I'm currently working on the Forsworn Conspiracy quest in Skyrim:

I've already killed Nepos and I've returned to the Shrine of Talos to find that Eltrys is dead.

The guards are trying to arrest me, but I hate being arrested (mostly because I lose my massive amounts of stolen loot) so I kill them all. Then, when I go outside, every guard in the city attacks me and so I kill all of them too. Of course, I then realize that the quest most likely doesn't want me to kill every single guard in Markarth and so I load a previous save.

So, do I have to get arrested in order to complete this quest or do I have another option? If not, is there a console command to get me passed this quest (I'm on PC)? I really don't feel like going to jail.

  • 2
    I managed to run away from the guards while healing myself as much as possible. I'm not sure what'll happen when I go back....but for now, I'm back in Whiterun safe and sound!
    – user68549
    Feb 5 '14 at 22:08

Yes, you have to go to jail as a part of this quest. I tried resisting and everything to avoid it, but I found no way of getting around this part (You can go ahead and kill those corrupt guards if you want, you'll earn a bounty but you'll still go to jail if you walk out of the shrine). Your equipment be taken away for the period that you are in jail and there may be some fights, so plan accordingly.

  • I've heard that there's a console command for skipping quests. Do you happen to know what it is? I usually don't use the console but I really hate being forced to go to jail. Ughhhh
    – spugsley
    Jan 29 '12 at 14:23
  • 3
    fantastic :/ Well, I guess I'll stop whining and just do it. Thanks for your help.
    – spugsley
    Jan 29 '12 at 14:36
  • 1
    Why not just dump your gear in your house or a your room in a guild?
    – Canageek
    Jan 29 '12 at 17:13
  • 3
    @Canageek either way you'll get your stuff back after the quest, so if you feel its safer to drop it off ahead of time, that's fine too.
    – l I
    Jan 29 '12 at 17:17
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    @spugsley Let me clarify that you will get all of your stuff back afterward, even your stolen loot. When I went through it (wasn't expecting to get arrested, hadn't read ahead or anything) easily half my loot was all stolen, but afterward I got my entire stash back, stolen stuff and all!
    – Kromey
    Jan 30 '12 at 18:31

Yes, but No! You can go to jail, but! If you own a house, you can store all of your stolen items there, and go to jail with out losing them. You can even store your coins if you want.


Yes you can avoid arrest to complete this questline- or at least I did. I held off completing this quest because I did not want to go to prison when I first tried to return to Elryth around the level I would assume is expected. I RP avoiding as much "crime entanglement" as possible...the only groups I have joined are the companions, bard college, and mage college (I am arch-mage). And I have often killed forsworn. So, I went back to previous save, I became thane in Makarth first and continued helping the citizens there. Finally, at lvl 35 with high speech, I returned and saved before I went in.

I was able to talk to the guard. I responded that I am a Thane, and the guards sheathed their swords and warned me that my status only goes so far. but about 2 seconds later inside the shrine, they tried to arrest me again. I offered to pay my bounty. They again sheathed their swords, called me smart, took my money (I had nothing on me that was stolen) and I was able to go on my merry way. The guards outside treat me with the same respect as always...no change from before. They even let me go back in and loot Elryth right in front of them. (I saved before doing that as well because I had hoped he would have some sort of note or continuing quest item- he didn't and neither did his room.) The quest line now shows fully completed.

Please note that NONE of my 3 saves show anymore, which must be a glitch and one I have experienced before, but all the auto saves after the fact are fine. :( (This quest line is known to be very buggy, so who knows if what happened to me is nothing more than a glitch.)

I have been looking this up trying to decide whether or not I want to go back and complete this quest line the "normal" way and proceed to the NEW quest line No One Escapes Cidhna Mine. I can't find anyone who was able to complete Forsworn Conspiracy the way I did, so I thought it might be helpful to mention it and maybe someone else will be able to confirm if this is just a glitch or a possible viable alternative.

  • -1 You may have gotten lucky with a bug, but this answer is incorrect with respect to the intended behavior of the game and quest. As a result, it's fundamentally misleading. Feb 5 '14 at 22:12

No, you don't have to be arrested. At least I didn't on my PS3. You go in and see the guy dead and the corrupt guards there yelling at you. At some point in the conversation, in the lower right of the screen, you'll notice you can hit the back button. When you do that the guards will become "nice" guards and give you the option of paying 1,000 gold. If you do that you won't have to go to jail, but they will take all of your stolen stuff.

  • technically this is not wrong, but you can't proceed to the next part of the quest without going to jail.
    – l I
    Sep 10 '13 at 20:01

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