Main Story Archives

Unbound

Before the Storm

Bleak Falls Barrow

Dragon Rising

The Way of the Voice

The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

A Blade in the Dark

Diplomatic Immunity

A Cornered Rat

Alduin’s Wall

The Throat of the World

Elder Knowledge

Alduin’s Bane

The Fallen

Paarthurnax

Season Unending

The World-Eater’s Eyrie

Sovngarde

Dragonslayer

Part One: Accepting your Fate as the Dragonborn
Part Two: Finding the Thalmor Embassy and Alduin’s Wall

 

Part Three:
Elder Knowledge

Alduin’s Bane

Bleak Falls Barrow

Paarthurnax

Season Unending

The World-Eater’s Eyrie

Sovngarde

Dragonslayer

Knowledge

 

Learn the Location of the Elder Scroll
(Optional) Talk to Esbern OR (Optional) Talk to Arngeir
Recover the Elder Scroll

 


NOTE: If you have already done the Daedric Quest: Discerning the Transmundane, you will have already gotten the Elder Scroll from . If not, you have a long trek ahead of you, and you should gear up accordingly. Bring plenty of potions and be prepared for a long journey to reach the Elder Scroll.
Speak with either Esbern at Sky Haven Temple or Arngeir at High Hrothgar. They will both point you toward the College of Winterhold in the northern Mountains of Skyrim. Make your way to Winterhold by whatever means you choose, and head up the path at the other end of town.  A mage with the College will stop you if you’re not a member of the College and ask you to show you are skilled in magic. Choose any offensive or conjuration magic (or a Dragonshout) and cast it to impress Faralda, and she will tell you to find Mirabelle Ervine in the College. Instead of reporting to Mirabelle Ervine, since this is beginning your questline with the College of Winterhold, find the Orc Urag gro-Shub in the Arcaneum.  If you head into the Hall of the Element and take the door to your left, it will take you into the large library where he will be standing behind the counter.
Speak with Urag and he will give you two books to read that relate to the Elder Scrolls. Take a look if you want, but it will be impossible to understand without translation from the original author, who is holed up in an ice field north of the College. To find Septimus Signus, make your way down the mountain carefully and head north.
You will find Septimus in an ice mound in front of an odd locked door that looks ancient. Septimus will not give you the location of the Elder Scroll without a favor: you must explore the ancient city of Blackreach and transcribe the Blank Lexicon he needs to open the door.
NOTE: The location given to you for this quest into Blackreach is one of many entrances. If you have already explored another entrance, you can take that one instead of the long-haul through Alftrand.
With the Attunement Sphere and Blank Lexicon in hand, travel to Alftrand and find the entrance to the ruins below at the bottom of a tower. Be careful on your way down the bridges; it’s a long fall if you misstep. This is a very large area, and your destination is always marked on your map, so use it accordingly. To get to the first door, head down the snowy corridor and up a winding ramp, leading you into another snowy hallway. Make your way through here and into the ruins ahead, heading north. Open the door and head south and then east, navigate the moving pistons in the wall, and head through the door to Alftrand Animonculary.
Head east through the corridor with Dwarven Spheres to kill. DO NOT walk on the pressure plates of the next ramp, since the trap blade in the middle will kill you outright. Use the lever on the right to open the gates to a winding walkway heading down, being careful not to fall off while battling any Dwarven Spiders. Head west and avoid more pistons in the wall, then turn northeast and down farther into the ruins. Fight your way through the Falmer and down another winding pillar. Keep heading deeper into the Falmer nest until you find a gold door in the southwest that leads to the next area. If you wish to head back for supplies, head to the northwest to use a Dwarven Elevator to the outside. You will create a map marker that you can return to if you leave.
Back in the southwest, unbar the door for future travels. Head to the bottom of the winding walkway and through the corridor to reach the next area: the Alftrand Cathedral. This area is fairly straightforward, but also dangerous. Once you clear out any enemies, head south and enter the platform. Here awaits a large Dwarven Centurion that holds the key you need to get through the next area. Head to the gate and kill the thieves nearby, then open the Dwarven Mechanism. You can head up the tower and open another entrance to Blackreach here, or continue on with the Attunement Sphere. A path is revealed and you can now enter Blackreach, a massive underground area.
If you follow your quest-marker, it will take you to the Tower of Mzark. If you decide to explore the area, you can spend a great amount of time looking around and finding Crimson Nirnroots for a side quest. If you want to leave, take the elevator to the southeast to the Great Lift at Alftrand, which gives you an easy entrance and exit from the area. Once you decide to continue, find your way to the Tower of Mzark and go inside.
In the Tower of Mzark is the Elder Scroll, but you must align the Oculary. First, put the Blank Lexicon in the empty pedestal, then begin playing with the stands beside it. Hit each lit up stand until the next one lights up, until each one is active. Press the tallest one in the middle three or four times; Press the stand left of that one twice; Press the smaller one once. Now you can pick up the Elder Scroll from its home in the center. You may also want to continue the Daedric Quest: Discerning the Transmundane while you are here, by removing the Lexicon from its stand. If you don’t remove it, you will have to return to this area again to fetch it later, this time without a quest marker.
NOTE: You must be level 15 to continue with the Daedric Quest with Septimus. If you aren’t this level yet, make a mental note to come back here later when you want to finish it.

Alduin’s Bane


Read the Elder Scroll at the Time-Wound
Learn the Dragonrend Shout from the Nord heroes
Defeat Alduin

 


Now that Blackreach is behind you for now, head back to Paarthurnax at . Move towards the center of the area and use the Elder Scroll in your inventory. Enjoy the centuries old flashback of the warriors who banished Alduin the last time. You learn the powerful , which you will use as soon as you get back to reality.
This battle is impossible without using Dragonrend, so use it as much as possible. Alduin cannot be hurt without being under the influence of Dragonrend, and he will not land unless you use the Shout. This battle is much more epic than other encounters with dragons that roam Skyrim, so hold out as long as you can and use those long-ranged weapons and potions you may have stocked up!

The Fallen


Talk to Paarthurnax OR Talk to Arngeir OR Talk to Esbern
Talk to the Jarl of Whiterun
Learn Shout to call Odahviing
Prepare a trap for Odahviing
Call Odahviing to Dragonsreach
Defeat and trap Odahviing
Interrogate Odahviing


Alduin is down, but not out. He reveals that he is the firstborn of Akatosh, one of the Nine (or Eight, depending on where you are in Tamriel) Divines and the original dragon king. Alduin is invincible at this moment in time and flies away. You can ask three different targets to help you find where he has gone. Ask Paarthurnax while you are at the Throat of the World, travel down the mountain and ask Arngeir in High Hrothgar, or travel back to Sky Haven Temple and speak with Esbern. Each of them will point you to Dragonsreach in Whiterun. If you do stop by and see Esbern, he and Delphine will demand that you kill Paarthurnax because of his close involvement with the last time Alduin was in Skyrim.  If you do not choose to kill him, the Blades will no longer help you, stalling any more side quests that they can offer. If you do kill him, it won’t affect the rest of the main storyline significantly. It is up to you.
The next actions you need to take will change depending on where you are in the Civil War questline. If you have completed the Civil War in favor of either party, you can just ask the Jarl in power for help, to which he will agree; you can skip to the next quest in the line, -The World Eater’s Pyre if so. If you are working with the Jarl at the time you head over to Whiterun, you may have to complete whatever favor he has asked of you before he will speak about the matter. If the civil war is still raging, the Jarl won’t help you until you assist in a peace summit to negotiate a temporary truce. The only ones that will be unbiased are the Greybeards, and you must convince all parties involved to participate.
Speak with General Tullius in and Ulfric Stormcloak in Windhelm to get them to High Hrothgar. The next few options in the treaty talk will be the ultimate decision on whether you are on the side of the Imperials or the Stormcloaks. Agree with the side that you wish to back and give them as much power as possible, and you will further your dedication to the cause. Either way, after the talk the truce is in place, and you can now trap a dragon with no fear of opposition.
When all parties are in agreement, head to Paarthurnax or Esbern to learn the name of a dragon you can call and trap in Whiterun. You learn the Words of Power Od, Ah, and Viing, which translates to ‘Winged Snow Hunter’ in Dragonspeak. Head back to Whiterun and use the complete call, and watch as Odahviing flies around. Lore him into the trap and approach him, but note that you cannot kill him. He will offer to bring you to an entrance  to , the Nord version of Valhalla.

Paarthurnax (OPTIONAL)


Kill Paarthurnax
Talk to Delphine or Esbern

 


This is a completely optional quest, but if you decide to side with the Blades, the Greybeards will disown you. This means that you can no longer report to Arngeir to meditate on Words of Power, but it also means you can complete more Blades quests.
Find Paarthurnax at the Throat of the World and defeat him by whatever means you choose. Dragonrend is a good choice to bring him down, but this battle shouldn’t be too much trouble if you’ve fought other dragons before. Report back to Delphine or Esbern after he is defeated to continue to work with them.


Get ’s help in negotiating a truce
Talk to Arngeir
Talk to General Tullius
Talk to Ulfric Stormcloak
Talk to Arngeir
Take your seat
Negotiate a truce

Very simply, decide who gets what in this convention of sorts.

The World-Eater’s Eyrie


Set Odahviing free
Talk to Odahviing
Reach Alduin’s portal to Sovngarde
Enter Sovngarde

 


Let Odahviing out of his trap and speak with him to go to Skuldafn, an area that only dragons can fly to. Alduin has used a portal here to get to Sovngarde to consume the souls of dead Nords to regain his strength. Once you get into the area, make a choice to stand and fight the dragons and Draugr that are here or make a dead sprint for the entrance up to the temple. Kill the dragons that follow you if you want the souls, or head towards the door. There are plenty of places to find treasure leading up to the temple door if you want to spend some time killing some Draugr.
When you enter, you can head right to find a chest and some stairs up, leading to a puzzle you have to figure out before you can proceed. The Whale glyph needs to face west, and the Snake glyph needs to face east in the first area to proceed. In these next two corridors, there are corresponding signs across from the movable pedestals. Take the left door and head to the stairs ahead.
Head to the bottom floor to figure out the next puzzle. Turn the first pillar so the snake faces west, and go up the bridge. Point the next pillar so the hawk faces north, and then head north to find the next pillar. Now turn that one so the Whale is pointing south towards the highest sign. The bridge should lower and you can enter a new door.
Follow the steps up, defeating a number Draugr along the way. At the top, be careful with the Draugr Warlord, and make sure to pick up the Diamond Claw from his corpse. Use the claw on the door after turning the rings to match, from top to bottom, Wolf, Moth, Dragon. Find the Word of Power for the Shout-Storm Call on the crypt wall and leave the area by the large wooden doors.
Head towards the bright light in the sky and intercept the Dragon Priest named Nahkriin. He is a tough cookie with powerful shock spells. Don’t forget about the dragons flying around, but don’t focus on them unless you want to. Your target is the Priest and his Dragon Priest Staff, which gives you access to the Dragon Seal and into Sovngarde. Just don’t forget to grab the Dragon Priest Nahkriin’s Mask, which is part of the Dragon Priests’ side quests.
Head into Sovngarde to meet your destiny.

Sovngarde


Find out how to defeat Alduin
Gain admittance to the Hall of Valor
Talk to the heroes of Sovngarde

 


Head north, past Nords who are panicked by the sight of Alduin. Once the fog sets in, use the Shout- Clear Skies to open up your field of view for a little while. Find the Hall of Valor to the north and approach Tsun. Tell him you look to enter and he will challenge you to a duel for the right of entry. You only have to bring his health to 1/3 when he halts the fight and lets you pass. Explore the area if you want; if you are into the Skyrim mythology, you will recognize the names a number of dead warriors from long ago. Speak with Ysgramor and he will tell you that three warriors wish to help you fight Alduin: Gormlaith the Fearless, Hakon the Valiant, and Felldit the Old. These were the fierce warriors that you saw in your Elder Scroll vision, the ones who banished him the first time. Hopefully with your help, they can kill him permanently.

Dragonslayer

 

 

 

Help the heroes of Sovngarde dispel Alduin’s mist
Defeat Alduin
Speak to Tsun to return to Skyrim

 

 


Head out of the Hall of Valor and out into the foggy clearing. You must use the Shout- Clear Skies with your companions until the weather clears and Alduin descends upon you. Use the same techniques this time as what you did the last time: use Dragonrend as much as possible and assist wherever you feel the most comfortable. Remember that Alduin is invincible unless he is under the influence of Shout- Dragonrend, and he will often choose the advantage of air attacks unless you bring him down. After he is defeated, speak with Tsun to learn a new Shout- Call of Valor and returns you to Skyrim. There is nothing more to find in Sovngarde, but take one more look around if you want. Unless you’re a Nord, your soul may never return to this place again.
You now return and find out that the dragons are still in Skyrim, but they can no longer follow Alduin. Many of them fly away, one of them being Paarthurnax if you didn’t kill him previously. After he leaves you can wait for him to return if you still want to kill him for Esbern and Delphine, and you can return to the Blades after that to complete the quest. Meanwhile, Shout- Call Dragon can now summon Odahviing whenever you choose.


You have now completed the Main Story of The Elder Scrolls V- Skyrim, so get working on the other questlines such as the Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, College of Winterhold, or any of the Daedric Quests. There’s hundreds of more hours of gameplay, you just need to know where to look!

Part One: Accepting your Fate as the Dragonborn
Part Two: Finding the Thalmor Embassy and Alduin’s Wall

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Part One: Accepting your Fate as the Dragonborn

 

Part Two:

A Blade in the Dark

Diplomatic Immunity

A Cornered Rat

Alduin’s Wall

The Throat of the World

 

Part Three: Finding the Elder Scroll and Defeating Alduin in Sovngarde

A Blade in the Dark


Talk to Delphine
Locate the dragon
Kill the dragon Sahloknir
Talk to Delphine

 


Now that you are a Greybeard and have accepted your destiny as the Dragonborn, the problem of those pesky dragons is your new goal. Return to Riverwood and speak with Delphine at the Inn. Follow her into a secret area in one of the rooms, where she informs you that she knows where a dragon burial site exists. She thinks that the dragons are bringing each other back to life and you need to find a way to stop it.
At Kynesgrove in Eastmarsh, you walk right into a new dragon being resurrected, and you must kill it. Don your favorite weapon and head up the mountain. It is easiest to use a long-range bow or spell while Delphine does all the dirty work up front, but if you do get face-to-face with the beast, stay away from his face and tail. Dragons can one-hit kill you randomly if you don’t stay to their sides and wings.
Loot the dragon skeleton and speak with Delphine about the newest kink in your plan. Maybe someone in is helping the Dragons or can give you some information. Delphine suggests the group that rules the Aldmeri Dominion. These people like to throw lavish parties up at the Thalmor Embassy, and Delphine can get you in.


Meet Delphine in Riverwood
Meet Malborn in
Give Malborn the equipment
Meet Delphine at the stables
Create a distraction and get away from the party
(Optional) Retrieve your gear
Search for information about the dragons returning
Escape the Thalmor Embassy
Talk to Delphine
Recover your equipment


Meet Delphine in Riverwood and she will have more information on how you are going to get into the Thalmor Embassy. She directs you to Malborn in Solitude. Speak with him in the Winking Skeever and he will offer to sneak you and some equipment in. You can give him whatever you want, but try to send him with things that will help you with sneak. Bring your favorite weapons too, but realize you won’t be without your full gear for too long.
Make your way to the Thalmor Embassy and make face with the partygoers, who happen to all be distinguished diplomats in Skyrim. If there is anyone there that you know, ask them if they will help you cause a distraction so you can slip out with Malborn. If you can’t find someone you know, ask the man sitting on the bench named Razelan.
Once in the kitchen area, head into the door on your left and get the gear you gave Malborn. Exit the area to go further into the house. Now that you are away from the party, you have the option of sneaking by the rest of the guards, or just outright killing them all. Regardless, make your way to the dungeon area in a snowy courtyard to look for more information.
You can head into rooms on the top floor and look for documents on the Thalmor, or you can head into the cells downstairs and find a prisoner being tortured.  Release the prisoner to get information on Esbern, someone the Thalmor Embassy is highly interested in. The guards that come into the area have your only means of escape with the trap door key, so kill them and leave the dungeon by a door in the floor. Watch out for the frost troll in the next cave and try to keep any people with you alive. Find the exit and head back to Delphine in the Riverwood Inn.


Talk to Brynjolf
Search the Ratway for Esbern’s hideout
Find Esbern in the Ratway Warrens
Talk to Esbern


After Delphine lets you know where to find Esbern, leave Riverwood and head for Riften. If this is your first time into Riften, you will have to talk (or bribe) your way in. Either way, head to the large market area in the daytime and look for your contact, Brynjolf.
If you are completely new to town, Brynjolf will tell you that you must frame an Argonian in town named Madesi to get into his favor. Steal the ring successfully from the stall, then locate Madesi and plant it on him by pickpocketing him and placing the ring from your inventory to his. He will be taken away and Brynjolf will congratulate you and reward you. He tells you to find him in the Ragged Flagon, down below the city of Riften.
Get to the front entrance to The Ratway by heading to the waterway below your feet and circling the middle of town. Make your way through a couple of ruffians and into the main area of the Thieves Guild. Locate Brynjolf and talk him into telling you were Esbern is. At this point you can begin working for the Thieves Guild, but for now, we have a hermit to find.
You can locate Esbern specifically by asking or Vekel of the Thieves Guild, or you can wander around The Ratway yourself until you find him. Be careful once you set foot into the area though, the Thalmor are prowling around the area looking for the same man. Find the door to The Ratway Vaults, a place hidden across a gate you must open in the first area.
Once in the Vaults, avoid or kill the crazies that make their homes here and make your way to the upper floor in the southwest. Here you will find a large, heavily locked door and Esbern, who will take some convincing to let you in. Mention the 30th of Frostfall or your new title as the Dragonborn and he will give you access to his little hermit hole. Tell him Alduin has come back and he will ask you to bring him back to Delphine in Riverwood. Apparently those two have a past in the Blades and he wants to tell you both some serious information on the leader of the dragons and how to defeat him.

Alduins Wall


Escort Esbern to Riverwood
Talk to Esbern
Gain entrance to Temple
Learn the secret of Alduin’s Wall

 


You can take the lead and ask Esbern to follow you out if you know the way, or you can follow him out yourself if you are a bit lost. Esbern can easily take care of himself with the Thalmor that have appeared, so help him out or take a breather and watch the mage do your dirty work. Once you get back into the Ragged Flagon, make your way to the west corridor and turn right to get back into the room you came through when you first arrived. Make sure to lower the bridge to make any returns easier and leave by which you came. Or, if you have already made a name for yourself in the Thieves Guild, head up the ladder in the main room.
Head to Riverwood and bring Esbern to meet Delphine in her inn. After learning some important information from Esbern, Delphine informs you that all three of you will be heading to Karthspire. You can choose to travel with them on foot if you haven’t explored the area yet, or you can tell them to meet you there and travel by yourself by fast-travel or other means.
The Forsworn are dominant in this region, and they are hostile to strangers. There is no point in approaching them, so take them out wherever you see them. When you arrive in Karthspire on the Karth River, expect a rough battle with a large group of Forsworn. You can help your companions take out your attackers, or you can sneak into the entrance of your destination.
Once inside, fight your way through the corridors and to a puzzle. Activate each pillar until the Dragonborn symbols are all facing west, and a bridge will open up to the south. Be careful not to run too fast, because another puzzle emerges in a large room ahead, and this one can kill you if you step in the wrong place. The trick is to look at the floor and walk on the tiles with the emblem of the Dragonborn only, until you reach the other side and can pull the lever to turn off the trap. This also opens the way to the Sky Haven Temple Entrance across some bridges.
After you find out how to open the door to the temple, approach the middle of the room. After you open the door, you can listen to Esbern or keep walking. The building inside hasn’t been touched for ages, and you can even find some blades armor in some of the bedrooms on the sides of the area. Head to the middle of the large room and listen to Esbern as he translates the pictures on Alduin’s Wall. The Nords of long ago used a Dragonshout to defeat Alduin in battle, but neither Delphine nor Esbern have any idea what that shout is. You realize that the Greybeards may have an answer, and after some resistance, Delphine tells you to visit the monks for new information. At this point you can speak farther with the duo for some Blades side quests, or head forward to High Hrothgar.

The Throat of the World


Talk to Arngeir
Learn the Clear Skies Shout
Use the Clear Skies Shout to open the path
Talk to Paarthurnax
Learn the Word of Power from Paarthurnax
Use your Fire Breath Shout on Paarthurnax
Talk to Paarthurnax


Leave Sky Haven Temple by the door up the stairs from Alduin’s Wall and travel to High Hrothgar. Speak with Arngeir and he scolds you for working with the Blades. As you try to leave, Arngeir realizes the error of his anger and informs you that you need to speak with Paarthurnax, the leader of the Greybeards. In order to reach him, you must climb the mountain by a path in the courtyard, and the only way you can make it through the weather is by using a new Shout. Learn the Words of Power Lok (Sky), Vah (Spring), and Koor (Summer) from Arngeir and select the Shout-Clear Skies from your menu.
Use Clear Skies to bring down the winds and begin your climb. You will have to use the Shout many times to make it to the summit, as the weather returns often. If you don’t use the Shout, you will lose stamina quickly, and that can be dangerous while being attacked by the enemies on the way up. At the top, you will meet Paarthurnax; Arngeir failed to mention that the leader of the Greybeards is a dragon! Display your Dragonborn power with a Shout, and Paarthurnax will teach you a Word of Power for the Shout-Fire Breath. Use is on Paarthurnax and he will tell you some information about the dragons and the Dragonborn. He mentions that Alduin is his brother, but doesn’t seem very loyal to his destructive cause. He tells you that you need to find the Elder to be able to learn the Shout needed to defeat Alduin. He doesn’t know where the is, but your friends in the Greybeards or the Blades might.

Part One: Accepting your Fate as the Dragonborn
Part Three: Finding the Elder Scroll and Defeating Alduin in Sovngarde

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Part One:

Unbound

Before the Storm

Bleak Falls Barrow

Dragon Rising

The Way of the Voice

The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

 

Part Two: Finding the Thalmor Embassy and Alduin’s Wall
Part Three: Finding the Elder Scroll and Defeating Alduin in Sovngarde


Objectives:
Make your way to the Keep
Enter the Keep with Hadvar or Ralof
Escape Helgen
Find some equipment
Loot Gunjar’s body
(Optional) Search the barrel for potions
(Optional) Attempt to pick the lock to the cage


You start your game out riding down a path in a dilapidated cart, across from you are two prisoners just like you. You were caught trying to cross the border, but at the same time two Nord rebels have been arrested for treason against the High King of . Meet the Ralof of the Stormcloaks, along with an unnamed and bound stranger and someone else caught in the crossfire.
General Tallius of the is at the gate of the town you are being brought to, and he lets your small caravan of criminals into the town of Helgen. Little do you know what your supposed fate is, until you reach an area of stone with a chopping block.

Once it becomes your turn, approach the guard and choose your class and appearance. Choose wisely, because the race you choose now will affect you for the rest of your game. (Take a look at our Picking Your Race section in Basics for more information.)

Follow the captain to the crowd and watch the Imperial Soldier talk down to your friend in your cart, now identified as Ulfric Stormcloak, leader of the rebellion. Just as it becomes your turn, a dragon sweeps down and saves you from your pitiful . As soon as you can move, follow Ralof into a tower to take cover. Follow him until a dragon named Alduin busts through the tower wall and breathes fire through the staircase.

Jump through the hole in the wall to the Inn at the east, and make your way to the bottom floor of the Inn and then outside where you will see some guards staring down a dragon, who takes flight soon after. Stay behind Hadvar as he leads you to safety and searches for General Tallius. At the keep, make the choice to follow Hadvar () or Ralof (Stormcloaks) into the side of the tower they are standing. This choice affects what you see for the rest of the quest and also who you are initially friends with in the civil war questline, but you are free to change sides after this quest if you decide to help the other party.
Head into the tower and have your companion take off the binding around your hands. Search through some nearby areas to find some armor and weapons, and then choose what kinds of items and/or spells you would like to start with by visiting your menu screen and equipping things. Drop whatever items you are not using and equip whatever you are, then follow your companion through the halls, defeating any enemies while picking up any valuable items from corpses and in the area around you. Make it a habit now to loot everything you see and looking on shelves, tables, bookshelves, and in boxes, barrels, and chests. Riches don’t come from your fallen enemies alone.
As you delve deeper into the caves below, you will fight your way into a spider lair and eventually come across a bear. Sneak past the bear if you want, or take him down with a fire spell or weapon of choice. You can use this opportunity to raise your sneak spell by sneaking past the bear and behind your companion through the cave.
As you make your way out of the cave, a dragon flies by and your companion leaves you. Now you are free to explore Skyrim on your own or continue to follow the main questline as you like. Now would be a great time to become acquainted with the overmap and learn what icons mean. Once you are comfortable with navigation, make your way by foot to the nearby village of Riverwood.

Before the Storm

 

Objectives:
Talk to Alvor in Riverwood
Talk to Gerdur in Riverwood
Talk to the Jarl of Whiterun

 


Make your way to Riverwood, south of Whiterun in the Whiterun Hold of Skyrim. If you are new to the game, it is wise to follow your companion that you were with while escaping from Helgen, but you are free to go your own way wherever you want. If you do follow your companion from the cave, you will make your way up a river path and to the Guardian Stones, which possess blessings that you can choose to help your character. These Stones help you learn skills faster, but you can only have one blessing at a time. Obviously, pick the Stone that most fits in with your character’s current play style, be it in stealth, magic, or combat. There are other Standing Stones around Skyrim that have other powerful blessings, but be warned: any new blessing that you accept from another Stone replaces the one you currently have.
Meet your companion and his uncle at the smithing area of Riverwood, so you can speak about what is going on in Skyrim. The uncle has some things he offers to give you, including a garnet and some potions. Take what you need and head for Whiterun to speak with the Jarl.
NOTE: Make sure that you pick up the side quest: The Golden Claw from the Riverwood Trader before you head to for the next quest. It is not necessary to this particular quest, but will help you access another part of the dungeon you can’t otherwise. You can also pick up a quest on the outskirts of Whiterun that will start you on another questline with the Companions.
When you arrive in Whiterun, a guard will stop you. Convince him to let you through and make your way up to Dragonsreach, where the Jarl holds court. Speak with him and ask him to send help for Riverwood. He will give you a token of gratitude and ask you to speak with the court wizard.

Bleak Falls Barrow

 

Objectives:
Talk to Farengar
Retrieve the Dragonstone
Deliver the Dragonstone to Farengar

 


Find Farengar Secret-Fire and he will ask you to head to Bleak Falls Barrow to find a stone tablet, also known as a Dragonstone. Bleak Falls Barrow is north of Riverwood, so travel to the town and take the path heading out. Head into Bleak Falls Barrow and make your way to the first puzzle of the dungeon, a stone puzzle that has to match the opposing picture (Solution: Snake, Snake, Whale).
You’ll come across a Dark Elf who has been trapped by a Frostbite Spider. Release him and he runs away towards some special treasure further in the treasure, bent on reaching it before you do. Battle through some Draugr that defeat your fleeing friend and get to the dead body when all is clear. Take the Golden Claw and Arvel’s Journal off of him and read it if you want. Continue on, being careful of swinging traps and Draugr along the way.  Find the entrance to the Bleak Falls Sanctum and go in.
More Draugr are in this area, so keep fighting through until you get to a door guarded by a puzzle. Take a look at the Golden Claw and notice that the answer is on the wrist. Spin the circles in the door to match the claw and activate the door with the Golden Claw (Solution from top to bottom: Bear, Moth Owl). It will open up and lead you into a chamber that holds a Word of Power and a group of Draugrs. After defeating your enemies, search the Draugr and collect the Dragonstone that you came for. At this time, you cannot unlock the Word of Power without defeating a dragon, so hold tight. It will happen soon.
Return to Dragonsreach and give the Dragonstone to Farengar. Speak to the Jarl for your reward and to begin your next quest: killing your first dragon.
NOTE: If you return to the Riverwood Trader with the Golden Claw from Bleak Falls Barrow, you will receive a gold reward based on your level.

 

Objectives:
Talk to Jarl Balgruuf
Meet Irileth near the Western Watchtower
Kill the dragon
Investigate the dragon
Report back to Jarl Balgruuf
(Optional) Use your new Shout power

 


The Jarl of Whiterun informs you that there has been a dragon sighted at the Western Watchtower, and he wants you to help defeat it. He gives you more armor and sends you with some guards to help. Head to the Western Watchtower marked on your map and notice the damage already done. The dragon is still there and ready to eat you too! Take out a bow and start shooting the dragon until he dies, then approach the body of the dragon for a surprising twist. You’ve just absorbed your first dragon soul, and everyone is amazed. Now would be a good time to unlock your first dragon shout in your magic menu by using the dragon soul to learn the Word of Power that you found in Bleak Falls Barrow.
Head back to the Jarl and explain what happened. If you didn’t notice the large, booming call that came after you defeated the dragon, the Jarl informs you that it was the call of the Greybeards. This group of monks lives in the high mountain village of High Hrothgar, where they learn and practice the Way of the Voice. Best not keep them waiting!

The Way of the Voice

Objectives:
Speak to the Greybeards
Demonstrate your “Unrelenting Force” Shout
Speak to Arngeir
Learn the Word of Power from Einarth
Demonstrate your “Unrelenting Force” Shout (x3)
Learn the Word of Power from Borri
Demonstrate your “Whirlwind Sprint” Shout
Speak to Arngeir for further training


To find your way up the mountain to High Hrothgar, there is an easy way and a hard way. The easy way is to travel to Ivarstead by a path east of Whiterun and travel up the mountain path nearby. The hard way involves climbing up the cliffs yourself. Either way, when you reach High Hrothgar and the leader of the Greybeards asks you to use your shout to prove you are the warrior they called. Use your shout and Arngeir is so impressed and wishes to teach you a little more about the Greybeards’ way of life. Arngeir asks another monk to teach you a new Word of Power for your shout Unrelenting Force.
You are what is known as the Dragonborn, a human born with the soul of the dragon and the ability to speak their ancient language. After learning Ro (Balance) to add to Fus (Force) from Einarth, you are asked to demonstrate your new, more powerful Shout. Equip it in your menu and hit him with it three times, and he will direct you to meet Borri for a completely new Word of Power for the Shout Whirlwind Sprint. After you demonstrate your ability to use your new Shout by traveling through a closing door in the area, you can approach Arngeir for more information. You need to find to be considered worthy of being a .

The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

 

Objectives:
Retrieve the horn
Meet with whoever took the horn
Return the horn to Arngeir
Learn the Word of Power from Wulfgar
Receive the Greybeards’ greeting

 


Find your new quest marker for the village of Ustengrav in Hjaalmarch Hold. You will be confronted with Bandits and Necromancers at first in this dungeon, so be prepared for magic attacks until those enemies are killed by Draugrs. Find your way to a small crypt that has a chain to pull, opening up the way to the large hall and a bridge to cross. Open the door to Ustengrav Depths and make your way into the large grotto area.
If you travel down the ledges to the bottom of the area, you will find a banquet hall. Head south and cross the bridge to leave the hall, then explore the corridors leading to another large grotto area. Defeat the enemies below and find the wall for a new Word of Power for the Shout-Become Ethereal.  Defeat the Draugrs that emerge, then head back to the throne room. Cross the large bridge heading up and clear the enemies to find a puzzle area blocking your path. In order to get through all the doors, you must quickly use the Shout-Whirlwind Sprint through each boundary. Once through, navigated the fire traps on the floor and open the wooden door to the east covered in cobwebs. Pull the chain to open the door to the crypt of Jurgen Windcaller. Approach the coffin to find that the Horn has been stolen, replaced by a note to go to the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood.  You can make a quick exit through the wooden door behind the sarcophagus when you are done with the area.
NOTE: The quest “Retrieve the Horn” is going to be failed regardless of your actions. Do not be alarmed.
Head to the Inn in Riverwood and rent a room from the innkeeper, Delphine. Enter the room and Delphine will follow, aware that you are the one she has been waiting for. She gives you the Horn.
Return to High Hrothgar and speak with Arngeir. He comments that now that you have the Horn, you must be officially recognized by the Greybeards. You are taught another Word of Power, Dah (Push), the final word of the Shout-Unrelenting Force. Now you must stand in the center of the room and be shouted at by a bunch of monks with long beards, a ritual passed down for generations. Now you are an official member of the Greybeards and have access to all of High Hrothgar. Every 36 hours you can speak with Argneir for a new Word of Power to meditate on, and if you wish, you can return to the Tomb of Jurgen Windcaller and put the Horn in its place to get a free dragon soul to spend on another Shout.

Part Two: Finding the Thalmor Embassy and Alduin’s Wall
Part Three: Finding the Elder Scroll and Defeating Alduin in Sovngarde

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