TES2 Daggerfall: Barenziah’s Biography

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CAUTION! Some people reported that their own game experience with this quest was different from what I wrote here. Further investigation is necessary. Until then, don’t take the contents of this page at face value.

This quest starts like many others. You receive a letter from Queen Barenziah of Wayrest. As any weathered adventurer would guess by now, somewhere there’s a dungeon to beat.

Barenziah greets you:

Thank you for responding to my letter, Qwerty. It is very difficult for a queen of a powerful nation, and a queen whose home is far away, to trust any mercenary. That is why when my dear child Helseth told me about you, I was so quick to write. There is a rather sensitive situation brewing, and I need someone I can trust to correct some wayward revolutionaries. For (reward amount) gold pieces, will you perform such a service for me? I am also prepared to reward you with information as well as gold.

Of course I’m here for the information, silly! Who cares for gold? Gold can be found all around the place. Ask that unfortunate shopkeeper downtown. What’s the task this time? I am glad to hear it.

Some years ago, a disgruntled, and possibly deranged, scribe of mine wrote a biography of me which my worst enemy would call cruel and defamatory. Because the book was also excessively critical of the Empire and Septim Imperial family, it was wisely suppressed and its author executed. Unfortunately, chapters of the book resurface from time to time. I have reason to believe one chapter of the book has been purchased by the orcs of Orsinium, who are attempting to publish it. I need it removed from their stronghold, also named Orsinium. Time is of the essence. I’m sure Gortwog will not wait long. Once the chapter is safe, we will talk further about your ambitions.

Before you can arrive to Orsinium and beat the text out of the pig children, they rush to their defense: A misty shape forms in your mind. An orc shaman! It gives way to a regal orc, wearing a crown.

The book you are looking for is no longer in Orsinium. The Necromancers have stolen it from us. If you are available, we are interested in pooling our resources against this mutual enemy. Please do not be so foolish as to assume that the orcs are your enemy, simply because we are orcs. If you are interested, come to me at Orsinium Hall in Orsinium. The face vanishes, leaving you with only a memory.

When you arrive to Orsinium as directed, Gortwog claims the manuscript is in the Necromancers’ stronghold. He says:

Hello, Qwerty. It would seem that we have a mutual antagonist in the King of Worms. I am Gortwog, King of the Orcs and Lord of Orsinium. I am willing to give you a (jewel) if you would retrieve the chapter of Barenziah’s book from Scourg Barrow in the Dragontail Mountains, where the King and his Necromancers have taken it. Agreed?

Another dungeon, yet another… When you recover the manuscript and give it to Barenziah, she finally gives that precious bit of information:

Thank Boethiah you found it before those horrible orcs could retrieve it again. I heard all about them losing the chapter to the King of Worms. (God), what a crisis it would have been if they had published it. Here is (reward amount) gold for your services.

You may not know this, but not only is Gortwog the holder of that letter the Emperor lost some months ago, but he is also contending for an ancient relic called the Totem of Tiber Septim. If that cannibal gets his warted hands on the Totem, it could mean the end of Wayrest, and possibly all civilization on the Iliac Bay. We may need your able services again, Qwerty.

Ah-ha! Here’s the clue! Gortwog has the letter you’ve spent your whole career looking for!

Not only that, you also learn about a certain something called Totem of Tiber Septim. At this point, you don’t have any reasons to care for it. But do make a mental note.

Next: Retrieving the letter

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