FAQ/Walkthrough by ExtremePhobia

Version 1.1, Last Updated 2012-07-05

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Version History

1.0 - June 30, 2012

Both Factions in!

Dawnguard

Both faction quests start with you finding the Dawnguard. To do this, head to Riften and talk to a guard there to find out that the Dawnguard is setting up shop nearby. The waypoint that you are then given is a little confusing. On the map, you'll be given the marker for the Overworld location of the fort but you can't get there directly. On the compass will be the marker for a cave that leads to the fort. Follow the marker on your compass to an area North of Riften.

When you find the cave, you merely need to enter and you'll enter the Dayspring Canyon where Fort Dawnguard is. When you get there, just make your way up the path to Fort Dawnguard and feel free to talk to the various people on the path. Make your way into the fort and talk to Isran about joining. He'll immediately sign you up and send you on a mission to figure out what the Vampires are doing in a ruin out by Dawnstar.

Awakening

Head out for Dawnstar however is easiest. I found that the burned out Hall of the Vigilant was the closest marker for me but if you've explored very little, you may have to take a wagon to Dawnstar from one of the other major cities.

Head out to Dimhollow Crypt. You'll have to make your way up a mountain to get there but there will be a path that you can follow if you get lost. Just look for the steps at various points and the stone pillars with flags attached.

Dimhollow Crypt

Once inside, you'll hear a couple of vampires talking. You can sneak up on them if you like and try to kill the two. Make sure to watch for an accompanying Death Hound here. Loot the bodies if you like and then continue to follow the snow covered walkway along the wall. You'll see a doorway in the distance leading into a building. Go inside and up the stairs to find a pull chain. Pull that chain and you can see the gate open in the distance. Head back downstairs and make your way through that gate.

After going through the gate, follow the cave into a larger area with a stream. You'll be attacked by a small group of skeletons. Make your way up to the higher level above the stream and take a left. Along the wall will be another gate with a lever immediately next to it.

In the next room will be an alchemy lab if you need one. Exit the room through the doorway to your right when you are ready. When you come down the stairs, you'll come across a vampire fighting some skeletons. Kill both parties and then search along the North wall for a gate and pull chain. Behind that are some potions. Come out and take a right to find another similar door and chain. Open that and proceed into the large chamber with waterfalls. Kill the skeletons here and watch for the vampire above you.

Go up the ramp and you'll find a doorway that will lead to a narrow cavern. You'll be attacked by a couple of Doom Hounds and possibly some vampires. Make your way up and around the corner to the left. You'll find another vampire with two frostbite spider companions. If you kill the vampire the spiders should die. Continue past the vampire and you'll come to another larger room. There will be a gate directly ahead of you and just to the left of it will be a lever.

Open the gate and just through there will be a vampire with a Giant Frostbite Spider companion. Again, kill the vampire and the spider will go down with him. Just behind him is the door to the Dimhollow Caverns.

Dimhollow Cavern

You'll be in a room with a balcony. The gate should already be open to the balcony but if not, pull the lever to the left. Go out onto the balcony and go right. This will lead you down to the lower levels. Below will be a body with an interesting book about the caverns. Read it if you'd like (completely optional) and then continue towards the structure in the center of the cavern.

As you approach the center structure, you'll have to contend with a couple of vampires and their thrall. Make use of the columns around here to protect you from their magic and then kill them. Once they are dead, head to the center of the circles and push the button in the middle to activate it.

This will cause purple light to appear from the circle immediately surrounding the button. There will be 6 Braziers scattered around the center. You can actually solve these in any order that you wish but the proper way of doing it is by going to the only Brazier with a trail of light leading to it and pushing the Brazier so that it's at the end point of the light. This will cause the trail of light to lead further along the circle. Move to the next brazier and do the same so that it creates a second circle around the center.

Go back to the center and a structure will rise up. A woman will fall out. You can say pretty much anything and it won't have an effect on which faction you join (just yet).

  • Achievement: Awakening

Bloodline

Follow the compass marker to find the exit. When you cross the bridge, you'll be attacked by some Gargoyles. Take them out and then turn right. You're looking for a ramp that will lead upward. Take that to the higher level and go inside the small room. Open the door and you will come to a multi-tiered room. Make your way to the very top and stand overlooking the room. You should see a lever on the floor surrounded by candles. Activate it and the coffins around the room will unleash skeletons on you. Kill them and make your way to the gate on the North wall of the room. Follow the hallway until you come to some sort of theater or court.

There will be more skeletons in this room that will attack you. Be cautious because there will also be a Dragon Priest lurking around here. Before leaving the room, follow the room around the top of the stairs and you should come along a Word Wall.

Take the door out of this room to the North and then go through the gate beyond that. Then go through the cave opening beyond that. You're now outside. Serana will ask you to take her home. Home is far to the NW beyond Solitude. If you have Fort Hraggstad, that's a pretty good place to start from. From there, just head NW and down towards the water. You'll eventually see the Castle far out in the water. The compass marker will lead you to a small boat you can take to the castle.

When you land, make your way up to the castle front gate and after a minute, you'll be let in. Go inside and watch the happy reunion. Talk to Serana's father and he'll offer to turn you into a vampire or exile you from the castle. Turning into a vampire will bar you from the Dawnguard and start the Vampire Lord quests whereas turning him down will have the reverse effect. No matter which option you choose, after you've completed the quest line, you will be able to become a vampire anyway - even if you joined the Dawnguard.

Bloodstone Chalice

After Lord Harkon explains how the Vampire Lord system works, he'll send you to talk to one of his lackeys, Garan, about some work. To talk to him, you'll have to be in your normal form. Unfortunately, many normal functions can't be done as a Vampire Lord while some can. Usually things like opening doors work and even some pull chains. Levers and buttons rarely work though. Use your favorites menu to find "revert form" and change back.

After talking to Garan, you'll be sent to fill the Bloodstone Chalice. Garan will take you to it. Grab it and roll out. You are headed for the Rift, just NW of Riften. Travel to the nearest point and then make your way to the Redwater Den. There will be guards outside who will try to stop you if you are in Vampire Lord form though this form also helps you travel faster so the choice is yours.

Redwater Den

When you get inside, the doorway will be too small for you to fit through as the Vampire Lord so you'll have to revert back to your normal form. Go down the stairs, past the guard and talk to the dealer behind the cage. She'll offer you a sample and you can take it if you like but this is really unimportant. Walk to the back of the den and go through the gate at the end. You'll have to pick it.

Inside the next room, you'll be attacked by various vampires. Make sure you watch above as there will be some vampires above you too. Once the room is cleared, head to the back of the room and follow the tunnels up to the top level. Make your way through the tunnels and hit the lever to lower the bridge. Head back a little ways and then turn left to go across the newly lowered bridge.

Make your way down into the lower caverns and you'll come across a Thrall with a pickaxe. Kill him and then further in, kill his Vampire. You'll also encounter a skeleton with the vampire. You'll continue further down and come to what looks like a dead end but you'll find a chain on the wall at the SE corner.

Go through the door and a vampire will come out of a coffin in front of you. Kill her and the Doom Hounds before going out of the back of the room and right. This will lead you up to a door that goes to Redwater Spring

Redwater Spring

Head forward towards the flag and take a right. You'll hear a couple of people talking and there will be a large room to the left. Go into that room and kill the two vampires in there. As you try to make your way down the stairs, they'll likely try to come up. When you get to the bottom, you'll see a round grate in the floor directly ahead of you. Don't walk over it or you'll fall in. There are spikes and various other traps down there that are hard to avoid so it's best to just avoid the grate itself.

Go up the central spiral and then cross the small bridge just to your left. Follow this path through a couple of small rooms and it will lead you back to the beginning except on the other side of a wall. You'll find a small alcove with a pull chain and a window. Pull the chain to open the gate just to your left and the gate further ahead in the distance.

Go through the gate to your left and follow it to the newly opened gate ahead. Go inside the cavern and up the ramp.

In this long room, you'll be attacked by a few Hounds and vampires. Go up the middle of the room and when you can, take a left. Take the stairs up a level and then make your way to the NW part of the room. Pull the chain next to the gate to open it. Make your way through the next room with a bunch of potions.

Before entering the next room, it will be good to know there are pressure plates in there. Be careful crossing them or change to the vampire lord and float over them (no guarantee though). At the end of the hall will be double doors. Go through to enter a gathering room.

This room is quite dangerous with numerous vampires in it. If you are trying to play as the Vampire Lord in this room, remember that if you run out of magicka, you can land and attack with melee. If you kill an enemy with a power melee attack, you will kill them by feeding which will restore some health. If the enemies give you trouble, particularly as the Vampire Lord, lead them back down the stairs and over the pressure plates to make quick work of them.

When you've cleared out the room, search the dead bodies for a key and then enter the tunnel at the back of the lower level. In the next room, you'll have to be sure you're in your normal form. Go to the center of the room and fill the Bloodstone Chalice. When you go to leave, you'll be approached by two vampires. These two will argue amongst themselves but it seems that they are much more interested in attacking you. They shouldn't be too difficult compared to the last encounter however. Kill them both and then "loot" their bodies to take their blood. With the Chalice filled and the Vampire blood, head back to the castle to report in. The fastest way is through the back of this cave which will bring you up through the back room of the schooma den.

Prophet

You'll be sent to talk to Lord Harkon who will then lead you to the main hall for an announcement. After the announcement, talk to Serana and then make your way to the College of Winterhold. If you aren't already part of the College and haven't earned entry during the Main Quest, you will have to do one or the other to gain entry. Once inside the main building take the door leading to the Arcaneaum. Talk to the Urag gro-Shub there and he will direct you to Dragon's Bridge

When you get to Dragon's Bridge, you may be able to get the information you need from one of the guards but if you've progressed the civil war far enough, the guards may have been replaced by faction appropriate "Soldiers" who are unhelpful. You can still get the information you seek from a small boy in town. He usually strolls around town after 3:30pm or so. Talk to him and ask about a Moth Priest. He will direct you over the bridge.

Cross the bridge and keep travelling along the path until you come to an overturned carriage. Loot the designated body to find a note. This note will tell you that the Moth Priest has been taken to a nearby dungeon for protection. Head over to Forebears' Holdout (short distance by foot).

Forebears' Holdout

From the entrance, go down the ramp until you come to a large room with a stream running in front of you. Cross the stream and approach the structure. You'll be attacked by Dawnguard, wolves, and trolls. Most of them are melee enemies so you can try to draw them back out of the structure so that you have more backward space to move around with. Once you've kill them, head up the stairs in the structure to the spot where the giant shield is. Kill the Dawnguard up here and one of them will have a Waystone Focus. Take it, go upstairs and use it to lower the shield.

When you do so, the Moth Priest will attack you. "Kill" him and then you may have to wait. After a couple of days without feeding, you'll be granted the "Seduction" power. Use this on him and then try to talk to him. This will allow you to "feed" which will make him your Thrall. At this point, talk to him and direct him to the castle. Do so yourself and speak to Harkon. After that, talk to the Moth Priest to hear about the Elder Scroll.

Seeking Disclosure

Seeking Disclosure is the parent quest for seeking out the two other Elder Scrolls. It requires you to find both scrolls while the other two quests will give you finer direction in how to do so. To get the Scroll of Blood, you'll need to track down Serana's mother. This is part of this quest line. The other will require you to make it far enough in the Main Quest line to have gotten the Elder Scroll or that you go through the dungeon it is in and collect it yourself. If you need help with the dungeon, I recommend that you look in a main Skyrim guide (perhaps my own for instance?) for the quest "Elder Knowledge".

Chasing Echoes

After talking to Serana, you will be directed to go around the side of the castle. Get outside, off the bridge and go right. Follow the coast to find another section of the castle by some kind of dock. Around the dock will be various Skeletons. They will be very resistant to your Life Drain magic but very susceptible to your melee attacks. Make your way up the stairs to the top and you'll find a wooden door. Go through the door to enter back into the castle.

Volkihar Undercroft

Be careful in the undercroft, you'll encounter numerous feral vampires and their various minions. Follow the path until you come to a room with canals and bridges. Make your way along this room, fighting off the Hounds that come at you. Head North all the way and up the stairs. Go West and up more stairs into a small room. Pull the lever here to lower a bridge. Go back down both sets of stairs and then immediately head West.

You'll only be able to cross half of the bridge. When you get to the middle, turn left and go through the doorway. Go down the small hall and it will turn left, leading to a room with more hounds. Go into the room with the piles of bones.

This room will wrap around to the left and lead up some stairs. Cut through the webbing at the top. You'll come to a room with a Giant Frostbite Spider. Kill it and then activate the lever just beyond it to lower the next section of bridge. Go back to the bridge and cross the rest of the way

Go up the stairs on this side and they will take you to the Volkihar Courtyard.

Volkihar Courtyard

In the courtyard, you'll find that the Moondial has been damaged. You'll need to repair it with the missing phases of the moon before you may proceed. You will find all three pieces outside in the courtyard, not inside the building though you may explore there if you'd like.

The first piece of the Moondial is to the NE on the raised walkway. Just go up one set of stairs, grab the piece and then down the far side. The second piece will be in the small pond to the NW and the third piece will be hidden against the wall at the back of the small cemetery here.

When you go back to the Moondial, place the pieces on the empty circles of the moondial. When all the pieces are back in place, the moondial will turn and reveal a set of stairs leading down. Go down the stairs and through the door into the Volkihar Ruins.

Volkihar Ruins

Inside, go up the stairs to the dead end wall and pull the chain on the left.

Go into the next room with the bloodied table. Follow the stairs to the East as they go upward. This will lead to a dining area with a large group of skeletons. Kill them all and then go up the stairs to the odor at the South side of the room.

Go up the stairs here and you'll enter a room with lots of spider webs. A Gargoyle or two will attack you in this room. Continue south and go through the door there. Go up the next set of stairs and kill the two Skeletons there. Go up the large set of stairs to an area with another Gargoyle. Kill the Gargoyle and then turn around so that you are facing ENE. Go under the ruins and up the stairs.

At the top, take a left and enter the next hallway. Go up the stairs in this room and at the top, you'll find a small study area with a single door. Go through that door and kill the skeletons in the next room. Follow the path and go up the stairs until you come to another large room with a lower level. You'll encounter a couple of skeletons down there and go up the stairs at the far side of the room.

At the top of the stairs, you'll see a gargoyle in the distance. Just behind the gargoyle is a chain. You need to go up, pull the chain and then back up. The gargoyle will become real and then attack you. He shouldn't be too difficult to kill on his own. From there, head back towards the stairs down but watch on the right side for a new doorway. Go through that door and up the stairs beyond.

On the stairs, you should encounter a skeleton and at the top of the stairs will be another gargoyle. Kill both and then at the top of the stairs, turn left. You'll see a gate here with a chain to the right. Use the chain to open the gate and then go into the next room. Or, if you have the skill, pick the lock on the wooden door and this will take you around to a side hallway beyond this gate.

Either way, you should come to a medium long room with balconies on either side. Make your way up the middle and go either way to get to the side hallways. Go to the SW corner and up two flights of stairs. At the top, go through the wooden door and then go through the wooden door in the next room as well. This will take you to a room with another large set of stairs and a very large pair of wooden doors. Go inside those doors.

Inside this room, you'll be attacked by a couple of gargoyles as you cross the room. They should only come at you one at a time as long as you don't make rapid forward progress. Go up to the empty fireplace at the end of the room and turn the candlestick just to the left of it to reveal a hidden door.

Follow the long set of stairs until you come to a large room with a giant circle in the middle of it. Wait for Serana to catch up here (or go back looking for her if you think she's stuck). When she gets here, talk to her and she will tell you to look around for her mother's diary.

You'll find her mother's diary amongst the books in the small library to the W. It's a small red book on one of the higher shelves. Grab it, read it, and take it with you. Give it to Serana and she will tell you what you need to find to perform the ritual. These ingredients are scattered around the room in large bowls. Each one has a unique name so just picking up "bone meal" is not going to cut it.

The soul gem fragments are going to be along the wall just after you go up the first set of stairs. It will be sitting on a low set of cabinets in a silver bowl surrounded by other Soul Gems.

At the top of the stairs, turn left and walk past the small ledge hanging over the center of the room. This upper platform will turn left again along the other wall. Follow this as it goes towards the entrance to this room. You'll find a couple of bookshelves with ingredients on them. Walk past the first one and on the second one, you should find the Purified Void Salts right in the middle.

The last item should be on the lower floor. Go down and you should see a table with all manner of different bones sitting under the skull of a massive mammoth. In a bowl on the far left side of this table will be the Finely Ground Bone Meal.

Go back up to talk to Serana. She will add her blood and the portal will open below. Go in to enter the Soul Cairn.

Beyond Death

When you arrive in the Soul Cairn, you'll have to travel quite a ways. Your destination is out amidst the two glowing towards in the distance. You'll have to go through a large wall that separates the outer part of the Soul Cairn from the inner part. Go through and then make your way along the path. You'll come up to a large structure with a purple shield. When you get there, you'll have to wait for Serana to come up before her mother will appear. She will come up and talk to Serana through the shield, then you.

After talking to Valerica about the prophecy, she will send you out to bring down this shield. There are three large towers (these are the ones that are actually glowing). You will have to travel to each of these in turn and defeat the Keeper of the towers to get rid of the shield.

Head for the Tower to the SSE first. This first Keeper will be accompanied by a few skeletons but nothing too major. Again, like the regular skeletons, the Keeper will be more susceptible to physical damage rather than magical. Kill him and then head for the tower that is NNE of where you are.

This tower should be the one floating in the air. This one is a little stranger. You will be directed to stand on a pad first. This will teleport you to the top of the tower. You will have to make your way up from there using the stairs and fighting various skeletons along the way until you get to the top. At the very top will be another Keeper. Kill him and then continue just past where the Keeper was to find another portal. Use this one to get back down but don't immediately run forward when you do because you will come out just behind the portal that leads up and if you walk forward, you'll be teleported back to the top again.

Head for the last tower. You'll have to work your way through what looks like a cemetery. You'll be attacked by a bunch of skeletons as you make your way there. Kill them and the Keeper, then return to Valerica. Talk to her and she will bring you inside the central structure.

You will enter a courtyard and then part way across, you'll be attacked by Durnehviir. Compared to some of the other dragons you may have fought, this is actually a pretty easy fight. Take him down and something odd will happen to his body. Talk to Valerica afterwards to find out what happened and then follow her to the resting place of the Elder Scroll. Take it and then leave this place.

When you get back outside, you'll find Durnehviir staring at you. He'll request that you call him to Tamriel during your travels. After your chat, head back to where you entered the Soul Cairn and make your way back up to Valerica's labs. Once in the labs, you can now use the wooden door to the balcony. Do so to get outside and then from here, fast travel back to the front of the castle and talk to the Moth Priest again.

Note: By summoning Durnehviir to Tamriel, you can learn a new shout. To summon him, unlock his shout (requires Dragon Souls) and then use the shout at the ground. This will summon him. When he arrives, he will teach you a new word for the shout. Do so three times to learn it all. You will have to wait a day in between each summoning. Doing this will unlock and achievement.

  • Achievement: Beyond Death
  • Achievement: Soul Tear

Scroll Scouting

If you haven't gotten the Elder Scroll from the Main Quest line, check the quest "Elder Knowledge" in a guide for the main game. Otherwise, head to the College of Winterhold and buy the scroll back from Urag gro-Shub. Obtaining the scroll ends this quest. When you've got both scrolls, head back to the castle and talk to the Moth Priest.

Unseen Visions

You'll have to travel to the Ancestor Glade just outside of Falkreath. The dungeon is quite simple actually. Go up the left side and across the large tree that forms a bridge. On the other side, go down through the small cave until you come out in the glade. Make your way down to the center and you'll find the Knife that you need for the ritual.

Go to any of the trees with the colorful leaves here and use the knife on it. Now just make your way around the room and walk through the groups of moths. You should be able to find all seven groups without leaving this room. When you have them all, make sure you are ready for battle because once you are done reading the scrolls, you will be attacked by the Dawnguard.

With all seven swarms, head back to the center of the glade and walk into the column of light. Stand in it and read the Elder Scroll (Blood). After you've read all three scrolls, talk to Serana.

Touching the Sky

You'll be attacked by a large Dawnguard group but as long as you make smart use of your environment, you should be just fine. Kill the Dawnguard and their trolls. Make your way out of the glade.

Once you are outside, fast travel to the Dragon's Bridge and then start making your way to the Darkfall Cave.

Darkfall Cave

Once inside, just follow the cavern, killing any spiders you may come along until you come to a wooden bridge. Cross it and then cross back. The Bridge will fall out from under you and drop you in the drink. Ride this until you come to a much lower level with a trickling stream. Follow the stream until you can't any longer and you'll find a slope that leads up.

When you reach the fire, head east but watch out for the rock trap. Just continue to follow this cave as far east as it will let you go until you come to a larger cavern with a much larger stream of slow traveling water. In the distance, you will find an elf. Talk to him.

Gelebar will explain that he requires something from you before he gets you the bow of Auriel. He will raise up the central structure and explain that you must go through a rather long ritual. Get the ewer from him and then head through the portal inside the building. This will deposit you in a different part of the cave, Darkfall Passage.

Darkfall Passage

Darkfall Passage can be kind of dark so if you have it, feel free to make use of the Lord's Vampire Sight. Make your way along this long cave and watch out for the Chaurus Hunter that erupts from the pod on the left side of the hallway. These fly and are faster but they are otherwise just weaker versions of the chaurus you already know of. Continue through these tunnels killing the chaurus and falmer that you come across until you find yourself in a falmer village.

Cut your way through the village going to the west. You'll find some huts and a waterfall. Go through the waterfall and fall into the crevice in the ground. This will take you to a different set of caves. Follow these until it brings you to what looks like a dead end. If you look by the green lights just to the left, you will find a rope that you can pull which will open the wall.

You will go through another room and come to another Falmer village. This time, you'll want to travel westward for the most part. You're going to run into tougher Falmer like the Warmonger at this point. Thankfully, they'll come at you a little slower at this point too but still be careful because you never know when a couple of their friends will surprise you.

Go into the cave to the west and you'll enter a room with a large glowing stone. Go past the stone and follow this path until you get to a small room with a single Falmer hut and a Chaurus pen. Kill the Falmer and Chaurus, then head up to the hut.

Take either ramp through the waterfall and turn left to find a small cavern. Follow that but be careful of the strings hanging down. They'll trigger a rock trap if you hit them. Move along this cavern until you come to another dead end. Back up a little ways and you should see two ropes on the wall to the left. Pull one and then pull the other to get through the door.

On the other side of the door will be a Vale Sabre Cat. Kill it and then hug the wall to the right as it wraps down towards the large glowing stone below you. Walk past that large stone and under the large mushrooms to the lake below. Cross the land bridges to get to the other side.

You'll find another Vale Sabre Cat on this side of the lake. Kill it and then follow this path further. It will wrap around and another small bridge will take you across the lake but much higher up. You'll come to another buried Wayshrine and the Prelate Sidanyis. Talk to him, answer yes and then enter the wayshrine. Inside, dunk the ewer into the basin. Now enter the portal to the Forgotten Vale.

The Forgotten Vale

The Forgotten Vale is a rather cold looking place. Make your way to the markers on your compass. Each of them represents another wayshrine that you must get to. You may bump into trolls or the occasional Falmer out here but for the most part, the Vale is pretty safe. Make your way from wayshrine to wayshrine, activating each one. You should be able to reach three easily even if not necessarily quickly. They all seem to require that you get there by a roundabout way.

After you've gotten the easy three, make your way towards the last one in the west. This is going to be a long trek involving going over a waterfall, along a large river while fighting Falmer. And that's just the first leg! As you continue heading along this river, you'll start approaching this waypoint from the north (it should appear more to your south). Kill the Chaurus along the way and watch out for the Falmer above you.

When you reach the end of the river, you'll come to a couple of huts and a couple of Falmer. Kill them both and then head into the cave just next to their huts.

Glacial Crevice

When you get to the main room of the Glacial Crevice, you'll find some Falmer. There will be on directly ahead of you along the path to the left. You should be able to sneak up on him and kill him. Once that's down, move forward. This left path will eventually connect to a small Falmer village by an odd "U" shaped bridge. Kill the Falmer here and cross the bridge.

Climb up these slopes, first north and then south. At the top, you will be able to enter a cave. Follow it and at the end, open that gate that leads to the large canyon. Make your way along the canyon and kill any Falmer here as you head NW. You'll pass an oddly colored Falmer hut (purple) and then turn right. Enter the ice cave going north and then it will turn east. You'll come to another large canyon. Continue east until you come out back at the first main room of the Glacial Crevice except far higher this time.

Follow the ledge on the right side as it heads S and then cross the large bridge that goes to the east. Follow this ledge now and go into the cave between the two large pillars. This will put you in a large cave that will lead you back outside.

Forgotten Vale Again

You'll be outside again and get dropped right into a Falmer village. Make your way along this canyon as you head SSE. The canyon itself is rather linear though the various bridges through the village can be quite confusing. As long as you continue to go through the canyon and keep heading up ramps when you get the chance, you'll make your way through. The tough part is watching out for the Falmer shooting down at you from above.

Eventually, the canyon will reach a dead end but if you go up the ramps, one of them will lead you through a cove into another section of the canyon. Make your way through this section of village and then head back down to the bottom floor. Continue into a bluish cave. You won't meet any resistance inside but do watch out for tripwire traps. Keep climbing through this cave until you come to the final wayshrine in the middle of a Falmer village.

Fill the ewer this final time. Turn around, walk out of the wayshrine and just head straight until you cross a very large bridge. Make your way up to the front doors of the large building ahead. The doors will not open but if you look behind you, you should see a receptacle for pouring your water. This will eventually cause the door to unlock. When it does, go inside.

Inner Sanctum

Inside, you'll find yourself in a rather large room with a bunch of frozen Falmer and Chaurus. Go through the doors to the north but watch out for all the frozen enemies. Some of them will shatter the ice around them and attack you. Thankfully, this shouldn't happen in large groups. Continue northward.

You'll go through some rather large doors into another room which slowly turns into an ice cavern. Follow this cavern and it will lead you to Auriel's Chapel.

Auriel's Chapel

Go forward and drop down to the lower level. Turn left and make your way east. You'll come to a clear wall of ice with your target on the far side. He will wake the various Falmer and Chaurus on our side of the ice. They will keep coming at you but they are far weaker than normal it seems. Be careful not to hit Serana if you can because she can become aggressive towards you and make it difficult to finish this quest. Once you've cleared most of the enemies here, he will summon a Frost Atronach. Kill that and the giant ice wall should break.

Once it's broken, he will make a run for it. Follow after him, past the throne he was sitting on. This will take you to a beautiful balcony. Kill him but try not to knock him off the edge if you want his gear. Once he's dead, his brother will show up and the last wayshrine will open. After talking with Geleber, Auriel's Bow will appear inside. Grab the bow and then talk to Geleber to get Sunhollow arrows. The first batch is free but every arrow after that needs to be crafted and requires elven arrows. You can convert some extras if you want to be on the safe side but leave some elven arrows to spare if you can.

After talking to him, talk to Serana. She will agree that it's time to confront Harkon.

Kindred Judgment

Head back to the castle. Be prepared because you're headed for Harkon's throne room. Make your way through the castle and up to the Cathedral. He will already be ready for a fight but he'll still want to talk first. You'll have the chance to hand him the bow but I suspect that he'll just try to kill you anyway, requiring you to kill him just the same. I say don't.

The battle will start. Use magic on him if you like, get close for melee. Do whatever you like to do damage. Watch out for the various minions he summons to fight with him. From time to time he will teleport around the room, making him a hard target for a melee. If you've got an abundance of Sunhollow Arrows, you can use those for some massive damage here. If not, hang on to them because they are useful for something else.

After you do some damage, he will move to the back of the room and form a shield around him. When he does this, shoot the Sunhollow Arrows at him with Auriel's Bow and it will destroy his shield. Once it's down, continue on with the battle as usual. Once he's killed, you will be recognized as the most powerful vampire and the Lord of the castle. This will allow you to take radiant quests from the vampires here just like any other faction.

There's one more important thing that happens here. After the fight, Serana will offer to be your companion. This is very useful because she will allow you to use her blood with Elven arrows to make blood cursed arrows. If you shoot one of these at the sun, it will blot out the sun for the rest of the day (and grant you an achievement).

  • Achievement: Kindred Judgment
  • Achievement: Auriel's Bow

A New Order

When you return to Fort Dawnguard, you'll be attacked by a group of vampires. You'll have friends to help you. After you've killed them, talk to Isran. Isran will send you to find a couple of people to help with their battle effort.

Sarine Jurard is going to be out by Dragon's Bridge. Head there and then make your way to her. When you find her, talk to her and she'll tell you she's very busy. If your speechcraft is high enough, you'll be able to persuade her to leave her research and to return to Fort Dawnguard immediately. If not, you'll have to search the area for a Dwemer Gyro (if you don't already have one). When you find one, she'll head off to the Fort.

Gunmar will be out hunting in the Rift. Talk to him and he'll want you to kill a bear for him. This is quite simple since he'll be standing right in front of the cave. Go in the cave and the first thing you'll see is this bear. Kill the bear and Gunmar will be in the cave before long. Talk to him and he'll head back to Fort Dawnguard as well.

Head back to the fort and entertain Isran's spotlight. After that, head up the stairs and talk to him. He'll lead you to a surprise. Talk to Serana, then Isran, then Serana again. She'll tell you that you need to find a Moth Priest to read the scroll for you and the next quest will start.

Prophet

Make your way to the College of Winterhold. If you aren't already part of the College and haven't earned entry during the Main Quest, you will have to do one or the other to gain entry. Once inside the main building take the door leading to the Arcaneaum. Talk to the Urag gro-Shub there and he will direct you to Dragon's Bridge

When you get to Dragon's Bridge, you may be able to get the information you need from one of the guards but if you've progressed the civil war far enough, the guards may have been replaced by faction appropriate "Soldiers" who are unhelpful. You can still get the information you seek from a small boy in town. He usually strolls around town after 3:30pm or so. Talk to him and ask about a Moth Priest. He will direct you over the bridge.

Cross the bridge and keep travelling along the path until you come to an overturned carriage. Loot the designated body to find a note. This note will tell you that the Moth Priest has been taken to a nearby dungeon for protection. Head over to Forebears' Holdout (short distance by foot).

Forebears' Holdout

From the entrance, go down the ramp until you come to a large room with a stream running in front of you. Cross the stream and approach the structure. You'll be attacked by vampires and hounds. You'll have to use the building around you for cover from the magic attacks. Once you've kill them, head up the stairs in the structure to the spot where the giant shield is. Kill the Vampires up here and one of them will have a Waystone Focus. Take it, go upstairs and use it to lower the shield.

Try not to damage the Moth Priest at this point because if you do, it's possible that he'll perpetually try to attack you. Eventually this will prevent you from talking to him and you won't be able to proceed with the quest. Talk to him when he's free and he'll thank you for rescuing him. He'll offer his help and head to Fort Dawnguard. Meet him there and have him read the scroll.

Seeking Disclosure

Seeking Disclosure is the parent quest for seeking out the two other Elder Scrolls. It requires you to find both scrolls while the other two quests will give you finer direction in how to do so. To get the Scroll of Blood, you'll need to track down Serana's mother. This is part of this quest line. The other will require you to make it far enough in the Main Quest line to have gotten the Elder Scroll or that you go through the dungeon it is in and collect it yourself. If you need help with the dungeon, I recommend that you look in a main Skyrim guide (perhaps my own for instance?) for the quest "Elder Knowledge".

Chasing Echoes

After talking to Serana, you will be directed to go around the side of castle Volkihar. Just outside, go off the bridge and go right. Follow the coast to find another section of the castle by some kind of dock. Around the dock will be various Skeletons. They will be very resistant to your Life Drain magic but very susceptible to your melee attacks. Make your way up the stairs to the top and you'll find a wooden door. Go through the door to enter back into the castle.

Volkihar Undercroft

Be careful in the undercroft, you'll encounter numerous feral vampires and their various minions. Follow the path until you come to a room with canals and bridges. Make your way along this room, fighting off the Hounds that come at you. Head north all the way and up the stairs. Go west and up more stairs into a small room. Pull the lever here to lower a bridge. Go back down both sets of stairs and then immediately head west.

You'll only be able to cross half of the bridge. When you get to the middle, turn left and go through the doorway. Go down the small hall and it will turn left, leading to a room with more hounds. Go into the room with the piles of bones.

This room will wrap around to the left and lead up some stairs. Cut through the webbing at the top. You'll come to a room with a Giant Frostbite Spider. Kill it and then activate the lever just beyond it to lower the next section of bridge. Go back to the bridge and cross the rest of the way

Go up the stairs on this side and they will take you to the Volkihar Courtyard.

Volkihar Courtyard

In the courtyard, you'll find that the Moondial has been damaged. You'll need to repair it with the missing phases of the moon before you may proceed. You will find all three pieces outside in the courtyard, not inside the building though you may explore there if you'd like.

The first piece of the Moondial is to the NE on the raised walkway. Just go up one set of stairs, grab the piece and then down the far side. The second piece will be in the small pond to the NW and the third piece will be hidden against the wall at the back of the small cemetery here.

When you go back to the Moondial, place the pieces on the empty circles of the moondial. When all the pieces are back in place, the moondial will turn and reveal a set of stairs leading down. Go down the stairs and through the door into the Volkihar Ruins.

Volkihar Ruins

Inside, go up the stairs to the dead end wall and pull the chain on the left.

Go into the next room with the bloodied table. Follow the stairs to the East as they go upward. This will lead to a dining area with a large group of skeletons. Kill them all and then go up the stairs to the odor at the South side of the room.

Go up the stairs here and you'll enter a room with lots of spider webs. A Gargoyle or two will attack you in this room. Continue south and go through the door there. Go up the next set of stairs and kill the two Skeletons there. Go up the large set of stairs to an area with another Gargoyle. Kill the Gargoyle and then turn around so that you are facing ENE. Go under the ruins and up the stairs.

At the top, take a left and enter the next hallway. Go up the stairs in this room and at the top, you'll find a small study area with a single door. Go through that door and kill the skeletons in the next room. Follow the path and go up the stairs until you come to another large room with a lower level. You'll encounter a couple of skeletons down there and go up the stairs at the far side of the room.

At the top of the stairs, you'll see a gargoyle in the distance. Just behind the gargoyle is a chain. You need to go up, pull the chain and then back up. The gargoyle will become real and then attack you. He shouldn't be too difficult to kill on his own. From there, head back towards the stairs down but watch on the right side for a new doorway. Go through that door and up the stairs beyond.

On the stairs, you should encounter a skeleton and at the top of the stairs will be another gargoyle. Kill both and then at the top of the stairs, turn left. You'll see a gate here with a chain to the right. Use the chain to open the gate and then go into the next room. Or, if you have the skill, pick the lock on the wooden door and this will take you around to a side hallway beyond this gate.

Either way, you should come to a medium long room with balconies on either side. Make your way up the middle and go either way to get to the side hallways. Go to the SW corner and up two flights of stairs. At the top, go through the wooden door and then go through the wooden door in the next room as well. This will take you to a room with another large set of stairs and a very large pair of wooden doors. Go inside those doors.

Inside this room, you'll be attacked by a couple of gargoyles as you cross the room. They should only come at you one at a time as long as you don't make rapid forward progress. Go up to the empty fireplace at the end of the room and turn the candlestick just to the left of it to reveal a hidden door.

Follow the long set of stairs until you come to a large room with a giant circle in the middle of it. Wait for Serana to catch up here (or go back looking for her if you think she's stuck). When she gets here, talk to her and she will tell you to look around for her mother's diary.

You'll find her mother's diary amongst the books in the small library to the W. It's a small red book on one of the higher shelves. Grab it, read it, and take it with you. Give it to Serana and she will tell you what you need to find to perform the ritual. These ingredients are scattered around the room in large bowls. Each one has a unique name so just picking up "bone meal" is not going to cut it.

The soul gem fragments are going to be along the wall just after you go up the first set of stairs. It will be sitting on a low set of cabinets in a silver bowl surrounded by other Soul Gems.

At the top of the stairs, turn left and walk past the small ledge hanging over the center of the room. This upper platform will turn left again along the other wall. Follow this as it goes towards the entrance to this room. You'll find a couple of bookshelves with ingredients on them. Walk past the first one and on the second one, you should find the Purified Void Salts right in the middle.

The last item should be on the lower floor. Go down and you should see a table with all manner of different bones sitting under the skull of a massive mammoth. In a bowl on the far left side of this table will be the Finely Ground Bone Meal.

Go back up to talk to Serana. She will add her blood and the portal will open below. Make your way down the stairs and enter. Except you'll take damage and fail to enter instead. Turns out that you're just a little too "alive" to enter. You have two choices with how to proceed. You can have Serana trap part of your soul in a Soul Gem. This will weaken you while you are in the Soul Cairn though this won't kill you. The other option is that she can turn you into a vampire, allowing you to roam through the Soul Cairn freely. The only downside to this is that you will have to do the quest to cure yourself of your vampirism before you'll be allowed to continue the quest when you return. The choice is yours.

Beyond Death

When you arrive in the Soul Cairn, you'll have to travel quite a ways. Your destination is out amidst the two glowing towards in the distance. You'll have to go through a large wall that separates the outer part of the Soul Cairn from the inner part. Go through and then make your way along the path. You'll come up to a large structure with a purple shield. When you get there, you'll have to wait for Serana to come up before her mother will appear. She will come up and talk to Serana through the shield, then you.

After talking to Valerica about the prophecy, she will send you out to bring down this shield. There are three large towers (these are the ones that are actually glowing). You will have to travel to each of these in turn and defeat the Keeper of the towers to get rid of the shield.

Head for the Tower to the SSE first. This first Keeper will be accompanied by a few skeletons but nothing too major. Again, like the regular skeletons, the Keeper will be more susceptible to physical damage rather than magical. Kill him and then head for the tower that is NNE of where you are.

This tower should be the one floating in the air. This one is a little stranger. You will be directed to stand on a pad first. This will teleport you to the top of the tower. You will have to make your way up from there using the stairs and fighting various skeletons along the way until you get to the top. At the very top will be another Keeper. Kill him and then continue just past where the Keeper was to find another portal. Use this one to get back down but don't immediately run forward when you do because you will come out just behind the portal that leads up and if you walk forward, you'll be teleported back to the top again.

Head for the last tower. You'll have to work your way through what looks like a cemetery. You'll be attacked by a bunch of skeletons as you make your way there. Kill them and the Keeper, then return to Valerica. Talk to her and she will bring you inside the central structure.

You will enter a courtyard and then part way across, you'll be attacked by Durnehviir. Compared to some of the other dragons you may have fought, this is actually a pretty easy fight. Take him down and something odd will happen to his body. Talk to Valerica afterwards to find out what happened and then follow her to the resting place of the Elder Scroll. Take it and then leave this place.

When you get back outside, you'll find Durnehviir staring at you. He'll request that you call him to Tamriel during your travels. After your chat, head back to where you entered the Soul Cairn and make your way back up to Valerica's labs. Once in the labs, you can now use the wooden door to the balcony. Do so to get outside and then from here, fast travel back to the front of the castle and talk to the Moth Priest again.

Note: By summoning Durnehviir to Tamriel, you can learn a new shout. To summon him, unlock his shout (requires Dragon Souls) and then use the shout at the ground. This will summon him. When he arrives, he will teach you a new word for the shout. Do so three times to learn it all. You will have to wait a day in between each summoning. Doing this will unlock and achievement.

  • Achievement: Beyond Death
  • Achievement: Soul Tear

Scroll Scouting

If you haven't gotten the Elder Scroll from the Main Quest line, check the quest "Elder Knowledge" in a guide for the main game. Otherwise, head to the College of Winterhold and buy the scroll back from Urag gro-Shub. Obtaining the scroll ends this quest. When you've got both scrolls, head back to the fort and talk to the Moth Priest.

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