The dark brotherhood quests

The dark brotherhood quests DEFAULT

Skyrim: All Pros & Cons Of Joining The Dark Brotherhood

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood guild has a remarkable story with unique characters and rewards, but turns the Dragonborn into a villain.

TheDark Brotherhood in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an infamous assassination guild that equips players with powerful weapons and armor to eliminate individuals. Similar to the Thieves Guild, the Dark Brotherhood once held great sway in Skyrim's criminal underworld. However, their membership has fallen due to the downsides of the organization and a departure from their core tenants. Players will have the opportunity to join the Dark Brotherhood during their darkest times and have a chance to return the group to its former glory.

The Dark Brotherhood once held dominion over all of Tamriel and presented a considerable threat in other Elder Scrolls titles. Their core tenets revolve around their worship of Sithis, the Dread-Father, the deity of emptiness, and the Void. The Dark Brotherhood's previous iterations took their orders from the Night Mother, the burnt husk of a woman who speaks Sithis' desires to a chosen member of the Brotherhood. However, Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood abandoned this worship and adopted independent styles of operation.

Related: Elder Scrolls 6: How The Fighter's Guild Could Return After Skyrim

The Dark Brotherhood's greatest drawback is its merciless killing of many characters. Players may find their favorite merchant or bard becoming their next target. Many charming characters, such as Lurbuk, must be killed to progress the guild's main questline. Their contracts may result in players halting all progress toward the Dark Brotherhood's quests. Dragonborns who have the stomach to continue are rewarded with gold, armor, and weapons. Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood quests reward 20,000 gold, the Blade of Woe (which steals health from opponents), and the Ancient Shrouded Armor set. These rewards enable players to become more powerful by purchasing rare materials and equipping them to face deadlier foes.

Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood Family Is Doomed

Despite the moral implications of the Dark Brotherhood, some unique characters will appear in the guild's quest. Skyrim's Brotherhood is one of the most diverse groups in the game, featuring Argonians, Vampires, Werewolves, and more. Each character has their reasons for joining the Brotherhood and is quick to welcome the Dragonborn among their ranks. Their bloody line of work fails to diminish the familial bonds of the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, players will lose half of their new family to a raid by Skyrim's Imperial forces. The Sanctuary will be set aflame, with the charred corpses of the Dark Brotherhood's members found in the aftermath.

After joining the Dark Brotherhood, it's virtually impossible to justify Skyrim's Dragonborn as a heroic character from a roleplaying perspective. The heinous actions necessary to progress the quest are motivated by money and little more. The Dark Brotherhood's questline allows players to take a vital role in history by assassinating the Emperor and participate in several thrilling assassination missions. The conclusion of the quest even enables the Dragonborn to begin rebuilding the Brotherhood.

Whether players join the Dark Brotherhood or not, their journeys will involve many deaths. Monsters, raiders, bandits, and dragons will all need to be slain by players during their travels through Skyrim. However, players willing to overlook the atrocities the Dark Brotherhood asks them to commit will experience one of Skyrim's most remarkable stories and guild quests.

Next: Which Elder Scrolls Game's Mages Guild Questline Is Best


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Natalie Lindner is a Game Features Writer for Screen Rant, creating content on the past, present, and future of games in the industry. Prior to this, she worked out of a writing consultancy in Rhode Island from 2018 to 2021, where she helped college students improve their writing abilities. Natalie has contributed her video game writing to several smaller websites and projects since 2018 and is eager to continue that journey with Screen Rant. Working out of New Hampshire, Natalie spends the time she isn’t writing about games outside; hiking or biking. On those rainy days, she can be found striving for action on the latest FPS or perusing the latest comic books.

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Skyrim:Dark Brotherhood

* These options are only available between these two NPCs, however they can still use other options when talking to each other.


  • Joining the Brotherhood adds a few lines of NPC dialogue, like with other factions. Some guards will say "Psst, I know who you are.... Hail Sithis."
  • Sometimes you may encounter a Dark Brotherhood assassin who carries a contract for your assassination as a random occurrence. This will only happen if you have not completed Innocence Lost, and can happen multiple times.
  • Contracts carried out by The Dark Brotherhood are illegal, unlike a Morag Tongwrit. Therefore, it is vital that no one else sees you commit a murder while carrying out a mission in a city or settlement.
  • Many targets have dialogue options which will provoke them, causing them to initiate combat with you. It is therefore advisable to try provoking targets before killing them to avoid incurring a bounty, especially if you are not particularly skilled at stealth.
  • Most targets are located in such a spot that there will be a vantage point from which you can make a stealthy bow kill.
  • If you have the Misdirection perk and pickpocket Astrid before joining the Brotherhood and steal the Blade of Woe, then pick up her Blade during the quest Death Incarnate, you can have two of these unique weapons.
  • Battle for Solitude will lock at least one Dark Brotherhood quest, including Bound Until Death. Astrid will simply say "You! You're responsible for the siege of Solitude! By Sithis, this undermines all our plans! Fool! Finish that mess, and only then will we speak!"


  • Female Dark Brotherhood Armor Concept Art

  • Plaque of The Five Tenets within Dawnstar Sanctuary

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Oblivion:Dark Brotherhood

The Dark Brotherhood is a guild of professional assassins with considerable influence and power. It is similar to the officially sanctioned Morag Tong of Morrowind, but despite a common misconception is a completely separate organization. Entry is governed not by completing a given task, but by the Brotherhood observing you committing murder. The legality of the organization is much more limited than that of the Morag Tong (or of the Fighters Guild, which also sometimes kills for a bounty).

According to Lucien Lachance, the Dark Brotherhood has sanctuaries all over Cyrodiil; however, only one of these is ever accessible to you: the basement of an abandoned house in Cheydinhal. This particular sanctuary was founded more than 200 years ago.

The current head of the Cheydinhal "family" is Ocheeva. However, new family members are given instructions by Vicente Valtieri. Ocheeva receives instructions from a Speaker, Lucien Lachance, who is also responsible for recruiting new members. Lucien in turn receives his instructions from the Listener. The absolute leader of the Dark Brotherhood is the Night Mother.

Ranks: Murderer, Slayer, Eliminator, Assassin, Executioner*, Silencer, Speaker, Listener.
* The rank of Executioner is not available to you; your promotions skip straight from Assassin to Silencer. However, it is officially one of the possible ranks for a Dark Brotherhood member.

For more information about the history of the Dark Brotherhood, see the lore page.


Murder someone! As you've most likely heard spoken by citizens anywhere in Cyrodiil or the Shivering Isles, the Dark Brotherhood recruits new members by contacting murderers in their sleep. If you want to join and have yet to kill anyone, you must murder an innocent citizen. Upon killing a citizen, whether or not you were detected, a message will appear saying, "Your killing has been observed by forces unknown...". The next time you sleep in a "safe location", a message will appear saying, "The air grows chill and a shadow approaches...". You will then be woken by Lucien Lachance, a Speaker of the Dark Brotherhood. He will offer you membership and describe what you must do to be accepted.

You cannot just personally see to an NPC's death; you must actually murder them in accordance with the game's crime engine. For example, if you have a poison or enchantment that does damage over time, and it's the poison or enchantment, not the initial attack, that does the final point of health damage, you will not trigger the questline.

If you do not wish to level up in the process of joining the Dark Brotherhood, sleeping during the quests Through A Nightmare, Darkly and Where Spirits Have Lease will not cause you to level up.

If you don't want to join the Dark Brotherhood, and have been given the offer to join due to something like the Origin of the Gray Prince, you can avoid joining in two ways:

  1. Forget the quest. It will remain forever in your quest log, but won't bother you.
  2. When Lucien comes around the first time, kill him after talking to him. He is fairly easy, and his murder removes the initiation quest. You can also loot his Black Hand hood and robe. Killing Lachance is also the only way to drop the Blade of Woe, short of following the Dark Brotherhood questline to completion. Since the quest is marked as "completed", the Blade is no longer considered by the game to be an essential inventory item. After you kill Lucien you will never be able to join the Dark Brotherhood.


Almost any non-essential NPC could be killed to trigger the questline. Several other quests involve the deaths of NPCs, some of whom could be used as a target to gain entrance to the Dark Brotherhood (Scripted Deaths shows a non-comprehensive list). After most quests are completed, people involved in the quest could also become valid targets without consequences. Here are some recommended NPCs who make good targets:

  • Adoring Fan: If you have already beaten the Arena questline, you can agree to let him follow you and then lead him into the wilderness where no one is around and kill him. He respawns in a few days.
  • Adventurer: You can kill a non-hostile adventurer in a dungeon if you encounter one. They're usually fairly easy to defeat since your level will always be two above theirs. In fact, if they appear in a dungeon full of bandits, it's easy to mistake an Adventurer for one of the bandits, especially if the bandits are also Orcs. The earliest place you might meet one is Dzonot Cave, a cave on City Isle just south of the bridge leading westwards out of the Talos sector. Adventurers spawn randomly and their presence is never guaranteed.
  • Aelwin Merowald: He gives a fetch and retrieve quest in Weye. Once you finish the quest, he may tell you where his savings are hidden. The key to his savings can be pickpocketed from him or looted from his corpse.
  • Agronak gro-Malog: If you do the Origin of the Gray Prince quest, he will not fight you at the end of the Arena questline, allowing you to kill him without receiving a bounty.
  • Alga: She respawns, so killing her will not permanently remove her from the game. She can be most easily killed in Olav's Tap and Tack.
  • Alval Uvani: He travels frequently and can therefore be killed on the road without witnesses. Killing him early will allow you to skip the Dark Brotherhood quest A Matter of Honor.
  • Arena foes: You can kill them after casting a fear/demoralize spell, which will not incur a bounty.
  • Arnora Auria: After speaking to Jorundr during Two Sides of the Coin, kill her without speaking to her. You will be able to complete the quest and avoid a bounty.
  • Caminalda: During the Anvil Recommendation quest, attacking Caminalda before she attacks you will not give you a bounty but her death will count as a murder.
  • Camonna Tong Thug: Killing one of the two Camonna Tong thugs at Walker Camp will give you no bounty, as neither will report it. If you attack one of them before he attacks you, killing him is counted as a murder. They both respawn in a few days.
  • Captain Renault or Glenroy: Just after the start of the game, Renault dies a scripted death. You can kill her before the assassins do in order to claim the kill, receiving a bounty which will be lifted when you leave the sewers. Near the end of the tutorial, Glenroy will become non-essential and you can kill him to initiate the Dark Brotherhood questline without getting a bounty.
  • Followers: You can murder respawning followers, but this may get you suspended from related guilds.
  • Glarthir: He can be killed without acquiring a bounty when meeting him behind the church, completing the quest Paranoia.
  • Hrol Ulfgar and Nivan Dalvilu: Mephala's Daedric quest requires you to murder these two and frame them for each others' deaths. Given Mephala's alleged relation to the Dark Brotherhood, this can be a particularly fitting way of gaining the guild's invitation.
  • Imperial Legion Foresters: Two can usually be found fighting to the death (fixed by UOP) in the area between Bruma and Applewatch. The winner has low health from the fight and can be killed easily. You will acquire a bounty, but you gain two silver bows, steel arrows, and some pieces of Legion armor.
  • Roxanne Brigette: She resides at the Skooma Den in Bravil. While you could kill any of the Den's residents, she is the only one who will report a crime. Note that visitors can still report crimes.
  • Umbra: She is killed during Clavicus Vile's quest, which normally cannot be started until level 20. However, you can initiate the quest at any level simply by killing her, giving you a bounty-free murder and allowing you to complete the quest at level 1.


  • Access to the CheydinhalSanctuary is only available to members. In particular, this allows you to purchase from M'raaj-Dar who sells a number of unique magical items and spells. His spells do not follow standard formats, and some of them are cheaper in magicka cost than any other comparable spell.
  • Note that if you are expelled from the brotherhood, access through the sanctuary's main door is prohibited. If you have earned the Sanctuary Well Key you can enter the Sanctuary that way, but members will attack you on sight and reject any attempt to yield to them.
  • There is an opportunity to become a Vampire.
  • You gain access to weightless Poisoned Apples. These may be purchased from M'raaj-Dar in the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, or you can take ten apples every three days from a barrel in Lucien's Chamber in Fort Farragut. The apples in the barrel are available to anyone, but you will normally only learn about them through the Dark Brotherhood. Poisoned Apples bypass poison resistances, so they provide a sure (but tricky) method to kill most people.
  • You can receive numerous unique or leveled items, generally as bonuses for successfully completing quests.
  • Once you have acquired the rank of Listener (by completing the final Dark Brotherhood quest, Honor Thy Mother), you can have one of the Dark Brotherhood Murderers follow you as a henchman. One of the Murderers is also a very convenient merchant, since she has very low Mercantile skill, buys stolen goods (unlike M'raaj-Dar), and has an extremely high disposition towards you. As Listener, you may also complete tasks to earn 200 gold per week.


  • As long as nobody sees you when you kill someone, you will not gain a Bounty or have any subsequent problems with the law. However, completing Dark Brotherhood quests automatically earns you Infamy points. As explained in detail on the article on Infamy, gaining infamy has several effects. One of the most notable is that if your Infamy exceeds your Fame you cannot use temple altars for healing. You may also have difficulty with the Knights of the Nine questline.
  • The Dark Brotherhood is not as well accepted in Cyrodiil as the Morag Tong is in Morrowind; the latter is a government-sanctioned guild of assassins. In Cyrodiil, even trying to contact the Dark Brotherhood is illegal, not to mention being a part of it. If you are caught in the act of a murder, you are on your own. Whichever way you want to handle your bounty, the Brotherhood will not endanger other agents by helping you – unlike the Thieves Guild, which will help its members pay off their bounties.
  • If you break The Five Tenets you are exiled from the Dark Brotherhood and have to defeat the Wrath of Sithis to be reinstated. However, you only have two chances before you are dismissed permanently.
    • The only Tenets you have any chance of breaking in the game are the Fourth and Fifth, which prohibit you from stealing from or killing your fellow assassins, respectively. There is no way, through conversations or your character's actions, to break the first three Tenets. Saying you're not ready for a contract is not the same as refusing to carry out an order.
    • During the quest The Purification, you gain permanent immunity from the Tenets, and from that point on it is impossible to be expelled from the Brotherhood.
The abandoned house above the main safe haven of the Dark Brotherhood.

Dark Brotherhood Quests[edit]

The Dark Brotherhood questline is unusual in that in between each of the first ten actual quests there is a brief mini-quest that appears in your journal. The only purpose of the mini-quest is to instruct you to ask about your next contract. When you talk to Vicente or Ocheeva the mini-quest is considered complete. The names of the mini-quests are provided here, but they do not have their own quest pages and are generally not taken into account when describing the sequence of Dark Brotherhood quests.

Initiation Quest[edit]

  • A Knife in the Dark: You must prove your worthiness to join the Brotherhood. Initiated by the unprovoked murder of any NPC.

Contract Quests[edit]

Vicente Valtieri's Quests[edit]

Ocheeva's Quests[edit]

Lucien Lachance's Quest[edit]

Black Hand Quests (Dead Drop Quests)[edit]

Lucien Lachance's Quest #2[edit]

Black Hand Quests[edit]

  • Honor Thy Mother: Root out the traitor and end his trail of carnage.
  • Whispers of Death: Relay the prayers of the vengeful to ensure their vengeance is fulfilled. (Never finishes, since you can perform your duties as Listener indefinitely)

Non-Contract Quests[edit]

Overall Killing Hints[edit]

  • While doing the Dark Brotherhood Quests, you may use poisoned apples to kill NPCs silently and without a bounty. Ten respawn in a barrel with a very hard lock in Fort Farragut where Lucien Lachance is located. M'raaj-Dar also sells them; the poisoned apples have a base cost of 300 gold each.
  • There is a great alternative to poisoned apples, though. While pickpocketing, you can only place things in an NPC's inventory that have 0 weight, such as Mages' hoods. You can first enchant them with a soul gem to do 'damage on self' then put it in your target's inventory. The best time to do this is while they are sleeping — making sure to pickpocket any helmet they currently have. When they awaken, they will wear their new hood and it will kill them slowly, but much faster than waiting for them to eat a poisoned apple. Waiting for the mark to eat an apple could take a few days; using a burning, freezing or shocking hood takes health down as soon as they wake up. Alternatively, instead of taking their helmet with the risk of them catching you, you can wake them up by talking to them after putting the enchanted hood in their inventory. They will put the hood on when they go back to sleep. Also, if you put a string of "A" characters before the name of the hood, they will put it on when they wake up even if you didn't steal their other hat. This is because, unless an NPC is scripted to put on a specific form of headgear, they will just put on the first type that they come across in their inventory, which is conveniently in alphabetical order.
  • If your character is good at alchemy, make some good poisons (e.g. Triple Damage Poisons) to apply to weapons. Attack whomever you want to kill to take them down in one strike. This will be an assault, so Charm a guard just long enough to talk or yield to him. The Charm spell will ensure he likes you so much that he pays the fine for you.
  • If you have the Vile Lair plug-in and have purchased the upgrade for the "Garden of Venomgrowth" area, you will find three Chokeberry bushes. These berries, unfortunately, weigh 0.1 and therefore cannot be reverse-pickpocketed. You can, however, place them on tables and in containers for NPCs to eat.
  • You can always cast a frenzy spell on your victims in cities. This way if you cannot get them alone or don't want to commit a crime, you can still kill them very quickly and with the help of the guards or anyone else that the victim attacks.
  • Talking to the other Dark Brotherhood members about the contract can sometimes provide useful information (in particular, advice provided by the Argonian Teinaava is often more useful than what you might get from other members).
  • When in a tight spot, use help! If one of your followers kills the target in a battle, you will not get the murder bounty, the follower will.


This is a list of known Dark Brothers. The NPCs who do not have a rank icon are NPCs who are, for various reasons, not members of the standard Dark Brotherhood faction. In most cases they are members of Dark Brotherhood splinter factions (i.e., Dark Brotherhood Elite), and those factions do not have the same rank system as the standard Dark Brotherhood faction. In some cases they are NPCs who are identified during the game as members (primarily victims of the later quests, i.e. Broken Vows onward).

*There are about a dozen small factions associated with the Dark Brotherhood besides the main one.


  • If you hang around in the Sanctuary you may hear the other members have rather morbid, but amusing discussions about their own contracts.
  • If you activate the A Knife in the Dark and while sleeping for the first time inside Anvil'sBenirus Manor during the Quest Where Spirits Have Lease, Lucien will interrupt your fight with the Benirus Manor Ghosts and leave once the conversation is done without offering his assistance, as the ghosts will not attack him.


  • Some members of the Dark Brotherhood will attack on sight with a disposition of less than 30, and retaliation will cause suspension from the faction. ?
  • Two Dark Brotherhood members can be heard talking about a mission and one can be heard stating how "Antoinetta has been running her mouth off again". This line can be said even if the person saying it is talking to Antoinetta herself, and even after you become the Listener (which is after Antoinetta has been killed already). ?
  • It is possible that when going to sleep, the message "autosaving" appears instead of the message "The air grows chill and a shadow approaches...." ?

Skyrim | How to join The Dark Brotherhood assassin's guild

They know. And it's just a matter of time until they find you. Here's how to join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim.

First on Switch and in VR, and now on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S with the 10th Anniversary Edition, Skyrim remains as relevant as ever - so it's important to know who to pledge your allegiance to.

The Dark Brotherhood is one of the most popular quest lines in The Elder Scrolls, and for good bloody reason - who doesn't love a bit of the art of assassination?

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The problem with a secretive society of assassins, however, is that they really do their best to avoid being easily found or detected. That in turn makes it quite a bit more difficult for you to join them, but you thankfully have us to give you a hand. Here's how to get the Dark Brotherhood's attention and impress them enough that they decide they'd rather recruit you than kill you.

How to join The Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim

  • Go to any inn and ask for gossip from the innkeeper. Eventually, an innkeeper will give up information that will point you towards a boy in Windhelm (Aventus Aretino) who is trying to perform the Black Sacrament, a Dark Brotherhood ritual.
  • Alternatively, head to the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften - the children there will talk about the boy's attempts to summon the Dark Brotherhood too. Either of these things will give you an objective to go find the boy.
  • So... go find him. Aventus will be in his parents' home in Wildhelm. Chatting to him about his dark tendencies will kick off the Innocence Lost quest.
  • The Innocence Lost quest will now take you to the orphanage in Riften that you might've delivered earlier... and, yes, you'll have to commit a murder. This is the Dark Brotherhood after all. You won't get a bounty for this particular killing.
  • 24 or more hours after completing the Innocence Lost quest a courier will appear when you're inside a city. They'll offer an ominous note: "We know."
  • Once you've received this note, go and sleep in any bed for a while. Given that you're the all-powerful Dragonborn, this is one of the few times you're vulnerable... and you'll be abducted.
  • You'll wake up in an abandoned shack. At this point, you have to decide if you're going to join or destroy the dark brotherhood. From here it's pretty clear-cut - attack Astrid, the Dark Brotherhood Assassin, to initiate the quest to destroy the brotherhood. Do as she says in order to join the brotherhood and get access to their quest line.
If this isn't your first time in the frozen north of Tamriel, or you just fancy spicing things up a bit, check out our list of the best Skyrim mods.

Dark quests the brotherhood

Elder Scrolls: 10 Best Dark Brotherhood Quests

The Dark Brotherhood has become a staple of The Elder Scrollsseries since it first debuted in Oblivion. The faction has so much fan acclaim that when it had been initially omitted from TESO, fans were outraged and did not settle down until it finally appeared.

RELATED: Elder Scrolls: 5 Ways The Dark Brotherhood Is Better In Skyrim (& 5 It's Better In Oblivion)

The faction focuses on a cult of Sithis who follows The Night Mother and has a very rigid hierarchal system and tenents that must be followed or suffer the Wrath of Sithis. This faction contains some of the best questlines the series has produced thus far. Every single person in the faction is considered family, and there are some very tight-knit bonds that are created throughout the series.

10 Oblivion: A Knife In The Dark Began It All

The very first quest ever seen from the Dark Brotherhood is A Knife in the Dark. It's a nostalgic initiation quest that has to be triggered by the player killing an innocent NPC and then sleeping in a safe location.

If it wasn't expected, Lucien LaChance showing up causes a pretty solid jump scare, even with the lower quality graphics. This is also where the player is able to kill him and steal his stuff without ever being initiated, which would prevent ever being given the ability to join the faction.

9 Oblivion: The Purification Was Heartbreaking

The Purification is one of those quests that triggers a lot of mixed feelings for the fandom. It hurts to need to kill every one of these NPCs that have become the player's family, but it is also rewarding to be skipping the ranks and working directly with LaChance now.

At least there are so many poisoned apples out there that if it's too hard to directly kill everyone, some reverse pickpocketing can make up for it.

8 Oblivion: Honor Thy Mother Shows Just How Important The Night Mother Is

Honor Thy Mother is a quest that banks on a player who's ready and willing to get revenge. Turns out, the Listener is the fraud who has been framing fan-favorite Lucien LaChance, and the Night Mother has been refusing to speak to him.

Instead of Mathieu Bellamont, the Night Mother chooses the Hero of Kavatch to become her Listener and spread the Brotherhood's dark purpose, as it is clear that they are far more loyal than Bellamont ever was. It is a fantastic finale to the questline, leaving the player's thirst for revenge well-stated.

7 Skyrim: Delayed Burial Is Optional But Worth It

An optional quest taking place before the player is even initiated into Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood is Delayed Burial, though it can still be completed during the first two quests in the series. If it is started after joining, it will just cause some of the options to disappear but will add some different lines as Cicero realizes the player is a sibling.

RELATED: Skyrim: 5 Reason It's The Best Elder Scrolls Game (& 5 It's Morrowind)

The player can find the jester Cicero on a quest to get his dear mother to her final resting place, but he has had a wagon wheel break in transit. If they choose to help him and get the nearby farmer to fix the wheel, he will be eternally grateful. If instead, the player turns him into a nearby guard, he will pitch a fit off-screen, and in his rage will slaughter the farmer and his wife. If the player joins the Brotherhood after this, he has some unique lines based on if they helped or hindered him, which is a nice touch from Bethesda.

6 Skyrim: To Kill An Empire Is Full Of Trickery And Deceit

This is a long quest and makes for some really fun interpretations and sets the stage for a brutal betrayal. The player has been given the task from Astrid to disguise themselves as renowned chef the Gourmet and gets to enter the castle where the Emperor is in order to poison his meal. There's a lot of unique dialogue based on the player's choices, including what race they are. This includes the player being asked about their fur getting into the food if they are a Khajiit.

In the end, it is revealed that the player has been lead right into a trap by a jealous Astrid, one that springs backward on her and causes some serious consequences for her.

5 Skyrim: Death Incarnate/Destroy The Dark Brotherhood! Is A Split Questline Based On The Player's Previous Choices

If the player has gone along with joining the Dark Brotherhood, they are subjected to some intense destruction of their family in the quest Death Incarnate. In it, they get to save Nazir, and Cicero comes back if he'd been spared. They are also given the chance to kill the traitorous Astrid, should they be so inclined.

If the player decided against joining and instead wants to take it down, they get to trigger Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! Either way, there are some satisfying battles within the sanctuary. Babette survives no matter what choice the player makes due to being marked as a child. She also never shows up at all within either quest to prevent any confusion, but can be found wandering around the world afterward if the player has Dawngaurd installed.

4 Skyrim: Hail Sithis! Allows The Player To Go Through With The Murder Of The Emperor

Astrid wasn't lying about the fact someone had legitimately contracted a hit on Emperor Titus Mede II. So after some good sleuthing and a very intense ship boarding, the new Listener gets to plunge the empire into glorious chaos by assassinating the real emperor.

RELATED: Elder Scrolls: 10 Surprising Things Hidden In Canon Lore

The only downside of this mission is that it has no effect on the rest of the game, which seems like a strange little oversight- all things considered. No mention of his death, no panicky Jarls. It is a quest entirely contained within the Dark Brotherhood and nowhere else.

3 Prove Thy Worth In TESO: Signed In Blood

While the Online Dark Brotherhood questline isn't the greatest of the bunch according to many fans, it does feature some enjoyable quests. Signed in Blood is the second quest in which the player has to prove that they are capable.

It starts a truly fascinating espionage quest where the player has to hunt down a noble's estate, break into their house, kill them, and sneak back out. Or of course, the player can bull rush through, but it's the espionage and stealth that makes it worth playing.

2 Uphold The Tenets In TESO: The Wrath Of Sithis

There's just something extra satisfying about Dark Brotherhood quests where the point is to go through and kill off a traitor. It's a common, reoccurring theme, but it makes a lot of sense with how they have set up their infrastructure.

For the first time, it's not just the player who is involved in killing the traitor or trying to purge a sanctuary that may or may not have actually been involved. Instead, the player is back up for Green-Venom-Tongue as they try to go and kill off Lyra the Black Dragon. It's a fun little flip of the script.

1 TESO: Litany Of Blood Is Made To Collect Trophies

Litany of Blood was made for the type of players who like long-running collection-style quests. The player obtains a book by the same name as the quest that has 15 names inside of it. Every time the player kills one of these people, they appear on one of the pedestals in the sanctuary.

It's a massively satisfying quest and fills a completionist urge in a tangible way. The best part is the statues will take on different poses based on the player's interaction with them during the hit, which can make for a unique setup for each player.

NEXT: Elder Scrolls: 10 Best Thieves Guild Quests


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Viktor Coble (153 Articles Published)

Viktor is an avid ftm gamer fond of a wide range of games, such as Pokémon, Dungeons and Dragons, Stardew Valley, Don't Starve, and Assassin's Creed. He lives at home with his wife, two cats, and two ferrets and loves various forms of art. He loves to draw, write, stitch, sculpt, and experiment with various media. Find him on his blog for a better look.

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A "gamer" since way before the term was coined, I have been playing video games in one form or another since the 1980s.

Meet the Dark Brotherhood

The Dark Brotherhood is an infamous group of stealthy assassins that spend their lives killing people for great rewards. While the exact going-ons of the group is shrouded in mystery for most citizens of Tamriel, a select few adventurers are hand-picked to join the group.

Many people pray to the Night Mother for assistance in killing particular people, but only a few are employed to carry out the taboo missions.

To become a member of the Dark Brotherhood of Skyrim, you must show a tenacity for killing that many lack and an invitation to this group comes at a more difficult price than in other areas of Tamriel.

The Dark Brotherhood of Skyrim is a great place for Stealth characters to begin their adventures, along with the Thieves Guild which you can do at the same time. The quests within the Dark Brotherhood rely on Sneak and often require you to move around and kill your contracts without being seen.

Leveling your one-handed skill tree is important if you wish to kill your prey with the close-quarters method, but a long-range assassin would do well with Archery. Level these skills until damage multipliers are heightened while in sneak mode.

It isn’t recommended to use spells in these quests, since it is often difficult to cast and land a spell without being seen, forfeiting your secrecy and upping your bounty if you are spotted.

These quests are unlike the Thieves Guild, however, since complete stealth is often unneeded to collect the full bounty from your quest-giver.

Benefits of Joining the Dark Brotherhood

It is important to note some of the great things that come out of completing the Dark Brotherhood questline:

After beginning the Dark Brotherhood Quest – The Cure for Madness, you receive the demon steed Shadowmere as a permanent horse to ride.

While this Shadowmere is slightly different from previous incarnations, he is basically immortal sans a suicidal jump from a high mountain.

It is rumored that Shadowmere will actually reincarnate approximately 15 days after his death in the area that he met his demise, but it is highly unlikely you will kill him inadvertently in the first place.

He can be used in a number of ways, but his role in skill leveling is one of the most important. He is also much faster than many horses in Skyrim and will often assist you in battles of all kinds, giving you much-needed breathing room for epic battles with nasty enemies. Not to mention he looks really cool.

When you complete the entire questline, you gain the ability to speak with the Night Mother and take quests to kill randomized NPCs. These quests are often easy and wield decent money for the time spent.

The NPCs that appear in these quests are completely unimportant to the story, so don’t worry about killing any of these characters for fear of messing up future quests. It becomes like clockwork to kill these contracts, and within a short time you can rack up a good amount of gold.

Like many of the other questlines, the Dark Brotherhood gives you a place to hang your hat, even if it is stained with the blood of the innocent. Although you have to spend some money to outfit the area with the various torture chambers and creepy bedroom furniture, it is a great place for beginners to set up house when the more expensive properties are out of reach.

However, the location is slightly poor since Dawnstar is not known for its bustling merchant life.

In the Dawnstar Sanctuary after the Dark Brotherhood Quest – Hail Sithis!, you can recruit initiates to follow you at any point, as well as Cicero if you decline to kill him during the questline.

Initiates are infinite and can be used for whatever purpose you choose, even as a sacrifice in the Daedric Quest – Boethiah’s Calling. While they don’t have many outstanding qualities, they can still be very useful if you aren’t careful in battle and are known for killing your followers.

Dark Brotherhood Main Quests

Here is a list of all available quests with the Dark Brotherhood.

If you want a well-rounded adventure, start from the beginning and work your way through.

You can also use this guide to pinpoint trouble areas or locations of people or items.

Delayed Burial (OPTIONAL) Walkthrough


  • Convince Loreius to Fix the Wheel
  • Convince Loreius OR Report Cicero
  • Talk to Cicero OR Talk to Loreius

Before visiting the Aventus Aretino and beginning the questline, travel north of Whiterun on the road. Eventually, you will come across a broken-down cart and you’ll find a weird little guy in a jester’s outfit named Cicero.

Speak with him to find out that the cart is carrying his departed mother (who you will come to know well), and he needs your help to fix the cart and bring her to her new resting place. Tell him you will help and he will recommend you visit Vantus Loreius.

The quest marker will bring you west of Loreius farm, where Vantus Loreius is hanging out with his wife. He seems very hesitant to help since Cicero is such an odd fellow.

You can choose two different routes here: convince Vantus to help, or report Cicero to the authorities. It takes just a few moments to convince Vantus to help, or head over to the road and find a guard.

If you help Cicero by convincing Vantus to help the seemingly innocent man, head back to his cart to find everything fixed.

If you turn in Cicero to the guard, return to Vantus. Both endings give you the same outcome: 50 gold and the murder of the Loreius family by an unknown assailant.

Or so you think….

Delayed Burial Video

Innocence Lost Walkthrough


  • Talk to Aventus Aretino
  • Kill Grelod the Kind
  • Tell Aventus Aretino that Grelod is Dead

To start into the questline for the Dark Brotherhood, there are a number of ways to point you in the right direction.

You can simply visit Windhelm and speak with the nearest guard, who will point you to something odd going on in a house.

You can also ask around in various inns around Skyrim, leading to a miscellaneous quest marker straight to the boy.

Lastly, you can visit the Honorhall Orphanage if you are in the Riften area and talk to any of the young children. Samuel, Hroar, Francois Beaufort, or Runa Fair-Shield will all point you to an escaped orphan who was planning some devious things.

Once you are pointed in the right direction, you have to pick the Novice Lock to get into the creepy house in Windhelm.

Inside, you will find your first connection to the Dark Brotherhood: Aventus Aretino. He is chanting the Black Sacrament, the evil chant to contact the Night Mother and the Dark Brotherhood in order to kill someone.

Even though you “just stumbled upon” him in his home praying to the Night Mother, he believes that you are an assassin sent by the organization to kill his contract, the head of the Orphanage in Riften from where he escaped.

Head to Riften and find this evil woman (with an ironic name), Grelod the Kind cruelly yelling at all her children that they will never leave and must treat her gratefully for all she does for them. After her little banter, stick a weapon in the evil broad’s chest and watch as the children celebrate.

If anyone actually sees you doing this, you will gain a bounty on your head, but if you wait for Grelod to go to bed, a sneak attack will more than suffice.

Head back to Aventus and tell him that you killed the woman and he will give you the Arentino Family Heirloom in gratitude.

When your current quest is done, you will receive a shady message from a courier as soon as you visit another town in Skyrim, or go to sleep to be visited by an ominous assassin.

Thus starts the next quest….

Innocence Lost Video

With Friends Like These… Walkthrough


  • Kill One of the Captives
  • Enter the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary

Going to sleep after completing the Dark Brotherhood Quest – Innocence Lost will result in awakening in a small shack that you don’t recognize.

Welcome to your first test as an initiate into the deadly world of the Dark Brotherhood.

You don’t have much choice to start, so speak with the masked person sitting on top of some crates. She will introduce herself as Astrid, an initiating member of the Dark Brotherhood.

If you haven’t already noticed the bound and blindfolded people in the center of the room, she will inform you that you must kill one of them to make up for the target you stole from the assassin group.

She explains that one of them has a contract on their heads, and you must find out who it is and kill them to even the score. You can speak to all three and make your best judgment on the matter while completing some Intimidate and Persuasion checks for your speech skill.

(You have an alternate choice here if you don’t want to become a cold-hearted assassin. Instead of choosing to kill one of the targets, turn your weapon on Astrid.

She is a difficult opponent at lower levels, so sneak attacks are wise whenever possible. If you kill Astrid, you can escape from the Abandoned Shack with the key on her corpse, along with the Blade of Woe.

Be forewarned: if you kill Astrid and partake on the next quest, all the future quests with the Dark Brotherhood will be inaccessible from then out. (That means no Shadowmere or future contracts.)

Take your pick of a victim by whatever means you choose. Regardless of your reasoning (or lack thereof), kill your choice and return to Astrid. She will congratulate you on your cold-blooded nature and tell you that it didn’t matter who was the real contract because all of them were innocent.

Instead of leaving you and your unique talents in the crappy shack, she invites you to become a member of the elite organization. Collect the Abandoned Shack Key and learn the phrase to enter the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, then leave the other innocent victims behind. Someone will take care of them, or they’ll starve. It hardly matters to a relentless assassin like you now.

Find the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary with your quest marker and give the newly available option “Silence, my Brother” to the door-keeper. You are greeted by Astrid inside with the Shrouded Armor set, and she tells you that much needs to be done to prepare for the arrival of the Night Mother.

Explore the dank living area of the Dark Brotherhood and visit Nazir to continue your quest.

You are encouraged to equip some, if not all, of the Shrouded Armor for its great enchantments and cool appearance.

With Friends Like These… Video

Sanctuary Walkthrough


  • Speak with Nazir
  • Receive the First Set of Contracts from Nazir

Speak with Nazir in order to begin your test to become an official assassin of the Dark Brotherhood.

He will give you some contracts to fulfill, so refer to the Dark Brotherhood Contracts to find information on any assignments that he gives you.

Once you have completed a couple of killings for Nazir, return to him to collect any rewards and to see if your important visitor has arrived, which will begin your next major quest…

Sanctuary Video

Death Sentence Walkthrough


  • Talk to Muiri
  • Kill Alain Dufont
  • Kill Nilsine Shatter-Shield (OPTIONAL)
  • Talk to Muiri
  • Report Back to Astrid

When you return to the Sanctuary after completing your first assassination for Nazir, the crazed jester Cicero will have arrived with his mother inhaul. You will recognize this character if you helped him outside Whiterun during the Dark Brotherhood Quest – Delayed Burial, but if not, things will still play out as usual.

Listen to some pleasant conversation and speak to Astrid about a possible contract. She informs you that a potential client has invoked the Black Sacrament in Markarth and you must go and carry out the assassination.

If you want any extra information about any current quests, speak with some of the members in the Sanctuary. They will often give you very helpful information if you take the time to ask.

Find Muiri wandering about Markarth, heading towards the Hag’s Cure, or at the local Silver-Blood Inn. She’ll tell you some extra information about your mark, who is involved in an issue with others in town.

After she gives you your mark of Alain Dufont, she also informs you that she will be very grateful if you destroy the family by killing Alain’s sister as well.

You will find Alain Dufont at the Raldbthar Consortium, guarded by some bandits you must kill. Once you find Alain inside, kill him and take the Aegisbane to prove he is dead.

If you wish to kill Nilsine Shatter-Shield, travel to Windhelm in the market area. Since this is a well-populated area during the day, you must time your assassination attempt well.

Use the Lotus Extract from Muiri if you don’t feel confident in your weapon abilities, and flee the scene or reload if you are spotted. The guard can be overwhelming if you aren’t careful.

Return to Muiri after you have fulfilled your contract(s), and she will reward you 50 gold pieces for the death of Alain Dufont and Muiri’s Ring for the death of Nilsine Shatter-Shield.

Report to Astrid to let her know of your success, but she will be preoccupied with another matter.

Death Sentence Video

Whispers in the Dark Walkthrough


  • Hide in the Night Mother’s Coffin
  • Talk to Cicero
  • Talk to Astrid
  • Receive a Side Contract from Nazir

Astrid is suspicious of Cicero, probably because he is a suspicious character. She will ask you to spy on him to see what he is up to, so head over to the Night Mother’s coffin and hide inside.

After hearing some random babble from Cicero, the Night Mother will begin speaking to you herself! You are the listener that Cicero was referring to.

The coffin opens, much to the dismay of Cicero, and some trouble goes down before he finds out what has happened. All the excitement has caught the attention of Astrid, and she asks what is going on as well.

You let them both know of the Night Mother’s wishes: a visit to Amaund Motierre in Volunruud. Even though the Night Mother is the chief deity of the group, Astrid insists that you speak with Nazir about another contract before you fulfill the Night Mother’s request.

By now, you need to complete the first three contract kills for Narfi, Ennodius Papius, and Beitild and then complete the kills of Hern and Lurbuk before Astrid will speak to you again about the matter.

Whispers in the Dark Video

The Silence Has Been Broken Walkthrough


  • Speak with Amaund Motierre
  • Talk to Rexus
  • Deliver the Letter and Amulet to Astrid
  • Show the Amulet to Delvin Mallory
  • Report Back to Astrid

After completing the first five contracts from Nazir, return to the Sanctuary and Astrid will stop you. She has considered what happened with the Night Mother and she wants you to follow her command. Speak with any extra characters for supplementary information and make the trek towards Volunruud.

Find the entrance to the mound to the east and defeat the Draugr warriors that attack. Head down the stairs and turn left to a small chamber with more dead Draugr. Head into the next room to find Amaund Motierre, who has an incredible plan to assassinate the emperor. He hands over a Sealed Letter and a Jeweled Amulet, both for Astrid as payment to the Dark Brotherhood. Explore the ruins of Volunruud if you desire, then return to Astrid.

Astrid wants to sell the Jeweled Amulet, but she believes there is something very particular about it. She wants to sell it to one of her contacts in the Thieves Guild, Delvin Mallory, and you must be the one to inquire about it.

If this is your first time in Riften or the Thieves Guild Ratway, follow your quest-marker through the tunnels to find Delvin in the Ragged Flagon. He will hand over some materials for Astrid, so return to her with the new information you have. You can open the Letter of Credit if you are that curious, but Astrid will not be happy.

After the news, Astrid informs you that you need to put on your best attire because you have a wedding to go to. She doesn’t give you a reward except for the knowledge that you are going to carry out something huge.

NOTE: At this point, you may want to begin the Thieves Guild questline if you haven’t already. See our complete walkthrough section here.

Bound Until Death Walkthrough


  • Kill Vittoria Vici
  • Report Back to Astrid

For the first target in the plan to kill the Emperor, you must assassinate Vittoria Vici. She is known for her connection with the Empire and is going to marry a member of the Stormcloaks.

Despite the fact that the Emperor will not be at the wedding, you are still going to kill her because of her family connection and also because her death will spark an involvement with the current civil war, something that the Emperor has avoided thus far.

This assassination is going to be a public one, and for good reason. After speaking to Babette and Gabriella who give you different means to execution, travel to Solitude and find the courtyard next to the Temple of the Divines.

Make your rounds with the party guests if you want, but remember that your mission is to kill Vittoria Vici in the most public way possible.

To do this, you can use a few different methods. Note that Astrid will give you extra gold if you kill Vittoria while she is addressing the wedding-goers on her platform.

One (Gabriella’s Advice): Go through the door in the courtyard to take your place directly across from the platform that Vittoria and her fiancé use to address the wedding-goers. There is a special bow with arrows already waiting for you, so aim your shot well and make a fast escape.

Two (Babette’s Advice): Find one of the side doors by the speech area to find a statue you can push onto Vittoria’s head while she is speaking to the public.

Three: Find a good spot from a distance and fire a shot at her from your bow. If successful, you will take her down with one shot and have a small amount of time to retreat without much conflict.

Four: Take the bloody route and take her out with a close-combat weapon. This is the least sneaky method and it will make it the most difficult to escape without much bloodshed.

After killing Vittoria, now you need to escape. Veezara from the Dark Brotherhood has your back and will help hold off any enemies, so try not to kill him.

Make your way out of the courtyard and find a road that leads you out of the city, then make your way as far out of town as you need in order to fast-travel back to the Sanctuary.

Visit Astrid and she will reward you with the spell Summon Spectral Assassin and any gold you may have earned by killing Vittoria while she addressed the crowd.

Summon Spectral Assassin is a powerful spell that summons Lucien LaChance, the speaker of the Dark Brotherhood in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

You can use it once a day to have him assist you in difficult battles, or even as someone to talk to. He is a powerful spectral being and can hold his own against some very nasty enemies.

Bound Until Death Video

Breaching Security Walkthrough


  • Speak with Gabriella
  • Kill Gaius Maro
  • Steal Gaius Maro’s Travel Schedule (OPTIONAL)
  • Plant the Incriminating Letter on Gaius Mara’s Body
  • Report Back to Gabriella

After getting your reward from Astrid, it’s time to make a visit to Gabriella for some new action.

Apparently, the next target is a man named Gaius Maro, a member of the elite group of security for the Emperor called the Penitus Oculatus.

Gaius is on a mission to check each of the major cities in Skyrim, and it is your mission to kill him and plant a letter on his dead body. You also need to look for any information on the Gourmet, the secretive master chef who will be cooking for the Emperor at a private dinner coming up soon.

To find Gaius, you have two methods. You can refer to the list below of his locations depending on the day of the week and kill him anywhere you can locate him, or you can find the travel schedule and stalk him into a town in order to receive a bonus.

To receive the said bonus, you must kill Gaius in one of his city locations and not in Dragon Bridge or any of the connecting roads he travels on. You forfeit your bonus (a measly 100 gold and the important Olava’s Token for the Dark Brotherhood Radiant Quest – The Feeble Fortune) if you kill him anywhere outside a city, meaning that even if he runs outside the limits, which he is very likely to do, you will not receive anything.

The travel schedule is found on a table at the Penitus Oculatus Outpost, and you must find it in order to receive your bonus. Here is the travel schedule regardless of if you pick it up or not:

  • Mordas: The Emperor’s Tower in Solitude
  • Mordas (evening): Castle Door in Solitude
  • Tirdas: The Palace of the Kings in Windhelm
  • Tirdas (evening): Barracks in Windhelm
  • Middas: Mistveil Keep in Riften
  • Turdas: Dragonsreach in Whiterun
  • Turdas (evening): The Bannered Mare in Whiterun
  • Fredas: Understone Keep in Markarth
  • Fredas (evening): Guard Tower in Markarth
  • Loredas and Sundas: The Bee and Barb in Riften

If you take the option of tracking Gaius down instead of killing him at Dragon Bridge, you should probably stay in one place and wait until he shows up there.

Fast traveling to his current location on the map generally results in him moving to a different area, and running him down can be a long journey. Get ahead of him by a couple days and go to the location he is expected (preferably a place that he sleeps), then use your wait function.

After you kill him by whatever means you want, make sure to plant the Incriminating Letter on the body. When you return to Gabriella at the Sanctuary, she will have already learned of your actions and will reward you if you killed Gaius within a city outside of Dragon Bridge.

However, something more pressing requires your attention, so head over to Astrid to begin your next quest.

If you received the bonus for killing Gaius correctly, see Dark Brotherhood Radiant Quest – The Feeble Fortune to cash in on Olava’s token.

DO NOT sell the token, especially if you don’t have the updates for the consoles. Once it is gone, there is a chance you will never be able to complete the quest.

Breaching Security Video

The Cure for Madness Walkthrough


  • Talk to Astrid
  • Search Cicero’s Room
  • Talk to Astrid
  • Behold Shadowmere
  • Locate Arnbjorn
  • Talk to Arnbjorn
  • Enter the Dawnstar Sanctuary
  • Kill Cicero
  • Kill Cicero OR Leave the Sanctuary
  • Report Back to Astrid

While you were away, Cicero went off the deep end and tried to attack Astrid, then fled after stabbing Veezara. Astrid’s husband Arnbjorn ran after him, but no one has seen him or Cicero since.

It’s up to you to figure out where he went and get revenge. Astrid suggests you explore Cicero’s chambers to find any new information.

Look for Cicero’s journal on top of a barrel in his chambers. Inside, you will find out about another Sanctuary outside Dawnstar and the passphrase to get inside. Give this new information to Astrid and she will tell you to hurry to the Sanctuary.

To get there quickly she summons Shadowmere for you, a demon horse with extreme power and speed. Make sure to hop on him and make your way to the Black Door outside Dawnstar in the cliffs by the beach.

You’ll find Arnbjorn with a wound inflicted by Cicero, but also a blood trail into the Sanctuary from Cicero himself. Tell Arnbjorn to return to Astrid and approach the door, answering with “Innocence, my Brother” from Cicero’s journal (you must read the journal to know the phrase).

Make your way through the Sanctuary while Cicero taunts you from farther in. Be careful of the Sanctuary Guardians and the traps (spear, oil, and bear), and then the Udefrykte in the ice area.

Once you find the last room, remove the spears by using the pull-chains nearby, then speak with Cicero at the far end of the Torture Chamber.

You have a choice here: kill Cicero or listen to him and his reasoning for attacking Astrid. Cicero makes for a tough opponent if you do decide to kill him. If you don’t, simply leave the Dawnstar Sanctuary and return to Astrid.

Cicero can be a great follower after you complete the questline, being very adept in sneak combat, but he is a bit annoying and crazy at times.

Either let Astrid know that you killed him for real, or lie to her and tell her you killed him when you actually didn’t. Regardless, there are new targets to assassinate in your original attempt on the Emperor.

By now, there are more side contracts to take. It is recommended you do as many of these as you can before taking on the next main quest since all available contracts have a limited window.

The Cure for Madness Video

Recipe for Disaster Walkthrough


  • Report to Festus Krex
  • Question Anton Virane
  • Kill Anton Virane
  • Kill Balagog gro-Nolob
  • Drag Balagog’s Body to a Hiding Place (OPTIONAL)
  • Report back to Festus Krex

Remember the talk of the Gourmet before the last incident with Cicero? Your next objective is to find him, kill him, then find a way to take the chef’s place at the next dinner for the Emperor.

However, the Dark Brotherhood has been unsuccessful in finding out the true identity of the Gourmet, so it is up to you to figure it out. Astrid suggests you speak with Festus Krex, who gives you information about a signed cookbook owned by a man named Anton Virane in Markarth.

Anton must be killed after you get any relevant information to prevent any problems for the objective, so bring any necessary equipment or items.

You’ll find Anton in Understone Keep in Markarth on the west side of the castle. Speak with him and pry out the information you seek by intimidation. Make sure you don’t kill him before you get the information you need (you will be prompted to “Kill Anton Virane” when you can actually slay him).

When he tells you the Gourmet is an Orc named Balagog gro-Nolob staying at Nightingale Inn west of Windhelm, kill him and flee the scene. You will get a bounty for this blatant murder unless you do it while unseen, so a quick retreat or enough money to pay the bounty is key unless your Sneak is high.

Now you need to find Balagog gro-Nolob in the Cellar of the Nightingale Inn.

There is a door on the floor of the Inn, locate it to enter the Cellar to find your target. You can chat with him if you are interested, but your objective is to kill him. It isn’t necessary to sneak since you are the only ones in the Cellar; kill him however you deem fit. You can also find him outside and kill him there on occasion.

After he is dead, take the Writ of Passage off his body. To earn the Bonus (the Nightweaver Band) from Festus Krex, drag the body to a hiding place.

If you killed him in the Cellar, drag his body to any of the available hiding spots, such as behind a barrel or in a small hole. If you killed him outside, the lake works for that.

Return to Festus Krex and he will give you the appropriate reward. At the very least, you receive 300 gold coins for killing your targets.

If you hid Balagog gro-Nolob’s body, you receive the Nightweaver Band as well.

When you are done with Festus, speak with Astrid to begin your next quest.

Recipe for Disaster Video

To Kill an Empire Walkthrough


  • Report to Astrid
  • Report to Commander Maro
  • Report to Gianna
  • Report to Gianna while Wearing a Chef’s Hat
  • Make the Potage le Magnifique
  • Follow Gianna to the Dining Room
  • Kill the Emperor Escape the Tower!
  • Return to the Sanctuary

All your work has prepared you for the quest at hand: to kill the Emperor at a private dinner party.

Astrid tells you that you will act as the Gourmet and use the Jarrin Root as a deadly ingredient in the main course for the party. If you want to test just how deadly, save your game and eat it. Astrid wasn’t kidding.

Head to Castle Dour in Solitude and show the Writ of Passage to Commander Maro. He tells you to find Gianna inside, who will act as your assistant in preparing the meal.

You may overhear some guards talking about one of your other targets, Gaius Maro. Your plan for him worked out perfectly. Let’s hope your luck doesn’t run dry before you can get to the Emperor.

When inside the tower, head east then south to find the kitchen. Gianna requires you to wear a chef’s hat before you can continue, so pick one up from a shelf and put it on in your inventory.

Return to Gianna and begin cooking the signature dish of the Gourmet: the Potage le Magnifique. Gianna will add ingredients as you tell her what you want (or remain silent to make her do it), but these don’t matter in the long run.

When she wants to know if the soup is done, tell her to add one more special ingredient, the Jarrin Root. You can choose not to add it, but the responsibility of killing the Emperor still lies in your hands.

Follow Gianna into the dining room and watch as the Emperor takes a bite of the soup. If it is poisoned, he will drop dead quickly. Your bounty will jump and Gianna will be attacked first.

Run quickly out of the room and avoid/fight your way through the guards to find Commander Maro waiting for you. He informs you that your actions have been in vain and that you have been betrayed by a member of the Dark Brotherhood family. He and his brigade attack you, but your objective is to run with your tail between your legs back to the Sanctuary.

Find the lower exit to Skyrim and check your world map. Unfortunately, you can’t fast-travel to the Sanctuary because it is oddly gone, so fast-travel to the closest destination you can and walk (or ride Shadowmere) the rest of the way.

You can come in with weapons blazing or take the sneak approach, but your objective is to find the hidden entrance to begin the next quest.

To Kill an Empire Video

Death Incarnate Walkthrough


  • Enter the Sanctuary
  • Search for Survivors
  • Kill Nazir’s Attacker!
  • Speak with Nazir
  • Escape the Sanctuary
  • Embrace the Night Mother
  • Talk to Astrid
  • Kill Astrid
  • Retrieve the Blade of Woe (OPTIONAL)
  • Return to the Night Mother

It appears as though everything has gone horribly wrong very quickly, and the traitor has not only betrayed you but the rest of the family as well.

Sneak or fight your way down and kill the guards (without fire since the place is covered in oil) until you find Nazir in the dining hall. Help him kill the attacking guards and talk with him quickly about the betrayal.

There’s little time since the place is going up in flames very soon, so begin your retreat out with Nazir. Before you can get too far, the Night Mother tells you to come to her, since she is the only one who can save you. Enter her coffin and watch as you and Nazir are both able to barely escape the fiery inferno.

When you wake up, you are told to speak with Astrid by the Night Mother. Let her vent her wrong-doings and find out that you are to lead the family, now that it has been basically destroyed.

Do as she says to complete the ritual and return to the Night Mother.

Death Incarnate Video

Hail Sithis! Walkthrough


  • Talk to Nazir
  • Talk to Amaund Motierre
  • Board the Katariah
  • Kill Commander Mara (OPTIONAL)
  • Kill the Emperor
  • Report Back to Amaund Motierre
  • Retrieve the Payment
  • Kill Amaund Motierre (OPTIONAL)
  • Report to Nazir

Now that everything has calmed down, you realize that Babette and Nazir are the only ones left, and your home is wrecked. Tell Nazir that the Night Mother has told you that your objective is still the Emperor, but this time it needs to be for real this time.

While Nazir moves the Sanctuary to its new home in Dawnstar, you are to visit Amaund Motierre again. He is in the Bannered Mare in Whiterun now, so give him a visit to learn where the Emperor is hiding.

He also tells you there is a reward still in it, and if you pry enough, you can receive a quest to kill Commander Maro as well.

You will find the Emperor on the Katariah outside Solitude, but Commander Maro is outside the East Empire Company Warehouse in Solitude. If you choose to kill Maro, try to do it without being seen. If you can’t, run or pay your way out of trouble before heading to the Katariah.

The ship will not move from here on out, so you can always return if you don’t get enough treasure hunting done the first time through.

Getting through the Katariah can be done completely in sneak, although it may be difficult. You do have the option of cutting through anyone who gets in your way as well, but it is likely that you will be overrun with enemies if you don’t attempt any stealth at all.

The best way through is to sneak attack your way through the rooms as much as possible and use Aura Whisper if you have it. As long as you attempt to stay unseen, you will have an easier time than going in with weapons blazing.

Your first target is the jail by way of the lower deck to the south and through the dining hall. Here is your first necessary opponent, since he has the Katariah Master Key. (You do have the option of lockpicking all the doors in the ship, but many of the important ones are nearly impossible unless you have a very high skill level.)

After defeating Captain Avidius, take the key and head north to the locked gold door. Kill anyone who gets in your way and continue north, until you can climb more steps. Inside the door, you will find the Emperor’s Quarters with the Emperor inside.

The Emperor has accepted his fate and isn’t surprised to see you since the Dark Brotherhood is incredibly powerful and cunning. You can kill him outright, but it may be interesting to hear his plea to kill the person who caused the treachery against the Emperor, but it is unnecessary to the questline to do so.

When you’ve heard enough, strike down the Emperor and take anything you want from his quarters.

You can now exit through the door to the northwest and return to Whiterun. Speak with Amaund Motierre to learn where your reward is hidden, as well as a rude goodbye.

If you want to honor the wishes of the Emperor, inform Amaund of your intentions and strike him down. Make sure to take the loot from his body, you will probably need it to pay off your bounty. Otherwise, locate Volunruud on your map and find where you met him the first time. The urn inside holds your payment of 20000 gold pieces!

Return to the new Sanctuary in Dawnstar and speak with Nazir. Tell him about the money received, either lie or tell him the truth, and he will tell you to visit Delvin Mallory in Riften. Delvin is going to help you decorate the new home to make it fit to return the Dark Brotherhood to its former status.

The current questline is over, but your new Dark Brotherhood Radiant Quest Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head… begins.

Hail Sithis! Video

© 2018 Hal Gall


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