Dawnguard is here, and though it can’t be called an insanely massive expansion, it is decently big, offering a whole new and potentially exciting quest-line with multiple paths to follow. This guide focuses on Skyrim Dawnguard Faction Quests.
Skyrim Dawnguard Faction Quests
In Dawnguard main quest, you have the option of siding with either the Dawnguard faction, the brave fellows who hunt vampires, or the powerful Vampires of Volkihar, with their leader directly linked to Molag Bal.
In this guide we’ll go over the quests that you would have to complete if you were to side with the Dawnguard, therefore becoming one of their recruits.
The Dawnguard quests are:
- Dawnguard Quest
- A New Order
- Chasing Echoes
- Beyond Death
- Seeking Disclosures
- Unseen Visions
- Touching the Sky
- Kindred Judgement
This is basically an initiation quest, and is necessary to start the DLC, therefore also making it necessary if you opt to side with the Vampires. If you are above level 10, you will begin hearing rumors of the Dawnguard faction and how it is recruiting new blood.
In fact, if you’ve developed a name for yourself in various places in Skyrim, you may be invited to Fort Dawnguard yourself.
Assuming the above doesn’t happen, travel to Riften and talk to the guard at the gate. He will give you brief information about Dawnguard, and will place a marker on your map locating Fort Dawnguard, located southeast in Riften.
Now it’s time to head to Dawnguard. You’ll have to head into a small cave that leads to Dayspring Canyon. You’ll run into another fellow looking forward to going to Fort Dawnguard, Agmaer. Follow the road and you’ll eventually reach Fort Dawnguard.
Isran, the leader of the Dawnguard faction, will put you on your first test, which is in the form of the quest ‘Awakening’. You’ll also get a crossbow from him – a brand new weapon-type in Skyrim.
This quest will have you exploring the Dimhollow Crypt, and boy is it filled with undead stuff, ranging from Draugrs all the way to dozens of Vampires. You’ll play this quest irrespective of which force you plan to join. Obviously, the more dangerous dudes to watch out for are the relatively high-level vamps, such as the Vampire Stalkers. However, most can be easily overcome with brutal force. If you prefer magic, then it’s time to play with fire – avoid frost magic though, as vampires have resistance to it.
This dungeon is quite a bit like any other you’d find in the game; you can’t get lost too easily here, and it’s all a matter of going deeper and deeper in, while killing anything hostile in your way. You’ll also find an Alchemy table, Glowing Mushrooms, and Fly Amanita.
Later towards the end of the quest, you’ll come across an interesting puzzle. You can learn how to solve the puzzle here.
Once you have solved the puzzle, you will encounter the female vampire named Serana or ‘Mysterious Woman’. Talk to her, and find out everything you can about what’s going on. This will start the next shared quest, Bloodline.
This is the quest in which you decide which side you will be fighting for. This will initiate after agreeing to take Serana to her home, located near Solitude. Well, it’s not the same as talk a walk in the park, as you’ll encounter and battle gargoyles, undead enemies and much more on your way.
As you progress onwards, you’ll eventually come to a large arena with plenty of stares, and lots of Draugr enemies charging at you. Make your way ahead, and you’ll eventually come across the first word of one of the three new shouts in Dawnguard. You can learn more about the new shouts here.
Now, you’re heading far, far north – you’re heading northwest of Northwatch Keep, which itself is in the northwest area of Skyrim. You only have to follow the marker now, and if you’re an experienced Skyrim hitchhiker, then you shouldn’t have much trouble going across the varying land. The point of destination is an abandoned boat, next to the Icewater Jetty. It’ll take you to Castle Volkihar, home of the Vampires.
At the gate, Serana and you will part ways, and when Serana and Harkon are done meeting each other, Harkon will turn to you, thanking you and offering you his blood.
If you accept, then you are on you way to become a Vampire Lord, and should be looking at our Vampire Lord Quests Guide. If you decline, you’ll be banished from the castle unharmed, but your only choice will be to join the Dawnguard, for which you should read on.
A New Order
You’ll have to head to Fort Dawnguard again. Be sure to resupply with whatever you wish to, and when you’re ready, set foot in the fort.
When you arrive, several vampires will attack, which you will have to fend off. Once everything is calmer, Isran will tell you to recruit two people, a Nord called Gunmar, and a Breton called Sorine Jurard.
Gunmar can be found in any Radiant location, but is most prominent at the Pinepeak Cavern, located northwest of Riften, just before the Throat of the World. Talk to him, and he’ll tell you about some violent bear he has been hunting for a while. You’ll have to kill the bear inside, after which he will go to Fort Dawnguard.
Sorine can be found Druadach Redoubt, a camp located in western Skyrim, west of Morthal. If you have strong persuasion skills, you can immediately get her to go to Fort Dawnguard. If you don’t, you’ll have to get her a Dwemer gyro. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult; she has a satchel containing 7 Dwemer Gyros that can be found on the river bank just next to her.
Once you’ve found both the fellows and done them their respective favors, it’s time to head back to Fort Dawnguard, and the quest will be completed.
This quest is shared (but with a few differences) by the Vampire Lord and Dawnguard quests.
Go upstairs to ‘follow’ Isran, and you’ll end up meeting Serana. She’ll tell you how the Elder Scroll is only readable by a Moth Priest, and there’s siting of one in town, or actually the whole of Skyrim.
You have a variety of places you can go to gather information about the Moth Priest. If you’ve done the College of Winterhold quests, then perhaps easy access to it would make it the first priority. I mean, who doesn’t like being respected and welcomed warmly as the Arch Mage of the place?
Anyways, head to the Arcaneum and speak to Urag-gro-Shub, who will point you to Dragon Bridge, located northwest in Skyrim. When you arrive there, you can ask various people for information about the Moth Priest. A kid named Clinton there can be easily asked these questions. You’ll find out that he was being escorted on a wagon through the town. You can find the wreckage beyond the stone bridge south of town.
Search through the corpses to gather a Vampire Note, which will give you the location of the Moth Priest. They’ve taken him to the Forebear’s Holdout, located further east with a narrow entrance. When you arrive at the area, as a Dawnguard you will discover it to be a Vampire holdout. It’s a fairly big room with some sort of magical barrier emanating in a distant. Head to it, and along the way you’ll fight a couple of foes.
Near the magic barrier are a few Vampire Mistwalkers and stuff. Kill them, and search their body. You will acquire the Weystone Focus. Climb up the neighboring stairs to some sort of altar, on which you can use the Weystone Focus to deactivate the barrier.
Dexion Evicus will emerge from the location of the now-exhausted magical barrier. Beat the hell out of him till he yields. Once done, talk to him, and he’ll tell you about himself. Ask him a couple of questions and all. Once you’ve asked him about enough, and told him enough, it’s time to head back to Fort Dawnguard again.
Speak to Dexion in Fort Dawnguard and he’ll read the Elder Scroll. Enjoy it, and you’ll eventually find out you have to find two more Elder Scrolls.
Talk to Serana about the two Elder Scrolls you must find, and she’ll tell you about one that may be with her mother. Ask her questions and all to come to a hypothesis that her mother might actually be hiding in Castle Volkihar itself.
Well, you can’t use the front gate, so you’ll end up making a plan with Serana to use an alternative route. Head outside Castle Volkihar and search around its perimeter to find a hidden back entrance, guarded by a couple of Skeletons.
Enter in it, and you’ll eventually be fighting more enemies of different types. The idea is to activate a lever to lower two wooden barriers. However, there’s a second wooden barrier as well, which can be accessed if you follow the path to the left.
It’s a fairly linear and narrow place, so progress on ahead. Be careful though, as this place is filled with ridiculous traps and pointy stuff that tends to make your character scream.
You’ll come across a relatively bigger room filled with bones, and then ultimately through thick growths of spider webs. You’ll encounter a Giant Frostbite Spider, which you will have to kill, and then ultimately find the lever for the second barrier.
In the courtyard you must find missing pieces for the large moon-dial in the middle of the area. Don’t worry, they’re not hard to find. One is located in the water pool with the weird mushrooms growing next to it. Another is located in a large cluster of dried Nightshade bushes. One is up the stairs nearby, lying right next to a table and chair.
Now, place the missing pieces in the vacant spaces of the moon-dial to reveal the staircase. Go down and into the Volkihar Ruins. The ruins are straight forward, and hold common foes (save the Gargoyles). There will be a place where you will have to pull a chain behind a Gargoyle statue, which will bring it to life. Once you have slain it, move onwards to the area it opened.
You’ll end up in a place with more statues, and hence more Gargoyles to fight. Do exactly that, and then search for a secret entrance by the hearth that can be opened by turning the adjacent candlestick. This will reveal Valerica’s secret lab. Speak to Serana, and then get the Valerica’s Journal from the bookcase. You’ll need some reagents to go ahead, and all of them are located in the lab, making them very easy to find.
Once you have collected them, assemble all the reagents in the portal vessel to create a portal to Soul Cairn. Once the portal is opened up, it’s time to make choices again. You once again have the option of turning into a vampire, or you could instead get your soul trapped by Serana. The choice is yours. If you choose to become a vampire and return to Fort Dawnguard, you will begin another quest which will aid in your curing. Choose wisely, and move on.
It’s not often in Skyrim that you actually get to visit a realm of Oblivion, but Dawnguard has made sure you have a taste of it, and it’s come in the form of Soul Cairn, the Oblivion realm of the undead. Your job here is to first find Valerica. On your way, you also have the option of obtaining an undead horse called Arvak, which is super-cool. To learn how to do this, refer to our guide here.
Valerica isn’t difficult to find, and once you have done so, talking to her will reveal that you have to kill three Keepers to disable the barrier around her ruins. She’ll have quite a bit to say, and frankly speaking it’s all quite interesting, so take your time to listen if you’re a proper RPG player.
These Keepers can be found easily near gem-like structures which sap your life when you go near them. The waypoint will tell you where exactly they are, and they’ll often be accompanied by one or two additional foes.
Once they have been slain, return to Valerica for the Elder Scroll, and follow her into the boneyard. Durnehviir the dragon will appear, and despite its reputation, it should fall quite easily if you’re at a decent level.
Once Durnehviir has been defeated, speak to Valerica and follower her again to obtain the Elder Scroll. Now, it’s time to leave Soul Cairn, though you might want to explore a bit, and ask Valerica plenty of questions for some exciting information regarding the area.
Upon leaving the boneyard, you are stopped by Durnehviir. But this time instead of a battle, you will be asked a favor by the dragon. Surprisingly, Durnehviir seems to be a very respectable fellow – err, dragon. He’ll ask you to take him back to Tamriel, and by doing so you will earn a new dragon shout that will summon him. Do so, and you will have completed this quest.
When you return to Fort Dawnguard, you will find out that Dexion is physically unable to read the Elder Scroll; it is up to you now to do so, and Dexion has a way. You must travel to the Ancestor Glade, and perform a ritual there to read the Elder Scroll (Blood).
To learn how to do so, please read that section in our Vampire Lord Quests Guide.
Touching the Sky
This is an extremely tedious and tiring quest, which has you searching for Auriel’s Bow, once its location has been found by reading the Elder Scroll (Blood).
Auriel’s Bow is located in the Darkfall Cave. For the full-fledged walkthrough of Darkfall Cave, refer to our Vampire Lord Quests Guide.
After attaining Auriel’s Bow, speak to Gelebor, and he will tell you about Sunhallowed Arrows that can be formed from Elven Arrows. I highly recommend you get them made by Gelebor, as you will need them in the fight to come.
Talk to Serana, and she will suggest that it is time to take the fight to Lord Harkon himself. But to do so, you must ready the men of Dawnguard, for which you have to first return to the fort and talk to Isran.
Once you are ready, head to the castle. As you make your way across the bridge, the Gargoyle statues will spring to life and attack you. Defeat them and enter the castle. You’ll have to fight your way through hostile enemies in the castle, after which you will eventually encounter Harkon himself.
To learn how to defeat Harkon, please refer to our Vampire Lord Quests Guide.
Congratulations! You have finished the main quest-line of the Dawnguard DLC for Skyrim! If you are interested in the Dawnguard Faction side quests, continue reading.
- Ancient Technology
- Bolstering the Ranks
- Cleansing Light
- Hide and Seek
- Hunting the Monster
- A Jarl’s Justice
- Lost Relic
- Preemptive Strike
- Cleansing Light
Speak to Sorine Jurard to acquire this quest. She will ask you to travel to Dwarven ruin to retrieve the Dwemer Schematic which is a new crossbow design.
Obtain it from the boss level chest along with Dwarven Haul note if it is a bandit area.
Take the schematic back to Sorine, she will teach you how to craft the bow and will also give you enchanted item each time upon completing the quest a total of six times.
Bolstering the Ranks
This quest starts as you speak with Isran after recruiting Sorin along with Gunmar in the New Order Quest. Isran will ask you to hunt for Dexion Evicus, a moth priest travelling around the Skyrim.
Furthermore Gunmar admits that they would need Florentius’s help too.
Isran is hesitant but will point you towards Runnvald, an excavation site where you can find Florentius.
Once you reach the site that is on the mountain east of Shor’s stone enter the mine as you hear the digging noise you will find a Vigilant with a red frog on his face. Kill him and his companion and loot the chest to get Discovering Runnvald, Vol 1 journal.
Now to get the Vol 2 head deeper into the northern tunnel till you reach the intersection and from there go south where you will kill two Vigilants and a husky. In the center of that room you can find the journal.
Finally for the third volume proceed towards the narrow tunnel fighting your way towards the chamber with a huge shelf. On the table near the shelf you can find the third volume as well.
You have to discover the mine thoroughly to find the last volume of the journal. As you go further you will have to take care as the area has some traps along the way. You will then encounter Volk who claims to have worked with Florentius.
Discover the area to get your hands on various chest until you find the entrance to Runnvald Temple. Near the entrance the forth vol is located on a barrel.
Head deep into the temple and you will encounter three shadowy figures. The mistress, Charmed Vigilant and Moric Sidney. Kill them all and obtain the Key and the Staff of Runnvald from Mistress Minorne’s chest.
Florentius can found inside a case. When you talk to him, he will show Normalcy as requested by Isra. This will end the quest.
Culling the Beast
Talk to Fura Bloodmouth or Garan Merethi to start the quest. They will be directed to a location where you will have to kill a leveled vampire boss. Once you kill him and return, you will be rewarded with three potions of blood and radiant level enchanted item.
Hide and Seek
Gunmar will tell you about a potentially threatening Vampire in disguise of a citizen but the law isn’t aware of the situation. Your job is to locate the vampire and kill it while being discrete about the whole situation.
Travel to the whereabouts given by Gunmar and then kill him either in wilderness which is safer or lead him to a dangerous place like Dragon Lair and let the hostile creatures kill him. Return to Gunmar to receive your reward.
Hunting the Monster
Gunmar will tell you about a possible threat but isn’t aware of the exact location of the vampire. Talk to the vampire’s friend and steel the letter he is carrying that will inform you about the beast’s location.
You can then travel to the location to kill him in the hideout. Travel back to Gunmar and he will reward you accordingly
A Jarl’s Justice
Isran will tell you about the vampire and send you to the Jarl to inform about this potential threat. The Jarl will ask for a evidence upon which you will pickpocket the Visiting Advisor for his order.
Produce the evidence in the court and the court will direct you to kill the advisor. You should use the Detect Dead spell to detect the advisor.
This quest relates to three artifacts that you must retrieve for Florentius who lets you keep them as your rewards. The artifacts are Dawnguard Rune Hammer, Dawnguard Rune Shield and Dawnguard Rune Axe.
For each of these you will be asked to visit random dungeons in Bandit Camp, Falmer Hive, Forsworn Camp, Vampire Lair and Warlock Lair to find the artifacts.
Speak with Gunmar and he will direct you to a random place, either bandit Camp or Warlock lair. You will have to kill the vampire who wishes to turn his allies into vampires. Kill the vampire before he does his dirty work and report back to Gunmar.
In this quest Florentius asks for your help after you have rescued him. This time you have to rescue his friend from the vampires. For this travel to a random location as marked on you map.
Once you have reached the dungeon, go inside to battle with various vampires in the area.
You may also have to deal with necromancers or bandits. Rescue the victim to complete the quest. What you must know is that either the victim lives or dies the quest is considered completed.
Return to Florentius and he will reward you with enchanted item.
Speak to Gunmar who will send you to kill a vampire at the lair. Kill the vampire and report back to Gunmar
Feran Sadri will ask you to obtain the blood of the vampire as it can enhance the effect of Bloodstone Chalice. Go to the location as provided by Feran to get one of five petrified vampire parts from a boss level chest at the location. Report back to Feran to get the reward.
Deceiving the Herd
Talk to Feran Sadri who will tell you about Dawnguard recruiting and what you to divert their attention elsewhere. He will give you a Dawnguard Armor and a note that you will place on the victim’s body. Kill the victim in the street where you can be seen and then place the letter on it’s corpse. Return to Feran to get your reward.
Destroying the Dawnguard
Garan Marathi or Fura Bloodmouth will ask you to kill the leaders of Downguard to avoid an all out war situation. When you reach the Fort in Dayspring canyon, you will be attacked, Isran will use a spell to bring down your Hp if you are a vampire. Kill the leaders and return to Gura or Furan for your reward.
After a few side mission relating to vampire you will meet Vingalmo if you have a spouse. Use Vampire’s Seduction on your spouse and give your spouse the Lord Harkon’s Gift. Return to Vingalmo
Speak to Fura or Guran who will tell you about a Travelling Bard, Merchat or Pilgrim Spy in Dawnguard. Now you should make it a speech skill by taking them to a discreet place to get the job done.
Protecting the Bloodline
Fura or Geran will ask you to kill a vampire in either Bandit camp or Warlock lair. This vampire is trying to make allies. Kill him before he does that and return to the quest giver to get your reward.
Rings of Blood Magic
Talk to Feran Sadri in Volkihan Keep who will send you to retrieve two vampire rings, the ring of Erudite and Beast. You will be given the location of the rings which you can retrieve and get them as your reward after speaking to Feran