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Skyrim:Message to Whiterun (Stormcloaks)

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Walkthrough: written by Eddie the head, not checked
Reward: written by Secunda, not checked
Deliver an axe to the Jarl of Whiterun.
Quest Giver: Ulfric Stormcloak
Location(s): Whiterun, Windhelm
Prerequisite Quest: The Jagged Crown
Next Quest: Battle for Whiterun
Reward: None
ID: CW03
Ulfric planning a war against Whiterun

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Talk to Ulfric Stormcloak.
  2. Receive Ulfric's War Axe.
  3. Go to Whiterun and give the axe to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater.
  4. Wait for Balgruuf's reply.
  5. Return to Ulfric.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

A Gift for a JarlEdit

Ulfric Stormcloak has decided that it's time to make Whiterun's Jarl Balgruuf the Greater pick a side. Ulfric hopes to avoid bloodshed in Whiterun, so he'll give you an axe (Ulfric's War Axe) and tell you to deliver it to Balgruuf. He has no further message for you to take, as he says that the axe is a gesture between two warriors who understand each other and that Balgruuf will know its meaning.

Making Up His MindEdit

When you speak to Jarl Balgruuf, tell him you have a message from Ulfric. Balgruuf will take the axe, but whether or not the quest proceeds depends on if you've already finished Dragon Rising (and its prerequisite quests Before the Storm and Bleak Falls Barrow). If you've already done Dragon Rising then the quest will continue normally; otherwise Balgruuf will hold on to the axe and postpone making a decision about it until Dragon Rising is complete.

With the time having come to give Ulfric an answer, Balgruuf will discuss the matter with his steward Proventus Avenicci and his housecarl Irileth. Balgruuf will state that he's not entirely happy with Imperial policy, but ultimately he'll decide to side with the Empire. He'll give the axe back to you and begin drafting a letter to negotiate with the Imperial Legion about garrisoning some of their troops in Whiterun.

The Die is CastEdit

Go back to Windhelm and return the axe to Ulfric. He'll be disappointed in Balgruuf's decision, but Galmar will welcome it; he's ready for battle and eager to launch the assault. After a short conversation, Ulfric will issue orders that initiate the next quest: Battle for Whiterun.


  • If you are on The World-Eater's Eyrie quest and Odahviing is still in Dragonsreach, you will not be able to deliver the axe to Jarl Balgruuf.
  • If you have not completed Bleak Falls Barrow and Dragon Rising, you will not be able to deliver the axe to Jarl Balgruuf.
  • Completing this quest places Whiterun under siege and makes the city in its normal state unavailable to you until the completion of Battle for Whiterun.


  • Progressing through Message to Whiterun while Season Unending is still open will block progression for both quests.

Quest StagesEdit

Only stages and objectives relevant to the Stormcloak version of this quest are included in the table.

Message to Whiterun (CW03)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I am to deliver a message to the Jarl of Whiterun. It is time for him to pick a side in the war.
Objective 11: Deliver axe to the Jarl of Whiterun
Objective 16: Assist Jarl Balgruuf with the dragon threat
Objective 20: Wait for the Jarl's response
50 The Jarl of Whiterun has sided with the Empire. I am to inform Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak of this decision.
Objective 50: Deliver axe to Jarl Ulfric
Objective 225: Wait for orders from Jarl Ulfric
240 Finishes quest 
255 Finishes quest  [verification needed — Unused?]
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 1, 2, 15, 30, 40, 199, 200, 230.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage CW03 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest CW03.