Should you side with the Alik”r or the Redguard woman? Here”s everything you need to know to make the right choice in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
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Longtime fans of Skyrim know that even the vanilla version of the game – no mods added – has hours upon hours of gameplay, and this is partly due to the amount of quests players can pursue. Being able to unlock and have an unlimited amount of quests going at the same time makes gameplay much more adaptable; just choose what quest you’re in the mood for and go for it.
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One such quest can be discovered early on in the game in Whiterun, the first large city players often encounter while following the main storyline. In My Time Of Need is a quest involving a Redguard woman wanted by Alik’r Warriors that can be found at the gates of Whiterun or along the roads of Skyrim. We’ll detail each step in the quest, including all possible options the Dragonborn can choose.
Starting The Quest
After players have started the “Dragon Rising” quest, they have the chance to encounter Alik’r Warriors on the roads of Skyrim or just inside the gates of Whiterun, since the guards won’t let them further into the actual city.
Talking to them, you’ll learn they’re looking for a Redguard woman who they claim is a refugee from Hammerfell, though they won’t tell you why they’re looking for her. You can find them in the Rorikstead inn after this encounter.
The Redguard woman in question is Saadia, who resides in The Bannered Mare tavern of Whiterun – the very city the Alik'r were barred from entering. Talking to her about a wanted Redguard woman will make her nervous, so she’ll ask to speak to you in private in her upper floor room. You can follow her there or report her location to the Alik’r Warriors in Rorikstead. If you want the quest done ASAP, the latter option will end it quickly and give you a 500 gold reward.
If you want to play out the rest of the story, follow Saadia and she’ll tell you her real identity is Iman, a noblewoman of Hammerfell’s House Suda. Allegedly, she spoke out against the Aldmeri Dominion and was forced to flee from the assassins they sent after her.
The leader of the Warriors after her, Kematu, has claimed she betrayed her people to the Thalmor, which she denies. If Kematu is killed, Saadia says the other assassins would scatter without leadership. She points you to the Dragonsreach Dungeon where a rowdy Alik’r Warrior was arrested for trying to enter Whiterun.
This Alik’r Prisoner is in one of the dungeon cells of Dragonsreach Dungeon. Players can persuade the prisoner to reveal the location from him by paying his bail of 100 gold, after which he’ll say Kematu is in Swindler’s Den.
If the Dragonborn has cleared Swindler’s Den prior to meeting Saadia, talking to the prisoner is skipped entirely, with the Dragonborn stating they know Kematu’s location already.
This classic Skyrim dungeon is west of Whiterun at the bottom of a rock hill. There are many Bandits to fight before reaching Kematu, as well as a secret shortcut that cuts down on the amount of bandit-killing you have to do. This shortcut is in the first room, behind the chair, table, and bedroll, and actually functions as the exit to the dungeon after defeating all the Alik’r Warriors.
Skyrim is merciful enough to have shortcuts that prevent excessive backtracking in the game’s dungeons, and Swindler’s Den is thankfully no exception. You’ll see a large boulder with moss growing above it; you can get up to the entrance with some skilled jumps, skipping several fights along the way and immediately entering the room with Kematu.
Players can find the book Thief in Swindler’s den, which details the continuing adventures of Eslaf Erol and will level up the Pickpocket skill. The book can be found next to a bedroll in the most eastern room of the Den. Other than this, Swindler’s Den has little in the way of valuable treasures, other than some Ingots and gold pieces scattered throughout.
Instead of attacking you on sight, you’ll have a chance to side with Kematu and hear his version of events: that Saadia is a traitor to her people and caused the fall of the city Taneth to the Aldmeri Dominion.
Players can either agree to lead Saadia to Kematu outside of Whiterun or kill Kematu then and there. Either way, the player’s reward will be 500 gold, so it’s solely up to who they believe more.
Players who killed Kematu can return to Saadia and ensure her safety, upon which she’ll reward the Dragonborn with 500 gold.
If you agreed to help the Alik’r, the Dragonborn will say she is in danger and that there’s a horse waiting for her outside of Whiterun to escape with. Kematu will be waiting for both of you at the stables, enraging Saadia before she is paralyzed by Kematu. He will award you 500 gold after this, completing the quest.
However, you can earn more gold by killing Kematu at the stables before getting the reward from him. Saadia will be angered about being deceived, but will reward you 500 gold for killing Kematu. After this, players can loot additional gold from Kematu’s body, a possible 250 gold.
There is a method of obtaining 500 gold from each of them, but it involves killing Kematu and having Saadia permanently in a hostile state. Players can kill Kematu after collecting their reward from him, then use Calm on Saadia as she will become hostile after recovering from paralysis. Calm allows the player to collect the extra reward of 500 gold, but when it wears off she will be permanently hostile. Killing her in this state is fortunately not a crime, though it is more senseless violence. All par for the course in Skyrim.
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Hayley Mullen is a writer, composer and gamer from Toronto. While at school, they worked as a radio show host playing video game jams during the prime studying hours of 12-2 am. Having played over 700 hours of Pokémon Emerald, they are a true lifetime fan of the series. When not gaming, Hayley enjoys embroidery, poetry, and reading mystery novels.