Dark Brotherhood Advancement Guide
A Knife in the Dark
A Watery Grave
Accidents Happen
Scheduled for Execution
The Assassinated Man
The Lonely Wanderer
Bad Medecine
Permanent Retirement
Of Secret and Shadow
The Purification
Affairs of a Wizard
Next of Kin
Broken Vows
Final Justice
A Matter of Honor
The Coldest Sleep
A Kiss Before Dying
Following a Lead
Honor Thy Mother
Whispers of Death

According to rumours circulating Cyrodiil the Dark Brotherhood, a cult-like assassin organization, appears to murderers in the night and invites them to join. Upon murdering an innocent, you'll find this to be one of those rare rumours grounded in truth. When you commit the murder a message will appear saying "Your action has been observed by forces unknown..." or something to that effect. The next time you sleep, you'll be awakened by Lucien Lachance, Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood.

A Knife in the Dark #return to index
Lucien, shrouded in a grand black cloak and hood, will wake you from your sleep. The Night Mother is pleased by your actions and would like to welcome you into her family. If you are interested in joining a group of like-minded individuals then Lucien details the test you must undertake: travel to the Inn of Ill Omen, located on the Green Road north of Bravil, and kill a man named Rufio. To assist in this task Lucien gifts you with the Blade of Woe, a 'virgin blade' which thirsts for first blood. The Dark Brotherhood are, as you've guessed, an organization who view the act of murder as a holy thing. It is impossible to complete the Dark Brotherhood quest line without committing many evil acts. If this is not your thing, you can outright refuse Lucien or simply refuse to kill Rufio. You will not be contacted again.

As you're reading this, however, I'll assume that you're quite comfortable with what the Dark Brotherhood have to offer. The idea of a paid elite assassin appeals to you, and why wouldn't it?

To get to the Inn of Ill Omen travel to Bravil's Bay Roan stables and then trek NW along the Green Road. Once inside speak to Minerva about Rufus. It seems he spends his days locked away in the Inn, hiding away from someone with a grudge against him. No prizes for guessing that you are working on behalf of that person. Take the trap-door to the left of the Inn's exit, which leads to its Private Quarters. Rufio's door is situated at the end of the corridor. Most likely you will catch Rufio within the twenty hours a day that he sleeps. He can be killed with one well placed arrow or sword strike, as long as it is multiplied by the sneak attack bonus. And in doing so, you've had fulfilled your first contract.

Leave the Inn of Ill Omen and sleep somewhere. If Lucien does not appear, try sleeping at a generic Inn in one of Cyrodiil's towns, as he often won't appear in places where it is too risky to do so. Lucien will warmly inform you that you are now 'part of the family', and are thus welcome to visit the family home -- the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, which is reached through the basement of an abandoned house in Cheydinhal. Upon reaching the door you will be asked a question, to which you must answer "Sanguine, my brother". Once there, you should speak to Ocheeva.

To reath the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, head to Cheydinhal's East Gate then take the street South past the Chapel until you hit the boarded up house. To enter, pick the easy lock on the barred door. Head down into the basement and proceed down a red-lit tunnel to an Ancient Black Door. At this point I should remind you that the Dark Brotherhood is an evil organisation (/end sarcasm). Activate the door, speak the password and enter the assassins' enclave.

Ocheeva, an Argonian assassin, is the Mistress of this Sanctuary. Vincent Valtieri, a Vampire, is your new task-master, handing out contracts at his discretion. He also provides you with a one-piece suit of armor and a shrouded hood: it's the official Dark Brotherhood uniform, but it also makes for some nice starting light armor. You don't need to wear it if you don't want, however. You can also use the services of the perpetually unfriendly M'raaj-Dar, a Khajiit shop-keeper and spell-seller.

A Watery Grave #return to index
Your next target, which you'll recieve from Vincent Valtieri, is the captain of the Marie Elena, Gaston Tussaud. It's a pirate ship, docked at the Imperial City's Waterfront District. Valtieri suggests that you may be able to smuggle yourself onboard inside a packing crate.

Head to the docks at the Waterfront district. Several cutlass wielding pirates roam the deck and the area in front of the ship, so it shouldn't be difficult to discern which ship is the one you must board. Walk along the crates out front until your cursor passes over an open one. The game will ask you whether you wish to enter the crate or not. Choose the option which sees you smuggle yourself onboard the ship in a crate, as you'll be deposited close to your target with fewer obstacles between you and your mark.

The game will load a new area and you'll find yourself deposited in a shadowy area of the ship's hold. Your journal informs you that the captain's cabin will most likely be situated at the rear of the ship on a higher level. This level, however, is empty, so head south and ascend the ladder up to the mid-deck. From here, sneak carefully north into the room at the end of the corridor. Wait until the sailors fiinish their argument and they proceed to walk back to the south end of the mid-deck and into their quarters. Sneak around the corner to where they were arguing and head up the ladder to the Captain's Cabin.

Lie in wait where you are and the Captain will eventually walk past you (that is, if he's awake). Sneak attack him and then finish the fight as you would with any other enemy. As soon as he falls take the gold and Captain's Key from his body, then head through the door into his study and unlock the chest to the left of the entrance to claim some very nice pirate booty (no, not that kind of booty).

Before the Captain's crew can burst through the door exit on to the deck of the ship and jump over the side and into the water of the docks. Swim to safety, then make your way back to your vampiric task-master at the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. You'll be rewarded with Black Band, a ring with fortify Light Armor and Security skill enchantments, as well as a Resist Magick effect. You have fulfilled your duty to the Night Mother -- for now.

Accidents Happen#return to index
When you're ready, speak to Valtieri about your next contract. You're to stage an accident. If you kill your victim in the manner specified, you'll claim a bonus. Your target is Baenlin of Bruma. You're to avoid his man-servant, Gromm, and sneak into a second floor crawl-space between 8pm and 11pm, when Baenlin is sitting in his favorite chair. Once in the crawl-space at the specified time you're to loosen the fastenings of a mounted Minotaur head which hangs above Baenlin's favorite chair... Devious, no?

Make your way to Bruma. Baenlin's house is directly across from the Fighters and Mages guild. Go around the back and enter via the basement. Head from the basement up to the house. Head forwards across the dark corridor and turn up the stairs on your right. Once you reach the landing head right into Gromm's bedroom. The crawl-space door is on the wall beside the bed. If you're having difficulty avoiding Baelin and Gromm enter the house at midday when they should be well out of your way.

Once in the crawl-space wait until 8:30pm when Baenlin is sitting in his favourite chair. Activate the fastenings to loosen them. You'll hear the Minotaur head fall on to the tiny Baenlin, followed by his dying screams. Follow your previous route out of the house, taking care to sneak past Gromm, who is on high alert after the death of his master. Exit into the chilly Bruma air. All that's left to do now is return to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary and inform Valtieri of your success. Your reward for the kill is 50gp, plus your bonus: an enchanted Elven dagger called Sufferthorn which bears drain strength and damage health enchantments. Valtieri will also promote you to 'Slayer' and tell you to rest up for your next mission. You'd be well advised to listen, as the next mission involves quite a bit of tricky sneaking.

Scheduled for Execution #return to index
Speak to Valtieri for another contract. For this one he needs an 'expert in infiltration' and, apparently, after completing three relatively simple jobs, he's convinced you're one such expert. Your mark is Valen Dren, a dark elf who's been rotting away in the Imperial Prison for a number of years. He thinks he's safe there, but he's mistaken. You're to return to the sewer entry from which you made your first entry into the lands of Cyrodiil and use the route taken by the Mythic Dawn assassins to reach your target. There'll be a bonus if you don't kill any guards. You'll need at least ten lockpicks to complete this mission.

With the Sewer Key in hand fast-travel to the 'Imperial Prison Sewer' marker NE of the Imperial City and you'll be greeted with a familiar sight. Enter the circular grate using the key supplied by Valtieri.

Head down the passage and take the first right. Follow it onwards and take the door deeper into the sewers. From here, follow the corridor SE until it opens up into a canal room. Drop down into the water and head through the NE tunnel. From this room, take the corridor NW. Turn the wheel on your right and head through the NE tunnel to collect the loot from the chest, then return to the previous room and head through the three-tumbler gate and onwards into the next section of the sewers.

Head down into the circular catchment and through the corridor. When the corridor opens up into a canal room take the passage on your right and climb the stairs to a ladder leading to 'The Sanctum'.

The first thing you'll notice is the sound of two guards having a conversation nearby, talking resentfully about how they feel they been assigned to guard 'nothing' - after all, the Emperor is dead, the assassins have no reason to come back. Well, one assassin does, and that's you. You'll need to be careful when sneaking around the guards here, but you'll need to do so if you want to keep your bonus.

Wait until the conversation is over and the redguard leaves through the arch-way adjacent to you. Make a new save here, as you may need to reload a few times before you can make it through undetected. Sneak into the room with the redguard and stick to the shadowy walls on your right. Sneak around to the SE side of the room and wait until the redguard turns his back. Sneak around to the side of the raised platform and jump onto it, then make your way into the Imperial Subterrane.

Characters with a higher Sneak skill or who don't mind losing the bonus can snoop around inside the make-shift tomb of the Emperor before carrying on into the Subterrane.

From the Imperial Subterrane, follow the left-hand wall until you reach a very dark area with a decent view of the central pathway. Wait here until the torch-bearing guard passes, then head to the narrow passage he came from. Bypass the table and chair and move onwards until you find a door leading to another door. Continue onwards until you hit a door to the 'Imperial Prison'.

There is only one way to go here, and you should be quite familiar with how to reach your cell from this point. Wait just inside the entry to the secret passage as the guard carries out a conversation with your old cell-neighbor, that detestable dark-elf... Valen Dren! It seems you now have a chance to get your revenge for his hours of taunting. Wait until he finishes abusing the guard and is left alone in his cell. You can talk to him for extra satisfaction or sneak attack him from your old cell. It shouldn't be difficult to take him out with a few arrows if you can't be bothered contending with the four-tumbler lock on his door.

Return the way you came, still sneaking around the guards. Once at the Sanctuary speak to Valtieri for your reward: the standard 50gp, plus your bonus; the Scales of Pitiless Justice, which boosts your Strength, Intelligence and Agility but drains your Personality when carried. A fair trade-off, I would say.

The Assassinated Man #return to index
Speak to Valtieri for your next contract. He's come to rely on your unique abilities, and now needs you to stage the assassination of a marked man: Francois Motierre of Chorrol. An enforcer has been sent to kill him, but you're to get there first with a specially poisoned knife which will mimic the effects of death on Francois' body. Strike him with this in the Enforcer's presence, then later administer a vial of antidote to bring Motierre back to 'life'. According to Valtieri the Dark Brotherhood rarely accepts Contracts which do not involve the actual taking of a life. To compensate, Motierre offered the life of his mother. A charming bunch, no?

With the Languorwine Blade in hand make your through the Chorrol South Gate and head forwards. Motierre's house is across from Fire and Steel. You'll need to contend with the four-tumbler lock on Francois' house to gain entry. If you're not confident in that, save before you make the attempt so you can reload if you use up too many picks.

Inside you'll be approached by a nervous Francois. He borrowed gold from the Underworld and, after being late with a payment, is now somebody that they want dead. When the Enforcer enters Francois will put on 'a little act', after which you are to stab him with the poisoned blade. You're to flee Chorrol without killing the Enforcer, wait a day, then return to the Chorrol Chapel Undercroft, where you're to administer the antidote to Francois.

Equip the Languorwine Blade and wait for the Enforcer to enter the house. Listen to the conversation, replete with some horrible acting from Motierre, and wait until the point that Hides-His-Heart orders you to "stand aside assassin!" Slash Motierre with the poisoned blade and run from the house, exiting Chorrol via the South Gate. Most likely, Hides-His-Heart will not follow.

Wait 24 hours, then return to Chorrol's Chapel. Skip downstairs to the Undercroft, and once inside, take the passage on the East wall and turn right. You'll see the still body of Motierre lying as if dead. Activate the body to administer the Languorwine Antidote. Talk to Francois and he'll inform you of one thing he failed to mention: his ancestors view his revival as the desecration of their tomb.

You'll need to defeat three 'Motierre Zombies' summoned by Francois' revival. Make sure you try to bear the brunt of the attack, as Francois' death means your failure. If possible, try to take on the zombies one at a time. Once they've been dealt with, lead Motierre on to the streets of Chorrol and to the Gray Mare, which is located North-East of Chorrol's South Gate. Once inside the door, speak to Francois to end your service to him.

Return to Valtieri for your various rewards: a key to the Well outside the Abandoned House above, providing quick and secret access to the Sanctuary, as well as Cruelty's Heart, an amulet with fortify Willpower and Strength enchantments. You'll also be bestowed the title of Eliminator for your good work.

Valtieri has no more contracts for you. You're to report to Ocheeve, the Mistress of the Sanctuary, for more work. Before you leave, Valtieri will ask if you would like him to bestow you with a 'Dark Gift' -- vampirism. If you choose not to accept immediately, the offer will always be open.

The Lonely Wanderer #return to index
Your next contract comes from Ocheeva. Your mark is an Altmer who lives in the Imperial City, and it will be a 'challenge' to find him. His name is Faelian, and he fancies long walks. That's all Ocheeva is able to tell you. Adamus Phillida is an Imperial Legion Captain determined to eradicate the Dark Brotherhood, therefore it's important that you kill Faelian indoors and with no witnesses: if you make it look like an ordinary murder, then you'll get your bonus. She suggests you ask your guild brothers and sisters for any suggestions they can provide.

Valtieri gives you useful advice to get started. The Elves of the Imperial City are a tight-knit community, and will most likely have some information about Faelian. Travel to the Market District and speak to Rindir, the half-elf owner of Rindir's Staffs. He'll tell you that Faelian lodges in the Tiber Septim Hotel, located in the Talos Plaza District.

Fast travel to the Plaza District. The Tiber Septim is the first building on your right. Speak to its proprieter, Augusta Calida, and raise her disposition to 60. You'll learn that Faelian lives with his sweetheart Atreana. Head upstairs to the lodgings and speak to Faelian's pretty girlfriend. She'll tell you that Faelian is a shade of his former self, wandering around the city searching for Skooma, then spends several hours at Lorkmir's House in the Elven Gardens District -- an abandoned house where Atreana suspects he does his Skooma. Sounds like the perfect place for an assassination, don't you think?

Say farewell to your 'new friend' and fast-travel to the Elven Gardens District. From here, head down the street on your right. Lorkmir's house is the third on the right. Unlock the 'Hard' door and you'll see where Faelian does his Skooma. Wait until 11am when he enters to sit down and eat. If you talk to him, you'll see that Faelian hangs on to reality by a thread. There's no need to be stealthy, and you can kill him however you like.

Return to Ocheeva, who is pleased that you've killed Faelian in such a way that Captain Phillida will have no reason to suspect the Dark Brotherhood. You'll receive the standard 50gp reward, plus your bonus: Shadowhunt, a bow with Turn Undead, Damage Health, Damage Magicka and Weakness to Poison enchantments.

Bad Medecine #return to index
Return to Ocheeva once again for your next contract. Your target is the Warlord Roderick, who is holed up at Fort Such with a small bunch of loyal followers. He's close to death with illness, kept alive only by a regularly administered medecine. You're to swap the medecine with a poison and thus make it look as if Roderick died of his illness. To claim your bonus you must infiltrate the Fort undetected.

Fort Sutch is located on the other side of Cyrodiil -- you'll see it on your map to the North of Anvil. Fast-travel to the Horse Whisperer Stables or a closer marker if you have one, such as Lord Drad's Estate, and head due north until you hit the Fort. Its above-ground structure consists of consists of one main tower and a few crumbling satellite towers. Enter the main tower and drop down into its middle, then enter the causeway against the wall until you reach the door to the lower levels of the Fort.

Sneak through the gate immediately on your right then follow the tunnel until you hit another gate leading you into a large room. Follow the right-hand wall around until you hit a large statue. Look upwards and north and you'll see Roderick's sick-bed. That's not where the poison is located, however. Take the passage to the north-east and turn right. If you keep following the passage you'll soon reach a room containing a Medecine Cabinet. Inside, remove Roderick's Medecine and replace it with Roderick's Poison. You'll receive a journal entry telling you that Roderick will die next time he receives his treatment.

Leave the Fort the way you came, being careful to remain undetected. I recommend you make a save in the Medecine room, as you putting the poison in the cabinet seems to trigger some new patrols for the guards which put them quite close to your exit path. If you're seen after planting the poison the guards will suspect what you've done and you'll need to kill Roderick by more orthodox means, forfeiting your bonus.

Make the long trip back to Cheydinhal to receive your payment from Ocheeva. In addition to the standard 50 gold you'll receive Deceiver's Finery, a fine piece of clothing with fortify Personality and fortify Speechcraft enchantments. In fact, this reward makes an excellent costume for your next quest...

Whodunnit? #return to index
This quest is one of the most original in the game, and a lot of fun to complete. Talk to Ocheeva about your next contract and she'll ask you if you like parties. She hopes so, because you've been invited to one. You're to travel to Summitmist Manor and kill five unlikely guests inside. To receive you're bonus, you'll need to kill all of them secretly.

The guests believe they've been summoned to the manor to play some kind of game. They've been told that there is a chest of gold inside and that the key to the manor is inside the chest. There is no chest of gold, however - rather, it provides a clever excuse as to why the guests have been trapped in the house. At some point in their lives they've all wronged the mysterious host of this game, and now he is exacting a cruel punishment. You're to play the part of the sixth guest and kill off the others one-by-one.

Fast-travel to Skingrad's East Gate. Summitmist manor is the second building on the right. You'll be approached by the doorman, Fafnir. You and he "have the same mother" and he appears to be well-informed of your purpose here. Here hand you the key to the manor. Dress in your Deceiver's Finery, or other fine clothing, and enter. You'll be greeted at the door by Matilde Petit who complains about your lateness. Your fellow guests are Nels the Naughty, Neville, Dovesi Dran and Primo Antonius. Matilde will ask who you are. Respond: "I'm an assassin..." -- Matilde loves the joke. If you question her about the other guests you'll learn three things of interest: Dovesi has been eyeing Primo, Matilde likes Neville, and Neville and Nels don't get on. Some of this information will be of use to you later.

Luckily, the most entertaining way to complete this mission is also your best means to securing your bonus. Get to know each of your guests thoroughly by raising their dispositions to 70. You'll be killing them all eventually, so use as many bribes as you need (you'll get all your money back from their corpses). Once all their dispositions are at 70, this is what you'll learn from each:

@ Dovesi: she seems to dislike him.
@ Matilde: seems less well-off than she should be, but likes her.
@ Nels: hates Nords, and therefore views Nels with great suspicion.
@ Primo: wonders why he is here, as he doesn't need the gold.

@ Dovesi: a spitting image of his daughter, killed in a bandit raid.
@ Matilde: Primo looks down on her.
@ Neville: despises the Imperial Legion and therefore Neville, as he's a former legionnare. The Imperial Legion refused to assist in the bandit attack that saw Nels' daughter killed.

@ Dovesi: captivated by her. Asks you to put in a good word for him if you speak to her.
@ Matilde: more common than she makes out she is.
@ Nels: senses a deep sadness in him.
@ Neville: senses he's very eager to find the gold.

@ Matilde: thinks she has something against Dunmer.
@ Nels: thinks Nels is sweet on her. Actually, he just thinks she looks like his dead daughter.
@ Neville: she hates the Imperial Legion for what they did in Morrowind.
@ Primo: she likes him. Tell her he likes her too but don't ask her to meet him in his room... we'll go about the murders in another manner. This is, however, one way to isolate the guests. You'll have a better opportunity to kill Dovesi later on.

It should be clear now that Nels and Neville are looking for any excuse to do your work for you. You'll heighten their suspicion by taking out the weakest target first: Matilde Petit.

Talk to her again and she'll propose an alliance between the two of you. Accept, then suggest that she start searching for the chest of gold down in the basement. She likes your advice, and heads down there immediately. You need only follow and melee sneak attack her once she's alone down there.

Take your bribes from her corpse and head upstairs. The others, it seems, have discovered her body. Your next target is Dovesi Dran, who's distraught at the murder. When she tells you her concerns choose the "Say nothing." response. She'll admire your ability to listen and decide to go and get something to eat from the basement. What, does she want to get killed?

Follow her down into the larder room of the basement and off her in the same way you killed Matilde. Take the bribes from her body, brush off your finery and return upstairs. Your next target is Primo, as you want to leave Nels and Neville as the last guests, as chatting to either will reveal each highly suspects the other. Wait until Primo is alone on the bottom level and the others are upstairs, then sneak attack him. Take the bribes from his body and head upstairs to speak to Nels about Neville, who is now dressed in full Legion armor.

Nels will rush off to confront Neville, but Neville easily dispatches him with one blow. Take the bribes from Nels' body, then speak to Neville. He suspects that the murderer has now been dealt with, and decides to try and break-down the front door with an axe. As he begins to do so, sneak up behind him and kill the last guest. Your contract is complete.

Exit Summitmist Manor and return to Ocheeva at the Sanctuary. She'll congratulate you on not only eliminating the guests, but for acting as an agent of grief and terror. In addition to the standard 50 gold you'll recieve the Night Mother's Blessing, which boosts your Blade, Acrobatics, Sneak, Security and Marksman skills by 3.

Permanent Retirement
#return to index
Ocheeva informs you that this is a most important contract, sanctioned by the Black Hand itself. Your next target is Adamus Phillida, who is to the Dark Brotherhood what Heironymous Lex is to the Thieves Guild. The Dark Brotherhood has tried and failed three times to kill him, and now he's been allowed to enter into a peaceful retirement. Ocheeva does not want to see him receive such a happy fate. He now resides in the Leyawiin City Watch Barracks.

The Black Hand has sanctioned you to use the Rose of Sithis for this contract, an enchanted arrow which kills its target instantly. The catch, however, is that it cannot pierce armor, so you'll need to catch Adamus in a moment when he's not wearing it. In addition, you can secure your bonus by cleaving Adamus' Legion Signet ring from his hand (with its finger still attached) and placing it in the desk of his successor at the Legion Offices in the Imperial City. This should send the appropriate 'message'.

Fast-travel to Leyawiin's NE gate. Your journal advises you to stalk Phillida, so why not do so. At 10am he heads into the Coast Guard Station outside the NE gate and stays there until 2pm. Why wouldn't he, considering the beautiful surrounds. At 2pm he heads back into the city and at 3pm goes for a swim in the pond behind Adharji's house, leaving his armor on the shore. Now is your moment. You'll need to fire the arrow from a distance while standing, as the sneak attack bonus seems to occasionally negate the instant kill effect. Save before you let loose, as there is only one Rose of Sithis, and you wouldn't want to miss.

Adamus should drop dead immediately, his body floating on the surface of the water. Quickly loot his body, taking special care to take the finger and various keys. You'll have a bounty on your head now, so pay it off with your Thieves Guild doyen or drop your stolen items and talk to a guard (that is, if you want to clear the bounty from your head).

Fast-travel to the Imperial City Prison District. The Legion Offices are accessed through the second door on your left. You can open the door with one of the keys you took from Phillida's body, but do so between 1am and 4am when the offices are empty before you do so. The desk of Phillida's successor is directly in front of you. Open it, place the finger inside and make your way back to the Sanctuary. You'll receive the standard 50 gold from Ocheeva, plus a 500 gold bonus for delivering the 'message'.

Of Secret and Shadow #return to index
Return to Ocheeva for your next task and she'll hand you sealed orders from Lucien Lachance. You're to open them immediately and then follow their instructions. You're needed by the Black Hand, and are to find Lucien in Fort Farragut for more comprehensive instructions. Ocheeva will warn you that Lucien's inner-sanctum is protected by 'rotting sentinels' which must be dealt with in order to reach Lachance.

Fort Farragut is NE from the Cheydinhal East Gate, and can be reached by following the winding path that heads NE from the gate. Once you hit the main archway of the fort make your way NE around the big cluster of rocks and you'll stumble across a giant hollowed-out tree stump with a trap door in its center. Enter the Fort via the trapdoor to be injected right into Lucien's inner-sanctum, thus bypassing his rotten sentinels (skeletons much like the one that wanders the Cheydinhal Sanctuary).

Lucien will approach you to talk.

The Purification #return to index
Lucien has heard of your many recent accomplishments. He and the rest of the Black Hand thought you would be the perfect choice to help deal with a traitor who has been operating within the Dark Brotherhood. The traitor was active before you joined, thus absolving you of any suspicion. There is a link between the traitor and the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, and you've been selected to perform a ritual called 'The Purification' - which, in english, means the wholesale slaughter of everyone at the Sanctuary. Sithis will pardon any murder or theft you commit against the inhabitants of the Sanctuary, so you need not worry about being expelled from the Brotherhood.

Lucien presents you with two tools to aid in the purification: a poisoned apple, which will kill the person who consumes it in an instant, and a scroll to Summon Rufio's Ghost: Rufio might have been weak and inconsequential in life, but his ghost is quite powerful. If you have no qualms about stealing from Lachance, there is a chest in his inner-sanctum full of the powerful Poisoned Apples.

Purifying the Sanctuary is a requirement for advancement in the quest line. Yes, the developers have made it purposefully painful, having characters like M'raj Dar finally begin to treat you with kindness and respect, just as you're ordered to kill him. You can't complain too much though, as your character is a cold-blooded killer and really wouldn't let emotions get in the way.

Return to the Cheydinhal Sanctuary to begin The Purification. There is no set order in which to kill its inhabitants, but you'll find it is easier to kill each of them at times when they are isolated from the rest of the family.

If you want to use your poisoned apple you'll find Marie Antoinette a good target. Unlike what you may expect it is the lower-ranked members of the Sanctuary who provide the most difficult challenge. She sleeps alone in the living quarters at 12am, and you can kill her then or plant the Poisoned Apple on her body using the pick-pocket screen. She is guaranteed to eat it within a day. You can use the apple on any member of the Sanctuary except Valtieri, who drinks only human blood, or kill the Sanctuary's members by more traditional means and save the apple for a more powerful target.

M'raj Dar can be found alone at 1a.m., reading or eating in the training room. You can kill him there, or wait until he has just finished his spells training, as his magicka will be very low and he'll be forced to use his rather weak unarmed attacks against you.

Gogron gro-Balmog, a powerful-looking Orc, sleeps alone in the living quarters at 4a.m. Avoid the swing of his long axe by hitting and retreating in succession.

Vicente Valtieri is asleep at 6a.m., though it may be easier to fight both he and Ocheeva at the same time with the assistance of Rufio's Ghost. Strike Ocheeva from behind in the training room at 10:30a.m. and once she is finished, bring the ghost out into the central common area where it can also begin to fight the male Argonian and Valtieri if he is there. You'll find Rufio's Ghost is able to do most of the work in bringing these two down.

Your final target is the altmer Talaendril, who is not always in the Sanctuary. Make sure you retrieve the 'Note to Talaendril' from Ocheeva's body, which will tell you where she is at any given time. You can check what day it is using the Wait screen, but if you'd like to kill her in the privacy of the Sanctuary, she can be found there on Morndas from 3pm. You can kill Schemer the rat and the Dark Guardian as well if you like, but it's not required for the quest. Make sure that you loot the private chests in the living quarters, now that you have each person's key.

Fast-travel back to Fort Farragut and enter via the trapdoor. Talk to Lucien, who'll tell you that the time has come to acknowledge and reward your unwavering loyalty. You've been invited to share in secrets that few have access to. You will serve the Black Hand as Lucien's personal Silencer, but will not receive orders from him in person. Rather, you'll pick them up from dead drop locations around Cyrodiil. Your first location is Hero Hill, SE of Cheydinhal. But first, Lucien has a very special gift for you: the magnificent steed, Shadowmere, who you'll find to be the fastest and strongest horse in the game. He'll be waiting for you outside when you leave Lucien's inner-sanctum.

From Fort Farragut, head SE to reach Hero Hill. Inspect the hollowed-out rock to retrieve 'Dead Drop Orders #1'.

Affairs of a Wizard #return to index
Your first assignment sounds tricky, but it's easier than it sounds. You're to kill a Necromancer who has begun the process of turning himself into a Lich. His name is Celedaen, and you'll find him holed up in Leafrot Cave. Though his metamorphosis is not complete, he is still very powerful -- too powerful to be defeated in direct combat. You'll need to find his weakness, and your journal suggests that you do that by finding his personal writings.

Look at your map to find the closest fast-travel locations to Leafrot cave. Once inside, follow the descending passage until you hit a well-lit room. Deal with the two skeletons, then inspect Celedaen's belongings. Make sure to pick up 'The Art of War Magic' from the bookshelf, which increases your Destruction skill by 1. Your next target is the big book on the table, 'The Path of Transcendence'. The last two pages reveal Celedaen's weakness: the Sands of Resolve, a magical hourglass, must not leave his body before the transferral of his soul is complete. Removing the hourglass will kill Celedaen instantly, and it can be removed by doing something an assassin is good at: stealth, and pick-pocketing.

Head down the SE passage and through the gate to Leafrot Hollow. This is a good place to save, as you will not be able to pick-pocket Celedaen if he sees you. Head to the foot of the passage and stay hidden until he walks to the NW chamber, then duck into the shadowy passage on your right. Hide there and pickpocket him as soon as he turns into the passage, thus giving him no chance to see you. Remove the Sands of Resolve from his inventory and Celedaen will fall to the ground dead.

Your next drop is an old sack hidden in bushes beneath the Great Oak in Chorrol. Fast-travel to the Chorrol North Gate and head south until you hit the Great Oak in the center of the roundabout. The sack is hidden in the bushes on the SE side of the trunk. The sack contains a reward of 500 gold, which is the standard for all dead-drop assignments, and 'Dead Drop Orders #2'.

Next of Kin #return to index
Your next assignment involves several murders rather than one. You're to kill every member of the Draconis family: Perennia, Matthias, Andreas, Sibylla and Caelia. To make matters difficult, you know the location of only one family member, Perennia, who is the matron of the Draconis family. She lives on Applewatch farm. You're to travel to the farm, find out as much information on the whereabouts of the rest of the family, and then systematically eradicate them.

Applewatch is west of Castle Bruma. Head to the Bruma North gate and make your way across the snow to the little farm-house. Perennia is an elderly Imperial woman. Approach her and state that you're looking for her children. It seems she's hired someone to buy gifts for all of them, and believes you're going to be the one to deliver the gifts. Rather helpfully, she gives you 100 gold to cover the cost of the gifts and a list of the names and locations of all her children. Sadly, she won't live to see the irony of what she's just done. You can dispatch her quickly as Perennia is no fighter.

The next closest family member is her son, Mattias. Head to the Talos Plaza District of the Imperial City. Matthis can be killed as he sleeps in his house between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. (his house is located on the SW side of the Plaza). He can also be killed privately in the basement of Umbacano Manor at 3 p.m, though it will involve some sneaking and lock-picking to get down there without being detected. You'll also notice that Matthias wears light-armor, rather than the heavy armor his mother requested. It seems the Draconis family are indeed not very close.

Next, head to Muck Valley Cavern to eliminate the feral Sybilla. Fast-travel to Leyawiin's stables and head SW. Once inside, you'll find there's no other way to go but forward, through a smattering of animal enemies. Approach Sibylla with caution as she's skillful with a mace and is capable of inflicting a decent amount of damage before she drops.

Next on the death-list is Andreas, owner of the Drunken Dragon Inn. Head to Leyawiin and follow the road north, veering to the NE after you hit the ruins of Arpenia. Find Andreas inside and tell him 'Your mother bled like a pig'. That gets the desired reaction of provoking Andreas to attack you and thus absolving you of any bounty you might receive had you initiated the attack. Better yet, if there's a Legion Soldier at the Inn who witnessed Andreas strike you he'll assist you in taking him down!

Your last stop is Leyawiin, for Caelia Draconis. She can be isolated privately at the Three Sisters Inn at 10 a.m., where she relaxes in the West Wing of the 2nd Floor. I was unable to kill Caelia without acquiring a bounty of 1000 gold, but maybe you can do better?

And thus the Draconis family line was ended. Your next drop location is the stone well in the Skingrad Castle Courtyard. Fast-travel to Castle Skingrad and activate the grate in the center of the well. You'll receive a reward of 500 gold and 'Dead Drop Orders #3'.

Broken Vows #return to index
You're to kill the Khajiiit J'Ghasta in his house in Bruma, but be careful, as he's a master of unarmed combat. He's expecting trouble, and has paid the guards to look the other way should the fight spill out on to the streets.

Fast-travel to the Bruma East Gate. J'Ghasta's house is the third building down the street to the left. Once you're inside, head down the stairs and around to the storage area which sits behind the stair-case. Enter the trap-door beneath the stack of folded cloths, leading to the 'Secret Training Room'.

This is a straight-forward battle. J'Ghasta is a tough opponent and has the advantage in the confined space. If you're having trouble, bring the fight up into the house. Once he's dead, take some time to inspect the book next to his bed-roll in the Training Room... 'The Brotherhood of Darkness'. As the title suggests, have you once again broken your vows by killing him?

The next dead drop location is a rotten box beneath the Old Bridge, just south of the Imperial City. The closest fast-travel locations are the Imperial City Waterfront or the Inn of Ill Omen. Inside the rotten box you'll find 500 gold and 'Dead Drop Orders #4'.

Final Justice #return to index
Your next target is an argonian hunter named Shaleez, who is hiding out in Flooded Mine. She is a wanted psychopath, and your journal warns you to be cautious.

Fast-travel to Bravil's Bay Roan Stables and head north until you hit Flooded Mine. Once inside you'll see that it bears that name for a reason. Unless you're an argonian, Shaleez has the advantage in this environment due to the racial gift of water-breathing.

Note: if you find it too difficult to see underwater and are using the PC, download the Natural Environments Pack. It makes the game look considerably better, including water, and improves underwater visibility.

From the first chamber, duck down into the tunnel off-shoot and swim quickly down it until you reach a T-intersection, then turn right. Continue towards the surface of the water in this new chamber. Follow the chamber east, then turn left and continue north. Take a gulp of air and dive down into the underwater section of the passage and follow it as it curves left. Quickly follow the passage west until you hit the big chamber and, probably, Shaleez. Climb up the banks and occasionally Shaleez will not follow, allowing you to pelt her with arrows or ranged spells as she struggles to pull herself from the water. It is difficult for the AI to follow you in this terrain, so make sure you move around a lot to give your self a chance to heal between attacks.

Once Shaleez has been eliminated, you'll receive instructions pointing you to your next dead drop location: a coffin outside Fort Redman. Before you leave, save, then follow the canal in the main chamber to where it hits the southern wall and dive down into the tunnel below. Turn right to collect the loot from a small submerged chamber, then head back to the main chamber and retrace your steps to the mine exit.

The closest fast-travel locations to Fort Redman are the Nocturnal Shrine, Blankenmarch and Arpenia. Or, from Leyawiin, follow the eastern bank of the Lower Niben to the north. The coffin is located to the right of the door to Fort Redman. It contains 500 gold and 'Dread Drop Orders #5', along with a document called 'Alval Uvani's Schedule'.

A Matter of Honor #return to index
Alval Uvani, your next target, is a dark elf merchant who spends his days traveling around Cyrodiil. You're to utilize the schedule in locating Alval, but be warned that he's a master of Destruction magics and will likely prove impossible to defeat in an equal fight. He has one weakness: an allergy to the honey in mead which renders him immobile.

When Alval needs to eat, he'll steal the food from whatever location he's in. Unfortunately, his Sneak skill is 100 and thus planting the mead on his body will be impossible. Your best bet is to remove all other alternative food sources from the immediate area (or building, if possible) and plant mead on several containers and surfaces. Mead can be purchased from most inn-keepers. Thus, when Alval's AI tells him to find food, he'll have no choice but to go for the mead. Ideally, you should try to get Alval to drink the mead in his Leyawiin house, by clearing it of food the day before Alval arrives (he arrives on Sundas).

Another good location to target Alval is at Olav's Tap and Tack in Bruma. Clean out the food from the main room and replace it with mead. You'll see Alval go into sneak mode - if he takes something from a container or surface where you've placed the mead, you know you've got him. He'll sit down and begin drinking, then begin complaining that he "can't move". Wait until Alval is frozen, set yourself down somewhere where you're sneaking, and kill him. If you're in a public inn it might be difficult to do this without getting a 40 gold bounty, but it can be done.

Your next set of orders can be found in a hollowed-out treestump behind Stonewall Shields in the Market District of the Imperial City. You'll receive 500 gold and 'Dead Drop Orders #6'.

The Coldest Sleep #return to index
You're to travel to a camp-site on Gnoll Mountain and kill Havilstein Hoar-Blood, a savage Nord Barbarian skilled in the use of the axe. Gnoll Mountain is east of Bruma's Wildeye Stables. Utilize the agility of Shadowmere to scale the steep mountain-top. Havilstein and his pet wolf Redmaw will attack you on sight. Havilstein is several levels above you, so don't be afraid to use archery or spells on the run to defeat him. Once he's dead you'll be instructed to collect your next set of orders from the Ayleid Ruins of Nounal - specifically, a sunken chest within the ruins.

Fast-travel to Muck Valley Caves, then head south. Enter Nounal and follow the passage forward down the entry stair-case. Continue onwards until you hit a T-intersection, then turn right into a submerged room, unlock the gate and retrieve your reward and 'Dead Drop Orders #7' from the submerged chest.

A Kiss Before Dying #return to index
Your next target is a woof elf named Ungolim. You're to kill him by the statue of the Lucky Old Lady in Bravil, which he visits without fail every day between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m. to make a wish. You must kill him as soon as you see him. Like J'Ghasta in Bruma, he's bribed the guards to look the other way, so don't expect any help from them if he initiates the attack.

Fast-travel to Bravil. Ungolim appears at 6 p.m. and will attack you on sight. Climb atop one of the nearby buildings and land a solid ranged sneak attack before engaging in melee. He's a skilled archer but can be dispatched quickly if you avoid being hit. When Ungolim falls you'll receive a message that your next dead drop location is a barrel behind a pond in the city of Anvil, and another message telling you that "your blood turns to ice as a familiar shadow draws near"...

Following A Lead #return to index
It's Lachance, and he's mad as hell. Unbeknownst to you, you've been systematically killing off the members of the Black Hand. Cool! I mean, uh, damn. Worse, the surviving members think Lucien is the culprit. It seems the traitor has switched your orders since the mission where you killed the Draconis family, and that you have eliminated the four members of the Black Hand, including the Listener, leaving only Lucien alive. Both you and Lucien have been deceived. Rather than killing you, as he originally intended, Lachance enlists you to help him. You're to travel to your next dead drop location and interrogate the traitor as he makes the drop.

Fast- travel to Anvil's Main Gate and head left. The barrel sits behind the mermaid statue on the bank of the pond. Wait an hour and you'll see a young wood elf, Enilron, placing orders in the barrel. Talk to him to learn that he was paid to do so by a robed man who lives in the cellar of the Anvil Lighthouse. Ask Enilron to tell you more about the Lighthouse and he'll point you towards Ulfgar Fog-Eye, the Lighthouse-keeper, who will "surely" give you the key to the cellar.

Fast-travel to the Anvil light-house and find Ulfgar. Regardless of how you ask him for the key the conversation will end in combat. Luckily, Ulfgar began the attack so you won't be find, and most importantly, it's an easy fight. Take the 'Cellar Key' from his body, exit the lighthouse and head around its circumfrence until you hit the cellar door. Once inside, head through the macabre scene to the door on the other side of the room. Open it, kill the crazed dog, and read the 'Traitor's Diary' on the chair across from 'Mother's Head'. The Traitor is thoroughly mad and has been working within the Dark Brotherhood for years, waiting for a chance to avenge his mother's death. He wants to kill Lucien Lachance and the Night Mother herself!

Your journal instructs you to take this information to Lucien at Applewatch. Fast-travel there and enter the farm-house to be met with another grizzly sight. They believed Lucien was the traitor and have thus killed him! Arquen will speak to you and congratulate you on your new role as Speaker. In order to restore the Black Hand Arquen plans to call upon the Night Mother for her guidance. You're to speak to her between midnight and 3 a.m. to begin the ritual. In addition, you'll be given a Black Hand Hood and Black Hand Robes.

You can't tell anyone that Lucien was not the traitor because the traitor is here, you just don't know who it is, so you're to wait until they reveal themselves before acting.

Honor Thy Mother #return to index
Wait until midnight and speak to Arquen about the "Night Mother" to be transported to the Lonely Old Ladystatue in Bravil. It seems that the statue actually represents the entry to the Night Mother's Crypt! Watch as Arquen performs the rights, the statue withers to its true form and the other members of the Black Hand enter the crypt. Follow them by using the trap-door at the feet of the Night Mother statue.

Once inside the crypt you'll see the ghost of the Night Mother, woken from her eternal slumber. It won't be long before the traitor reveals himself: it's Mathieu Bellamont. He'll strike down two members of the Black Hand, leaving only you and Arquen alive. Arquen exhorts you to protect the Night Mother and begins to help you fight Mathieu, but you'll find yourself his next target, and you'll also find Arquen to be a rather ineffectual ally. As the room is so small, archers and ranged spell-casters will find themselves at a disadvantage here, so engage Mathieu in melee. If you are having trouble you might find it possible to jump up on one of the taller sarcophagi and pelt Mathieu from above, out of reach.

Once the traitor has been dealt with speak to the Night Mother. It seems she and Sithis have been aware of Bellamont's treachery since the moment he joined the Dark Brotherhood, but let events play out to see who would emerge as the strongest, and who would emerge as the weakest. It seems you have impressed both Night Mother and Dread Father, and thus you're promoted to Listener of the Dark Brotherhood, the most powerful post in the Black Hand and the top of the mortal echelons of the guild. She wants you to take a moment to collect any treasures you want from the crypt, and to reflect on your new position. Exit the conversation and loot the three chests for some neat enchanted items, then speak to the Night Mother again.

She instructs you to speak with Arquen when you return to the Cheydinhal Sanctuary, for instructions on how to complete your duties as Listener. Before you leave, the Night Mother has one last gift: she unlocks the true power of the Blade of Woe, the mundane sword given to you by Lucien Lachance when you first joined the family. The blade now carries Damage Will, Damage Health, Demoralize and Damage Magicka enchantments.

Whispers of Death #return to index
Once back at the Sanctuary talk to Arquen to receive your duties as Listener. You're to talk to the Night Mother statue once a week to receive the name and location of the Dark Brotherhood's newest client, then take the information back to Arquen. Every time you do so you'll receive a cut of the guild's earnings (25 - 300 gold, depending on your level). As you retrieve more contracts, you'll find the Sanctuary eventually contains up to three low-level guild members. You can ask one of these guild members to follow you on your travels.

The Dark Brotherhood is on its way back to prominence in Cyrodiil, with you leading the way.


Oblivion Portal


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