No One Escapes Cidhna Mine is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After completing "The Forsworn Conspiracy," the Markarth city guards frame the Dragonborn, starting this quest. The Dragonborn is locked in Cidhna Mine and at one point is given the choice to free Madanach and become a Forsworn or to kill him. As a reward, the Dragonborn can receive either the Armor of the Old Gods or the Silver-Blood Family Ring.
Background[edit | edit source]
Objectives[edit | edit source]
- Ask a prisoner about Madanach
- Get past Borkul the Beast
- Talk to Madanach
- Hear Braig's story (Forsworn option)
- Return to Madanach
- Kill Grisvar the Unlucky
- Return to Madanach
- Follow Madanach
- Kill Madanach (Silver-Blood option)
- Search Madanach's body
- Read Madanach's note
- Escape Cidhna Mine
Walkthrough[edit | edit source]
Talk to Uraccen to learn that Madanach is in a private cell which is being guarded by the Orc inmate Borkul the Beast. Borkul will demand a shiv as toll. A shiv can be obtained from Grisvar the Unlucky, who is located in the south tunnel. He will demand a bottle of Skooma. This can be acquired from Duach or Braig, through pickpocketing, persuasion, or a brawl. Trade the Skooma to Grisvar in exchange for a shiv, and give the shiv to Borkul to get the key to Madanach's cell.
Alternatively, Borkul can be persuaded, given the Skooma directly, pickpocketed, or defeated in a brawl.
Attacking Borkul outside of the brawl will cause all the prisoners to attack. Unless one is a strong mage character, a Werewolf, or a Vampire Lord, this is not recommended. If a prisoner is attacked, Madanach will attack on sight as well. Quest weapons such as Alessandra's Dagger will be removed from the Dragonborn's inventory upon arrival in the mine, however spells such as Bound Sword or Bound Bow are still available. There is a ledge above Borkul that can be reached from jumping from the raised wooden platform to allow one to shoot downwards from with ranged attacks. Conjured allies such as Flame, Frost and Storm Atronachs can assist in fighting.
The Forsworn option[edit | edit source]
Madanach will try to convince the Dragonborn that he and his Forsworn are justified in their actions and sends the Dragonborn to seek out the prisoner Braig and hear his story. After listening to Braig, return to Madanach and he will offer freedom, but he requires proof of loyalty. He requests the assassination of Grisvar the Unlucky, who has outlived his usefulness to the Forsworn Rebellion. After killing Grisvar, the Dragonborn must return to Madanach.
Upon hearing news of Grisvar's death, Madanach gathers the remaining prisoners and leads them to an escape tunnel that runs through the Markarth Ruins. At the end of the tunnel, the Dragonborn's belongings are returned to them by Kaie, one of Madanach's Forsworn agents that managed to slip into Markarth without being seen, and Madanach adds the Armor of the Old Gods as a reward. Once outside, there is a confrontation between Thonar and Madanach, with Thonar having several of the corrupt Markarth city guards backing him up. The Forsworn and Madanach charge the city, killing Thonar and all guards (and citizens) in sight. After they leave the city, they will continue running to Druadach Redoubt which will have several friendly Forsworn inside.
The Silver-Blood option[edit | edit source]
Kill Madanach in his cell. Sneak so as not to be detected by the other prisoners and guards. It is unlikely that Madanach will be killed with a pickaxe in one sneak hit, however. If the Dragonborn has the Assassin's Blade perk in the Sneak skill tree, listen to Braig's story and return to Madanach. Madanach will instruct the Dragonborn to kill Grisvar the Unlucky. There is a dialogue option on Uraccen to obtain a shiv from Grisvar. While alive, Grisvar does not have any items to pickpocket. However, after dying, two shivs can be looted from his body. Once obtained, kill Madanach with a sneak attack with the shiv. The shiv counts as a dagger and thus the Assassin's Blade perk applies, doing 15 times normal damage. Madanach may survive the initial blow, but it will deliver a substantial hit.
Once Madanach is dead, read the note on his body and use his escape route. It is possible to run or sneak past the Frostbite Spiders and Dwarven Spheres in the Markarth Ruins, especially with the help of the Become Ethereal Shout. If the Dragonborn opts to sneak through the ruins, the Throw Voice Shout is indispensably useful. Alternatively, being a Werewolf, Vampire Lord, or Mage, makes fighting your way out significantly easier. Another option would be to use the Secret Servant power from the Dragonborn expansion to smuggle your equipment into the jail cell for you. Upon exiting, Thonar Silver-Blood will reward the Dragonborn with the Silver-Blood Family Ring and the Dragonborn's belongings. The ring is enchanted so that weapons and armor can be improved 15% better.
Playing both sides[edit | edit source]
Side with Madanach up until the Dragonborn is given the Armor of the Old Gods, which is at the end of the Markarth Ruins right before exiting to the city. After the dialogue and receiving the armor, attack Madanach, turning him hostile. Doing this while close to the door to Markarth will cause his followers to re-enter and attack the Dragonborn. After Madanach and his followers are dead, loot his body and read his note. Then exit out to Markarth and speak to Thonar. It is best to attack Madanach close to the door to Markarth because if not, his followers may not re-enter and it can be difficult to get the Silver-Blood Family Ring from Thonar as Madanach's followers will be waiting outside to attack.
If done correctly, after killing Madanach and the rest of his Forsworn followers inside the Markarth Ruins, the Dragonborn will exit out to a peaceful Markarth with Thonar waiting with his guards to speak with them and reward them with the Silver-Blood Family Ring, as well as a pardon from the Jarl. If Jarl Igmund is spoken to afterwards, he will apologize for the wrongful imprisonment. If upon exiting the tunnel there are Forsworn left, it helps to reenter the tunnel so that Thonar is not accidentally hit. This causes all characters to react as though Madanach escaped with the help of the Dragonborn.
If a skilled assassin, it is possible to break out with the other Forsworn, and stall Madanach before he exits to Markarth. Once alone with him, kill him and search his body. Madanach will be dead, but the Dragonborn will not be blamed for the kill. When exiting to the city, both the Guards and Forsworn will be peaceful towards the Dragonborn, although they will still fight each other—either side can be assisted as both are friendly and will treat any attacks as accidental. Thonar will almost certainly be killed in the fighting before he can give the Dragonborn the ring, but this route still leaves the Dragonborn with the Armor of the Old Gods, an official pardon from the Jarl and a friendly Druadach Redoubt. Although if they are lucky, a conversation may be started up with Thonar when leaving the ruins, and, by quickly skipping through the lines, the Dragonborn may receive the ring. It may take several attempts to pull off properly and by reloading the autosave just outside the ruins, can yield different results. If playing as an imperial, using the Voice of the Emperor power will keep everyone calm long enough for the Dragonborn to obtain the ring.
Another way is to stall Madanach and pickpocket him. He turns aggressive and can be killed. A guard will run in but will not attack.
Rewards[edit | edit source]
- Silver-Blood Family Ring, if the Dragonborn did not side with the Forsworn
- Armor of the Old Gods, if the Dragonborn sided with the Forsworn
Journal[edit | edit source]
|No One Escapes Cidhna Mine – MS02|
I'm imprisoned inside Cidhna Mine, framed for Eltrys' murder. I have to find Madanach, the King in Rags, and clear my name.
I have helped Madanach escape Cidhna Mine, and he and his Forsworn have taken credit for all my past crime, clearing my name in the Reach.
|250||Thonar Silver-Blood has granted me a pardon for killing Madanach. My name has now been cleared in the Reach.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Ironically, Cidhna Mine is escaped through a large, extremely visible hole in the wall that leads straight to Markarth. The Markarth guard, however, seem to be fairly aware of it, since the path exits out right into the hands of the owner of the mine himself, accompanied by guards, who were waiting.
- If the Dragonborn decides to kill Madanach at the beginning and successfully sneaks out through Markarth Ruins without alerting any other prisoners, the mission will be completed. If the Dragonborn decides to revisit Cidhna Mine through the ruins, however, one will find that all the prisoners are dead.
- If Madanach is killed and the Dragonborn is going through Markarth Ruins solo, a good way to beat the spiders and Dwarven machines is to run past the spiders until reaching the last room, where the Dwarven Spheres attack, then lead them back to the spiders to have them fight each other.
- With a high Pickpocket skill, one can reverse-pickpocket Urzoga gra-Shugurz beforehand and smuggle equipment into the mine, though the Dragonborn must be in reach to pickpocket her through the bars as the door instantly shuts as she begins walking.
- If the Dragonborn wishes to complete the quest but avoid directly killing Grisvar, it is possible to choose the "Madanach says hello." dialogue option and wait. Grisvar will panic and start attacking, and the other prisoners attack and kill him.
- Choosing not to side with any prisoner, it might be difficult to kill them all with just a pickaxe. Walking up on the hanging bridge and waiting for them to stand directly in front of them, the Dragonborn can use the Unrelenting Force shout. The prisoners will then fall off into the pit directly behind the bridge. They cannot get out but the Dragonborn can, making it easy to pick them off one at a time. It is also possible to transform into a werewolf if sufficient progress is made in The Companions' questline, or use a Conjuration spell to summon a familiar or bound weapon.
- Despite Cidhna Mine being considered a prison at the start of the mission, completion of the quest will not reward the "Wanted" achievement.
- If the Dragonborn has a follower before going back into the Shrine of Talos to get caught, it is possible to give the follower their equipment and ask for it in the mine and then kill everyone.confirmation needed The Dremora Butler can also smuggle in items.
- If the Dragonborn has a high enough Sneak, and decides not to side with Madanach, killing/pickpocketing him is not necessary to open the escape route. If he is hit with a ranged spell/ability and the Dragonborn sneaks back down the hallway, he may open the locked jail cell door to the escape route while searching for the Dragonborn. The Dragonborn can then attack him and his followers again and lead them through the ruins so the Dwarven Spheres and Frostbite Spiders can help make short work of them.
- To avoid many casualties among characters (if the Forsworn option was taken), one can save the game after getting the equipment and wait until midnight before going through the door into Markarth.
- Despite being members of the Forsworn, Borkul the Beast, Braig, Duach, Grisvar the Unlucky, Kaie, Madanach, Odvan, and Uraccen do not belong to the Forsworn Faction in the game's files. This is because the Forsworn Faction is flagged to be immediately hostile to the player. Instead, they belong to the Cidhna Mine Prisoner Faction and the surviving members are later assigned to the Druadach Redoubt Faction.
killallcommand to kill everyone within Markarth, and resurrect Madanach and his allies with
resurrectcommand, and subsequently the citizens after the Forsworn left the city.
If the Dragonborn joined the Forsworn but wishes to avoid the Ash Pile issue upon entering Markarth, simply use
- If Madanach's Note is pickpocketed from him before the Dragonborn betrays him, the quest may be stuck on "Search Madanach's body." To fix this, simply plant the note on his body, and pick it back up.
- Stolen items removed from the Dragonborn's inventory after being detained will be returned with the rest of their items, unlike when they are detained any other time.
Bugs[edit | edit source]
This section contains bugs related to No One Escapes Cidhna Mine. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
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