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Dark Brotherhood (Skyrim)

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DBdoor

"What is the music of life?"
"Silence, my brother."

For other instances, see Dark Brotherhood.
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"I told him you can't stop the Dark Brotherhood. Never could."
Emperor Titus Mede II[src]

The Dark Brotherhood is an organization of highly trained assassins who carry out assassination contracts. The Dark Brotherhood is called upon by those who wish to utilize their deadly services through a ritual called "The Black Sacrament". They were once the most feared organisation in all of Tamriel, but have lost their reputation over time. At one point, they were governed by The Five Tenets, which set the ground rules for the Brotherhood, but those tenets have long since been abandoned.

The Dark Brotherhood has been operating in Tamriel for many Eras, at one time having many clandestine sanctuaries across the Empire. They revere Sithis, the avatar of entropy and chaos, as well as the Night Mother, who is their spiritual leader.

History

The Dark Brotherhood has been struggling for survival ever since the end of the Third Era. Due to the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the Dark Brotherhood in Cyrodiil was crippled. They managed to survive until the Great War, when, one after one, each Brotherhood Sanctuary was destroyed. By the end of the war, the Brotherhood was near total destruction once again. Cicero, one of two remaining Dark Brotherhood assassins outside of Skyrim (the other believed to be a deserter), took the Night Mother's corpse from Bravil to the last remaining Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dark Brotherhood has no listener to hear the Night Mother and thus hears about The Black Sacrament through rumors. This type of life for the Brotherhood continues until the Dragonborn joins them.

Dark Brotherhood Requirements

DarkBrotherhoodAssassination
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"Sweet mother, sweet mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptised in blood and fear."
―The Black Sacrament ritual[src]

Any man or woman may join the Dark Brotherhood. Initiates must display the ability to kill mercilessly, without regret or sorrow. As a result, their ranks include vampires, werewolves, bandits, and mages.

A high sneak skill is recommended before joining the Dark Brotherhood. Jobs done for them often require stealth, to kill an enemy without being detected. A very useful perk for this is Assassin's Blade. To get this, the Dragonborn must have a level 50 sneak skill (along with the other perks leading up to it). It will allow successful sneak attacks with daggers to do 15 times normal damage.

Attracting the Dark Brotherhood's Attention

The Dragonborn can go to any inn and ask for the latest gossip from the innkeeper. The innkeeper may tell the Dragonborn that Aventus Aretino is trying to perform the Black Sacrament in Windhelm.

Alternatively, if in Riften, the Dragonborn can speak to a man named Maul. He can usually be found standing against a post off to the left at the entrance of the city. If Maven Black-Briar is Jarl, he will be in Mistveil Keep as her housecarl. After sharing some tough words, he can give information on the Dark Brotherhood - for a price, of course. With a successful intimidation or persuasion, or upon being shown an unusual gem, Maul's information is free.

The children in the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften will also speak about Aventus' attempts to summon the Dark Brotherhood, which will give the Dragonborn a miscellaneous objective as well. Upon speaking to the children there, they will tell the Dragonborn that Aventus Aretino escaped and has plans to kill their headmistress, Grelod the Kind, by summoning the Dark Brotherhood.

Speaking with Aventus Aretino in his parent's home in Windhelm initiates the quest Innocence Lost and starts the Dark Brotherhood questline. After accepting Aretino's proposal, the Dragonborn is directed to visit the Honorhall Orphanage. After killing Grelod, the children will cheer and celebrate her death. No bounty is issued for her death.

DBTenets

The Five Tenets are no longer followed by the Brotherhood.

Joining or Destroying the Brotherhood

24 hours after Innocence Lost has been completed, a courier will appear to the Dragonborn in any city, with a note saying, "We know." A black hand-print is above the words. After receiving the note, sleeping in any bed for any amount of time will begin the next phase of the quest (the acquisition of this note is optional). While sleeping, the Dragonborn is abducted by a Dark Brotherhood assassin and wakes up in an Abandoned Shack. This is where the decision to join or destroy the Dark Brotherhood must be made.

There, the Dragonborn is asked by Astrid, the Dark Brotherhood assassin, to kill one of three people in the room, initiating the quest With Friends Like These.... Killing one, two, or even all of the potential victims will earn the Dragonborn an invitation to join the Dark Brotherhood. The Dragonborn may also take the opportunity to destroy the organization by attacking Astrid. This will initiate the quest Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!. Note that this is the only chance to destroy the Dark Brotherhood, because after joining, the Brotherhood members are otherwise unable to be killed.

Dark Brotherhood quests

Apparel

When completing quests in the Dark Brotherhood, the Dragonborn can obtain three armor sets, and three clothing sets.

Armor

Clothing

Dawnstar Sanctuary

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"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."
―Dawnstar Sanctuary Door and Dragonborn

Astrid

Dawnstar Sanctuary

Dawnstar Sanctuary inside.

After Astrid betrays the brotherhood to Commander Maro and the Penitus Oculatus during the first assassination attempt against Emperor Titus Mede II, the Penitus Oculatus ravage the Falkreath Sanctuary, killing all but Nazir, Babette, and possibly Cicero. During the attack, the Night Mother hides her Listener within her coffin, to protect them from the invaders and the fires they ignited in the sanctuary. The Listener awakens in the Sanctuary, safe and sound. The Listener then is told by the Night Mother that Astrid is still alive in the temple and must be located. She is burnt badly. She admits to betraying the Brotherhood and hands the Dragonborn the Blade of Woe with which to kill her.

Refurnishing the sanctuary

Nazir sends the Listener to Delvin Mallory in The Ragged Flagon for assistance with refurbishing the sanctuary. The total upgrade of the sanctuary costs 19,000 GoldIcon. The 20,000 GoldIcon reward given by Amaund Motierre for killing the Emperor can cover this entire expense.

Afterwards, the Listener may report back to Nazir, who effectively serves as a Speaker for additional contracts that do not have significance to the faction's storyline. The Night Mother can be approached an unlimited number of times for more radiant quests, rewarding 500-1200 GoldIcon per assassination.

After every possible upgrade has been purchased for the Sanctuary, Dark Brotherhood Initiates will be in the Sanctuary. They are available as followers.

Members

Dbhand

Gallery

Trivia

  • Normally the Dark Brotherhood will not attack the Dragonborn if attacked first, however, if the Dragonborn reverse pickpockets a fellow member, all members will attack.
  • If the Dragonborn joins the Dark Brotherhood, passing guards may sometimes say: "Psst... I know who you are. Hail Sithis!" or "It's not true what they say about you and... and the Dark Brotherhood, is it?"
  • The Dragonborn can kill Grelod before speaking with Arentino. The Dark Brotherhood will not visit the Dragonborn until Arentino has been informed and the reward collected, though.
  • Astrid's last words if she is killed in the Abandoned Shack are "Well done..."
  • Killing a Dark Brotherhood assassin who attacks the Dragonborn before they are a member of the Brotherhood has no repercussions as the five tenets have long been abandoned.
  • It is not possible to sacrifice an Initiate as the victim in Boethiah's Calling, nor can they be used to charge the Ebony Blade.
  • A werewolf can still sleep in a bed and become a member.
  • With Dragonborn, members of the Morag Tong, who are bitter enemies of the Dark Brotherhood, will make random assassination attempts on the Dragonborn if a member of the brotherhood.

Achievements and trophies

With Friends Like These... (Achievement)
With Friends Like These…
Join the Dark Brotherhood
Points 10 Game points
Trophy
Bronze trophy

Bound Until Death (Achievement)
Bound Until Death
Complete "Bound Until Death"
Points 10 Game points
Trophy
Bronze trophy

Hail Sithis! (Achievement)
Hail Sithis!
Complete "Hail Sithis!"
Points 30 Game points
Trophy
Silver trophy

Appearances

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