Not to be confused with A Blade in the Dark.
For the quest in Legends, see Chapter 18 - A Knife in the Dark.

A Knife in the Dark is a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The Dark Brotherhood is always looking out for cold-blooded murderers to join their cause. When the Hero of Kvatch murders an innocent, the Brotherhood notices, and Lucien Lachance appears to test them.


To begin the quest, the Hero must kill an innocent NPC. Nearly any non-hostile target will do. When they do this, a message will appear on the screen saying "Your actions have been observed by forces unknown." The next time they sleep in any bed, Lucien Lachance will approach them and say that they are invited to the Dark Brotherhood, provided they can pass the test by killing Rufio in the Inn of Ill Omen.

Inn of Ill OmenEdit

A Knife in the Dark

Rufio in his room

Head to the Inn, and talk to the innkeeper Manheim Maulhand and ask about Rufio. Manheim will reveal that Rufio is downstairs in his room. Take the trapdoor (near the front door) to the lower floor.

The Hero can kill Rufio immediately; any weapon will kill him with one strike. They can also choose to talk with him first. When asked, Rufio will deny that he did anything. If the Hero replies, "Oh, but you have, Rufio," he will plead that he "didn't mean to do it...She struggled!" He will then run away from the Hero and cower beside the bed.

The SanctuaryEdit

Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary (Oblivion)

The Sanctuary in Cheydinhal

With the target slain, the Hero only needs to go to sleep again to meet once more with Lucien. Sleeping in Rufio's bed is the quickest way to achieve this. Lucien will tell them to head to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in Cheydinhal.

Go to the Abandoned House in Cheydinhal, enter through the front door, then go into the basement. Knock on the door inside and say "Sanguine, my Brother" when asked a question. Enter and talk to Ocheeva. This will complete the quest and begin Welcome to the Family.

Refusing to JoinEdit

If the Hero doesn't wish to join the Dark Brotherhood after killing Rufio, there is a way to leave the guild. After going to sleep and waking up, Lucien Lachance will appear and talk to the Hero. After the conversation, he becomes invisible and walks away, but is still present. Attack and kill him, and the journal will update saying it is now impossible to join the guild.


A Knife in the Dark – Dark01Knife
IDJournal Entry
10While sleeping, I was visited by Lucien Lachance, a representative for the assassins guild known as the Dark Brotherhood. He said that if I wish to join his "family," I must go to the Inn of Ill Omen, find a man named Rufio, and kill him. If I simply leave Rufio alone, Lachance will never visit me again.
20The man named Rufio is dead. The next time I sleep in a location he deems secure, Lucien Lachance will visit me once more, and complete my entrance into the Dark Brotherhood.
30I must now go to the abandoned house in the city of Cheydinhal, and attempt to open the door in the basement. When questioned, I must answer with "Sanguine, my Brother" to gain access to the secret Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. Once inside, I should speak with Ocheeva.
40I have gained entrance into the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. I must now speak with Ocheeva.
100I have spoken with Ocheeva.
  • Quest complete
115Lucien Lachance, the Dark Brotherhood's representative, has been killed. He was my link to the mysterious assassins guild, and now that link has been severed... forever.
  • Quest complete



This section contains bugs related to A Knife in the Dark. 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  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Lucien can show up absolutely anywhere to meet the player after they sleep. This includes the Dreamworld during the quest "Through a Nightmare, Darkly," or the Shivering Isles. Appearing in the latter causes him to experience the "No Greeting" bug, meaning he will have no dialogue options, stalling the quest.


Dark Brotherhood
Dark Brotherhood Quests A Knife in the DarkThe Renegade Shadowscale (optional)Darkness Eternal (optional)
Vicente Valtieri Quests A Watery GraveAccidents HappenScheduled for ExecutionThe Assassinated Man
Ocheeva Quests The Lonely WandererBad MedicineWhodunit?Permanent Retirement
Lucien Lachance Quest The Purification
Dead Drop Orders Quests Affairs of a WizardNext of KinBroken VowsFinal JusticeA Matter of HonorThe Coldest SleepA Kiss Before DyingFollowing a LeadHonor Thy Mother
Epilogue Quest Whispers of Death

Start a Discussion Discussions about A Knife in the Dark

  • You sleep rather soundly for a murderer...

    8 messages
    • I don't even remember, It was such a long time ago .... Nostalgia Is a hell of a beast.
    • Forgot his name, but I killed the guy who you corrupt in Molag Bal's quest.
  • Who's your Dark Brotherhood Murder?

    12 messages
    • i killed umbra because if you dont accept the dedric quest it will count as a murder and now you have a quest item sword and her armor (altho...
    • Usually it's Gaston Surille from Glarthir's Paranoia quest. I want to help the guy and there's another Surille to run the vineya...
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