"Ash spawn keep appearing. One night a part of my tower mysteriously withered. Then my steward was killed. You had to find me a replacement. I've even been attacked by dragons! Do I need to go on?"

Old Friends is a side quest given by Neloth, after the completion of "Briarheart Necropsy" in which Tel Mithryn is under attack by an unknown force. Ash Spawn killed Neloth's previous steward and part of his tower mysteriously withered.

Background[edit | edit source]

Neloth is being attacked by an unknown assailant. he gave me a ring that will identify the source of the attacks. If I walk around the grounds of Tel Mithryn, I might find a clue.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  1. Find the source of the attacks
  2. Talk to Neloth
  3. Kill Ildari
  4. Talk to Neloth

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

After Neloth assigns to the Dragonborn the task of finding him a new steward, and after the withered part of Tel Mithryn is repaired, a third attack causes Neloth to reveal to the Dragonborn his suspicion that the attacks are organized—the same suspicion that Captain Veleth has about the attacks on Raven Rock. Neloth gives the Dragonborn the task of discovering the source of the attacks.

The quest becomes available once "Healing a House" or "Reluctant Steward" and "Briarheart Necropsy" are completed. Travel to Tel Mithryn and encounter several Ash Spawn outside. Upon killing them, head into the main tower and notify Neloth of the attack.

"There are too many coincidences. There must be someone behind all of my recent troubles."

He states that its not a coincidence that the events that have taken place occurred, and states that someone must be behind the attacks.

Someone is attacking you? "Yes. I have enemies. Legions of them back in Morrowind. However, in this case I have reason to believe it is someone in Solstheim."

I suppose you want me to kill them. "Not yet. That may come later. First I need to identify the culprit. I've enchanted this ring to find the source of the attacks. Here, take it."
Would I be able to collect a bounty? "Don't get ahead of yourself. All you are going to do is wear this ring and walk around Tel Mithryn. If you find something, then we can talk about bounties and rewards."
How do you know you are under attack? "Ash spawn keep appearing. One night a part of my tower mysteriously withered. Then my steward was killed. You had to find me a replacement. I've even been attacked by dragons! Do I need to go on?"
I'm not sure the dragons are about you. "Maybe not. I hear they've been seen over Skyrim too. Even so, there is more than enough evidence that someone is out to get me."
I saw a dragon once. "Really? When this is over, you'll have to tell me all about it."

Find the source[edit | edit source]

He gives you Neloth's Ring of Tracking which will help identify the culprit.

How does the ring work? "Just wear it. It will light up the source when you get close to it. I enchanted the ring with a bit of ash from the last ash spawn attack. It can follow the magical link back to its summoner."

How close do I have to be? "The link is weak, so you'll have to be within about a hundred feet of the source."

Put on the ring and head north-east of Tel Mithryn towards the coastline. You will find a small graveyard surrounded by deathbells nestled against a lone pine. One of the tombs will glow a vivid blue-white when within a certain distance. This is Ildari Sarothril's sarcophagus. Collect the Heart Stone inside, then return to report your results. Neloth will believe his former apprentice, Ildari, is behind the attacks. He believed she was dead, but there is no body in the grave.

This heart stone is the source of the attacks. "Hmm. I've known for decades that heart stones will animate the ash. But it would have to be very close by. Where exactly did you find this heart stone?"

It was in Ildari Sarothril's grave. "Ildari? Then it's my own fault. She was my apprentice before Talvas. She volunteered for one of my experiments involving heart stones. It was quite annoying when she died."
Experiment? What did you do to her? "My necropsies of Spriggans led me to believe that a heart stone could be implanted in a person's chest, granting them great power. I was considering replacing my heart with a heart stone. Fortunately Ildari offered to let me operate on her first. Of course this was before your briarheart expedition. Now I know that I did the surgery all wrong."
There wasn't a body in the grave. Just the heart stone. "What?! That's impossible. Wait... unless she didn't actually die! The heart stone could have kept her right at the edge of life and death. Could it be? Could Ildari still be alive? Could she be my nemesis? Wait a moment while I cast a more specific divination.

"I call upon the powers of the sun, moons and stars. Ildari Sarothril, reveal yourself!"

Next, he casts a divination and finds that she is in Highpoint Tower.

"I call upon the powers of the sun, moons and stars. Ildari Sarothril, reveal yourself! She lives. Seek her in Highpoint Tower."

He reveals:

"So, Ildari does live after all. She thought she could hide from me, but she can't! She's holed up in Highpoint Tower. Go rip that thrice cursed heart stone from her chest."

Why don't you do this? Why me? "I don't have time to go traipsing all over Solstheim. If I don't hear back from you after a while, you're probably dead. Maybe I'll send Talvas out next."
Is there a bounty on her then? "Why is it always about money? Yes, yes. I'll find something around here to pay you with. Now go."

Asking if he is coming along, he replies:

Aren't you coming to Highpoint Tower? "Me? No. Highpoint Tower will be filled with monsters and traps. It's much safer for me to risk your life. Don't worry. If you die, I'll find some other way to take care of Ildari."

He parts with: "Be sure to bring back an amusing story of how Ildari died."

Highpoint Tower[edit | edit source]

Traveling to Highpoint Tower, the entry was previously blocked, but the ash has been cleared. The path to the door can be reached by a nondescript crevice on the northern side of the mound. Ash spawn are guarding the entrance which will need to be taken care of. Upon entering Highpoint Tower, head down the stairs. If Dragonborn explores the caverns, there are numerous geodes including ruby, emerald and sapphire to the southwest upon descending the stairs. Deep underground, the fort contains a prison where Niyya, a miner, is locked up. If released, she reveals that she and the other miners took pity on Ildari, thinking she was badly injured, and she repaid their kindness by attacking them in the night. She imprisoned most of them for her personal experiments. Further exploration will reveal a large cavernous area where Ildari is holed up with Ash Guardians and ash spawn. She taunts "You've gone far enough. Neloth is a fool to think he could send some low life to finish me off." and retreats further into the ruins where there are further ash spawn. She can be found and fought in a final chamber, and the battle ends with the Dragonborn ripping out the Heart Stone that was keeping her alive.

Return to Neloth[edit | edit source]

Upon returning to Tel Mithryn, Neloth greets the Dragonborn with "You're alive. I hope that bodes ill for Ildari." Inform him she is dead and he responds:

Ildari is dead. "Well, well. You have proven to be a more valuable ally than I anticipated. I have a staff for you, but I would also like to make you a member of my household. A member of House Telvanni. No need to thank me. I know you are overwhelmed with gratitude."

Neloth gives the Dragonborn a staff, and also makes them a member of House Telvanni as a reward. Asking him what it means to be a member of his house, he remarks: "For now, not much. But in a few decades when I return to Vvardenfell, you would be seen as Morrowind nobility. In the mean time, we would keep a bed and chest here for you."

Journal[edit | edit source]

Old Friends – DLC2TT2
ID Journal Entry
100 Neloth is being attacked by an unknown assailant. He gave me a ring that will identify the source of the attacks. If I walk around the grounds of Tel Mithryn, I might find a clue.
  • Objective 100: Find the source of the attacks
200 Neloth is being attacked by an unknown assailant. He gave me a ring that identified the source of the attacks as a heart stone hidden in the grave of Ildari Sarothril.
  • Objective 200: Talk to Neloth
300 Neloth is being attacked by an unknown assailant. I discovered the source of the attacks was a heart stone hidden in Ildari Sarothril's grave. Neloth has divined that his former apprentice is still alive and seeking vengeance on him. Neloth asked me to track down and kill Ildari.
  • Objective 400: Kill Ildari
500 Neloth's former apprentice, Ildari Sarothril, was covertly attacking him. Deep under Highpoint Tower I confronted Ildari and killed her.
  • Objective 500: Talk to Neloth
  • Quest complete

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Despite mentioning to keep a bed and chest for use in Tel Mithryn, no such reward is actually granted as all beds within Tel Mithryn remain owned. Bethesda's response to this was: "Neloth is eccentric and possibly insane so you should take whatever he promises with a grain of salt." [1]
  • If the Tel Mithryn Steward's Key has been looted from Varona during the quest "Reluctant Steward" the Dragonborn can gain entry to the steward's house. The bed is not shown as being owned, and thus able to be used at will. The chest in the room however is not safe storage as the location respawns in ten days.
  • Highpoint Tower is always discoverable and is guarded by a couple of ash spawn, but its real entrance is blocked by ash until this quest has been initiated.
  • Ildari can be brought down to her knees as soon as she emerges from the edge of a high platform to taunt the Dragonborn. During this brief appearance, she will illuminate herself with the Candlelight spell, making herself an easy target for ranged attacks.
  • The unique heart stone in Ildari's coffin does not appear until the quest is started. The staff in her coffin, however, may be found and looted at any time. Many Destruction spells such as Fireball and Thunderbolt can be used to knock this stone out of the coffin. If the quest is highlighted in the journal, a quest marker will be visible atop the stone as long as it is within a very short distance from the Dragonborn, but no such quest marker is on the area map.
  • Neloth's tracking ring only points to Ildari's coffin, not necessarily the actual location of the heart stone; though it is the stone, not the coffin, that is claimed to be the source of the attacks. As a result, if the stone happens to have been knocked out of the coffin, it will need to be found without the assistance of the ring.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

This section contains bugs related to Old Friends. 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  , 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.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
  •  360   When wearing the ring to find the source, the sarcophagus that needs to be found may not glow at all.
  •  360   PS3   The grave will glow purple and there will be a Staff of Calm inside the grave, but no heart stone. Just reload and kill the Ash Spawn first.
  •  360   When Ildari's heart is ripped out, the game may freeze.
  •  360   When one activates Ildari to remove her heart, she may instead crumple to the floor, and her stone will be received, rather than the animation of ripping it out.
  •  PC   360   PS3   When returning to Neloth to tell him the source of the attacks, he says "Wait a moment while I cast a more specific divination." However, he will not cast the spell. When spoken to again, he asks, "Have you found the source of the attacks?" The dialogue option about the heart stone will be gone, halting quest progression. If this happens, reload to a time before speaking to Neloth and make sure the quest "Healing a House" is completed.
    •  360   PS3   Solution: Ask Neloth if there is anything he can be helped with. He will talk about casting a spell on the Dragonborn, which brings up an experimental subject quest. He will cast the divination, then the experimental spell.
    •  360   PS3   Solution: Reload to an auto save, then talk to Neloth and ask him if he needs help with any experiments. After a quest is received, wait thirty seconds and talk to him again. This will activate the "Old Friends" dialogue about the heart stone. Wait another thirty seconds, then walk towards the lift in the center of the room. Wait for Neloth to walk out of the enchanting room, where he should cast the spell then.
    •  360   PS3   Solution: Attacking Neloth and then sheathing one's weapon will bring up the next step in the mission.
    •  PS3   If Neloth is in the Staff Enchanter room, closing and reopening the door causes him to come out of the room. He can then be spoken to about the heart stone.
    •  PC(Fix)   When Neloth is in the main hall, tell him about the source of the attacks.
  •  PC   PS3   The ash blocking the entrance to Highpoint Tower might not disappear after taking the quest.
  •  PC   If the Dragonborn has already taken the heart stone before getting the quest, and the stone is lost, it will be unable to show to Neloth, halting quest progression.
    •  PC(Fix)   To fix this, use the console command setstage DLC2TT2 300. This will move the quest to the next stage, as if one had already found the heart stone and presented it to Neloth.

References[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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