TENDING THE FLAMES
Find King Olaf's Verse
Help Viarmo reconstruct Olaf's Verse
Meet Viarmo at the Blue Palace
Watch Viarmo perform Olaf's Verse
Speak to Viarmo
Speak to Jorn
Attend the Burning of King Olaf
King Olaf's verse is hidden in Dead Man's Respite. When you enter, pick up the Ruby Dragon Claw from the pressurised plate on the table in front of you. You'll need the Claw later. A seemingly benign ghost will appear repeatedly throughout your excursion, guiding you of sorts as you are assailed by an assortment of Draugr enemies.
The dungeon is quite straightforward. Crawl through the Draugr tombs, activating chains to open the way. You get to one point where you'll need to fall into a pit of water and continue through the lower depths of Dead Man's Respite.
Past the sealed door, you must fight off a more powerful Draugr type, usually accompanied by equally as competent lesser Draugr. Hold your ground against an onslaught of Restless Draugrs in one of the rooms and descend down a spiral staircase. Retrieve King Olaf's verse and return to the Bards College.
The ghostly Svaknir will open up the sealed passage for you. At this point, you'll need to solve the puzzle, using the Ruby Dragon Claw to complete the solution. (Hint: The correct sequence is on the Claw itself -- inspect it in your inventory.)
Beyond the stone door, you will have to stand your ground against a full-on Draugr assault. Svaknir's unsettled ghost will be there to help you fell one Draugr after another, until King Olaf One-Eye himself rises from his tomb. It's useful to note that Svaknir cannot be harmed, so he can be used to draw King Olaf's attention as needed.
Take King Olaf's Treasury Key from his now lifeless corpse, learn a Whirlwind Sprint Word from the Word Wall here, and unlock the door using the looted key for a quick way back to Skyrim.
When you present King Olaf's verse to Viarmo back at the Bard's College, he is unhappy with its current condition, but you can help him piece back together the lost verses. The Persuade option gives the verse a more fanciful flair. Do successful persuasions to gain the court's favour and boost your payout in the end.
Meet Viarmo at the Blue Palace. After Viarmo artfully recites the king's wonderful tale, speak to Viarmo who refers you to Jorn, promising that you will soon join the ranks of the auspicious bards. The festival begins apace after dark. After bearing witness to the burning of Olaf's effigy, you officially become a bard, receive your handsome reward, and help out with a few other things in the Bards College.