- Speak with Falcar, the head of the Cheydinhal Mages Guild, who asks you to find his lost ring.
- Go see Deetsan to obtain a key to the outside well and a Buoyancy spell.
- Retrieve the ring from the well and speak with Deetsan again.
- Search Falcar's room for your recommendation, but find evidence of Necromancy instead.
- Speak once again with Deetsan and she will agree to write your recommendation for you.
Cheydinhal Mages Guild
Speak to Falcar in the Cheydinhal Mages Guild for a recommendation. He wants you to find a Ring of Burden an Associate recently lost. He suspects it was thrown down the guild well and says you'll need a key to get in; Deetsan - another guild member - has one. Deetsan will agree to talk to you about your assignment only if Falcar is not in the room. After he leaves, you'll learn you're not the first one to get this task. Vidkun - the previous Associate - disappeared while trying to find the ring. After this word of caution, Deetsan will give you the Well Key and a Buoyancy spell.
You're Gonna Need a Bigger Feather
The well is just behind the guild. Create a save point before entering the well, as this part of the quest is prone to a glitch. Use the Buoyancy spell Deetsan gave you or a similar Water Breathing spell or enchantment as the well has no air pockets to breathe in. There is obviously no need to worry about this if you are an Argonian. The well itself is small and you'll find poor Vidkun's body inside with the ring. The ring has a weight of 150, so be sure you have at least that much space in your inventory or a Feather or Fortify Strength spell or potion. Otherwise, you may end up like Vidkun.
You do not actually need to bring the ring back to the guild; you can drop it immediately after receiving the related quest update. There is also a Nirnroot in the well that you may want to grab. On the way back out, make sure the camera is in first person mode, otherwise lining up the exit can be extremely difficult.
Alternatively, if you just grab the ring, it will not add to your encumbrance. Drag it to the well exit, then pick it up and exit, dropping it outside.
When you return, Falcar is nowhere to be seen. Speak with Deetsan instead and tell her that Vidkun is dead. She will have a different reaction if you tell her about Vidkun after you ask about your recommendation. If you present the ring to her, she will tell you that it's useless and to drop it anywhere, as it is most likely just part of a "sick joke" of Falcar's. Falcar, it seems, got quite mad when Deetsan told him that she had helped you and when she threatened to report him to the Council of Mages, he yelled some nonsense and stormed out of the guild. Deetsan says to search Falcar's room to see if he had already written your letter of recommendation.
Head down to the basement and search Falcar's room. Open the locked drawer (its difficulty is leveled) and find two Black Soul Gems, a sign that Necromancy is afoot. There is nothing else to find, so return to Deetsan with the gems. Deetsan will take the two gems and offer to write your recommendation for you herself. If you have already raided Falcar's room before he left, you cannot give Deetsan the Black Soul Gems before this point.
You only need one Black Soul Gem to finish the quest, but both will disappear once you talk to Deetsan. The spare soul gem can be used normally. However, these are not counted as proper Black Soul Gems by the game, but as regular Grand Soul Gems instead. Therefore, these cannot be used to trap NPC souls or as an offering to Vaermina. Be careful not to use both, as then you will not be able to complete the quest (see bugs). Deetsan will accept these gems if they are filled, but she will not notice any other Black Soul Gems you might have in your inventory.
- Prior to finishing this quest, if you overhear some of the other mages talking to each other, they will discuss how the water has tasted strange lately. Since they are probably drawing their water from the Mages Guild well, the dead body is probably the cause.
- After completing this quest, mages in the other guild halls will mention that Deetsan is now running the Cheydinhal Mages Guild Hall.
- You can use the grab control to move the ring around without it weighing you down, or grab and drag Vidkun's body to the ladder before taking the ring.
- Falcar's Black Soul Gems are identified as Quest Items so they cannot be set down, but they will still work with Soul Trap and disappear once used to recharge a weapon or enchant an item. If both are used in this way, it will become impossible to complete this quest and gain access to the Arcane University.
- If you pickpocket Falcar's key to get into his room before retrieving the Ring of Burden, the key will be permanently marked as a quest item and is undroppable even after the quest is completed. This isn't a weight problem since it is a zero-weight item, but it permanently adds to inventory clutter.
- This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch.
- The Black Soul Gems will still count as stolen items in your journal. There is no way to get them without having them adding to your stolen statistic; this is the one case where virtuous characters are forced to do something illegal in order to enter the Mages Guild. See this page for more information.
- This bug is fixed by the Unofficial Oblivion Patch.
- If you enter the well but do not retrieve the ring and then return more than three game days later, Vidkun's body will have disappeared. Without the body it is impossible to get the ring, and - as with the previous quest - impossible to complete the quest.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.1.551 of the Official Oblivion Patch.
- If you do have to leave the well, deactivating the quest (choose another quest to be your current active quest) will prevent Vidkun's body from disappearing.
- You can fix this problem by entering the console command
player.additem 0002E5ACto give your character the ring.
- You can enter Falcar's room early by either following him in, using the pickpocket trick, or waiting until 6:15 when he wakes up. Be careful if you follow him in, as the door will lock behind you.
- Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
- Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
- If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
- It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering
setstage MG02Alter stage, where
stageis the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.
Next: There are seven Mages Guild recommendation quests that can be completed in any order: