The Way to a Big Oaf’s Heart


The Way to a Big Oaf’s Heart
Quest Giver Callen
Locations Nightgate Inn, Wreck of the Brinehammer, Understone Keep, Sleeping Giant Inn
Prerequisites None
Related Quests None
Enemy Level PC x 1.5 Class EncClassHorker
Quest ID Horkerquest Editor ID XX12E107
NPCs Callen, Clario, Gorr, Tusky
Reward Callen as a Follower

The Way to a Big Oaf’s Heart reunites Callen with her old friend and companion, Gorr. According to Callen, the friendship was broken the day she accidentally spilled his prized horker stew during a particularly wild swing of her flagon. In order to repair the relationship, Callen is in search of a legendary horker said to have wrecked a number of ships on the northern coast.

Here for Horkers
After finding her at Nightgate Inn, Callen tells the player she has come to Eastmarch to search for horkers, but hasn’t found one suitable enough for Gorr. She mentions rumors of a horker so large it sank a ship, and asks the PC if he/she will help her slay it. Callen will proceed to follow the player until they reach the Brinehammer.

– Callen has a copy of the book “Horker Attacks” in her inventory.
– Her custom rusty iron sword does 6 damage as opposed to 7 with normal iron swords.
– Attempts to reunite Callen and Gorr without finishing the quest will result in additional dialogue where the two refuse to speak to each other.

Wreck of the Brinehammer
Once Callen enters the area in front of the Brinehammer, the quest will update and Callen will forcegreet the player. She will briefly discuss strategy before exiting the conversation, at which point a scene will trigger where she sniffs out the horker. Rushing toward the shore, she spots the legendary horker, Tusky, on a nearby island before engaging it in combat.

– Tusky has the keyword ActorTypeDragon attached to it in order for the game’s boss music to play. While a separate keyword will prevent followers from the mod from calling it a dragon, the same will not be true for other followers with combat dialogue. Future updates may clone the vanilla music and make a separate track in order to avoid this issue and still leave the vanilla templates untouched.
– Tusky is 2.5 times the size of a normal horker.
– It is implied that Tusky wrecked the Brinehammer, as no official explanation has been provided in the game.

Finding a Chef
Despite receiving a cut of the legendary horker meat, Callen insists the stew needs to be cooked by a master chef, but more importantly, someone crazy enough to think horkers are food. Callen informs the player of a chef in Markarth who has experience cooking with magic. The two travel to the Understone Keep to find Clario Moorsley and request he make the dish. After initially turning the two down, the player convinces the chef by showing him the horker meat and its unparalleled marbling and texture.

However, the magnificence of the meat results in a new problem. Clario wishes to make a culinary masterpiece, and to do so he needs an assortment of items. The full list is as follows:

– Lavender
– Tomato
– Fire Salts
– Carrot
– Resist Frost
– Repel Undead or Repel Lesser Undead Scroll (Bane of the Undead also works as of v3.05)

– Due to the game’s inability to recognize player-made frost potions, Clario will only accept potions that are found in the world or purchased at a store. As a result, speaking to Callen will result in her giving the PC a suitable potion.
– The Repel Undead scroll is an expert level scroll and the most difficult item to retrieve, essentially making it the only item that is likely not to be in the player’s inventory. In later versions, Repel Lesser Undead and Bane of the Undead will also progress the quest.
– Callen originally followed the player for the duration of the quest, but due to the difficulty finding the scroll, the player now has the option of leaving her at Understone Keep.


Majique le Horker
Retrieving the items will enable Clario’s dialogue and start a scene between him and Callen. However, Callen eventually admits that the stew smells delicious, and she joins the player once more as they set out to deliver the stew to Gorr.

– The French name for the stew is borrowed from The Gourmet’s use of French in his “Potage le Magnifique.” However, the usage in Clario’s case is a bit backwards, as the translation is literally “Magic the Horker.”
– If another person is using the cooking pot, it may result in a delay in the scene being played.
– Original drafts gave the player the option of eating the stew and failing the quest.

The Oaf and the Elf
Taking Callen to Gorr will result in a brief confrontation, followed by Callen pointing the Redguard toward the player and the stew. After remarking on its deliciousness, Gorr will forgive Callen and finish the meal. Callen will thank the player and offer the PC her services whenever he/she needs her.

– Depending on your previous interaction with Gorr, his location may vary.
– Callen will have a few additional lines of random dialogue upon completion of the quest.

The Way to a Big Oaf’s Heart (Horkerquest)
Stage Information
0 The player finds Callen at Nightgate Inn hunting for horkers.
5 The PC agrees to help Callen slay a legendary horker on the northern coast.
10 The pair arrive at the Wreck of the Brinehammer and discuss strategy.
15 Callen smells the legendary horker, Tusky, west of the shipwreck. It attacks Callen and the PC shortly thereafter.
20 The player slays Tusky and retrieves the meat, and must now speak to Callen.
25 Callen suggests bringing the meat to a special chef in Markarth to cook the stew.
30 The chef Clario Moorsley refuses to help the pair, until some coaxing from Callen and a view of the special horker meat.
35 Clario Moorsley agrees to cook the meat provided the player retrieves the necessary ingredients
45 After returning the ingredients to Clario, he cooks the stew.
50 Callen rejoins the player and the two set out to find Gorr.
55 Callen confronts Gorr and tells him she’s brought him a present.
100 Their friendship repaired, Callen leaves Gorr to the task of eating. She thanks the player and offers the PC her blade, with her relationship rank now set to 3.

Notes: Stages 17 and 60 are set during scenes or when entering a trigger at the appropriate stage.

38 thoughts on “The Way to a Big Oaf’s Heart”

  1. There seems to be a rather severe bug with Clario cooking the stew. If you bring him the ingredients and he agrees to cook it just when there’s already a random native kitchen servant like Voada cooking something near the fire, he will stay in his place instead of going to the fire, and while he’ll say that he’s done, no conversation with him or Callen would be possible (the game will say that both are busy).

  2. Apologies, I’ve just seen the “if another person is using the cooking pot, it may result in a delay in the scene being played” note. But Clario saying that he’s done and no conversation with both characters being possible sounds like a more severe issue then what you’ve described.

    1. I’ve already taken care of it by moving the others cooks out of the way.

      However, it won’t work on old saves because the aliases fill when you first load the mod. For example, if you type “sqv horkerquest”, those aliases for the vanilla NPCs will be empty. Do it from a clean save, and they’ll be filled.

      1. Oh, I’ve realized what’s going on soon enough, and already passed this stage by reloading and choosing a time when no native reach cooks were cooking anything. I just reported it for the mod’s sake, glad to hear that you’ve already fixed this.

  3. It seem that someone who use any mod that sort item (as of skyre, skyui and such) cannot finish the quest since the potion is always labelled dif than the one the trigger demand. :(

  4. When I bring the meat to Clario, I cannot advance the dialogue. Callen threatens him, Clario comments o nthe amazing texture, and then when I try to select “So you’ll cook it for us?” the game does not register my click. It sits on the dialogue menu, not moving.

    On a side not, Gorr is dead. I recruited him and used him for a few hours before he tragically died, long, long before I even met Callen. So maybe that is related. But I’m not sure how his death would affect dialogue options with Clario.

    1. gorr being dead would break the quest, but you can resurrect him.

      The game not registering a click is more of a Skyrim bug. I wouldn’t even know how to begin breaking the game’s base dialogue system. Try saving/reloading.

    2. I’m having the same problem .. He will not respond to me after i give him the meat. I’ve reloaded several times, restarted from a much earlier save game, Haven’t even met Gorr yet ( so i don’t think he’s dead) and i can talk to everyone else …. just not to Clario

      Not sure what to do now

      1. Well, you’re not having the same problem, because the other person just couldn’t click on the dialogue, which is a vanilla skyrim thing. The quest is very old, and has been tested/completed thousands of the times, so it’s hard to figure what the problem could be.

        Anyhow, the only conditions for Clario’s dialogue “So you’ll cook it for us?” to show are being on stage 30 of “horkerquest” and having Callen within 1024 units of Clario(basically so long as she’s somewhat nearby). Callen is conditioned to sit down at stage 25 or higher, so that shouldn’t be an issue. You can type “sqv horkerquest” to see what stage you’re on which will give me a better idea of where you’re at in the quest.

        1. (If someone is still having this issue and trying to look up a solution) I got it to work by using console commands to disable and the enabling him again.

  5. Hey guys, i think i bugged the quest. I arrived with Callen at the Brinehammer, she forcestalk to me to discuss the strategy and stuff but i mistakenly closed the dialogue, now the big horker won’t appear nor i can’t advance the quest by talking to her again. I tried to reset the quest via console but its of no use. Anyone can help me?

      1. I had the same issue and did as you suggested. She went through the dialog but the horker never appeared so once we got to the island, she sheathed her sword and began to follow me again.

        1. Ah right, the enable is connected to the dialogue. It’s set up correctly though. The “issue” is tabbing out. If you did so, just reload and talk to her again.

  6. I have a problem with that quest. I obtained Wabbajack in Solitude after killing big Hooker. When u are entering to mind of Pelagius all of your items are vanished. After returning I didn’t get back my hooker’s meat and I can’t progress story now. Any advice?

  7. Now that I think about it, I’m almost sure that in my three playthroughs of the game I have never found “Repel Undead” scroll. There was alot of “Bane of the undead” and so on, but never this. So I don’t understand the necessity of demanding this particular item. Sure, it can be added via console, but still…

      1. Then, please, do it. Because on high levels Bane of the Undead is easier to find than some of the less advanced anti-undead scrolls.

  8. I just had an issue when finishing the quest. I talked to Gorr while he was in his room and his dialogue about the stew overlapped with the conversation between him and Callen. I had to reload and wait for him to be at a table in order for it to work properly.

    1. I don’t really understand what you mean by overlapping, so perhaps I should break it down and you can tell me exactly what part you are experiencing the issue and what isn’t playing.

      Stage 50 – You return to Gorr with stew. You click on him, he says “What’s she doing here?” This starts a scene with Callen and bumps to stage 55. At the end of the scene, Gorr forcegreets.

      Stage 55 – Gorr forcegreets, says he likes the stew, you are given two response choices, both kick you out of the dialogue and start a scene. At the end of the scene stage is bumped to 100, Callen forcegreets.

      Stage 100 – Quest ends, Callen relationship rank boosted.

      edit: Perhaps you’re saying the Gorr forcegreet at stage 55 leaked out too early, and thus prevents the forcegreet from ever happening? If that’s the case, I can remove the “Sayonce” so even if it fires too early, it’ll still fire again at the end of the scene allowing you to progress.

  9. I have a problem where the game never registers that I have all the needed ingredients for stew. Got the potion from Callen, bought a resist undead scroll from Winterhold, and picked up all the groceries from around but for some reason the quest does not update itself.

      1. Spent quite a long time checking around with console commands before reading your reply. All I had to do was simply talking to Clario. Thanks!

  10. So I have all the ingredients but Clario doesn’t have an option to make the stew.. I have:

    1 Tomato
    1 Carrot
    1 Resist Frost potion from Callen
    1 Lavender
    1 Fire Salts
    1 Turn Undead – this is for up to level 8… is that adequate or do I need a different scroll? The scroll itself just says “Turn Undead”, not “Turn Lesser Undead” or anything like that…

    Love the mod btw!

    1. I have the same problem, it gets stuck in an infinite loop between the ‘seems a bit harsh’ and ‘you can always get new friends’ dialog

  11. Can anyone clue me in on where I’m supposed to meet Calen if you arrange to meet her in Markarth (after obtaining the meat)? I’ve been running all over town, checking the inn and various buildings and can’t for the life of me find her.

    The first time I travelled to Markarth “with her” I turned around and realised I’d lost her at some point. Fast travel didn’t seem to fix it, so retracing my steps I finally found her, and chose the option to meet up in town. She makes no mention of where though and just marches off. Silly girl. Classic Skyrim woes.

      1. That was an incredibly fast reply, for an old website. I might ask there instead then, thanks.

        Although regarding that anyway, I did find the chef in the Keep, however Callen wasn’t with him, or seemingly anywhere else. Talking to the chef without Callen present actually seemed to glitch the quest out. Have always got the option of loading back, but trying to avoid that, due to a really good random item picked up between those events.

  12. I’m having this problem too. Can’t find Callen anywhere. I tried player.placeatme to spawn a copy of her, but it didn’t trigger the chef to talk about the meat. I looked all over town and in Understone Keep and I can’t find her.

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