"Well, you know the old saying. When life gives you lemons..."
―Festus Krex[src]


Festus Krex is an Elder member of the Dark Brotherhood.

His weapon of choice for contracts is magic, stating that "there is a spell for every circumstance." He is the self-described "cranky old uncle who nobody talks to" of the Dark Brotherhood family at the Falkreath Sanctuary.


When asked about himself, he says he was a "child prodigy." Casting simple spells by one, completing complex incantations by three, resurrecting corpses by seven, and accidentally burnt down his family home by the age of thirteen due to some lightning that got "out of control" but he says nobody should worry, because he mastered all magic just after that happened.

He then went on to teach at the College of Winterhold for two years, but left due to the fact that none of the mages there were "truly appreciating the Destruction school." This led him to join the Dark Brotherhood. When asked for help about a contract from Nazir, he says that methods used today are overrated and follows up with, "Just do what I do. Walk up to them, introduce yourself, melt all their skin off, and run like the wind. Works every time." He is also the first member to welcome Cicero into the sanctuary.

If asked for advice during Bound Until Death, he will reveal that he was married at one point, but murdered his wife during their honeymoon because the bath she had made for him was lukewarm, not tepid.


Recipe for DisasterEdit

At first Festus is rude and arrogant towards the Dragonborn, but upon following his instructions in the "Recipe for Disaster" quest, he says, "I believe I was wrong about you" and he gives them the Nightweaver's Band.  

When the Dragonborn returns to the Sanctuary during the Penitus Oculatus attack, Festus is the first of the Dark Brotherhood that is found, his face hidden under a hood and pinned to a tree by twenty arrows.


Show: Sanctuary
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

"Yes, yes, you're the new Family member. Let's make this easy - consider me the cranky old uncle nobody talks to. You go your way, I'll go mine."

It's nice to meet you, Festus.
Fine. I'm not here to make friends, old man.
(Remain silent)
What can you tell me about yourself? "Hmph. I like to say I was born with a wand in my hand. Well, not literally - you can see how painful that would have been for mother. But I was a prodigy! Casting spells by one, complexing complex incantations by three. Resurrecting corpses by seven! Ha! When I was thirteen I accidentally burned down the family home. A bit of lightning gone awry. Ah, but soon after I mastered my gifts. Completely. I went on to teach at the College - left after two years. Too simple. Too safe. None of them truly understood the glory of the Destruction school..."

"Yeah, yeah. Goodbye, kill lots of people, Hail Sithis, and all that."

Show: Mourning Never Comes
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:


Any advice on my current contract? "Yes. Just because you're now a professional assassin, don't think you have to skulk around in the dark like a skeever and stab people. Do what I do. Walk up to the target, introduce yourself, melt their skin off, and then run like the wind. Works every time."
What are your thoughts on Cicero and the Night Mother? "Their arrival is the best thing that's happened to this sanctuary in years. Astrid is an effective leader, but we've been rudderless for too long. Scrounging for contracts, abandoning the Tenets. The Dark Brotherhood has been reduced to a group of common cutthroats. Frankly, it's embarrassing."
Show: Whispers in the Dark
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

Astrid thinks a Family member may be conspiring with Cicero. "Ha! And would that surprise anyone? This Sanctuary's a mess. Wouldn't surprise me if somebody's talking to the fool on the sky. Making deals. And no, before you ask, it's not me. I know which side my bread is buttered on."

Show: The Silence Has Been Broken
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

Any advice on my current contract? "So you're the Listener, hmm? Well that hardly seems fair. You just got here. The Night Mother should have spoken to me. Any idiot could see that. But, I will serve gladly, as that's my lot in life. Now let's see. Ah yes, Volunruud. It's an old crypt. Infested with Draugr. So plan accordingly."

Show: Bound Until Death
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

Any advice on my current contract? "Ah, killing her will be easy. She'll be so happy, she'll never see it coming. I should know, I killed a bride once. It was our honeymoon. Tepid, I said! The bathwater should be tepid! Lukewarm is not tepid! Close, maybe, but there is a difference! Stupid cow."

Show: Breaching Security
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

Any advice on my current contract? "Remember, your target is Gaius Maro, the son. Not Commander Maro, the father! We need him alive. But the son... Ha! Scorch his face off!"

Show: The Cure for Madness
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

"Boy, did you miss all the excitement."

Any thoughts on the current situation? "All right, so maybe I was wrong. Maybe Cicero coming here wasn't the best thing that could have happened. But even I didn't anticipate this. Well, you know the old saying. When life gives you lemons... ...go murder a clown."

"Burn that little jester alive."

Show: Recipe for Disaster
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

"There you are. Took your sweet time dealing with Cicero, hmph? Now let's get down to business. Astrid told you about the Gourmet, I hope?"

That I need to kill him and take on his identity? "Quite so. But first you'll need to learn who he is. Assuming, of course, that the Gourmet actually is a "he." Could be a woman for all we know."
So you don't even know who the Gourmet is? Wonderful. "Don't be so petulant!"
Do you have any idea how I might find out? "Ah, indeed I do! indeed I do!"
(Remain silent) "You know, maybe I was wrong about you after all. Anyone who's smart enough to shut up and listen can't be all bad."
"In my, um, investigations, I came upon this. It's a copy of the Gourmet's cookbook. Ah, but not just any copy. It's signed you see! Seems to be a message from the Gourmet to one Anton Virane. I've tracked Virane to the keep in Markarth. It would seem he's the cook."
And this Anton Virane knows the Gourmet's true identity? "I believe so. Therefore, you are to obtain that information from Virane - who the Gourmet really is, and where he can be found. Oh, and when you're done with Virane, kill him. Loose ends and all that. Next, you'll have to... Are you still paying attention?"
Oh course, Festus. Please continue.
Oh, I'm waiting with bated breath...
(Remain silent)
"Hmph. As I was saying. You'll need to kill the Gourmet, of course. But what's more, you'll need to get his Writ of Passage, so you can take his place. Oh, and if you can, hide his body. The longer it takes for anyone else to determine his real identity, the better. Now off with you!"

"Remember, the Markarth Keep. That's where you'll find Anton Virane. Probably cooking up all of the Gourmet's recipes, passing them off as his own."

If approached again:

"Come now, you've got your orders. What else could you possibly need?"

What else can you tell me about the Gourmet? "Nobody knows his true identity. Well, nobody except Gaius Maro, and you've already taken care of him. I do know the Gourmet was classically trained in tradition Breton cuisine in High Rock. So that's where he must have met Anton Virane. In any event, our anonymous chef shares a passion of food with all of Tamriel. And that anonymity will prove the Emperor's undoing."
Tell me about this cookbook. ""Uncommon Taste." It was published a few years ago, and became a sensation throughout the Empire almost overnight. The recipes were hailed as both practical and decadent. I've made a few of the Gourmet's dishes myself, actually. His roast mutton with Redguard berry sauce is to die for. But his chocolate pate gives me the runs."
So the Gourmet is in Skyrim? "Yes. Gaius Maro, on orders from his father, arranged for the Gourmet to come to Skyrim months ago. To serve as the Emperor's personal chef. But the Emperor canceled his journey at the last minute. Maro was smart, kept the Gourmet around, in case things changed. And so, the Gourmet has remained in seclusion, somewhere in Skyrim... on indefinite hold. Probably feels like a prisoner. But you'll fix that."

After killing the Gourmet:

"So, the prodigal murderer returns. And the Gourmet?"

Dead. "So I gathered. It seems a certain Orc had disappeared. Which means you not only killed the Gourmet, but disposed of the body as well. You've got the write of passage, too, I see. Splendid, splendid... Ah, and word has come in from Markarth that the keep's cook has met an untimely demise. You performed your duties to the letter."
All I've ever wanted to do is serve this Sanctuary.
You would expect any less from the Listener?
(Remain silent)
"Hmph. I was wrong about you. I see that now. Maybe we all were. Here's your payment. And... a little something else, as well. From me. Consider it my way of apologizing. For being so damned curmudgeonly! It's called the Nightweaver's Band. I wore this for years. I want you to have it now. It'll give your magic and sneakiness some much needed "oomph." Now, you'd better get a move on and see Astrid. It's time! Time for the final stage of this grand and glorious operation."

After killing the Gourmet and not hiding the body:

"So, the prodigal murderer returns. And the Gourmet?"

Dead. "Good, good. And you've got the Write of Passage, too, I see. So there's that. I've also received word from Markarth. It would seem Anton Virane an untimely fate, as well. Good. But unfortunately, that inn is abuzz with the news of somebody killing one of their guests! What, hiding the body was too much for you to handle? Bah! Useless. Here's your gold. Now go see Astrid. The time to move against the Emperor has finally come. Sithis help us all."
Show: To Kill an Empire
In the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary:

"Ah, good to see you, brother (sister). Gearing up to kill the Emperor? Exciting times. Exciting times, indeed."

Any advice on my current contract? "Well... While it's true I prefer sorcery's more destructive nuances, we mustn't forget the many spells with simpler, more practical applications. Sure, you poison the Emperor, but what then? Why not summon an atronach to cause some chaos? Or turn invisible and slip away. Use your imagination!"



Arnbjorn: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Veezara: "Ha ha ha ha! Again! Again! Do the part where he tries to buy you some candy."
Babette: "Okay, okay. Wait. Here we go. "Ooh, you are such a pretty little girl. Would the sweetie like a sweetie? Oh yes, how about some chocolate?" Oh yes, please, kind sir. My mama and papa left me all alone, and I'm so very hungry. I know a shortcut to the candy shop. Through this alley. Oh ya, very good. Very good. My it is dark down here. Oh, but you are so beautiful. Such a lovely smile. Your teeth... your teeth! No! Aggghh!!"
Gabriella: "Oh Babette, but you are so wicked."
Nazir: "What about you, Festus? How did that last contract turn out?"
Arnbjorn: "Oh, yes, please, old man. Regale us with your tales of wizardry..."
Festus Krex: "Ah, the young and stupid. Always mocking the experienced and brilliant. My contract went very well, I'll have you know. Tried a new spell. Little something I've been working on in my spare time. Came "this" close to turning that priest inside out. Damned messy."
Gabriella: "And what of your latest, Arnbjorn. Something about a Khajiit? Merchant was it?"
Babette: "Oh, a big doggy chasing a little kitty! How adorable!"
Nazir: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Festus: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Veezara: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Arnbjorn: "I am not adorable, it was not funny, and he wasn't a merchant. He was a Khajiit monk, a master of the Whispering Fang style. But now he's dead... and I have a new loincloth."
Nazir: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Festus: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Veezara: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Babette: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Caravan jobEdit

Veezara: "Tell me, brother. Are the stories true?"
Festus Krex: "You must be talking about the caravan job..."
Veezara: "You infiltrated the position, eliminated the target, and made it look like an accident. Impressive. I'd say you earned your bonus on that one!"
Festus Krex: "What? You think me too old, too feeble? There is more knowledge in me than in two of you pups together. And knowledge... knowledge is my weapon."

Arriving in the SanctuaryEdit

Cicero: "But the Night Mother is mother to all! It is her voice we follow! Her will! Would you dare risk disobedience? And surely... punishment?"
Arnbjorn: "Keep talking, little man, and we'll see who gets "punished.""
Festus Krex: "Oh, be quiet you great lumbering lapdog. The man has had a long journey. You can at least be civil. Mister Cicero, I for one am delighted you and the Night Mother have arrived. Your presence here signals a welcome return to tradition."
Cicero: "Oh, what a kind and wise wizard you are. Sure to earn our Lady's favor."
Astrid: "You and the Night Mother are of course welcome here, Cicero. And you will be afforded the respect deserving of your position as Keeper. Understood... husband?"
Arnbjorn: "Hmph."
Cicero: "Oh, yes yes yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
Astrid: "But make no mistake. I am the leader of this Sanctuary. My word is law. Are we clear on that point?"
Cicero: "Oh yes, mistress. Perfectly! You're the boss."

The Cure for MadnessEdit

Babette: "Just try to relax, Veezara. Let the elixir do its work. You'll feel better, shortly."
Veezara: "Achh... Thank you, dear. You are most kind. The jester's cut feels as bad as it looks, I'm afraid."
Astrid: "Damn it, this never should have happened! We knew better. We knew better, and still we let our guards down. Agh!"
Festus Krex: "I'll admit, even I'm having a hard time disagreeing with you..."
[After the Dragonborn speaks to Astrid]
Festus Krex: "It's true, I'm afraid, Cicero was a little whirlwind, slashing this way and all that. It would have been funny, if he weren't trying to murder us all."
Nazir: "Don't forget the ranting and raving. About the Night Mother, how she was the true leader of the Dark Brotherhood, and Astrid was just a "pretender.""
[After the Dragonborn speaks to Astrid again]
Veezara: "Bested by a fool. Who's the fool now, hmm?"
Babette: "Hush, Veezara. You were very brave. Astrid may well be dead if not for you."
Astrid: "She's right. I'll be forever in your debt, dearest brother. Now be quiet. Just... just rest."



  • Festus may be a reference to two characters who share his name from the Fallout series, which Bethesda have contributed to.
  • "Festus" is Latin for "joyous" or "happy." Which may suggest he's Imperial.
  • After being found dead at the Sanctuary, his shrouded outfit cannot be taken from his body.
  • After speaking to the other guild members about his recent contracts, Festus will often make a comment about how they are a "young pup" and that he is more experienced because of his age. He will make these comments even to Babette, who is actually the only member of the Dark Brotherhood older than Festus, being over 300 years old.
  • Festus is voiced by Jim Cummings, the voice actor for Minsc in the Baldur's Gate series.
  • At first glance, Festus will be kind to the player when they are revealed as Listener, but later it is revealed that he is jealous to their relationship to the Night Mother, having wanted to be named Listener himself.
  • Festus is an essential character until he suffers a scripted death. His corpse is actually considered a container in game data (Form ID: 00075CE6). There is also game data for another dead version of Festus Krex (Base ID: 000E0D6F), though this version is not used at all in the game.
  • Festus' arrow riddled corpse will remain pinned to a tree just outside the door of the sanctuary for the remainder of the game after "Death Incarnate."


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