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What are the advantages of sparing the orcs at the Gloombound mines? Personally I killed them so I could keep the gauntlets They seem to have a useful trait for when I'll be improve my draedric armor or dragon armor.

But what benefits do you get when you spare the orcs?

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  • 3
    We don't do polls.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 23 '13 at 10:29
  • @kotekzot This isn't a poll. He isn't asking, "What did you do to enter Gloombound Mine, Kill the orcs or help them?" He's asking about the advantages and disadvantages.
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 9 '15 at 1:00
  • But I wish Stack Exchange sites allow polls if only there was another system instead of the question and answer system.
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 9 '15 at 1:01
  • @Jim see original version of the question.
    – kotekzot
    Dec 11 '15 at 9:17
  • @kotekzot What is the original version of the question?
    – Jim Jones
    Dec 12 '15 at 1:09
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The gauntlets I think you're referring to are the Forgemaster's Fingers. You're right that they convey a 12% bonus to smithing, however they are not truly related to Gloombound Mines. They are instead part of the radiant quest Find the Forgemaster's Fingers which can be started at any Orc Stronghold.

The reward for successfully completing this quest (and therefore returning the Gauntlets) is the privilege of being seen as Blood Kin by all Orcs in all Orc Strongholds. This gives the advantage of freely entering Orc Strongholds without encountering hostility and also to trade with and use their facilities.

However, killing the orcs and not returning the gauntlet will not prevent you from becoming blood kin in one of the other settlements, as there are several other ways to achieve the status:

  • Complete the miscellaneous quest "Clear Kolskeggr Mine." After doing so, report to Pavo Attius. Upon finishing the quest, Gat gro-Shargakh, a fellow Orc miner, will send out a message to all of the Orc encampments that the Dragonborn is now Blood-Kin, thus allowing them to enter any strongholds.
  • Bring a Daedra Heart to Moth gro-Bagol at Understone Keep in Markarth, and he will send word to the strongholds for the Dragonborn to be trusted. (Either changed by 1.9 or possible bugged)
  • Speak to Ghorza gra-Bagol in Markarth. She will give the Dragonborn a quest to find a skill book for smithing for her apprentice. Once the book is found and given to her, she will then send word to the orc strongholds that the Dragonborn can be trusted. She will then also be possible to marry.
  • Help Ainethach get rid of the Silver-Blood mercenaries by persuading or bribing them to leave. DO NOT get Ainethach to sell. Once they have left and Ainethach has rewarded the Dragonborn, speak to Lash gra-Dushnikh and she will send a message to the strongholds that the Dragonborn can be trusted.
  • In the Dawnguard expansion, upon completion of A New Order, Durak will mention sending a message to the Orc strongholds of the Dragonborn's Blood-kin status.
  • Completing the first part of The Cursed Tribe allows entrance to Largashbur, and fully completing the quest allows entrance to all Orcish Strongholds, and the bestowing of the Blood Kin title.
  • After collecting enough of books for Urag gro-Shub in the library of The College of Winterhold, he sends word to Orc strongholds that the Dragonborn should be allowed entry.

From UESP

Having re-visited the Gloombound Mines to have a look round and see if I could work out a few more pros & cons for you, I'd overall say there's not much in the choice for Gloombound Mines specifically. You don't lose much for killing the residents of Narzulbur - Yatul and Urog are entirely unremarkable and Chief Maulakh only has the option for a lengthy brawl yielding only 100gp in profit. Bolar is a normal alchemy seller, so you would lose her services. Similarly killing Dushnamub would result in the loss of the blacksmith vendor and also would lose the opportunity to sell Ebony Ore at full price (insignificant if you're using the ebony for your own smithing).

There's therefore not many disadvantages to killing the Orcs, however there aren't many advantages either! The only one I can think of is that the Orcs in the mine will not move should you wish to use a vein. This can be resolved by waiting for an hour, however murdering everyone works too!

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  • I believe activating the ore vein that is being mined will interrupt the NPC and allow you to mine it yourself.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 27 '13 at 19:48
  • @kotekzot Usually yes, however not in Gloombound. The theory is that the Orcs wont yield the vein until the player is Blood Kin, however they still refused to get out of the way after being made Blood kin in my latest play-through. Possibly a bug I've gained along the way but wikia suggests I'm not the only one encountering it :)
    – Rory
    Jun 27 '13 at 19:58
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Doing any favor activity for an Orc will grant blood kin. Even the favor for the Orc in Shor's Stone, or the Orc mage (Dryvenea the Stoneweaver) in Kynesgrove.

As to advantages for killing them, there are none. It serves no purpose since you can reach the mine and mine the ebony by using a horse to bypass the gate and walls. The trigger for them to attack is opening the gate.

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  • Oh and you can manually mine ore by hitting it with a pickaxe. So waiting is not required. Sep 8 '13 at 20:06
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For anyone googling this like I did, there is not much you will miss out on, but you will likely max out your ebony blade if you're bloodkin, which is really nice.

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