The Thalmor wiped out his family back in Valenwood during one of their purges. Since then, he has hated the Thalmor. The Thalmor don't realize who he really is, giving him the opportunity to infiltrate.
Malborn is the inside man in the Thalmor Embassy. He serves drinks at the parties. He offers to smuggle any equipment the player wishes to take into the embassy.
Upon entering the embassy using the invitation provided by Delphine, the player will be approached by Elenwen. Elenwen will start a conversation, asking a lot of questions, but she is interrupted by Malborn. This is most likely so the Dragonborn does not get discovered as an infiltrator and spy by the Altmer ambassador. When asked for a drink, Malborn will instead tell the Dragonborn to cause a distraction, so the Dragonborn can slip into the embassy unnoticed. Once inside, Malborn will blackmail the cook not to report both the Dragonborn and himself. He will then guide the player to a chest containing the equipment he smuggled in earlier on in the quest. From this point onwards, the Dragonborn no longer receives any more help from Malborn as he needs to get back to the party before Elenwen or her Altmer guards become suspicious.
After infiltrating the Solar and finding a prisoner, two Thalmor guards will enter the dungeon with Malborn in custody. His cover was blown. If Malborn survives, he will go to the New Gnisis Cornerclub in Windhelm, joined by Brelas if she had been captured by the Thalmor as well as part of the earlier distraction at the party and survives the escape as well.
If he is kept alive during your escape, Malborn can be found in the New Gnisis Cornerclub in Windhelm. He says he wishes to escape to Morrowind, but believes the Thalmor have sent a Khajiit named J'datharr to assassinate him. If you kill J'datharr he will award the player a leveled amount of gold and leave Windhelm. When followed, he disappears when he reaches the Decree of Monument at Refugees' Rest, which means he has crossed the Skyrim-Morrowind border into Morrowind. Though if there are enemies present along the way, he will likely be killed.
- Our mutual friend sent me. "Really? You're who she picked? I hope she knows what she's doing. Here's the deal. I can smuggle some equipment into the Embassy for you. Don't plan on bringing anything else in with you. The Thalmor take security very seriously. I'm ready to go. Give me what you can't live without, and I'll make sure to get it into the Embassy. The rest is up to you."
- What kind of things should I bring? "You're asking me? She promised that she was sending someone who knew what they were doing... If you actually want to get out alive, I'd bring whatever you need to move quietly, and kill quickly."
- Hold on, I need to get a few things ready. "I'll give you a few more minutes. I can't wait here all day. It's my neck on the line, remember."
- I'm ready. Here's what I'll need. "Okay. I'll get this inside the Embassy for you. I've got to go. I'll find you at the party, don't worry."
(In the Embassy)
"What can I get for you? You made it in. Good. As soon as you distract the guards, I'll open this door and we can get you on your way."
- I'm ready. "Of course. Let me see if we have another bottle of that. I'll be waiting by the door for everyone to be distracted."
- I'd like a drink. " "
Malborn: "Madame Ambassador, I'm so sorry to interrupt..."
Elenwen: "What is it, Malborn?"
Malborn: "It's just that we've run out of the Alto wine. Do I have your permission to uncork the Arenthia red..."
Elenwen: "Of course. I've told you before not to bother me with such trifles."
Malborn: "Yes, Madame Ambassador."
Strangers in the kitchenEdit
Tsavani: "Who comes, Malborn? You know I don't like strange smells in my kitchen."
Malborn: "A guest, feeling ill. Leave the poor wretch be."
Tsavani: "A guest? In the kitchens? You know this is against the rules..."
Malborn: "Rules, is it, Tsavani? I didn't realize that eating Moon Sugar was permitted. Perhaps I should ask the Ambassador..."
Tsavani: "Tss! Get out of here, I saw nothing."
- "You ready yet? I need to get back before I'm missed. Remember, you won't have anything except what I smuggle in for you." —If spoken to for the second time before giving the Dragonborn's gear.
- "Your job is to get into the party without being fingered as a spy. I'll take care of the rest." —After giving the equipment
- "I need to lock the door behind you, or the patrols might notice something's wrong." —After passing through the kitchen
- "I should have known this would end badly. I can't believe I let Delphine talk me into this." —After killing the Thalmor soldiers
- "Let's get out of here, for pity's sake!" —After killing the Thalmor soldiers
- Malborn may be killed by a frost troll, bandit, dragon or ice wolf making his escape.
- If Malborn is saved, he will run to a peninsula north east of Solitude where he will idle or run around and fight horkers until he dies or the player leaves.
- Malborn dies quickly. This may also make him a good candidate for harvesting Bosmer blood for the "Discerning the Transmundane" quest. Only after helping him escape to Morrowind this is recommended.
- A different version of Malborn can be found at the Dead Body Cleanup Cell, which can be accessed by typing the command
coc WIDeadBodyCleanupCell(PC only) into the console.
- It is shown in J'datharr's note that Malborn is actually not his name, though his true name is never revealed.
- He may die upon character creation.
- If Malborn is kept alive during "Diplomatic Immunity," he may not appear at New Gnisis Cornerclub immediately afterward; it may take several days or even weeks of in-game time for him to appear.