The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dawnguard Walkthrough

Team Serana or team Aela? Our Skyrim - Dawnguard Walkthrough will provide video guides through both storylines, tips on new vampire and werewolf powers, and locations of brand new gear.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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What's New:

  • July 10 2012: Version 1.3 The main questline finished, next up will be new perks and powers.
  • July 7 2012: Version 1.2 Independence Day has delayed things, but we are back to confront vampire snow elves.
  • July 3 2012: Version 1.1 We venture into the Soul Cairn and become a woodcutter seeking insects.
  • June 29 2012: Version 1.0 The first version of the Skyrim Dawnguard Walkthrough is live. We're going through the Dawnguard Vampire Hunter route first, but check back soon for info about the Vampire Lord path.

NOTE: For info and tactics for the base game, check the 2011 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Walkthrough

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00:05 - For this walkthrough I will be using my pre-existing character: Bortina the Orc. She's level 45 and mostly uses Conjuration, One-Handed Weapons, Restoration, Heavy Armor and Shields.

You will be seeing a lot of use of several weapons, items, and spells: Dead Thrall (And the use of two summons), Summon Flame Atronach, Close Wounds, Call Valor, Call Dragon, The Mace of Molag Bal, Mehrunes Razor, Dawnbreaker, Shield of Ysgramor, Morokei, Volsung, Ebony Mail, and Archmage's Robe. My main follower is Eola the Cannibal whom uses summoning.

Because of my set of skills most every strategy will involve brute force, melee damage, and defensive casting. There will be very little sneaking, talking, or archery involved.

00:25 - Some people may be confused about how to even start Dawnguard. First off, make sure that you are at least 10 or the first quest will not open up. Now, you can simply head to any town and listen to a guard. I headed to Riften, but all cities will work. After listening to a guard's rant you can head to the Dawnguard base in south-eastern Skyrim.

00:50 - Forelhost was my closest known location to the Dawnguard's headquarters. A short ride is enough to make it to the destination.

02:10 - A bear goes hostile as we entered, but my follower and thralls take care of it quickly.

02:30 - Ah, fellow recruit Agmaer. Yes, I was going to bash his brains in until he opened his soft lips. Together we head to the keep.

4:40 - Blade, er, Isran gives me a new crossbow. It's too heavy and I'm not much of a marksman, so that means Eola gets to carry it for now.

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00:05 - Dimhollow Crypt is our next destination, and a close fast travel point is the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon. This place is guarded by Dremora, but can be handled with a few friends. Yes, I'm a terrible shot with the crossbow both on horseback and on foot. I'll be retiring this weapon very soon.

01:40 - The crypt entrance is guarded by Death Hounds and Vampires. They aren't that tough and can be looted for some random goodies.

02:35 - The gate is locked. Head up the stairs to the south west and yank the chain.

03:20 - It was pretty foolish to not use a torch here. The light of Close Wounds in my left hand has some illumination, but not enough to actually see anything. I whiffed far too much, but thankfully Eola was by my side to clean up.

04:20 - The Vampire Nightstalker can be a pain to fight. They hit fairly hard even at my level and have a good amount of health. Luckily the draugrs are third party hostiles and can keep the stronger vampires busy.

06:00 - The problem with being a summoner that has hired another summoner is it can get confusing fighting an enemy summoner. My hesitation mostly comes from thinking the enemy thrall is Eola's. Speaking of her, where the hell was Eola during this fight?

07:50 - Poking around the dungeon for some treasures. This potion seems to just be sitting around, making it unlikely to be random.

08:13 - I actually died to this caster the first time wearing poor armor and charging in like a fool; no need for this clip to include my charred death. I at least learned my lesson and fought defensively (ran like a fat baby and let Eola deal with it).

09:25 - These guys aren't hard on their own, but taking all of them is pretty daunting. The initial fleeing is mostly to break up the group and try and take them one by one.

10:44 - Take that Nightstalker! Time to be raised as an undead-vampire thrall..thing.

Part 2

00:13 - What is this? The Switch has made my dead thrall hostile. Is it a bug or a feature of the new vampires? Oh well, let's just kill her again and reset things.

01:20 - The objective of this puzzle is to push the braziers until they are inflamed.

02:38 - Achievement unlocked for saving Serana. Now to make our way out of here.

05:19 - A gargoyle attacks, but is no match for the large entourage I have with me.

06:27 - Cheese and rice, it really took me this long to take out a torch so I can see what's going on. I look forward to the anger from the internet.

07:10 - The exit is locked, but can be opened with the switch over here.

08:10 - This arena is occupied by skeletons and a dragon priest. This semi-boss doesn't have any cool mask to steal, though.

10:24 - Before leaving you can gain the power word Stamina to use the Drain Vitality shout. I unlock this ability but have yet to bother using it. It may help when I'm low on both health and magicka.

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00:20 - Serana has asked me to take her home tonight (sweet) and to meet her over at the docks of North Watch Keep. I have no clue where this is, so time to ride Shadowmere into the sunset.

02:50 - This is where the questline paths will start to split. If you want to experience being both a Vampire Hunter and a Vampire you should save around here. I try to do so as well, but can't during a conversation.

05:12 - Becoming a Vampire Lord will take away my Werewolf form. I've put in too much time with the Companions to give up my current powers. This isn't so much anti-vampire as it is pro-Aela the Huntress. I decline Harkon's offer for now, but will try it out on my next run.

08:06 - Vampires attack the Dawnguard, but we are able to take them down. Uh, but the Dawnguard is hostile to me and my party. Is it because I resurrect vampires? Or due to the fact that I'm a known thief and assassin with a bounty on my head? Either way, two of my Dawnguard allies die for their foolishness.

09:38 - I wait for a full day to get rid of Isran's hostile status. My next assignment is recruiting new members of the Dawnguard. This may be due to the fact that I just killed the old members, but not likely.

13:34 - Oh, but how about a new Master Vampire slave!

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A New Order

00:15 - Gunmar is near Ivarstead...fighting a bear. It seems that he wants to fight another bear. That bear is in a cave.

01:46 - Ah bears, the mortal enemies of Skyrim and freedom. The power of Molag Bal will purify them of their sins.

03:12 - Sorine is in North-West Skyrim. My closest location is Bruca's Leap Redoubt, which is still a good ways east of where I need to be. Also, what's the dragons breathing ice on you?

05:20 - See you later, Dragon Lords!

08:04 - Right, need to find Sorine some Greek food. Her bag is right down the ledge and along the stream.

09:30 - Shouldn't that beam kill my vampire thrall? What if I was infected with normal vampirism?

15:46 - Looks like the college of Winterhold has knowledge of the Moth Priest. Luckily I'm already the Archmage there. For the rest of you, you may have to do some questing to even have access to the college.

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00:05 - Urag go-Shub knows about the Moth Priest's whereabouts. It may be due to my college rank, but he is quick to reveal the location of Dragon's Bridge. Before leaving I do some training with Colette.

01:29 - Looks like I'm wanted (Wanted, dead or alive). Time to kill a few guards and wait until morning.

03:10 - The adults know jack about the Moth Priest, but small child Clinton tells me what he knows while fondling a corpse.

04:22 - The vampire's letter leads me to a place known as Forebears' Holdout, which is east of my current location.

07:22 - Malkus' fireballs hit rather hard, requiring some quick healing.

07:57 - Malkus has a Weystone Focus which will be used to free the Moth Priest. I gather up a fresh Thrall and head to the panel.

09:35 - I had to bash Dexion's face in to get him to calm down.

16:30 - Serana has a plan to penetrate mount doom, but she won't allow a greenhorn like Eola to come along.

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Chasing Echoes

00:06 - Eola, you're fired.

00:23 - The rear passage of Castle Volkihar is guarded by skeletons. They are frail, but should still be dealt with.

03:04 - This lever will open the way. Also, new thrall!

05:00 - A dead spider, a new path, and a chest. Yes, I'm a terrible lock pick but the job gets done eventually.

08:00 - The three crests are scattered around the garden, but shine in the pale moonlight.

10:50 - The Gargoyle Brutes can hit hard, so switch to some tougher armor. The loot off them is nice if you do a lot of smiting.

Part 2

00:06 - Pull the chain to unlock the gate. That gargoyle will bust out and attack, though.

00:59 - Gargoyle Sentinels are an even stronger tier of gargoyles. I've died to these when acting rashly, so be sure to heal quickly and have strong defenses.

02:34 - This Vampire Royal Armor isn't to my playstyle, but full casters may enjoy its high 125% magicka regeneration.

03:42 - The passage can be opened by flipping the candlestick.

04:19 - I'm mostly grabbing these gems for my own conjuration use, but they will be used very soon.

05:37 - Oh, er, what? Yeah Valerica's journal is right over here...with its long smooth tail..ahem.

07:43 - The finely ground bone meal can be found among the rest of the bones on the southern table.

07:51 - The purified salts are on the final shelf among fire and ice salts.

08:04 - All that is needed now is Serana's blood. Speak to her and you'll be able to open the way to the Soul Cairn.

09:23 - Oh god why is this portal murdering me!

09:50 - Turns out that I need to either become a vampire or put party of my soul in a soul gem. I pick the latter option even if it makes me weaker and disappoints the readers that want to see the new vampire form.

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Beyond Death

00:46 - A lost souls searches for his horse Arvak. The horse's skull can be found in the far east side of the map and is guarded by mistmen.

03:06 - With Arvak's skull recovered I am able to summon a new stead from the conjuration spell list.

11:08 - Valerica wants Serana and I to take down three Keepers that power the castle's barrier.

Part 2

00:18 - My trapped soul has reduced all of my core stats: Magicka, health, and stamina are all greatly damaged.

01:35 - Because my health is so low I'm reduced to running around and summoning, rather than getting in close and bashing faces.

02:52 - Serana can carry this stuff. She needs better gear anyway.

03:48 - My lowered health makes things even worse when I'm up against both a Wrathman and a Keeper. Lots of running away involved.

07:07 - I'm ambushed on the way to Keeper 3, but the enemies aren't that tough.

08:44 - The third and final Keeper can be reached by jumping in this well.

09:40 - This Keeper's bow is much easier to deal with compared to the melee users. Healing and summoners were still my best option.

11:05 - The exit is at the top of the tower.

Part 3

01:00 - Double flame atronachs and other ranged skills were the best tactics for combating the dragon. This would be worlds easier if I hadn't opted to trap my soul.

04:30 - It appears a dead dragon does not give you a new dragon soul.

10:04 - Dat old scroll!

10:30 - Time to get my soul un-trapped.

Part 4

00:02 - Durnehviir is waiting outside the gate, but he seems to be on my side now.

02:46 - A new word of power: Curse, Summon Durnehviir.

06:46 - Yeah I got lost here. Luckily I stumbled on the teleport well.

07:02 - My stats were restored once possessing this gem.

08:55 - Let's get out of this horrible town.

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Unseen Visions

00:03 - First off we still need to get our main game Dragon Elder Scroll from the College of Winterhold. And of course a big stupid dragon attacks. Thankfully all of the mages help to fight.

01:16 - Urag will sell it back for 4,000 gold. Since I'm the Archmage I convince him to drop it down to 2,000.

01:50 - Guess those coins just disappear

02:20 - Returning to Dexion with all three Elder Scrolls, it appears he is blind. Still a good smith, though.

04:31 - Despite the marker being close to Falkreath, it wasn't so simple as heading to the east. I got to this location by traveling to Fort Neugrad and running up the hill to the south-west.

04:48 - Mt thrall goes hostile again. We fight, and then it calms down when I sheath my weapon.

06:14 - Grab the tool and cut up some trees.

08:09 - Snatch some moths, read some rolls.

09:20 - That Sun Elder Scroll killed my vampire thrall, so time to resurrect.

10:30 - Vampires attack! Time to fight it out.

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Touching the Sky

00:03 - I fast traveled from the Orc outpost Mor Khazgur between Solitude and Markarth. The cave was just a short hike away.

00:45 - I stopped to mine some ore.

01:14 - The bridge broke and the current below swept me along.

02:18 - A nice little campsite to rest. I mostly just looted the place.

03:36 - The Knight-Paladin Gelebor will give me the bow if I slay his old snow elf ally.

10:15 - Well I shouldn't have sprung that trap. Didn't seem to hit that hard, though.

11:30 - The Falmer Nightprowler hits damn hard.

Part 2

00:06 - Time to switch out of these shoddy Archmage robes and back into stronger armor.

00:25 - It's a trap! Get away quickly or you'll take heavy damage.

01:07 - Once again the Nightprowler hits harder than the other enemies. I murdered his two sidekicks before focusing on the tougher Nightprowler.

03:12 - Almost died here, but fumbling through the potions menu came in handy.

06:04 - I sprung another trap.

07:00 - 15 seconds of forced autosaving.

08:00 - This rope will open the passage.

08:12 - This Vale Sabre Cat seems to be chill about me smashing his face in.

11:25 - Hell yeah, first jug of water.

Part 3

02:38 - Here is the second of five jugs of water.

05:15 - This Frost Giant could kill me in two hits, but I dance around him with somewhat ease.

07:00 - Past this Paragon Socket is a ton of gems and some stylish armor.

09:53 - Level 46 unlocked! I take Critical Charge as my one-handed perk.

11:42 - More water: the third.

Part 4

02:09 - After a long hike I find the fourth watering hole.

02:56 - Well great, a two dragon fight. I try to concentrate on one at a time, but it isn't that simple.

03:21 - Dragonrend is my shout of choice, but it isn't quite as effective as during the normal game.

03:49 - The dragons got stuck in mid air and other glitches forced me to reload this fight several times.

04:51 - This elixir of Resist Fire protected me from the brunt of the dragons' fire breath.

05:58 - Good old melee damage takes down one dragon.

07:00 - This lone dragon isn't so hard now that his mate is dead.

07:57 - Bountiful treasure! Also a Word of Power: Magicka, Drain Vitality.

10:00 - Another creepy cave...

Part 5

01:23 - This cliff is way too narrow. Serana, you take care of these enemies while I have a drink.

02:45 - Another blasted trap to trip.

03:05 - Once again I use trusty ranged summons to fight this Falmer caster.

06:45 - Run, run you maggot!

08:22 - This Falmer homestead is a bit windy, but not that hard to navigate.

11:28 - Bethesda sure does love tripwires.

13:00 - Uh, I'm not in combat...Also where the heck is Serana? Time to wait it out.

Part 6

00:03 - At last my monopoly on Waterworks and the Electric Company is complete.

01:44 - Taking a Falmer's item will break them free of their icy prison.

02:28 - Hey there Vyrthur.

05:15 - Double Flame Atronachs to combat an Ancient Frost Atronach.

06:21 - Time to slay another dirty elf.

10:30 - The bow is finally mine!

11:20 - Let's head back to the Scooby Gang to get some aid.

Kindred Judgement

01:43 - The Dawnguard members gather for the final fight.

02:52 - We arrive at Castle Volkihar for a march on the gates. Oh hey Shadowmere, let's rock!

03:03 - See you hell, Shadowmere.

03:30 - There are too many combatants during this brawl. I'll mostly them all duke it out so I don't kill a friendly.

04:33 - Hey come back here, Stalf!

07:57 - Screw lightning magicka damage.

09:07 - It's time for vamps vs. skins.

11:45 - With no bodies to eat, guess getting naked is the natural course of action.

Part 2

00:07 - You can use Auriel's Bow to destroy Harkon's barrier.

00:24 - Yup, I'm a terrible archer.

03:56 - A short glitch.

04:54 - Harkon becomes invincible. Seems to be a common bug that will require reloading.

06:35 - Let's do this again but with Sunhallowed Elven Arrows.

09:44 - Move bitch, get out the way, get out the way.

10:35 - Hey, give me your blood.

12:13 - I probably should have given Serana this armor 10+ hours ago.

12:46 - And that's all folks.

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