Side Quest: Tending the Flame

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You'll receive this quest from Viarmo in the Bards College in Solitude when you ask him about applying to the college.


Viarmo will tell you that in order to join the college, you'll first need to complete a task for it. In your case, he'll tell you that Jarl Elisif has banned the Burning of King Olaf, a centuries old festival, and he'll ask you to travel to Dead Men's Respite and retrieve King Olaf's Verse, which he hopes will contain proof that King Olaf is worthy of being burned in effigy.

You'll find Dead Men's Respite located a ways to the south of Solitude. Inside, you'll encounter draugr and frostbite spiders, and from time to time you'll spot the ghost of Svaknir, who will lead you first to King Olaf's Verse (#7) and then to King Olaf himself (#9). You'll have to follow Svaknir to the end and help him to defeat King Olaf, because the secret passage (#11) past Olaf is the only way to exit the dungeon.

Back at the Bards College, when you show King Olaf's Verse to Viarmo, at first he'll be excited, but then he'll notice that a lot of the text is unreadable. However, when you suggest making up some verses to replace the unknown text, Viarmo will get excited again, and he'll ask you for some recommendations. You'll successfully complete the quest no matter how you respond, but if you select the two persuade options, then you'll receive the best monetary reward at the end, and you'll also possibly increase your Speech skill.

Once you've completed the verses, Viarmo will race over to the Blue Palace and wait for you in the foyer. When you meet with him there and tell him that you're ready, he'll head up to the throne room and begin reciting the verses to the jarl and her court (depending on the time of day, you might need to wait a while for them to show up). Jarl Elisif will be impressed by Viarmo's presentation, and she'll reverse her ban on the festival. Viarmo will then tell you to speak with Jorn, who is in charge of the effigy.

You'll find Jorn back at the Bards College. When you talk to him there after dark (after 8pm), he'll tell you that the festival is ready to start. Then when you go outside to the Bards College courtyard, you'll find some free food available (including Spiced Wine and Apple Pies but no "meat pies"), and you'll see that the effigy has been set up in the amphitheater on the northern side. Shortly thereafter, Viarmo will show up and set the effigy on fire, and at that point you'll be named a bard in the college, and you'll be rewarded some gold (the amount depending on your level and the verses you made up).

1 - Ruby Dragon Claw

When you pick up the Ruby Dragon Claw, the draugr in the room will wake up and attack you. If you want, you can attack the draugr before they wake up.

2 - Chain

Pulling this chain will open up three of the nearby rotating doors, which will allow you to progress deeper into the dungeon.

3 - Book

On a rock here you'll find the book The Buying Game, which will increase your Speech skill by 1.

4 - Chain

Pulling this chain will open up one of the grates in the floor. You'll have to jump down to continue, and it will be a one-way trip.

5 - Sealed Door

Svaknir will open this door once you've picked up King Olaf's Verse (#7).

6 - Chain

You'll need to pull this chain to open the grate in the floor, which will allow you to descend to Svaknir's corpse (#7).

7 - Svaknir's Corpse (Lower Level)

8 - Puzzle Door

You'll need to the Ruby Dragon Claw (#1) to open this door. The combination (found on the claw) is wolf, eagle, wolf.

9 - Burial Chamber

When Svaknir (#7) reaches this chamber, he'll begin waking up and fighting the draugr inside, culminating with King Olaf One-Eye. You'll find King Olaf's Treasury Key on Olaf's corpse. It will open the "master" locked exit door.

10 - Word Wall

When you get close enough to the Word Wall, you'll unlock the Word of Power "Fury, Whirlwind Sprint."

11 - Secret Passage

You'll only be able to use this passage after defeating King Olaf (#9).

  1. World exit.




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