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After I went to the warrens in Markarth during the quest Forsworn Conspiracy, I have to brawl with Dryston when I get back out. In theory nothing bad should happen if I stick to a fist fight, but all the guards turn hostile almost right away. Is there a known bug concerning this or am I doing something wrong?

I already parked my follower inside the warrens to avoid aggression from him. I also have no active atronarch or similar support. There is currently no bounty on my head. What else could trigger such a reaction from the guards?

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Do you see bounty message when the brawl start? Do the guards actually attack you, or just draw weapons? If you enter the warrens then get out again, are they still hostile? – Shadow Wizard Jan 24 '12 at 8:56
Did you have the Ebony Mail Equipped? They can harm people during combat and brawl so take it off or download Unofficial Patch. – Jim Oct 18 '15 at 6:09
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Thanks for all the help, but it was something totally different. I answer my own question because without knowing about my current equipment this is impossible to answer.

I forgot that I was wearing the ebony mail from a previous quest that had an enchantment that inflicts poison damage to nearby opponents. This triggered the hostility from the guards. Removing the ebony mail solved the problem and I could end the fist fight victorious.

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Didn't happen to me, but here is what I would try doing to avoid this:

  • Yield in front of the guards - draw your weapon then sheath it.
  • Try getting out at night when there are fewer guards.
  • Try luring him to place where the guards won't see you (you might take some hits, but you should survive)
  • If all the above fails, cast Calm spell on the guards. (Or Harmony if you're high level)
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I encountered the same behavior. Sheathing made the guards arrest me. I just paid the fine and everything was settled. This might not be an option if you're carrying a lot of stolen goods you want to keep though :)

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To avoid the 'Ebony Mail' brawl bug, install the Unofficial Skyrim Patch (mirror link):

The poison cloak enchantment on the Ebony Mail will no longer cause unintended damage during brawls.

Full changelog

To avoid bugs and other unwanted issues with brawling, install the Brawl Bugs Patch mod:

  1. The following scripts were affected in some way by the "Brawl Bug":

    • DGIntimidatePlayerScript
    • DGIntimidateAliasScript
    • C00VilkasScript
    • C00TrainerScript
    • MS11CalixtoScript (Questionable)
    • CompanionsSingleCombatantScript (Questionable)
    • BladesSparringScript (Most likely not affected, but included anyway)
  2. Player healing behavior during Brawls. As per the dialogue, and Bethesda's own code which was buggy (and therefore commented out), healing, casting buffs, or summoning during Brawls is now considered cheating.

  3. The scripts did not use states to avoid race conditions. This led to errors printed to your logs if you would cheat with certain MGEFs, like Flames for example. Flames would fire continuous OnHit/OnMagicEffectApply blocks and lead to Papyrus errors. I also short circuit the OnHit event when the source is a Spell, and let OnMagicEffectApply handle it to avoid block clashing.

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