We’ve covered the main quest-line with respect to the Dawnguard faction already in a guide here. In this guide we’ll be going over the quests that you would have to complete if you sided with the vampires, hence becoming a Vampire Lord.
Do note that many of the quests are share similar objectives and locations, irrespective of which side you are on. For details of such quests, please refer to our Dawnguard Quests Guide.
The first quest, irrespective of who you plan to side with, is the Dawnguard Quest itself, which is mandatory to initiate the DLC’s main quest-line. If you are above level 10, you will begin hearing rumors of the Dawnguard faction.
Travel to Riften and talk to the guard at the gate. He will give you brief information about Dawnguard, and will eventually point you to Fort 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 faction will be there, and you can talk to him to initiate the next quest, Awakening.
The Awakening quest is all about exploring the Dimhollow Crypt. This is a fairly easy dungeon – refer to our Dawnguard Quest Guide for the details of enemies and the naturally occurring items you can find here.
Towards the end of the dungeon, you will come across a puzzle. This is the iconic puzzle of the dungeon, and the solution to it can be found here.
Once you have completed the puzzle, you will find a Mysterious Woman, whose name is revealed to be Serana. Talk to her and try to find out what is going on.
In this quest you will be escorting Serana back to her home, Castle Volkihar. For more details regarding this quest, refer to our Dawnguard Quest Guide.
Once you have made your way to the castle, you will eventually end up meeting Harkon, Serana’s father and the powerful leader of the Volkihar Vampires. Harkon will offer you his blood and a reward, which will give you the ability to turn into a vampire.
If you accept, you will gain the ability, and ultimately follow the Vampire Lord quest-line. If you decline, then your inevitable place is with the Dawnguard, in which case you should be reading our other guide.
The Bloodstone Chalice:
This quest is only available to you if you accept Harkon’s gift of becoming a Vampire Lord. Once you have done so, you must speak to Garan Marethi, who is present inside the castle. Follow him, and he will hand you the Bloodstone Chalice.
You have to fill the chalice up with the water of Redwater Spring, which is located in the southeastern portion of the map. You’ll actually have to make your way through the Redwater den in order to get to it. Head down the trapdoor into the den. The doorman will have some words of warning to tell you before letting you in.
You’ll have to pick the Adept-level lock here to head further, which honestly shouldn’t be difficult for a mid-to-high level character. Once you do that, everyone will turn hostile here, meaning there’ll be plenty of fighting to do.
Make your way to the upper floor of the main cavern and activate the lever to lower the bridge, and cross it. Now, search for a chain lever that will allow you to progress deeper into the place.
You will eventually reach an area with pressure-sensitive tiles on the floor, which you should avoid at all costs, as they tend to spring spikes from the wall.
Continue through the iron door to find yourself fighting a few enemies, one in particular with the name Venarus Vulpin. Kill this vampire, and loot his body for the Redwater Spring key.
Fill the chalice with the glowing red liquid. On your way back you will encounter a pair of enemies, two elites that you should deal with individually if you have trouble. Perhaps the Vampire Lord formation would be of good use if you haven’t tried it yet.
Once they are down, put some of their blood in the chalice and return to Castle Volkihar and speak with Garan and Harkon to complete the quest.
The quest Prophet is shared both by the Dawnguard faction and the Vampire Lord. Your common initial objective is to find the whereabouts of a Moth Priest that has arrived in Skyrim. To do so, refer to our Dawnguard Quest Guide, which details how to find the location of the priest.
Once you have found the Moth Priest, whose name is Dexion Evicus, you must use your Vampire’s Seduction spell. Be very careful not to miss, as it is available only once in an in-game day. Once you have used it, interact with the Moth Priest and use the option ‘Feast’. Once you do, you will be able to command him to travel to Castle Volkihar.
Rendezvous with Dexion Evicus and Harkon in the castle, and command the Moth Priest to read the Elder Scroll. This will reveal that you require two other Elder Scrolls to complete the reading.
This quest is split into two parts:
- You must find the first Elder Scroll (Blood) by completing the two quests Chasing Echoes and Beyond Death
- You must find the second Elder Scroll (Dragon), best done by completing the main storyline of the game
In this quest you will go searching for Serana’s mother, Valerica, who possibly has the Elder Scroll (Blood) with her. First, speak to Serana and suggest that her mother could possibly be in Castle Volkihar itself.
Once you have done so, head outside the castle and search around it to find an alternative entrance, guarded by Skeletons. Defeat them and move in.
For more information about the rest of the quest, refer to our Dawnguard Quest Guide which gives a detailed walkthrough of the quest along with solving the moon-dial puzzle.
Once you have acquired the necessary reagents and created the portal to Soul Cairn, enter it to start the next quest.
In this quest you can also gain the unique undead horse Arvak, which can be summoned both in Soul Cairn and in Tamriel. To do this, refer to our guide here.
For the in-depth detailed walkthrough of the quest, refer to our Dawnguard Quest Guide.
Towards the end of the quest, when you are about to leave, you will encounter the dragon Durnehviir once more. He will show you a lot of respect, and will ask you to take him to Tamriel. Accept his offer to learn a new shout.
Durnehviir is very useful because he can teach you all three words of a new shout called Soul Tear. You can find more information about shouts here.
Once you return to Castle Volkihar, Dexion will be unable to read the Elder Scroll because of his health. He suggests and alternative way, which will have you going to an Ancestor Glade, and performing the Ritual of the Ancestor Moth.
Dexion will also hand you the Elder Scroll that Serana had with her. Time to perform some rituals!
The Ancestor Glade is located east of Falkreath, but is best accessed coming from the north because of the steep surroundings.
Inside the Ancestor Glade is a wonderland. There is a large standing stone structure with a circular stone in the center. You can find the Draw Knife there, a necessary item for completing this quest. Three waypoints will then emerge on your map, which lead to different trees.
Harvest from the bark of the tree to have Ancestor Moths fly around you. Now, you must walk across neighboring trees so that these moths get attracted to you and hover around you. When you have collected 7 times, you will be glowing and will have plenty of moths around you.
Once you have done so, head to the prominent shimmering light. Enter the column and read the Elder Scroll (Blood). This will slowly reveal a destination on your map – be patient. Speak to Serana about what you just experienced, and get ready for a horde of enemies to fight.
Touching the Sky:
You have to travel to Darkfall Cave. This place is located directly south of Castle Volkihar, in northwestern Skyrim.
Head into the cave and make your way through the relatively linear path. The place is super-dark and has a few spiders and trolls – nothing you can’t handle.
As you go deeper, you will come across a path that leads back to the entrance, and one a tripwire that releases large boulders down. Dodge them and continue on, and after encountering a couple of enemies, you will end up near a shrine of Auriel, which will also have a snow elf named Gelebor.
Gelebor will assist you in retrieving Auriel’s Bow if you do a favor for him. He wishes you to kill his brother Vyrthur, who has been corrupted by the Falmer. He then raises the shrine, and you can enter a glowing doorway in the first wayshrine.
You are now in same alien cave, with strange sort of lit-up organisms which retract when you approach them. Continue through the narrow area, but be careful of the flying enemies here, and also the metallic dragon talon traps. Travel through a Falmer village and past a large glowing rock up to the upper portion of the village.
After you have walked through a waterfall, the passage will split up. The left passage has an Alchemy Lab, chest, and two flying Chaurus here. To the right is a trap after which are two ropes. The left rope reveals a Vale Sabre Cat, while the other one sets up three traps to kill the cat.
The second wayshrine lies ahead. Behind the bowl opens another glowing doorway to the Forgotten Vale. All the other wayshrines are located in the Forgotten Vale.
The wayshrines are fairly easy to find here, as they are all depicted by a waypoint. There is one wayshrine here that is north over a stream, across a frozen lake. When you attempt to go to it, 2 dragons may come out of the lake to attack you simultaneously.
Fight them with whatever methods you have got, and once they are defeated, explore the center of the lake to find a word for the shout Drain Vitality (more on this here).
A little to the east and down a small cliff is a frost giant with the Sapphire Paragon, as well as an activator for a Paragon.
The sixth wayshrine is a little tricky to track down. It’ll have you going to the lake, but you have to go north towards a couple of Falmer huts over an ice bridge. As you proceed, you will eventually get to the Glacial Crevice, pass through and you will eventually end up on a cliff.
Now, continue following the waypoint – you’ll have to pass a ridiculous amount of Famer huts and Falmer enemies, and you will eventually end up at the glowing Prelate. Take your last drop of water from the wayshrine and head towards the towering chapel in the distance.
Head up the staircases and you’ll find an empty basin which can be filled up with all that water you just collected from the wayshrines.
The door will open up, slowly but surely, and then you can finally head in, nearing your destination. Activate the structure in the center, surrounded by all those frozen Falmer, and then enter a door on the right side to progress onwards.
A word of caution though: if you take anything from the frozen Falmer, they will unfreeze and start attacking you, and if they have any of their frozen pets they will also unfreeze and attack, so be careful of what you touch.
As you make progression, you will eventually end up at the chapel, filled with frozen Falmer and Vyrthur sitting all the way at the end on some kind of throne.
Prepare yourself for multiple waves of increasingly difficult enemies, including a Frost Dremora. Deal with the cleverly and carefully.
Once they are dealt with, Vyrthur will make the place collapse. Go after him in the balcony, and after some dialogues, beat the living crap out of him.
When he is dead, the wayshrine rises up, and you can speak with Gelebor, and ultimately attain the Auriel’s Bow.
Congratulations! You just completed one awfully long and tedious quest, and also obtained the powerful Auriel’s Bow.
Speak to Gelebor to learn about the Auriel’s Bow, and if you’re carrying some Elven Arrows, you can get the transformed by him to become Sunhallowed Arrows, which are really, really cool and powerful. I would really recommend you getting these arrows for the bow, especially for the fight that follows shortly.
Speak with Serana, and now you’re headed to Castle Volkihar. Upon entering no one will speak with you, so you’ll have to go confront Harkon.
Well, here we are, face to face with one heck of an old and ultra powerful vampire. He’s not very easy, truth-be-told. His Vampire Lord form allows him super-quick regeneration, and if you hurt him enough he’ll fly up to Molag Bal’s altar and surround himself with a blood barrier.
This blood barrier can only be penetrated with the Auriel’s Bow, so make sure you use it when you can. Harkon will also call an undead army of his own, in which case Serana should prove herself ultra useful.
Try to keep your focus on Harkon though, because if you lose it once, you may find him with near-to-full health all over again. Do this especially when he turns invisible to get him out of the form.
Once he is killed, you will finish this quest, and ultimately the entire main quest-line of Dawnguard as a Vampire Lord. If you want to ‘end the tyranny of the sun’ by yourself, you can speak to Serana, who will now be a permanent follower of yours, and she can use her blood to turn Elven Arrows to Bloodcursed Elven Arrows. Once done, use them with Auriel’s Bow and aim at the sun.
When fired, the sun will turn red and dark, and will hence dispel all the negative effects of sunlight for that entire day.
Congratulations for finishing the main quest-line of Dawnguard!