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Skyrim:Message to Whiterun (Imperial)

< Skyrim: Quests: Imperial Legion
This page is currently being rewritten as part of the Skyrim Quest Redesign Project.
The page is being rewritten and checked in several stages. All users are welcome to make changes to the page. If you make a change that is relevant to the project, please update this template accordingly, and make sure you have observed the project guidelines.
Walkthrough: written by multiple users, not checked
Reward: written by Krusty, checked by RobinHood70
SR-qico-Imperial Legion.png
Deliver the message that will decide Whiterun's allegiance.
Quest Giver: General Tullius
Location(s): Solitude, Whiterun, Windhelm
Prerequisite Quest: The Jagged Crown
Next Quest: Battle for Whiterun
Concurrent Quest: Dragon Rising
Reward: None
ID: CW03
Whiterun prepares for some excitement!

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Deliver a message to the Jarl of Whiterun.
  2. Wait for the Jarl's response.
  3. Deliver Balgruuf's axe to Jarl Ulfric.
  4. Return to Whiterun and warn Jarl Balgruuf.
  5. Report to Legate Quentin Cipius.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

General Tullius will hand you a note, explaining that he needs someone he can trust to deliver it and sets you the task to deliver it to the Jarl of Whiterun.

Travel to Whiterun and then to Dragonsreach, and speak to the Jarl. Give the message to the Jarl, and he will decide it is time to confront Ulfric. He will then give you a message (an axe) to deliver to Ulfric.

Now, travel to the city of Windhelm, and then to the Palace of the Kings. Ulfric tells you to return the axe back to where it came from and to expect a lot of excitement for Whiterun. Go back and talk to the Jarl, who will take back the axe and return you to the Legion.

Speak to Legate Quentin Cipius, and he will tell you that the Stormcloaks have arrived and it is battle time.


  • Balgruuf will not agree to read the message before Dragon Rising has been completed.
  • If you are on The World-Eater's Eyrie quest and Odahviing is still in Dragonsreach, you will not be able to deliver the message to Jarl Balgruuf.
  • If you have a bounty in Whiterun, Legate Cipius will attempt to arrest you when you report to him. It would be a good idea to clear your bounty before reporting to Legate Cipius.
  • Balgruuf's War Axe can be kept by instead speaking directly to Legate Cipius rather than Balgruuf. The next quest will begin with the axe still in your inventory, no longer a quest item.


  • Progressing through Season Unending while Message to Whiterun is active is not possible, see page for Season Unending for more details and workarounds.
  • On your return to Dragonsreach with the axe, NPCs other than the Jarl may start dialogues with you and ask for your immediate assistance in fending off the Stormcloak attack. If you do so without speaking to Balgruuf, the journal entry "Return to Whiterun and warn the Jarl" may never disappear.
    •  You can fix this with the console command player.setobjectivecompleted cwpostwhiterunobj 1 1.
  • When Jarl Balgruuf and Proventus discuss Tullius's message, they may stop talking, leaving you unable to continue. Loading a previous save should fix this.
  • This quest may fail to even start after giving Tullius the Crown and receiving the appropriate dialogue.
    •  You can fix this with the console command setstage cw03 10. However, sometimes this may fill the console with values instead of starting the quest, in which case you can restart your game and re-enter this console command and the quest will begin.
  • Legate Quentin Ciprius may not talk to you when you return the axe to Whiterun. ?
    • This might be fixed by exiting and re-entering Dragonsreach.

Quest StagesEdit

Only stages and objectives relevant to the Imperial version of this quest are included in the table.

Message to Whiterun (CW03)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I am to deliver a message to the Jarl of Whiterun. It is time for him to pick a side in the war.
Objective 10: Deliver message to the Jarl of Whiterun
Objective 16: Assist Jarl Balgruuf with the dragon threat
Objective 20: Wait for the Jarl's response
50 The Jarl of Whiterun has sided with the Empire. I am to inform Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak of this decision.
Objective 50: Deliver axe to Jarl Ulfric
100 Ulfric plans to make war on Whiterun. I should return and warn the Jarl.
Objective 100: Return to Whiterun and warn the Jarl
Objective 150: Report to Legate Quentin Cipius
210 Finishes quest 
255 Finishes quest  [verification needed — Unused?]
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 1, 2, 15, 30, 40, 199, 200, 230.
  • 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 CW03 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 CW03.