Skyrim can be a pretty serious place. You start the game moments away from getting your head chopped off, and from there you get embroiled in a rebellion, take the top positions at the most important guilds in the land, and eventually stop an immortal dragon to save the world. On top of all that the world is teeming with bandits, undead monsters, evil necromancers, and all manner of beasts that are all too eager to tear out your jugular and loot your corpse.
Yes, I bet even the bears will loot your corpse. This is Skyrim after all - everybody loots corpses.
Obsession with treasure is just one example how Skyrim can also be a pretty weird place. Talking to vengeful ghosts, communing with insane daemons, or bartering with a kid keen on killing his school teacher are all in a day’s work for a wandering Dragonborn. And that’s just a taste of all the weird stuff you’ll have to do on an average quest.
Here are a few of the more bizarre and disturbing quests you can do in the world of Skyrim.
15 A Night To Remember
We’ve all had one of those nights: you meet a strange man in a bar, he challenges you to a drinking contest, one thing leads to another, and you eventually wake up in a bathtub full of ice and missing a kidney.
So it comes as no surprise that there’s a night like that in Skyrim. In the quest A Night To Remember, you meet a nice man named Sam whom you spend the night drinking with, and then you wake up in Markath at the Temple of Dibella with a splitting headache and a very angry priestess shouting about how you trashed their temple in a drunken stupor.
The rest of the quest basically reads like a Hangover movie script as you trace your steps of the previous night. Highlights include stealing a giant’s goat, proposing to a Hagraven, and having an awesome night on the town with the Daedric prince Sanguine.
14 Innocence Lost
When it comes to the Dark Brotherhood questline, things get pretty dark pretty fast. It’s almost like the assassin’s guild is named for it or something.
While wandering around Skyrim, the Dragonborn will eventually hear some people whisper about a child in Windhelm who’s trying to summon the Dark Brotherhood. Doing so involves performing the Black Sacrament, a ritual whereby the summoner creates an effigy of the intended victim using actual body parts. How the kid came across a human skeleton, heart, and stomach is anybody’s guess, but it certainly must have raised a few eyebrows.
Breaking into the kid’s home will cause him to mistake you for a Dark Brotherhood assassin and task you with killing the cruel orphanage matron he ran away from. You could say “no,” but how can you deny a face covered in that much blood? Adorable.
13 The Silver Hand
This one’s kinda like A Night To Remember, except this time you get to experience the whole thing. And also you remember it. And there are no consequences to anything you do when you eventually wake up covered in entrails!
In order to complete The Companions quest line, you have to become a werewolf, which is a little different in Skyrim than in popular mythology. Instead of being bitten you drink a punchbowl full of werewolf blood before passing out. When you wake up you’re a naked werewolf in the middle of Whiterun, tearing through the place like a Thai chili through my colon.
Unlike Thai food, your morning after isn’t filled with regrets. At least, not the physical kind.
12 The Mind Of Madness
In Solitude is a nice homeless man wandering around and asking passersby if they can help him return his master “from vacation.” He’ll then give you Pelagius’ Hip Bone and tell you to break into the Imperial Palace.
Normal people would probably freak out and call some nice muscle men to put this guy away in a padded room, but not the Dragonborn. Instead, our hero busts into the Pelagius wing of the palace, and then into Pelagius’ mind wearing nothing but pajamas and a nightcap. There to greet you are two fancily dressed dudes having a tea party, where one will ask the Dragonborn to use a magic stick to beat the crazy out of the other.
If any of that made sense to you then you may be as certifiable as this insane Daedric prince quest.
11 Kyne’s Sacred Trials
I have this fear of the ocean; more specifically how big things can get in it. I think it’s called megalohydrothalassophobia, but I never figured out how to pronounce it so it’s hard for me to remember.
Anyway, you can see why I have a bit of a fear of mud crabs, the giant creepy crawly crabs that attack whenever you wander a bit too close to rivers and lakes. The normal ones are already the size of a large dog, so when the Kyne’s Sacred Trials quest tasks me with offing a humongous ghost crab I have some trouble completing it.
So far the only way I’ve been able to finish the quest is by giving my companion all my enchanted weapons and armor while I go hide in the bushes.
10 The Only Cure
One of the more bizarre aspects of Skyrim is the number of alchemical ingredients to be found. Nearly everything can be crushed up into powder and stuck into a potion to give some kind of effect, either beneficial or harmful.
Or you can just crush them all up and snort them to commune with a daemon.
In The Only Cure, the Dragonborn has to gather a silver ingot, vampire dust, a deathbell flower, and a flawless ruby, crush them up, and then inhale the fumes. Doing so will give the Dragonborn a psychedelic trip to make any aging hippie jealous as well as a quest to go murder some wayward devotees of the Daedric Prince Peryite.
The moral of the story: always believe the things you see in a drug induced hallucination.
9 Unfathomable Depths
With a name like that I was sure this quest was going to bring back my thalassophobia with a vengeance, but in this case, it’s just referring to underground Dwemer ruins. Whew.
Meandering around Riften's docks is From-Deepest-Fathoms, a very disturbed Argonian who desperately wants to get rid of a book. It’s called the Lexicon, and accepting it will task the Dragonborn with returning it to the ruins of Avanchnzel where it was taken. As the Dragonborn voyages deep underground ghostly apparitions of an ill-fated expedition will show how From-Deepest-Fathoms came across the book, and the terrible price she paid for it.
What’s most disturbing is what happens if you don’t accept the book. Returning to Riften later will reveal that From-Deepest-Fathoms took her own life rather than live with the memory of the Lexicon and its horrors.
8 With Friends Like These
After you kill that cruel orphanage lady in Innocence Lost, you pocket what little pay the kid can give you and be on your merry way. A few days later you’ll get a note of a black hand with “We Know” written beneath it. That’s a little weird, but not too out of the ordinary for Skyrim.
After you go to sleep is when things go from weird to crazy AF. You wake up in an abandoned shack instead of the bed you slept in, and in the corner is some crazy ninja ordering you to kill one of three hooded people in front of you. The ninja says she’s from the Dark Brotherhood and you need to repay them for the mark you stole when you murdered for the kid.
Apparently, they’re very particular about their killing, but not so particular they won’t start your day off with a good bit of blind execution.
7 The Taste Of Death
I dunno what it is about Bethesda games but they always have a group of crazy cannibals in them. Is Bethesda secretly a cannibal cult that’s been under our noses this whole time? Somebody get me on the line with 60 Minutes! I’ve got a scoop for them!
The quest starts off with a woman walking up to you in a crypt, telling you she likes to eat dead people, and then asking you to kill a bunch of Draugr. Again, just the average Tuesday for a Dragonborn. Things take a turn when she asks you to bring a holy priest to her underground cannibal coven to kill and eat him.
The quest ends either with you killing and eating the priest or butchering the coven. A grisly finish, either way.
6 The Heart Of Dibella
There’s a bunch of gods and daemons in the world of Skyrim, and you’ll do quests for both sides. One of the more holy quests you go on is for the goddess Dibella, which is the Elder Scrolls goddess of beauty and love. There’s a bit of overlap with the goddess Mara, who is more into the whole motherly love and marriage thing, whereas Dibella is more into one-night stands (that is to say she’s more about the sex thing).
This makes it all the more interesting when the priestess of Dibella asks you to go find the next Sybil of Dibella. The Sybil is basically like the Dalai Llama, except she’s the leader of a sex cult instead of a bunch of Tibetan monks. Also like the Dalai Llama, she’s taken from her parents at a young age and trained in the ways of her faith, which if you remember, is sex. So that’s a wholesome environment for a child to grow up in.
5 A Daedra's Best Friend
Dogs are a man’s best friend, but in the world of Skyrim they’re also a daemon’s.
Passing through the town of Falkreath you’ll eventually meet a guard who says he met a talking dog. If you then walk not too far out of town you’ll run into that dog, who does indeed talk. He also has a New York accent, for some reason, and will never miss an opportunity to spike the Dragonborn with wit and sarcasm.
Eventually, it turns out the dog is an agent of Clavicus The Vile, the Daedric Prince of wishes, and despite his constant sass is generally the voice of reason for the crazy demon. He was banished for being too helpful, and asks the Dragonborn to help him get back to his master (via mass murder, naturally).
4 Death Incarnate
Strap yourselves in, since this one gets gruesome.
At the end of the Dark Brotherhood questline (which need I remind you began with a child asking you to assassinate someone), the guild is betrayed from within, and the Imperial Guard show up to torch the place. In order to survive, you have to spend the night in a coffin with a thousand-year-old mummy, who seems to think it was the perfect setup to get fresh with the Dragonborn. Which it is.
After a night neither of you will forget (and once the fires go down) you’re released back into the world where you’re immediately confronted with the betrayer. Overcome by guilt, she performs the Black Sacrament on herself and demands you kill her, again proving the best way to start your day is with murder.
3 Under Saarthal
This one really doesn’t start off all that weird. You show up at the College of Winterhold where you’re immediately assessed as being magically gifted and given the robes of apprenticeship. Evidently, the College doesn’t need you to fork over several thousand dollars before they begin tutoring.
The weirdness begins just after you get your first lessons. You learn the basics of wards and spellcraft in your first lecture, and then it’s off to the dangerous ancient ruins in order to find even more dangerous ancient artifacts! Nevermind the fact that there are Draugr everywhere and the ruins are littered with deadly traps - the only way to learn is by doing!
How disturbed would you be if your first law lecture was a trial for a serial killer?
2 Forbidden Legend
Forbidden Legend is also a pretty standard quest as far as Skyrim goes: wander around, dive into some dangerous dungeons, kill things, get the magical amulet, repeat a few times. Basically the fantasy hero equivalent of getting your oil changed.
Things get bizarre around Geirmund’s Hall. If you’re coming from the South, you may run into a novice necromancer who will immediately attack you. Even at low level, you should be easily able to dispatch him, especially since the creature he summons in his defense is a chicken.
That’s right - you have to fend off an undead chicken zombie in order to escape this evil necromancer’s clutches. Or should I say talons?
1 Every Quest That Ends Up With You In Charge
Let’s be real here - if you spend any amount of time in Skyrim and do all the main quests and the faction quests, you end up in charge of literally everything. You’re the leader of the Assassins Guild, The Thieves Guild, The College of Winterhold, The Companions, and Thane in all 9 major cities.
What’s most bizarre is how you, as Dragonborn, can immediately ignore all responsibility that comes with your title and just bugger off to go kill giants, or go spelunking in caves, or get whisked away into a madman’s Alice in Wonderland fantasy, and absolutely nobody calls you on it.