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Skyrim Dawnguard walkthrough and how to complete the vampire DLC

Use this Skyrim Dawnguard walkthrough to help you get through the main quest and wrap up all of the side distractions of this vampire-themed DLC expansion. You'll have to decide between becoming a Vampire Lord or Vampire Hunter in Skyrim, and this branching decision means it can get pretty complicated, so a guide might come in handy.

Of course, the Skyrim Anniversary Edition includes Dawnguard (and all of the other DLC), and this questline is still a lot of fun, even after all these years. Whether you're stuck looking for a way out of the Dwarven ruins, still trying to find the last Jiubs Opus page in Dawnguard, or simply trying to pick up every major item, this Skyrim Dawnguard walkthrough will be there for you every step of the way. 

To get started, you're going to want to open your quest menu up and look for "Dawnguard" in the list. Selecting the quest will place a marker in the southwest corner of the map, and following this marker will take you to Dayspring Canyon and Fort Dawnguard.

What's New in Dawnguard

What’s new in Dawnguard

Get a makeover

Dawnguard brings with it a new NPC, Galathil, who can change your face for a meager sum of 1000g. You can find her in The Ragged Flagon, which is a tavern accessed via the Rataway underneath Riften.

Fight a Revered or Legendary Dragon

The Dawnguard DLC offers two new dragon breeds. If you are at least level 60, Revered Dragons will spawn at random around Skyrim, just like any other dragon. Legendary Dragons show up once you’ve hit level 70. There’s an achievement/trophy to be had if you can bring down one of the latter.

Become a Vampire Lord

The advantage is you can use the awesome new Vampire Lord form, complete with bat teleportation, semi-flight, and its own skill tree. Unlike a werewolf, you can shift in and out of this form at will.

The disadvantages are that you’re still a vampire, significantly weakened by sunlight and need to feed on people to keep your strength up. Although normal people will not shun you, any Dawnguard member you run into will attack on sight, even if you aren’t in Vampire Lord form.

Bolster your werewolf skills

Werewolves now have their own skill trees similar to the new Vampire Lords’. This drastically improves the power of beast form. The skill tree powers are as follows:

  • Bestial Strength: Do 25% more damage (incremental up to 100%)
  • Animal Vigor: 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form
  • Gorging: Feeding heals twice as much
  • Savage Feeding: Able to feed off most dead creatures for half the time extension
  • Totem of Terror: How of Terror affects even higher level creatures
  • Totem of the Predator: Totem of the Hunt howl has extended range, and shows whether the targets are not in combat, searching, or actively in combat
  • Totem of Ice Brothers: Howl that calls Ice Wolves
  • Totem of the Moon: Totem of Brotherhood howl calls werewolves

Make friends with an armored troll

If you become a member of the Dawnguard, you can spend 500 gold to hire an armored troll to follow you.

Learn three new shouts

There are some fancy new Dragon Shouts that can be learned. See the side quest section for more details on where to find them and what they do.

Fight a Reaper

No, not one of those flying robots of death. We’re referring to the grim variety, and the secret boss that awaits you in the Soul Cairn. For more details on how to find it and fight it, refer to the side quests section.

Turn your spouse into a vampire

Complete enough radiant quests inside Castle Volkihar, and Vingalmo will offer the quest of turning your spouse. All you need to do then is use vampire seduction and feed on your beloved.

Vampire Lord or Vampire Hunter?

Vampire Lord or Vampire Hunter in Dawnguard?

Vampire Lord

Choosing to side with the vampires means you have early access to the Vampire Lord form. This form is similar to the Werewolf form, but with different powers and the ability to revert back to human form at will. Vampirism itself is such a big topic that we actually put together a whole page on it, one you can find out at our Skyrim vampire choice page here.

You’ll also have early access to Castle Volkihar, which is full of goodies, shops, and other accommodations from the get-go. Death Hounds can be hired as dog followers, and you’ll gain access to spells and vampire-bolstering jewelry that you wouldn’t as a member of Dawnguard.

Vampire Hunter 

Choosing to side with the Dawnguard gives you full access to Fort Dawnguard (which has all the normal amenities of a home base), plus weapons, armor, and spells that are effective against vampires, and the ability to hire Armored Trolls for 500g. These helpers don’t count as primary followers, so you keep your primary follower with as well. As a Dawnguard member, you’ll also have access to a few new potential human followers and can hire new husky (dog) followers, which have the properties of a normal dog follower.

Overall, the physical rewards (weapons, etc) are better if you choose Dawnguard. However, you cannot regularly use the powerful Vampire Lord form until after you’ve completed the main questline, or else the Dawnguard members will not accept you.

Note that playing as a Dawnguard member does not mean you can never become a Vampire Lord. After the main questline, and after you’ve tired of Fort Dawnguard, just ask Serana to turn you.

Main Quest Walkthrough

Skyrim Dawnguard Main Quest Walkthrough 

Choosing to either become a vampire or hunt them will grant you a couple of differing quests, but the vast majority of the main questline is the same no matter which side you choose, including the beginning, the end, and your new vampire companion, Serana. As such, we’re showing you the path of one who chooses to become a vampire, with short asides in italics for when the quests or choices differ for Dawnguard members.

Also note that there are multiple points during the main questline where you can become a Vampire Lord, including any time after you’ve completed it (just speak to Serana). If you were previously a werewolf but chose to convert to vampire, you can switch back by speaking to your follower (the one you had prior to Serana).

Dawnguard

Once inside Fort Dawnguard, speak to Isran. Agree to help him hunt vampires (again, don’t worry, this doesn’t cement your allegiance). He’ll give you a crossbow and the next quest will automatically begin. Don’t miss that Isran can train in heavy armor.

Awakening

It’s time to visit Dimhollow Crypt, a dungeon just south of Dawnstar. It will appear on your map, but since it is ‘undiscovered,’ you’ll have to fast travel to the nearest location and leg it the rest of the way. Since it is halfway up a mountain, we recommend fast traveling to a location such as the Lord Stone and heading north, since it’s easier to tactically fall down a mountain that climb up one.

In the first large room of the crypt, clear out the vampires then ascend the short tower and look for a chain on the wall. This unlocks the gate and allows you to proceed. Work your way through the crypt until you reach the circular platform. Press the button at its center to begin a puzzle.

Simply push each Brazier until they are touched by the path of purple flame, which will extend the flame. There’s no real thinking involved. Once all the Braziers are lit, activate the monolith that appears and speak to the woman inside to complete the quest.

Bloodline

Take Serana and exit the crypt. Don’t forget to stop by the word wall in the giant stadium-like room on your way out. The boat leading to Serana’s home is in the northwestern most corner of the map. Fast travel to the nearest location and walk the rest of the way.

Once in Castle Volkihar, Harkon will offer you a choice: his blood, which will turn you into a vampire, or exile, which will drive you to join the Dawnguard.

If you choose not to become a vampire here and prefer loyalty to the Dawnguard, you will be allowed to leave, though you can no longer return safely to Castle Volkihar.

Harkon will show you the ropes of being a Vampire Lord. Follow his instructions to begin your first quest as a vampire.


The Bloodstone Chalice (Vampire Only)

The first task is to speak to Garen Marethi. If you’re wondering how to change back into human form, select revert form in the powers menu or you can put it into your favorites menu, then use that power.

Your next major task is to take a chalice to Redwater Spring. This area is northwest of Riften, and marked on your map when the quest is active.

Once inside Redwater Den, you’ll find a locked door (adept) at the back. Pick it yourself or pickpocket the key from the dealer behind the counter. Just know that once you unlock this door, everyone around you will become hostile. This is perfect time to turn into a Vampire Lord and clear this place out.

You’ll eventually reach what appears to be a dead end, but if you look, there’s a chain right next to a stone wall that will open up a secret passage.

You’ll then enter a new area where you can hear to Vampire’s chatting about skooma. To open the gate to your left, you’ll have to circle all the way around via the room below, where the enemies are hanging out. When you confront them, beware of the large trapdoor in the floor. Falling through means almost certain death by spike pit.

Work your way up the spiral planks and continue along the path until you reach the chain, then proceed through the gate that was previously shut.

Eventually you’ll come upon an enemy named Venarus Vulpin, who’s corpse you’ll need to loot for the Redwater Wellspring Key. Use it to proceed through the master-locked iron door (or just pick it if you want the exp) and to the spring.

Fill the chalice at the Bloodspring but be prepared to get ambushed by two familiar faces. Again, switch to Vampire Lord to gain the upper hand. Be warned, however, that Stalk is a powerful mage and can still end things for you quite quickly with his magic. Once the attackers are dead, fill the chalice with their blood as well then head back to Castle Volkihar to finish the quest.


A New Order (Dawnguard only)

If you refuse Harkon and stay loyal to the Dawnguard, this is your next quest. You’ll have to defend the fort from a vampire attack, then go out and recruit two NPCs for Isran. Once this quest is complete, you will move on to “Prophet” no matter your allegiance.


Prophet

Speak to Harkon and listen to his speech to begin this quest. Serana will quickly track you down and begin speaking to you. She offers her services as a follower but doesn’t like to be the third wheel, so you’ll have to ask your current follower to scram if you want Serana’s help. She is quite powerful and you can always reunite with your other companion later, so we recommend bringing her along.

There are a lot of optional objectives in this quest which point you toward the Moth Priest, but you can cut through them all if you wish by simply heading to Dragon’s Bridge, found southwest of Solitude. You can speak to the kid there or look for an overturned cart just to the south. Check the body of the dead vampire for a note and read it to discover your next objective.

Forebears’ Hideout is just southeast of Dragon Bridge. Make your way through the dungeon and follow the self-explanatory objectives. When the Moth Priest attacks, defeat him, then use your Vampire Seduction power (under the ‘powers’ menu) then feed on him to make him your thrall. After that, speak to him and command him to go to Castle Volkihar.

Return to the castle yourself and command the priest to decipher the Elder Scroll. After he does so, speak to Harkon and your next two quests will start up (Seeking Disclosure and Chasing Echoes).

Chasing Echoes

Speak to Serana to get things started. When she asks where her mother might be, being wrong in your initial choice has no real effect besides some conversational detours.

Head outside and around to the alternate entrance on the left side of the castle. From here, the quest is straightforward until you reach the courtyard. You’ll have to find all of the missing crests and place them in their appropriate spots on the sundial. The three missing pieces are in the immediate vicinity of the courtyard and are easy to spot (they glimmer).

Adding the pieces opens up a secret path leading underneath the courtyard. (If you’re curious about the towers surrounding the courtyard, they are fairly small rooms containing some skeleton enemies and some valuable jewels, ingots, and jewelry.)

Continue on until eventually you find yourself in a room full of gargoyles. Once you’ve defeated them, Serana will mention something about a secret passage. Go over to the fireplace and turn the unlit candlestick on the left.

Once inside Valerica’s Study, talk to Serana. You’ll then have to find her mother’s journal. The small red book is on the top shelf of a bookshelf in the southern corner of the room. Show it to Serana, and you’ll begin a quest to gather some materials. The materials are outlined in your quest notes and are all in the room with you.

Once you’ve put the materials in the vessel, the portal to the Soul Cairn will open.

If you are a Dawnguard member, you’ll have to make a choice before entering the Soul Cairn. As Serana will explain, the area is hungry for life. A normal human cannot survive inside. If you allow Serana to turn you into a Vampire Lord, you can enter without being harmed. Just make sure to complete the “Rising at Dawn” quest (the standard quest to cure vampirism, started by speaking to Falion in Morthal) before returning to Fort Dawnguard.

The non-vampiric alternative is to allow Serana to perform a partial soul trap ritual on you. This will weaken you inside the Soul Cairn, but you will remain human and alive.

Beyond Death

Enter the Soul Cairn and reach the waypoint with Serana in tow and she’ll begin talking with her mother. Your new goal is to kill the three Boneyard Keepers as a means to lower the barrier and gain access to Valerica. All three Keepers are marked on your map, so simply follow the arrows.

Once you’ve defeated the keepers, return to Valerica, speak to her, then follow her into the boneyard. Here is where you’ll have to take on Durnehviir the dragon. It’s not a particularly difficult fight, but the bonemen that spawn can complicate things. Valerica and Serana will handle most of the bonemen, but because of the sheer number that spawn, you’ll still have a handful on your tail as you try and deal with Durnehviir.

After the battle, grab the scroll and speak to Valerica. It is now time to leave this place, but if you want to take on some of the side quests before you do (though you can always return to the Soul Cairn), move onto the side quest section.

As you leave the boneyard, Durnehviir will teach you the “Curse, Summon Durnehviir” shout, which summons Durnehviir into battle to aid you.


The Dragon Elder Scroll

The second scroll you need is the Dragon Elder Scroll. If you have already completed the quest “Discerning the Transmundane” from the vanilla Skyrim quest bank, you will already have the Elder Scroll in your possession. If you happened to sell it to Urag gro-Shub, go to the College and buy it back.

To begin “Discerning the Transmundane,” seek out Septimus Signus in his outpost north of the College of Winterhold (pictured above). The quest is lengthy, but at the end, the scroll will be yours.


Seeking Disclosure

Now that you have both scrolls, you can complete this quest. Return to Volkihar and speak to Dexion. He’ll give you your next quest.


Unseen Visions

You’ll have to travel all the way to Ancestor Glade, which is southeast of Falkreath. Once inside, grab the knife, then gather bark from one of the surrounding trees. Once you have it, run around the area looking for moth swarms. Once you’ve gathered seven, stand in the light, select the Blood Elder Scroll, and read it.


Touching the Sky

Your next destination is Darkfall Cave, just south of Mor Khazgur. Move through it until you find Gelebor, who will give you a complicated task before helping you get Auriel’s Bow. Continue forward through the portal into the Darkfall Passage.

You’ll have to move through the passage until you hit a wayshrine. Draw water from the basin and pass through the portal behind it to arrive in the Forgotten Vale. Here is where you’ll find three more basins (marked on your map) to draw water from.

The final basin is in the Glacial Crevice. To reach this area, head towards the marker on your map. (You’ll notice that it indicates the final basin is in an area beyond the Forgotten Vale.) Work your way upriver to reach it.

Pass through the Glacial Crevice and you’ll emerge onto the Forgotten Gale - this time closer to the last wayshrine. Make your way through the Falmer village. Once you’ve reached the final wayshrine and filled your basin, turn around and enter the giant temple in the distance.

Pour your water into the basin near the main entrance to gain access to the temple. Once inside, you’ll come across several doors that require you to place your ewer on a nearby altar to open the path. Once you do so, pick up the ewer (so that you can use it again) and make way through the doorway before it closes. There is always another altar on the other side, so don’t worry about becoming trapped.

Proceed until you reach Vyrthur. After speaking with him, all of the frozen beings in the room will reanimate and attack you. Defeat all enemies, then follow Serana up to the balcony. Here you’ll have to face and defeat Vyrthur. Finally, you will be allowed to take Auriel’s Bow and complete this quest.


Kindred Judgement

Speak to Serana. Instead of taking the portal back to Darkfall Cave, simply fast travel out of the area (you are outside at this point) and to Castle Volkihar. Once inside, enter the cathedral and speak to Harkon. You can wait for the lengthy dialog, or just attack - either way, a battle will ensue.

Harkon is a difficult target because he will slowly regenerate his health throughout battle and uses his bat form to teleport around the room. If you have some means of stunning him (such as high-level dualcasting), by all means use it.

He’ll also summon skeletons and gargoyles to fight alongside him. You may want to avoid spending time dealing with these and instead chase Harkon around the room. The longer you are distracted, the more he will heal.

Once he takes a certain amount of damage, he will return to the center of the room and surround himself in a red healing aura. At this point, whip out the Auriel Bow and fire it as quickly as you can so as to stop his regeneration.

Notable loot from Harkon’s corpse includes Vampire Royal Armor, which is great for mages as it not only offers the ‘magicka regenerates 125% faster’ perk, but it provides defense, unlike robes. You’ll also get Harkon’s katana, which, while fairly weak, absorbs 15 points of health, magicka, and stamina if wielded by a vampire. Serana can also become a permanent follower at this point if you wish. She hangs out at the castle otherwise.

If you are a Vampire Lord and have some elven arrows, you can now ask Serana to coat them with her blood. If you use Auriel’s Bow to shoot these arrows at the sun, you can turn it red, nullifying the negative effects it has on you as a vampire (for the rest of that day only).

Lost to the Ages Quest

Dawnguard Lost to the Ages Quest

Katrina has dedicated her life to finding the Aetherium Forge. Unfortunately, she died in an earthquake while in the Dwemer underground before she could complete her quest. Now the task falls to you, Dovahkiin. Can you find all the Aetherium shards and survive the perilous Dwemer ruins filled with traps and ancient metal guardians? Well, if you need any help we've made a guide to get you through this massive side quest.

Upon completion, this side quest grants you the Lost to the Ages trophy or achievement and a very spiffy item. Skip to the end of this little walkthrough to see what’s up for grabs.

Shard 1

To begin this lengthy quest, you can read about it in a book called “The Aetherium Wars” (found in various locations) or simply travel to Arkngthamz. This location is marked on your map automatically once the Dawnguard DLC is installed. It is southeast of Markarth.

Enter Arkngthamz and make your way through it until the ghost of Katria appears and speaks to you. You can have her accompany you to the summit. Make sure to grab her journal from her corpse nearby.

When you reach the Tonal Lock puzzle, strike the locks in the following order: lower left, lower right, upper left, upper right, center. Once inside, grab the Aetherium Shard.

Shard 2

Your next destination is Raldbthar, a mountaintop ruin west of Windhelm. Make your way through this trap-laden place.

When you get to a raised bridge, look for a button to the north (pictured above).

When you get to the set of four buttons, press the second from the right to lower the bars to the left.

When you reach the room with the seized gears, inspect each of the gears in the room for obstructions. There are four obstructions that need to be removed (one of which is in the gear underwater). Once you remove them, press the button to lower a bridge. Defeat the Centurion and proceed through the door behind the spot from which he attacked from.

Continue on and grab the second shard. Use the lift in the room nearby to exit the ruins quickly.

Shard 3

Travel to Mzulft, a ruin southeast of Windhelm. The third shard is not in the ruin itself, but in the Dwarven Storeroom nearby. Inside the storeroom, unlock the gate and claim the shard.

Shard 4

Your next destination is Deep Folk Crossing, which is northeast of Markarth and southwest of Mor Khazgur.

Finding the forge

Travel to the Ruins of Bthalft, which are directly south of Ivarstead and far northwest of Riften. Once there, speak to Katria, who will be waiting for you. Put the shards into the Dwemer Mechanism, then once the crest is assembled, take it out and stand clear. The platform will rise, creating a new entranceway. Use it to descend into the forge.

You’ll eventually reach the locked door pictured above. Shoot both resonators to open the path. When you reach the actual forge, shut off the steam by closing the nearby valves. Once you do, a bunch of dwarven machines will attack.

After you defeat all of the normal machines, the Forgemaster boss will appear. After having been swarmed by so many enemies at once, defeating this one monstrous foe should be an easy task for you. Just be aware that the Forgemaster resists fire attacks.

Using the forge

You are able to craft only one of three items in the Aetherium Forge. Besides the Crest, which you already have, all required materials can be found in a chest to the right. A quest marker shows you where. Possible creations are as follows:

Above: Enemies struck by shield become ethereal for 15 seconds (invincible but unable to attack)

Above: Summon a Dwarven Spider or Sphere for 60 seconds

Crafting an item will finish the quest and earn you the Lost to the Ages trophy or achievement.

Impatience of a Saint Quest

Dawnguard Impatience of a Saint Quest

Perhaps the most difficult quest of the entire DLC, Impatience of a Saint requires you track down 10 pages of Jiubs memoirs, which are scattered all across the massive Soul Cairn (an area you gain access to at the end of the “Chasing Echoes” main quest). 

The Soul Cairn is a big place, so in order to help you use our guide, you’ll need to understand the layout of the area. You enter the Soul Cairn from its southwest corner. There is a fairly straight main path that leads all the way through the area and to the Boneyard (a massive structure) in the northeast end atop a hill, where Valerica stays. A little less than halfway along that path, you’ll pass through a gap in a large wall that runs in a southeastern direction and divides the entire Soul Cairn into two sections.

Your rewards for this quest are two items (unfortunately no trophy or achievement): Saint Jiub’s Opus, which is just all 10 pages mashed together into a relatively worthless book, and the Locket of Saint Jib, which increases both your carrying capacity and stamina by 50. Both are pictured below:


Where is Jiub?

Jiub is far beyond the wall that divides the Soul Cairn. If you were to start from the steps leading into the Boneyard, head south-southeast. He’s among some dead trees just east of the large structure with the windowed walls and one of the hovering, soul-draining crystals. If you’ve found the Reaper’s Lair, he’s northwest of that.

An alternative way to find him is to start at the gap in the wall and continue along the main path until you reach the short, raised platform that serves as a hub to four different path branches. From this hub, head directly east, not following any path. You’ll eventually (and literally) run into the structure mentioned in the above paragraph. Simply go around it and continue directly east - Jiub is not far from that structure.


Page 1

From the south side of the wall, head for the gap. Instead of passing through it, follow along the wall to the southeast until you reach a short staircase leading to an alcove with a soul. The page is right next to him.


Page 8

As you move towards the wall from the entrance to the Soul Cairn, you should spot a small building with stairs leading up to its barred entrance, which is locked by the two blue orbs on either side of it. Blast the orbs with magic or arrows to open the bars and find a page inside.


Page 6

From page 8, move further along the main path leading to the wall from the south side and you’ll notice a small but open structure on the right with four support columns. Inside there’s a chest; the page is on the floor next to it.


Page 10

Just after passing through the gap in the wall, look for a merchant soul standing next to a cart, which is in front of a large structure. Check on top of the barrel next to his cart for a page.


Page 2

Descend the Boneyard Entrance’s stairs and make an immediate right. Enter the building you see to find a word wall (Durnehviir hangs out here after you’ve made friends with him). The page is on the ground near the chest next to the word wall.


Page 4

Descend the Boneyard Entrance’s stairs and turn left. Follow the wall until you reach another part of the structure with stairs leading up. Climb these stairs and you’ll notice a handful of souls lingering around. Look for another short staircase leading up. At the top, you’ll find a short corridor with a chest at the end. The page is on the ground near the chest.


Page 7

Head south-southeast from the four Soul Cairn teleporters marked on the map (which are far east of the Boneyard). You should spot a raised platform planted in the middle of the ground. Climb the steps and check the floor under the altar, which holds the “Conjure Mistman” spell tome.


Page 5

From where you find Jiub, head directly south. Look for a large soul well with a wish circling around it. The note is at the base of this well next to some other goodies.


Page 9

Descend the Boneyard Entrance’s stairs and start heading west. As you go, you’ll notice a building with soul-absorbing crystal above it. Continue past that building to an even larger building - also with a crystal above it. This building is actually a huge maze. Work your way through it until you find the teleporter that leads to the roof. Up here you’ll find the page next to the chest that lies directly under the floating crystal.


Page 3

From the entrance to the Soul Cairn, go up to the gap in the large wall. Stay on the south side of the wall and follow it west until you can pass through a small entranceway into an enclosed area with a building featuring a floating crystal above it. The page is on the ground near the chest found directly under that crystal.

Other Notable Side Quests

Other Notable Side Quests

Although there are other side quests and plenty of radiant miscellaneous quests (a handful for both the Dawnguard and Vampires, found in their respective lairs), we’re outlining the ones that offer the most tangible and valuable rewards - or are just plain interesting.


Find Arvak’s Head and gain a spectral steed

You main run into Avark’s owner (he’s a soul) on the main path leading through the Soul Cairn. He’ll give you the quest to find Avark’s head. You don’t need to accept the quest first to find the head, however.

Avark’s head is on an altar just southwest of the massive floating tower atop which you find the archer Boneyard Keeper during the main questline. Once you have the skull, you can select the misc quest and look at where you need to go on the map. Return the skull to this location, and Avark will become yours. You can summon him at any time using the conjuration spell you now have.


Fight the Reaper

The Reaper is a (sort of) hidden boss that resides in the “Reaper’s Lair” in southeastern corner of the north half of the Soul Cairn. You’ll need to collect three Reaper Shards and place them in the receptacle in the center of the lair for the boss to appear. Reaper Shards can be found in the chests directly underneath the soul-sapping crystals all around the Soul Cairn.

Be warned that at the time of publication, this quest can be glitched. Even if you have the required number of shards, the game may not register this if you do not place them in the receptacle all at once.

Defeating the Reaper gets you three empty Black Soul Gems, one Daedra Heart, and one dual-handed Iron weapon (not enchanted). Not exactly enticing, especially considering the legwork that goes into finding the Reaper Shards.


Morven Stroud’s Shop

Just beyond the wall at the center of the Soul Cairn, to right, you’ll find Morven. For 25 Soul Husks (which can be found all around the Soul Cairn), you can get your choice of a sword, a battleaxe, light armor, heavy armor, or a spell tome. None are particularly special. They are random and match your current level in terms of value and enchantments. If you find enough husks you can completely buy him out; just know that he only has one of each item.


Learn the Drain Vitality Shout

Though you may already know a shout by this name, the one in the Dawnguard DLC is a separate shout and has a different effect. You’ll have to find each word the old-fashioned way.

Stamina: You’ll find this shout in the stadium-like room of Dimhollow Cavern. Nab it while you are escorting Serana out during the “Bloodline” quest.

Magicka: While traversing the Forgotten Vale (part of the main questline of Dawnguard), you’ll need to search out a duo of dragons that appear from beneath a large frozen lake. The word wall sticks out like a sore thumb; the challenge is taking on these two named dragons simultaneously.

Health: This word wall can be found at Arcwind Point (pictured), far west of Riften. To reach it, look for a path just east of the dragon’s lair Autonmnwatch Tower leading up the mountain. Although Arcwind Point was accessible before the Dawnguard DLC, there was no word wall present.


Learn the Summon Durnehviir shout

After defeating Durnehviir at the Boneyard in the Soul Cairn as part of the main questline, the dragon will be waiting for you at the exit. He’ll teach you this shout, which can be used to summon him. He asks you to head back to Tamriel and use this shout to summon him.

The first three times you summon him, he’ll teach you one word of a new shout. After he teaches you that shout, he’ll contribute to battle whenever you summon him.


Learn the Soul Tear shout

Once you have the ability to summon Durnehviir, do so in Tamriel three times and he’ll teach you this shout. Using the shout raises the dead and fills a soul gem.


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