Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"I'm going to cause a distraction. You're going to steal Medesi's silver ring from a strongbox under his stand. Once you have it I want you to place it in Brand-Shei's pocket."

A Chance Arrangement is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn is given a task by Brynjolf at the town square in Riften or in The Bee and Barb to be initiated into the Thieves Guild.


"Brynjolf in Riften seems to be involved in some nefarious activities and has convinced me to take part in one of his schemes."


  1. Talk to Brynjolf about joining the Thieves Guild
  2. Meet Brynjolf during daytime
  3. Steal Madesi's ring from his strongbox
  4. Plant Madesi's ring
  5. Speak to Brynjolf


The quest begins once Brynjolf speaks to the Dragonborn, when first entering Riften, and the Dragonborn has the choice to help him. Brynjolf can initially be found during daytime or nighttime. He can be most commonly found in The Bee and Barb or walking around the marketplace, manning his stall where he promotes his Falmerblood Elixir scam.

"Never done an honest day's work in your life for all that coin you're carrying, hey lad (If the Dragonborn is female: "lass")?" *

I'm sorry, what? "I'm saying you've got the coin but you didn't earn a septim of it honestly. I can tell." (If the Dragonborn has less than 500 Gold: "Your pockets... they're a little low on coin. I can tell.")

How could you possibly know that? "It's all about sizing up your mark, lad (If the Dragonborn is female: "lass"). It's the way they walk, what they're wearing. It's a dead giveaway."
What do you mean? "Look how you sniffed out my little scheme at the North Gate. You knew it was a shakedown and you called him on it. That's what I'm talking about."
So the guard at the North Gate was your man? "Aye, that he was. And you sniffed him out because he broke one of the cardinal rules of our business... he got greedy. He was told to run the scam on merchants, but he smelled the gold on you and his judgement went out the window. Actually, I admire how you handled the situation. You kept your cool and you didn't kill him. That the mark of a professional thief. (If the Dragonborn killed the thief at the North Gate: "Killing him was a bit... impulsive. A true professional would have kept his cool and dealt with it a different way, but I'll let it go.")"
My wealth is none of your business. "Oh, but that's where you're wrong, lad (If the Dragonborn is female: "lass"). Wealth is my business. Maybe you'd like a taste?"
You seem to be well acquainted with wealth. "Wealth is my business. Help me out and I can add to yours. Would you like a taste?"
What do you have in mind? "I've got a bit of an errand to perform, but I need an extra pair of hands. And in my line of work, extra hands are well-paid."
What do I have to do? "Simple... I'm going to cause a distraction and you're going to steal Madesi's silver ring from a strongbox under his stand. Once you have it, I want you to place it in Brand-Shei's packet without him noticing."
Break the law? Are you kidding? "Sorry... I usually have a nose for this kind of thing. Never mind them, lad (If the Dragonborn is female: "lass"). If you change your mind, come find me."
Why plant the ring on Brand-Shei? "There's someone that want to see him put out of business permanently. That's all you need to know. Now, you tell me when you're ready and we'll get started. (After 8PM and before 8AM: "I'll be out in the market all day, from eight in the morning until eight in the evening. Meet me then if you've still got the stomach for it.")"

* If the Dragonborn is carrying less than 500 Gold, Brynjolf will instead say: "Running a little light in the pockets, lad (If the Dragonborn is female: "lass")?"

When the Dragonborn is ready, they should tell Brynjolf between 8AM and 8PM to begin the job. The Dragonborn can also enquire further about the details.

How am I supposed to do all of this? "Do you want me to hold your hand as well? You're going to have to sneak over to Madesi's stall and use your lockpick on the strongbox. Then when you have the ring, you pickpocket Brand-Shei and leave it behind. (If the Dragonborn has Madesi's Silver Ring: "You have the ring. All you have to do is pick Brand-Shei's picket and plant it there.")" Why are we doing this to Brand-Shei? "We've been contracted to make sure Brand-Shei remembers not to meddle in affairs that aren't his own. Now, since we're not the Dark Brotherhood, we're going to make sure he sits in the prisons for a few days." I'm ready. Let's get this started. "Good. Wait until I start the distraction and then show me what you're made of."


  • When the Dragonborn tells Brynjolf they are ready to get started, Brynjolf will call everyone over to him. He starts telling people about some valuable potions he is selling for 20 septims. Wait until everyone is distracted and not moving anymore, listening to Brynjolf. The ring is found in Madesi's strongbox, located underneath his booth behind a locked sliding door. Note that this is different from the display case on his stand. The Dragonborn may choose to either pickpocket a key from Madesi or pick the lock. The sliding door and lock may be unlocked the night before when there are fewer people around. Steal the ring, along with any other items that you desire, then sneak over to the crates behind Brand-Shei.
  • Reverse pickpocket Brand-Shei and plant the ring on Brand-Shei. He is sitting down watching Brynjolf talk and is easily pick-pocketed from behind the boxes with a high success rate, at least above 70% if points were invested in the base perk under the Pickpocket skill, but if concerned about the odds, drink a Pickpocket potion that improves the odds temporarily to lessen the chances of failure. Brynjolf should stop the distraction once this is completed, and, after turning in the quest, Brand-Shei will be approached by a guard and arrested, with the guard drawing their weapon to coerce Brand-Shei into coming to the Riften Jail peacefully, or as a corpse if he continues to resist. Planting the ring on someone else does not get that person arrested instead.
  • Talk to Brynjolf again, and he will congratulate the Dragonborn.

Not stealing or failing[]

Failing to plant the ring on Brand-Shei will have the bonus of preserving him as a vendor with gold supply. This may be advantageous to a lower level character, or anyone without higher level speech perks. He also has a quest "Distant Memories," if it was not already completed.

Just because the Dovahkiin does not complete the assignment, it does not in any way affect the Dragonborn's involvement in the Thieves Guild quest line. Brynjolf will express disappointment, but will state that he believes the Dragonborn still shows potential. The following scenarios are possible:

  • Getting caught stealing during the distraction will result in failing the quest. If the Dragonborn has earned the title of Thane of Riften, they can use this title to get out of being arrested for the crime, though it may not be recommended since Thanes only get one pardon per guard, per day.
  • The Dragonborn can remove Madesi's ring from their inventory anytime after stealing it, and tell Brynjolf that it was lost. The "Plant Madesi's Ring" objective gets marked as failed, but the mission can still be completed, allowing the Dragonborn to continue regardless and join the Thieves Guild.
  • The distraction will go on for quite some time, and if the Dragonborn does not plant the ring on Brand-Shei before Brynjolf finishes, the group will sit in silence sometimes until the quest is completed. The quest will fail after some amount of time, however. Leaving Riften and going to the stables once and returning may still have the distraction running, but after leaving a second time the quest may end in failure. If this occurs, Brynjolf will express disappointment, as noted above, saying that he could not keep up that distraction for too long, but the quest line will still be available anyway.
  • Another way to complete this quest quickly and safely, without breaking any laws: After the distraction starts, simply wander around and go inside any door around the market. This will cause the planting assignment to fail, while strangely, the stealing assignment will still be completed. In this manner the Dragonborn can still complete the quest by talking to Brynjolf without committing any crime. This will not result in breaking the questline.

In any scenario above, the Dragonborn will return to Brynjolf without getting paid and continue the quest-line while keeping Brand-Shei as a vendor. The quest "Taking Care of Business" starts immediately upon completion of this quest.


TG00 Maul Handler – TG00MaulHandler
ID Journal Entry
  • Objective 10: Talk to Brynjolf about joining the Thieves Guild.
A Chance Arrangement – TG00
8 Brynjolf in Riften seems to be involved in some nefarious activities and has convinced me to take part in one of his schemes.
  • Objective 8: Meet Brynjolf during daytime
  • Objective 10: Steal Madesi's ring from his strongbox.
  • Objective 20: Plant Madesi's Ring

Reverse pickpocket succeeded:

  • Objective 30: Speak to Brynjolf

Reverse pickpocket failed:

  • Objective 30: Speak to Brynjolf

Player left area or took too long:

  • Objective 30: Speak to Brynjolf
200 Brynjolf's scheme in Riften has ended and the promise of more coin has been made. This appears to be the beginning of profitable friendship.
  • Quest complete


  • If the Dragonborn has a follower, the follower may mingle with the rest of the crowd. The follower will follow them again once the crowd disperses.
  • If the Dragonborn completes the quest after placing the ring in Brand-Shei's pocket, a guard will approach Brand-Shei and arrest him shortly after.
  • After completion of the quest, Brand-Shei will be located in Riften Jail. He can be talked to there to complete his identity quest if it has not been done previously.
    • Despite Brynjolf saying that he wants Brand-Shei to sit in the prison "for a few days," he will remain there indefinitely.
  • After Brynjolf informs you of his plan the player will receive a hidden effect increasing pickpocketing chance by 30%, which makes planting the ring significantly easier.
  • If you are caught, Madesi's Silver Ring can be found afterwards in the evidence chest in Riften Jail.
  • In Riften, Brynjolf will always approach the player making quest or related miscellaneous objective remain in the player's journal even if the player does not intent to start the Thieves Guild questline.
    • Using the forge next to the market before Brynjolf approaches will cause him to ask you his opening questions a few times while the player is in the smithing animation and then walk away, after which he will not approach the player again.


This section contains bugs related to A Chance Arrangement. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to show Bugs
  •  XB1   Sometimes Madesi’s ring may not show in his lockbox, only a normal silver ring, some gold, and the lockbox key. This can be fixed by loading a previous save and reentering the lockbox.
  • If the Dragonborn leaves the town while Brand-Shei is being arrested, the ring will be taken from his inventory by a guard and the distraction by Brynjolf will continue on, making it impossible to join the Thieves Guild. The quest lines also change to "Taking Care of Business" with the objective as: Locate Brynjolf at the Ragged Flagon, which makes the quest un-completable which in turn makes it so the Dragonborn is unable to join the Thieves Guild.
  • After stealing the ring and placing it on Brand-Shei's person, sometimes the distraction Brynjolf provided will not end. This can happen if the Dragonborn speaks to Brynjolf after planting the ring. To avoid this glitch, wait for Brynjolf to approach and start a dialogue with the Dragonborn after planting the ring.
  • The only way to end it and move forward is to get caught stealing something from the market. This will fail the quest, but will allow the Dragonborn to get past this glitch, just speak to Brynjolf and he will give the Dragonborn another chance to join the Thieves Guild.
    • The Dragonborn can also fast travel to end the quest so as not to lose the player's stolen items. Joining the Guild will still be possible afterwards.
  • Sometimes Madesi's strongbox does not have the ring in it. Going away and coming back should fix this issue.
  • It's HIGHLY recommended to finish Brand-Shei's quest before this one. If the Dragonborn finishes this quest while still having Brand-Shei's quest active, it will result in not being able to finish it, due to Brand-Shei being in jail.
    • This quest can still be completed if Brand-Shei has been jailed after completing "A Chance Arrangement." Simply make his quest the active quest, re-enter the dungeon, and speak with Brand-Shei. If this does not work, the quest can be completed by using console console command: open the console, target Brand-Shei (or try prid 19ddc, then type setrelationshiprank player 1 and try to speak to him again.
  • If the Dragonborn tells Brynjolf to start the distraction at night no one will move or talk even though the quest is completed, Also when going into the Ratway, the lowlife will be fighting Brynjolf and the Dragonborn will have to wait for him, before walking into the Ragged Flagon. After accepting the quest to collect the debts, Brynjolf will be in the stalls STILL doing the distraction. This is not fixed by being caught stealing.
    • Attacking Brynjolf and causing him to go down on one knee may fix the bug.
  • Alternatively the Dragonborn can also steal a silver ring (regular) from Madesi's display case and plant that in his pocket to proceed with the quest. Whether or not the Dragonborn receives gold or not is unknown as of now.
  •  PC   PS3   If the Dragonborn stops the conversation at the end of the quest, it will be impossible to join the Thieves Guild, because Brynjolf only answers "Hmm?"
  • If the Dragonborn kills Brand-Shei while he is being arrested, he will disappear, and his empty corpse will re-appear in front of the Riften Jail.
  •  360   Sometimes, after the quest is finished, if the wooden bridge in the Ratway is not down, Brynjolf will stand for a moment, then turn around and walk back to the marketplace in his Thieves Guild attire and stand in his stall indefinitely.
  • Sometimes Brynjolf will not be in the city along with Brand-Shei. Brynyolf (along with Brand-Shei) can be seen using TOGGLE COLLISION into the city. (Note this does not fix it.)