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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Strategy Guide

Author(s): Greg Wright
First Published: 31-05-2012 / 00:00 GMT
Last Updated: 12-06-2020 / 06:10 GMT
Version: 1.2 (????) 04-07-2020 / 10:25 GMT

Quest Info Description
Objective: Retrieve a Greybeard artifact from Ustengrav.
Quest Giver: Arngeir
Location(s): High Hrothgar, Ustengrav, Riverwood
Prerequesite: The Way of the Voice
Next Quest: A Blade in the Dark
Reward: Word for the Unrelenting Force shout, Recognition as Dragonborn
Rec. Level: 6

Quick Walkthrough

  1. Attempt to retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller from Ustengrav.

  2. Meet with whoever took the Horn in Riverwood.

  3. Return the Horn to Arngeir.

  4. Learn the Word of Power from Wulfgar.

  5. Receive the Greybeards' formal recognition.

Detailed Walkthrough

The first thing to do is to check out your map and see where it is exactly you are supposed to go. You'll see Ustengrav is just North East of Morthal (which, if you haven't done anything but main quests, is North West of Whiterun). It's definitely a good trip without fast travel!

Fast Travel to Whiterun stables and take a carriage if you want to skip the scenic route.

I'll be assuming that like me, you need to travel there all the way from Whiterun. If you don't, bully for you! That's really good, you'll be saving a lot of time! In that case, just pick through this section of the guide to see what you need to do then!

Fort Greymoor

Fast travel to the Western Watchtower and head west from there. The first new place you'll likely head to is Fort Greymoor, which has been overrun by bandits (so take them out). The biggest reason to stop here (besides all of the loot) is to find the skillbook **** Rislav the Righteous, which upgrades your Light Armor by one point. It's inside of the place, in the training room. Be sure to visit the jail as well for even more loot.

With that place cleared, I went north west to Redoran's Retreat (just to discover it, I didn't go in), then from there North West to Greenspring Hollow, which is just a hole in the ground with a bear living inside. Get the jump on it now that you know he's there! If you have your housecarl with you it's way easier. This hollow was the home of trappers (emphasis on "was"), so you can loot the place clean and make some decent money!

From there I went South West to Swindler's Den (again, just to discover it, I didn't go in it) and then south west a bit more to Gjukar's Monument (beware of the giant out in the fields!). Then it's a short jog north west to the small town of Rorikstead. From Rorikstead you can follow the path down to the river. You'll hit a bandit ambush on your way (which is easy to get through) and then you'll hit the river and see a bridge leading across it.

Save here and move forwards. This little structure is called Robber's Gorge and it's filled with civilized bandits who want a toll! Ha! Give them your blade as a toll!

Note: If you have companions with you; you may end up getting shot at even whilst talking to the bandit who asks for a toll...

This place is mainly full of cookie-cutter bandits, but they have a rock trap past the first wooden bridge that you should be careful of. They also have an orc with them that can hit hard, plenty of archers (who have a drop on you) and a tough bandit chief. She's usually in the small house here though, and will usually let you kill all of her subordinates before joining the fray.

The big treasure here is her loot and the chests, as well as an Archery skill book called The Black Arrow, v2. You can also go into a cove via. a cellar door in the house. This leads to some more loot and a cove. Note that you can jump into the water here and find a hidden chest under the water with items in it. Heck, you can even take this cove out to the river if you wanted to.

After having your fun with the bandits, head north. You should see a split in the path, with a road going east and a road going west. Go west first to find the small town of Dragon Bridge (who's most unique landmark is a bridge that has stone dragon heads on it, oh the clever naming!). From there you can head east.

There's a couple of unique things that happened to me when I headed east from Dragon Bridge. The first is the Old Orc encounter where you will meet an Orc who is ready to die and just waits in one spot for a fight. Note the saber cats around him. Anyway; you can fight him if you wish but he doesn't have anything special (this fight is noted in the On the Road section of our guide).

The second big thing is that you can run into Meeko's Shack. Meeko is the proud owner of this shack and he's a... dog?! Yep, poor Meeko's owner is dead, and so you can ask Meeko to come along with you if you wish.

Fort Showhawk

Keep heading east towards Ustengrav and you'll run into another fort: **** Fort Snowhawk. Like every other fort in this god-forsaken land, it is infested by necromancers (who are ready to kill you). You can take them out if you wish, just be ready for the skeletons that they summon (having companions helps here for the distraction they provide).

Prepare for a fight if you decide to enter the Fort.

You can also head inside of the fort to fight more necromancers, including a full-fledged Necromancer (not a novice or apprentice). This guy is behind a locked door when you first enter the fort. If you examine the door it will say it's barred from the other side, but I've been able to open it regardless by moving my curser over portions of the door until is says activate.

This will open the door, but beware, the Necromancer is no pushover (be ready to heal at any time; resisting magic helps as well). The big prize inside of this place (besides all of the robes that fetch a ton of money) is a block skillbook called A Dance in Fire, v2. Very nice.


From Fort Snowhawk, it's a short journey south east to the city of Morthal, then from there it is a short trek north to Ustengrav. Once you do reach Ustengrav, go ahead and enter.

You will notice there are a lot of dead bandits lying around Gulp, that's not a good sign.

Once inside, this first floor will have a lone Conjurer walking around (with a lot of dead bodies). Kill the mage off and loot everyone here. There's a chest here too, so be sharp! Continue on and you'll hear fighting down below! Aha, there's definitely some internal strife here between bandits, mages, and the undead.

Either let them fight it out and take out the winner or go in gun's blazing. Once everything is dead be sure to loot and check out all of the side rooms as there are a lot of urns here with gold, scattered potions to be found, and even a skillbook called Mystery of Talara, v2 that ups your restoration by one level!

Continue onwards and you'll see a path go down on the right and a path that goes straight into a new room. Go right first. Down here is some gold coins scattered on a table if you want to pick them up, but the wall to the left of the table is also a false wall.

There's a chain nearby that will open it that leads to a chest. Head back and go straight. Three undead wait for you in here, including one restless, so take them out then go up the stairs on the left. There's a chest up here and some potions. Follow the path to reach a door that leads to the Ustengrav Depths.

Head downwards and enjoy the view. There's a single Draugr patroling here that can reach you as well as one off in the distance. Kill it and continue on where you'll have no choice but to hit a large pressure plate that spits flames at you (whirlwind dash past it).

Continue onto a bridge where you can sneak attack a Draugr at range if you want, but sneak around to the floor below. There's another restless foe patrolling the far bridge. Kill him then follow the path to a room further on where two undead will rise (there's an oil spot here too).

After killing them again you can check out a gate on the right. The lever to the left of the gate opens a door further in, but hey, you can duck and activate the chain past the first door to open it! There's a chest here with several potions and an alchemy lab. Continue further in and you'll be back in the wide-open cave area. There are several skeletons down here, so take them out be beware of a fire trap up some stairs (there IS a chest and gems up there though, so you'll want to get them).

Head down to the lower part of the cave first, for down here is a Dragon Wall that will teach you a new word: Fade - Become Ethereal. As we know though, you must have more than a word to become ethreal (which does just what it sounds like it does). Be sure to check behind the waterfall as well for a restless undead and a chest . Go back up now and across the land-bridge leading to the far side of this area.

Head down to the lower part of the cave first, for down here is a Dragon Wall that will teach you a new word: Fade - Become Ethereal

Over here theres another skeleton and more loot, but more importantly there are three stones that glow when you get near them. Note that each stone opens up a gate up ahead, and that each stone is spread out a bit. What you need to do here is RUN past each of the stones (to get all of the gates up) and than use Whirlwind Sprint to get past the gates. It took me 2-3 tries (you have to line up just right...) but it's completely do-able.

Past the gates (which stay open once you get past them) is a room full of fire pressure-plates. There's also some spiders to your upper right. Go through this room by using the debris to step on and you'll face a large spider at the end. Kill it then hack through the webbing ahead to reach a big room. Walk down the stairs as giant statues appear.

As you reach the altar you'll see that you've failed your quest!

How is that possible? Read the note that's in the place of where the horn should be:


I need to speak to you. Urgently.

Rent the attic room at the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood, and I'll meet you.

-- A friend.

Sheesh, some friend. Loot the place then go through the door behind the alter for even more loot (you should find some NICE items here). Keep heading down the new path as it leads you to the entrance of this area and head back to the world map.

Now we have to head over to Riverwood. Fast travel over there and do as the note instructs: rent the Attic Room in the Sleeping Giant Inn. Once you have the room rented, go sleep in the bed (time doesn't matter). After you've done so, Delphine (the inn keeper!) will wake you up and give you the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller! This allows you to finish this quest, but also initiates the start of the next main quest: A Blade in the Dark.

With the horn in hand, fast travel to **** High Hrothgar (if you don't want to undertake that mountain climb again, that is!). Go and talk to Arngeir who will lead you out into the main room to learn Unrelenting Force, the third and final word of power for Unrelenting Force.

Once you've learned it you will have mastered the power. Before letting you go you will have to stand in the middle of all four greybeards as they all talk to you. Their voices will shake the screen but you will pass the test and complete this quest.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, Switch, PS3, PS4, 360, XB1
  • Genre
    Action Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    12 June 2020
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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