Whispers In The Dark is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.



Astrid informs the Dragonborn about a matter with which she is concerned. Cicero is acting erratically, locking himself in the Night Mother's chamber, and speaking to someone within. Astrid fears that he and someone else may be plotting some sort of conspiracy against the Brotherhood. She wants the Dragonborn to hide in the Night Mother's Coffin and find out who he is conversing with.

Night Mother's coffinEdit

The Night Mother's Coffin is in the room of the Dark Sanctuary with the stained glass window, and has a novice lock on it. Upon going inside, Cicero is overheard entering into a conversation, eventually it being revealed that he is speaking to the Night Mother. At this point the Night Mother begins to glow. She then tells the Dragonborn that Cicero cannot hear her because he is not the Listener, "You are the one." She goes on to tell the Dragonborn to speak to Amaund Motierre in Volunruud. Then she asks the Dragonborn to tell Cicero, "Darkness rises when silence dies."


"Defiler! Debaser and defiler!" Cicero cries out upon finding the Dragonborn in the Coffin, however, when told the Night Mother spoke, and the key words, Cicero goes from being outraged to dancing around the room.

At this point, Astrid shows up in the room, and she must be told that the Night Mother wants the Dragonborn to meet Amaund Motierre in Volunruud.


Astrid orders the Dragonborn not to do what the Night Mother asks. She feels her authority in the sanctuary is being challenged, and instead says to speak to Nazir. Nazir gives two more contracts to be performed, "Contract: Kill Lurbuk" and "Contract: Kill Hern," and "Whispers In The Dark" is concluded.


Whispers In The Dark – DB04
IDJournal Entry
10 Astrid has heard Cicero speaking with someone, in whispered tones, in the chamber of the Night Mother. She fears they're conspiring against the Sanctuary, and wants me to eavesdrop on the conversation. I'm to sneak into the chamber, and hide in the coffin of the Night Mother.
  • Objective 10: Hide in the Night Mother's coffin
  • Objective 20: Eavesdrop on Cicero
  • Objective 30: Talk to Cicero
  • Objective 40: Talk to Astrid
50 While eavesdropping on Cicero, I heard the voice of the Night Mother, who named me Listener. Astrid seems unsure what to believe, and needs time to process this latest development. I'm to see Nazir for more side contract work
  • Objective 50: Receive a side contract from Nazir
200 While eavesdropping on Cicero, I heard the voice of the Night Mother, who named me Listener. Astrid seems unsure what to believe, and it's hard to tell what effect this will ultimately have on the Sanctuary.
  • Quest complete


  • It is not possible to look around in the Coffin; the Dragonborn's vision is stuck on the Night Mother, most likely so that they will not miss her speech.
  • When eavesdropping on Cicero (before getting caught), at one point in the monologue, he will get frustrated at the Night Mother's silence and shout at her.


This section contains bugs related to Whispers In The Dark. 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.
  •  PC   360   After entering the coffin, the voice of the Night Mother can become barely audible - subtitles are suggested.
  • After the coffin scene, the Dragonborn is told to speak to Nazir to find more contacts. However, there will be no such option, which prevents continuation of the Dark Brotherhood quest line. This can be fixed on the PC by opening the console and typing SetStage DBSideContract04 0. This will finish the quest and allows the contracts to be taken.
  • Upon entering the coffin, Cicero may not say anything, and the coffin cannot be left. Waiting as much as 2–3 minutes may work, but not always. This can happen if the iron door to The Night Mother's chamber is closed before going into the coffin.
    • Solution: Entering the Night Mother's coffin, then pressing Wait for an hour or two may fix the glitch.
    • Leaving the Sanctuary and coming back before entering the coffin also fixes the glitch and causes Cicero's dialogue to begin properly.
    • Saving the game, exiting, then reloading and waiting for one hour may also begin Cicero's dialogue.
    • Using the console command TFC to toggle free camera on and leaving the coffin will cause Cicero to enter the room and begin his dialogue.
  • Skipping through the last lines of dialogue with Cicero may cause him to start repeating his beginning, angry dialogue, though another full conversation will not result. This glitch appears to have no negative effect.
  • Occasionally during the aforementioned glitch, Cicero may become invincible and will not react to being attacked.
  • After exiting the coffin, the Dragonborn may be stuck in first person view. Toggling between third and first person does not resolve the issue, nor does completing the quest.
  • Also after exiting the coffin, the door to the left will not open. However it is possible to walk right through it.

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