Feran Sadri will ask the Dragonborn to frame the Dawnguard for murder. His plan is for the Dragonborn to go to a hold capital and kill a resident in public while wearing the Dawnguard Armor. In addition, a note must be planted on the body that frames the Dawnguard.
An optional caveat is that the person should be someone of importance, such as a merchant, bard, or member of the Jarl's court. Feran will give the Dragonborn a mixed set of Dawnguard Armor to perform the task.
"You are to make a public show of murdering someone. Do it in the streets for all to see. The higher the profile the better. Make it seem you are a member of the Dawnguard, thus sowing confusion among the herd. Wear this armor and plant this note on the victim."
Simply kill someone in the requested city and plant the Incriminating Letter on the victim. The murder must take place on the streets of the city for it to count, so if choosing a member of the Jarl's court, they must have left their respective palaces for the kill to qualify. Similarly, merchants and bards must be outdoors when killed, if choosing a high-profile target.
In order for the murder to register as a public kill while wearing Dawnguard Armor, it must be witnessed by a guard or citizen. This will however incur a 1000 bounty. If a stealth kill is performed, the murder will be registered, but it will fail both optional objectives.
To avoid killing any citizens, a guard may be murdered or, if the city is being attacked by vampires, killing one will count as a victim, but this will fail the high-profile objective. The best exploit to complete this quest without killing anyone, is by using the Dead Thrall spell on a hunter's body and killing it in any town, which counts as a high-profile target.
It has been noted that if both the Dawnguard and Dragonborn add-ons have been downloaded and this quest is begun, then Raven Rock may end up being a location for the quest. All high-profile targets there are merchants (i.e. Milore Ienth, alchemist; Glover Mallory, blacksmith; Garyn Ienth, grocer; and Fethis Alor, general goods. The best bet is to kill Garyn Ienth because he doesn't offer much in the way of trading.)
Feran Sadri wishes to sow confusion and anger amongst the people of <Alias=City>. I am to kill a citizen out in the streets while impersonating a member of the Dawnguard. Then I am to place an incriminating letter on the corpse. The higher the profile of my victim the better.
Objective 100: Kill someone out in the streets of <Alias=City>
Objective 110: (Optional) Make it a public kill while wearing Dawnguard armor
Objective 111: (Optional) Choose a high-profile victim
Objective 200: Planet the letter on <Alias=Victim>'s corpse
This section contains bugs related to Deceiving the Herd. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
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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 see the list of bugs encountered
If the Capital Hold happens to be Markarth, and the Dragonborn has not visited it before, slaying Weylin before he murders Margret will count as a murder and the quest will be marked as failed when returning to Castle Volkihar.
This quest can start randomly when killing an Imperial soldier or a city guard while in Vampire Lord Form, or having killed attacking Dawnguard or Vampires. As the quest starts without the note being in the Dragonborn's possession, it might end up being failed when one wanders too far away.
Has also occurred upon the death of Shavari, the Khajiit agent for the Thalmor, when escorting Esbern from the Ratway.
Publicly killing Heimskr in Whiterun can have the same result.
Sometimes, the quest will activate after killing Anoriath in Whiterun or Ma'randru-jo (wherever he appears) for the Dark Brotherhood contract questlines.
This may also occur once Severio Pelagia is killed at the farm next to Whiterun (wherever he spawns).
This particular side quest remains one of the easiest to fail. In some cases, simply talking to someone can cause failure. In others, entering the town then leaving before performing the task will cause failure.
If the optional requirements are not completed, returning to the castle makes the quest uncompleted (tested in Markarth killing Weylin).
If the Dragonborn receives this quest but does not complete it before receiving the cure for vampirism from Falion, they will not be able to turn the quest in to Feran Sadri. He will merely make various comments about them no longer being a vampire, and that Serena can grant the gift again.
This quest may not update if the Dragonborn uses the Ebony Blade to kill a target with a high disposition towards them. If the Dragonborn has not befriended the target before they receive this quest, it will update the quest. However, if the person meets the requirements to upgrade the Ebony Blade, the kill will not count towards the requirements for the Deceiving the Herd quest.
After completing this or other similar quests and asking for more, the objective "Talk to Vingalmo" appears but the proper dialogue option does not.
A bug can occur if the Dragonborn goes to any house or home before heading to the target city occurs. With Hearthfire installed, if they travel to any of their houses beforehand and are attacked by enemies then fast travel to the target city after killing the bandits, the quest may fail entirely with the objective 'Plant the Incriminating Letter on Bandit Thug's Corpse'. Reloading a previous autosave can resolve this.
PC Skip quest - Use the console command setstage DLC1RV03 100 for skipping all stages to "Return to Feran Sadri" (optional objectives will be failed, but the quest can be completed).
There are certain cases in which there is only one targeted city.
Occasionally the incriminating letter will be bugged and unable to be passed into the victim's inventory, such as with killing Mikael in Whiterun.
If the quest becomes active after killing a hostile enemy, but the letter has not been given, it is possible to pickpocket the letter off of Feran Sadri. If the body is still present, the letter can be placed on the corpse and complete the quest. However, this still fails the optional objectives.
PC PS4 The quest may not update. The only resolution to this problem is to skip the quest with the console.