Elder Scrolls Main quest:Before the Storm

Before the Storm is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After escaping from the dragon attack at Helgen, it’s necessary to follow the advice received that leads to Riverwood. It is possible to gather supplies and prepare for a trip to Whiterun to report the recent events to Jarl Balgruuf.


Quest Giver Hadvar or Ralof
Location Riverwood
Prerequisite Unbound
Next Quest Bleak Falls Barrow
Reward Progress in storyline
Gifts from your contact in Riverwood
Leveled Heavy/Light armor
Type Main Quest
QuestID MQ102


Hadvar suggested that I head to the nearby town of Riverwood. His uncle is a blacksmith there and should be able to help me.

Ralof suggested that I head to the nearby town of Riverwood. His sister Gerdur is the mill owner there and should be able to help me.


Heading to Riverwood

The Dragonborn emerges into the bright light of Falkreath Hold, North of the still-smouldering ruin of Helgen. New companions watch as the dragon responsible for disrupting the execution flies away to the North. No matter whether the Dragonborn followed Hadvar or Ralof, talk to him, and then head to Riverwood. Following this new friend down the hillside heading to the next town, it may be possible to lose him. Simply continue on and meet up with Hadvar’s or Ralof’s contact in Riverwood.

On the way to Riverwood there is the possibility of a chance encounter, but that’s nothing that cannot be handled with the help of Hadvar or Ralof. Along the path taken are three Guardian Stones: The Warrior, The Mage, and The Thief. Pick one according to the preferred playing style and continue following the path. Make sure to discover Embershard Mine. There is a single bandit standing guard who makes for an easy kill.

After arrival in the village, assuming the Dragonborn traveled the entire way with his/her Helgen-met companion, the hero is led to a house depending on who was followed in the opening quest. Following the quest markers, the Dragonborn will be 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 Jarl Balgruuf, in Whiterun, regarding all of the events that have transpired.

Heading to Whiterun

Heading straight to Whiterun can skip Riverwood altogether. Your journal will still be updated as if you went there and spoke with the contact of your friend. Head to Whiterun by exiting Riverwood to the North, following the path with the waterfall rapids to the East, and beginning a hill descent. Head West on the road from the two bridges, on the opposite side of the stream, to Chillfurrow Farm, and pass the Honningbrew Meadery. In the surrounding farmland, The Dragonborn may find members of the Companions engaged in a battle with a giant (the giant won’t attack you even if you attack it). The Whiterun Stables mark the outside entrance to the city. Head up the hill and over the drawbridge, then to the main gate. A guard bars access to the city; the city is closed with the news of dragons spreading fast. The Dragonborn only needs to tell him that Riverwood calls for the Jarl’s aid. Once inside, head through the town to Dragonsreach. The Jarl’s Housecarl, Irileth, wants to know the Dragonborn’s business, but regardless of the answer the Dragonborn will end up talking to Jarl Balgruuf. The conversation with him can be lead in any direction, but in the end the quest will be completed, and a reward will be received from the Jarl.


  • Heavy or Light chest armor (level dependent). Has a chance of a random enchantment.
  • Some of Alvor’s personal blacksmithing items located inside his house and outside near his forge.


  • Even with a Speech of 100 and 100 level (PC Mod), Whiterun guards cannot be intimidated during this quest.
  • Alternately, the Dragonborn can commit a small crime, such as hitting a guard, killing a chicken, or stealing something in front of a guard. Then a small fine needs to be paid, and the Dragonborn is escorted (instantly moved) to the front of Dragonsreach, like normally. Of course, in doing so, some of the interaction that is normally enjoyed when first walking into Whiterun will be missed.
  • While on the way to Whiterun, some of the Companions may be seen fighting a giant. Approaching the fight and helping the warriors kill the giant will cause Aela to approach and comment on the Dragonborn’s fighting ability and suggest joining the Companions. If the fight is approached but no aid given, she will say that the battle was won no thanks to the Dragonborn.
  • On the way to Whiterun, the player may encounter a Stormcloak soldier being escorted to prison.
  • You can also encounter a Thalmor Prisoner, whom is escorted by three Thalmor. You can kill them, and loot their bodies as the Elven Light Armor the warriors wear can be useful for selling or wearing.
  • If you kill your contact (Gerdur or Alvor), the game will say you failed your quest, rendering the game impossible to complete.
  • If you ask Alvor to help, which may end up with you making an iron dagger and hide helmet, you get one easy level up in smithing.
  • You can still complete quests like Guild quests without completing this quest.


  • After following Ralof, taking all the gifts from Gerdur, and then not hearing the conversation between Ralof and Gerdur afterward, the task “Talk to Gerdur” may become glitched and may not be able to be completed.
    • When Gerdur says “There is something you could do for us. For everyone here.” The conversation is not forced, therefore many players thinking this irrelevant, when in fact this advances the quest.



Skyrim Main Quests
Act I UnboundBefore the StormBleak Falls BarrowDragon RisingThe Way of the Voice
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
Act II A Blade in the DarkDiplomatic ImmunityA Cornered RatAlduin’s WallThe Throat of the World
Elder KnowledgeAlduin’s Bane
Act III Season UnendingThe FallenPaarthurnaxThe World-Eater’s EyrieSovngarde

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