How to Join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim


Valerie Harper

Writer and Storywriter


Skyrim is known for the seemingly infinite paths players can walk, and this also includes factions. One of the factions the Dragonborn can join in is the Dark Brotherhood, a group of assassins. As assassins operate in the shadows, joining a group of them isn’t as easy as strolling in.

How to Join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim

If you’re wondering how you can join them, then you’re in the right place. By following our instructions, you’ll be able to initiate the quests quickly. You’ll also have to make the right choices, but we’ll help you with that too.

Before Joining the Dark Brotherhood

The nature of the Dark Brotherhood is assassination and stealth, so we recommend upgrading your Sneak skills as much as possible. Level 50 Sneak will make assassinations with daggers a breeze. The Assassin’s Blade perk, in particular, is what you want.

The Dark Brotherhood allows anyone able to kill without flinching to join them. As such, you can join them as a vampire, werewolf, bandit, or mage. Even if these races or classes aren’t inherently stealthy, there are ways to make it work.

Attracting the Dark Brotherhood’s Attention

There are two ways to start the quests that culminate into joining the Dark Brotherhood. The one you choose doesn’t affect the outcome, so you may pick your poison as you wish.

The first method is to head to an inn and talk to the innkeeper. You’ll find out that a boy named Aventus Aretino is trying to perform the Black Sacrament in Windhelm.

If you go to the Riften’s Honorhall Orphanage, the children will also direct you to Aventus, who wants to kill the headmistress, Grelod the Kind. Talking to the children will trigger an objective to complete.

The second method involves going to Riften and speaking to a man called Maul. He’s usually near the city gate, leaning on a post to the left. He’ll be Maven Black-Briar’s housecarl in Mistvell Keep if the former is Jarl.

You can get information from Maul about the Dark Brotherhood. If you manage to intimidate or persuade him, you get the details for free. Showing him any of the Stones of Barenziah will do the same.

Either path leads you to Aventus Aretino, who is currently in Windhelm at his parents’ home. The “Innocence Lost” quest will trigger, and Aventus will direct you to the orphanage to kill Grelod.

Joining the Dark Brotherhood

After 24 hours, a courier will track you down when you enter the nearest town and hand you a note with “We know” on it. Getting the message is optional, though, to start the next step of joining the Brotherhood.

After this, you should do the following:

  1. Sleep in any bed for any amount of time.
  2. You’ll wake up in an Abandoned Shack after a Dark Brotherhood assassin abducts you.
  3. The assassin, Astrid, asks you to kill one of three people in the room.
  4. The dialog will initiate the quest named “With Friends Like These…”
  5. By killing one or all of them, you get the invitation to join The Dark Brotherhood.

Alternatively, if you wish to destroy The Dark Brotherhood, you can kill Astrid. This action triggers another quest called “Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!”

After joining the Dark Brotherhood, you won’t have the ability to hurt any of their members without the use of commands or cheats. Attacking Astrid in the Shack is also your only chance of destroying the Brotherhood.

Our Business Is Death

By joining the Dark Brotherhood, you gain access to various quests, gear, and unlimited contracts. These contracts will reward you in Gold, and you’ll have a steady source of income. You can also get achievements and trophies by joining.

Which path did you choose to join the Dark Brotherhood? Do you enjoy the assassination contracts? Let us know in the comments section below.


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