Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Trinity Restored is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must join the Nightingales, a secretive and quasi-militant monastic order devoted to the protection of shrines and artifacts of Nocturnal, Daedric Prince of night and darkness and patron of thieves.


Karliah has informed Brynjolf and I that we're to join the ranks of the Nightingales and assist in reforming the trinity that was disrupted over twenty-five years ago when Mercer Frey murdered Gallus.


  1. Listen to Karliah
  2. Meet Karliah at the standing stone
  3. Follow Karliah
  4. Activate the Armor Stone
  5. Equip the Nightingale Armor
  6. Stand on the vacant Floor Glyph
  7. Speak to Karliah
  8. Speak to Brynjolf


Upon meeting with Brynjolf and Karliah in the center of The Ragged Flagon - Cistern, a discussion ensues about executing Mercer for his betrayal to the Guild. However, Karliah warns the Dragonborn that, since Mercer was a Nightingale, he is very dangerous. Karliah wants to prepare the Dragonborn to slay Mercer and suggests meeting her at a standing stone just outside the southwest gate of Riften.

After proceeding to the standing stone, and discovering that it is the secret headquarters of the Nightingales, Karliah explains that the three will need all the help they can get to kill Mercer. As the Dragonborn makes their way into Nightingale Hall with Brynjolf and Karliah, they begin discussing the Nightingales and the myth behind them. Brynjolf believes that the Nightingales are a religious group, but Karliah explains that it is all about business. Once arriving at the hall, Karliah requests that the Dragonborn go and don the new Nightingale armor to begin the ceremony.

Once making it across the wooden bridge and into a room, there will be a stone off to the left with the Nightingale symbol on it. Upon activating it, a full set of Nightingale armor is added to the Dragonborn's inventory. Once the armor is equipped, the ceremony can begin.

Karliah tells the Dragonborn of some tests that need to be completed in order to become a Nightingale, while Brynjolf displays negative feelings towards this. Karliah explains that the only way to defeat Mercer Frey is to have Nocturnal on their side. Karliah explains that in order to use the Nightingale abilities whenever possible, the test must be completed for a guardian of the Twilight Sepulcher serves both in life and death. Karliah asks if the Dragonborn is ready for the test and once conceding, the test can begin.

Note: Unlike other quests, the option of saying no does not appear at what should be a point of no return. At this stage of the quest, the only dialogue option there will be is to either say "yes" or drop the conversation. However, this effectively stalls the entire quest line.

The ceremony[]

The Nightingales commune with Nocturnal.

Karliah opens a gate into a room with three glyphs. All three characters take their place on one of the glyphs, and Karliah calls upon Nocturnal, who then appears. Karliah offers to have Brynjolf and the Dragonborn take the oath to serve Nocturnal in order to gain the strength to take down Mercer Frey. Nocturnal accepts the offer and the three characters become the new Nightingales.

Now that the Dragonborn is a Nightingale, Karliah reveals the true crime of Mercer. Mercer has stolen a Skeleton Key from the Twilight Sepulcher which not only unlocks physical locks but also the ability to tap into the potential that everyone possesses. This is the reason that the Thieves Guild is down on its luck. If the key is not returned then its luck will go down to the point of non-existence. Returning the key would mean that Nocturnal will align with the guild once again and luck would be restored.


Brynjolf then realizes that, because the guild is leaderless, the Dragonborn will need to take over as leader of the Thieves Guild after Mercer has been dealt with. He then mentions that they should head to Irkngthand where Mercer is likely to be stealing the eyes of the Falmer.


Trinity Restored – TG08A
ID Journal Entry
10 Before intercepting Mercer Frey, Karliah wishes to speak to both Brynjolf and myself.
  • Objective 10: Listen to Karliah
15 (Karliah initiates dialogue.)
20 Karliah has indicated Brynjolf and I are to meet her at an old standing stone just outside the Southwest Gate of Riften. Her motivations for doing so are mysterious, but I suspect it has something to do with the Nightingales.
  • Objective 20: Meet Karliah at the standing stone
  • Objective 30: Follow Karliah
40 Karliah has informed Brynjolf and I that we're to join the ranks of the Nightingales and assist in reforming the trinity that was disrupted over twenty-five years ago when Mercer Frey murdered Gallus.
  • Objective 40: Activate the Armor Stone
  • Objective 42: Equip the Nightingale Armor
  • Objective 45: Follow Karliah
  • Objective 50: Stand on vacant floor glyph
57 I've undertaken the Oath and I'm now a Nightingale, guardian of the Twilight Sepulcher and a dedicated sentinel of the goddess, Nocturnal.
  • Objective 60: Speak to Karliah
  • Objective 70: Speak to Brynjolf
200 Karliah has finally revealed the fundamental mission of the Nightingales... the guardianship of the Skeleton Key of Nocturnal. This powerful artifact, normally kept safe within the Twilight Sepulcher, has been stolen by Mercer Frey. As a Nightingale, the duty to recover the Skeleton Key fall squarely upon my shoulders.
  • Quest complete


  • If the Dragonborn has acquired the Ice Form shout, after completing the ceremony they can use it to freeze Brynjolf and Karliah and pickpocket them for items with no repercussions. After unfreezing and traveling to Irkngthand the quests will continue as though nothing had happened.
  • It is possible to take off the Nightingale armor upon making it to the room where Nocturnal comes. There, any armor can be worn without stopping progress in the quest.
  • If Serana is a follower, she may constantly interact with the pull chain, but the gate will not open.


This section contains bugs related to Trinity Restored. 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   Karliah may not be waiting at the stone at the beginning of the quest. This may happen if the Nightingale stone is discovered before this quest.
    •  PC (Fix)   Use the console command player.placeatme 0001B07F at the quest marker.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Both Karliah and Brynjolf may not be waiting at the stone at the beginning of the quest. This may happen regardless of whether the Nightingale stone was found before. Even approaching the stone and seeing both characters standing there, but not going near enough to trigger the conversation, upon returning later, they might be gone. Brynjolf can then be found in the Ragged Flagon Cistern while Karliah is in Winterhold's inn's basement. The quest marker is fixed on the Nightingale stone and completing the quest is impossible.
    • The only solution is to immediately enter the Nightingale Hall with them.
  •  PC   XB1   PS4   Karliah is supposed to open the gate. Instead of doing so, Karliah may walk back to Riften. She and Brynjolf will be considered "Busy," when spoken to.
    • This can be solved by pushing Brynjolf into the room with runes in it.
    • This can also be solved by standing closer to the gate while Karliah is speaking and asks the Dragonborn to accept the oath. Standing on the steps and waiting for her to come to the Dragonborn is the simplest way to prevent her from wandering off.
    •  PC (Fix)   Use either of the resetAI and setstage TG08A 57 commands. If the setstage command is used, the Nocturnal cut-scene will be skipped, and the chamber may not open for later.
    •  PC (Fix)   Going to the chain and typing prid 00058F1A in the console, then moveto player. Closing console then opens the gate. She is there. Then, typing setstage TG08A 52 stops her from walking away. Furthermore, it is not necessary to skip the Nocturnal cutscene. She and Brynjolf start walking into the bars instead. Then the bars can be disabled by opening the console, targeting the bars, and typing disable. Then, they both walk to their places.
  •  PC   Karliah may pull the gate chain too many times, causing the gate to remain closed.
    •  PC (Fix)   When she stops to have the final chat, in the chamber with the eight fires. The Dragonborn stands with their back to the barred ritual chamber, face pointing to the stones where the armor is obtained. She will start walking in the good direction, towards the barred door. The game will need to be saved at this point. When she reaches the barred door, she will use the chain one time too many and the bars will drop and then raise again. When that happens, bumping into her will cause her to open the door and not close it again. If all is well, she will resume her walk across the ritual room. Note: This requires a bit of precise timing. It is necessary to block her path to the chain until she is guided towards her destination.
    •  PC (Fix)   Wait until Karliah has pulled the chain once, and then quickly use Unrelenting Force to blast her into the next room. Once she picks herself up, the rest of the quest will continue normally.
    •  PC (Fix)   Keep getting Karliah to ask if the Dragonborn is ready to take the oath. Instead of answering, by backing out of the conversation and taking a few steps backwards, Karliah will take a few steps towards the Dragonborn and ask again if they are ready. This can be repeated until she is on the bottom of the stairs in the hallway leading to the barred door. Once this is done, answering the question will cause her to continue to walk to the chain and open the gate.
  •  PC   An Imperial or Stormcloak courier may appear in Nightingale Hall and run towards the Dragonborn, then turn around running towards the exit.
  •  360   Karliah may fall through the floor or disappear while walking to the armor stones. Scripted events continue as if she is still present.
  •  360   Karliah may stop, and will not continue on to the armor stones, repeating, "It's just ahead, please keep following."
  •  PC   360   Upon reaching the room with the armor stones and Karliah has had her discussion with Brynjolf, instead of opening the gate she will just stand there repeating, "It appears you are ready to take the oath."
    •  PC (Fix)   This can easily be resolved with setstage TG08A 50 which advances the quest to the next stage.
  •  PC   If Karliah starts to walk toward the entrance in Nightingale Hall after the Dragonborn has had the forced conversation accepting the terms to become a Nightingale,
    •  PC (Fix)   Using the console command setstage TG08A 52 will turn Karliah the right way round and she should immediately walk toward the steps and down the path toward the gate. However, she will not open the gate.
    •  PC (Fix)   With the console open, clicking on the gate should show the code 000C698A. Now entering the command disable will hide the gate so that it will no longer be an obstruction.
  •  PS3   Karliah might go the wrong way after the Dragonborn says that they want to undergo the oath, and the gate might not open.
    • This might be resolved by reloading from the last save point, but does not always work.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   Wait at the top of the stairs by the chain until Karliah speaks with Brynjolf and explains the terms, she will move toward the stairs to ask if the Dragonborn is ready to transact the oath. Agree, then run around her and use Unrelenting Force to shout Karliah up the stairs and near the chain. The scene should proceed as normal.
  •  PS3   If a follower is present on the altar when ready to take the oath, the process of the oath may freeze. The Dragonborn can still look around, and the follower may wander around, but Karliah just stands there not speaking with arms raised, with the scene not progressing.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   Reloading a previous save, then tell the follower to wait in the room where the Nightingale armor is obtained before taking the oath.
  •  PC   The game may crash upon reaching the stone.