Val has had confirmation that there is a slavery network in Skyrim being run by his old enemy, Aerandil, and he wants you to investigate.
"It has been confirmed that Aerandil is running a slavery operation out of Skyrim. It appears he is capturing innocent citizens under the guise of them being Talos worshipers, and selling them as slaves. The only clue we have is that one of Aerandil's guards mentioned that Aerandil is spending too much time with a whore at the Tall Mast Tavern. Valerius wants me to see if I can get any more information about Aerandil out of her. He showed me on my map that the tavern is located on the road to Morthal not far from Dragons Bridge."
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdGo to the Tall Mast Tavern, which Val marks on the map. It is near to Fort Snowhawk, south of Solitude.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdGo there and talk to Dianna, who initially won't tell you anything. By saying "On second thought, I could use a little company" she will give you some "company," which costs 500 gold. Go to the designated bed and activate it. After some darkness and noise, the company will be over. Wait a day and ask Diana for some company again, which costs another 500 gold, and requires you to activate the bed again.
By saying "I've never met a woman who doesn't like things made of gold" you can alternatively simply bribe her with 1,500 gold, which is quicker, if more expensive.
Whichever method is chosen to get the required information, Dianna tells you to go to the Winking Skeever in Solitude and speak to Maenen.
"I was able to find out that there may be an associate of Aerandil's staying at The Winking Skeever in Solitude. I must find him and see what more I can learn."
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdWhen you find Maenen, tell him you are looking for Aerandil. He initially denies any knowledge, and you can either say "You can talk now or I can kill you where you stand. Your choice." or "I am very influential and can keep you out of jail if you talk." Either works. Maenen tells you that he has never dealt with Aerandil, but that there is a Nord, Guunlaug, operating from a frozen cave near a shipwreck to the northwest. Tell Maenen to leave and never come back.
"Maenen reluctantly told me the slaves are shipped out of Skyrim from an old abandoned mine near an old shipwreck on the coast northwest of Solitude. He said a Bandit named Guunlaug heads up the operation. I should find this Bandit and get to the bottom of all of this."
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdThe shipwreck is on the coast, near to Fort Hraggstad in terms of location, although the latter is at a much higher elevation. As you approach the shipwreck, the Orphan's Tear, you will be attacked and your log updates. You must kill all 13 Bandit Slavers. Seven of them are outside, near the entrance to Orphan's Tear Mine and the Orphan's Tear itself. Kill them all.
There is a locked Chest by the Orphan's Tear and an unlocked one within the wreckage, underwater. After all the Bandits outside have been dealt with, enter the mine. There are five more Bandit Slavers and Guunlaug in here. In the first room there are an unnamed slave, Silena and Daening. Don't kill them. If you try and speak to them, they don't tell you anything.Credit: from the plugin for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Helgen Reborn.
Once all the Bandits and Guunlaug are killed, you need to free the slave prisoner who is locked in the slave pen. The door to the slave pen needs a key, the Slave Pen Key, which is on Guunlaug. Once the door is unlocked, the prisoner, Ingmarke, approaches you and speaks. He says that the slavers took him prisoner, along with his wife and son; Silena and Daening from the first chamber.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdIngmarke asks you to go outside and check that the coast is clear as more slavers were on their way, whilst he goes and checks on his family in the first chamber. As you exit the mine, you are confronted by Aerandil and some of his troops. Aerandil casts a spell which paralyses you. There is no way of avoiding this, as you cannot do anything when you exit the mine but observe.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdWhen you come round, Aerandil is talking to you, saying that he knows everything that you have been doing, and that you must pay for the attack on the Thalmor Prison. Aerandil says that he kidnapped Marcus Jannus in Riverwood and that he will kill him unless you bring Val to him, then casts the spell on you again.
"I was ambushed by Aerandil and taken to his private ship. He told me he knew everything about what we have been doing. He also said that he was holding Marcus prisoner and that I must bring Valerius to the prison south of Helgen or that he would kill Marcus."
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdWhen you come around the second time you are in the camp next to the wreck of the Orphan's Tear. Return to Helgen and find Val and Korst, who are in the keep with a tied up Falco. Speak to Val, and he says he was afraid of this. He then starts questioning Falco, accusing him of being a traitor, as only Val and Falco knew of Marcus's trip, and that Val saw Falco with a messenger.
Falco says that he had no choice, as Aerandil has his sister and her children, and will kill them. Val replies that Falco is a fool, as his family are already dead or enslaved, and tells Korst to take Falco and lock him up.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdVal then speaks to you and says that you must both go to the Thalmor Prison. When you enter the prison, Val goes and speaks to Aerandil, who is in a side room with Marcus in a cell. Aerandil taunts Val about the death of his family, until Val attacks and Aerandil strikes him down with a spell.
You must now kill Aerandil and the other six Thalmor. You cannot cast any spells in the prison before this point, or even draw a weapon, so you may want to be in another room out of Aerandil's sight and let Val speak to him alone, so that you are able to prepare before Aerandil attacks you.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC LtdOnce all the Thalmor are dead, go and speak to Marcus. The cell Marcus is needs Aerandil's Cage Key to open it, which is on his body. Val is lying on the ground twitching.
After you unlock the cage, Marcus speaks to you and then goes to check on Val. Marcus and Val have a conversation and some other Helgen troops arrive. After the conversation, Val dies (you cannot loot his body), a victim of the spell.
Marcus says that he and the others would like some time alone, and that there will be a service the next day for Val, but that they will not start the service without you.
"Valerius is dead. Marcus and the rest of the Keepers of Hattu will have a service for him tomorrow. I should meet them in Helgen in 24 hours."
After 24 hours, your log will update. During the waiting period, the Helgen Inn will be completely fixed.
Credit: Mike Hancho/Bethesda Softworks/eGDC Ltd"It is time for the service for Valerius. I should return to Helgen to meet Marcus and the others."
Marcus is standing next to a pyre with Val's body on it in front of the Private Tower. Speak to Marcus, and then wait with the others. Marcus says some words and Cienna lights the pyre. This completes this quest, so now go and speak to Marcus to continue with A City on a Hill. A memorial will be erected where the pyre was.