."
Do you think that's likely?"No, of course not. He's a consummate professional. He wouldn't let something like this interfere with his duty. He's always taken my peculiarities in stride. It's weird."
So why do you think he's not showing?"I have two theories. One, he has been captured, or two, he's determined that a meet is too dangerous. I have a hard time believing that he's been killed or captured. He's far too clever for that. His work is clean. Cleaner than mine."
So what could be making a meet too dangerous?"The corruption. Members of Legion Zero are forced to drink a foul potion. It's an initiation of sorts. It makes them aggressive. Erratic. He probably doesn't want to endanger me... my mission, I mean. He might be less concerned about hurting you."
When not in the Elven Gardens District:
"You look lost. You're supposed to be in the Elven Gardens looking for my contact, Regilus, remember? You are far from the Elven Gardens. There's work to do here, but it can wait. Let's sort out this business with Regilus first, all right?"
After meeting with Regilus:
"You made it back. Excellent. Did you find Regilus? What did he have to say?"
We managed to steal an ancient key from the Daedra. Here is Regilus' final report."A key? May I? Well it's certainly old. Seems like Regilus has some theories. Gods, his penmanship is atrocious. Luckily, some of the iconography seems intact. Between that and Regilus' notes, we should be able to deduce its origin."
What do you think it opens?"Something with a lock on it. I'd say a door, based on the size. Perhaps a very large box. I can guess more if you'd like. Sorry. There is something about a relic in his report... Wait, did you say his "final report?" What happened to him?"
Molag Bal's corruption finally took hold. He chose to take his own life rather than lose control."Oh."
Are you all right?"Yes, of course I am. Why are you looking at me like that? Stop it. He was dead as soon as he drank that poison. We both knew that. I just thought he was going to hold on a bit longer. It's... it's a shame. That's all."
All right."So. Yes. I'll hold onto the key for now. I suspect we'll need it sooner rather than later. Thank you for recovering it―and for finding Regilus. I'm glad someone was there. At the end."
"Given all that we've uncovered, I think Molag Bal's plan is clear. He wants to breach the Dragonfire Cathedral to destroy the Sublime Brazier. If he succeeds, the Dragonfires will never be relit, and Mundus will be exposed to Daedric attack forever."
How do we stop him?"Well, Captain Caudex has pledged his soldiers to the cause. Father Egnatius is examining that ancient scroll you recovered. We also know the cathedral's location, and we have a key to help us gain entry. I'm sure we can come up with something."
Is there anything I can do to help?"This is going to sound stupid. Truthfully, it is stupid, but I don't pick our allies. I found a rodent with a map tied to its tail - a message from that vagrant, The Rat. He's apparently left us an urgent letter out in the sewer. Can you find it?"
All right. I'll find The Rat’s letter and bring it back here."While you retrieve The Rat's message, I'll coordinate with Father Egnatius and Captain Caudex to chart our next move. By the time you return, we should have a plan in place. I can't guarantee it will be a good one."
Why didn't The Rat just tie the message to the rodent he sent you instead of a map?"Do you really expect me to explain - ? Oh, you're joking. You're joking, right?"
Do you really believe that the scroll I recovered is important?"It made Caudex's soldiers immortal. And according to Father Egnatius, it just magically appeared one day. At the very least, it's an asset. Egnatius tells me he’s nearly finished deciphering it. I guess we'll find out how useful it is soon enough."
Shouldn't we go to the Dragonfire Cathedral immediately?"We'd be going in unprepared. I try to avoid that whenever possible. We need to read this message from The Rat and allow time for Egnatius to decipher the scroll. Captain Caudex did mention sending some of his people ahead to prepare defenses though."
After collecting the Rat's Message:
"You're back. Did you find The Rat's message? Well? Sorry to be... I mean... I've just had to do a lot of talking. My ears are ringing, but I'm all right. Don't look so sour. We have a plan."
Glad to hear it. Here's the letter I discovered. It's definitely from The Rat."Why is it sticky? Forget I asked. This is just a list of his favorite nursery rhymes. I don't know what I expected. He's a filthy lunatic who... wait. It's a cipher. Well, this is troubling."
What's wrong?"Unless this is some inane practical joke, it seems General Malivus is already on his way to the Dragonfire Cathedral. Fortunately, he's stuck using the front door. We should be able to use the key you and Regilus uncovered to sneak in the back."
You mentioned a plan?"Right. That. Father Egnatius finished translating the mysterious scroll that Caudex gave you. Apparently, it details some bizarre ritual that can only be performed in the Cathedral itself. It imbues mortals with incredible power. Even immortality."
If this ritual turns people into powerful immortals, why hasn't anyone done it before?"There's a catch. The volunteer is bound to the Dragonfire Cathedral. Forever. They exist to protect the Sublime Brazier. I'm sure you can imagine, that's not a very appealing commitment. Could be worse. Plenty of time to catch up on my reading."
Wait - you're volunteering?"Of course I am. Captain Caudex insisted at first. I think he was trying to be chivalrous... or something. Because I'm a woman, I mean. He's an idiot. Anyway, he'd go mad within a week. Too much of a people-person. I'm the obvious choice."
If you say so. I'll protect you an Egnatius from the Daedra so you can complete the ritual."Captain Caudex has already gone ahead with his soldiers to prepare defenses for the Cathedral. When you're ready, we should follow them. It's not exactly close and this ritual is going to take a while."
Who is General Malivus again?"General Malivus is Molag Bal's chief enforcer in the Imperial City. He's a Xivkyn, which is to say he's a comically evil blowhard. But he's a skilled warrior, and a master tactician. Almost caught me a few times. He's tenacious. And very, very tall."
So, are you ready for this?"Which bit? The ritual? I guess so. Does it matter? Honestly, I have no idea if it's even going to work. I heard Egnatius practicing his pronunciation and muttering. Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence."
Are you sure you want to go through with it?"Of course I don't want to. Just because I hate talking to people doesn't mean I want to live alone in a draft undergound cathedral forever. Don't be thick. The fact is it doesn't matter what I want. The Brazier needs to be protected. End of story."
All right..."I appreciate the concern. This is concern, right? For my welfare? It's... well, frankly, it's baffling - but I appreciate it. I'm sworn to protect the Emperor. Without the Brazier, there is no Emperor. It's simple math. No use brooding over it."
After the Drake of Blades changes into the defender of the Brazier:
"So that's it. We did it. Wait, did I just incinerate thirty some-odd Daedra?"
So, I guess the ritual worked."Certainly seems like it. I feel weird. Lighter. This place - I can see it now. It's more than stone. There's purpose, and fury, and light. A stiff breeze... and fireflies. I'm babbling. This is all very new. You're gawking again."
Do you think we finished off the last of the Daedra?"Oh yes. I can hear Molag Bal howling. He's not at all pleased. I believe the Brazier is well and truly out of his reach. So, now I wait, I guess. I probably should have brought a book or something."
Is there anything else I can do for you?"Yes. You can forget this place. And me, I've left instructions with a member of my order. He'll ensure that the Brazier stays out of the history books. All you need to do is stay quiet. This is the part where you nod and take an oath of silence."
So this is it, then?"Looks that way. We did good work, you and I, but it's far from over. The city is still overrun, and without me to leave severed heads on cultists doorsteps, it might get worse. Look after the people. Eight know they can't do it themselves."
What will you do now?"Now? I guess I wait. Don't worry - there's more to this place than you can see. I'll keep busy. Trust me. For what it's worth I'll never forget you, and I'm going to live a very, very long time. So... yes. Take care, all right?"