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Skyrim Side Quests More Fun Than The Actual Main Questline

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most jam-packed releases in Bethesda's catalogue, boasting dozens of additional side-quests to compliment the base game's main storyline. Some players have spent years with the game only to discover new and unique side-quests that they'd never encountered before, just by exploring the world.

However, as many Elder Scrolls fans will no doubt attest, Skyrim's side-quests are no meagre distractions. They often actually outdo the game's core story, largely because they facilitate a more immersive and unique role-playing experience suited to each individual player's interests. In other words, it's just way more interesting to role-play as a Khajiit bard-turned-Dark Brotherhood assassin than it is to simply fulfil the prophecy of the Dragonborn in a more linear story.

Related: Why Skyrim's Blades Wanted Paarthurnax Killed (But Not All Dragons)

Of course, not every side-quest in Skyrim manages to be a home-run, and even some of the more widely adored ones are likely to have their haters. Even so, there are plenty that are able to stand out, and have even managed to leave more of an impression than the Dragonborn's quest to vanquish the evil Alduin.

Venturing west after familiarizing themselves with Skyrim's inner-most regions, the Dragonborn will inevitably encounter Markarth, a city made entirely from stone. It features one of the most shocking introductions to any locale in the game, with players witnessing a murder almost as soon as they enter through the city's gates.

Should the player choose to investigate the murder - which saw a Forsworn rebel murder a woman seemingly at random - they'll be taken all the way to the depths of Markarth's seedy political underworld, where they'll encounter all manner of rogues and powerful individuals. Another bonus is that it also launches the player straight into "No One Escapes Cidhna Mine" quest, which tasks the Dragonborn with mounting a daring escape from the city's prison, forging unlikely alliances along the way.

There are plenty of stunning looking locales dotted around Skyrim, but Windhelm is definitely not one of them. The blistering winds and cold architecture makes the Stormcloak capital of Skyrim just as unwelcoming as Markarth, but it's made all the more disturbing by the sinister goings on hidden by the dark.

Related: Skyrim: All Pros & Cons Of Becoming A Vampire

The first and most notable creepy encounter involves Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood, but arguably even more disturbing is the quest Blood on the Ice, which tasks the Dragonborn with catching the Butcher of Windhelm, a serial killer who has already taken the lives of three women by the time they arrive.

Blood on the Ice is just as atmospheric as Laid to Rest, even though it doesn’t unfurl quite as rapidly. It requires some patience in order for the first encounter to trigger, but once it does it’s doubtful the player will turn their attention elsewhere, especially once they uncover all the creepy secrets hidden within Hjerim.

Long before Skyrim got its own dedicated vampire expansion with Dawnguard (which also featured a series of killer questlines), those interested in the supernatural side of Tamriel had to make do with some minor encounters instead. Players could discover various vampire hideouts dotted across the game's map, and could of course succumb to vampirism themselves were they bitten and didn't have a potion of cure disease on hand.

There was one major vampire-themed side-quest included with the base game though, and it's one of Skyrim's best. Upon reaching the sullen-looking Morthal, the Dragonborn is quickly alerted to the fact that things aren't right by speaking to the Jarl. Turns out a local villager, Hroggar, had recently hooked up with a suspicious woman called Alva immediately following the deaths of his wife and child, who both perished when his house burned down. Should the Dragonborn investigate, they'll soon uncover a sinister truth - that Alva is trying to turn Morthal into her nearby coven's very own free range human farm, which understandably upsets the local townsfolk.

Between uncovering the mystery and getting to take on the coven personally, "Laid To Rest" stands out as one of Skyrim's most atmospheric side-quests - and a great appetizer for the Dawnguard expansion that came afterwards.

Next: Skyrim: All Pros & Cons Of Joining The College Of Winterhold

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