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Skyrim Blood on the Ice walkthrough

This Skyrim Blood on the Ice walkthrough is here to help you catch the Windhelm butcher, with a step-by-step guide to the whole quest.

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

Skyrim Blood on the Ice is a side quest where you must investigate a series of murders in the city of Windhelm. In this guide, we walk you through all the prerequisites, a step-by-step walkthrough, and the rewards you can snap up.

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.

Here’s our full guide to Skyrim Blood on the Ice.

Skyrim Blood on the Ice quest summary

Here’s a quick summary of the quest and rewards.

  • Quest type: side (optional)
  • Quest giver: Windhelm Guard
  • Location: Windhelm
  • Rewards: strange amulet (name changes to ‘necromancer amulet’ if you sell it to Calixto), the opportunity to purchase the Skyrim house Hjerim

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

Before you start this quest, you need to meet these Skyrim Blood on the Ice prerequisites: 

  • Both Tova Shatter-Shield and Arivanya need to be alive for you to start this quest – if you’ve killed them before this point, you need to start a new game or load a save where they were both still alive
  • You need to have visited Windhelm at least four times before you can start the quest
  • Finally, visit Windhelm again between 7am – 7pm in-game time to trigger a cut scene

With that, the quest begins. Read on to find a full walkthrough – just keep in mind that the rest of this guide contains spoilers.

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 case.

  • Start by talking to the three NPCs surrounding the body
  • As directed by the guard, go talk to the castle steward Jorlief
  • Return to the scene of the crime to find Susanna’s body missing
  • Analyze the blood on the ice
  • Go talk to Helgird in the Hall of the Dead
  • Return to the scene of the crime and follow the trail of blood to the Hjerim manor house

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

From here, you can either pick the lock – which is the quicker option – or follow these steps:

  • Ask the guard for help
  • Go talk to Tova Shatter-Shield (the mother of the deceased Friga who lived at Hjerim). You can find her at the markets from 11am-3pm, or in Chandlehearth hall from 3-7pm
  • After a quick chat, she hands over the key
  • Head back to Hjerim manor house

When inside the Hjerim 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

Once you’ve collected the clues, you need to go speak to a few people about them.

  • First, go and see Calixto Corrium and take his tour. You can find him in Calixto’s House of Curiosities in the east side of Windhelm, before entering the Gray Quarter
  • After the tour, you can sell the amulet for 500 gold if you like
  • Next go to see Viola Giordano – you can usually find her walking around Windhelm, though she also spends her evenings in Candlehearth Hall

After showing Viola the journals, she tells you to investigate Wuunferth, the local court mage and rumored practitioner of necromancy.

This next bit is important. You now have two options. Firstly, you can go talk to Jorleif, who then arrests Wuunferth. However, Wuunferth is not the killer, so this option only wastes time.

Instead, you should confront Wuunferth yourself. He tells you that he’s also been investigating the murders, and he believes the next attack will take place that night in the Stone Quarter. So, after talking to Wuunferth, ignore the Jorleif quest marker, and head straight to the Stone Quarter.

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

When you’re at the Stone Quarter, follow these steps:

  • Look for a female Windhelm resident being stalked by a mysterious figure – this mystery man is actually Calixto Corrium
  • Attack Calixto before he attacks the woman. We recommend using magic or an arrow, as it allows you to keep your distance
  • This alerts Calixto and he starts to run away, so you need to chase him
  • The chase ends at Calixto’s House of Curiosities. Once inside, you can finally kill him
  • Once Calixto is dead, loot him for his necromancer amulet, key, and any other valuables
  • Use the key to unlock the bookcase upstairs, where you can read about the killer’s motive

What are the Skyrim Blood on the Ice rewards?

While you don’t get any gold for completing this quest, Skyrim Blood on the Ice offers these useful rewards:

  • Strange amulet – a wearable amulet that gives you +50 magicka and reduces the casting cost of conjuration spells by 25%, but also causes your health and stamina to regenerate 75% slower. If you sell this amulet to Calixto, its name changes to the necromancer amulet
  • Unlocks Hjerim – completing this quest unlocks the option to purchase Hjerim in Windhelm, a two-story house containing a large armory, an arcane enchanter, and the opportunity to upgrade to an alchemy lab

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.