May the Best Thief Win
Quest Information
Starting Location: Imperial district Waterfront district
Starting NPC: Armand Christophe
Possible Reward(s): Thieves Guild Membership

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At the completion of the Finding the Thieves Guild quest, Armand will have proposed a contest to determine which of the three potential recruits will get to join the guild. Whoever can bring him Amantius Allectus' diary without killing him will have proved themselves worthy to follow the Gray Fox, or as Armand calls him, the "King of Thieves." To aid you in this endeavor, Armand offers to sell lockpicks for 5 gold/each.

The only clues you have indicate that the diary is somewhere in the Imperial City and that the beggars might have some additional information about its whereabouts. Lucky for you, a beggar named Puny Ancus is sleeping on a makeshift bed no more than ten feet away. For a small bribe, Puny will tell you that Amantius Allectus lives on the far east side of the Temple district. Amusei is an idiot, and won't offer you any trouble when trying to complete this task. He'll simply wander the Elven Gardens district. To beat Methredhel to the punch, though, you're going to be very quick, so fast-travel to the Temple district to get started.

When you arrive in the Temple district, head to the eastern wall, then south a bit to find the door to Amantius' home. You might actually be racing alongside Methredhel, so pick the lock as fast as you can, then sneak to the desk along the north wall to grab the diary. Once it's in your possession, Methredhel will back off and speaking to her won't offer any consolation. She claims that you stole the diary from under her and that you are a "thief." Isn't that the point?

If you didn't get to the diary in time, and Methredhel stole it ahead of you, she will gloat over her victory. However, she will not turn it in to Armand until midnight of the new day, so you'll have the opportunity to steal it back from her. Her home is in the Waterfront district, just a little to the northwest of where the meeting with Armand took place. Break into her house and grab the diary from her locked chest, then turn it in to Armand as if you found it yourself.

If you miss your chance to steal the diary from Methredhel before she turns it in, though, you're going to have to complete a second task for Christophe. This time around, Armand wants you to steal a sword from Rohssan, the man who runs A Fighting Chance in the Market district. Break into the business, sneak upstairs, and grab the sword from Rohssan's locked chest. Depending on your sneak skill, you may have to deal with his guard dog as well, but the beast shouldn't prove to be too difficult.

It doesn't matter how you complete the quest, as the outcome will always be the same. Christophe will welcome you into the guild, claiming that you now owe your loyalty to the Gray Fox. He will also detail three rules you must abide by to make it in the Thieves Guild:
  • Never steal from another member of the Thieves Guild
  • Never kill anyone on the job aside from animals or monsters
  • Don't steal from the poor as the peasants and beggars are under the personal protection of the Gray Fox
Breaking any of these three rules means expulsion from the Thieves Guild. If you commit a murder, you must pay a blood price to rejoin the guild. If you steal from a member, you must pay a fine. This payment can be made to any guild Doyen.

You've now earned the right to utilize an entry-level fence for the Thieves Guild to sell off any stolen items you might have in your possession. His name is Ongar the Fence and he lives in city of Bruma. You've also earned the right to have Christophe "fix" the bounty that's been placed on your head. No matter how much crime you've committed, Armand can have it wiped clean if you simply pay him half of what it would normally cost you.

Before you can inquire about a "special job" from Armand, you must obtain more experience. To do so, you'll have to sell 50 Gold worth of stolen merchandise to Ongar the Fence. This will begin the Independent Thievery quest.