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Dark Brotherhood
Recipe for Disaster
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The Cure for Madness
Quest Giver
Festus Krex
Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Understone Keep
Nightgate Inn
Gold.png scaled to level
e.g. 1500 Gold.png at L68
Nightweaver's Band (bonus)
Followed by
To Kill an Empire
Quest Objectives


Forcing the Emperor to visit Skyrim, then undermining his security, the next part of Amaund Motierre's insidious plan to assassinate the Emperor kicks in.

To get close to the Emperor the Dragonborn needs to impersonate the Emperor's personal cook, the so-called Gourmet. The trouble is that no one (except for the now dead Gaius Maro) knows who the Gourmet is.

Report to Festus Krex[]

Festus Krex has looked into the matter and has found an interesting book, a signed copy of Uncommon Taste, dedicated to another cook named Anton Virane. So it will be up to the Dragonborn to muscle some information out the Gourmet's friend and thus reveal the Gourmet's identity. In the next step the Gourmet's Writ of Passage will need to be obtained. Needless to say the Gourmet will not survive the procedure, and there will be a bonus for hiding the Gourmet's body.

As with all such missions the other members of the Dark Brotherhood have some tips and comments to share with the Dragonborn:

Babette would like the Gourmet not to be killed, preferring a less bland world. Nazir thinks that Virane will not be much of a problem, but getting detected by the Markarth guard would be. Veezara shares the latter view. Arnbjorn, who was just saved from Cicero by the Dragonborn, does not think the latter needs any tips at all. Gabriella suggest disposing of any body in water, i.e. by dropping them in a pool, lake or the sea.

Question Anton Virane[]

Travel to the Understone Keep in Markarth and visit the Jarl's kitchen there. At first Anton Virane will be quite headstrong and bravely keep information about his friend the Gourmet to himself, but some intimidation mentioning the Dark Brotherhood quickly makes him talk: the Gourmet is none other than the Orc Balagog gro-Nolob who can be found at the Nightgate Inn.

Kill Anton Virane[]

Having attained the required information, the Dragonborn is (apparently) forced to kill Anton Virane, as Festus Krex mentioned: "avoiding loose ends and all that". But this should be done with a degree of stealth.

Kill Balagog gro-Nolob[]

Then travel to the Nightgate Inn and wait for Balagog gro-Nolob to take in the beauty of the nearby lake on the roofed-over mooring, no pesky witnesses here. Sneak, and then one-shot-kill the Orc with an arrow for a clean kill.

(Optional) Drag Balagog's body to a hiding place[]

The impact should usually push the Orc into the lake, thus fulfilling the bonus criterion of hiding his body. Otherwise the body will need to be dragged into the lake.

Take the Writ of Passage[]

Pick up the all important Gourmet's Writ of Passage from the body before leaving though.

Report back to Festus Krex[]

Return to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary and report back to Festus Krex. The old coot will be delighted with the Dragonborn's work and will reward with 1500 Gold.png, and his personal Nightweaver's Band ring, should the bonus criterion also have been met.

And so the stage is set to take on the Emperor...