Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"The leader of the Dark Brotherhood? You mean Astrid? Dead? And this is no jest? You, my friend. You've slain their leader. Ha! This is a stroke of good fortune. Long have I watched the Dark Brotherhood's movements... waiting for the time to strike. That time is now!"
Commander Maro[src]

Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn is tasked by the Penitus Oculatus to eliminate the Dark Brotherhood after killing the faction's leader in Skyrim, Astrid. Starting this quest makes it impossible to later join the Dark Brotherhood as well as receive multiple rewards from the faction.


I have killed Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. I should report her death to a guard.


  1. Report Astrid's death to a guard
  2. Speak with Commander Maro
  3. Kill everyone in the Sanctuary!
  4. Report back to Commander Maro


This quest begins after completing "Innocence Lost" and starting "With Friends Like These...," the Dragonborn is captured during their sleep by the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, Astrid, and brought to the Abandoned Shack, where they are ordered to kill one of three captives therein, Fultheim the Fearless, Alea Quintus, and Vasha. Killing Astrid instead of the three captives will fail "With Friends Like These..." and begin this quest.

Report Astrid's death[]

After killing Astrid, the Dragonborn will be directed to report to any guard with the information that they have killed a Dark Brotherhood assassin (the closest guards may be found in Morthal, south of the shack). The guard will tell them to report to Commander Maro, who resides at the Penitus Oculatus Outpost in Dragon Bridge.

Maro says that he has been tracking the Dark Brotherhood and waiting for an opportunity to attack. On hearing news of the death of their leader, he tasks the Dragonborn with infiltrating the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, using the password his agents recently acquired, and slaying every assassin inside.

Kill everyone in the Sanctuary[]

Travel to the Sanctuary, southwest of Falkreath. To complete the quest, the Dragonborn must kill Nazir, Gabriella, Arnbjorn, Festus Krex, and Veezara.

The pet of the sanctuary, the frostbite spider Lis, does not have to be killed, but it will become hostile if it spots the Dragonborn.

The assassins can be powerful, and collectively possess a range of attacks that make fighting several of them together in the cramped space fairly difficult. The use of bows, invisibility and poisons are effective ways to take care of them. 

Report back to Commander Maro[]

When the job is done, the Dragonborn must report back to Commander Maro to complete the quest and collect the reward of 3,000 Gold. Once the quest is complete, the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary will remain accessible and undamaged, in contrast to finishing the Dark Brotherhood questline when most of it is destroyed.


  • 3,000 Gold


Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! – DBDestroy
ID Journal Entry
10 I have killed Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood. I should report her death to a guard.
  • Objective 10: Report Astrid's death to a guard
20 I've spoken to a guard about Astrid's death. He told me I should share this information with Commander Maro, in the village of Dragon Bridge.
  • Objective 20: Speak with Commander Maro
30 Commander Maro has tasked me with killing every assassin in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary! He has provided me with the pass phrase that will allow me to enter.
  • Objective 30: Kill everyone in the Sanctuary!
40 I have killed every assassin in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. I should now report back to Commander Maro.
  • Objective 40: Report back to Commander Maro
200 After killing Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, I was commissioned by Commander Maro to wipe out the assassins' Sanctuary. I did so, and was rewarded for my efforts. Of course, it will now be impossible for me to join the shadowy organization...
  • Quest complete


  • Completing the Dark Brotherhood questline, plus all of the additional assassinations that Nazir has to offer, yields 20,000 Gold. On the other hand, electing to destroy the consortium earns only 3,000 Gold. Other quest rewards, such as Muiri's marriage option, Shadowmere, the set of Ancient Shrouded Armor, the Summon Spectral Assassin power, access to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, Cicero's outfit, the Dark Brotherhood Initiates and Cicero as a follower will all be forfeited.
    • The total amount of Gold that one can achieve through the Dark Brotherhood questline – including 20,000 Gold – ranges anywhere from around 29,000–34,000 Gold.
  • After killing Astrid, the three captives can be freed, though they can also be killed with no discernible consequences for their execution hoods.
  • Completing this quest is the fastest way to get the Blade of Woe from Astrid.
  • Cicero and Babette are not present in the Sanctuary, thus they are not killed, although they are not seen again.
  • Guards can be heard saying afterwards, "I could've gone into that sanctuary and killed all those Dark Brotherhood types, but I was... sick that day." or "You...You destroyed the Dark Brotherhood. Friend, I owe you a drink."
  • When the Dragonborn reports Astrid's death to a guard, despite not possessing that information, they will say "I killed the leader of the Dark Brotherhood." This may be explained by the fact that there are a few hidden clues in-game, as to her position in the brotherhood: If the Dragonborn survives an attack by a Dark Brotherhood assassin, it will yield a note signed by Astrid. Likewise, if the Dragonborn breaks into the room in the Black-Briar Manor basement where Maven Black-Briar keeps an effigy, there is a note addressed to Astrid, which further implies her leadership of the Brotherhood.
  • After the Brotherhood has been eliminated, there will be no more random encounters possible of Dark Brotherhood assassins to kill the Dragonborn.
  • When reporting Astrid's demise to Commander Maro, one enters the usual conversation (i.e., a menu with dialogue options). However, when reporting back, one will not be able to enter into any conversation; Maro simply talks to them.
  • Completing the quest will cause Commander Maro to consider the Dragonborn a friend. He may also appear at the Dragonborn's wedding.
  • There is a very similar quest that starts The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal, called "Hunt the Dark Brotherhood."
  • It is possible to reverse the actions taken during this quest, however doing so may crash the game. Open console and type setstage db02a 10. Then, go to the Abandoned Shack and enter it; one will find Astrid dead. Open the console, click on Astrid, and type resurrect. Wait until she walks outside. Follow her outside, and she will "fly" away. After this, go to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. Repeat the resurrection and following on all of the dead Brotherhood members.