Open main menu

UESPWiki β

Skyrim:Hired Muscle

Skyrim: Quests: Companions: Radiant
This page is currently being rewritten as part of the Skyrim Quest Redesign Project.
The page is being rewritten and checked in several stages. All users are welcome to make changes to the page. If you make a change that is relevant to the project, please update this template accordingly, and make sure you have observed the project guidelines.
Walkthrough: written by multiple users, not checked
Reward: written by Alfwyn, not checked
Fulfill a contract for the Companions to bring a citizen back in line.
Quest Giver: Farkas
Location(s): Whiterun, Jorrvaskr
Prerequisite Quest: Take Up Arms
Reward: Leveled Gold
ID: CR04
"I just need you to go out there, look tough, and scare this milk drinker into submission."

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to the assigned target.
  2. Brawl with them to send a message, but don't kill them.
  3. Return to Farkas.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

Note: it is best to complete this quest as soon as possible after receiving it, because many of the quest targets can possibly die (either through random or scripted events), at which point it becomes impossible to ever complete the quest or take any other jobs for the Companions.

Farkas will send you to rough up one of over 400 different NPCs, encompassing nearly every citizen in Skyrim. The NPC will be located in a hold that you have previously visited, so early in the game you may only be given NPCs living in Whiterun Hold, but later in the game there are many more possible options. The NPC may live in a city, town, or a remote settlement.

Once you have traveled to the target's location, talk to them and select the dialogue option to brawl with them. It is best to start the brawl in an area with as few other NPCs as possible. In particular, it is best to have any follower wait in a different room. You may not use any weapons, magic, or shouts during a brawl (but using spells such as Fear or Oakflesh before the fight is permissible). If anyone else becomes hostile as a result of your brawling, you should be able to run to a guard and yield, clearing any hostility.

If you kill the target, you will still complete the quest. The quest is marked as "Failed" in your quest journal, but it is no longer active, and you will be allowed to pursue other jobs in the Companions questline. Farkas will not be pleased, and you will receive a decreased amount of gold for your reward.

Return to Farkas for a gold reward.


Levels Reward USLEEP Reward
1-9 100 100
10-19 150 150
20-29 300 200
30-39 300 250
40+ 300 300
Level is based on when the player completed the previous quest (or level one for the first quest), not the player's level when receiving the quest or its reward.
The reward amounts for radiant Companions quests do not progress as intended.


  • If Dragonborn is installed, some radiant locations may be on Solstheim. If you are in Skyrim, you will not receive a quest marker pointing you to the quest location, but must travel to Solstheim first (at which point any quest markers you have to quests in Skyrim will disappear).
  • If your target is someone you can fight for money, you can collect a reward from them after the fight, even if you've already won a bet with them previously.
  • If your target is someone you can brawl for another quest (such as Mikael), winning a brawl will complete the objective for both quests simultaneously.
  • There is a silent Intimidate check against the target as part of the quest's startup conditions. If it succeeds, you won't get the quest.


  • When you should "Return to Farkas", he doesn't give you the option to complete the quest. ?
    • Check whether you have quests from other Companions Council members and try completing those first. E.g. "Stealing Plans" from Aela will hinder you from completing "Hired Muscle".
  • If one of the targets dies before you get the quest, you can no longer finish the quest or take any other jobs. ?
    • You can reload a save before taking the contract.
    • PC Type Setstage cr04 20 into the console.
  • Some targets reside in locations that require you to trespass. In these cases, your target's dialogue will constantly loop "You're not supposed to be in here" and not allow you to initiate the brawl, rendering the quest impossible to complete correctly. ?
    • Assault the target and then run to a non-trespassing location out in public, where the target will follow you. You can then yield by sheathing weapons, calm the target by using the Voice of the Emperor power, pay the fine for assault, or go to jail and hurry back to the target.
    • PC Use the console commands prid and your target's RefID, then movetoplayer to move the target to you, and the brawl can be initiated without committing a crime.
    • You may clear the quest from your active quest list by killing the target and thus failing the quest. After killing the target, return to Farkas and he will give you a lesser amount of gold for your payment before allowing you to take another job.
  • It is also possible to get a target that has disappeared from the game. For instance, Atar after you have convinced him to leave. ?
  • Farkas may be selected as the target of the quest, which will result in the game telling you to leave and then re-enter Jorrvaskr in an unending loop. ? [verification needed — Is this true?]
    • PC Typing Setstage cr04 20 into the console will allow you to skip the intimidation step and complete the quest.
  • If the quest target doesn't have conversation topics then there will be no option to start a brawl and the quest won't be completeable. ?
  • If you wear the Ebony Mail, have a companion, a dragon decides to attack the settlement, and the settlement is in the Whiterun hold the target can end up dead, and the guards will become hostile, and continue to attack you. The Companions will also become hostile. Reloading the game will cause all the Companion NPCs to break. ?
    • You can escape combat with the guards and un-equip the Ebony Mail, then return to the settlement and pay the fine, or go to jail, but only if you haven't reloaded the game.

Quest StagesEdit

Hired Muscle (CR04)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 <Alias=Brute> has been causing trouble for someone around <Alias=BruteTown>. I need to rough <Alias.PronounObj=Brute> up to remind <Alias.PronounObj=Brute> of <Alias.PronounPosObj=Brute> obligations.
Objective 10: Intimidate <Alias=Brute> in <Alias=BruteTown>
20 <Alias=Brute> won't be causing as much trouble for <Alias=BruteTown>.
Objective 20: Return to Farkas
30 I got carried away and killed <Alias=Brute>.
Objective 20: Return to Farkas
40 <Alias=Brute> was killed, through no fault of my own.
Objective 20: Return to Farkas
100 Finishes quest☑
105 Fails quest☒
250 Fails quest☒
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 200.
* Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • 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 any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • 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.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage CR04 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, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest CR04.