Game GuidesThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide & Walkthrough

Finding Esbern

A Cornered Rat - Main quests - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Strategy Guide and Walkthrough by Jacek "Stranger" Halas gamepressure.com

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New main objective: Search The Ratway for Esbern's hideout

Brynjolf will share with you information on Esbern's hideout during your first conversation, assuming you successfully persuaded him, worked with the Thieves Guild or completed A Chance Arrangement - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Brynjolf will share with you information on Esbern's hideout during your first conversation, assuming you successfully persuaded him, worked with the Thieves Guild or completed A Chance Arrangement. Curiously, in the last case, it doesn't matter if you managed to steal and plant the ring or were caught by the guards. You can also solve the case in a completely different way, by heading to the hideout without talking with Brynjolf and finding Esbern on your own.

Locating the sewer entrance might prove difficult at first, as it's on the lower level of the city - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Locating the sewer entrance might prove difficult at first, as it's on the lower level of the city. I'd suggest using the stairs south of the passage marked by the game (screen above). After getting below, you just need to approach the door and therefore reach The Ratway.

Begin exploring The Ratway - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Begin exploring The Ratway. Soon enough you will come across Hewnon Black-Skeever and Draff (screen above). You will have a chance to avoid fighting them, if only you have a high enough Speech skill and use persuasion, but you will more likely be attacked by them immediately. Adjust your tactic depending on who you're fighting with at the moment. As the battle will take place in a narrow corridor, you can also use the Unrelenting Force Shout. Search the bodies of the defeated enemies and return to exploring the sewers. Eventually you need to reach the raised drawbridge. Ignore it and jump onto the lower level.

There are two paths leading to the next location - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

There are two paths leading to the next location. The shorter one implies having to open the secured eastern gate (screen above). If you can't open it or want to explore the area more thoroughly, use the western door. Look out for the first trap connected with that passage, in the form of spikes coming from the side after you open the door.

If you have chosen the longer path, you need to take into account that you will have to eliminate Skeever and Gian the Fist (screen above) - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

If you have chosen the longer path, you need to take into account that you will have to eliminate Skeever and Gian the Fist (screen above). The second one prefers close combat, so try to attack him from a distance if he causes you problems. Inside the room where Gian was you will also have to look out for bear traps, either avoiding or disarming them. Luckily even if you fall into one, you won't lose too much health. Continue onwards. On your way you will come across one more trap, connected with the pressure plate on the stairs leading onto the upper level.

Both paths described above lead to the same room, inside which you will have to get rid of a lowlife (screen above) - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Both paths described above lead to the same room, inside which you will have to get rid of a lowlife (screen above). Afterwards be sure to search the table for the Beggar book, boosting your Pickpocketing. Use the door leading to the underground inn, Ragged Flagon.

You will now have to establish Esbern's exact whereabouts and you will have a few options - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

You will now have to establish Esbern's exact whereabouts and you will have a few options. The most obvious is talking with the bartender, Vekel the Man (screen above). Depending on your liking, you can either pay him for the information, use a developed Speech and persuade him or challenge him for a fist fight. The less obvious option implies speaking with Brynjolf, though he will reveal Esbern's hideout only if you completed A Chance Arrangement side quest. In both cases you will learn that Esbern can be found in The Ratway Warrens. You won't have to talk with any of them if you're a member of the Thieves Guild, as Brynjolf will tell you where you should look for Esbern before you enter The Ratway.

New main objective: Find Esbern in The Ratway Warrens

Head to the south-east part of Ragged Flagon, finding the path to The Ratway Vaults (screen above) - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Head to the south-east part of Ragged Flagon, finding the path to The Ratway Vaults (screen above). Don't worry about the different name of the location, as you will have to pass through it to reach the Warrens. It would be good to save your game after reaching the new area, as you're in for a rather demanding fight.

You will encounter the first group of enemies almost right after entering the Flagon - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

You will encounter the first group of enemies almost right after entering the Flagon. I'd recommend first taking care of the Thalmor Wizard, the more considering that he will be the only one occupying the current level of the construction. Only after dealing with the mage should you take care of the Thalmor Soldiers (screen above). Look out for the one capable of using magic and try attacking the enemies in one of the narrow corridors, thanks to which it will be easier to eliminate them.

After taking care of them it would be of course worth to examine the enemies' bodies - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

After taking care of them it would be of course worth to examine the enemies' bodies. Now, you can either jump onto the lowest level at once or explore the Vaults, starting with the corridor from which the soldier came. On your way you will come across a few valuable items and treasure chests, so keep your eyes open. Sooner or later you will reach the ground floor (screen above). Search for the southern door, leading to The Ratway Warrens.

Contrary to what you might think, the Warrens isn't a large location and you won't have to worry about getting lost - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Contrary to what you might think, the Warrens isn't a large location and you won't have to worry about getting lost. Head to the middle room and go up the stairs (screen above). You don't need to talk with the people in the cells at all. What's more, most of them would be aggressive towards you.

New main objective: Talk to Esbern

Approach the marked cell (screen above) to initiate a conversation with Esbern - Finding Esbern - A Cornered Rat - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Game Guide and Walkthrough

Approach the marked cell (screen above) to initiate a conversation with Esbern. You can convince the old man of your good intentions in a couple ways, i.e. trying persuasion (Speech), telling him that you're the Dragonborn or using the password (remember the 30th of Frostfall) received from Delphine. Wait for Esbern to open the cell and get inside for the proper conversation. Esbern will tell you of the threat of the dragon Alduin and that the world can only be saved by the Dragonborn. Eventually you will learn that you need to escort Esbern to Riverwood.

Main quest unlocked: Alduin's Wall

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Comments and responses

Pheadra 06/01/2014 08:40

My problem is that I have found Esbern I could even convince him to let me in and yet he is NOT opening the door. What can I do? Is that a bug as well?

aze66 23/11/2013 16:58

about esbern just download: [link] --and merge the data in the data file.

benrox 28/04/2013 07:47

Ive been haveing a problem with this when i talked to delphine she said something about esbern and i should go and find him but no quest started and when i went to talk to him nothing happend and i fixed the sound and went to talk to him again and still nothing so i went to delphine and i tried all the talking combanations and nothing so now im stuck and i dont want to start again beacuse ive got really far with all the other quests does annyone how to fix it

M0Rt3zA 07/02/2012 12:10

Oops... Sorry.

M0Rt3zA 07/02/2012 12:06

Hi, Actually That Happened To Me Too... Does Any One Have Any Idea How To Fix It? Tnx

eyds 25/01/2012 14:03

Yes you are correct there is a bug of some sort with the game being able to read the “/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/Data/Skyrim – VoicesExtra.bsa” file when it comes to that Esbern character which means it screws a bunch of other stuff up if he’s involved apparently because it can’t find his audio files so it sort of hangs. To remedy the bug you need to extract that “Skyrim – VoicesExtra.bsa” file using a BSA Extractor and then place the Esbern sound folder in your “/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/Data/” folder. By doing that you’re basically manually recreating the directory path the game is going to look for the audio files in. ie. “/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/Data/sound/voice/skyrim.esm/maleuniqueesbern” Unfortunately though most BSA extractors seem to require Oblivion to be installed or some even plain just don’t work on Skyrim bsa’s for some reason so if you want just the Esbern sound files without trying to find a working BSA extractor you can grab them here (I just uploaded them for you) so that way you don’t need to bother with any extractors etc. DOWNLOAD (sound.rar) – http://www.multiupload.com/P4HR8FKUFS Bethesda will likely have this bug fixed in the next patch though, although if you can’t wait and want to play through then just put the extracted “sound” directory into your Skyrim “/Data” directory and you’re good to carry on with all the stuff that involves that Esbern character. :) source : http://gaming.operationreality.org/groups/skyrim/forum/topic/esbern-bug-glitch-quest-cornered-rat-in-ratway-warrens-in-skyrim-riften/

Stranger 18/01/2012 17:35

Do you have any other savegames? An autosave should also be created upon entering The Ratway Warrens.

Dividi77 11/01/2012 17:27

Thank you for your awesome guide, but esbern did NOT open door for me ? its looks like a bug but how can i fix this? i wanna complete main quests.

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