Skyrim Quests

Skyrim Quests Guide

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Skyrim takes place a whole two-hundred years since the Oblivion crisis nearly brought the world asunder at the hands of Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. Since then, the continent of Tamriel has not seen much change; the Empire is still trying to be an Empire, and forces are still springing up to combat them.

There is one major change, however between this edition of the franchise and Oblivion, the big bad in this game is more of a mythical monster than a known evil or Daedric Prince, posing an even greater challenge before the player, but more on that later.

The wonderful world of Skyrim has been with us now for over a decade, and with the next installment in the franchise still a long way away, many are still traipsing through the Isles looking for their next adventure. Whilst many of these adventures come to the player whilst they stumble through the game, there are many that need to be sought out, especially the interesting ones, which certainly should not be missed.

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To this end, this guide will walk you through the main events and requirements of not only the main questline of Skyrim but also some of the more interesting, weird, and wonderful ones. So, what are you waiting for? An arrow in the knee? Let’s get going!

The Main Storyline

The general premise of Skyrim centers around the player character, as most RPGs do, placing the gamer at the helm of the world, their choices determining the outcome of many in the incredibly immersive world.

Act 1

Starting out as many Elder Scrolls games do, as a prisoner, the player slowly learns that they will be executed for crimes they cannot remember and more likely have not done. Just before the player finds their head separated from their body, however, a dragon appears, a monster straight out of children’s bedtime stories, a horror from history long forgotten.

The appearance of Alduin, Eater of Worlds and this game’s Big Bad, gives the player just long enough to escape the Imperial headsman, allowing them to escape through the town of Helgen as it burns around you. Shortly after you are faced with your first seemingly major decision of the game, will you follow the one Imperial soldier who was nice to you throughout your execution process or the rebel fighter that not so long ago was doomed to your same fate?

Whatever you decide, at this point, it does not really matter, especially in the context of the main questline. Eventually, you will find yourself at the end of both a cave system and this opening quest, called Unbound. Free from execution, apparently the Imperials don’t have a criminal database set up yet, lucky am I right?

When one descends down the mountain, they will find the town of Riverwood, within which you will not only find some of the main tutorial systems of the game and several side-quests, but you will also find the next part of the main quest.

This quest, called Before the Storm, will have the player journey to Whiterun on behalf of the village of Riverwood, warning the local Jarl about the dragon they saw not long ago flying over their village.

On this journey to find the Jarl of Whiterun, the player will come across many beautiful sights; goats, rabbits, salmon leaping upstreams, and, yes, a group of fighters taking on a giant, well, giant. Making it into the Jarl’s home, Dragonsreach, the player will have to beseech Jarl Bulgruuf for a number of his soldiers to help the settlement of Riverwood.

The Jarl will agree, but only if the player accepts a mission from the resident mage of Whiterun, Farengar Secret-Fire. The real question here is why does the player need to do the Jarl a favor for him to simply protect his own settlements? Your guess is as good as mine.

Valid request or not, the player is sent by Farengar back the way they came in a quest to find the Dragonstone. This quest, Bleak Falls Barrow, found in the dragon cult temple of the same name, is by no means a standout event.

This simple dungeon crawler quest puts the player into contact with a lying thief by the name of Avrel the Swift and a powerful, sarcophagus-dwelling draugr, both of which I suggest you kill. After this, simply retrieve the Dragonstone and be on your merry way back to Whiterun.

Once back in Dragonsreach, and after giving the Dragonstone over to Farengar, the player will hear Jarl Bulgruuf’s head guard, Irileth, reporting a dragon spotting. Soon after, the player will find themselves running towards the Western Watchtower for their first-ever dragon battle.

Upon defeating the dragon, the player will absorb the very soul of the slain creature, leading the surrounding guards to hail the player as ‘Dragonborn.’ Not long after, the entire Isle of Skyrim will hear the power of the Greybeard’s voice atop the Throat of The World Mountain, call down for the Dragonborn, requesting their presence. After this, the player will be directed to return to the Jarl in order to complete the Dragon Rising quest.

As mentioned, during Dragon Rising, the player hears the call from the Grey Beards, elderly scholars, masters in the way of the voice, the language of the dragons. This call will place the quest, The Way of The Voice, in the player’s quest log and direct them towards the top of the highest mountain in the game, to the home of the Grey Beards, High Hrothgar. Upon completing the arduous climb up the mountain, the player will be asked to display their Thu’um, or voice by Arngeir.

Completing this shout will allow the player to receive further training before being sent out on their final test, retrieving the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. This quest is supposed to demonstrate that the player is, in fact, the Dragonborn to the GreyBeards; however, upon arrival at the Horn’s last known location, the player simply finds the piece missing, replaced by a note and a location.

In Brief:

  1. There are six quests in act 1 of Skyrim. Four of these include several tutorial aspects to the game.
  2. Key locations discovered in this phase include Whiterun, High Hrothgar, Bleak Falls Barrow, and Riverwood.
  3. The main characters first met in this act include Jarl Bulgruuf, Arngeir, and the other Grey Beards.

Act 2

Riverwood

By arriving at the notes specified location, the Sleepy Giant Inn in Riverwood, the player will meet Delphine. Not only did Delphine get to the horn first, but she also knows you are supposedly the Dragonborn and needs your help. As a show of faith, Delphine gives the player the horn and the quest, A Blade in the Dark.

Once you’ve returned the horn to the Grey Beards, help Delphine slay a dragon near Kingsgrove, and your identity will be confirmed in her eyes. After she recognizes you as the Dragonborn, she will entrust you with the knowledge that she is a Blade and thus a sworn protector and guide to the Dragonborn, this being their purpose from their founding way back in the Second Era.

After gaining Delphine’s trust, the player will begin Diplomatic Immunity, meeting Delphine back in Riverwood to hear all about her next plot. Making their way back into the Elder Scrolls games, Delphine suspects that the Thalmor either had something to do with the re-birth of the dragons or that they know more about it than they should; thus, she suggests a cloak and dagger style capper, fit for any stealth classed RPG character.

With the help of Delphine’s friend Malborn, the Dragonborn is snuck into the embassy during a party wherein the player must find whatever intel the Thalmor may have. This intel is not very much at all, except they are apparently looking for a man named Esbern, who may or may not live in the sewers beneath Riften. Reporting this information to Delphine will lead the Dragonborn to find out about Esbern’s allegiance to the Blades, thus resulting in the player rushing off to save the old hermit before the Thalmor gets to him. Reaching Esbern via fighting off countless skeevers and Thalmor agents will complete the quest, A Cornered Rat.

Now that you and your two Blade buddies have reunited, the Dragonborn and his/her allies travel to Sky Haven Temple, home of the Blades. Within this temple, you will find Alduin’s wall, a giant engraved wall that tells the story of how the original Blades managed to defeat Alduin in the first place, alluding to the use of a special shout to do so.

This is when the Dragonborn will find out about the bad blood between the Blades and the GreyBeards due to one group hating the dragons and the other half-worshipping them and having one as their leader. An understandable difference of opinion, I suppose. Either way, it is clear that to save the world, the Dragonborn must go to High Hrothgar again in order to seek out the words of power which can defeat Alduin.

This is where things really start to get interesting. Once the Dragonborn arrives as High Hrothgar, they will be instructed that the only way to learn this shout is from their master, who lives at the very peak of the mountain. With the use of another Grey Beard gifted shout, the player will make their way through myriad traumas and cold snaps, only to find that the GreyBeards master is actually a dragon called Paarthurnax.

I know, great name alert. In the Dragonborn’s conversation with Paarthurnax, the dragon informs the player about the Dragonrend shout and how it was used in combination with an Elder Scroll in order to cast the Dragon into the ‘tides of time.’

By using this Elder Scroll, found in the depths of Blackreach, the player manages to see a vision of Alduin’s final stand-off with the fighters who originally defeated him. During this time-traveling vision, the player learns the shout Dragonrend and how to ultimately deal with the World Eater.

Upon exiting this vision, the Dragonborn will find that they and Paarthurnax are under attack by Alduin, beginning the Alduin’s Bane quest. The use of the Dragonrend on the World-Eater will render him pretty easy to deal with, given that the player’s level is suitably high. After defeating the dragon, he will escape into the realm of Sovngarde.

In Brief

  1. There are seven quests in the second act of Skyrim’s main plot.
  2. Key locations found during this phase include the Ratway, Sky Haven Temple, Blackreach, and the Throat of the World.
  3. The main characters met in this act include Delphine, Esbern, and Paarthurnax.

Act 3

Whilst we know that Alduin has escaped to Sovngarde, the first-time player of Skyrim might not. Therefore, the player must find some means to locate the dragon. The obvious and first choice is simple, capture and interrogate an elder dragon, easy, right? To do this, the player will have to convince Jarl Bulgruuf to allow him/her to use the dragon trap in the rear of Dragonsreach to capture Odahviing.

To allow this, the Jarl states that he simply cannot let it happen whilst the town of Whiterun is under threat due to the ongoing civil war. To this end, the player must get the leaders of each waring faction to sit down and discuss a truce whilst you negotiate the whole end of the world fiasco, which nobody else seems to care about. This will involve General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloack.

(Note: should the player have completed or mostly completed the civil war questlines, giving dominant control to one faction, this quest will be skipped over entirely.)

Once the treaty is negotiated, the Dragonborn will interrogate the dragon Odahviing in Dragonsreach, learning that the Big Bad has fled to the heavenly Nord realm of Sovngarde, reserved only for the mightiest of Nord warriors (similar to Valhalla in pretty much every way).

To get here, the player must travel through a portal of sorts within the ancient dragon temple Skuldafn in The World-Eater’s Eyrie quest. Upon arriving in Sovngarde, the Dragonborn must enlist the help of three ancient Nord heroes from inside of the Hall of Valor. With these three heroes in tow, the player will destroy Alduin for good and return to Nirn, thus saving the world and completing the main questline.

In Brief:

  1. The quest, Season Unending, can be passed over should the civil war questline be advanced far enough.
  2. Key locations discovered during this act include Sovngarde and Skuldafn.
  3. Another quest entitled ‘Paarthurnax’ wherein the player is told to kill said dragon for the Blades can be ignored. After the quest Dragonslayer, the quest will simply vanish.

Skyrim’s Major Factions and Their Questlines

Alike all of the other Elder Scroll games, within Skyrim reside many factions which the player can join. Many of these are continued on from prior installments on the series and therefore are fairly familiar; others, on the other hand, are completely new to us gamers. With that being said, let’s have a look at the major factions within Skyrim and their quests.

The Companions

This bunch of happy sword and axe swingers are Skyrim’s own version of the Fighter’s Guild. This organization is headed up by Kodlack Whitemane, who is not technically the leader, acting more like a revered father figure to the organization.

The guild can be found in the halls of Jorrvaskr, a mead hall located within the walls of Whiterun, to the far west. Once entering this building, if you ask to join The Companions, the Dragonborn will be pointed towards Kodlack for his decision.

Thankfully, the elder Companion likes the Dragonborn for some reason and therefore allows the player to join, even at the disapproval of another high-ranking member, Vilkas, who originally opposed before being instructed by Kodlack to begin your training. After this, the player is sent on a couple of busy missions, running errands for the other members. Finishing this will complete the opening Companion quest, Take Up Arms.

The Companions

The next step in The Companions questline is to travel to Dustman’s Cairn with Farkas. This mission essentially serves as a way to test the player’s fighting ability. The only interesting thing that actually occurs during this section is that Farkas randomly turns into a Werewolf without any warning.

Once you get over the fact that Werewolves are apparently a thing, the player will have to fight through a number of draugr’s and other beasties before returning to Jorrvaskr and being formally inducted into The Companions.

After this induction, the Dragonborn is brought into the Underforge, located under the forge at the back of the mead hall, by Skjor. Within which, the player is asked if they would take on the curse of the werewolf, joining the secret organization called ‘The Circle,’ which operates within The Companions. Upon accepting, the player will cause a ruckus throughout Whiterun until their werewolf form is satiated and they fall asleep.

When the player wakes up, they will find themselves with Aela at the side of a Silver Hand camp, a group of savages determined to wipe out all werewolves in Skyrim. When you make your way through the building with Aela, the player will find the werewolf form of Skjor, murdered by the silver hand. Once the building is completely wiped out, the quest will be completed. After this, the player will be given two more simple quests by Aela before reaching the Blood’s Honor quest.

In this mission, the player learns about the internal battle that Kodlack has been facing over his lycanthropy. As a true Nordic warrior, Kodlack wishes to enter Sovngarde upon his death. However, this would not be possible. As a werewolf, upon your death, you are doomed to roam Hircine’s hunting grounds as a werewolf forever. Because of this, he wants the player to find him a cure.

The cure requires the heads of the Glenmoril Witches, a group of Hagravens that inhabit the Glenmoril Coven. The player, therefore, adventures to kill these witches for Kodlack, a simple mission, all things considered. Things, however, turn from bad to worse once the player returns back to Whiterun, finding the mead hall surrounded by onlookers and the interior filled with injured Companions.

This is where the player will find that the Silver Hand has attacked whilst you were away and have managed to kill Kodlack before you could ever cure him. After this, you and the other Companions get into a deep rage spiral, finding the members of the Silver Hand who committed these murders and killing them, retrieving the fragments of the great Companions weapon, Wuuthrad.

With Vengeance completed and Wuuthrad in hand, the player, therefore, decided that there must be some way to help Kodlack from beyond the grave, to free him from Hircine and get him into Sovngarde. To do this, the player and the Circle journey to Ysgramor’s tomb in order to return Wuuthrad to the alter of Ysgramor.

This will allow the Dragonborn entry into the burial chamber, letting the player speak to the ghost of Kodlack. Then, by placing one of the witch’s heads into the fire, the player must defeat Kodlack’s wolf spirit to free him from his lycanthropy.

This, therefore, resolves the main questline of the Companions and places the player in Kodlack’s position as leader of the Companions.

In Brief:

  1. To join The Companions, head to Whiterun and, once inside the walls, find Jorrvaskr to the west of the settlement.
  2. This group replaces the Fighter’s guild found in other Elder Scrolls games.
  3. Many of the NPC’s encounters within the Companions are available as Companions such as Aela, Vilkas, and Farkas.
  4. The player can change from a werewolf to a human or vampire as many times as they wish throughout the game.
  5. The first transformation into a werewolf, where the player runs manically throughout Whiterun, will create no bounty.

The Dark Brotherhood

This organization of assassins is a key staple within the Elder Scrolls franchise. This faction is both simultaneously a cult dedicated to the lord of death, Sithis, and his worldly representative, the Night Mother, as well as an organization of highly trained super` hitmen and women who simply like to kill for money.

To summon this organization, someone throughout Tamriel need only perform the ‘Black Sacrament,’ a ritual which allows the Night Mother to hear the pleas of the sacrament’s invoker, creating a murder contract to be given to a very special member of the Brotherhood called the Listener.

The Dark Brotherhood

To join this organization, the player must journey to the home of Aventus Arentino in Windhelm. Within this house, a player will find Aventus performing the Black Sacrament. Apparently, after his parents passing, the child was placed in the Honorhall Orphanage under the care of Grelod the Kind. Apparently, this woman is not very kind at all, and therefore he wants her dead for the abuse she inflicts on the children in her care.

By killing Grelod, the player annoys the Brotherhood and therefore is kidnapped and put through an ordeal by the local leader Astrid wherein the Dragonborn must kill a random stranger for crimes they may or may not have committed. Doing this will grant you the passphrase to the front door of the Brotherhood’s lair.

After joining the Brotherhood, the player is given several contracts wherein they must kill random NPCs all throughout Skyrim. These usually come in groups of three and are given by Nazir; completing each section will therefore progress the player to the next main quest.

The first main quest event which occurs is the arrival of the semi-crazy Cicero with the tomb of the Night Mother. This arrival and apparent usurping of power away from Astrid angers the leader, and therefore she charges the Dragonborn with eavesdropping on the madman to ascertain his true motives.

To do this, the player must enter into the upright tomb of the Night Mother, getting uncomfortably close with the rotting corpse. This is when the player finds out they can hear the Night Mother and is, therefore, the Listener.

As the Listener, the player is given a task by the Night Mother to find a man by the name of Armaund Motierre and acquire his contract. Astrid, as your leader, allows you to find this man, and as it turns out, he gives you the biggest contract the Brotherhood has ever had, to kill the Emperor of Cyrodiil. This plan involves a multitude of steps, including the quest Bound Until Death, wherein the player must kill the cousin of the emperor to draw him into the region.

This mission can be completed in many ways and, therefore, can be one of the more interesting quests in the entire game, if not just a bit of a handful, to get to work correctly. After this, another couple of quests need completing in order to get the main mission up and running. After all of this is completed, the Dragonborn enters into the presence of the emperor disguised as a chef called the Gourmet.

Everything seems to go according to plan, the emperor has eaten the poisoned meal or died by other means, and therefore, your next step is to escape. All is going well until halfway across the bridge, which is to be your exit, you realize you have been betrayed.

You will be told that the Dragonborn has been betrayed by a member of the Brotherhood, and therefore the man that just died was merely a decoy. In return for this double-cross, the Brotherhood would be allowed to continue unmolested.

However, the Penitus Oculatus agent Maro informs you that he has no intention of letting the Brotherhood survive and will sack the sanctuary after he kills you. Leaving the player no choice, the Dragonborn must fight back and escape the city of Solitude.

Once the player escapes, they must head back to the sanctuary, wherein they find the entire Brotherhood almost murdered, including Astrid, who tells the player how Cicero went crazy and attacked the Sanctuary members before the Penitus Oculatus members arrived and finished the job.

The next couple of quests given to the Dragonborn and Listener are pretty self-explanatory, firstly you must complete the contract given by the Night Mother as Sithis demands it. Therefore, the player must enter the Imperial ship docked just outside of Solitude and kill the real emperor. Then, you must track down Cicero and either kill him for what he has done or let him live, allowing him to become a very annoying possible companion.

After all, is said and done, Armaund will give the player a large sum of gold, plenty to rebuild the brotherhood from the ground up in their new Dawnstar sanctuary, fully furnished with a built-in torture room. This, therefore, completes the Dark Brotherhood questline; however, murder contracts will remain available from the Night Mother as you continue your wicked ways.

In Brief:

  1. To join the Dark Brotherhood, the player must enter the home of Aventus Arentino and complete his quest. After this, you must sleep after 24hrs have passed.
  2. This game gives mention to The Hand, a higher order of the Brotherhood which are included in the Elder Scrolls games but are not seen in this entry.
  3. Astrid gives you a dagger called Blade of Woe, a weapon that existed in other ES games.
  4. The Dawnstar sanctuary can be remodeled to various levels of expense depending on how much the player wants to tell Nazir they were paid for the final mission. If you lie, you get to keep the remaining amount.
  5. Key figures met during these quests include Astrid, Cicero, Nazir, Babette, and Arnbjorn.

Thieves Guild

If you have played some of the previous entries into this franchise, you will be familiar with the Thieves Guild. Especially from Oblivion, wherein the player inevitably ends up heading up the organization under the moniker of the Gray Fox.

The Skyrim branch of this organization, however, is slightly different in terms of the command structure, but we will get into that later. Operating out of the sewers of the Ratway tunnels underneath Riften, the Thieves Guild is one of my favorite guilds within Skyrim as they totally suit players who prefer a stealthier character build.

To join this secret organization of thieves, the Dragonborn must travel to Riften’s markets between the opening hours of 8:00 am, and 8:00 pm, wherein the player will encounter Brynjolf, a member of the Thieves Guild who will challenge the Dragonborn to steal a silver ring from Madesi to then plant said ring in the pockets of Brand-Shei. Doing this will complete the opening quest of the Thieves Guild, entitled A Chance Arrangement.

After this, the Dragonborn must venture through the Ratway tunnels in order to find The Ragged Flagon, wherein the player is tasked with one final quest before being granted entry into the guild, a simple debt collection quest. When you return to Brynjolf, he will welcome you into the Guild, introducing you to the Guildmaster, Mercer Frey. This then leads to the player being given several typical quests involving stealing, spying, and snooping, as any good thief must do.

This trend continues until the player meets a former member of the guild, Karliah, a former ally of Brynjolf, who was shunned many years ago after supposedly betraying the guild. However, during the quest, Speaking with Silence, the player hears the truth from Karliah about how it was, in fact, Mercer Frey who killed her former companion Gallus.

To prove this, the quest Hard Answers involves the Dragonborn retrieving Gallus’ journal, only to find it is written in an ancient Falmer language which you must get translated by Calcelmo in Markarth. This translation proves useful as it proves that Gallus had, in fact, suspected Frey of stealing from the guild for many years via the use of something called the Twilight Sepulcher.

This location, you will find out later, is the home of the Daedric Prince, Nocturnal, the patron of the Thieves Guild, served only by a trusted few called the Nightingales.

This special order used to include Karliah, Mercer, and Gallus before the betrayal. The player later finds out that Mercer has managed to steal from the guild via the use of Nocturnal’s skeleton key, a special artifact that acts as an unbreakable lockpick. His possession of which angers Nocturnal deeply.

To complete this guild’s main questline then, the player must find Mercer Frey through the Blindsighted quest. He will be found near Irkngthand, high up in the mountains, wherein he is attempting to steal one final prize before disappearing into the night. Upon entering this location, Mercer will realize the game is up, and he cannot defeat the Dragonborn, and so he decides to flood the location just before you slay him.

The player must then escape the slowly filling dungeon and return to the surface. At this point, the player can either become a fully-fledged member of the Nightingales by returning the skeleton key to Nocturnal or simply leave with the powerful artifact in hand and return as guild master to the Thieves Guild.

This will therefore complete the main questline. However, key members of the guild, such as Delvin Malory, will continually have busy work quests for the Dragonborn to complete in order to restore the guild back to its former glory.

In Brief:

  1. Meet Brynjolf in Riften’s marketplace to begin the Thieves Guild Questline.
  2. Even if you fail the opening quest from Brynjolf, the player is still accepted by the guild member.
  3. Key locations discovered through these quests include The Ragged Flagon, the Honningbrew Meadery, the Twilight Sepulcher, and Nightingale Hall.
  4. The Dragonborn can be kicked out of the Thieves Guild for violating their rules. Mostly, just for attacking another guild member, if caught, the Dragonborn must pay a fee of 1000 gold to get re-admitted.

The College of Winterhold

This organization once again takes the place of another guild gamers would have been familiar with from prior entries in the series, the Mage’s Guild. This College, as the name suggests, serves as a faction/school for all promising Mages throughout Skyrim or Tamriel at large. Located in the northern section of the city of Winterhold, the college is headed up by the Arch-Mage, Savos Aren.

To enter the college, the Dragonborn must visit the college and pass a test wherein you must cast a spell in front of one of the Mages. Doing so will grant the player access to the college and begin the quest, First Lessons. After arriving, the player will be given a quick tour of the college by Mirabelle Ervine, the Master Wizard at the college, and then placed in the care of Tolfdir.

After defending oneself from his low-level attacks in order to demonstrate warding spells, the entire class will be instructed to journey to Saarthal to take part in an expedition. Upon arriving at Saarthal, the player will need to explore the underground tomb, only resulting in the discovery of the Eye of Magnus. This ancient magical artifact is known to hold great power and is therefore transported back to the college of Winterhold.

The following quests, entitled Hitting the Books and Good Intentions, revolve around finding out more information regarding the floating orb which we know to be the Eye of Magnus. After this, we are told by the suspicious mage, Ancano, that the Dragonborn has a visitor.

This visitor comes from the Psijic Order and is named Quoranir. He tells the player that they must stop someone from abusing the power of the Eye of Magnus, and to do so; you must find the Augur of Dunlain, a magical entity and former mage trapped below the college.

This Augur then tells the player to seek out the Staff of Magnus. To do this, the player must travel back and forth between college officials before finally being told to travel to Mzulf.

Inside this place, the player finds a massive Dwemer machine that must be manipulated via fire and ice spells to reveal a map displaying a magical anomaly taking place over at the college. Soon after this, a researcher found in the depths of the ruin tells the player that the Staff can be found in the depths of the Labyrinthian.

As expected, the player must then journey to Labyrinthian and find the Staff of Magnus, stealing it from a powerful dragon priest. When you return to Winterhold, the player finds that Ancano, the not-so-surprising bad guy of this storyline, has warded off the entrance to the Eye of Magnus.

Using the Staff of Magnus, the Dragonborn manages to get past these wards and destroys Ancano. Not very subtle, Bethesda, considering his allegiance to the Thalmor, would start most players’ spider-senses to start tingling. The conclusion of this questline, therefore, results in the Dragonborn being made the Arch-Mage, after the death of Savos Aren in the middle of all the magical fighting.

In Brief:

  1. This section of questlines is widely regarded as one of the biggest steps down in quality in terms of storytelling between Oblivion and Skyrim. Many fans found the College of Winterhold quest rather silly, nonsensical, and rather boring.
  2.  If the player is not already a member of the College by the time they reach the Elder Knowledge quest in the main storyline, they must enter the college as a student to progress further, thus beginning the College of Winterhold questline anyway.
  3. It is possible to bypass the initial test given by Faralda by passing a high-level persuasion check.
  4. The midden, a location below the college, had originally been intended to take on a larger role in the college questline; however, it was cut in the interest of streamlining and saving time.

Standout Quests

There are many unique quests scattered across the Isles of Skyrim. However, there are some, that for whatever reason, simply stand head and shoulders above the rest. Let’s take a look at some of these now!

Forgotten Names

This quest can be found in, or rather, below the College of Winterhold. Located in the Midden, this quest begins once the player stumbles upon the Daedric gauntlet seemingly left on a pillar in the center of an otherwise abandoned room. On the palm of this gauntlet reads the Daedric letter “Oht,” glowing in the dark.

In the room, the Dragonborn will also find a book entitled Midden Incident Report, which explains the ‘incident’ which took the lives of several students surrounding the gauntlet.

Reading further into the report, you find that the gauntlet could not be moved all those years ago, and therefore the decision was made to simply leave it atop the pillar, only removing the rings which sat upon each finger for safekeeping in the Arcanaeum’s Master Investigator Box. Therefore, to progress this quest, the player must sneakily steal the rings out from under the librarian’s nose and place them back on the gauntlet.

Upon doing this, four ghostly skulls will appear, floating around the gauntlet, each one representing one of the dead students. Soon after, Velhk Sain will appear, apparently summoned by your actions. Soon after his appearance, he and the Dragonborn discuss the dead students, with Sain later admitting to having killed them.

Seeing the Dragonborn as his best method for escape, however, he tries to persuade the player into freeing him in exchange for wealth, thus posing an interesting moral decision in front of the player. Whilst it is important to note that this decision makes no difference to the world at large, there is still the moral predicament to deal with at the moment; after all, this is a Dremora, a lesser Daedra, and a confessed murderer.

If the player should choose to free the monster, he will quickly say his thanks and portal away, leaving a treasure map in the player’s inventory. This directs you to a Shrine of Talos, wherein the Dragonborn will find a chest filled with randomized and level-dependent loot. If the player should choose to deny the Dremora’s freedom, however, the entity will attack the player, leaving behind only typical Redgaurd apparel and a Daedra heart.

This quest might not stand out to you straightway; however, I believe that it deserves its place on this list. Not only due to the unique visuals the quest gives but also because many avid Skyrim players could have missed this tiny little quest through myriad playthroughs. Therefore I thought it only right to shine a little light on it.

The Mind of Madness

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One standout section of quests within the Elder Scrolls games has always been the Daedric quests. These quests have always been places where developers have been given the freedom to let their creative juices flow. The magical and otherworldly nature of the Daedric Prince does not only allow for unique storylines and dialogue options but also for their alternate set pieces.

With this in mind, we must look into the quest, The Mind of Madness. This quest for Sheogorath begins in Solitude when the Dragonborn comes across a seemingly deranged homeless man named Dervenin. This man will request the Dragonborn to help his master to return from vacation.

To find this master, the vagrant gives the player Pelagius’ Hip Bone and tells them to find their way over to the Blue Palace, through into the Pelagius Wing. By holding onto the hip bone, the player will be transported into the mind of Pelagius upon entering the second floor of this wing, only to find the man himself sitting across from a Daedric Prince named Sheogorath over a tea party.

Upon talking to the Daedra, the Dragonborn will find that he can only leave once Pelagius’ mind has been fixed, and therefore the Dragonborn must face three trials to this end. One is called Paranoia, a second is called Night Terrors, and a third is entitled Anger Issues. After completing these quests, the player must return to Sheogorath, where he will be given the Wabbajack, a unique Daedric weapon, and return them to the real world.

A Night to Remember

To finish this guide on unique Skyrim quests, we must cover the most interesting of them all, A Night to Remember. This quest comes from the same vein as the previously covered Mind of Madness, being Daedric in origin.

It all starts on a random evening in some tavern or inn throughout Skyrim, the actual starting location never being totally predictable. The Dragonborn must enter one of these places, and at random, they may come into contact with a mysterious but rather charismatic man named Sam Guevenne. This man will immediately begin to strike a rapport with the Dragonborn, soon after challenging them to a drinking contest.

This drink turns into a whole night out, filled with fun and debauchery, leaving the Dragonborn to wake up by themselves in the Temple of Dibella, apparently after turning up drunk and trashing the place. Thus begins the search for Sam and your memories of the night before.

Remembering nothing, the player must rely on the apparently annoyed NPCs who were unlucky enough to be around when you wandered into their establishment and their recollections of your slurred speech from the night before. These clues will eventually lead you back to Sam.

You will find Sam at the ruined for of Morvunskar, which is now inhabited by a group of hostile mages. Within this ruin, however, is the entrance to the Misty Grove, which is inhabited by Sam and other dinner guests, simply titled ‘commoners.’ Upon chatting to your old drinking buddy, he will spontaneously transform into his true Daedric form as the prince Sanguine. This then completes the quest, with the player being rewarded with the Daedric artifact, the Sanguine Rose.

Skyrim Quests Guide: Conclusion

Well, there we have it, a guide to the main questlines dotted throughout the Isle of Skyrim. Hopefully, you feel fully prepared to battle your way through any and all monsters, quests, and/or tankards of mead that may fly your way. Just watch the skies, will you!

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