11. Lady of the lake
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, so thankfully the sword clenched in this skeletal arm won’t make you a challenger to the Imperial throne. It will however make you halt in your tracks like I did and squint, trying to work out whether that really is an arm sticking out of that pond over there. A quick voyage to the northwest of Whiterun will have you run into this bizarre sight for yourself, and the sword being held aloft will level with you, so the longer you give it, the better the sword will be.
12. Dead lovers' tent
Here’s a piece of advice: if you decide to elope, make sure you make your camp in a place that isn’t frequented by wolves, bears, or generally anything with sharp pointed teeth who would very much appreciate a warm human meal. Karan and Talvur ignored this advice, and if you travel north from Old Hroldan you can see what happened to them. Karan’s journal will provide you with the heart-breaking backstory, and the stump behind their tent has a nice little stash of gold for you to pinch. Every cloud does have a silver lining after all!
13. Not-so-lucky Lorenz
Giving yourself a name like Lucky Lorenz is kind of asking for something horribly ironic to happen to you. Lucky Lorenz’s shack has collapsed on top of him, making for a deliciously dark slab of humour, as well as letting you nab his copy of The Lusty Argonian Maid, a treasure map, and a light armour training manual named Rislav the Righteous. His unlucky body can be found northwest from Fort Amol.
14. Hunters' jacuzzi camp
After a long day hunting, skinning animals, and feasting on their flesh, it’s no wonder these hunters decided to take a break in the steaming hot springs near their camp. If you have a yearning for a dip in the warm waters too, you can stumble upon them just west of Eldergleam sanctuary. Just remember to take off your armour before jumping in, otherwise you’ll probably find it pretty hard to get out again.
15. Bugling elk
Bugling is a weird word, I know. But it’s the name that’s been given to the noise this one specific elk makes in Skyrim, who is trotting around the northwest of Falkreath. Wandering in that general direction for long enough will trigger the very odd noise that sounds halfway between a squeaky car-horn and a bird call, and you’ll come across the only elk in the entire game who makes the noise. Jump over to the Elder Scrolls wikipedia page to hear the noise for yourself!
16. The indigestible emerald
Cleopatra ground up pearls and drank them in her wine, and in this day and age you can get diamond dust-infused facial cream, but this stag went one step further and ate a whole emerald. There’s some good news too: you don’t have to stick a knife into the still-fleshy animal to get it out, as the horned beast has been thoughtful and has already decomposed, leaving behind a skeleton with a bright emerald inside its rib cage. You can find it southwest of Riverwood on the banks of the river, directly south of Anise’s cabin.
17. Bee island
Honey-glazed fish isn’t a dream food combination that immediately springs to mind, but this fisherman has his very own island and funnily enough he’s decided to erect a beehive to keep him company. Swarms of bees flit around the island, and if you fancy getting a face full of stings you can find it by swimming to the southern part of Lake Ilinalta.
18. Shrine of Talos massacre
Probably the most sombre thing on this list, these worshippers met a grisly fate when a Thalmor soldier decided they shouldn’t be praising Talos. You can trek your way past the Guardian Stones at the foothills of Lake Ilinalta, eastwards up a steep path, and then take the right-hand fork when the path splits. Keep following the cobbles until you come across some steps, which will lead you up to this sorry sight.
19. Dead, drunk lumberjack
Who knows what killed this hearty lumberjack, but whoever (or whatever) did it, you should be thanking them as it means you get to snatch his special iron battleaxe. It’s named The Woodsman’s Friend and does a tad more damage than a normal iron battleaxe. Near him there’s an upturned tankard on a tree stump, so it’s entirely possible he had one drink too many and expired. Raise a glass to him next time you find yourself in a tavern. It’s what he would have wanted. You can find him south of Lake Ilinalta.
20. Fool's gold island
West of Broken Oar Grotto, and Northwest of Solitude, there’s an island with a flag atop it, waving in the breeze. It might look scenic but you’d have to be a bit of a fool to head here without something sharp by your side, as the island is overwhelmed with mudcrabs. The skeleton clinging to the flagpole certainly didn’t take that piece of advice. Unlike that poor sod you can make your way off the island very much alive with a haul of potion ingredients, and remember to bring a pickaxe so you can mine the gold ore veins on the island.
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