Skyrim:The Blessings of Nature
- Agree to help Danica Pure-Spring restore the Gildergreen.
- Head to Orphan Rock and claim Nettlebane.
- Return to Danica, who sends you to the Eldergleam Sanctuary.
- (Optional) Escort Maurice Jondrelle to Eldergleam.
- Use Nettlebane to cut through the roots, then make a choice:
- Return to Danica to complete the quest.
The only temple dedicated to Kynareth, goddess of air, wind, and sky, is located in Whiterun and is being maintained by priestess Danica Pure-Spring. Just outside the temple grows the Gildergreen, a tree planted in the earliest days of Whiterun and considered holy by worshippers of Kynareth. However, the tree was recently struck by lightning and has faded away, much to the dismay of traveling pilgrims and the citizens of Whiterun. Danica Pure-Spring, while willing to solve the problem with the sacred tree, has her hands full due to the civil war, so the tree is still dead. If you ask innkeeper Hulda or local bard Mikael for the latest gossip, they will both tell you about the state of the tree and point you towards Danica Pure-Spring. Danica can be found sitting underneath the tree every morning from 7am, trying to get someone to help her out; otherwise she will be in the temple tending to the sick and injured. When you talk to her, she will immediately complain about the situation, and explain what needs to be done to make it bloom again.
The Gildergreen was grown from a cutting of the legendary Eldergleam, an ancient tree said to be thousands of years old, from before the Atmorans set foot in Skyrim. Danica claims that sap from the parent tree can be used to restore the Gildergreen to its former glory, but there is a catch. The Eldergleam can’t be cut with a normal weapon, so you will have to deal with hagravens and claim the dagger they made to kill spriggans, named Nettlebane. Danica then sends you off to Orphan Rock, a hagraven nest northeast of Helgen.
As you approach Orphan Rock, you will find the surrounding area protected by four residing witches, two of them on the ground below the rock and two more witches near a camp further up the slope. They will attack you on sight and use lower-level destruction spells to keep you away from Orphan Rock and its unique treasure. The rock itself is accessed via a fallen-down tree stump and is protected by a single hagraven who will use fire spells on you. Dispose of her and claim Nettlebane from the corpse, then loot Orphan Rock of valuables.
An Angry Pilgrim
Back in the Temple of Kynareth, Danica has received a visit from a traveling pilgrim, namely Maurice Jondrelle who is understandably upset about the current state of the Gildergreen and now spends his time bothering the busy priestess:
Maurice: "What is it... what has happened to the Gildergreen? I have traveled long here to worship beneath its branches."
Danica: "It was taken by a lightning strike. Wish I had time to deal with it, but it's hard enough with all these wounded from the war."
Maurice: "Please, don't just let it stay like this. It's disgraceful."
Danica: "I really don't have time to deal with you right now. Please just let me get back to my work."
Maurice: "But this is supposed to be your work."
When you show Danica the dagger you acquired from the hagraven, she will be quite surprised but will refuse to touch it, leading to her asking for another favor. You are to travel to the Eldergleam Sanctuary and retrieve some of its sap. From his spot in the corner, Maurice Jondrelle will overhear the conversation and will quickly seek you out and ask if he can accompany you on the journey. He reasons that he always wanted to visit the tree of legend, so let him tag along for the ride. You can also refuse to let him tag along, but then you will miss out on some important opportunities later on.
Maurice is not your average follower and can’t be given orders. Additionally, he is overly aggressive for an unarmed pilgrim and will attack any enemy you encounter, even dragons. Save your game when leaving the temple (or see notes), then travel towards the Eldergleam Sanctuary, located near the sulphurous pools and hot springs of Eastmarch, and slightly north from Darkwater Crossing. Do your best to keep Maurice out of trouble, then enter the sanctuary.
The Eldergleam Sanctuary is a large, naturally-lit cave inhabited by peaceful followers of Kynareth and contains the legendary tree in all its glory, its roots twisting and turning across the chamber, effectively blocking the path to the tree itself. Maurice will be understandably impressed with the place but will be quite shocked when you pull out Nettlebane. Hack away at the four roots and watch them bend away from the path. When you reach the top, an important choice is to be made, as Maurice will walk up to you and accuse you of disrespecting a true miracle of Kynareth. You can either choose to hear him out, which will result in a peaceful solution – or you can choose to ignore him and use Nettlebane to extract the sap, and awaken the wrath of Kynareth.
A prayer to KynarethIf you choose to listen to Maurice, he will reveal that he can solve Danica’s problem without resorting to violence against the sacred tree. Agree to let him help and he will walk up to the tree, get down on his knees and pray silently to Kynareth. Moments afterward, a sapling will emerge from the ground and a happy Maurice will convince you that this is the correct solution, even if Danica will be unhappy: Danica will want to see that the true blessings of nature lie in renewal, not a slavish maintenance. Pick up the sapling and watch Maurice start a new life in the Sanctuary. Return to Danica in Whiterun, and tell her that you received a sapling instead of the sap. She will be skeptical about replacing the huge Gildergreen with a small sapling, but will eventually recognize it as the best solution. She will then finish the quest and will offer master training in Restoration. The next time you visit Whiterun, the Gildergreen will be growing again (see bugs).
Wrath of KynarethIf you choose to ignore Maurice (assuming he came with you), he will stand back as you cut the tree to extract the sap. As soon as you have acquired it, he will turn hostile and attack. Additionally, several spriggans will show up in the chamber, including a very powerful boss-leveled spriggan. They will usually kill the peaceful inhabitants and will obviously go directly after you. Dispose of Maurice (if he's there) and the spriggans. After the battle, receive the limited treasure from the now empty sanctuary and leave the same way you came. Back in Whiterun, Danica will be quite happy when you hand her the sap and will reward you with her services as a master level trainer in Restoration. This will end the quest and return the Gildergreen to its original, glorious state the next time you visit Whiterun.
- One way to keep Maurice out of trouble is to travel to the Eldergleam Sanctuary before you speak to him, then fast-travel to the Sanctuary when he follows you.
- Completing this quest counts towards the Sideways achievement, regardless of whether you bring Danica the sap or the sapling (i.e., quest stages 100 and 105 both qualify).
- Maurice may not initiate the conversation asking to join you on your trip to the sanctuary. Returning to the temple may trigger a scene where he asks to join you.
- Maurice Jondrelle may not initiate conversation after clearing the roots.
- This may be fixed by traveling back down the path after cutting the roots.
- If you choose the sapling option, the Gildergreen in Whiterun will show the new sapling growing inside the frame of the old tree, This is because the old tree is not removed by the game and can be fixed by PC players using console commands to delete the old tree. The sap option avoids this problem and allows Gildergreen to fully bloom over time.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- If you complete Battle for Whiterun (Imperial or Stormcloaks) after doing this quest, the tree may disappear forever. Other times, it will disappear, but if you quick-save and quick-load, the tree will reappear again.
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 5, 200.