Skyrim: How to Join the Dark Brotherhood

Wondering how to join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim to become a master assassin? Here's what you need to do.

The Dark Brotherhood is a secret society that dates all the way back to the first Elder Scrolls game, Arena, and Skyrim players can join it if they so choose. It's not the most difficult faction to join, but if you want to be an assassin, you need to know how to do so.

This Skyrim guide will tell you everything you need to know if you've ever wanted to know how to join the Dark Brotherhood and become a master assassin.

How to Join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim

Before you can join this faction, you will need to find Aventus Aretino, a Nord child in Windhelm performing the Black Sacrament, a ritual used to contact the Dark Brotherhood.

During your travels, rumors of Aretino will circulate around Skyrim. You may hear it from a number of different NPCs, including guards and innkeepers.

If you're having trouble finding an NPC who will tell you about him, you can speak with Maul in Riften next to the city entrance; if he's not there, it's possible he's in the Mistveil Keep. You will need to pay him to get information regarding the Dark Brotherhood. Similarly, the children in the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften will often talk about Aretino.

When you eventually catch word of his antics, the miscellaneous objective "Talk to Aventus Aretino" will automatically begin.

You can now go to Windhelm to speak with Aretino in his home. You will find him kneeling over a skeleton performing a ritual to contact the Dark Brotherhood. He will assume his ritual was a success and that you are an assassin who was sent to him.

When you speak with him, you will be given the "Innocence Lost" quest, one of Skyrim's darkest quests.

Aventus Aretino kneeling over human bones.

To complete this quest and join the Dark Brotherhood, you must kill Grelod the Kind, the old woman who operates the Honorhall Orphanage, who Aretino claims to be a horrible person. Upon killing her, the orphans will cheer. Return to Aretino and let him know that the deed is done to complete the quest.

With that finished, you will now need to wait 24 hours before you can be contacted by the Dark Brotherhood. After that time, sleep in a bed, and when you awake, you will find that you have been abducted by the Brotherhood and taken to a strange shack.

In this shack, there will be a Dark Brotherhood assassin named Astrid and three hostages. To join the Brotherhood, simply kill one of the hostages, and you will be immediately invited into the feared secret society. Accept the invitation, and you are in.

If you attack and kill Astrid, you'll start a questline to destroy the Dark Brotherhood, so choose wisely!

Three hooded prisoners in a wooden shack.

And that's how you join the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. Now you have access to one of the most exciting questlines in the game, as well as new armor and weapons. Well, unless you choose to destroy the Dark Brotherhood, that is. Either way, if you're looking for more tips and tricks for Skyrim, consider checking out our guides page


Published Nov. 3rd 2021

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