Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"Believe me, it wasn't anything I ever intended to do. I just... lost control. I tried to tell them, but none of them believe me. It's all on account of this blasted ring."

Ill Met by Moonlight is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is a quest for the Daedric Prince Hircine in which the Dragonborn must assist Sinding, a werewolf, by gaining Hircine's favor.


I've met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine has punished by preventing his transformations. He's given me the ring he stole and asked me to entreat Hircine for forgiveness.


  1. Speak to Sinding
  2. Kill the great beast
  3. Begin the hunt
  4. Join the hunt
  5. Kill Sinding (optional)
  6. Skin Sinding (optional)
  7. Kill the hunters
  8. Talk to Sinding (if spared)
  9. Speak to Hircine


While in Falkreath, the Dragonborn may hear rumors of the savage murder of a little girl, or, alternatively, one can walk to the graveyard on the edge of town where her parents are holding a funeral and talk to them. No one seems quite sure how someone could commit such a horrible crime, but the culprit is currently locked away in the Falkreath Jail if the Dragonborn wants to find out.

The Hunt[]

The White Stag.

Sinding (found in Falkreath Jail, under the Barracks) will tell the Dragonborn of a rare animal, the White Stag, that needs to be killed to appease Hircine, the Daedric Prince of the Hunt. Sinding gives the Dragonborn the Cursed Ring of Hircine, which auto-equips and cannot be removed. While worn, it causes the wearer to transform into a Werewolf at random, even if they do not have Lycanthropy. Note that transforming will remove all equipped items, including the ring, so transforming once will solve the problem of unpredictable transformations.

After that, Sinding escapes. To remove the cursed ring, the Dragonborn must track down the White Stag and slay it. Note that the White Stag regenerates health very quickly, so it may be difficult for low-level players to kill it. It also runs away from the player and followers, just like a regular Elk. Sneak-attacks with bows will be useful here, as well as powerful Destruction spells, such as Incinerate and Icy Spear, especially if dual-cast. After having killed it, the Stag's spirit appears and approaches the Dragonborn, and Hircine will speak through it. He commands the Dragonborn to go to the place where Sinding has fled, and to kill him to gain the Daedric Lord's favor.

Sinding can be found at Bloated Man's Grotto. After arriving, the Dragonborn will meet some hunters, who are outmatched by Sinding. Note that if the player is in werewolf form, talking with the necessary characters is not possible, so wait for it to wear off.

Talking with the dying Khajiit will reveal that Sinding is too strong for the Hunters of Hircine, and he will tell the player to kill Sinding in the name of Hircine before dying. The objective at this point is to wander through the walkways until Sinding is met in a clearing; he will speak to the player from his perch on a rock outcropping. There are two choices at the end of the conversation; one is to tell him that he will be killed for Hircine, the other is to tell Sinding that they will kill the hunters for him.

Killing Sinding[]

"You've done well, hunter."

I did as you asked. "And found my favor. That skin will serve you well, child. Look more closely at it. My glories shall protect you from all this world's grievances. Good hunting."

Picking the dialogue option to kill Sinding will make him accept his fate, though he will flee through the pathways away from the player, killing Hunters as he goes, until he reaches a dead end.

Sinding is a powerful foe, and often uses power attacks. Frost-based attacks can be useful here, as they will drain his Stamina, preventing as many power attacks. Note that he is immune to paralyzing spells and poisons. When low of health, he will not yield but rather attempt to flee. This can be used to an advantage to attack him without reprisal. After he is dead, skin him and the aspect of Hircine appears in Sinding's ghostly human form, congratulating them and Hircine will give the player the Savior's Hide.

Saving Sinding[]

"Well met again, Hunter."

I failed to bring down Sinding. "Not a failure, my servant."
I defy you and your vile tasks. "So you may think."
"By bringing down my other Hunters, you turned the chase inside out. And they were no base prey. You continue to amuse and impress. Go forth, with my blessing."

If the dialogue option is selected to spare him, Sinding will be grateful, and he will help the player kill the Hunters, saying "We will hunt together!"

Even if a high level, the Hunters are not very powerful foes; and still wear low-level armor, such as hide, studded, and fur armors. Some Hunters wear only clothing, while one or two wear Steel Armor. Each area along the path to the dead end has two-three Hunters. Having a follower along will help if having trouble, and Sinding can kill the Hunters in two hits.

After the dead end is reached and the Hunters have been killed, speak to Sinding. After the conversation ends, leave him and exit the Grotto to meet Hircine, who will congratulate the player and give them their reward.


The reward received varies depending on the Dragonborn's choices:

  1. If Sinding is killed and his skin taken, Hircine appears and rewards the Dragonborn with the Savior's Hide, a leather-based light armor which gives 15% magic resist and 50% poison resist.
  2. If the Dragonborn spares Sinding and kills the hunters, Hircine will appear upon leaving the grotto and commend the Dragonborn for turning the hunt "inside out," giving his blessing and transforming the ring into Hircine's Ring. This ring gives the Dragonborn unlimited werewolf transformations per day, but only if the user is already a werewolf.

It is also possible to obtain both of these rewards using one of a number of similar exploits:

  •  PC   360   PS3   NX   Kill all the hunters, speak to Sinding, claim the Hircine's Ring from outside the cave, then go back in and kill Sinding to get his skin. The spirit will reappear from Sinding's corpse and offer the Savior's Hide.
  •  PC   360   PS3   PS4   NX   If the above does not work, kill and skin Sinding immediately after killing the hunters and talking to him. As soon as the Hircine spirit appears, back out of the conversation and run out of the grotto where the White Stag spirit will appear and bless the ring to break the curse. Return to the grotto and resume conversation with the Hircine spirit to receive the Savior's Hide.
  •  XB1   PS4   Accept Sinding's request to kill all of the hunters, then speak to him afterwards to receive the ring and Quest Complete. Then kill and skin Sinding to summon Hircine's spirit who will reward you with the Savior's Hide. When exiting the cave the White Stag will appear acknowledging your failure to kill Sinding, at which point accept and you will be rewarded with the Ring of Hircine as well.
  •  PC   A further way that can work to receive both rewards (if the first method results in not being able to skin Sinding upon return and the second method results in a non-speaking Aspect of Hircine in the grotto upon return) is to kill the hunters, kill Sinding near the exit, complete the conversation quickly to claim the Savior's Hide and then sprint to the exit to claim the Ring outside. It is also possible to achieve this with console commands. If you cannot kill Sinding by the entrance, you can simply kill him wherever possible, acquire the Savior's Hide from the Aspect of Hircine, then immediately open the console and enter COW tamriel -10 -10, and you will be put at the entrance to Bloated Man's Grotto, where Hircine will bless the ring as per usual.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Leave the grotto along with Sinding after killing the hunters. When the Stag spirit appears, back out of the conversation and kill Sinding, then skin him and speak with the spirit emerging from his corpse for the Savior's Hide. Speak to the Stag spirit again for the ring.
  •  360   PS3   A fourth way to obtain both the ring and the hide, if you originally obtained the ring, is to return to the grotto at any time in the game. Upon entering the main area you will see Sinding in werewolf form. Killing this version of Sinding will only result in obtaining ragged trousers. However, if you follow the trail through the grotto, as you did on the original hunt, you will find yourself on a ledge overlooking the main entrance area with a second version of Sinding--one on the ledge with you, and another below. If you kill the second version of Sinding you will receive the option to skin him, causing the Aspect of Hircine to appear and convert the skin into the Savior's Hide.
  •  PC   PS4   Another way to getting both rewards is to first kill the hunters with Sinding, then place the ring onto one of the hunters' corpses (any container works but a corpse is immediately available). Kill Sinding and skin him for the first reward, pick up the ring and leave the cave. Leaving the cave with the ring will trigger Hircine to come and give you the Ring of Hircine reward while keeping the Savior's Hide.
  •  PC   Sometimes, after getting the quest to speak to Sinding he might not come up to you and talk to you. If this happens, just exit and enter the room to fix it.


Ill Met by Moonlight ꟷ DA05
ID Journal Entry
10 There are stories in Falkreath of a strange vagrant who savagely killed a little girl.
  • Objective 10: Speak to Sinding
20 I've met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine has punished by preventing his transformations. He's given me the ring he stole and asked me to entreat Hircine for forgiveness.
  • Objective 20: Kill the great beast
50 I've met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine has punished by preventing his transformations. Hircine has asked me to finish the job and gain his favor by killing Sinding.
  • Objective 50: Begin the hunt
  • Objective 55: Join the hunt
  • Objective 60: Kill Sinding
  • Objective 61: Skin Sinding
  • Objective 65: Speak with Hircine
70 I've met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine has punished by preventing his transformations. I'm going to defend him against the hunters that Hircine has sent to end his life.
  • Objective 70: Kill the Hunters
  • Objective 80: Talk to Sinding
100 If killed: I met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine had punished by preventing his transformations. I helped kill him as a service to Hircine, and have been rewarded with the Savior's Hide.
  • Quest complete
105 If helped: I met Sinding, a werewolf who the Daedric Lord Hircine had punished by preventing his transformations. I defended him against the hunters that Hircine sent to end his life, and earned his friendship.
  • Quest complete
  • Quest failed



  • "Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania," is the Fairy King Oberon's first line in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy play written by William Shakespeare, which also deals with a person (Bottom) who is transformed (at least partially) into an animal.
  • There is also a WW2 book with this name, later made into a film starring Dirk Bogarde.
  • The White Stag is a reference to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In the legend, the Stag has a perennial ability to evade capture, and the pursuit of the animal represents mankind's spiritual quest.
  • Both quest rewards count toward the Oblivion Walker achievement. Obtaining both makes the achievement obtainable even if another Daedric quest is failed.
  • If Sinding is killed either before or after helping him kill the hunters, he cannot be resurrected via console after he has been skinned. This is because at that point he has been scripted to die.
  • If the Dragonborn is a vampire, they will not be able to transform into a werewolf because lycanthropy and vampirism are not compatible.
  • If the Dragonborn is a vampire during this quest and chooses to kill Sinding for the Savior's Hide, the hunters fighting him may order "Kill the vampire!" even though the Dragonborn is not the target.
  • If Sinding is spared, he may appear in a random encounter later on. He will be in werewolf form and hostile, fighting a Hold Guard.
  • If Sinding is spared, the Dragonborn can go back much later on and he may still be at the grotto and thus able to be killed and skinned (tested on a PS3, +10 levels after the ring was obtained).
  • The quest can be started and completed in the same room where Sinding is first found, the Falkreath Jail. On PC, using the console command TCL, the Dragonborn can clip through the metal bars, kill Sinding, and then skin him. On console, using a bucket or a plate to clip through the bars can be used to the same effect. The spirit of Hircine will appear and the quest will be completed with the Dragonborn receiving Saviour's Hide.
  • The Hunters of Hircine were suppose to follow the Dragonborn if the player chooses to kill Sinding. However, it was cut from the game.[1]


This section contains bugs related to Ill Met by Moonlight. 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.
Click to show
  •  360   After using an exploit to obtain both rewards, the White Stag and the Aspect of Hircine can still be found in the location where it would normally be slain. After killing it, approaching the Aspect of Hircine will offer the prompt to speak to him, but no dialogue box will appear on-screen. This does not seem to hinder anything during gameplay, however.
  • It is possible that one may have to wait for an in-game month to pass before it is possible to re-enter the cave.
  • Sometimes the ring never works. If this happens, it will not be counted to the trophy or the achievement.
  •  PC   Casting a non-offensive spell on Sinding, including a healing spell, is interpreted as an attack and will cause Sinding to turn hostile if done three times. The Dragonborn will have to instead kill Sinding, but the quest will continue.
  •  PC   Sometimes going directly to the jail in trying to start the quest by talking to Sinding, may result in finding him in werewolf form and unable to talk leaving the quest unstartable and incompletable.
  • Near the end of the grotto when siding with Sinding, all the NPCs in the area may become permanently invisible or take flight.
  • It is possible for the White Stag to relocate to a position on the map beyond the world limits, making it impossible to finish this quest.
    •  PC (Fix)   Use the console command to move the White Stag to the player: Select it with prid 00090CE1, then move it with moveto player.
  • After wearing the Cursed ring, and turning into a werewolf manually, it may be impossible to return to normal self.
  •  PC   PS3   Sinding is unable to be spoken within the jail because he is stuck or simply will not move from the back wall. Fixes:
    • Leave and re-enter the jail.
    • Use the Unrelenting Force shout on Sinding then leave and re-enter the jail.
    • Attack Sinding with spells or ranged weaponry and yield.
    •  PC (Fix)   It is possible to use the player.moveto console command to simply jump into the cell with Sinding (Ref ID 000EF441 or 00090CE1). The only way to leave the cell is again using the command to move the Dragonborn to a follower (if they have one) or any NPC other than Sinding.
  •  PC   It is possible to continue the quest without killing the White Stag by typing setstage DA05 50 in the command prompt. After using the command, the quest marker may not point correctly, but traveling to Bloated Man's Grotto and continuing the quest will fix this.
  • Sinding will turn hostile if spells, including non-hostile ones such as healing spells, are cast at him. After three "attacks" from the player, he will begin combat.
    •  PC   If killing all the hunters without angering Sinding becomes difficult, this is a list of all the hunters and prids so that they can be killed via console commands if necessary:
  • If the Dragonborn tells Sinding that the intent is to kill him, and ends up killing the hunters, the quest may glitch and Sinding will follow the Dragonborn as if he was hunting the hunters. The quest will not progress and Sinding will be invulnerable to damage. The only way to fix this is to reload a previous save.
  • It is possible that, after killing the White Stag, Sinding will remain in the cell, even though everyone says that he escaped.
  •  PC   After entering Bloated Man's Grotto and joining the hunt, Sinding might not appear. The quest stage "Kill Sinding" can not be completed.
    •  PC (Fix)   This can be solved in the command prompt by typing prid 0002ABBD to select Sinding in wolf form and then moveto player to bring him to you.
  • Sometimes the ring will not take effect after Hircine removes the curse. Reloading a previous save and getting the ring again fixes this.
  • It is possible to keep the Cursed Ring of Hircine while still getting one or both of the final quest rewards. After defeating the hunters and talking to Sinding, the quest will be considered complete, and the Cursed Ring of Hircine may then be dropped or stored, as it is no longer considered a quest item. If the Dragonborn stores the ring in one of the chests inside or on a follower, Hircine will still give the uncursed ring (Ring of Hircine) even though it is not in the Dragonborn's inventory. The cursed ring can then be retrieved after completing the quest. The Cursed Ring will still work as it does during the quest, but will not count towards the Oblivion Walker Achievement/Trophy.
  • Note: Storing the Cursed Ring on a dead body will make it disappear, as the bodies disappear after speaking with Hircine.
  • When using fast travel, there can be a transformation from which the Dragonborn can not recover. To avoid this, travel to the grotto manually.
  •  PC   360   PS3   If riding on a horse when a transformation occurs, the camera will remain focused on the horse and will no longer follow the Dragonborn. It is recommended to not ride a horse while holding the ring.
    • Fix: Reload to an earlier save.
  •  PS3   When one decides to spare Sinding's life, he will begin to follow the Dragonborn to kill the other hunters. Instead of going onward, if one decides to go backwards and leave the cave, Sinding may stop following and instead wander up on the road. If the Dragonborn follows him on the road, Sinding may still fight by their side on any random encounter, but will become hostile if the Dragonborn attempts to attack or to heal him. This may change the quest objective to Kill Sinding. His destination is Falkreath Jail.
  •  360   Getting both items for this quest(Savior's Hide/Ring of Hircine) does not always count as 2 for the Oblivion Walker Achievement, it may only count as 1. Patch 3 may have fixed an issue with both only counting as 1.
    • Potential Explanation: This may be due to the achievement being linked to the completion of a Daedric artifact quest and not for receiving the artifact itself. The fact that using one of the exploits to obtain both items still only completes the quest once backs up this hypothesis.
  • If the Dragonborn travels to Bloated Man's Grotto to kill or aid Sinding, but leaves before killing him or the hunters, he may appear back in his Falkreath Jail cell in his Werewolf form. While he can be killed through the bars (with assistance from the jail guard), he cannot be skinned to complete the quest as the cell cannot be opened).
  • If the Dragonborn is in his Werewolf form, he is still able to talk to Sinding telling him he was sent to kill him. Alternatively, if the hunters are killed, Sinding will still be in his cell. It is possible to return to Bloated Man's Grotto with a follower and use the console command moveto to jump to his cell and either speak to Sinding or kill and skin him, then use moveto to jump back to the follower in the grotto. This will allow the quest to be finished normally.
  • It is possible to obtain the Savior's Hide from the very beginning of the quest and thus bypass large portions of the quest including hunting the white stag and the activities in Bloated Man's Grotto. After speaking with Sinding and agreeing to help him the Dragonborn can attack him in his jail cell using arrows or spells and kill him. Although this may take several tries, his body will sometimes fall next to the bars. This will allow one to skin him, causing the Aspect of Hircine appear and gift the Savior's Hide to the Dragonborn.
  •  360   The armor received after killing Sinding may not show in inventory, and the game may freeze.
  • After killing the Hunters and receiving the Ring of Hircine, then killing and skinning Siding to obtain the Saviour's Hide, Siding may appear in the waterfall area of the grotto alive and well. This happens when the Dragonborn rests on the bedroll located in the grotto cave.
  • On occasion, Sinding may remain in his cell rather than escape, or even escape then return to the cell. This renders the quest unfinishable, and cannot be fixed.
  •  360   If going back into the cave to kill Sinding after obtaining the Ring of Hircine, do not use werewolf form to do so. This may cause a glitch that prevents skinning Sinding to get the Savior's Hide. This can be fixed by re-entering Bloated Man's Grotto.
  • If the Dragonborn has cured themself of Lycanthropy before starting this quest, they may be marked as a werewolf, but without the ability to turn into one, and with no way of curing it again.
  • After killing Sinding and the quest is completed, Sinding is seen wandering up the road in werewolf form. Reloading the save will fix this.
  • Upon entering the cave in werewolf form, the Dragonborn may revert to normal, regardless of time remaining for the transformation.
  • Using the Storm Call shout while killing the hunters will also kill Sinding.
  •  PS3   Dead Thralls seem to disappear at a 50% probability when the Dragonborn enters the Falkreath Barracks to speak to Sinding. Deactivate the Thralls by using a Destruction cloak spell or become a werewolf.
  • If one tries to get both artifacts, but the Skinning command does not appear after killing Sinding, only the Looting command, he can be resurrected via console commands. Then, he can be killed again. After the second killing, the Skinning command will not appear, but it will still perform the needed action when trying to loot him.
  •  PS3   If one chooses to betray Sinding and kill him before all the hunters are killed, the quest may not progress and the quest status will be stuck at "Kill Sinding." This can be fixed by loading a previous save, and letting Sinding kill the hunters before slaying him.
  •  360   There is a chance that Sinding will not help the Dragonborn kill the Hunters if that option is chosen. He will instead run up to the Hunters and remain unresponsive while being attacked.
  •  PS4   Sinding may randomly appear in his werewolf form on the road near Falkreath, even after being killed and skinned during "Ill Met by Moonlight."
  •  PS4   If Sinding is in werewolf form and the Dragonborn tries to talk to him, a strange sound will be heard instead of werewolf cries or his voice. The sound is a quiet beep, followed by static.
  •  PS4   The Cursed Ring of Hircine may never cause the Dragonborn to change into a werewolf during the course of the quest.