Online:The Coven Conundrum

The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is currently being rewritten as part of the Online Quest Project.
The page is being both written and checked. All users are welcome to make changes to the page. If you make a change that is relevant to the project, please update this template accordingly, and make sure you have observed the project guidelines.


Investigate the Icereach Coven further.
Quest Giver: Lyris Titanborn
Location(s): The Grinning Horker, Blackreach, Windhelm, Palace of Kings
Prerequisite Quest: The Coven Conspiracy
Reward: Chains of the Ice Witch
Windhelm Scale Tunic Design Folio
Average Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Standard
ID: 6463
Track the Icereach Coven to places of legend
Lyris Titanborn and I uncovered a conspiracy involving the witches of the Icereach Coven. The trail leads to an isolated inn somewhere in the wilds of Eastmarch. We need to determine what the coven has planned before it's too late.


Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Travel to the Grinning Horker in Eastmarch.
  2. Look for signs of the missing workers and the Icereach Coven.
  3. Explore underground passage.
  4. Search Blackreach for signs of the Icereach Coven.
  5. Look for Sister Balra at the Kagalthar ruins.
  6. Speak with Lyris Titanborn and Sentry Darfal.
  7. Travel to Windhelm and enter the Palace of Kings.
  8. Search the palace for Jorunn the Skald-King.
  9. Defeat Sister Balra and rescue the Skald-King.
  10. Talk with Jorunn and Lyris in Throne Room.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Search the inn for clues

Board the cart with Lyris Titanborn and head on over to Eastmarch. You'll be dropped off beside Voljar's Meadery. Head west then north up the path, and you'll end up at The Grinning Horker, the inn mentioned in the pamphlet you found on Goharth Ironbelly. Enter the facility, which you find empty. Lyris finds this suspicious, and suggests that you look around. There's an unfinished meal on one of the tables, and some used bedrolls upstairs. Head back downstairs and enter the side room. You'll find a trail of blood near a trap door that leads to the basement. It looks like whoever came here for the job opportunity was dragged down into the basement. Continue your search down there.

The basement is also empty, save for several cabinets. Lyris thinks it strange. There's clearly a bloodstain outside the basement. The prospectors' captors must have a secret passage down here somewhere. The cabinet in the back on the left is the one with the secret passage behind it. The furthest cabinet on the right contains an Old Horse Blanket. The cabinet next to it contains a Moth-Eaten Shirt. The right-side cabinet closest to the entrance contains Sodden Rags. The small barrel in the back of the room is holding an Old Wig. Enter the secret passage and traverse the tunnel. Not too far in, you'll encounter a hysterical Nord named Hrolt. Speak with him while Lyris scouts ahead.

Search Blackreach

Hrolt tells you that while he and the other prospectors were waiting in the inn, the people running the inn walked up and ordered them to go to the basement. One of the job-seekers refused, so the witches sliced him up pretty badly, hence the trail of blood from earlier. When the captives saw the witches from the Reach, some of them tried to fight back. Hrolt slipped away while they were distracted. Hrolt says that the witches are doing something horrific down in the tunnels, and tells you to destroy their infernal pikes. Catch up with Lyris further down. She's standing on a ledge overlooking a massive, mushroom-filled cave. Speak with her.

Lyris claims this place is Blackreach, a cave she didn't even realize existed. Blackreach has been spoken about in Nord folktales for a good long while, painted as a fantastic world that stretched beneath all of Skyrim. Lyris asks you to investigate further while she escorts Hrolt up out of the cave. Head down the path and cross the bridge onto the stretch of Dwarven ruins below. A Witch Pike lies east of your starting location. Destroy it and head north. You'll find several cages containing harrowfiends and a table covered in arcane trinkets. A letter lies upon the table. Read it. Apparently, the harrowfiends are created by perverse storms conjured by the Icereach witches at the behest of their benefactor.

Speak with the sentry

Make your way west. You'll find a large cage here. Lo and behold, the captives are trapped inside. Open the cage for them, and Amberic Daigre beckons you over. He tells you that the witches tied several prisoners to a pike and summoned a strange storm. The magic killed some of them, but turned most of the victims into harrowfiends. He informs you that Sister Balra may be in the Dwarven ruin west of here, which she's been using as her personal domain. Head up the hill towards the Dwemer ruin. As you approach the ruin, you'll see Lyris Titanborn killing a vampire. Speak with her for a moment. Tell her what you found and enter Kagalthar Ruins.

Inside the hall is a gravely wounded Windhelm sentry. Talk to him. He says that Balra stabbed him and left. He made a deal with her, exchanging information about how to sneak into the Palace of Kings for gold. Sentry Darfal believes that the Skald-King is now in danger. He mentions that Balra said she has plans for the King, killing Darfal was just her tying up loose ends. Lyris tells you that you need to get back to Windhelm immediately. Follow her back to the surface and take the cart back to the city. Once you arrive, bolt for the palace. Before you can enter the palace, Housecarl Vaer stops you. Lyris demands to be let inside, but Vaer refuses, citing security protocol. At first, she denies that the Skald-King is in any danger, but when you tell her that Sentry Darfal accepted a bribe and told the witches how to enter the palace, she loosens up a bit. She finally allows you in when you mention the Icereach Coven's involvement.

Save King Jorunn

Enter the palace, which is filled to the brim with witches and death hounds. You're going to have to kill them if you want to get through. Sift through the corpses of the witches you kill. One of them is carrying several Maps of Western Skyrim. You're also free to examine the nearby Skyrim Reconnaissance Map in the next room over. Lyris notes that this map contains information about troop positions in Haafingar, and points out that the western holds have been torn off. You'll find the corpses of slaughtered palace personnel scattered throughout the building. You'll need to continue through the palace, passing through the kitchen and the lower chambers. Here, Sentry Alma lies dead. Take the Palace Dungeons Key off of Sentry Alma's corpse and head down into the Palace Dungeons. Sister Balra has King Jorunn, and is performing a ritual. You'll need to kill her to save the Skald-King.

Sister Balra wields powerful frost spells and a greatsword. She doesn't do much with the blade, but she will cause quite a bit of damage with her freezing gales. When her health gets low, she will transform into a werewolf behemoth. Now, she attacks with powerful claw strikes, devastating swings and a howl that chills you to the bone. Defeat her and speak with King Jorunn, who moves to the throne room. Tell him about your findings.

"Held captive in my own dungeon! If word gets out, I'd be laughed off my rebuilt throne—and rightly so!
On to business. I heard Lyris's report. Now tell me, what did you uncover?"
The Icereach Coven developed a ritual that turns people into a new kind of bloodfiend.
"Yes, so Lyris mentioned. Harrowfiends, she called them. An ominous name. And that Sister Balra claimed she was turning me into a monster.
What else did you learn about the Icereach Coven?"
The coven appears to be allied with vampires.
Talking with Jorunn and Lyris
"Vampires? I've known both decent and terrible folk burdened by that curse. I take it the ones working with the coven fall into the latter category.
Anything else?"
The coven seems interested in the Haafingar hold.
"Haafingar? High-King Svargrim rules that hold from the city of Solitude. We don't see eye-to-eye, especially since neither of us will openly acknowledge the other's reign. Still, he should be warned.
Talk to Lyris. I have much to think about."
Yes, Skald-King.
"You have given me much to consider. If these Reach witches really do plan to attack Haafingar, I need to inform Svargrim at once.
I fear that this plot against Skyrim is only the beginning."

Talk to Lyris to end the quest.

Quest Stages[edit]

The Coven Conundrum
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
Lyris hired a cart to take us to Eastmarch and the Grinning Horker inn. I should hop aboard the cart so we can begin the journey.
Objective: Travel to Eastmarch
We arrived in Eastmarch. Lyris says we need to head into the mountains and look for the Grinning Horker inn.
Objective: Enter the Grinning Horker
Lyris and I entered the Grinning Horker in Eastmarch. Everything appears quiet. I should talk to Lyris so we can discuss our next move.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris and I need to search the desolate inn and see if we can find anything that points to what the Icereach Coven is planning.
Objective: Search the Grinning Horker: 0/3
Hidden Objective: Investigate the Mess Hall
Hidden Objective: Investigate the Bunks
Hidden Objective: Investigate the Back Room
The inn appears to have been abandoned in a hurry, but we found a trail of fresh blood leading to a hatch into the basement. We need to continue our search down there.
Objective: Search the Basement
We found a secret passage in the Grinning Horker's basement. I should see where it goes and continue to look for the people who were lured here, as well as signs of the coven.
Objective: Explore the Secret Passage
Lyris and I encountered a Nord name Hrolt. Is he one of the people that was lured to the inn? I should talk to him while Lyris keeps watch.
Objective: Talk to Hrolt
Apparently, the Icereach Coven has taken the people they lured here deeper into the cavern. I should talk to Lyris and let her know we're on the right track.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris thinks this huge cavern is part of Blackreach, an old Nord legend about an underground world that supposedly stretches beneath all of Skyrim. I should take a look around and destroy any witch pikes while I wait for Lyris to catch up with me.
Objective: Explore Blackreach: 0/3
Hidden Objective: Smash Witch Pike
Hidden Objective: Gather Coven Notes
Hidden Objective: Free the Prisoners
(Following appears after releasing prisoners)
Objective Hint: Talk to Amberic Daigre
My search of Blackreach turned up witch pikes, coven notes, and more references to the coven's leader, Sister Balra. She might be in the Dwarven ruins in the western portion of this underground expanse. I should search in that area.
Objective: Find Sister Balra
I found Lyris. I should tell her what I discovered down here in Blackreach.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris and I need to find the Icereach Coven leader, Sister Balra, and deal with her once and for all. She might be inside a nearby Dwarven ruin.
Objective: Find Sister Balra
The ruin was empty except for a wounded sentry from Windhelm. I should talk to him and find out what happened.
Objective: Talk to Sentry Darfal
With his last dying breath, the wounded sentry admitted to betraying his oath. Sister Balra stabbed him before leaving for Windhelm, where the sentry believes she means to assassinate King Jorunn. I should talk to Lyris.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris suggested we go to Windhelm immediately and make our way to the Palace of Kings. She wants to save Jorunn the Skald-King from the coven witch, Sister Balra.
Objective: Travel to Windhelm
{Now that I arrived in Windhelm, I should make my way to the Palace of Kings with Lyris so that we can warn Jorunn the Skald-King that he's in danger.
Objective: Warn Jorunn the Skald-King
Lyris wants me to talk to the housecarl so we can enter the Palace of Kings and find King Jorunn.
Objective: Talk to Housecarl Vaer
The housecarl opened the Palace of Kings for me and Lyris. While the housecarl rallies the guards, we need to go inside and find the Skald-King.
Objective: Enter the Palace of Kings
The Icereach Coven and its vampire allies have already infiltrated the palace. We need to find Jorunn the Skald-King and make sure he's all right.
Objective: Find Jorunn the Skald-King
Hidden Objective: Find Stolen Book
Hidden Objective: Examine Deployment Map
Hidden Objective: Find Jorunn's Guards
We need to continue our search for Jorunn the Skald-King in the palace dungeons.
Objective: Find Jorunn the Skald-King
Sister Balra appears to be conducting some sort of dark ritual on Jorunn the Skald-King. Lyris and I need to put a stop to this before it's too late.
Objective: Save Jorunn the Skald-King
I defeated Sister Balra and saved King Jorunn. Now I should head to the palace throne room and talk to the Skald-King.
Objective: Talk to Jorunn the Skald-King
The Skald-King thinks that Western Skyrim might be in danger, but he needs to proceed carefully since they don't recognize his authority. In the meantime, he suggested I talk to Lyris.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
☑Finishes quest Both Lyris and the Skald-King fear that the Icereach Coven has designs on the holds of Western Skyrim. I should talk to Lyris and see how she wants to proceed.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
This Online-related article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.