Helgen Reborn is a user created plugin for the fifth game in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim. This plugin adds new non-player characters and quests, as well as new locations to visit. The rewards include a Private Tower and a several permanent followers.
Helgen is the first town visited during Skyrim, to which the player is being transported for their execution. The dragon Alduin attacks before the execution can be carried out, and the destruction he causes leaves Helgen in ruins. Helgen Reborn is a series of quests done to rebuild the town.
You can ally with the Empire, the Stormcloaks or remain independent. The side chosen will result in some of the needed quests and places to be visited being different, and there are different followers on other quests.
The mod should not be activated until after the cave from Helgen is exited, and you will also need to wait until the bandits have taken over the ruins of the town.
The rewards are a fully rebuilt and expanded town, with various merchants that will be more positively inclined towards the player, a Private Tower with many features, and a number of followers, one of which can be married in an additional quest.
Many of the quests are difficult to complete, some extremely so, as they involve very dangerous enemies. Adequate preparations, including potions and scrolls of any useful type, are definitely recommended before embarking on any quest that involves combat.
Helgen Reborn Start Up
This quest starts when the game is loaded after the mod has been added to it, and you will also get the book Helgen Reborn Guide. Reading the book, which mentions again that Helgen should not be visited until the bandits are present, as well as some other suggestions that should be followed in order to reduce the chances of problems occurring, completes the quest and starts Desperate Times.
Go to The Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun. When you enter, Patsy will approach and speak to you.
"You're looking for me? What are you talking about."
Patsy explains that his master Marcus is looking for you. He gives you 250 Gold and the Letter from Marcus Janus. After Patsy finishes speaking to you read the letter, which says that Marcus wants to meet you.
"I was given a note from a man named Marcus Jannus who asked me to meet with him in Dead Man's Drink in Falkreath. I should travel there to see who this man is and what he wants with me."
When the bandits are mentioned, he says that their leader is actually a friend of his, and they aren't bandits but insurrectionists opposed to the Thalmor and the Aldmeri Domain. To get the full history of Marcus' friend Valerius, who leads the bandits in the ruins of Helgen, go through all the conversation options with Marcus, as well as reading the books The Great War, Redguards, Their History and Their Heroes (a book seen as a fragment in Redguard and in full in Daggerfall) and The Keepers of Hattu: Real or Myth? Volume 1, before finally choosing the option to say "So, what exactly does this have to do with me?"
He gives you Marcus' Note to Valerius and Sabrina's Wedding Ring.
"I met a man named Marcus Jannus who is a retired Captain in the Imperial Legion. He has come to Skyrim to see if his brother and family survived the dragon attack in Helgen. He suspects a very old friend of his from The Great War named Valerius is now the leader of a group posing as a Bandit gang who currently occupy the Fort. Marcus has asked me to find out if it is indeed Valerius and convince him to meet with Marcus. He has given me a ring that belonged to Valerius' dead wife Sabrina, and a personal note to give Valerius. If I am detained, I am to present these items to his troops as a gesture of good will and proof that Marcus wishes to meet with Valerius in peace."
Now, go to Helgen. Both gates to the settlement are locked at the Apprentice level, so open a gate and enter.
"I have spoken with Valerius and he has agreed to meet with Marcus. I should travel back to Falkreath to tell Marcus the news."
Marcus asks you to escort him to Helgen, for which he will pay you 250 Gold. There are two options, "I'm sorry, I'll have to come get you later," if you aren't immediately ready, but if you are, say "OK, stick close to me. Let's go!" You can fast travel back to Helgen, so this is an easy escort task.
Enter Helgen Keep and Marcus and Val speak to each other. Marcus wants to rebuild the town, but Val is not that interested at the moment. Marcus will then turn to you and give you the 250 Gold he promised, and asks you to give Val and he 24 hours to discuss things, and then return to them.
Once 24 hours have passed, your journal will update, so return to the keep and find Marcus. Speak to him and he says that he was waiting for you. He and Val then talk and Falco, one of Val's troops, enters wearing an Imperial uniform and the quest Molon Labe will start. Once Molon Labe has been completed, return to Helgen Keep from the Thalmor Prison with Cienna, Falco and Korst; you can fast travel back to Helgen.
Once back at Helgen enter the keep and find and speak to Val. After you tell him that you have brought the others back, he speaks to Korst, who says that the Thalmor may be slavers. After speaking to Korst, Val talks to you again. He thanks you for helping, and says that Marcus wants to speak to you.
The other options depend on whether you have joined either the Stormcloaks or the Empire in the Civil War, and whether the war is over or not. If you haven't joined either side as yet, Marcus discusses the benefits and disadvantages of the Stormcloaks and the Imperials when asked. You can look for soldiers from both the Stormcloaks and the Empire, depending on which side you are on
You do not have to make an immediate decision, and you can come back to him later but, once made, the decision cannot be changed. You cannot choose either the Imperials or the Stormcloaks to ally with unless you have already picked one of those sides in the Civil War, so if you wish to join either of those but have not yet done so, tell Marcus that you will make the decision later and go and join one. Once the decision is made what will need doing next depends on what the decision was.
If the decision was made to remain independent, you must travel to a number of inns around Skyrim where Patsy has been leaving. You can fast travel, walk, ride or by carriages to get to them, as desired. In each case you can tell the applicant to make their own way to Helgen, or to follow you there. You can tell them to follow you and fast travel, but if you want to save time, simply tell them all to make their own way there, as they all seem to manage okay with the trip.
Given that the recruits can take time to get to Helgen, it can be an idea to start with the furthest away locale first - Riften - and then work backwards, unless you haven't discovered Riften yet, in which case Whiterun, and its' carriage to Riften, should be first. The various recruits will assemble in the courtyard in front of the keep when they arrive in Helgen. The different conversational choices the recruits have seem to make no difference to the outcome.
In Whiterun, go to The Bannered Mare and speak to Kindrick, a Breton with a less than impressive set of qualifications as all he has is some equipment.
In Solitude, speak to the Khajiit Joto in The Wandering Skeever, who is rather fond of dogs.
In Dawnstar go to the Windpeak Inn and speak to either Orianthi or Sorian, both Redguards. Their reasons for visiting Skyrim differ slightly; Sorian's reply suggests that they were involved with the quest In My Time If Need.
In Riften the Argonian Wanan-Dun is in The Bee and Bard and he is less than enamoured with the city.
Herd, a rather puny looking Nord, is in Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm. He wants to prove that size is not important.
Once all the recruits have been dispatched to Helgen, return there yourself and speak to Korst once they have all arrived.
Korst tells you that he will want your help in evaluating them.
"I have found six new recruits who wish to be Helgen guards. Korst has asked if I would help him by evaluating each one of the recruit's combat skills. I am to take each recruit on a mission to observe their abilities."
Korst then goes to the courtyard in front of the keep and addresses the new recruits in a less than complimentary fashion. Once he has finished the quest The Changing of the Guard will start. Fortunately, none of the recruits who accompany you on the missions can be killed, as some of these quests can be extremely lethal, and death of the player is quite likely. The fact that they cannot die can be useful if you want their help in completing any other quests you're having problems with. All the new recruits are warrior types rather than mages.
Empire and Stormcloaks
This is almost identical, apart from some names, no matter which side you choose to ally with.
Shadrick wants you to do a favour for him and find two of his men who went into Sightless Pit and haven't returned.
"I found Shadrick's men and should escort them back to him."
Speak to Shadrick again, who thanks you and gives you 200 Gold. He says he will be in Helgen with his troops in two days. After two days your journal will update, so then go and find Marcus in Helgen. He will be with Shadrick, Val and Korst.
Shadrick says that he wants his men taking out for training, which starts the quest Changing of the Guard.
"Shadrick said his men have gotten bored and restless in the camp they were assigned to. He has asked if I would be willing to take them into the field for some real combat. Korst has several reports of trouble around Skyrim that need investigation, so they should provide a good opportunity to take the guards out for some fun. I should check in with Korst for further instructions."
As with the Independent troops, those of the Empire and the Stormcloaks also cannot be killed during the missions.
Once the troops are at Helgen, the place starts to change, with more people being around working to fix up the place, with some equipment like work benches being found in various places as the work progresses. The new banners of Helgen and, later, the uniforms of the guards reflect which side is chosen. Once the final training quest, for the Sky Watch Bandits, is completed, return to Marcus.
"I have taken all the guards into the field and should report to Marcus."
Marcus thanks you, and tells you that as a show of gratitude they have made a place to call your own in Helgen, the Private Tower, which has a number of features. He also tells you that Patsy is a skilled taxidermist who can make trophies for you.
This completes the quest and starts A City on a Hill.