Dispatches From Northwatch - Part 15: Solstheim Smithing (4 of 4)

Published 1 year, 7 months ago by David Hodgson

Last Time: I hammered away at any Anvil and revealed all about Nordic Carved armor. It’s all detailed here.
This Time: I mine the most precious resource of Solstheim and manufacture Stalhrim Armor. It’s all detailed here:
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Stalhrim Stance: Glistening in the ash-filled sunlight, a heroic chap stands clad in Stalhrim armor, and brandishing a battleaxe hewn from this very same metal. If you’re planning a trip to Solstheim, be sure you stay and plunder this natural resource.

Many moons ago, the finest Nord and Atmoran warriors who fell in battle were entombed in the elaborate barrows you’re so fond of exploring. Some of the fancier folk had their crypts decorated or encased in a naturally-occurring material known as Stalhrim. This was highly popular among Nordic types, but by the time of the Dragonborn, the secrets to crafting fine and ornate (and not to mention, battle-ready) armor using this strange glacial mineral were lost to all but the indigenous Skaal people. They still know how to fashion helmets, armor, gauntlets, boots, and weapons from this rarely-found material, and they’re knowledgeable about why Stalhrim outfits are so prized: They add 25 percent to the potency of Frost enchantments for starters.

Unfortunately, the Skaal aren’t going to be revealing their secrets if you just turn up fresh off the Northern Maiden from Windhelm. No, you’re going to need to complete Solstheim Side Quest: A New Source of Stalhrim first, before talking to the smithy in Skaal Village. Although they sell some fine pieces, and you can scavenge (mainly weapons) from fallen foes as you explore this rugged landscape, you’re always better off making your own pieces of armor. The first step? Finding the Stalhrim deposits.
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Return to the Source: If chiseling great chunks of Stalhrim is a goal in your adventuring, try the Stalhrim Source, just west of White Ridge Barrow, down a treacherous mountain. Be sure to bring your Ancient Nordic Pickaxe, or you won’t make a dent!

Aside from small areas within ancient Nordic barrows (such as deposits you can mine from sarcophagi within Bloodskal Barrow, Benkongerike, Gyldenhul Barrow, Kolbjorn Barrow, Raven Rock Mine, and an iceberg guarded by Horkers floating in the Sea of Ghosts close to Northshore Landing), the mother lode is available from the tomb entrance of an unknown Nord warrior of yore; in a location known as Stalhrim Source. Expect around 30 chunks of Stalhrim to be chipped out of this area. Finally, and once the Side Quest is done and dusted, expect Glover Mallory or Baldor Iron-Shaper to have a couple of pieces to sell, in case you run out of naturally-occurring mining spots.
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Stalhrim-Shaping: Baldor Iron-Shaper is a master at Stalhrim forging. Rescue him, and he’s happy to teach you a few tricks. Did you know, for example, that Stalhrim doesn’t need smelting? He’s full of fascinating facts.

Regular pick-axes are simply dented by this hardwearing material, meaning you’ll need an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe (or a unique one called Hoarfrost found after finishing Solstheim Side Quest: Unearthed) to mine for Stalhrim. Once you’ve enough raw materials, be sure to stock up on Leather Strips, Steel Ingots, and Quicksilver Ingots in readiness for crafting your own armor. However, not just anyone can make such fine and hardy items; you need the Ebony Smithing Perk, and a Smithing level of 80 or higher. Then craft at a Forge, and upgrade with more Stalhrim at a workbench. The result: A lighter version of Dragonplate armor (for heavy armor), or a lighter version of Dragonscale armor (for light armor). Not bad! As for weapons? When you’ve hammered away at a sword, axe, or mace, expect it to have similar attributes to an ebony weapon, but weigh less. No wonder the Skaal kept these crafting secrets to themselves!

Finally, there’s a hidden set of Stalhrim armor, known as the Deathbrand Armor pieces, scattered in treasure chests around the island. Have you found them all?

How are your armor and weapon creations influenced? Are the environments of Solstheim helpful to your crafting? Tell us about it here.

Until next time, may your Stalhrim deposits always be filled, and your Stalhrim weapons carve deep wounds into your hated foes.

As always, look for the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Revised & Expanded Prima Official Game Guide at a retailer near you!

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