Skyrim:The Way of the Voice
After you're finished in Whiterun, you'll want to head to Ivarstead, as it is located at the foot of the 7,000 Steps leading up to High Hrothgar. Once you get there and get close to the bridge, you'll hear a conversation. Talk to one of the men, Klimmek, and learn about what dangers are lurking ahead. You can take an optional quest from him to deliver supplies to the Greybeards. You may also ask people there to tell you some information about High Hrothgar:
|Wilhelm||"The Greybeards are a solitary lot. I don't think they've ever ventured outside their monastery. We get the occasional pilgrim passing through here on their way to the summit, but almost all of them have returned disappointed."|
|Klimmek||"I've been to the monastery many times, but I've never even laid eyes on one of the Greybeards. Not that I'd care to. Being masters of the Thu'um, they could kill you by uttering a single word. Well, not that they would. They seem peaceful, but I wouldn't want to provoke them. "|
|Bassianus Axius||"Klimmek brings food supplies up to them once every few weeks when the weather permits it. Other than that, they seem like a quiet lot. Don't really know too much about them."|
|Boti||"It's frightening living below their monastery. Sometimes I swear I can hear strange noises rolling down from up there. It sounds like thunder, but there's never any rain. What do you make of that?"|
|Temba Wide-Arm||"The Greybeards stay away from me, and I stay away from them. Suits me just fine."|
|Gwilin||"Always thought it was odd that there's a layer of thick clouds covering the peak of the mountain above the monastery. Not sure what's up there, but I bet the Greybeards know."|
|Jofthor||"They call the path to the monastery the 7,000 Steps. Can you imagine? I'm not certain if I could even make it to the top without collapsing from exhaustion."|
|Fastred||"The Greybeards are a strange bunch. I heard they live their entire life without uttering a single word; can you even imagine?"|
|Lynly Star-Sung||"I've always fancied a journey up the 7,000 Steps to the monastery. Anything to break the boredom of living in this town. I envy you."|
The 7,000 Steps
When you start on the trail up, you'll run across various leveled wildlife and monsters, and a couple of pilgrims, Barknar and Karita. You will also find various stones giving you information on the history of the dragons and the Way of the Voice. Shortly after the emblem where you meet Karita, at a point where the steps are sandwiched between two cliffs, there is a strong frost troll that will jump from the top of one cliff if it sees you. For low-level characters, this can be a difficult fight. It can be avoided altogether by sneaking past it at night or scaling the cliffs nearby.
After finally arriving at High Hrothgar, you'll be greeted by Master Arngeir, who speaks to you on behalf of the other Greybeards (whose voices are too powerful for conversation). After proving you are the Dragonborn by using the Unrelenting Force shout, they welcome you to their monastery and instruct you on how to use the dragon shouts, or Thu'um.
To further your training in the ways of the Thu'um, you will be taught the second word to the Unrelenting Force shout, Ro, and asked to practice it three times on ethereal targets that the Greybeards summon. Arngeir comments on how quickly you learn, then takes you outside for the next lesson. They teach you another word, Wuld, for Whirlwind Sprint. You'll be asked to practice it by using the shout to get through the gate Master Borri opens before it closes. When you're finished, Arngeir will send you on the last test: retrieving the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.
One achievement is unlocked when you complete this quest:
- If you activate and read all ten plaques along the 7,000 Steps, you'll receive the blessing Voice of the Sky that causes wildlife to neither flee nor attack you for 24 hours.
- There appear to be only around 700 steps, but many may have been worn down or covered in snow over time.
- If you consider steps as paces rather than stairs, there are around 2000 steps (when using the walking animation)
- Despite the fact that, especially at higher levels, there are many dangerous wild animals along the 7,000 steps, the two pilgrims met along the way seem to be around the same level as the average bandit.
- With a horse and a little cunning, you can skip both the long trip to Ivarstead and climbing the 7,000 Steps altogether. Starting at the Whiterun Stormcloak Camp, you can ride almost straight up the mountain, bypassing the dangerous creatures and the tedious long climb with only moderate difficulty.
- The shout the Greybeards use to create the attack targets for learning Ro is Fiik Lo Sah, Mirror Deceive Phantom. It is not attainable by the player except through console codes.
- When you are asked to run through the gate before it closes using your new Whirlwind Sprint shout, you can make it through the gate in time using a regular sprint.
- Upon completion of this quest, you will gain access to the main quest of the Dragonborn expansion.
- Arngeir's dialogue about Whirlwind Sprint is slightly different if you already know a word of the shout. If you had learned the shout through a dragon soul, you will receive the second or third part of a shout for free.
- If you enter High Hrothgar from the back door, the Greybeards may not congregate in the hall and the quest will not progress. Exit from the front door and re-enter before speaking to Master Arngeir to progress.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2.4 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- The Greybeards may attack you after you use an Unrelenting Force on them.
- If you leave High Hrothgar after being presented the word Ro, but before learning (absorbing) the word on the floor, you may not be able to learn the word when you return. This can also happen in very rare cases even if you do not leave (more likely to happen later in the game if you have put off doing the main quest). This can break the main quest. There is no workaround for this other than reloading a previous save from before the word is presented to you.
- When asked to demonstrate the Voice, the spectres may not appear.
- Open your inventory and close it again and the spectre should appear.
- In demonstrating Whirlwind Sprint, Master Wulfgar may inadvertently send himself flying off the mountain.
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 5, 12, 15, 20, 25, 55, 56, 59, 60, 70, 75, 76, 82, 85, 90, 103, 105, 110, 115, 125, 127, 130, 150, 180, 190, 200, 220, 240, 242, 245, 250, 255, 260, 265, 270, 280, 282, 284, 288, 290, 300.
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