Skyrim Special Edition

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Commander Shrekard

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About this mod

This mod allows the player to take a more politically neutral role in destroying the Dark Brotherhood, while also allowing players the chance to obtain all the unique loot they normally miss out on.

Permissions and credits
Have you ever been disappointed that your righteous hero misses out on so many unique treasures of the Dark Brotherhood? Are you a loyal Son/Daughter of Skyrim who can't stand having to work with the Penitus Oculatus just to destroy a blight on your homeland? Or have you simply had your immersion broken when a Stormcloak guard tells you to report directly to Commander Maro, an Imperial agent? Well, this mod should cater to all of your tastes!

How it works:
This mod overhauls the vanilla Destroy the Dark Brotherhood quest. The quest plays out normally until you have to report Astrid's death to a guard. Instead of reporting you to Commander Maro, they give you a paltry reward of 200 coins. However, after reporting Astrid's death, players will eventually receive a note from a courier. This note asks you to meet a new NPC.
This new NPC has a personal grudge against the Brotherhood and dedicated his life to eradicating them. Old and frail, and having heard of your deed in the defeat of Astrid, he employs you to do the dirty work.
He first asks you to track down the jester Cicero to beat the Sanctuary's passphrase out of him.
At this point the quest plays out the same, but with a few differences. Festus and Gabriella will now hold the Darkstalker's Band and Firiniel's End, respectively. Babette is also here and killable, though technically optional. If you do kill her, you'll get the Jarrin Root. She doesn't fight back unless you hit her, she just kind of stands there to watch, which I think makes sense since she's still technically a child and not very physically adept.
Once you report back to the NPC, he'll thank you for realizing his life's goal and gives you Tumbler's Bane, found during his own efforts to destroy the Brotherhood.
And that's the end. It's not too complicated, maybe a bit cliche, but I think it will be useful for roleplayers who may not like the other popular alternative Penitus Oculatus that forces players to join an Imperial aligned faction. Plus you get the quest exclusive items you normally miss out on.

How to obtain the other items:
  • Emperor's Robes/Gilded Wristguards: Found on the Brinehammer, which has been rebranded as a decoy boat for the emperor, with some added backstory found in notes on some bodies. These can be obtained at any time, which means you can obtain duplicates, but these are neither powerful nor expensive, so I'm ok with it. The owner of the Winking Skeever hints where you can find it.
  • Ancient Shrouded Armor: Found where it normally is at Hag's End, enabled as soon as Astrid has been killed.
  • Vittoria's Wedding Garb: If the player pays a visit to the dungeons of Solitude, they'll notice a new prisoner there. He is a follower of Sanguine who stripped the bride at her own wedding. If the player agrees to pay his fine of 350 septims, he'll tell them where he stashed the items. (bonus points if you get the reference)
  • Jeweled Amulet: After destroying the brotherhood and reporting it to the NPC, the player receives another note for someone to congratulate the player, but secretly in Volunruud. It turns out to be Motierre, who is very upset to have his goal ruined. You'll have to kill him while dealing with a significantly buffed Rexus (he's now level 30 with steel plate armor). Be careful.
  • Muiri's Ring/Uncommon Taste - Signed: Both are found near the respective owner's beds. Oddly enough both happen to reside in Markarth.
  • Aegisbane: Actually available in vanilla. You just need to kill Alain Dufont. He's there even if you don't start the contract on him.
  • Windshear: Found on a smaller piece of ice near the icebergs north of Solitude. I recommend following the coast on the docks, then continuing north. It'll be the set of icebergs directly across from the natural arch of Solitude. Windshear itself is found on a corpse, along with a journal explaining how it ended up there. It'll only show up if you finish the Destroy quest.  The owner of the Winking Skeever hints where you can find it.

What can not be obtained:
  • Olava's Token 
  • Gourmet's Writ of Passage
  • Shadowmere
The items aren't special and don't really make sense to get, so I keep them unobtainable. As for Shadowmere, I don't see a logical way (at least for me) to obtain the horse when it's only given to Brotherhood members. There are mods out there such as Destroy the Dark Brotherhood and Acquire Shadowmere that are compatible though.

  • Fuz Ro D-oh: For silent voices
  • Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch - This mod now forwards changes from that mod and uses it as a requirement. If this bothers you, you can technically remove it as a master in SSEEdit, but you should really be using the Unofficial patch anyway.

Known Bugs/Issues:
  • When reading the two notes, you can technically spawn in the relevant NPC while you're in the same area. They just sort of pop into existence.
  • Cicero and Motierre are essential until the relevant stage in the quest is met. I may change a few things, add a couple of stages reflecting the death of Cicero being early, but for now, the mod works, which was my first goal. They are, however, not able to incur bounties via attacking them.
  • When receiving the two notes, I don't have any unique courier dialogue to go with them. You may get them at the same time as other items that DO have dialogue. You still get the note from my mod, just check your inventory.
I tried my best to bug test and such, but things do fall through the cracks, so let me know if you find any bugs yourself.

  • Better Quest Objectives breaks some of the scripts in this mod. Simply load this mod after the main Better Quest Objectives esp
  • Mods such as WICO that edit the base IDs of NPCs will mess with Rexus. Just load mine after, or use a character overhaul consisting only of new textures and meshes and no ID edits.
  • I edited the BretonRaceChildVampire race to make Babette killable. This should have little impact but be wary of that if any mod you have happens to use that race.
This mod should be fairly compatible with anything as long as it does not edit the Destroy the Dark Brotherhood quest. I loaded it fairly high in my load order with little issue, so there hopefully should be little issue.

Where do I find X item?
Be sure you read the description to see where an item is, and under what conditions it spawns.

Will this mod be safe if I join the Dark Brotherhood?
Yes. Most edits are contained within the Destroy quest and cells, so if you join the Brotherhood, besides some extra items being there, everything will work normally. If you're definitely planning to join the Brotherhood, I would just skip this mod and save a plugin slot.

Why do we talk to some random NPC now? I want to get all your items but do it through Commander Maro.
Then by all means, try out the mod named Penitus Oculatus. It does exactly what you want. Mine is meant to give the player a more neutral path through the Destroy quest while also giving them access to all the items they normally miss out on. Even if you're an Imperial aligned player, you can appreciate this mod.
However, creative writing and ideas aren't always my strong suit. The framework is here, so if you have suggestions feel free to state them.

Where the hell is Cicero?
He's somewhere on the road to Falkreath. Find his cart and you'll know he's between that and Falkreath.
If you really must know:

Do I have to start a new game for this mod?
Possibly. In theory it should be fine as long as you haven't started the "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood" quest, but let me know if anything happens.

Special Thanks:
A big thank you goes to Nexus user GideonAssent07. They came up with the idea to put an emperor decoy on the Brinehammer, and they also helped get the ideas flowing for how to obtain Windshear. Without them, I might have come up with some less interesting ideas or taken longer to get this mod finished, so I definitely appreciate the help.

Shill Section:
Also consider checking out my other mod:
Destroy the Thieves Guild - Special Edition - Brings the often requested feature of destroying the Thieves Guild to SE, built from the ground up, and without excess features. Also allows players to collect loot they would normally miss out on while ignoring the guild.
The Master Trainer - Gives the player a one-stop-shop for all their training needs, to bypass some faction locked master trainers.