|Objective:||Meet the Greybeards.|
|Quest Giver:||Jarl Balgruuf the Greater|
|Location(s):||Ivarstead, High Hrothgar|
|Next Quest:||The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller|
|Reward:||Word for Unrelenting Force and Whirlwind Sprint shouts.|
Go to Ivarstead.
Climb the 7,000 Steps.
Speak to the Greybeards at High Hrothgar.
Our goal now is to learn more about our mysterious power. To do so, we need to go visit the Greybeards at their monastery of High Hrothgar. To start our journey there, we’ll need to visit the town of Ivarstead, south of the Throat of the World.
If you haven’t explored any of the world outside of the main quest, your best bet is to go to the Honningbrew Meadery and start circling the mountain clockwise using the road you’ll find. Going this path you can hit a couple of points of interest along the way, such as: The White River Watch where you can slay some bandits, a Ritual Stone where you can gain the power to raise the dead.
There’s also a place where you’ll either have to follow the river or go up some steps. The path you want to take is to follow the river, but if decide to explore up the steps save first. Giants live up there (the place is called Guldun Rock) and they can one-hit kill you. Magic and ranged character can take them down from afar if they get up on the mountain-side though.
Continue to follow the river clockwise. You’ll reach the Valtheim Towers, where a bandit will demand 200 gold from you. Everyone in this place is pretty weak, the only exception being the bandit leader (who you want to fight one on one and keep your health up during the fight; magic is great here). There’s a ton of loot here, enough to warrant a trip back to a town to sell off. There’s also a skillbook called The Black Arrow, v2 with a couple unique bows.
Keep heading onwards and you’ll undoubtedly reach Fort Amol. This place has a bunch of mages that will attack you when you get near them. The mages are easy enough to take on 1 vs. 1 and carry clothing that can be sold for a pretty penny.
However; if you explore the prison or the insides of the fort you’ll be facing more than one mage at a time, and that can get UGLY FAST, so drink potions, kill them fast, and up your magic resistance if you can. The reason you’d want to explore this place is for a skillbook, the "Complete Catalogue of Enchantments for Armor" , which ups your enchantment by one. Whatever you do, just be sure to SAVE first.
Past Fort Amol is a bridge, and past that is a path leading up the mountains. This is the path you want to take. It winds up quite a ways, so pick up plants and roast goats as you go. Once you reach the river and the path following it be sure to SAVE. There is a SABER CAT in the area that is downright nasty. Try to get a jump on it and drink a few potions if you must.
Continue along the way and you’ll see the path split: the right path following the river and the left path going up and over an overhang. There’s a TROLL living near the river, and he has a TON of health. He only has short melee attacks though, so he makes a good punching bag (Just be sure he doesn’t kill you, eh?! Stay out of reach!). Keep following the path and soon you’ll reach the small town of Ivarstead.
The objective changes now to further up the mountain. You’ll hear the locals talk about the path to High Hrothgar being "7,000 Steps". Yikes! May as well start climbing. As you go, you’ll run along some emblems that tell a sort of history involving the dragons, the voice, and man. Check them out and roast the goats on your way up. I’m going to put the emblems here as well (since its my guide and I think they’re cool!).
Emblem I: Before the birth of men, the Dragons ruled all Mundus. Their word was the Voice, and they spoke only for True Needs. For the Voice could blot out the sky and flood the land.
Continue up the path (which I’m starting to think may literally have 7,000 steps) and sooner or later you’ll see a hunter worshiping at the second emblem:
Emblem II: Men were born and spread over the face of Mundus. The Dragons presided over the crawling masses. Men were weak then, and had no Voice.
Be careful as you go further up, as there are Ice Wolves up here now. Saving isn’t a bad idea and you may want to break out the fire and stash any ice weapons (old RPG stereotype there). Continue up the path and soon you’ll reach the third emblem, which is on the left this time in an opening:
Emblem III: The fledgling spirits of Men were strong in Old Times. Unafraid to war with Dragons and their Voices. But the Dragons only shouted them down and broke their hearts.
Another Ice Wolf is nearby if you haven’t killed him yet. There’s also an iron ore vein nearby if you’ve got a pickaxe (off the beaten path, of course). Keep following the path. With the fourth emblem in sight, a Dragon will appear and circle above you for awhile (I tried and tried to engage it, but was unable to)… Go talk to the pilgrim by the fourth emblem then check it out:
Emblem IV: Kyne called on Paarthurnax, who pitied Man. Together they taught Men to use the Voice. Then Dragon War raged, Dragon against Tongue.
Further up the mountain is an Frost Troll . We won’t lie, this fight is very challenging. The only way we did it was by playing keep-away and running around a rock by the steps (before you even get to where he is) and pepper him with arrows and magic.
It’s hard because 2-3 hits from him will outright kill you and he regenerates his own health if you don’t keep the pain on. Here’s a few different strategies for dealing with the troll:
Strategy 1: You can bypass the troll all together by scaling the outside of the peak to the west (left) of the path and coming back to the stairs beyond the troll’s location (and missing the fifth emblem). I was sneaking when I did this, but I didn’t even see the troll, so it may not be necessary.
Strategy 2: When you see the Frost troll jump down from the cliff, look right there should be a big rock. Now while on the rock, he can still hit you, but there is a ledge that you can jump on behind the rock that will allow you to pelt the troll with either arrows or magic and he cannot get to you. He doesn’t run away or try and get to you another route, he just runs at you.
Strategy 3: Just sprint past the first troll, there’s actually no need to kill him.
Strategy 4: If you have any magic ability or weapons that inflict fire damage the trolls are actually really easy to kill and it doesn’t matter if they are a frost troll or a cave troll. (This is true, the fire damage supresses the troll’s ability to regenerate, PLUS fire is always a good idea to use against "Frost" anything).
Past the troll is the fifth emblem:
Emblem V: Man prevailed, shouting Alduin out of the world. Proving for all that their Voice too was strong. Although their sacrifices were many-fold.
Thankfully there’s no killer trolls in between this emblem in the next. In fact, the next emblem is just down the road:
Emblem VI: With roaring Tongues, the Sky-Children conquer. Founding the First Empire with Sword and Voice. Whilst the Dragons withdrew from this World.
The seventh emblem is also not far off, except its on the left this time. With the emblems being this close together, you have to figure we’re almost there!
Emblem VII: The Tongues at Red Mountain went away humbled. Jurgen Windcaller began His Seven Year Meditation. To understand how Strong Voices could fail.
Emblem number eight is also on the left, just up the way:
Emblem VIII: Jurgen Windcaller chose silence and returned. The 17 disputants could not shout Him down. Jurgen the Calm built His home on the Throat of the World.
Hey, that’s where we’re at, "The Throat of the World". Head up the path and you’ll reach the ninth emblem:
Emblem IX: For years all silent, the Greybeards spoke one name. Tiber Septim, stripling then, was summoned to Hrothgar. They blessed and named him Dohvakiin.
If you’ve played The Elder Scrolls at all, you’ll recognize that name. Head upwards and you’ll see one last emblem on the right:
Emblem X: The Voice is worship. Follow the Inner path. Speak only in True Need.
With those last words of wisdom you’ll have finally discovered High Hrothgar. You’ll also notice that you’ve gained a New Power: Voice of the Sky. This power will last for 23 hours and makes it so animals will neither attack nor flee from you. Pretty handy, actually. Head up the steps after checking out the goodies by the stairs and enter.
Inside you’ll find the greybeards: four old men who follow the way of the Voice. Only one of them will (and can) talk to you. You can learn a lot of info here about who you are and who they are (which you can learn at your leisure). The important thing here is that they fully explain how your shouts work. You’ll have to demonstrate to them that you are indeed the dragonborn first though, so use Unrelenting Force on Arngeir.
You’ll learn that there are three words of power to a shout. You know the first word of Unrelenting Force: Force . However, one of the greybeards here will teach you the second word: Balance. With both words learned, you will have to knock down three targets as they appear one at a time in the middle of the room.
To do it, don’t just hit R2 as they appear, but hold R2 for a short while as that is how you build up your shout’s power. Repeat this three times and then the greybeards will want you to come outside with them. There are a lot of restoration potions in this place to be had, if you’re not against being a thief that is…
The word that he teaches you is Whirlwind. The group will then head to the left a ways and demonstrate just how this power works, which is awesome. They’ll have you do it as well, so when they open the gate hit R2 (making sure you equipped this shout) and you’ll go flying through it!
The greybeards will be impressed, stating that you have only one last task to complete. And with that, our current quest of The Way of the Voice is complete. The greybeards will ask you to retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, their founder, from his tomb in Ustengrav. That will set up our next main quest: The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller .
Note: If you try and go further up the mountain, to where the fifth greybeard member is, you will get hurt… a lot. You will end up close to death but alive if you retreat. I would imagine that this is a grand place to level up restoration talents…