Walkthrough by Andrew Testa

Version 2.0, Last Updated 2013-04-24

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Walkthrough by Andrew Testa

Last Updated 4/24/13 (Version 2.0): Converted to a formatted FAQ & implemented screenshots up to The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.

This document is Copyright (c) 2013 Andrew Testa. All Rights Reserved.

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Unbound

You begin your adventure in a wagon with three other men on the way to your execution. After a few moments, Ralof notices that you are awake and you are then prompted to look around with your controller. There are two important things that Ralof says: that you are arriving at Helgen and that the prisoner who is gagged is none other than Ulfric Stormcloak.

As the opening scene continues, you and the other prisoners exit the wagon and you are prompted to create your character. The most important aspect of choosing your race is essentially how you want to look. The boosts to certain skills for certain races does not make any difference at all in the long run as you can level all skills to 100 with all races.

Of note, however, is that "min-maxers" or people who want to be as powerful as possible might opt to choose an Orc or a Breton because of their racial abilities. Although this is perhaps not as important as how you want your character to look, Orcs have an ability that doubles damage dealt and halves damage taken, while Bretons get a 25% resistance to magic. These racials are far superior to most others in the game, and they can make a big difference in combat.

After you have created and named your character, watch the execution scene gone awry. For parents: please note that this is one of the few graphic scenes in the game that you might not want young children to see as a beheading occurs. Right when you are about to be executed, a dragon crashes the party.

Because of the mayhem, you are free to move about and escape. Follow Ralof into the watchtower. Note that your hands are binded so you can't get any items; however, you can sprint and jump. Inside the watchtower, run up the stairs when suddenly the dragon breaks through and breathes fire. Obviously, go backwards a little so you don't get hurt.


It's a little crazy, but you won't get hurt too much when you jump.

Go up to the newly created hole and jump into the inn. You will get hurt a little from the jump, but it is nothing to be worried about. Head east to the opposite side of the inn and drop through the broken floor. Exit the inn and wait until the dragon breathes fire before you follow Hadvar.

He takes you alongside a wall and through a burning building. Sprint through the building, preferably in front of him, so you don't get hurt by the dragon's flames. Continue following Hadvar until he meets Ralof. You have a choice to either go with Hadvar or Ralof.


The crossroads: will you choose Hadvar or Ralof?

This has a very small influence on the game, if any influence, but Hadvar is an Imperial and Ralof is a Stormcloak. If you, by happen to chance, already know who you want to side with, you can go with the appropiate faction. However, this has no influence later in the game; that is, if you go with Ralof, but you later want to side with the Imperials, you won't be penalized for your decision.

There is a small difference in how you begin your escape:

1. For Hadvar, you go into sleeping quarters. Let him get off your bindings, then ransack the place. Before following Hadvar's orders and obtaining equipment, take the gold on the table and the wine on the bookshelf. Take the two swords on the weapon racks.

Now search the chest near the bed and the warden's chest to receive some equipment. Equip the armor and sword. Give the sword a few practice swings before you follow Hadvar to a gate. On the other side are some enemy Stormcloaks. This battle is rather simple, and you can even use Hadvar as a meat shield if you want.

I suggest using both swords and slicing away. Use power attacks when they are blocking and try to use Hadvar as a distraction while you hit them from behind. Once they're down, loot both of them and also the Stormcloak near the table.

2. For Ralof, you start in the room passed the sleeping quarters. Loot the dead Stormcloak for equipment. After equipping the armor and sword, give both a few good swings before Ralof hears Imperials coming. Get into sneak and try to take them by surprise. Loot both of their bodies.

You can actually backtrack to the sleeping quarters where you would have gotten your equipment if you followed Hadvar. Head through the gate that the Imperials just went through, and follow the hall to the sleeping quarters. Loot both of the chests, the swords on the weapon racks, the wine on the bookcase, and the gold on the table. Go back to the previous room.


The room where Ralof and Hadvar's paths conjoin.

Both the Ralof and Hadvar paths conjoin here. The only difference between the two in the escape now is if you will continue to fight Stormcloaks or Imperials. Follow Hadvar/Ralof through the gate and loot the cabbage off of the wheelbarrow.

Continue following when the ceiling collapses and you are forced to go through the room to your left. In this room you will hear enemies; try to sneak on them before you begin your attack. The same strategy as before applies, use Hadvar/Ralof as a meat shield while you swing at their sides.

You are prompted to search the barrels for potions, but before you pick up any potion or go through any barrel you will want to loot the room of all the items that you can. Loot both of the corpses for more equipment, then take the wine off the small table, the large table, and the bookshelf. Search the cupboard near the large table to find a few pieces of gold and some other items.

Near the large table, collect the two potions on the bookcases. Now collect the potions in the barrel and also the potion and salt pile on the table near Ralof/Hadvar. Do not get close to Hadvar before you are done looting the place proper, or he will run ahead.


The game doesn't highlight it, but there are potions on these bookshelves, too.

When are done looting, follow Hadvar/Ralof through the door down to the torture chamber. Here you will either fight Stormcloaks or the Torturers, depending on who you chose to follow. Either fight is easy - continue using your guide as a meat shield while you hack away at the flanks of the enemies.

After the battle, loot the corpses and go in the caged area (torture room?) and collect the mace and shield. There is also a book in here, but it's worth very little. Grab the Dragonborn book on the small table, the dagger, and the lockpicks and potion in the Satchel.

You are given even more lockpicks from your guide. There are three cages that can be opened, and I suggest opening all three to raise your skill and also for practice. The one in the middle has mage gear and a book for the spell Sparks. "Use" the book in the items menu to learn the spell, and put on the mage gear if that's how you want to play.


Take this mage's clothes and the book on the ground.

Around this time you'll get overencumbered because you are carrying too much stuff. Aside from items that you are actually going to use, drop the items that are of the lowest weight to value ratio. For example, an iron dagger is worth 10 septims and only weighs 2 pounds. This means that you are getting 5 septims per pound for iron daggers. An item like a bucket weighs 0.5 pounds for 1 septims, which is 2 septims per pound. Obviously, the higher septim to weight ratio, the better.

This means losing equipment like the roughspun tunic and iron swords, since they are worth much for how much they weigh. Do not drop the mage gear for any reason; not only is it worth a lot, but you will probably use it even if you are a melee character. Of course, don't drop any healing items as well.

Follow Hadvar/Ralof to another torture room and loot the gold off of the three skeletons. Follow the cavern to a large room with several enemies. If any of the friendly characters in the torture chamber made it (either the torturers or the Stormcloaks), they will fight here, too, making the battle much easier. Please note that they will most likely die here, so don't be silly and restart the game because you let some random footsoldier die.

I recommend following Hadvar/Ralof on the upper level and killing the lone enemy there. Try to get on the other side of him so the two below don't run up behind you and start hacking away. After that, I recommend using Hadvar as a meat shield for the two remaining melee enemies while you run to the far side of the room and take care of the two archers. You will get arrows and a long bow now, which are useful for any character and I recommend keeping one bow on you at all times. Furthermore, bows sell for a lot so they're worth keeping here while you drop the iron weapons.


With the oil on the floor, setting the archers on fire also works.

Loot the corpses in the room and follow Hadvar/Ralof to a drawbridge. Use the lever, go down the stairs, go into the opening to your left with the stream and collect the potion and gold on the right ledge. Go back to the previous room and follow the flow of the stream to another skeleton on a ledge. Take the gold and potion, then follow the dirt path to a spider den.

The best strategy here is to let Hadvar go ahead so the spiders fall down from the ceiling. This will get you a better view of the battle, and again you can use Hadvar as a meat shield while you hack away behind the spiders. Loot all the spiders for their venom, which is worth a lot for how much it weighs.


The spider's den; getting ready to fire a surprise shot.

Head down the dirt path in the east part of the room and follow it over the stream to a wheelbarrow. Wait at the wheelbarrow for Ralof/Hadvar to catch up (if he is behind) to find out that there is a bear up ahead. He tells you that sneaking might be the best way to go, and gives you a bow and some arrows.

Before you do anything, loot the wheelbarrow for a few bottles of wine and a coin purpse. There is also an iron helmet near the wheelbarrow and a bottle of Black-Briar Mead. You have a choice with the bear: you can either sneak by or do a sneak attack with your weapon of choice.

Since you'll definitely get a sneak attack in with the bow that you were just given, I recommend firing away at the bear. It will only take a few shots to down it, and he might be down before he even sees you. Also, you can collect a bear pelt from the bear, which is worth a good amount for this early in the game.


You shouldn't be the sneak-type right now: fire away at the bear!

Either way, you end up following Hadvar/Ralof to the exit of the cave and then prompted to head to Riverwood to talk to Hadvar/Ralof's family.

Before the Storm

Out of the cave, I recommend staying on the dirt path until you reach the stone covered road. Your goal is to get to the standing stones, which are denoted by a long stone on the compass with a diamond on it. When you get to them, choose your stone of choice. When under these stones, they make it 20% faster to level that particular skillset. You can only be under one stone at a time and you can change stones at any time.


The three standing stones near the lake.

For example, the Warrior Stone will make the skills Smithing, Heavy Armor, Block, Two-Handed, One-Handed, and Archery level faster. The Thief Stone levels Light Armor, Sneak, Lockpicking, Pickpocketing, Speech, and Alchemy 20% faster, while the Mage Stone levels Illusion, Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, and Enchanting 20% faster.

Pick whichever stone you like; melee character will want the Warrior Stone, magic characters will want the Mage Stone, and sneak-thief characters will want the Thief Stone. This is rather self-explanatory. I recommend, however, that you don't use the Thief Stone for now if you want to rapidly continue the main story, as you will be in a lot of combat and your One-Handed skill benefits from the Warrior Stone, not the Thief Stone.

After you choose your stone, head northeast to Riverwood. It's denoted by the arrow on the compass. I recommend sticking to the stone road. A small way down the road you may encounter two wolves to your right. Try to get the jump on them and focus on one at a time.

Talk to Ralof/Hadvar's family. It will be at the blacksmith or the lumber mill. Both families will ask you to travel to Whiterun to alert the Jarl of the presence of the dragon. Before leaving, they will offer to "take what you need" from them.


This is Alvor the blacksmith, Hadvar's Uncle.

Since you're maxed out on things you can carry, it'd be wise to sell the stuff you have and then come back to get the gifts. Sell all that you can at the Blacksmith first, then proceed to the Riverwood Trader to sell your remaining loot. You can pick up a quest at the Riverwood Trader if you want; the quest goes together with the next quest in the main story. You don't need to accept the quest, however, as it is just an item collecting quest, so you can merely collect the item that you need without even having the quest, and then go the trader and give them the item to get your reward. It's your choice.

At any rate, you must travel to Whiterun to continue the main quest. Exit northward out of the city and take the bridge over the river. At the crossroad, take the right (or north) path. A little ways ahead, you will hear wolf howls. On the left passed the rockside is a wolf.

After killing it, continue following the road until you see Whiterun to the north. It is the city with the huge building in the back and the giant wall. You can go off the path once you see the stables on the compass, denoted by a horseshoe.


Whiterun off in the distance.

You will pass a few Companions members fighting a Giant. You can help if you want. Continue to the Whiterun Stables and follow the road up to the entrance to the city. You will be stopped by a gate guard and you can persuade, bribe, or intimidate inside or just tell him that Riverwood needs help.

Persuade works for me on my Breton character since he has a Speech of 20, but it might not work on other characters. If you successfully persuade the guard, you will get a Speech point. If persuasion doesn't work, just tell him that Riverwood needs help and he'll let you in.

Whiterun is an active town and you might see Redguards asking about a redguard woman who ran away, or the blacksmith talking to someone. Head passed the blacksmith to the marketplace and ascend the stairs to your left. In this area, there is a man preaching about Talos.

Head north to the stairs leading to Dragonsreach. Ascend them and enter the building. Inside, go up the stairs to the jarl on the throne. Irileth stops you before you can get close; either dialogue option will work in getting passed her.

Talk to Jarl Balgruuf. You can say any of the three dialogue options - they each elicit different reactions but don't change much of anything. The Jarl talks with the others before giving you an armor piece as a reward.

Bleak Falls Barrow

Follow the Jarl to Farengar. He wants you to "fetch" an ancient stone table from a dungeon that could explain why the dragons are coming back. The dungeon, called Bleak Falls Barrow, is on the map, along with the quest marker pointing to it.


Farengar also sells spells if you're the magic type.

Preparations in Whiterun:

Before you leave, you can buy and sell at the shops. Belethor (general goods) and Arcadia (alchemy shop) are in the market square, while Adrianne (blacksmith) and Ulfberth (blacksmith) are near the entrance of the town in and outside of a store called Warmaiden.

You probably won't have the funds to get anything enchanted, and you will get good gear while adventuring that will outlevel what you buy now, so I don't recommend buying anything expensive. Rather, you should sell what you don't need.

I also recommend you get a follower now. This will make the game exceedingly easier, even on high difficulties, and give your adventure less of a "solo" feel. I find that Jenassa, at the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun (across from Warmaiden), is a great first choice. She costs 500 septims (which isn't very much later in the game), but she's in the same city as you, she doesn't talk over other people like other followers do sometimes (because she doesn't talk too much), she has a decent melee skillset so she makes for a good meat shield, and she is pretty expendable because there are several better followers in the game.

She has decent default equipment, but you might want to give her a shield and upgrade her one-hander if you can. She sometimes gets "stuck" on terrain, so look back every now and then to see if she's still behind you. If she's not, wait an hour or fast travel somewhere to see if she's still with you.

Also note that this is the best time to stop playing the main quest and explore the game and other quests. This is because dragons don't randomly spawn until a little later, and they become more of a nuisance and annoyance than anything. Picture a master trainer getting slaughtered by a dragon (no more master spells!), or a dragon screwing up your side quest. For a first playthrough, however, dragons are novel and exciting, so I recommend at least playing until they become random spawns.


Back to the quest itself: leave Whiterun and go to the stables. Face southwest to find the quest arrow on the compass. This is where Bleak Falls Barrow is located. Ditch the roads and just head straight for it. When you reach the mountain, travel southwest alongside it until you are just about at a camp with Giants.

Do not go into the camp unless you want a very tough, if not impossible, fight. They will not aggro unless you get too close to them or their mammoths. Instead, go up close to the camp until you see a dirt path going up the mountain. Take this path to get up the mountain.


The path that goes up the mountain to Bleak Falls Barrow.

About halfway up the mountain, you'll encounter a lone wolf (or another enemy, depending on level). When you get close to the dungeon, get off the dirt path and head to the entrance to the dungeon. Before you get to the door, you'll have to go up stairs, and at the top you will encounter three bandits.

For this battle, take out the archers first while dodging the melee enemy. You can sneak attack if you get the jump, and even fire arrows from the bottom of the stairs to pick a few off. After the battle, loot the corpses and enter Bleak Falls Barrow through the grand door.

Inside the temple, get in sneak mode and walk a little passed the dead bandit. You will see two bandits near a fire in front of you. Get close enough so you can hear what they are saying. Afterward, dispose of them in any way you wish; sneak attack with the bow is rather easy because you can down them before they even see you (on lower difficulties).


Sneak up on these two by the fire and take them down by surprise.

Loot the corpses and open the Novice chest near the fire to receive some random loot. Head down the path near the camp to reach a few tombs with burial urns on top of them. Loot them, then continue down the cavern hallway to a bookshelf with a potion. Continue until you reach an opening with a bandit in sight.

You can either kill the bandit or watch the trap kill him. He'll pull the lever in this room, trying to open the gate, but since he didn't solve the room's puzzle correctly, the trap will fire arrows at him. Either way, loot his corpse.

Do not pull the lever until you've correctly aligned the stones on the left! The correct order, from left to right while looking at the stones, is SNAKE, SNAKE, FISH. (The fish looks like a whale to me.) You can easily figure this out without any help by looking at the stones above the gate. They are Snake, Snake (this one is kind of tricky because its on the ground), and fish.


The correct combination to open the gate without getting shot at.

Pull the lever and go into the next area. In front of you is a table with some items and a chest. Before you begin to loot, however, go left to the wooden staircase and wait for the three skeevers to run to the top. Since they come one at a time, they can be easily killed.

Now loot the chest and the stuff on the table. The table has a potion and also a book called "Thief" on it which raises pickpocketing. If you're really thinking ahead, you might opt to NOT read the book. This is because you can wait until you have a pickpocket skill of 95+ and THEN read it, since it is easy to go from 15 to 16, while extremely difficult and time consuming to go from 99 to 100.

If you brought a follower, you can have them pick it up to transport it. Or, just leave the book there until you're at 95+ pickpocketing. Of course, you can just read it now if you want. It's not going to change much, it'll just be more difficult to get from 95 to 100 in pickpocketing.

Loot the chest and the soul gem on the pedestal. Descend the wooden stairwell, grab the potion and scroll on the table in front of you, and continue through the area. You'll reach some spider webs and hear Arvel the Swift. Turn left and break the web-covered doorway.

Once you step foot inside this spider nest area, a big spider will drop down from the ceiling. You can do this the fair way (fight in the room) or "exploit" the game by going back through the doorway you just went through. The spider won't follow you through the doorway, so you can pick it off with arrows and magic without getting hit. Alternatively, if you're melee and you want to "exploit," you can run up to it, stagger it with bash or a power attack, get a few swings in, and run backward before the spider has a chance to retaliate.


Try as it might, the spider can't squeeze past this opening.

The more fair way is to fight in the room so the spider has a chance. Ranged characters will want to deal damage from afar until the spider reaches melee distance and then sprint away from it to get distance to deal more damage. Melee characters can just go toe-to-toe; stagger, power attack, get swings in, try to dodge the spider's slow attacks, and flank attack it.

After the battle, go up to Arvel the Swift, who is caught in a spider web that covers the doorway, and talk to him if you want. Cut him down from the web and he'll try to run away no matter what you do. When he first gets cut from the web, he'll drop to the ground and take a few seconds to get up. This is a good opportunity to kill him. Alternatively, you can just let him run away; you'll find his corpse in a room full of Draugr.

While looting Arvel, it is necessary to pick up the golden claw and (perhaps) his journal. The claw (which is a double quest item that you will later return to the Riverwood Trader) is the "key" to one of the last doors in the dungeon. Without it, you cannot get to the Dragonstone.

The journal contains the hint needed to open the door: "When you have the golden claw, the solution is in the palm of your hands." Later, you'll need to solve a little puzzle and place the claw on the door to open it. The puzzle solution is on the claw itself.

Anyway, head through the hall to a small room that contains a soul gem and some burial urns. Continue through the doorway on the other side, go through the next room, and go down the slope. In this next room are three draugr, all of which are sleeping on the side shelves of the room. There is one directly in front of you and two further down the room.

You can easily sneak attack them if you want. This is easiest with your bow. If you awaken all three at the same time, run back to the last room and fight them at the doorway so they cannot surround you. After killing them, head to the end of the room to another trap.


The pressure plate that triggers the spiked door.

See the spiked door on the right side? It will swing into you if you go over the lone pressure plate in the center of the hall. Merely go around the pressure plate to avoid the trap. Note that your follower can trigger the trap, so if you have one you need to sprint around the plate. Alternatively, you can bypass the trap altogether by going through the rubble to the right of the trap.

Slightly passed the trap, you will encounter more draugr sleeping the wall shelves. The first one is right in front of you; again, sneak attack is a good option. Also, damage them while they are trying to get up. Slowly go down the stairs to reach another area with three draugr.

Again, these draugr are sleeping and very prone to sneak attacks. The first draugr is in the right shelf just after you descend the stairs. Kill it, and two more draugr on the left will (most likely) awaken. Take out the archer first.

After that's done, go up to the doorway on the far side of the room. Do not enter: this is another trap. There are rhythmically swinging axes in this doorway. Get as close as possible to the first axe and get acclimated with the timing of the swings. Sprint passed the trap right after the axes swing in your sight.


Sprint past these swinging axes after you understand their timing.

If you have a follower, they will most likely get hurt here, so wait until their health regenerates before continuing. However, if you're quick enough, you can pull the chain directly passed the trap to stop the axes. After the trap, follow the linear halls until you need to go down stairs. There is a draugr on the bottom of the them, resting up against the wall.

Sneak down and try to surprise attack it. Alternatively, attack it while it is getting out of its sleeping position. There is the same draugr setup a few more times down this corridor. You can easily sneak attack these guys, and even if you alarm the lone draugr further down, he takes a while to get to you because (I assume) he tries to run against the wall.

In addition, you can awaken all the draugr you want and sprint back to the stairs. There is a trap here that can easily kill the draugr: look up at the ceiling and you will see a hanging pot. If you shoot it down, it will make a big explosion and kill them all. You do, however, have to time it right.

Follow the corridor until you reach a room with a stream running through it. As soon as you enter the room, a coffin bursts open and a draugr appears. If you're sneaking, he won't see you at first, and you can easily get a sneak attack in on him.

After that, loot the chest near the coffin. Go into the stream itself, facing south, and pull the chain near the gate to open a pathway. Follow the stream until you see a path to the right. Follow that until you see a chest. Loot it and go down the path near the chest.


Pull the chain to open the stream's gate.

Get in sneak as soon as you see the snow in the room ahead. There is an enemy in this room. At lower difficulties it is a draugr, but I think I've encountered a troll when I'm at a high level. At any rate, you can attack from sneak and kill it rather easily.

Go over the snow bridge and take the east path that is sloping downward. At the bottom, loot the two skeletons and open the Novice chest. Go back up and continue following the linear corridors until you can see three door archways. There is a leveled draugr on the other side. Get in sneak mode and attack from the archway (if you're ranged) or try to sneak into melee range and strike a blow.

This enemy is distinctively tougher than the draugr you have previously encountered in the dungeon. In my new game (at level 3), it was a restless draugr. However, it only had more health and acted like a normal draugr otherwise. I think that if you're at a high level, you might get a draugr that can (perhaps) shout, so watch out for that if you're levelled.

Open the Apprentice chest between the stone pillars and enter Bleak Falls Sanctum. Here, follow the linear cavern corridors until you encounter another axe swinging trap. This trap works exactly the same as the last: time the swings and sprint through when they have just passed.

You will alert the attention of the draugr in the next room once you've passed through the trap. A draugr will come out of a coffin to your left, while two draugr on the upper level, on the bridge, will start to look for you. Get in sneak and try to take them down before they group up on you.

The most eminent threat is the draugr that comes out of the coffin right near the axe trap. Kill him first, and if you find that you are taking fire from the draugr above, go to the right to find a room where you are out of their sight. This room also contains a potion.

There are the same fire pot traps all throughout this room. You can really use them to your advantage here if you want. The fire pots hanging from the bridge are particularly useful for killing the melee draugr that runs down from the stairs, and the fire pot hanging from above the bridge, on the ceiling, can kill the other second level draugr.

Aside from the potion in the side room next to the axe trap where you entered, there is no loot in this room. Take the stairs, cross the bridge, and follow the halls. Open the iron door and run down the corridor to the golden claw door.


The correct combination to the door puzzle.

For this puzzle, you need to align the three rings in the correct order, which is bear, bird, and owl, from top to bottom. Bear for the outer ring, bird for the middle ring, and owl for the inner ring. Another way to say it: "activate" or spin each ring twice, which will spin them to the right position.

If you're wondering how to solve this without prior knowledge, reading Arvel's journal suggests that the clue is on the golden claw itself and, indeed, you will find the solution when you look at the claw in the menu (it's in the misc section, and you need to press the appropiate button to zoom in to get a better look).

When you've got the correct order, activate the keyhole to place the golden claw on the door. After the door slides down, head through the hall to a large room. There are no enemies in this room until you get the unrelenting force word from the word wall.

Walk up to the wall. Before you go to the glowing spot on the wall, note that there is a coffin on the opposite side of the platform. This is where the boss comes out of after you get the word. If you have a follower, make sure that they are position properly and not stuck on a lower level.

Run up to the glow on the wall to learn Unrelenting Force. After you learn it, the coffin behind you will burst open and reveal the boss. This will most likely be a Draugr Overlord unless you are at a really high level (then it might be an unnamed Dragon Priest).


The Draugr pops out of this coffin; attack it while it's getting out.

For this battle, I recommend running to the coffin as soon as you learn the word. Damage the draugr as much as you can while it is trying to get out of the coffin. This fight is pretty similar to others, sans that the draugr has more health and uses Unrelenting Force sometimes to knock you back.

Melee characters should chain stagger the draugr so it can't fight back, while ranged character should get some range after the draugr gets up. After the fight, loot the draugr to get the Dragonstone along with some other items. There are some items on the shelf to the left of the coffin, and the chest on the right contains items also.

Once you're done looting, go southwest of the coffin and up the stairs. At the rock door, activate the handle on the stone pedestal next to it and it will open. Follow the path and jump down to the lower level. Loot the chest to your right and leave the dungeon.

Outside, fast travel back to Dragonsreach and head to Farengar. He'll be talking to Delphine. I recommend listening to them before conversing with Farengar; he'll talk to you automatically after they're finished. Since you've delivered the Dragonstone, the quest is complete.

Dragon Rising

Irileth comes running to Farengar, telling him that a dragon has been spotted near Whiterun. She asks both him and you to go see the Jarl. He's up the stairs to the right of the throne. He will say "Not now" if you try to talk to him before he speaks with the guard who fled from the dragon.

He will initiate conversation with you when he's done speaking to the guard. He wants you to help fight the dragon since you have seen a dragon attack before. The Jarl gives you a reward for acquiring the Dragonstone and tells you that you can now purchase property in Whiterun.

You'll have two quest markers for this quest: Irileth and a spot near the watchtower. After a few playthrough I just fast travel out to the stables, run to the watchtower, and wait for Irileth to show up, but you can follow Irileth there if you want.

She'll run to the entrance of Whiterun and rally the troops before heading off to the watchtower. It's a slightly endearing scene. At any rate, head to the quest marker near the watchtower. The marker is behind some rocks. Irileth will tell you to spread out and search for survivors.


Irileth and the guards behind the rocks near the watchtower.

Head to the watchtower to find a cowering guard. When you walk inside the watchtower, the guard yells that the dragon is coming back. Even though the top of the watchtower seems like a good place to fight, the dragon will land on the ground around the watchtower, so I recommend staying out of it.

Also, since you have the help or Irileth, the Whiterun guards, and perhaps a follower, you won't really need to worry about getting hit as these people can effectively tank the dragon. At the start, the dragon will be flying around. Even if you're melee, get out a bow or switch to a spell and try to hit the dragon while it's swooping around.

Soon, it will land. This is your opportunity to damage it accurately. The dragon has a fire breath that extends quite a distance, so use the watchtower rubble as cover if you can. The dragon also has melee attacks that are powerful, so keep your distance unless you're a melee character.

I recommend using the others as tanks while you damage the dragon either from range or behind it. You can go toe-to-toe with the dragon if you have decent armor. A shield works wonders here as you can quasi-stagger the dragon to disrupt its attacks.

Don't be alarmed if the dragon flies in the air. He'll come back on the ground again. When this happens, switch to a ranged attack and try to hit it. This process of landing and flying in the air repeats until you have killed the dragon.

The dragon (obviously) has a lot more health than average enemies, so he might go a few rounds in the air and back down before you defeat him. The key here is to use the others as a tank while you damage it. If you're on a low enough difficulty or well-equipped, you can tank the dragon yourself if you want.

Melee characters, don't fret: in the main quest, you will obtain an ability that keeps dragons on the ground. For now, though, you need to switch to your bow or spells to get its attention.

After the battle, the dragon turns to bone in a mystifying glow and you learn how to use Unrelenting Force. Go up to the bones and loot the dragon. You will definitely want to take the Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales. These sell for a pretty penny and can be used later in the game to make excellent equipment.


Loot the dragon for it's scales, then watch the magic begin.

Once you've done that, you can optionally use your new shout. To do this, go to the magic menu and under shouts you can equip Unrelenting Force. You are then prompted to use the shout. To do this on the Xbox 360, press the right bumper. Be sure to fire it away from the guards or Irileth.

One of the guards proclaims that you are Dragonborn. In this conversation, you can answer however you like. You'll learn more about being Dragonborn in this conversation and the ensuing conversation between the guards and Irileth.

When you've satisfies your desire to learn about being Dragonborn from the guards, fast travel back to Whiterun. Note that you are unable to fast travel directly to Dragonsreach - this is by design. Head to Dragonsreach from the entrance of Whiterun and you'll soon hear a thundering shout from the mountains to the southeast.

In Dragonsreach, talk to the Jarl and use whatever dialogue options that seem appropiate to your character. The Jarl will mention that the Greybeards have summoned you, leading you to the next quest. When you speak to the Jarl again, he'll reward you as Thane and assign you Lydia as your personal housecarl.

The Way of the Voice

You can listen to the rest of the conversation about being Dragonborn if you want. You can also buy a house in Whiterun from Proventus Avenicci. This will make a good place to store your stuff, especially those heavy Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales, so buy it as soon as possible.

(There is an exploit in the game where you can buy houses and upgrades for free, but you do need the required money in your inventory. Tell the Proventus that you will buy the house, but before he finishes his dialogue place all of your gold in a container. He'll give you the house, and after that you can collect the gold from the container. You won't lose any gold in the process. YOU DO NEED THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF GOLD IN YOUR INVENTORY, HOWEVER.)

As you leave Dragonsreach, Lydia will introduce herself to you. If you don't have a follower present or you don't like the follower that you have, you can use her as a follower for free. She makes a good tank. If you don't want to use her as a follower at the present moment, she'll just hang about Dragonsreach or your home in Whiterun, waiting for you to call upon her.

It is a good idea to store those Dragon Bones somewhere. Either buy a house in a city, have a follower carry them, sell them (this is only if you know you don't want to use them), or store them in a free room. The easiest free room to get is at the college. After you are accepted (and that is extremely easy), you will be shown your room and you can store stuff in there. Note that some people have reported items disappearing, so use this storage at your own risk.

When you're ready, it's time to journey to High Hrothgar. You must go through Ivarstead to get there, which is on the other side of the mountain. There are quite a few ways to get to Ivarstead: go south from Windhelm (very slow), travel east from Helgen, or travel west from Riften. I believe that the Helgen route is the fastest, but I like the Riften route because it is more scenic.

In any of these, you will mainly want to stick to the road and follow the Ivarstead signs. If there aren't any signs or clearcut roads, head in the direction of the marker. In addition, a horse makes the trip much faster. You can buy one for 1,000 gold, steal one, or find one out in the wild. If you've done enough of the Dark Brotherhood questline, you will also be awarded with a horse.

When you reach Ivarstead, head through the town to a bridge with two men talking to each other. It seems Klimmek periodically journeys to High Hrothgar to give supplies to the Greybeards. Tell him you'll do it this time since you are going that way anyway.


Talk to Klimmek to obtain the supplies.

Time to journey up the mountain. You can read the etched tablets on different parts of the path to learn more about the history of it all. After going up and turning left, you will encounter a level-scaled creature about halfway to the next bend. It is a wolf at low levels.

You will encounter another creature after the second etched tablet. Again, the enemy will be different depending on your level, but at low levels it's just a wolf. As you go further up the steps, there will another scaled animal to kill.

There are no enemies between the third and fourth etched tablet, but after the fourth you will find a troll just as you are about to go through a rock pass. The troll will be on the upper level of the wall, and you should be able to see it from a distance.


These etched tablets are seen throughout the path.

Damage it with a ranged attack while you are in sneak mode. The troll will jump down and run toward you, but until he gets close he won't see you. Because of this, you can take away a sizable amount of his health before he can retaliate.

For the battle itself, there are several ways to glitch the fight. Just look around the area and find an elevated rock, or get the troll stuck on a rock/wall. If you want to play fair, in-and-out strategies work best for melee characters, while ranged characters should stay at a distance.

The troll makes very deliberate motions to attack, so you can usually tell when it's about to attack you. One of the best signals is when its hands are up in the air. Block and/or dodge its attacks when you see the attack cue. Also, if you try to get distance, the troll might just stay there slamming its hands in a fit before running after you.

There are several other legitimate strategies, such as using a flee spell, using a follower as a tank, or using a conjuration as a tank. In addition, if you have a horse, you can merely gallop passed the troll. He's too slow to catch up.

After you've handled the troll, continue to High Hrothgar. There are no more enemies along the way. Before going inside, store the supplies (in the Misc section of the inventory) in the chest out front and go inside. Arngeir will walk down the steps in front of you - walk over to him and he will ask you to shout at him.

Equip Unrelenting Force (if it's not already) and shout at Arngeir. He'll talk to you again and give you the chance to ask some questions. Tell him you are ready to learn and he'll teach you about shouts in general. After that, Einarth will put the second word of Unrelenting Force on the ground. Walk over it to learn the Unrelenting Force, Balance. Einarth will also give you his understanding of the word so you can use it.

Now you need to demonstrate that you know the shout. When the ghosts appear in the center of the room, hold down the shout button to shout the first and second part of Unrelenting Force. If you just tap the shout button, you will only shout the first word.

Why would they make it like this? It takes longer to recharge the bigger and better shouts, so sometimes you might just want to use level one or two in anticipation for using another. If you shout all three parts of the word all the time, there will be a longer amount of time before you can shout again.

After you shout at the ghosts three times, talk to Arngeir again. He states that you will learn another shout out in the courtyard. Go outside and Borri will teach you Whirlwind Sprint - the first part, Wuld.

Note that you can exploit the game here. If you have a dragon soul available (look in the shout menu), you can learn how to use the first word before Borri gives you his knowledge on how to use Wuld. If you do this, Borri will teach you the second part of the word instead. Essentially, you have a better version of Whirlwind Sprint available, and more importantly you only have to find one more word for it to get all three parts.

Go over to the pillars and watch the Greybeard use Whirlwind Sprint to dash through the open gate. Now you need to do it: Whirlwind Sprint passed the gate before it closes. You need to be between the two pillars, next to Arngeir, before the gate will open.


Use Whirlwind Sprint right after the gate opens.

Note that you need to change to Whirlwind Sprint in the shout menu if you haven't already. Sometimes I forget, and instead of sprinting through the gate I hit the Greybeard with Unrelenting Force. ;)

Go back to Arngeir to get your next quest. Before you leave, you can talk to Arngeir about being Dragonborn, the Greybeards, why he thinks the dragons are returning, Jurgen Windcaller, and other things. It's very informative stuff that helps tie the story together.

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