Skyrim:No One Escapes Cidhna Mine

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SR-qico-Miscellaneous.png Escape from Cidhna Mine!
Location(s): Cidhna Mine, Markarth
Prerequisite Quest: The Forsworn Conspiracy
Reward: Silver-Blood Family Ring and/or Armor of the Old Gods (see Two Rewards)
Disposition: =1 (Thonar Silver-Blood) if Madanach killed
ID: MS02
Suggested Level: 6
The prison cell in which you awaken at the beginning of the quest

[edit] Quick Walkthrough

  1. Complete The Forsworn Conspiracy and go to jail.
  2. Brawl, bribe, and/or lie your way into a meeting with Madanach.
  3. Follow Madanach's instructions and escape with the rest of the prisoners, or kill Madanach and escape on your own.

[edit] Detailed Walkthrough

[edit] Gather information

Borkul the Beast

After completing the quest The Forsworn Conspiracy and choosing to go to jail, you will arrive in Cidhna Mine and will be informed by Urzoga gra-Shugurz that you will have to mine for your freedom. Your journal will inform you that you have to find Madanach, also known as the King in Rags. Head through the gate, walk down the wooden platform, and go to the miner Uraccen, who is sitting by the fire. Talk to him.

He will say that you won't be able to speak with Madanach unless you can get past the orc Borkul the Beast, who is standing outside a gate. Speak to Borkul and he tells you to get him a shiv. As alternatives to his request, you can brawl with him, pass a speech challenge, or pickpocket the key from him.

Option Dialogue Reaction
I don't have a shiv. Then find one. That dung heap Grisvar's been known to make a few. Find a shiv
Here's your shiv. All right, head on in. But don't try anything in there. Madanach is smarter than you think. Pass the door
Madanach is expecting me. (Persuade) Passed: Hmph. Fine. Go on in. But don't try anything in there. Madanach knows more than you think.
Failed: The only thing Madanach expects is a bottle of Skooma in tribute every so often. You're not getting through.
Passed: Pass the door
Failed: Nothing
How about some skooma instead? (Bribe) Passed: Ah, now that's a good idea. Head on in. But don't try anything in there. Madanach is smarter than you think. Passed: Pass the door
Let me through, pig-face. (Intimidate) Passed: Those eyes. All right, killer, go on through. But don't try anything. Madanach knows more than you think.
Failed: That's what I was hoping you'd say.
Passed: Pass the door
Failed: Turn hostile
How about I fight you for it? (Brawl) Brawl: That's what I was hoping you'd say.
  • Victory: It's been so long since I tasted my own blood. Sour.
    • You'll let me through now?
    • Yeah, yeah. Go on in.
  • Failure: (Nothing)
I'll pay the toll later. That's right. Turn around and leave. Nothing

To get a shiv, talk to Grisvar the Unlucky, who will ask for a bottle of skooma. To get the skooma, you have to find Duach and pass a speech challenge, win a brawl, or pickpocket him.

Option Dialogue Reaction
I need some. Badly. (Persuade) Passed: Getting the shakes, huh? All right. Take it. Old gods keep you.
Failed: Skooma addict. Get lost.
Passed: Get the skooma
Failed: Nothing
Hand over the skooma. (Brawl) Passed: Easy there. I didn't mean nothing. Take it.
Brawl: That's it.
  • Victory: Damn addicts always stealing from me.
    • Now give me that skooma.
    • Here. I hope you choke on it.
  • Failure: (Nothing)
Passed: Get the skooma
Failed: Brawl
Never mind. Smart. Nothing

Take the skooma to Grisvar, who will give you a shiv. If you want to keep the shiv, then you can still attempt the alternatives to completing Borkul's request. You can pickpocket an additional bottle of skooma from Duach and bribe Borkul with it.

Alternately, you can also start a battle with the Forsworn prisoners (attack anyone but Grisvar). This locks you into killing Madanach as he becomes hostile. This fight can be difficult; you have no armor, no enchantments, and your only non-conjured weapons are pickaxes and possibly shivs. Once you've won, then loot the key off Borkul's body, and proceed to kill Madanach per the next section. If you do plan on slaughtering your way out, being a werewolf or Vampire LordDG can help out a ton. Since no one has any armor, you will dish out a lot of damage. Make sure you try and set up a choke-point since all at once, they can still overwhelm you, but one on one, or one on two, you will decimate them. (If you are a Dawnguard werewolf with a lot of perks, you may be able to take them all on at once as well.) Also, if you do plan on using beast form and massacring everyone, you have two options. If you get the key from Borkul first, then you can open the door and kill Madanach immediately. However, if you enter beast form in one of the corners of the mine, then Madanach will open the door himself once he realizes that you're killing his allies. Vampire Lords have the advantage of being able to switch back and forth, which makes progressing through this quest a bit easier. Magical attacks in general are also extremely effective; you can use Illusion to make the Forsworn kill each other, Conjuration to summon superior bound weapons or atronachs, or Destruction attacks for the straightforward approach. The only protection the Forsworn have against magic is the normal 25% Breton magic resistance, which Borkul lacks.

[edit] The King in Rags

Planning to escape

Once you get past the Orc, you will see Madanach sitting at a desk. If you cooperate, he will ask you to talk to Braig and hear his story. After you have listened to it, return to Madanach and tell him you spoke to Braig. He will promise to help you escape, but only if you prove your loyalty to him by killing Grisvar the Unlucky. If you gave your shiv to Borkul, you can get a new one from Madanach at this point. Find Grisvar and kill him. If you tell him that "Madanach says hello", he will eventually become hostile and everyone else will try to kill him so you don't have to. Once he's dead, return to Madanach, who will declare you an honorary member of the Forsworn and lead the prisoners to the escape tunnel.

Alternatively, you can kill Madanach at any time and escape on your own. If you want a fair fight, you can tell him you plan to kill him; otherwise, just attack him. Attacking him will make all of the other prisoners hostile (except Grisvar), but as long as they are out of range, they will not rush in to join the fight. Search Madanach's body for a key and a note, then unlock the gate and exit the prison.

Note that some of the townsfolk may be hostile to the Forsworn and can be killed during the breakout. Timing your escape for early morning hours will reduce the amount of casualties to almost zero.

[edit] Escape

Fighting for freedom

If Madanach is still alive, follow him and the Forsworn through the tunnel to Markarth Ruins. As you make your way through the ruins, you will encounter first a pair of frostbite spiders, then one or two Dwarven Spheres. If you're on your own, you can sneak off the bridge onto the floor below, as fighting them alone will be quite difficult without any of your normal equipment. Once past the automatons, continue through the ruins until you reach a short tunnel that leads to a door to Markarth. If you sided with Madanach, a Forsworn woman named Kaie will be there to return your confiscated goods and give you the Armor, Boots, Gauntlets, and Helmet of the Old Gods. The Forsworn will all equip armor and run out; when you follow them through the door, you will emerge into a confrontation between the Forsworn and Thonar Silver-Blood, accompanied by a Markarth City Guard. After a short conversation, Madanach and the Forsworn will attack and kill Thonar, then fight their way through the rest of the city guard and any citizens in their way to the gates, where any surviving Forsworn will exit and escape. To avoid the deaths of citizens, wait in the tunnel until midnight before exiting out to the city, then no one except for the guards will be present. Madanach and any remaining Forsworn will then run to Druadach Redoubt, where they will take up permanent residence. If you are on your own, just exit; if you killed Madanach, Thonar will return your equipment and give you the Silver-Blood Family Ring. No matter which approach you used, you will be pardoned.

Madanach's Forsworn at Druadach Redoubt will remain friendly to you if you sided with him.

[edit] Two Rewards

It is possible to obtain both the Armor of the Old Gods and the Silver-Blood Family Ring. To do so:

  1. Run through the ruins with Madanach and acquire the Armor of the Old Gods from him.
  2. Keep him engaged in dialogue to stall him as the other Forsworn escape.
  3. Kill him and exit. From now on the escaped Forsworn will not be running away, but will instead attack you. They will not kill Thonar.
  4. Talk to Thonar after the Forsworn are taken care of and receive the Silver-Blood Family Ring.

[edit] Notes

  • If you side with Madanach, he gives you all your non-quest items at the exit of the ruin. You will receive all your quest items after Madanach has finished his dialogue with Thonar and started fighting.
  • Your stolen items will be returned.
  • Once either Madanach or Thonar returns your items to you, then individuals will act as if you helped that individual, regardless of whether or not you killed him after receiving your items.
  • If you don't kill Madanach, you can follow him and his men after escaping Markarth. They will lead you to Druadach Redoubt, a Forsworn encampment and cave that is now friendly.
  • Escaping from Cidhna Mine during this quest does not add to "Jail Escapes" statistic, nor will it grant you the Wanted achievement.
  • The inhabitants of Cidhna Mine are all scripted to die if you decide to kill Madanach in his cell and escape from the mine alone.
  • This quest counts towards the Sideways achievement regardless of whether you choose to help or kill Madanach.
  • Vigilant Tyranus, required for the quest The House of Horrors, will never sleep and will thus attempt to attack the Forsworn. As he is essential but weak, he can get stuck in a fight and thus cause the battle to last much longer than necessary, so it is advised to begin his quest in order to remove him from the streets.
  • Even if you side with Madanach, Forsworn you encounter in locations other than Druadach Redoubt will be hostile.
  • The Markarth Ruins remain accessible after this quest; however you cannot sneak back into the mine this way as the way back into Madanach's cell is closed off.
  • If you are doing one of Delvin's and/or Vex's special jobs, and you trigger this quest before you report back to them, you will be told you have failed the Thieves Guild quest when you return to them, because you were arrested.

[edit] Bugs

  • When your items are returned, if you have the quest Alduin's Bane active, you may not get the Elder Scroll back, thus breaking the main quest. ?
    • Loading a previous save can fix this.
  • If you side with Madanach, when your items are returned by Kaie, ALL your quest items may be missing. Exiting the Markarth ruins to Markarth proper (through the door that's right in front of you at this point) should return your missing quest items.
  • Sometimes, the quest will not start or progress. The quest may also notify you that a stage is complete without updating your journal. Specific instances include the following: ?
    • Pc22.png The quest's beginning, fixed by the console command setstage MS02 10.
    • Pc22.png Escaping the mine with Madanach, fixed by the console command setstage MS02 100, using the console command kill 000198e6 (Thonar), or by casting a Fury spell on Thonar.
  • If you pickpocket the note from Madanach, then later kill him, the quest will update to 'Search Madanach's body' (stage 200), but even when you loot all items, it will not progress to the next stage, 'Read Madanach's note'.
    • To fix, place Madanach's note back on his body, and pick it up again.
    • If you have read Madanach's note at any stage before looting it as part of the quest, the quest will not update further. Fixed by reloading an earlier save.
  • There is a dead body in the water in Markarth. A Forsworn may raise him during the battle in the city, and the resultant ash pile of him may never be cleared. The same thing may happen to Thonar's body. ?
  • Entering and exiting the ruins right behind you while Madanach and Thonar are talking will cause Madanach and the Forsworn to disappear and no one will have died.
  • You may not be pardoned when the quest ends, leading to very confused guards who don't have a jail to put you in.
  • If the quest Rebel's Cairn is active, then during the jail term, Red Eagle's Fury will be equipped; it is not shown in your inventory but can be used. ?
  • Killing everyone in the mine prior to this quest will cause the quest to be uncompletable, as the mine does not respawn.
  • There seems to be no way to intimidate Borkul. The Brawl option will always display, even though it should only show up if your Intimidate check fails.
  • Even though the guards say you are going to Cidhna Mine forever, mining ore may still get you out normally, as if you had served your time. ?
  • If you kill Madanach and escape by yourself, Thonar may attack you on sight but you won't be able to kill him.
    • To fix this, cast a Calm spell on him.

[edit] Quest Stages

No One Escapes Cidhna Mine (MS02)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
5 I'm imprisoned inside Cidhna Mine, framed for Eltrys' murder. I have to find Madanach, the King in Rags, and clear my name.
Objective 10: Ask a prisoner about Madanach
Objective 20: Get past Borkul the Beast
Objective 25: Talk to Madanach
Objective 30: Hear Braig's story
Objective 40: Return to Madanach
Objective 50: Kill Grisvar the Unlucky
Objective 60: Return to Madanach
Objective 70: Follow Madanach
100 Finishes quest I have helped Madanach escape Cidhna Mine, and he and his Forsworn have taken credit for all my past crime, clearing my name in the Reach.
Objective 150: Kill Madanach
Objective 200: Search Madanach's body
Objective 210: Read Madanach's note
Objective 220: Escape Cidhna Mine
250 Finishes quest Thonar Silver-Blood has granted me a pardon for killing Madanach. My name has now been cleared in the Reach.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 20, 55, 75, 77, 80.

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