Skyrim: ‘The Forgotten City’, The Return


This is the 1st of a multi-post series on the Skyrim mod, “The Forgotten City”.

Part 1: First Encounters

About 16 months ago, I first ventured into the Forgotten City (FC), and wrote a brief synopsis about what I saw, experienced, and what I liked and disliked. That was also around the time that I took a break from playing Skyrim.

I finally returned to Skyrim a couple of weeks ago. I returned to the Forgotten City last night, with a new character.

There are a few differences between the character I took into the FC last year and the character that I currently have:

  • The former character was level 14; this one is level 17
  • The former had not advanced in the Civil War plot, plus had stopped after Alduin raised the first dragon in the Dragon plot; the current hasn’t advanced in the Civil War plot but is currently looking for Esbern
  • The former had started the The College of Winterhold quest chain; this one will start the Thieves Guild quest chain, possibly the Winterhold chain, and the Dark Brotherhood chain
  • The former was low on arrows, potions, and gold; this character has plenty of all 3


Do not read past this point, if you don’t want some plot points revealed.


1. a) Finding and Entering The Forbidden City

The quest starts with a letter from Cassia, asking you to come to some ruins and help find her brother. She promises “riches beyond your wildest imagination.”

Finding the City is not as easy as you would think. The Forbidden City entrance is in some ruins… and the entrance to the ruins is in a cliff face, behind a waterfall. Once you enter, you are treated to a very tall, long hallway, with small rooms and small branches off of the main hallway. There are some Expertly locked display cases, with various Dwemer weapons (usually daggers) – you can try to unlock them but I, with only about 20 lock picks but no Skeleton Key, ignored them. At the end of the hall is an open area with a pool in the center, some various Dwemer gadgets on the walls, and a campfire to the left. Cassia is standing at the campfire.


After a short but tense greeting, Cassia explains who she is and what that note was about. Depending on how far you have advanced through the game, Cassia remarks on finding you via your deeds and/or fame and/or infamy. She and her brother were deserters from the Imperial Army (NOTE: Imperials are generally NOT looked upon with much favor in this mod); they found these ruins, in hopes of finding enough loot to pay for their way back home. 

This is where you come in.

You have to enter the Forgotten City, through the previously mentioned pool, find Cassia’s brother, and return to the surface,

Good luck.

1. b) Meet the Jarl of the Forgotten City

You jump down the very deep hole, walk a relatively short hallway, and enter the Forgotten City. It is a massive underground cavern, with 2 tiers, and a lot of Dwemer (Dwarven) construction evident… and a lot of burned bodies (see the link at the top of the page).

I won’t repeat too much of what’s in my earlier blog; nevertheless, you find some items, find the Lakehouse, and walk through the portal, back to 7 years ago. A farmer (name escapes me) asks who your are and how you got into the Lakehouse. Once you explain – or don’t explain – he points you to the Citadel, where you are supposed to talk to the Jarl. You are now free to explore. If you talk to any of the roughly 25 citizens before seeing the Jarl, they’ll gently nudge you towards the Citadel; they will still talk to you, regardless.

From the Lakehouse, follow the path to the stairs to the Upper Tier. The Citadel is to the left. The Citadel is a 4-story monstrosity, full of people’s quarters, meeting rooms, what looks like a bath house, a storage room, and other things. Do not steal anything – yet (more on that in a moment). At the top of the Citadel, Jarl Metellus II waits for you on a balcony.

The Jarl greets you warmly and assigns you a house, since you are now a permanent resident (… maybe not?). He asks why you are there and you tell him that you come from the future; you found his letter in the Lakehouse. He is astonished…. then tells you some interesting theories.


The main theory is that the Jarl thinks that someone violated the Dwarves’ Law, back in the past: “Many shall suffer for the sins of the one”. He reasons that someone triggered the Dwarves’ Law and wants you to find out who and why, by nearly any means necessary.

1. c) Dwarves’ Law

In your very early travels around the City, you probably noticed the 8-10 foot tall Dwemer statues. Those are Dwarven Centurions. Wellll…. try to do something illegal (like stealing!), and those monsters come alive. A booming voice sounds throughout the city, the ground shakes, and Centurions attack. They attack everything and everybody with ranged fire attacks and some frighteningly powerful melee attacks. If you are a low-level Elven armor wearer like me, you can only take 2 melee hits before you die. Once you die, you “respawn” back at the Lakehouse. So, be very careful what you do inside the city.

1. d) Looters

Once you finish talking to the Jarl: when you leave the Citadel (there are some interesting characters in there), Miranda (the woman that was sweeping the streets at your first entrance into the City) runs up to you, in a near-panic, and warns that Looters were spotted back in the tunnel leading to the City. She wants you to stop them before they enter the City and hurt someone. 

Remember that warning about the Dwarves’ Law? Imagine what happens if a Looter gets through that door to the city and attacks you. Now you see why Miranda panicked.

Go back through the City entrance, run up the tunnel (unless you are a good sharpshooter with bow and arrow, or magic), and engage the Looters far away from the entrance door as possible. I don’t know if the number of Looters scales with your level but I faced a Looter Scout, 3-5 Looters, and a final “Boss”, a Dark Brotherhood Warlock, who can be tricky, if you let him start firing off spells at point-blank range. Once the Looters are taken care of, search their bodies. On the Warlock’s body is a note from “M”, ordering him to find someone name “Quintus” and “bring him back to the family”.

Could that be Cassia’s brother?

Report back to Miranda, tell her the threat is gone, ask about Quintus, and start solving the mystery of who broke the Dwarves’ Law for the Jarl.

Part 2 will deal with the characters that I will talk to, including Brol, whose name kept getting mentioned (I probably won’t talk to all of them but I will talk to at least 12), any info and clues that I pick up along the way, and making an accusation for the Jarl’s quest. Part 2 should be up in the next 12-36 hours!

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