Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"One of the guards from Dragonsreach came to me, worried about a prisoner who's escaped. [...] At this point they don't care what happens to him and neither do I. Best to just kill him and be done with it."

Escaped Criminal is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is a radiant guild quest. In order to start this quest, the Dragonborn must join The Companions guild in Whiterun, and request work from either Skjor or Vilkas.


There is an escaped criminal wandering around. I'm supposed to track them down and kill them.


  1. Kill the escaped criminal
  2. Speak to the quest giver


A prisoner has escaped and the Companions have been hired to track down and kill them. The Dragonborn must track and eliminate the prisoner. Afterwards, return to Skjor or Vilkas to receive a leveled reward of gold.

In order to obtain this quest, the Dragonborn will need to talk to Skjor or Vilkas, depending on how far they are within the Companions questline, who will request that they track down and eliminate an escaped prisoner within a specific hold. The difficulty is in locating the prisoner, as they will continue to move, and should their location be fast traveled to, they may have moved. Several considerations should be noted, including:

  • The prisoner may seek refuge within a bandit hideout.
  • If the prisoner is killed before the Dragonborn can reach them, the quest will still complete as if the Dragonborn did eliminate them. Likewise, if the prisoner is killed by NPCs (e.g. town guards, Imperial soldiers, bandits, etc.,) the quest will still complete as if the Dragonborn eliminated them.
  • In order to remove any possibility of incurring a bounty, the prisoner can be talked to, triggering them to immediately attack the Dragonborn. 
  • The prisoner will keep to using roads, and as such, if the Dragonborn waits along a road, it is possible that the prisoner will pass by, unless they reach a bandit hideout.
  • Should the prisoner be confronted while traveling through or towards a town, it is possible that the local residents and guards will assist in eliminating them. 


Level Gold
1–9 100
10–19 150
20–29 300 1
30–39 300 1
40+ 300

1 Rewards for levels 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 are 300 Gold but were likely intended to be incremental increases of 200 and 250 Gold, respectively.


Escaped Criminal – CR07
ID Journal Entry
10 There is an escaped criminal wandering <Alias=LocationHold>. I'm supposed to track <Alias.PronounObj=Criminal> down and kill <Alias.PronounObj=Criminal>.
  • Objective 10: Kill the escaped criminal
20 I killed an escaped criminal in <Alias=LocationHold>.
  • Objective 20: Speak to <Alias=Questgiver>.
  • Quest complete
  • Quest failed


This section contains bugs related to Escaped Criminal. 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.
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  • After the criminal is killed, Vilkas may have nothing to say and Skjor will point back to Vilkas. To fix this, use the console command setstage cr07 100. This marks the quest as completed, and will give the reward and unlocks the next quest from Skjor.
  • The criminal may have no marker. Using Clairvoyance will not work for this quest.
  • Sometimes, the quest can even move into the completed tab without having finished any of the quest objectives. This makes completing the quest and receiving additional Companion quests impossible even if one happens to find and kill the criminal.
  • On PC, console commands to change the state of this quest have no effect.
  • This can be bypassed through console commands by accepting and completing one of the other Companions radiant quests. The following commands will assign "Animal Extermination" as a new quest and complete it. Afterwards, one can accept new radiant quests from the Companions leaders.
  • setstage cr01 10
  • setstage cr01 20
  • setstage cr01 100
  • In case this does not work, use instead of cr01. In addition, it may happen that the Dragonborn can only get a quest from Aela after using this bypass. Completing the quest from Aela allows the Dragonborn to take other quests from the leaders again.
  •  360   Vilkas may refer to the criminal as "he" if the criminal was female or "she" if the criminal was male. This does not have any effect on the quest, however.
  • This quest may repeat itself infinitely.confirmation needed
  • Sometimes, after killing the criminal, the quest will not update, rendering it impossible to complete.