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The Daedric Princes of Skyrim (often referred to as “gods”) each have a quest related to their worship.  By completing these optional quests, you receive unique treasure or character boosts that are well worth the effort.  Many Daedric quests can be initiated in cities; others require you to get radiant items beforehand.  Here are the names of Skyrim’s Daedric Princes and their associated side quests: 

Daedric Prince         Related Quest                              How to Trigger                                           

AZURA                      “The Black Star”                            Locate her Shrine or hear rumors about it
BOETHIAH                 “Boethiah’s Calling”                     Read the book “Boethiah’s Proving”
CLAVICUS VILE         “A Daedra’s Best Friend”             Talk to Lod in Falkreath
HERMAEUS MORA   “Discerning the Transmudane”    Locate Septimus Signus’ Outpost
HIRCINE                    “Ill Met by Moonlight”                Talk to parents in Falkreath’s cemetery
MALACATH              “The Cursed Tribe”                       Enter Largashbur, an orc stronghold
MEHRUNES DAGON “Pieces of the Past”                     Courier delivers museum invitation
MEPHALA                 “The Whispering Door”                 Hear rumor about Jarl Balgruuf’s children
MERIDIA                   “The Break of Dawn”                   Acquire Meridia’s Beacon (radiant item)
MOLAG BAL            “The House of Horrors”                 Approach abandoned house in Markarth
NAMIRA                   “The Taste of Death”                   Approach Hall of the Dead in Markarth
NOCTURNAL             N/A                                                Complete the Thieves Guild questline
PERYITE                     “The Only Cure”                           Locate his Shrine or meet afflicted person
SANGUINE                “A Night to Remember”              Drink with Sam Guevenne in any tavern  
SHEOGORATH          “The Mind of Madness”              Talk to the mad beggar in Solitude
VAERMINA               “Waking Nightmare”                    Talk to the priest in Dawnstar’s inn

With the exception of Nocturnal (who has her own questline), all Daedric quests are detailed below – listed alphabetically by the quest name:

A   D A E D R A ' S   B E S T   F R I E N D 

When you first enter FALKREATH, a guard will ask if you’ve seen a dog on the road.  Answer however you wish and your journal adds the objective: “Speak with Lod.”  Lod is the city’s blacksmith.  Go to his forge and speak with him.  Agree to find the dog and Lod will give you a piece of FRESH MEAT to use as bait.  If your Speech skill is high enough, you can persuade Lod to pay you some gold up front.  A quest arrow points to the dog’s location just outside of town.  Go there and wait for Barbas to approach.  Turns out the dog can talk!  Barbas asks if you’ll help settle a dispute with his master.  Agree to help Barbas to officially add the quest, “A Daedra’s Best Friend”.

Barbas joins you and expects you to accompany him all the way to his master’s dungeon, which is quite a distance away.  The dog will help you fight enemies just like any other follower and cannot be killed, but he tends to get pushy if you stray too far off course.  If Barbas becomes a nuisance, just tell him you’ll meet him at his master’s place and he’ll dash off ahead.

With or without Barbas’ help, travel to the location marked on your map.  Virtually all routes force you to go through Helgen, which is now populated by bandits.  Also, there’s a good chance you’ll get attacked by a dragon after passing through the destroyed fort.  Head east from Helgen, following the road down the hill to HAEMAR’S SHAME.

Inside, you’ll face many vampires that can turn you into one.  Vampirism can be removed by drinking a “Cure Disease” potion, or by touching a divinity shrine.  If Barbas came with you, he’ll charge on ahead.  Let him do his thing and don’t bother giving chase.  Kill the vampire guarding the wooden structure and open the nearby chest.  Head east through the tunnel and try to avoid the spike wall trap while fighting another vampire.  Take out two vampires near a campfire and look for a chest on the platform with the alchemy lab.  Proceed through the next tunnel into a multi-leveled chamber.  Several vampires patrol the upper and lower levels, so try sniping them one at a time.  After clearing the area, get the Destruction SKILLBOOK, “Response to Bero’s Speech”, in an alcove at the southern end.  Continue down the ramp and enter Haemar’s Shame.

Kill a Frostbite Spider up ahead then pass through to an area with an arcane enchanter.  Keep fighting vampires (or looting ones that Barbas already killed) until you reach a room with a big statue.  Help Barbas defeat the remaining foes, including a boss-level vampire. Once cleared, Barbas will obediently sit at the foot of his stone master.  Activate the SHRINE OF CLAVICUS VILE.  Tell the Daedric Prince you’re here to return Barbas.  Clavicus doesn’t want the mutt, but says he can be persuaded if you bring him a Rueful Axe.  He tells you the axe is inside Rimerock Burrow and Barbas can show you the way there.  Agree to his deal.

The dog, once again, joins you as a follower.  Walk upstairs and open the boss chest on the landing behind the statue.  Loot the ash piles left by vampires as well.  After collecting the goodies, pull the chain on the opposite wall to reveal a shortcut out of the dungeon.

Back outside, you can tell Barbas to meet you at Rimerock Burrow or let him tag along.  The burrow is located on the northwestern edge of Skyrim and is hard to reach if approached from the wrong side.  Take the road leading south from Lost Echo Cave and follow it as it curves through the hills.  When you get to the crossroad, head northwest up the snowy path to reach the hideaway.

Enter RIMEROCK BURROW and kill the Storm Atronach.  Once it’s gone, sneak into the next room and kill Sebastian Lort before he conjures more Atronachs.  After killing the wizard, loot his body and take the RUEFUL AXE off the table.  In Lort’s bedroom, you’ll find a Conjuration SKILLBOOK titled “2920, Hearth Fire, v9".  When ready, leave the burrow and return to Haemar’s Shame.

Bring the axe to Clavicus Vile.  Vampires may have respawned in the cave so be careful as you head to his shrine.  Once there, Barbas will once again sit by his master.  When approached, Clavicus gives you a choice: 

            a.) Kill Barbas with the Rueful Axe and keep it
            b.) Spare the dog and get the true Daedric Artifact

Since I’m not an axe person, I chose to spare Barbas and received the much more useful MASQUE OF CLAVICUS VILE.  After receiving the Daedric Prince’s artifact, Barbas turns to stone and takes his master’s side just as he had wished.  This ends the quest.

A   N I G H T   T O   R E M E M B E R 

Visit taverns around Skyrim until a mage named Sam Guevenne shows up at the bar (around Level 14).  Once he’s there, Sam will ask you to play a drinking game with him.  Agree to drink his special ale.  After three rounds, you black out.  When you regain consciousness, you’ll be inside the Temple of Dibella in MARKARTH - and the quest “A Night To Remember” officially begins.

A priestess named Senna asks you to clean up the mess you made the night before - something you have no memory of doing, of course.  Ask Senna where Sam Guevenne went.  If you cannot persuade her to give you clues, either bribe her or offer to clean up the mess.  Pick up debris where indicated (wine bottles, giant’s toe, hagraven feather, and a note concerning the staff Sam was supposed to give you).  Ultimately, Senna mentions something about Rorikstead. 

Travel to RORIKSTEAD, which is a small farming village west of Whiterun.  Talk to a farmer named Ennis to learn that you sold his prized goat to a giant the night before.  Persuade, intimidate or bribe Ennis to get information – or just fetch his goat.  To find Ennis goat, head south and kill the giant on the other side of the hill.  Lead the goat back to Ennis.  Ultimately, Ennis tells you that you mentioned something about repaying Ysolda in Whiterun.

Travel to WHITERUN and speak with Ysolda to learn that you took her wedding ring the night before and proposed to someone.  Persuade, intimidate or bribe Ysolda to get the next clue – or just fetch her ring.  To find Ysolda’s ring, go to WITCHMIST GROVE, which is south of Kynesgrove.  Upon entering the shack, Moira (your fiancée) greets you.  Ask for the ring back and she’ll attack.  Kill Moira to get YSOLDA’S RING.  You’ll also find the Destruction SKILLBOOK, “Response to Bero’s Speech” in her shack.  Back in Whiterun, Ysolda mentions that your wedding ceremony was going to be held in Morvunskar.

MORVUNSKAR is a fort overlooking Windhelm.  Upon reaching it, kill all of the mages patrolling the courtyard and look for a chest.  Sneak inside the fort and kill two more mages in the room on the right.  Search the area to find a Smithing SKILLBOOK titled, “Cherim’s Heart”.  Proceed downstairs and follow the hallways into a large room with several mages, including a boss-level warlock.  Kill the mages and loot all of their bodies.  Explore offshoots for chests before ascending the stairs in this room.  After clearing the place, go upstairs to see a blue ball of light appear.  Step into the portal and arrive at Misty Grove.

Follow the path to find Sam Guevenne sitting at a table with a group of people.  Speak with Sam to learn that he’s actually the Daedric Prince, SANGUINE.  For playing his game, he gives you the SANGUINE ROSE, a Daedric staff that summons a Dremora to aid you in battle for 60 seconds.  After receiving your reward, Sanguine sends you back to the tavern where you first met “Sam”.

This completes the quest, however, you may encounter an Argonian named Deep-In-His-Cups at some point during your travels.  The Argonian lost a bet with you and Sam during your night of debauchery and demands 10,000 gold.   Persuade him to lower the price to 750 or fight him to take care of the situation.

B O E T H I A H ' S   C A L L I N G 

To initiate this quest, read the book “Boethiah’s Proving”.  Copies of the text will start appearing in locations around Skyrim once you reach level 30.  Alternately, Boethiah Cultists may ambush you on the road and you can get the book off their corpses.  You can also initiate this quest by discovering the SACELLUM OF BOETHIAH, which is located in the mountains directly east of Windhelm.  Whether you discover the Daedric Prince’s shrine independently or are prompted to investigate the cult by reading the book, “Boethiah’s Calling” begins.

If you can spare the time, stop by TRAITOR’S POST just north of the Sacellum to pick up some quick treasure.  Bandits guard the shack.  After killing them, get the Block SKILLBOOK, “A Dance in Fire, v2” and TREASURE MAP VII inside a locked chest.

Beware of Ice Trolls en route to the Sacellum of Boethiah.  Once you reach the peak, you’ll see several Cultists walking around – some battling each other in a small arena.  Beyond them, a Priestess of Boethiah silently watches the activities.  Either speak with the Priestess or kill the entire group.  If you decide to kill everyone, the Daedric Prince BOETHIAH will appear.  She gives you the same task that the Priestess would have offered:  Bring a follower to the Sacellum and kill them on the Pillar of Sacrifice.  To perform this evil deed, you are given the BLADE OF SACRIFICE. 

Killing a follower is, of course, terrible.  Find someone you don’t mind losing – a hired mercenary perhaps.  Bring them to the Sacellum of Boethiah and walk up to the sacrificial circle.  Once there, ask your follower to activate the pillar.  Do this by picking the dialog option: “I need you to do something” then direct the cursor towards the pillar to get a “Use” option.  Once your follower touches the pillar, they become bound to it.  This only works on non-essential people, by the way.  Contrary to what you were told, the Blade of Sacrifice is optional.  Use any weapon to kill your helpless companion. 

After performing the brutal ritual, Boethiah takes over your follower’s corpse.  Through this conduit, she tells you to battle the cultists until only one is left standing.  If you already killed the other worshippers, Boethiah’s dialog simply continues.  If not, heed Boethiah’s advice and kill all of them stealthily.  When you are the only one left, the Daedric Prince tells you she’s grown tired of her current champion and wants you to take that person’s place.  After the Daedric Prince disappears, take a look at your map.  Boethiah’s Champion is located at KNIFEPOINT RIDGE, which is northwest of Falkreath.  Go there when ready.

Upon reaching Knifepoint Ridge, kill all of the bandits guarding the mining camp.  Loot their bodies afterwards and explore the area.  In particular, get the Archery SKILLBOOK “Vernaccus and Bourlor” near the practice range.  Sneak inside the mine where you’ll find more bandits, as well as many ore deposits.  Most of the bandits are involved in activities with their backs turned, so stealthy attacks are the best way to go.  Some are standing near flammable gas so casting fire spells makes short work of them, too.   The path is fairly linear so just forge ahead until you reach the Champion’s hut.  Kill bandits guarding the area and look for a locked chest underneath the ramp.  Sneak inside the hut afterwards and kill the boss. 

After defeating the Champion, loot his corpse to get Boethiah’s unique EBONY MAIL.  Equip it and the Daedric Prince will appear once more.  In addition to keeping the armor, Boethiah names you her new champion.  This ends the quest.

D I S C E R N I N G   T H E    T R A N S M U N D A N E 

To trigger this lengthy Daedric quest, either visit SEPTIMUS SIGNUS’ OUTPOST, or start “Elder Knowledge” in the main questline to add it automatically.  Unless you’re a fanatical explorer, it’s unlikely that you’ll discover Septimus’ remote ice cave on your own.  To do so, travel directly north from Winterhold, crossing the frigid wasteland to the banks of the frozen sea.  Hop across flat ice sheets to reach a small iceberg.  Look for a hatch embedded on the south side of the iceberg.  Open it to enter Septimus Signus’s Outpost.

Once inside, walk down the ramp to find the demented scholar pacing in front of a large Dwemer device.  Speak with Septimus and he will mumble something about “the heart of a god” being contained inside, but he can’t open the device without your help.  Agree to assist Septimus with his research and he’ll give you two items:  a BLANK LEXICON and an ATTUNEMENT SPHERE.  He explains how to use the items once you get to Blackreach.
 
Leave the outpost and take a look at your map.  Although the quest marker points toward Alftand, there are a number of ways to access BLACKREACH.  The vast underground city runs for miles, connecting three Dwemer ruins – Alftand, Mzinchaleft, and Raldbthar – across three separate holds.  Exploring Blackreach before getting the same objective in the main questline is impractical – and wholly unadvisable for low-leveled characters.  If you’re hell bent on doing it beforehand, read the “Elder Knowledge” portion of the Main Questline for a complete rundown of what’s in store.  Return to this guide after obtaining the RUNED LEXICON.

Once you’ve obtained the Runed Lexicon from Blackreach, bring it to Septimus Signus.  The scholar tells you he needs various types of elf blood in order to read the runes.  Upon receiving his ESSENCE EXTRACTOR, your questlog adds five new objectives:

  • Harvest High Elf blood
  • Harvest Wood Elf blood
  • Harvest Dark Elf blood
  • Harvest Falmer blood
  • Harvest Orc blood

Attempt to leave the cave and HERMAEUS MORA (in energy form) stops you.  The Daedric Prince suggests that you should take Septimus’ place once the Dwemer device is opened.  Answer however you wish then go outside. 

At this point, travel around Skyrim and collect five blood samples – one from each type of elf.  You can extract blood from freshly killed elves or corpses you find in dungeons.  With the Essence Extractor in your inventory, examining a dead elf will bring up the option to harvest blood.  Your journal updates each time you extract blood from a new species.  Falmer blood is the easiest to harvest, since any Dwemer ruin is crawling with them.  As for finding the others, explore bandit hideouts and mage towers.  For example, in Halted Stream Camp (northwest of Whiterun) you’ll find a High Elf victim in a spiked pit.  And in Liar’s Retreat (northeast of Karthwasten), you can collect Wood Elf, Dark Elf and Orc samples.  Both places are relatively small so it won’t take too long to explore them.

After all five elf species have been harvested, return to Septimus Signus.  Give him the blood samples and watch the scene that follows.  When it ends, approach the pedestal and take the OGHMA INIFINIUM.  Reading this Daedric tome allows you to boost one skill path (adds a point to each skill in the set):

PATH OF MIGHT = Heavy Armor / One-Handed / Smithing / Two-Handed / Archery / Block
PATH OF SHADOW = Light Armor / Speech / Pickpocket / Alchemy / Sneak / Lockpicking
PATH OF MAGIC = Destruction / Restoration / Conjuration / Illusion / Alteration / Enchanting

The book is removed from your inventory as soon as you select a path.  Loot the outpost and approach the exit to receive a final visit from Hermaeus Mora.  Agree or disagree with his assessment of you to end the quest.

I L L   M E T   B Y   M O O N L I G H T 

To initiate this quest, travel to FALKREATH and go down to the cemetery, where you’ll find a couple attending their daughter’s funeral. When the priest finishes the service, ask the grieving father how his child died.  Mathies explains that a farmhand named Sinding ripped his daughter apart and no one knows why he did it.  This starts the Daedric quest “Ill Met By Moonlight”.

Go to Falkreath’s Jail and speak with Sinding.  He reveals that he’s a werewolf who lost control while wearing a ring cursed by the Daedric Prince HIRCINE.  Sinding wants you hunt down a rare animal to regain Hircine’s favor.  Agree to help Sinding and you receive the CURSED RING OF HIRCINE, which auto-equips.  You cannot remove this ring until you finish the quest.  While worn, you randomly change into beast form, unable to control your actions.  Lest you kill someone accidentally, immediately leave the city and complete the quest.

Start by tracking down the WHITE STAG.  Take a look at your map and head towards the quest marker.  Although it moves around, the animal is not too hard to find.  Sneak up on the White Stag and kill it.  Once dead, Hircine takes over the animal’s body and speaks to you.  He orders you to go to the place where Sinding has fled and kill him.

Travel to BLOATED MAN’S GROTTO, which is northwest of Riverwood.  Enter the lush cave to find several hunters that perished as a result of the loose werewolf.  Loot their bodies and pick the locked chest in a hollowed tree trunk on the right.  There’s a master-locked chest near a dead deer on the left and a hidden one at the bottom of the small pool.  A fourth chest is located on the upper platform next to the Shrine of Talos. 

Continue tracking Sinding in his beast form.  When you finally reach the werewolf, you have a choice to make – either spare Sinding or kill him as Hircine instructed.  Your decision affects what happens next and the type of reward you’ll get:

If you choose to kill Sinding, he will flee and slaughter more hunters as they arrive.  Keep tracking the werewolf until he pounces.  Once he’s dead, Hircine congratulates you and removes the Cursed Ring.  Skin the beast to receive the SAVIOR’S HIDE – a true Daedric artifact.  The unique light armor increases magic resistance by 15% and poison resistance by 50%.

If you choose to spare Sinding, you transform into a werewolf and Sinding helps you kill all of the hunters that arrive in the grotto.  Once they are slain, talk to Sinding and he will thank you, explaining that he’ll stay in the grotto from now on.  Upon exiting the cave, Hircine commends you for switching the rules of the hunt and removes the curse from the RING OF HIRCINE.  The revised ring allows you to change into beast form twice per day without losing control.

No matter which choice you made, the quest ends once Hircine disappears.  Note that the grotto contains a gold ore vein on top of the rocks near the waterfall.  Prior to getting the Daedric quest, you’ll also find BOLAR’S OATHBLADE near the Talos statue above.

P I E C E S   O F   T H E   P A S T 

Sometime after reaching level 20, a courier will deliver a Museum Pamphlet. Upon reading it, a miscellaneous quest objective is added to your journal:  “Visit the Dawnstar Museum.”  Go to DAWNSTAR and approach Silus Vesuius’ House to witness an argument between the curator and locals who are opposed to the museum’s opening.  When they leave, Silus invites you inside to view his Mythic Dawn collection.  Do as he asks.

View each of the four locked display cases in Silus Vesuius’ House and he will tell you the significance of the objects inside.  Speak with Silus and he’ll ask you to find pieces of Mehrunes Razor, a dagger once weilded by the Daedric Prince, MEHRUNES DAGON.  Agree to find the pieces and you’ll receive the book, “The Keepers of the Razor”, which formally starts the quest.  Read the book to update your map and get three quest objectives:

  • Retrieve the hilt
  • Retrieve the pommel
  • Retrieve the blade shards

Silus will pay you gold each time you bring him a piece of Mehrune’s Razor.  You can return them individually or wait to collect all three.  Retrieve the pieces in any order you wish:

The HILT is located in MORTHAL.  Travel there and speak with a man named Jorgen.  Persuade, intimidate, or bribe Jorgen to give you the Hilt.  If successful, he’ll offer the key to his house so you can fetch it out of a locked chest.  If you fail all three Speech challenges, break into Jorgen’s house when he’s not there and steal the Hilt.

The POMMEL is located in DEAD CRONE ROCK, which is southwest of Markarth, atop a mountain.   To reach it, you need to pass through Hag Rock Redoubt.  The ruins are teeming with Forsworn enemies, but you can bypass some of them by avoiding the interior.  If you decide to explore the interior, look for a chest on the right and get the Sneak SKILLBOOK, “2920, Last Seed, v8” on a table near two Forsworn enemies in the first room.  Fight your way up to the top, looting more chests near an alchemy lab, and go through the door to return to Skyrim.  Whether you took the interior or exterior route, you’ll arrive at stairs leading to the top tower.  Climb them and enter Dead Crone Rock. 

Kill the Forsworn inside then ascend the stairs.  Keep slaying enemies until you reach a metal gate.  To access the lever that opens it, you need to pass through a dining room with a fire-spitting soul gem trap.  Grab the gem to stop the flames and loot the room.  There’s a floor trap in the hallway so use caution as you proceed into the next room.  Once there, read the Alchemy SKILLBOOK, “A Game At Dinner” and pull the lever above it.  Unlock a wooden door here to gather some extra loot then backtrack to the gate you just opened.  Pass through and follow the path back out to Skyrim.

Outside, you’ll find Drascua, the ruin’s hagraven leader.  Surrounding her are soul gem traps.  Grab them so that you don’t get barraged with fire while fighting her.  Like all hagravens, Drascua casts powerful Destruction spells and can heal herself.  Augment your attacks with Shouts and you’ll do fine.  After defeating Drascua, loot her body to get the Pommel and collect items off the altar, including an “unusual gem” (STONE OF BARENZIAH) related to the Thieves Guild quest, “No Stone Unturned”.  Open the nearby boss chest and read the word wall to learn a new word in the Dragon Shout “FEAR”.

The BLADE SHARDS are located in CRACKED TUSK KEEP, which is west of Falkreath, a hideout for Orc bandits.  Once you get there, kill a few archers guarding the perimeter then explore the grounds.  There’s a big chest buried in rubble near the eastern wall and a Smithing SKILLBOOK titled “Light Armor Forging” near the blacksmith’s station.  There are three entrances into the Keep.  In addition to the front door, there’s a locked door down some steps and a hatch on the roof of the southeast turret.  The hatch leads to the Bandit Chief and the locked door leads directly to the quest item. If you’re skilled at lockpicking, you can retrieve the Blade Shards without fighting anyone else. 

Assuming you want to explore everything, sneak through the front door.  Take out two Orcs guarding the first floor then go upstairs to the chief’s bedroom.  Defeat Ghunzul and loot his body to get the CRACKED TUSK VAULTS KEY.  Collect goodies from the nearby chest then descend two levels to reach the Vaults.  Note that you can also climb the ladder to get outside and enter the Vault from the courtyard. 

Either way, use the key to unlock Cracked Tusk Vaults and step inside.  As you walk down the narrow passageway, push wall buttons to open gated treasure rooms filled with good stuff.  The room on the left contains the Light Armor SKILLBOOK, “Rislav the Righteous”.  To open the way forward, flip levers on either side of the barrier.  De-activate three tripwires as you pass through to avoid getting hit by darts, or jump over them.  Removing the BLADE SHARDS from the pedestal will also activate a dart trap, so stand to the side when retrieving them.  Backtrack to the Vault entrance and take the adjacent door out to Skyrim.

After bringing the three Razor pieces to Silus, he tells you to meet him at the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon to repair the Daedric weapon.  When he departs, feel free to unlock the display cases and steal his Mythic Dawn gear or just leave the house.  To reach the SHRINE OF MEHRUNES DAGON, head south from Dawnstar into the hills.  From the Hall of the Vigilant, continue hiking up the steep hill or travel southwest from The Lord Stone.

Upon reaching the Shrine, Silus puts the Razor pieces on the altar and tries to invoke Mehrunes Dagon.  When nothing happens, Silus asks you to try.  Interact with the altar and a manifestation of Mehrunes Dagon appears, deeming you a worthy subject.  The Daedric Prince orders you to kill Silus if you want to keep the blade.  You can choose to spare Silus, kill him, or remain silent.

If you decide to kill Silus or wait too long to answer, he’ll attack you along with two powerful Dremora that Mehrunes Dagon summons.  If you spare Silus, he’ll escape with the blade pieces, leaving you to fight the two Dremora alone.  Occasionally the Dremora kill him before he can leave but you still lose the ability to get the weapon.  Apart from fighting two powerful people instead of three, there is no good reason to spare Silus. 

Kill Silus then interact with the altar again.  Dagon will assemble the pieces and present you with MEHRUNES’ RAZOR, a Daedric dagger that has a chance to kill any target instantly.  Whether you spared Silus or not, loot the Dremora afterwards to acquire the Key to Mehrunes' Shrine, as well as their hearts.  Enter the Shrine and you’ll find two more Dremora guarding a room full of treasure.  Kill them and collect a boatload of treats.  In addition to ingots, jewels, chests, and rare ingredients, you’ll find an Enchanting SKILLBOOK titled “Catalogue of Armor Enchantments”.

T H E   B L A C K   S T A R 

To trigger this quest, ask innkeepers for rumors until you get the miscellaneous objective: “Visit the Shrine of Azura.” Or just find it on your own.  The enormous monument stands on the summit of a tall mountain, south of Winterhold.  Stairs leading up to the summit are easier to find if you approach the mountain from the western face.  Beware of Frost Trolls on your way up.

Upon reaching the SHRINE OF AZURA, talk to the priestess worshipping at the altar.  Aranea Ienith claims that Azura predicted you would come and relays the message she was told to give you.  She admits she has no idea what the cryptic message means – nevertheless, you are told to find “a fortress endangered by water, yet untouched by it” and "an elven man, who can turn the brightest star as black as night".   This begins the Daedric quest, “The Black Star”.

Aranea believes you can find the elf in WINTERHOLD.  Travel there and enter the Frozen Hearth Inn.  Speak with Nelicar, a resident mage, in the room on the right.  Persuade, intimidate, or bribe Nelicar to tell you more about Azura.  Eventually, the elf tells you that Azura is linked to a Daedric artifact known as the Black Star.  The object was taken to Ilinalta’s Deep by a disgraced mage named by Malyn Varen.  The elf warns you not to return the Black Star to Azura once you find it. 

Leave Winterhold and head to ILINALTA’S DEEP, which is north of Falkreath.  The submerged fort sits on the northern edge of the river, directly across from THE LADY STONE island.  Swim over to the Standing Stone if you want to boost health and stamina regeneration by 25%.  Also, if you acquired “Treasure Map X” during your travels, you’ll find the sunken chest it refers to at the bottom of the lake just east of Ilinalta’s Deep.

When ready, enter the fort using the hatch on the sunken rooftop.  Once inside, move past the shackled skeleton and go down the hall.  After rounding the corner, you’ll reach a small room patrolled by a skeleton and a necromancer.  Stealthily kill the pair before they alert others.  Kill foes in the adjoining kitchen and loot all bodies.

Proceed through the hallways and you’ll arrive in a room that’s partially flooded.  An adept necromancer guards the other side with a skeleton.  Kill them and open a chest near the wall.  Dive into the water on the right to find a submerged chest.  After looting it, look for an Alteration SKILLBOOK (“Breathing Water”) floating against the ceiling on the left.  Climb up to dry land and advance to a room with an alchemy lab and arcane enchanter, as well as two necromancers.  Eliminate them and get the Enchanting SKILLBOOK, “A Tragedy in Black” on a table.  Unlock the apprentice-level door on the right to reach a bedroom with a chest and some loose potions.

Continue through the hallway into a flooded room with a raised bridge.  Kill skeletons that patrol the immediate path and use ranged attacks to defeat the necromancer on the other side.  Swim across to the chest.  After emptying it, pull a chain to lower the bridge and open the way forward.  Before moving through, jump into the water on the right to find an adept-locked door below.  Pick it to reveal a chest in the water-filled closet.  Get back on dry land and proceed upstairs.  Along the way, unlock a storage room to collect items.  Unbar the door up ahead to reach a balcony overlooking the initial room with the shackled skeleton.  Follow the balcony around and enter Ilinalta’s Deluge.

Sneak into a large room where two necromancers are talking.  Kill them before they have a chance to react.  Loot the room on the right then go down and explore the lower level.  You’ll find a Conjuration SKILLBOOK (“The Doors to Oblivion”) on one of tables and a chest in the opposite corner.  After clearing the area, continue down a staircase to a door.  Sneak inside and kill the master necromancer patrolling the prison cells before he has a chance to summon skeletons.  The adept-locked cells contain nothing but you can increase your Lockpicking skill by opening all six.  In the next room, kill another necromancer and loot the pile of skeletons for gold.  Walk up the spiral staircase to find the remains of Malyn Varen.  Read his Grimoire, loot the chest, and take Azura’s BROKEN STAR.  Exit using the ladder in this room.

Once outside, decide whether to give the Star to the priestess (Aranea) or the elven mage (Nelacar).  Both will tell you that the Star needs to be cleansed of Malyn Varen’s soul before it can be used.  The difference between the two is what the Star becomes once it’s cleansed.  Both options are described below.  Prepare for the difficult battle ahead by equipping magic resistant armor, stocking plenty of high-level healing potions, and saving your game before talking to either of them.

NELACAR:  Return to Winterhold and speak with Nelacar in his room at the Frozen Hearth Inn. Allow him to send you into the void so that you can purge Malyn Varen’s soul from the Star.  Upon entering the crystallized realm, Malyn threatens you then immediately attacks with ranged magic.  As he moves further inside, he summons powerful Dremora to fight you.  Loot their bodies after slaying them and keep fighting down the crystal path until you get to Malyn.  Quickly loot the wizard before being pulled out of the void.  When you regain consciousness, Nelacar hands you the BLACK STAR – an unbreakable soul gem capable of capturing dark souls (non-human).

ARANEA:  Return to the Shrine of Azura and speak with Aranea.  Place your hands on the altar and the Daedric Prince will thank you for bringing back her artifact.  Allow Azura to send you into the void so that you can purge Malyn Varen’s soul from the Star.  Upon entering the crystallized realm, Malyn threatens you then immediately attacks with ranged magic.  As he moves further inside, he summons powerful Dremora to fight you.  Loot their bodies after slaying them and keep fighting down the crystal path until you get to Malyn.  Quickly loot the wizard before being pulled out of the void.  When you regain consciousness, you receive the restored AZURA’S STAR – an unbreakable soul gem capable of capturing white souls (human).  In addition, the priestess Aranea offers to become your follower any time you need her help.

After receiving the prize, whoever you didn’t select will be hostile towards you the next time you meet.

T H E   B R E A K   O F   D A W N 

To trigger this profitable quest, bring MERIDIA’S BEACON to her shrine, which is located west of Solitude.  The Beacon is a radiant object that you’ll find in a random chest after reaching level 12.  If you visit the STATUE TO MERIDIA before acquiring the Beacon, the Daedric Prince will tell you to fetch it and mark a location on your map.  This begins “The Break of Dawn”.

Approach the Statue to Meridia and put the Beacon on its pedestal.  Doing so causes you to rise high above Skyrim, where the Daedric Prince appears as a ball of light.  Meridia orders you to retrieve her artifact from a wizard named Malkoran who has been defiling her temple.  Answer however you wish and she will lower you to the ground.  Hop down off the platform and enter Kilkreath Temple.

To reach the wizard, you need to guide Meridia’s light through the temple by activating a series of pedestals.  While here, loot all corpses you come across to amass gold and keep your eyes open for traps.  Go downstairs and unlock the door on the left.  Pull the lever inside to open the adjacent gate, allowing access to treasure.  Head east into a large room.  Activate the pedestal in the center to connect beams of light and open the way forward.

Sneak inside the next room and observe ghostly soldiers patrolling the dark mist.  The Corrupted Shades leave a smoke trail, but are sometimes hard to spot.  They attack in hoards so keep your health up as you fight through to the next chamber.  Once there, activate another pedestal to connect light beams.  The door is blocked so go through the southern tunnel instead.  Kill more Shades and follow the path to a chest.  After grabbing the loot, turn left to reach another multi-leveled chamber.

Kill Shades patrolling the lower level then climb the stairs on the right.  Above, you’ll find an expert-locked door.  You can lockpick it or wait to activate the pedestal and it’ll open on its own.  Inside the locked room is a lever that opens a side room with a chest.  Either way, jump across the gap and activate the pedestal on top of the ruined column.  Once connected, the new light beam points north.  Head in that direction to find an arcane enchanter and another locked door leading to treasure.  Cross the bridge and exit to the balcony.

Follow the outer rim of the temple to an expert-locked chest nestled in the snow.  Grab the goods then climb higher to a door.  Re-enter the temple and proceed to another multi-leveled room patrolled by Corrupted Shades.  Defeat the ones below then go upstairs.  On top, you’ll find a locked door.  Ignore it for now and follow the suspended walkway over to the next light pedestal.  After activating it, return to the door and it will be unlocked. 

Take the path down to a Shade guarding a chest.  The door on the right is trapped, so jump back after opening it to avoid getting speared in the groin.  Open the chest inside then head left.  Try to avoid a tripwire that activates swinging blades and pull the lever on the other side.  Kill another Shade as you cross the bridge to the south.  At the intersection, turn right to acquire the Block SKILLBOOK “Battle of Red Mountain”.  Return to the intersection and jump across to the light pedestal.  Activate it then jump back across and proceed through the western door. 

Go through the tunnel, battling more Shades, until you reach a room with two staircases.  The western stairs lead to a stand with a potion.  Removing it activates a spear trap.  The eastern stairs lead to a tunnel.  Follow it to the light pedestal.  Activating it opens the sealed door on the ground floor of the chamber.  Rather than dropping straight down, use the room’s architecture to gradually descend.  Once you’re safely on the ground, enter Kilkreath Catacombs.

Make your way over to the light pedestal and activate it to unseal the door.  Before going through, loot a chest in the corner.  Once you leave this room, the door shuts behind you.  As you approach the final chamber, your journal adds the new objective: “Kill Malkoran.”  Sneak inside the room to find the wizard guarded by six Shades.  Use a ranged weapon to eliminate him from the equation then fight the shadowy hoard that advances on you.  Malkoran inevitably becomes a Shade and blasts you with ice spells.  Being frozen makes it difficult to avoid the other Shades and they can easily overwhelm you if you get backed into the narrow corridor.  Use columns in the room to hide behind, maintain your health, and keep fighting until all enemies perish.

After the battle, Meridia speaks to you.  Before activating the final pedestal, loot everything in the room, most especially the massive amount of corpses holding gold.  When finished, touch the pedestal to receive DAWNBREAKER, a beautiful sword that incinerates the undead.  Meridia transports you out of the room and up into the clouds after getting the Daedric artifact.  Speak to her one last time to end the quest.

After returning to earth, look for a word wall at the base of the statue’s stairs, to the northeast.  Read it to learn a new word in the Dragon Shout “ELEMENTAL FURY”.  Be aware that dragons often circle the area.

T H E   C U R S E D   T R I B E 

To get this Daedric quest, visit the Orc stronghold of LARGASHBUR, which is southwest of Riften.  When you first approach the entrance, you’ll see some Orcs fighting a giant.  If the gate is open after the battle, go inside.  If not, climb over the wall.  Either way, speak to Atub about a curse that’s been placed on the tribe by the Daedric Prince MALACATH.  Agree to help lift it to begin “The Cursed Tribe” quest.

Since Chief Yamarz is not letting his tribe leave the stronghold, Atub asks you to fetch ingredients necessary for a ritual:  a TROLL FAT and a DAEDRA HEART.   If you don’t have the ingredients, purchase or steal them (there’s a Troll Fat inside the stronghold’s shed, actually).  Daedra Hearts are harder to acquire, but you can steal one from Kodlak’s bedroom in Whiterun.

Bring the two ingredients to Atub and watch her perform a ritual in front of Malacath’s Shrine.  The Orcs will become hostile if you touch the shrine so just stand and watch.  During the ritual, Malacath relays his displeasure with the Chief and says he will only lift the curse if a particular giant’s weapon is offered.  When the ritual ends, speak with Chief Yamarz.  He blames you for the curse and demands that you go with him to procure the giant’s weapon.

Either travel with or meet Chief Yamarz at FALLOWSTONE CAVE, which is northeast of Riften.  Once there, your goal is to protect the Chief.  If he dies, you fail the quest.  Yamarz will take the lead so be ready to assist when various creatures attack.  In addition to giants, you’ll encounter bears and trolls.  Loot as you go, following the Chief through the lush cavern and down past a stream.  At the crossroad, head left into Giant’s Grove. 

Move forward until Chief Yamarz stops you.  He offers to pay you extra gold if you retrieve the giant’s weapon for him – the condition being that you do not tell the tribe that you did the job.  Here, you have a choice to make:  Tell the Chief to get the weapon himself, or take the bribe.

If you accept the money, Chief Yamarz will attack you after the job is done to assure that his tribe never learns the truth of his cowardice.  If you decline the money, Chief Yamarz confronts the giant and gets killed instantly.  Either, way, you have to defeat the massive giant to get SHAGROL’S WARHAMMER.  After obtaining the weapon, Malacath addresses you, stating that you must bring the weapon to the tribe in Largashbur.  Loot the Chief and explore the grove before leaving.  Back in Fallowstone Cave, go to the crossroad and take the other path out to Skyrim.  Open a boss chest on your way out. 

Return to Largashbur and Atub will ask what happened to the Chief.  Tell her the truth then interact with Malacath’s Shrine to automatically place the Warhammer on the altar.  Doing so transforms it into VOLENDRUNG, a Daedric weapon that absorbs 50 points of stamina per hit.  Malacath then speaks to the tribe, appointing Gularzob as the new Chief and naming you as his champion.  This ends the quest.

All of the Orcs in the stronghold will welcome you now.  Three of them (Ogol, Ugor, and Lob) can become followers and Atub offers Illusion training lessons from now on.

T H E   H O U S E   O F   H O R R O R S 

To initiate this quest, go to MARKARTH and follow the western path up to an Abandoned House.  Tyranus, a Vigilant of Stendarr, will stop you and ask if you know anything about the house.  Offer to help him investigate to begin “The House of Horrors” quest.

Enter the Abandoned House with Tyranus.  There’s nothing worth taking, so just follow the Vigilant as he looks for signs of Daedric activity.   At some point, furnishings come to life and start flying around the room.  Upon entering the basement, Tyranus exclaims that no ordinary Daedra lives here and runs back to the front door, which is now sealed shut.  As the room dims, the voice of MOLAG BAL demands that you kill Tyranus.  You cannot escape until you do what the Daedric Prince commands – but you can get Tyranus to attack first by trying to unlock the front door.

After murdering the innocent priest, Molag Bal tells you to go further inside the basement for a reward.  Below, you’ll discover a creepy altar.  Try to take the Mace from the altar only to become trapped in a spiked cage.  Molag Bal tells you that to earn his Mace you must bring him Logrolf the Willful, a priest who worships his rival, Boethiah.  Answer the Daedric Prince however you wish and he will release you.  Leave the abandoned house and take a look at your map.

The priest you need to find is imprisoned in a random location occupied by Forsworn.  Prepare to fight his captors once you get to the location indicated on your map.  Rescue Logrolf the Willful from his cell and convince him to go to the Abandoned House in Markarth (persuade, bribe or intimidate him until he does).  After he dashes off, return to Markarth.

Enter the Abandoned House and follow Logrolf down to Molog Bal’s shrine in the basement.  Once there, the priest becomes trapped in the spiked cage.  The Daedric Prince commands you to beat Logrolf into submission and gives you his Rusted Mace to do the job.  Attack the helpless priest until he submits, at which point Molag Bal instructs you to finish him off.  After killing Logrolf, the Daedric Prince rewards you with the MACE OF MOLAG BAL.  The unique weapon drains 25 points of stamina and magicka per hit, and can fill soul gems.  This ends the quest.

T H E   M I N D   O F   M A D N E S S 

To initiate this Daedric quest, travel to SOLITUDE and speak with the distraught beggar wandering the streets near Bards College.  Dervenin explains that his master, SHEOGORATH, went on vacation in the forbidden wing of the Blue Palace and abandoned him.  Agree to help Dervenin and he’ll give you PELAGIUS’ HIP BONE, which starts the quest, “The Mind of Madness”.

Head east to the Blue Palace and inquire about the Pelagius Wing.  If you’ve completed Falk Firebeard’s quest, he’ll give you a key.  If not, convince one of the servants (Erdi or Una) to give you the key.  Once you’ve obtained the key, use it to enter the forbidden wing of the palace.

Once inside, walk through the dusty halls until you are transported to an unknown location.  When you arrive in the strange glade, you’ll be unarmed wearing new clothes and cannot access menus.  Follow the path to a picnic table, where two men are talking.  After Pelagius disappears, speak with Sheogorath to learn that you are trapped inside Pelagius’ tormented mind.  The Daedric Prince is willing to end his vacation if you can find a way out.  To succeed, you must pass three tests using only the WABBAJACK staff he gives you.  Markers point in the direction of each test; complete them in any order you wish:

Pelagius' Paranoia
The northwest path leads to a stone arena.  While walking there, Sheogorath explains that to cure Pelagius paranoia, your ‘monster’ must win the battle.  Walk over to the arena and you’ll see two Atronachs fighting below.  Ignore them.  Seated in the stands above, three men watch the battle.  The man in the middle is Pelagius.  Use the Wabbajack to blast the two men on either side of Pelagius to pass the test.

Pelagius' Nightmares 
The northeast path leads to Pelagius sleeping in a meadow.  Sheogorath explains that you must rid Pelagius of his nightmares.  Shoot Pelagius with the Wabbajack to make a creature appear then shoot the creature to have it transform.  Keep repeating the process until Pelagius wakes up.  Some creatures are docile and some are hostile.  You’ll have to shoot the hostile ones several times before they transform.  Also, the chest is this area cannot be opened.  It’s just a prop.

Pelagius’ Anger 
The southeast path leads to two men fighting in a clearing.  One man is small (Confidence) and the other is large (Anger).  Sheogorath explains that you need to help Pelagius manage his anger by bolstering his confidence.  Shoot both men with the Wabbajack until Confidence is big and Anger is small.  Note that ‘Anger’ will summon allies to help him during the fight.  Ignore them and just keep hitting the main targets until you pass the test.

Once all three tests are completed, return to Sheogorath.  Tell him you’re done and listen to his ramblings until you’re allowed to leave.  Ultimately, Sheogorath lets you keep the Wabbajack and transports you back to the Pelagius Wing’s hallway.  Re-equip your gear and check out the cellar before returning to the Blue Palace.  Below, you’ll find the Lockpicking SKILLBOOK, “Surfeit of Thieves” on one of the crates.

T H E   O N L Y   C U R E 

To trigger this quest, either visit the SHRINE TO PERYITE (northwest of Karthwasten) or encounter an Afflicted Refugee as you journey through Skyrim who tells you to go there.  Either way, travel to the Shrine and speak with Kesh.  Ask him if you can commune with Peryite to add the quest, “The Only Cure”.  The Khajiit explains that certain items are needed to invoke the Daedric Prince:

  • One Flawless Ruby
  • One Silver Ingot
  • One Deathbell
  • One Vampire Dust 

Once you’ve gathered the items, bring them to Kesh.  Inhale the incense he creates and Peryite will arrive in the form of a hallucination.  To prove your loyalty, the Daedric Prince wants you kill a monk that has betrayed him in the ruins of Bthardamz.  Answer however you wish and Peryite will return you to a normal state of consciousness.  Before leaving, read (or steal) the Speech SKILLBOOK, “The Buying Game” on Kesh’s alchemy table.

To reach BTHARDAMZ, head west on foot from Peryite’s Shrine.  The massive Dwemer structure is teeming with Afflicted worshippers that attack by vomiting toxins on you.  To avoid catching their disease, use ranged attacks.  Sneaking while here is not a bad idea either.  Fight your way down to a gate.  Pull a handle to release the bars and look for a chest before entering Bthardamz Upper District.

Once inside, you’ll see a bunch of green liquid similar to the type you inhaled.  It won’t harm you if touched but messing with it alerts Afflicted enemies to your location.  Best to avoid the goo if you want to remain hidden.  At the bottom of the ramp, you can unlock the gate on the right to avoid fighting Afflicted up ahead, or go through their sleeping quarters and kill them.  Both routes lead to a hallway with a locked cage.  Pick the door to collect the chest inside then continue to an area where several Afflicted are praying in front of a large green pool.  Either sneak past them or kill them. 

Moving ahead, you’ll come to a big room patrolled by several Afflicted.  The lever that opens the gate is on the ledge above.  Defeat the group then lower the gate bars and enter a cave-like area.  Look for a chest below the entrance then continue to an intersection.  The door to the east leads to two Dwarven Spheres that attack as soon as you enter.  After defeating them, descend the ramp and avoid a floor trap that activates spinning blades.  Kill more Afflicted in the next room then enter Bthardamz Workshop.

Sneak forward and wait until an Afflicted soldier enters the left bedroom to talk with an Afflicted mage.  Kill both and loot the room.  Continue into a large, multi-leveled chamber patrolled by Dwarven Spiders.  After destroying them, look for a chest against the left wall.  Before following the quest marker, go upstairs to access another part of the Upper District and get a chest.  Though you could drop down to the quest area from here, backtrack to the room with the spiders and go through the southern door to reach the ground level of the Upper District.

Fight more Afflicted and collect another chest then continue to an opening with wide staircases.  Kill those patrolling the bottom floor then look for a chest in the rubble on the left.  Head to the right now and sneak inside the Bthardamz Dwelling, where you’ll overhear two Afflicted talking about their miserable condition.  Kill them or sneak past and unlock the side gate to find a chest along with the Speech SKILLBOOK, “Biography of the Wolf Queen”.  After exploring this area, return to the stairs and walk up to the very top.  When you reach the ceiling, enter the door to Bthardamz Lower District.

In the next room, you’ll find another locked gate.  Open it to collect some minor loot then fight Dwarven Spiders in the corridor beyond.  Moving forward, you’ll arrive on a balcony overlooking a large theater occupied by several Afflicted.  You can slice up those standing in the middle by pulling a lever on the balcony.  Turn off the device once they’re dead and take out any remaining enemies, including those sitting in the bleachers.  Make your way down to the bottom and open the chest on the center platform. 

Head east through the tunnel until you reach a multi-leveled area above a lake with a waterfall.  Afflicted patrol the various levels, as do mechanical foes.  As you ascend to the top, avoid a floor trap in the arched doorway and take the right path over to a chest.  When you reach the ceiling, enter the door to Bthardamz Study.

Proceed through the study, looking for chests in two rooms.  Walk up the ramp, taking care to avoid a spinning blade trap, and fight the Dwarven Sphere above.  Use the door at the end to return to Bthardamz Lower District.

On the second level now, follow the walkway to the first intersection.  Head right to find a chest then go left.  If you’re a decent archer, you can snipe many Afflicted from this vantage point, reducing the amount that charge at you.  Take out the large group and cross the bridges to find three more.  Loot a chest near the tables then head south into a tunnel.  Enter Bthardamz Arcanex.

Much like the last area, the Arcanex is a picturesque, multi-leveled chamber teeming with enemies.  Fight Dwarven Spiders and Spheres as you make your way up to higher ground.  At the top, head left to gather some treasure then enter the structure below the ceiling.  Get in sneak mode and battle the Dwarven Centurion at the end of the hall.  The massive foe is accompanied by Dwarven Spiders.  Kill the big guy with ranged attacks before fighting the smaller ones.  Loot their bodies afterwards.  Your main target, Orchendor, is in the next room so make sure you’re healed and ready to fight before entering.

Use the wall partitions to sneak up on Orchendor.  The powerful wizard casts deadly ice spells and can teleport himself around the room.  He also creates protective barriers and can heal himself, so you’ll need to work quickly to take him out.  If you get too close, he’ll use his toxic vomit attack as well.  After defeating Orchendor, loot his body to get the Elevator Key and other valuable items, including the Alteration SKILLBOOK, “Reality and Other Falsehoods”.  To exit Bthardamz, follow the upper path and use the key to unlock the elevator room.  Open a side chest before riding up to Skyrim. 

Return to the Shrine of Peryite and ask Kesh if you can commune with the Daedric Prince again.  Go over to the cauldron and inhale the fumes.  Peryite rewards your obedience with a unique shield, the SPELLBREAKER, which deflects 50 points of magic damage.  Respond to Peryite however you wish to end the quest.

T H E   T A S T E   O F   D E A T H 

To initiate this quest, go to MARKARTH and ask the innkeeper if he’s heard any rumors.  Kleppr will eventually mention that the Hall of the Dead was closed for unknown reasons.  Upon learning this, your journal adds the miscellaneous objective to speak with Verulus, a priest of Arkay, about the closing.  Leave the inn and walk up to UNDERSTONE KEEP, home of the city’s Jarl.  Once inside, you’ll see the priest arguing with a man about the Hall of the Dead.  After they split up, speak with Brother Verulus.  Persuade, bribe, or intimidate him into letting you investigate to officially add the quest, “The Taste of Death”.

Follow Verulus to the Hall of the Dead entrance on the left.  Once there, the priest reveals that some of the dead have been eaten and wants you to find out what evil caused this.  Using the key he gives you, enter the Hall of the Dead.

Inside, you’ll hear a woman’s voice echo through the chamber.  Turn around to find Eola standing in front of you.  When she asks if you crave human flesh, you may answer in one of three ways.  If you pick the third option, Eola attacks and you automatically fail the quest.  To prevent this, pick another option and Eola will tell you about the Daedric Prince, NAMIRA.  To learn more, Eola invites you to meet her at Reachcliff Cave.  Explore the Hall before leaving. To the right, you’ll find a Shrine of Arkay and next to it, the Restoration SKILLBOOK, "2920, Rain's Hand, v4". 

Report to Brother Verulus at the entrance and he’ll give you his AMULET OF ARKAY, which increases health by 10 points.  When ready, exit Markarth and head east.  REACHCLIFF CAVE is just south of Karthspire, so keep an eye out for Forsworn enemies as you travel there.  Speak with Eola at the entrance.   She explains that the cave must be cleared of all Draugr and offers to help.  You can tell her to wait outside or have her join you.  Either way, enter the cave and start the massacre.

If Eola is following, she’ll conjure Flame Atronachs and revive fallen Draugr to assist in battle.  Fight through the first two chambers, looting as you go.  Upon reaching the split, head left and jump across to a chest on a ledge.  It’s trapped so carefully open it from the side.  Jump back and follow the other path down to the ground floor.  Continue killing Draugr and exploring for treasure until you reach an iron door.

Sneak inside and kill multiple Draugr, including an Overlord boss.  If Eola is with you, she’ll provide great distraction as you position yourself to kill the foes.  Once the haven has been reclaimed, Eola suggests celebrating by feasting on Brother Verulus and points to the way out.  Before leaving, loot the dining room and collect enchanted items from the boss chest.  Open the secret door in the hallway and take the shortcut out to Skyrim.

Return to Markarth and speak with Brother Verulus inside the Hall of the Dead.  Persuade, bribe, or intimidate the priest into following you.  Once he agrees, the mage will accompany you anywhere in the world in addition to a regular follower.  Take advantage of having a third party member in completing other quests before returning to Eola.

When ready, bring the priest to Reachcliff Cave and use the secret back entrance to get inside.  Lead Verulus into the dining room where coven members are gathered.  Watch as Eola seduces the priest into resting on the altar.  At this point, you can betray the coven and kill them, resulting in the loss of some Markarth merchants.  By rescuing Verulus, you get leveled gold but fail the quest. 

To complete the quest, follow Eola’s orders and carve up the helpless priest using any blade.  Once Verulus is dead, Eola prompts you to “taste” him.  Do as she asks and Namira’s voice will congratulate you.  As a reward, the Daedric Prince gives you the RING OF NAMIRA, which boosts stamina by 50 points and allows you to feed off human corpses to increase health and rate of regeneration for 5 minutes.  Now that you’re a member of the coven, Eola will follow you whenever you desire her help.  This ends the quest.

T H E   W H I S P E R I N G   D O O R 

After reaching level 20, visit the Bannered Mare in WHITERUN and ask the innkeeper is she’s heard any rumors.  She’ll mention the Jarl’s odd children, which adds the miscellaneous objective: “Ask about Balgruuf's strange children."  Speak with Jarl Balgruuf in Dragonsreach (or at the Blue Palace if you sided with the Stormcloaks during the Civil War).  Ask about his children and the Jarl reveals he’s having trouble with his son, Nelkir.  Agree to speak with Nelkir on the Jarl’s behalf to start “The Whispering Door” quest.

Speak with Nelkir in Dragonsreach.  After enduring a series of insults, the boy reveals that a “whispering lady” in the basement has been telling him dark secrets.  Locate the sealed door in the basement.  When you touch it, the Daedric Prince, MELPHALA, whispers that you should come inside to meet her.  Since you need a key, go back to Nelkir and ask how to get one.

The boy explains that two people carry the key – Jarl Balgruuf and the court wizard, Farengar.  Nelkir hints that no one would miss Farengar if he suddenly “disappeared”.  Although you could kill the court wizard, pickpocketing one of the men is a better way of getting the key.  Do it at night when the target is sleeping.  If your Pickpocket skill is low, drink a potion to increase the odds of success or wear something that boosts the stat.

After obtaining the key, open the Whispering Door in the basement.  Inside you’ll find a book warning you not to take the EBONY BLADE next to it.  Nevertheless, take the two-handed sword and Mephala will order you to strengthen it by killing those who trust you – followers, members of groups you’ve joined, citizens you’ve completed quests for, etc.  The Ebony Blade absorbs health, and the amount increases with every ally killed.  Methala will commend you each time you “charge” the blade.  Obtaining the Daedric artifact ends the quest; you need not use it.

W A K I N G   N I G H T M A R E 

To initiate this quest, travel to DAWNSTAR and enter the Windpeak Inn.  Inside, you’ll hear residents complaining to a priest about the nightmare they’re having.  Speak with the priest (Erandur) and agree to accompany him to Nightcaller Temple to confront the source of the bad dreams.  This begins the Daedric quest, “Waking Nightmare”.

Leave the inn and follow Erandur up the hill.  As you get closer to NIGHTCALLER TEMPLE, snow bears and frost trolls attack.  Kill them with Erandur’s help and proceed to the entrance.  Once there, speak with Erandur, who warns that opening the temple will cause “miasma” to dissipate and awaken long-slumbering foes.  Duly warned, enter the temple with Erandur.  If you brought a follower along, they will not be able to enter and will wait for you outside.

Once inside, Erandur casts a fire spell to open the way forward.  Follow him and he’ll point out the Skull of Corruption responsible for the bad dreams.  Reaching it is the goal.  Follow Erandur down the winding stairs where the purplish miasma starts to take effect.  Kill two Orcs that awaken off the floor then continue following Erandur to a blue barrier.  Here, he’ll answer questions about his past – namely, that he was once a follower of the Daedric Prince VAERMINA, but fled the temple back when the Orcs first attacked.  To get past the barrier, Erandur suggests exploring the library.

As you proceed through the temple, Vaermina Devotees rise from their slumber along with more Orcs.  Anytime you see the miasma, you’ll know enemies are close by.  Keep fighting and looting until you reach the library.  Once there, Erandur asks you to find a book called THE DREAMSTRIDE.  It’s on the balcony near a ruined column.  Bring the book down to Erandur.  After flipping through the pages, he ascertains that one can break the barrier using Vaermina’s Torpor – a potion that allows you to enter a person’s dreams.  Naturally, Erandur wants you to be the guinea pig.  Before leaving the library, unlock a closet to get to a chest.

Follow Erandur to the alchemy room where Vaermina’s Torpor is stored.  Fight enemies along the way and a host of them once you get there.  After clearing the room, Erandur tasks you with finding the Torpor.  Thoroughly loot both floors before picking up the quest item in the lower corner.  If you enjoy mixing potions, this place is a paradise.  Along with every imaginable ingredient, grab the Alchemy SKILLBOOK, “Mannimarco, King of Worms”, from a collapsed bookshelf.  When ready, pick up the bottle of VAERMINA’S TORPOR and speak with Erandur.  He says that once you enter the dream realm, you need to find a way to break the seal. 

Open your inventory and drink Vaermina’s Torpor to arrive in a blurry realm where two devotees are talking.  One of them refers to you as “Brother Casimir” and asks if you’re ready to release the miasma.  Say “yes” then start looking for the device.  You cannot access your inventory while here but there’s no need to.  Though you’ll see orcs and devotees fighting, none will harm you.  Climb the stairs past the bedroom then follow the passage on the right to a hall overlooking the sanctum.  Pull the chain on the wall to release the miasma.  After doing so, you emerge from the dream standing behind the blue barrier.

Remove the soul gem near the chain to deactivate the barrier.  Erandur will be waiting on the other side, amazed.  After a brief conversation, follow the priest towards the Skull of Corruption, battling foes that awaken and grabbing treasure as you go.  One Orc does not rise normally.  If you try to loot him, he’ll attack fiercely and can kill you if you’re not careful. 

Keep moving forward until a scene takes over, during which Erandur is confronted by two devotees that ridicule him for abandoning Vaermina.  When you regain control, help Erandur defeat Thorek and Veren Duleri.  Loot their bodies and watch as Erandur rushes up to the shrine to begin his ritual.  While he works on removing the seal, Vaermina speaks to you.  The Daedric Prince warns that Erandur will turn on you once he’s broken the seal.  She will let you keep her SKULL OF CORRUPTION if you kill the priest.

To get the Daedric artifact, you must do as Vaermina commands, even though she’s lying.  If you don’t care about getting the enchanted staff, do nothing and let Erandur complete his ritual.  Sparing Erandur results in him becoming a follower any time you need his help.  He is, in my opinion, one of the best mage followers in the game since he can heal himself.   Either way, the nightmares will be lifted from Dawnstar and the quest ends.

 

 

 

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