Skyrim:Deceiving the Herd

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Walkthrough: written by multiple users, not checked
Reward: written by Wackolemon, checked by RobinHood70
SR-qico-Dawnguard Vampires.png
Frame the Dawnguard for murder.
Quest Giver: Feran Sadri
Location(s): Radiant City
Prerequisite Quest: The Bloodstone Chalice
Reward: 3 Potions of Blood (25%) or a leveled item (75%)
Deceiving the Herd

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Speak to Feran Sadri.
  2. Read incriminating letter to determine city of victim.
  3. (Optional) Make it a public kill while wearing at least one piece of Dawnguard armor.
  4. (Optional) Choose a high profile victim.
  5. Kill a victim in the streets, where you can be seen.
  6. Plant the incriminating letter on the corpse.
  7. Return to Feran Sadri for your reward.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

When you speak to Feran Sadri, he will complain that the Dawnguard have been recruiting and give you an assignment to give them something else to worry about: "You are to make a public show of murdering someone. Do it in the streets for all to see. The higher the profile the better. Make it seem you are a member of the Dawnguard, thus sowing confusion among the herd. Wear this armor and plant this note on the victim." He will give you a set of Dawnguard armor so you can impersonate the Dawnguard more easily, as well as the note to plant on the victim's body.

Feran will choose the city for you, but you are given the option of what to wear, how to kill the victim, and which victim to kill. After killing the chosen victim, plant the letter on their corpse and return to Feran.

The following table lists only the victims which count as "high profile" for the quest.[verification needed — see talk page]

Markarth Riften Solitude Whiterun Windhelm Raven RockDB
Hogni Red-Arm
Moth gro-Bagol
Tacitus Sallustius*
Asbjorn Fire-Tamer*
Marise Aravel
Aia Arria
Aquillius Aeresius*
Evette San
Giraud Gemane
Inge Six Fingers
Pantea Ateia
Sorex Vinius*
Vivienne Onis*
Adrianne Avenicci
Carlotta Valentia
Eorlund Gray-Mane
Fralia Gray-Mane
Aval Atheron
Captain Lonely-Gale
Dravynea the Stoneweaver*
Galmar Stone-Fist
Hermir Strong-Heart*
Hillevi Cruel-Sea
Malthyr Elenil*
Quintus Navale*
Fethis Alor
Garyn Ienth
Milore Ienth
NPC must be lured outside; see notes.
*Only if the person has taken over duties as a merchant.


  • Killing any NPC in the streets will progress the quest, even a guard or random encounter spawn. The quest as a whole will be completed successfully as long as you plant the letter on the body.
    • NPCs killed in an interior cell will not count towards quest progression.
  • Wearing any Dawnguard armor satisfies the quest's optional objective requirement for framing the Dawnguard—it is not necessary to use the armor given by Feran.
  • Feran refers to high profile victims as "...an important member of society. Someone attached to the Jarl's court, a merchant, a bard, a priest, someone with stature." However, some of those mentioned will not count toward the high profile option, so be sure to save beforehand if you want to make sure you get the benefits of this.
    • Reanimating a high-profile target and killing it (again) within the required city will satisfy the high-profile optional objective.
    • Reanimating Cicero (using Dead Thrall), taking him to the required city, and killing him will satisfy the high-profile optional objective.
    • Reanimating the corpse named "Peddler" from the unmarked "Peddler's Misfortune" location north of Sunderstone Gorge, taking him to the required city, and killing him will satisfy both the high-profile optional objective without counting as a crime, inciting guards or bystanders to attack nor incurring a bounty. If Markarth is the required city, it is possible to do this using spells with shorter duration than Dead Thrall.
  • A murder with witnesses will result in a bounty even if you frame the Dawnguard.
    • Killing Calixto Corrium in conjunction with solving the Blood on the Ice murders will fulfill both quests without incurring a bounty if he is first lured outside the Palace of the Kings.
    • A bounty can also be avoided with a stealth kill or by killing in self-defense as self-defense is not a Crime.
      • Avoiding the bounty seems to always fail framing the Dawnguard even if the armor is worn and the kill witnessed.


  • Some high profile targets will not register as such when killed because they may be in a quest alias that gets swapped out for a replacement NPC before the game has a chance to update the quest. (details)
    • The following people are affected by this bug and only count as high-profile targets if the UDGP is installed.
  • Even without accepting this quest, the objective "Plant letter on <Alias=Victim>'s corpse" may appear in your journal after you kill someone from a city.
    • On PC You can use setstage DLC1RV03 10 to fix this once you have gone through all the vampire quests.
    • On PC Another fix is to get some fortify pickpocket potions or armor and pickpocket the Incriminating Letter from Feran Sadri and then place it on the victim's body.
  • You may not be able to plant the Incriminating Letter on the corpse, instead receiving a message saying "Quest items cannot be removed from your inventory".
    • Reloading a save from before entering the city should fix this.
    • Read Incriminating Letter to determine city of victim.
    • Wait for quest messages to appear before planting letter.
    • Submitting to the guards and paying off the bounty (if one was incurred) should also fix this.
  • Quest may not update if you use the Ebony Blade to kill a target with a high disposition towards you.
  • All quest objectives may fail if you kill a reanimated corpse in the required city, drop the letter on the corpse, leave the worldspace where you completed the objective, save the game before the quest completes, then load the saved game. ?

Quest Stages[edit]

Deceiving the Herd (DLC1RV03)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Feran Sadri wishes to sow confusion and anger amongst the people of <Alias=City>. I am to kill a citizen out in the streets while impersonating a member of the Dawnguard. Then I am to place an incriminating letter on the corpse. The higher the profile of my victim the better.
Objective 111: (Optional) Choose a high profile victim
Objective 110: (Optional) Make it a public kill while wearing Dawnguard armor
Objective 100: Kill someone out in the streets of <Alias=City>
Objective 200: Plant letter on <Alias=Victim>'s corpse
(After planting the letter on the victim)
Objective 220: Return to Feran Sadri
255 Finishes quest☑
300 Fails quest☒
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 1, 100, 101, 110, 111, 220.
  • 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 DLC1RV03 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 DLC1RV03.