Hired Muscle is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


The Dragonborn must talk to Farkas to get this quest. This is one of three possible radiant quests Farkas will offer the Dragonborn after reaching a certain point in the Companions quest line.

Farkas asks the Dragonborn to intimidate a random character in Skyrim. The target will always be in a hold the Dragonborn has already visited. If this is the first random quest taken for the Companions, the target will be located in Whiterun.

It is the Dragonborn's duty to track down the person and "rough them up" by initiating a bare-knuckle fight with them until they yield. Killing the target while on the job will result in failure.

Return to Farkas once the mission is complete for a reward of 100 GoldIcon.

List of characters to intimidateEdit

Click to see the list of characters


Hired Muscle – CR04
IDJournal Entry
10<Alias=Brute> has been causing trouble for someone around <Alias=BruteTown>. I need to rough <Alias.PronounObj=Brute> up to remind him of his (or "her of her") obligations.
  • Objective 10: Intimidate <Alias=Brute> in <Alias=BruteTown>
20<Alias=Brute> won't be causing as much trouble for <Alias=BruteTown>.
  • Objective 20: Return to Farkas
30I got carried away and killed <Alias=Brute>.
  • Objective 20: Return to Farkas
40<Alias=Brute> was killed, through no fault of my own.
  • Objective 20: Return to Farkas
  • Quest complete
  • Quest failed
  • Quest failed


This section contains bugs related to Hired Muscle. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
  • On PC, typing setstage cr04 100 in the console will force quest completion if the quest is bugged.
  • The quest may direct the Dragonborn toward targets who have already died. If this happens, there is no way to complete the quest properly, and the Companions questline will be stuck.
    • To fix this, go to Whiterun, then find Amren and kill him. At this point the quest line should open back up.
  • Killing Eris might result in a bounty and several characters, including Vilkas, chasing the Dragonborn until the bounty is paid. After completing the quest, Vilkas will stop being hostile, but still chase and initiate conversation with the Dragonborn wherever they go, effectively disabling fast-travel (the game will give a "You can not fast travel while guards are pursuing you" message), until the bounty is cleared either by paying or spending time in jail. Since Vilkas is essential, he cannot be killed to avoid being chased.
  • Dorian may not be available for conversation if he is inside the Red Wave, since it is a trespassing zone and he will only tell the Dragonborn to leave. To fix this, attack him, then run outside. On the deck, yield to him, then talk to him, and the Brawl option should be available.
    •  PC(Fix)   Another way is typing setcellownership solituderedwave in the console. This will make the Dragonborn the owner of the ship, and they won't be considered trespassing.
  • Hemming Black-Briar is similarly bugged. To engage him, go to his house during the day. Jump the fence in the back (or pick the gate lock, Expert level), and then pick the back door (also Expert level). It is possible to pick the front door, but be careful of guards. Run in and hit him to engage him in battle. Run back outside, then yield and start the brawl. Note that if entering the house at night, the rest of the family is there and will also attack.
  • If the target is Farengar Secret-Fire or Acolyte Jenssen the prompt to talk to him on behalf of the Companions will not trigger, and the quest will be stuck.
  • Captain Aldis will be bugged if the Dragonborn has finished the Civil War quests for the Stormcloaks prior to starting this quest. The quest marker shows him inside Castle Dour, but he is unreachable.
  •  PC   PS3   Atar in Karthwasten may fall outside map in the mine in Karthwasten, meaning he is not reachable and thus quest is impossible to complete.
  • If the miscellaneous quest in Karthwasten has been completed before beginning Hired Muscle, the Silver-Bloods and Atar will not be there. The quest marker may point elsewhere, such as Markarth, and the quest cannot be completed.
  • Atar and his bodyguards may become hostile after the brawl, preventing the quest from being completed as he will have to be killed. Calm spells or something similar can be used to leave him alive.
  • As of patch 1.3, Farkas may give Talsgar the Wanderer as a target. He can be found at The Bee and Bard in Riften. However, upon initiating the brawl option, the entire tavern will attack him, making the quest incompletable.
  • If the Civil War questline has been complete for the Imperials, Brina Merilis' brawl option won't appear.
  • If Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! has been completed, Commander Maro will only say: "I'll make sure the Emperor has heard of all you've done!" and will have no conversation options, stalling the quest.
  • Stenvar may pull out a staff or sword and get assistance from other characters nearby during the brawl, making the fight significantly harder.
  • If you have not yet brawled with Uthgerd the Unbroken in the Bannered Mare in Whiterun outside of this quest, sometimes she will give you 200 gold and the quest will disappear, leaving a permanent "Return to Farkas" objective with no quest or dialogue tied to it.
  •  PS3   Sometimes, target of the quest will be already dead.
  • Anoriath may still be a target for this quest, even after the Dark Brotherhood quest "Contract: Kill Anoriath" has been completed, making this quest impossible to complete without the use of console commands.
  •  PS3   Vulwulf Snow-Shod in Riften may spawn on a second floor balcony and be impossible to reach. Thus, the quest can only be completed if he is killed with magic or a bow.

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