"That is who we are. The Forsworn. Criminals in our own lands. And we will cut a bloody hole into the Reach until we are free."


Madanach, also known as The King in Rags, is the leader of the Forsworn Rebellion. He is imprisoned in Cidhna Mine, deep beneath the city of Markarth.

Escape from Cidhna MineEdit

Main article: No One Escapes Cidhna Mine

Before Madanach allows the Dragonborn to escape the mine with the rest of the Forsworn, he will require the disposal of Grisvar the Unlucky, as Grisvar has been in and out of Cidhna Mine, possibly leaking information, and thus is suspected of being a spy. With Grisvar dead, Madanach and his followers plan to escape through a tunnel they've been digging under Markarth, leading eventually to the city's surface. Upon reaching the surface, Madanach will give a speech to his followers, after which a battle will ensue between the Hold Guards and his men.

Once the battle concludes, Madanach and his followers will retreat to the Druadach Redoubt.

If the Dragonborn decides to kill Madanach before escaping the mine, the remaining prisoners will become hostile. One can then use Madanach's Key to escape through the tunnel next to Madanach's quarters. Thonar will meet the Dragonborn at the entrance to the Markarth Ruins, reward them with the Silver-Blood Family Ring, then he will inform them that they have done a great service to the Silver-Blood family, and that they have been pardoned by the Jarl of Markarth.

Upon helping Madanach escape and choosing not to kill him at Thonar's behest, Madanach will reward the Dragonborn with the Armor of the Old Gods.


The "King in Rags"  proves to be a strong-willed and shrewd character, totally dedicated to his cause. He is no stranger to murder, as long as he expels the Nords and regains the Reach for his fellow Forsworn. He has particular distaste for outsiders too, being hostile to the Dragonborn in their first meeting. Madanach shows absolute belief in his cause, he fully believes what he is doing is right and the Nords are evil, and that the Forsworn are the only legitimate rulers of the Reach.

Madanach shows talent for manipulation and cunning. In the shadows, he lures Thonar into a false sense of security before striking at him and Markarth, with the right agents in place. He forces the player to kill the loose end, Grisvar, who could be disloyal. Honeyed words and speeches are his specialities, as he attempts to convert the player and justify his cause. He empowers those who follow him, and seeks to win through slyness what brute force can't obtain. He fancies himself to be ruthless and cunning, although he reveals that all he really wants is the peace they had before Ulfric's attack.


If the Dragonborn decides to attack and slay Madanach, they should take caution. If attacked in his cell, the Dragonborn will have little equipment, the only available weapons, aside from magic, being a pickaxe or a shiv. This is the same for Madanach, and he has magic on his side as well. If confronted directly, he can invoke a Frost Cloak spell. He will also hurl Fireballs and Ice Spikes relentlessly if the Dragonborn is within range. A sneak attack may be the best course. Magic users will have a much easier time with this battle, as they don't have to get close to the Frost Cloak. Shouts are also very useful, as a single Fire Breath shout with all three words of power may result in an instant kill at lower levels.

Slaying Madanach after aiding him will make his followers hostile, too. At this stage, some may have been killed by the enemies in the ruins. One may or may not have recovered their equipment by then, so this may vary in difficulty. Avoid being surrounded, as some of the other prisoners have magic of their own. Madanach will also have improved and enchanted gear if the Dragonborn's equipment has been recovered.

Beast form or Vampire Lord Form may prove useful as it requires no equipment to use.


Madanach Forsworn

Madanach in his Forsworn Armor

  • If the Dragonborn kills Madanach, (by selecting revenge or simply attacking him), he or she will be pardoned upon escaping the prison.
    • Accordingly, it is possible that Madanach may not survive the escape from the mine.
  • If the Dragonborn wishes to avoid extensive combat, but still wants to kill him, Madanach can be attacked as soon as Kaie gives them their gear back. However, one must wait so that all of Madanach's followers have gone through the door before attacking.
    • Kaie will remain and will have to be dealt with as well. Combat will still ensue, but this method greatly lessens the amount of hostiles the Dragonborn has to handle.
  • Without help, the Forsworn may be too weak to battle the guards and be killed. Their bodies can be looted for a decent sum of gold.
    • If Call to Arms is used with some or all of its available augmentations (Vampirism, Elixir of Illusion, etc.), it will give the Forsworn enough health and fighting skill to slaughter the Markarth guards easily.
  • Even if Madanach dies while fighting the guards, all NPCs from Markarth will still act as if he is alive.
  • While Madanach and his followers make their way to the Druadach Redoubt, it is possible, (due to pathing issues and ensuing guards), for Madanach to be found somewhere between Markarth and the Druadach Redoubt.
  •  PC   If Madanach is selected using his reference ID and moved near a Forsworn while he is in Cidhna Mine, the Forsworn's temperament will become hostile, and vice-versa.
  • If the Dragonborn is a Nord, he will refer to the Nords as their kinsmen.
  • Also, if the Dragonborn is a Nord and decides to kill Madanach by selecting Revenge option, he will mockingly say "Then come for me, Son of Skyrim. Come for me!" and attack.
    • Madanach will still use the same line if the player is a female Nord.
  • If Madanach is backstabbed during his speech in the prison, the others will become hostile and attack, and you will not be able to loot his body (it will say he is busy). However, if you manage to become hidden once again, the others will all begin to go through Cidna Mine's escape route as if Madanach were leading them (he will be lootable by then). 
  • If you escape the city with him, the Forsworn and everyone in Cidhna Mine will become friendly at Druadach Redoubt encampment. Other Forsworn encampments will still be hostile.
  • Madanach and his followers' bodies will not reset if you kill them after the quest. Note that you have to help them to escape for this to work. Curiously, their corpses will level with you (up to level 50) even if you killed them at level 1. This will turn them into powerful allies with Dead Thralls.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Madanach

  • After the jailbreak...

    13 messages
    • I helped Madanach out. I think it's lazy that Bethesda didn't let you allign with all Forsworn after the quest. It would be cool if ...
    • I would love fighting the thalmore and wiping them out i though the Forsworn would allow that dang.
  • Madanach

    5 messages
    • On my Khajiit tank character, Madanach started twitching once he died. When I went nearer to search him, he went flying and took out a guard. ...
    • Only Madanach's face? no body?