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Smoke rising over Whiterun
 Quick Walkthrough
- Meet with Legate Rikke in Whiterun.
- Defend the barricades against the Stormcloaks.
- Destroy the attackers.
- If necessary, defend the drawbridge.
 Detailed Walkthrough
Travel out to the front of Whiterun and speak to Legate Rikke. There will be explosions and fighting as you walk from Dragonsreach to the front gate, however all buildings still function as normal. Once you have spoken to Rikke, you will need to kill the attacking Stormcloaks, and a percentage will appear on screen telling you how many are left. You will first need to defend the barricades. If you fail at that, you will need to defend the drawbridge. It should be noted, however, that "failing" to defend the barricades or drawbridge does not affect the ending or reward of the quest.
When all the attackers have been killed, your quest journal will update, ending the quest.
- This quest and Battle for Whiterun (Stormcloaks) are different radiant versions of the same quest.
- Followers who are accompanying you when receiving this quest cannot exit the Whiterun city gates with you, and instead stay inside the walls until you return. One way around this is to select the "part ways" dialogue before leaving the city gates and recruiting them again on the other side. This does not work for followers who return to Whiterun when dismissed, such as Lydia or Jenassa. Another method is telling your follower to wait just outside the city gates before returning the axe to the jarl (this worked for Farkas).
- It can be somewhat difficult to keep the barricade intact because your own archers will shoot at it while trying to shoot the enemy. To get around this, you can run past the stable and into the field. This is essentially the spawn point. You will have to kill maybe 50 enemies by yourself, but they will prioritize attacking you over the town, and they all go down pretty easily except for the generals.
- In fact, defending the city becomes much easier when exactly one of the barricades is down, as the gap will form a bottleneck and the Stormcloaks will ignore the other barricade.
- During this quest the guard normally posted outside Belethor's General Goods is not there.
- After returning to Whiterun the circle of raised planks surrounding the Gildergreen will be damaged.
- If you know the shout, summoning Odahviing will help immensely, as he can quickly slaughter large numbers of enemy troops. However, this is not a good idea if you're of the merciful type, because Odahviing certainly isn't, and will kill most of the now-fleeing Stormcloaks after the battle is over.
- There is a temporary Stormcloak camp outside the city next to the Meadery. If you run to it directly after the battle, there will be one Stormcloak Soldier in the large tent looking at the map, but no other inhabitants.
- After this quest, Heimskr's and Severio Pelagia's houses will rendered inaccessible by rubble, and Severio Pelagia will be killed and his body placed inside his house.
- When defending the barricades, if you destroy both of them yourself before the enemy does, the Stormcloaks will be unable to find the barricades and you will end up fighting on the field alone. ?
- There is a rare situation where you and the enemies will not be able to destroy the barricades. ?
- Restarting the game will fix this.
- There is also a bug in which after you finish this quest, [...] appears in the journal instead of the name of the next quest and the quest marker will disappear. ?
- NPCs such as Aela, Lydia, Lucia (if adopted), and your hired bard will appear as soon as you leave Whiterun and be attacked by the Whiterun guards. Additionally, no Stormcloak guards will spawn. ?
- The only way around this is to force completion via console.
- Random Dragon attacks may occur in and around the city of Whiterun during this quest.
 Quest Stages
|Battle for Whiterun (CWSiegeObj)
||The Stormcloaks are attacking Whiterun. I have been ordered to defend the outer walls and keep the rebels from taking the city.
||We have successfully defended the city of Whiterun. Demonstrating the weakness of the rebels' cause and the excellence of the Imperial Legion.
Only the objectives that are relevant to this radiant version of the quest are shown.
- <Alias=General>: Legate Rikke
||Meet with <Alias=General>
||Defend the Barricades
||Defend the Drawbridge
||Destroy Attackers (<Global=CWPercentPoolRemainingAttacker>% Remaining)
- On the PC, it is possible to use the console to complete displayed objectives by entering
SetObjectiveCompleted CWSiegeObj index 1, where
index is the index number of the objective given in the table above.