Investigating the Investigation (SOLVING THE BLOOD ON THE ICE GLITCH) v1

#1chaosinwritingPosted 12/2/2011 2:56:13 PM
See post #2 for simplified step-by-step instructions.

NOTE: This may only work with new game files. I was unable to solve the problem with my first character (graveyard scene would not trigger, nor would taking a Beware the Butcher pamphlet trigger the quest). Stay tuned.

I have been unable to trigger Blood on the Ice by witnessing the graveyard scene. The first character completed the MQ, Thieves, and was partially through the Stormcloak Civil War... 120 hours. The second was based off the first character's six minute save as a prisoner. No major quests... 20 hours. Both ran with the Imperial in the beginning. The third character was created from a new game file. I ran with the Stormcloak to Riverwood, kept going to Whiterun, and took a carriage to Windhelm.
I waited until 8pm and went to the Shatter-Shield home, pickpocketed the Key to Hjerim from Tova, and went immediately to Hjerim. Upon entering Hjerim, as I had tried with all of my characters, nothing happened. I walked around and found the object-errors known as "Investigate InvestigationTarget" (this appears when the quest has not yet been activated - those of you who enter Hjerim prior to starting the quest will see this in various places on the first floor). These cannot be activated or used. I opened the false back panel of the wardrobe, read and took Butcher Journal #2, walked out of the secret room to the right, read and took a Beware the Butcher pamphlet. IMPORTANT - taking the Beware the Butcher pamphlet will start the quest Blood on the Ice with the objective: follow up on the clues from Hjerim (this is farther in than the quest usually starts), but just reading it will not. There is no descriptive text for the objective (like in Unbound where it says, "I have escaped both my execution and a dragon attack at Helgen...). After this quest started, all of those "Investigate InvestigationTarget" object-errors were replaced by actual dialogue boxes, which would be clues for the player to discover. You don't actually need to investigate the clues at this point, but you can if you'd like... just beware of what I describe in NOTE 3.

NOTE 2: If you ever plan on picking up the Strange Amulet, do it before talking with Jorleif, or it will forever be stuck in your inventory as a quest item. Prior to accusing Wuunferth, you can sell it to Calixto for 500 gold. In doing so, when you kill Calixto and loot his body, the Strange Amulet becomes the Necromancer's Amulet, a more valuable enchanted amulet that looks just as cool... and you can drop it.

NOTE 3 - EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE, IF THIS IS IGNORED, YOU MIGHT CAUSE CALIXTO TO BECOME IMMORTAL: Once you trigger the Blood on the Ice quest by taking the Beware the Butcher pamphlet, there will be an invisible trigger on the floor at the interior front door that activates the objective "look for clues"- DO NOT STEP ON THIS. That step is only resolved by a one-time taking of a Beware the Butcher pamphlet, and since that was already activated, you will be screwed. What you must do is hug the wall that the front door is on, but stay as far away from the door as possible while still being able to leave. If you can activate the door, do it... this should allow you to avoid the invisible trigger. Note that you should never re-enter Hjerim until this quest is complete, because entering Hjerim places you directly on that invisible trigger. IF YOU DO NOT HEED THESE WORDS, RESTORE A SAVED GAME TO RESTORE THE WEAVE OF FATE, OR PERSIST IN THE DOOMED WORLD YOU HAVE CREATED.
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#2chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/2/2011 2:58:44 PM(edited)
Here are the simplified step-by-step instructions:

1. Wait until 8pm, then go to the House of Clan Shatter-Shield and pickpocket the Key to Hjerim from Tova Shatter-Shield.

2. Enter Hjerim, open the wardrobe with the false back panel, then read and take Butcher's Journal #2.

3. Leave the secret room, turning right and checking the small shelf with the pamphlets. Read and take one of the Beware the Butcher pamphlets. Take the Strange Amulet ONLY if you plan on selling it to Calixto before step 5, or it will be permanently stuck in your inventory. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - follow up on clues from Hjerim.

4. Talk with Viola Giordano about the killer's journal. To find Viola, go to the exterior west side of Candlehearth Hall and wait until sometime around 11am (if not, try 2pm-3pm). QUEST: Blood on the Ice - talk to Jorleif.

5. Go to the Palace of the Kings and talk to Jorleif about accusing Wuunferth the Unliving as the killer. QUEST COMPLETED: Blood on the Ice.

6. Fast-travel to another distant town (e.g., Riverwood), wait 72 hours, and then fast-travel back to Windhelm.

7. Look along the exterior west side of Candlehearth Hall for the body of Arivanya. If it is not there, repeat step 6. (Note: if you travel directly to Windhelm, her body may not immediately appear... when it didn't show up, I ran around the southwestern market and through the graveyard, and Arivanya's body was suddenly there... a more consistent method is needed. Body found at 10:22am, 12:26pm, 2:13am...) Once her body appears there, talk with the guard. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - speak to Wuunferth.

8. Go to the Palace of the Kings, then enter the first door on the right to the Windhelm Barracks. Wuunferth is in the second cell from the left (follow your objective marker). Tell him that the killer has struck again, then talk about his assistance, and finally talk about the evidence. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - patrol the streets of the Stone Quarter at night.

9. Go outside and wait until midnight, then go to the southwestern market. Calixto should be in the process of murdering Hillevi Cruel-Sea... if he's not there, be patient... he's coming. When his blade is drawn, you can attack him without breaking the law. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - catch the murderer.

10. Kill Calixto. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - speak to Jorleif for reward.

11. Go to the Palace of the Kings and wait until around 9am, then tell Jorleif that Calixto was the real killer. QUEST COMPLETED: Blood on the Ice. At this point, with a new character, I am still unable to purchase Hjerim. Perhaps more questing will make it so.
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#3chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/2/2011 2:59:04 PM(edited)
NOTE 4: The first two times I tested these instructions, I did not pick up the Strange Amulet. The third and fourth times, I picked up the Amulet, and sold it to Calixto. However, the third time, I stepped on the invisible trigger mentioned in NOTE 3, and it was the only time I was unable to complete the quest.

NOTE 5: When I went to test this on my other previously "glitched" character (no major quests, 20 hours in, based off of the six-minute Prisoner save file of my first character), I waited until 8pm in Windhelm, started running toward the Shatter-Shield house... and found the graveyard scene! I completed that quest legitimately and by-the-book, while sticking to the same steps I described above once I reached that point. It appears that the end result is the same for both the "pamphlet" and "graveyard" versions of this quest. (Necromancer's Amulet, favor of the Windhelm guards, but no home to purchase).

NOTE 6: My first character (MQ complete, Thieves Guild complete, partially through Stormcloak Civil War, 120 hours) with the glitch has the option to buy the house due to progression in the Stormcloak Civil War, but can't because of "unpleasantness". I pickpocketed the key, but was unable to activate the quest. I will test this character more in the future, once I complete the quest. Then, if that works, I will try the Dark Brotherhood, although it may be impossible.

NOTE 7: Interestingly, after getting the "follow up on the clues from Hjerim" objective, there is in fact the dead body of Susanna the Wicked in the graveyard! It is on the southeasternmost gravestone.

NOTE 8 (unrelated): I noticed that lock-levels increase based on your level or skill level. My brand new character with a lockpicking skill of 20 found the Shatter-Shield lock to be of Expert difficulty, but my level 61 character with a lockpicking skill of 80 found it to be at the Master level.
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#4eacaraxePosted 12/2/2011 3:08:33 PM
Alternatively, you can pick up the amulet and after speaking to Viola, go to Calixto. He'll tell you Wuunferth did it. Make sure to sell the amulet at this point or it will permanently be stuck in your inventory.

At this point, you can go to Jorleif or Wuunferth. Confronting Wuunferth, he tells you that a necromancer is responsible and the next murder should be that evening. That'll take you straight to the "patrol Stone Quarter at night" update. If/when you kill Calixto then, you can loot the Necromancer's Amulet (don't beat on Hadvar just yet, it sucks) from his inventory.

Now in regards to many of the glitches with this quest, it's my impression Radiant AI is the culprit. It's about the spawning scripts that control quest progress in certain levels not running, and to fix them you'll want to re-enter the Windhelm cell so they run properly. Otherwise, the NPC's involved will never go to the locations they're supposed to be on their own (for many of them, it's because they have no reason to go to those locations, whatever the NPC wants they can get closer by).
#5chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/2/2011 3:19:55 PM(edited)
Interesting workaround - perhaps skipping to Wuunferth's "patrol the Stone Quarter" objective should be tested as well.

If the Radiant AI scripts are the culprit, how do you propose we fix them? I tried entering and exiting Windhelm 24 times, waiting one hour each time, then 24 times, waiting two hours each time. I talked to everyone about the murders as much as possible, I fast-traveled around Skyrim, and came back, but still nothing. As far as AI scripting goes, the only time that I ever see Calixto and Susanna in the same room together is at Candlehearth Hall between 4pm and 6pm. I even tried getting them to attack me, follow me out to the graveyard, then submitting to the guards, leaving Windhelm, and coming back. Nothing worked. Any suggestions?
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#6chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/2/2011 3:45:02 PM
I disagree with the Radiant AI theory. On my level 61 character with the MQ, Thieves Guild, and now Civil War completed, I cannot trigger the quest by reading the pamphlet, whereas the two other characters could. This seems to indicate that there may be another trigger that prevents the Blood on the Ice script from functioning.
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#7chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/2/2011 4:42:54 PM
One bump, then I'll leave it up to the people from the future to search.
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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#8eacaraxePosted 12/2/2011 11:13:32 PM
chaosinwriting posted...
If the Radiant AI scripts are the culprit, how do you propose we fix them? I tried entering and exiting Windhelm 24 times, waiting one hour each time, then 24 times, waiting two hours each time. I talked to everyone about the murders as much as possible, I fast-traveled around Skyrim, and came back, but still nothing. As far as AI scripting goes, the only time that I ever see Calixto and Susanna in the same room together is at Candlehearth Hall between 4pm and 6pm. I even tried getting them to attack me, follow me out to the graveyard, then submitting to the guards, leaving Windhelm, and coming back. Nothing worked. Any suggestions?

You don't witness the murder with Suzanna. That murder is the one that triggers the quest, you happen upon the crime scene. Now, part of what I think happens is there's a set amount of time that must pass between going to Windhelm the first time and finding out there's a murderer, and Suzanna's murder. I think you have to stay away from Windhelm at least long enough for the entire cell to reset for that to happen. That's how I've accessed the quest with two characters so far.

The Radiant AI thing is with the second (or third, depending on quest progression choices) -- the one you actually witness, or prevent. The one that gives the "stop the murderer" quest prompt, and you chase Calixto to Hjerim. That victim has to be in a certain proximity to Calixto after he's already waiting in the Stone Quarter, and Radiant AI actually works against that step because, as I mentioned, that victim doesn't particularly like to go to that location to begin with...
#9chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/3/2011 12:16:52 AM(edited)
eacaraxe posted...

You don't witness the murder with Suzanna. That murder is the one that triggers the quest, you happen upon the crime scene. Now, part of what I think happens is there's a set amount of time that must pass between going to Windhelm the first time and finding out there's a murderer, and Suzanna's murder. I think you have to stay away from Windhelm at least long enough for the entire cell to reset for that to happen. That's how I've accessed the quest with two characters so far.

The Radiant AI thing is with the second (or third, depending on quest progression choices) -- the one you actually witness, or prevent. The one that gives the "stop the murderer" quest prompt, and you chase Calixto to Hjerim. That victim has to be in a certain proximity to Calixto after he's already waiting in the Stone Quarter, and Radiant AI actually works against that step because, as I mentioned, that victim doesn't particularly like to go to that location to begin with...


Indeed. Normally you will walk in and there will be four people standing about the southeasternmost gravestone, with the dead body of Susanna the Wicked on it. While you may be right about the set amount of time that should pass between learning about murders in Windhelm and Susanna's murder, as you stated, that is not a problem of Radiant AI scripting. This is why I provided a method of testing the glitch for those people who have yet to see the murder scene, so that we won't have to bother guessing how long it might take for this hypothetical requirement. It would be great to know what the requirements actually are, as I believe the "enter and exit Windhelm four times" idea has been repeated disproven by many players, myself included.

Now, as far as witnessing Calixto in action at the end of the quest, during at least five trial runs under various conditions, the only time I had trouble witnessing that murder was when I was at the "follow up on clues from Hjerim" objective, and stepped on that invisible trigger for the "look for clues" objective (which is the reverse order of how they should be) - however, this particular problem should not occur for people who activate the quest normally and follow it step by step up to that point. I would be interested to hear more about the conditions under which you experienced this end-of-quest Calixto murder, and how you may have solved it. I understand that you say that you leave the cell and let it reset, but the steps you took... did you travel to Riften, the Windhelm Stables, or just leave out the front gate? Did any additional time lapse between leaving the cell and re-entering the cell, aside from the standard passage of time from fast-travel (e.g., you waited X hours or went on a walk)?

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Abe Lincoln beats Chuck Norris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2Zf9tlg2Y&feature=relmfu
Dodongo dislikes smoke. XBL Gamertag: Tohubohu
#10chaosinwriting(Topic Creator)Posted 12/3/2011 12:15:53 AM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]