As evidenced by its extensive library of books, the region of Skyrim is home to a cavalcade of writers, both amateur and professional alike. Many of the pages you’ll come across in the world range from nonfiction to poetry, from interviews to biographies, and from the epic tales of heroes to the whimsical accounts of cowards. Somewhere in the mix, however, are a few books that offer legitimately useful insights on Skyrim as only their “real-world” authors can impart.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 such books and their various locations throughout the game’s map (Three of these books are hidden deep within the world and have yet to be listed on public record. One we found. Two, well, if happen you see them, let us know!). Linked in each title is also the full text from the dedicated folks at The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages. Sure, you could scour the internet or burn up one of your holiday gift cards on a strategy guide for the same knowledge, but sometimes you just can’t beat the reliability of a solid primary source.
Thus when the army strikes a blow, it will be like a thunderclap out of a cloudless sky. The best victories are those unforeseen by the enemy, but obvious to everyone afterwards.
- Southfringe Sanctum (Falkreath Hold) on Bashnag (only as part of quest The Savior of Selveni Nethri)
- 540 ft SW of Bthardamz (The Reach) (x=-172168, y=37756)
- 470 ft N of Fallowstone Cave (The Rift) (x=194183, y=-74147)
- Ravenscar Hollow (Haafingar), on a table
- The White Hall (Dawnstar)
To wield the blade there are some fundamentals. Quick strikes are always good, but can be repelled, so watch for your opponent’s own defensive postures. Wait for an opening, or create one with your own heavy attacks. Hammers hit hardest but are slow. Same with maces and all blunt weaponry. Axes are a nice middle ground, while swords are the quickest but won’t stagger your opponent as efficiently with the hard hits.
Whiterun is the heart of Skyrim, its towering palace rivaling even the great castles of Cyrodiil. But should you tire of the Jarl’s hospitality, another adventure awaits a few hours to the east of the city, along the road that rises above White River Gorge. The Ritual Stone can be found atop the lone hill that rises on the north side of the road, set into an ancient monument. Take time to soak in the incredible view of Whiterun, the tundra, and the gorge from this unique spot.
- College of Winterhold, Arcanaeum, on the floor.
- College of Winterhold, Arcanaeum, on a ledge.
- White River Watch, on a bookshelf.
- Driftshade Refuge, on a bookshelf.
- Dragonsreach, upstairs on a bookshelf.
Another common form of armor enchantment are the resistances. The elemental resistances are marginally easier to find and make. The [sic] make the wearer less susceptible to burning, freezing and shocks. There are also poison resistances and enchantments that will resist all forms of magic.
- The Brinehammer Below Deck (The Pale)
- Falion’s House (Morthal), on a shelf
- Fort Amol (Eastmarch), on the cupboard next to the arcane enchanter.
- Steamscorch Mine (Eastmarch), on a table just after entrance
- Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon
A particularly insidious, but somewhat common enchantment, is soul trap. Upon entering the blood, the victim’s soul is bound. Should he die shortly thereafter, he [sic] soul is siphoned off to a nearby soul gem. This form of magic should only be used against beasts and monsters. To use it against men or elves is abhorrent.
- Castle Dour, Emperor’s Tower (Solitude)
- Darkwater Pass, near the middle of the dungeon, found on top of the enchanting table
- Roadside Ruins (Falkreath Hold), near a chest in the center
- The White Hall (Dawnstar)
- Urag gro-Shub (College of Winterhold), Hitting the Books quest reward.
It would appear that the entire province of Skyrim is separated into territories known as “holds,” and each hold finds its seat of power in one of the great, ancient cities. And in each of those cities, there rules that hold’s king, known as a Jarl.
The Jarls of Skyrim are, as a whole, a fierce sight indeed. Sitting on their thrones, ready to administer justice, or send their forces out to quell some local threat, be it a pack of feral wolves or a terrifying giant that has wandered too close to a settlement.
One of Skyrim’s most successful (and naturally cocky) thieves shows us how to pick locks and be stealthy like a fox.
Picking pockets is one of the easiest skills to learn, but you’d be surprised how often I’ve seen novice thieves muck it up. The lesson here is two-fold. First, know your surroundings and second, know your approach. Where and when you decide to go fishing is just as important as who you chose as your mark. Follow them a while, there’s never a need to rush. Wait until they’re somewhere isolated and out of earshot of any guards – but most importantly always know when to let the mark go. Getting pinched simply isn’t worth the risk. There’ll always be plenty of other marks who’ll come along with their pockets full.
- Fort Sungard Oubliette (The Reach)
- Goldenglow Estate Sewer (The Rift), by a skeleton in a side room with an Adept lock
- Jarl’s Longhouse (Falkreath), right room of the bottom floor locked in a display case with an Expert lock
- Mara’s Eye Den (Eastmarch), in a box with several other books by a stone pillar
3. Wards can kill (you)
There is no question that wards are an essential tool of any aspiring mage. They can block incoming spells, negating your opponent’s attack and wasting his magicka. A good mage knows, however, to not rely too heavily on her ward. Keeping a ward readied for too long will leave a caster drained of magicka, unable to retaliate, and at worst unable to maintain the ward and therefore completely defenseless.
A lot of the game depends on recognizing the types of shop-keepers and not automatically assuming that the rural merchant is ignorant and easily fooled, or the rapacious city merchant is selling shoddy merchandise. Caravans, it should be mentioned, are always good places to go to buy or trade.Knowing what you’re buying and from whom is a talent bought only after years of practice. Know the specialties of certain regions and merchants before you even step foot in a shop.
- Bards College (Solitude), in one of the classrooms
- Dead Men’s Respite (Hjaalmarch), easternmost point
- East Empire Company Warehouse (Haafingar)
- 230 ft SSW of Falkreath Stormcloak Camp (x=36955, y=-79174)
- Shrine to Peryite, on a table next to the Alchemy station
Items that already have enchantments cannot be enchanted further, so choose carefully when you enchant a blade or helmet. Before beginning an enchantment, make sure you have a filled soul gem. The enchantment will use this soul as a source of power. Place the item and the soul gem on the Arcane Echanter[sic]. Concentrate on the enchantment. The device will meld the two together, enchanting your weapon or armor.
- Carlotta Valentia’s House (Whiterun), on the bedroom floor
- 410 ft NNW of Fort Kastav (Winterhold) (x=110606, y=62406)
- Honeyside (Riften)
- Hob’s Fall Cave (Winterhold), in the Ritual Room
- 530 ft NNE of Valthume (x=-110922, y=-20620)
The most often-overlooked obstacles are the abundance of traps spread throughout the tombs. Ranging from simple tripwire-activated rock falls to complex pressure plate-triggered dart traps, the Nords utilize these devices abundantly. Most of the traps can be avoided by simply looking for the trigger mechanism and avoiding them. Since they are most often placed in areas where distractions abound, remember to keep your eyes to the floor.
Located in the eastern reaches of Skyrim, Eastmarch shares a common border with Morrowind. Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak rules from the ancient city of Windhelm, and he and his followers should be considered your most serious threat.Do not tread lightly in Eastmarch, for the Stormcloaks are at their strongest and most organized in these lands. As an Imperial soldier, you will find few friends here.
- College of Winterhold, Arcanaeum, on the floor and on a ledge.
Have you found any more usefull books in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? What do you think of our list here? Be sure to sound off in the comments or join our great community in the forums!