The Black-Briars are a family faction that reside in Riften. They are led by Maven Black-Briar, the head of the family.
They reside in Black-Briar Manor, next to the Temple of Mara and just in front of the secret entrance to The Ragged Flagon - Cistern. The Dragonborn will interact with several members consistently throughout a variety of quests within The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The Black-Briars have always been a powerful and affluent family in Riften, and have been in careful and ultimate jurisdiction over the city's cultural and ethical affairs, decisions, and industries with the purpose of controlling as much as they see fit to their own gain. Of all the members, Maven Black-Briar is the family matriarch who uses everything within her grasp to all of its possible efficiency and usefulness to further herself, her family and her successful business, Black-Briar Meadery. Jarl Laila Law-Giver and The Rift Hold's guards are kept deep within the Black-Briars' pockets; they even hold influence within the spheres of the Thalmor, the Thieves Guild, and even the Dark Brotherhood, which shows that they have made many allies in various places within Tamriel, whether through friendship or extortion.
As leader, Maven is the one who has paved the way for her family to prosper and grow within Skyrim. She cares for none, and has faith in just as many, believing in nothing but the rule of cause and effect. She uses this as her weapon, and will not hesitate to have anyone that stands in her way taught a lesson either by the Thieves Guild, or even the Dark Brotherhood.
Hemming Black-Briar has a pompous personality, obeying his mother's every wish and whim while proclaiming himself to be among the most skilled of both swordsmen and merchants alike. He has great ambition, and wishes to bring Black-Briar Meadery to the whole of Tamriel one day.
Sibbi Black-Briar is arguably the most infamous member of the family, bringing much dishonour and shame to the name of Black-Briar, and is known for using Maven's wealth for his dark indulgences. He is currenlty imprisoned within Mistveil Watch after killing the brother of his ex-fiancée, Svidi, and has also been known to frequent adultery.
Eccentric and rather morbid, she is the member who is least interested with the family business. She works with Elgrim at his shop, Elgrim's Elixirs, and hopes to be a skilled alchemist someday. She will talk to the Dragonborn about what exactly she finds so fascinating about alchemy, stating that she finds an excitement within seeing toxins shut down a person's body, and that there's a beautiful irony in how the world around her provides the means for both life and death.
- Dampened Spirits: Put Maven Black-Briar's competition out of business.
- Diplomatic Immunity: Infiltrate a party at the Thalmor Embassy.
- Becoming Thane (Capital: Riften): Help out the Jarl and citizens of the Rift, and be named Thane for your service.
- Promises to Keep: Help Louis Letrush get Frost from Sibbi Black-Briar.
- The Pursuit: Break into Mercer Frey's house and search for clues.
- Vald's Debt: Find the Quill of Gemination to clear Vald's debt to Maven Black-Briar.
- The Lover's Requital: Kill Svidi by Sibbi Black-Briar's request.
- Ingun's Task: Gather all the missing rare ingredients for Ingun Black-Briar's mentor, Elgrim.
- The name Black-Briar can be etymologically broken down: "briar," denoting a member of the Rose plant family, combined with "black" makes the family name literally "Black Rose," a symbol of ill omen and death.
- The design upon Black-Briar Meadery signs also display a briar and its characteristic thorns encircling the business name.