A Daedra’s Best Friend Quest Guide: Skyrim

Will you choose the Axe or the Masque?

A Daedra’s Best Friend is among the many Daedric quests you will come across in Skyrim. This quest can be unlocked once players reach the character level 10. The quest has a decision-making ending where players can decide one out of two outcomes. But there is a third outcome, which is not part of the quest but can be done, and in this quest guide, we shall look into the walkthrough and the unofficial outcome as well.

To start the quest, players first have to go to Farlkreath and have an encounter with a guard. Regardless of how the dialogue goes, players will be directed to a local blacksmith. Talk to the blacksmith ‘Lod,’ and he will ask the Dragonborn if he encountered a dog on his way here. The dialogues lead players to decide whether to help Lod retrieve his dog or move on. Here, players will volunteer to help and find the dog. At the borders of Falkreath, players will encounter the dog ‘Barbas,’ who talks like a normal person. Barbas requests the Dragonborn to help it get to its actual master, the Daedric prince, ‘Clavicus Vile.’ And so begins the quest A Daedra’s Best Friend.

A Daedra’s Best Friend Walkthrough

Accepting the request from Barbas will begin the quest. Barbas will guide you to the Haemar’s Shame.

haemer's shame skyrim

Be wary that along the way, Barbas will start to walk in another direction, so be sure to follow the marker on the map. Haemar’s Shame is located at the foot of the Throat of the World, near the Helgen. Once inside, payers will have to battle some vampires that are living in the Shrine. Defeat all the vampires in the various rooms and approach the Shrine. At the shrine, players will interact with the prince himself, who is talking through the Shrine. The dialogue will end with players being given a task to retrieve an axe of the prince.

This axe is the Rueful Axe, and Clavicus will ask players to take the dog with them to the Rimerock Burrow where the axe is located.

rimerock burrow

Rimerock Burrow is located in the top left corner of the map of Skyrim. While I didn’t encounter any glitch or bug here, some players have reported that the dog doesn’t move, guiding you to Rimerock Burrow. If you face a similar issue, you should try loading a previous file.

You can also use any fast travel you may have unlocked near that area to reach the burrow. Inside, players will encounter ‘Sebastian Lort,’ a powerful mage who will summon Atronach to fight. He also uses lightning spells. Barbas will help you in the battle. Once every enemy is killed, make your way to the table where you shall find the Rueful Axe. Now, players should return to the Shrine to hand over the axe to the Daedric prince.

When you present the prince with the axe at the shrine, a series of dialogues begin. In the dialogues, Clavicus Vile shows disgust and unappreciation towards Barbas and gives the Dragonborn a choice: Kill Barbas and claim the Daedric axe or Give the axe back. It is up to the players to decide what choice to go for as either choice leads to the quest’s end. If you kill Barbas with the axe, the axe is yours. If you spare the dog and give back the axe, players are rewarded with the Masque of Clavicus Vile.

masque of clavicus vile

A Daedra’s Best Friend Best Choice

Whatever choice you make, the quest will end. In one choice, you will receive the axe, while in the other, you will get a helmet. Now the question is, which one to go for? Morally, players would spare the dog, and we think that statically, too, it’s a better choice that you let the dog live and get the helmet.

The Axe may be unique-looking and can pack quite a punch in battle, but it is not worth taking as it drains a lot of stamina. Its enchantment drains the stamina of the enemy on every hit, but even that is not enough. Plus, you can easily get better damaging and lower stamina-costing weapons in Skyrim.

The Masque of Clavicus Vile is a rather unique helmet as well. It amplifies your speech and bargaining skills while also giving players an increase in Magicka regeneration. You shall also be able to get one step closer to getting the ‘Oblivion Walker’ achievement if you spare Barbas.

If you want to have both rewards for A Daedra’s Best Friend in Skyrim, there is a tricky glitch that can get you both. You should check this useful video detailing how exactly you can get the axe and the masque as rewards for completing the quest.

A Daedra’s Best Friend Unofiifical Outcome

When asked to retrieve the Rueful Axe, players can go to the burrows, collect the axe, and never return to Clavicus Vile. You will still have the axe in your inventory, and Barbas will remain beside you as a follower. Although you cannot command Barbas like any other follower, the dog will still aid in any battle the Dragonborn gets into. So you can have an additional follower from here on forth and one that is quite powerful itself, as Barbas is created as one-half of the full power of Clavicus Vile.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at SegmentNext.com but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...