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The Dark Brotherhood Forever

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The Dark Brotherhood Forever is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
"Accept his gold, then kill the target. So begins a contract, bound in blood."
―The Night Mother[src]

This is a radiant quest that repeats itself indefinitely.


I am now the Listener and leader of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. It is my duty to hear the words of our unholy matron, the Night Mother, and do as she commands...

This quest automatically starts upon the completion of "Hail Sithis!"


The quest repeats itself with the three objectives: Approach the Night Mother's coffin, speak with the contact, then kill the target. Unlike virtually all other contracts, in these, the contact pays in advance for the Dragonborn's help.

After eliminating the target, a new one can be initiated by returning to the Sanctuary and approaching the Night Mother. The Night Mother may contact the Listener telepathically with new contracts, although this is usually not the case.

Targets are randomly generated the moment the quest begins. Re-loading saves before speaking to the contractor can be exploited to gain a specific target. This may be useful for unlocking the "Master Criminal" achievement or trophy without killing Essential characters.


Not in order



Journal Entry

I am now the Listener and leader of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. It is my duty to hear the words of our Unholy Matron, the Night Mother, and do as she commands...

  • Objective: Approach the Night Mother
  • Objective: Speak with the contact
  • Objective: Kill the target
  • Quest complete


  • There is a way to remove or prevent activating this quest, for those who do not want an unfinishable quest in their quest log. This can be done by backing out of conversation with Nazir when he tells the Dragonborn to talk to Delvin to restore the Sanctuary. Before he finishes talking, the Dragonborn should run to the exit, hugging the right wall, staying as far away from the Night Mother as possible. If done correctly, the quest "Where You Hang Your Enemy's Head..." should start, but not "The Dark Brotherhood Forever." Simply buying all upgrades from Delvin will finish that quest, which completes the Dark Brotherhood Questline. Unfortunately, to ensure this quest is never activated, the Dawnstar Sanctuary can no longer be visited, as this quest will almost certainly pop up. However, after the secret entrance upgrade is purchased from Delvin, one can safely enter the sanctuary through the tunnel. As long as the upper level near the Night Mother is avoided, the quest should never start.
  • This quest will repeat some of the same contracts/targets, as there are only a limited number of contracts/targets available.
  • Sometimes if you only walk up to a contract and walk away, they will start their conversation and pay you. You can then come back and actually click on them, and get paid again. Does not work every time.


This section contains bugs related to The Dark Brotherhood Forever. 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  , 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 reveal Bugs
  • The quest may not start if you leave the Dawnstar Sanctuary while the Night Mother is instructing you to approach her. There is currently no known fix.
  • The Reckless Mage in Winterhold may sometimes appear in the inn, even if the Dragonborn has not approached the Night Mother or the client. Killing him will result in the quest completing permanently.
  •  PC   There is an exploit to get double the gold from a client. After walking up to them and letting them talk, when they start talking, hitting A, X or E will yield the gold they were going to pay, then they will repeat what they were going to say. If they are now allowed to finish, the same amount of gold will be given again. This does not work every time in patched versions.
  • If the Grim Shieldmaiden in Markarth or the Traveling Dignitary in Solitude are killed, the city guards will attack even if the Dragonborn is hidden and they are far away. This still happens occasionally in patched versions.
    • A workaround for this is to make sure any guards are far away, then pickpocket the target and get caught. This will cause them to attack. At that point the target can be killed directly, or the guards can do the killing. Either way, the Dragonborn gets credit.
    • There is a trick to killing target NPCs in crowded areas without drawing attention or a bounty. The Dragonborn should ensure that 1) they are sneaking; 2) there are no guards or NPCs in the immediate vicinity; 3) the Dragonborn is far enough from the intended target for the quest marker above their head to not show. If a bow is used to hit the target, and provided the Dragonborn A) has the proper bonuses to ranged sneak attacks, and/or B) the target is unarmored, the target should die instantly. Furthermore, if there are any NPCs in the target's vicinity, they will not notice. After killing, the body can be looted, and the other NPCs will act as though nothing happened at all. In Solitude  PC  , Characters do comment about the body and the guards will attack. This does not appear to work on Grim Shieldmaiden guards, who will still attack irrespective of the distance between the Dragonborn, them and the target.
    • If the Sneak skill is high enough, the Grim Shieldmaiden can be killed and then the Dragonborn can sneak out of the gates at Markarth. Once the city is re-entered, the guards will no longer be hostile and no bounty will be incurred. Entering a random building in Markarth will not do anything; the guards will remain hostile until the Dragonborn sneaks out of the city.
    •  PS3   Another possibility is to simply equip the fury spell, then while hidden, the spell should be cast on the target.
    • Commanding a follower such as a Dark Brotherhood Initiate or Cicero to kill the target will also work around the issue.
  • This quest may disappear from the active quest list, and it will not restart.
    •  PC   To bring back this quest, the console command setstage DBrecurring 200 can be used.
  • Sometimes, upon entering the Penitus Oculatus Outpost, none of the NPCs will interact with the Dragonborn, including the contact named "Corrupt Guard."
    • One way to fix this is to steal some items from the table and have the outside guards come inside to attempt to arrest the Dragonborn. After fighting them until all the witnesses are dead, the target can be spoken to.
    • Another solution is to leave the outpost, wander a little on the wild and killing things, and then return to the outpost.
    • Another alternative is to just exit the building and walk back inside.
  •  360   Sometimes upon killing a contract and completing "The Dark Brotherhood Forever" quest, the game will freeze when the quest resets.
  • Sometimes the Dishonored Skald will not talk to the Dragonborn or interact in any way. There is no fix and this will force the Dragonborn to abandon the quest.
  • Sometimes the armor of the Beautiful Barbarian cannot be seen. It is still dropped when the Barbarian is killed.

See alsoEdit

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