Online:The Groundskeeper

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The Groundskeeper
Home City The Hollow City
Location Chapel of Light, The Endless Stair
Race Breton Gender Female
Reaction Friendly
The Groundskeeper

The Groundskeeper is an enigmatic figure who can be found in the Hollow City, taking care of the city and its small population. Once you arrive, she will offer the city as a base of operations for your invasion of Coldharbour as well as her services as an advisor.

During your assault on the Molag Bal's lair she will reveal herself to be the physical disguise of the Daedric Prince Meridia.

Related Quests[edit]

Dialogue[edit]

The Hollow City[edit]

"You really know how to make an entrance! But forcing your way into the Prince of Murder's realm... that takes exceptional bravery. Or is it unprecedented stupidity? No matter.
Clearly, you came here for a purpose."
Who are you?
"I have many names in many places. In this plane, in this place, you shall know me as the Groundskeeper. I am one of the few survivors of this city. I tend to its needs. Keep its magic strong."
What is this place?
"The city's original name no longer matters. Now it is but the Hollow City. A perfect place to begin an assault on Molag Bal.
This city can be a tool, a weapon. Armor against the hazards of Coldharbour. It just needs life to fill it once more."
I'm here to stop the Planemeld, not populate a city.
"It seems the Prince of Murder has already disrupted your plan. Where is your army? Surely not even you can hope to take on a Daedric Prince by yourself.
You need an army. And you need a safe haven to discuss strategy and gather your forces."
And that is this place?
"It could be. There is no safer place in Coldharbour, for Molag Bal's reach cannot extend into the Hollow City. That is what was intended, and that is the way it is.
Please, walk with me. Let me show you why this city will serve your needs."
I'm ready. Lead on.
"Watch and listen. While I could explain things to you, it will be better to simply show you. The history of the city permeates these streets, and with a bit of magic I can reveal it to you.
Now, come. Let us walk."
I don't have time for this. Just tell me what I need to know.
"As you wish.
Know that great magic protects this city, keeping it from Molag Bal's reach. The city can serve as a safe haven for you and your companions … once you find them, that is."
How can I trust you?
"Look around. Do you see the vicious creatures of this realm walking these streets? Do you feel cold, blue stone beneath your feet?
No? I didn't think so. I am currently your only ally in this dread plane."
And what's your role in all of this?
"I am your advisor. We both wish to stop Molag Bal's machinations. I offer you what help I can.
The Hollow City awaits you and your allies. Use it wisely and it shall not fail you."
What's the next step?
"You must gather those who were lost. King Dynar and Vanus Galerion have vital roles to play, and they must be at your side.
Rescue your missing companions. Return the Hollow City to its former glory and we can begin the assault on Molag Bal."

The Story of the Hollow City[edit]

If you chose the first option, the Groundskeeper will start walking around the city along the road, narrating the history of the city. Occasionally illusions will appear to complement her story.

The Groundskeeper: "Long ago, this city existed in Nirn. It was alive and vibrant and went by a different name."
The Groundskeeper: "Its people were devoted to Prince Meridia, the radiant one. They lived in peace and assumed themselves safe from any dangers."
The Groundskeeper: "But Meridia has enemies, such as the despicable Molag Bal. The Prince of Murder sent minions from Coldharbour to destroy her beloved city."

The Groundskeeper pauses in front of the doors to the Mages Guild Hall, a illusory scene appears. The mages lock the doors and get ready to defend the city.

The Groundskeeper: "The city's defenders did what they could but they were no match for Molag Bal's forces. Everyone outside the walls was slaughtered, but the warriors and mages managed to seal the gates to protect those huddled within."
The Groundskeeper: "As fortune would have it, the Ayleid King Laloriaran Dynar was visiting the city. A skilled warrior and tactician, he quickly took command of the city's defenses."

She stays on the bridge for a moment, watching the phantom figure of King Dynar.

The Groundskeeper: "The Ayleid King single-handedly protected one of the gates. As he fought, he prayed for assistance. And his prayers were answered."
The Groundskeeper: "Meridia felt compassion for her followers, but she also saw an opportunity. Molag Bal's open portal worked both ways. The time had come to take the battle to Coldharbour."

The Groundskeeper stops and turns to the entrance gate, she watches as King Dynar is captured and magically bound.

The Groundskeeper: "Meridia warded the city and pushed it into Coldharbour. The city arrived intact, but many of its inhabitants were either killed or scattered by this realm's protective spells. Even the Ayleid King was captured."
The Groundskeeper: "Still, Meridia had accomplished the impossible. She stabbed a dagger into Molag Bal's side. A portion of her realm was in his domain—and he could not touch it."
The Groundskeeper: "The survivors lost faith, however. One-by-one, they left the safe confines of the city to try to return to Nirn. They were foolish, and they paid the price for rejecting Meridia's edicts."

She starts to climb the stairs up to the Chapel of Light.

The Groundskeeper: "Meridia foresaw a day when an opportunity would arise. An overconfident Molag Bal. Champions from another plane. On that day, this city would become the focal point for the assault against the Lord of Schemes."

The Groundskeeper stops walking and looks out over the city.

The Groundskeeper: "I say that the day has finally arrived! The Great Mage, Vanus Galerion. The Ayleid King. And you, our last, best hope. You must gather your allies and bring them here."

The First Step[edit]

You now have an opportunity to speak with her and ask her questions.

"This city shall serve you well against Molag Bal. Know that every choice you make in Coldharbour will have an effect on the Hollow City.
It shall be reborn with every person you save, forged into a weapon by your own hands."
And what's your role in all of this?
"I am your advisor. We both wish to stop Molag Bal's machinations. I offer you what help I can.
The Hollow City awaits you and your allies. Use it wisely and it shall not fail you."
What's the next step?
"You must gather those who were lost. King Dynar and Vanus Galerion have vital roles to play, and they must be at your side.
Rescue your missing companions. Return the Hollow City to its former glory and we can begin the assault on Molag Bal."

The Army of Meridia[edit]

"You shall require more than just the King and the Mage, of course. But they are as good a starting point as any.
Others in this realm, allies current and soon to be, all have important parts to play in this endeavor."
Others?
"As you seek out the Mage and the King, I'm sure you shall meet others who require your aid. Look for those you trust and who would be willing to join us here."
"Go west, beyond the Moonless Walk. There, you shall find the Ayleid King held within a tower of darkness.
Vanus the Mage is somewhere in the eastern plane. His exact location is hidden from me."
I'll find the Ayleid King and Vanus the Mage.
"I recommend heading west first to find the Ayleid King, but the choice is yours.
If you wish to free King Dynar, you must recover the Lights of Meridia. The lights have the power to unlock his prison of darkness."
What are the Lights of Meridia?
"Originally, the lights were a gift from Meridia. Power that protected the city and made life easier for its inhabitants.
When she pushed the city into Coldharbour, she filled the lights with even more of her divine power."
And how will I use them to free the king?
"King Dynar is trapped within a tower of darkness, bound by shadows and dark magic. Meridia's lights can unravel those bonds.
Without them, you won't be able to set the Ayleid King free."'
Where can I find these lights?
"As you no doubt noticed, Molag Bal's realm has its own defenses. Things that teleport onto this plane tend to get scattered. As were your allies. As were the lights.
They could be anywhere, but most likely they are guarded by Molag Bal's forces."
You don't have anything more precise for me to go on?
"Rumors, only, I'm afraid.
I have heard tales of a strange prison to the northwest, a tower that is not a tower, that guards one of the lights. And others whisper of a vile laboratory to the southeast that distorts the purity of Meridia's light."

King Laloriaran Dynar[edit]

Once you have rescued King Dynar, the Groundskeeper can be found beside him outside the Fighters Guild Hall. After you have completed Light from the Darkness, you can ask the Groundskeeper what she knows about the Fighters Guild situation.

"The pieces begin to fall into place. With the King's aid, we shall assemble a force worthy of Meridia's blessing."
When did these people arrive?
"Small groups have trickled in since your departure. The warriors inside seem to be under the protection of the knight, Darien. An exceptional fellow. Brave to a fault and devoted to lost causes.
Cadwell found them in the wilds."

Vanus Galerion[edit]

After you have rescued Vanus Galerion and broken The Great Shackle, the Groundskeeper will be waiting outside the Mages Guildhall.

"With Vanus and the Mages Guild to aid you, you've gained a strong advantage in this fight.
Do not underestimate the power of Vanus Galerion. He's accomplished many great things during his lifetime."

Restoring the City[edit]

Once you have found enough survivors, the city will come to life and become full of people. When you speak to the Groundskeeper outside the Chapel of Light, you can ask her about it.

"Ah, look around you. See how the people brighten the streets with their very presence! It is good to have this place inhabited once again."
Where did everyone come from?
"Your actions have caused beneficial reactions. Those you saved found others on their way to the city. And the mages have opened stable portals to Nirn, bringing aid to Coldharbour.
The city thrives, thanks to you!"

The War Council[edit]

After you have completed the three set tasks, you will need to speak with the Groundskeeper outside the Chapel. If you speak with her elsewhere she will remind you where to go.

"Meet me in front of the cathedral when you are ready to launch the attack. Time is no longer on our side."

When you speak with her at the Chapel she will have a new dialogue option.

Why was I summoned?
"King Dynar and Vanus have begun to rally the troops. They have called for a council to meet here in the Hollow City.
There are decisions to be made. Plans to draw up. The time for war fast approaches, and we need to be ready."
Are there any others out there that need to be rescued?
"If anyone who can help us remains in Coldharbour, I am not aware of their presence. If you wish to explore, however, you are free to do so."
Where are King Dynar and Vanus?
"You shall find the Ayleid King and the Mage inside the cathedral. They await your arrival.
Once you enter the cathedral, the preparations for the final assault to save Nirn will begin."

Once the war council was concluded she can no longer be found in the city.

The Final Assault[edit]

After slaying Telkor the Unforgiving, the guardian of the Planar Vortex portal, a familiar voice will whisper to you.

The Groundskeeper: "I have waited a very long time for this moment. You have done well, my child."

The Groundskeeper will then appear at the base of the stairs to the portal, gazing up at it. You can talk to her to see why she is here.

"You have performed better than I expected, even in the face of unrelenting danger and the worst horrors Oblivion has to offer.
I am impressed."
What are you doing here?
"Like you, I have come to finish this.
Thanks to the efforts of your army, you have gotten this far without drawing the gaze of Molag Bal. I use a similar distraction to travel through this disagreeable realm unmolested."
You're more than a simple groundskeeper, aren't you?
"Keep working on it. You will solve the riddle, eventually.
There is more to do if you wish to save your world. To halt the Planemeld, you must enter the eye of the storm. The planar vortex can only be disrupted from the inside."
Why haven't you helped us before this?
"I have been with you every step of the way. I provided a safe haven in Coldharbour. I gave you knowledge of the Lights of Meridia.
I needed a surrogate, to act in my stead. I dared not risk exposing my true nature to the Dark Prince."
You used me?
"Used you? Of course I used you.
But you knew what was at stake from the beginning and did what was necessary to save your world. Every choice you made was your own. As it happens, your choices suited my own ends."
What do I need to do?
"You must enter the planar vortex—the interstices of space and time where Nirn and Coldharbour churn and meld.
Destroy the Dark Anchors within. Unleash the power of a Light of Meridia at the focal point of the Planemeld, and disrupt the vortex."
That sounds like a one-way trip.
"The life of one insignificant mortal to save an entire world? It is a small sacrifice.
If you succeed, the brilliance of the unleashed light will consume the vortex and sever the Planemeld. Nirn will be saved."
Can I ask you something else first? (Appears after you say That sounds like a one-way trip.)
"Ask your questions, but know that time is growing short."
If we enter the vortex, what happens to our army?
"You cannot hope to succeed without the support of your allies. I will summon those who still live and draw them into the vortex with us."
But won't they die as well when we destroy the planar vortex?
"The light of Meridia cleanses and purifies. There is nothing to fear from its brilliant embrace."

Once you enter the Planar Vortex portal, the Groundskeeper will walk with you up to the nearby Dark Anchor.

The Groundskeeper: "Molag's Bal's Dark Anchors form a vortex that sucks Nirn into his dark realm. We must break these vile chains."

The Groundskeeper will then rise into the air and glow, dropping her physical disguise.

Meridia: "My power is greater in this between this place."

A pillar of golden light will destroy the Anchor and the newly revealed Meridia will ask you to talk with her.