A "gamer" since way before the term was coined, I have been playing video games in one form or another since the 1980s.
This walkthrough is the second of a three-part compilation covering the main quests in Skyrim.
If you have landed on this page and a lot of it makes no sense, you may want to check out Accepting Your Fate as the Dragonborn.
The nice thing about Skyrim is that you can play an almost infinite number of variations, so it may be a good idea to start a new game from the beginning using the knowledge gained from our walkthroughs.
A Blade in the Dark Walkthrough
- Talk to Delphine
- Locate the dragon burial site
- Kill the dragon Sahloknir
- Talk to Delphine again
Now that you are a Greybeard and have accepted your destiny as the Dragonborn, the problem of those pesky dragons is your new goal.
Return to Riverwood and speak with Delphine at the Inn. Follow her into a secret area in one of the rooms, where she informs you that she knows where a dragon burial site exists. She thinks that the dragons are bringing each other back to life and you need to find a way to stop it.
At Kynesgrove in Eastmarsh, you walk right into a new dragon being resurrected, and you must kill it. Don your favorite weapon and head up the mountain.
It is easiest to use a long-range bow or spell while Delphine does all the dirty work up front, but if you do get face-to-face with the beast, stay away from his face and tail. Dragons can one-hit kill you randomly if you don’t stay to their side and wing areas.
Loot the dragon skeleton and speak with Delphine about the newest kink in your plan. Maybe someone in Skyrim is helping the Dragons or can give you some information.
Delphine suggests the group that rules the Aldmeri Dominion. These people like to throw lavish parties up at the Thalmor Embassy, and Delphine can get you in.
A Blade in the Dark Video
Diplomatic Immunity Walkthrough
- Meet Delphine in Riverwood
- Meet Malborn in Solitude
- Give Malborn the equipment
- Meet Delphine at the stables
- Create a distraction and get away from the party
- (Optional) Retrieve your gear
- Search for information about the dragons returning
- Escape the Thalmor Embassy
- Talk to Delphine
- Recover your equipment
Meet Delphine in Riverwood and she will have more information on how you are going to get into the Thalmor Embassy. She directs you to Malborn in Solitude. Speak with him in the Winking Skeever and he will offer to sneak you and some equipment in. You can give him whatever you want, but try to send him with things that will help you with sneak. Bring your favorite weapons too, but realize you won’t be without your full gear for too long.
Make your way to the Thalmor Embassy and make face with the partygoers, who happen to all be distinguished diplomats in Skyrim. If there is anyone there that you know, ask them if they will help you cause a distraction so you can slip out with Malborn. If you can’t find someone you know, ask the man sitting on the bench named Razelan.
Once in the kitchen area, head into the door on your left and get the gear you gave Malborn. Exit the area to go further into the house. Now that you are away from the party, you have the option of sneaking by the rest of the guards or just outright killing them all. Regardless, make your way to the dungeon area in a snowy courtyard to look for more information.
You can head into rooms on the top floor and look for documents on the Thalmor, or you can head into the cells downstairs and find a prisoner being tortured. Release the prisoner to get information on Esbern, someone the Thalmor Embassy is highly interested in.
The guards that come into the area have your only means of escape with the trap door key, so kill them and leave the dungeon by a door in the floor.
Watch out for the frost troll in the next cave and try to keep any people with you alive. Find the exit and head back to Delphine in the Riverwood Inn.
Diplomatic Immunity Video
A Cornered Rat Walkthrough
- Talk to Brynjolf
- Search the Ratway for Esbern’s hideout
- Find Esbern in the Ratway Warrens
- Talk to Esbern
After Delphine lets you know where to find Esbern, leave Riverwood and head for Riften. If this is your first time into Riften, you will have to talk (or bribe) your way in. Either way, head to the large market area in the daytime and look for your contact, Brynjolf.
If you are completely new to town, Brynjolf will tell you that you must frame an Argonian in town named Madesi to get into his favor. Steal the ring successfully from the stall, then locate Madesi and plant it on him by pickpocketing him and placing the ring from your inventory to his. He will be taken away and Brynjolf will congratulate you and reward you. He tells you to find him in the Ragged Flagon, down below the city of Riften.
Get to the front entrance to The Ratway by heading to the waterway below your feet and circling the middle of town. Make your way through a couple of ruffians and into the main area of the Thieves Guild. Locate Brynjolf and talk him into telling you were Esbern is. At this point, you can begin working for the Thieves Guild, but for now, we have a hermit to find.
You can locate Esbern specifically by asking Dirge or Vekel of the Thieves Guild, or you can wander around The Ratway yourself until you find him. Be careful once you set foot in the area though, the Thalmor are prowling around the area looking for the same man. Find the door to The Ratway Vaults, a place hidden across a gate you must open in the first area.
Once in the Vaults, avoid or kill the crazies that make their homes here and make your way to the upper floor in the southwest. Here you will find a large, heavily locked door and Esbern, who will take some convincing to let you in. Mention the 30th of Frostfall or your new title as the Dragonborn and he will give you access to his little hermit hole.
Tell him Alduin has come back and he will ask you to bring him back to Delphine in Riverwood. Apparently, those two have a past in the Blades and he wants to tell you both some serious information on the leader of the dragons and how to defeat him.
A Cornered Rat Video
Alduin’s Wall Walkthrough
- Escort Esbern to Riverwood
- Talk to Esbern
- Gain entrance to Sky Haven Temple
- Learn the secret of Alduin’s Wall
You can take the lead and ask Esbern to follow you out if you know the way, or you can follow him out yourself if you are a bit lost. Esbern can easily take care of himself with the Thalmor that have appeared, so help him out or take a breather and watch the mage do your dirty work.
Once you get back into the Ragged Flagon, make your way to the west corridor and turn right to get back into the room you came through when you first arrived. Make sure to lower the bridge to make any returns easier and leave by which you came. Or, if you have already made a name for yourself in the Thieves Guild, head up the ladder in the main room.
Head to Riverwood and bring Esbern to meet Delphine at her inn. After learning some important information from Esbern, Delphine informs you that all three of you will be heading to Karthspire. You can choose to travel with them on foot if you haven’t explored the area yet, or you can tell them to meet you there and travel by yourself by fast-travel or other means.
The Forsworn are dominant in this region, and they are hostile to strangers. There is no point in approaching them, so take them out wherever you see them. When you arrive in Karthspire on the Karth River, expect a rough battle with a large group of Forsworn. You can help your companions take out your attackers, or you can sneak into the entrance of your destination.
Once inside, fight your way through the corridors and to a puzzle. Activate each pillar until the Dragonborn symbols are all facing west, and a bridge will open up to the south. Be careful not to run too fast, because another puzzle emerges in a large room ahead, and this one can kill you if you step in the wrong place.
The trick is to look at the floor and walk on the tiles with the emblem of the Dragonborn only until you reach the other side and can pull the lever to turn off the trap. This also opens the way to the Sky Haven Temple Entrance across some bridges.
After you find out how to open the door to the temple, approach the middle of the room. After you open the door, you can listen to Esbern or keep walking. The building inside hasn’t been touched for ages, and you can even find some blades armor in some of the bedrooms on the sides of the area.
Head to the middle of the large room and listen to Esbern as he translates the pictures on Alduin’s Wall. The Nords of long ago used a Dragonshout to defeat Alduin in battle, but neither Delphine nor Esbern have any idea what that shout is.
You realize that the Greybeards may have an answer, and after some resistance, Delphine tells you to visit the monks for new information. At this point, you can speak farther with the duo for some Blades side quests, or head forward to High Hrothgar.
Alduin’s Wall Video
The Throat of the World Walkthrough
- Talk to Arngeir
- Learn the Clear Skies Shout
- Use the Clear Skies Shout to open the path
- Talk to Paarthurnax
- Learn the Word of Power from Paarthurnax
- Use your Fire Breath Shout on Paarthurnax
- Talk to Paarthurnax
Leave Sky Haven Temple by the door up the stairs from Alduin’s Wall and travel to High Hrothgar. Speak with Arngeir and he scolds you for working with the Blades. As you try to leave, Arngeir realizes the error of his anger and informs you that you need to speak with Paarthurnax, the leader of the Greybeards.
In order to reach him, you must climb the mountain by a path in the courtyard, and the only way you can make it through the weather is by using a new Shout. Learn the Words of Power Lok (Sky), Vah (Spring), and Koor (Summer) from Arngeir and select the Shout-Clear Skies from your menu.
Use Clear Skies to bring down the winds and begin your climb. You will have to use the Shout many times to make it to the summit, as the weather returns often. If you don’t use the Shout, you will lose stamina quickly, and that can be dangerous while being attacked by the enemies on the way up.
At the top, you will meet Paarthurnax; Arngeir failed to mention that the leader of the Greybeards is a dragon! Display your Dragonborn power with a Shout, and Paarthurnax will teach you a Word of Power for the Shout-Fire Breath.
Use it on Paarthurnax and he will tell you some information about the dragons and the Dragonborn. He mentions that Alduin is his brother, but doesn’t seem very loyal to his destructive cause.
He tells you that you need to find the Elder Scroll to be able to learn the Shout needed to defeat Alduin. He doesn’t know where the Scroll is, but your friends in the Greybeards or the Blades might.
The Throat of the World Video
This concludes this leg of your journey. To continue, please go to Finding the Elder Scroll and Defeating Alduin.
All non-attributed photos are personal gameplay screenshots and are the property of the author of this article.
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© 2018 Hal Gall
Jarrod Steele on November 15, 2018:
very, very useful to me thank you very much!