The Taste of Death

skyrim taste of deathIn Brief

  • Investigate the desecration of the Hall of the Dead in Markarth.
  • Clear Reachcliff Cave of undead.
  • Bring a fresh kill to Namira’s Shrine.
  • Join the feast.

Walkthrough

Markarth, the capital city of The Reach, is a place of misfortune and decay, and the denizens rarely talks to strangers about anything but the endless problems with the natives of The Reach, the Forsworn. Fortunately, the innkeeper at the Silver-Blood Inn will happily share a few local rumors when asked, so enter the tavern near the main gate and find Kleppr behind the bar. One of the rumors may reveal problems with the local Hall of the Dead, that has been closed for unknown reasons. You are told to see Brother Verulus for further information, thus starting the objective that eventually leads to this quest. If Kleppr refuses to talk about the hall, you can find Brother Verulus yourself, as he will openly tell you about current events.

Inside the local, underground palace Understone Keep you will witness a heated argument between Verulus and Thongvor Silver-Blood. Unhappy with the current state of the hall, the hostile Thongvar accuses Verulus of desecrating his ancestors and sends him on his way with a threat. Talk to the priest and he will deny you access to the hall and will provide a standard explanation. You can bribe, persuade or intimidate him, and only the first two options will get you anywhere. He will then explain the macabre situation in the hall and reveal that ‘some of the dead have been eaten by unknown intruders, their flesh chewed off and bones cracked to suck the marrow out’. Verulus then proceeds to ask you to investigate the Hall of the dead and hands you the key to the hall.

Moments after entering, a seductive female voice will echo through the hall, saying, “Not many would walk blindly into a crypt, smelling of steel and blood, but not fear. I feel the hunger inside of you. Gnawing at you. You see the dead and your mouth grows wet. Your stomach growls. It’s all right. I will not shun you for what you are. Stay. I will tell you everything you have forgotten.”After the speech, Eola will then run up to you and continue in the same vein, trying to seduce you with suggestions and accusations. When she is finished, three options are available. If you choose the third option, the quest will immediately fail, as she will attack you, with no option to yield. You can still complete the objective and receive your reward from Verulus, but will never get to experience The Taste of Death.

Instead, pick any of the two other options and Eola will continue her seductive behavior, eventually mentioning the the Lady of Decay, Namira, and a so-called safe haven for cannibals like yourself. Regardless of your answer, there is no turning back and the quest will start. If you ask her about the place, she will mark Reachcliff Cave on your map and reveal the truth about the desecration of the hall. Recently, the cave itself saw the dead rise from their graves, forcing Eola to flee and live in the hall and feast on the peaceful inhabitants. She will task you with clearing the cave, and will then cast her invisibility spell, asking you to meet her at the cave entrance. She will also assure you that the hall will see no further disturbances and will then be gone. Go talk to Brother Verulus and tell him the good news. He will be quite happy, hand you his Amulet of Arkay as a reward and return to his duties inside the hall.

Reachcliff Cave is located east and slightly south of Markarth and can easily be reached by crossing the bridge to the south from Karthspire. As promised, Eola will wait for you near the entrance and will seek you out as you approach. She will reveal that the opposition inside the cave consists of Draugr enemies and the whole cave has to be cleared. You can choose to have her as a follower, so accept and head inside. Watch out for the higher-leveled draugr in the second chamber and carefully proceed forward. Eola is a powerful follower and will not hesitate to summon a flame atronach or revive defeated draugr for extra help. In the catacombs, take a left for a difficult jump to a chest on a small ledge. After a short trek, you will arrive in a room with several draugr, including the boss so dispose of them all and take a look around; the chamber consists of a huge dinner table, and, in the southern end, the very altar of Namira. Eola will now approach you. She will thank you for reclaiming the Shrine and will ask you to bring in a fresh kill for your initiation into the coven, specifically a priest filled with the taste of the easy life, Brother Verulus. She will then hand you 100 gold to cover expenses and show you the way out. A shortcut to the outside world will now have opened in the room next to the Shrine, so exit the cave and travel to Markarth.

Back in the Hall of the dead, the unsuspecting priest has picked up his daily routines and spends most of his time sweeping or praying near the Shrine of Arkay, convinced that everything is all right. Talk to him and ask him for assistance during your travels, which will net you three opportunities. He still can’t be persuaded to do anything, but will always accept a bribe, so hand him some gold and he will tag along. Leave the Hall of the Dead and fast travel to the secret back entrance to Reachcliff Cave. When you enter the dining hall, you will find several well-known Markarth citizens seated at the large table, all hungry and ready for the evening feast. The table will be set with beverages, bread, cheese and three pieces of human flesh. A confused Brother Verulus will approach the table, stuttering. Eola will immediately be over him and will use her seductive charms to make him forget where he is and feel incredibly tired. She will then proceed to invite him to take a rest on the altar in front of the Shrine of Namira, something he will do right away. Listening to the guests’ private conversations makes it quite clear what they’re all waiting for: The flesh of Verulus. Head to the altar where Eola will invite you to start carving the sleeping priest in front of you.

At this point, you can choose to kill Eola, which will net you 1000 gold from a grateful Brother Verulus and a fight against all the dinner guests, including the quest-related Lisbet, dog seller Banning and Markarth market merchant Hogni Red-Arm. Therefore, it is highly recommended to do the carving and participate in the macabre feast, especially since you can get those 1000 gold from his dead body.

Slay the sleeping priest in cold blood, which will make an excited Eola invite you to have the very first bite. Examine the dead priest and choose the option ‘eat’. You will then be treated to an animation of yourself feasting on the still warm body of Verulus, and Namira will finally speak to you from her realm. “Mortal. I am Namira, the Lady of Decay. Your consumption of the blood and bile of Arkay’s own is pleasing to me. I give you my ring. Wear it, and when you feast on the flesh of the dead I will grant you my power.” You will then receive the Ring of Namira which increases your stamina by 50 points and allows you to feed on corpses for increased health. Eola will then welcome you to the coven and will be available as a follower should you ever need her. When all is said and done, leave the cannibals to their feast and head out into the real world.

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