This quest is actually very simple. You have already got the required paperwork to get inside the palace. In the making of the Potage Le Magnifique you can add anything you want to the dish, Gianna won’t question it since you are the Gourmet. At the end be sure to add the Jarrin Root, it will save you from manually killing the Emperor.
Killing the Impostor of the Emperor of Tamriel
If you have added the secret ingredient (Jarrin Root) the the impostor of the emperor of tamriel will die automatomatically. To speed things up you can use other means of killing him. The only thing that is important is that he dies.
Escaping the Palace Without a Bounty
After you leave the death scene you will run into 4 imperials who will try to put you into prison. They are easy to kill, although I advise against using a bow and arrow because a sword can deal out much more damage per time than a bow unless you are sneaking. You won’t have a bounty after you have killed all four guards. All of the enemies are called “Penitus Oculatos Agent” and they are much weaker than normal guards are.
After you have escaped you have to head back to the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary that has been raided. At this point the next quest starts.
This quest is managed by Festus Krex. After you have completed “The Cure for Madness” (click for guide) Astrid will as you to report to Festus Krex who will give you he details about “Recipe for Disaster”. He will ask you to question Anton Virane who you can find in Markath in the Understone Keep.
After you have question Anton Virane you have to kill him. This is somewhat difficult to do without getting a bounty. I decided to kill everyone in the room who saw me kill Anton Virane which removed the bounty because the last witness was killed. The guards outside will probably appear as red enemies, but stay hidden and they won’t find you and eventually stop looking.
Killing Balagog gro-Nolob and Hiding His Body
To get a bonus you have to hide Balagog gro-Nolob’s body after you have killed him. It is easy to kill him without getting a bounty because he is in the basment and nobody else is around. If somebody does happen to be down there with you kill them as well and you won’t keep your bounty.
Dragging Balagog gro-Nolob’s body in a corner will do the trick. I found that the best corner was:
After you have done the deed of killing Balagog gro-Nolob report back to Festus Krex at the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary to complete the quest and receive the next quest.
Astrid will ask you to find Cicero’s Journal for a clue to were he might have gone to. It is very easy to find as long as you have the quest selected. Afterwards she will give you Shadowmere which is a very powerful horse. You can use it to train weapon skills because of its fast health regeneration and high health. The objective after you have left the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary is to go talk to Arnbjorn, Astrid’s husband. He will tell you that Cicero went into the Dawnstar Sanctuary, but he is wounded. The door to the Sanctuary is right behind Arnbjorn and looks similar to the other Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary. The password is “Innocence, my Brother.” which will only be an option once you have started The Cure of Madness.
Inside the Dawnstar Sanctuary
There are a number of traps in the Dawnstar Sanctuary. The first is when you are crossing a hanging bridge. Spikes come out of the wall a number of times, just wait until they stop and you can safely resume your journey. The ghosts are easy to kill using stealth and a bow and arrow. If you have a high sneaking skill you only need to start crouching once you get near the enemies. If you don’t be sure to crouch around corners and whenever an enemy is in sight. Use a bow and arrow to kill the ghosts. The best bow is a deadric bow. You can find a guide to making the best armor in the links to the left of this post.
Whenever you see oil on the ground, which is a purple liquid on the ground, look around for something to set it off with. You can burn the oil by using magic, but usually there are other means around. Be sure to utilize these traps to your advantage.
Uderfykte is a troll inside the ice caves in the Danwstar Sanctuary. He is easy to sneak up on so be sure to kill him using stealth. I found that he didn’t do very much damage to me, but I do have armor that has an armor rating of 1000 and around 500 health. If you are having trouble bow and arrow and stealth are your best options.
You have the option to let Cicero live. In that case I presume that at some stage it is going to bite you in the ass, but it will get the job done and is a good way to go if you are struggling to kill Cicero because, even though he might not look like it, he will put up a fight. I chose to go the safe route of killing him. Again he should be easy to kill as I had no trouble. After you have killed Cicero you have to return to Astrid to receive the nest quest.
Be sure not to kill Gaius Maro whilst he is on the road or in small towns. You can find the travel schedule inside a building in which you first get a quest marker to kill Gaius Maro. Be sure to check that you are at the correct place by looking ta the map and hovering the cursor over the quest marker.
Killing Gaius Maro in a City
The best way to ensure this is to get Gaius Maro’s Travel Schedule, or so the game might make you think. I actually found that it was buggy and that Gaius Maro was never in the place the travel schedule said he would be in. It took me a few tries to meet him in a city. I just kept fast travelling to the town he was in until I got there whilst Gaius Maro was also there. Be sure to use a bow and arrow and be hidden whilst you kill Gaius Maro so that the guards don’t attack you.