The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion:Dark Brotherhood
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The Dark Brotherhood is the most obscure of guilds, only approaching you with an invite to join if you perform the heinous act of murder, specifically of a murder against someone who bears you no ill will and belongs to a non-evil faction. This can be almost anyone: a shopkeeper, a guard, a beggar, etc. Almost anyone will do, although you of course don't want to kill someone who will be critical to the game later on. Of course, bandits and random humanoid enemy spawns won't count. If you want an easy target, we'd recommend heading to an out-of-the-way hamlet or an inn out in the game world, waiting until the middle of the night, then sneaking into a home and murdering the inhabitant in their sleep. (You might be able to claim a murder by killing someone at a Daedric shrine, assuming you've already completed the quest at that shrine.) Just make sure it's not someone that gives a quest. You can tell whether or not they'll eventually be important by looking at your cursor as it's placed over their body; if it comes back as a crown, they'll figure into a quest at some point. Truly critical characters can't even die; they just go unconscious.
After your murder is performed, sleep in a bedroll, such as the one in your home or outside the Vilverin ruin, and Lucien Lachance, a Speaker in the Dark Brotherhood, will appear and offer you the opportunity to join the guild, which is essentially the Assassin's Guild for Oblivion. If you refuse him, then he'll never bother you again, but if you accept, he'll offer you a task: an initiation murder, if you will.
A Knife In The Dark
Your first task for Lucien is to kill Rufio at the Inn of Ill Omen, on the road northwest of Bravil. If you inquire about Rufio there, you'll learn that he's in a set of private quarters downstairs from the main establishment. You can find a little trap door leading downwards underneath the stairs.
Now, Rufio somehow manages to remain asleep for most of the day, so he's not exactly going to be much of a threat to you. If you don't wish to kill him without knowing why you're killing him, you can wake him up and talk to him - he'll imply that he himself happened to kill someone at some point in the past. Alternately, if you want to take advantage of an easy way to increase your Sneak skill, feel free to enter Sneak mode and rubber band your controller into place, or place something on your movement key, so that you're constantly moving into the wall. You'll constantly gain Sneak while you do so, and since Rufio rarely wakes up, you'll be able to just let the game run and gain mad amounts of Sneak ability while you do so.
Regardless, there's no escape for Rufio, so kill him in whatever manner you see fit, then return to a safe location and hit the sack to speak to Lucien again. When you do so, he'll point you towards the city of Cheydinhal, where this cell of the Dark Brotherhood is located. If you pick the lock on the boarded-up home that's on your marker, then head into the building's basement, you'll find the entrance to the Dark Brotherhood hideout. Say the phrase that Lucien gave you (it won't appear as an option unless you spoke to him) to enter.
Looking Around The Sanctuary
Speak to Ocheeva inside the Sanctuary to get a run-down and some very nice light armor, then start poking around. In one corner of the main room, you can find a Wolf Queen, Volume 6 book which will increase your Sneak skill by one point. In the Training Quarters, you can find Ahzirr Trajijazaeri, which increases Hand to Hand. In the treasure chest in that room, you'll find The Rear Guard (Light Armor) and The Gold Ribbon of Merit (Marksman).
It's in the Living Quarters that you'll find the best loot, though. Keeping in mind that one of the Five Tenets of the Brotherhood is to not steal from fellow members, you can break into the chests for each of the members in your little clan to steal their goods, if you wish. Teinaava's chest has some interesting archery equipment, including The Black Arrow, v2, another book that'll add to Marksman, while Gogron gro-Bolmog's chest has some heavy weaponry. Obviously enough, you don't want this to occur while anyone's around to see you, so either sneak amongst the sleeping guild members or come when there's no one in the room. We found this occurred around midnight to three in the morning.
If you are caught stealing or pickpocketing, then you'll find yourself facing off against...a loading screen? That's right; by breaking one of the tenets, you're immediately expelled from the guild, and supposedly escorted off the property. You'll have a chance to get back in, but hey - might as well do things right the first time. Note that M'raaj-Dar, who often hangs around in the living quarters, sells a host of interesting items, including Poisoned Apples. If you slip one of these into the inventory of a player, they'll eventually die. Muahaha.
Vicente Valchieri's Quests
Vicente is in the lowest level of the Sanctuary. If you speak to him, he'll tell you of his vampirism, and offer you the first contract for the Dark Brotherhood. He'll also tell you to get into the habit of asking your fellow brothers about your contracts, as they may have some insight into your tasks.
A Watery Grave
Your task here is to board the Marie Elena in the Waterfront district of the Imperial District and kill the captain, one Gaston Tussaud. There's no chance for a bonus for this first quest of yours, so no need to worry about that. Just head to the Waterfront district, and bring along some potent weaponry.
When you reach the waterfront, find the Marie Elena, but don't speak to any of the pirates here. If you wish to take a stealthy approach to boarding the ship, head to the end of the path and find the open shipping container. You can hide inside of it and sneak on board that way. Alternately, you can just hop onto the ship and try to find a passage inside, but doing so will cause all of the pirates near the ship to become hostile to you. If you do choose this path, wait until an Imperial Guard is walking past, as they'll help defend you.
Alternately, you can try to reach the entrance to the Captain's Quarters at the very rear of the ship, but getting to the little balcony will require you to jump from atop the open crate. You'll also have to pick a five-tumbler lock, but heading in this way will position you directly behind Tussaud, allowing you to sneak attack him, or just slip a Poisoned Apple into his inventory and wait for him to keel over.
If you do decide to sneak on board via the crate, though, you'll have to kill a pair of pirates before reaching Gaston. You may want to wait for their conversation to cease before doing so, as that will allow you to kill them in their rooms and possibly sneak attack them.
Regardless of how it happens, when you kill Tussaud, two of his pirates will burst into his room. They won't detect you if you're sneaking, allowing you to avoid them as you wish. You can nab Tussaud's key from his body, allowing you to open his booty chest, as well as the rear door if you wish to escape out of it. All of the pirates near the ship are now hostile to you, though, so be ready for a fight when you leave! It's best to do this quest in the middle of the day, since guards are more likely to be present then. If you find the pirates to be too much to handle, run to another district and let the guards eliminate them.
Return to Vicente and grab another quest from him. Your target this time is Baenlin, who lives in Bruma. To earn the bonus for the quest, you've been asked to enter a crawlspace above where Baenlin and loosen the bolts holding fast a mounted head that's fastened above where Baenlin eats dinner. Doing so between the hours of eight and 11 PM will cause the head to fall on Baenlin and kill him. If you kill him in any other manner, or if you kill the manservant Gromm, then you lose the bonus.
If you want to have a good chance to loot the house before killing Baenlin, enter in the middle of the night, around two AM or so. You can enter through the basement door at the rear of the house, if you wish; there are plenty of food items in the basement with which to make Restore Fatigue potions, if you're looking to increase your Alchemy skills. Explore the house, stealing anything that you like, then sneak upstairs and look around. There's a jewelry box on Baenlin's dresser. The crawlspace entrance is in Gromm's room, though; open it, head in, then close it behind you. Wait until 8:30 or so, then loosen the fasteners to drop the head onto Baenlin.
Now, when you kill Baenlin, Gromm will move to the body and stand there. He doesn't really move, making it a hopefully easy matter to sneak past him to the entrance to the basement and leave the building. Even if he detects you and attacks, you should be able to keep the bonus to your mission by exiting the building right quickly.
Return to Vicente for your reward: the Sufferthorn dagger, with Drain Strength and Damage Health enchantments.
Scheduled For Execution
Vicente's next task for you is a doozy: he wants you to infiltrate the Imperial Prison and kill a Dunmer named Valen Dreth. To facilitate your entrance, he'll give you a key to the Imperial Prison Sewers, which you used to escape from the prison lo those many weeks (months? Years?) ago. If you've returned to the sewers since you first popped out of them, you will have noticed that they've been locked up tight since then. Luckily, Vicente has a key for them, allowing you to head back inside from whence you came.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter the sewers is that the door on your right has been opened. Heading through it will lead you to another part of the sewers, one you didn't visit previously, so head that way. Eventually you'll come to a four-tumbler locked gate. If you can get through it, it's the shortest way to where you're going; if you can't, presumably you'll have to backtrack and take the path you originally took through the sewers to reach the destination. Don't forget that the Black Band that you just received from Vicente will give you a bonus to your Security skill.
Tip: This whole section of the sewers should be populated with nothing but Rats and Mudcrabs, regardless of your level. If you've proceeded a bit through the game since you were last in the sewers, this is a great opportunity to level up your Sneak and Marksman skills. All of the enemies are level one, so they will have a hard time detecting even poor sneaksmen, and they'll likewise have much less health than most of the enemies you'll be facing in the wilderness.
When you find the ladder leading up to the Sanctum, head on up. Close the door in front of you when you reach the next level, and wait for the two guards here to get done with their longish conversation. You're going to have to sneak around a bit to get past them, so now would be a good time to make a game save; if they get on your case you're going to have precious few opportunities to get away, and they are automatically hostile to you.
If you can sneak around past the guards, try to reach the small cell in the southern end of the Sanctum, where Captain Gepard Montrose is sitting at a table. If you can pickpocket him successfully, you'll be able to get both the Imperial Prison Key and Valen Dreth's Cell Key.
Killing Dreth Moving on from this location can be a chore, due to the fact that there's a guard near the stairs leading on. If you have good Acrobatics, you can stay in sneak mode and jump onto the lower ledge of one of the pillars nearby, then jump to the upper level of the room, but this can be difficult. Getting past the guard without jumping around will likely require a Potion of Invisibility or something similar.
Make your way through the Imperial Subterrane, avoiding the guard as he makes his rounds, and infiltrate the Imperial Prison. Creep up the stairs until you overhear Dreth and his captor talking. Wait until their conversation is over, then wait for the guard to head up the stairs nearby. You can find both the Imperial Prison Key and Valen Dreth's Cell Key on the table in the hallway here, so open up the cell and kill Dreth before booking it out of the prison.
Tip: If the guard doesn't move away from Dreth's cell, you can finish him off with an arrow through the cell's door. This usually won't even alert the guard.
With Dreth out of the way, you can either attempt to backtrack through the dungeon and the sewers, or just walk up to the door leading to the Bastion. There are more guards here, but this is public territory, so they won't be hostile if they see you, meaning you can just walk straight out the door.
If you return to Vicente, he'll let you have the Scales of Pitiless Justice, which increase your Strength, Agility, and Intelligence by two points each at the cost of a two-point Personality penalty. This isn't an equippable item; you get the bonuses merely by having the Scales in your inventory.
Side Quest: The Renegade Shadowscale
If you find Teinaava at this point in the game, he'll offer up an alternate quest for you. This doesn't affect your relationship with either the Dark Brotherhood or Vicente, but hey: it's another quest. Teinaava asks you to help him kill one of his old friends, who has refused to continue in his path as a royal assassin and has thus brought shame to Teinaava, or something like that. Anyway, sounds pretty straightforward. To find the target, a Shadowscale named Scar-Tail, travel to his camp in the swamps southeast of Leyawiin.
When you find Scar-Tail, he'll offer to cut you a deal. If you let him live, he'll tell you where his gold stash is, and offer to let you take the heart of another Argonian assassin that already attempted to dispatch him. If you agree to let Scar-Tail live, loot his gold, then find the body of the assassin beneath a tree to the west, within spitting distance of the camp. The heart there can be given to Teinaava, if you wish. Or, of course, you can just kill Scar-Tail, take his heart, and give that to Teinaava. Either way works. When you do return to Teinaava, he'll reward you with the Boots of Bloody Bounding, which boost both your Acrobatics and Blade skills.
The Assassinated Man
Vicente's next contract for you is an odd one. Francois Motierre, who lives in Chorrol, is in over his head with debt, and his debtors have sent an enforcer to kill him. Don't they know that they'll never get their money that way? The sensible thing for them to do is sit down with Francois, work out a monthly payment system, and help the man get his life back on track while hopefully avoiding personal bankruptcy. Murder is not in anyone's financial self-interest.
Regardless, Francois needs the Dark Brotherhood's help. Your task is to stage his death by stabbing him with a special knife while the enforcer is present. The poison on the knife will mimic death, hopefully fooling the enforcer into thinking that Francois actually is dead, allowing him to make a clean getaway.
Head to Chorrol and track down Francois' house. When you enter, Francois will immediately find you and speak. When you're done interrogating him, hide in another section of the house, but keep the Languorwine Blade equipped.
After the Argonian assassin shows up, let he and Francois speak for a bit, then just slash Motierre with your knife. He'll "die" instantly, and the Argonian will begin attacking you. Since you want the assassin to report back to his superiors, leave him alive and leave the house, then leave Chorrol altogether through one of the gates.
The Waiting Game Your goal now is to wait 24 hours, so that Francois can be discovered and placed on display in the Chapel. You won't get a quest update when you've waited long enough, so just hit your Wait button, set it to 24 hours, then return to Chorrol and head to the chapel. You may hear some talk of Francois' death if you listen in on some of the NPC conversations here.
Head to the Undercroft beneath the chapel and "talk" to Francois. You'll automatically apply the antidote to him, and he'll wake up. After this point, you'll have to fight off the zombiefied remains of his family, who see this whole affair as a desecration of their resting grounds! They're tough, for zombies, but not so tough that you should really have many problems here. Just be sure that you don't hit Francois too often during the fight, or you could wind up killing him.
When you're out of the Undercroft, escort Francois to the Grey Mare Inn, elsewhere in town. Oddly enough, no one seems to recognize him. When you reach the Grey Mare, the quest ends, and you're home free. You can return to Vicente for the really handy Cruelty's Heart amulet, which boosts your Willpower and Strength while worn. He'll also offer to turn you into a Vampire, should you wish to do so.
The Lonely Wanderer
Vicente gives you no more quests after The Assassinated Man; instead he points you to Ocheeva, who offers you the Lonely Wanderer quest. There's a High Elf named Faelian in the Imperial City who needs to be taken out. There's some shoddy intelligence on this one; the Brotherhood doesn't know where Faelian lives, just that he likes to take long walks. Because of the Imperial Guard presence in the city, this has to look like a simple murder: kill Faelian indoors, without any witnesses to the act.
When you reach the Imperial City, you'll need to find an Elf to talk to. Wood Elf, High Elf, Dark Elf; it doesn't seem to matter. You will probably need to have a high Disposition with whomever you speak to, though. When you find one, they'll point you to the Tiber Septim Hotel in the Talos Plaza district.
Speak to Augusta Calidia at the Tiber Septim while it's open, and she'll gladly tell you all about Faelian and his problems with skooma. Not a very discreet hotelier, this one. She'll also let slip about Faelian's galpal Atraena, who also stays at the Tiber Septim. Speak to her, and she'll freely tell you about an abandoned house in the Elven Gardens district that Faelian visits every day. This is almost too easy.
Tip: If neither of these characters offers up the information described here, you'll need to get their Disposition higher and try to talk to them again.
The house Faelian rests up in is called Lorkmir's House; it should be marked on your map after speaking to Atraena. Faelian isn't always here, but he should be present if you wait for him at noon. Kill him!
This is the easiest path to completing the quest, but note that if you're looking for a lengthier journey, you can wait for Faelian to leave the hotel, then follow him around to see where he's going. You'll have to offer him some skooma before he'll tell you where to meet him. Either way, you'll wind up in Lorkmir's House and kill him there. Killing him anywhere else will lose your bonus, a nice Shadowhunt bow.
Your next quest involves finding and killing Roderick, the leader of a band of mercenaries. He's already deathly ill, but whomever wants him dead wants to speed up the process a bit. Your task? Infiltrate his compound, Fort Sutch, switch his medicine with poison, and escape undetected. If you're spotted - by anyone! - the poison plot will fail and you'll have to kill Roderick in some other fashion, preferably with a blunt instrument.
Needless to say, this is one quest that you should prepare for beforehand. Be sure to have your Shrouded Hood and Shrouded Armor ready to go. If you haven't obtained the Ring of Khajiiti from the Meridia Daedric Quest, now would be a great time to pick it up. Lastly, bring along any Potions of Invisibility that you might require, as a weapon of last resort.
If you speak to Teinaava, he'll give you a tip on the Fort. Apparently, there's a ruined Abbey near the aboveground portion of Fort Sutch. Although it appears separate, the two locations are actually connected underground. If you were to enter via the Abbey, you may be able to infiltrate the Fort undetected.
Fort Sutch If you get this tip from Teinaava, then the main entrance to the Fort will be marked on your map with a green arrow. It's not easily detectable; it's just a trap door laid into a large block of stone that lies flat on the ground. Either way, this is the main way to get into the Fort; the more subtle way is in the bottom of the large tower nearby. When you enter Fort Sutch, go into full sneak mode and start poking around. We'll assume that you enter through the main entrance for the purposes of this little walkthrough, but again, either way will work. The first person you're likely to see when you get past the flooded passages will be Laenafil. If you can sneak up behind her and pick her pockets, you'll obtain the Fort Sutch Gate Key, which will open up the two locked gates nearby. These can't be picked, so if you can't get the key, you'll have to follow the other ramp downwards and sneak past anyone who happens to be down there. An orc will likely block the way, forcing you to ingest an Invisibility Potion.
Regardless, your goal here is to get to the middle level of the facility and head to the north, where the dungeonesque halls will lead you both to Roderick's bed and his medicine cabinet. Try to do this as quickly as possible, before Laenafil and the Orcish guard are done with their conversation, because when they are, they'll move to this area, making it more difficult to sneak up on the medicine cabinet. When you do reach the cabinet, take out Roderick's Medicine and replace it with Roderick's Poison. After doing so, all you need to do is exfiltrate as quickly and as quietly as possible, and you'll have beaten the quest. Return to Ocheeva for The Deceiver's Finery, a nice little cloak that fortifies Speechcraft and Personality. Perfect for marathon selling sessions.
Well, this should be interesting. According to Ocheeva, someone has hired you to infiltrate a party, then kill all of the guests, without any of them witnessing a single murder. Guess someone at Bethesda enjoys playing How To Host A Murder. Or Clue.
Divide and conquer is the name of the game here, as well as blending in - before you enter the house in Skingrad, be sure to take off your armor and weapons, and don some kind of normal clothing. The Deceiver's Finery will be perfect for the job, but otherwise, you can probably steal clothes from any random house in the city.
When you're set up, looking suave and proper, head to Skingrad and find the house. Fafnir will provide you with the key to the house, meaning that you're going to be the only one who can get in or out.
The Killing Game Now that you're inside the house, you'll have to find a way to kill all of the other five guests without being detected. What this basically means is that you have to get them into a room for a little one-on-one time, close the door, then kill them, preferably in one blow. Luckily, there are three rooms on the top floor of the house, each with beds in them. If you periodically check the rooms, then you'll often find one of the houseguests sleeping.
If you're unwilling to go the murderous route, either bribe or Speechcraft your way to get a disposition of at least 70 with each guest. This will unlock additional conversational interactions with each of them, allowing you to manipulate them to your own ends, at least in theory. (If you don't have a lot of cash, feel free to bribe them anyway; everyone's going to die, after all, and you'll get it all back.) You can start with the Dunmer girl, if you wish, who's sweet on one of the other guests. If you can convince her to wait upstairs in his room, you'll be able to follow her up, close the door behind you, and finish her off. Try to get sneak attacks with melee weapons; most of the guests should go down in one hit.
The one guest that's difficult to isolate is the Nord, but if you manage to kill three of the other guests, including the Dark Elf girl, he'll usually choose to fly into a rage and kill them, asking you to back him up. If the last remaining guest is the Redguard, he'll outfit himself in all of his Legion finery and fight back - he may even be suspicious of you, though, so it's best to ensure that he's one of the first guests to go down.
Anyway, when it's down to just you and the Nord, finish him off as quickly as possible. Since there are no more witnesses to worry about, you can kill him in straight combat. Note that all you have to worry about when murdering people is their line of sight; if one guest is in the dining room of the main room, and another one is downstairs, then you should be able to kill either of them without losing your bonus for stealth kills. Just be sure to kill them as quickly as possible, preferably with melee stealth kills. When you complete the kills and return to Ocheeva, she'll reward you with the Night Mother's Blessing, which gives you a permanent +2 bonus to Blade, Acrobatics, Sneak, Security, and Marksman.
It's time to put an end to Adamus Phillida, the Imperial Legion officer who's given the Dark Brotherhood such pains in the past. He's recently retired to Leyawiin, far from his cronies in the Imperial City. You've been tasked with taking him out in whatever fashion you wish, although you've been given a special arrow that will kill him instantly if it strikes him while he's unarmored. That will complete the mission; to achieve your bonus, you need to grab the finger from his body and place it in the desk of his successor in the Imperial Prison.
Killing Phillida If you head down to Leyawiin, you should be able to find Phillida via the pointers on your compass. If you follow him around for a while, you'll be able to plan out his daily routine. Talking to his bodyguard will also elicit a few details about what he does everyday; he says that all he manages to fit into a 24-hour period is a visit to the Coast Watch outside the city and a short swim.
He'll typically leave the Inn at around 9:00 AM and head from there to the Coast Watch, arriving around 10:30. This may sound like an opportune time to kill him, but he doesn't remove his armor while he's here, making it difficult to kill him with the Rose of Sithis you've been given. If you want to blast him with a poisoned melee shot or hit him with a powerful staff or something, though, now would be a good time to do it; you'll be able to kill him and his bodyguard and then run away. He'll hang around at the Coast Watch until 1:00 or so, then leave and head to take his daily swim.
He'll wind up swimming at the small pond in the middle of the city, just to the west of the City Watch Barracks. If you head there before he arrives, you'll be able to sneak behind the rocks by the pool, notch up the Rose of Sithis, and hopefully hit him while remaining stealthed. Regardless of whether or not you are stealthed when you kill him, though, you're almost definitely going to pick up a bounty for killing him in this manner, but at least you won't have any problems getting to the body and looting it. If you're also in the Thieves Guild, you can use your contacts there to wipe away your bounty before heading to turn in the quest.
Optionally, you can attempt to break into the City Watch Barracks and kill Phillida while he sleeps, but this will require you to somehow kill him, loot the body, and escape from under the noses of eight or nine guards. Not fun! Again, though, it doesn’t matter how you kill him, so long as you loot the body and get the finger. Be sure to get all of his keys, as well, including the Imperial Watch Office Key.
Give Him The Finger With the keys and the finger in your possession, head to the Imperial Prison in the Imperial City. If you get there during the day, wait around until it's past midnight, to clear out the Imperial Legion Offices, on the western edge of the zone. The specific door you need to get through should be marked on your map.
If you pop the door open with the key, then the Imperial Legion Commander's desk should be right in front of you, with the On Morrowind and History of the Empire books lying atop it. Pick the lock on it, then place Phillida's finger inside to complete the bonus section of the quest. Don't forget to check the Legion Commander's Chest, right next to the desk, as it'll likely have some nice weaponry hidden away inside of it. Even if you don't want to use it, it can be handy to pick up to sell to a Thieves Guild fence to build up your reputation for them.
Heck, that's about the only reason to do this portion of the quest. If you've advanced into the game a good clip, the 500 gold bonus will be a poor reward for the effort of getting into the Imperial Legion and out again.
Of Secret And Shadow
Your next quest is a bridge of sorts. When you hand in the Permanent Retirement quest to Ocheeva, she'll give you a letter from Lucien, who will tell you to meet him at Fort Farragut, northeast of Cheydinhal. You have a special assignment waiting for you...
Farragut will be marked on your map when you leave the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary; it's only a short walk from Cheydinhal. Head on up and inside.
The interior of Farragut is inhabited by the Dark Guardians, hardier versions of the skeletons you've been facing off against thus far. Dispatch anything that stands in your way and get to Lachance as soon as possible.
When you reach Lachance, he'll tell you the truth behind the rumors you've been hearing: someone has indeed managed to infiltrate the Dark Brotherhood, and the spy is, in fact, one of the members of the Cheydinhal cell. Your task? Kill 'em all, and let God sort them out. Lachance wants you to return to the Sanctuary and finish off all of the Brotherhood members there. This is going to be a tall task!
Before you head out, though, Lachance will offer you a pair of gifts. One is a Poisoned Apple, which you can use to poison almost anyone. The second is a scroll that will summon Rufio's Ghost to aid you in battle. Note that if you're capable of picking Very Hard locks, there's a barrel in Lachance's little lair that will let you pick up ten more Poisoned Apples. Even if you don't want to use them to finish off your compatriots, you should get nab these if you can, as they're worth a fortune when sold; 300 gold apiece. A Game of Death Now, the ground rules for this little macabre exercise are fairly similar to those you followed in Whodunit? You need to kill all the inhabitants of the cell, but obviously enough, attacking them directly in the view of each other will make for one heck of a tough battle. It's much easier to divide and conquer and attempt to take them all down that way.
First off, though, you can attempt to ice a few of your targets with Poisoned Apples. In order to do so, head into the living quarters and remove all of the food from the tables and chests. With that done, all you have to do is ensure that your targets find and eat one of your special apples. Note that not all of the characters will eat your apple right away; you may have to wait a while for some of them to actually consume the poisoned pill. If you have time to wait, and prefer to avoid combat, then steal all of the food and sneak around to each character and pickpocket them. Instead of taking anything from them, though, drop a Poisoned Apple into their inventory. The next time they go to eat something, they'll take a bite of it and keel over dead shortly thereafter. Just keep in mind that not everyone eats everyday, and Vicente doesn't actually eat at all, so he won't succumb to your poison pill.
Where's Snow White? Anyway, if you have time, just plant as many apples as you can on to each of your target's bodies, then place a few on the tables in the living quarters for good measure. (You can buy more apples from M'raaj-Dar if you need them, and if you can afford them.) Then...go about your business. We're not sure if you need to be in the building and watch your foes eat the food. We happened to sleep for a few hours and most of the inhabitants still keeled over dead, so we suspect that you can go out and do other quests or explore if you want to give your apples some time to work. No one in the Sanctuary actually reacts at all to any of the dead bodies that they have to step over, so don't worry about that.
When you've waited as long as you feel comfortable with, return to the Sanctuary and start finishing off any remaining foes. If you wait until your targets are by themselves, in their own little room, you can kill them out of line of sight of the rest of the bunch and avoid making them all hostile, just as you did in Whodunit? Most of the characters have to catch a catnap every now and again, with Vicente in particular choosing to sleep down in his quarters. Ocheeva likewise has her own place to sleep, making both of those characters easy to kill: just wait until they go to sleep, then sneak attack them with your most powerful poison.
The rest of the characters can be assaulted any time you like. If you can catch one of them sitting or sleeping, just sneak attack them and finish them off. You can summon Rufio's Ghost if you get into a pickle, but it probably won't even be necessary to do so.
When you're done with all of the killing here, return to Lachance, who'll tell you that from now on, you'll be working for him directly. You won't meet up very often - he's set up dead drops for you to find your missions at - but he does have a reward for you: the awesome Shadowmere horse. It's fast, it's hardy, and what's more, it'll actually fight your enemies when they get close with its front hooves. Rockin'. Note that if it ever disappears, it'll return to Fort Farragut for you to pick up again.
Dead Drop Quests
Affairs of A Wizard
When you first visit the Dead Drop at Hero's Hill, you'll be told to head to Leafrot Cave and kill Celedaen, a necromancer who's initiated his transformation into a Lich. You're warned of Celedaen's power, and told to search out his writings in an attempt to find a weakness before engaging him. Leafrot Cave is well, well off the beaten track. It's going to take a while to get there, unless you've already been in the area, so warp as close as you can with Shadowmere and get going.
When you do hit Leafrot, start poking about. Obviously enough, there's going to be plenty of undead roaming the halls, so be ready for them. You can find an Art of War Magic book in the first little set of shelves after you enter the cave; it'll add one point to your destruction magic. Also in this first area, you can find The Path of Transcendence, which will reveal Celedaen's one true weakness: he keeps a magical hourglass on his person at all times. While he has the hourglass, he's likely immortal, but if you can take it from him, such as by pickpocketing it, he'll die instantly.
Pickpocketing Celedaen is a difficult matter, since he never really stands still, preferring to pace around his lair like a hyperactive kid looking for sugar. It's certainly possible to get behind him and pick his pocket, but you'll need a fairly high Sneak skill to do so. Even if you can't pickpocket him, though, he's not all that tough to beat in normal combat. He wields fairly standard mage spells, will turn invisible as soon as he's spotted you, and will somehow manage to summon his own ghost to attack you. If you let him know you're there, wait for him to turn invisible, then stand so that the central pillar is between you and he, he'll eventually come back into sight. At this point, you can either poison him with a Silence poison and go to town, or just use a Damage Health poison to finish him off. Or just get up close and personal with a magical weapon and take him down! He doesn't have much health, so any of these options will work.
When you're done with Celedaen, loot anything you like from the cave, then head to Chorrol, where your next dead drop is located.
Next of Kin
When you find the Old Sack in Chorrol, you'll get a new mission: kill every single member of the Draconis family. Unfortunately, you only know the location of Perennia Draconis, who resides on a farm called Applewatch. You have to head to her location, pump her for information about her family, then find and slaughter the lot.
Applewatch is near the Cloud Ruler Temple, so feel free to fast travel there and head out to the farm. Talk to Perennia and tell her you're looking for her children, and she'll give you a list of all of the children, along with some gold. Apparently she thinks that you're going to help her buy them gifts...poor girl. Kill her as best you can before moving on to her children.
Matthias Draconis - Talos Plaza District, Imperial City Matthias is arguably the easiest of all these hits. Simply find his house in the Talos Plaza District, wait outside until it's midnight or later, then pick the lock and head on in in Sneak mode. There's another resident of the house, one Collatinus Vedius, whom you'll have to sneak past and head up the steps to Matthias' room.
Now, if you wish to avoid getting pinched, you'll have to kill Matthias with one powerful blow, which can be difficult, since he has a lot of health. Obviously enough, the sleeping sneak attack is the way to go, preferably after you've poisoned your weapon with a Poison of Illness or something similar. If you can't get this guy in one shot, consider coming back after dropping off any stolen goods in your safehouse, then just paying the fine when the guards nab you.
Andreas Draconis - Drunken Dragon Inn, Northeast of Leyawiin The Drunken Dragon is off the road that leads northeast of Leyawiin. You can head there any time to speak to Andreas, but killing him is another matter, since there'll often be an Imperial Guard standing around inside. Your best bet here is to just hunker down with all of your Sneak gear on, then start waiting for one hour at a time until the Guardsman is far enough away for you to take down Andreas. This is easiest if you can hit him while he's sleeping, which usually occurs between one and six or so in the morning, but be sure to save your game before you whack him, as the Guard has a good shot at detecting you if he's anywhere nearby. Again, though, if you don't have any stolen items, you can just pay the fine right then and there and move on.
Sibylla - Muck Valley Cavern The Muck Valley Cavern is east of the Imperial City, near the Shrine of Vaermina, on Lake Poggad. Perennia's letter warns you of the animals in the area, and indeed, the cave will be populated with beasties of a level-appropriate nature. It's all one big cave, though, with no sub-areas, so you should eventually find Sibylla. She has no armor on, so she shouldn't be a very difficult target.
Caelia - Castle Leyaiin Barracks Caelia is a soldier in the Leyawiin Guard, who roams around town during most of the day, and presumably sleeps in the Barracks at night. During the morning, though, from around 7:00 AM to noon, she'll be in the Three Sisters Inn, in a private room on the second floor. If you can break into it, then hide in the room behind her and sneak up on her, you should be able to make a heck of a sneak attack. She's outfitted with a ton of armor, though, so it'll be difficult to kill her outright. You may need to finish her off with poison, then sneak out to your nearest Thieves Guild contact to pay off half of your fine for murder.
Your next quest is given in the Castle Skingrad Courtyard well.
Your task? Travel to Bruma and kill J'Ghasta, who owns a home there. He's a master of unarmed fighting. If you can't find him in his home, he may be in the Secret Training Room that's hidden under a pile of cloth downstairs. This is the best place to fight him, since he won't be able to run out of doors, and you'll be assured that your fight will take place away from prying eyes.
As mentioned, J'Ghasta will use his fists against you, so be prepared for a physical beatdown. Characters with low Agility will find themselves getting knocked around, so you will definitely want to poison this guy if possible. If you're a melee fighter, then using a fatigue-draining poison on him can lead to a fun fight, since you'll be able to trade punches with him until he gets knocked out. Anyway, find a way to kill him before moving on to your next assignment.
Your next dead drop is at The Old Bridge, south of the Imperial City, just east of Vindasel. Find the Rotten Box underneath the bridge for your orders.
Oh god, it's a movie starring Joe Don Baker! We didn't sign up for this!
Well, not to worry: no sleazy Maltese gangsters here. Instead, you'll have to kill an Argonian named Shaleez, who's apparently a psychopath! Those are always the most fun people to kill. She's holed up in the Flooded Mine, just north of Bravil, so warp there and find her.
The Flooded Mine lives up to its name, so you may want to bring along spells or potions that allow you to breathe water. Otherwise, don't worry too much about it at this point; you can probably swim quickly enough to get to air before drowning. Probably. Anyway, Shaleez will wander the caves most of the day, but if you find her around midnight, she should be asleep on her cot, allowing you to sneak up and hit her with a sneak attack. She has Argonian resistance to poison, so this will be the best chance you have of getting a good first blow in.
Your next dead drop is an empty coffin outside Fort Redman, northeast of Leyawiin.
A Matter of Honor
Your next target is Alval Uvani, a traveling merchant. He's a powerful Destruction magician, but does have one weakness: mead. If you can somehow get him to drink a flagon of mead, he'll be much weaker than he would be normally.
Now, you have a few options with Alval. Getting him weakened up with mead is arguably the most complicated, and is probably only worth trying if you're at an extremely low level. To do so, you'll have to find him at one of the Inns that he stops in (or at his home in Leyawiin, but he's there only one day a week), take away all of the nearby drinks, and ensure that mead is the only type of drink available to him. You can find mead in plenty of places, including the house you visited during the Whodunit? quest.
Unfortunately, this means that you'll have to be running around thieving in the middle of a bunch of people, and picking up all their drinks will result in a bounty or two, which is inconvenient, to say the least. It's also just time-consuming.
Your better bet is to kill Alval while he walks from town to town. If you can track him down to a location that he's at, you should be able to wait in the Inn an hour at a time until he gets up and leaves, which usually occurs around 11:00 PM or so. If you follow him out of the inn, out of the town, and wait until you're both a bit out into the wilderness, you'll be able to attack him and take him down. He is a tough spellcaster, as mentioned, but you can deal with that in any number of ways, with our preference being to hit him with a Silence poison with your first strike. You won't be able to sneak attack him, but with a few solid blows he should go down.
The dead drop after this quest is in the Imperial Market District, in a small alley near Rindir's Staffs. Check the hollowed-out tree stump to nab it.
The Coldest Sleep
Go to the campsite on Gnoll Mountain and kill Havilstein Hoar-Blood. Sounds pretty simple!
Gnoll Mountain is to the east of Bruma, if you're wondering, but it's going to be difficult to get to Havilstein from the east. Instead, you'll need to approach from the west, along the mountain trail that runs up from that direction. Check your in-game map. If you head to the spot where the "Y" in "County Bruma" comes close to the "N" in "Jorall Mountains", then you should get an Oblivion Gate on your radar. Head there, then follow the trail from there to the west. It'll lead you right to Havilstein's camp.
Note that Havilstein will be enraged when he spots you. You may want to approach in Sneak mode, or invisible, or try to wait until early in the morning to see if he ever sleeps. Note that you'll have to kill his dog Redmaw, as well, so be ready for a couple of tough opponents.
Your next dead drop is in Nornal, an Ayleid ruin just south of the Muck Valley cavern you visited during the Next of Kin quest. You'll actually have to head inside to receive your orders, which are in a chest behind a locked door in an underwater passage.
A Kiss Before Dying
Your goal here is to kill Ungolim, a Wood Elf who visits the Lucky Old Lady statue in Bravil every day between 6:00 PM and 1:00 AM. Head to Bravil and take him out! Ungolim is an archer who's going to be automatically hostile to you when he spots you, so be ready for a fight. He's a master archer, complete with knockdowns on some successful hits, so if you're worried about taking too much damage, a good strategy, as always, is to hit him with a powerful Damage Health poison and avoiding him while it does its job. After Ungolim is dead, Lachance appears, and claims that you've actually been killing members of the Black Hand! He says that you stopped visiting the real dead drops, and have instead been diverted by forces unknown to take down the high order members of the Dark Brotherhood. But who could've known so much about the business of the assassins guild?
Following A Lead
Lachance asks you to head to your next dead drop location, in Anvil, and...wait. Wait to find out whom has been diverting your efforts towards wiping out the Black Hand. Travel to Anvil and find the wooden barrel that's highlighted on your compass. If you sneak back there, then wait for one hour, you should find Enilroth, a little Elf who says he was paid to put the instructions in the barrel. Sensing imminent doom, Enilroth wisely decides to tell you all about the bad man who paid him. If you further threaten him with death, he'll tell you that the man was living in the cellar of the lighthouse in the harbor, and that it was probably rented to him by the lighthouse keeper, Ulfgar Fog-Eye, who may be able to provide me with a key to the cellar.
Head to the Anvil Docks and track down Fog-Eye's house under the lighthouse and track him down wherever he may be. With a little coaxing, he should yield up the cellar key to you, so head back outside and find the entrance.
With a little poking around in the Corpses R' Us, you'll find the Traitor's Diary, which details the plot. Apparently the person who's been fooling with the dead drops is a member of the Black Hand itself, and has risen in the ranks of the Dark Brotherhood simply to take revenge on it for the murder of his or her mother many years ago. It's up to you to find this infiltrator and shut him or her down for good!
Return to Lachance. You'll discover that you're a bit too late to save him from the plotter. Since you're not sure which of the remaining members of the Black Hand is the traitor, all you can do for the moment is to play along.... Note that you'll net a Black Hand Hood and a Black Hand Robe, which are essentially the same items as you obtained earlier, but which add an additional five points to each of the skills that your Shrouded Armor did. They're not considered armor, though, so you may still want to keep the Shrouded Armor around if you're a light armor user.
Honor Thy Mother
In order to move the Dark Brotherhood quests, you need to speak to Arquen here between the hours of midnight and three in the morning. Agree to follow her to the Night Mother's location...which lies beneath the Lucky Old Lady statue in Bravil. Take the trap door down to the crypt and wait for events to unfold for themselves.
When Mathieu Bellamont reveals himself to be the traitor to the cause, quickly poison him and take him down with the help of Arquen. At this point, the bulk of your task is complete, so feel free to loot the bodies and, at the invitation of the Night Mother, loot the crypts as well, then speak to the Mother again. She'll upgrade your Blade of Woe and teleport you back to the Cheydinhal Sanctuary.
Whispers of Death
At this point, you've essentially completed the Dark Brotherhood series of quests; your only job now is as a quasi-administrator, overlooking the operations of the Cheydinhal Sanctuary. With Arquen around, though, even that's a pretty low-stress job: all you're required to do is to visit the Lucky Old Lady statue once a week, grab the list of names of people who've prayed to Sithis, and return it to Arquen. In return, you'll get a share of the profits that the cell generates. Nice.
As Listener of the Black Hand, you have some unique benefits to take advantage of. While the ability to speak to the Old Mother and relay her commands to Arquen will net you some cash, another cool aspect of running the Dark Brotherhood is the fact that it lets you obtain the services of Dark Brotherhood Murderers. If you speak to one of them, they'll follow you and act as teammates during your travels. Pretty handy!
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