The city of Windhelm has its fair share of problems in Skyrim. From the threat of the civil war that looms overhead to extremely fraught relations between the different races, this location has a lot going on inside it. It certainly doesn’t live up to its namesake as the ‘City of Kings.’
And to top it all off, a serial killer is loose in its streets, stalking and murdering his victims under cover of darkness. When players first visit Windhelm, multiple women have already been killed by this unknown figure, their bodies left naked and brutalized on the stone streets.
This butcher is the Skyrim Blood subject on The Ice quest, and our article will guide you through it step by step.
Skyrim Blood on The Ice Quest Guide
To start, players have to make sure that the time is between 7 PM and 7 AM in the city on any given day. The quest only triggers during this timeframe, when it is dark out. They should then head on over to the cemetery to the west of the main gate.
When they get here, they should find the body of the NPC Susanna the Wicked sprawled on top of a grave. A crowd has also formed around the gruesome scene, which includes three civilians and one guard.
As you approach, the guard will automatically initiate dialogue with you and ask you to back away from the area. Talking to him a bit more reveals that this murder is the most recent in a sting of mysterious killings within the city, but no one is looking into them due to the war efforts. So players can volunteer to play the part of the detective themselves.
You are instructed to talk to the three witnesses present on location, which reveals little of use. The only notable piece of information you can gather from them is that the victim still has her valuables on her, so the killer was not after her money. Relay this back to the guard, and he will send you to the steward Jorleif in the Palace of the Kings.
Talk to this NPC to receive the authority to look further into these killings, after which you can go back to the crime scene. The body has been moved by now, but the guard will assist you a bit more by telling you about the trail of blood leading away from the cemetery.
Now you have the option to visit the Hall of the Dead and talk to the NPC named Helgird to learn a bit more about the dead body via an autopsy. This step is entirely optional, but it sheds a lot more light on the methods of the killer.
Either way, you’ll end up having to follow the trail of blood mentioned above to Hjerim, which is a manor in the Valunstrad quarter of Windhelm. If you are skilled in lockpicking, you may break into the location right away; otherwise, you’ll require the key.
Speak with any guard in your immediate vicinity to learn about Tova Shatter-Shield, who is the mother of the manor’s former owner. She can be found in the market, and if you explain the situation to her, she will give you the key to the house.
Skyrim Blood on The Ice – The Necromancer’s Alter
Once inside Hjerim, there are many different items that the player can observe to reveal that the property is not abandoned. There are signs of someone having been here recently.
First, observe the bloody chest to the left of the main entrance. It contains one of the Butcher’s Journals with knowledge about his activities. This is an important proof, so don’t forget to loot this.
Next, look in the small room in the northwest corner of the same floor to find two wardrobes and a small shelf. There should be a stack of flyers on the shelf with the phrase “Beware the Butcher!.” Underneath these should be an accessory named the Strange Amulet. Collect both of these items because here comes the most gruesome part of the whole quest.
Interact with the wardrobe to the right to discover that it has a false back panel, which you can open up to reveal a hidden room with human remains and a sacrificial altar. The Butcher’s second Journal can also be found on the table, so grab that as well.
You now have all of the items you needed to collect as evidence.
Now exit the manor, and go visit Calixto’s House of Curiosities shop. The owner Calixto is one of the three original witnesses that were present next to the body when the quest first began. He can appraise the Strange Amulet for you, which he reveals to be an heirloom that is traditionally carried by the court mage.
While talking, he also briefly references that the current court mage, Wuunferth, is rumored to be dabbling in necromancy. You can choose to sell the Amulet to this NPC for 500 gold or keep it with you.
If you seek out the author of the “Beware the Butcher!” flyers, a woman named Viola Giordano, she will look at the Journals in your possession and also start pointing fingers at Wuunferth. You will be urged to take all of this information directly to the steward.
At this point, there are two different paths you can take. Either take all the collected evidence to Jorleif, have the mage arrested for the murders, or talk to him yourself. In order to get a direct and more rewarding ending, we suggest that you go talk to the prime suspect.
Skyrim Blood on The Ice – The Identity of The Killer
Look for the court mage in the residential quarter of the Palace of the Kings, and confront him with your discoveries.
Accusing Wuunferth of being the killer and revealing the evidence causes him to reject your suspicions and correctly identify the accessory in your possession as the Necromancer’s Amulet. Calixto was wrong in his assessment of the item.
The mage also reveals that the string of mysterious killings make a lot more sense now within the context of a necromantic ritual, and that he expects another murder to take place soon in the Stone Quarter. Players should choose to believe this NPC.
Listen to what he says, and head on over to the market and prepare for nightfall. The murderer will attempt to claim another victim tonight.
As you are standing in the location, many different NPCs will go about their work normally. Nothing seems out of the ordinary, but players should stay vigilant nonetheless and be ready to strike at any moment if they want to save an innocent life.
Suddenly, a female NPC named Arivanya will start shouting for help, and Calixto Corrium will be seen approaching her with a dagger.
If you are quick enough, you can intervene and begin attacking the perpetrator to get him to stop what he’s doing. He will start to flee after getting hit for the first time, but you can chase him down with the town guards’ help.
Unfortunately, there is no option to subdue or arrest him. The only way this quest gets resolved is if you kill him yourself. Thankfully though, you don’t incur a bounty for going though with this in public.
Once the killer is dead, you can report back to Steward Jorleif and update him on the situation. He’ll express shock at Calixto being the murderer, but thanks you for your service regardless. The quest will now come to an end.
As a reward for this great favor, you are allowed to purchase Hjerim as a home for yourself. Before the actual purchase goes though, you have to either join the Stormcloaks faction or take over the city of Windhelm for the Imperial Legion.
This was our guide on the Skyrim Blood on The Ice quest. It’s one of the more interesting side-quests in the entire game, which also helps you get one of the best houses in the game.