Almost eleven years since its release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is still one of the most iconic video games to date.
Skyrim gives its players almost complete freedom, but like many others, I find myself returning to a certain quest line over and over again. Even in a fantastic world where dragons rule the sky, I am always called back to Tamriel’s dingy abdomen to tread the worn path of blood, guts, and betrayal: the dark brotherhood.
While it may seem like an old hat to become an e-killer, Skyrim‘s pathetic group of undeniably charming merry killers deserves a reunion.
The Dark Brotherhood is an elite faction of assassins appearing in each of the top five Oldest rolls game. Like everything else in the series, the history of the Brotherhood has deep roots. NPCs whisper about a bloodthirsty group lurking in the shadows, relentlessly slaughtering anyone unlucky enough to become a target.
Despite the rumors, The Dark Brotherhood is more than just a group of greedy contract killers, but a deeply religious and organized faction. Led by their deity, the Fear father Sithisand his mummified bride, The night motherThe fraternity adheres to a strict moral code called The five principles. Without these principles, the dark brotherhood cannot exist – or at least it can should not.
The guild makes a strong first impression by ceremoniously kidnapping Dragonborn (a feat in itself, as the player’s character is the most powerful person in Tamriel at this point in the game) and ordering them to execute one of the hooded victims kneeling in front of them. After a satisfying amount of blood has been shed, Dragonborn is invited to join the legendary group of assassins.
[NOTE: To the Skyrim sticklers, no, this technically isn’t the beginning of the Dark Brotherhood quest line, but it’s the first time the player meets any of the members. Don’t come for me please.]
Stepping into the faction’s dilapidated headquarters, the Falkreath Sanctuary, it becomes quite clear that Dark Brotherhood is no longer the same powerful organization that struck fear into the hearts of Tamriel’s citizens in previous installations of the series. Now they are the last of their kind.
“Silence, my brother”
In the 200 years between the events of the previous game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivionand Skyrim, Dark Brotherhood was almost completely wiped out, leaving the few remaining members to pick up the pieces without success. Under the guidance of their leader, Astrid, the members of the Falkreath Sanctuary have turned their backs on Sithis, The Night Mother, and The Five Tenets.
“IN Skyrim, we dive into some of the cultural stuff, we deal with marginalized groups, so the stories throughout the game were deeper in terms of the battles each faction had, ”says Emil Pagliarulo, the game’s senior designer and writer. “The Dark Brotherhood in Oblivion [is] really powerful, so I would look at Dark Brotherhood as: ‘What can I do that is completely different?’