Skyrim Blood on the Ice walkthrough and guide

The Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest is one of the most infamous missions out of Bethesda’s iconic action RPG, but if you need a refresher, we’re here to help

Screenshot of the Necromancer Amulter from the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest

If you want to master the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest, you’re going to need to do your finest Sherlock Holmes impression to uncover the mysterious murderer attacking the women of Windhelm. Still, even master detectives need help from time to time, so we’ve put together this guide on how to start the quest and find the killer. All you need to do is stick around for the ride.

For more help getting around this iconic action RPG, see our guides for Skyrim map, Skyrim cure vampirism, Skyrim marriage, Skyrim Dark Brotherhood, and Skyrim enchanting. Or, if you need a good laugh before you get into this morbid quest, check out our picks for the most side-splitting Skyrim memes.

How do I start the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest?

Skyrim’s Blood on the Ice quest, just like the Skyrim Dark Brotherhood line, is a bit tricky to get started. First, you need to make sure that both Tova Shatter-Shield and Arivanya are still alive, so if you’ve already killed them in your current playthrough, you either need to give up on the quest or find a save file far enough back with both characters still in the game. The next requirement is that you visit Windhelm at least four times before the quest initiates, with at least one visit required between the hours of 7am-7pm to initiate a cut scene.

Screenshot of the initial murder scene from Skyrim Blood on the Ice

With all those requirements met, and the cutscene completed, it’s finally time to get to crime-solving. We’ve got a step-by-step walkthrough in the next part, which does, of course, contain spoilers, so it’s time to dip out if you only stopped by to figure out how to initiate the quest.

Skyrim Blood on the Ice walkthrough

The quest begins in the Windhelm graveyard, with Susanna the Wicked lying dead on the ground. With the guards of Windhelm too busy dealing with the war ravaging Skyrim, it’s left up to you to interrogate the witnesses and solve the murdery business. After gleaning a little information from the three surrounding the body, the guard points you in the direction of Jorlief, the castle steward, who can further assist.

From here, things get a little chaotic. First you head to Jorlief, who is happy to have you on hand for the investigation, despite the fact he himself offers very little in the way of direction. Next, you need to return to the scene of the crime, now absent of Susanna’s body. After analysing the blood on the ice – that’s the name of the quest! – you need to pop over to the Helgird in the Hall of the Dead. She points out lacerations on the body, very similar to those that she would make with her embalming tools, and decides at that point she wants no further part in the investigation before sending you back on your way.

A chat with Tova in the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest

Returning to the scene of the crime, your only option is to follow the trail of blood that leads to the Hjerim manor house. Here, you can either pick the lock – which is the quicker option – or ask a guard for help. The guard will send you to find Tova Shatter-Shield, mother of the deceased Friga who lived at Hjerim. You can find her either at the markets from 11am-3pm, or 3-7pm in Candlehearth Hall. After a quick chat, she’ll hand over the key, and you can get back to investigating.

In the manor house, you need to look for the following items:

  • 11 Beware the Butcher! pamphlets (all in one place)
  • Butcher Journal #1
  • Butcher Journal #2
  • Strange amulet

All these items provide clues that send you in the direction of both Windhelm resident Viola Giordano, and after speaking to a guard about the amulet, Calixto Corrium. Go and see Calixto first, take his tour for some context to the investigation, and sell the amulet for a cheeky 500 gold. Then, it’s off to Viola, who, on seeing the journals you have, tells you to investigate Wuunferth, the local court mage and rumoured practitioner of necromancy.

Chatting with Calixto in the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest

This next bit is important. There’s two possible routes here, you can take your information to Jorleif, who arrests Wuunferth, or you can confront Wuunferth directly. Big spoiler here, the killer isn’t the wizard, so unless you want to waste a bunch of time, it’s best to head straight to the mage and question him. At this point, he informs you that he too has been investigating the murders and that he believes the next attack will be in the Stone Quarter that very night. On this news, ignore the quest market to visit Jorleif, and head straight to the Stone Quarter.

Once you arrive at the Stone Quarter, keep your eyes peeled for a female Windhelm resident being stalked by a mysterious figure. The eerie presence turns out to be none other than Calixto Corrium, and you need to get him dealt with before he makes his attack. Magic or an arrow is the best option here, so you can keep your distance until the brawl begins. Once Calixto becomes aware of the first attack, he races back to the museum, so be sure to keep up.

Back at his homestead, it’s time to properly kill Calixto Corrium. Deal with him any way you please. He shouldn’t be too difficult to take out, and then loot him for a freshly restored necromancer amulet, his valuable items, and his key. This key unlocks the upstairs bookcase, where you can read about the killer’s justification for trying to use pieces of his victims to bring back his dead sister. Yeah, real dark.

Screenshot of Calixto's book from the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest

With that, the Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest is complete, and you can get back to taking out dragons and seeking out dungeons. For some killer tunes to help you get in the zone while you track the murderer, take a look at our YouTube Music download and Spotify download guides.