Blacksmithing in Skyrim is a skill often overlooked by players in favor of skills that offer a more immediate benefit, in combat or otherwise. While leveling blacksmithing is a bit of an investment, it’s more than worthwhile once you can start working with quality ores and materials. Once you can forge Daedric armor and weapons, you’ll have access to some of the best equipment in the game.
That said, there is an armor set that is even stronger than Daedric, known simply as Madness. To forge it, you’ll need to find Madness Ore, which comes as part of the Saints and Seducers pack that is available by default if you have Skyrim Special Edition. In this guide, I’ll show you how to obtain Madness Ore, and what you can forge once you have a good supply.
Obtaining Madness Ore
There is only one reliable way to obtain Madness Ore – purchasing it from a trader. That said, it is possible to find Madness Ore at random on your adventures, either in chests, on bodies, or from other loot containers. You won’t find anything more than a supplement this way, however.
Purchasing Madness Ore
The only reliable source of Madness Ore is a Khajiit trader named Ri’saad. He won’t stock this material immediately, only doing so once you’ve progressed down a particular questline. Once he does, Ri’saad will send you a letter telling you of his new stock.
After Ri’saad makes Madness Ore available, you can purchase it directly from his trading caravan as he travels around Skyrim. His route takes him from Whiterun to Markarth, so if you don’t feel like tracking him down, you can wait at either destination for him to turn up. Ri’saad will wait outside both cities for a couple of days once he arrives, and will completely restock his wares within two days.
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The quest for Madness Ore
Obtaining Madness Ore is the easy part. You can find it in chests at random all over Skyrim, occasionally as loot on bodies, and you can purchase the ore from Khajiit traders at one point. The problem is, you’ll need to complete a questline to learn how to forge anything with Madness Ore. This questline is the titular Saints and Seducers.
Accepting the Saints and Seducers quest
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There are a couple of ways to start the Saints and Seducers questline. The first is to find Ri’saad, a Khajiit trader that plays an important role in this questline. You can find him often lurking nearby Whiterun, around the stables near the southern entrance. While you can find Ri’saad and his cohort wandering almost anywhere in Skyrim, waiting around Whiterun will maximize your chances. Just wait near the stables for 12 or so hours at a time, then look around the area to see if Ri’saad has appeared. If you speak to him, Ri’saad will give you a note detailing his problems with bandits.
The second way to start Saints and Seducers is to stumble upon one of the camps you’ll be charged with clearing out. Once you get close enough, you’ll initiate the quest. In any case, once you start clearing out these camps, make sure to search the camps and the bodies thoroughly. Not only are there valuable items lying around, but there are also notes and journals that give you a bit of lore and to progress the quests. Specifically, you’re looking for Svarig’s and Kinthal’s journals.
Note on Amber and Madness Ore
To forge anything with Madness Ore, you’ll need to find the Note on Amber and Madness Ore first. Before you start searching for this note, you’ll first need to clear out a couple of bandit camps. In particular, you’re looking for Svarig’s camp, which is south of Yorgim’s Overlook, and Kinthal’s camp, which is near Karthwasten. Reading the journals you get for killing both bandit leaders will activate the next quest in the chain, Restoring Order.
Restoring Order will take you to Solitude. More specifically, you’ll have to head into the sewers and find the source of the bandit problem. Once in the sewers, you’ll need to fight your way through a host of Elytras and Spriggans, which aren’t the easiest enemies to tackle. Elytras will poison you, and Spriggans are both tanky and damaging, and have a strong ranged spell to boot. If you’re having trouble, you can retreat to the doorways, as the Spriggans won’t be able to follow you. At the end of the area is your main target – Thoron.
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Fighting Thoron isn’t especially easy if you don’t have a great defense against magic. He will primarily attack using ranged spells, but will summon Seducers as the fight goes on. Having your own summons or companions to take the heat off you is a good idea. If the fight isn’t going your way, you can retreat back into the corridor to lose aggro, and he won’t heal the damage you’ve already done. Once you’ve killed him, loot the journals off his body, then check the alchemy table on the right of the sword. The note on Amber and Madness Ore is there. When read, it will direct you to Mistwatch, which is a fair bit south of Windhelm.
With Thoron dead, your next objective will be to visit a camp slightly north of Mistwatch. This camp is the home of Evethra, an Arcane Blacksmith. Compared to Thoron, Evethra is much easier to take down. You have much more range to fight from, aren’t in a cramped corridor, her ice spells are easier to dodge, and she’s just generally not as strong. You may need to keep an eye out for an ambush, as bandits and dragons can pop out of nowhere during your fight. Once Evethra is down, loot her journal and read it to learn how to forge with Madness Ore.
What can be forged with Madness Ore?
Once you have Evethra’s journal, and a good supply of Madness Ore, you can take it to your nearest blacksmith and start forging. To make the armor, you will need Ebony Ingots and Leather Straps, so make sure you have those at hand, too. That said, here’s what you can craft with Madness Ore:
- Madness Sword
- Madness War Axe
- Madness Dagger
- Madness Mace
- Madness Greatsword
- Madness Battleaxe
- Madness Warhammer
- Madness Bow
- Madness Arrows
- Madness Boots
- Madness Gauntlets
- Madness Armor
- Madness Helmet
- Madness Shield
You’ll need a fair bit of Madness Ore to make the whole set and your preferred weapons, but it certainly is worthwhile. Madness equipment is by far the best in the game, and can be made even stronger if you’re a good blacksmith and can do quality enchantments. They’ll be enough to carry you through much of your adventures, especially if you temper them.