- Agree to help Danica Pure-Spring restore the Gildergreen.
- Head to Orphan Rock and claim Nettlebane.
- Return to Danica, who sends you to the Eldergleam Sanctuary.
- (Optional) Escort Maurice Jondrelle to Eldergleam.
- Use Nettlebane to cut through the roots, then make a choice:
- Return to Danica to complete the quest.
The only temple dedicated to Kynareth, goddess of air, wind, and sky, is located in Whiterun and is being maintained by priestess Danica Pure-Spring. Just outside the temple grows the Gildergreen, a tree planted in the earliest days of Whiterun and considered holy by worshippers of Kynareth. However, the tree was recently struck by lightning and has faded away, much to the dismay of traveling pilgrims and the citizens of Whiterun. Danica Pure-Spring, while willing to solve the problem with the sacred tree, has her hands full due to the civil war, so the tree is still dead. If you ask innkeeper Hulda or local bard Mikael for the latest gossip, they will both tell you about the state of the tree and point you towards Danica Pure-Spring. Danica can be found sitting underneath the tree every morning from 7am, trying to get someone to help her out; otherwise she will be in the temple tending to the sick and injured. When you talk to her, she will immediately complain about the situation, and explain what needs to be done to make it bloom again.
The Gildergreen was grown from a cutting of the legendary Eldergleam, an ancient tree said to be thousands of years old, from before the Atmorans set foot in Skyrim. Danica claims that sap from the parent tree can be used to restore the Gildergreen to its former glory, but there is a catch. The Eldergleam can't be cut with a normal weapon, so you will have to deal with hagravens and claim the dagger they made to kill spriggans, named Nettlebane. Danica then sends you off to Orphan Rock, a hagraven nest northeast of Helgen.
As you approach Orphan Rock, you will find the surrounding area protected by four residing witches, two of them on the ground below the rock and two more witches near a camp further up the slope. They will attack you on sight and use lower-level destruction spells to keep you away from Orphan Rock and its unique treasure. The rock itself is accessed via a fallen-down tree stump and is protected by a single hagraven who will use fire spells on you. She can be difficult to deal with at lower levels, so it's advisable to try to kill the witches first before alerting her to your presence. Once you've disposed of the hagraven claim Nettlebane from the corpse, then loot Orphan Rock of valuables.
An Angry PilgrimEdit
Back in the Temple of Kynareth, Danica has received a visit from a traveling pilgrim, namely Maurice Jondrelle who is understandably upset about the current state of the Gildergreen and now spends his time bothering the busy priestess:
Maurice: "What is it... what has happened to the Gildergreen? I have traveled long here to worship beneath its branches."
Danica: "It was taken by a lightning strike. Wish I had time to deal with it, but it's hard enough with all these wounded from the war."
Maurice: "Please, don't just let it stay like this. It's disgraceful."
Danica: "I really don't have time to deal with you right now. Please just let me get back to my work."
Maurice: "But this is supposed to be your work."
When you show Danica the dagger you acquired from the hagraven, she will be quite surprised but will refuse to touch it, leading to her asking for another favor. You are to travel to the Eldergleam Sanctuary and retrieve some of its sap. From his spot in the corner, Maurice Jondrelle will overhear the conversation and will quickly seek you out and ask if he can accompany you on the journey. He reasons that he always wanted to visit the tree of legend, so let him tag along for the ride. You can also refuse to let him tag along, but then you will miss out on some important opportunities later on.
Maurice is not your average follower and can't be given orders. Additionally, he is overly aggressive for an unarmed pilgrim and will attack any enemy you encounter, even dragons. Save your game when leaving the temple (or see notes), then travel towards the Eldergleam Sanctuary, located near the sulphurous pools and hot springs of Eastmarch, and slightly north from Darkwater Crossing. Do your best to keep Maurice out of trouble, then enter the sanctuary.
The Eldergleam Sanctuary is a large, naturally-lit cave inhabited by peaceful followers of Kynareth and contains the legendary tree in all its glory, its roots twisting and turning across the chamber, effectively blocking the path to the tree itself. Maurice will be understandably impressed with the place but will be quite shocked when you pull out Nettlebane. Hack away at the four roots and watch them bend away from the path. When you reach the top, an important choice is to be made, as Maurice will walk up to you and accuse you of disrespecting a true miracle of Kynareth. You can either choose to hear him out, which will result in a peaceful solution – or you can choose to ignore him and use Nettlebane to extract the sap, and awaken the wrath of Kynareth.
A prayer to KynarethIf you choose to listen to Maurice, he will reveal that he can solve Danica's problem without resorting to violence against the sacred tree. Agree to let him help and he will walk up to the tree, get down on his knees and pray silently to Kynareth. Moments afterward, a sapling will emerge from the ground and a happy Maurice will convince you that this is the correct solution, even if Danica will be unhappy: Danica will want to see that the true blessings of nature lie in renewal, not a slavish maintenance. Pick up the sapling and watch Maurice start a new life in the Sanctuary. Return to Danica in Whiterun, and tell her that you received a sapling instead of the sap. She will be skeptical about replacing the huge Gildergreen with a small sapling, but will eventually recognize it as the best solution. She will then finish the quest and will offer master training in Restoration. The next time you visit Whiterun, the Gildergreen will be growing again (see bugs).
Wrath of KynarethIf you choose to ignore Maurice (assuming he came with you), he will stand back as you cut the tree to extract the sap. As soon as you have acquired it, he will turn hostile and attack. Additionally, several spriggans will show up in the chamber, including a very powerful boss-leveled spriggan. They will usually kill the peaceful inhabitants and will obviously go directly after you. Dispose of Maurice (if he's there) and the spriggans. After the battle, receive the limited treasure from the now empty sanctuary and leave the same way you came. Back in Whiterun, Danica will be quite happy when you hand her the sap and will reward you with her services as a master level trainer in Restoration. This will end the quest and return the Gildergreen to its original, glorious state the next time you visit Whiterun.
- One way to keep Maurice out of trouble is to travel to the Eldergleam Sanctuary before you speak to him, then fast-travel to the Sanctuary when he follows you.
- Completing this quest counts towards the Sideways achievement, regardless of whether you bring Danica the sap or the sapling (i.e., quest stages 100 and 105 both qualify).
- Maurice may not initiate the conversation asking to join you on your trip to the sanctuary. Returning to the temple may trigger a scene where he asks to join you.
- Maurice Jondrelle may not initiate conversation after clearing the roots.
- This may be fixed by traveling back down the path after cutting the roots.
- If you choose the sapling option, the Gildergreen in Whiterun will show the new sapling growing inside the frame of the old tree. This is because the old tree is not removed by the game. The sap option avoids this problem and allows Gildergreen to fully bloom over time.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- This can be fixed by using the following console commands:
prid 00046360followed by
- If you complete Battle for Whiterun (Imperial or Stormcloaks) after doing this quest, the tree may disappear forever. Other times, it will disappear, but if you quick-save and quick-load, the tree will reappear again.
- If you travel to the Sanctuary and clear out some of the roots, but then decide you'd rather have Maurice's help rather than fight the spriggans, when you return to the Temple he will confront you with the usual dialogue, except immediately afterwards he will jump to the "I had no idea you were a man of violence!" portion of the dialogue as if he were there to see you cut the roots. You will then have the conversation about what to do while still in the temple, and it will jump to "Follow Maurice" stage of the quest. He will run out of the temple and all the way to the Sanctuary. If you fast travel to the sanctuary he will already be standing next to the tree.
|Stage||Finishes Quest||Journal Entry|
Objective 10: Talk to Danica about the Gildergreen being destroyed
|The Blessings of Nature (T03)|
|20||I've agreed to help Danica Pure-Spring repair the Gildergreen, the large tree outside the Temple of Kynareth in Whiterun.
Objective 20: Retrieve Nettlebane
Objective 30: Bring Nettlebane to Danica
Objective 40: Retrieve Eldergleam sap
Objective 50: Follow Maurice
Objective 55: Take sapling
|70||(Triggers the hostile Spriggans in Eldergleam Grove)
Objective 70: Return to Danica
Objective 75: Return to Danica
|100||I helped Danica Pure-Spring repair the Gildergreen, a large tree central to the worship of Kynareth in Skyrim.|
|105||I brought a sapling to Whiterun that will one day be the new Gildergreen, a tree sacred to the Temple of Kynareth.|
Objective 10: Inspect the Temple of Kynareth
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 5, 200.