Unbound (5e Quest)

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The party will awaken, hands bound, aboard a cart with three others, drawn by Imperial soldiers. The other prisoners are Stormcloak captain Ralof, horse thief Lokir, and Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak. Ulfric is gagged so that he cannot use his shout. The cart will progress to the town of Helgen where the Stormcloaks, Lokir, and the players will be lead to their public execution. Lokir will try to escape, but he is shot down by archers. As the players are being called to the execution block a loud and unearthly roar is heard in the distance, but the soldiers think little of it.

Dragon Attack[edit]

The roar is for the second time, drawing attention from General Tullius, Ulfric, and everyone else again while unsettling Imperial soldier Hadvar, but the Imperial Captain remains unfazed. Just before the Imperial Headsman has the opportunity to decapitate the players and end the campaign before it begins, Alduin arrives and disrupts the execution, raining meteors and fire down upon the town. With the execution halted and the town in chaos, the Dragonborn escapes custody. Ralof will call the players to a nearby tower, who also managed to escape and is hiding with Ulfric and several other Stormcloak survivors. Alduin bashes through the wall next to the staircase as the players ascend it, killing another Stormcloak in the process. Ralof will instruct the players to jump out of the tower from the hole into a nearby inn, with the promise that he will meet them when he can. After jumping down and exiting the inn, the party finds Helgen heavily damaged, with many buildings destroyed and burning. After the party runs into the street, Hadvar will tell the Dragonborn to follow him to safety. Alduin will now land on the wall above the party.

Hadvar will then lead them to the Helgen Keep. At the keep's entrance, Ralof catches up. At that point, either Hadvar or Ralof must be chosen to accompany the party the rest of the way. The choice will create some minor changes in the story during the Civil War questline; however, this does not affect the side that can be taken in the war later in the game.

Helgen Keep[edit]

Upon entering the keep, the party and Ralof discover the body of a dead Stormcloak, Gunjar. After freeing the party members from their bindings, Ralof instructs the Dragonborn to take Gunjar's gear, as he will not be needing it. While it is being equipped, Ralof examines the doors. He discovers one door is locked, and the other cannot be opened from the inside. Luckily, the Imperial Captain from the executions and an Imperial soldier will come through and open the door from the other side. Once they open the door, they must be killed in order to recover the key to the other gate from their bodies. Also, a full set of heavy Imperial Armor can be taken from the Imperial Captain's corpse.

If they enter the keep with Hadvar, he unbinds the party and tells them where to look for their equipment. In the corner of the room there is a warden's chest where their weapons, armor, and any other gear they had before capture is stored inside. After opening the door with the key, pulling the chain will open the wooden gate. Behind the gate there are two hostile Stormcloaks. After defeating them there is another door, leading to the stairs.

As they walk down the hallway, the dragon's activities above will cause the ceiling to fall, forcing them to divert through a door on their left that leads into a store room, where either two more Stormcloaks or Imperial soldiers are gathering supplies, which are immediately hostile.

When the fight is won, either Ralof or Hadvar will advise the party to go through the barrels to find potions. The search will find a barrel with potions, a magicka potion over near the table with bread, tankards, and a potion of minor healing. Between the barrel of potions and the cabinet, there is a crate containing five rock warbler eggs, which can be used in Alchemy.

Continuing down, a battle between an Imperial Torturer and his assistant against two Stormcloaks is discovered. The Torturer is apparently unaware of the dragon attack. If the party is with Ralof, the torturer is hostile towards the players. If the party is with Hadvar, the torturer is only verbally hostile.

There is a dead mage in the central cage that wears a novice hood and robes and carries 25 Gold and two potions of minor magicka. There is also more septims on the floor of the cage, and a lightning bolt spell scroll. The cage (and other prison doors) can be picked open with thieves' tools. In the armory there is an iron shield, an iron mace, and a couple of books. On a table outside the cage is a knapsack containing some gold. Next to the knapsack are The Book of the Dragonborn and an iron dagger.

Beyond is a hallway lined with cells. One of these cells contains a skeleton, bone meal, and a coin purse. After that, a room is entered with prisoners in cages. All of them are deceased, and there are three more skeletons, all of which also carry bone meal, or on rare occasions, may be empty. They may have gold on them as well. In one of the cages, there is a dead Stormcloak wearing ragged robes.

Eventually, a natural cave is entered, filled with either soldiers guarding it for General Tullius or escaped Stormcloaks. There are few enemies in the cavern, along with another soldier wearing Imperial Armor. The archers all are positioned dangerously close to a pool of flammable oil. If the party kill the Imperials, any surviving Stormcloak Soldiers will stay behind, waiting for Ulfric Stormcloak, wishing Ralof and the party good luck and asking that Talos guide them to safety. If the Torturer's Assistant is still alive at this point, he will stay behind to make sure the Torturer is alright and wish Hadvar good luck.

Next is a drawbridge that connects to another part of the cave that is not occupied by the Imperials. Shortly after arriving in this cave, Alduin will roar, destroying the bridge behind the party. When following Ralof, there is a skeleton near the passage leading towards the cavern that leads to frostbite spiders. Near the skeleton is an iron dagger, a potion of minor healing, and a coin purse. The next cavern consists of two to four of the smaller variety of frostbite spiders, plus two larger ones (not to be mistaken for giant frostbite spiders) that will drop down from the ceiling. Frostbite venom can be collected from their corpses. There are also Spider Eggs in the egg sacks and skeever tails in the hanging web sacks, as well as some gold or a lockpick or two in the hanging desiccate corpse. Once the spiders are defeated, the party and Ralof exit through another passageway.

In the next cave, a potion of health is at the fire at the other side of the water. There is also another iron dagger. The potion cannot be seen from a distance, because it is too close to the fire. After getting the potion, Ralof tells the Dragonborn to stop at the cart, as there is a sleeping bear on the other side which he suggests sneaking by. In the cart are two bottles of Alto wine and a coin purse. In front of the cart, near the skeleton, is an iron helmet and a bottle of Black-Briar Mead.


The players emerge into the bright light of Falkreath Hold, due north of the still-smoldering ruin of Helgen. Upon exiting, Alduin can be seen flying overhead, retreating to parts unknown after completing his rampage of Helgen. Ralof will direct the players to his sister, Gerdur, who lives in Riverwood. Hadvar will direct them to his uncle, Alvor. Along the path taken are three Guardian Stones: The Warrior Stone, The Mage Stone, and The Thief Stone.

After arrival in the village, assuming the Dragonborn traveled the entire way with their companion, the heroes are led to a house (depending on who was followed, either Gerdur and her husband, Hod, or Alvor) and offered a gift of supplies. All of the items offered can be taken without anyone complaining. The Riverwood contact will also recommend that a report be made to Whiterun Jarl Balgruuf regarding all of the events that have transpired, which will lead directly into the main questline.

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