The Dark Brotherhood Guild In Morrowind - Guide to Guilds & Factions in The World of Morrowind
A look at the ancient Dunmer guild of assassins, which isn’t playable but has a deep history within the game.
The Dark Brotherhood
The Dark Brotherhood is a guild of killers, sometimes dark mages who use their arcane knowledge for their illegal activities. They are hired hands, often working in the shadows and contracted by powerful political figures to assassinate rivals or important players in Vvardenfell. The Brotherhood isn’t a joinable guild although they do play a part in the Elder Scrolls III, and later a much bigger part in the sequel ‘Oblivion’. They originally stemmed from the ‘Morag Tong’ guild which is talked about further on in the series. The Dark Brotherhood is still considered an Imperial guild because of its ancient lineage, although its activities are illegal and frowned upon.
Those who belong to the Brotherhood must adhere to an oath, known as the five tenets, which shows that despite their intrinsic criminal nature they follow a code of honour. The five rules mainly concentrate upon respect for the highest faction members, fellow brothers and to avoid invoking the wrath of Sithis; the latter is a chaotic entity in its primordial state and the patron of the guild.
Dark Brotherhood members mainly reside in the Black Marshes, and some Argonians are considered highly respected members possessing ‘natural talents’. Other areas where members might be encountered are Balmora, Ald Sotha or the St.Olms Underworks. It is advised to be careful when venturing in these grounds or when speaking with members of the Brotherhood.
The primary attributes favoured by this guild are Agility and Speed. Skills are Acrobatics, Marksman skills, Short Blade and some Alchemy although the latter is often omitted. The most important skills in the guild are related to dealing quick blows and moving speedily and unimpeded; therefore characters who are good archers or swift with the Short Blade is what you are likely to encounter.
The highest ranked member is called ‘The Night Mother’, who often chooses initiates or potential assassins by leaving invitations without being seen. The Black Hand come directly after the Night Mother and are considered a council formed by Listeners and Speakers, which are other ranks. The Listener receives instructions from the Night Mother and communicates to the Speaker. Other ranks are Murderer, Slayer, Eliminator and Assassin, mostly unsavoury characters which you wouldn’t want to meet.