The Baron von Zarov Files: The Case of the Missing Body

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OB-qico-General2.png Investigate a rumour suggesting that the body of Lord Baldor Varian's recently deceased wife has disappeared
 
Quest Giver: Any Skingrad citizen from a rumour
Location(s): None
Next Quest: The Baron von Zarov Files: Trail of Blood
Concurrent Quest: The Baron von Zarov Files: The Plot Thickens
Reward: Progress in storyline
ID: BANSkingradMissingBodyQuest
 
The secret door in Baron von Zarov's Manor


Quick Walkthrough

  1. Hear the rumour from a Skingrad citizen and ask about the missing body.
  2. Speak to Tumindil, the priest in the chapel about the rumour.
  3. Speak to Kelgan in The Page of Cups, and befriend him.
  4. Speak to Kelgan again the next day in the chapel in the evening.
  5. Speak to Kelgan's niece Elizabetha Salene in Kelgan's house in the evening.
  6. Speak to Lord Baldor Varian in his house.
  7. Speak to Doctor Braham Helsong in Varian Manor when he is visiting.
  8. Receive a key to Baron von Zarov's Manor from Baldor Varian once he has acquired it.
  9. Search von Zarov's house for three pieces of evidence: a bottle of blood, an unsent letter from the baron, and bodies with bite-marks on their necks.
  10. Report your findings to Baldor Varian.

Detailed Walkthrough

Started with a Rumour

You begin this quest by either talking about rumours with a Skingrad citizen, or by overhearing two Skingrad citizens discussing the disappearance of a body from the chapel undercroft. Asking about the missing body, any Skingrad citizen will suggest that you see Tumindil, the head priest in the Great Chapel of Julianos. It may be necessary to persuade Tumindil to reveal more information, but eventually he will describe what he knows, that newly wed Lucy Varian died recently, and on the night before the funeral her body disappeared from the chapel undercroft. Kelgan, who cleans the chapel, was found in the undercroft on the night the body disappeared, but due to being drunk he had no memory of how he got there and saw nothing. Tumindil suggests speaking with Kelgan, but warns that he is always drunk and won't be much help - he will likely be drinking in The Page of Cups.

Speaking with Kelgan

You can try speaking with Lord Baldor Varian about his dead wife, but he will refuse. During the day, Kelgan is indeed in The Page of Cups, but from 10pm until 10am he will be in his home in the south-west corner of town. At first Kelgan will not be very friendly, but with a bit of coaxing he will agree to speak with you when he returns to work in the chapel the following evening.

Returning to the chapel the following evening (or any evening after Kelgan has agreed to speak with you), Kelgan will be cleaning from 6pm until 10pm. He will tell you that he was not drunk on the night the body disappeared, he is never drunk when at work. One moment he was working in the chapel, and the next he was standing in the undercroft, with no memory of how me got there, yet it was about two hours later than his last memory. Since that night, Kelgan has had nightmares about big red eyes following him, and being forced to do things against his will. Kelgan suggests that his niece Elizabetha may be able to set up a meeting with Baldor Varian as she works for him, and asks you to visit his house later at night.

Elizabetha is reluctant to speak with you about her work, but with a bit of persuasion she relents and explains that Baldor Varian's marriage to Lucy was arranged between her family and Baldor Varian as part of a business agreement. Not long after arriving in Skingrad she became sick from an unknown illness, which kept her in bed all day, pale as a ghost, and ranting in a delirium, often claiming that her husband was not what he seemed, before eventually dying in pain. Elizabetha also tells you that Baldor Varian is a little peculiar, forbidding her from living in his house, sending her home each evening so she was not able to look after Lucy Varian. Baldor Varian also does not allow Elizabetha to buy food for the house nor to cook his meals, which he does himself, and even cleans up after. While she is cleaning the house, Baldor Varian keeps a close watch on her as if he does not trust her, yet also asks for her advise about things not normally asked of a servant. Elizabetha agrees to arrange a meeting with Baldor Varian, and asks you to come to the Varian Manor the following afternoon (Lucy does not work on Tirdas, so if this is the next day then wait until the day after).

The Husband and the Doctor

Once Elizabetha has had time to speak with Baldor Varian, you can pay him a visit the following afternoon. Baldor Varian explains that he knows little of human medicine, and with a bit of persuasion invites you to speak with the doctor who tended to Lucy's illness, who just happens to be visiting Varian Manor the next day in the afternoon.

Doctor Braham Helsong will from this moment visit Varian Manor once every month, so if you miss him the day after speaking to Baldor Varian, you will have to wait a month to try again - a reminder will appear on the day of each visit until you have spoken with the doctor. When Braham visits, he sits upstairs with Baldor Varian at the table, and once you are sitting with them Braham will explain what he discovered during Lucy's illness and death, that she had been pale and very weak, and that she had been bitten by something which was draining her life. Braham now realises that a vampire must have bitten her, and that she has probably been turned into one herself and been taken away - she is not truly dead after all. Braham does not know Skingrad very well and suggests asking Baldor Varian whether he can suggest who the vampire might be.

Baldor Varian reveals that Baron von Zarov started visiting soon after Lucy arrived in Skingrad, and that he only ever visited in the evenings. However Baron von Zarov left town before Lucy died and has not yet returned. Baldor Varian wants evidence that Baron von Zarov is a vampire, and instructs you to search the baron's house the next morning, once he has acquired the house key from the town guards. You may find a letter on the desk near where Braham and Baldor Varian are seated, from the baron written to Baldor Varian, explaining that the baron has to depart on business for another province in Tamriel, and will return in a month.

The Baron's Manor

Enter Baron von Zarov's Manor using the key from Baldor Varian, and be wary of the three bats and six rats, which could infect you with Porphyric Hemophilia (vampirism). The first two floors seem like those of a normal upper class house, well furnished, clean and tidy. However the top floor is a mess: the windows are all boarded over and coated in cobwebs, rats crawl around the cage they were released from, and blood stains the floor. Searching the middle floor of the house will reveal most of the evidence needed. There are two bottles of blood - one on the bookshelf behind the wine, one on the desk, either of which can be taken for evidence. A letter on the desk serves as the second piece of evidence. Written by the baron, the letter is very similar to the one found in Varian Manor, clearly an unsent first draft of the same letter - this version reveals that the baron was going to Morrowind for a clan meeting. The letter also gives some very specific advice to aid Lucy Varian's illness - keep her out of sunlight, and avoid feeding her garlic and onions.

There is no more evidence in the house itself, you now need to go under the house. A strange candle on the wall beside the stairs leading up to the top floor is in fact a lever which opens a secret door, which leads down to the sewers. At the foot of the ladder into the sewers are two racks of bottled blood. The tunnel passes over a small pit which smells, then winds around briefly before reaching a locked gate. A lever on the wall near the gate will unlock it, allowing access into the rest of the sewers. In the tunnel just before reaching the lever for the gate, a note lies on the ground, which the baron must have dropped at some point. The note is from Miaren Girendas addressed to the baron, asking him to meet her in the shop for the items he needs. This note should be picked up, but it is not the third piece of evidence. In the pit which the tunnel passed over beside the racks of bottled blood, there are bodies. Looking closely at either of the two freshest bodies reveals puncture marks in the neck from a vampire bite, and that the blood has been drained - this discovery is the third piece of evidence.

When you take the bottle of blood, the unsent letter and information of your discovery of the pit of bodies back to Lord Baldor Varian, he accepts that Baron von Zarov must be a vampire, and that Lady Lucy Varian has most likely been turned into a vampire too. Baldor Varian will take back the key for Baron von Zarov's Manor now, and will ask you to track down the baron and find out what happened to Lucy. You can refuse, in which case Baldor Varian will become angry, but he will still ask for your help if you speak to him again in the future. If you decide to help Baldor Varian further, then if you picked up the note from the sewer tunnel, Baldor will suggest finding Miaren Girendas - otherwise Baldor will suggest searching the sewers for further clues.

Notes

  • During the conversation with Doctor Braham Helsong, the voice recording does not match one line of the text dialogue, due to an error in the writing which was not spotted until months after the voice acting was recorded. The written text displays "It all started about a week before she died" but the voice recording says "It all started about a week ago."

Journal Entries

The Baron von Zarov Files: The Case of the Missing Body (BANSkingradMissingBodyQuest)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I have heard a rumour that the body of the recently deceased wife of Lord Varian disappeared from the chapel undercroft the night before the funeral. If I want to investigate this, I should speak with the priest in the chapel.
20 Tumindil, the priest, told me that a man named Kelgan cleans the chapel every evening, and was here on the night the body went missing. Kelgan is prone to drinking, and can probably be found in The Page of Cups if he isn't cleaning in the chapel or in his home on the west side of the poor quarter. The priest did warn me that due to Kelgan's drinking problem, he may not be much help - perhaps speaking with Lord Varian would yield better results?
30 Lord Baldor Varian refused to speak with me about the disappearance of his dead wife's body. Kelgan may still be able to reveal something helpful.
30 After some persuasion, Kelgan realised I was not trying to upset him with my questions. He has agreed to speak with me, but only when he is back at work in the chapel one evening.
40 Lord Baldor Varian refused to speak with me about the disappearance of his dead wife's body. Kelgan may still be able to reveal something helpful.
40 After some persuasion, Kelgan realised I was not trying to upset him with my questions. He has agreed to speak with me, but only when he is back at work in the chapel one evening.
50 Kelgan's niece works as a maid for Lord Varian, and she can probably persuade him to speak with me about his dead wife. I should go to Kelgan's house between 10pm and midnight when his niece will be with him.
60 Elizabetha, the maid, has agreed to ask Lord Varian to see me. I should wait until after tomorrow morning before visiting Lord Varian's home, or the following day if tomorrow is Tirdas.
70 To find out more about what happened to Lucy Varian, I should speak to her doctor. Baldor Varian has invited me to his house when the doctor visits.
75 I failed to visit Baldor's house when the doctor was with him. Baldor informed me that the doctor visits Skingrad once every month, and will be dining with him on the same day of every month.
80 After speaking with Doctor Braham Helsong, it has become clear that Lucy Varian died from a vampire bite - but she died slowly over a few weeks instead of being killed instantly as is the norm from a vampire attack. Lord Varian suspects a baron of being this vampire; the baron has a home in Skingrad, but left town shortly before Lucy died. Lord Varian will acquire a key for the baron's home and ensure the town guards know I am allowed to enter the baron's house. I should return another day once he has the key.
90 Lord Baldor Varian has given me the key and assured me the guards will not react to me entering Baron von Zarov's house. I need to find evidence that he is a vampire, and also that he is somehow connected to Lucy Varian's recent illness.
95 I have found a curious letter and a bottle of blood but these aren't sufficient to prove that the baron is a vampire. Maybe there is something else hidden somewhere in this house...
100 I have found evidence of vampirism in the von Zarov household. Lucy Varian was most probably turned into one herself. I should report this to Lord Varian.
110 Finishes quest I returned to Lord Varian with the bottle of blood and the unsent letter which suggested the baron knew more than he should have about Lucy's ailment. Baldor accepted that Lucy has likely been turned into a vampire by Baron von Zarov, and has asked me to continue my investigations and track down the baron.
Notes
  • 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.