Arriving in Karthspire or meeting up at the entrance to the Karthspire camp, the group will encounter a number of leveled Forsworn and a Hagraven. Note: The lower wooden bridge continues up the hill to the other side where there are more Forsworn. If they aren't killed initially, they will attack from above with Ice Spike on the way into Karthspire (Sky Haven Temple).
A dragon may also spawn at the camp, on some occasions, increasing the chaos in the camp. The dragon might attack both the Dragonborn and his allies, as well as the Forsworn. The attacking dragon may be as high as an ancient dragon, even if the Dragonborn is low level.
Upon entering into the caverns, there will be an encounter with several more Forsworn. Delphine and Esbern run ahead, allowing the Dragonborn to look for loot. There's an iron ore vein in the bottom area of the first section. They stop at the first puzzle, which controls a drop-bridge that further passage into the mountain. The puzzle solution, with Esbern's hint, is to align them so that all three show the "Dragonborn symbol" (Dragon, Dragon, Dragon). Once the bridges drop, the group can cross and go higher into the mountain.
Again, the party stops when Esbern looks ahead and sees danger in a patio area consisting of pressure plates with symbols on them. Esbern points out the Dragonborn symbol and, sure enough, walking only on these plates allows safe passage across to where a chain can be pulled that disarms the trap part of the plates. Note that any follower will cause interference while walking across the pressure plates, but this can be avoided by telling the follower to wait while the puzzle is crossed. Once the chain is pulled, Esbern and Delphine run ahead. At this point, a follower can be told to "follow" again without causing problems. Note that Whirlwind Sprint can be used to get across and quickly pull the chain. Another method is to use the "Become Etheral" shout and simply walk across the plates, taking no damage. If the drawbridge was opened before Esbern says anything about turning the pillars, it is possible to run ahead and just pull the chain without the pressure plates being activated.
The tunnel opens up into a large room just prior to the Temple. In the wall ahead, there is a very large stone face, and a few feet in front of the face is a circular platform. Esbern thinks the entrance will open if the Dragonborn sheds a few drops of blood onto the pressure plate. If the plate is activated, a cut-scene plays showing the Dragonborn's hand being cut to dribble some blood on the plate. The face slides up and reveals a doorway. A treasure chest with a quicksilver vein can be seen to the right. Note: The plate cannot be activated if the quest is not active.
Instead of racing ahead like they have until now, Esbern and Delphine decide that the Dragonborn should have the honor of being the first to enter the great Sky Haven Temple. As a large, open room is approached with a large table and a carved stone frieze, Esbern reverts to historical scholar. As he examines the frieze wall, he explains that it tells the story of Alduin's time of dragon rule, the human rebellion led by those who could "shout," and finally a panel that shows Alduin defeated by a Shout. Esbern fears that only this Shout will defeat Alduin. Delphine isn't pleased about involving the Greybeards at High Hrothgar but agrees that it is necessary to return to them and ask to learn that Shout.
After the conversation with Esbern, he offers a Dragonslayer's Blessing that will increase the chance to gain critical hits against dragons by 10% for 5 days. It is possible to can talk to him and get the blessing again, but he advises that it should only be obtained if battles with dragons are expected.
The room on the opposite side from Alduin's Wall (to the left at the top of the stairs) has a complete set of Blades Heavy Armor and the sword Dragonbane (a weapon that is especially effective against dragons). An upper room has a number of beds and chests. Delphine decides the Temple will be the new Blades headquarters. If there are worthy warriors who will drop previous allegiances and swear to the Blades, they may be sent them to Delphine at the Temple to build up the numbers of Blades.
The exit indicator takes the Dragonborn back through the entire Sky Haven Temple, then through Karthspire to the entrance. It is possible, however, to exit from the Temple quickly. Starting at Alduin's Wall, to the left is a staircase. The left doorway leads to the Blades (Skyrim) sleeping quarters. The right doorway leads to a staircase up. Turning right, heading down the corridor, then left up another staircase, the Dragonborn ends up directly behind and above Alduin's Wall. There are 5 doors leading out to a courtyard, where the Dragonborn can fast travel to their next destination. In the courtyard, there are a couple of archery targets and a practice dummy, hanging moss, juniper berries in the juniper trees, and a stump with mora tapinella.
There is a room that is not on the map, to the west of the northwestern room. In that room are a number of beds and chests with gold and various hides. From the main room, this unmapped room is up the stairs to the left of the floor area with 4 chairs (behind the table). At the first landing, on the left (west) side, there is another set of stairs that leads to the sleeping area.
I've gotten to the Blades loremaster Esbern ahead of the Thalmor. I hope he's as knowledgeable about dragons as Delphine promised.
Objective: Escort Esbern to Riverwood
Objective: Talk to Esbern
I found the Blades loremaster Esbern and brought him to Riverwood to talk to Delphine. He believes that the secret to defeating Alduin will be revealed by Alduin's Wall, an artifact created by the ancient Blades. We need to go to Sky Haven Temple to find Alduin's Wall and see what it can tell us.
Objective: Gain entrance to Sky Haven Temple
Objective: Learn the secret of Alduin's Wall
I found the Blades loremaster Esbern and brought him to Riverwood to talk to Delphine. He believed that the secret to defeating Alduin would be revealed by Alduin's Wall, an artifact created by the ancient Blades. We went to the hidden Blades stronghold of Sky Haven Temple, and found Alduin's Wall inside. It showed that Alduin was defeated in the past by some kind of Shout.
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If there is trouble talking to Esbern (for example, after getting to the Sleeping Giant Inn, Delphine may be stuck saying 'Let's hear what Esbern has to say' and he doesn't say anything). In this case, exiting the Inn and fast-travelling or waiting, then re-entering the Inn may resolve the issue. They should be waiting in Delphine's secret room.
Sometimes Esbern and Delphine may get stuck behind the Inn's counter when there are several NPCs, such as followers. Bumping into them while running may force them to move.
PC There may be no option to activate the seal on the ground when arriving at the stone face door of the temple after Esbern has mentioned it
A possible solution is to exit and reenter Karthspire (using the same cave entrance used to get to Karthspire, instead of fast traveling).
The console command setstage MQ203 200 can be used. This will activate the blood seal and open the door, without skipping any stages of the main quest.
PC If errors that cannot be bypassed are encountered during Alduin's Wall, the quest can be skipped through the console using setstage MQ203 280. Saving is recommended prior to doing this, since access to Sky Haven Temple may not be available after doing this. Sometimes, using this console command to complete will result in Esbern and Delphine getting stuck near the beginning of the puzzles. Using resetquest MQ203 will add the quest back into the quest log, but the NPCs will advance in to the temple.
There have been instances in which Esbern disappears when the Dragonborn fast travels. If this happens, a solution is to return to The Ratway Warrens. Once near Esbern's room, he should reappear and engage in combat with various Thalmor enemies. However, Esbern will not "follow" the Dragonborn despite being described as following. Esbern will walk at a slow pace from the Warrens in Riften to the objective in Riverwood. Waiting or fast traveling again will cause him to permanently disappear. This requires that he is followed for around 2 hours real-time.
If following Esbern, his path will often become confused, making him go in reverse. This is correctable by aiming an unrelenting force shout at him in the direction of the objective, knocking him down the path and heading in the correct direction. All of this can be circumvented on PC by going into the console (`), clicking on him, fast traveling to Riverwood, and using the "moveto player" command (NPC ID 19DFD) instead of waiting around for two hours.
An alternate solution is available by leaving Riften, fast-traveling to Riverwood, going into the inn, and waiting 48 hours. Esbern should now be there.
The trap that released two spiked maces at the first door in The Ratway Warrens may appear across the door. It will then be unspringable, and the Dragonborn will not be able to go any further. Telling Esbern to lead will show him running against the tripwire for 30 seconds, then appearing beyond it. The Dragonborn cannot jump over it or run through it. Reloading does not change this bug.
The PC solution above (using the command console to go to Riverwood and then summon him) is the only way around this bug.
NPC's may disappear from the location after forcing the quest to completion. (The main questline will still work.)
When Esbern's conversation is skipped too fast, it might not trigger Delphine's dialogue. To correct this, talking to Esbern again, then canceling the conversation, should trigger Delphine's next dialog.
If Karthspire and Sky Haven Temple were found before starting this part of the main quest, and the Dragonborn has already completed the puzzles there, traveling directly to the Temple should be avoided. Esbern and Delphine will meet the Dragonborn in front of the temple, but upon opening it, they will run back to the first puzzle and not move. If this happens, reloading a save back before Delphine and Esbern's reunion may resolve it. When Dephine asks if the Dragonborn would like to meet them at Karthspire, or go as a group, he or she should choose to meet them there. Going outside and waiting for about 12 hours should give enough time to show their quest marker is already at Karthspire. Fast traveling directly to Sky Haven Temple, then waiting for a few more hours, should cause them to appear at the entrance of the temple.
In order to fix the bug above, reloading to a point before the cave was visited, then fast traveling to kargath camp (outside of the cave), entering the cave and running to the first bridge should result in NPCs getting stuck at the bridge and not moving. Now running to the quest arrow (the big face on that opens when blood is put on the seal), then running back to where the NPCs are should cause them to start moving towards the main quest area. Once the quest area is reached, it is possible to proceed as normal until the NPCs say something like "you go ahead." At this point, instead of going ahead, the Dragonborn should run behind the male NPC and use the level 3 force shout to throw him into the now open hallway behind the face. The quest should then proceed normally.
PC Another fix for the above is to stand behind Delphine with a two handed weapon while constantly holding the 'block' button. She will slowly move forward, and, with the help from an occasional level 3 shout, she can be moved to the big room with the chest in the middle. When she arrives there, the quest should continue as normal.
Delphine may randomly try to kill the Dragonborn. When this happens, the main quest can not be finished. Reloading a previous save is required. Frequent saves are suggested because this bug happens very often. Alternatively, Delphine may be attacking because there is a bounty. Paying it or casting an upper-level calm or pacify spell on her allows completion of the quest. If any weapons were taken from her hidden room under the inn, or anything stolen, returning to the inn and dropping the items seems to resolve the problem.
Esbern might disappear when entering the last room of the temple, having the objective marker positioned inside Alduin's Wall. Heading upstairs, exiting the temple through the door, then heading back in may cause Esbern to be back in front of the Wall. Alternatively, waiting for an hour will eventually result in Esbern entering with Delphine. Another option is picking up Dragonbane if not already picked up, and perhaps Esbern will return.
Esbern might be injured or crawling along on one leg after getting inside. If this happens it will take a long time for him to get up the steps, and he won't be able to activate the tile even after talking to him. Using Healing Hands on him may not work. Reloading to a previous save should bring him back to normal.
Esbern and Delphine may become invincible, making the quest impossible to complete.
Esbern may get stuck in fighting position after the first Forsworn fight inside of Karthspire and will not follow. This can be fixed by exiting the cave then going in again and going to the seal where Esbern should be.
After killing the Forsworn and before entering the Sky Haven Temple, Esbern and Delphine will follow the Dragonborn any place. This can provide temporary followers for other quests. Both are very useful for combat. However, it is unsure whether dragging them around will cause any other glitches.
Sometimes if this is done it is possible that Esbern will try to attack an existing follower randomly (only seen with Iona).
If "The Silver Hand" quest is currently being done, Aela will follow. This proves troublesome, however, as there is no way to tell her to wait when reaching the pressure plates.
Sometimes Esbern and Delphine will be stuck in attack position in the final room with Alduin's Wall. This makes the quest unable to be completed as Esbern cannot be talked to while he's attacking.
To fix the above, waiting for 10 hours this will allow Esbern to continue to Alduin's Wall.
After killing the Forsworn inside the cave entrance, Esbern and Delphine will become stuck simply standing, but they are able to talk to the Dragonborn. This will prevent them from discussing the first puzzle. To fix this, exiting and re-entering the cave will cause them both to teleport in front of the first puzzle.
Sometimes after activating the Blood Seal, the console might freeze.