Ok guys, I’m just writing this short article to warn you about the first serious bug I’ve encountered in Skyrim. This bug will basically break the Companion’s questline and the town of Whiterun as well. It’s avoidable and fixable though and I’m going to tell you how.
Near the end of the Companions questline you will get a quest from Kodlak to kill some witches in a cave. There is a miscellanious quest called “The Helm of Winterhold” which you get off the Jarl of Winterhold. If you have “The Helm of Winterhold” quest DO NOT DO THE COMPANIONS QUEST – it will break and you will not be able to get the next quest in that questline!! This happened to me and I lost roughly an hour’s worth of gameplay trying to fix it. Basically, the Helm quest and the next Companions quest use the same dungeon (Driftshade Refuge I think it’s called), and if you have the Helm quest the game will bug and fail to give you the Companions one.
Here’s what you have to do: if you have the Helm of Winterhold quest then you have to do that before you do the Companions quest to kill the witches. (If you don’t have the Helm quest then you’re fine – just don’t talk to the damn Jarl of Winterhold until you’ve finished the Companions!). Be careful though: don’t kill the enemies (particularly the boss enemy) at the end of the dungeon – these enemies are objectives of the Companions quest. To do the Helm quest you have to fight through Driftshade Refuge, going through its cellar to get to the room at the back where the Helm is hidden. The simple answer is to stop killing stuff as soon as you leave the cellar. Grab the Helm, lift the bar on the door, and run for your life! It’s safe to kill the enemies in the cellar and before you enter the cellar so feel free to let loose you rage at silly bugs on them 😀
Once you hand in the Helm of Winterhold the Companions quest will work properly for you. In fact, the Companions quest will be easier because you will have opened the barred door which leads straight to the boss’ room! Hopefully this article will help people to avoid this bug and to fix it. As I said, it’s the first real bug I’ve encountered in this game. If there’s anything about fixing this bug that is unclear please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer. Best of luck!