Darkness Returns

New objective: Enter the Twilight Sepulcher

To reach the Twilight Sepulcher, head towards the southwestern edge of Skyrim from Falkret. If you’ve already found the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, use it as a starting point. Look for a cave entrance in the western mountains, surrounded by a waterfall on one side and burning vessels and menhirs on the other.

Once inside the cave, you’ll encounter Gallus, one of the former Nightingales who was murdered by Mercer Frey. Gallus will be pleased to hear that Karliah is alive and that you possess the Skeleton Key. However, as the Guild traitor desecrated the temple, the door in its depths has shut, causing the ghost inhabiting the dungeon to lose their senses and become aggressive. Ask Gallus for hints and he’ll direct you to the corpse of Nystrom, one of your predecessors who wanted to speak to Nocturnal, activating the optional objective to Retrieve Nystrom’s Journal.

New objective: Speak to the Nightingale Sentinel

Speak to the Nightingale Sentinel to learn more about the temple and the way forward. Take the stairs up the corridor and be prepared to fight two Nightingale Sentinels as you cross the iron gate. Sneak attacks are recommended as the enemies are quite strong. After defeating them, search the room upstairs for a Soul Gem.

New objective: Follow the Pilgrim’s Path

Proceed onwards and watch out for a pressure plate on the ground that activates poison arrows. Sneak up and defeat the lone enemy waiting for you. Retrieve Nystrom’s Journal from his skeleton and find his money-bag and a Dwarven Battle Axe beside him. Follow the Pilgrim’s Path to complete this objective.

New objective: Retrieve Nystrom’s Journal (optional)

If you want to retrieve Nystrom’s Journal, turn left of Gallus and find the skeleton beside the cave wall. The journal contains hints to the five trials he went through to reach Nocturnal’s treasury.

Take whatever equipment you need from Nystrom’s remains as you proceed towards your objective.

The next area after defeating the guardian and passing through the gate is a dark doom with deadly light sources. To survive, stay in the shadows and follow the narrow streams of darkness, watching out for traps. Avoid the stationary light, but feel free to use a torch. After leaving the dark room, you will see a Nocturnal statue with riches and a bandit corpse at her feet. Pull the chains on both sides of the statue to activate a secret mechanism and open the gate behind her. In the next area, be prepared for swinging axes and floor traps. You can try to get through it or take a corridor on the left, which leads to a large room with Nightingale Sentinels and treasures. The next objective is to head to the Twilight Sepulcher Inner Sanctum. Jump into the well in the lit room, and after landing, you’ll find Anders’ skeleton and notes beside him. Use the Skeleton Key to destroy the floor and reach the room where you need to return the ancient artifact. Nocturnal will appear and thank you for returning the Skeleton Key. Speak to Karliah, who will congratulate you and make you an Agent of Nocturnal. Choose one of the three powers granted by Nocturnal before leaving.

New Goal: Select Your Nightingale Power

You have the option to choose from three Nightingale powers: Shadowcloak of Nocturnal, Nightingale Subterfuge, or Nightingale Strife. To absorb a certain power, you must stand on the corresponding pedestal: crescent moon, half moon, or full moon respectively.

Shadowcloak of Nocturnal (crescent): once per day, you can make a selected enemy go berserk.

Nightingale Subterfuge (half moon): once per day, while sneaking, you can become invisible. However, if you attack or interact with the environment in any other way, the spell’s effect will fade away. Crouching will reactivate it.

Nightingale Strife (full moon): once per day, you can absorb 100 health points from an enemy.

Before leaving the Inner Sanctum of the Twilight Sepulcher, you may witness Gallus and Karliah reuniting. The two lovers will say their final goodbyes, ending a chapter in the history of the Thieves Guild. Karliah will remain in the Sanctum, guarding the Skeleton Key and offering assistance if you decide to return. You can switch Nocturnal’s blessing once every 24 hours, providing a good reason to visit the Sanctum periodically. After completing all City Influence quests, you can become the Guild Leader by returning to The Ragged Flagon.

The main storyline of the Thieves Guild concludes at this point. However, there are still chests to unlock and infinite locks to pick. Who knows, perhaps the greatest wave of robberies in Skyrim’s history is yet to come?

FAQ

What is Darkness Returns?

Darkness Returns is a quest in the game Skyrim. It is the final quest of the Thieves Guild questline and involves the player character, known as the Dragonborn, returning the guild to its former glory. The quest takes place in the Twilight Sepulcher, a temple of the Daedric Prince Nocturnal, and involves the Dragonborn using a special key to open the door to the Inner Sanctum and return the Skeleton Key, a powerful artifact, to Nocturnal. Along the way, the Dragonborn must navigate traps, solve puzzles, and defeat enemies.

How do I start the Darkness Returns quest?

In order to start the Darkness Returns quest, the player must first complete the main Thieves Guild questline and become the guild’s leader. Once this is done, the player must speak to Karliah, a former member of the guild who has returned after many years, and complete the quest “Hard Answers.” This will lead to the quest “The Pursuit,” which in turn will lead to “Trinity Restored.” After completing “Trinity Restored,” the player will be given the quest “Blindsighted,” which is the beginning of the Darkness Returns quest.

What are the rewards for completing Darkness Returns?

Completing the Darkness Returns quest not only restores the Thieves Guild to its former glory, but also rewards the player with several powerful items. These include the Nightingale Blade, a unique sword with a powerful enchantment that absorbs health and stamina from enemies; the Nightingale Bow, a powerful bow that deals extra damage to enemies affected by frost; and the Nightingale Armor, a set of enchanted armor that provides significant protection against physical and magical attacks. Additionally, completing the quest unlocks several new special abilities for the player, such as the ability to turn invisible and move silently.

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