The Way of the Nine

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The Way of the Nine
Quest Giver S’vashni

Locations Peakshade Tower, Skyshadow Crypt, Forest near Weynon Stones
Prerequisites None
Related Quests Glathriel‘s Bow, Vigilance and Virtue
Enemy Level PC x 1, Svashni PC x 1.25, Garrett PC x 1.5 Class Combat Assassin, CombatWarrior1H,
Quest ID Svashniquest Editor ID XX14E08B
NPCs S’vashni, Garrett, Pilgrim, Glathriel, Orondil, Puck, Elenthil, Amalee, Viranya, Vaughn, Vahlokmir, Lleyara,
Reward S’vashni – 1000 gold(Upon promising to deliver Garrett)
Garrett – Blades of the Nine Sword Technique, Hanegiri, Tategatana

The Way of the Nine is a tale about a pupil and her teacher, and a master sword technique passed from one to the other upon death. However, in the case of S’vashni, slaying the master taught her nothing, and now she seeks to uncover the elusive stance by any means necessary, even if it means hunting her mentor beyond the grave.

The Way and The Nine
After meeting S’vashni at Peakshade Tower, the player learns she is master of a dual sword technique called The Way of the Nine. It encompasses nine separate sword techniques, each inspired by a different divinity. She will go into detail regarding the stances and their various styles, but will also reveal that she has only mastered eight of the stances. This is due to the fact that the Stance of Arkay is taught via a duel between master and pupil, with their lives hanging on the precipice of life and death.

Skyshadow Crypt
Upon learning how S’vashni killed her master, Skyshadow Crypt will be unlocked. The barrow is located in the mountains along the southern edge of the Rift, southwest of Stendarr’s Beacon. The exterior is of Nordic origin, but the interior is influenced by Akaviri architecture. This is loosely based on the Hagia Sophia, where the design of an ancient site often hinged on the region’s most recent conqueror.

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The PC enters the crypt to find a number of ghosts on the brink of death, slain by the Khajiit who stands at the altar behind them. A pilgrim scolds her for her blasphemy, but S’vashni only mocks him. After a brief conversation, the player follows the pilgrim to the rear of the temple, where he suddenly collapses. In his place, a ghostly visage by the name of Garrett appears. He reveals himself to be S’vashni’s former mentor.

The Blessings of the Eight
Garrett tells the Dragonborn that he wishes to vanquish S’vashni and pass on the Stance of Arkay. However, without the time for proper training, Garrett informs the PC that he/she must borrow the spiritual strength of 8 pilgrims, each representing a different Divine.

Divine NPC Location Requirement
Stendarr Viranya Stendarr’s Beacon Defeat a vampire ambush
Julianos Orondil Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude Lead Orondil to the Thalmor Embassy
Kynareth Glathriel Camp East of Evergreen Grove Retrieve Glathriel’s Bow at the Roadside Ruins
Talos Puck Windhelm Docks None
Mara Elenthil Temple of Mara None
Dibella Amalee Eldergleam Sanctuary None
Akatosh Vahlokmir Mountains Overlooking of Angi’s Camp Speak to Lleyara
Zenithar Vaughn Solitude Winking Skeever 200, 1200, or 1500 gold

Notes:
– Upon receiving all eight blessings, the quest Vigilance and Virtue will be unlocked.
– One bonfire will be lit at Skyshadow Crypt for each Divine that blesses the player.

The Pupil or The Master
After receiving all 8 blessings, the player will return to Skyshadow Crypt to find S’vashni outside the entrance. She tells the player she noticed the bonfires were lit, and believes Garrett has returned to challenge her. Before departing, she tells the player she will be waiting in the forests near the Weynon Stones, in a place similar to their previous duel.

The player then has the option of betraying Garrett or undergoing the ritual as intended. Doing so will result in Garrett summoning eight ghosts to test the player’s mettle.

Notes:
– The Blades of the Nine originally provided Dual Flurry(Magnitude 1.35), Fortify One-Handed, and the Reflect Blows(Magnitude 1.35) perks. It was later altered to boosting One-Handed by 75%.
– In order to receive the reward from S’vashni, the player must tell her directly they wish to aid her. Choosing a separate option but betraying Garrett will not net a reward.
– Both during the ritual and when siding with S’vashni, originally all 8 ghosts spawned at once. However, in versions after 2.38, they will now spawn in pairs.
– In the ritual, Garrett represents the Ninth Divine, and will fight alongside the ghosts but cannot be killed. When the 8th ghost falls, he will immediately stop combat and his aggression will drop to zero.

The Final Duel
Depending on the player’s choice, S’vashni will either meet Garrett for one last duel, or engage the player in combat after a brief conversation. If the player sides with Garrett, they will receive a larger monetary reward, including two unique katanas, but a fairly boilerplate story.

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Siding with S’vashni will result in a confrontation between master and pupil, but with an ending that mirrors their previous duel. Once again she will finish off Garrett but will ultimately fail to learn the Stance of Arkay. For all her arrogance, she is left looking pitiful in the end, fumbling about in the snow. The player leaves her pawing at the ground, trying to make sense of the tracks as the storm fills them in.

Notes:
– S’vashni will search endlessly in the forest until the player hits a trigger box in Whiterun, which will permanently disable her. It is unknown what happened to her.
– The lack of physical rewards for siding with S’vashni are the result of her character type and the tragic ending.
– “The Drums of Arkay” is an original instrumental composed by Giramor.

The Way of the Nine (SvashniQuest)
Stage Information
1 S’vashni tells the player the story of her master’s demise, Skyshadow Crypt door is unlocked.
15 PC sees S’vashni arguing with a Pilgrim.
25 The Pilgrim leads the PC to the rear, where he suddenly dies. In his place arrives Garrett, S’vashni’s master.
30 Garret requests the player retrieve 8 blessings for a ritual to pass on the Stance of Arkay.
40 The player receives all 8 blessings.
45 The PC returns to Skyshadow Crypt.
50 S’vashni gives the PC the option of betraying Garrett.
55 The player undergoes the ritual, siding with Garrett.
60 The 8 ghosts are called for the ritual.
70 The ghosts are vanquished, and the ritual is complete. The PC can now summon the power of the Way of the Nine.
75 The PC confronts S’vashni.
80 Triggered if the player sides with S’vashni. The player tells Garrett the ritual should be performed in the forests west of the Weynon Stones.
90 Player delivers Garrett to the duel.
95 S’vashni and the PC vanquish all nine ghosts.
100 The PC kills S’vashni.
110 Garrett thanks the player and says goodbye.
200 S’vashni vanquishes her master but fails to learn the technique.

Notes: Stages 5, 10, 20, 35, 65, 85, 86, 91 are set during scenes, dialogue, or when entering a trigger at the appropriate stage.

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