Dawnstar Sanctuary is an old, abandoned Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. It is said to be one of the oldest Dark Brotherhood sanctuaries in Skyrim, and hasn't been occupied in over a century.


Cicero flees to the sanctuary during the quest The Cure for Madness. At the end, the Dragonborn has the choice to spare or kill Cicero, although the latter is more dangerous, for when attacked, he drops his wounded facade and fights back with surprising ferocity.

The Cure for Madness must be completed before the sanctuary can be used.

The pass phrase is "Innocence, my brother." If an attempt is made to enter the sanctuary before the pass phrase has been obtained from Cicero's Journal, Final Volume, the option for the correct phrase is not available and the door will reply, "You are not worthy."

Notable figures



During the quest, "The Cure for Madness," spectral enemies appear in the sanctuary.

Notable loot

Skill books



  • Leveled weapons - on a weapon rack in the round room just beyond the bottom of the stairs.



  • With high Pickpocket and Sneak, large numbers of arrows can be looted from the Sanctuary Guardians; however, they cannot be looted once slain.
  • After completing the Dark Brotherhood quest-line, two Daedra Hearts can be purchased from Babette inside the Sanctuary. These hearts restock every three days.

Sanctuary upgrades

After moving to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, several upgrades can be purchased from Delvin Mallory in The Ragged Flagon. If purchased, the total upgrade cost is 19,000 Gold. The following upgrades are available for purchase:

  • Master Bedroom (in the westernmost end of the Sanctuary) – contains a mannequin, bookcase, bureau, a chest, and a usable weapon rack.
  • Torture Chamber (east of the dining hall with the stained glass window)– contains four prisoners who, if tortured, reveal the locations of their treasure (each of which becomes a Miscellaneous Quest). Each location yields between 1,000 and 2,000 Gold. The prisoners can also be used for combat training. 
  • Secret Entrance – creates a secret entrance through the stained glass window in the main hall. The exit leads to the south end of Dawnstar near the Khajiit traders.
  • Alchemy Lab with a poison garden (up the stairs and then to the left from the dining hall) – creates an Alchemy lab and a small garden with poison oriented flora.

See Where You Hang Your Enemy's Head for more details.


This section contains bugs related to Dawnstar Sanctuary. 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.



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