Dark Brotherhood Quest: To Kill an Empire

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You'll receive this quest from Festus Krex in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary at the conclusion of the quest Recipe for Disaster.


Festus will direct you to Astrid, who will tell you that it's finally time to kill the Emperor. All you'll need to do is travel to Castle Dour in Solitude, pose as the Gourmet, and then poison the Emperor. To help you out, Astrid will give you deadly Jarrin Root -- "one taste will lead to nearly instant death" -- and she'll inform you that she's arranged for your escape using the upper bridge from the castle.

In Solitude, you'll need to talk to Commander Maro outside the Emperor's Tower (Exit A). When you show him the Gourmet's Writ of Passage, he'll allow you to enter. Inside the tower, if you take the hallway on your left (on the eastern side), then you'll arrive at the kitchen, where you'll find Gianna stirring a pot (#3).

When you talk to Gianna, she'll be excited to see you, but she'll insist that you put on a Chef's Hat before proceeding. You'll find some Chef's Hats in the shelves to the east (#4). Once you're looking like a proper chef, Gianna will tell you that the Emperor has requested Potage le Magnifique, and she'll start quizzing you for ingredients. It won't make any difference how you answer, or if you answer at all, so choose whichever dialogue options look the best. At the end, Gianna will ask if you're ready, and that's when you'll be able to add the Jarrin Root. If you decline the opportunity, then you'll have to kill the Emperor (and probably some of his guards) the old fashioned way, which will make your task more difficult.

Once you've completed the Potage le Magnifique, Gianna will carry it up to the dining hall (#3), and she'll present it to the Emperor. No matter what ingredients you added, the Emperor will pronounce the meal "marvelous" and "delicious" -- and then promptly die. At that point his guards will start hunting for you, so for an easier escape, you should be standing right next to the exit to the bridge (Exit B) when the Emperor starts eating.

Note: You'll find Emperor's Robes on the corpse of the Emperor.

About halfway across the bridge (#5), you'll be stopped by Commander Maro and a few guards. Maro will inform you that somebody from the Brotherhood struck a deal with him -- giving information about you and the plot in exchange for the Brotherhood's continued existence -- and he'll gloat that you killed one of the Emperor's "insufferable" decoys instead of the real thing. Maro will then announce that he has no intention of following the deal; because of what you did to his son, he plans to kill every last Brotherhood assassin, starting with you. Conveniently, Maro will then leave, and you'll only have to face his guards.

To complete the quest, you'll need to return to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. You won't be allowed to fast travel there directly; instead you'll have to fast travel to someplace nearby, such as Falkreath, and then walk the rest of the way. When you reach the sanctuary, you'll find Maro's forces already there (and Festus pinned to a tree with arrows), and the quest will come to an end.

1 - Book (Upper Level)

On the table here you'll find the book Catalogue of Weapon Enchantments, which will increase your Enchanting skill by 1.

2 - Dining Hall Door Door (Upper Level)

You won't be able to go through this door until you've finished cooking the Emperor's meal.

3 - Gianna (Lower Level) / Dining Hall (Upper Level)

4 - Shelf (Lower Level)

  1. Entrance to the Emperor's Tower.
  2. Entrance to the bridge.
  3. World exit.




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