Skyrim Solving the quest Blood on the Ice - Game Guide

 Since the release of Skyrim, the side quest "Blood on the Ice" has given many players a headache and it is not for nothing that it is one of the most bugged quests in the game. With our solution, you will finish the buggy quest once and for all.

Unlock the quest Blood on the Ice

No sooner have you, Dragonborn, made yourself comfortable in Windhelm and whiled away the time with a quest or two in between saving the world, when one day you will be thrown into the depths of a gruesome series of murders. If you have visited the town or the adjacent stables at least four times, you will be confronted with a bloody scene at the town cemetery on your next visit between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

A young woman has been murdered - and it turns out not the first. Unable to crack the case, the Windhelm Guard accepts the Dragonborn's offer of help. Now it's time to unpack the detective hat and the magnifying glass to put a stop to the shameless killer!

Susanna is the Butcher's latest victim. The case is too difficult for the city guard. Who is behind this?
Susanna is the Butcher's latest victim. The case is too difficult for the city guard. Who is behind this? 

Warning: if you want to do the quest and also meet the conditions for it, it may still be the case that it does not appear for you. It's not for nothing that "Blood on the Ice" is one of the most bugged quests in the entire game. If you are unable to trigger the quest, try the following:

  • It's possible that the quest has already been triggered without you realizing it. Pay a visit to the town's graveyard.
  • You can also see if the quest is already running in the background by looking at House Hjerim, which you can purchase as a Thane of Windhelm. If the front door says "Unlock - Hjerim - Master" then the quest has already started.
  • Make sure you've actually been to town at least four times (including the Windhelm Stables)!
  • Unfortunately, there are really many possible sources for bugs in this quest. If you get stuck, visit The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages.

Report to the station and question witnesses

You are in the cemetery and see a young, badly disfigured woman lying on one of the graves in front of you. This is Susanna the Sly, the maid at the local Candlelight Tavern. A few curious people are already crowding around them.

  • Speak to the guard who will grant you authority to question the witnesses.
  • Question the witnesses: Helgird, Calixto, and Silda. Unfortunately, none of them saw anything useful.
  • Talk to the guard again - they will send you to Jorleif, the sheriff of Windhelm. That's what the game means when it tells you to investigate the crime scene. You can find him in the palace of the kings in the north of the city, either directly in the throne room or in one of the rooms sleeping if it is night.
  • Seek out Jorleif: he gratefully accepts your help. Now it's time to investigate the location of the last murder more closely.
  • (optional) Talk to Helgird: you can find the priestess in the Hall of the Dead. It gives you information about the nature of the murder and possibly a clue about the perpetrator.
Attention Bug!
You will probably have noticed that Jorleif still has a quest marker even after the conversation, even though there are no new dialogue options. Ignore this and continue with the quest normally.

Go back to the crime scene. The most striking thing here are the many traces of blood. Follow the trail to House Hjerim if you want to learn more about the killer. This one isn't that great to see on the icy ground of Windhelm, but it will get you straight to the point.

How do I get into Hjerim House?

Now it is time to examine the house - unfortunately, the door is locked. There are several ways to get in:

Crack the lock: stay unseen! Since this is a master lock, picking the lock should prove to be quite challenging.

Ask Jorleif or any guard for access to the house. They will tell you that the house belongs to the late Friga Shatter-Shield and her mother, Tova Shatter-Shield, should have a key. But you don't have to talk to them at all and you can go directly to Tova.

You can find Tova between 11:00 and 15:00 in the market square, and after that in the inn. If you can't find Tova, check her house (to the left of House Hjerim) - unfortunately, the grieving mother may have taken her own life if certain choices were made in the game.

Alternatively, you may have acquired House Hjerim before the quest even started, in which case you can of course get in without any further ado.

Investigate House Hjerim

The house itself is pretty much empty, so as soon as you enter, your eyes should wander left to the blood-smeared chest. There you will find eleven flyers warning of the butcher and the first diary of the killer. Keep looking around the house, even if the quest markers try to direct you further.

Straight ahead you will find another room with several closets. You can examine the right cabinet and find that there is a secret door behind it that leads to the butcher's hideout, strewn with bones and body parts. You can also find the second diary here. It's worth taking a look inside to understand more about the perpetrator.

In the anteroom, you can see a smaller shelf between the two wardrobes. Pick up all the leaflets and find the strange amulet among them. This is also an important piece of evidence on the way to the true perpetrator.

If you read the leaflets, you will find out that they are from Viola Giordano, who is obviously trying to track down the killer. So a conversation with her is still pending.

Look for a conversation with Viola and Calixto

Now you hold in your hands two journals of the butcher, a very strange amulet, and a bunch of leaflets. You should now follow the clues.

  • Talk to Jorleif or a guard about the amulet. They will direct you to Calixto (you've spoken to him before).
  • They will also give you a hint about the leaflets and their author: pay a visit to Viola Giordano.
It's best to talk to Calixto first. He seems to know something about the amulet - according to him, court magicians usually have such pieces of jewelry with them (note about court magician Wuunferth). He even wants to buy the amulet from you. We advise you to definitely do that. Don't worry - the amulet is not out of your possession forever.

You're most likely to find Viola in the streets of Windhelm during the day or in the tavern in the evening. If you picked up the diary earlier, Viola refers you to the court magician Wuunferth, as rumors have been going around in the city for some time that he could be a necromancer. If you haven't picked up the diary, Viola will take you back to Hjerim House.

Selling the Strange Amulet
Be sure to pay Calixto a visit, even if you speak to Viola in front of him and the quest marker disappears. If you want to get any kind of use out of the amulet, you have to sell it to Calixto - but it will find its way back to you.

From here you have two options to solve the case. Path 1 means accusing the suspicious court wizard Wuunferth directly and thus also lengthening the quest a bit, resulting in more victims.

Alternatively, you can speak to Wuunferth and share your suspicions. This is the way of the little bloodshed.

Way 1: follow instinct (blame Wuunferth directly)

The strange amulet and the conversations with Jorleif, Calixto, and Viola strengthen your suspicion that the court magician Wuunferth is behind the murders.

  • Speak to Jorleif in the Hall of Kings and accuse the wizard - Wuunferth will be arrested as a result
  • (optional) take part in Wuunferth's arrest as a silent participant
  • After three full days outside of Windhelm, return to town - even if the quest appears to be complete!
  • There is another victim: the case of the blood on the ice continues
You can find the newest corpse on the street to the left of House Candlelight when entering town from Skyrim's direction. The guard will inform you of your failure, and the completed quest will come up again.

  • Talk to Wuunferth in the prison (Palace of Kings --> first door on the right)
  • Wuunferth gives you clues to the next murder
  • Patrols the streets of the Stone District at night
Wuunferth laughs at you for your detective work, but also gives out valuable information - he knows when and where the next murder will take place because he recognized a certain pattern in the butcher's actions. You have to patrol the streets of the Stone Quarter at night, as the quest marker also shows you. This is a rough radius - if the quest marker is gone, you are too far out.

Shortly after midnight, you hear screams, and if you follow them, you will see Calixto (surprise!) in the area of ​​the market square in the west of the city, chasing after a young woman with very ignoble intentions. If you want to prevent the murder, you must act quickly and kill Calixto. Run after him and stop the bloodthirsty killer.

Remember to get the Strange Amulet from his inventory - it has now become a Necromancer's Amulet and has a use. If you didn't sell it to him, the strange amulet will remain useless in your inventory as a bug forever and ever.

Also, keep the key to Calixto's house/museum if you want to find out more about the culprit's background. There you will find the third diary of the butcher, which finally sheds light on the motivation of the museum owner.

Now that the killer has finally passed away, all you have to do is talk to Jorleif and complete the quest. He is very grateful to you on behalf of Windhelm and utters an ominous spell ( "The guards will be more friendly towards you in the future" ), but it is questionable whether this will have any effect on the gameplay.

Your reward for the quest remains the Necromancer's Amulet and the knowledge that the streets of Windhelm are finally safe again. As safe as they can be in Skyrim during a civil war and attacks by supposedly extinct dragons.

Way 2: Be careful (talk to Wuunferth first)

Instead of ratting out Wuunferth directly to Jorleif, you can instead speak to the caster first to confirm (or dispel) your suspicions. You'll find him in the Palace of Kings - wandering up the stairs to the left in his quarters during the day and wandering the main hall and surrounding rooms at night.

Confront him with the rumors about him being interested in necromancy and with the amulet you found in House Hjerim. Wuunferth is highly offended by your accusations, and denies any involvement in the murders; instead, he even claims that he himself has been investigating the murders for a long time and was even able to identify a certain pattern in the actions of the perpetrator.

As with path 1, it is now a matter of patrolling the stone district and overpowering the murderer. If you choose this path, you can prevent a sacrifice (which is caused by the imprisonment of Wuunferth). If you prevent the butcher's last victim, the number of dead remains at three, but if you failed (or you preferred to watch the bloodbath), then a total of up to five women die at the hands of the butcher. Speak to Jorleif one last time and complete the quest.

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