Skyrim Blood on the Ice | How to Start | Walk Through | Bug in Quest
How to Start
The Blood on the Ice quest is considered as one of the side quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The side quest begins when a player enters a graveyard near the Temple of Arkay, in the city of Windhelm through the front gate. It can also be available if the character visited the city a number of times, through fast travel or entering and leaving via the front gate. This is the easiest way to trigger the quest, by walking back and forth two to three times between Windhelm Stables and the Brandy-Mug Farm between 7 pm and 7 am. If the graveyard scene is not triggered, lesser the chance the quest can be triggered at all.
A city of Windhelm guard appears who is looking after the scene of a recent homicide that took place over there and will pause the progress of the player to know if your character has seen anyone fleeing the scene of the crime.
There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled before you can start that Blood on the Ice quest. It will be triggered by a counter which will start at the beginning of the game and increase every time your character visits Windhelm or areas surrounding it. Once it reaches 5, the awaited Blood on the Ice quest will begin.
Killer on the Loose
Once the character enters the graveyard district in Windhelm, a few citizens and a city guard can be seen mentioning about a homicide and subsequent killer on the loose. The grisly murder of a young woman invokes noticeable fear and seems like no one is ready to talk about the killings, with it being more a rumor. The young woman is tended to by the Priestess of Arkay, with the city guard mentioning this to be part of a string of murders in the city of Windhelm and the culprit vanishing into thin air.
The character is then to ask the guard if they require any assistance with the investigation and agree to it as long as the Jarl’s assistant, who can be found in the Place of Kings, approves of it. Once the character talks to him, he approves of it, providing his and his guards support, if required. Once permitted, speak to the guard in the graveyard, after which the guard will ask you to question the witnesses nearby for any relevant information regarding the homicide. After lack of any findings from these witnesses, the guard suggests to talk to the Priestess of Arkay, who he warns is a strange one.
Examining the Crime Scene
Once you enter the Hall of Dead catacombs, your character will find the Priestess, who is preparing the dead body for its last rites. She gives details on the wounds the victim sustained and discovers that a sharp blade might have inflicted those wounds, pointing out these are used by necromancers. Since this doesn’t provide for any more clues, when returned to the murder scene, a large pool of blood can be seen where the body was discovered and a trail of blood leading away from the scene. The trail leads you to the doorstep of an abandoned house. Your lockpicking skills will come in handy and will allow you to open the door. If not, you will have to talk to the local guards for the key. Either way, you will be entering the abandoned house and continue with your search.
The Hideout of the Beast
Once you enter the abandoned house, you will be surprised to notice that seemingly no one has been there in a long time, as the presence of cobwebs and a layer of dust will showcase. Upon closer inspection, the blood trail will lead you further into the house, where you will find pamphlets, warning of the creature known as the Butcher. A journal can also be found, which contains horrible insights into the mind of the killer, who collects body parts.
When you further explore the house, a wardrobe and bookcase can be noticed with clothes and pamphlets.
Amulet in the Quest
Upon furthering pondering around, you find a strange amulet under those pamphlets, with the wardrobe having a false back leading to a secret room with remains of previous victims, with an operation table lying in the corner where the monster did all of his mutilations of the bodies. Getting all this evidence, you need to move on.
All this evidence and the strange amulet, when met with the first city guard you can find, you will be asked to speak with a local curio shop owner, who might know what the item is. As for the pamphlets, the guard will tell you that the author of it has been campaigning for months on this and raising awareness among people. The curio shop owner will offer 500 gold for it, for which you may agree or disagree to sell it. Either way, you have another lead, which is to talk to Viola about the pamphlets. She asks that you consider talking to the present court wizard, who when first arrived in the city, was faced with speculation that he has been involved with necromancy and asks your character to meet her at the abandoned house to see the secret room herself.
A Choice to Make
At this point in the game, you can either return to Jarl’s assistant and convict the Court wizard as being the murderer, after which he will be arrested and trialed for murder, or you can talk to him and get his side of the story. But when you do this, there is another murder, showing that the real killer is still at large. You can continue with the investigation by asking the court wizard questions in his jail cell, who will tell you that after researching the murderers, he was able to locate a pattern which coincides with dates and significant times and also tells that another murder is very soon imminent, most probably in the market district.
Patrol the Stone Quarter
As a new main objective, once the case of the court mage is solved, you will be given the mission to protect the city from “The Butcher.” For this, your character will have to head out to the South-west part of the city and reach the market place. Once you’re on your way, you will start hearing cries for help. After checking out where those sounds are coming from, you will witness Calixto murdering a woman, after which it will be evident that he is definitely the Butcher responsible for the killings in Windhelm. You would need to act fast to save the woman from being murdered, by killing Calixto as fast as possible. Calixto is also the one to whom your character had sold the Amulet.
Once you kill him, you need to tell Jorleif of what has conspired and he will tell you that you have done a great service for the city, with everyone appreciating you for it.
Bug in Quest
Despite several attempts, there are bugs in the games, which after several patching attempts are still there. It's mostly related to audio, which is sad, as the sounds effects of the game are exceptional. With the bug, the music occasionally cuts off and sound becomes distorted with dialogues seemingly not in place. A few frame -rate drops have also been noticed, making the game unplayable. Apart from this, a few friendlier bugs can also be found, like characters showing weird behavior, weird animation deaths, which uplift the charm of the game.