Skyrim:A Blade in the Dark
A Harmless Innkeeper
Now that you know that the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller has been pilfered from Ustengrav, follow the instructions in the mysterious note left in its place. This will lead you to Riverwood and the Sleeping Giant Inn. Speak with the innkeeper, Delphine, about renting the attic room. She will tell you that there is no such room, but you can take the room on the left. Delphine will follow you to the sparse room she indicated, where she will address you as Dragonborn and give you the Horn. She cryptically tells you that you and she need to talk and asks you to follow her.
The Problem with Dragons
She will lead you to a room across the inn. Here she will open a secret passage in the back of a wardrobe that leads down to a subterranean room. Here she will reveal that she took the Horn to attract the attention of the Dragonborn. The note was a safeguard to protect against trickery by the Thalmor. Delphine also tells you that the dragons are not just coming back, but are actually coming back to life, resurrected from their burial mounds. Only the Dragonborn can permanently kill dragons by absorbing their souls, but she is not quite ready to accept you as Dragonborn, despite the Greybeards' interest in you. Luckily, she has a task to prove your authenticity. According to the Dragonstone map taken from Bleak Falls Barrow, the next dragon will rise from a burial mound in Kynesgrove. She wants you to accompany her to the burial site and kill the dragon; only then will she accept you as Dragonborn. If you tell her you're ready to leave, she will put on her gear and leave the inn.
You are free to follow Delphine to Kynesgrove, or you can go at your own pace and possibly beat her there. As soon as you get to Kynesgrove, Iddra, the innkeeper, will run up to you and tell you that a dragon was sighted flying over the burial mound and that you should get out of town. If you traveled with Delphine, she will run up ahead of you to the burial mound, fearing it may be too late. If you arrived ahead of her, she will appear shortly on the mound, behind you.
Speaking with Dragons
Upon arriving at the site, you and Delphine will witness the dragon, Alduin, using his Thu'um to resurrect a dead dragon. When the dragon, Sahloknir, is whole once more, he has a conversation in the dragon language with Alduin.
- Alduin: Sahloknir, ziil gro dovah ulse!
- Sahloknir, ever-bound dragon spirit! (spirit bound dragon eternity-of.)
- Alduin: Slen tiid vo!
- Let your flesh be restored! (Flesh against time.)
- Sahloknir: Alduin, thuri! Boaan tiid vokriiha suleyksejun kruziik?
- Alduin, my overlord! Has time come to revive the ancient realm? (Alduin, my overlord! have flown time to revive realm ancient?)
- Alduin: Geh, Sahloknir, kaali mir.
- Yes, Sahloknir, my trusted ally. (Yes, Sahloknir, my champion [of] allegiance.)
Here, Alduin attempts to speak to you, addressing you as Dovahkiin.
- Alduin: Ful, losei Dovahkiin? Zu'u koraav nid nol dov do hi.
- So, my false Dragonborn? I do not recognize you as dragon. (So, my of-fake Dragonborn? I recognize no from dragon of you.)
- Alduin: You do not even know our tongue, do you? Such arrogance, to dare take for yourself the name of Dovah.
- Alduin: Sahloknir, krii daar joorre.
- Sahloknir, kill these mortals. (Sahloknir, kill these mortals.)
After ordering Sahloknir to kill you, Alduin flies away. Delphine will help you kill Sahloknir, and upon his death, when you absorb his soul, Delphine will be quick to acknowledge you as Dragonborn. Speak to her and she will tell you everything that you want to know; revealing that she is one of the last members of the Blades. She will then talk to you about her suspicions regarding the Thalmor, who stand to benefit the most from the return of the dragons. Finally, she will reveal her plan to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy, starting the next quest, Diplomatic Immunity.
- While A Blade in the Dark is active, dragon locations will be limited to dragon walls. Other than dragon walls, random dragon encounters are eliminated while A Blade in the Dark is active allowing for controlled access to dragon fights.
- Despite it saying you need gold to rent the "attic room" (and Delphine taking said gold if you do), you do not actually need the gold on you to progress the quest.
- When Delphine goes to put her traveling gear on at the start of the quest in Riverwood, she will stand next to the chest although the chest beforehand states that it is empty.
- Delphine will not acknowledge your status as Dragonborn if you slay a dragon that is not Sahloknir, despite any soul absorption.
- You can happen upon the burial site any time after Delphine leaves Riverwood. The quest will progress once you arrive.
- Standing too close to the burial mound when Alduin revives Sahloknir may cause you to be thrown aside in a manner similar to the Unrelenting Force shout. Though you can likely pick yourself back up before Alduin's and Sahloknir's conversation ends and the battle begins, you can be thrown off the hill and take fall damage, so be careful.
- In the time between the quest "A Blade in the Dark" and the quest that follows, Delphine will appear in the Bannered Mare in Whiterun and fuss at the Dragonborn for not meeting her in Riverwood as she said to.
- After renting the "attic room", Delphine may enter your room but not speak, breaking the rest of the quest.
- This can be fixed by typing
setstage mq106 30in the console, depositing the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller in your inventory and skipping to Delphine's 'we need to talk' dialogue.
- This can be fixed by typing
- Sometimes when you reach the dragon burial mound, Sahloknir will not fully emerge from the ground, and does not die when his health reaches zero.
- This can be fixed by walking far enough out of the dragon's range, which extends as far as Kynesgrove, and walking back.
- Talking to Delphine after slaying Sahloknir and absorbing his soul may not trigger the quest update.
- Using the console command
setstage MQ106 155can correct this. Follow up with
setstage MQ106 160if that fails; however, it is possible that nothing short of starting a new game will work.
- Using the console command
- Sometimes, you may not be able to absorb dragon soul until you complete the quest.
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 5, 10, 20, 25, 32, 35, 40, 42, 45, 47, 48, 55, 58, 60, 65, 70, 72, 75, 80, 90, 100, 105, 110, 120, 155, 160, 170.
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