This quest begins once the Dark Brotherhood quest "Whispers In the Dark" and the two side contracts have all been completed (although it may be offered if only one of the two offered side contracts has been completed), and after speaking with Astrid.
The next time the Dragonborn visits the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, Astrid stops him/her to talk. Although she isn’t sure what’s happening with the voices inside the Dragonborn's head, she feels it would be beneficial to complete the liaison with the contact the Night Mother mentioned. She tells the Dragonborn to go to Volunruud, a crypt to the northeast.
Afterward, Nazir should be spoken with to conclude the side contracts before pursuing this quest. Note that he has no additional contracts to offer at this time. It is possible to talk to the Brotherhood members about this quest before leaving the Sanctuary.
- Objective: Speak with Amaund Motierre
- Objective: Talk to Rexus
- Target: Inside Volunruud
The quest continues at an earthen mound with the entrance northwest of a set of 3 standing stones (note - not Standing Stones that grant bonuses). Down the steps inside the cairn is the entrance to Volunruud proper. Although there are many rooms and tunnels throughout this complex, this quest only requires reaching the bottom of the first set of stairs, turning left, and walking southwest to a small antechamber with draugr corpses among the ferns. Note that there may be several high-level Draugr deathlords, with ebony weapons on their bodies.
Through the wooden door, in the room beyond is Amaund Motierre and his bodyguard, Rexus. Motierre’s revelations are astonishing; he wishes to hire the Dark Brotherhood to remove several people, culminating with an assassination of the Emperor of Tamriel. He ends his diatribe by motioning to Rexus, who strides forward to hand over the following items:
- Items gained: Sealed letter and jeweled amulet
- Objective: Deliver the letter and amulet to Astrid
- Target: Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Motierre explains the Amulet can be used for purchasing necessities for the forthcoming contracts, and the Sealed Letter is an agreement with the Dark Brotherhood; both are for Astrid. Both characters are essential to the game: if the Dragonborn is fighting for the Empire in the civil war it is not possible to kill either Amaund or Rexus.
After finishing in Volunruud, the quest continues by returning to Astrid. She is understandably incredulous, but showing her the items causes her to begin to believe. "Surely the Night Mother wouldn’t misdirect the Brotherhood...."
For the moment, Astrid will take the letter. In the meantime, the journey continues in Riften with a fence friend of the Brotherhood called Delvin Mallory, who should be able to appraise the Amulet. He’s a trusted ally and is holed up in the underbelly of the town.
- Objective: Show the amulet to Delvin Mallory
- Target: The Ragged Flagon, inside the Ratway in Riften
On The Fence
The quest now continues in Riften's Ratway. If the Dragonborn is a member of the Thieves Guild, then the Ragged Flagon - Cistern entrance can be used. Otherwise, the Ratway entrance is by the water’s edge underneath the Scorched Hammer. Proceeding through the maze of sewer tunnels will eventually lead to the door into the Ragged Flagon, home of the Thieves Guild. Delvin Mallory is here. He should be told that the Dark Brotherhood requires his services. He asks how Astrid is, and will take the jeweled amulet during the conversation.
Mallory inspects the Amulet and identifies it as belonging to the Emperor’s Elder Council. Although worried about who the Brotherhood had to murder to obtain it, when asked to purchase it, he eagerly hands over a letter of credit to cover any expenses Astrid requires.
- Item gained: Letter Of Credit
- Objective: Report back to Astrid
- Target: Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Back in the Sanctuary, once the letter of credit from Delvin Mallory is revealed, the only reward from Astrid is the beginnings of Amaund Motierre’s most devious of plans, which are now being put into action. She hopes the Dragonborn has something fancy to wear; "you’re going to a wedding..."
- Note: If the seal on Amaund Motierre's letter was broken (by reading it) before giving it to her, Astrid will chide the Dragonborn for sloppiness. The next quest will start with "As I'm sure you already know from reading the letter..."
Astrid has agreed to let me see Amaund Motierre in the dungeon known as Volunruud, as commanded by the Night Mother. I'm to speak with Motierre, and find out what he wants.
Amaund Motierre has commissioned the Dark Brotherhood to kill several people, all of which will lead to the assassination of a primary target - the Emperor of Tamriel himself. I am to report this information back to Astrid.
I've given Astrid the amulet and sealed letter provided to me by Amaund Motierre. I'm to take the amulet to a fence named Delvin Mallory, in the Riften Ratway - to gain any information I can, and sell it if Mallory is willing to buy.
Delvin Mallory has informed me that the amulet provided by Amaund Motierre indicates he is a member of the Emperor's Elder Council. Mallory was willing to purchase the amulet in exchange for a letter of credit, which I must now deliver to Astrid.
After meeting with Amaund Motierre, I learned he is a member of the Elder Council, and wants the Dark Brotherhood to kill several people, all of whom lead to a primary target - the Emperor himself.
- If the Dragonborn has had earlier dealings with Delvin Mallory or the Thieves Guild, his address will be slightly different. He will mention that the Dragonborn is there on Dark Brotherhood business and he will say "you're making friends all over".
- If the first set of contracts was not completed, then Nazir will say that they need to be finished before he gives any more.
- Amaund can be talked to before the quest begins, but that doesn't technically start the quest. Astrid doesn't react to this, either. After she talks to the Dragonborn and gives the quest, she'll simply disengage dialogue and wait to be spoken to again.
This section contains bugs related to The Silence Has Been Broken. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Due to faction allegiances and crime, Rexus may attack the Dragonborn when meeting with Amaund Motierre in Volunruud. This may also be caused by the presence of a companion. The simplest way to interact with him in such a scenario is with a calm spell. Dismissing any companion before entering may also work. He may also be attacked until he is on his knees as an essential quest character, then repeatedly press the action button on him as he gets up to receive the items. Alternatively, staying close to the left door as the room is entered will keep the Dragonborn out of sight of Rexus. Amaund will still activate and walk towards you. When he asks Rexus for the items, backing out of the room and closing the door will allow the items to be received through the door.
- The items can also be received if Rexus is lured out of the small room, Volunruud exited, then reentered in while sneaking.
- If the civil war questline has been started for the Stormcloaks but the Battle for Solitude not yet finished, Astrid will not give the next quest.