quill of germination

Quill of Gemination Guide

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The Quill of Gemination is one of the lesser-known unique items in Skyrim. You find it for Maven Black-Briar as a part of The Pursuit quest, and beyond that, it has absolutely no use. Despite that, you still need to find the Quill if you want to take a certain route with that quest, and it’s not easy to find. Plus, it actually has a tiny bit of cool lore that sounds awesome, even if the Quill hasn’t ever been used.

So, if you’re doing The Pursuit and you’re looking for the Quill of Gemination, look no further! This is the definitive Quill of Gemination guide.

Key Details Up Front

Lake Honrich

  • Location: Lake Honrich.
  • Related Characters: Maven Black-Briar, Vald.
  • Related Quests: The Pursuit.
  • Value: Worthless (quest-related).


We know basically nothing about the Quill of Gemination. For all intents and purposes, it’s a random item that the devs thought up on the fly to throw into this quest. We do why it’s so valuable, though.

Apparently, the Quill is capable of recreating any piece of writing that the user has seen, provided it has the right special kind of ink. That sounds valuable and important, but there’s no use case or stories involving it. It just belongs to Maven Black-Briar, and Vald lost it. It doesn’t go any deeper than that.

Key Features

Clear Vald’s Debt

The only gameplay purpose of the Quill of Gemination is that you can use it to clear Vald’s debt. It’s a McGuffin in the truest sense, despite sounding like what should be a powerful artifact. It doesn’t even spawn in until you activate The Pursuit quest.

The Pursuit

Meet with Karliah and Re-enter the Thieves Guild

At this point in the Thieves Guild questline, Karliah will be back in the fold and Mercer will have turned on you. You will also already have Gallus’ journal decrypted and ready to present to the guild. Once you start The Pursuit, meet up with Karliah at the entrance to the Ragged Flagon. You won’t be able to take the shortcut through the graveyard as it will be locked.

Once you speak with Karliah, the two of you will proceed into the Flagon and be met by Brynjolf, Vex, and Delvin. Naturally, they will be quite unpleased about everything that’s transpired.

Present the trio with Gallus’ journal and they will open the vault to find it empty. Following that, you will have a bit of a talk with the members of the guild, before Brynjolf sends you off to break into Mercer’s house to find out where he’s hiding.

Speak with Vex About Vald’s Debt

Vald's Strongbox

At this point in The Pursuit, you have a few different options. Given our focus on the Quill of Gemination, we’ll want to speak with Vex about Vald’s debt. Following that conversation, head on over to speak with Maven Black-Briar. She’ll send you off to find the Quill of Gemination which it turns out Vald lost on her.

Recover the Quill of Gemination

Quill of Gemination

The Quill of Gemination is lost on a sunken boat in Lack Honrich. If you haven’t started this quest yet, the boat will not be there. Once you have, though, it will spawn in.

So, head over to the lake just West of Riften. In the lake, about halfway between Riften and Goldenglow Estate, you’ll be able to find the boat. In the shipwreck, you’ll find Vald’s Lockbox. The Quill is inside that. Take the Quill back to Maven and she’ll free Vald from his debts.

Now, head back to Mercer Frey’s house. Speak to Vald in the garden and inform him that you’ve cleared his name with the Black-Briars. He’ll thank you and give you the key to the house, letting you in freely.

Enter Mercer Frey’s House and Discover Proof of His Location

From this point on, you’re done with the Quill of Gemination. Just explore Mercer’s house, loot all of his goodies (including the Bust of the Great Fox and Chillrend), and discover what his plans are. You’ll complete The Pursuit and move on with the Thieve’s Guild questline.

How to Find the Quill of Gemination

Quill of Gemination

The Quill of Gemination spawns in once you start The Pursuit quest, so don’t go looking for it before that. Once you do start the quest, you’re going to want to head to Lake Honrich. Lake Honrich is the big lake right next to Riften. It’s the one where Goldenglow Estate is located.

If you walk around the Northern side of that lake, you’ll find Merryfair Farm. Head directly South of the farm until you reach the water. From there, head slightly towards Goldenglow Estate while you’re swimming and you’ll stumble across the sunken ship you’re looking for.

On the ship, you’ll find Vald’s Lockbox, and the Quill is in that lockbox.


Question: How do I find the Quill of Gemination in Skyrim?

Answer: The Quill of Gemination spawns in Lake Honrich after you start The Pursuit quest. It’s found on a shipwreck in the lake halfway between Riften and Goldenglow Estate, just South of Merryfair Farm.

Question: How do I clear Vald’s debt in Skyrim?

Answer: To clear Vald’s debt in Skyrim, you’ll need to speak with Vex during The Pursuit. She’ll send you to speak with Maven Black-Briar who’ll inform you that he lost the Quill of Gemination on her. If you retrieve the Quill from Lake Honrich, she’ll forgive Vald his debt, allowing you to get the key to Mercer Frey’s house.

Question: Should I keep the Quill of Gemination in Skyrim?

Answer: Despite the fact that the Quill of Gemination is a unique item, it’s practically worthless. It can’t be sold for a high sum, and it does nothing. The only use it has is as a trophy piece, but it just looks like a regular quill. There are plenty of ways into Mercer Frey’s home, so there’s no harm in keeping it, but it doesn’t have any use outside of getting Maven Black-Briar to clear Vald’s debts.

Quill of Germination: Conclusion

That’s it for this Quill of Gemination guide. It’s a fun enchanted item in theory. A quill that can recreate any writing the user has seen could surely have some plot significance in a different setting, so it’s a shame to see it relegated to a pointless position.

Still, if you’re doing The Pursuit and you need to find the Quill of Gemination, hopefully, this guide helped you do just that.

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