Dark Brotherhood

Online:Astara Caerellius

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Astara Caerellius
Location Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
Race Imperial Gender Female
Reaction Friendly
Other Information
Faction(s) Dark Brotherhood
Astara Caerellius

Astara Caerellius is the Imperial Matron of the Dark Brotherhood in the Gold Coast. You will meet Astara inside the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary after you have carried out the first contract for the Brotherhood. As you climb the ranks of the Brotherhood, Astara will give you several assignments to fulfil, and you can speak to her regarding various Brotherhood-related topics. Astara appears strict, sometimes harsh, and often likes to emphasize that this is her role as the Matron.

Related Quests[edit]

Quest-Related Dialogue[edit]

Signed in Blood[edit]

When you have gained access to the Sanctuary, Astara will be waiting to speak to you, saying, "You must be the new Initiate. The Speaker sent word that you were on your way. I'm the Matron of this Sanctuary. Obey me without question and I'm certain we'll get along just fine."

Of course, Matron.
"And this is for you—shrouded armor, the uniform of the Dark Brotherhood. You're one of the family now. You might as well look the part.
Perform well and you'll rise in the ranks of the Brotherhood. I'm sure you'll make us all proud."

Welcome Home[edit]

After you completed Signed in Blood, speak to Astara who will propose that you get to know other members of the Brotherhood:

"This Sanctuary shall serve as a safe haven, a place where you and your Brothers and Sisters can relax between contracts and other duties. In time, you will come to consider it your home."
My Brothers and Sisters?
"We are all Brothers and Sisters, children of the Night Mother and our Dread Father. Even lone assassins need a family.
Introduce yourself to the others. They can provide advice and information, even support for your more challenging contracts."
Will I get another contract soon?
"Eager, are you? That's good. Then go and talk to Elam Drals. He handles lesser contracts for the new initiates. Prove yourself to him and more interesting assignments will follow.
Welcome to the family."
I'll go and talk to Elam Drals.
"Explore the Sanctuary, meet the others. At least the ones currently at home. I believe Green-Venom-Tongue, Kor, Hildegard, Mirabelle, Cimbar, and Tanek are available.
When you're done, Elam shoul have a new task for you to accomplish."
Tell me more about yourself, Matron.
"The past isn't something we talk about here. For most of us, our lives didn't really begin until we were called to serve the Night Mother. And I was called at a very early age."
Have you always been the Matron of this Sanctuary?
"No one joins the Brotherhood and immediately steps into a position of power. That's not how we do things.
I had to prove myself, show that I was dedicated to the Night Mother and her tenets. I served for many years before I earned my title."
Did you advance through the ranks in this Sanctuary?
This Sanctuary has always been my home in the Brotherhood, if that's what you're asking. I've seen the Gold Coast change over the years.
But that's enough questions about me. I wouldn't want to think you were taking my measure for some reason."
I heard something about a Dark Brotherhood member being murdered.
"Where did you …? Ah, they were discussing that at the noble's estate, were they? Bastards!
It's true. Someone has been killing our Brothers and Sisters. When the hunters become the hunted, it's like the world has gone askew."
Any idea who the murderer is?
"We're investigating the matter. It's not unusual for our pasts to catch up with us, and it's not like we have a shortage of enemies.
We'll learn the identity of this killer and then there will be a reckoning."
Who would dare challenge the Dark Brotherhood?
"True, few have the audacity to openly oppose us, but there are many who would love to see the Brotherhood abolished. This feels … different.
Stay vigilant, keep your eyes open, and report anything else you notice as you execute your duties."
How do I advance in the Brotherhood?
"A little ambition is good for the soul. But only a little.
Complete the contracts assigned to you. It's as simple as that. Every life you send to Sithis pleases the Night Mother and raises your profile. Complete enough jobs and you'll be rewarded."
What happens as I advance?
"We'll trust you with more difficult contracts, assign you more high-profile targets. The awards are greater, and we'll ask you to help with matters of importance to the Brotherhood.
But don't get ahead of yourself. Start with Elam's contracts first."

A Lesson in Silence[edit]

When you go to talk to Astara, you will find her discussing with Kor and Hildegard who are upset that the Akatosh sermonizers in Kvatch are spreading lies about the Brotherhood.

Hildegard: "The Grand Sermonizer is at it again, Matron."
Kor: "Those loud-mouthed fanatics! It's time to teach them a lesson about the blessings of silence!"
Astara Caerellius: "Enough! I'll decide how we respond to these malign sermons."
Astara Caerellius: "Initiate, I have a task for you."

Astara will request your help, saying,

"Once again the pious idiots of Kvatch dare to provoke the anger of the Dark Brotherhood. Such an insult cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged!"
What's going on in Kvatch?
"As if the Grand Sermonizer didn't have enough vices to rage about, now she's preaching against the Brotherhood. She says we are weak, powerless. A toothless dragon that inspires ridicule instead of fear.
These lies must be silenced—permanently."
I can go to Kvatch.
"Be wary. The Order of the Hour has increased its presence in Kvatch. Avoid the warrior-priests if you can.
Meet up with Tanek and silence the priests that speak against us, including the Grand Sermonizer. That will put the fear of Sithis in them."
I'll go to Kvatch right away.
"Tanek will meet you in Kvatch. I expect the two of you to deal with the Grand Sermonizer and show the people of that hypocritical city the real power of the Dark Brotherhood."

You can ask Astara more about the missions and the reputation of the Brotherhood,

Tell me more about this mission.
"The Grand Sermonizer and her priests spread lies about the Brotherhood for reasons I do not yet understand. Whether she seeks to insult us or acts upon some misguided tenet of faith, our response is clear.
These impudent priests must die."
Who's this Grand Sermonizer?
"She's one of the ranking priests at the Cathedral of Kvatch, right below Primate Artorius in the hierarchy. She won't be easy to find, however.
Killing her subordinates may draw her out. Otherwise, rely on Tanek to locate the hole she's hiding in."
Who's Primate Artorius?
"Primate Artorius leads the Cathedral of Akatosh in Kvatch. The Chanters and Sermonizers bow to his authority as the Chosen of the Dragon God, and even the Order of the Hour follows his commands.
Pious and faithful, I find the man to be insufferable."
Do we really need to send two assassins to Kvatch?
"Caution becomes the appropriate response after the deaths of two assassins, Initiate.
But make no mistake. I expect you to assassinate the Grand Sermonizer. Tanek will be there to provide assistance, nothing more."
Do assassins often die when they go on missions?
"Under normal circumstances, no. These recent attacks against us, however, have made circumstances far from normal.
Concentrate on the Grand Sermonizer. That's your primary mission."
What's the Brotherhood's reputation like these days?
"The common folk fear us, the political leaders tolerate us, and everyone who needs someone dead and can pay the cost hires us without hesitation. Our reputation remains strong.
But these attacks by the Sermonizers. They're obviously up to something."
What do you think they're planning?
"It could be anything. Certainly Primate Artorius and his priests have little love for the Brotherhood. I wonder, does the Cathedral to outlaw the Black Sacrament? Would they dare such an action?
Regardless, these sermons are bad for business."
Kor: "Initiate, I have my own contract in Kvathch. I'll join you and Tanek as soon as I'm finished."
Hildegard: "Three blades on the same contract? Is that wise, Matron?"
Astara Caerellius: "Just make sure the Grand Sermonizer dies, initiate. That's my chief concern."

Exiting conversation and speaking to her again:

"Tanek will meet you in Kvatch. I expect the two of you to deal with the Grand Sermonizer and show the people of that hypocritical city the real power of the Dark Brotherhood."

When you return to the Sanctuary, Astara will tell you, "Kor brought Tanek home, injured but alive. He told me you went after the Grand Sermonizer. Tell me, has the deed been done?"

The Grand Sermonizer and her priests are dead. We found Cimbar, tortured to death.
"Cimbar was one of our best. To allow himself to be captured like that … I didn't think that either the Grand Sermonizer or the Order of the Hour was capable of such a feat. Why go to all that trouble, I wonder?"
A warrior in black armor captured Cimbar. Said she wanted to learn the location of our Sanctuary.
"Black armor? I've heard rumors of such a warrior. But to seek the location of our Sanctuary? It appears we're at war with an unknown adversary. I need to think about this.
By the way, Tanek woke up and asked to see you."
I'll go talk to Tanek.

Speaking with her after this exchange:

"The news you brought suggest there's more to our recent troubles than I suspected.
I'm sure I'll need you again soon, but in the meantime, Tanek would like to talk to you."

When you talk to Astara after the quest, she will say,

"Ah, Initiate. I should be more pleased that the Grand Sermonizer is dead, but I can't help feeling that a storm gathers on the horizon. Elam mentioned that the contracts were stacking up. I suspect he'd appreciate your help, if you'd be so kind."

Questions of Faith[edit]

Before you talk to Kor and agree to help him find Hildegard, Astara will comment:

"I don't suppose you have a little wolf trailing behind you? No? Seems Hildegard has gone missing again. If she seeks to abandon the Brotherhood, she'll have to be put down.
I suppose I can give her a little more time before I write up the contract."

After agreeing to help Kor, you can speak to Astara again:

"So you decided to help find Hildegard, eh? Well, there's no shame in helping your Brothers and Sisters. Just don't let it interfere with your other duties, Initiate."

When you return to the Sanctuary, Astara will say:

"I understand we have you to thank for Hildegard's safe return. Are you going to tell me what happened or do I have to torture Kor until he sings?"
Chanter Nemus tricked Hildegard and I killed him for it. It won't happen again.
"I hope you're right. But why do the Akatosh priests seem to be moving against us? First the Sermonizers, now this. Are they trying to take advantage of our recent setbacks or is there something more going on here?
At least Hildegard is safe now."

If you talk to her later, Astara will say:

"I need to think about these most recent events. Brothers and Sisters murdered. The priests of Akatosh preaching against us. It's like storm clouds are gathering over the Sanctuary, and I don't like it. But you have contracts to deal with, I believe."

A Special Request[edit]

When speaking to her at the start of the quest:

"A contract has come our way that includes an unusual request. The client wants to meet the assassin assigned to carry out the task before paying our exorbitant fee."
I take it that's not the way things are usually done?
"It's rare, but not unheard of. And the Black Hand agreed, so who am I to complain?
I'd like you to deal with this one, Initiate. Go to Anvil Castle and meet with our client. I'm sure she's got a good reason for making a special request."
Who's the client I'm supposed to meet?
"Oh, didn't I mention? It's none other than the self-proclaimed Provincial Governor of Anvil, the Pirate Queen Fortunata ap Dugal.
I expect you to handle this like any other contract. Locate your target, plan your attack, and make your kill."
Any idea who the Provincial Governor wants dead?
"Knowing Fortunata, it could be anyone. She's made as many enemies as she has friends since taking control of the Gold Coast. Probably just a noble who insulted her at one of her elaborate parties."
Can you tell me more about Governor Fortunata?
"I'm sure there's a book about her around here somewhere. Oh, very well. Fortunata worked for the Gold Coast Trading Company before she used her influence and connections to become the Pirate Queen of the Abecean Sea."
How did a pirate queen become the governor of Anvil?
"With a fleet of ships and an army of pirates. It helped that the region had been decimated by Varen's civil war. She was so bold as to claim the entire Gold Coast as her domain, but Count Carolus and Kvatch still have a little to say about that."
Anything I need to know about Anvil Castle?
"It's crawling with Red Sails pirates. Fortunata keeps it locked up tighter than her dowry chest, but she is expecting you.
Mirabelle knows the Anvil Castle well. She spends time there, pretending to be a servant so she can keep an eye on things."
Mirabelle spies on Governor Fortunata?
"Certainly. And she's very good at it. For the eventual day when we have to move against the Pirate Queen, we'll have Mirabelle in place and ready to act.
Of course, such a day may never materialize, but I believe in preparing for every contingency."

When you have carried out the contracts and return to the Sanctuary, Astara will commend on the completed tasks and reward you with the Assassin rank, "Then I believe a new title is in order, Initiate. You've demonstrated skills and abilities that we will definitely need in the battles to come. Stand tall, Assassin. You've earned your place in the Brotherhood and we're proud to have you among us."

Dark Revelations[edit]

When starting the quest:

"Assassin, it's time to collect a payment past due."
Of course, Matron, but why was Mirabelle so upset?
"Mirabelle's outburst doesn't concern you, Assassin. Focus on the task at hand.
Count Carolus still owes us for the Sacrament. He claimed to have information about the Black Dragon. Meet him at the ruins of Dasek Moor and find out what he knows."
Why does he want to meet at the ruins?
"We're not sure, but that's where he requested to meet. He has a camp there which he's using for his own clandestine purposes.
Before you go, talk to Mirabelle. She has information concerning the Count that could prove useful to your mission."
I'll talk to Mirabelle before I head out.
"Don't dawdle, Assassin. I gave you a job and I expect you to handle it."
Before I go and speak with her, can you tell me what Mirabelle was so upset about?
"Curiosity isn't a trait I encourage, especially when it comes to matters inside the Sanctuary. Still, you'll find out soon enough, I'm sure.
Mirabelle has allowed Tanek's injury and the deaths of Cimbar and the others to make her ... emotional."
What do you mean, emotional?
"The deaths hit her hard, especially Cimbar's. She craves revenge and it's making her anxious, reckless. That's dangerous for an assassin.
We need to be cold, precise, calculated. The heat of emotion leads to mistakes, and that gets people killed."
Was Mirabelle close to Cimbar?
"As close as any lovers can be, I suppose. The recent deaths visited upon us have affected Mirabelle, but Cimbar's torture and murder, that one has left a mark. It's made her emotional, which is never a good thing in our business."
Can you remind me why we want to meet with the Count?
"Have you been so inundated with contracts that you've forgotten? The Count performed the Sacrament and named Governor Fortunata, promising us gold and information on the Black Dragon. You completed our part of the bargain. Now it's the Count's turn."

After completing the quest, Green-Venom-Tongue retreats to his quarters to study the journal of the Black Dragon. Astara will comment on this, "Green-Venom-Tongue studies that journal with deadly intensity, but he hasn't shared any of his findings with me. I trust him, but I can also tell when he's plotting something. Keep an eye on him for me, Assassin."

A Ghost from the Past[edit]

Before you venture to Blackwood Borderlands with Green-Venom-Tongue, you can speak to Astara about the venture:

"You don't need to say anything. I see and hear more than you might think. This is my Sanctuary, after all.
Go with your scaled Brother. Follow the journal's trail to its end. Just don't do anything foolish. I expect a full report when you return."
Any further instructions before I go, Matron?
"Proper. I like that.
Just remember to obey the Tenets. No matter what you see, no matter what you find, don't dishonor the Brotherhood. It's not our place to question the Night Mother's will or how the Black Hand carries it out."
Do you know something about Green-Venom-Tongue's former Sanctuary?
"Of course. It was a fascinating situation, a rare example of the anger and fury of the Black Hand.
Green-Venom-Tongue's former Sanctuary was purified, every member killed by order of the Black Hand. It's the only time I ever heard of such an event."
Why would the Black Hand purify a Sanctuary?
"Isn't their will reason enough? Suffice it to say, they believed the Sanctuary harbored a traitor. To protect the Brotherhood and its secrets, every member was eliminated—save Green-Venom-Tongue, who was away at the time and deemed innocent."

When you have investigated the purified Sanctuary and return to report back to Astara, she is already informed about the mission, "Green-Venom-Tongue gave me his report on your little jaunt. What you discovered shows how the past sometimes comes back to haunt us. Since this concerns the Primate, Speaker Terenus and the Black Hand will determine our next move."

You're not angry? We never actually received permission to go to Venom's former Sanctuary.
"Would you prefer punishment to praise, Assassin? Let the Black Hand decide how we navigate these troubled waters. For now, work your contracts. Sharpen your skills.
The Black Dragon will pay for her transgression, as will her master, Artorius."

Filling the Void[edit]

You'll encounter Astara during the raid on Kvatch's cathedral, when she and Elam Drals drop down from a hole in the ceiling and approach a gate:

Elam: "Astara! Assassin! This way."
Astara: "Is it locked like the last one? I should've brought a prybar."
Elam, sighing: "It's sealed up tight. Can't get through this way."
Astara: "Artorius really doesn't want any company, does he?"

On the other side of the locked gate, a sentry will approach.

Astara: "Wait. Someone's coming. We'll find you again, Assassin."

Astara and Elam will use smoke bombs to quickly sneak out of the area. Look away from the gate; there's another passage, leading downstairs, that you can use.

When you finally confront Artorius, you'll do so with Astara and the other assassins at your back:

Artorius: "And so the Assassins finally arrive!"
Astara: "Time to die, Artorius!"
Artorius: "Time? Time is my domain, murderer, not yours!"

Once the Primate is defeated, Astara will give one final order:

Astara: "Assassin, strike true!"

Once the Primate is dead, she'll rally the troops:

Astara: "To the Void with you, Artorius! May the Dread Father grant you the welcome you so richly deserve! Stand tall, Brothers and Sisters! We are the Dark Brotherhood! Now, back to the Sanctuary, my assassins. We have friends to remember and a victory to celebrate."

When spoken to after you attain the title of "Silencer," she'll say,

"Welcome, Silencer. Feel free to use our Sanctuary whenever you're visiting the Gold Coast."


While in the Sanctuary you have the opportunity to strike a conversation with her when she is in her study. She will be very welcoming of you once you become a Silencer.

"Silencer. I hope you carry the title with pride. You don't answer to me anymore, but we're happy to have you work with us whenever you wish."
"It seems like you're here more now that you're a Silencer than when you were my Assassin. It's good to see you, my friend."
"Welcome, Silencer. Feel free to use our Sanctuary whenever you're visiting the Gold Coast."


You can also witness her conversations with other Dark Brotherhood members in the main hallway.

Hildegard: "Matron? You never said anything about my leaving. The time I went to Skyrim."
Astara Caerellius: "You're correct. I didn't."
Hildegard: "Why not?"
Astara Caerellius: "If I'd ordered your death, I would have ordered Kor's as well. But I couldn't allow our numbers to fall that low."
Hildegard: "Oh. That … makes sense, I suppose …."
Kor: "I think Hildegard may be ready for more … complex contracts."
Astara Caerellius: "She can control when she changes?"
Kor: "No, but I believe she and the wolf inside her have reached an understanding."
Astara Caerellius: "I'll think about it."
Kor: "Good. I'll look for contracts that require the body to disappear completely."

needs many more conversations added