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The Final Descent
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Quest Giver
Crescius Caerellius
Raven Rock Mine
Bloodskal Blade
Word for Dragon Aspect shout
Gold.png scaled to level
e.g. 750 Gold.png at L70
Quest Objectives


Visiting the Raven Rock Mine for the first time the Dragonborn will witness a heated discussion between Crescius Caerellius and his wife Aphia Velothi. She is very upset about his, in her eyes, foolhardy exploration of the mine.

Speak to Crescius Caerellius[]

As it turns out Crescius Caerellius has found evidence that his great grandfather did not in fact die 200 years ago in the mine due to a cave-in as the East Empire Company would let everyone believe. But that apparently something made the company cover up what really happened to Gratian Caerellius. Crescius found Gratian's Letter and certainly does not believe the mine ever was unstable.

Since there may be other dangers awaiting in the mine, the Dragonborn offers to look into the matter, and receives the Raven Rock Mine Key from Crescius, making the lower levels of the mine accessible.

Tip: Should the Dragonborn have taken on An Axe to Find be sure to get the Ancient Nordic Pickaxe from Crescius, since this lets the Dragonborn mine the very rare Stalhrim Deposits in the lower mine.

Retrieve Gratian Caerellius's Journal[]

Supposedly the former ebony mine is dead, and preliminary exploration seems to verify this. A skeever and several Frostbite Spiders (×4), do not hinder progress much, until the mine key unlocks a metal gate leading into a Nord barrow. Here many levelled draugrs (×15) make progress more challenging.

On the path the first Stalhrim Deposit the Dragonborn will have encountered comes as a surprise. And some Netch Jelly (×2) will also come in handy for another quest.

Note, entering an area slightly under water, open a door behind the waterfall, this leads to a dead end chamber of the Bloodskal Barrow containing the second Stalhrim Deposit.

Finally the Dragonborn will face a drop-off into a large chamber with a prominent semi-circular gate. Here not only the skeleton of Millius but also the skeleton of Gratian Caerellius and his journal are found.

Tip: Looting Gratian's remains yields the quite important Bloodskal Blade.

(Optional) Read Gratian Caerellius's Journal[]

To open the gate it is recommended to actually read Gratian's Journal, since it details the use of the Bloodskal Blade and hints at how it might open the large gate.

Escape Bloodskal Barrow[]

Opening the gate may turn out to be quite tricky, especially if the Dragonborn usually never actually uses a sword.

Puzzle: Equip the Bloodskal Blade, and then perform power-attacks (press and hold the left mouse button) with the blade, this yields a blast of reddish energy. These blasts must match the red-glowing slits on the gate. The first two on the outer edges of the gate are horizontal. So strafe left to right while power-attacking to create a horizontal blade slash. Pointed at the slashes on the gate this should "unlock" them. Vertical blade slashes, required next, are the default behaviour of an power-attack when not moving. Continue to unlock each side of the gate in this manner to finally unlock the gate itself with one last vertical slash at the centre of the gate.

Further progress through the barrow leads to the Dragon priest Zahkriisos who carries a powerful mask. Also in the same chamber note the word wall for the shout Dragon Aspect. On leaving that chamber the Black Book: The Winds of Change book on a pedestal leads to a surprise visit in Apocrypha. After returning from that strange place, continue to the actual Bloodskal Barrow where Reaver (×8), the islands bandits, await.

Return to Crescius Caerellius[]

After finally making it out into the open return to the Raven Rock Mine or the Caerellius House, talk to Crescius Caerellius, hand over Gratian's Journal and collect the gold reward.

Consequences: By going through the mine, cleaning up with the draugr, the Dragonborn actually made the mine operational again. This brings in prosperity for Raven Rock and all inhabitants will be thankful for this. Also, now the mine will actually yield Ebony Ore Veins (×8) that the Dragonborn can mine.