|Home Town||Skaal Village|
|Primary Skills||Destruction, Sneak, Conjuration, Restoration|
|Faction(s)||Actors in this will never fill world interaction aliases; Skaal Shaman; DLC2SkaalDialogueFaction; DLC2SkaalVillageCitizenFaction|
Storn Crag-Strider is the elderly shaman of Skaal Village and the father of Frea. As shaman of the tribe he serves as both guide and healer and makes sure the villagers adhere to Skaal tradition, particularly the worship of the All-Maker. He plays a huge part in the main quest line as he alone possesses the secret knowledge of the Skaal that is required to save Solstheim.
On your arrival at Skaal Village as part of the quest The Fate of the Skaal, Storn can be found sitting on the cold ground outside the Greathall in the eastern part of the village, along with town residents Nikulas and Finna. Together they are maintaining the magical barrier that protects the village from the spell that is affecting other parts of Solstheim. The effort of concentrating on the barrier is draining Storn physically and mentally. Your arrival in the village presents an opportunity to break the spell completely, and obviate the need for the barrier. Once the magical barrier is lifted and life returns to normal in the village, Storn can be found sitting on the bench with his daughter Frea between 10am and 1pm, or strolling around inside his hut, where he sleeps every night between 10pm and 8am.
In peaceful times, he will readily share of his bountiful knowledge as shaman. When asked about the All-Maker, the god that the Skaal believe in, he will attempt an explanation, saying, "You are an outsider, and I don't know if I can make you understand. I will try. The All-Maker is the maker of all things, and it is from the All-Maker that life flows like a great river. As all rivers must return to the sea, so all life returns in time to the All-Maker. I know our ways must seem strange to you, but the nine gods of the Empire are equally strange to us." When probed about his role among the Skaal, Storn will reply, "As shaman of Skaal Village, I serve as both a guide and a healer, as well as a keeper of traditions. I also remind the Skaal to live as one with nature and to honor the will of the All-Maker, so that we'll be worthy to join him in death."
- The Fate of the Skaal: Find a way to free the citizens of Skaal Village.
- The Path of Knowledge: Discover the locations of the Black Books in order to stop Miraak.
- Cleansing the Stones: Use the Bend Will shout to cleanse each of the remaining All-Maker Stones.
- The Gardener of Men: Travel to the realm of Hermaeus Mora to learn the rest of Bend Will.
The Fate of the Skaal
After reading the first Black Book Waking Dreams, Frea suggests you join her on a journey to Skaal Village to talk to her father Storn. It quickly becomes apparent that most of the villagers, under the influence of a spell, now work mindlessly constructing an edifice around the Wind Stone. As you arrive at the eastern end of the village, Storn is deep in concentration, maintaining a magical barrier that protects the remaining residents from succumbing to the spell.
Frea: "Father! I have returned! There is yet hope! "
Storn: "Frea! What news do you bring? Is there a way to free our people?"
Frea: "No, but I have brought someone who has seen things... He/She has confirmed that Miraak is indeed behind the suffering of our people."
Storn: "I feared that it would be so."
Frea: "But how is that possible? After all this time..."
Storn: "I fear there is too much we do not yet know."
Frea: (to you) "Please, tell Storn what has happened."
Storn then turns to you: "So, you have seen things, yes? My magic grows weak, and so does the barrier around our village. Time is short. Tell me what you know." If you say you have seen Miraak he will ask: "Really? How?" If you say Miraak is responsible for what is happening to his people he will also ask: "How do you know this?" When you mention the Black Book in the Temple of Miraak he will respond: "The legends speak of that place. Terrible battles fought at the temple. The dragons burning it to the ground in rage. They speak also of something worse than dragons buried within. Difficult to imagine, but if true... It means what I feared has come to pass. Miraak was never truly gone, and now has returned. If you could go to this place and see him... Are you like Miraak? Are you Dragonborn?"
Two options are available, either tell him that you are indeed Dragonborn or that Miraak claimed to be Dragonborn. The first option will net you: "Then perhaps you are connected with him. The old tales say that he, too, was Dragonborn." The second option will make him say: "That is what the stories say. You are Dragonborn as well, then. Perhaps you are connected." If you ask what this 'connection' means he will be puzzled: "I am unsure. It may mean that you could save us, or it may mean that you could bring about our destruction. But our time here is running out. The few of us left free of control cannot protect ourselves for much longer. You must go to Saering's Watch. Learn there the word that Miraak learned long ago, and use that knowledge on the Wind Stone. You may be able to break the hold on our people there, and free them from control." He will finish conversation with: "My strength falters.", "I cannot maintain the barrier for much longer." or "Put an end to this evil magic before it consumes us all."
You can then ask him additional questions and gain valuable knowledge. On the people controlled by unknown forces he will tell: "Some dark influence wields power over them, forces them to forget themselves and act against their nature. At first it was only during the night, but now every moment is spent building some strange shrine around the Wind Stone. I believe if the shrine can be destroyed, the Skaal will be free once more." When asked why you need to learn another word of power, he will say: "Miraak is behind what is happening to our village, and so the knowledge he has gained as Dragonborn is at the heart of it. You are Dragonborn as well. You too can wield this power, perhaps to a better end." He also knows a bit of background on Miraak: "Much of what was known has been lost to the ages. He was Dragonborn, and yet he served the Dragons. A priest in their order, highly esteemed and very powerful. Then he turned against them, becoming something they feared. He was defeated long ago, but it seems he was never destroyed."
Cleansing the Stones
After using your Bend Will shout on the Wind Stone, Storn will live a more relaxed existence, having taken the magical barrier down and returned to his normal duties as shaman. When you speak with him he will start by saying: "The air is different. We are safe, which means you have succeeded." When you tell him the good news, that his people are free, he will respond: "So it is. You have proven yourself an ally to the Skaal, and so the Skaal shall be allies to you." When you ask him what to do next, he will start the concurrent quest Cleansing the Stones with the words: "If you have released the Wind Stone and broken the hold on my people, perhaps you can do the same for the rest of Solstheim. I doubt it will fully stop whatever Miraak is doing, but it may slow his progress." However, you need to stop Miraak and will you tell him this, he will reply: "I cannot help with that. None here can. You will need the knowledge Miraak himself learned. You will need to learn more about this Black Book." He will then elaborate on the Book you already collected back in the Temple of Miraak: "Miraak had this? This does not look like something of the Dragon cult. It is a dark thing, unnatural. I would have nothing to do with it. But the Dark Elf Wizard, Neloth... He came to us some time ago, asking about Black Books. I believe he knows a great deal about them. Perhaps too much. Seek him out to the south. Be cautious, Dragonborn. There is something else at work here." This ends the quest and starts the next one, The Path of Knowledge.
The Path of Knowledge
Before taking off towards Tel Mithryn you can ask Storn a lot of questions about the task at hand. On the Black Books he will tell you: "Our traditions do not speak of them. But they and Miraak are connected. You read a Black Book, and saw him. And the book's power comes from the same dark source as that which corrupted the Wind Stone. But beware. You are now walking the same road as Miraak." On why Neloth can help he will say: "He also is searching for them. In fact, he has already found one. He showed it to me when he came here. It was very like the one you found in Miraak's temple. A thing of dark magic, not of the All-Maker." He also has a theory about what happened when you shouted at the Wind Stone: "The power of the Stone had been corrupted. It was the source of the influence that had taken control of the Skaal. Your Shout broke whatever evil will controlled the Stone, and restored its true nature as a conduit of the All-Maker's gifts. Freeing the other Stones will diminish whatever dark influence is spreading across Solstheim."
The Gardener of Men
While you travel through Nchardak with Neloth you will come across the Black Book Epistolary Acumen and, within that book, learn what Hermaeus Mora has planned. He wants the 'secrets of the Skaal' and they are kept by Storn himself. When you return to Skaal Village and confront Storn with this information, he will respond: "Hermaeus Mora... old Herma-Mora himself. So he is the source of Miraak's power. Of course. We have many tales of Herma-Mora trying to trick us into giving up our secrets to him. And now he comes again for what we have long kept from him." Three options are available. Ask him why he uses the name Herma-Mora and he will answer: "That is our name for him - the Demon of Knowledge. He has always been our enemy." He will also tell you about the secrets of the Skaal: "Ancient lore, handed down from shaman to shaman since the All-Maker first gave Solstheim to the Skaal. How to talk to the wind, how to listen to the earth - these are our secrets. Nothing of power or mastery." Lastly, when you tell him it's the only way he will teach you the final word of Miraak’s shout, he will say: "So it falls to me to be the one to give up the secrets to our ancient enemy. I do not know if I have the strength to face him. With Miraak's corruption of the Stones... the Oneness of the land is disrupted, and our connection to the All-Maker is broken." When you offer to cleanse the rest of the stones he will say if it will help: "It may. It should. And I will think on what you ask of me, to decide if it is necessary, or just another of Herma-Mora's tricks."
When all the stones have been cleansed, a return to Storn will make him say: "The Tree Stone is still corrupted... the land is still out of balance. But with the other five restored... it may be enough. It will have to be." He will then give in: "Yes. The Skaal also tell of the day when we must finally give up our secrets. When Herma-Mora finally wins. As shaman, it is my duty to guard these secrets, but also to decide when it is necessary to give them up. I believe that time is now. If I am wrong, may my ancestors forgive me. Give me the book. I will read it, and speak to old Herma-Mora myself. I will make sure he lives up to his part of the bargain." When you say you hope you know what he is doing, he will take the book and say: "That is my hope as well. I am trusting that you will make this sacrifice worthwhile." When you hand him the book he will walk into the center of the village, while Frea will shout:
Frea: "Father, you must not do this. That book is... wrong. Evil. Against everything that you have taught me my whole life."
Storn: "I must, Frea. It is the only way to free Solstheim forever from Miraak's shadow. There comes a time when everything must change. Nothing that lives remains the same forever. Do not fear for me, my daughter. This is the destiny that the All-Maker has laid out for me."
Frea: "I stand beside you, father, as always."
Storn: "I am ready for whatever the foul master of this book has in store for me."
While seemingly unconvinced about Hermaeus Mora’s intentions and promises, Storn then opens the book. Seconds after, several tentacles shoots out from its pages and grabs him, one of them piercing into his brain, while Mora laughs: "At last, the Skaal yield up their secrets to me." While all his knowledge and secrets get sucked out of him, all Storn can utter is "You... liar... gah! ... I won't... not... for you..." Hermaeus Mora will then speak to you: "Dragonborn, you have delivered me the gift I requested. In return, I keep my promise, as befits a Prince of Oblivion: I give you the Word of Power that you need to challenge Miraak. You will be either a worthy opponent or his successor, as the tides of fate decree." When you finally receive your gift, Mora will let go of Storn who will shout: "Nooo!" and fall to the ground, dead.
Frea will then kneel over her father's lifeless body and shout: "Father! What have you done!" She will then look directly at you: "Go. My father sacrificed himself so that you could destroy Miraak and lift his master's shadow from the land. Go, then. Kill Miraak. Do not fail." She will then stay by her father, while all the citizens of Skaal Village pay their final respect to their old shaman:
- Fanari Strong-Voice: "Goodbye, old friend. We will miss you, but do not worry. Frea will guide us well, thanks to you."
- Deor Woodcutter: "Frea... I'm sorry."
- Baldor Iron-Shaper: "I... uh... you'll be missed, old man."
- Oslaf: "You always protected us. I hope you find peace in the next life. Goodbye, old one."
- Aeta: "It can't be... please, All-Maker, send him back to us..."
- Wulf Wild-Blood: "Return to the All-Maker, old one. The Skaal will never forget your sacrifice."
- Finna: "May the All-Maker guide your soul to the next life."
- Edla: "We won't forget what you did for us, Storn Crag-Strider. Walk with the All-Maker."
- Morwen: "I don't really understand what you did, but I trust you did it for the good of the village. So... thank you."
- Yrsa: "Oh... so terrible. When will these dark times be over?"
- Tharstan: "By the gods... I've never seen anything like it... I, uh... I don't think this will go in my book."
- Nikulas: "Frea... what happened? What was that thing? I thought the village was safe now."
- If you attempt to talk to him while he meditates to maintain the barrier, Storn may say one of the following lines: "Please, do not distract us. This barrier must be maintained at all costs." or "Do not distract me. I must dedicate myself to maintain the barrier." or "Do not speak. Focus is essential, or else the barrier may fall." Even if you continue talking to Storn, the barrier will never fall.