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The Bards College is a musical school in Solitude. The Bards College is where any aspiring bard starts his career in tale-telling or song. It is located next door to Proudspire Manor, near the Blue Palace inside the walls of Solitude. The College, though large, contains few notable items. Many of the bards around Skyrim were trained at the College, and will recommend that the player visit the College. The primary reward for joining the college is actually three of its miscellaneous quests, which together grant +1 to every skill (18 points overall).
Joining the Bards College
Upon arriving at the Bards College, the player is able to seek admittance. It is traditional for new Bards to perform a service to the college before they can be admitted, but there is a problem. The headmaster Viarmo will say that no new bards can be admitted except at the festival of the burning of King Olaf, which the bards have held annually, but this year the Jarl wishes to cancel it as she feels it is in poor taste after the death of her husband.
Viarmo will ask you to help him reinstate the festival sending you on a quest to retrieve a document lost long ago, an epitaph written at the ancient time of King Olaf's passing, and which he believes will help change the Jarl's mind. The document can be found in Dead Men's Respite. Once retrieved, return to Viarmo. You must help him fill in the gaps that are rampant in the document. Afterwards, the headmaster takes the player to the Jarl in order to try and reinstate the festival.
Although there are a handful of quests associated with the Bards College, it does not have a true quest line. For example, there is no knotwork specific to the Bards College; your game statistics do not have a separate category for tracking these quests; there are no achievements for entering the college or finishing its questline. The following quests are actually categorized as a side quest and some miscellaneous quests:
Click the show buttons to view full details of the building, its layout and contents.
Ground Floor (Library and Trainer's Bedrooms)
Top Floor (Lecture/Practice Rooms)
Basement (Kitchen and Student's Quarters)
- For a complete list of the various Bard performances, see this page.
- Despite joining the college and becoming a full-fledged bard by completing all the available quests, there is still no way to play any instrument in-game.
- Even after being admitted into the college, the beds are not open for the player to rest in and the player will not rise in ranks or take any active part in College business.
- A copy of the Speech skill book The Buying Game can be found up the stairs in the room on the right, on the top shelf of a bookcase.
- After starting a quest for Lami to find a rare book, a copy of the Alchemy skill book Song of the Alchemists can be found on the counter in the library.
- For the three quests involving the retrieval of instruments, the script for removal of the quest items from one's inventory at the completion of the quest is bugged. As such, these items will permanently be in your inventory (they're flagged as Quest items). Owners of the PC version of Skyrim can use console commands to remove these items from their inventory.
- Sometimes the objective "Investigate the Bards College" cannot be completed. Starting this quest after you have already joined the Bards College will make this quest incompletable, permanently leaving this task in your quest journal. The quest indicator points at the quest target but no dialogue options are present. You can clear the "Investigate the Bards College" quest by typing
SetObjectiveCompleted MS05Start 10 1 into the console.