Skyrim: Speaking With Silence Quest Walkthrough

Quick Links

  • Prerequisites To Complete
  • Accepting 'Speaking With Silence'
  • Navigating Through Snow Veil Sanctum
  • Confronting Karliah
  • Rewards For Completing 'Speaking With Silence'

You've been working through quests for the Thieves Guild in Skyrim, and now come to the quest 'Speaking with Silence'. This is a simple quest that involves traveling to Snow Veil Sanctum, located north of Windhelm. Here, you will encounter Karliah, who is supposedly wanted for the murder of Gallus.

In this guide, we are going to go over a step-by-step walkthrough on completing 'Speaking with Silence'. Since this quest is in the middle of the Thieves Guild questline, we are going to take a look at the previous quests that you will need to complete first.

Prerequisites To Complete

Prior to working through 'Speaking with Silence', you will need to complete the following quests.

Quest Name NPC To Speak With
A Chance Arrangement Brynjolf

  • Located in Riften
    • in the town square
Taking Care of Business Brynjolf

  • Located in Riften
    • in The Ragged Flagon
Loud and Clear Brynjolf

  • Located in Riften
    • in The Ragged Flagon
Dampening Spirits Maven Black-Briar

  • Located in Riften
    • in The Bee and Barb or Black-Briar Meadery
Scoundrel's Folly Mercer Frey

  • Located in Riften
    • in The Ratway

Accepting 'Speaking With Silence'

After completing 'Scoundrel's Folly', you will automatically receive 'Speaking with Silence' from Mercer Frey.

At the end of 'Scoundrel's Folly', you discovered the location of Karliah, who is wanted for the murder of the previous Guild Master. By telling this information to Mercer, he will tell you to meet him there, at the Snow Veil Sanctum. You can get to the sanctum by heading north from Windhelm. Additionally, you can get here by heading southeast from Winterhold. The Snow Veil Sanctum shouldn't be too difficult to get to, and you will be able to see the structure from a distance.

Navigating Through Snow Veil Sanctum

Once you make it to Snow Veil Sanctum, speak with Mercer, who will tell you that Karliah is inside. After speaking with him, walk to the locked door together and wait for him to unlock it.

Note: As with most Skyrim quests, there are several bugs that can occur during the steps of this quest. Overall, save often so you can reload if anything strange happens.

Now that the door has been unlocked, it's time to head inside. In the first room, you will encounter two Draugr, and see a chest behind a gate. To reach the chest, just pull the nearby chain.

Head into the next area, which consists of dead bodies and a closed gate. Pull the chain to open the gate but be cautious of the spiked wall that swings towards you right as you pull down.

With the gate open, you can head downstairs. Follow the tunnel while being wary of any traps and Draugr that appear.

At the end of the tunnel, you will see a gate with another chain nearby. Continue on down the stairs on the other side of the gate, while killing any Draugr that appear.

Eventually, you will come to a crossroads, with wooden stairs in front and stone stairs to the right. Proceeding up the wooden stairs will take you to a pedestal with a Model Ship, that can be sold to Devlin. Be careful though, once you remove the ship, the floor will catch on fire. To continue on with the quest, head back up the stone stairs.

Once you are up the stone stairs, continue forward while killing any Draugr that stands in your way until you come to a set of double doors. Enter into this area, kill the Draugrs, and learn the Disarm shout which can be found at the back of the room.

From here, head right through the gate and continue through the corridor until you come to a door that requires a claw. Instead of using a claw, Mercer will pick this lock for you. Even though Mercer can pick the lock of a claw door, you will never be able to do this.

Confronting Karliah

After Mercer picks the lock, head inside the next room, where Karliah will be. Unfortunately, a poison arrow will quickly hit you, causing you to drop to the floor. This is supposed to happen, and you will not be able to avoid the arrow. Although you are poisoned, you will still be able to hear Karliah and Mercer speak.

While laying on the floor, you learn that Karliah did not murder Gallus; instead, it was Mercer. Mercer had been stealing money from the Thieves Guild, and Gallus found out. To handle the situation, Mercer killed Gallus and then blamed it on Karliah.

Once the conversation is over, Mercer will stab you, causing you to blackout. Don't worry, you're not dead yet! Later, you awake to Karliah, tending to your wounds.

Rewards For Completing 'Speaking With Silence'

After speaking with Karliah as she tends your wounds, she will give you Gallus' Encoded Journal. This will serve as the reward for the quest, but the journal will first need to be decoded. This will take you into the next quest, titled 'Hard Answers'.

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