Elder Scrolls

Innocence Lost

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Innocence Lost
Aventus Aretino Black Sacrament
Quest Giver Aventus Aretino
Location Aretino Residence
Honorhall Orphanage
Prerequisite Ask any Innkeeper about the latest rumors or pick the lock to the Aretino Residence and talk to Aventus.
Next Quest With Friends Like These...
Reward Aretino Family Heirloom
Faction Dark Brotherhood
Type Dark Brotherhood, Main Quest
Quest ID DB01
Innocence Lost is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Rumors have been circulating around Skyrim that a child by the name of Aventus Aretino is trying to summon the Dark Brotherhood. This boy is in Windhelm, according to the rumors.


  • Talk to Aventus Aretino.
  • Kill Grelod the Kind.
  • Tell Aventus Aretino that Grelod the Kind has been killed.


Initiating the quest Edit

While walking around Skyrim, The Dragonborn will begin to hear rumors of a "cursed child". Any innkeeper can be asked about the latest rumors and eventually, the inn keeper will mention that there is a child who is attempting to summon the Dark Brotherhood in Windhelm. Also, the children at Honorhall Orphanage can be spoken to, and when they are consulted, they will say Aventus Aretino is trying to contact the Dark Brotherhood in Windhelm. 

Other ways to initiate Edit

  1. The easiest way to initiate the quest is to pick the lock of the Aretino Residence and talk to Aventus Aretino inside.
  2. While talking to Idesa Sadri inside Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm, there is the option of asking about a child performing the Black Sacrament.
  3. Idesa can also be overheard talking to Grimvar Cruel-Sea about the child outside the Aretino Residence.
  4. Talking to Maul on the initial entrance to Riften and asking him about Dark Brotherhood rumors will initiate this quest as well.
  5. Entering Honorhall Orphanage in Riften and listening to Grelod the Kind will also initiate this quest. After she dismisses the children, the Dragonborn can ask any of the children who Aventus is, and this will initiate the quest under miscellaneous.
  6. It is also possible to overhear guards around Windhelm and Riften talk about Aventus, but this will not initiate the quest.

Talk to Aventus Aretino Edit

Aventus Aretino can be found inside the Aretino Residence located near the Gray Quarter in Windhelm. When first entering the Arentino Residence, Aventus is found chanting the Black Sacrament and asking the Night Mother why she has not answered his prayers.

After initiating conversation with Aventus, he will tell the Dragonborn that "He summoned the Dark Brotherhood because his mother died and he was sent to Honorhall Orphanage, in Riften. While there, the cruel matron, Grelod the Kind, abused him and the other children, causing him to run away." Aventus believes that the Dragonborn is a Dark Brotherhood assassin, and will ask them to kill Grelod the Kind

Kill Grelod the Kind Edit

Grelod the Kind can be found in Honorhall Orphanage in Riften. She does not prove any challenge to the Dragonborn, one hit from any weapon, even using their fists will be enough to kill her. The children at the orphanage will not report the Dragonborn to the Riften Guard either. It is advised, however, to carry out the deed inside Honorhall Orphanage. Be sure not to kill Constance Michel while inside the orphanage as this will trigger a bounty in The Rift.

Once Grelod has been dispatched, return to Aventus in Windhelm for the reward.

Reward Edit

Aventus will reward the Dragonborn with the Aretino Family Heirloom which has a base value of 100 GoldIcon. This will also initiate the next stage of the Dark Brotherhood questline With Friends Like These.... To start this quest, sleep in any bed away from Windhelm.


  • If The Dragonborn has Serana as a follower during this quest, in the Aretino Residence household Serana will begin to perform the ritual herself.
  • If The Dragonborn kills Grelod the Kind without ever consulting Aventus Aretino, The Dark Brotherhood will not immediately initiate contact. If the Dragonborn meets him after killing the mark Aventus will be very happy ("I knew the Dark Brotherhood were good... but...") but the reward remains the same. The Dark Brotherhood will then contact the Dragonborn.
  • The Dragonborn does not have to talk to anyone prior to talking to Aventus.
  • After completion of the quest, guards in other towns will talk about it. Guards in Riften will add, "Say, didn't I see you coming out of there?"
  • Interestingly, among the items that can be looted or pickpocketed from Grelod is a copy of The Pig Children, indicating that Grelod may be racist against the Orsimer.
  • It's interesting to note that all of the guards in Riften will also acknowledge how cruel Grelod was, saying something like "the little brats are probably better off." By contrast, the guards in all other areas (since they didn't know Grelod) will think the murder was a tragedy.
  • Even if the Dragonborn kills Grelod before accepting his "contract", Aventus will simply think that the "Brotherhood" was so competent, it knew what he wanted done beforehand. Therefore, it is impossible for the Dragonborn to dissuade Aventus from his belief that he/she is a Brotherhood assassin.
  • Aventus' comments before initiating conversation imply that he has been doing the Black Sacrament for a long time. Later in the quest line, Astrid implies that she knew of his efforts, but it seems that she did not believe that the contract was worthwhile, being the only contract in the Dark Brotherhood Questline given by a child.
  • Even if the Hearthfire add-on is installed, the children from Honorhall cannot be adopted while Grelod lives. If the Dragonborn wishes to adopt an Honorhall child, they must kill Grelod The Kind.


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

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  •  360    PS3   Sometimes Aventus Aretino will not appear when you enter the house, making it impossible to complete the quest.
  •  360    PS3  It is possible for Grelod's corpse to disappear into the floor after she is killed, and reappear in the children's sleeping quarters in the center of the floor.
  •  360   PS3   If the Dragonborn kills Grelod before she finishes talking to the kids it may restart the quest to before you talk to Aventus.
  •  PS3   If the Dragonborn stops talking to Aretino it will not begin the next Quest.
  •  PC   If Grelod is killed before starting this quest the quest will become glitched. When told by Aventus Aretino to kill Grelod she will already be dead, making the quest impossible to complete. This can be fixed by entering the console command: SetObjectiveCompleted DB01 20 1.
  •  360   After killing Grelod the Kind, waiting too many times for too long can cause the courier to never deliver the message.

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