Bloodmoon:Hircine's Hunt

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You are now irrevocably involved in the Bloodmoon Prophecy and it's a fight for survival.
Quest Giver: Korst Wind-Eye in the Skaal Village and/or Hircine while you are asleep
Location(s): Skaal Village, Mortrag Glacier
Prerequisite Quest: The Castle Karstaag or Siege of Castle Karstaag
Reward: One of the following: Spear of the Hunter (guile), the Hunter's Amulet of Strength (strength), the Hunter's Amulet of Speed (speed)
ID: BM_WildHunt
Suggested Items: Healing Potions, Heal Companion spell, a spare weapon or several armorer hammers (as equipment will be very degraded by the end of the quest)
Suggested Level: 40
Difficulty: Hard
 
The Bloodmoon rises

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Speak to Korst Wind-Eye to learn about the Bloodmoon Prophecy (if you aren't a werewolf).
  2. Rest somewhere for a while to be taken by the Hunter, Hircine. Be ready, you can not return to town until the end.
  3. Enter the Outer Circle of the Mortrag Glacier and find Captain Carius. Team up with him to kill werewolves and find the key to the center gate in a chest (just kill him if you're a werewolf).
  4. Leave Carius behind and enter the Inner Circle to find Tharsten Heart-Fang inside.
  5. Team up with Tharsten and explore the area. Eventually he will turn into a werewolf and attack you. Kill him and get the key from his corpse (he will turn into a werewolf immediately if you are also a werewolf).
  6. Continue onto the Huntsman's Hall where you'll meet, and kill, the frost giant Karstaag.
  7. Move to the portal in the north where you'll meet Hircine once again.
  8. Select one of the three aspects that you wish to fight. Defeat it in battle.
  9. Loot the key from the corpse and exit via the portal.
  10. Watch a short cut-scene. Return to Korst and Fort Frostmoth to finish the main quest.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

This last quest is mostly the same whether you became a werewolf or not during the main quest. The minor differences will be mentioned in the walkthrough below.

Combat-wise, this is probably the most difficult quest in the entire game. You are teleported to what amounts to a combat arena, with no access to any supplies, nor any ability to use Rest to recuperate until fully clearing each area of enemies. You will thus need to be well-supplied for a long string of some of the most difficult fights the game ever presents. Recommended gear includes multiple powerful weapons; your best armor (do not be concerned about weight – this is not a looting quest – but do be concerned about items that break easily); a large stock of fortification and recovery potions and items; numerous repair hammers; filled, high-end soul gems sufficient to replenish magic gear several times over; and a weapon capable of Paralysis (the Steel Jinkblade of the Aegis is handy for its unusually lengthy 20 second effect – especially if you have more than one or have a lot of soul gems). Do not expect to rely on scrolls, as the combat will come frequently and fast, often with multiple simultaneous opponents. You'll mostly be fighting remarkably powerful werewolves who are strongly resistant to magic, so it may take multiple strikes to paralyze, followed by beating on them repeatedly with heavy weapons that have a "Weakness to" effect in addition to magical damage, or casting a "Weakness to" spell before casting the appropriate magical damage spell. These werewolves are unusually (though not perfectly) able to detect you despite use of Invisibility, Chameleon, or Sneak, and are hostile from a distance, reducing your ability to rely on both stealth and ranged attacks (you'll be lucky if you get to fire off one of the latter at all against many of these opponents, who are often are lurking right around corners).

If you are playing as a werewolf yourself, you are unlikely to succeed in that form at higher game difficulty settings, and may wish to use the Wait function until you are no longer in that form (at least while in the maze segments of the quest). The problems for you will be that you cannot use gear, and have the same attack and defense types as multiple werewolf opponents, while higher difficulty settings simultaneously raise the damage they do and reduce the damage you do; the numbers are badly against you.

Learn of the Bloodmoon Prophecy[edit]

If you are not a werewolf, talk to shaman Korst Wind-Eye in the Skaal Village and he'll tell you about the Bloodmoon Prophecy. The prophecy speaks of a time that occurs once an era, when a demon god, the Hunter, will walk the land in the company of his Hounds, presumably these werewolves. This time is preceded by three signs: The first is the Fire from the Eye of Glass, which most likely relates to the plume of fire emanating from Lake Fjalding. Second is the Tide of Woe, which probably is manifested by the many corpses of horkers found lately along the shore. The third and final sign is the Bloodmoon, which is when the moons turns red from the blood of the Hunter's Prey; just recently, the moons of Tamriel have indeed turned red.

After the three signs is something called the Hunter's Game, instituted by Hircine, and which seems to vary from era to era. The game might involve the hunting of an entire tribe, or just one man. After the hunt, the demon returns to his realm for another era. All that can be done is to await until the Hunter lets it be known who is to be the Prey this time. Ask about the Hunter's Plan to trigger the next step in this quest.

If you are a werewolf, skip this step and simply wait for Hircine to contact you.

The Hunter's Game[edit]

Hircine's first appearance in person

Since things are quiet for the moment, perhaps now would be a good time to have a nap, if you're not playing the werewolf path. You go to sleep in your house in the village (or anywhere else for that matter) but are awakened suddenly by several werewolves surrounding your bed. You are then teleported to Mortrag Glacier into the presence of a Daedric Prince named Hircine (a.k.a. the Hunter) who explains what is happening. The Hunter's Game in this era will be a hunt of four individuals: You, along with the three people who have disappeared recently (Captain Carius, Tharsten Heart-Fang, and Karstaag), are to be the Prey. Only one of the four will survive their way through the glacier to face the Hunter in battle at the end of the quest. Hircine disappears and tells you to find the other three who have already gone ahead of you.

Your abduction by the werewolves is a special form of teleportation; unlike with fast travel, any follower NPCs you have in tow will not go with you to Hircine's glacial lair.

Leaving Mortrag Glacier via teleportation of any sort (and Recall is disabled here anyway), without first doing a Mark, is quest-breaking: you can't otherwise get back in.

Mortrag Glacier Maze[edit]

Proceed forward through the Daedric door to the Outer Ring area. Your objective is to find the way to the center of the maze and the key that opens the gate at the center. Right inside, you'll talk to Captain Carius who suggests that you work together. Agree to travel together, as you could certainly use any help; heal him after each fight (or during, if necessary). The magic of his weapon will run out fairly quickly, so after a while his primary utility to you is as a distraction. If you are in your werewolf form, Carius will just attack you on sight, so simply kill him. The maze is populated with a number of powerful werewolves, who are much stronger than those you've encountered previously (on 100 difficulty they can hit for 300 damage, shred your shield in no time, and have several hundred more Health points). The werewolf statues you find can also instantly turn into werewolves (if you have the key in your possession) so be careful as you approach them. Note that Levitation is disabled while in the maze. However, Jump magic works, allowing you to reach the top of many ledges (this is about the only way to make much use of ranged attacks in this maze). The werewolves are not completely resistant to Paralyze, making it a good spell to use, though it is better done with an item, to avoid the spell-casting delay (during which you can receive a great deal of damage if the werewolves can reach you).

One melee strategy for dealing with multiple werewolves is to Paralyze all of them you are faced with, start healing from the damage they've inflicted, single one out and work on killing it, then re-Paralyze as they all start to move again; keep at it one werewolf at a time until they're all dead in turn, then recover and repair before moving on to another part of the maze. You may wish to save your game after every successful werewolf kill. Attempting to just rush in and fight it out with them, as if they're like a band of Rieklings or Reavers, will get even very powerful characters killed quickly. Except on easier game settings, you are not likely to beat the werewolves if you are in werewolf form yourself. If you are normally reliant on summons, be aware that the maze is narrow (summoned allies behind you are mostly worthless), summoned creatures are slow (werewolves are not), the werewolves will kill most of the summoned in one to two blows, and they are resistant to most of the effects a summoned creature can dish out. Summons can still be useful as distractions, especially if you are trying to use Paralyze on more than one werewolf.

From the entrance, take the right-hand passage and, after the first werewolf, you will find a chest with a glowing key that will open the gate in the center. The maze is small enough that it won't take too long to find the exit, although you'll have to deal with at least 20 werewolves while making your way there. Once you reach the center, Captain Carius (if still alive) will volunteer to stay behind, while you face the Hunter. Use Rest if you are not at full capability, then step through the portal to the Inner Circle.

The Inner Circle[edit]

As you enter the Inner Circle – another maze – you will be greeted by Tharsten Heart-Fang, who already has the key to the next area, and who again suggests that you band together (against more these unusually strong werewolves, and again his magic weapon will only be effective for the first few opponents). You will have to fight him in the end – he is a werewolf himself – so you can choose to do that now without the presence of other werewolves, or choose to take him on later, trying to get him weakened (or outright killed) by attacks of other werewolves. If you are in werewolf form yourself, he will transform and attack you on sight. Just around the corner, be careful because as soon as you attack any of the werewolves you see, you will be swarmed by as many as seven werewolves at once – a very difficult fight if you are not ready for it. If you are fighting with Tharsten and he transforms during combat, you may have a one-time opportunity to back away from the ongoing fight, and hit both him and his opponent(s) with ranged, area-of-effect attacks, and use a bunch of recovery and fortification on yourself.

Continue on until you reach an area with a chest. The chest is empty, but at this point Tharsten (if he is with you) exposes his true self as a werewolf and attacks you – if he has not done so already, which he will do earlier if he takes enough damage. Once he dies, Hircine's Ring appears in your inventory. Don't forget to loot his corpse and get the key. Continue on, being careful of werewolves and come-alive statues of them, until you reach another portal – this one to Huntsman's Hall. Use Rest again as needed before entering.

Karstaag

Huntsman's Hall[edit]

The foyer here is the last safe place you'll have to prepare until the end of the quest. In the middle of the large hall you'll find the frost giant Karstaag awaiting the Hunter. When he sees you, however, he will attack; be prepared to defend yourself and kill him. You can sneak up on him and land the first, critical blow. The giant is tough, and has 50% Reflect, but is no more difficult than some of the beasts you've already encountered. Fire Damage will stop his Regenerate Health. Curiously, his soul only fills a paltry Lesser Soul Gem, which will not help you much if you didn't bring enough with you. If you have some fire-damage protection, since he Reflects a lot, Karstaag is most easily taken out by raining ranged fire attacks on him from the foyer (if you have difficulty seeing and aiming at him, use Night Eye). He seems to be confused for some time about where the attacks are coming from. After he figures it out and charges you, your best option is to keep out of his reach, either using more ranged attacks, or darting in for strikes (with regular melee weapons or as a werewolf) if you are fast, since he is not.

Hircine[edit]

After defeating Karstaag, approach the portal and Hircine will once again appear and go into a speech about you becoming his Prey. You are asked to choose the Hunter's most important attribute: strength, speed, or guile. Depending on the choice, Hircine may or may not transform into another creature, and regardless will have a great deal of resistance to most magic effects and to normal weapons. The Aspect of Strength is a powerful but slow bear form (and the easiest to deal with); the Aspect of Speed is a very fast wolf form; and the Aspect of Guile is his humanoid form (though smaller), which wields a spear (the best in the game), casts Paralyze and Burden, and has additional resistances. As soon as you select one, Hircine as narrating avatar will disappear and the fightable Hunter will appear in his place. Be ready.

The fight is relatively easy compared to some of the previous combat in this quest, mostly due to the large space in which to run around. Use ranged attacks or the hit-and-run technique to your advantage. When the Hunter falls, don't forget to loot the corpse.

Hunter's Reward[edit]

The item you are rewarded with is determined by what choice you made with the Hunter before the fight: the Spear of the Hunter (guile), the Hunter's Amulet of Strength, or the Hunter's Amulet of Speed.

Return to Skaal Village and Fort Frostmoth[edit]

Exit the area from the portal in the northern end and view a nice cut scene. Hircine will be shocked that you've won and vows to return in force for another Hunt. Don't get excited; this doesn't mean you get to fight his other Aspects later in the game, it simply means he'll return in the next Age of Tamriel, as per his prophecy. You'll note that the Mortrag Glacier has partially broken up. (If you had been stashing piles of loot anywhere within the changed area, that loot will be gone, because the entire area has been replaced.)

Return to Korst in the Skaal Village to tell him the good news of victory, and of the death of Tharsten. You can also return to Fort Frostmoth; if Captain Carius survived the werewolves with you, he will also have survived the glacial collapse just as you did, and is back at the fort.

This is the end of the Main Quest of the Bloodmoon expansion, but if you are a werewolf, you may wish to undertake the Rite of the Wolf Giver quest to end your affliction. Having thwarted Hircine, he has no more quests for you, and being a werewolf is now mostly a handicap, especially if you have more game to play in the main game or the Tribunal expansion.

Notes[edit]

  • The werewolves are humanoids so you can use Calm Humanoid for crowd control.
    • A cheat is to use a weapon with a 1 pt. Calm Humanoid in 50 ft on Strike; in the unpatched game, 1 point of calm works regardless of target level. If you are using MCP or another code-patching project, or OpenMW, this exploit is not available, and you will need the proper level 70 effect.
  • Silver weapons do double damage against werewolves, but they are weak weapons as a class, so it may still be less damage than that dealt by various higher-end weapons.
  • With high Acrobatics or a Jump effect, you can jump up to various ledges and platforms to either recover or engage the enemy with ranged weapons, spells, and summoned creatures from safety.
  • Using Invisibility or Chameleon you may avoid most of enemies (unless they are close or have already seen you) and proceed to the portal with less combat.
    • Invisibility, Chameleon, and Sneak do not work once a werewolf has become aware of you.
  • You can leave Carius early in the outer ring if you come too close to the center area (e.g. first werewolf statue on the right from entrance).
  • Karstaag is a creature and susceptible to Calm Creature, if you need a breather or want to land another sneak attack. He also has very high Reflect; be careful what you hit him with.
  • After this quest, Blue Dev's Ring of Viewing appears in the main hall of the Skaal Village, inside the mouth of the only Cliff Racer on Solstheim.
  • The teleportation into the glacier that occurs during this quest is scripted, and will happen no matter where you happen to be the next time you rest at this point in the quest, even in locations where other forms of teleportation are disabled. One example of a way to use this to your advantage is the Magas Volar shrine that you are transported to by the amulet found in Tel Fyr. Killing the Dremora there will automatically transport you back to Tel Fyr with a brand new Daedric Crescent. But if you cast a Mark spell there before, you can Recall yourself back in and get a second Crescent for free. Only problem is getting out - intervention spells won't work, and you've already used your only Mark to get in. Well, if you time this quest right, all you need to do is take a little nap, and you'll wake up in the glacier (with a nice new weapon to boot).
  • Normal teleportation (i.e. Recall) does not work to get out of the glacier; if you happen to have finished the Tribunal expansion and possess Barilzar's Mazed Band, or have one of the Vampire clan amulets, or the Daedric Sanctuary amulet from Tel Fyr, you can equip them and be transported away. Doing so without casting Mark first will break this quest and thus the entire Bloodmoon Main Quest, because you have no way to get back in – other than via a Console cheat such as PositionCell or CenterOnCell.
  • If you are a werewolf, but don't want to kill Carius for whatever reason, you can rest until transforming back into a human before entering the glacier and do this quest as such. This might be a good idea if you rely on Restore Health, Silver weapons, Paralyze, Calm, etc., to deal with werewolves, and will probably be necessary at high difficulty settings. It is also possible to spare his life if you simply run from him and reach the gate before the other werewolves kill him.

Bugs[edit]

  • After defeating Karstaag, using "Dispose of Corpse" before his death animation completes will prevent Hircine from appearing.
    • The console command Journal BM_WildHunt, 82 will correct the issue and allow Hircine to appear near the portal as expected.
  • If you don't take Tharsten Heart-Fang with you until you open the empty chest, then return to Tharsten and take him with you, his conversation and his ensuing transformation into a werewolf may not be triggered. ?
  • It is possible to miss Hircine's Ring completely by not taking Tharsten with you.
    • This can be fixed by proceeding to the exit in human form, waiting until 9pm, turning into a werewolf and proceeding to the next area (the door will allow you to pass if you are a werewolf, you do not need Tharsten's key). Even if you cannot turn into a werewolf, because you cured the disease before (or due to being a vampire), you can simply pickpocket the key from Tharsten, in which case you again will not get Hircine's Ring.

Quest Stages[edit]

The following Quest_ID and Index codes can be used with the Journal Console command to manually update the quest to a certain point.

Hircine's Hunt (BM_WildHunt)
Index Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Korst Wind-Eye has told me more about the Bloodmoon Prophecy, and the signs that are foretold within. The fire from the lake of ice, the tide of dead horkers. Now the moon itself has turned blood red. He tells me that all that remains is the Hunter's Game.
15 According to legend, the Hunter chooses his Prey from the ranks of Man. Who and how many he chooses varies by the era. Wind-Eye does not know what will happen in the coming days, but he fears the worst.
20 I awoke from my sleep to see werewolves surrounding me, and then blacked out. When I came to my senses, I found myself in a chamber deep in the heart of the Mortrag Glacier, the Daedra Lord Hircine before me.
25 I received a dream from Hircine calling me to join him for his Hunt. When I awoke, I was in the Mortrag Glacier.
30 Hircine spoke to me, telling me that I was to be a part of his hunt. He has gathered the champions of Solstheim--Falx Carius from Fort Frostmoth, Tharsten Heart-Fang from the Skaal, and the frost giant Karstaag--to participate. All of us are to find our way through this glacier, though the others have gone ahead already. Only one of us will survive to face the Hunter in battle. I should continue ahead and see what awaits me.
40 I've encountered Captain Falx Carius, who was brought here after the attack on Fort Frostmoth. He suggests we work together to escape Hircine's prison.
42 I have chosen to work with Carius to escape this place.
44 I have told Carius that only one of us can survive this test, and it must be me. I will have to fight the captain.
49 Carius has died in the Mortrag Glacier.
50 I have found the key that will allow me to proceed through the gate in the center of this maze.
55 As we approached the gate, Carius told me that he can go no further. If I am to finish this fight, I will have to do so alone. He warned me to beware the giant Karstaag, as well as Heart-Fang, whom he does not trust. If I succeed, perhaps Carius will be able to find a way out of this place himself.
60 In the next ring of the glacier, I was greeted by Tharsten Heart-Fang, who has also been brought here by the Daedra Lord Hircine. He believes we should work together to fight Hircine.
62 I have chosen to work with Heart-Fang to defeat Hircine.
64 I told Heart-Fang that, as there could only be one survivor in this deadly game, I could not work with him. He responded that he alone would survive this Hunt, and that it was his birthright to do so. Apparenty, Heart-Fang has the Ring of Hircine, and has used its magic to prolong his life and rule the Skaal for generations. Now, he claims I will have to face him in his "true form."
65 After finding the chest empty, Heart-Fang spoke to me. He told me that he has the key to continue on in the Hunt, and he will do so alone. He also claims to have the Ring of Hircine, and to have had it for many generations. Heart-Fang seems ready to kill me, and claims I must now fight him in his "true form."
66 As I entered the next ring of the glacier, I found Tharsten Heart-Fang. He told me that he alone will continue on in the Hunt, and that this is what he was born to do. He also claims to have the Ring of Hircine, and to have had it for many generations. Heart-Fang seems ready to kill me, and claims I must now fight him in his "true form."
69 Heart-Fang is dead. As he died, the Ring of Hircine disappeared from his finger and appeared in my inventory.
70 On the corpse of Heart-Fang, I have found the second key to allow me to proceed through this maze.
80 I have entered what appears to be the center of the Mortrag Glacier. In it is the frost giant Karstaag, the final participant in Hircine's Hunt.
82 The frost giant Karstaag is dead. I am now the only one that has made it to the final stage of Hircine's Hunt.
85 Hircine has appeared and spoken to me. He says I have proven myself to be a worthy hunter, and that I now will receive the greatest honor he can bestow--to be his Prey. Hircine has also questioned me as to what the greatest strength of a hunter is: strength, speed, or guile. He says that I must choose one of these three.
87 I have chosen Strength as a hunter's greatest asset.
88 I have chosen Speed as a hunter's greatest asset.
89 I have chosen Guile as a hunter's greatest asset.
90 Hircine has accepted my choice, and tells me that for me to face the Daedra Lord himself in battle would not be sporting. Instead, I am to face one of Hircine's Aspects.
92 I have defeated Hircine's Aspect of Strength. I should now try to leave the glacier through the gate.
93 I have defeated Hircine's Aspect of Speed. I should now try to leave the glacier through the gate.
94 I have defeated Hircine's Aspect of Guile. I should now try to leave the glacier through the gate.
100 ☑Finishes quest As I left the glacier, I heard a loud rumbling sound, as if the entire structure were coming down around me. I found myself outside the fallen ice mountain, with Hircine's message echoing in my thoughts. The Hunter has been defeated, but he will return one day to hunt again.


Prev: The Castle Karstaag (human) or
Siege of Castle Karstaag (werewolf)
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