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The Dark Heart of Blackhall
The Dark Heart of Blackhall.jpg
Quest data
LocationBlackhall Manor
Ritual site
Disaster relief outpost
Dunwich Building
Given ByObadiah Blackhall
Other NPCsMarcella
Reward100 XP and good karma
1000 caps
Editor ID?
Base IDxx002f47
Gametitle-FO3 PL.png
Gametitle-FO3 PL.png

The Dark Heart of Blackhall is a quest in the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout.

Quick walkthrough

  1. Talk to Obadiah Blackhall at Blackhall Manor.
  2. Find the Krivbeknih at the ritual site.
  3. Either:
    1. Bring the book back to Obadiah.
    2. Take the book to the Dunwich Building in the Capital Wasteland and destroy it.

Detailed walkthrough

Enter Blackhall Manor where Obadiah Blackhall tells you of a priceless family heirloom that was taken from him by the swampfolk. He says it's to the east, at the ritual site. Upon leaving Obadiah's home, the player 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 dark ritual of yet unseen evil should it be returned to him. She requests that upon finding the book, you give it to her instead, at the disaster relief outpost, along the coast of Point Lookout.

However, to make either decision, you first have to find the Krivbeknih. Head to the ritual site and look out for the swampfolk guarding the entrance to the site. Look for a small door in the ground amongst the charred remains of a building and head in. Find your way through the chambers to the bottom of the ritual area. Here you will see a mutilated body with a ritual knife thrust into its head, lying on top of a large table. Directly behind the table is a pedestal filled with blood with the book inside. You have the choice to leave it alone, or remove it from the chamber. Upon taking the book, swampfolk reinforcements will begin to pour into the area, furious with your actions. You are very likely to be ambushed by additional swampfolk the moment you leave the basement, so be sure to save or heal up before venturing back to the surface. From here you can return the book to Obadiah or bring it to Marcella.

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

If you take it to Marcella at the disaster relief outpost, you will find that she was murdered in her tent. However, she left a holotape for you; Obadiah apparently hired smugglers to kill her (if he is questioned about this, in one conversation path, he denies it, and in the other, he apologizes for his "indiscretion"..). In addition, "Die thief" is written in blood on the side of the tent, hinting that she was believed to have the book. Listening to the holotape, she begs you to destroy the Krivbeknih. If you wish to do so, you have to return to the Dunwich Building in the Capital Wasteland and venture to the Virulent Underchambers there. You need to access the part where there are metallic corridors near the end of the Virulent Underchambers and then ignore the exit stairs. Enter the lowest level into the tunnels beneath. You will find Jaime worshiping the obelisk. After finding the obelisk in the Dunwich Building you can activate it and the book will ignite in flames. You will be awarded with good Karma.

Quest stages

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  • Once you pick up the book, Marcella will be found dead in her tent even if you take it straight to Obadiah.
  • 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 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 engage him in conversation, you have an extra option of telling him you would hide your bodies in the river.
  • If you destroy the book at 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.
  • If you give the book to Obadiah, you don't lose Karma.

Behind the scenes

Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

At some point during development the plot of this quest was dramatically different. Rather than asking you to seek the book directly, Obadiah would instead request that you deliver a letter to Marcella. This letter in turn is revealed to be a plea for help from Obadiah, who Marcella describes as "a good man, but his family has an evil past."

Marcella explains to the Lone Wanderer that the Krivbeknih was a Blackhall family heirloom with a dark past, the origin of "the heathen Krvibi ritualists" (presumably a group of swampfolk, though not specified), and one Obadiah had hoped to have gotten rid of for good. Marcella states she has separate knowledge that the book, stolen years ago without the knowledge of the Krivbi, has somehow made its way back to Point Lookout in the hands of the Krivbi, who now hold the book. At this point the Lone Wanderer would be tasked with obtaining the Krivbeknih from the ritual site, the location given by Marcella.

After obtaining the book, Marcella would be found dead. However, dialog with Obadiah later would indicate that it was Krivbi who had murdered her. Blackhall reacts with shock at both Marcella's death as well as the presence of the book, which he had assumed was long gone after it was stolen years ago. His reaction to the latter is more severe, as he then explains that it his obligation to destroy it as "the last Blackhall." The only way he knows to do so requires a sacrifice, namely Obadiah himself, especially since the Krivbi would almost certainly kill him in order to get the book back.

Although he is committed to sacrificing himself in order to be rid of the "family Bane," if prompted, Obadiah explains that there is one other way he could think of to destroy the book, though it is beyond his abilities.

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.

At this point the player would be given the option of accepting the task and taking the Krivbeknih to the Obelisk housed in the Dunwich Building in order to destroy it, or telling Obadiah, "I'm sorry, I think you have to do this on your own." Obadiah would agree if the latter choice is selected, and presumably would proceed to execute the ritual and sacrifice himself.

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

Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 3 cut content.


  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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.
  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png 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".
  • PCIcon pc.png If you are to use the resurrect command on Marcella's dead body, she will be alive but with no dialogue options.