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Riften is said to be run by the Thieves Guild. I know it's possible to join them. Now I wonder if I alternatively could bring them down as well. I do not mean killing all the NPCs, but I would rather bring them down in a quest-line of its own.

I want to know if it's possible to bring them down, because if it's not I would join them, even though I haven't stolen anything yet, as I want a rather complete play-through. And if it means selling this poor dark elf out ... well ... please tell me it's possible ;)

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    you dont have to join and if you dont they will never return to power. If that happens then they aren't that much of a problem
    – cheesyd12
    Aug 22 '12 at 13:31
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Although there's a way to bring down the Dark Brotherhood, there is no similar quest or quest line to bring down the Thieves Guild.

On the other hand, there's no disadvantages for joining and completing the Thieves Guild quest line - only benefits, achievements, and advantages!

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There is a mod on Skyrim Nexus called WIP - Destroy the Thieves Guild. The author has made significant progress. He even has made a new NPC for the No Stone Unturned quest. I suggest you check it out. It also involves Maven, who you should accuse her or her treachery.

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  • This does not answer the question. He is asking about in Vanilla Skyrim, not modded.
    – childe
    Oct 15 '12 at 20:29
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    @Retrosaur I agree that I did not ask for mods, yet for roleplaying's sake I must admit that this answer provides me with a valid alternative to have a "real" good guy play-through. So while I will not accept this answer, I think it serves a purpose.
    – k0pernikus
    Oct 15 '12 at 20:40
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    @Retrosaur and where exactly does the question say that? Besides, Q&As are for everybody and not just the asker, and this can certainly help someone.
    – kotekzot
    Oct 15 '12 at 21:00
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As far as I know there is no way to bring them down. You can choose not to join them "because it's breaking the law" and the dude will tell you if you change your mind to come and talk to him. So you don't ever have to join them at least.

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You can drop the ring after stealing it to complete the quest yet avoid the dark elf from being arrested, but I agree, I sure would love to clean Riften from these rats :-(

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I have gone in and went all out and tried to kill them. You can't kill any of them. You might deal enough damage to bring them to their knees, but that's it. They won't die. Eventually, as you're fighting off the others, the one that was downed will get back up and rejoin the fight.

Someone keeps trying to edit my answer - Let me say - This is not training. They will kill you during this fight.

Training is something you get once you join and you can go on different kinds of errands that will raise certain skills.

They are essential characters, meaning they cannot be killed, unless it's for a quest. Just like Cicero.

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