As the achievement states, you need to do three things to unlock it, which are as follows:
- Make a smithed item – It’s important to note that the achievement actually requires that you make an item and not improve it – that means you’ll want the hot pit and the anvil, and not the grindstone.
Head to Whiterun and as soon as you enter the main town there’s a place to forge weapons on the right, by the first building. We’ll be using this area because it has a smelter too (more on that later). If you speak to Adrianne Avenicci who should be outside the Warmaiden shop by the smithing area (or inside maybe) and offer to help, you’ll get the ingredients to make a simple item. We’re going to ignore that though and break it down further in case you choose to do this elsewhere, but if possible, just use that. Here’s a good little lesson as well to create your own really cool and powerful stuff…
Okay then, so let’s say we want to make an Iron Helmet (the cool as heck one that you’ve seen in all the promo materials); you’re going to need 3 iron ingot and 2 leather strips. If you’ve got them, great, click on the item and select create. If you haven’t, then you need to find them, either by looting, purchasing them from a shop or using your own initiative.
The using your own initiative part comes in two parts:
Firstly, getting iron ingots. You can easily lay your hands on some iron ingots around Skyrim in shops and by looting, but if you can’t, you’re going to have to mine some iron ore from various spots around Skyrim (see the Hard Worker achievement for details and locations on how and where to mine) and turn it into an ingot yourself. Once you have some ore (let’s use iron as an example), head across to the ‘smelter’ which is right by the area in Whiterun we’re using. Like iron ingots, iron ore is widely available, so in order to turn your iron ore into an ingot, head to the smelter, see how much ore you need (in this case, 1 iron ore makes one iron ingot) and then click create on it. That’s part one.
Part two revolves around creating the leather strips, which can be broken down further into two parts: hunting and tanning. Hunting is straightforward: go out into the wild, kill animals and loot them for their pelt/hide/etc. From there you head to one of the many ‘Tanning Racks” – there’s one right by the grindstone/smelter/anvil that we’ve been at for the whole walkthrough. Once there, click on “Misc,” select leather and turn that pelt/hide/etc. into leather… in this example we can use the Bear Pelt or the Deer Hide we have to make leather. Once you’ve turned it into leather, you then use that leather and turn it into leather strips… basically, just click ‘create’ over leather strips. Now you have the necessary ingredients to make that iron helmet you’ve always wanted, so head back to the anvil, find the iron helmet and click create! If you want to improve it (this is not optional and not part of the achievement, but always handy to know) head to the grindstone (for weapons) or the workbench (for armour) and apply more ingots to it. Everything you ever need for smithing can be found at the following places (all big early cities/villages that you can access from the off:
Workbench, grindstone, anvil & tanning rack in Riverwood
Grindstone, tanning rack & anvil in Orotheim
Anvil, smelter, grindstone, tanning rack & workbench in Whiterun
- Make an enchanted item – In order to enchant an item you need three things:
And a soul gem
Once you have all three, head to an Arcane Enchanting bench and combine the three together… I find the best and easiest bench to get to is at Orphan’s Rock, but you need to beat some high level witches to get in there first. Any will do and there are dozens all over Skyrim.
I found the easiest way to get an enchantment though was to breakdown a magical item (disenchant it); for all intents and purposes, for this example we used a Necromancer’s Robes. By disenchanting it we learnt the ‘Fortify Magika’ enchantment from destroying it and now we can apply it to another item of our choosing. The next step is choosing what item you want to apply it to and then we need a soul gem (the bigger, the better and the better the soul inside, the more powerful). We used our Dwarven Gauntlets, Fortify Magika and a “Lesser Soul Gem (Lesser),”but a Petty Soul Gem or a Lesser Soul Gem (or any, in fact) will do. It’s worth noting that you can’t apply every enchantment to everything, so select the enchantment first, then see what’s in white, bold text in the item list (if it’s greyed out, you can’t apply that enchantment to it). Once you’ve selected all three, click create and then BAM! You have an enchanted item. You can even rename the item if you’re feeling creative!
Arkane enchanting benches can be found at the following places:
Dustman’s Cairn – but only after you accept the ‘Proving Honor’ quest from The Companions
Orphan Rock – slightly northeast of Helgen and slightly south east of Riverwood. Must beat some high level witches first though to get to it.
- A Potion – It’s always worth making something you can actually use, so I tried to find a recipe that would serve a purpose as I went on. After trying a few times in Arcadia’s Cauldron in Whiterun I found the recipe for a restore health potion which I then needed to get the ingredients for. For one ‘restore health’ potion you need:
One blue mountain flower, which can usually be found wandering about the snowy areas… it’s quite common
A Sabre Cat eyeball, which can be picked up off the carcass of a dead Sabre Cat (think sabre tooth tigers). These can be found around Honeystrand Cave (along with a load of bears!) which is south of Ivarstead. Don’t go in with a low level character as they can be quite fierce and take a lot of health off you. If you do, take lots of health potions!?
When you have those two ingredients, visit a Alchemy Table (there’s one you can use in Arcadia’s Cauldron in Whiterun. Go there with the ingredients, select both and WHAM! Potion made! If you want to make other stuff without recipes, try eating a load of stuff in your inventory to see what properties they carry then go experimenting.
Alchemy labs can be found at the following places (amongst others):
Arcadia’s in Whiterun
Rannveig’s Fast’s dungeon (inside)