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Skyrim:The Cure for Madness

< Skyrim: Quests: Dark Brotherhood
SR-qico-Dark Brotherhood.png
Confront the traitor among the Dark Brotherhood.
Quest Giver: Gabriella
Location(s): Dawnstar Sanctuary
Prerequisite Quest: Breaching Security
Next Quest: Recipe For Disaster
Reward: Shadowmere
ID: DB07
Suggested Level: 8
Arnbjorn injured outside the Dawnstar Sanctuary

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to Astrid.
  2. Find Cicero's journal and take it to Astrid.
  3. Behold Astrid's horse, Shadowmere.
  4. Travel to the abandoned Brotherhood sanctuary outside Dawnstar.
  5. Choose to either kill or spare Cicero.
  6. Return to Astrid.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit


Cicero feigning injury deep inside the Dawnstar Sanctuary

When you return from completing the Breaching Security contract, Gabriella will inform you that there was an incident with Cicero and directs you to discuss it with Astrid. Astrid reveals that Cicero attempted to murder her and the other members of the Dark Brotherhood, grievously wounding Veezara in the process. Arnbjorn pursued Cicero as he fled from the sanctuary. She asks you to search Cicero's room for clues as to his whereabouts. Inside the room you find five journals, with the final journal indicating that Cicero might be headed for the long-abandoned sanctuary outside Dawnstar. Astrid will grant you use of her horse, Shadowmere. Immediately outside the sanctuary he will rise from the black, bubbling liquid. Mount him if you wish, and head to Dawnstar's abandoned Brotherhood sanctuary.

Dawnstar SanctuaryEdit

You will find an injured Arnbjorn outside the sanctuary. He reveals that he and Cicero seriously wounded each other before Cicero escaped into the safety of the sanctuary and instructs you to "just follow the blood". A pass phrase is needed to enter the sanctuary; it can be found in the final volume of Cicero's journal ("Innocence, my brother"). Once inside, Cicero will begin to speak to you, taunting, as you search for him. At this point, summon Lucien Lachance for a bit more on the story. He strongly suggests that the Dread Father would not want you to kill Cicero. While the sanctuary is abandoned, it is not unoccupied. It is inhabited by ghosts of the previous Dark Brotherhood residents, who will attack on sight. The elusive Udefrykte also resides in one of the sanctuary's caves; it may be advisable to simply sneak by the troll when discovered. As you make your way along, the second room is a circular chamber with another room below and a bridge. The spike trap can be avoided by avoiding the bridge and crawling along the left-hand wall; there is enough of a ledge to allow this. Across the bridge at the foot of the stairs, you will find two skill books: Fire and Darkness and The Marksmanship Lesson.

Keeper of The Old WaysEdit

At the end, you will find Cicero curled up in a fetal position, apparently injured. Cicero cautions you that the Night Mother will not be happy if you kill him. At this point it is your choice whether to kill him or not. If you attack him he leaps to his feet, obviously unhurt, and gleefully screams "Haha! Behold the final trick of the Fool of Hearts! You think me near death? Haha! Think again." If you decide not to kill him, he returns to serve and tend to the Night Mother after you complete Hail Sithis!. He will also be a follower. Whatever your decision, the quest is now complete. Speak to Astrid to begin your next mission.


  • While killing the ghosts under the bridge, there is a ghost that can be pickpocketed for a bow and a large amount of arrows.
  • It is possible to pick up the weapons used by the ghosts, but they are difficult to find and disappear very quickly. The weapons are dropped in the same manner as any other NPC's weapon when killed. Since you only have a couple of seconds, it may be easier to tap the action button repeatedly and follow the weapon as it falls out of the ghost's hand.
  • While the quest is active, Lucien Lachance will continue his dialogue on "the jester" and the Dread Father, even if you are nowhere near the Dawnstar Sanctuary.
  • If you spare Cicero by leaving the Sanctuary, and then immediately re-enter, Cicero will already have disappeared.


  • Sometimes, when you come back after completing the Breaching Security quest, Astrid will only say "You're back. Good. You'll want to hear this."
  • If you attempt to pickpocket Cicero while he is lying on the floor and you fail, he will get up and start attacking you.
  • If you strike Cicero while he is saying "Do what you will... In the end, Sithis will judge us both", he will start to jump up and attack you, but then lay back down to finish his sentence, and will stay there after he finishes talking. ?
  • If you attack Cicero with Lightning Bolt, he will stand up when shocked, then lie back down again, repeating this each time you shock him. He will not attack you, even after he says "Haha! Behold the final trick of the Fool of Hearts! You think me near death? Haha! Think again."
    • This also appears to work with a crossbowDG.
  • If you raise Cicero from the dead before you report back to Astrid, she won't talk and you will never be able to finish the quest even if you kill your Cicero zombie. Cicero's armor will respawn on your Cicero zombie every time you go through a loading screen, meaning you can loot an infinite set of Cicero's armor.
  • There is a glitch where the barred door outside Cicero's chamber will open and still show the barred door message. If you walk up to it and jump onto the bar you can skip Udefrykte.
  • If you have a follower with you and you enter the tomb, he or she will not follow you once inside or once you leave. You must reenter the sanctuary if your follower does not follow you out. Once you enter, your follower will follow you once again. ?
    • Not sure if this has been fixed, however my follower worked properly both inside the sanctuary and left with me.
  • On rare occasions, you will hear the animation and see the bubbles, yet Shadowmere will not appear.
    • To fix this, load to a previous save, or during Death Incarnate, coax enemies near the pool to lure Shadowmere out via his aggressiveness. You can also try fast traveling to all the stables until you see Shadowmere for a split second afterwards, and then fast travel back to the sanctuary's pool to see if he has been untrapped.
    •   Open the console and enter prid 0009ccd8 followed by enable and then moveto player and Shadowmere should appear in the pool as normal
  • Cicero's journals may fail to load when entering the sanctuary. ?
    • Reloading an earlier save may fix this.
  • Cicero does not leave the Falkreath Sanctuary before you enter and will stand in his room with only one dialogue option to tell you about himself. ?
    • If Gabriella does not meet you at the entrance walk out and walk back into the Sanctuary.
  • If there is a hostile creature near the sanctuary, Arnbjorn may make a spontaneous recovery and try to participate in the combat. He will return to his expected position afterwards. ?
  • Upon entering the Dawnstar Sanctuary the Black Door will not spawn trapping you inside.
    • Save the game, then reload any earlier save outside of the sanctuary, and then load your latest save and the door should spawn. ?

Quest StagesEdit

The Cure for Madness (DB07)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Upon my return to the Sanctuary, I was informed by Gabriella that there was some kind of "incident" with Cicero. I need to speak to Astrid to find out what happened.
Objective 10: Talk to Astrid
15 While I was away, Cicero went berserk and tried to kill Astrid. He fled the Sanctuary, with Arnbjorn in pursuit. I need to locate them both, and then kill Cicero.
Objective 15: Search Cicero's room
Objective 17: Read Cicero's diary
Objective 19: Talk to Astrid
Objective 666: Behold Shadowmere
Objective 25: Talk to Arnbjorn
Objective 30: Enter the Dawnstar Sanctuary
Objective 40: Kill Cicero
Objective 50: Kill Cicero, or leave the Sanctuary
Objective 60: Report back to Astrid
200 Finishes quest  After learning that Cicero went berserk and tried to kill Astrid, I was ordered to go to the Dawnstar Sanctuary, find him, and end his life. The matter has now been resolved.
Objective 20: Locate Arnbjorn
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 255.
  • 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 DB07 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 DB07.

Prev: Breaching Security Up: Dark Brotherhood Next: Recipe for Disaster