Ulterior Motives is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. An investigation of the necromancers has been started by Raminus Polus as mages have died and the Hero must help find out what has happened.


As part of their investigation of the necromancers and the deaths of their two mages, Raminus Polus asks that the Hero head to Skingrad and retrieve a book from Count Janus Hassildor.


Follow the map and travel to Castle Skingrad. Talk to Mercator Hosidus during the daytime in Castle Skingrad. He asks them to return tomorrow and says he will bring new information.

After returning in 24 hours, Hosidus says to meet with the Count outside, west of town at 2 AM. Head out to the marker on the map (between the wine fields and the Cursed Mine) and wait until 2 AM. At this point there will be an ambush by Mercator who says that the Count isn't coming and they are going to kill the Hero. Mercator and two other necromancers, Arterion and Mondrar Henim attack. Just as the enemies are beaten, the Count will intervene at the end of the fight.

He will run to the Hero so don't mistake him for a necromancer. However, if he is hit he will say he's on their side or he will just collapse and then stand up in a few seconds. It turns out that there really is no book and this was just false information given to the Hero to try to bring the necromancers out of hiding. Return to Raminus Polus at the Arcane University with the Count's information for the reward, the Spelldrinker Amulet.


Journal Entry
  • Update: Upon accepting the quest:

Raminus Polus has asked me to retrieve the book from Janus Hassildor, Count of Skingrad.

  • Update: After talking to Mercator Hosidius in Castle Skingrad:

Mercator Hosidius, a liason to the Count of Skingrad, has told me the Count is not accepting visitors. I need to return tomorrow.

  • Update: After speaking to Hosidius again the next day:

Mercator Hosidius told me the Count will meet with me North of the Cursed Mine west of town at 2 AM.

  • Update: Meeting at the location around 2 AM:

Count Hassildor saved me from the ambush set by Mercator Hosidius. I need to deliver his message to Raminus Polus.

  • Update: Returning to Raminus and speaking to him:

I've delivered Hassildor's message to Raminus Polus.

  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to Ulterior Motives. 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.
  • Hosidus may not notice that 24 hours have passed, to fix this leave the immediate area, wait another 24 hours, and the quest should progress as normal.
  • If you get to the Cursed Mine early it is possible that Hosidius is already there and once the ambush has been fended off the quest will not continue. There is no fix currently but to prevent it happening make sure you arrive just before 2am.

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