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 Quick Walkthrough
- Enter The Ragged Flagon through The Ratway.
- Meet Karliah in The Ragged Flagon.
- Speak with Brynjolf in The Ragged Flagon.
- Go to the backyard of Riftweald Manor.
- (Optional) Deal with Vald.
- Enter the house through the top door.
- Go to Mercer's office.
- Take the plans.
- Return to Brynjolf.
 Detailed Walkthrough
 A Thief Among Thieves
Head to the Ragged Flagon through The Ratway. Meet Karliah after entering through the door to the Ragged Flagon and follow her as she leads you to the Cistern, where Brynjolf is waiting to confront you both. Follow them as they head to the vault and then talk to Brynjolf. Tell him everything and he'll instruct you to break into Mercer's home to look for clues. You have several options here. Fight Vald, sneak past him, persuade him to leave with a high Speech skill, or pay the debt.
|I'll make it worth your while. (Bribe)||Failed: You ain't got enough coin to make my problems go away unless ya' can talk Maven Black-Briar into letting me outta' my debt. You try and set one foot in this yard, and I'll cut it off.||Optional quest|
|I have something of yours.
||Of mine? What is it?
||Get the key|
|Mercer needs you in Markarth right away! (Persuade)
||Passed: But I can't leave here! I'm supposed to watch his house. What do I do?
Failed: Oh come on, I ain't that dumb.
|Passed: Get the key
|Let me in or I'll kill you. (Intimidate)||Failed: Ha ha! That's funny. Ya' think you can take me on? Try it anytime. I've been itching for a fight.||Failed: Nothing|
If you want a nonviolent way to deal with Vald but don't want to pay the debt, you can sneak to the back of the house and shoot the ramp contraption. Vald will become hostile and chase after you. Lead him to the marketplace or any other places with guards and they will kill Vald. Loot his body and take the key.
 A Plot Revealed
Get a good vantage of the mechanism under the ramp and attack it using a ranged weapon (magic, bows, and shouts all work). The ramp will crash down, providing access to the second floor and the rest of the house.
The first room is unguarded. The next has a single guard who should be facing the west wall, allowing you to sneak past easily. The stairs down are to the northwest. At the bottom, another guard will be patrolling.
When you reach the bottom of the stairs, immediately face east and there will be closed doors. Head through them. On the northeastern corner to the barred front door you'll see a Suspicious Cabinet. Open it and then open the false back panel. Inside is a stairway down to the cellar, which leads to an underground system of tunnels.
After avoiding the pressure plate by the metal gate that you see when you first enter the tunnels, make a left and head south towards a room filled with circle-shaped traps. Looking at the tiles, head south two squares, west two squares, north two squares, west two squares, and south two squares in order to avoid the traps.
The hallway after the trap room has a pressure plate trap right around the corner that will launch a series of darts in front of the plate. Past this trap there is a chest on the right, which was on the other side of the metal gate at the beginning.
Following the hallway, you come to a hallway filled with timed pendulum blades and battering rams. Sprinting is a useful way to get past them. Once at the other end, head down the ramp and stop at the closed door. There is a dart trap trigger on the left side of the door. On the other side of the door are, among other things, Mercer's plans, a note titled Many Thanks, a copy of The Red Kitchen Reader, and Chillrend in a case. On the desk is the Bust of the Gray Fox, which can be sold to Delvin as part of The Litany of Larceny quest. There is also a stash of jewels hidden in the bowl on Mercer's desk.
Continue along the path until you reach the entrance to the Ratway Vaults. Fall down the hole (you may be attacked by some Vagrants and Lowlifes even if you had previously cleared the Ratway) and turn right to reach the Ragged Flagon. Return to Brynjolf and hand over the plans.
- If you have picked the lock to Mercer's back yard, Vald will be hostile and offer no talk option for the peaceful solution. To fix this, close the gate, wait outside the yard until he stands in front of you and then talk to him through the gate.
- If Vald's debt has been cleared by fetching Maven her quill and the player decides to go with Brynjolf's suggestion of shooting down the ramp to the second floor, Vald becomes hostile upon seeing the player for "missing" the shot.
- There is a Sneak skill book on Mercer's Desk.
- It is possible to scale the roof of Riftweald manor and approach the balcony from above, negating the need to activate the ramp.
- The quest marker in Riftweald Manor is not positioned at the quest target and is thus not useful here.
- Karliah sometimes is stuck at Winterhold Inn instead of being in the Ragged Flagon at beginning of the quest. This may happen if you leave the cellar before Karliah does or complete other quests before continuing with this one.
- A possible solution is to go to the Flagon and move her via console commands:
prid 00058F1Ato select Karliah, followed by
moveto playerto move her to you. You may need to manually advance the quest as well with
setstage tg07 20.
- It is possible to re-enter the Dwemer Museum in Markarth. This will reset the previous quest; run all the way back up and get the translation off the stone in Calcelmo's tower again, and return to the inn in Winterhold. The conversation with Karliah and Enthir should now be reset. This time, when Karliah tells you to meet her at the Ragged Flagon, wait until she leaves the cellar, and then wait there for a day or so just to be sure. At this point the quest marker should appear in Riften, indicating that Karliah is now where she should be.
- This bug may lead to conversation options allowing the player to own more than one Nightingale Blade.
- A possible solution is to go to the Flagon and move her via console commands:
- Karliah sometimes returns to now Snow Veil Sanctum without giving you the quest. Speaking to her will have no result. Since the previous quest is already completed at this point, you'll be unable to complete the Thieves Guild storyline.
- If you completed Hard Answers with Mercers Plans in your inventory Karliah will tell you to meet her in the Ragged Flagon. Instead she will enter the rear of the Snow Veil Sanctum "near where you are taken after she poisons you and you wake". If you speak to her she just says hmm... but if you attack her until she kneels down, sneak back to the door you enter with Mercer. She will go to middle of the room again and drink something. The screen will then go blurry after awhile. You will be back outside and you get the quest log update again stating you need to speak with Karliah but she will be hostile with you. If you run away and then do other things for at least a week her aggro will reset and you will be able to speak to her again. You can now redo Hard Answers but before you bring the charcoal scrubbing to Enthir at the end of Hard Answers you need to take Mercer's plans back to Riftweld Manor "Mercer's house" in Riften and place them back on the desk in the hidden room. Once you have returned the plans you can now finish Hard Answers and receive The Pursuit quest. Confirmed to work on PS3 and was able to completely finish Thieves guild quest line even after completing Hard Answers twice.
- If you took Mercer's Plans before starting this quest, you cannot complete it.
- Make sure to go back into Riftweld Manor to put the plans back on the desk, do this before finishing the previous quest Hard Answers and everything should proceed normally.
- Put the plans back in Riftweld Manor and then, in the console, input
setstage tg07 10. This will give you the quest. Karliah will be at the entrance to the Ragged Flagon, on the Ratway side. You have to appraoch her from that entrance in order to initiate conversation, though you can enter from any other location.
- If you accept a quest from Vex after the vault but before you talk to Brynjolf, you may not be able to speak to her about Vald. Though there will be a quest marker above her head, you will not get the option when speaking to her.
- If you take Chillrend before this quest and take Mercer's Plans, you may not be able to finish the quest.
- If you opened the door to the garden before starting the quest, you have to close it again. Otherwise Vald will become hostile on sight.
- There's a chance that neither the front or back gates to Riftweald Manor will become accessible, nor can the plank be shot down by an arrow. Vald will also refuse to talk to you regardless of whether or not you complete Vald's Debt quest. If this happens, the only way to proceed forward is to scale the rooftops to the upper balcony, where the plank would have fallen if shot by arrow. This is the only door that will open.
- If one attempts to give Delvin Mallory the amulet from the quest The Silence Has Been Broken during the time in which Karliah should start talking to The Thieves Guild, at the beginning of the quest, she may inexplicably travel to a random location half way between Shor's Stone and Fort Greenwall(Or another random location).
- FIX:If this happens attack her a few times, and eventually she will kneel, after a recuperation period she will get up (she may be hostile, either calm her or attack her again). You may need to repeat, but eventually she will no longer be hostile and begin to walk towards Riften. Fast travel there and enter The Ragged Flagon through The Ratway as normal. By the time the player gets there the quest should have updated to "Speak with Brynjolf."
 Quest Stages
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 25, 45, 48, 49.
|Prev: Hard Answers||Up: Thieves Guild||Next: Trinity Restored|