If the Dragonborn decides to side with the Stormcloak Rebellion, speak with JarlUlfric Stormcloak at the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm after delivering to him the Jagged Crown. He will explain that it is time to deliver a message to the Imperials of Whiterun and hand over Ulfric's War Axe to deliver to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater in Dragonsreach. Travel to Whiterun and speak with Jarl Balgruuf the Greater. Upon completion of the conversation he will hand you back the axe, signifying that there will be a war. Travel back to the Palace of the Kings and speak with Ulfric Stormcloak once again. Upon completion of this conversation you may have to wait or exit the palace and then return. Upon your reentry Ulfric Stormcloak will initiate a scripted event during which he will request that the Dragonborn report to Galmar Stone-Fist . Speaking to Stormcloak this second time will finish "Message To Whiterun" and start "Battle for Whiterun."
Note: If the Stormcloaks are joined, at this point Whiterun and Dragonsreach will disappear from the map and cannot be reached.
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperial forces, speak with General Tullius in Solitude after delivering the Jagged Crown to him. He tells the Dragonborn to deliver a message to Balgruuf in Dragonsreach. Travel to Whiterun, and speak to the Jarl (be aware that Dragon Rising must be completed before continuing the quest) and deliver the message. Upon delivering, he will converse with Irileth and Proventus Avenicci, and he decides to side with the Imperials. He will give the Dragonborn Balgruuf's War Axe, and ask that it be delivered to Ulfric Stormcloak, signifying that there will be a war. Ulfric will tell the Dragonborn to go back to Dragonsreach and return the axe to Jarl Balgruuf, and that he is disappointed that the Dragonborn did not side with the Stormcloak rebellion. Upon return, Balgruuf will not be surprised that Ulfric returned the axe, and he already requested that Tullius sends Legionnaires to fight for Whiterun. Legate Quentin Cipius will be in Dragonsreach, and the Dragonborn will need to report to him, which ends "Message to Whiterun" and begins "Battle for Whiterun."
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Click to reveal Bugs
PC 360 PS3 The Jarl will sometimes disappear for no reason, the quest will point somewhere around Battle-Born Farm.
360 If you have started the companion questline, there is a chance the Jarl will disappear for the duration of the companion quests.
PC 360 PS3 If you have started the quest Season Unending then there is no option for talking with the Jarl. There are only the dialog options for setting up the trap to capture Odahviing. This is caused by the Civil War being stopped entirely after the meeting at High Hrothgar and the dialog option will return after completing the game.
PC After giving the axe to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, if you talk to Ulfric Stormcloak, he can ask you to deliver Ulfric's War Axe to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater again.
PC 360 PS3 Sometimes when you try to finish the quest by talking to Legate Quentin Cipius he will not chat with you and instead say random lines about the war, making it impossible to carry on the quest (leaving the area and/or waiting seems to fix this). Sometimes there is no fix and the quest is permanently stuck.
PS3 Sometimes when talking to Legate Quentin Cipius, he will already be in a dialogue with an Imperial Soldier. Upon opening dialogue with the Legate, the imperial soldier will disappear. This, while funny, causes no known negative effects with the game.
PS3 If Legate Quenting Cipius is found sleeping upstairs above the Jarl's throne, sometimes he will not get up when speaking to you, nor will his mouth move.
If you join the Stormcloaks and deliver the Jagged Crown to Ulfric and HAVE NOT finished "Before the Storm," Jarl Balgruuf will not speak to you until you finish Dragon's Rising, and you cannot deliver the Axe from Ulfric. Also, Irileth and the Whiterun soldiers will disappear, leaving you to kill the Dragon on your own in Dragon rising. The guards will appear shortly after you kill the dragon. Go through the dialogue with Balgruuf about being a Dragonborn, then he will be able to receive the axe.
360 Sometimes if you start the quest before finishing Dragon's Rising you cannot finish the quest after finishing Dragon's Rising.
360 PS3 Theres a high possibility that Ulfric will issue you the "Message to Whiterun" quest before completing "The Jagged Crown", this can seem as if you can not complete either questline, simply visit Galmar, he will give you new orders to speak to Ulfric, completing "The Jagged Crown" and then go through the dialogue again for the "Message to Whiterun" questline, and it will resolve.
360 Sometimes the Jarl can talk to Proventus Avenicci and ask "Proventus, What do you make of all this?" and then not say anything else, reloading a previous save will fix this.
360 It is possible that Ulfric will NOT offer the next quest dialogue. There are no known fixes for this.
Sometimes when you go to Castle Dour to receive the message from Tullius after completing the quest The Jagged Crown, the dialog option to start the quest won't appear.
PC General Tulius may take the crown from the Dragonborn, but won't provide him the letter to Balgruuf, delaying the quest even further.
If the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials and goes to report to Legate Quentin Cipius, sometimes Cipius does not appear. But Balgruuf and the random Imperial soldier speak as if Cipius is actually there.