Chat with the Jarl and Irileth, exhausting all dialogue options available. Why you've been chosen to go fight the dragon at the nearby watchtower isn't immediately clear; however, you'll want to go get in on that action before pursuing any other quest lines. Standard dragon-fighting strategies will help you here: the most dangerous parts of a dragon are his breath and his tail. Avoid these by allowing Irileth to tank him with her magic spells and attack with a bow or your own spells.
After it's over, you'll note that you have apparently absorbed the dragon's soul. Also, that's not the same dragon as the one from Helgen. Pop open your Magic menu and look at the new Shouts section. Highlight your new ability and then check out the text at the bottom of your screen. Each new Shout will require the spending of a Dragon Soul to activate it. Lucky you, you happen to have just absorbed a Soul. Try out the Shout on a wandering beast or enemy of some sort, and then return to Dragonsreach and the Jarl once more to learn what it means to be Dragonborn.
The Way of the Voice
The Greybeards likely know more about your status than the Jarl, so you're going to need to seek their wisdom. Before you go though, use each of the Jarl's conversation topics for some very important assistance. Not only are you named the Whiterun Thane, but that title also gives you the right to buy property in the city and to have your own Housecarl. That means storage and a free fighting companion. Now you're cooking with gas! If you haven't managed to put together the necessary 5,000 gold yet, you'll soon have a good breaking point from the main quest line where you can go out exploring and adventuring.
The little settlement of Ivarstead lies at the foot of the path up to High Hrothgar. Make your way up and be sure to investigate all the stones along the way for a bit of lore. You'll probably have to deal with a Frost Troll along the way but rest assured that fire will hlep you make short work of him. If nothing else, your shout can usually knock him off the cliff. Don't worry about surprising the Greybeards, they're expecting you.
Once invited inside, simply follow the Greybeards around and exhaust all possible conversation topics with those who will speak to you. Just follow their instructions and pay attention to the dialogue. You'll learn quite a bit about your new Dragonborn title and the Thu'um ability, and then they'll send you out into the world. This is a good opportunity to go handle some miscellaneous tasks for the people of Whiterun, locate the Thieves Guild in Riften or just go exploring. Use your fast travel to sell off items before you become encumbered and you'll have the price of your new Whiterun pad in no time.
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
The Greybeards send you on a mission for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller in Ustengrav. Ustengrav turns out to be a glorified hole in the ground. When you get to Ustengrav, explore the cave thoroughly and take your time to avoid missing cool gear from the early skeleton defenders. The first real danger you'll encounter is a fire trap with flame-spouts. Sprint through the area to take the least amount of damage.
You'll need your new Whirlwind Sprint to get through the gated door puzzle. Run past the three standing stones in the lower section of the cave. When they are all lit up, the gates leading out of this area will open. Set up the Whirlwind ability, get into position, line your character up with the now-open gates, and shout to get through. Cross the bridges while staying on the lookout for an upcoming Word Wall.
In the next section of this cave, the floor is trapped. Check out the two different types of tiles; dark tiles with holes at the corners will spray flames up at you when stepped on. Walk on only the light tiles, the ones with holes in the middle of each edge, to avoid being burned. When the choice is no longer presented to you, Whirlwind Sprint out of the area. You'll have to deal with a few Frostbite Spiders and then you can cut or burn through the webs blocking the exit.
Cross the bridge and loot both the chest and the note. Oh no! Your princess is in another castle! Fear not, all you have to do is follow your quest marker to Delphine back in Riverwood and you'll get your Horn back. Now you've got a mission from her as well as work to do for the Greybeards. Deliver your Horn first to pick up any other errands the Greys want to send you on, and then concentrate on the Friend's task.
A Blade in the Dark
It's good to see that the Blades are still trudging along in the Empire. Also, it turns out that Dragonstone was actually a map of dragon burial sites. The dragons aren't just returning to Skyrim, they're returning to life!
Agree to follow Delphine, help her take out the named dragon Sahloknir, and then suck out his soul. It's a good idea to bring your Housecarl, if you've got one. If not, drop by an inn in one of the five main cities and hire a mercenary to help you. You'll also want to bring along several healing potions, which are easily created with Alchemy, or the best self-healing spell you can get. Queue it up for both hands and make keeping yourself above 50 percent the top priority.
Once it's dead, Delphine will want to see you back in Riverwood, but you can take a little time for exploring, participating in other quest lines, selling your unwanted stuff, or crafting new gear and weapons. When you see her again, she'll put you back on the path to Act II of the main quest line. We'll see you there!
- Quest information taken from the Xbox 360 port of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Screenshots taken from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim website
This post is part of the series: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Main Quest Guide
- Dragonborn: Staying on the Main Quest – Getting Started in Skyrim
- Dragonborn: Staying on the Main Quest – The Greybeards and Beyond
- Dragonborn: Staying on the Main Quest Track in Skyrim, Act II
- Dragonborn: Staying on the Main Quest Track in Skyrim, Act III