|Prerequisite||Loud and Clear|
|Quest Giver||Maven Black-Briar|
|Rewards|| an enchanted dagger|
e.g. a Steel Sword of Sapping at L67
|Followed by||Scoundrel's Folly|
Maven Black-Briar is getting annoyed at a competitor trying to muscle in on her market. She has requested that Mercer Frey send her his best, and you are it.
Speak to Maven Black-Briar
First, Mercer will send you to find Maven Black-Briar for the details on the job. She can usually be found on the second floor of the Bee and Barb. She will tell you that some nobody has suddenly gotten the capital out of nowhere to open a meadery big enough to compete with hers. She wants you to get rid of and find out who is funding him. She will tell you the name of a contact in Whiterun that will help, so go find him.
Speak to Mallus Maccius
The contact turns out to be Mallus Maccius who can be found at The Bannered Mare in Whiterun. He will usually be in one of the rooms, if not he will be around the fire. Speak to Mallus and he will outline the plan to get Sabjorn, the present proprietor of the Honningbrew Meadery and his slave-driving boss, arrested. Honningbrew currently has a pest problem, conveniently engineered by Mallus. It will be the Dragoborn's job pretending to help Sabjorn take care of the problem while at the same time gaining access to the boilery to poison the Special Reserve. The beauty of the plan is that the poison to do the job will be provided by Sabjorn himself, thus not implicating Mallus.
Speak to Sabjorn
When you reach the Honningbrew Meadery, Sabjorn will be in the building to your right. The building to the left, the Honningbew Boilery, is locked and cannot be accessed without a key. Once inside, tell Sabjorn that you will help get rid of the skeevers in exchange for coin and he will give you access to the basement, via Honningbrew Meadery Key, as well as some Pest Poison to get the job done. Go there and enter the vermin tunnels under the place.
Note: Since Sabjorn will get arrested later in the quest, some persuasion or intimidation will yield a 50% up front payment of around 500 (L67).
Poison the nest
In the Honningbrew Basement turn left. There is a skeever at the other end of the basement that needs killing. To the right of where the skeever was, you will see a large hole in the wall leading to where the tunnels are. Follow the tunnel into a larger area with four skeevers. It is kind of dark here so you might want to run a bit out into the brighter part so you can see the skeevers better. Continue on through the tunnels until you get to another larger area filled with four Frostbite Spiders.
Keep following the tunnels until you get to a large, dimly lit cavern. In the first half of this cavern are three skeevers. In the second half is a madman named Hamelyn. Be careful when facing Hamelyn as he is a mage that uses quite powerful spells. He will use either fire or lightning so prepare yourself for both. Once you kill him, poison the nest next to his bedroll and continue up the tunnels to the basement of the meadery.
Poison the Honningbrew Vat
In the Honningbrew Boilery, head straight to the door and turn left and go up the stairs. Go around the path to the Special Reserve you need to poison. Open the brewer lid, drop the poison into the vat and head back down. Pick up the Honningbrew Brewhouse Key beside the door and let yourself out then head back to the main house to speak to Sabjorn.
Return to Sabjorn
Tell Sabjorn that you have killed the pests and he will not give you your payment though until the tasting ceremony is over. So take a seat and wait to enjoy the show.
Attend the tasting ceremony
The Captain of the Guard, Commander Caius, comes in, takes a sip of the Special Reserve, and immediately notices the dubious taste of the skeever poison, expressing his deep resentment for having let Sabjorn continue his brewing with such a pest problem. Sabjorn tries to explain that this is all a misunderstanding, but the captain will have none of it and arrests him. On the way out the captain makes Mallus take charge of the meadery from now on, much to Mallus' played surprise.
Speak to Mallus Maccius again
Once Sabjorn has been led off the premises, speak to Mallus who is standing nearby. He will offer his services as a fence (though the service certainly does not work immediately) and you can ask him for permission to search the upper level of the house for information on Sabjorn's silent partner. He will hand over Sabjorn's Dresser Key.
Identify Sabjorn's silent partner
Follow the quest marker, up one floor, around the landing to Sabjorn's office. Swipe the incriminating documents, a Promissory Note, from Sabjorn's dresser and head back to Maven to deliver the information.
Return to Maven Black-Briar
Go back to the Bee and Barb and deliver your report to Maven. She will get a bit prissy but reward you anyway for completing the job. She will say she does not recognise the mysterious marking on the document and ask you to inform the Guild about this.