|Grelod the Kind
|Primary Skills||Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, One-handed, Two-handed|
|Faction(s)||Actors dead bodies won't trigger World Interactions; CrimeFactionRift; FavorExcludedFaction; Riften Honorhall Orphanage Faction; TownRiftenFaction|
Grelod the Kind is the elderly sadistic headmistress of the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften. She beats the children and refuses to allow their adoption. During the quest Innocence Lost, Aventus Aretino, an escapee from the orphanage, is attempting to contact the Dark Brotherhood to arrange for her assassination.
With nothing better to do in life, Grelod spends her entire day surrounded by the children she hates, from the time she wakes up at 5am until she goes to bed at 1am. When not yelling at her assistant Constance Michel, she isolates herself in her room or wanders restlessly around the orphanage, occasionally cooking a meal at the cooking pot in the sleeping area. At 10am she escorts the four children outside to the small yard behind the house and watches them play for a single hour. At 3pm, the orphans are allowed a one-hour meal and Grelod will join them. The only exception to this routine is when you enter the orphanage for the very first time, when she will give a cold-hearted speech to the children, basically telling them how worthless they are:
Grelod: "Those who shirk their duties will get an extra beating. Do I make myself clear?"
Orphans: "Yes, Grelod."
Grelod: "And one more thing! I will hear no more talk of adoptions! None of you riff-raff is getting adopted. Ever! Nobody needs you, nobody wants you. That, my darlings, is why you're here. Why you will always be here, until the day you come of age and get thrown into that wide, horrible world. Now, what do you all say?"
Orphans: "We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness."
Grelod: "That's better. Now scurry off, my little guttersnipes."
After this speech, Grelod will return to avoiding the children, but asking Constance will reveal the truth about Honorhall Orphanage: "Sadly, yes. Even the townsfolk have taken to calling her 'Grelod the Kind.' Her very existence has become something of a running joke. Grelod runs this orphanage because she's old, and set in her ways, and doesn't know any other life. These children need love, and comfort. I try... But... I'm sorry, you should go. The children aren't up for adoption, and it's cruel to get their hopes up. Besides, Grelod hates... visitors." While Constance sincerely cares about the welfare of the residents, talking to Grelod herself reveals how hostile she is to everybody: "What do you want? You have no business being in here!", "Riff-raff! That's all you Riften people are!" and "This is an orphanage, not an inn. Begone from here." Additionally, if you aim to hand the cold-hearted woman one of Dinya Balu's heart-warming pamphlets during Spread the Love, you will be rejected right away: "Unless Mara wishes to come down and help me with these urchins, I don't really give a damn about her blessings."
The children in the orphanage are not the only ones suffering from Grelod's tyranny and bad moods. Every once in a while, Grelod will yell "Constance!" and her assistant will respond with a tired "Yes, Grelod?" This will start a number of mean-spirited complaints about the children's behavior, followed by a few long-suffering responses from Constance:
"Samuel is getting to be a problem. Fancies himself something of a 'leader' to the other children. Put an end to the nonsense, or I will."
"Hroar's crying is keeping me up at night. I'll give you one chance to talk the tears out of him, or he's getting the belt."
"I can't abide Samuel's constant talk of his parents. 'They're coming for me.' 'This is only temporary.' The boy must accept his fate."
"Seven septims are missing from my purse. I know it was Runa. You get those coins back, or by Stendarr, I'll see her rot in the dungeon."
"This place is filthy. I've a mind to cancel all town privileges unless those brats start pulling their weight."
"The stores are running low. We'll need to water down the milk again. Besides, don't want the little darlings getting fat."
"We haven't had an adoption in months. At this rate, we'll be stuck with these brats forever. We need to get the word out. A sale, if need be."
"All right. I'll take care of it."
"I'll handle it. No need to blow things out of proportion."
"Please, just let me handle it. It's not a problem."
"Okay, okay. I'll deal with it."
In Windhelm, a former resident of Honorhall Orphanage, Aventus Aretino, lives alone in his former house. He is known all over Skyrim as the kid who tries to summon the Dark Brotherhood for a kill. When you break into his house, you will find the orphan kneeling next to a skeleton, body parts, and lit candles, chanting: "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear.", followed by either "Grelod, you old crone. You'll get what you deserve. The Dark Brotherhood will see to that..." or "Die, Grelod! Die!" After a brief introduction, Aventus will explain who he wants killed: "My mother, she... she died. I... I'm all alone now. So they sent me to that terrible orphanage in Riften. Honorhall. The headmistress is an evil, cruel woman. They call her Grelod the Kind. But she's not kind. She's terrible. To all of us. So I ran away, and came home. And performed the Black Sacrament. Now you're here! And you can kill Grelod the Kind!" When you ask him if he is sure about this, he will quickly respond, "I've never been more sure about anything in my entire life. Someone like Grelod doesn't deserve to live one more day. She's a monster."
Back in the Orphanage, Grelod will now be a bit more talkative, although stubborn and impossible to scare. Three options will be available to you, but will have absolutely no impact on Grelod, who will just send you away:
The Dark Brotherhood has come for you.
"The what? Why how dare you! I will not be intimidated in my own orphanage! Get out! Get out this instant!"
Aventus Aretino says hello.
"Aretino? Why that little bastard! You tell him I'm coming for him! And when I find him, it will be the beating of his miserable life!"
"What are you staring at, you worthless piece of gutter trash? I simply must start locking the doors again..."
After any one of her rejections, she will not speak to you again and will only say, "You're trying to frighten me, hmm? Do your worst!" or "You don't scare me." However, if you want initiation into the Dark Brotherhood, you must fulfill Aventus' contract, thus helping him get revenge and freeing the other orphans. The orphans will have more than enough to say about the mean leader of Honorhall, both before and after the deed is done:
|Orphan||Before quest||During quest||Grelod dead|
|Francois Beaufort||"I do hope mummy and father come to get me soon. Ever since that Aventus boy left, Grelod has been so angry."||"Miss Grelod is... well she's a terrible old crone. No person could be that cruel. I think she's part hagraven. She only lets us out in the yard once. In the morning. And she just stands there watching us. Like I said. Hagraven."||"We love you, Dark Brotherhood! Ha ha ha ha ha!"|
|"You look kind of scary. But nobody is scarier than old Grelod."||"I can't believe it! Grelod is dead! She's really dead!"|
|Hroar||"Please, mister/lady. You got to get me out of here. Ever since Aventus left, Grelod's been even meaner than usual. I swear, she's going to kill one of us."||"I ain't afraid of the old hag. Still, I wish Constance was in charge. She treats us real good. Constance, sometimes she gives me little snacks. Which is good, 'cause we only get but one meal. Late, too, in the afternoon."||"Whoa! They killed Grelod! Ha ha ha ha ha!"|
|"Someone has killed Grelod! Ha ha ha ha ha!"|
|"When Aventus escaped, Grelod got meaner than ever. I really thought she was going to kill one of us. Guess not!"|
|Runa Fair-Shield||"I'm really afraid of Grelod. When Aventus escaped, she was so mad. I got double the beatings that day."||"I hate her. Everyone hates her. She's the meanest person I ever met. Sometimes she even locks us in the... room. Constance tries to stop her, and is real good to us, but it's never enough."||"Aventus really did it! He got the Dark Brotherhood to kill old Grelod! Ha ha ha ha ha!"|
|"Grelod is dead! Aventus did it! Ha ha ha ha ha!"|
|"I hate it here. Grelod the Kind is the meanest person in all of Skyrim."||"Kill one person, and you can solve so many problems. I wonder at the possibilities."|
|Samuel||"Come to get yourself a kid? You're out of luck. No way Grelod will let any of us get adopted. Especially not since Aventus took off."||"Sometimes, when she goes to her room to work or sleep, I slip out for a bit. Noontime, every day - that's when I hit the streets. A boy's gotta make a livin', right?"||"Ha ha ha ha ha! Hooray!"|
|"Hooray! Grelod the Kind is dead at last! We're saved!"|
|"Grelod ain't going to like some stranger just hangin' around. Not that I care."||"When Aventus took off, when he said those things, about killing Grelod... I never imagined he was serious..."|
Grelod's final word in life will be a long "Aiiiiiiieeeeeeee!!" when she finally dies and Honorhall Orphanage is freed from her tyranny. With Grelod dead, all the orphans will cheer as a brighter future lies ahead, although Constance Michel will be understandably shocked at the incident and will run around screaming. She will quickly get over it and Aventus Aretino will be grateful back in Windhelm. The only ones remembering Grelod the Kind will be a few guards, with differing opinions on her leadership and death, saying, "That old woman who runs the orphanage has been murdered. Say, didn't I see you coming out of there...?", "Been a murder, over in Riften. Some old lady who runs an orphanage. Those poor children must be heartbroken." and "You ask me, those brats in the orphanage are better off, now that old Grelod is dead." Lastly, Astrid will notice the kill and will later comment: "I'll cut right to it. You murdered the old woman in the orphanage. You owe the Dark Brotherhood a kill. I've come to collect." She will then elaborate: "Half of Skyrim knows. Old hag gets butchered in her own orphanage? Things like that tend to get around. Oh, but don't misunderstand. I'm not criticizing. It was a good kill. Old crone had it coming. And you saved a group of urchins, to boot."