Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"They're well-funded and they've been able to avoid identification for years. I'm impressed it reached this point. Just don't mistake my admiration for complacency; our nemesis is going to pay dearly."
Mercer Frey[src]

Scoundrel's Folly is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This is the fifth quest in the Thieves Guild questline. There may be a line on the person or persons who have been working against the Guild. An old Guild collaborator in Solitude may have some information.


After the revelations at Honningbrew Meadery and Goldenglow Farm, it's time to put the pieces together and shed some light on the Thieves Guild's anonymous adversary.


  1. Speak to Mercer Frey
  2. Speak to Brynjolf (optional)
  3. Speak to Gulum-Ei
  4. Shadow Gulum-Ei
  5. Confront Gulum-Ei
  6. Return to Mercer Frey


The quest begins by speaking to Mercer Frey. He thinks he may have finally caught the Guild's anonymous adversary slipping up. From the note provided by the Dragonborn, he deduces that they are likely using an old Guild contact at the East Empire Company in Solitude as a go-between. He figures it is Gulum-Ei and wants him shaken down for information.

If the Dragonborn chooses to speak to Brynjolf before leaving, he will give more details of who Gulum-Ei is and his involvement with the Guild. He says that Gulum-Ei has no honor and in order to gain any useful information from him, he will need to either be bought off or followed in order to gain information that could be used as leverage against him. If Gulum-Ei is killed, there will be no reward from Mercer Frey.


Gulum-Ei will most likely be in the Winking Skeever in Solitude. It is possible to persuade him with a high enough Speech skill. Otherwise, he plays stupid at first, in which case bribing him is the only way to get information. If the bribe option is selected, he will say that he has a client that wants a case of firebrand wine, which can be stolen from the Blue Palace.

Getting the wine is easy enough—it can just be picked up at the Blue Palace. It is relatively close to the entrance, so the Dragonborn should be able to follow the quest marker.

After getting him the wine, he claims not to know anything except that the woman in question has a grudge against Mercer Frey.

At this point, he heads out of Solitude down towards the docks and into the East Empire Company Warehouse. He can be pickpocketed for the key to the warehouse.

East Empire Company Warehouse[]

Following him into the warehouse requires stealth. It may be easiest to stay on top of the shelves to follow him since the guards are always patrolling, and there is a ramp just behind the small hut near the entrance. An alternative is to remain in the water below the docks. If the guards or Gulum-Ei catch the Dragonborn, they will attack, but they can be killed for no bounty. However, should the Dragonborn be detected by one of the East Empire Wardens, they will tell them to leave and give them several seconds to do so, with a second warning. If no action is taken to do as ordered by the warden, they will raise the alarm, triggering a 5 Gold bounty for trespassing in a restricted area, hence the "Danger" Shadowmark that was seen next to the door before entering.

Upon reaching the end of the shelves, up the stairs and straight on is a small ledge. It is possible to walk across then drop down onto the walkway. At this stage the easiest way to follow him is just to drop into the water and move as slowly and quietly as possible. He can then be followed out of the water, up a ramp through a hidden door.

At the farthest northern point is an elevated building. To get to the building there is another ramp leading up to the left of the one to the hidden door. Inside the building on a table is the East Empire Shipping Map, which can be sold to Delvin. Alternatively, the Dragonborn can swim directly across the bay and wait for him under the docks, then follow him into Brinewater Grotto.

Brinewater Grotto[]

Inside the grotto are several hostile bandits. There is a bandit swimming in the water, so sneaking can be tricky, but it is possible to sneak past him underwater. There is a chest underwater where he is. A way to get by the bandit in the water and the one on top is, after seeing the two bandits on the dock talking to each other and right before going up those stairs, to the right is a spider web which can be cut down with a weapon. Beyond are three frostbite spiders.

When confronted at the end of the line, Gulum-Ei identifies the real target, Karliah. She murdered the former Guild Master and is now after Mercer. Gulum-Ei pleads innocent. He can be killed, but if spared, he becomes available as a fence. Killing him will also forfeit the reward from Mercer.

Return to Mercer Frey[]

Returning to Mercer with the location Gulum-Ei said Karliah was headed ("Where the End Began") completes this quest and begins the next, "Speaking With Silence."


  1. Hood – Prices are 15% better (up from 10%).
  2. Cuirass – Carrying capacity increased to 35 points (up from 20 points).
  3. Gloves – Lockpicking is 25% easier (up from 15%).
  4. Boots – Pickpocket success is 25% better (up from 15%).


Scoundrel's Folly – TG04
ID Journal Entry
10 After the revelations at Honningbrew Meadery and Goldenglow Farm, it's time to put the pieces together and shed some light on the Thieves Guild's anonymous adversary.
  • Objective 10: Speak to Mercer Frey
20 Mercer Frey has pointed to Solitude as my next destination. I'm to meet up with an old Argonian contact for the Guild named Gulum-Ei. It's hoped he'll be able to identify the Thieves Guild's anonymous adversary.
  • Objective 20: (Optional) Speak to Brynjolf
  • Objective 30: Speak to Gulum-Ei
  • Objective 35: Steal case of Firebrand Wine
  • Objective 37: Get information from Gulum-Ei
  • Objective 37: Get information from Gulum-Ei
40 As predicted by Mercer Frey, Gulum-Ei proved to be quite stubborn and refused to reveal any useful information. I have no choice but to shadow him during his daily routine and discover if he's up to anything that could be used as influence to make him divulge the truth.
  • Objective 40: Shadow Gulum-Ei
  • Objective 50: Confront Gulum-Ei
  • Objective 55: Find alternative source of information
  • Objective 60: Return to Mercer Frey
200 Thanks to Gulum-Ei's confession, a former member of the Thieves Guild named Karliah has been identified as its anonymous adversary. Worse still, I've discovered that she was the same Dunmer who murdered Gallus, the Guild's previous Guild Master and who's apparently resurfaced after all these years to do the same to Mercer Frey.
  • Quest complete


  • With a high enough Sneak skill it is possible to reach Gulum-Ei without being detected by any of the bandits.
  • The Dragonborn will only be detected when speaking to him, which leads to the comical scenario of several bandits engaging in combat whilst calmly holding a conversation with him. This can be deadly, as the health bar will not be displayed whilst in conversation.
  • With the Quiet Casting perk, it is possible to conjure something and stay unseen. The bandits will attack it, but Gulum-Ei will run off in another direction. This way it might be possible to speak with him without the bandits attacking.
  • If the Dragonborn stays in the shadows by the gate, Gulum-Ei will notice them first and walk over to them. Fighting can be avoided during the conversation.
  • If Brinewater Grotto is cleared and the Dragonborn has both Whirlwind Sprint and a bucket, they can phase through the exit and activate Scoundrel's Folly (without even needing to start the Thieves Guild questline) by using the door to the East Empire Warehouse.
  • If Gulum-El is killed, an alternative route is unlocked where you must find his confession as well as the deed to Goldenglow inside a chest at the end of Brinewater Grotto, starting at the East Empire Company Warehouse. If you complete the quest using this path however, the dialogue with Mercer Frey will continue as normal.


This section contains bugs related to Scoundrel's Folly. 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.
Click to show
  •  PC  (Patch 1.4) If Aringoth was not killed and there are few mercenaries in Goldenglow Estate for the quest "Loud and Clear," they will still be there after obtaining the deed to the estate (at the end of "Scoundrel's Folly").
  •  PC   360   When exiting Solitude, Gulum-Ei may sometimes not move at all and simply stand at the front gates.
    • This can be fixed by killing him and then reloading the last auto save.
    •  PC (Fix)   On PC, just walking into him a couple of times and then running into him will cause him to simply look at the Dragonborn to ask them to leave him alone and move on.
  •  PC   If the quest "Lights Out!" has been started but not completed Jaree Ra and his egg-sister will be standing on the pier in front of the East Empire Company's Warehouse which can block the path, making Gulum-Ei stand around indefinitely.
    • This can be fixed by sprinting into them a few times to unblock the path.
  •  360   A bug similar to the first also occurs after Gulum-Ei enters the East Empire Company Warehouse. He remains in the warehouse cell but outside the walls.
    • This can be fixed by, instead of shadowing Gulum-Ei, traveling to the warehouse and entering. After waiting 1 or 2 minutes, Gulum-Ei will appear near the entrance.
  •  360   Gulum-Ei may be lost after he leaves the Winking Skeever, even though his quest marker shows that he is in Solitude.
    • It may be possible to reach him by activating a texture glitch in Solitude. This glitch allows the Dragonborn to drop down under the surface of the city. This can be done by going outside the Fletcher shop, from the door looking southwest, and jumping over the small wall to land on the roof of Angeline's Aromatics. Jump to the small ledge on the south side of the roof, and face south. Use Whirlwind Sprint to cross the street onto the roof of Bits and Pieces. Go west to the edge of the roof, and look south to the roof of Raidiant Raiment. Walk onto the section of roof where Bits and Pieces and Raidiant Raiment meet (facing south), and the Dragonborn will drop down below the city. Gulum-Ei has been reported to be in many different places under the city, but it should be possible to walk to his location following the quest marker. However, if he is found under the city, he will not be able to move, so the only solution at this point is to kill him to finish the quest.
    • Alternatively, to keep Gulum-Ei alive, before using the glitch, go to the East Empire Company Warehouse and find the entrance to Brinewater Grotto. This will activate the "Confront Gulum-Ei" part of the quest. The grotto can then be left, and the glitch used to reach Gulum-Ei. Caution: It is a long drop to reach Gulum-Ei, which can kill lower level characters.
    • This may only work for some players.
  •  360   PS3   If Gulum-Ei does not move when entering the warehouse, and stops by the hut, simply wait outside the warehouse until about 8 o'clock or later and he should continue moving as normal.
  •  PS3   Sometimes when going through the East Empire Company Warehouse if the Dragonborn is attacking the guards, they will walk under one of the platforms holding the supplies and get stuck there.
  •  PC   360   Rarely, Gulum-Ei may become stuck behind Deeja as she becomes stuck herself; unmoving from her position on the boardwalk. Waiting can fix this.
    •  PC (Fix)   There is another alternative on PC, which is to use the console and setting the needed stage of the quest when the bug takes effect. That is to type in setstage TG04 50, AFTER you talk to him at the Winking Skeever. This command will take you to the point where you confront him.
  •  360   If the Honningbrew Decanter failed to appear during the last quest, the larceny target will not be present in the warehouse.