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Upon arrival at this place you’ll find some bandits and necromancers not getting along very well. It’s rare but there is the chance that they’ll attack you as a team instead of each other but even then they’re not that hard. In the depths beyond the fights are even easier since it’s basically filled with weak skeletons. That’s all that’s between you and your objective as well as the Word Wall.
Location: Far to the southeast of Markarth, near the river
Valthume is home to the Dragon Priest Hevnorak having been imprisoned here by a brave warrior named Valdar. He remains as only a spirit but Hevnorak is rapidly waking up so it’s up to you to finish this dark creature off to protect the world from him and free Valdar. This requires that you find three different “vessels” that will call up Hevnorak so that he can be slain by you.
The first vessel is the Opaque Vessel and this is found in Valthume proper. This part is rather simple and isn’t covered in the video below. However to get the next vessels as well to reach the Word Wall you’ll need to head down into Valthume Catacombs and this is where the problems begin. Regardless of your level there are going to be numerous higher level Draugr here. In most playthroughs people will encounter several Draugr Deathlords in this area, notably just before and after you pick up the Iron Claw. This is a challenge for even higher level characters due to how much damage these guys can do even with a bow so be immensely careful with this part of the dungeon. Compared to dealing with these guys the fight with Hevnorak is a breeze.
Location: In the mountains far to the west of Solitude
Volskygge is a Nord ruin full of bandits for the first half and then Draugr in the second. As the bandits are leveled along with you they should be pretty easy for you to handle if you survived the trip to this dungeon. The Draugr are a bit tougher so a fire weapon might be called for if you want to ease the trip. One thing that may trip you up is the large room in the first half of the dungeon where you must solve a riddle to advance. To proceed you must pull the levers on the four pedestals around the room in a particular order, opening the way forward. There is a book that gives you a hint but you’re here for answers so the solution to the riddle is: Snake, Bear, Fox, Wolf
As can be seen in the video after you absorb the Word from the wall Dragon Priest Volsung will emerge from his sarcophagus to attack. He casts cold spells at you so any Nords out there will have a bit of an easier time as will any who have invested in cold resistant equipment (or potions). His mask is actually one of the better ones in the game so it’s well worth holding onto.
It is possible to climb the outside of the ruins by going up the mountain on a horse. This lets you bypass the dungeon entirely and simply get the Shout and deal with the Dragon Priest if you so choose.
Location: On the other side of the mountains southwest of Dawnstar.
This location is a part of the Dark Brotherhood questline but it can be entered, and cleared, long before joining the Brotherhood. You’re just sparing yourself making multiple trips to this area. To get inside of the catacombs you’ll need to find two weapons that go into place on the door, opening the way to the Elder’s Cairn where the wall is. The weapons are gotten from the adjoining rooms in Volunruud.
However this area is actually quite tough. The main chamber, with the sealed door, is fairly easy to get through but the areas with the weapons are quite tough. There are many Draugr that will get in your way here and each weapon is quite well guarded. Numerous regular Draugr guard the sword, providing difficulty in numbers while the axe is guarded by a powerful boss level Draugr Scourge capable of using powerful Frost magics and summoning up a Frost Atronach. You’ll need to be very careful dealing with the Scourge in particular so any Frost resistance you can muster is well advised.
Once the way is opened to Elders Cairn it’s a mostly straight shot to the boss room where you’ll have to fight a few Draugr alongside Kvenel the Tongue’s spirit. Kvenel is quite tough for even melee characters as he is basically a more powerful version of the Draugr Scourge except he can use the Unrelenting Force Shout and dual-wields weapons. At low levels Kvenel will pose a huge threat but luckily if you prepared for that Draugr Scourge you can prepare to blunt at least his spells and Atronach so you only have to deal with his melee attacks. At higher levels he’s easier as he doesn’t really scale with you but, unfortunately, his Draugr do. If a Draugr Scourge emerges to help him then there’s the possibility of fighting him, regular Draugr, Kvenel’s summoned Atronach and the Scourge’s Summoned Atronach. It gets messy.
Location: On a small island northwest of Winterhold near the frozen plains.
To get into the tomb you must complete all of the quests available from the Companions. This will lead to investigating Ysgramor’s Tomb by placing Wuuthrad in the hands of the statue. After completing the entire dungeon a door will leave you back by the main entrance. Facing the statue again a new door will have opened to your left as a piece of the wall has moved. Go through this door to end up outside on a ledge that cannot be reached any other way. Follow the staircase to reach the wall.
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