Oblivion:A Knife in the Dark

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OB-qico-DarkBrotherhood.png You must prove your worthiness to join the Brotherhood.
Quest Giver: Lucien Lachance
Location(s): Cheydinhal, Inn of Ill Omen
Next Quest: A Watery Grave
Reward: Shrouded Armor, Shrouded Hood
Fame/Infamy: Infamy +1
ID: Dark01Knife
Rufio is not the innocent man he claims to be...

Quick Walkthrough

  1. Once you've murdered an innocent, sleep in any bed in Cyrodiil (see bugs).
  2. Receive a visit from Lucien Lachance.
  3. Travel to the Inn of Ill Omen, south of the Imperial City.
  4. Confront Rufio and kill him; then sleep again in any bed.
  5. Receive another visit from Lucien and join the Dark Brotherhood.
  6. Travel to Cheydinhal and enter the abandoned house.
  7. Speak the passphrase and enter the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.
  8. Speak with Ocheeva and receive the armor of the Brotherhood.
  9. Speak with Vicente Valtieri about your first contract.

Detailed Walkthrough

Invitation Only

You may overhear a rumor spreading in Cyrodiil about the recruitment of the group of assassins known as the Dark Brotherhood: "They say that when you murder someone, the Dark Brotherhood comes to you in your sleep. It's how they recruit new members." This means that in order to become recruited by the Brotherhood, you must murder an innocent in cold blood. Once you have completed that, the cryptic message "Your killing has been observed by forces unknown..." will appear in the corner of your screen, indicating that the next time you sleep in any given location, you will be visited by a member of the Dark Brotherhood. For suggestions on potential targets to murder, see this page.

A Blood Pact

"You sleep rather soundly for a murderer."

After taking an innocent life, the next time you sleep you will be awoken to find a mysterious man to appear at the foot of your bed, whispering: "You sleep rather soundly for a murderer. That's good. You'll need a clear conscience for what I'm about to propose." He will then introduce himself as Lucien Lachance, a Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood itself.

He will then propose an opportunity to join the ranks of the Brotherhood... at a price. Responding to his proposal, he will continue to explain what must be done in order for that to happen: "On the Green Road to the north of Bravil lies the Inn of Ill Omen. There you will find a man named Rufio. Kill him, and your initiation into the Dark Brotherhood will be complete. Do this, and the next time you sleep in a location I deem secure, I will reveal myself once more, bearing the love of your new family." Lucien will hand you a personal gift, the Blade of Woe, and will elaborate on its meaning: "It is a virgin blade, and thirsts for blood. May it serve you well, as does your silence. Now, I bid you farewell. I do hope we'll meet again soon." Before he leaves however, Lucien will then send you on your way with these final words: "Your path is clear. Send Rufio to his death, and the Dark Brotherhood will embrace you as family."

Lucien will then cast a chameleon spell on himself and leave the area, allowing you to decide whether to ignore his request and never be contacted again until it is completed, or accept his request, travel to the Inn of Ill Omen, kill Rufio, and embrace your new family.

An Ill Omen for Rufio

... as Rufio prepares for eternal sleep

If you choose to accept Lucien's request, you must now travel to the Inn of Ill Omen, which is situated between the Imperial City and Bravil along the Green Road. Upon entering the inn, you may choose to speak with the inn's owner and publican, Manheim Maulhand, about Rufio. Manheim will openly tell you the location of him: "Rufio? He's an old codger. Been living here for a couple of weeks now. If you ask me, he's hiding from something. But what do I care? He pays his tab. His room is downstairs, in what I like to call the Private Quarters. Use that hatch in the floor over there. But don't expect a warm reception."

You can find the entry to the basement, immediately to your left as you enter the inn on the floor. You can usually find Rufio in the room at the very end of the corridor, either wandering about in his room or sleeping. If you initiate conversation with him, Rufio will admit killing either Claudius Arcadia's wife or daughter during a struggle during an attempted rape: "No! Please! I didn't mean to do it, you understand me? She struggled! I... I told her to just stay still, but she wouldn't listen! I had no choice!" which suggests that Rufio knew of his crimes and is far from the innocent old man he appears to be. If you choose to investigate Claudius Arcadia's house located in the Talos Plaza District in the Imperial City, you can find the remains of the Black Sacrament used against Rufio within the basement, as Claudius' retribution for him killing his wife or daughter.

The Signing of a Covenant

"What is the color of night?"

Once you have killed Rufio within the basement of the Inn of Ill Omen, Lucien will once again seek you out the next time you sleep, whispering: "So, the deed is done. How do I know this? You will find that the Dark Brotherhood knows a great many things. For you are now part of the family." He will then continue to explain: "The slaying of Rufio was the signing of a covenant. The manner of execution, your signature. Rufio's blood, the ink. As a Speaker of the Black Hand, I directly oversee a particular group of family members. You will join that group, and fulfill any contracts given. You must now go to the city of Cheydinhal, to the abandoned house near the eastern wall. Enter the basement, and attempt to open the black door. You will be asked a question. Answer thusly: "Sanguine, my Brother." You will gain entrance to the Sanctuary. Once inside, speak with Ocheeva. We must now take our leave of each other, you and I, for there is much work to be done. I'll be following... your progress. Welcome to the family."

Lucien will once again disappear, leaving you on your way to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, hidden in an abandoned house in the eastern part of Cheydinhal. When you enter the abandoned house, make your way through the basement until you encounter the black door. Activating the door will initiate the question: "What is the color of night?" Respond with the passphrase: "Sanguine, my brother." and you will be granted access into the Sanctuary and begin your new life with the Dark Brotherhood.

Welcome to the Family

"Greetings! Greetings! I am Ocheeva, mistress of this sanctuary."

Once inside the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary, you will meet your new family led by Ocheeva: "Greetings! Greetings! I am Ocheeva, mistress of this sanctuary. Lucien has told me all about you. Let me welcome you to the Dark Brotherhood! You stand in our sanctuary. May it serve as your new home, a place of comfort and security whenever the need arises. When you're ready for work, go and speak with Vicente Valtieri. He handles all assignments for the new family members. But before you go, please accept this gift from your new family. A unique set of armor, lighter than normal leather and black as the Void." She will then give you the armor of the Brotherhood: a Shrouded Hood and Shrouded Armor and will tell you to speak with Vicente Valtieri for new contracts until you prove yourself worthy. You are now directed to go and speak with Vicente Valtieri who will handle all the initial contracts at the beginning. Upon meeting him for the first time, he will remark: "Warmest greetings to you. I trust you've already spoken with Ocheeva? I am Vicente Valtieri. I provide assignments for all new family members. Please do not let my appearance... unnerve you. The needs and Tenets of the Dark Brotherhood come before my own needs as a vampire."

"Please do not let my appearance... unnerve you."

If you ask him, he will explain to you about what a contract is: "A contract is a pact one enters into with the Dark Brotherhood. They provide us with the gold, and we remove someone from existence. A contract is fulfilled by a skilled assassin such as yourself, who keeps the Dark Brotherhood's end of the bargain. So it has always been. While carrying out a contract, you may have the opportunity to earn a bonus if certain parameters are met." And if you inquire more about the bonuses offered during a contract, he will tell you: "Some contracts are straightforward. Find the target, eliminate them, then return to the Sanctuary. No time limits or complications. However, many of our clients request that their contracts be carried out in a specific manner. A certain place, a certain method of elimination. We try to honor this requests whenever possible. After all, the Dark Brotherhood's reputation has been built on providing... good service. Any Brother or Sister who can complete a contract while fulfilling a specific request will receive a valuable bonus, oftentimes a powerful magic item." Once you accept your first contract from Vicente, the quest A Watery Grave will begin.


  • Xbox360.png An achievement will be unlocked after speaking to Lucien for a second time.
  • There is an item called "Rufio's Skull" which looks the same as a regular skull, however it only exists in a cell called EmilTest, which is inaccessible in-game.
  • Apparently Lucien was originally meant to leave you the note DarkLachanceNote asking you to come to Fort Farragut for this quest but the item never appears in-game. Lucien only asks for you to come to Fort Farragut during the quest The Purification.
  • The Shrouded Armor is excellent light armor, especially for low-level characters. Its enchantments are invaluable to almost any character, as it fortifies Sneak, Light Armor, Blade, Security, and Marksman by 8 points each, or 10 points if you also equip the Shrouded Hood. Since both items have zero value, any smith will repair them for only 1 gold each.
  • You can choose to kill Lucien Lachance when you first meet him; this causes a new quest update to appear and finishes the quest, therefore resulting in the entire Dark Brotherhood questline being no longer available.
  • Once you kill Rufio you can immediately sleep in his bed to initiate the next part of the quest.


  • If you initiate the quest in the Shivering Isles, Lucien Lachance will be subject to the "I HAVE NO GREETING" glitch.
    • This bug is fixed by the Official Oblivion Patch.
    • Pc22.png The console command setstage 000224EB 10 will allow you to continue the quest as normal.

Journal Entries

A Knife in the Dark (Dark01Knife)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 While sleeping, I was visited by Lucien Lachance, a representative for the assassins guild known as the Dark Brotherhood. He said that if I wish to join his "family," I must go to the Inn of Ill Omen, find a man named Rufio, and kill him. If I simply leave Rufio alone, Lachance will never visit me again.
20 The man named Rufio is dead. The next time I sleep in a location he deems secure, Lucien Lachance will visit me once more, and complete my entrance into the Dark Brotherhood.
30 I must now go to the abandoned house in the city of Cheydinhal, and attempt to open the door in the basement. When questioned, I must answer with "Sanguine, my Brother" to gain access to the secret Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. Once inside, I should speak with Ocheeva.
40 I have gained entrance into the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. I must now speak with Ocheeva.
100 Finishes quest I have spoken with Ocheeva.
115 Finishes quest Lucien Lachance, the Dark Brotherhood's representative, has been killed. He was my link to the mysterious assassins guild, and now that link has been severed... forever.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • Pc22.png It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage Dark01Knife stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.
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