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Swampfolk, who, I should mention, absconded with a book, a precious family heirloom. I wanted to ask you, friend; will you get it back?Obadiah Blackhall

The Dark Heart of Blackhall is a side quest in the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout. The player character is tasked with finding Obadiah Blackhall's book, the Krivbeknih, which was stolen from him by some swampfolk.

Quick walkthrough

Side Quest: The Dark Heart of Blackhall
Locate Blackhall Manor and speak to Obadiah Blackhall about locating the Krivbeknih.
Exit the manor, encounter Marcella and listen to her story.
Locate the ritual site and search the burned-out basement catacombs for the Krivbeknih.
Reward: The Krivbeknih and the ritual knife.
Return the Krivbeknih to Obadiah.
Take the Krivbeknih to the disaster relief outpost to return it to Marcella.
Speak with Obadiah.
Battle the smugglers and find Marcella dead. Search her tent and find information about the Dunwich Building.
Give Obadiah the Krivbeknih.
Kill Obadiah.
Go to the Dunwich Building and locate the Virulent Underchambers.
Defeat Jaime and bring the Krivbeknih to the obelisk.
Reward: 100 XP, 1000 caps.
Reward: 100 XP and good Karma.

Detailed walkthrough

Enter Blackhall Manor, where Obadiah will speak of a book that has been stolen from him and taken to the east, at the ritual site. Upon leaving Obadiah's home, the player character is met by Marcella, a missionary spreading her faith across the wastes. She claims that Obadiah actually wants the book for more than just keepsakes, and plans to use it for a ritual to control the swampfolk, and under no circumstances should it be returned to him. She requests that upon finding the book, it should be given to her instead, at the disaster relief outpost, in the western half of Point Lookout.

However, to make either decision, the Krivbeknih must first be found. Head to the ritual site and look out for the swampfolk guarding the entrance to the area. Look for a small door in the ground amongst the charred remains of a building and head in. Navigate through the chambers to the bottom of the ritual area where a mutilated body with a ritual knife thrust into its head, lying on top of a large table can be seen.

Directly behind the table is a pedestal with the book inside. Upon taking the book, swampfolk reinforcements will begin to pour into the area, furious with the attempted theft. It is likely to be ambushed by additional swampfolk upon leaving the basement. Once out and the area is clear, either return the book to Obadiah or bring it to Marcella.

If taking it to Marcella at the disaster relief outpost, the player character will discover that she was killed in her tent and may be ambushed by at least one smuggler. Obadiah apparently hired smugglers to kill her.[1] In addition, "Die thief" is written in blood on the side of the tent.

There is a holotape in the same tent as Marcella. Upon listening to it, she begs the player character to destroy the Krivbeknih. If wishing to do so, the player character must venture to the Virulent Underchambers in the Dunwich Building, back in the Capital Wasteland. Access the part where there are metallic corridors near the end of the underchambers, and then ignore the exit stairs. Enter the lowest level into the tunnels beneath where Jaime can be found (if not previously killed) worshipping the obelisk. After finding the obelisk in the Dunwich Building, activate it and the book will ignite in flames and also incinerate the nearby feral ghouls.

If deciding to take the book to Obadiah, he'll reward the player character with 1000 caps. Nothing else changes - he will still go to the basement and pray, whether or not the book has been destroyed.

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There is... another option. I could never make the journey myself, though. North, far to the north. Constance had a brother, Richard Dunwich. He was a wealthy businessman outside of the city to the north, had a company building there. His obsession with the occult was as great as her own, and there's an object of great evil in that building. The book has been drawn to it before. To take the book there would destroy it. You would have to take that journey, though, and you must not fail if you attempt it.

Though the associated scripting and objectives for this version of the quest are no longer present in the DLC, a large portion of the dialogue remains, including voice resources for all of Marcella's dialogue. It can be accessed in the G.E.C.K. under the quest ID DLC04FF02graveyard.

Reward

  • If giving The Krivbeknih to Obadiah Blackhall, the player character's reward is 1000 caps and 100 XP for completing the quest.
  • Alternatively, destroying the book with the Obelisk in the Dunwich Building will net positive Karma (500 points) and the same 100 XP.
  • Alternatively, the book can be given to Obadiah as the reward. He then can be killed for no Karma loss. The book can now be taken to the Dunwich building and destroyed or kept as a souvenir. It’s one of the few unique items in the game that’s actually unique in appearance as well as name.

Quest stages

StageStatusDescription
10 Retrieve the Blackhall Family's Book from the ritual site.
15 Retrieve the Krivbeknih from the ritual site.
29 Return the Blackhall Family's Book to Obadiah.
30 Return the Krivbeknih to Obadiah OR Marcella.
31Quest finishedReturn the Krivbeknih to Marcella.
40 Investigate Marcella's Death Scene.
240Quest finishedTake the Krivbeknih to Obadiah OR Take it to the Dunwich Building in the Capital Wasteland.
241Quest finishedTake the Krivbeknih to the Dunwich Building in the Capital Wasteland.

Notes

  • Before retrieving the book, the player may follow Marcella back to her tent at the disaster relief outpost for conversations about the Bible and Point Lookout.
  • If you leave through the side door, you may instead encounter Marcella en route to the ritual site.
  • Once you pick up the book, Marcella will be found dead in her tent even if you take it straight to Obadiah. You can question him about her death - but he'll deny any involvement unless pressed, when he'll hint he 'arranged' it. He shows no remorse, and instead insists there's now no reason to hold onto the book.
  • If you kill Obadiah before giving the Krivbeknih to either him or Marcella, there is no way to get the 1,000 caps he promised you for returning the book to him. The caps do not appear on his body.
  • If doing a non-combat approach to the quest: When sneaking through the chambers of the ritual site, look out once you take the book. There will be swampfolk running from the corners of the chamber who may run into you. Even when equipped with the Chinese stealth armor and taking a Stealth Boy, you will be detected once they come in contact with you.
  • If you decide to give it to Obadiah, you can follow him to his basement, and see him on his knees in front of a table with a dead creeper on it.
  • If you destroy the book at the Dunwich Building and then return to Blackhall Manor, Obadiah will act just the same as if you'd given the book to him, asking you to leave and praying at the basement.
  • The player and any ghouls that are within view of the Obelisk in the Virulent Underchambers will burst into flames when the book is placed against the Obelisk, but the flames are not lethal to the player character.
  • If you give the book to Obadiah, you don't lose Karma.
  • This book, the Krivbeknih, is the book that Jaime's dad was searching for, as mentioned in the personal journal holotapes found throughout the Dunwich Building.
  • You can use Blackhall Manor as your own house if you want to. There's even a safe to put your things in (requires a lockpick of 50 or more) with no Karma loss for opening it. In fact, nothing in the house comes up with red text, so it is free to be taken with no Karma loss as well.
  • There may be a chance that Marcella gets killed on her way to her tent. If this happens you can't complete her side of the quest.
  • This is the only quest in Fallout 3 that begins in an add-on and that the player can complete in the Capital Wasteland (other than Broken Steel).

Bugs

  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 It appears that if you take the book from the ritual site and head to Blackhall Manor to return it, you will engage in a conversation with Obadiah Blackhall. If you tell him you haven't decided what you're going to do with the book, he will mention Marcella. You then will have the option to say she is dead, even if you have not visited her yet and seen her corpse. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible that upon returning to the Capital Wasteland to finish the quest, the map marker will be located in the center of the map next to Springvale Elementary School instead of at the Dunwich Building, which is located in the bottom left corner of the map. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible that Marcella won't show up dead in her tent, though the smugglers have conquered her camp. You can however use the console to manually update your questlog by using the command on the PC setstage xx002f47 240, where 'xx' must be replaced by the number the Point Lookout-DLC gets in your load order. Your questlog now lets you choose between helping Obadiah or Marcella. [verified]
    • This appears to be caused by obtaining the Krivbeknih before speaking to Marcella in her tent. If the player speaks to her before obtaining the book or before starting the quest, she will appear in the tent after the smugglers attack. Only speaking to her outside Blackhall Manor after receiving the quest will prevent the bug.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Upon discovering the Krivbeknih in the underground shrine, the player will see that it is resting within a font. From most angles the font looks empty with the exception of a skull and the book itself. However, if the player is to view the font from certain angles it is actually filled with what is presumably blood, which disappears and reappears depending on the player's point of view. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 For some people, listening to Marcella's holotape causes the game to crash. This makes it impossible to complete the quest in the method of "giving her the book instead of Blackhall" without using the console command "setstage". [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Upon exiting the ritual site, the game sometimes crashes. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Marcella's safe may remain red after you find her dead in her tent, causing you to lose Karma even if you open the safe with her key.[verified]

References

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