Dead Thrall FAQ by StuckInMyPants

Version 1.34, Last Updated 2014-03-11

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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS FAQ

Some NPCs named in the sections below are part of the story. Some sections describing said NPCs, quests, or areas are also spoilers.


Special Thanks To GameFAQs user masterpug53. Your helpful information and posts on thralls inspired me to create this FAQ.


Also Thanks To:
  • GameFAQs user Cast_Supremacy for bringing Rigel to my attention.

  • GameFAQs user metatrongrhm1 for:
    • Correction of thralls possible enchantments
    • Correction regarding any enchanted pieces affecting the Dark Souls perk, not just Fortify Health.
    • Idea about noting any special loot that respawns on thralls.

  • GameFAQs user David for an absolute ton of great suggestions and feedback.

  • GameFAQs users Smackdowner1, carl8000, IamI3rian, for finding permanent items, and especially thekosmicfool for the big amount of work for finding and testing the permanency of items for the Permanent Corpse Exploit.



  • UESP for a ton of helpful information. All NPC stats came from here, as well as pretty much anything else you'd want to know. Check it out when you get a chance. http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Skyrim

  • GameFAQs for the great website!

Updates

  • July 11th, 2012 - Started work on FAQ
    • Version 0.1

  • July 12th, 2012 - Finished bulk of FAQ (all major sections, initial NPCs). Not bad for a day of work. 43kb
    • Version 0.9

  • July 13th, 2012 - Put finishing touches on FAQ. Sent in for submission. 51kb
    • Version 1.0

  • July 16th, 2012 - Added Anise (P), Daynas Valen (P), Ghunzul (P). Added FAQ to Neoseeker.com. Added list of Sites currently hosting FAQ. Minor update to some context in the sections: Difference Between Thralling And Reanimating and Your Dead Thrall And You. Added a lot of stuff to Leveling Conjuration. Started to add the word "VERIFIED" under any NPC's name that I have personally verified as lasting longer than 11 days (which means he or she is permanent). Changed email from being broken up to now clickable. Does breaking up your email address really affect one's ability to not receiving spam mail? Let's find out. 69kb
    • Version 1.1





  • January 28th, 2013 - Minor updates to some NPCs and spelling corrections. Minor additions to a few sections. Minor format changes. Minor everything in this update. 128kb
    • Version 1.31

  • April 22nd, 2013 - A bunch of updates to a bunch of sections. Fleshed out a lot of information. Updated Orchendor (P). Checked out most stuff to still be in line with patch 1.9. Thralls appear to be unchanged as far as I can tell. Removed "Unique Dialogue" from thrall stat boxes. Just a few thralls actually have unique lines, so there's really no point. Added Grave Robbing section. 136kb
    • Version 1.32



  • March 11th, 2014 - Added Assassin's Writ, Letter from the Vampire, and Treasure Hunter's Note to Permanent Corpse Exploit section. Added notes from masterpug53 about items that stack regarding the Permanent Corpse Exploit. Removed note about viewing Formatted FAQ as one page since that option was removed. :( Added some user notes. 151kb
    • Version 1.34

Future Updates

On indefinite hold. :(

I may occasionally post small updates to this guide, but bigger updates are more unlikely to happen. Life keeps on moving and priorities shift. I will still read any email you send me and I will still archive anymore information that you send me. I may get to it at another point in time, so don't let that stop you from sending in something, but also, if you have something worthwhile, put it out there for others to see (like on the message boards) since I can be slow updating this guide.

I've thoroughly enjoyed talking to all of you guys and reading your emails. I hope you enjoyed this FAQ and got some helpful information out of it. It really is wonderful to talk to other people of a like mind. I really do appreciate all of the kind words that I've received. I still hang around on the boards, so say "Hi" sometime.

Love,

 Stuck


Contact Information

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my FAQ. Hopefully you enjoyed reading the guide as much as I enjoyed making it. If you'd like to use this FAQ on your website, all you have to do is ask for permission and I will more than likely give it to you, provided that you do not alter the contents of the FAQ and your website is not lewd or offensive. GameFAQs is the site that I hang out at most, so more than likely the most recent version will be there. There's a lot of information regarding Thralls, especially the permanent thralls, as such, I'm sure there is a lot of information that I don't have or that is not very well known. So if you want to add something, email me or PM and if I can put it in, I will. Also, I'm not perfect, so if you see something wrong, correct me. I'd rather have you tell me that I have wrong information, than me misleading people that are here looking for information. If you want to contact me with questions, comments, suggestions on what to add, punctuation corrections, information corrections, or whatever else, please do so at :


jpunk25 {at} gmail [dot] com


Send Me A Private Message On GameFAQs

Alternatively, if you have a message board account level 10 or higher, you can send me a PM. The link is here --> http://www.gamefaqs.com/pm/new

My forum name is "StucklnMyPants". The "I" in the word "In" is actually a lower case "L".


Introduction

The main focus of this guide is to provide clear and concise information regarding thralls. Most information regarding thralls is sparse and split up between different web pages, sites, and people. My goal is to gather as much information regarding the aspects of thralling, and contain it in one simple guide. Many players, including myself, like thralling NPCs. As such, this generally entails keeping multiple bodies in a certain area, like your house, or an indoor area (commonly referred to as a 'cell'). The problem though, is most NPCs disappear after one day (as of patch 1.9) and provided that you are out of the area. This is where this guide comes in handy. There are certain NPCs that will not disappear, even if you leave the cell for a month (in game time). This guide will tell you where you can find these Permanent Thralls, and what you can expect from them (generally not much). Also include are Unique Non-Permanent Thralls. These thralls may not be permanent, but they offer something unique to the player, whether it be unique voice clips, exceptionally strong powers, or whatever else.


Difference Between Thralling And Reanimating

If you're thinking to yourself that thralling sounds an awful lot like your reanimate corpse spell, then you are right. It's purpose is to bring dead NPCs back to 'life', so to speak. The main difference here is the amount of time the spells raise corpses for. Raise Zombie, Reanimate Corpse, and Revenant all raise a NPC or animal 60 seconds (2 minutes and 12 seconds if you dual cast the spell). Dead Thrall on the other hand, raises only humanoid NPCs for 23,976 hours which, for all intents and purposes, makes your thrall permanent. These times can be doubled if the respective perks in the Conjuration tree are taken. Necromancy doubles the amount of time that undead are raised for, and Atromancy doubles the amount of time that Atronachs are raised for. With these perks, you are now looking at 120 seconds for a single cast, 264 seconds (4 minutes and 24 seconds) for dual casting, and a massive 47,952 hours for your thrall.

Another notable difference is what happens to your Zombie after they die. With Dead Thrall, their body will go lifeless and just fall to the ground. With any other spell (Raise Zombie, etc.) they will turn into an ash pile after their time has expired. This prevents them from being raised again, whereas a body can be resurrected an infinite amount of times with the Dead Thrall spell.

So, now you are saying to yourself, "There's no point to use anything other than Dead Thrall". And you are right, to a degree. The unfortunate side to this is, you won't have access to the Dead Thrall spell until you obtain at least 90 in your Conjuration skill. Where's the fun in having the best spell from the start, right? But if you are looking for the quickest way to level up your Conjuration skill, keep reading.


General Strategy And Tips

Conjuration is leveled depending on what spell you use. Generally, higher leveled spells will give you more experience in Conjuration. Most spells require you to be near a hostile enemy to actually receive experience, as casting the spell isn't enough. That means, repeatedly casting your Bound Sword spell and the sheathing it, will NOT grant you any experience. However, if you are near an enemy, you will gain experience every time you recast the spell. The same goes for Zombies and thralls, you'll need to be near an enemy to receive the experience. You can however kill your Zombies or thralls without being near an enemy, to receive experience. It is also important to note, that you only receive experience the first time that you are near enemies per spell cast. That means that if you cast Bound Bow and then clear out an entire room full of mages, you only get experience for the first enemy that you were near. To maximize experience, you would need recast the spell after defeating each enemy. This is unnecessary and is probably more trouble than it's worth, and personally I wouldn't bother. It breaks the flow of the game and can force a low level player to do a lot of waiting to regenerate magicka. It will level up fast enough just by naturally casting it when you need to. But if you are looking to fast track your way through Conjuration, I've got some tips to make it easier.

The fastest way to level Conjuration is to repeatedly cast Soul Trap on a dead corpse. If you have a horse, like Frost or Shadowmere, you can cast Soul Trap on it as well if you don't have access to a corpse. Either way is equally as fast. As of patch 1.9, this still works and I'd argue that it's by far the fastest, albeit rather boring, way to level up your Conjuration Skill. You're first goal would be to get the Soul Trap spell. It can be purchased usually from any of the hold's Castle Mages. The mages are all found in the castle in each town or in the Mages Guild in Winterhold. For example: Farengar Secret Fire (that's the Mage), in Dragonsreach (the castle), in Whiterun (the early town you go to, center of the map), usually sells this spell.


Tip
  • If you don't see the spell or item that the vendor sells, a quick way to change their inventory is to attack them. Save the game first. Attack the vendor until they become hostile. Reload your save. That's all there is to it. Once the game reloads, the vendor will have different items. Repeat the process if you don't see what you want (although you don't have to save it if you didn't buy anything).

Your next goal will vary, depending on how much work you want to do. If you are eager to just get started, find a corpse or kill a hostile enemy (preferably in a secluded area so you won't be interrupted). Now start casting Soul Trap on the dead body. You can also use a horse if you don't want to use a dead body. This is more than likely an unintentional bug, but it works nonetheless. If you are low level, you will probably only be able to cast one or two Soul Traps before you are out of Magicka. So to replenish it, you will have to press the Wait button and wait for an hour. You can also wait for about 30 seconds (actual time) for you magicka to fully recharge, but pressing the Wait button and waiting for an hour is faster. If you want the spell to cost less magicka, you can do a little bit of extra footwork before you start casting Soul Trap.

If you have found or bought an item that reduces the Conjuration cost, you can enchant yourself four pieces of armor (Five pieces if you use certain equipment, more on that in a second) that can greatly reduce the amount of Magicka required to cast the spell. If you are having trouble finding an item, you can use the trick from above to reload a vendor's inventory. The items that you can enchant with Conjuration reductions are:

  • Helmet or Circlet
  • Armor
  • Ring
  • Necklace
  • Certain Helmets in addition to a Circlet

A Grand Soul gem filled with a Grand Soul is preferable, but these can be expensive or hard to get at a low level. So just fill them with whatever you are comfortable with and proceed to enchant yourself some Conjuration reduction equipment. If you are confused as to why I listed five pieces as being able to worn at the same time, here's why: For whatever reason (a bug obviously and still works as of patch 1.9), the game allows you to equip certain Helmets and a Circlet at the same time. Normally, a Circlet or Helmet count as one piece of head gear. You can only have one equipped at a time and if you equip another, the first one will be unequipped so the second one can be equipped. Certain Helmets and Circlets, however, do not de-equip each other, so you can have two pieces of head gear equipped at the same time. These Helmets that do not de-equip Circlets are:

  • Falmer Helmets
  • Pentius Oculatus Helmets
Just For Posterity's Sake

The Jagged Crown (received from the aptly named mission The Jagged Crown, which is an early quest when siding with either the Imperials or Stormcloaks in the Civil War quest line) and an Ancient Shrouded Cowl (which can be acquired from the quest Locate the Assassin of Old which is part of the Dark Brotherhood quest line), can both be worn in addition to a Circlet. However, the Jagged Crown will be removed from the player's inventory after completing the appropriate quest (it also may not be able to be enchanted, not 100% sure), and the Ancient Shrouded Cowl already has an enchantment on it, thus preventing the player from adding another one. So while they can both be worn with a Circlet, they do not benefit us in any way as we are trying to lower the cost of Conjuration.

A Falmer Helmet or Pentius Oculatus Helmet may be a bit out of the way to get, but if you want it, your option is there. So, once you have at least 90 skill in Conjuration, you will be ready to undertake the Conjuration Ritual Quest which will give you access to the Dead Thrall spell.


Free Levels in Conjuration

Mainly from Skill books found through out the world, here are some locations for getting some easy points. There are a total of Five unique books, with multiple locations, that will increase the players level of Conjuration by one. You can only receive one point in a skill increase from each book, so any extra copy of the book that you find will not provide an increase to your Conjuration skill. It may be advantageous to hold off on reading these until your level in Conjuration is relatively high (around 70 or 80, or even waiting until 85), as the higher the players skill in Conjuration, the longer it takes to gain a level. The books are listed in what order I have deemed to require the least amount of time or challenge to obtain, to most amount of time or challenge to obtain. In other words, the easier ones to acquire are listed first.


READ THIS BOX BEFORE PICKING UP ANY SKILL BOOKS

If you plan on saving your skill books, then DO NOT PICK UP ANY SKILL BOOKS. When you pick up a skill book, it will first open up to the title page, at which point it will grant you a skill point. This is what you are trying to avoid. So how do you acquire the book without interacting with it? The first way would to hold off entirely on interacting with the book until you want the skill point. This will require a little more backtracking when the player finally wants to use the skill book, but the option is there.

An easier way to acquire a skill book without reading it is to have your follower pick the book up for you. If you talk to your follower, and ask them to do something for you, a cursor will appear on the screen. Now just point the cursor at the book and tell them to take it. When they do, it will be placed into their inventory. You are now free to move the book to your inventory by trading items with them. Just be careful not to press the attack buttons in the menu as that will allow you to read the book, which you don't want to do.

There's also a neat little trick you can do to quickly ask your follower to do something. If you hold down the Interact button on them (The "A" button for 360, the "X" button for PS3, etc.) it will automatically go to the cursor allowing you to point at something for your follower to interact with. This let's you bypass directly talking to them, and then having to cycle through dialog options. It's sometimes finicky on when it decides to activate (at least on the 360 version), so I usually end up looking at my follower's left foot or left arm to get it to activate. To me, it seems to vary by what type of armor your follower is wearing. With no armor or leather armor, you can look just about anywhere and get the prompt to show up. But when wearing Ebony armor, I can usually only get it to activate when looking at the follower's left side of their body.

Just try different areas on their bodies until you get one that works reliably. Also note that if you hold the activate button and it doesn't activate, and then if you release the activate button while still having your cursor over your follower's body, you will just talk to them. To get around this, if holding the button doesn't activate the quick "follower interact with" function, just look away from them and release the activate button.


2920, Hearth Fire, v9

This book is found in multiple locations. You only need to read one to get the skill point.


  • Found underneath the counter in the Mortar and Pestle in the town of Dawnstar

  • Found in Rimerock Burrow. The book is located in the dungeon near the end. It's on top of small table in a bedroom. Head West on the road from Solitude until you get to the Statue to Meridia. From the Statue to Meridia head directly North until you get to Wolfskull Cave. From Wolfskull Cave, go directly West on the road until you get to Lost Echo Cave. Rimerock Burrow is directly Northwest from Lost Echo Cave, but if you stay directly on the road at Lost Echo Cave and continue to head West, it will take you Rimerock Burrow.

  • Received as a quest reward for completing the quest Hitting the Books. Hitting the Books is received by talking to Urag gro-Shub at the College of Winterhold. He's usually found in the Arcaneum. NOTE: The player will only receive this book if he or she has already read or obtained The Doors of Oblivion.

  • Just a little ways North of Pinewatch. Pinewatch is Southwest of The Guardian Stones and directly West of Helgen. Walk North from Pinewatch until you get to three logs that are stacked close by each other on the ground. From there just a short ways, there is another set of 3 logs on the ground to the Northwest, and a small sacrificial place to the Northeast. The sacrificial area will have 9 thin and tall stones sticking out of the ground, as well as a cement slab with a skeleton laying on it. The book is also laying on the cement slab. There is usually a conjurer around, so take care to not knock the book off.

  • Head to Angi's Camp. From there, go East along the road until you get to Bloodlet Throne. From Bloodlet Throne go directly Southwest up a giant snow hill. Follow the hill up and to the West until you see two Orichalcum Ore Veins in the ground a short distance from each other. They are near a few trees and mixed in with a bunch of snow covered rocks. They will be easy to spot because they are black with a green glow running through the rock. From the Orichalcum vein that is most Northern, go directly West until you get a few feet from the edge of the cliff. Now if you look back South - Southeast, you will see a small black area next to the cliff face. The book is laying on the ground in-between two small candles.

2920, Frostfall, v10

This book is found in multiple locations. You only need to read one to get the skill point.


  • Belyn Hlaalu's House, which is Located in Windhelm. The book is located on the second floor, behind the dresser that is next to the bed.

  • Sunderstone Gorge, which is located a ways Southwest from Whiterun. If following the road from Whiterun Southwest, the player will eventually run into the cave. Sunderstone Gorge is just Southeast from Fort Sungard. The book itself is found in the room with the Dragon Shout wall, located on a pedestal.

  • Ironbind Barrow, which is located North-northwest of Nightgate Inn. Nightgate Inn can be found by following the river West from Windhelm and then proceeding a few hundred steps North when the river dead ends. *NEED TO FIND EXACTLY WHERE BOOK IS LOCATED*

  • Start by heading to Evergreen Grove, which is Northwest of Falkreath. It's also just Northwest of Falkreath Watchtower. From Evergreen Grove head southwest to the nearby Dragon Burial Mound. From the Burial Mound, walk directly south until you see a cement slab that is used as a sacrificial alter. The book is on the alter.

  • From Ivarstead, head East to Geirmund's Hall, which is located on a small island. From this island, look directly South and notice the ridge above the road. There is a Necromancer on top of this ridge that carries the book. *NEEDS TO BE VERIFIED*

Liminal Bridges

This book is found in multiple locations. You only need to read one to get the skill point.


  • Falkreath Watchtower, which is just Northwest of Falkreath. At the top of the watchtower will be a Necromancer that has set up his home. Inside of his tent lays the book/

  • Broken Tower Redoubt which is just East of Karthwasten. At the top of the tower, the book is in the Briarheart's room on a table.

  • Just East of Sleeping Tree Camp, which is West-Southwest from Whiterun. From Whiterun head Southwest until you hit the Western Watchtower. From there, keep going West and you will eventually hit Sleeping Tree Camp. Look for the purple-ish tree sitting in a small pond. Once you get to Sleeping Tree Camp, go directly East until you get to a stone altar. The book is on the altar.

  • Apparently 2 copies are in Shalidor's Maze, which is a subsection of Labyrinthian. Labyrinthian is Northwest of Whiterun and Northeast of Drelas' Cottage. Shalidor's Maze is just to the East of the Labyrinthian map marker. One copy can be found while going through the Maze. *NEED TO CONFIRM, AND FIND OTHER COPY''

The Doors of Oblivion

This book is found in multiple locations. You only need to read one to get the skill point.


  • The Hall of the Dead in Falkreath. Found under a bed inside the Hall of the Dead,

  • South-Southwest of the Sightless Pit. The Sightless Pit is West of the Shrine of Azura. The Shrine of Azura is Northwest of Windhelm and just South of Winterhold. From the Sightless Pit walk South-Southwest just a short ways until you see an altar with a skeleton on it. The book is on the altar.

  • Reachcliff Cave, which is Southeast from Markarth. From Markarth walk Southeast along the road until you reach Markarth Military Camp which is just outside the city limits of Markarth. From there, continue Southeast along the road until Reachwater Rock. From there, Reachcliff Cave is just Southwest. The book can be found on the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases.

  • Illinalta's Deep, which is directly North of The Lady Stone. The Lady Stone is directly West of The Guardian Stones. The book is in Illinalta's Deluge which is the second area to this dungeon. The book is in the Northwestern part of the first room in this area, on a table.

  • Fellglow Keep, which is Northeast from Whiterun. Directly Northeast from Dragonsreach is Shimmermist Cave. Directly East from there is Fellglow Keep. There are three areas to Fellglow Keep: Fellglow Keep Dungeon, Fellglow Keep, and Fellglow Keep Ritual Chamber. The book is located in Fellglow Keep. If entering into Fellglow Keep from Fellglow Keep Dungeon, the book will be on a podium in the first room.

The Warrior's Charge

This book is found in multiple locations. You only need to read one to get the skill point.


  • Understone Keep in Markarth. The book is in the Jarl's Quarters, on a table near the bed.

  • Just North of Southfringe Sanctum. Southfringe Sanctum is located Southeast of Helgen and just South of Fort Neugrad. Once you are at the entrance to Southfringe Sanctum, head North until you run into the rock-face. It is sitting next to a chest, by a tree.

  • Just Northeast of Ivarstead. If you follow the river North from Ivarstead until it splits off in two directions, the river going East will dead end into a road that goes back Northwest. It's about 150 feet up along the road. There will be some concrete rubble and a broken down cast iron door. The book will be sitting in a small alcove of the rubble on top of a basket.

  • Brittleshin Pass, which is located just Northwest of The Guardian Stones and North of Lake Illinalta. The book will be in the main chamber near the Arcane Enchanter.

  • Stillborn Cave, which is located directly North of Windhelm, just off the road. The book can be found behind the first Falmer tent, next to a trap.

+1 To Conjuration For Completing The Quest '''Panteas's Flute'''

You can receive the quest from talking to Panteas at The Bard's College in Solitude. Once completed, you will receive +1 to every magic skill, including Conjuration.


+5 To Conjuration For Reading the Oghma Infinium

This book is obtained as a quest reward for completing the quest Discerning the Transmundane, which can be started by talking to Septimus Signus at Septimus Signus's Outpost. Septimus Signus's Outpost can be found by walking directly North from Winterhold. When reading the book, the player will have the option to choose:

  • The Path of Might - Which will increase your Combat skills by 5 (Archery, Block, Heavy Armor, One-handed, Smithing, Two-handed).
  • The Path of Shadow - Which will increase your Stealth skills by 5 (Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak, Speech).
  • The Path of Magic - Which will increase your Magic skills by 5 (Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Illusion, Restoration)

Saving all of these skill increases until you hit 79 in Conjuration will put you exactly at 90 Conjuration. This can save a lot of time and money as levels take more casts to level up the higher in skill you are, and trainers require more gold the higher level you are training in Conjuration. HOWEVER, saving these books will likely only save time if you aren't grinding your Conjuration skill on a corpse or a horse. If you already have it set up to where you're casting Soul Trap on your horse, then the extra footwork spent obtaining these books will likely take you a lot more time to get your Conjuration to the same point.


Conjuration Trainers

These NPCs can increase your skill in Conjuration. But it doesn't come cheap. They ask for gold for each skill increase, and it only gets more expensive the higher your skill is. An important caveat to remember is you can only use a trainer to increase your skill five time per level. This means that if you are at level 10, and you purchase five skill increases from a trainer, you won't be able to purchase anymore skill increases until you reach level 11. This goes for all skills too. So if you use a trainer to purchase three skill increases to Archery, you can only purchase two skill increases in Conjuration, until you level up, at which point it resets to zero. It's a bit interesting how this works regarding the player, as at low levels, your skill tends to increase fairly quickly. But the skill increases from a trainer are also relatively cheap. At higher levels, it takes a lot more time to increase your skill, but trainers cost a lot more money. So do you try to get all the levels you can early on for cheap? Or do you try to save your gold and purchase skill increases when it gets harder to level up? Honestly, I can't say if one is better than the other, since I think there is no right or wrong way to play and it really just depends on the players preference.

Take note of the box when you purchase a level in a skill. When you purchase a skill increase, the bar fills up, the skill increases by one, and the bar then resets at the beginning. It's a bit deceiving, because it looks like you just gain enough experience to level up to the next point. This however is not the case. You actually gain an entire level, meaning if you're bar is halfway filled with experience, purchasing a skill increase will start you at the same part in the experience bar on the next level. You wouldn't actually notice it unless you were to back out of the menu and then talk to the trainer again, as when the second time you talk to the trainer it will have your accurately listed experience for your skill. You could also take note of how far along you have progress in the current level in the Skills menu, use a trainer, and then go back into your Skills menu. It will show that you've retained your experience and receive a full levels worth of experience from the trainer.

It's important to note that each trainer can only level up to a certain level. Common trainers can level your skill from 1 - 50. Expert trainers can level your skill from 1 - 75. Master trainers can level your skill from 1 - 90. Also be aware that each trainer costs the same amount for that level. So a Master trainer, who can train you to a higher level, will not charge you more gold than a Common trainer will. So if you always want to use a Master Trainer, you won't have to pay any more gold than if you used a Common Trainer.


Common Trainer

Can train player from Level 1 to 50

  • Runil
    • A Priest in Falkreath, usually in the Hall of the Dead

Expert Trainer

Can train player from Level 1 to 75

  • Phinis Gestor
    • College of Winterhold, usually in the Hall of Countenance

Master Trainer

Can train player from Level 1 to 90

  • Falion
    • Falion's House in Morthal

Obtaining the Dead Thrall spell

The only prerequisite to obtain this spell is to have at least 90 skill in Conjuration. Once you have that, make your way to the College of Winterhold in the town of Winterhold. At the college, find Phinis Gestor and pick the dialog option about wanting to know more about Conjuration. He will give you a quest to find a Sigil Stone and also a Summon Unbound Dremora spell. Follow the quest marker to the top of the College and use the Summon Unbound Dremora spell. Choose the dialog option demanding that the Dremora submits, will turn it hostile, but don't worry, that is the progression of the quest. After you defeat it, summon it again. This time, you will demand a Sigil Stone, so once you defeat it and summon it again, it will give you the Sigil Stone. Bring this back to Phinis to complete the quest. Your reward will be the Flame Thrall spell. You will also be able to purchase from Phinis, the Storm Thrall spell, the Frost Thrall spell, and most importantly the Dead Thrall spell.

Quick Walkthrough

  • When you have 90 Conjuration, talk to Phinis Gestor (at the College of Winterhold) about learning more about Conjuration.
  • Go to the top of the College and cast the Summon Unbound Dremora spell that you received from Phinis.
  • Defeat the Dremora and then talk with it.
  • Summon it again.
  • Defeat it again and then talk with it again.
  • Summon it again to receive the Sigil Stone.
  • Return to Phinis

General Information

You did it! You finally have a minion/slave/friend. And they said it couldn't be done. So now that you have your permanent follower, what can you expect from them? Well, depending on the follower it can be good or bad. In the world of Skyrim, almost all NPCs are level locked. So what does this mean to you? NPCs that are level locked at a low level, aren't very effective in battle. That means that the Old Orc (P) that has been following you around since you were level 15, really isn't pulling his weight now that you are level 50. This is because he is level locked at level 25. Your thrall will level up as you level up, so if you were to thrall the Old Orc (P) while you are at level 15, he'd probably be around level 15 too. He would level up every time you leveled up, up to his maximum level (in this case level 25). So after level 25, you will continue to level up, while his stats are as high as they will go. So does that mean you shouldn't use any NPC below level 40? No, not necessarily. I'm a huge advocate for people playing the game in a way that they will enjoy. What it does mean though, is that your low level thrall will be merely a punching bag and more than likely, you'll have to pick them up after some battles. But that's okay. Sometimes it's entertaining to watch Fultheim the Fearless (P) say, "Must....Kill...." to a mudcrab only to be cut down in one swipe by its tiny little pincer.

So what are some perks of having a dead thrall? First and foremost, you now have a friend. And that's the most important thing of all. Okay, just kidding. Besides the most obvious answer of "Now you have more people to help you beat up other people", I'd say dead thralls are invaluable to the type of player that will horde items. Dead thralls give new meaning to the phrase "Pack Mule", since they can hold (theoretically) an infinite amount of items. They have no encumbrance, so you can just load them up with all of your heaviest stuff, and the most you'll get out of them is an, "UUUUHHHHHHHHHH" every once in a while. The only problem with this is, you are going to have to kill them or spawn in another conjuration so that you can loot their body. After you put all of your precious loot on their corpse, you are free to re-raise them and continue on your way. Pretty handy if you take "clearing out a dungeon" literally. Just be sure to take extra care managing your saves before loading them up with your most valuable loot. The phrase, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket" comes to mind here. It would be a shame to lose a hour or more of time because you can no longer find your thrall, or they just happened to die to a bear when you weren't looking.

Thralls are also handy for keeping the attention off of yourself. This is useful to all characters, but probably more so to a Ranged character or a Mage. If your thrall is a Melee type character, they will generally hold the enemy's attention while you can unleash you attacks from afar. This may also make it a bit easy, but a change in the games difficultly can put some challenge back in the game. Another perk of having a thrall is, it fills everyones dream of commanding a small army. What? Everyone doesn't have that dream? Anyway, once you have 100 in Conjuration, you can take the Twin Souls perk which lets you have two raised thralls (or Atronachs) at a time. Now, if you give these thralls staffs that conjure Flame Atronachs, Frost Atronachs, Dremora Lords, etc., they each can raise one to fight with them. Now that bunny rabbit that was looking at you funny has to deal with you, your follower, two thralls, and three pets. 7 vs. 1 is pretty fair now, isn't it rabbit? That'll teach you to hop away from me...

You Can Keep Thralls In Addition To A Follower

Just to be clear, you will not have to choose between your follower and thralls. They can be kept in addition to each other. So if you've always wanted three people following you around, well, thralling is for you.

Now, let's talk about some problems that you will face. Probably the biggest problem is the AI (Artificial Intelligence). You may have noticed it with one of your followers already. You're wandering Skyrim and decide that you'll check on your follower, only to notice that they are nowhere to be found. With a thrall, that problem seems to only be exacerbated. The NPCs are programmed with poor pathing AI, so that means anytime you jump over a rock, they will have to find a way around. Anytime you cross a stream, they will have to find a bridge to cross. Thralls constantly get stuck on small objects too. So when you are in a dungeon, you may have to wait a while for your thralls to catch up so you can jump the enemies in the next room. Luckily, pressing the wait button and waiting for an hour or two usually puts them back with you. They also almost always (as of 1.9) will teleport to you when you enter your house, so it's just a "little annoying" sometimes rather than being "not worth your time". It's also worth noting that thralls are given the same teleportation parameters as horses. Yep, horses. When you teleport to a city, they get teleported to the stables. Most cities are close enough to the stables that your thralls will actively try to find you, and usually do so within a few minutes. I guess Bethesda really does consider them pack mules. *nudge* Huh. Huh. See what I did there?

In rare cases, they can disappear entirely from your game (possibly falling through the stage or getting stuck where you can't see them). Thankfully, this really is rare (I've yet to experience it and there are rarely topics regarding it) and you more than likely won't experience it, especially if you have the latest patch. By far the biggest flaw overall is just their random behavior. Sometimes they do a good job of following you (especially if you stick to roads). Other times, their pathing makes them run in the opposite direction. I've literally passed my thrall on a road, only to stop and watch it continue to run the opposite way past me. They have trouble crossing rivers, and even sometimes, they will not zone through some doors that lead into dungeons. You'll enjoy it more if you don't keep constant tabs on your thrall, and just let them wander around like the inept, brain-dead zombies they are.

"UUUUHHHHHHHH"................................."UUHHHHHHHHHHH"..................................."UUUUUUUHHHHHHHHH"..............................."UUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHH". How do you feel about having that repeated over and over and over? Well, if you have a dead thrall, you'll hear it quite a bit. Depending on the person, it can make or break keeping dead thralls as a whole. Most NPCs that you thrall don't have unique voice clips, in fact, almost all of them don't. Only a handful of NPCs will not actually moan. So you will usually hear "Uhhhh"s through almost all of a dungeon. Personally, I don't really pay attention to it, as I can only do one thing at a time. Lucky me. The only time that I really notice it is when I'm in my house, putting away items and such. Spawning two Familiars (the ghost looking wolves) will kill off your thralls, so now all you have to deal with is two wolves howling for 60 seconds. But that's nothing a Great sword won't take care of.

"Stay away, that spell looks dangerous." "Uh, that spell looks dangerous." "That spell looks dangerous." "Keep your distance, that spell looks dangerous." In keeping with the theme from above, keeping a thrall may try your patience, since you will continually hear these sentences. ALL. OF. THE. TIME. For whatever reason, Bethesda decided that they would have the NPCs constantly remind the player that they have a thrall. And by constantly, I mean literally, every single sentence out of their mouth. Let me be the first to say to Bethesda, "Thank you. Hearing the same few sentences over and over does not bother me in the slightest. Seriously. I mean it. I don't mind at all that this only happens with thralls and totally kills the immersion." Okay. That was sarcasm. I really didn't mean it. It gets rather annoying, rather quickly, and it wouldn't be as bad if this dialog was cycled into the normal dialog, but as it happens, this is really about the only thing NPCs will say to you when you have a thrall. So now you don't hear about that Dragon roosting up on Mount Anthor. All you hear about is how dangerous looking your spell is. Over. And over. And over. And I used to wonder why players would slaughter entire towns. Now I know. Thankfully, they shut up when you kill off your thralls. So, if you travel into a town, it can be beneficial to your sanity to get into a habit of killing your thralls by casting Conjure Familiar or any other type of summoning spell ( any of the "cloak" spells in the Destruction tree works too, but only if you don't have Dawnguard installed). Or better yet, just take a Warhammer to your thrall's skull while everyone stands around you, commenting on your dangerous looking spell. And be sure to yell out, "DOES IT LOOK DANGEROUS NOW!?! DOES IT!?!" as the kill cam plays. Now your ears won't bleed, and you won't go on a killing spree. Yay! Just remember to pick them back up before you leave, especially if they aren't permanent.


This entire section is written with patch 1.9 in mind. Your mileage may vary if you are running a different patch.


In this section, I'll go over any problems that one might face when keeping thralls with regards to bugs, glitches, or the like. So far, the most noticeable problem with keeping thralls is having them disappear. The first thing to check, is their permanency. You can test this by dropping your thrall off at your house, fast traveling to somewhere that is (preferably) far away, and then waiting 24 hours. If you thrall is still there once you get back, there is a really good chance that your thrall is permanent. I say that your thralls have a really good chance of being permanent because it appears that not all thralls are permanent, but at the same time, they will stay longer than 24 hours. This means that if you test your thrall, and they are still there after 24 hours, you might assume that the thrall is permanent, but if you stay away awhile, for whatever reason, the thrall might not be there when you get back. So how do you know for sure?

The general theory right now is that there are three stages of thralls. First on the list are corpses that disappear after 24 hours (as in you need to be gone for at least 25 hours. If it's less, they will still be there). Almost all NPCs in Skyrim fall into this category. The overwhelming majority of generic NPCs (i.e. nameless bandits) will disappear shortly after you kill them, as well as the majority of named NPCs. There is nothing you can do to extend this, it's just they way that they are programmed. This isn't necessarily bad, because if the thrall is actually thralled, they will not disappear after any amount of time (unless you happen to play the game for over 20,000 hours with the same thrall). This allows players to use any NPC that is dead, provided that the thrall is at a level low enough to be thralled. On the flip side, this poses a predicament for the player that wants to keep multiple thralls, as leaving a thrall unattended for just a short period of time will see in their total departure from the game.

The second most common category is, thralls that are permanent. "Most common" is a bit of a fallacy here because these permanent corpses are anything but common, but at the same time, the player will see this category or a thrall from the category above, while rarely seeing an NPC in the last category (which is detailed in the next paragraph). So far, there are a handful of permanent corpses, but it is very possible that there are much more permanent thralls than anyone anticipates (again, thanks to masterpug53 for grave robbing). Currently, I have listed in the sections below, all of the thralls that I know are permanent. However, it should not be assumed that just because there are so little thralls mentioned, with regards to the amount of actual NPCs in Skyrim, that there are not many more thralls that are permanent. Just because there are only handfuls of information here or there, doesn't mean that there could potentially be many more thralls than the community has perceived. It requires time dedicated to it and testing. But I digress. This category remarked as "permanent", means just that. You can leave them in your house without fear of you showing back up one day only to find them gone.

The final category deals with thralls that last longer than 24 hours but are not entirely permanent. Each one is different (although I'm sure some can be the same) and can last anywhere from 7 - 29 days before finally disappearing. For example, Deekus will disappear after 10 days or so, which is the amount of time required to reset the location Hela's Folly, which Deekus is resident of. Ghunzul (P) will be permanent until the quest associated with him is completed, at which point he change to a 24 hour corpse. Havjarr Iron-Hand (P) will disappear entirely from the game if he is not visited inside of 30 days. Overall, this category is very small, and I could only give you a few more examples that I know of outside of the ones already listed. As such, most NPCs do not fall into this category and will more than likely be in one of the first two.

Now that you know how to categorize dead NPCs, you will know what to look for. Generally, if you want to test if a corpse is permanent, you'll have to wait a full 30 days to be 100% sure. But when waiting 30 days, you'll find that there can be some strange behavior from your dead thralls. There are certain corpses that will reanimate themselves, meaning when you show back up to your house, you could potentially be greeted by a few angry bandits. These corpses usually tend to be ones that were initially hostile towards the player when they were alive and they even behave in one of two ways. First, they will stay inside of your house, always hostile, and wait for you. That in and of itself is incredibly creepy, especially if the player doesn't know that this can happen. I had to change my britches the first time I saw this because I had zero armor on since I had been smithing stuff (weaning smithing gear), and I had no weapons equipped. As soon as I walked into my house, I was mauled by a Bandit Chief and a Bandit Marauder. Before I even had time to understand that there were enemies inside of my house attacking me, I was decapitated. Frightening and awesome at the same time.

The second way an NPC can potentially behave is, the NPC won't be hostile towards the player, even if they were normally hostile towards the player while they were alive. I've witnessed a Forsworn Briarheart walking down the street from my house, friendly to everyone. But if you interact with these enemies, they will immediately turn hostile. Waiting 30 days can even trigger the respawning of 24 hour corpses that you left in your house. I've only witnessed these hostile corpses respawning, and the aforementioned Briarheart was the one that this happened to. I wanted to test him out and see if he was permanent. He was not and subsequently disappeared from my game after I left the area for 24 hours. Many hours later after I collected quite a few more permanent NPCs, and I decided I would test them for a full 30 days just to make sure. After the 30 days passed and I proceed back to my house, and then passed by said Briarheart, casually walking down the street of Windhelm.

Another bug that one may experience is one's thralls arms or legs becoming stuck in the floor. This prevents you from moving your corpses around by dragging their bodies, but it is easily remedied by casting the Dead Thrall spell. They will have a little trouble standing up at first, but after a few seconds they will figure it out. Outside of pathing issues generally accompanied with thralls, these are the bugs that I've experienced. There is the ever rare, "thrall going completely missing" that was mentioned in an earlier part in this FAQ, but as also mentioned before, I've never experienced this nor have I seen many accounts of this. It is possible it was addressed in one of the patches, as now, most thralls teleport to you when you enter your house.


Hey! Look at his box!

Below, I have listed some really good (and quick) facts or tips about thralls to help ease you into *cue announcer voice*

THE WORLD OF THRALLING

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