Continuing on our “Guide to Skyrim” series, we present to you a quick and dirty guide to buying houses, getting married to your soul mate (*cough*) and making money in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Once again, I am your host, Sabbat, and I welcome you.
Land is the only thing that matters, Scarlet.
If you’ve quested for the Jarl in Whiterun, you may have had the opportunity to purchase a house (this is the first and easiest home to purchase) within the city. Houses offer some unique benefits and perks to your adventures. For one thing, it’s a place you may sleep safely and soundly, as well as enchant and mix potions. More importantly, it’s a place where you can store all of your excess gear and treasures, as well as display weapons and books (see below).
You may purchase houses in Whiterun ($5,000), Markarth ($8,000), Windhelm ($12,000), Solitude ($25,000), and Riften ($8,000). For Whiterun, Markarth and Solitude, you will need to quest for the local Jarl and for their people. Speak to the Jarl or his/her steward to receive quests. Once you reach a certain number, they will tell you about the house available and allow you purchase. Some may tell you to complete five quests for their people first. The house in Markarth is easily my favorite because of its rich Dwarven architecture and plethora of book cases and weapon displays. The two tricky houses are Riften and Windhelm. For the house in Riften, you will need to start a specific quest chain. Go to the Riften docks and journey to the Fish Market. An Argonian woman will ask you for a healing potion, because she is addicted to skooma. After you give her the healing potion, speak to her again and she will tell you from where she gets her skooma. This starts a quest chain that will make you buddy buddy with the Jarl, and then you may progress towards the house. (Depending on where you are in the quest line, there is another way to procure this house, but it involves way too m any spoilers.) Windhelm’s house is only available after you complete quests for the Stormcloaks. This, unfortunately, pushes your hand towards joining the Stormcloaks. The Husband has this house but I’m just not sure about the school systems in Windhelm and location, location, location…. Of course, once you progress through The Dark Brotherhood, the Companions and the College of Winterhold, you will also gain your own private quarters, but that is all I will say of that.
I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.
Bethesda has taken a couple steps towards perfecting the display concept. You may now purchase room decor (from the Jarl’s steward) that include weapon racks, book cases and (depending on the house) dagger display racks. To activate the weapon displays, have the weapon you want to display equipped, and then click “Activate Weapon Rack.” Easy! The book cases allow you to store books on their shelves but be warned: it will take some patience and memory on your part as you navigate the various sized books. Larger tomes look best on the shelves, whereas smaller tomes place on the shelf as if they are larger tomes, making for leaning books. If that’s your style, go for it. Me, I like my books looking like a library. Moving items around your house is still wonky, as the physics engine doesn’t seem to agree with your taste in decorating. It’s nigh maddening on the console as the left analog stick allows you to raise and lower your item, whereas the right analog stick moves your body, as opposed to the item. I’m hoping they fix this soon.
We had a moment at the dinner table, didn’t we?
Getting married in Skyrim is quite easy. After you help various people throughout the world of Skyrim, you will have established a friendship with this person. Journey to the Temple of Mara in Riften and talk to the head priest. He will tell you that in these troubled times, people are getting married with short courtships (thanks for the information!), and that all you need to do is wear an Amulet of Mara. He will give you one, and you need to equip it. Speak to a person you fancy and have helped while wearing the Amulet of Mara. After a “romantic” dialog, this person will agree to marry you. Ask the person to follow you (not necessary but I find it easiest) and return to the Temple of Mara. Speak to the head priest to arrange a wedding. The wedding ceremony will take place the next day from dawn to dusk and you will be married. Your marriage partner will teleport to the marriage ceremony, but I found it took awhile and frankly, who is late for their wedding day?? You will both receive a wedding ring which increases your Restoration spell ability. Score! After getting married, you may decide to live with your spouse, or have them move into one of your homes. My husband decided to open a store, from which I collected money every time I returned to the house. Be warned though: that fiery, strong willed person you were attracted to will turn into an obsequious ’50s housewife, greeting you and cooking for you on your return. This may or may not strike your fancy.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
So apparently money is a “thing.” I’ve seen countless tips and tricks to making money, most of which involve stealing. Yes you can do that, but I’m going to be brutally honest here and say that is the dumbest way to make money in this game (it’s not that profitable, either). First off, and I cannot reiterate this enough: explore, explore, explore. As you explore the world you will find exciting loot and kill wealthy bandits. It behooves you to work a little on your speechcraft so that you can sell to merchants at higher prices, and yes you will need to travel around a bit to find the best prices and merchants, but this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Also, accept quests as often as possible, especially within a guild. The Thieves Guild pays top dollar for quests, as do the Companions. This is another sure way to earn money. Crafting also helps you generate wares which you can sell to merchants and, you guessed it: make money. (Also, because you’re exploring, questing and crafting, you should need to buy very little, if any, armor/weapons) I don’t want to say that it’s too easy to make money in this game, but it’s certainly not hard. With a little exploration and some savvy selling, you, too, should be able to purchase houses, decorate them and live like the Skyrim rockstar that you are. Did I miss something? Have further questions? Please feel free to either post a comment here, follow me on Twitter (@jenbosier) or look me up on Xbox Live (Kilo963). When it comes to The Elder Scrolls, I’ll talk shop from here to Oblivion.