|# of Zones
|The Buying Game
Song of the Alchemists
|Console Location Code(s)
The Bards College is a musical school in Solitude. The Bards College is where any aspiring bard starts their career in tale-telling or song. It is located next door to Proudspire Manor, near the Blue Palace inside the walls of Solitude. The College, though large, contains few notable items. Many of the bards around Skyrim were trained at the College, and will recommend that the player visit the College. The primary reward for joining the college is actually three of its miscellaneous quests, which together grant +1 to every skill (18 points overall). The area contains only one zone, the interior.
Joining the Bards College
Upon arriving at the Bards College, the player is able to seek admittance. It is traditional for new Bards to perform a service to the college before they can be admitted, but there is a problem. The headmaster Viarmo will say that no new bards can be admitted except at the festival of the burning of King Olaf, which the bards have held annually, but this year the Jarl wishes to cancel it as she feels it is in poor taste after the death of her husband.
Viarmo will ask you to help him reinstate the festival sending you on a quest to retrieve a document lost long ago, an epitaph written at the ancient time of King Olaf's passing, and which he believes will help change the Jarl's mind. The document can be found in Dead Men's Respite. Once retrieved, return to Viarmo. You must help him fill in the gaps that are rampant in the document. Afterwards, the headmaster takes the player to the Jarl in order to try and reinstate the festival.
Although there are a handful of quests associated with the Bards College, it does not have a true quest line. For example, there is no knotwork specific to the Bards College, your game statistics do not have a separate category for tracking these quests, and there are no achievements for entering the college or finishing its quests. The following quests are instead categorized as a side quest and several miscellaneous quests:
- Tending the Flames: Unveil the truth about a deceitful King and become a member of the Bards College.
- Investigate the Bards College: Investigate the Bards College.
- Finn's Lute: Return an invaluable lute to Inge Six Fingers.
- Pantea's Flute: Find a missing flute for Pantea.
- Rjorn's Drum: Retrieve a drum for Giraud Gemane.
Other Miscellaneous Quests
- Delivery: Deliver an item to an associate. (radiant)
- Rare Gifts: Do a favor by finding a rare item. (radiant)
Ground Floor (Library and Trainer's Bedrooms)
The building itself has two entrances, the main entrance via the courtyard and the rear entrance that enters into the basement near the kitchen and student's quarters. There are a large number of books and musical instruments throughout the building and most of the crockery is of high quality.
Entry from the courtyard brings you into a reception area with a wooden bench against the northeast wall; in front of this is a low table holding a platter with a bunch of lavender on top and a bowl of red and green apples, while against the southwest wall is a set of shelves and a small unit with a blue mountain flower on a shelf and a red mountain flower in a pot. To the southeast is a stairwell with stairs leading up to the top floor to the practice and lecture rooms and down to the basement to the kitchen and student's quarters. There is a red mountain flower on the end of the banister, in a pot, behind a large plant. On this floor the library is to the southwest and the teacher's bedrooms are to the northeast.
The library contains many common books on various bookcases, with tables and chairs arranged around the room. Some of the less common books found in the library include Feyfolken II, The Wild Elves, N'Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, On Stepping Lightly and The Aetherium Wars, which if you haven't read a copy previously will initiate a quest to investigate Arkngthamz, a Dwemer ruin located in The Reach. There is also a copy of The Legend of Red Eagle which will initiate a misc quest to find red eagle's sword. After starting a quest for Lami to find a rare book, a copy of it, the Alchemy skill book Song of the Alchemists can be found on the counter in the library. On top of two of the bookcases against the southeast wall are a random healing potion and a potion of minor magicka while against the northeast wall is a small unit holding a bottle of alto wine.
To the northeast of the reception area is an internal wall with a small cupboard against it, following the corridor to the northwest, past two more cupboard, one on either side of the corridor, the first has a bunch of lavender on a shelf above it. The door at the end of the corridor leads into the bedroom belonging to Viarmo, which contains a double four-poster bed coming out from the northwest wall with an end table on either side and a long unlocked chest containing random items at the foot of the bed. Against the southwest wall is an open crate, behind the door containing a potion of minor stamina and a bunch of lavender, further to the right is a narrow wooden table with a platter holding two baked potatoes, a sweet roll and a couple of pieces of cheese and a plate of red and green apples. Against the northeast wall is a small wardrobe containing fine clothes and with a bunch of lavender on top. There is a washbasin to the right and a narrow wooden table beside that. In the eastern corner of the room is a dressing area with a cupboard against the northeast wall, with a small coin purse on top and a wall shelf holding an unlocked chest containing leveled items above it. Opposite this against the southwest wall are two tall wardrobe containing a mixture of fine clothes and clutter. On the corner of this wall, beside the door, is a large vase containing another bunch of lavender.
From the previous corridor there is another bedroom to the northeast belonging to Pantea Ateia with a narrow wooden table outside against the northwest wall. This room contains a double bed coming out from the northwest wall with a small wardrobe on either side and a washbasin to the right in front of a basket containing a small coin purse. Against the southwest wall is a narrow wooden table with a bowl of bread, a plate holding a sliced eidar cheese, an iron dagger and a bunch of lavender on top. Above this is a wall shelf holding a bunch of juniper berries and a deathbell flower. Against the northeast wall is a narrow wooden table and a bookcase containing eight common books and a flute with another book on the floor in front of it, while against the southeast wall is a wooden table with a potion of regeneration, a bunch of tundra cotton and drum on top, with a tall vase and wooden bench to the right of it.
The next bedroom along to the southeast belongs to Inge Six Fingers. It contains a large single bed coming out from the northeast wall with an end table to the right. Against the southeast wall are two wall shelves holding a potion of plentiful healing and a bunch of lavender. To the right of these is a narrow wooden table, while against the southwest wall is a wooden bench and corner shelf that holds a potion of resist fire. Against the northwest wall are two pairs of bookcases separated by two more coming out from the wall. There bookcases hold a total of thirty-nine common books, including a copy of Walking the World, Vol XI, which will update your map if you haven't discovered all of the places mentioned in and around Solitude. There are also two less common books, Charwich-Koniinge Letters, v1 and Invocation of Azura, a potion of extreme magicka, a potion of extreme stamina and a solution of strength. There is a low table and chair on the northern corner of the room with a single common book on top.
The last bedroom on this floor belongs to Giraud Gemane and is next door to the southeast of Inge Six Fingers' bedroom. It contains a single bed coming out diagonally from the southern corner with an end table to the right and an open crate at the foot of the bed. Against the southeast wall is a small wardrobe containing fine clothes and with a potion of lasting potency, a common book and a bunch of tundra cotton on top. Against the northeast wall is a wooden bench, while against the northwest wall are two wall shelves, both with a lute, above a narrow wooden table. To the right are two sets of shelves holding a collection of flutes, drums, a lute and three common books. In front of these is a low table and chair with a sprig of snowberries and a bunch of lavender on top of the table and another drum on the floor in the northern corner. Outside Giraud's bedroom is a low table and chair with a bunch of lavender and a potion of plentiful stamina on top of the table.
Top Floor (Lecture/Practice Rooms)
At the top of the stairs there is a small cupboard on the left with a red mountain flower in a pot on top. Opposite the stairs in a small balcony that overlooks the reception area with a large planter holding two deathbell plants and an open crate containing ten common books. There is a second cupboard next to a wooden bench at the rear of the balcony, over the stairs. The corridor leads to rooms at the northeast and southwest ends of the building.
To the northeast there is a cupboard against the southeast wall with an open crate containing three more common books, opposite a small storeroom, which contains a small cupboard against the northwest wall and two sets of shelves against the northeast wall. These hold two quicksilver ingots, while opposite against the southwest wall are a stack of crates and a couple of rugs. The main lecture and practice room has a lectern on a raised dais at the northeastern end of the room over looking three wooden benches facing it. In the northern corner of the room is a planter containing a dragon's tongue plant, with a potion of health hidden among the leaves. Against the southwest wall are two wall shelves holding three common books, while against the northeast wall are two more wooden benches, with two more against the southeast wall separated by two pairs of bookcases back-to-back coming out from the middle of the southeast wall holding a total of thirty common books, including An Explorer's Guide to Skyrim which adds map markers for The Guardian Stones, The Lover Stone, The Ritual Stone and The Shadow Stone. Some of the less common books on these shelves include a copy of The Pig Children, The Seed, Feyfolken I, a copy of the Speech skill book The Buying Game and a copy of Lost Legends which, if you haven't already initiated the quest will add a map marker and direct you to Folgunthur. There is also a low table in the eastern corner of the room with three common books on top. Against the southwest wall is a set of shelves holding a potion of health.
To the southwest in the corridor there are two small cupboards against the southeast wall, opposite two narrow wooden tables with three common books, a purple mountain flower and a bowl containing a sprig of snowberries on top. The main lecture and practice room at the end of the corridor has a lectern on a raised dais facing three wooden benches that have several drums and flute on them, to the southeast. There is a planter containing a deathbell plant in the northern corner, next to a narrow wooden table which has a sprig of snowberries on top against the northeast wall. At the rear of the room there is a set of shelves coming out from the southeast wall holding a couple of drums, a flute and a lute, with a planter containing two deathbell plants to the left and a wooden bench to the right. In the eastern corner there is a basket containing a potion of minor stamina, with a small cupboard to the left, against the northeast wall with a lute on top. Opposite this is a wooden bench against the southwest wall and a low table in front, with a bunch of tundra cotton, a sprig of snowberries and a flute on top.
Basement (Kitchen and Student's Quarters)
Descending the stairs leads to an open area with two clusters of seating arranged around low tables and two small cupboards, one against the northeast wall and the other against the southwest wall. To the southwest is a large opening into the kitchen where Bendt spends his days. It contains four long wooden tables, one against the against the southeast wall has a baked potato and two salmon steaks on top. One against the northwest wall has a bottle of alto wine and two more salmon steaks on top and a rack hanging above from the wall holding a garlic braid, two bunches of dried elves ear and a bunch of dried frost mirriam. The third is in the middle of the room between the other two and has a baked potato, two salmon steaks, two loose septims and a platter holding another two baked potatoes, a sweet roll and two pieces of goat cheese. These three all have benches beside them.
The fourth table appears to be used for preparing food and is in front of the oven on the southwest wall. There is another baked potato and an empty pot in the oven, while on the table there are a carrot, a leek, three tomatoes, two potatoes, two bulbs of garlic, three fillets of salmon meat, a sheaf of wheat and a goat cheese wedge. In the eastern corner is a large round table and chair with a plate of bread and cheese on the table. Against the northwest wall is a small unit holding a bottle of alto wine, two bottles of Honningbrew mead and a bottle of Black-Briar mead, while in the southern corner are two sets of shelves holding four red apples, a seared slaughterfish, a salmon steak, a fillet of salmon meat, a slaughterfish egg, a rock warbler egg, five garlic bulbs, a gourd, two loaves of bread, a potato and several pieces of cheese. To the right of the oven is a rack hanging from the southwest wall with two cooked horse haunches and a raw haunch of venison above a wood pile and block with a woodcutter's axe leaning against it.
To the right of these is a doorway to Bendt's L-shaped bedroom which contains a tall wardrobe against the southwest wall, with a dresser to the right that has a plate of bread and cheese on top. There is a single bed in the northern corner with a small low table beside it which has a copy of Uncommon Taste on top and against the southeast wall is a set of shelves holding a bottle of alto wine, a chef's tunic and hat, and a woodcutter's axe.
To the northeast is an area with several food sacks on the floor, while around the corner to the southeast there is a stack of crates and a small cupboard flanking the rear entrance. To the northwest is the student's quarters with a row of four single beds all coming out from the southwest wall, with a small table beside each of them and partitions separating each of them. The small tables have either a common book or small item of food on each. Against the northeast wall there are two tall wardrobes containing fine clothes, with a dresser at either end containing clothes.
- For a complete list of the various Bard performances, see this page.
- Even after being admitted into the college, the beds are not open for you to rest in, neither will you ever rise in ranks or take any active part in College business.
- A copy of the Speech skill book The Buying Game can be found up the stairs in the room on the right, on the top shelf of a bookcase.
- After starting a quest for Lami to find a rare book, a copy of the Alchemy skill book Song of the Alchemists can be found on the counter in the library.
- Other than most barrels and sacks, all containers in the Bards College are non-respawning and safe to store items in.
- For the three quests involving the retrieval of instruments, the script for removal of the quest items from one's inventory at the completion of the quest is bugged. As such, these items will permanently be in your inventory (they're flagged as Quest items). Owners of the PC version of Skyrim can use console commands to remove these items from their inventory.
- The Official Skyrim Patch, version 1.4, fixes this bug.
- Sometimes the objective "Investigate the Bards College" cannot be completed. Starting this quest after you have already joined the Bards College will make this quest incompletable, permanently leaving this task in your quest journal. The quest indicator points at the quest target but no dialogue options are present. You can clear the "Investigate the Bards College" quest by typing
SetObjectiveCompleted MS05Start 10 1into the console.
- The Unofficial Skyrim Patch, version 1.0, fixes this bug.