This page details The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller main story quest in Skyrim, including how to find the horn in Ustengrav, and how to learn the Become Ethereal shout.
|Objective||Retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller from Ustengrav|
|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|
Attempt to retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller from Ustengrav.
Meet with whoever took the Horn in Riverwood.
Return the Horn to Arngeir.
Learn the Word of Power from Wulfgar.
Receive the Greybeards’ formal recognition.
How to Find the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller in Ustengrav
To reach Ustengrav, you can travel over the mountains to the northwest of Whiterun, as shown on the map below. Alternatively, if you’ve already discovered Morthal, which is located on the other side of the mountain range, you can fast travel there and then travel a short way east to Ustengrv. If you want to travel there from Morthal but haven’t discovered it yet, you can always take the carriage trip from Whiterun first.
Explore Ustengrav for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
Once you reach the entrance of Ustengrav, you’ll encounter a number of bandits outside. You should attack the mage first, since they’re relatively easy to take out quickly due to their light armor, but they can inflict a lot of damage if you allow them to do so from range. Once the mage is dead, you can easily kite the melee bandits as you bring each one down. Bunching them up for some area of effect melee attacks works well too.
Once inside Ustengrav, you’ll encounter a lone Conjurer walking around (with a lot of dead bodies). Kill the mage, loot the corpses and the nearby chest. As you continue through (there’s only one linear path at this point through an open doorway), you’ll begin to hear some fighting. If you want to make things as easy as possible, you can stay back for a bit while the mages, bandits, and undead fight each other. You can then move in and clean up whoever is left. Alternatively, just throw yourself into the fray if you’re confident that you can handle it.
When you’ve killed all the enemies here, take some time to have a look around the various rooms and loot everything that you can. You’ll find a fair bit of gold, potions, and other minor items. In addition, you’ll find a skill book named Mystery of Talara, v2, which provides one level in restoration skill.
After you’ve looted everything in the rooms here, continue on until you see a path heading right, and one which leads down into a new room. Go right first, loot the gold scattered on the table, then look to the wall to the left of the table. This is a false wall which can be opened by using the nearby chain, leading to a chest behind it. Once you’ve looted this, go back and continue on.
In the next room you’ll find three undead waiting for you, including one restless. The restless draugr can be particularly harmful with their frost spells, so try to take these out as soon as possible. From here, go up the steps to the left to find a chest and some potions. Follow the path until you reach a door which leads to the Ustengrav Depths.
When you enter the depths, you’ll find yourself in a large cavern. There are a few draugr scattered about, but they’re easy to take out on their own. As you move up the steps, you’ll activate a fire trap which will burn you for as long as you stand on it, so don’t take your time here. You can avoid the trap altogether by using the Whirlwind Sprint shout at the top of the stairs, but some fire will remain, leaving a small walking space for when you come back.
Learn the Become Ethereal Shout from the Dragon Wall
From the fire trap, continue to the bridge and kill the draugr here, including a restless draugr at the end of the bridge. The bridge path leads to another room where you’ll find a lever which opens a door further in, leading to a chest and several potions placed around an alchemy bench. After looting these, continue on until you find yourself back in the cavern. Head down to the Dragon Wall at the bottom fo the cavern in the lit area, where you’ll learn the first word of the Become Ethereal shout. Before you leave here, check behind the waterfall for a chest with some more loot.
Once you’ve learnt the word from the Dragon Wall, go back up the steps with the fire and over the bridge. You’ll enter a room with three stones which glow when you approach them. Each stone opens one of the gates ahead when you stand near it, but only for a brief period of time as you stand next to the stone. To get through the gates, you’ll need to run by each stone and then use the Whirlwind Sprint shout to get through the gates quickly before they close again. You’ll need to time it right, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Once you’re past the gates, they will remain open. The room beyond is full of pressure plates which eject fire if you step on them. You’ll almost certainly activate some of these as you run through, but try to avoid most of them by keeping to the sides of the room where the regular rock islands are. Take some time to heal each time you reach an island, as you’ll be met by some spiders once you make it to the other side, so you’ll need to be in good shape to fight them.
After killing the spiders, destroy the web blocking the doorway forward. You’ll find some doors beyond here, leading to a room with water, from which giant statues will emerge. Go to the tomb at the end of the platform to find a note, which reads:
“Dragonborn, 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.”
So, you’ve failed the main objective for the quest, but you’re led to another… back in Riverwood. Before you leave, make the most of the area by thoroughly looting everything beyond the door behind the tomb. The path will eventually lead to the first chamber of Ustengrav, and the exit.
Travel to Riverwood and Rent the Attic Room at the Sleeping Giant Inn
Now that you’ve left Ustengrav, you can make your way to Riverwood to the southeast by foot, or fast travel there if you prefer. Either way, once you arrive, enter the Sleeping Giant Inn and speak with Delphine, the innkeeper. You’ll need to rent the Attic Room to advance the quest, but don’t go to sleep once you’re in there. Delphine will soon meet you there and present the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller to you. She’ll then ask you to follow her to the room opposite. You’ll need to close the door, then follow her down the stairs behind the hidden door.
Speaking with Delphine leads to the next main story quest, A Blade in the Dark. However, before you go through with that, you should return to the Greybeards at High Hrothgar and present them with the horn. You can return to Delphine at any time to continue the story. To reach High Hrothgar quickly, you can fast travel from the map. Once there, speak with Arngeir. He’ll ask you to follow him and the Greybeards will teach you the final word of Unrelenting Force, thereby unlocking the Words of Power achievement. Now that you’ve mastered Unrelenting Force, the Greybeards will shout at you some more before the quest ends.
Words of Power
Learn all three words of a shout