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Skyrim:A False Front (Imperial)

< Skyrim: Quests: Imperial Legion
SR-qico-Imperial Legion.png
Find and deliver some forged documents to the Stormcloaks.
Quest Giver: Legate Rikke
Location(s): Pale Imperial Camp, Nightgate Inn, Candlehearth Hall, Dawnstar
Prerequisite Quest: Battle for Whiterun
Next Quest: The Battle for Fort Dunstad
Concurrent Quest: Reunification of Skyrim
Reward: Leveled gold
ID: CWMission03
A Stormcloak courier leaving an inn

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Speak to Legate Rikke at the Pale Imperial Camp.
  2. Find a Stormcloak courier and take his documents.
  3. Take the documents back to Legate Rikke.
  4. Take the modified documents to Frorkmar Banner-Torn in Dawnstar.
  5. Return to Legate Rikke.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

The PaleEdit

"One way or another, get me those documents."

After successfully defending Whiterun on behalf of the Imperial Legion, the umbrella quest Reunification of Skyrim will start, as it is high time to conquer all remaining holds currently controlled by the Stormcloaks and once and for all rid Skyrim of Ulfric Stormcloak. Unless you used it for negotiations during Season Unending, your very first target will be to claim the Pale to the north. As General Tullius puts it: "You'd be wasted as a regular soldier. I have special plans for you. You'll be of greater use to me with greater flexibility. Make your way to our hidden military camp in the Pale. Rikke will have important tasks for you, and will need you when we reclaim the capital."

When Tullius asks you to regain the Pale, your commander-in-chief Legate Rikke will relocate to the snowy Pale Imperial Camp east of hold capital Dawnstar. Rikke will be located in the easternmost tent, busy studying a huge regional map of Skyrim. When you report for duty she will let you in on her plan to conquer the Pale: "I need you to deliver some false orders to the Stormcloak commander in Dawnstar. But first we need to get our hands on some rebel orders to make the forgeries." She will then explain that a Stormcloak courier will travel back and forth between Candlehearth Hall in Ulfric's home city Windhelm, and Nightgate Inn, a remote inn between Dawnstar and Windhelm. She will then task you: "See if you can't 'convince' one of those innkeepers to help you. One way or another, get me those documents. But don't do anything rash if you go to Windhelm." Obviously, Rikke recommends the Nightgate Inn due to its remote location, but leaves the decision and strategy to you.

The Stormcloak CourierEdit

Your first objective is to find the busy courier. He is quite hard to corner in the wilderness, as he will run back and forth between Candlehearth and Nightgate, and your map markers will only point to the taverns, making it hard to know where the courier is. You will have to either meet him by accident, or ask the innkeepers for his whereabouts. Some useful knowledge is displayed below:

  • The courier will never stay long at the inns, and will leave soon after your arrival.
  • The only settlement the courier passes through is Anga's Mill. It is possible to wait for the courier there and get the more accurate map marker.
  • The courier owns the second room on the left inside both inns, and will reside there if he is present.
  • The courier may be killed by wild animals or Viinturuth while travelling, so if he fails to show up after a while, you'll probably have to go out and look for him yourself.

As an alternative to meeting the courier and getting the map marker by chance, you can follow Rikke's advice and ask the innkeepers. Both the innkeeper of Candlehearth Hall, Elda Early-Dawn, and Nightgate's Hadring have the same dialogue and they will have to be persuaded, bribed, or intimidated as they will both say: "I tend to keep my patrons' privacy." Note that you will need a Speech skill level of 50 or above to successfully persuade the innkeepers, and that you will always get your answer when intimidating, as it is not possible to fail:

Option Dialogue Reaction
"His life is in danger."
Passed: "It is? Well that's different."
Failed: "Yeah, sure it is. You don't fool me."
Passed: Map marker
Failed: Nothing
"Maybe some gold will help?"
Passed: "Well, if you insist..."
Failed: "Seems your purse is lighter than you thought."
Passed: Map marker
Failed: Nothing
"I don't have time for this... I can get rough with you if I have to."
Passed: "Now, now! That won't be necessary." Passed: Map marker
"Never mind." "Hmph." Nothing

When you have successfully finished the persuasion, both innkeepers will now say: "He's in the inn. Look around. I'm sure you'll find him.", if the courier is present, or "He was here, but he left. If you leave now, you can probably catch him. Or, you can just wait here. He'll be back soon enough."

Retrieve the IntelligenceEdit

The courier attacks.

Regardless of your method of locating the courier, the map marker will now point directly to him. Regardless of what you say, or what uniform you are wearing, the Stormcloak courier will not give up the documents without a fight, with the inevitable result. When you approach the courier, you will have no options but to say: "I'm not here to talk. I'm here for those documents.", and the courier will respond: "Is that so?" or "We'll see about that." The courier will then proceed to attack, leading to his inevitable death. There is only one way to avoid bloodshed:

  • Pickpocket the documents from the courier. This is easily done when the courier relaxes in his room at Candlehearth Hall, as no witnesses will be present.

Killing the courier will always count as murder, even when done with no witnesses around (see Bugs section). However, there are a few ways to make the courier die:

  • When he leaves an inn, follow him into the wilderness and wait for the wildlife to kill him.
  • Insult him and make him follow you into the wilderness and locate some wildlife that can finish him off.

Lastly, you can kill him yourself. The goal is to do it when no witnesses are around to avoid a bounty. The two methods above will always lead him into seclusion in the wilderness and work perfectly. Additionally, the courier can be stealthily killed inside his room at Candlehearth, especially if he decided to sleep. It goes without saying that Nightgate is the safest spot to achieve your goal, as Windhelm guards will be all over you if you cause a racket in their city. When the courier is dead, claim the documents from the body and head back to Legate Rikke in the camp.

The Commander of DawnstarEdit

When you return to Legate Rikke and hand her the documents, she will immediately start forging the documents, saying: "Very good... Let's see what you have here. Interesting... They know more of our plans than I expected... It would seem Fort Dunstad is in need of reinforcements... We'll make sure they won't be getting those... One moment while I 'correct' some of these documents... That should do it. Make sure those forged documents get to the Stormcloak commander in Dawnstar. It'll throw him off our trail, allowing us to maneuver more freely."

When you arrive at Dawnstar, follow the map marker to Frorkmar Banner-Torn, who will most likely stand near the Skyrim map inside The White Hall. When you approach him, his dialogue will differ depending on your choice of armor.

If you are wearing anything but Stormcloak armor, he will get suspicious: "Is that so? I don't recognize you. Why aren't you wearing your Stormcloak colors?" You will then have to tell him it is easier to sneak past the enemy without the uniform, and he will admit: "I suppose it would be. Good thinking."

He will then continue on, saying the same thing as if you were wearing Stormcloak armor: "All right. Let's take a look... Ah, good. Looks like the reinforcements for the fort are on the way. And we have some information about enemy troop movements as well. Excellent. It's not easy running messages, what with Imperials scouts crawling all over the place. Well done. Why don't you grab yourself a drink at the Windpeak before heading back?" He then hands you 5 gold as a small token of his appreciation, and the quest will end.

Back in the Pale Imperial Camp, Rikke will reward you with a leveled amount of gold. Inspired by the false information you gave to Frorkmar, she will brief you on your next mission: The Battle for Fort Dunstad.


Levels Reward
1–9 400
10–19 600
20–29 800
30–39 1,000
40+ 1,200



  • Killing the Stormcloak courier will count as murder, even if he attacks you first. If a nearby NPC witnesses your "murder", you will incur a bounty in the Pale or Eastmarch.

Quest StagesEdit

A False Front (CWMission03)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Legate Rikke has sent me to intercept the Stormcloak Courier passing through the area and relieve him of his documents. I am then to return to base camp where I will receive forged documents that I, posing as an enemy courier, will deliver to the enemy commander in Dawnstar.
Objective 10: Find the Stormcloak Courier
Objective 20: Retrieve the Stormcloak Courier's package
Objective 20: Retrieve the Stormcloak Courier's package
Objective 30: Bring the documents to Legate Rikke
Objective 40: Bring the forged documents to Frorkmar Banner-Torn
50 Finishes quest 
200 Finishes quest  I have successfully intercepted Stormcloak Courier and turned in false documents to the enemy commander in Dawnstar
205 Fails quest 
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 15, 31, 39, 51, 100, 255.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage CWMission03 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest CWMission03.