- Level 20
- Completed Dragon Rising
Hear the Rumor
To begin this quest, take some time to go into The Bannered Mare in Whiterun and talk with its Innkeeper: Hulda (or Ysolda if Hulda has been killed). Talk to them about the latest gossip or rumors. They will mention something about one of the Jarl's children acting weird.
Ask about Balgruff's strange children
Find out what's wrong with Nelkir
Nelkir can be found wandering around Dragonsreach. All you need to do is track him down at one point and try to talk to him. Go through all the choices and he will tell you about an odd door down in the basement of Dragonsreach.
Listen to the whispering door
It is time to find the door now. The easiest way to track it down is to head for the kitchen in the main portion of Dragonsreach. Go to the far side of the kitchen and take the stairs there down.
At the base of the stairs, go through the door just ahead of you on the left. It is between a barrel and some crates with hay in front of it. Open the door and go into the next room.
In this room, go to the right and interact with the door in the back corner. Interact with the door to trigger the next part of the quest. The voice behind the door will introduce itself as one of the Daedric Princes: Mephala. She wants you to open the door. To do this, she will send you back to talk with Nelkir.
Speak to Nelkir
Obtain the key to the whispering door
There are 2 people you can get the key from. Either can be pickpocketed for it. This is easiest to do at night when they are asleep. You will find Whispering Door Key in the inventory of either.
With Farengar Secret-Fire, you have the option to also kill him.
Open the whispering door
With the Whispering Door Key obtained, return to the door itself through the kitchen once again. Through the door you will find a book and a sword.
Retrieve the Ebony Blade
The book, Admonition Against Ebony warns against taking the sword. However, you need to pick up the sword to complete the quest. This is the Daedric Artifact: Ebony Blade. Collect it to complete the quest and receive a message from its Daedric Prince. Mephala will explain that the sword's power has waned from its time sealed away. You can reawaken its power by feeding it the "blood of deceit". See the Ebony Blade page for full details on awakening its power.