Open main menu

UESPWiki β

Skyrim:Taking Care of Business

< Skyrim: Quests: Thieves Guild
This page is currently being rewritten as part of the Skyrim Quest Redesign Project.
The page is being rewritten and checked in several stages. All users are welcome to make changes to the page. If you make a change that is relevant to the project, please update this template accordingly, and make sure you have observed the project guidelines.
Walkthrough: written by SerCenKing, Likelolwhat, not checked
Reward: written by SerCenKing, Likelolwhat, not checked
SR-qico-Thieves Guild.png
Collect some debts for the Thieves Guild.
Quest Giver: Brynjolf
Location(s): Riften
Prerequisite Quest: A Chance Arrangement
Next Quest: Loud and Clear
Reward: Thieves Guild membership,
Three leveled potions depending on quest choices
ID: TG01
Use coercion to collect Haelga's debt

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to Brynjolf in the Ragged Flagon.
  2. Collect the debts:
  3. Return to Brynjolf.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

There's More Where That Came FromEdit

Brynjolf tells you to meet him in the Ragged Flagon underneath Riften if you're interested in more lucrative operations like the one he arranged earlier. The only way to reach the Thieves Guild headquarters at this point is through the Ratway. The entrance is through an inconspicuous gate on the lower level of Riften. You'll have to fight or avoid several enemies; more detail on what you'll encounter is below.

Ratway walkthrough →
Down some stairs and at the end of the corridor are Drahff and Hewnon Black-Skeever, two lowlifes who will be discussing some kind of plot to undermine the Guild. They will both attack on sight. If you wish to sneak past them, keep in mind that when their conversation ends, Hewnon will crouch by the fire with his back to you, and Drahff will begin patrolling the corridor between Hewnon and the entrance.

Take a right into a room with a bed roll, and then another right to a two-level room with a raised drawbridge directly across from you. The "correct" way to go about this would be to jump down to the lower level, but if you know Whirlwind Sprint, you can use it to skip the dungeon. Use the shout to get across the gap to the right of the drawbridge, where there is a small space of ledge under the railing that you can land on. You can then just jump onto and over the railing where you'll be in the last room of the dungeon. If you went to the lower level, there's also a gate to the left which can be a shortcut to the final room if you are proficient in picking expert-level locks; if not, you'll have to take the long way around. The "scenic" route is full of traps, but there's a unique item as well.

Southwest of the expert-locked gate is a short corridor ending in a brazier and a door. Opening it without disabling the tension cable on the bottom right side will make two spears shoot out from the wall to the left. Beyond is a room with an oil slick on the floor and a lantern above. The south door leads onward to a room with five bear traps scattered near the entrance. Gian the Fist, who has the Gloves of the Pugilist, is across the room and will attack on sight. Beware, as his detection level is very high; he will probably sense you and attack even if you have a high Sneak skill. The gloves may be useful later during this quest if you choose to brawl anyone. There's also an alchemy lab in the alcove to the left.

In the next room, go up the stairs, watching out for the pressure plate and corresponding battering ram that will hit you in the back if you're not careful. After this, a gate opens up to circular room overgrown with plants. In the center is a wood chopping block with an iron battleaxe stuck in it. Turn north again and you'll be in the last room which contains a hostile lowlife and a skeever. Be sure to drop the drawbridge via the lever for future ease of access, and pick up the Pickpocket skill book Beggar from the table. The door to the Ragged Flagon is to the east.

The Thieves Guild headquarters is rather run-down, and as you circle around the shallow pool to the bar proper, you'll overhear a conversation about the sorry state of affairs:

"I wasn't certain I'd ever see you again!"

Vekel the Man: Give it up, Brynjolf... those days are over.
Brynjolf: I'm telling you, this one is different...
Dirge: We've all heard that one before, Bryn! Quit kidding yourself.
Vekel: It's time to face the truth, old friend. You, Vex, Mercer... you're all part of a dying breed. Things are changing!
Brynjolf: Dying breed, eh? Well what do you call that then!

At this point Brynjolf will turn around and, if you are close enough, approach to say, "Well, well... Color me impressed lad/lass. I wasn't certain I'd ever see you again!"

And you'll have three options. If you say that you got through the Ratway easily, he will be doubly impressed, saying, "Reliable and headstrong? You're turning out to be quite the prize!" If you claim you nearly died or point out the less-than-lovely state of the Guild, he will be annoyed, saying, "No risk, no reward. That's the way it goes, so you better get used to it." or "If you were expecting a palace, then maybe you're not cut out for this line of work. Our methods involve secrecy and discretion.", respectively. In any case, he will then go on to ask if you're up to "handling a few deadbeats" for him. "They owe our organization some serious coin and they've decided not to pay. I want you to explain to them the error of their ways," Brynjolf will explain, then tell you who they are at your inquiry: "Keerava, Bersi Honey-Hand and Haelga. Do this right, and I can promise you a permanent place in our organization."

After Brynjolf tells you to get going, the quest will update with the three debts to recover. You can head topside immediately (you'll have to go back through the Ratway), but it also pays to stay a bit longer and ask Brynjolf about the marks. His dialogue will reveal weaknesses to exploit for each: Keerava has a soft spot for family, Bersi has a priceless - and fragile - urn, and Haelga has her devotion to Dibella, goddess of beauty.

The debts may be collected in any order you choose, but keep in mind that after you have two debtors in line, the last - whomever that may be - will cave immediately, having heard how you dealt with the others.

Keerava's DebtEdit

Keerava runs Riften's only inn, the Bee and Barb, next to the market. Once inside, you'll find her behind the bar, tending to her patrons. Tell her you have a message from Brynjolf and she will say "I'll already told that buffoon I'm not paying you people a single coin!" When you say it wasn't a request, she'll be stubborn. "Look around you, I'm barely keeping this rathole together. The war's seen to that." You'll have two options now. You can either brawl with her to collect the debt, or you can try the route that Brynjolf suggested if you talked to him.

Find Talen-Jei, another Argonian in the tavern, who is Keerava's lover. He will be suspicious of you, but if you tell him to talk some sense into her, he will say, "With the rumors going around about how poorly your Guild's been doing, she's become much too bold. I'm not that foolish. The last thing I want is a war with your people." If you ask for his cooperation, you will have it. "Look, I'm only telling you this because I care for her. Don't mistake this as acceptance for what you do. Keerava has some family at a farm just inside of Morrowind. If you mention you know about it, she might just listen to you. Just please, don't harm anyone. I couldn't bear the thought." Return to Keerava and she will give up the money, petrified with fear.

If you return to Brynjolf after receiving Keerava's payment, but before finishing all three debtors, you can offer him Keerava's payment on its own, to which he will respond "She was the toughest of the bunch. Honestly, I'm amazed she didn't kick you out of the Bee and Barb herself."

If Keerava is the last debtor you collect from, she will instead say, "Look, everything was all just a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to tell Brynjolf to go jump off the pier. You'll tell him I said sorry, yes? Take this. Every single coin I owe is there, I swear it."

Bersi's DebtEdit

Bersi's priceless urn

Bersi Honey-Hand is the owner of the Pawned Prawn general store, to the west of the Bee and Barb. He's usually behind the counter, with his precious Dwemer Urn sitting on a cabinet right across from him. Tell him that you have a message, and he will be disgusted. "Wha... what? Oh, it's one of you people. So, Brynjolf doesn't even bother to show up himself anymore, eh? What's this message?" The two options presented lead to different dialogue: "Petty threats and fist waving are not going to sway me. You people are all talk, and everyone knows it! Pay you to protect me? You can't even protect yourselves!" if you threaten him and "You're gouging me for what little coin I make and you can't even protect yourselves? Ridiculous!" if you say he knows what it is. The end result is the same; either walk away, or brawl.

If you're not up to fisticuffs with him, though, you can always duke it out with the urn. It's across from Bersi, ready for the smashing. Take out your weapon or spell (it will take a few hits to break it, so you may not want to use a bow) and get to it. Bersi and his wife Drifa will yell out as you do, but once the urn is shattered beyond repair Bersi will say "No! That urn was priceless!" Ask him if he wants you to break anything else, and he will pay you: "All right! I get it. I'll pay on time from now on. Just don't smash anything else. Here, take your gold and leave me in peace."

If you return to Brynjolf after receiving Bersi's payment, but before finishing all three debtors, you can offer him Bersi's payment on its own, to which he will respond "I wasn't sure that he'd see the light, but I'm sure you "explained" it to him. Well done!"

If Bersi is the last one you visit, he will say "Oh! There's no need for that. I know why you're here. Tell Brynjolf not to worry about it anymore. Oh! And look, I even have the payment I owed. Here, take it."

Haelga's DebtEdit

Haelga runs the eponymous Bunkhouse, north of the Bee and Barb. She is dismissive of you from the get-go, saying "If you're looking for a room, try the Bee and Barb. This place is for the working man." Tell her you have a message from Brynjolf and she will say "What does he want now? I already explained to him that you can't get blood from a stone." Now you can either brawl, or come at the problem from another angle.

Around the corner to the east is a set of drawers, upon which sits a golden statue of Dibella, Divine of beauty, to whom Haelga is devoted. Swipe it and go back to Haelga. Threaten to drop the statue down a well and she will crack: "Not Lady Dibella? No, please! I can't lose her! I get the message. Here, take your gold. I hope you choke on it!"

If you return to Brynjolf after receiving Haelga's payment, but before finishing all three debtors, you can offer him Haelga's payment on its own, to which he will respond "She's as stubborn as she is beautiful, isn't she? Glad you found a way to get her to pay."

If Haelga is last, she will be afraid: "I know who you are. You've been terrorizing the entire city. Please, there's no need for that here. Message understood. Here, I even have the payment!"

Bring Home the BaconEdit

When you return to him (once again through the Ratway), Brynjolf will have different sets of dialogue depending on whether any of the three died, and whether you still have the gold you were sent to collect.

  • If you don't have enough gold, and at least one is dead, whether killed by you or not: "You have wax in your ears? I said no one dies. We're not assassins. Well guess what... now you've inherited their debt. Don't come back to me until you have every last coin."
  • If you don't have enough gold, but everyone is alive: "So I've heard. Thanks to you, this should be the last time they forget to pay. One small detail though - I need all of the gold they gave you. No one skims around here. Come back when you've got every last coin."

You will have to acquire the remainder yourself. Once you do have enough gold, you can proceed.

  • If one or more are dead: "Are you daft? I told you not kill any of them. How much clearer do you need me to be? How about the gold? Did you remember to bring it or is that too difficult an instruction as well." Confirm it's all there and he will continue, still angry, "I suppose it's not a total loss then. Let me give you a piece of advice. If you want to make some serious coin in this business you need to listen to rules. Now, on to other things."
  • If all are alive: "So, job's done and you even brought the gold. Best of all you did it clean. I like that. Dumping bodies and keeping the guards quiet can be expensive." Hand over the gold and he will say, "Well done. And it would seem I owe you something in return. Here you go, I think you'll find these quite useful." He will hand you a nice bonus of three potions: one poison, one potion of fortify health, and one fortifying a random stealth skill.

Ask him what's next and he will continue: "Despite your mistakes, I see more potential in you than half the snot-nosed footpads that stumble their way into the Flagon. I'm going to put my neck on the line. We need people like you in our outfit." or "Judging from how well you handled those shopkeepers, I'd say you've done more than simply prove yourself. We need people like you in our outfit."

Regardless, when you show interest at more gold, he will say, "That's the spirit! Larceny's in your blood... the telltale sign of a practiced thief. I think you'll do more than just fit in around here." You can ask him about the rumors - that the Guild is in dire straits - and he will be dismissive: "We've run into a rough patch lately, but it's nothing to be concerned about. Tell you what. You keep making us coin and I'll worry about everything else. Fair enough?" Reply "fair enough" and he will get the show on the road. "Now if there are no more questions, how about following me and I'll show you what we're all about."

This will end Taking Care of Business and start the next quest, Loud and Clear.


One achievement is unlocked at the end of this quest:

  •   Taking Care of Business (10 points/Bronze)


  • As soon as this quest ends, the alternate entrance in Riften's graveyard will be available, providing a direct route to the Cistern.
  • When given the chance to Brawl, if you choose the non-Brawling dialogue option, the debtor will refuse to speak to you afterwards. Your only options to complete the quest at that point will be to use Brynjolf's suggested method, or kill them.
  • Bersi's urn if broken will remain broken for the rest of the game, while Haelga's Statue of Dibella will eventually return to its original position.


  • If Talen-Jei dies before the quest is started, it may not start at all.
  • Bersi Honey-Hand's prize urn can appear unbreakable. Winning a brawl against him instead advances the quest, or return later as the last person approached gives in without further intimidation. ?
  • If one of the NPC merchants is killed during a raid or the town is given to the Imperials during the main storyline, the game will glitch and you will be unable to finish the quest. ?confirmed
  • Sometimes this quest will complete and you will be unable to start the next one, even through console commands. This means that if you go into the Ragged Flagon Cistern, you will be trespassing and all of the thieves will turn hostile.
    •   This can be fixed by using the console command setstage TG02 10 and finishing it before entering the Cistern.
    •   If the step above doesn't work, it can be fixed by using the console command setstage TG02 0 before entering the Cistern.
  • If Drifa has been killed prior to ending A Chance Arrangement, this quest will not be able to start.
    •   Use the console command setstage TG02 10 to start the quest.
  • If you make your companion/follower steal Haelga's Statue of Dibella, the optional quest will not be completed ?

Quest StagesEdit

Taking Care of Business (TG01)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Brynjolf has promised me more work if I'm able to locate him at a tavern called the Ragged Flagon. Judging from the dangerous nature of its location, it seems as though he's having me perform some type of initiation, but I can't be certain.
Objective 10: Locate Brynjolf at the Ragged Flagon
20 After successfully locating the Ragged Flagon, Brynjolf has given me a new assignment. Three business owners in Riften are proving to be a thorn in his side and I'm supposed to teach them the error of their ways. I should speak to Brynjolf about these townspeople in the event that they prove to be as stubborn as I'm expecting them to be.
Objective 20: Collect Keerava's debt
Objective 30: Collect Bersi Honey-Hand's debt
Objective 40: Collect Haelga's debt
Objective 50: Return to Brynjolf
200 Finishes quest  I've dealt with the three troublesome business owners in Riften as Brynjolf had specified. Perhaps now that I've proven my worth to Brynjolf, I can discover more about this mysterious organization that he represents.
Objective 21: (Optional) Use Talen-Jei to get to Keerava
Objective 31: (Optional) Smash Bersi's prized Dwarven Urn
Objective 41: (Optional) Steal Haelga's Statue of Dibella
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 12, 30, 35, 40, 42, 45, 47.
  • 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 TG01 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 TG01.
Prev: A Chance Arrangement Up: Thieves Guild Next: Loud and Clear