The Ragged Flagon Cistern is a location found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is reached by going through a rigged cupboard in The Ragged Flagon, just before the entrance leading to The Ratway Vaults. After the Dragonborn becomes a full member of the Thieves Guild, it can then also be accessed through a hidden entry under a small tomb next to the chapel. After using this entrance for the first time, it will be marked on the city map, to the immediate right of Riften's marker, as "Thieves Guild."

The Ragged Flagon Cistern is the Thieves Guild's headquarters, and Brynjolf and other Guild members can often be located here throughout the Thieves Guild quest-lines.


  • There is a side room with a master, adept, expert, apprentice and novice chest. These are for practice, and their locks may be picked repeatedly to improve the lock picking skill.


  • Upon joining the guild, the Dragonborn can use this location as a home.
  • Upon completion of the Thieves Guild quest-line, a Shrine of Nocturnal will appear in the cistern.
  • For every special job the Dragonborn completes for Delvin Mallory, the Cistern will receive upgrades such as banners, tables with food and ingredients, and new members.
  • If the Dragonborn pickpockets the Steel Arrows that most of the guild archers use and replaces them with a type of arrow preferred, the archers will shoot those. So if Daedric Arrows are put in their inventories, they will shoot an infinite quantity of Daedric Arrows.
  • It might be possible to enter the Cistern without starting the Thieves Guild questline; If the Dragonborn goes in and begins beating on the members present in the Ragged Flagon, one will occasionally flee through the 'strange door' and lead the Dragonborn into the Cistern.
  • If you have a high bounty you can fast travel to the thieves guild,  avoiding the guards.  If any get in before you "close" the coffin entrance and the other thieves will attack and kill them. There have been cases of at least 10 guards getting into the cistern, so be careful when trying to do this. Most of the guild members are essentials, with some exceptions like Sapphire, so they are not in danger. You can then just keep out of the fight while the other thieves do the job for you.


  • In the training room, if the Dragonborn tries to pick the lock on a chest while someone else is in the room but fails the first attempt, they will be scolded for attempting to unlock the chest and will have to restart the process.
  •  PC   Template:360 Entering through the secret entrance in the chapel graveyard can (rarely) cause the game to crash. (unknown if this occurs on PS3)
  • On rare occasions the people inside will attack the Dragonborn as though they were trespassing, even after they have been accepted into the Thieves Guild.
  • At the end table next to the cupboard at the secret entrance, there are two pieces of paper, probably letters beneath the end table. The second one can be seen by the help of the tfc console command.
  • If the Dragonborn attacks Etienne Rarnis until his health is very low, he will retreat into the vault, unlocking it. However, the vault key is not in his inventory (unknown if this is intentional, or a bug).


Start a Discussion Discussions about The Ragged Flagon - Cistern

  • Under new management won't trigger

    16 messages
    • I had this problem as well. Didn't do the Quest with Shadr and Sapphire. I teleported them to the bridge so I could start and fin...
    • wrote:I found a fix for this on the nexusmods forum. Skyrim SE with the 1.4 patch. After completing Darkness Returns and all...
  • Mercer Frey and the Thieves Guild Vault

    3 messages
    • my theory, he's the guild master, so he abused his authority, banned entrance to the vault then he just waited until there was only ...
    • He's been embezzling for a good 20 years before dragonborn comes and whoops his pasty breton a$$.
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+