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Fall of the Dark Brotherhood

Author: 
Anonymous

Nagh

It is a dark night, Kellen. This one would have another story to fall asleep to.

What became of your "Forgotten Hero"?

Kellen

I have only a dark tale for a night such as this. One with no heroes at all.

It began when a mysterious merchant named Uther Nere sought to make the one you speak of his agent.

Uther

Come in, traveler. I'm so glad you got my invitation.

I've been watching you for some time, and I think you're just the person I need.

I warn you, this task will be bloody, but the cause is just. It concerns an infamous band of assassins known as the Dark Brotherhood.

The brotherhood is a foul death cult worshipping a living corpse known as the Night Mother.

Some years ago my daughter, the poor misguided girl, murdered her own mother in order to gain their favor.

She claimed to be recruited by the Night Mother's Listener herself

Later, I learned that my daughter too had died pursuing this violent life.

For years I have sought this Listener, but she is elusive.

I want you to infiltrate the Brotherhood, find her, and lead me to her.

Together, we will ensure that no other family suffers the same fate as mine.

I know one sure way to get the Brotherhood's attention. Find someone they were planning to assassinate, and kill them first. I would check the inn to see if anyone's seen anything suspicious. I also know a man was murdered yesterday; try examining his body.

[The player has the option to investigate the body or ask around at the tavern. They each unlock a different series of quests, but the follow up quests can be done in any order. I arranged them in a way that I thought made the most narrative sense. ]

 

Murder Scene

Kellen

Examining the body, the agent found claw marks on its back. This was not the work of any assassin. Had the monsters that infested Dreughside come into the city? The agent resolved to investigate.

Player

Proceeds to Dreughside, outside of the city.

 

Dreughside

Kellen

Surveying the shantytown, the agent heard a muffled cry from within a boarded-up home. But before they could investigate, Dreughside's fearsome residents fell upon them.

Player

Battles the dreugh. Once the creatures are taken care of, the player investigates the source of the cries.

Princess

Thank you for rescuing me. I am Princess Barynia. Two noblemen kidnapped me to blackmail my father, the King. PRINCESS: One was killed by those monsters, but his partner dragged him into town to make it look like a murder. Bring that traitor to justice, and I'll reward you. I believe he's holding a gala tonight.

Player

Proceeds to the nobleman's house and puts on the disguise given by the princess to get inside.

 

Arenthil Wethrin's House

Arenthil

Welcome to my gala! Let us raise a glass to the downfall of the King!

Player

Fights the guests and Arenthil.

Arenthil

The princess sent you? Then my plans are undone. Kill me if you wish. But the king is weak. Our day will come, and soon.

Player

Having followed that thread to its conclusion, the player decides to investigate Uther's other lead, and heads to the tavern.

 

Cloudy Dregs Inn

Barkeep

You ask too many questions. I think it's time we taught you what we do to nosy people.

Player

Fights the patrons of the bar and wins.

Barkeep

All right, you win. There's a man who says "Hail Sithis" when he's in his cups. He scared me more than you do but not anymore. He lives on the East side of town.

Player

That sounds promising, and the player heads that way.

 

Kastus Thorn's House

Kellen

As the hero searched the house, the assassin arrived home. The hero faced a choice: Confide in the assassin, or attempt to kill him, and complete his contract in his stead?

Player

Chooses to Confide

Player

Chooses to Kill

Kastus Thorn

You wish to join our Brotherhood? Very well. Show me your skills.

Player

Spars with Kastus, eventually beating him after a drawn-out match.

Kastus Thorn

You fight well. Here. Take my contract. The target is Markam Hawksmire, the corrupt head of the Order of the Hour guard. He's likely at their barracks or the Temple of Akatosh.

Player

Kills Kastus and searches his home for the contract.

Kellen

Searching the dead assassin's home revealed a contract: The target was Markam Hawksmire, the notoriously corrupt head of the local order of the Hour guard. He was likely hiding at the order's barracks, or the Temple of Akatosh.

 

 

 

Player

Forced to pick between the Temple and the Barracks, the player choses to check the Temple first.

 

Temple of Akatosh

A Grand Chanter

Brother Markam warned us that someone might come for him. Begone!

Player

Battles it out with the local priests.

Kellen

There was no sign of Markam. The agent would have to look elsewhere.

 

Order of the Hour Barracks

Knight of the Hour

An intruder! Guards, to arms!

Player

Murders the defending guards.

Knight of the Hour

Markam knew someone was coming for him... he said he was leaving town on the next ship.

Player

Heads to the Wayrest Docks, hoping they are not too late.

 

Docks

Markam

The assassin has found me! To arms men!

Player

Defeats Markam before he can flee.

Kellen

With Markam dead, the Dark Brotherhood soon approached the agent and welcomed them into the fold.

Over the coming weeks, the agent earned their trust.

Then the unexpected happened.

A fleet of corsairs attacked the city of Wayrest, even as the agent recieved a most fateful contract.

Balir R'enar

Brother, we have a most difficult contract. You are to assassinate the King of Wayrest himself; it seems some powerful nobles in the city want him dead The castle gates are barred against the corsair assault, but perhaps you can find another way in.

 

City Gates

Concerned Citizen

The guards have left the city gates open! Please, help us close them, before the corsairs overrun us!

Player

Fights back waves of corsairs and closes the city gates.

Concerned Citizen

Thank you, stranger. But my baby was trapped outside the city. Can you save her? She'll be wearing a pink bow.

Kellen

The agent looked high and low for the woman's missing "baby"... before realizing it was not at all what they had been expecting.

Player

The "baby" turns out to be a pig in need of protecting. The player rescues her and brings her back to her mother.

Concerned Citizen

Baby! You saved her May the nine bless you stranger!

Player

Looking for a way into the castle, the player decides to check with Princess Barynia.

Princess

You need to get into the castle? Why? No, don't tell me, I trust you. Here, this disguise should get you through the front gate.

Player

In the end, the player decides to go a more sneaky route.

 

Wayrest Sewers

Kellen

The agent found a likely path into the castle... if not a pleasant one.

Player

After combating a bunch of sewer creatures, the player emerges into the Grand Hall of Castle Wayrest.

 

Castle Wayrest, Grand Hall

Kellen

The agent was inside. But now stealth would be required to reach the throne room.

Player

Carefully defeats the guards while avoiding detection.

 

Castle Wayrest, Throne Room

King

An assassin! I don't know how you made it in here, but you'll find I'm well prepared. I know all about the conspiracy against me. It's why I left the city gates open for the Corsairs. They will destroy the rest of my enemies... while my guards do the same to you!

Player

Kills the king's guards and defeats the king.

King

Wait! We can work something out! By now the corsairs will have killed whoever hired you, Spare me, and I will sail with them at dawn, leaving the throne to my daughter. Please, I beg you!

Player

Chooses Kill

Player

Chooses Spare

Kellen

The king's crimes were grave, and the agent was not feeling merciful. They swiftly ended the king's reign.

But the Corsairs had laid ruin to Wayrest. And while the Agent had carried out the contract...

... they had destroyed the Brotherhood Sanctuary, leaving no survivors.

The agent set out for Falkreath, having learned of another sanctuary there.

 

Kellen

The king sailed from Wayrest, promising to someday grant the agent lands and titles for sparing him - promises that were never, to my knowledge, fulfilled.

But he and his Corsairs left a devastated city in their wake. And, as the agent soon learned...

...they had destroyed the Brotherhood Sanctuary, and killed all within.

But Uther had learned of another Brotherhood sanctuary in Falkreath, where a survivor of Wayrest would be welcomed with open arms."

 

Astrid

All right newcomer, let's see what you can do. We have a contract on Rathir, the new priest at the Hall of the Dead. There's something odd about that one; be careful. He's been seen around Grave Concoctions potion shop.

Grave Concoctions

Zaria

I don't know anything about Rathir! I've already asked you to leave, so I guess we'll have to do this the hard way.

Player

Beats Zaria in her own shop.

Zaria

Rathir's a necromancer. I left his cult when I found out. Tell you what. I'll let you borrow my old robes to sneak into his ritual if you do a little something for me. I have this new poison I've been dying to try out. Why don't you test it on the residents of the Hilltop Shrine?

Hilltop Shrine

Kellen

The agent traveled to Hilltop Shrine to test out Zaria's poison. But the "residents" she spoke of would not be easily dealt with.

Player

The giants that inhabit Hilltop Shrine are tough, but the player manages to defeat them using Zaria's poisons.

Zaria

That worked even better than I'd hoped. Here are the robes I promised. They should make it easier to get close to Rathir.

Player

Now equiped, the player goes to the Hall of the Dead to find Rathir.

Hall of the Dead

Rathir's Acolyte

You're asking too many questions about my master. I think it's best I silenced you... permanently!

Player

Silences the acolyte... permanently.

Kellen

Searching the Hall of the Dead, the agent found a map. Perhaps it would lead to the priest.

Player

Goes where the map tells them.

Cultists' Meeting Place

Rathir

Gather around, my children. It is time for the ritual to begin. Tonight, the dead walk!

Player

Using the robes they aquired from Zaria, the player is able to sneak past the first level of defences. Soon, however, they are found out.

Rathir

What? You're not one of us! You're the assassin I was warned of!

Kellen

The necromancer's words unnerved many in the sanctuary. Who hadwarned him?

It was perhaps no coincidence that not long after the incident, the Listener herself chose to visit Falkreath.

This was the agent's chance to gain her trust, and learn where she and the Night Mother dwelt.

Falkreath

Alisanne Dupre

Greetings. I have come to give you an unpleasant task. We believe there is a traitor in our midst, and as the one who killed Rathir, only you are above suspicion.

In better days, we would have purged this entire sanctuary but after the destruction of Wayrest, our numbers are too few for that. I've told the others you'll be helping them with their contracts. Discover who the traitor is, and silence them, permanently.

Player

Wandering around Falkreath, the player decides to help Eliras with his contract first.

Abandoned Mine

Eliras

You want to help me on this assassination? Very well. We're after an Orc bandit holed up in this mine. Try to be useful, eh?

Player

After the player defeats the Orc, Eliras tells him what he knows about the traitor.

Eliras

Watch out around the other brothers; they can't all be trusted. I caught a glimpse of someone sneaking around the Sanctuary last night. It was dark, but I could tell they had red eyes.

Player

Clue in hand, the player heads to the next contract.

Falkreath Jail

Varlyn

I suppose you can help me on this task. The target is a criminal being held in this jail. Our job is to ensure he never sees trial - though the guards may not like that much.

Player

Sneaks into the jail and assassinates the target.

Varlyn

You're looking for the traitor, aren't you? I found a mysterious note in a dead drop. From the delicate script, I believe the traitor is a woman.

Corpselight Farm

Babette

New blood eh? I'm Babette. Don't let my innocent face fool you; I'm the oldest member of the Brotherhood. I've got a contract on this farmer... but I think she might be more than she appears to be, too.

Player

Turns out the farmers are werewolves, but the player takes them out anyway. Babette offers you the following clue:

Babette

You're looking for the traitor, aren't you? I saw someone acting suspicious the other day. They were wearing a hood.

Falkreath Sanctuary

Alisanne

I've learned something about our traitor. Apparently, Rathir was spotted meeting with someone with pointed ears near the Sanctuary. Do you think you know who it is? Remember, the traitor will lie to you.

Player

Accuses Eliras

Player

Accuses Babette

Player

Accuses Varlyn

Eliras

You think I'm the traitor? I swear by Sithis I'm not. Maybe you are!

Player

Defeats Eliras in a duel

Eliras

The void... calls to me. But know this. I was a loyal brother. If you are not the traitor... you have more killing to do.

Babette

You think I'm the traitor? Do I wear a hood? Do I have pointed ears? You're lucky I like you, or I'd kill you for suggesting it.

 

 

 

 

Varlyn

So. You found me out. Very well. You'll make a fine traitor, once I've killed you!

Player

Defeats Varlyn in a duel

 

 

If the player correctly accuses Varlyn on the first try, they get the following dialog: 

Alisanne

Excellent work. The traitor is dead, and our sanctuary remains strong.

I could use an assassin like you by my side; come, join me in Bravil.

 

If the player kills Eliras as well as Varlyn, they get the following dialog:

Alisanne

I had hoped not to lose more brothers than necessary. But so be it. The traitor is dead - and you have proven yourself, if nothing else, an efficient killer.

I could use someone so ruthless by my side; come, join me in Bravil.

Kellen

The agent arrived to a city in turmoil. A war between two rival Skooma gangs gripped the city.

The Lucky Old Lady, the statue that stood atop the Night Mother's crypt, had been destroyed in the fighting.

Cheydinhal, too, had sent Alisanne help, in the form of two Assassins: Garnag and Andronica.

Alisanne

Thank the Night Mother you've arrived. Garnag and Andronica have gone missing. I sent Andronica to assassinate the heads of the city's two Skooma gangs. I sent Garnag to assassinate the head of the Bravil Treasury. Neither has returned. I need you to find them.

Player

Upon arrival, the player recieves a message from Uther, his original contact.

Message from Uther

Agent. Your last message was unclear. Why are you in Bravil? Have you found the Listener? I have a business manager in town. Meet him at the Silverhome Inn.

Player

Given the option to investigate the disappearances of Garnag and Andronica, or to follow up on the letter, the player chooses to check on the messenger first and heads to the Silverhome on the Water.

 

Silverhome on the Water

Kellen

The agent found Uther's messenger in a room at Silverhome Inn. A strange noise sounded from a nearby room, but it did not immediately concern the agent. The messenger asked again if the agent had found the listener.

Nagh

Did the agent tell him?

Player

Chooses to Tell

Player

Chooses to Withhold

Kellen

Indeed. The agent urged Uther to make haste for Bravil.

Kellen

No. The agent dodged the question, assuring the messenger that progress was being made.

Player

Having satisfied that obligation, the player decides to check on Andronica next.

 

Skooma Den

Claws Henchman

This Den is Claws territory. Get lost!

Player

Beats the Claws henchman

Claws Boss

Enough! Let us parley, assassin.

You seek the assassin woman? She tried to kill this one. If you want her back, you must do something for the Claws. Assassinate the head of our rivals, the Eclipse. When it is done, meet me at the bridge south of town.

Player

The player heads to the hideout of the rival gang.

 

Eclipse Hideout

Kellen

The Agent faced a choice: Should they sneak in and assassinate the leader, or walk in and attempt to parley?

 

Player

Chooses to Sneak

Player

Chooses to Parley

Player

Kills the Eclipse leader

Kellen

The agent had killed the Eclipse's leader, fulfilling half of Andronica's contract. Now to meet with the Claws.

 

 

 

 

Eclipse Henchmen

You want to talk to the boss? You'll need to go through us!

Player

Defeats the henchmen

Eclipse Baroness

What is going on out here? Let us talk like civilized people.

The Claws have your compatriot? Then we have a common enemy. I will send some of my men to help you assassinate the rogue.

Player

The player goes to South Bridge, the meeting point designated by the Claws. What they find there depends on their alegiance.

Player

Sided with the Eclipse

Player

Sided with the Claws

Claws Kingpin

It's the Eclipse! We have been betrayed!

Player

Defeats the Claws with the help of the Eclipse and frees Andronica

Andronica

My thanks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go finish off the Eclipse Leader. The Night Mother commands it, after all.

Claws Kingpin

You've done the job. Excellent. There is only one problem. The assassin tried to kill this one once. It does not pay to take risks, you understand? Kill them both.

Player

Defeats the Claws and frees Andronica

Andronica

My My thanks. I got sloppy, let them get the drop on me. It won't happen again.

Player

Having freed Andronica, only Garnag remains. The player decides to look for him at the last known location.

 

Bravil Treasury

Another assassin? Sound the alarm!

Player

Easily overcomes the Treasury's defences

Kellen

The agent learned that the head of the treasury had already been assassinated. Garnag had succeeded in his mission. So where was he?

Player

Having exhausted all possibilities, the player suddenly remembers the strange noise at the Silverhome on the Water.

 

Silverhome on the Water, Back Room

Kellen

The agent investigated the strange noise at the Inn - and found Garnag being tortured.

Player

Defeats the Torturer and frees Garnag.

Player

Chose to keep the Listener's location secret from the messenger

Player

Chose to tell Listener's location to the messenger

Garnag

They kept asking about the Listener... Sithis forgive me, I told them she was here, in Bravil. They didn't tell me who they were, but I heard them mention a name... Uther.

Garnag

I... I didn't tell them anything. They'd been following me since Cheydinhal. They didn't tell me who they were, but I heard them mention a name... Uther.

Kellen

With the assassination of their leaders, the gang war intensified. Amidst the violence, Alisanne dare [sic] not leave the Night Mother's side.

But Garnag's tale seemed to enrage the Listener. She soon told the agent why.

Alisanne

When I was a young woman, my father murdered my mother

I ran and joined the brotherhood, swearing that someday, I would use the assassin's art to end him.

His name is Uther Nere, and now, I know he's in Bravil.

"At long last, the Night Mother has given me permission to end his life.

I need you to find him. But don't kill him - lure him to me. His life is mine.

Player

Now knowing the truth, the player proceeds to Uther's suite at the inn.

 

Silverhome on the Water, Uther's Suite

Uther

Ah, my wayward agent. You might have told me the Listener was in Bravil. My torturer is most suspicious of you. You say you can lead me to the Listener? Good. I will come and ensure you finish the job.

Player

Together with Uther, the player goes to the Nightmother's Crypt

 

Nightmother's Crypt

Uther

At last... the Night Mother's Crypt. Men, burn it to the ground! And you, my agent - kill the Listener!

Alisanne

What? But I thought...

Uther

You thought you had a loyal assassin, the most skilled you'd ever seen? No, my dear. Your trusted lieutenant has been my agent from the beginning! Now, my friend, fulfill your contract - Kill the Listener!

Player

Chooses to Kill Alisanne

Player

Chooses to Protect Alisanne

Garnag

If you want to kill Alisanne, you'll have to get through me!

Player

Fights and nearly kills Garnag

Andronica

Garnag, you're hurt. Get out of here... I'll finish the traitor.

Player

The player defeats Andronica as well, and proceeds deeper into the Crypt.

Alisanne

I trusted you! But here you are - a lap dog for my murderous father. Fine then. Die like the dog you are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alisanne

Garnag, you're hurt! Get the Night Mother to safety! We will hold these mercenaries off!

Garnag

It will be done!

Player

The player, with Alisanne at their side, defeats Uther's Torturer and mercenaries.

Alisanne

Father! For long years I have awaited this!

Uther

As have I. I knew while you lived, I would never be safe. Come, let us end this once and for all!

Player

Fights Uther. When he is nearly dead, he casts a terrible spell that kills Alisanne.

Uther

Goodbye, daughter!

And now, my traitorous agent, it is down to you and me. You will die for betraying me!

Player

Kills Uther.

Kellen

Uther Nere had succeeded in killing his daughter. But the agent had ensured that he paid for his vile crimes with his life.

Thanks to the agent, Garnag was able to escape with the Night Mother, ensuring that the Brotherhood would live on.

Nagh

Nagh is not sure if this is a tale of victory or defeat.

Kellen

As I said, my friend. Some tales have no heroes. Only people in the darkness searching for a glimmer of light.