Taking Care of Lex is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Hieronymus Lex is still a constant thorn in the side of the Thieves Guild. As the rules of the guild forbid killing, the plan is to have him restationed to Anvil where he can do little harm to the guild.


Countess Millona Umbranox in Anvil is looking for a new Captain of the Guard. As this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of Lex from the Waterfront, S'Krivva has made a plan. She wants the Hero to steal the List of Candidates for the new position in Anvil and rewrite Lex in as the top candidate. The list is currently in possession of Dairihill, the castle steward.

Go to Anvil and ask the beggars about the castle. It may cost a little but if the Hero talks to Penniless Olvus (typically through the main gate on the left), he will tell them for free. Any beggar will say that Orrin, the blacksmith in the castle, is associated with the Thieves Guild:

Dairihill's Office "To be honest, I couldn't give you directions to any special room in the castle. Anyone in the castle can tell you though. However, I'll tell you for free that there are many secrets in that Castle. There are secret ways, and secret people. Find the blacksmith."

Talk to Orrin in the castle and he will show the Hero a secret passageway. Traverse through the secret passage. At the end is a door to be picked and on getting out of the secret passage, they will need to pick another door into Dairihill's room, hopefully when she is asleep which usually is after midnight. Detect life and invisibility spells will be useful here as she is sometimes sitting at her desk. If caught, simply run up and pick one final lock on her desk to steal the List of Candidates. If arrested the List of Candidates will not be removed from the inventory even though it is considered a stolen item because it is a quest item.

With the note in hand, the Hero must forge a new one. Bribe the beggars and they will tell them about the Abandoned House. It is rumored that a Master Forger lives there:

Master forger "Well, only because I like you. Look for a man known only as the Stranger. He lives here in Anvil, down the road from the Chapel of Dibella."
The Stranger

The Stranger

Follow the quest marker to a man called The Stranger. Though he will not tell the cost he will forge the note for 500 gold and it will take 24 hours.

Taking Care of Lex Prison Office

Legion Prison desk

After getting the forged letter from The Stranger, the Hero needs to seal it using the Imperial Legion Seal to make it look official. Go to the Imperial City and enter the Prison District. Wait until after midnight to sneak into the Imperial Legion Offices to avoid detection. On the desk of the commander in the northern room, the Hero will find the seal: use it and get out. Or, pick the Imperial Legion Commander's locked chest (to the left of the desk) and steal the Daedric Helmet, valued at 1350 GoldIcon, the Elven Gauntlets (170 GoldIcon), the Crystal Ball (5 GoldIcon), Silver Bowl (4 GoldIcon), Silver Urn (5 GoldIcon), and misc amount of gold, which will bump up your stolen items rating--regardless of your merchant/speech skills. Items can change depending on level.

Go back to Countess Umbranox in Anvil and deliver the message. Wait until she is in the audience chamber. While one can approach her during her meals, she will not accept any official documentation during that time. Once the countess receives the letter, she gladly accepts Hieronymus Lex as her new Captain of the Guard. Before leaving with Lex's Transfer Orders, collect a 20 gold tip from Dairihill along with a nasty remark about how her cousin was supposed to assume Lex's new position.

Go back to the Imperial City and find Lex. As Lex does wander from time to time, it is best to follow the marker to get to him. He will rant on that the Gray Fox had something to do with it but is honor bound to leave, admitting defeat. Return to S'Krivva in Bravil and collect the reward.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon accepting the quest:

S'Krivva tells me that the Gray Fox is tired of Hieronymus Lex causing problems. He wants Lex removed once and for all. Countess Umbranox of Anvil is in need of a Captain of the Guard. She sent away for a list of recommendations from the Imperial Watch guard. I must create a forgery that recommends Lex and deliver it to her personally. The Gray Fox has a special interest in Countess Umbranox and has choosen Lex to be her protector. Very curious.

  • Update: After speaking to S'Krivva:

First, I steal the letter from steward Dairihill's desk in Castle Anvil. Then get a forgery made. I have to find and pay for my own forger. Then seal it with the Imperial Watch seal from the legion commander's desk in the Imperial City. Dairihill cannot be trusted to deliver the letter. I must personally deliver the forged letter to Countess Umbranox of Anvil. I will be paid 500 gold, plus the cost of the forgery.

  • Update: After speaking to a beggar in Anvil:

A beggar told me that there may be secret ways in the castle. I am supposed to find the blacksmith. I'm not really sure why.

  • Update: After finding and speaking to Orrin:

Orrin has shown me a secret passage within the walls of Castle Anvil. It should let me get closer to Dairihill's office without being seen by the castle guards.

  • Update: After stealing the letter in Dairihill's desk:

I have the letter. Now I need to find a forger. My sources tell me that there is a master forger in Anvil. He is known only as The Stranger. He lives in a house by the Mages Guild.

  • Update: After finding The Stranger in the abandoned house:

I delivered the letter to The Stranger. He said to return in a day and he would have the new letter ready. It's going to cost 500 gold coins.

  • Update: After returning to The Stranger after 24 hours:

The Stranger has forged a new letter for me. Now I have to go to the Imperial Legion compound in the Imperial City. I have to seal the letter using the official seal of the Legion Commander.

  • Update: After breaking into the office of the Legion Commander:

I've sealed the letter with the Legion Commander's seal. Now I must deliver it to Countess Umbranox personally. I will take on the role of courier.

  • Update: After giving the Countess Umbranox the forged letter:

Countess Umbranox has given me her response. Now I need to deliver it to Hieronymus Lex. The look on his face should be priceless.

  • Update: After giving Hieronymus Lex Countess Umbranox decision:

Hieronymus Lex was shocked to learn he had been reassigned. Now the Thieves Guild will be safe from his persecution. All I have to do is get back to S'Krivva to collect my reward.

  • Update: After returning to S'Krivva to let her know what happened:

S'Krivva thanked me for my help in this delicate matter. Hieronymus Lex will no longer be a threat to the Thieves Guild or the Gray Fox.

  • Quest complete


  • There is a nirnroot through the other door in Dairihill's quarters.


This section contains bugs related to Taking Care of Lex. 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.
  • If they go to receive the tip from Darihil before showing Count Umbrinox the orders, she will not accept them at all.
  • If asked by the Gray Fox to complete a quest, do so first so that he will go to the abandoned house.
  • If one has cheated to get a forged list of candidates one will not be able to use the imperial legion seal, if this is done, just use the command player.remove item 0C229 <#>.
  • There is a bug where the quest marker will show that the Stranger is in his house even though he is not.
    • Fix: This can be fixed by waiting a very long time.confirmation needed
    • Fix: It has been suggested that if he does not appear in the Abandoned House to look in the castle of Anvil.
  • If the Hero does not go back to the Stranger for more than two days, the green location marker may point to his house but he will not be there. He will never show up in his house, the chapel, the docks, or the castle. This can only be fixed by loading a previous save.

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