Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"I'm sorry to drag you into Markarth's problems, but after that attack in the market, I'm running out of time. You're an outsider. You're dangerous-looking. You'll do."

The Forsworn Conspiracy is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must assist Eltrys in investigating a conspiracy in Markarth involving the Forsworn and the Silver-Bloods.


I've received a note from a man named Eltrys in Markarth. He wants me to meet him at the Shrine of Talos, presumably to talk about the recent murder in Markarth's marketplace.


  1. Go to the Shrine of Talos
  2. Find evidence about Margret
  3. Find evidence about Weylin
  4. Obtain the key to Margret's room (optional)
  5. Talk to Margret (optional, if alive)
  6. Read Margret's Journal
  7. Find evidence about Thonar
  8. Obtain the key to Weylin's room (optional)
  9. Read Weylin's Note
  10. Find out who "N" is
  11. Find evidence about Nepos
  12. Read Thonar's Journal
  13. Return to Eltrys
  14. Read Nepos' Journal
  15. Return to Eltrys


Upon first entering Markarth, the Dragonborn is witness to an argument in the market. After a man called Weylin shouts, "The Reach belongs to the Forsworn!", he attempts to kill a woman named Margret. The failure or success of his attempt depends on whether the Dragonborn intervenes before he gets close enough to trigger the animation of him stabbing Margret in the back with his dagger. At the moment that the attacker draws his weapon, the Markarth City Guards rush towards the attacker and slay him. Afterward, a man named Eltrys approaches the Dragonborn and hands the Dragonborn a note asking to meet him in the Shrine of Talos.

It is possible to save Margret in the market. There is no significant difference to the plot between saving Margret or allowing Weylin to kill her, although if Margret is saved, she rewards the Dragonborn with a silver emerald necklace. The way of gathering information about Margret changes, as do some dialogues, but the rest of the quest remains the same.

Go to the Shrine of Talos[]

At the Shrine of Talos, Eltrys explains that his father was killed by the Forsworn and that he has been trying his whole life to find out why. He asks the Dragonborn to investigate Margret's background at the Silver-Blood Inn and Weylin's room in the Warrens.

Silver-Blood Inn – Margret's room[]

If Margret is dead, and the Dragonborn obtained Margret's room key from her body, the room can be approached directly. Otherwise the Dragonborn must ask the barkeeper Kleppr about Margret. The Dragonborn can also speak to his daughter, rent the room for 10 gold, bribe, intimidate, persuade, or pickpocket Kleppr to get the key. The key isn't strictly necessary, since the lock can be picked. Margret's Journal is inside her room in the end table next to the bed. Reading it will update the quest log. The journal mentions Thonar Silver-Blood, and the next objective becomes "Find evidence about Thonar."

If Margret is alive, she will be seated by the fireplace. She can be persuaded or intimidated, revealing that she is an Imperial investigator for General Tullius. She mentions Thonar Silver-Blood, which also activates the objective, "Find evidence about Thonar."

After exiting the inn, a guard will approach the Dragonborn and warn them to "stay out of [their] business, or there will be trouble." Once the dialogue ends, proceed to the Warrens next.

The Warrens – Weylin's room[]

Head down to the Warrens, and talk to Garvey. Garvey can be bribed, intimidated, pickpocketed, or persuaded to hand the key over. As with Margret's room at the Silver-Blood Inn, the lock on Weylin's door can be picked. Weylin's room is the last one on the right side. Look into the chest and find Weylin's Note signed with the letter "N." The Dragonborn will have to find out who this mysterious "N" is. When the Dragonborn exits the Warrens, Dryston, a mercenary, will approach stating that the investigation has gone too far into somebody's business. There is no option to avoid the brawl; defeat Dryston, and he confesses that he was sent by Nepos the Nose, or "N." The quest log updates to finding evidence about Nepos.

If the Dragonborn is wearing any sort of enchanted armor that does proximity damage (such as the Ebony Mail), it will cause the guards to attack. Another option is to lose the brawl. Dryston will go to Weylin's room and sit in a chair. With decent sneaking, the Dragonborn can kill him without alarming the Markarth guards. He will drop Dryston's Note, which will update the quest log when it is read. The note can also be pickpocketed if the Dragonborn would rather not kill Dryston.

Upon returning to Eltrys, the Dragonborn will receive level-dependent amount of gold for both investigating Margret's and Weylin's rooms. If evidence is discovered about Nepos or Thonar before receiving the reward, the next quest stage will be triggered without receiving the reward.

Find evidence about Thonar[]

Thonar is located in the Treasury House. Talk to Rhiada, and learn that Thonar doesn't want to be disturbed; although, she can be convinced with persuasion, a bribe, or intimidation. The door can also be opened by picking the lock. His room is to the left and then straight ahead. Once inside, Thonar is sitting at the table. He'll say something about not wanting visitors. Regardless of the response, he will tell the Dragonborn to get out. As soon as the conversation is finished, there is a commotion outside in the main room. Thonar gets up and runs down the hall where there's fighting going on. Thonar's wife is murdered by Nana Ildene, at which point Donnel will join in the attack. Nana and Donnel are actually undercover Forsworn agents, so it's safe to kill them. At this point, talk to Thonar, and he will reveal the truth about Madanach while seething in fury at the Forsworn murdering Betrid when he had an agreement with Madanach.

Another approach involves pickpocketing Thonar's Journal from him, so his wife doesn't die, and Donnel and Nana Ildene don't attack anyone. The Dragonborn has to avoid any conversation with Thonar, as this triggers the attack. If the Dragonborn speaks to Thonar, it is not possible to save his wife; her death is scripted. Even if both Forsworn attackers are dead, she is still murdered, even though there was no one to kill her. If the Dragonborn has a high bounty, Betrid Silver-Blood and other characters will become hostile towards the Dragonborn, but this can be fixed with a basic calm spell. The Dragonborn can bribe one of the guards to remove the bounty by being part of the Thieves Guild or having the speech ability to bribe guards.

Finding evidence about Nepos[]

Find evidence about Nepos by going to Nepos' house. There the Dragonborn will be greeted by a woman named Uaile telling them to go away; however, Nepos quickly calls from the background and tells her to let the Dragonborn pass. Talk to Nepos and he will reveal the existence of the Forsworn in Markarth, his involvement with the Forsworn and that he does not plan to let the Dragonborn leave the house alive. Make sure to exhaust all dialogue options about Madanach and his plan. After the conversation with Nepos, everyone in the house attacks the Dragonborn.

An alternative, more silent and safe way, is to quickly pickpocket Nepos' Journal from Nepos (instead of talking to him), and then run outside. If done correctly (without being seen at all after pickpocketing the journal) no one will attack the Dragonborn.

Note that there is some reasonable loot available in Nepos' house, especially in the bedroom on the right (for example, there are at least five silver ingots). The residents also have good loot on them to either take after killing them or to pickpocket. Lingering too long after the theft here will result in everyone becoming hostile.

Return to Eltrys[]

Return to the Shrine of Talos to meet Eltrys, and find three guards standing over Eltrys' body. One guard says the Dragonborn has caused a lot of trouble and a lot of work for them. He informs them that they will pin all the murders and troubles made on the Dragonborn. At this point, the Dragonborn can choose to go quietly or resist arrest. Fighting them will not prevent the next quest, "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine," with the exception of attacking them before any conversation takes place and killing all of them. At this point, the questline will not proceed until the Dragonborn speaks with a Markarth guard. Despite a message saying that the last witness was killed and the bounty removed, any Markarth guard that the Dragonborn talks to will arrest them and throw them into Cidhna Mine. Usual Thieves Guild options for buying one's way out are presented in dialogue with the guard, but the guard will refuse them.

Additional tips[]

  • The killer can also be revealed by pickpocketing Thonar's Journal off him (the key to his room can be pickpocketed from the Treasury clerk). This can be done before talking to Eltrys at the shrine. Doing this and entering the shrine spawns the guards there, and allows the Dragonborn to skip over most of the quest.
  • Once the guards are hostile and the Dragonborn has a large bounty on themself, they may also kill Degaine and Ondolemar to upgrade the Ebony Blade before surrendering to start "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine." The bounty for those (or any other) kills will also be lifted at the end of that quest.
  • As Madanach has many allies who will attempt to defend him if attacked, it may be difficult to kill him at a low level.


The Forsworn Conspiracy – MS01
ID Journal Entry
15 I've received a note from a man named Eltrys in Markarth. He wants me to meet him at the Shrine of Talos, presumably to talk about the recent murder in Markarth's marketplace.
  • Objective 10: Go to the Shrine of Talos
20 Eltrys has asked me to uncover evidence surrounding the murder of woman in Markarth's marketplace, who was attacked in broad daylight by a man claiming to be a member of the Forsworn.
  • Objective 20: Find evidence about Margret
  • Objective 25: Find evidence about Weylin
  • Objective 30: (Optional) Obtain the key to Margret's room
  • Objective 35: (Optional) Talk to Margret
  • Objective 22: Read Margret's Journal
  • Objective 50: Find evidence about Thonar
  • Objective 40: (Optional) Obtain the key to Weylin's room
  • Objective 27: Read Weylin's Note
  • Objective 28: Find out who "N" is
  • Objective 60: Find evidence about Nepos
55 (Thonar admits to having Madanach imprisoned.)
  • Objective 55: Read Thonar's Journal
70 (If Thonar and Nepos have confessed.)
  • Objective 70: Return to Eltrys
  • Objective 65: Read Nepos's [sic] [Do not change this to Nepos'. This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.] Journal
80 (If Thronar and Nepos have confessed.)
  • Objective 70: Return to Eltrys
95 Eltrys is dead, and I've been framed for his murder. My only option to clear my name is to let myself be imprisoned inside Cidhna Mine and locate Madanach, the King in Rags. Alternatively, I can kill off all the guards to ensure no witnesses and therefore, no bounty.
  • Quest complete
100 Eltrys is dead, and I've been framed for his murder. My only option to clear my name is to let myself be imprisoned inside Cidhna Mine and locate Madanach, the King in Rags. Alternatively, I can kill off all the guards to ensure no witnesses and therefore, no bounty.
  • Quest complete


  • The Amulet of Articulation, which can be obtained after completing certain Thieves Guild quests, can be very useful to quickly skip through persuasions encountered throughout the quest. Alternatively, a high Speech skill also works.
  • Any method of avoiding jail time will be rendered useless against Markarth guards after Eltrys is killed. They will reject any and all attempts to exonerate the Dragonborn, no matter what the player tells them. They will then attempt to apprehend the Dragonborn on sight. This is a gameplay script exclusive to this mission.
  • The death of Betrid Silver-Blood is scripted to occur upon speaking to Thonar to advance the quest. In the event that the Dragonborn is able to kill Donnel and Nana Ildene before this point of the quest, she will still die despite never having been attacked.
  • Should the Dragonborn kill Nepos and retrieve his journal before meeting Eltrys for the first time, the quest will advance to the point where Eltrys is dead and guards are in the Shrine of Talos.
  • Eltrys' body has many valuable items, including a large sum of Gold (800+). Fighting the guards will allow the body to be looted before exiting the shrine and surrendering to the guards outside. Three guards will greet the Dragonborn in the shrine, with three backup guards entering after they die. If the body is not looted, however, the belongings will be transferred to the Hall of the Dead.
  • If the miscellaneous objective of the Stormcloak quest "Liberation of Skyrim," "Liberate the Reach" is completed before "The Forsworn Conspiracy," the latter will automatically be completed.
  • The Dragonborn can end up in Cidhna Mine and still maintain a 0 septim life-time bounty. This is achieved by killing the guards in the shrine of Talos without allowing them to talk. The quest will be completed and Eltrys can be looted instantly. To continue with the Cidhna Mine part, speak to a city guard. This will then grant the Dragonborn a bounty-free trip to Cihdna Mine.
  • Margret can be saved if Weylin is killed before stabbing her.
  • Eltrys will pay leveled Gold for the first two pieces of evidence brought to him, as he will be killed if one has confronted either Nepos or Thonar.
  • It is possible to keep Betrid Silver-Blood, Nana Ildene, and Donnel alive after completion of this quest. After the death of Weylin, the Dragonborn can ignore reading Eltrys' Note and this quest will not trigger. Instead, the Dragonborn can go straight into the warrens and read Weylin's note. Upon exiting the Warrens, and after brawling Dryston, "The Forsworn Conspiracy" will begin, but the only objective is finding evidence about Nepos. After killing Nepos, going to the shrine of Talos completes "The Forsworn Conspiracy" and starts "No One Escapes Cidna Mine." When the Dragonborn escapes the mine and returns to the Treasury House, Betrid Silver-Blood, Nana Ildene, and Donnel will be unharmed and will continue their original activity and dialogue.


This section contains bugs related to The Forsworn Conspiracy. 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
  •  PC   It is possible to obtain the gold reward for evidence gathering from Eltrys even though he lay in the temple dead. Open the console and type: player.placeatme 00013394, press return, and close console. A new Eltrys will spawn from whom the reward can be obtained.
  • If "The House of Horrors" has not been advanced beyond the part where Vigilant Tyranus is killed, he will join the fray should one choose to attack the guards in the Shrine of Talos prematurely. As Tyranus is essential, he cannot be killed, and the bounty resulted from attacking the guards cannot be lifted.
    • Solution: The bug can be avoided if one advances "The House Of Horrors" quest to the point that Vigilant Tyranus is killed, before entering the shrine.
  • After receiving this quest and before meeting Eltrys at the temple for the first time, if the player pickpockets Thonar's journal, the quest will advance to stage 90, which leaves Eltrys dead in the temple. Resetting the quest has no effect.
  •  360   It is possible that the quest marker will fail to update after Weylin's room is investigated and thus render the dialogue with Nepos inaccessible. This may remedy itself after entering Nepos' House and triggering the conversation with Uaile, however if it does not the conversation with Nepos can still be accessed from halfway through, and thus the mission resumed, by pick-pocketing and reading Nepos' diary and then attempting to talk to Nepos. In this case however the mission marker will not update again until everyone in Nepos' House has been either killed or evaded.
  •  PC   PS3   It is advisable for the player to not bring a follower while completing this quest (certainly when returning to Eltrys), as the follower may become trapped in the Shrine of Talos when "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine" is activated.
  •  360   PS3   Bypass the scenario where the player has to choose between joining the Legion or being treated as a trespasser by opening the console and typing: setstage MS01 100, press return, and close console. This will finish the quest and begin the next.
  •  PC   PS3   Waiting 24 hours in the Shrine of Talos will spawn a third guard to offer dialogue and complete the quest. This method might not work properly sometimes, causing the third guard to stop the conversation about the framing midway and not triggering the next quest, "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine." In that case, exiting the Shrine of Talos and waiting 8–10 hours outside and then re-entering the Shrine will trigger the conversation with the guard and the subsequent quest correctly.
    •  PC (Fix)   Open the console and type: setstage ms01 100. This will complete the "The Forsworn Conspiracy" questline and place the player in jail. Once the player wakes up, open the console again, and type: setstage ms02 0, which will force the next quest, "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine," to begin.
  •  PC   360   PS3   The game freezes if the player chooses to go to jail in the temple.
  •  PS3   Giving Markarth to the Stormcloaks in the negotiation may cause the quest not to update or function properly.
  •  PS3   After defeating Dryston, he may not talk but simply walk away, making the quest update to "Find evidence about Nepos."
  • After fighting the Forsworn agents in the Treasury house, Thonar may not talk to the player but keep fighting indefinitely.
  • With Margret alive, if the player talks with her before talking to Frabbi, the optional "Talk to Margret" can not be completed.
  •  360   After completing this quest and "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine," if there is a bounty in Markarth, the guards will approach with the dialogue options to take the Dragonborn to Cidhna Mine. It is impossible to get out of that dialogue, forcing the dialogue to be exited. After doing this, all of the guards in Markarth will become hostile. They generally do not accept yields, and when they do, the same thing happens. Killing the guards in Markarth increases the bounty, and all of the guards in the Reach do the same thing.
  •  360   Sometimes, when entering the Temple of Talos a second time to report to Eltrys, there will be one guard missing, and the Dragonborn will not be confronted at all, making the quest impossible to complete. However, this makes it possible to loot Eltrys's corpse.
    •  360 (Fix)   This can be fixed by reloading a previous save or walking back outside the temple until a city guard approaches.
    •  360 (Fix)   Alternatively, it is possible to simply wait until the third guard appears and then be arrested.
  • It is possible to kill all the guards necessary and escape from the city without being caught. This leaves a bounty in Markarth which fades as usual.
  •  360   PS4   When returning to the shrine to meet Eltrys, the guard just tells the Dragonborn to join the Empire and walks out instead of arresting them.
  •  PS3   After the initial conflict when first entering Markarth, if the Dragonborn fast travels away and comes back later, Eltrys will not be there to give the note to start the quest.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   This can be fixed by entering Markarth again at a later time.
  • It is possible that the quest does not load properly at all.
  •  360   If the Dragonborn is already Thane of the Reach, the legate gives them the dialogue to join the legion instead of arresting them.
    •  360   This can be fixed by first committing a crime and then telling the guard that they are the Jarl's Thane.
  •  PC   PS3   When Eltrys asks the Dragonborn to investigate around Markarth, he mentions to check in with him after finding out who was behind the recent murder. If the Dragonborn does not check in with Eltrys after each clue is found, upon return to Eltrys, he is found dead on the Altar of Talos, and a guard now stands in his place; meanwhile the indicator arrow to "talk to Eltrys" is still hovering where he should be. At this point the quest cannot be completed. Note: Depending on the choices made, Eltrys is supposed to die, however in this scenario the guards are supposed to arrest the Dragonborn at the shrine.
  •  PC   360   If the quest is finished and the Dragonborn has escaped the mine, returning to the shrine will result in the Dragonborn being arrested again.
  •  PS3   If in the Treasury House to talk to Thonar Silver-Blood, before his wife is murdered, it is possible to sneak and kill the Donnel, Rhiada, and Nana Ildene who would be her assassins. If this is done without any alarm being raised, after talking to Thonar Silver-Blood, Betrid will simply die in her chair with seemingly no cause at all.
  •  PC   If the quest "Season Unending" is completed while the Forsworn Conspiracy is active, the latter may be counted as completed as the former quest ends.
  • If the Dragonborn has any followers present, they may disappear after the Dragonborn is arrested and sent to Cidhna Mine.confirmation needed