May 30, 2024
A comprehensive guide on how to join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. Learn the requirements, steps, pros and cons, role-playing tips, quest-walkthrough, lore discussion, character builds, and hidden content.


The Dark Brotherhood is an infamous guild of assassins in the world of Skyrim. Joining the Dark Brotherhood allows players to take on personalized assassination missions and access unique weapons and armor. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, along with tips for role-playing, quest walkthroughs, and lore discussion.

Step-by-step guide

Requirements to start the Dark Brotherhood quest-line

In order to start the Dark Brotherhood quest-line, players must progress through the main quest-line until they reach the “Innocence Lost” quest. The quest can be acquired by talking to Aventus Aretino in Windhelm, or by overhearing rumors about a boy trying to contact the Dark Brotherhood. Alternatively, players who have completed the “Dragon Rising” quest or have reached level 10 can skip this requirement and initiate the quest-line by sleeping in any bed.

How to initiate the quest-line by finding Aventus Aretino

Upon arriving in Windhelm, players should find Aventus Aretino’s home in the southwestern part of the city. Players can choose to either speak to him directly or find his hidden room to discover his request for the Dark Brotherhood to kill his abusive stepmother. After being tasked with killing his target, the player must then return to Aventus to initiate the next set of quests.

Progressing through the quest-line and joining the Dark Brotherhood

After initiating the quest-line, players will be directed to the abandoned shack where they must complete a set of tasks to prove their worth to the Dark Brotherhood. Players must then complete several assassination missions for the Dark Brotherhood before eventually being offered an invitation to join the guild.

Steps to complete the initiation ritual

Upon being invited to join the Dark Brotherhood, players must complete an initiation ritual. This ritual involves performing tasks for each member of the guild and ultimately killing a prisoner while standing before the Night Mother. After completing the initiation, players will officially become a member of the Dark Brotherhood and gain access to various assassination missions and unique weapons and armor.

Pros and cons

Advantages of joining the Dark Brotherhood

Joining the Dark Brotherhood comes with several advantages, including access to unique weapons and armor and the ability to complete personalized assassination missions. Players can also become a part of a community of like-minded assassins, allowing for interesting role-playing opportunities.

1. Access to unique weapons and armor

The Dark Brotherhood offers several unique weapons and armor sets that are unavailable elsewhere in the game. These items can be acquired through quest rewards or by looting the corpses of defeated enemies. Some notable items include the Blade of Woe, a powerful dagger; the Shrouded Armor set, which provides benefits such as increased sneak and one-handed weapon damage; and the Nightingale Armor set, which provides similar benefits along with improved lockpicking and archery skills.

2. Ability to complete personalized assassination missions

The Dark Brotherhood offers personalized assassination missions that allow players to tailor their tasks to their own play style. These missions usually involve creatively killing a target while avoiding detection or mimicking an accident. Completing these missions offer players valuable rewards and further entrenches the player in the world of Skyrim.

Disadvantages of joining the Dark Brotherhood

Joining the Dark Brotherhood also comes with some disadvantages. The player may experience negative interactions with guards and citizens, and the player’s actions may limit access to certain quest-line and interactions in the game.

1. Unfriendly interaction with guards and citizens

Players who are members of the Dark Brotherhood will become enemies of the guards and citizens in certain cities of Skyrim. Guards may attack the player on sight, and citizens may refuse to speak to or do business with the player. This can limit the player’s ability to interact with the wider world of Skyrim and may even make it more difficult to complete certain quests or progress the main story.

2. Lack of access to some quest-lines and interactions

Joining the Dark Brotherhood may lead the player to miss out on certain quests or interactions with other factions in the game. For example, the Dark Brotherhood is incompatible with the Companions quest-line, thus players will not be able to become a werewolf if they have chosen to join the Dark Brotherhood. Additionally, the player’s choices in the Dark Brotherhood quest-line may lead to them missing out on other faction quests.

Role-playing tips

Different approaches for joining the Dark Brotherhood

Players may choose to approach joining the Dark Brotherhood in a variety of ways, allowing for creative role-playing opportunities. Some players may choose to role-play a ruthless assassin who is eager to kill for the thrill of it, while others may choose to create a sympathetic character who is seeking revenge against specific targets. Additionally, players may choose to take on the Dark Brotherhood quest-line as a standalone narrative, or as part of a wider role-playing experience.

Characteristics of an ideal assassin

The ideal assassin may have several characteristics that can help them succeed in the world of Skyrim. These characteristics may include high sneak, one-handed weapon, and archery skills, as well as proficiency in lockpicking and pickpocketing. An assassin should also have high speech and persuasion skills, as this can help them convince targets to divulge confidential information or lead them into a trap.

Resolving conflicts while on a mission

Assassination missions can often be complicated and may require the player to think creatively to overcome obstacles. It is imperative for the player to remain calm and composed while on a mission and to think through all available options before making any decisions. Additionally, players may need to resolve conflicts with non-player characters, such as guards or potential witnesses, and should consider using persuasion, bribery, or intimidation to avoid combat whenever possible.

Quest Walkthrough

Discuss the different quest-lines of the Dark Brotherhood quest-line

The Dark Brotherhood quest-line consists of several interconnected missions that allow players to explore the world of Skyrim as an assassin. These missions usually involve assassinating a target, often in a unique and creative way. Some notable missions include “The Silence Has Been Broken”, which tasks players with infiltrating a high-security prison to kill a target, and “Bound Until Death”, which requires players to infiltrate a wedding and kill the bride.

How to complete each quest

Completing each Dark Brotherhood quest requires careful planning and often involves several different steps. Players must consider the layout of each target’s location, the presence of guards and potential witnesses, and any environmental factors that may come into play. Successfully completing each quest can offer valuable rewards, including unique weapons, armor, and abilities, as well as new characters to interact with.

Tips for avoiding obstacles and successfully completing each quest

Players should consider the following tips when attempting to successfully complete each Dark Brotherhood quest:

  • Scout the area before attempting a mission, and take note of any potential obstacles or hazards.
  • Consider ways to leverage the environment to complete a mission, such as setting traps or tampering with objects in the area.
  • Use stealth to avoid detection, and always try to take down enemies from a distance or from behind whenever possible.
  • Use magic or poison to incapacitate targets, and consider bribing or persuading them to leave the area before completing the mission.

Lore discussion

History and Overview of the Dark Brotherhood

The Dark Brotherhood is an ancient guild of assassins that has existed for thousands of years. The guild operates under a strict code of conduct, and its members often worship the Daedric Prince Sithis as a deity. The Dark Brotherhood’s reach extends across Tamriel, and its members are widely feared and renowned for their deadly efficiency.

Significance and role of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim

The Dark Brotherhood plays an important role in the world of Skyrim, as it allows players to explore the game’s themes of morality and choice. Joining the Dark Brotherhood allows players to make choices that directly impact the game world and other factions in the game, and the choices made in the quest-line can ultimately lead to multiple different endings. Additionally, the Dark Brotherhood’s reach can be felt throughout Skyrim as players encounter its members and learn more about their history and beliefs.

Relation of the Dark Brotherhood to the wider Elder Scrolls universe

The Dark Brotherhood has appeared in several games in the Elder Scrolls series, including Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. The guild’s history and beliefs are deeply intertwined with the wider lore of the Elder Scrolls universe, and its actions and choices in each game can have implications for future games in the series.

Character builds

Recommended character builds for optimizing the Dark Brotherhood experience

The ideal character build for joining the Dark Brotherhood may vary depending on the player’s play-style and personal preferences. However, some key skills and attributes that can help players optimize the Dark Brotherhood experience include:

  • High sneak, one-handed weapon, and archery skills for effective assassination.
  • Lockpicking and pickpocketing skills for gaining access to locked areas and valuable items.
  • Speech and persuasion skills for convincing targets to divulge confidential information or to avoid combat.
  • High stamina and agility for increased mobility during combat and assassination missions.

Recommended skills, attributes and gear for the Dark Brotherhood related quests

Players may consider the following skills, attributes, and gear when attempting Dark Brotherhood quests or missions:

  • High sneak, one-handed weapon, and archery skills for effective assassination.
  • Light armor for increased mobility and stealth.
  • Poison for incapacitating targets and increasing damage dealt.
  • Lockpicks for accessing locked areas and chests.
  • Invisibility spells or potions for evading enemies and avoiding detection.

How to build your character to handle Dark Brotherhood hardest missions

Players should consider the following tips when building their character to handle the toughest Dark Brotherhood missions:

  • Invest in essential combat skills, such as sneak, one-handed, and archery.
  • Invest in pickpocketing, lockpicking and speech, as these skills allow for a range of creative approaches.
  • Be proficient in spells, poisons and daggers for dealing high damage, quick adrenaline releases during combat, and quick assassination.
  • Upgrades of the Dark Brotherhood gear can often help the player survive in tricky situations

Easter eggs and hidden content

List of Easter eggs and hidden content associated with the Dark Brotherhood quest-line

There are several hidden Easter eggs and content associated with the Dark Brotherhood quest-line, including:

  • A secret note from Astrid, which can be obtained by completing the mission “With Friends Like These…”.
  • Unique dialogue options with certain characters if the player is wearing the Nightingale Armor.
  • A hidden room in the Dawnstar Sanctuary containing several the Easter eggs that refer to previous Elder Scrolls games.
  • The opportunity to obtain two duplicate copies of the Blade of Woe.

Tips on finding these overlooked content

To find these hidden Easter eggs and content, players may need to explore thoroughly and pay attention to dialogue options. Players should also consider trying on different gear and armor sets to trigger unique dialogue and interactions with non-player characters, and should always be on the lookout for hidden rooms and areas that may contain valuable items or information.


Recap of key points

Joining the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim involves several key steps, including completing the “Innocence Lost” quest, finding Aventus Aretino, completing the initiation quest-line, and performing the initiation ritual. The Dark Brotherhood offers several advantages, including access to unique weapons and armor and personalized assassination missions, but also comes with disadvantages such as negative interactions with guards and other factions, and missing out on certain quest-lines and interactions in the game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *