Skyrim talk:Blood on the Ice

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UESP Calixto's Key Bugged[edit]

In the latest edition of the UESP, Calixto's key will not appear on his body after you kill him (this is a known issue by the mod's creators). Players will have to manually give themselves his key using console commands.

Sofie bug, she's being murdered.[edit]

I adopted the homeless kid of Windhelm on Hearthfire - Sofie, and now this quest is bugged, obviously I don't have Hjerim yet so she's not living in Windhelm, she was originally in Whiterun, I moved my family to Riften to see if it would make any difference, still she's missing, she's stood in the marketplace and Calixto stabs her but she doesn't die, just holds up her fists. Very weird! I spoke to her and her dialogue is about Riften 'There are lots of scary people here, Mama. Promise you'll keep me safe?' I've searched this problem but it seems to be a new bug? Help! — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 01:22 on 4 December 2012

I have the same problem but I don't have Hearthfire. But Calixo just walks up behind Niranye, and stabs here and she doesn't die! 12:54, 6 December 2012 (GMT) Kyle
Niranye is essential until you do Summerset Shadows, a Thieves Guild reputation quest, as she plays a large role in it. It's very strange that you seem to be saying that Calixto attacks Sofie. All children are completely indestructible in Skyrim, they don't take damage (unlike regular essential characters who do take damage, just won't die) and normally aren't targetted by anything. It might be because in the base game Windhelm has no children so maybe Calixto's stabbing AI doesn't check to make sure his target isn't a child. But there's no way he's ever going to kill one anyway. Anyway this doesn't sound like that rough of a bug, all you have to do is catch Calixto after he goes into attack mode, if he's attacking an unkillable target instead of Arivanya (who can be saved if you act quickly enough) that just means one less civilian death; you should be able to complete the quest just fine. --Morrolan (talk) 14:12, 29 January 2013 (GMT)
In my game Calixto is trying to kill Sofie too. Strange, there is a guard right in front of them, but she doesn't do anything. Like the other poster said, Sofie doesn't seem to be able to die this way. I haven't adopted her though. --Rope Dog (talk) 13:20, 23 June 2013 (GMT)

Scattered Items in Stone Quater[edit]

In every single playthrough I've done, items around the stalls in the Stone Quater (the marketplace) fall to the ground, float in the air, and are otherwise scattered, every single time, once reaching the point in this quest where Calixto is stalking someone there about to kill them (quest stage 120). Every single time, without fail. When the cell resets, the objects are in the same scattered positions. I've had about a dozen playthroughs and every single one of them had this happen no matter how I went about completing this quest. And it is definitely this quest doing it. I'm on the 360. I doubt this is just me. If anyone else is getting it too, perhaps it should be added to the list.Mjr162006 (talk) 10:39, 5 April 2013 (GMT)

I've never seen them float in the air. I've frequently seen horse meat in particular get scattered from Aval Atheron's stall around the Stone Quarter. I'm on 360 too. --Morrolan (talk) 19:30, 5 April 2013 (GMT)
I hadn't narrowed it down to anything in particular, but I can at least confirm that the items around Niranye's stall get all messed up. If we can get someone else to confirm that this quest is the cause, we can put it on the quest page as a bug. Robin Hood  (talk) 21:20, 5 April 2013 (GMT)
I just completed the quest again to check. So far it hasn't happened. I don't in think I did anything different. It might have been fixed without mention in patch 1.7 or 1.8. I think the last time I finished this quest was in 1.6 and earlier. Though I can't be certain of that. Was a while ago. The route I took this time was one I often choose, confront the wizard with the evidence instead of accusing him, then I went directly to the Stone Quarter, it was midday and he was just standing there no doing anything, and waited until nightfall, and proceeded as normal It's been a couple in-game days and I traveled to other cities and back and it still hasn't happened. The previous times it was right away the Stone Quarter ambush part of the quest. We'll definitely want some confirmation on if this still happens and I just managed to avoid it, or if it has been fixed somehow. Or we could be mistaken and it's actually some other quest that triggers it. But I was certain it was Blood on the Ice since it always happened to me right at that quest stage.Mjr162006 (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2013 (GMT)
There's horse meat scattered around on my current playthrough, which was started on the 1.8 patch. I don't know what caused it though. I just get used to seeing it, it seems to always happen. --Morrolan (talk) 13:25, 8 April 2013 (GMT)
The scattered items aren't specifically caused by this quest. They simply aren't guaranteed to stay put on each visit you make, and most people make multiple visits to Windhelm specifically for this quest. It's very much a universal problem, as all that stuff has been on the ground for me since day 1 and I wasn't ever able to do this quest until the USKP fixes for it were in. Arthmoor (talk) 02:46, 11 April 2013 (GMT)
And I've started noticing in my 1.9 game that there are now scattered bits of horse meat floating in the air, in exactly the way that bricks don't. --Morrolan (talk) 03:02, 14 April 2013 (GMT)
I have also noticed this over the course of doing this quest about 5-6 times and in every single playthrough, it happens after I complete BOTI by killing Calixto in the market, leaving the town, and then coming back. The weapons and stuff hanging on Niranye's stall as well as all the meat hanging on the dark elf butcher's stall are all over the ground and sometimes hanging in midair. It is *always* right after doing this quest, and it is irritating. On one occasion, though, the stuff cleaned itself up mysteriously, which I attributed to me having been gone from the town for so long that it reset--if this is even possible? If it happens again, I will try waiting for 30 days to see if this fixes it. Also on the 360. Those messy merchants need to pick up their crap! 22:13, 9 June 2013 (GMT)

() I have a savegame where I triggered the Tova suicide bug, disabling BOTI, and the floating meat in the stone quarter still happened. I don't think the floating meat bug is connected to BOTI. --Morrolan (talk) 01:24, 4 August 2013 (GMT)


Im guessing the 1.5 patch made Viola Essential as i have tried killing her at multiple times during the game before and after the What was always there quest and before and after the blood on the ice quest and she just drops to her knees as if she is Essential. Im on the Xbox 360. 17:22, 1 September 2013 (GMT)

1.5 was a long time ago. The current patch is 1.9. Skyrim:Viola Giordano doesn't indicate she's essential, but I've never seen her die either, maybe a patch did make her essential to avoid problems with BOTI and Revyn's quest. Maybe someone should put in a CK check request. --Morrolan (talk) 19:57, 1 September 2013 (GMT)
Looked into this in the CK and both MS11 and MS11PreEssentializing set her to essential via the quest itself. The second one actually runs from the very beginning of the game, so she is in fact essential from the start of the game. It should change after the quests have finished running, unless the quest removes it manually at some point (I'm unsure of how to check that part). Oh, and that change was made from patch 1.5. I'll update her page with what we know for now. — ABCface 20:10, 1 September 2013 (GMT)

Wuunferth and Hjerim[edit]

Bug moved from article
  • If you choose the option to confront Wuunferth directly instead of telling Jorleif that you suspect he is behind the murders, the chest near the master bed in Hjerim will never appear when you buy the property later in the game.

I'm at a loss as to how they would affect each other. Moved off the article after a month unconfirmed. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 22:45, 18 September 2013 (GMT)

I noticed that, and thought it was weird. However I can't remember any chest near the master bed in Hjerim. So I also wondered if it was accurate (I hate doing this quest twice, once is enough). --Morrolan (talk) 23:17, 18 September 2013 (GMT)
Though this is a late reply, and I usually don't post on this site much. But I can confirm with two playthroughs that after confronting Wuunferth directly each time, I never got a chest in the main bedroom at Hjerim. I've never tested the Jorleif option to know if that makes the chest appear though. This is on PS3.--Vauni, a random user-- 03:11, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Dragonborn DLC main quest[edit]

Seems leave Dragonborn DLC's first main quest unfinished at some stage prevent this quest triggering? Just starts all over again, I kill the cultists and got the notes, just not travel to solstheim, and no matter how hard I tried, the quest just won't starts. Before, the quest starts at like at 2nd or 3rd time when you visit Windhelm. Then I just go to solstheim and then comeback to skyrim, the quest started...

Anyone can confirm this? — Unsigned comment by Templarphoenix (talkcontribs) at 15:23 on 4 October 2013

I've added a bug to the main page, with the code vn=1 included. All new bugs added should have that code, it means verification needed. If someone else can verify this bug, they'll change the vn=1 to confirmed=1 to confirm the bug. I also linked the bug to this discussion section. Thanks for the report :) --Morrolan (talk) 18:58, 4 October 2013 (GMT)

Sequence Breaking[edit]

Between this and 'House of Horrors', I am having a real issue with the plot advancing too fast, with me missing out on much of the quest and leaving me confused at the resolution. House of Horrors never had me fetch all the items (So the mention of feathers and stuff to repair the staff confused me). This quest had me go from the house, grab just the first journal, to Jarleif, who had me talk to the woman, who sent me right back into Jarleif. I never discovered an amulet or second journal but was able to finish the quest. I missed a good half the quest tasks. What gives? Why is it letting me complete quests without quest items? 01:08, 3 November 2013 (GMT)

I just did a “bare minimum” run of this quest, fully patched up, with a level 1 character, to test if all the information here is still relevant. Yup, it is, and the quest played this way makes no sense at all.
1. Unlocked Hjerim.
2. Investigated chest, got pamphlet and Journal 1. (Did not get amulet, second journal or discover secret room, or any other clues.)
3. Spoke to Viola. Got dialogue option “it sounds like the court mage has been experimenting” even though I have no evidence of this whatsoever (never got amulet or talked to Calixto).
4. Was told to go to the steward.
5. Instead I actually confront Wuunferth. Mentioned journals and amulet, and Calixto, even though I only have Journal 1.
6. Kept watch. Caught Calixto in the act. Spoke to the steward, ended quest, etc.
I've also played out this quest the normal way at least twice, and it's almost equally as confusing. I usually end up going between Viola, the steward, Wuunferth and Calixto trying to figure out who I'm "supposed" to be talking to (the last time, I'd talked to Calixto and clearly had enough evidence to confront Wunnferth, but I had to talk to Viola for no logical reason first, and without so much as a quest marker to help me figure this out).Ninepaw (talk) 17:04, 17 November 2013 (GMT)

Confirming the experience. On my first playthough I stumbled into the "accuse Wuunferth without evidence" problem, and on my second one I stumbled on "need to talk to Viola to advance for no reason". The stage conditions on this quest seem to be badly coded by Bethesda. 22:26, 22 December 2013 (GMT)

Quest not starting workaround[edit]

Below is a workaround that I found on another site if you cannot get the quest to start:

1. Wait until 8pm, then go to the House of Clan Shatter-Shield and pickpocket the Key to Hjerim from Tova Shatter-Shield.

2. Enter Hjerim, open the wardrobe with the false back panel, then read and take Butcher's Journal #2.

3. Leave the secret room, turning right and checking the small shelf with the pamphlets. Read and take one of the Beware the Butcher pamphlets. Take the Strange Amulet ONLY if you plan on selling it to Calixto before step 5, or it will be permanently stuck in your inventory. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - follow up on clues from Hjerim.

4. DO NOT LEAVE HJERIM YET. Walking up to the door will trigger an invisible flag that will make Calixto immortal. Instead, hug the wall and be as far away from the door as possible when you exit to Windhelm, as the invisible flag (which is only solvable by picking up the pamphlet, something you already did) is where you end up when you enter Hjerim. Also, never go back to Hjerim until the quest is complete.

4. Sell the amulet if you have it in your inventory, if not, then...

5. Talk with Viola Giordano about the killer's journal. To find Viola, go to the exterior west side of Candlehearth Hall and wait until sometime around 11am (if not, try 2pm-3pm). QUEST: Blood on the Ice - talk to Jorleif.

6. Go to the Palace of the Kings and talk to Jorleif about accusing Wuunferth the Unliving as the killer. QUEST COMPLETED: Blood on the Ice.

7. Fast-travel to another distant town (e.g., Riverwood), wait 72 hours, and then fast-travel back to Windhelm.

8. Look along the exterior west side of Candlehearth Hall for the body of Arivanya. If it is not there, repeat step 6. (Note: if you travel directly to Windhelm, her body may not immediately appear... when it didn't show up, I ran around the southwestern market and through the graveyard, and Arivanya's body was suddenly there... a more consistent method is needed. Body found at 10:22am, 12:26pm, 2:13am...) Once her body appears there, talk with the guard. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - speak to Wuunferth.

9. Go to the Palace of the Kings, then enter the first door on the right to the Windhelm Barracks. Wuunferth is in the second cell from the left (follow your objective marker). Tell him that the killer has struck again, then talk about his assistance, and finally talk about the evidence. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - patrol the streets of the Stone Quarter at night.

10. Go outside and wait until midnight, then go to the southwestern market. Calixto should be in the process of murdering Hillevi Cruel-Sea... if he's not there, be patient... he's coming. When his blade is drawn, you can attack him without breaking the law. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - catch the murderer.

11. Kill Calixto. QUEST: Blood on the Ice - speak to Jorleif for reward.

12. Go to the Palace of the Kings and wait until around 9am, then tell Jorleif that Calixto was the real killer. QUEST COMPLETED: Blood on the Ice.

Counter bug?[edit]

Playing on PS3. Had an issue with this quest initiating properly when I entered Windhelm for the first time. I had been to the surrounding countryside at least two or three times early on in the game, then went to Solstheim and did the entire Dragonborn main questline, came back to Skyrim, was in the surrounding area a couple more times, and then finally entered the actual city at level 40. I had the exact same issue described in the 'capture Windhelm' scenario in the bugs section (corpse/witnesses present, but no guard; I even tried talking to various guards and they all had stock responses), except I obviously hadn't captured Windhelm for the Imperials since I hadn't even been in Windhelm yet. I was able to complete the quest easily enough by following the fix underneath that bug: picking the lock to Hjerim, talking to Viola, etc.. The only other glitchy thing that happened was that Calixto stood still in the marketplace for at least a minute (attempting to talk to him prompted a "this person is busy") before he finally pulled his dagger out and I shot him.

Is it possible that it glitched out because I had set off the counter by being in the surrounding area before actually entering Windhelm? (Someone else mentioned an issue with Dragonborn, but that didn't sound like the same problem I had.) Missfrog (talk) 17:56, 10 December 2013 (GMT)

ALL known bugs fixed[edit]

FYI, I've fixed all known bugs mentioned here in my SMPC 1.40: Hexaae (talk) 01:34, 13 December 2013 (GMT)

Thanks for you effort. However, I don't see the quest to be initialized on my old saves after installing the mod.
So what you meant is to solve bugs for new create game only? --Huangjs (talk) 02:37, 27 February 2014 (GMT)

Hjerim Lock Level[edit]

"You can always check whether or not you have met the requirements for the quest to start, as the lock to Hjerim will change from a “key required”-lock to a normal lock when the quest becomes available."

"When the quest is initiated, Hjerim's front door will change from requiring a key to having a Master-level lock."

Does the lock change from key only to normal once the requirements of the quest are met and then from normal to master once it is actually started? Or does it just go straight from key only to normal/master and if so, which one? Can someone clear this up? •WoahBro►talk 23:42, 10 January 2014 (GMT)

There isn't a 'normal' level lock, it just means from key-only to pickable, in which case its master-level. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 00:04, 11 January 2014 (GMT)
Wow, don't know how I forgot about that one...I'm going to change the first sentence so it reflects that more properly. •WoahBro►talk 00:16, 11 January 2014 (GMT)
WORKS:: Ok so I have 286 hours in on my skyrim. I came across this bug very early but didn't pay much attention(I didn't expect an xbox game to be full of bugs). I played and beat several other Bethesda games including fallout 3 and new vegas, never had these kinds of problems. I've successfully solved all my bugs and had actually stopped playing skyrim all together leaving the main quest line and Dark Brotherhood quest lines unfinished. So I decided I would play again and beat the quest lines I could, I figured if I killed every single person in Windhelm maybe it would get that quest off my list by failing... Nope, I killed everyone but wuu in prison won't die, and the guy in the Hjerm won't die... So messing around with it I go into Hjerm and the guy becomes hostile toward me, my follower hits him once and he walks out the front door, something he never had done before, so I follow him out and he starts to attack, I saved right there. I reloaded the game so I could have my companion leave my services before attacking the 'essential'. I the run to the prison and he gives chase, he follows me in and I run to the cell wuu is in, picking the lock, I go into the cell and he follows me in, I use wuu as a human shield if you will, the guy hits wuu and he returns the favor, killing the Hjerm germ. I didn't try this on anyone else, I was just so glad it was over. The quest did not update, it went straight to completed upon his death. Although the quest is off my list, wuu is still in prison and I did not get a necromancer amulet, it's been so long I'm not even sure what I did with it, I can't remember... Someone else try this if you can somehow get the man outside of Hjerm. I thought I would join the conversation after reading forever and trying all night, I can rest easy knowing blood on the ice is done.

Acces to hjerim bug[edit]

after the quest has ben initialized i approached hjerim and the witness gone, also the first quest mark is now "gain access to hjerim" is there a way i can fix this because i cant progress in the quest anymore, the corpse of the victim didnt disappeared and also no event before gaining approval to investigation of the house didnt happened

Quest Marker Inaccurate[edit]

Though a more perceptive player would realize the Stone Quarter means the market, (not that this is common knowledge to the player) this is made worse by the fact the quest marker points you to stand directly in front of the Inn, which for obvious reasons, can prove to be a major problem. I hung around in the central area (whatever it is called) for a few days with nothing happening. Ran over to the market real quick, and of course, the event triggered instantly.

Or maybe the Inn is the Stone Quarter, and this quest is all kinds of fubar directing you to stand in the entirely wrong location. Sigh... Well, now I know, and hopefully someone sees this and it helps them.

Would add this to he bugs section, but don't know if it qualifies so eh. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:31 on 12 February 2014

I've always wondered if that were a bug or intentional. Given the number of other bugs with this quest, I could easily believe that this was just another one, but looking at the design of the quest in the Creation Kit, this appears to be intentional. If it is, it's a case of really bad design, since the marker points pretty much to the centre of the southern portion of the city, and not to any specific "quarter" at all. Despite the possible deliberateness of it, I wouldn't object to adding it as a bug, personally. Robin Hood  (talk) 22:36, 12 February 2014 (GMT)

Quest won't progress - Xbox[edit]

I can't figure out how to progress the quest. My journal active tasks are "Follow up on clues from Hjerim" (and "Get assistance from Jorleif" obviously). I've tried talking to Viola with the butcher journals and talking to Calixto about the gem. He'll buy the gem but nothing else quest-related happens. I also tried talking to Wuunferth but I got no quest dialogue. I'm on the 360 and I have Dragonborn and Dawnguard installed. - Julia (talk) 12:35, 5 March 2014 (GMT)

I eventually figured it out. I had to have the Beware the Butcher flyers as well as the butcher journals when I talked to Viola. -Julia (talk) 21:54, 3 May 2014 (GMT)

Blood on the ice[edit]

I've done everything possible to trigger the blood on the ice quest but nothing will work! Nilsine is dead and I got the key to the house from tova's body. I got all the clues from the house and have talked to jarlief and viola but they don't have any info at all. Viola only says something about being worried for herself. What do I do?

Arresting Wuunferth[edit]

If Wuunferth is arrested and you never talked to Calixto, thus still having the strange amulet, Wuunferth will always stay guilty and the next murder will never take place, making you unable to finish the entire quest or kill Calixto.

I'm trying to figure out what circumstances this could be true in. I'm not seeing any way for it to fail to start the second murder. Arthmoor (talk) 02:34, 17 April 2014 (GMT)

Yeah that's wrong. I've gotten stuck with the Strange Amulet and had this quest run twice before. --Morrolan (talk) 13:38, 5 August 2014 (GMT)

Tova Dead[edit]

I just wanted to clarify/confirm. If Tova is dead (committed suicide), does this mean the quest is totally impossible to do? (on Xbox) I've tried all the workarounds mentioned here, and I can't get the body to appear or get the quest to start. Is there any workaround if Tova is dead? Thanks. Midnightq2 (talk) 05:55, 5 August 2014 (GMT)

Yeah, there is. Buy Hjerim, and enter it. Then you get the heavily bugged version of this quest. You have to either complete the civil war for the Empire or conquer Falkreath for the Stormcloaks normally in order to buy Hjerim though. --Morrolan (talk) 13:39, 5 August 2014 (GMT)
I've finished the civil war for the stormcloaks, and I still can't buy Hjerim because of the "unpleasantness." I've also tried taking the key from Tova's corpse and looking around in Hjerin, but this doesn't start the quest either. Midnightq2 (talk) 09:32, 6 August 2014 (GMT)
Hmmm, that's interesting. Do you have USKP or any other mods installed? I've only played vanilla Skyrim. --Morrolan (talk) 13:26, 6 August 2014 (GMT)
No mods, I'm playing on Xbox 360. Midnightq2 (talk) 18:14, 6 August 2014 (GMT)

() Right, I'm on 360 too. Sounds like the either the quest or Hjerim got glitched somehow. Is there some reason you want to play it? It's a really annoying quest, the only real benefits it provides are Hjerim and the Necromancer's Amulet, and Hjerim is kinda glitchy. Um, also is Susanna still alive? If she's still in the pub then the quest hasn't initialized. --Morrolan (talk) 23:51, 6 August 2014 (GMT)

Susanna is still alive, even though I've entered Windhelm way more than four times and at night. Mainly, I just want to buy Hjerin, since I own every other house in Skyrim. Midnightq2 (talk) 06:37, 7 August 2014 (GMT)
You should be able to buy Hjerim. Could you post the exact dialogue that happens when you try to buy it from Jorleif? Also, did you do Season Unending on this character? --Morrolan (talk) 22:21, 7 August 2014 (GMT)
Jorleif says, “There is an empty home in the city, but there was some... unpleasantness recently. I'm afraid it's not available for sale just yet.” And I have completed Season Unending. The storm cloaks have taken over Skyrim. Midnightq2 (talk) 00:49, 12 August 2014 (GMT)
Skyrim:Hjerim has this bug: "The option to buy the house may exist but you are unable to actually purchase it even after completing the prerequisites as the dialogue still says it is unable to be purchased due to unpleasantness." I would suggest that you try to get Blood on the Ice to trigger and try again, but if that fails, I don't think you'll be able to get it on this playthrough. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 03:25, 12 August 2014 (GMT)

Starting part 2 bug?[edit]

So I finished the Blood on the Ice quest (or so I thought) and then left Windhelm for a long time. I come back quite a few days later to train my Destruction Magic from Wuunfrid, and found he had a new chat option saying there was another killing! I didn't want to glitch the quest, so I searched the city for a body or group of people but found nothing. I finally had to search up the quest on here and found that there should be a body on the right side of Candlehearth Hall. I went there and found only a guard, but no body. However, talking to the guard gave me the options of asking about "a dead body" that was supposedly right next to me.

Long story short the guard was at the second killing but there was no body. Is this a normal glitch or am I the only one to experience it? --Emitewiki2 (talk) 22:35, 30 December 2014 (GMT)

New Bug[edit]

(Please edit this to suit the page. I'm new to this.) I discovered a bug that doesn't seem to be discussed elsewhere. During the quest I agreed to return Viola's ring for Revyn Sadri. Immediately afterward I spoke to Viola and the only dialogue available was to inform her of the theft. Even completing the Revyn Sadri's quest did not correct the issue. — Unsigned comment by Whitelion1284 (talkcontribs) at 00:54 on 15 January 2015‎

Thieve's Guild Radiant Quest Automatic Fail[edit]

I performed a routine Numbers job for Delvin Mallory at the Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm. It went off without a hitch. When I returned, however, Delvin informed me that "This isn't the Dark Brotherhood," and that I had failed the quest, thus forfeiting my payment. I knew I hadn't killed anyone. I returned to Windhelm, searched through CH, and discovered no bodies. But, while walking through the cemetery, the guard informed me that Susanna of Candlehearth Hall had been murdered. I know that "Blood on the Ice" is plagued with many bugs, but I didn't see this one there. I suspect there's a connection. I didn't know which quest this effects, so I'm writing it here. I don't know why the game thinks I killed someone, when I didn't even draw my weapon. — Unsigned comment by AsynjaDunn (talkcontribs) at 18:20 on 17 January 2015 (GMT)

Probably it was because Susanna died. Thieves Guild quests don't seem to keep track of whether you were directly responsible for the deaths, if someone dies while you're on the quest then you're failed; doesn't matter if it was a dragon or vampire attack, this quest, The Forsworn Conspiracy, or so on. --Morrolan (talk) 12:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Susanna murdered after Blood on the Ice[edit]

This was posted on TES wikia, but I thought I'd share my weird incident here as well.

I started this quest by sneaking into Hjerim and finding the relevant journals etc. Went around, talked to folks, talked to Wuunferth and accused (actually, killed) the Butcher (real named disclosed) before his first (or was it third?) assault. With the Butcher dead (and the Strange Amulet forever imprinted on my inventory) I completed the quest (both of them, actually). So went afar, travelled across Skyrim, and soon forgot about this bloody mess.

A month later, I came back to Windhelm, for some shady business (and none of your business), only to find Susanna lying dead in cemetery. Aye, stone cold, gaps and claw marks on her body, and the occasional "large diagonal cut from left shoulder..." And that's when my eyes went like o.O Say now, I asked myself, WHO could possibly kill that sorry @$$ wench-- oops, I meant, that flirty (morally dubious) barmaid. I could come up with dozens of answers (from vampires to skeever masterminds to plain cheated would-be love interests) but seriously, wasn't she supposed to die at the hands of the Butcher?

I know, it's not a bug or something, it was just weird to happen on such a thing. What say you? 20:15, 3 February 2015 (GMT) zontoxira

She dies immediately once the quest starts. You just didn't notice it until your second trip. --Morrolan (talk) 12:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Not being able to report back to the guard.[edit]

So I began this quest before I started the Civil War, but I never actually did the quest. Now, after I had the Imperials take Windhelm, the quest objective says to Report to the guard. The problem is that there is no guard in the spot in which the marker leads me, and I have also tried talking to nearly every guard in the city. No guard will advance the quest.

I think the cause of this may be because when I started the quest the city was controlled by the stormcloaks, but sometime after I talked to the witnesses, and before I reported back to the guard, I finished the civil war. So I think the cause of this is the changing of the guards in the middle of this quest.

Can anyone help me finish this quest? Kzljr1 (talk) 16:13, 12 April 2015 (GMT)

A possible fix to this, I found, is following the trail of blood to the house. Then, you just continue the quest like normal, as it skips having to talk to the guard.

Kzljr1 (talk) 23:44, 15 April 2015 (GMT)

Unable to see trail of blood[edit]

I just wanted to thank the writers of this article for helping me in the right direction, because even after exiting and re-entering Windhelm, as well as restarting the game, I was unable to see the "trail of blood" that the guard was referring to that led to Hjerim. I even watched a Youtube video walkthrough of the game, and could see the specks of blood on the ground every few feet in the video, but they were absent in my game (even the blood on the grave) despite having talked to the guard, Helgird, and Jorleif and being at the right quest stage. As soon as I found Hjerim (which I wouldn't have without help online), the quest continued as normal.

Unofficial Skyrim patch[edit]

Seems as though the Unofficial Skyrim Patch breaks this quest - specifically when you're tasked to patrol the Stone Quarter and wait for Calixto to try and murder Arivanya. They just stand in the market for eternity doing nothing. Waiting an hour or until the next day as suggested does not fix it, but in my case deactivating the patch enabled the quest to proceed. I'm guessing the USP authors fixed so much stuff on this quest they wound up breaking it somehow :/ EDIT: Using the console to disable and then enable him again fixes this — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 14:22 on 16 May 2015 (GMT)

Can't Start Quest[edit]

I've already beaten the Dark Brotherhood questline, and Tova killed herself. The dead body disappeared, and it's not in the hall of the dead, I've beaten Dragonborn and that has caused issues for many people in the past. I'm also on XBOX so console commands don't work. I've also completed the Civil War questline for the Stormcloaks. I can't seem to trigger the quest naturally, either. Help!— Unsigned comment by (talk) at 22:01 on 23 May 2015‎

Wait, if you're on PC, then you can use console commands. Also on PC, you can get the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, which fixes many things (especially in this notoriously buggy quest). However, if you meant to say that you're not playing on PC, I'm afraid I don't really know what to tell you. Bug workarounds are a lot more difficult on consoles. •WoahBro►talk 23:12, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Possible new bug?[edit]

I got the second part of the BoTI quest, and the guard is standing where he normally does looking at a body,except there is no body. He triggers the quest, but he stands there staring at nothing. Anyone else have this happen — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 22:54 on 5 August 2015

I haven't seen this. Can you complete the second half of the quest normally? I suspect that what has happened is that the quest has triggered but for some reason can't find a candidate victim; maybe all the women in Windhelm are dead already? --Morrolan (talk) 00:03, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Quest not starting[edit]

I'm in Windhelm, first time, but the quest won't start. I've tried talking to guards, anyone. But it won't work. I'm on the 360, any ideas? I've not killed anyone yet. -- 17:15, 1 September 2015 (UTC) Lydia the High Elf.

If it's your first time in Windhelm, that's why it's not starting. See How to Start the Quest. Robin Hood  (talk) 19:53, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

Another strange new bug?[edit]

I'm on my 10th or so playthrough and sick of this bugged-up-the-butt quest, so I rushed through the first part and just let Wuunferth go to the slammer. Not my problem, pal. Re-entered Windhelm a week or so later and was surprised to see there was no guard or dead NPC in the usual spot to re-start the quest as usual. I went into Candlehearth, and upstairs, Arivanya was lying dead on the floor near the bard. She was quite dead indeed; her body was lootable and the NPCs milling around in the inn were making "oh, what happened?" corpse discovery comments, but no guard was there with her and the quest did not restart. Went back outside; still no guard. It's been a month now and Arivanya's remains have been moved into the Hall of the Dead, but the second part of the quest never started. Frankly, this is a relief, because I'm sick of it, but I don't know why it happened, and don't see this bug listed on the page. It could prove troublesome to other people if reproduceable. And, of course, terribly troublesome to Wuunferth. I'm on Xbox360. 07:06, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Wow, that's strange. Do you have the 1.9 version installed?
As a theory, Arivanya was killed by the quest restart script, but then the guard couldn't move to her due to her location in Candlehearth, so no quest in the log. --Morrolan (talk) 23:54, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
Yep, 1.9 version is installed. I guess the lesson here is that if you *want* to finish this quest properly, and you find Arivanya dead without the appropriate guard nearby, you probably want to restart from an earlier save. 18:17, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I guess the only downside to it is that you've permanently lost access to Wuunferth as a merchant and trainer. You should still be able to decorate Hjerim, right? --Morrolan (talk) 12:45, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Lover or sister?[edit]

The end of the questline description mentions the "untimely death of his [Calixto's] lover Lucilla", but isn't her the sister he keeps rambling about? There's no mention of a deceased spouse anywhere in the game, and the contents of the diaries, while obsessive and creepy, aren't necessarily romantic. I think I'll edit it later if nobody objects, seems clear to mr that the late sister he speaks of fondly and the soon-to-be-resurrected woman mentioned in the diary are the same person.-- 01:39, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree, and the article used to say "sister" before. While it's technically possible he could be talking about a different person in his diary, with the mention of his sister and her untimely demise, it's a bit dense to assume he's talking about anyone else. I'll go ahead and change it. Weroj (talk) 11:43, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Both Helgird investigation and Arivanya stabbing can be skipped[edit]

PC Legendary Edition Patch 1.9 without USKP. No NPC activities mod, except Respectful Guards though I think it doesn't matter. Just finished this a moment ago.

After checking the house out, I picked up the pamphlet and went to Viola straight ahead as I caught her walking around nearby. Didn't bother seeing Calixto. After talking to her about the Butcher the quest moved on to the Jorleif or Wuunferth stage; after talking to Wuunfnerth I headed straight to the market, and Calixto spawned right away in the center. Arivanya isn't there, neither alive or dead. Calixto then started running once he spawns, all the way to his closet.

After the mission is complete, I did a check on all the female NPCs in Windhelm and found no one murdered. Don't know if this have anything to do with not selling the amulet or not, but this could mean there is an easy way to save Arivanya or other victims.

-- 09:53, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Could we add a section on how to NOT trigger the quest?[edit]

I think Susanna is a heartwarming character to have around in an otherwise cold and unwelcoming Windhelm. And since my current PC is a non-magic user who has no need for the Necromancer's Amulet, I was wondering if the page could have a section detailing how to completely avoid this quest but still complete all the other stuff to do in the city, including purchasing Hjerim.

I'm not even sure if this is possible since I'm playing with USLEEP v3+, which seems to have thoroughly caught all the vanilla bugs left behind by Bethesda... :(

Input, anyone?

-- 13:37, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

You need to complete this quest to be able to decorate Hjerim, so using of the listed bugs to prevent initiation won't allow for both. Given how many issues affect this quest, there is one that should do what you want, entering Hjerim before the official quest start might force the quest to skip the graveyard scene, though this may not work with the quest becoming broken. Pickpocket Tova or add the key through the console (id 00021679). Alternatively simply resurrect Susanna, though she may not function with all her scripts. Lastly you can simply complete the quest through the console (though again this has problems, in this case it may not trigger the script letting you decorate Hjerim). Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 17:45, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Aww man, that sucks. Thanks for the advice though. -- 22:07, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Entering Hjerim normally triggers the quest, killing Susanna. The only way I've found to save Susanna is to trigger the Tova suicide bug before entering Hjerim. You can still buy Hjerim to allow yourself to qualify for Eastmarch thane status, but you can't ever make Hjerim usable, if you follow this path. --Morrolan (talk) 20:18, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Empty Altar Room[edit]

When I investigated Hjerim, I found the room behind the wardrobe to be completely empty. There was no altar and no Skyrim:Butcher Journal 2. I found and spoke to Viola Giordano. She raced to Hjerim and "Investigate Hjerim with Viola" was added to my quest objectives. I went to the wardrobe with the false back and had to close and re-open it before she would react. Then she wouldn't do anything.

Advancing this quest requires the second journal that didn't exist. I was able to fix it with Player.AddItem 00066182 1.

It looks like I've found an undocumented bug, but I'm not the first one. I read about the same problem in the Steam discussion board.

I can only guess at the cause of this. Before the quest started, I had a Thieves Guild quest to get an item from the Shatter-Shield house. While I was there, I also pickpocketed the Hjerim key. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 18:35 on 2 September 2016

Thanks for the bug report. I've added it to the main page as an unconfirmed bug; if someone else encounters it, they can confirm it. You can add unconfirmed bugs yourself if you learn the bug template. --Morrolan (talk) 19:01, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Is this quest still buggy in the Special Edition?[edit]

Just curious if they fixed this when they published the special edition. I'm currently running around solving it ASAP to avoid any future bugs, but I have no idea how to tell if I need to now or not... Obax (talk) 03:20, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

So far I've seen almost nothing fixed that wasn't fixed by the last patch of the standard game. Once I was forced to come to Windhelm I ran through BOTI asap, which would be my recommendation as there is no evidence to suggest this quest has less bugs in it than before. Even if it was patched I'd still recommended doing it asap as there is no guarantee you won't run into something problematic anyway. Silence is GoldenBreak the Silence 15:10, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Gemma Uriel as Final Victim[edit]

On my main playthrough, while investigating the murder(s) during the Blood on the Ice, I discovered the body of Gemma Uriel of Steamscorch Mine in the Windhelm marketplace, near the corner stall. Weeks later, it's still in plain sight.

I had made the accusation to Jorleif that Wuunferth was the killer, and the quest ended. Some time later I received the appropriate new quest notification that the killer had struck again. When I received this quest update, while in the market area, I heard NPC's near me making remarks typical of finding a body. On inspection, I found the corpse of Gemma Uriel. I assumed this was the murderer's next victim; however, the final victim appropriate to this quest stage is of course Arivanya, near Candlehearth Hall. I have not noticed Arivanya's body anywhere. (The cell may have been cleared since that time.) Gemma Uriel's body, however, is persistent. At least a month has passed in-game, and her body remains, being commented on from time to time.

I later dragged the corpse into Oengul's forge for entertainment. NPC's occasionally step into the coals to remark what a shame this is. 19:33, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Something else probably killed Arivanya. Or, something else killed Gemma. The most likely culprits are dragon attacks or (if Dawnguard's enabled) vampire attacks. --Morrolan (talk) 00:05, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

Strange Amulet stuck in inventory.[edit]

Playing Special Edition on PS4 right now, no Unofficial Patches, obviously. I did this quest and didn't talk to Calixtro, because it was late night when I hit it, and I didn't wait until the next day. Now, the amulet is stuck as the Strange Amulet in my inventory. I tried to put it on Susanna's corpse in the Hall of he Dead like suggested in the bug fixes, but it won't work. Any other solutions? My last non-auto save is well before the quest. FMPhoenixHawk (talk) 19:28, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I have never had any luck with any of the suggested bug fixes for this bug. However I only ran into the bug once (on my first playthrough); I've always been very careful to get rid of it ever since. --Morrolan (talk) 00:03, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

"Patrol Stone Quarter" objective not being given[edit]

I talked to Wuunferth while he's imprisoned, and he told me to patrol the Stone Quarter at night to catch the real killer. But the quest is not being updated. The "Speak to Wuunferth" objetive completes, but the next one, which is to patrol the Stone Quarter, doesn't appear. I don't know the correct "setstage" console command to use.

Switch version triggering[edit]

Are the trigger conditions exactly the same on the Switch edition? Are there any new bugs? My little brother says he is following all the advice here and it still hasn't triggered.-- 23:49, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Inacessable furniture in Hjerim[edit]

I cannot progess in the quest because I can't use every item/container ect in the house exept for the chair (and everything I bring with me).
This never happened in any other quest before.
also Jorleifs help won't be acknowleged by the journal. Even if I try to progess via console. 18:47, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

This is famously one of the most broken quests in series history. I'd recommend reloading to before starting the quest, or using the console to complete the quest in its entirety. --AKB Talk Cont Mail 02:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

Blood on the ice bug[edit]

So i finished the quest where the imperials successfully kill ulfric stromcloak, will the blood on the ice quest start even if the stormcloak guards are replaced with imperial ones? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 15:48 on 16 July 2020 (UTC)

Nilsine dead out of bounds during quest[edit]

Noticed a detect life cloud underground at night while waiting for calixto, used TCl to look and found a dead Nilsine Shatter-Shield out of bounds with a guard standing over her. My game is somewhat modded but from looking online some others have reported nilsine going missing post Blood on the Ice in the past, could be the reason? Would appreciate confirmation — Unsigned comment by Awuga (talkcontribs) at 03:52 on 5 February 2021 (UTC)