Skyrim: Blood On The Ice Quest [Step by Step Guide]

Investigate the killings of Windhelm and find the Butcher in Skyrim's Blood on the Ice quest!

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. And to top it all off, a serial killer is loose in its streets, stalking and murdering his victims under cover of darkness. Fortunately, the killer also known as the Butcher can be brought down by the player in the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest.

Key Takeaways
  • Windhelm in “Skyrim” has a serial killer known as the “Butcher.”
  • Players can initiate the “Blood on the Ice” quest.
  • The quest is active between 7 PM and 7 AM.
  • Players visit the cemetery to find the latest victim.
  • They gather clues from witnesses and crime scenes, including Hjerim manor.
  • Evidence is presented to various NPCs for assessment.
  • Calixto suggests Wuunferth’s involvement in the killings.
  • Players decide whether to inform the steward or investigate further.
  • Completing the quest reveals the killer’s identity and motive.
  • The quest involves evidence gathering and player choices.

Starting Blood On The Ice Quest 

Skyrim Blood on The Ice
The Crime Scene [Image by eXputer]
Blood on the Ice is lauded as one of the Best Quests in the game! As mentioned earlier the “Blood on the Ice” side quest takes place in Windhelm. Although, to start the quest there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Players need to make sure that:

  1. Enter Windhelm between 7 PM and 7 AM.
  2. Have previously entered and exited Windhelm at least four times.

Once you meet these criteria, enter Windhelm through the main gate and head to the graveyard located on the West side of the city.

In the graveyard, you’ll come across a dead body with a few people nearby. A Windhelm guard will approach you, triggering the initiation of the Skyrim “Blood on the Ice” Side Quest.

During your conversation with the guard, you’ll learn that there’s a serial killer in Windhelm, known for targeting young women. Susanna the Wicked is the third victim. The guard assigns you the task of investigating the murder mystery and identifying the killer.

Question The Witnesses

skyrim Helgird windhelm
Witnesses at the crime scene [Image by eXputer]
Your first task as the detective of Windhelm will be to question the witnesses present at the crime scene. In total you’ll find 3 townspeople surrounding the dead body of Susanna in Blood on the Ice quest. Here’s what each of the witnesses will tell you:

  • Helgird: She will claim that she didn’t witness the murder but she did notice that Susanna’s Coin Purse is still intact which indicates that the killer isn’t after gold.
  • Silda the Unseen: She will say that she arrived late at the crime scene, and hence has no useful information.
  • Calixto Corrium: Similar to the rest, Calixto will also say that he didn’t witness the murder but he did see a person running away from the crime scene.

Once you’ve interacted with all the witnesses, report back to the guard. He will then advise you to seek out Jorleif the Castle Steward for further help in the murder case. 

Seeking Out Jorleif

You can find Jorleif in the Palace of the Kings. The interaction with him will be brief and conclusively he will accept your help in solving the murder case. Completing the conversation will then hand out the next objective of the Blood on the Ice quest, in which you can head out and talk to the other guards and investigate the crime scene in further detail.

NOTE: Talking to Jorleif doesn’t really make much of a difference in the quest, and neither will you get any useful information out of him. 

Investigating The Crime In Windhelm

Skyrim Blood on The Ice
Trail of Blood [Image by eXputer]
In the investigation of the crime in Windhelm’s “Blood on the Ice” quest:

  1. After speaking with Jorleif, return to the graveyard and inform the Windhelm Guard of your permission to investigate the crime scene. He provides two leads:
    • Visit Hilgerd, who is performing an autopsy on the body in the Hall of the Dead.
    • Follow the trail of blood.
  2. Note that talking to Hilgerd is optional. If you choose to visit her first, you’ll learn about unusual fatal cut marks on Susanna’s body, presumably made by embalming tools unique to Hilgerd.
  3. Regardless of your choice, you will eventually need to follow the trail of blood, which leads to a manor called Hjerim. This marks the next stage of the quest.


hjerim in skyrim
Hjerim Locked Door [Image by eXputer]
When players reach Hjerim, they will notice that the main door is locked. Hence, barring them to progress quest. Fortunately, there are two methods you can utilize at this point:

  • If you have decent lockpicking skills, you can pick the Master Lock on the main door of Hjerim to gain entry.
  • If you lack lockpicking skills or prefer an alternative route:
    • Speak to Jorleif or any other guards and inquire about Hjerim.
    • They will direct you to Tova Shatter-Shield, the mother of Friga Shatter-Shield (the owner of Hjerim who was murdered by the mysterious killer).
    • Tova can be found in the market between 11 AM to 3 PM. Talk to her about investigating the murder case, and she will give you the house key for Hjerim.
    • Alternatively, you can visit the Clan Shatter-Shield House, located next to Hjerim. Tova is sitting on the upper floor of the House. Speak to her to obtain the Hjerim house key.

Searching For Clues

Skyrim Blood on The Ice
Hidden Room [Image by eXputer]
Upon gaining access to Hjerim, you’ll receive the “Look for Clues” objective for the Blood on the Ice quest in Skyrim. Here’s what to do:

  1. Inside Hjerim: Look for a chest to the left with blood splatters around it. Inside the chest, you’ll find a note instructing you to seek out Viola Giordano. You’ll also discover Butcher’s Journal #1, providing more insight into the quest’s lore.
[Note: You can choose to exit the house and find Viola Giordano for additional information or continue exploring Hjerim.]
  1. Strange Amulet: In the same room, head west and enter another room. Search a small shelf against the wall to obtain the “Strange Amulet,” a crucial item for the quest. Your quest log will update.
  2. Hidden Hideout: While still in the same room, look for a wardrobe next to a wall and investigate it. Inside, you’ll find a false back panel that reveals the Butcher’s hideout. Here, you’ll uncover more lore about the killer and their necromancy practices, along with Butcher’s Journal #2.

Calixto And Viola

Skyrim blood on the ice calixto
Calixto [Screenshot by Us]
After exiting the Hjerim, head back to Jorleif and tell him about the things you found at the house. He will tell you to visit Viola Giordano to get more information about the Butcher. Additionally, Jorleif will advise you to visit Calixto at the House of Curiosities to get the Strange Amulet examined.

It is advised to visit Calixto first. Both NPCs can be found quite close to each other on the Eastern side of Hjerim. 

  • Calixto Corrium: He will examine the Strange Amulet and reveal that it is a Wheelstone. An Amulet traditionally held by the court mage. Calixto will buy the Strange Amulet for 500 Gold.
  • Viola Giordano: After knowing about the Necromancy practices, Viola will suspect Wuunferth and tell you to take the information to Jorleif instantly.

With the information at hand, you can either head back to Jorleif and tell him about your findings. Or you could directly go to Wuunferth and confront him yourself. Even though both methods will eventually lead to the end of Skyrim’s Blood on the Ice quest, it is still best to confront Wuunferth rather than report back to Jorleif.

NOTE: If players opt to reach out to Jorleif first, the Butcher will become successful in his fourth murder in Windhelm.

For the Best ending in Blood on the Ice quest in Skyrim, players should go straight to Wuunferth instead of Jorleif. 

Confronting Wuunferth (Good Ending)

Skyrim Blood on The Ice
The Court Mage [Image by eXputer]
To confront Wuunferth the Unliving in the “Blood on the Ice” quest and achieve the good ending:

  1. Find Wuunferth within the Palace of the Kings. His location within the Palace may vary based on the time of day:
    • During the daytime, he can be found in his room upstairs.
    • During the nighttime, you can locate him walking around downstairs.
  2. Engage in a conversation with Wuunferth. During the dialogue, you will discover that Wuunferth is not the killer but has been trying to find the Butcher as well. He identifies the Strange Amulet as the Necromancer Amulet and debunks Calixto’s theory about it.
  3. Wuunferth reveals the Butcher’s killing pattern and predicts that the next kill will occur at the Stone Quarters at night.
  4. There’s no need to inform Jorleif at this point. Instead, head directly to the Stone Quarters to catch the Butcher and conclude the “Blood on the Ice” quest with the good ending.

Reporting Back To Jorleif (Bad Ending)

If you return to Jorleif and share your suspicions about Wuunferth, he’ll demand proof. You can mention the Altar at Hjerim and the Amulet, convincing Jorleif of your accusations.

Jorleif will arrest Wuunferth, who claims innocence and says he was investigating the case. The quest ends with Wuunferth imprisoned.

However, after 3 in-game days outside Windhelm, upon your return, a new murder scene appears near the Graveyard entrance. The Windhelm guard criticizes your failed investigation, restarting the Blood on the Ice quest.

Visiting Wuunferth In Prison

Now, you must visit Wuunferth to learn what went wrong. Initially, he insults you, but he eventually reveals the true nature of the Amulet and disputes Calixto’s assessment.

He shares his findings about the Butcher and advises patrolling the Stone Quarters at night to catch the Butcher’s next target.

Finding The Killer Of Windhelm

Skyrim Blood on The Ice
Catching The Butcher [Screenshot by Us]
Wait until night in Windhelm and go to the Stone Quarter. Hang around the marketplace, which initially appears peaceful. Keep a close watch, and you’ll spot someone with a familiar face equipping a weapon.

It’s Calixto Corrium! Quickly incapacitate him before he makes his fourth kill. After subduing Calixto, search his body, and then return to Jorleif.

Items you can find on Calixto’s body in Skyrim:

  • Amethyst.
  • Calixto’s House of Curiosities Key (reveals more about his motive).
  • Gold.
  • Necromancer’s Amulet.
  • Ring of Minor Restoration.
  • Gold Necklace.
  • Silver Ring.

With the Butcher of Windhelm dealt with, return to Jorleif to complete the Blood on the Ice quest. He’ll thank you for stopping the killer. You can now decorate Hjerim (if owned) and obtain the Necromancer’s Amulet.

This was our guide on the Skyrim Blood on The Ice quest. It’s one of the most interesting side-quests in the entire game, which also helps you get one of the best houses in the game.


Did you find this article helpful?

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews || Education: Bachelors in Hospitality.

Related Articles