|With Friends Like These...|
|Prerequisite||Innocence Lost |
Sleeping in a bed
|Next Quest||Sanctuary (Quest) or|
Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!
|Reward||Membership into the Dark Brotherhood|
|Type||Dark Brotherhood main quest|
It is immediately preceded by Innocence Lost, and is a continuation of those events.
See: Innocence Lost
After the Innocence Lost quest has been completed, a courier will appear and give the Dragonborn a note with the imprint of a black hand and the words "We Know" written beneath it. The courier generally takes between one and three days to arrive, depending on how much the Dragonborn moves around the lands of Skyrim.
Once the note is received, sleep in any bed. Note that the bed cannot be in residential Windhelm (where "Innocence Lost" is obtained from Aretino), though (perhaps only as Thane of Windhelm) sleeping in the Palace of the Kings should begin the quest.
The Dragonborn will awake in an abandoned shack, located in the marshes north of Morthal. A Dark Brotherhood assassin named Astrid will speak to them. She reveals that the Dark Brotherhood is aware of their murderous deed and is pleased that Grelod is dead, but since the Aretino child performed the Black Sacrament, they demand that a debt be paid for the kill that was stolen from them. Astrid has brought three other people to the shack where the Dragonborn awoke. Fultheim the Fearless, Alea Quintus, and Vasha are tied up and wearing execution hoods, but are able to answer questions. Astrid tells the Dragonborn that there is a contract out on one of their lives, and the Dragonborn must figure out who to kill.
To join the Dark Brotherhood, kill any combination of the three. The Dragonborn will be rewarded with an initiation to the Brotherhood regardless of their choice. Alternatively, choosing to kill Astrid will fail With Friends Like These... and begin a new quest, Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! This will prevent any further progress in the Dark Brotherhood quest line. The Abandoned Shack cannot be left without killing at least one of the three prisoners or Astrid.
Each kill or combination of kills evokes a different response from Astrid upon speaking to her afterwards.
Killing the KhajiitEdit
Killing the motherEdit
Killing the Nord warriorEdit
Killing the Khajiit and the motherEdit
Killing the Khajiit and the Nord warriorEdit
Killing the mother and the Nord warriorEdit
Killing all threeEdit
- The bound captives make it easy to level up certain skills (i.e. Illusion, via use of calm/fear/fury spells) indefinitely. Astrid also makes it possible to level up easily, as she will not continue to attack when defeated, and will just stand there until she is attacked again.
- Using Clairvoyance will create a path to whichever hostage is closest to the Dragonborn at the time the spell is cast.
- Though the three captives can not see due to the hoods over their faces, they still seem to be able to tell where the Dragonborn is, seeing as their heads follow them as they move about the room.
- The black hand on the Courier's note may be a reference to mafia syndicate La Mano Nera ("The Black Hand"), which used the same symbol when sending threatening letters to victims.
- If the Dragonborn attempts to pickpocket any of the three victims, a message will say "[victim] has already caught you", although it's unclear how since they are all hooded.
- Viewing the world map will place the Dragonborn's marker wherever they slept before waking up in the cabin.
- Attempting to fast travel from inside the cabin will bring up a message that there are enemies nearby.
- If the Dragonborn kills one of the victims and raises them as a zombie, Astrid will become unavailable for conversation, barring progress in the quest. The only way to exit the shack then is to kill Astrid. (Killing another victim and not raising them does not fix this).
- Sometimes it can take several days to receive the Courier's letter.
- If the courier still does not appear, try fast traveling to a different hold and waiting.
- Taking the hoods off the victims will affect their ability to see the Dragonborn, but will not influence their dialogue or attitude (i.e. they will still speak in the same muffled manner and refer to being unable to see).
- After killing Astrid, if the player speaks with any of the prisoners but exits the dialogue without freeing them, they will respond with unmuffled voices, even though they are still hooded.
- Killing a prisoner and leaving the shack before completing the quest will cause Astrid to teleport back to the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary.
- Sometimes upon waking up in the shack, the blur effect will not trigger and Astrid will start talking normally.
- Sometimes after waking up, the Dragonborn will be unable to move after the conversation with Astrid. Reloading the save does not fix this. Using the Wait command may fix the problem.
- console to unlock the Abandoned Shack early and killing Astrid will prevent any quests related to the Dark Brotherhood from being completed. Using the
- After reciving the note from the courier, sleeping may cause the game to freeze.