"A Watery Grave" (Dark Brother Quest)

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Faction / Guild : Dark Brotherhood
Quest Giver: Vicente Valtieri
Reward: Black Band
Bonus: None


Your goal is to kill a sea captain named Gaston Tussaud in the cabin of his pirate ship, the Marie Elena. The ship can be found in the Imperial City Waterfront District. There are two ships at the Waterfront, the Marie Elena being the western-most one with pirates patrolling near it.


If you simply walk onto the ship, the pirates will attack, although they are dispatched easily enough with moderate offensive abilities. What you can do, however, is jump on to the ship, and then run away, letting the guards deal with the pirates instead, leaving the path clear to Gaston Tussaud. The alternative method of entrance is to get on the stone path west of the ship where there are a bunch of crates lined up. The pirates are loading all of these boxes onto the ship. Walk up to the northernmost crate and you will be asked if you want to hide in the crate. Do so and the game will load you inside the ship. Another method of entrance to the captain's cabin is to jump from the dock onto the balcony of the ship and pick the lock, which could prove difficult for a character lacking in a high security score, as the lock is fixed at the very hard level. If you are able to pick the lock, the best way to fight the captain is to run out the rear door once he begins to fight you and swim to shore. The captain will just pace back and forth on the rear deck and you can shoot arrows with impunity.

The ship has two pirates already inside of it along with the captain. These pirates can be killed or snuck past. The captain proves a tough fight for some, but if your health gets low, simply run around the table in his room and heal as you go. The captain shouldn't be able to catch you while circling the table. Alternatively, you can yield to him, from which you can then sneak behind him and use a sneak attack to do extra damage.

Note: An easier and quicker method to complete this quest is by running straight to the captain's cabin and killing the captain. Then run out and let the Imperial City guards take care of the remaining pirates.

Another way to complete this quest with very little difficulty is to hide inside the crate, then go up a level. Wait for the pirates to finish their conversation (it's quite funny given the context of the quest) when they finish go quickly back to where you entered the level and go as far back as possible (a detect life spell helps here) and wait for the pirates to pass you by. Then sneak past them to the hall where they were talking. You should see a small alcove on your left with a ladder. Take this ladder up directly to the capitan's cabin. Wait until around 10pm when the capitan goes to sleep and sneak attack him, he should now be dead or close to dead. Once he's dead search his body for the capitan's key. If you position yourself correctly you should be able to open the capitan's chest as soon as you exit the looting menu. If not, no worries you can always return later. After you have the capitan's key simply run to the far side of the cabin near the table (don't forget the nirnroot) and exit through the back. The quest is now finished with only the capitan dead and minimal effort on your part.

When the captain has been eliminated, two pirates will come down to check on the captain. You may either kill the pirates or hide from them until they leave. After they're dead or gone, you may search the room for loot (Gaston Tussaud's chest has two Flawless Pearls, a Flawless Emerald, and some gold.) or you can exit through the door you came in and leave the ship. My favorite method is to turn left after you open the door and jump off of the edge of the ship, into the water. From their swim back to the dock. After Captain Gaston Tussaud is dead, return to Vicente Valtieri for your reward: the Black Band.

Note: There is a bug associated with this quest. It appears to be possible to hide in the crate while on a horse. The horse will then appear inside the ship with you. If you want to recreate this bug, it is recommended to use a stolen horse, as once inside, it is impossible without using 3rd party modifications to get the horse back out.

Journal Entires

Upon receiving the quest:

I must go to the Waterfront District in the Imperial City and gain access to the pirate ship Marie Elena, so I can kill Captain Gaston Tussaud. I may be able to smuggle myself onboard with the cargo, in one of the packing crates.

After hiding the crate:

Just as expected, the crate I hid in has been transported to the ship's hold. I must now find and kill the Captain, Gaston Tussaud. He's probably in his cabin, at the rear of the ship, on a higher deck.

After entering the captain's cabin:

I have gained access to the Captain's cabin of the ship Marie Elena. I must now kill Gaston Tussaud.

After killing the captain:

Gaston Tussaud is dead. I must now return to the Sanctuary and speak with Vicente Valtieri to receive my reward.

Previous Quest: Welcome to the Family Next Quest: Blood of the Damned

Related Links: Assassin's Guild Quests
Dark Brotherhood Quests
A Knife in the Dark
The Renegade Shadowscale
Darkness Eternal
Vicente Valtieri Quests
A Watery Grave
Accidents Happen
Scheduled for Execution
The Assassinated Man
Ocheeva Quests
The Lonely Wanderer
Bad Medicine
Permanent Retirement
Lucien Lachance Quest
The Purification
Dead Drop Orders Quests
Affairs of a Wizard
Next of Kin
Broken Vows
Final Justice
A Matter of Honor
The Coldest Sleep
A Kiss Before Dying
Following a Lead
Honor Thy Mother
Epilogue Quest
Whispers of Death

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