Drelas Cottage Guide

Drelas Cottage Guide

Latest posts by Xavier Geitz (see all)

There are many places in Skyrim that the Dragonborn can call home. Some are houses you can acquire only after becoming Thane of a Hold. Others are manors that you build from the ground up. 

But there’s an age-old tradition in the Elder Scrolls series. It’s one I’ve partaken in since the days of Morrowind. And that’s claiming someone else’s home as my own. It started with Foryn Gilnith’s Shack in Seyda Neen and Dura gra-Bol’s house in Balmora, and it’s something I’ve done in every Elder Scrolls since.

After all, NPCs don’t really need their houses. I’m the guy going out exploring dungeons and collecting loot. After all, Bethesda left overflow loot bags behind in Morrowind.

I’m sure some of you are asking why I can’t just buy one of the homes from being a Thane or having the Hearthfire DLC. Well, I could, but they cost money. And upgrading them is expensive. You ideally want a place of your own right away to start foraging alchemical ingredients and hoarding ore from mining. Luckily, there’s a great home that you can get very early on in your playthrough entirely for free. 

Today, I will be telling you how to claim the rights to Drelas’ Cottage.

Location

Drelas' Cottage Location

Drelas’ Cottage is a somewhat long run northwest of Whiterun and a shorter run southeast of Morthal.

Getting to Drelas’ Cottage

You have two options for traveling to Drelas’ Cottage:

Traveling From Whiterun

The first method of reaching Drelas’ Cottage is hiking northwest from Whiterun. It’s a pretty long walk, and you’ll come across some other interesting locations like Silent Moons Camp and Bleakwind Basin along the way. However, you can easily kite around these hot spots if you don’t want to take them on right now. 

Drelas' Cottage From Whiterun

When you arrive at Drelas’ Cottage, be aware of the nearby dragon lair, Eldersblood Peak. If you have completed Dragon Rising and dragons are active in Skyrim, one will be flying around near the peak. It may or may not come down to attack you. 

Traveling From Morthal

Alternatively, you can travel to Drelas’ Cottage via Morthal. You’ll have to cut through the snowy mountains to reach it. 

Drelas' Cottage From Morthal

You will reach Drelas’ Cottage much faster if traveling from Morthal. However, the trek is far more dangerous. You will likely run into at least one frost troll along the way. Additionally, the dragon at Eldersblood Peak rarely attacks you if heading out from Whiterun. But if you travel from Morthal, it almost always does. 

Path From Mortal Dragon Attack

You can avoid this problem by going to Drelas’ Cottage before completing Dragon Rising, but that doesn’t solve the issue with the frost troll. I recommend claiming Drelas’ Cottage as your own as soon as possible, but taking on a frost troll at a low level is suicide.

Inspecting Drelas’ Cottage

Once you arrive at this solitary homestead any way you see fit, let’s look around. The exterior has a decently-sized vegetable farm, great for Survival Mode players. There’s a lone chicken nest from which you can obtain a chicken’s egg. These are great for Resist Magic and Waterbreathing potions. Let’s see what awaits us inside.

Drelas' Cottage Interior

You’ll find Drelas standing at the Arcane Enchanter or Alchemy Lab, though he never seems to use either of them. You can try to walk up and chat with him, but he turns hostile once you make your presence known.

Drelas Attacks

Drelas is a Destruction mage and will use low and mid-level Elemental spells like Ice Spike and Firebolt against you. He may also have a Destruction staff on hand, making him more dangerous. You have no choice but to kill him. 

After dealing with Drelas, inspect every table, dresser, and shelf inside. Drelas was quite the alchemist, and there are many valuable ingredients here like vampire dust, ice wraith teeth, and pine thrush eggs. Drelas had a pretty sizeable library, but none of the books on the shelves are spell tomes or skill books, so you can safely ignore them (Unless you want to read them for the lore. In that case, by all means, go ahead).

Head upstairs and loot the chest for some random goodies. If you are at least level 12, Meridia’s Beacon may be inside (If you haven’t completed The Break of Dawn quest yet). 

We’ve looted everything of value from this place. Let’s talk about the long-term benefits of our new home. 

The Benefits of Drelas’ Cottage

Drelas' Cottage Cooking Place

The homes that Bethesda intends for you to purchase and own are great. But to get them, you have to go through lots of hoops. With Drelas’ Cottage, all you have to do is kill a single leveled mage. 

Drelas’ Cottage is an excellent starting point for alchemy ingredient foraging expeditions. The area surrounding Whiterun is a gold mine primarily for mountain flowers, tundra cotton, and lavender.

And by taking a short walk northwest through the mountains, you can reach the area surrounding Morthal. And this is great for ingredients found in snowy locations of Skyrim, like snowberries. 

Drelas' Arcane Enchanter And Alchemy Lab

Drelas’ Cottage comes equipped with an Arcane Enchanter and an Alchemy Lab. And that’s something that some of the Thane houses in Skyrim can’t say. Breezehome in Whiterun is easy to obtain, but you can’t have an Arcane Enchanter installed there. Instead, you will usually go up to Dragonsreach to use Farengar’s Enchanter. It also has a cooking place for making meals.

The Arcane Enchanter and Alchemy Lab furnishings are some of the most expensive upgrades you can make to your house, so saving on those costs early game is fantastic. I can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely am one of those Skyrim players who will knee-jerk buy every shiny enchanted item I see from a merchant.

The less gold I have to spend on a home, the better. There are plenty of crates, barrels, and sacks inside Drelas’ Cottage to store and sort everything you need, like alchemy ingredients, potions, food, etc. The bed upstairs is also not marked as owned. Having a go-to place to sleep is essential in Survival Mode, so Drelas’ Cottage is a great find early in a playthrough.

Another benefit I would like to point out, specifically for players who avoid spawning dragons into the world, is it guarantees townsfolks’ survival. Some of the towns in Skyrim, like Winterhold or Falkreath, have obnoxious dragon spawn rates. It won’t be a problem for a ramped-up Dragonborn, but it will always be a problem for the townsfolk. 

The AI in Skyrim is pretty stupid, and they will either not bother to hide (Even though 99% of them have houses they can go inside) or attack the dragons head-on with iron daggers. Losing a blacksmith because he decided he would try to be Thor is pretty frustrating.

Dragons can’t kill them if they aren’t around yet. Many players will rush the initial leg of the main quest to get access to Breezehome since a house is essential for storing items. But with Drelas’ Cottage, you have a home and never need to worry about dumb villagers getting themselves killed.

And last but certainly not least, you don’t need to pay for Drelas’ Cottage or any furnishings like you would with the other homes. Who doesn’t like free? 

The Disadvantages of Drelas’ Cottage

The bed inside Drelas’ Cottage isn’t marked as owned, but everything else is. If you are roleplaying as someone who never steals, you won’t be able to do much interior decorating as all the stolen goods get in the way. It also makes it harder to use containers that aren’t already empty.

Because Skyrim is Skyrim, Drelas’ ghost may come back to haunt you. Despite being dead, Drelas will somehow be able to send Hired Thugs after you, so be aware of that. Hired Thugs at a low level in a Survival Mode playthrough are extremely dangerous. 

It is considered trespassing to be inside Drelas’ Cottage, even when he’s dead, so you can never wait here (Not a problem since there’s a bed upstairs you can rest in). Many followers, particularly the lawful ones, will also act funky while you’re inside here. You cannot engage in dialogue with them or swap gear as they will only tell you that you’re not supposed to be here. If you’re coming back from a loot run and want to trade them for stuff, you’ll have to do it outside.

FAQs

Question: Can you make Drelas non-hostile?

Answer: You can, but only with the Harmony spell, a Master Illusion spell. There’s no point in doing this, as all Drelas will say is that you’re not supposed to be in here.

Question: Do the items inside Drelas’ Cottage respawn?

Answer: Yes, they do, which is excellent for the harder-to-obtain alchemy ingredients like vampire dust. Keep in mind that they will always be marked stolen, however.

Question: Is it possible to remove the trespassing status from Drelas’ Cottage?

Answer: No. It wasn’t until Fallout 4 that Bethesda decided that dead people no longer owned their stuff. And even then, it’s not 100%.

FAQs

Question: Can you make Drelas non-hostile?

Answer: You can, but only with the Harmony spell, a Master Illusion spell. There’s no point in doing this, as all Drelas will say is that you’re not supposed to be in here.

Question: Do the items inside Drelas’ Cottage respawn?

Answer: Yes, they do, which is excellent for the harder-to-obtain alchemy ingredients like vampire dust. Keep in mind that they will always be marked stolen, however.

Question: Is it possible to remove the trespassing status from Drelas’ Cottage?

Answer: No. It wasn’t until Fallout 4 that Bethesda decided that dead people no longer owned their stuff. And even then, it’s not 100%.

Drelas’ Cottage Guide Conclusion

It wouldn’t be an Elder Scrolls game if I didn’t find someone who forfeited his life and his house to me. Drelas and his quiet little Cottage make for perfect offerings.

I once tried to do an Ultimate Iron Man run of Skyrim (That’s a Runescape reference for those who don’t play it), where I could only store items in my inventory, and it was an absolute nightmare. 10/10 would not recommend. You need a house to have a fun time in this game, and Drelas’ Cottage is the perfect place to call home in the early game. 

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