Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"Accept his gold, then kill the target. So begins a contract, bound in blood."
The Night Mother[src]

The Dark Brotherhood Forever is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This is a radiant quest that repeats itself indefinitely. This quest automatically starts upon the completion of the quest "Hail Sithis!"


I am now the Listener and leader of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. It is my duty to hear the words of our unholy matron, the Night Mother, and do as she commands...


  1. Approach the Night Mother
  2. Speak with the contact
  3. Kill the target


The quest repeats itself with the three objectives: Approach the Night Mother's coffin, speak with the contact, then kill the target. Unlike virtually all other contracts, in these, the contact pays in advance for the Dragonborn's help.

After eliminating the target, a new one can be initiated by returning to the Sanctuary and approaching the Night Mother. The Night Mother may contact the Listener telepathically with new contracts, although this is usually not the case.

Targets are randomly generated the moment the quest begins. Re-loading saves before speaking to the contractor can be exploited to gain a specific target. This may be useful for unlocking the "Master Criminal" achievement or trophy without killing essential characters.




The Dark Brotherhood Forever – DBrecurring
ID Journal Entry

I am now the Listener and leader of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. It is my duty to hear the words of our Unholy Matron, the Night Mother, and do as she commands...

  • Objective 10: Approach the Night Mother
  • Objective 20: Speak with the contact
  • Objective 30: Kill the target
  • Quest complete


  • There is a way to remove or prevent activating this quest, for those who do not want an unfinishable quest in their quest log. This can be done by backing out of conversation with Nazir when he tells the Dragonborn to talk to Delvin to restore the sanctuary. Before he finishes talking, the Dragonborn should run to the exit and stay near the right wall, keeping as far away from the Night Mother as possible. If done correctly, the quest "Where You Hang Your Enemy's Head..." should start, but not "The Dark Brotherhood Forever." Simply buying all upgrades from Delvin will finish that quest, which completes the Dark Brotherhood questline. Unfortunately, to ensure this quest is never activated, the Dawnstar Sanctuary can no longer be visited, as this quest will almost certainly activate. However, after the secret entrance upgrade is purchased from Delvin, one can safely enter the sanctuary through the tunnel. As long as the upper level near the Night Mother is avoided, the quest should never start.
    • A far simpler method, would be to open the console and typing CompleteQuest DBRecurring. This will complete the quest without it restarting, as opposed to using the SetStage command. A side effect, is that the Dragonborn must never again approach the Dawnstar Sanctuary, as the quest will restart.
  • This quest will repeat some of the same contracts/targets, as there are only a limited number of contracts/targets available.


This section contains bugs related to The Dark Brotherhood Forever. 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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  • The quest may not start if one leaves the Dawnstar Sanctuary while the Night Mother is instructing the Dragonborn to approach her. There is currently no known fix.
  • The Reckless Mage in Winterhold may sometimes appear in the inn, even if the Dragonborn has not approached the Night Mother or the client. Killing him will result in the quest completing permanently.
  •  PC   360   PS3   There is an exploit to get double the gold from a client. After walking up to them and letting them talk, exit dialogue and walk away. They will yield the gold they were going to pay, then they will repeat their dialogue. If they finish speaking, the same amount of gold will be given again. However, this does not work every time in patched versions.
  • If the Grim Shieldmaiden or the Traveling Dignitary are killed, the city guards will attack, even if the Dragonborn is hidden and they are far away. This still happens occasionally in patched versions.
    • A workaround for this is to make sure any guards are far away, then pickpocket the target and get caught. This will cause them to attack. At that point, the target can be killed directly, or the guards can kill them, completing the quest.
    • There is a trick to killing target NPCs in crowded areas without drawing attention or a bounty. One should ensure that they are sneaking, there are no guards or NPCs in the immediate vicinity, and that they are far enough from the intended target for the quest marker above their head to not show. If a bow is used to hit the target, and provided that one has the proper bonuses to ranged sneak attacks, and/or the target is unarmored, the target should die instantly. Furthermore, if there are any NPCs in the target's vicinity, they will not notice. After killing, the body can be looted, and the other NPCs will act as though nothing happened at all.
    •  PC   In Solitude, characters do comment about the body and the guards will attack. This does not appear to work on the Grim Shieldmaiden's guards, who will still attack irrespective of the distance between the Dragonborn, them, and the target.
    • If one's sneak skill is high enough, the Grim Shieldmaiden can be killed and then the Dragonborn can sneak out of the gates at Markarth. Once the city is re-entered, the guards will no longer be hostile and no bounty will be incurred. Entering a random building in Markarth will not do anything; the guards will remain hostile until the Dragonborn sneaks out of the city.
    •  PS3   Another possibility is to simply equip the fury spell, then while hidden, the spell should be cast on the target.
    • Commanding a follower such as a Dark Brotherhood Initiate or Cicero to kill the target will also work around the issue.
  • This quest may disappear from the active quest list, and it will not restart.
    •  PC   To bring back this quest, the console command setstage DBrecurring 200 can be used.
  • Sometimes, upon entering the Penitus Oculatus Outpost, none of the NPCs will interact with the Dragonborn, including the Corrupt Guard.
    • One way to fix this is to steal some items from the table and have the outside guards come inside to attempt to arrest the Dragonborn. After fighting them until all the witnesses are dead, the target can be spoken to.
    • Another solution is to leave the outpost and then return to the outpost.
  •  360   Sometimes, upon killing a contract and completing the quest "The Dark Brotherhood Forever," the game will freeze when the quest resets.
  • Sometimes the Dishonored Skald will not talk to the Dragonborn or interact in any way. There is no fix and this will force the Dragonborn to abandon the quest.
  • Sometimes, the armor of the Beautiful Barbarian cannot be seen. It is still dropped when she is killed, however.


See also[]