Toying With The Dead is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must find the four volumes of Arondil's journal in Yngvild.


  1. Enter Yngvild
  2. Retrieve Arondil's Journals
  3. Return to Vekel


After becoming a member of the Thieves Guild, the Dragonborn can ask Vekel the Man, the bartender at the Ragged Flagon in Riften, if he has any work that needs doing. He reveals that he has a client with particular tastes in literature that can only be sated with the writings of a madman. The trek through Yngvild's caves and tunnels is rather straightforward. The Dragonborn will fight many leveled draugr and Yngvild Ghosts along the way.


Follow the tunnel to the first chamber. There will be two draugr in the passageway on the far side. At the fork in the tunnel, go left where a Yngvild Ghost is standing in front of a table with Arondil's Journal, Part 1 upon it. In the room to the left, there is another Yngvild Ghost as well as a draugr and a small amount of loot in Burial Urns.

Returning to the fork, the rightmost path (the one with ice for walls) leads to a small chamber with a single Yngvild Ghost and two dead and half-buried draugr which can be easily skipped. Follow the remaining path to another fork where a single draugr is waiting. The lefthand path leads to an Yngvild Ghost as well as a seeming dead-end which contains the secret door through which the Dragonborn will eventually exit the dungeon. Taking the righthand path, the Dragonborn finds themselves at the top of a tall chamber. Straight ahead is a gap which can be jumped and leads to an Adept-locked leveled chest. There are two draugr down the zig-zagging path to the left. Another chest containing gold and some lockpicks sits at the bottom of the chamber.

Following the tunnel out of the chamber, Arondil's Journal, Part 2 can be found on a table in an alcove straight ahead when the path turns right. An Yngvild Ghost and a draugr wait on the path just beyond the alcove in a small chamber. Arondil's Journal, Part 3 sits on a table in an alcove just beyond that chamber and right before the door to the Yngvild Throne Room.

Yngvild Throne RoomEdit

Inside a large cavern, Arondil sits next to his Yngvild Ghost bodyguard. If the Dragonborn has a high sneak skill or invisibility, they can steal the Greater Soul Gem on the pedestal behind Arondil, which triggers Arondil's bodyguard to go berserk and attack Arondil. The bodyguard usually kills Arondil unless Arondil has a Staff of Fireball or another similarly powerful weapon. Finish off the victor regardless. Loot Arondil's body for Arondil's Key, some gold, a staff (possibly the one needed for the quest "Arniel's Endeavor") and necromancer robes. The alteration skill book, Reality & Other Falsehoods, sits next a Greater Soul Gem on the table left of the throne. In the bedroom behind the throne, the Dragonborn will find a Stone of Barenziah sitting on the table by Arondil's Journal, Part 4. A Grand Staff of Charming is leaning against a leveled chest, and one final Yngvild Ghost is sleeping in the Red Mountain Flower-covered bed.

To exit the level, head down a tunnel to the east, where there is a gate that can be opened by activating the lever on the wall to the right. Through the gate are the bodies of three females, a Nord, a Breton, and a Redguard, none of which have any significant loot. Open the iron door on the right either by picking the Master Lock or with Arondil's Key and head up the spiral staircase to a the door back to Yngvild.

There is an apprentice-level locked chest immediately to the right back in Yngvild. Down the passage lies a secret door that opens by means of the lever beside it. Follow the path to the exit. Return to Vekel the Man in the Ragged Flagon to claim the reward.


Toying with the Dead – FreeformRiften21
IDJournal Entry
  • Objective 10: Enter Yngvild Barrow
  • Objective 20: Retrieve Arondil's Journals (<Global=FFRiften21JFound>/4)
  • Objective 30: Retunr to Vekel
  • Quest complete


  • This quest can be started without being a member of the Thieves Guild, simply by recovering all four volumes from Yngvild without first talking to Vekel. Upon picking up the fourth volume, the miscellaneous objective "Return to Vekel" will be added.


This section contains bugs related to Toying With The Dead. 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Upon returning all of Arondil's Journals, Vekel will say, "As promised, here's your payment for bringing them to me. Got it as part of a fair trade from a client." However, there will actually be no reward given at all.
    • This has been fixed in patch 1.9.
  •  PC   360   PS3   The journal volumes may stay in the inventory, and they can remain in your inventory indefinitely, although in some cases it's possible to sell them after quest completion.
  •  XB1   Spamming the collect button on one of Arondil's Journals can cause more than one copy of a single journal to be collected.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Toying With The Dead

  • Unique Dialogue

    5 messages
    • Ah. Whoever added that should specify what he says. I can try that but I doubt it'll be anytime soon.
    • As far as I've been able to tell, he only repeats the "What's happening? No! Leave me alone!" line. Sometimes just af...
  • Help with completing quest IF POSSIBLE

    9 messages
    • This is a little old, but I finished this quest awhile ago. I got a reward but it let me keep the books, so I just dropped them in the Rag...
    • the chest in the throne room can potentially have VERY good loot. but it only resets when you enter the door. i got an Ebony Bow of Flames ...
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