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Clan Volkihar
Chasing Echoes
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Quest Giver
Castle Volkihar
Followed by
Beyond Death
Quest Objectives


Since the "tyranny of the sun" can only be broken by acquiring the appropriate Elder Scrolls, the hunt for them is now on.

Speak to Serana[]

Apparently Serana has a good idea where the Elder Scroll (Blood) can be found, she suggests several possible locations. Her mother, Valerica cryptically, mentioned the scroll would be in a place where her husband Lord Harkon would never look. The Dragonborn may point out this could actually be in Castle Volkihar.

Explore Castle Volkihar's Courtyard[]

Serana mentions that she and her mother used to spend much time together in the Volkihar Courtyard. But the direct path to it has been closed off with rubble. A roundabout way, via hidden docks on the northern part of the island, and then travelling the Volkihar Undercroft is the only path to get to the courtyard.

After overcoming some resistance, Serana and the Dragonborn finally reach the overgrown courtyard.

Investigate the moondial[]

Aside the remnants of Valerica's garden, a very large moondial dominates the centre of the yard. On closer inspections some of the crests seem to be missing.

Find the Half Moon Crest (north-west, in pool), Crescent Moon Crest (north-east at table) and Full Moon Crest (east in garden) in the courtyard and place them in the appropriate receptacles on the moondial. This opens up a spiral passage leading down-ward into Volkihar's Ruins.

The north and east towers can be explored, but due to cave-ins are dead ends.

Explore Castle Volkihar's Ruined Tower[]

Follow the long-winding path through many rooms and up many stairs, until reaching a large chimney that can be opened up via Candlestick switch on the left side. This leads to a passage that ends in Valerica's Study.

The most prominent feature of the study is a set of concentric stone rings that seem to have some purpose. The balcony is a dead end.

Locate Valerica's Journal[]

Serana suggests finding her mother's journal that should meticulously list all her work and experiments. Maybe the journal will help find out what happened in the study and how to proceed.

The journal is "hidden" among the many other books in one of the two very large book shelves. As Serana thought, her mother was trying to keep the Elder Scroll out of Harkon's reach and experimented with portals leading to the Soul Cairn.

Valerica also lists the ingredients that need to be placed in the Portal Vessel to open the portal.

Gather Soul Gem Shards[]

Along the outer wall on a table the Finely Ground Bone Meal is stored.

Gather Finely Ground Bone Meal[]

On another table close to the book shelves the Soul Gem Shards should quickly be spotted.

Gather Purified Void Salts[]

Up on the upper level balcony area gather the Purified Void Salts.

Place the ingredients in the vessel[]

Place the three ingredients into the Portal Vessel, and when Serena adds the final ingredient, her blood, the portal to the Soul Cairn opens.

Speak to Serana[]

Serana thinks that her mother and with her the Elder Scroll will have to be in the Soul Cairn.

Enter the Soul Cairn[]

Nothing for it... enter the portal.

Speak to Serana[]

Only the undead may enter the Soul Chairn.

Sided with Vampires: Since the Dragonborn is a vampire this is not much of an issue...

Sided with Dawnguard: The Dragonborn will not be a vampire, and trying to enter place reserved for the undead, leads to significant loss in health. There has to be another way.

Become a vampire or Become partially soul trapped[]

Sided with Dawnguard: Serana can either turn the Dragonborn into a vampire, or trap part of the soul in a soul gem (adds a Weakened Soul), to be able to enter the Soul Cairn.

Entering the Soul Cairn launches the quest Beyond Death.