|This article is about the faction The Thieves' Guild. For other uses, see The Thieves' Guild.|
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Joining
- 3.1 Recruitment
- 3.2 Member
- 3.3 Nightingale
- 3.4 Master
- 3.5 After Story
The Thieves' Guild is a faction the Dragonborn can join in Skyrim. They can be found in the Ratway beneath Riften, and are based in the Ragged Flagon, a tavern hidden in the Ratway run by the thieves. There is a secret entrance to the hideout located in the Riften graveyard, inside the only large tomb in the place.
It is unknown when the Guild was founded. But it is likely that it was founded around the same time as the city of Riften was. The Thieves' Guild has fallen on hard times recently and has been in sharp decline. Some within the Guild believe that the run of bad luck has been brought on by a curse.
The current head of the Guild is Mercer Frey, his predecessor Gallus Desidenius was killed while attending a meeting. Mercer is assisted in the running of the Guild by his right-hand man Brynjolf and the treasurer Delvin Mallory. Within the Guild, there is a group known as the Nightingales who form the core leadership of the Guild. The current master of the Guild is always a Nightingale as are his closest advisers.
- Dirge, bouncer for the Ragged Flagon
- Maul, Black-Briar liaison
- Tonilia, main fence
- Vekel the Man, proprietor of the Ragged Flagon
- Glover Mallory, former member, in Dragonborn DLC only
When you first enter Riften, you will be called out to by Maul leaning against a pillar on a building to the left of the gate. Speak with him and ask about joining the Guild. He will then tell you to seek out Brynjolf in the market during the day. Head to the market between 8am and 8pm to look for Brynjolf.
Upon speaking with Brynjolf, express interest in thievery and he will give you a little test before he accepts you. He will ask you to steal a ring from Madesi and plant it on Brand-Shei. Brynjolf will provide a distraction to make things slightly easier for you. Madesi's ring can be found in a safe under his stall. It is locked so you need to pick it or pickpocket the key from Madesi. Once you have the ring just plant it on Brand-Shei and watch the resulting arrest. Brynjolf will say that he is impressed with you and ask you to come to the Ragged Flagon.
You will need to go through the Ratway to reach the Flagon. Just head down into the Ratway and fight your way through the bandits inhabiting it until you get to the entrance of the Flagon. Before you enter, do not forget to flip a lever for to a drawbridge nearby. It will make life easier later.
Go inside and meet Brynjolf. He will send you to collect some debts from three people. Get some details on how to leverage the three from Brynjolf and head out to collect some coin. The easiest to leverage are Bersi and Haelga. Once you get two down, your reputation precedes you and the third should cave without leverage. Return to Brynjolf when you are done. He will take you to meet Mercer who will welcome you to the Guild.
Mercer will give you your next job: to go to the Goldenglow Estate and perform some industrial sabotage to send a message to the owner of the estate that the Guild does not take kindly to double-crossers.
Exit Riften and head west towards Goldenglow Estate. You can climb up the rocks near the ship docked by the house to get to the back door. A little to your left, there will be a sewer grating into the house. You have three choices now: enter through the front, pick the lock to the back door (expert) or enter through the sewer grate. Either way, once you are inside you can either head to the 2nd floor to get the key from Aringoth or just head straight to the safe and pick it (expert). Do not forget to grab the document. You can kill the guards, just not Aringoth.
Once you have broken into the safe, just head back out and towards the beehives. You might need to take down a few guards along the way if you cannot circumvent them. Or jump back in the water, swim around to the north east of the isle with the beehives and climb the rocks there. Either way use a spell or a torch to set fire to them all and either flee or kill the responding guards. Head back to Riften and report to Mercer.
Once you finish informing Mercer of what happened, Bynjolf will come find you and say that Maven Black-Briar wants to see you. Go to the Bee and Barb to find Maven on the 2nd level. She will tell you that she needs some competition taken care of and direct you to a contact in Whiterun. Head to the Bannered Mare to find Mallus who will provide you with some poison to use on Sabjorn's special reserve.
Make your way to Honningbrew Meadery to find Sabjorn worrying about an impending visit by Whiterun's Captain of the Guards. Offer to help him poison the skeever nest in the basement and he will take you up on the offer. Head down into the basement and fight your way through the skeevers and Frostbite Spiders. When you reach a large cavern, proceed with caution. A mage called Hamelyn is living here and he throws a nasty fireball. Watch your health and take him out. Then poison the nest and head upstairs to poison the special reserve as well.
Swipe the key to the Honningbrew Meadery from the wall beside the door and exit to go find Sabjorn. Get your pay and watch the resulting scene. After Sabjorn gets dragged off, speak to Mallus and get permission to ransack the living area. Head upstairs and just take whatever you want, just do not forget to pick up the promissory note. Return to Maven at the Bee and Barb when you are done and she will tell you to find Brynjolf.
Brynjolf will tell you to go meet Mercer who will ask you to go find a contact by the name of Gulum-Ei in Solitude. Before you leave, you can speak to Brynjolf to get information on Gulum-Ei. Head to Solitude's inn to find this character when you are ready. To convince him to give you the information you need to buy him off. He will ask for a crate of Firebrand Wine. Just run into the palace and pick it up, no one is watching the wine.
He will then continue to play dumb and refuse to tell you any more. Just press him until he refuses to talk to you any more and step out of sight to wait until he gets up. When you follow him, make sure he does not notice or he will stop and refuse to move. If you need to kill the guards on the way, wait until he is a distance off before killing them.
After you reach the end and confront him. He will cave quickly and spill the information to you. Return to Mercer and tell him what you know.
Mercer will now ask you to accompany him to Snow Veil Sanctum. Go there and he will be waiting for you outside the dungeon. Just follow him through to a locked door and wait for him to pick it. Continue through the dungeon killing draugr and keeping a close eye out for traps. There are quite a few tripwire traps here. Once you reach a Nordic puzzle door, Mercer will start talking again and move up to pick the door. Once the door opens you get shot and have to sit there and watch the resulting cutscene. After you wake up, speak to Karliah to continue.
Karliah will tell you that it was Mercer that betrayed the Guild and she is trying to avenge the previous master, Gallus. She gives you Gallus's Encoded Journal to translate and points you in the direction of Enthir. Go to the basement of the inn in Winterhold to find Enthir and ask him to translate the diary. He will tell you that he cannot without the notes of a famous scholar that can be found in Markarth. So head off to Markath and to the palace.
Once inside, you can either head straight up the stairs to the right to the Dwemer Museum and pick the lock to get in (expert) or you can head left to find Calcelmo working in front of an alchemy lab and an arcane enchanter. The key to his museum is on some boxes in a corner. Wait until his back is turned and swipe it. Once inside the museum, be careful of the two city guards inside. They have quite a long conversation so you can quickly sneak across to the door on the opposite side.
Once inside the Lab make your way through killing the Wizard's Guards that show up. If you want to be sneaky, you can activate traps by turning the bright red valves to kill a bunch off at once. Keep heading deeper into the dungeon until you reach the end of Calcelmo's tower. Once there follow the corridor to a large room full of paper and charcoal. Grab a roll of paper and a stick of charcoal and head through the door to find Calcelmo's notes. The moment you get a rubbing of the notes, a group of guards will show up at the entrance. They are quite tough so if you do not want to fight them, quickly drop down onto the ledge to the left and follow it around. Once they pass by underneath and the last guard takes up his post, jump down and make a sneaky run for the exit.
Return to Enthir with the notes and he will translate the journal for you.
After hearing the translation, Karliah will ask you to accompany her to the Thieves' Guild to inform the other members of Mercer's betrayal. Head down through the Ratway to the Ragged Flagon. If you remembered to lower the drawbridge, it is a simple run through. If not, you have to fight your way through again.
Just follow her as she presents her evidence to Bynjolf, Delvin and Vex. Follow them and listen to the conversation until you find out the extent of Mercer's betrayal and Byrnjolf gives you a new job to do. Go to Mercer's house in Riften and break in. Go around to the back and pick the gate (expert). At this point you will be attacked by Vlad. Dispatch him and make your way into the house. There are bandits around so just dispatch them and go into the basement. Once inside, search for Mercer's plans. Make sure to keep an eye open for Chillrend in the house.
Once you have the plans, return to Brynjolf to plan your next move.
This is a simple quest. Just speak to Karliah and she will tell you to meet her at Nightingale Hall. Do so and follow her into the hall. Just follow instructions when she tells you to and go through the motions until you are done with the quest. At the end speak to Brynjolf first then Karliah to continue.
Karliah will tell you to go to Irkngthand and hunt for Mercer. Make your way through the dungeon killing constructs and Falmer as you go. There are a few large caverns that you can choose to sneak by the Falmer or just kill them all. Make your choice and go to the end of the dungeon. There you will find Mercer who is in the process of looting the statue. He will collapse the platform under you and make Brynjolf attack Karliah so you will be alone in this fight.
Mercer will constantly disappear and reappear again after he is taken a few hits. Stand on the broken staircase on the right hand side of the room so he only has one way to come at you. Once he is dealt with, the room will start flooding. Quickly loot Mercer's body and wait for the room to fill. There is a passage in the ceiling that you can escape through once the room is submerged.
Once you are out of the place, speak to Karliah to continue.
Karliah will tell you to take the Skeleton Key to the Twilight Sepulcher. Go there and you will see the ghost of Gallus at the entrance. Speak to him and he will tell you of some unsuccessful robbers. Go find the body and pick up the journal, then read it to get some cryptic clues about the challenges ahead. Make your way through the dungeon, killing or sneaking past the Nightingale spectres when you encounter them. Once you reach a deep pit, jump in and loot the body then wait a while for the floor to lower you into the Inner Sanctum. Put the Skeleton Key into the slot and listen to Nocturnal speak and then Karliah before picking your chosen blessing.
There are a few more quests you can perform for the Guild in order to restore it to its former glory. The quests are:
To activate the first four quests, you need to do 5 Radiant quests for either Vex or Delvin in each connected city (Whiterun, Markarth, Windhelm, and Solitude respectively). The last quest is just the rest of the Guild officially recognising you as the master.