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How to complete a speech with silence in Skyrim

You worked through the quests for the Thieves Association in Skyrim, and now to the quest ‘Speak to Silence’. This is a simple quest that involves traveling to the Snow Veil Sanctum, located north of Windhelm. Here, you will encounter Karliah, who is said to be wanted for the murder of Gallus.

Related: Skyrim: How to fully restore the Thieves Guild

In this tutorial, we’ll go through a step-by-step guide on how to complete it ‘Speak with silence’. Since this quest is in the middle of the Thieves Guild quest, we’ll take a look at the previous quests that you’ll need to complete first.

Prerequisites for completion


Snow veil outside the reserve

Before doing ‘Speak to Silence’, you will need to Complete the following tasks.

Mission Name NPCs to talk to
A chance arrangement Brynjolf
Business care Brynjolf
Loud and clear Brynjolf
Shock Absorber Spirit Maven Black-Briar

  • Located in Regular Ri
    • in The Bee and Barb or Black-Briar Meadery
Scoundrel’s Folly Mercer Frey

Accept ‘Speak to Silence’


map with the location of the snow reserve

After completing ‘Scoundrel’s Folly’, you will automatically receive ‘Speak 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 holy place by head north from Windhelm. Alternatively, you can get here by Heading southeast from Winterhold. Snow Veil Sanctum is not too difficult to get to and you will be able to see the structure from a distance.


the player kills a draugr in the snow curtain sanctuary

Once you reach the Snow Veil Sanctum, talk to Mercer, who will let you know that Karliah is inside. After talking to him, Together they walked to the locked door and waited for him to unlock it.

Note: As with most Skyrim quests, there are some possible errors in the steps of this quest. Overall, save it regularly so you can reload it if anything strange happens.

Now that the door is unlocked, it’s time to go inside. In the first room you will encounter two draugr, and see a chest behind the gate. To reach the chest, simply pull the chain nearby.

Enter the next area, which includes corpses and a closed gate. Pull the chain to open the gate but Be careful with the spiked wall that turns towards you as soon as you pull it down.

With the gate open, you can go down the stairs. Take the tunnel while Watch out for any traps and Draugr that appear.

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


model train on a pedestal in a snow curtain reserve

Eventually, you’ll come to a fork in the road, with Wooden stairs in front and stone stairs on the right. Going up the wooden stairs will bring you to a pedestal with Model Train, can be sold to Devlin. Be careful, once you remove the ship, the floor will catch on fire. To continue with the quest, return to the stone stairs.

Once you’ve reached the stone stairs, keep moving forward while killing any Draugr that stand in your way until you reach a set of double doors. Enter the area, kill the Draugrs and learn the Disarm shout that can be found in the back of the room.

From here, go straight through the gate and keep going through the corridor until you arrive the door requires a swipe. Instead of using claws, Mercer will choose this padlock for you. While the Mercer can pick the lock of a clawed door, you’ll never be able to.

Confronting Karliah


the player lies on the ground while the referee stands on

After Mercer selects the lock, enter the next room where Karliah will be. Unfortunately, a poison arrow will quickly hit you, causing you to fall to the floor. This is supposed to happen, and You won’t be able to avoid the arrow. Even though you are poisoned, you can still hear Karliah and Mercer talking.

While laying on the floor, you know that Karliah didn’t kill Gallus; it was Mercer instead. Mercer stole money from the Thieves’ Association, and Gallus found out. To handle the situation, Mercer killed Gallus and then blamed Karliah.

When the conversation is over, Mercer will stab you, causing you to lose power. Don’t worry, you’re not dead yet! Then you wake up with Karliah, tending your wound.

Reward for completing ‘Speak with Silence’


player talking to karliah

After talking to Karliah while she takes care of your wound, she will give you Gallus encrypted journal. This will be the quest reward, but the diary will need to be decoded first. This will take you to the next quest, titled ‘Hard answer’.

Next: Skyrim: Best Companion Quest, Rated



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