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Diplomatic Immunity
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A Blade in the Dark
Quest Giver
Followed by
A Cornered Rat
Quest Objectives

It seems that things are worse than even Delphine thought. Dragons aren't just coming back to life, they're being resurrected by other dragons. Delphine suspects that the Thalmor might be bringing dragons back for some sinister purpose. She's going to talk to her contacts about how we can infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy.

— Dragonborn


Meet Delphine in Riverwood[]

Meet Delphine in Riverwood at the Sleeping Giant Inn, and follow her into the secret back room there.

I've figured out how we're going to get you into the Thalmor Embassy.
You're not coming?
That would be a bad idea. I'd be too likely to attract the wrong kind of attention. But they don't know you at all, yet.
So what's your plan? How do I infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy?
The Thalmor ambassador, Elenwen, regularly throws parties where the rich and connected cozy up to the Thalmor.
I can get you into one of those parties. Once you're inside the Embassy, you get away and find Elenwen's secret files.
I have a contact inside the Embassy. He's not up for this kind of high-risk mission, but he can help you.
His name's Malborn. Wood elf, plenty of reason to hate the Thalmor. You can trust him.
I'll get word for him to meet you in Solitude, at the Winking Skeever -- you know it?
While you're doing that, I'll work on getting you an invitation to Elenwen's little party.
Meet me at the Solitude stables after you've arranged things with Malborn. Any questions?
Who's this contact of yours? You're sure I can trust him?
Don't worry about Malborn. He's not a dangerous character like you, but he hates the Thalmor at least as much as I do.
He's a wood elf - the Thalmor wiped out his family back in Valenwood during one of their purges that we never hear about.
Luckily they don't know who he really is, or he wouldn't be serving drinks at the Ambassador's parties.
How am I going to get into this party?
Let me handle that. You'll have a real invitation, don't worry. As long as you can act the part of a Thalmor toady, you'll get past the guards.
Once I'm inside the Embassy, then what?
That's when the fun starts. You'll have to slip away from the party without raising the alarm.
Then you'll need to find Elenwen's office and search her files. Malborn should be able to point you in the right direction.
I'll see you in Solitude after I meed Malborn.
Sounds good. Be careful.

She's going to help me infiltrate the Thalmor ambassador's manor and find out what they know about the dragons. I should meet with her contact, Malborn, in the Winking Skeever Inn in Solitude.

— Dragonborn

Meet Malborn in Solitude[]

Travel to The Winking Skeever in Solitude and talk to Malborn.

Our mutual friend sent me.
Really? You're who she picked? I hope she knows what she's doing.
Here's the deal. I can smuggle some equipment into the Embassy for you.
Don't plan on bringing anything else in with you. The Thalmor take security very seriously.
Give me what you can't live without, and I'll make sure to get it into the Embassy. The rest is up to you.

Give Malborn the equipment[]

I'm ready, here's what I'll need.
You ready yet? I need to get back before I'm missed. Remember, you won't have anything except what I smuggle in for you.

At this point players should give Malborn the weapons/items they will need to be successful.

Tip: If the Dragonborn has a high skill level in Sneaking, it may be possible to avoid any conflict at the Thalmor Embassy, though a set of Potions of Invisibility is definitely recommended. Furthermore an enchanted armour set and a good weapon are also things to give Malborn before continuing.

Meet Delphine at the stables[]

To get into the Thalmor Embassy and to be able to join the reception there, an invitation is required, and the proper outfit that will not stand out too badly. Walk over to Delphine at the Solitude Stables to get the items in question.

Have you given Malborn everything you will need inside the embassy?
Yes, Malborn's all set.
Good. I have your invitation to the party.
But the only way you're going to get past the guards is if they really believe you're an invited guest.
Which means you need to look the part, and not be armed to the teeth.l Here, put his on.
When you're ready, I'll keep the rest of your gear safe until you get back.
You'll only have what Malborn smuggled in for you, plus whatever you can pick up inside.
I'm ready. Keep the rest of my things safe for me.
Don't worry, it will all be waiting for you when you get back.
Just make sure you get back out of there alive with the information we need.

With the Party Clothes and Party Boots put on (and any ring, circlet, weapon, etc. removed) the Dragonborn's complete inventory gets handed over to Delphine. With the Invitation to Elenwen's Reception in hand the trip via waiting carriage to the Thalmor Embassy can begin.

Talk to Malborn[]

Once inside the Embassy, the Dragonborn can exchange some pleasantries with Elenwen who is hosting the reception.

Then locate Malborn who is serving drinks for the reception. He will suggest that you find some way to create a disturbance so the both of you can slip through the back door and into the embassy.

Create a distraction and get away from the party[]

There are several options for creating a disturbance. Choose one the attendees, Razelan is a good choice, and convince them to create a disturbance. Other choices include Erikur, Idgrod Ravencrone, Maven Black-Briar, Ondolemar, or Orthus Endario depending on your previous interactions with them. Then meet Malborn by the door.

Retrieve your gear[]

Tsavani, the cook, will look the other way when trying to sneak through her kitchen. You can then retrieve any equipment you gave to Malborn in Solitude from a chest. From there the Dragonborn enters the inner chambers of the embassy, but once through the door, there is no going back. The only way forward is out.

Note: Some judicious sneaking may make it possible to get past all the Thalmor guards, but silently killing them allows for much more leisurely looting, e.g. on the upper floor.

Search for information about the dragons returning[]

There is actually no evidence to be found in the main embassy building, so the Dragonborn has to sneak out into the yard and enter Elenwen's Solar. There Rulindil and Gissur and a guard may be encountered. A chest on the ground floor contains titbits of information:

Dragon Investigation: Current Status, Thalmor Dossier: Delphine and Thalmor Dossier: Ulfric Stormcloak.

The notes show that the Thalmor have no idea who or what is behind the dragon appearances in Skyrim, they are keeping track of Delphine whom they see as a threat, and see Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak as a tool to further their plans for Skyrim. Not the evidence on dragons Delphine was hoping for.

The Interrogation Chamber Key in the chest may come in handy to enter the Dungeons.

Search the torture chamber[]

Inside the dungeon the Dragonborn may witness an interrogation led by Rulindil. The prisoner being tortured is Etienne Rarnis. At this point taking out Rulindil and the guards is probably inevitable.

A chest next to the prisoner cell contains the Thalmor Dossier: Esbern giving the Dragonborn a lead on how to precede. This information can also be deduced by talking to Etienne Rarnis, who can be of some assistance.

Escape the Thalmor Embassy[]

Leave the embassy via the trap door with Etienne and possibly also Malborn who has been arrested by the Thalmore. Traverse the Reeking Cave and exit it.

An Unusual Gem may be found in this cave.

Talk to Delphine[]

Return to Riverwood and speak with Delphine. She knows Esbern and is surprised that he still lives. If anyone is an expert on the topic of dragons then it is him. Delphine therefore suggests finding him somewhere under Riften in A Cornered Rat.