The Raven of Anvil

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The Raven of Anvil
Quest Giver Asteria
Locations Old Hroldan, Markarth
Prerequisites Speak to Orenius, Listen to Dusk on Anvil Harbor
Related Quests None
Enemy Level PC x 1 Class LvlBanditBoss
Quest ID AsteriaQuest Editor ID 02160B36
NPCs Orenius Scilus, Lundvar, Rumarin, Sunken-Roots, Asteria, Sellswords, Nobles
Reward Gold(600), Random Safe Contents

The Raven of Anvil tells the tale of a master thief who assuaged the grief of a Countess with a solemn dirge, only to steal her valuables as she slept. Now the same thief is plying her trade in Skyrim in hopes of pulling the same heist with the Jarl of Markarth.

The Legend of the Raven
The first mention of the Raven of Anvil comes from a retired Penitus Oculatus agent in Dragon Bridge. He reveals that the dastardly thief is in fact his daughter, and he only wishes to see her once more. He mentions a number of traits to help identify her, from her jet black hair to her signature song, Dusk on Anvil Harbor, a dirge meant for all those who saw their husbands, sons, and daughters ship off for war.

Once the player has spoken to Orenius, they can now request the song by name with Asteria in Old Hroldan. This will enable a new dialogue branch where the player can question Asteria on her true identity and her relationship with her father.

Notes:
– In the original version, Asteria’s dialogue was meant to be navigated like an interrogation, using her facial cues to determine how to proceed. For example, an expression of fear would require the player to use a threatening response to continue the interrogation. However, this was removed once the quest was implemented.
– Asteria’s name was chosen at random, and has no relation to the airship mod of the same name. A change was considered briefly before ultimately deciding as Asteria wasn’t her real name, it didn’t really matter.

The Guardsman
Once the player learns Asteria has no intention of speaking with Orenius, he/she can suggest they work together instead. The bard, still struggling to gain an audience with the Jarl, will ask the player to help her get her name on a list of potential candidates. She makes mention of a guardsman, Lundvar, who may have motivation to betray his brethren and reveal the location of the list, as his brother was killed for investigating corruption in the city.

The player meets Lundvar to discover he is incorruptible. However, in his anger Lundvar inadvertently lets the name Yngvar slip from his lips. The list itself is on Yngvar’s person and names a number of renowned bards, but not Asteria. After pickpocketing the list and returning to Old Hroldan, Asteria makes mention of a new problem. Yngvar’s handwriting is such that only a professional forger will be able to add her name.

Notes:
– Lundvar, despite being an older NPC, was created specifically with this quest in mind. However, he was fashioned in a way that if a scripter never came, he could still function independently.
– The bards listed on Yngvar’s list includes Skjarn and Fjona.

The Black Marketeers
Asteria mentions a traveling High Elf wearing forged robes, and implies he may know where to find a suitable forger. The High Elf in question is Rumarin, who points the player to an Argonian handwriting expert. However, the forger in question has been kidnapped by bandits near Knifepoint Ridge.

Rumarin and the player rescue the Argonian known as Sunken-Roots, who in his gratitude agrees to forge the document. In order to ensure the document has the proper verisimilitude, he stresses the value of Asteria’s cheap rates and proximity to Markarth as the key selling points as opposed to her voice.

Asteria at Old Hroldan – The entire hold is buzzing about this one. Even better, she’s close, cheap, and she wants to play for the Jarl. This one’s a keeper.

Once the document is received, Sunken-Roots will depart, and Rumarin will no longer automatically follow the player. The Dragonborn is then tasked with placing the document on Yngvar without him noticing.

Notes:
– Before suggesting they look for Sunken Roots, Rumarin mentions that the robes he wears were fashioned by a Nord blacksmith, the one responsible for manufacturing curved swords for Al’Hassan.
– The bandits kidnapped Sunken Roots to forge bounty letters that targeted Raynes. The letters in question can be found on a table inside Knifepoint Mine.
– Sunken Roots will travel to the Braidwood Inn upon completion of this section of the quest.
– Returning to Asteria at this point will not advance the quest, but she will offer an additional line of conversation to direct the player to Yngvar.

Return to Old Hroldan
After depositing the list on Yngvar, the player returns to Old Hroldan and finds Asteria in one of the adjacent rooms, leaning over a treasure chest. Asteria is dressed in Thieves Guild armor, but immediately changes back to her peasant garments, telling the player she had been scouting the location.

Asteria then follows the player as they travel to Markarth. On the way, a courier intercepts them with a note informing her she has been chosen. Asteria then heads off by herself to the Silver-Blood Inn. There, she shares the story of the Countess of Anvil, and the reality behind the legend.

Notes:
– Any mod that alters Old Hroldan may break the quest at this point. In versions 2.42 and after, an additional script and unvoiced line of dialogue has been added to advance the stage manually as opposed to an invisible trigger box.

Dusk on The Reach
Asteria informs the Dragonborn she will perform for the Jarl of Markarth between 3pm and 5pm. If the player enters at this time, they will find her in the middle of her performance, playing Ragnar the Red. As planned, she then plays Mogo’s Mead, a cue to the player that Dusk on Anvil Harbor will be next. At this point it’s likely the player, in preparation for entering the Jarl’s quarters, will completely miss out on Asteria’s final words.

While she is still entrenched in her bard persona, Asteria displays a final act of bravado by informing the crowd and the Jarl that she is actually from Anvil, and not Bravil as her birth certificate implies. This also has the advantage of drawing further attention while her accomplice slips by unnoticed. The player cracks the safe and discovers Asteria’s true aim, a document that identifies her and invalidates her forged birth certificate.

Notes:
– The safe also contains a letter that tells the fate of Asteria’s father, Orenius, as well as the real name of the Raven of Anvil.
– Sleeping in the bed may not progress the stage from 79 to 80 if another mod has altered the bed at the Silver-Blood Inn.

The Raven Departs
Returning to Old Hroldan, the Dragonborn finds the inn is empty. Eydis the innkeeper tells him/her that Asteria just left. In fact, the player finds her waiting at the door, and she quickly snatches the document revealing her identity before saying goodbye.

Notes:
– If the player kills the Jarl’s mercenaries, Asteria will make mention of it later. An additional dialogue option is also available if the player reads the document about Orenius.
– Completing the Raven of Anvil will activate Efram and the Songstress, who move back and forth between Old Hroldan and the Cornerclub. They were created to allow Kelly Camelio‘s singing to remain in the mod.

The Raven of Anvil (Asteriaquest)
Stage Information
0 Speaking to Orenius Scilus then listening to Dusk on Anvil Harbor will enable the quest dialogue.
10 Asteria provides Lundvar’s letter and an advance of 300 gold.
15 Lundvar takes the letter and mentions Yngvar. Orenius is disabled.
30 Player steals the list from Yngvar.
40 Asteria tells the PC to find Rumarin.
41 Rumarin is set as a teammate and essential, Sunken-Roots is enabled.
46 Sunken-Roots is rescued.
50 The list is forged, and the PC must now slip it back on Yngvar’s person. Rumarin is removed and no longer essential.
60 List is in Yngvar’s possession. Asteria dons thief armor.
70 Player finds Asteria. She dons peasant garb and greets player.
75 Letter is deposited in the courier. Asteria follows the player.
76 Letter is delivered.
77 Asteria asks the PC to meet at the Silver-Blood Inn. Safe and ingots are enabled in the Jarl’s quarters.
78 Safe and ingots are enabled in the Jarl’s quarters. Player told to spend the night..
79 Conversation with Asteria finished, preps the bed for stage 80. The bed only works at stage 79 to prevent player from setting stage prior to conversation with Asteria.
80 The player sleeps in the bed at the Silver-Blood Inn.
85 Asteria plays before the Jarl.
90 The player steals the documents and must flee Understone Keep.
95 After fleeing Markarth, the PC finds Asteria is missing. Eydis, the innkeeper, indicates she just left.
97 Raven greets the player outside Old Hroldan.
100 Raven departs and Efram and the Songstress are enabled.

Notes: Stages 20, 35, 45, 47, 48, 49, 79, 86, 87, and 90  are set during scenes or when entering a trigger at the appropriate stage.

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