Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Refuse to take Nocturnal's oath and complete the Thieve's Guild quests anyway and still become Guild Leader.

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Say No to Nocturnal's Oath
A simple mod to avoid Nocturnal's deathly embrace of your soul.

Annoyed that you have to take Nocturnal's Oath and sell your soul to a Daedra in order to complete all of the prerequisites for becoming Guild Master?

Feel frustrated that you have no alternative to giving your soul away to dwell in the Evergloam forever just to defeat Mercer?

Do you hate being railroaded into something because Bethesda doesn't give you choice other than do-as-you're-told or don't complete the game, ever?

Ever feel like backing out of a quest because it doesn't suit your character is really not a choice at all?

What this mod does
Gives you the choice to refuse the Oath in which case Karliah will perform the deed instead.
Or you can continue as normal as per vanilla. The only difference is you now have a choice: no more railroading.
(Karliah will return the Skeleton Key instead if you refuse)

Is it worth it for me?
Pro's: you keep your soul primarily. Nocturnal be damned.
And you can still become Guild Master.
You can keep the key for while if you desire,
just like vanilla: you'll just have to avoid Karliah for a bit.
You get given the Bow later after Karliah has returned the key:
(Karliah will gift it to you since it seems to be her personal possession)

Con's: You have to return the Nightingale Armour
(you're not a Nightingale so it why should Nocturnal let you keep it?)
You also don't get the Nightingale Perks. For the same reason.
There will also be no Nocturnal shrine in the TG Cistern.
You don't get access to Twilight Sepulcher.
Them's the breaks.

So how does it work? What happens instead?

You now have the option to refuse to take Nocturnal's Oath before before entering the chamber.
You then return your Nightingale armour (Brynjolf too since it seems like his heart isn't in it either)
Travel to Irkngthand to take on Mercer Frey just like normal.
After you've escaped Karliah will tell you she'll return the key instead and head off.
After a suitable amount of time (24 hours) Karliah will return to speak to you stating
she's returned the key. She'll also gift you her bow as a thank you.
(You've got to have some reward for helping her avenge the murder of her lover, right?)
Congratulations. You've now completed one of the prequisite quests for becoming Guild Leader.

How do I install it?
Choose your version and use your regular mod manager and install BEFORE you agree to take the Oath from Karliah.

Do NOT attempt to remove the mod before "Darkness Returns" is shown as completed in your journal (Karliah has returned the key and has spoken with you)!

So why did you make it?

Honestly I was really frustrated at having to sell my soul.
To become Guild Master? Just to defeat Mercer Frey? Really?!
Thats a "no" Bethesda. I like choice. Either you can return
the key or someone else can do it instead. Is that too much to ask?
You can do it Bethesda's way or you can do it a different way.

Your choice. Simples.

Q: HELP! Karliah's vanished with the key!! So what happens now?!
A: Whoa, don't panic there. Wait 24 hours ingame and she'll return to you.

Q: Help! Karliah and Brynjolf fail to exit the cave after escaping Irkngthand and the
quest fails to advance any further/nothing happens! (I've converted Better Stealth AI for Followers)

A: thats a conflict with this mod. Place this mod LOWER in the load order than that mod
despite whatever LOOT may say (thanks to Ondrea for pointing it out.)

Q: Karliah or Brynjolf won't budge from the cave/Karliah has gone and won't return.
I've waited days! I have Thieves Guild for Good Guys Mod installed.
A: That mod contains a number of dirty edits/ITM's and one directly affects TG09 and will stop this
mod from working. Place this mod LOWER in your load order than that mod with a bit of luck
that'll fix it, if that doesn't work you'll have to clean that mod yourself.

Q: Mercer Frey is stuck on the top on the statue and I can't move. Whats going on?
A: thats a vanilla bug. Reload an earlier save or use console command
and try pushing him off the thing so he reaches his spot on the book. That ought to unstick him.

Q: Are you going to release an SSE version of this mod?
A: I plan to, I just need to make sure this version works first. Bug fixing multiple versions is tedious.

Q: Wasn't there another mod that did the same thing? Is this a reupload?
A: No its not a reupload I've honestly never seen that mod it was hidden long before I ever
heard of it. I wrote this one myself. From scratch.

Q: Doesn't USLEEP affect some of these quests? Is it compatible or does it forward those things?
A: Ok heres what happens. USLEEP disables a Map Marker (NightingaleCaveMapMarkerREF) when installed then enables it via a script at a certain TG quest stage (TG08A #20). A script on this mod enables the same map marker at the same quest stage. Basically this means it does the same job as USLEEP but without requiring USLEEP as a master. Because I don't want to be tied to USLEEP just for the sake of one object. If you're not using USLEEP the Map Marker is permanently enabled anyway so it makes no difference either way.
Q: Some dialogue looks different...
A: I've modified a few bits of dialogue here and there mainly to remove reference to you as a Nightingale.
Q: Where has Karliah gone? I want to see her fight her way through Twilight Sepulcher!
A: Y'know, I'd love to see that too. Unfortunately theres no easy way to
implement all the necessary dialogue scenes and packages.

Maybe sometime in the future. For now she simply disappears for a bit (24 hours)
Q: So what will happen if I do remove the mod too early?
A: You'll likely break the Nightingale quests.
In which case revert to an earlier save BEFORE you installed the mod. ok?

Q: I've changed my mind about the oath and want to take on the Twilight Sepulcher challenges afterall
and give my soul to Nocturnal! P.S. I don't have an earlier savegame...

A: Seriously?! Ok. But you'll have to do the following before you speak to Karliah after
escaping Irkngthand. Use the following console command:

Set TG08NightingaleNOTRecruited to 0
then her vanilla dialogue will show up and you'll then proceed to Twilight Sepulcher as per normal.
Q: Will I still get the Achievement?
A: You'll still get the Achievement whichever way you complete it.
Q: Can I remove the mod after Darkness Returns is completed?
A: You'll get Karliah referring to you as a Nightingale if you do. Tsun too. There is no way to avoid that afaik.