|The Book of Love|
|Quest Giver||Dinya Balu|
|Location||Temple of Mara in Riften|
|Prerequisite||Speak with Dinya Balu|
|Reward||Agent of Mara blessing |
Amulet of Mara
This quest begins in the Temple of Mara in the city of Riften. It is given to the Dragonborn by Dinya Balu, one of the priestesses, when asking for the Blessing of Mara. To earn the Goddess of Love's favor, Dinya sends the Dragonborn to the village of Ivarstead to help a local girl with a love problem.
This quest is easily located by entering the town of Riften and following the path on the left towards Mistveil Keep. The Temple of Mara is clearly marked by a pair of guards standing before an opening in the stone wall with twin banners hanging behind them. Enter the Temple and speak with Dinya Balu, the Head Priestess of the Temple, and request Mara's Blessing. She will say that one must prove themselves worthy of the blessing by advancing the cause of love throughout Skyrim, and relays a vision sent to her by the Goddess to visit a small village called Ivarstead to the west of Riften. Head west to Ivarstead.
Upon arriving at the hamlet of Ivarstead, they are prompted to speak with a girl named Fastred, who is in something of a conundrum with her parents. Fastred fancies herself in love with a local man named Bassianus Axius, but her parents disapprove of their choice to leave Ivarstead for Riften. After speaking with Fastred, speak with her mother and father as well.
Speaking with the mother will reveal that she does not disapprove of Bassianus, and would allow the pair to elope while she took care of informing her husband. Speaking with Fastred's father will show he thinks his daughter is a rather fickle young woman whose affections change frequently. He will state that, up until very recently, Fastred was infatuated with another local man by the name of Klimmek, and that he is concerned that Fastred will leave the rapidly shrinking village for good if she chooses to leave with Bassianus.
There are two choices: Head to the local inn to inform Bassianus that Fastred's mother is willing to run interference so that he and his love interest can elope to Riften, or investigate Klimmek's past relationship with Fastred. Confronting Klimmek will result in the fisherman realizing that he must be assertive with his feelings for Fastred, and let her know that he wants to be with her. Additionally if this path is taken, Bassianus moves to Riften alone. Speaking with Bassianus will result in Fastred and Bassianus eloping to Riften, never to return to Ivarstead. Choosing either will result in the quest advancing.
Next, return to Riften to learn that the Goddess requires a journey far to the west, to the city of Markarth to stoke the flames of love in the heart of Calcelmo, the eccentric Dwemer researcher and court magician in Understone Keep.
Calcelmo is experiencing a difficult situation. He's attracted to a woman named Faleen, who works in the keep, but has no idea how to speak with her. Fearing the possibility of offending her in some way by bringing up the wrong subject, Calcelmo asks the Dragonborn to get advice from a friend of Faleen's named Yngvar, who is reputed to be quite successful with the local ladies.
This ladies-man can be found in the Treasury House at night or in the Silver-Blood Inn by day. He is also often found resting against a rock by the stream, just opposite the Abandoned House. If Stormcloaks have taken the city, he will be the new Jarl's housecarl. He will reveal that Faleen puts on a tough front, but has a weakness for poetry. It just so happens that Yngvar has a poem that he can tweak to be about Faleen... for a sum of 200 gold. Pay the piper and take the poem back to Understone Keep and speak with the lucky lady.
After prompting Faleen to read "Calcelmo's" poem, she will ask that a letter be delivered to the bumbling researcher. Head back to Calcelmo, give him the letter, and proceed to follow him and witness his stumbling confession. If Faleen is in Solitude, it will take several hours for Calcelmo to walk all the way from Markarth to Solitude so proceed with other quests until a notification shows up in the quest journal that Calcelmo has spoken with Faleen, or wait for four hours and he will be there. With the job in Markarth complete, return to the Temple of Mara for the next objective.
- If Stormcloaks have taken Markarth, Faleen will be found in the lower floor of the Blue Palace in Solitude, rather than Understone Keep. Yngvar will be in the Understone keep as the Jarl's housecarl.
For the final task, Mara requests that two lovers be reunited who have lost one another beyond the pale of death.
Put on the amulet given and travel south-southeast of Rorikstead to find the spirit of Ruki, looking for the body of her husband Fenrig among the ruins. Speak with her and she will ask for help looking for her husband's body. With no corpses present in the area, head northeast towards an open plain. The spirit of Ruki's husband is just east of Greenspring Hollow on the south side of that river.
Speak with him and he will ask to be led back to Ruki. At this point, either choose to fast travel back to Gjukar's Monument, or take the scenic route. After reaching Ruki, the two dead lovers will speak briefly, and ascend towards the heavens as they pledge eternal love for one another. They do not seem to know that they are dead.
- The name of the quest may be a reference to the song "The Book of Love" by the Magnetic Fields, covered by Peter Gabriel.
- If the Stormcloaks to take control of Markarth in Season Unending, and the Empire retakes the Hold, Yngvar will be found in Windhelm in the Palace of the Kings, as the trade of territories will have resulted in him being appointed housecarl to replace Jarl Thongvor Silver-Blood, who will have moved to the Palace after the Imperials reinstate Jarl Igmund.
- Even after moving to Riften, Bassianus (and Fastred if they elope) will still have their dialogue as if they lived in Ivarstead. They will still be able to be asked about High Hrothgar.
- Fastred and Bassianus may stay in Ivarstead even if the Dragonborn helps them elope to Riften. Both of Fastred's parents will comment on her being in Riften even with Fastred standing in full view of them. It is possible this is from starting the dialogue with Klimmek then exiting it and finishing the quest by talking to Bassianus instead to help the couple elope.
- If this quest isn't completed immediately and the Dragonborn acquires another Amulet of Mara, (in addition to the one given by the priestess at the beginning of the questline), there may be a bug in which the quest stage "Put on the Amulet of Mara" cannot be completed. This is especially prone to happen if there is a stolen Amulet of Mara in the inventory. To fix this, stash all other stolen items in a safe container and then commit a small crime. When approached by a guard pay the bounty and allow them to remove the stolen Amulet of Mara. This will then allow completion of the quest.
- If the Dragonborn speaks to Bassianus but does not then watch him speak to Fastred, the quest may not register as completed. Entering the Fellstar Farm house and watching their interaction will complete the quest.
- If Ruki's husband Fenrig is talked to, a glitch may occasionally occur where the dialogue box appears, but Fenrig does not respond to the choice in the box. To fix this, save and reload the game and try again (confirmed on Xbox and PS3). Secondary possible fix is to unequip the amulet of Mara prompting the quest update put on the amulet. Re-equip the amulet and try talking to Fenrig again. (Confirmed on Xbox, PS3 and PC )
- If a dragon attacks before the Dragonborn first talks to Ruki, she will say something about it being so short and not be able to be talked to. Reload to a save before and make sure the dragon does not get close to her, this fixes the problem.
- Occasionally, after bringing Fenrig to Ruki, one or both of them will gain their normal character model under the ghost texture.
- When bringing Fenrig to Ruki, there is a chance they will look at the Dragonborn and not move toward each other despite some distance between the two. To fix this, try sneaking behind a rock.
- It is also possible that both will rise into the air like normal, but will stop at a certain point and shout at the Dragonborn as if they were hostiles.
- To fix this, fast travel away from Gjukar's Monument, then fast travel back to it. (The quest will automatically complete.)
- In a similar instance, the bodies will rise in the air, but have trouble climbing, namely Fenrig. Eventually, both bodies will fall to the ground with thuds and sounds of healt loss and attempt to rise again. Fast traveling away seems to automatically complete the quest.
- There is a glitch where is not possible to ask for Mara's Blessing and therefore the quest can't be started. (Dinya Balu must be approached while inside the temple for the dialogue option to appear.)
- If the Stormcloaks have taken Markarth then Calcelmo will run to the Blue Palace which can lead to, (if he becomes killable), him possibly dying on the way, failing the quest.
- Once completing the quest it is possible to become over encumbered, presumably by the Amulet of Mara, even though the amulet only weighs one. Once removed from the inventory the Dragonborn is still over encumbered although they were not when they entered the room. On reload from an auto save just before they fast traveled, they are once again over encumbered by one.
- No carry capacity effects are active before receiving the Amulet of Mara.
- Tested on PC with two amulets of Mara in possession, both were labeled as quest items for the duration of the quest, and, as such, weightless, (even though their weight is one in inventory). After completing the Ruki & Fenrig stage, the amulets reverted to "normal", (non-quest), status, and so regained their weight, (two extra encumbrance).
- More like an amusing oversight than a bug, if the Dragonborn doesn't tell Yngvar that Faleen's secret admirer is Calcelmo, he still signs the poem "from Calcelmo to Faleen".
- On occasion after receiving the Love Poem from Yngvar the quest marker may point to Jarl Elisif in the Blue Palace in Solitude.