The book Thirsk, a Revised History describes the founding of the Mead Hall. The following is a summary.
Roughly a hundred years before the book's publication (probably sometime around 3E 320, seeing as the book first appears in Bloodmoon), a small group of Solstheim's Skaal decided to break away from their brethren and live independently. They looked for a new location to settle, and found Lake Fjalding after migrating some distance south. Construction began, and after roughly a month, the new Mead Hall was completed, also serving as a hunting lodge.
Despite the great achievement, the settlers' celebrations were short-lived. The construction of the Mead Hall had awakened an ancient creature which had lain dormant beneath the ice nearby. Its name was the Udyrfrykte, and it wrought death upon the settlers at Lake Fjalding in revenge for disturbing its sleep, reducing their numbers by half. A sorcerer managed to drive the Udyrfrykte back to its lair, sparing them from further carnage, but not destroying the beast.
After peace had returned, tensions grew over who would be the Mead Hall's new leader. Many settlers believed Hrothmund the Red to be the most worthy candidate, but Drengr Bronze-Helm disagreed, stating himself superior to Hrothmund. They fought a duel to resolve their differences, which ended when Hrothmund beheaded Drengr Bronze-Helm where he stood. His battle-prowess earned Hrothmund the title of the Mead Hall's first chieftain. To serve as a reminder, Drengr Bronze-Helm's head was placed on a pedestal in the middle of the Hall for all to see.
This set a tradition that every new leader of the Mead Hall follows. After receiving the consent of Hrothmund the Red's spirit in Hrothmund's Barrow, they display their most prized battle trophy on the pedestal within Thirsk Mead Hall.
Many years later, a fire on the lake freed the Udyrfrykte and it again massacred the residents of the hall. The sole survivor, Svenja Snow-Song, asked the Nerevarine to hunt down and destroy the beast once and for all; offering leadership of the hall in return.
The warriors of Thirsk bought mead from Skyrim and had it shipped over by the East Empire Company. After the prices began to rise, they started to brew their own mead.
Sometime before 4E 201, the hall was overrun by rieklings led by their chief. Bujold and the other warriors fled the hall and headed down the hill. They, then, set camp along the beach, while the rieklings took over the hall.
Later, during the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn, the Last Dragonborn visits the hall and could either help the chief of the Rieklings by killing Bujold and her warriors, or accompany Nords as they retake Thirsk Mead Hall.
When the Hall is overrun with Rieklings, the interior is a mess. Tables and chairs are overturned, and the skulls and painted bones characteristic of Riekling lairs litter the place. A throne sits at the far back of the hall, where the chief sits.
If the Dragonborn undertakes the quest "Retaking Thirsk," after the Rieklings have been eradicated, the Hall is refurnished. New wall hangings, lighting, barrels, cooking fires and furnishings are added, and new sleeping quarters are installed at the back. The improved lighting successfully shows off the Nordic woodwork and architecture. The mead bottles and drinking vessels that adorn the tables are, in many places, knocked over and many of them litter the floor. If the Dragonborn undertakes quest "The Chief of Thirsk Hall," or does not undertake either quest, the Hall remains as it was when the Dragonborn first encountered it.
- Retaking Thirsk — Help the Nords retake Thirsk Mead Hall from rieklings. Once completed, several miscellaneous quests become available at the Hall.
- The Chief of Thirsk Hall — Help an intelligent riekling chief with several tasks. Once completed, the Dragonborn can occasionally receive the help of one to three rieklings.
The two quests are opposed: if the Dragonborn completes one of them, the other is automatically failed.
The following miscellaneous quests become available after the quest "Retaking Thirsk."
- Elmus' Berries — Bring Elmus some juniper berries.
- Halbarn's Supplies — Bring ten stalhrim ore and fifteen ebony ingots to Halbarn Iron-Fur.
- Hilund's Spears — Bring fifty Riekling spears to Hilund.
After completing "Retaking Thirsk" the former members of Thirsk Mead Hall will move back in.
- Bujold the Intrepid — Leader of Thirsk Mead Hall, if her unworthiness is told to the other members of the Hall, she will move back to Bujold's Retreat
- Elmus — Member of Thirsk Mead Hall, gives the quests "Elmus' Berries" and "Elmus' Mead"
- Halbarn Iron-Fur — Blacksmith for Thirsk Mead Hall, gives the quest "Halbarn's Supplies"
- Herkja — Member of Thirsk Mead Hall
- Hilund — Member of Thirsk Mead Hall, gives the quest "Hilund's Spears"
- Kuvar — Husband of Bujold, will move with her if she moves to Bujold's Retreat
- Sirkjorg — Member of Thirsk Mead Hall
The quest "Retaking Thirsk" involves the slaying of a band of rieklings that have taken over the Hall, including their chief. These Rieklings only become enemies during the quest and are not hostile earlier.
- There are sleeping quarters at the back of the Hall (to the north), containing five beds. None of them are owned.
- Halbarn Iron-Fur can be found at the forge outside, if the quest "Retaking Thirsk" is completed. He will sell weapons and armor once his quest is completed.
- Thirsk, a Revised History gives a list of chieftains from Hrothmund up to Bujold the Unworthy. There are three versions of the book. Thirsk, a History, the version initially presented in Bloodmoon lists up to Skjoldr Wolf-Runner. After The Mead Hall Massacre, a revised version lists Skjoldr's death and the Nerevarine's ascension to chief. The version presented in Dragonborn lists up to Bujold but mentions that the records are not complete—there is a gap at the time of the Nerevarine's involvement, leaving the issue of their chiefdom open.
- It somewhat resembles the Companions' Jorrvaskr, both of which are mead halls.
- There are 27 bottles of Black-Briar Reserve to be found around the Hall, each with a base value of 100 , and a jar of honey.
- If you haven't cleansed the Beast Stone, then the Thirsk Nords will go directly there after "Retaking Thirsk" is completed.
This section contains bugs related to Thirsk Mead Hall. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- When waking Halbarn Iron-Fur from his bed (directly to the left upon entering the sleeping area), he will get out of his bed on the wall-facing side and will clip into the wall.
- Sometimes upon entering Thirsk Mead Hall, no floor or walls will be present–only a few structures such as barrels and tables. If the Dragonborn falls down, they will not die and come back to the entrance. Leaving and re-entering fixes this.
- Sometimes upon entering Thirsk Mead Hall, after defeating all the rieklings, they will all be back inside, and become hostile.
- waiting will cause more hostile rieklings to spawn inside. Sometimes,
- As a vampire, feeding from Kuvar when he sleeps in his bed will cause the Dragonborn to clip through the map. After falling some distance, the Dragonborn will respawn at the entrance of the Hall.
- Feeding upon Halbarn Iron-Fur will cause the Dragonborn to clip through the wall adjacent to his bed.
- One may be unable to enter Thirsk during the quest "Retaking Thirsk."