Tag Archives: The Dark Brotherhood

The Night Mother thanks you for saving the Dark Brotherhood

skyrim dark brotherhood quests overall

Well, with LEGO Lord of the Rings now completed to 100% and Borderlands 2 a real grind unless playing online with friends and farming for sweet loot, I’m digging back into Skyrim. Even without the Dawnguard and Dragonborn DLC packs–which I will get eventually–there’s still plenty for me to do despite having now logged over 110 hours on my single character of Lohgahn, the stealthy Imperial that shoots from afar with an enchanted bow first and asks questions later. Such as finally finishing up the last of the faction questlines after having become the Arch-Mage, the master of the Thieves Guild, the leader of the Companions, and general greatest hero ever to set foot in the snowy, Norse-themed realm.

I am to believe that the Dark Brotherhood quests were the most enjoyable experiences in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I remember starting that questline and eventually joining the shady circle of assassins and shifty souls, but never really getting any further than that, so I can’t say for sure. What I can say confidently is that the Dark Brotherhood quests in Skyrim have elements of fun and the potential to be darkly delightful–but are not. They play out just like every other quest in the game, and everything is over sooner than you’d expect. Yeah, you get some cool loot along the way–and a horse!–but I wasn’t in it for the loot this time. I wanted to be dark and cruel and set up these crazy puzzle-like scenarios for someone to accidentally die from. That didn’t happen. Let me present an example.

[Spoilers for the quest “To Kill an Empire” to follow…]

Posing as a famous chef known only as the Gourmet, you gain access to Castle Dour in Solitude in hopes of poisoning the Emperor. That sounds really great. You meet with another cook called Gianna, who will help you prepare a special meal for the Emperor and his friends upstairs. This is all done via dialogue options. You are making some French-named potato stew, and Gianna asks you what goes in it, ingredient by ingredient. At the end, you tell her there is one more ingredient, the Jarrin root, and in it goes. Then you follow her upstairs, watch the Emperor eat, slump over dead, and then escape the tower. Your involvement in the quest is disappointingly minimal. It could have been so much more, with you having to drop in the poison root while distracting Gianna…or something like that. Make it more puzzle-based or use a skill like persuasion. As the Dark Brotherhood member fulfilling the contract, let me fulfill the contract. That Emperor turned out to be a fake, and killing the real one is even less imaginative.

That said, the story has some nice twists to it and fantastic dialogue from creepy characters like the Night Mother, Babette, Cicero, and Astrid, but other than that–it’s a big letdown. You assassinate contracts. Sometimes you talk to them before you do that, but the end result is always the same. Overall, I guess the Thieves Guild is the most fun questline Skyrim has to offer, with a range of mission types and a really useful base full of useful merchants.

So yeah, that was that. I am somewhat interested in sprucing up the Dawnguard Sanctuary with some new furniture and features, but with a house in Whiterun and those three houses I built from the Hearthfire DLC, I don’t really need another place to stash my stuff. Just curious to see what it looks like and then move on elsewhere.

Okay, new goals for continuing through Skyrim include getting married, finding more Shout walls, and finishing up the quests I’ve acquired before picking up new ones. Yeah, I know; that last one is just wishful thinking. So wish me luck.

Searching for the Dark Brotherhood in a realm of distractions

I’m back into Skyrim for a bit, and my landlord is to blame. See, during Hurricane Sandy, we spent some time at his place since he and his wife had a generator, which meant heat and lights and entertainment to distract us all from the unknown. While we lingered away the night, he pulled up his level 75 character and floored me with just how much he’s seen and done in the game. I also think he slew a Frost Dragon in like…three sword swipes. My level 45 Lohgahn paled in comparison. The only thing I could hold above it all was that he was playing on the PS3, and I’m on the Xbox 360, and I think we all know which of those two consoles at least has working DLC for it. So, uh, yeah–take that.

But yeah. I did a wee bit of smithing–I still find that process really, really dull, no matter the rewards in the end–shot a fleeing deer in the butt with a sick killcam to boot, sold some skill books I already read, took one look at the house I bought at Lakeview Manor and realized I didn’t want to build a house, and then did some creeping through some caves.

Also, I decided that I had better just take the plunge and try and find the Dark Brotherhood with my “good” character, as I’m most likely never going to reroll a new one. And so, not knowing exactly how to do that–and I didn’t want to just start randomly assassinating nice people–I looked up a wiki to get me started. Boo, hiss–I know. However, without it, I’d have gone on another 100 hours without ever finding this one character to get the blood-covered boulder rolling. I’m thankful that the first person to be assassinated for the Dark Brotherhood is a mean, old bat. Makes the whole thing that much more easy to swallow. After that business, I got a mysterious note from a courier, and now I’m not sure what’s to happen next. Still haven’t found the Dark Brotherhood to be exact…

Oh, and I think I glitched this Achievement into popping:

Standing Stones (30G): Find 13 Standing Stones

See, I was looking for something to complete from my long list of quests, and picked one at a place I had not yet discovered. At this point, I don’t remember exactly which one it was–they all blur together in the end–but it had something to do with a wolf or wolf ghost wind thing. Mmmhmm. I’m really good with the fact. Anyways, the closest marker was a Standing Stone I’d already found, and so I figured I’d go there and take a walk. Upon fast traveling there, I unlocked this Achievement, which I don’t believe to be right, as I can surely say I found maybe six or seven at most. Oh well.

I wonder how long this spurt of playing will last, especially now that we know when the next bit of DLC will hit: Dragonborn, on December 4. And this one looks more up my alley than Dawnguard did, with strange, exotic locations that evoke the weirdness that is Morrowind. I’d still really love to see Lohgahn cross that level 50 mark, but it is just harder and harder to level up, especially now that all his main skills are capped. Regardless, stay tuned to find out if I’m worthy of being a dark assassin.