"Mirabelle brings word that Lady Aelinore desires a secret meeting. Even as Arisen, dare you grant such a request?"
- Visit Mirabelle in the castle gardens after sunset to glean further details.
This quest is ONLY obtainable if you speak to The Duchess Aelinore in the Duchess' Gardens on the Arisen's FIRST visit to the Duke's Demesne during the quest Come to Court, immediately after meeting the Duke in the quest Come to Court, but BEFORE leaving the castle grounds. If this unique encounter is missed, the opportunity to undertake her special quests and romance will be gone for the rest of the playthrough.
After Come to Court, return to the Duke's Demesne later and speak to her handmaiden Mirabelle, usually found in the main keep of the Duke's castle, the Audience Chamber, the entrance hall or around the upper floor.
Mirabelle will ask to meet the Arisen at night in the gardens on a private matter. Accept this request to begin the quest.
Meet Mirabelle by Night
Mirabelle will be in the Duchess' Gardens to the northwest of the keep. Mirabelle will inform the Arisen that the Duchess wants to meet the Arisen in secret in her bedchambers, again at night, in the northeastern tower. Accept the request to continue the quest.
Take caution as being spotted by the guards at night will result in being thrown into the dungeons.
Meet Aelinore by Night
To get to Aelinore's room, head towards the tower at the far end of the castle.
The tower is accessed via stairs from the northeast corner of the audience chamber.
If entering the castle at night, any contact with the palace guards will result in being thrown into prison.
Guards patrol both the gardens and main chambers of the castle - there are numerous routes into the castle - the servants rooms can be used to hide in whilst guards pass as they never enter.
An alternative and simpler method is to enter the castle at day, take the stairs to the tower, and then hide in the upper area of the keep accessed by a ladder until night falls.
Enter the tower at night to meet with the Duchess. A romantic scene begins but is interrupted by the Duke and his jester Feste and the Arisen is forced to hide.
Next the Duke, maddened by the moon, and his own personal loss loses his grip on reality and assaults Aelinore, strangling her. The Arisen then has two choices:
- Interfere, and approach to stop the Duke in his madness.
- Do nothing , remaining hidden, allowing the Duke to finish what he started.
Only the first will save Aelinore, the second condemns her to death at the Duke's hands. Regardless of the choice, the Arisen will eventually be discovered and thrown into the dungeons.
Escape the Dungeon
After being found and captured the Arisen will be placed in the dungeons and must escape.
If Aelinore was saved she will visit the Arisen there and provide two Skeleton Keys with which the Arisen can make an escape. Otherwise the Arisen must escape without aid.
The southwest cell contains a broken wall and entrance to sewers, and thence to the The Slums of Gran Soren. On exit, the quest is complete.
- Failing to intervene (the second option) in the bedroom scene will remove Aelinore from the game until New Game Plus. The following quests will therefore be unavailable for this playthrough : Duchess In Distress and Beyond This Stony Cage. It will also remove any romance options with Aelinore.
- The opportunity to do this quest will pass if it is not completed before Reward and Responsibility, resulting in failure if it had not been completed.
- Getting thrown in the dungeon in the Duke's throne room during the quest Come to Court will make it impossible to obtain this quest.
- It can be useful to combine this quest with the quest An Innocent Man. If combining quests, be sure to bring an extra Skeleton Key to open Ansell's cell.