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(lore page)
Location Willowgrove Cavern
Riverside Riding Company, Clavicus Vile Shrine
Dreaming Cave, Crystal Tower
Species Dog
Health 39959
Reaction Friendly
Barbas as a dog

Barbas is the servant of Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Wishes. As a shapeshifting Daedra, he usually manifests as a Whiterun Wolfhound, and sometimes a Skaafin.

Barbas can be found in Willowgrove Cavern. When Vile granted the wish of Pircalmo, a mage visiting Willowgrove, Barbas became bound to Vile's altar in the Cavern.

Barbas can also be encountered on Vvardenfell in the form of a Skaafin, assisting Clavicus Vile with his plot to discover the location of Sotha Sil's Clockwork City, as well as on Summerset. He serves as a guide up to the Crystal Tower in the Fields of Regret.

Related QuestsEdit

Skills and AbilitiesEdit

You will fight Barbas during Divine Restoration.

Barbas rushes the target, swinging his blades when he arrives. He prefers to lunge at rooted targets, so if you stay close to Barbas, then he won't lunge. This ability serves as a gap-closer, and if you're hit, you'll be knocked back.
Spinning Blades
Barbas leaps into the air, slicing nearby targets with both of his blades. This ability appears as a circular AoE, deals high damage, and will knock you back if you get hit. Stay out of the circle.
Divine Hijack
Barbas channels Vivec's stolen energy to unleash many circular AoEs that deal moderate damage. You'll experience knockback if you get hit.
Barbas hurls a bolt of flame at a distant target, rooting them in place. It deals moderate flame damage. Use of this ability triggers lunge. He won't use this ability if you stay close to him.

Quest-Related EventsEdit

Questionable ContractEdit

Enter the cave and you'll eventually hear a voice:

Barbas: "Hey mortal! Come on over here!"

Speaking to the talking dog:

"Hey there mortal! How you doing?"
Hello … talking dog?
"Hah, you mortals. You always make me laugh. Yup, I'm a talking dog. Name's Barbas. I'm a companion to the Daedric Prince of Wishes. Guy by the name of Clavicus Vile."
Why are you here?
"Hold on, hold on, we'll get to that in a moment. I bet you're here about all those Atronachs, right? That stupid mage let his magic get away from him."
Yes? What do you know about it?
"Well, this altar here next to me is the cause of all his problems. He had this silent plea to have something work well, just once in his life. The altar twisted that up. And … to be honest it keeps me bound here."
Why are you bound here?
"Look, do you want to fix things for that guy or not? His wife will get eaten if you sit around talking to dogs all day. If you want to set things right you'll have to smash the altar."
Fine, I'll smash the altar.

Asking a couple questions about Barbas:

"We'll both be happier with that altar smashed. You'll see!"
Now will you answer some questions?
"Sure, mortal. What can old Barbas tell you?"
Can you tell me more about Clavicus Vile?
"He's a pain in my furry butt, that's what he is. He's the Daedric Prince of deals. Make a wish, seal a pact, and he'll be there to grant you all the power you want. For a price, obviously."
Why are you down here?
"Vile and I have a … complicated relationship. How can I explain it to you? Uh … oh, I'm a dog right? He put me in the dog house. Won't let me home unless somebody else lets me out."
Why is the altar here?
"I don't really know. I guess there was some kind of cult here in the March, a long time ago? Or maybe it represents the site of some kind of important pact. Even Vile's forgotten about this old place, now."
What are you?
"That's kind of a rude question, isn't it? I'm a dog. Look at my snuggly fur and cute wiggling tail! I'm adorable!"

Smash the altar and Barbas will run out of the cave and disappears in the distance as he mocks you:

Barbas: "Good luck with … whatever it was, mortal!"

If you speak to him before he runs off:

"Thank you. I'm free again, finally. Time to leave this blasted cave. I hope whatever it was you were hoping to happen does, in fact, happen."

You'll find him in Willowgrove after the quest.

"Did you know this town has mead? They'll even feed it to dogs who ask nicely. Good choice, saving these people. Or whatever it is you did. You should've mentioned the mead before."

Divine ConundrumEdit

Who's that dog up there?

While talking to Canon Llevule outside the Andrano Ancestral Tomb, a dog appears above the tomb and watches the conversation with great interest. He runs off as you go to enter the tomb.

Divine InquiriesEdit

Barbas runs away from his mischievous prank

In Balmora while on your way to investigate the Shulk Ore Mine, if you pass by the stables for the first time, you'll come across Aleri Merys kneeling down in front of a Dog, and she stands up as it runs off. The two dunmer ladies who were just attacked by a dog will say:

Aleri Merys: "Ow! Stupid dog!"
Undena Andarys: "What happened? Let me see!"
Aleri Merys: "I just tried to pet it! Damn dog bit me."
Undena Andarys: "Leave it alone! There's something strange about that dog."

The dog will stop next to the Tharys ancestral tomb to look on at the two ladies before running off to the east, and the ladies will have moved on after you leave the area. Though not explicitly stated, it's likely that the dog is in fact Barbas up to his old tricks.

Divine InterventionEdit

Throughout the main quest, you'll assist Archcanon Tarvus with Vivec's troubles. But towards the end of Divine Intervention the Archcanon will reveal his true identity:

Barbas: "You're too late! I see it now, the Clockwork City! Look what Barbas found for you, Master!"

A version of the Clockwork City appears and Barbas vanishes… with Sunna'rah.

Divine RestorationEdit

Enter the Clockwork City with Barilzar and Barbas will give chase:

Barbas: "Ah, my favorite dupe has finally arrived!"
Barbas: "Oh dear, oh dear. Locked tight! Lucky for me, I've got Sunna'rah!"
Barbas in Skaafin form

When you catch up with him in the Clockwork City, you can speak with him:

"You may not believe this, but I really am happy to see you. I grew rather fond of you while I inhabited that dreadful Dark Elf form. Now you get to see me in all my glory.
And soon, you'll be able to witness my greatest achievement!"
And what great achievement is that?
"I'm going to bring my Master's grandest plan ever to fruition! He'll be so proud of me!
Just stay out of my way and enjoy the show. I promise, it will be highly entertaining!"
Your Master's grandest plan?
"Oh yes indeed! The grandest! My Master and his partners seek to ….
Oh no, no, no. Bad Barbas! I almost gave away the surprise! You're a tricky one, you are. But my Master will be so pleased that I stepped in and made his plan even better!"
Why go to all this trouble just to get into the Clockwork City?
"My Master has been trying to find this place for the longest time. He actually set the ball rolling. I saw an opportunity to improve his plan and make it better, so I took the initiative.
This will get me back in my Master's good graces, you'll see!"
How long were you disguised as Tarvus?
"Worried about the Archcanon? The poor old man. He died in his sleep, all peaceful like. I saw an opportunity and leapt right in. Stupid Vivec! He never even noticed.
I was masterful in the role, though, don't you agree?"
Barbas: "Nice chat, but I've got to run. I have a barrel of Vivec energy to collect!"

With that announcement, the shapeshifter will run off behind the locked gate.

As you continue to chase Barbas through the Maintenance Junction, he'll taunt you along the way:

Barbas: "All done, must run!"
Barbas: "No one ever catches the Hound!"
Barbas: "You are persistent, I'll give you that."
Barbas: "Looks like you need more skaafin!"
Barbas: "Look, Master! Vivec's toy found a way through, just like you said!"
Barbas: "But Barbas has Sunna'rah! What does Vivec's toy have?"

Once you enter the Engineering Junction, you'll hear:

Barbas: "Master, I'm close to our goal! With Vivec's energy, I can open a portal and …."
Clavicus Vile: "Pray this works, my hound, for you interfered with a plan that wasn't intended for the likes of you."
Barbas: "I'm so close, Master! Soon the secrets of Sotha Sil's city will be yours!"
Clavicus Vile: "Get on with it, dog! Grant me access to the Clockwork City and I'll reward you a thousandfold!"
Barbas: "Master, why do you bother with partners when you have such a faithful servant in me?"
Clavicus Vile: "Questioning me, Barbas? Again? Have you learned nothing from your last banishment?"

Once you're inside the Divinity Atelier, he'll mock you:

Barbas: "You can't stop me if the defenses won't let you in!"
(lore page)
Location Clockwork City Vault
Race Skaafin Gender Male
Health 334609 Difficulty  
Reaction Hostile
Other Information
Faction(s) The Triad
Barbas levitating with the power absorbed from Sunna'rah

Reach Barbas and face him in combat:

Barbas: "I've turned this contrivance into a portal machine!"
Barbas: "Like my new armor? I wanted to wear something special when I kill you."
Barbas: "Here, let me give you a taste of divine power!"
Barbas: "Patience, Master. The portal is almost ready!"
Barbas: "Can't you feel it? The way to Oblivion is opening wide!"
Barbas: "It's working, Master! Vivec's energy was the key!"

After defeating him, you'll use Sunna'rah to pull the energy back into the staff. Return to the central area and Barbas will be back to his familiar dog form and hear Clavicus Vile call him back to his side:

Clavicus Vile: "Such a good and faithful hound! You have done enough for now."

You'll try to teleport to Vivec City, but end up at a shrine of Clavicus Vile. After speaking to Vile, Barbas will try to give warning:

Barbas: "Master …."
Clavicus Vile: "Quiet, dog! Haven't you—wait, who dares intrude upon my lesson?"
Barilzar: "Found you! Over here … oh. Clavicus Vile. This isn't good."

A Necessary AllianceEdit

(lore page)
Home City Alinor
Species Dog
Reaction Friendly
Barbas! Bad dog!

In Alinor, Razum-dar will speak of a meeting with a "Strange Dog". He'll tell you that the dog requested a meeting with you. Look for him and you'll find the stray:

Strange Dog: "You again? All right, follow me."

Follow him through the city streets until he stops on the banks of the river:

Barbas: "It's me, Barbas. Let's talk."
"Vile told me to find the mortal flea that continues to pester him and deliver a message. He's terrible with mortal names, but I immediately thought of you. Glad to see that my intuition's as sharp as ever!
Oh, yeah. I've got a message for you."
What does Clavicus Vile want?
"My master's less than pleased with the way Nocturnal treated him. He wanted to be the first one to betray the triad.
Look, he wanted me to make sure to tell you he's not upset about the whole Vivec thing. At least, not any more."
What does Clavicus Vile want to talk about?
"Probably wants to make some kind of a deal. That's his bread and butter, you know.
You can do what you want, but I figure you're even more angry with Nocturnal for the way she evaporated your friend and took the Heart of Transparent Law."
So how do I talk to Clavicus Vile?
"He told me you could find him in the caves just north of the city. Just be nice to him when you get there. He's still a little upset over how the triad broke up and all that."
I'll go to the caves and talk to Clavicus Vile.
"My master has been livid since Nocturnal betrayed him. That's why I've been keeping my distance. Do me a favor and try not to make him any more irritated when you talk to him. I'd hate to see something bad happen to you.
Oh wait, no I wouldn't."

You can continue to talk to the pup:

Tell me more about Clavicus Vile.
"What? You never heard of the Daedric Prince of Bargains? The ruler of the Fields of Regret and the lord of tricks and wishes? Well, don't tell him that! He's upset enough as it is.
He had such high hopes until Nocturnal betrayed their partnership."
Remind me, who are you again?
"I'm Barbas! Sure, I may look like a talking dog, but I'm actually … a talking dog! I'm my master's faithful hound and servant, although I have a tendency to annoy my Prince. Not sure why that is.
Anyway, this is just one of my favorite forms."

Exit out of the conversation and Barbas will immediately begin grooming himself.

Make your way to The Vaults of Heinarwe and Barbas will greet you:

Barbas: "Look at that, you can follow directions! My master's waiting for you deeper inside."
"I think I'll wait here. Vile let some of his more ferocious minions loose in the cave, and sometimes they don't differentiate between friend and food.
Try not to get killed before you hear what my master has to offer."

The Crystal TowerEdit

Speaking to Barbas in the Dreaming Cave before the meeting:

"What? Sotha Sil let me in. How else am I supposed to lead you through the Fields of Regret and to the Crystal Tower?
Now could we hurry this up, please? Nocturnal's not going to wait forever to tear reality apart, you know."

During the meeting:

Barbas: "I'll lead you through the Fields of Regret to reach the Crystal Tower."
Darien: "Hey! That dog just talked!"
Leythen: "I can establish contact with Mephala. She's ready to appear if you're willing to lower the defenses."
Sotha Sil: "Oriandra, Valsirenn, assist me. Let us open a path and not keep the Prince of Secrets waiting."

After Mephala leaves, Barbas transforms in a poof of orange, taking on his Skaafin form.

Barbas: "Now it's my turn. Let me use the gift my master gave you and I'll get you to the Crystal Tower."
Sotha Sil: "Heed Mephala's advice and keep your companions close to the diamond. Without it, you would be lost in the darkness between realities.
Now, recover the Heart and restore Transparent Law. Just remember, you must find a relic imbued with divine energy."

Looking over the cliff within the Fields of Regret, you'll see familiar purple magic falling from the sky... Barbas is down there, observing the smoking anomalies. Pursue him. You can jump off the cliff and break your legs or use the path to your right.

Barbas: "Bother and bones! Nocturnal sends creatures into our realm? Not while Barbas is on guard! Skaafin, come forth!"
Leythen: "Where are you going, creature?"
Barbas: "I promised to show you the way. There, follow that path. That's the way to the tower. Now, I have a realm to defend!"
Darien: "I don't think I like Barbas very much."

Make your way over to the tower, where Barbas will appear to send you off. Barbas: "What a mess! And to think we're depending on the actions of mortals! Ah, well, let's talk."

Speak to him in front of the Tower.

"Nocturnal dares much, attacking my master's realm!
But here you are, safe and sound. The Crystal Tower. At least, it's the version that exists in the Fields of Regret. Now I really need to get back to barking and biting Nocturnal's minions."
We can enter the tower and reach Nocturnal from here?
"Well, that depends on how good Mephala's magic is. If you're attuned to the Resolute Anchor like she promised, then the doors of the Crystal Tower will open at your approach.
If not, you'll more than likely die on the doorstep."
Aren't you supposed to come with us?
"That was the plan, yes. But plans changed when Nocturnal attacked my master's realm. Now Clavicus Vile wants me to repel those invaders and start preparing contingencies in case you fail.
Understand, I have no contingencies, so try not to fail."
What can we expect inside the Crystal Tower?
"I've never been inside a tower that straddles every reality, but I expect you're going to have to go up, up, up!
If you do reach the Night Mistress, bite her once for me!"
We're going inside now.

He gives you one final word before leaving to defend Vile's realm in dog-form.

Barbas: "Remember Mephala's warning: Stray too far from the Resolute Anchor, and you'll be lost between realities."





  1. ^ Ichnoski, B. [ZOS_BeckyIchnoski]. (2017, June 28). Favorite Daedric voice? Hmm, I'd probably go with Barbas who is voiced by Keith Szarabajka in our game. [Comment on the online forum post Welcome to the ESO Audio Team AUA]. Reddit. (archived)