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Skyrim:Touching the Sky

< Skyrim: Dawnguard: Quests: Main Quest

For the book, see Touching the Sky (book).

Find and retrieve Auriel's Bow.
Quest Giver: Serana
Location(s): Darkfall Cave, Darkfall Passage, Forgotten Vale, Glacial Crevice, Inner Sanctum
Prerequisite Quest: Unseen Visions
Next Quest: Kindred Judgment
Reward: Auriel's Bow
Suggested Level: 18
Serana confronts Vyrthur at the Temple of Auriel

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Locate Auriel's Bow.
  2. Speak to Gelebor.
  3. Fill the Initiate's Ewer.
  4. Kill Vyrthur.
  5. Retrieve Auriel's Bow.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

Last of the Snow ElvesEdit

Serana gazing out over the Forgotten Vale

After learning the location of Auriel's Bow, travel to Darkfall Cave in the far northwestern reaches of Skyrim, just south-southwest of the Orc stronghold Mor Khazgur.

The cave is very dark, so you may wish to light your way using torches, the Vampire's Sight ability, or light spells. Follow the path, past a frostbite spider until you come to a bridge and what seems like a dead end. Once you try to cross back over the bridge, you will be forced, by either a rock trap or the bridge collapsing, into a very fast moving underground river that sends you downstream. Try to keep your head above the water, unless you have a waterbreathing ability. Eventually, you'll be thrown out of the current, and immediately attacked by a few frostbite spiders. Continue along the cavernous path, until you reach a small camp with a dead Breton; a note on her body sheds light on what happened: trolls.

From here you can either head down the path beyond the dead Breton, where after negotiating a falling boulders trap you will arrive in a chamber with two frost trolls. At the far western side is a stone shrine and Knight-Paladin Gelebor, one of the last two Snow Elves. Alternatively, you arrive immediately behind Gelebor by pulling the chain hidden behind the dead Breton's lean-to and taking the passage it reveals.

Speak to Gelebor, and he will offer you a deal: slay his brother, Vyrthur, who was corrupted by Falmer, and Gelebor will help you in obtaining Auriel's Bow. Vyrthur is hiding in the Inner Sanctum of the Forgotten Vale, a gigantic outdoor elven ruin with Ayleid-like architecture. In order to make your way there you must fill a jug, the Initiate's Ewer, with water from five wayshrines: the Wayshrines of Illumination, Learning, Radiance, Resolution, and Sight.

Seeking IlluminationEdit

The first wayshrine, the Wayshrine of Illumination, is in Darkfall Passage, which can be accessed through the portal Gelebor opens. The Portal appears in the back of the shrine-like building that Gelebor raises from the ground. It may be invisible, with no Quest Marker pointing to it, but walking to the back of the shrine wall you will be able to activate the Portal none the less (see the Bugs section for more info).

The passage is just as dark as the cave, but is illuminated by tube worms, which look like odd pink flowers that retract into their tubes when you come near, whose faint pink light help to guide the way. Along the winding underground trek you will encounter several leveled falmer and chaurus; be sure to destroy any chaurus cocoons you come across before they have a chance to hatch. The shrine itself is in the final chamber of the passage, a radically different environment to the rest of the zone where vale deer and vale sabre cats inhabit a small forest. The Shrine is tended to by Prelate Sidanyis, who will activate it for you. Fill your ewer from the and head through the portal to the Forgotten Vale.

Resolving to Learn and SeeEdit

The Wayshrine of Resolution

The second wayshrine, the Wayshrine of Sight, can be found soon after emerging from Darkfall Passage into the Forgotten Vale and is tended to by Prelate Athring. It is to the north of the path that climbs up out of the entry vale through a set of stone arches, and west-northwest of the Forgotten Vale Cave. To find it, stop at the highest stone arch just before entering a narrow pass and head north along the cliff side, past a small frozen pond and several fallen trees, until you reach a silver ore vein. Just beyond is the Wayshrine, shrouded amidst a dense layer of fog.

The third shrine, the Wayshrine of Learning, is tended to by Prelate Celegriath. To reach it, head back to the stone arches and instead press on west, negotiating a narrow pass inhabited by frostbite spiders. Make your way down to the narrow river valley to a skeleton and the Unknown Book, Vol. I; reading it will start the Forgotten Vale Books Quest. Head downstream for a little while to reach the wayshrine.

To reach the fourth shrine, the Wayshrine of Resolution, cross the river and make your way up the turnpike path until you reach a large, frozen lake. Beware of the two dragons, Naaslaarum and Voslaarum, who will attack you while you cross the lake (provided you have completed Dragon Rising). The wayshrine, tended to by Prelate Nirilor, is above the northwest bank of the lake. Don't forget to pick up the Drain Vitality dragon shout from the large rock jutting out from the middle of the frozen lake south of this wayshrine.

The Long Walk to RadianceEdit

The fifth and final wayshrine, the Wayshrine of Radiance, is north of the Wayshrine of Resolution and is reached after a long, arduous trek through the Forgotten Vale and Glacial Crevice. To reach the latter, you can press on north and negotiate a long series of Falmer encampments and bridges suspended across the cliff-faces, or alternatively head southwest from the wayshrine across the mountainside and overlooking the lake. After a short while you arrive in a hanging valley with some moonstone ore veins; from here you can head down to the entrance of the Crevice. If you're looking for Unknown Book, Vol. III for the Forgotten Vale Books Quest, you can find it in a Falmer hut a couple of bridges before reaching the Crevice entrance.

The Crevice itself consists of a series of glacial chambers with icy ledges and rope bridges that ascend among a scattering of Falmer tents. Dispose of the many leveled Falmer and the odd frost troll that occupy this zone until you once again emerge out into the Forgotten Vale. This final part of the Vale consists of a confusing maze of Falmer tents and platforms crowded within a series of narrow, twisting canyons. Pick up the Unknown Book Vol. IV from a hut in the second village just before the entrance to the tunnel which takes you to the Wayshrine of Radiance, tended to by Prelate Edhelbor.

Vyrthur destroying Auriel's Chapel

Breaching the SanctumEdit

Down the path from the Wayshrine of Radiance and across a stone bridge lies the Inner Sanctum. Pour water from your Ewer into the stone basin, and the door in front of you will be bathed in green light before opening. Inside you will find a number of chambers with frozen Falmer and chaurus. Many of the Falmer hold items that can be looted, which may cause one or more of them to break out of their icy state and attack you. Head north through the chambers, placing the Ewer on any pedestals to open the gates nearby, until you reach an icy tunnel leading to Auriel's Chapel.

Jump down the stone ledge where you emerge and you will arrive in a stone chamber full of frozen Falmer and chaurus. Vyrthur is sat on a throne at the far end of the room, behind an impenetrable claw-like barrier. He will come to life once you come near and commence a fierce battle: the frozen Falmer and chaurus will start unfreezing in groups, while Vyrthur periodically summons a Frost Atronach, collapses parts of the ceiling and then hurls the broken boulders at you.

Once all enemies are defeated, in a mixture of rage and panic Vyrthur will collapse the rest of the roof on you through a huge magical explosion, commencing a cutscene during which the only action you can undertake is walking or running. You awake to Serana telling you to get up and get on the balcony. Follow her until you reach Vyrthur, who will explain that he himself created the prophecy which Lord Harkon is chasing, after having been forsaken to vampirism by Auri-El. By dousing Auriel's Bow with the blood of a Daughter of Coldharbour—Serana—he would exact his revenge by corrupting Auri-El's influence on Nirn.

Understandly displeased, Serana will lift him by the throat, but will be thrown back as Vyrthur uses magic to free himself from her grip and attacks you. Once he has been defeated, a wayshrine will appear and Gelebor will walk through it. He will be surprised that the real reason for Vyrthur's actions was vampirism rather than corruption by the Falmer and thank you by proclaiming you worthy to carry Auriel's Bow. He will also bless some Sunhallowed arrows for you if you ask, and remain there if you wish to come back for more at any time. Retrieve Auriel's Bow from the newly-appeared wayshrine to complete the quest.


  • You may use Auriel's Bow to blot out the sun. It is not permanent and will only last until 7pm (which is sunset; you can shoot out the sun again the next day, as the sun will rise at 5am).
  • After a wayshrine is opened, it will contain portals to three of the other four opened wayshrines, as well as to Darkfall Cave.
  • At the end of this quest there is an opportunity to gain a second permanent follower. Right after you kill the boss, Serana will stop following you around and you can fast travel away to grab a second follower. There isn't a direct return point, but you can fast travel back to Forgotten Vale and use the portals, then run quickly back through the castle and finish the quest by speaking with the NPC waiting for you and taking Auriel's Bow. This time, your second follower slot should be permanent - though you should make sure to have two followers for 'Kindred Judgement' and any plot quests that are instanced. You can swap your other follower, but never dismiss Serana or you will lose the second slot.
  • If you have not killed Naaslaarum and Voslaarum it is possible for one of them to fly to the balcony and interfere in the fight with Vyrthur. They can even kill him for you.
  • South of the Temple balcony is a hanging valley with a waterfall pouring from it down to the frozen lake. This valley is the location that the Emerald Paragon gives access to, and can be reached from the balcony by using the Become Ethereal shout and careful cliff walking.


Note: Nearly all of the bugs mentioned below occur because Gelebor, Serana, or Vyrthur have uncompleted scripts running. Be sure to allow any dialogue they are speaking to complete before taking further action. Also, make sure that the scripted actions with the Initiate's Ewer and the Wayshrines have completed before going on to the next wayshrine. Furthermore, when attempting the aforementioned by loading a saved game, some variables might not reset, thus rendering the attempt unaffected - shutting down Skyrim and launching it again will wipe out any residue from the memory.

  • When you have finished collecting the ewer, and are about to pour it in the basin, it won't react and you will be stuck.
    •   If you have this problem, open the console and enter GetStage DLC1VQ07 . If it returns 132.00, that means that somehow the quest progressed past the next stage of the quest. Since you cannot go back stages, the only way to solve this problem would be to use SetStage for every stage past "Gain Entry to the Inner Sanctum" until the current stage number is above 132 (meaning SetStage DLC1VQ07 200 , completing the quest, giving you the bow, and starting the next quest). This will mean skipping quite a lot of stages, but there's no way to fix this bug at the moment without skipping.
    •   Alternatively you can use console command coc DLC1FalmerTemple01 and SetStage 110 (assuming you are just stuck at the basin).
    •  If coc is useless, and your queststage is 110, use the sapphire paragon. You must use console command tcl, and then you can gain entry to the Inner Sanctum (remember to use tcl again after gaining entry). Then, leave from the Inner Sanctum via the door, and Serana will be with you again.
  • When given the objective to fill the Initiates Ewer, one of the wayshrines may not give you any water making the quest impossible to complete.
    • Reloading and visiting the wayshrines in a different order may fix this.
    • If you can't get water because Skyrim thinks you are in combat, exit the cell then re-enter it.
  • You may be unable to kill Arch-Curate Vyrthur. ?
    •   If that happens use the console command killall. You might have to give Serana the resurrect command in the console afterwards.
  • When you activate the first wayshrine, the portal may not appear. ?
    • The portal may be invisible. Pressing the 'activate' button while standing in the back of the wayshrine may activate the invisible portal.
  • After confronting Arch-Curate Vyrthur and defeating the first wave of unfrozen enemies, he may not react and spawn a second wave, ceasing quest progress. ?
    • Each subsequent wave will only occur after all mobilized enemies have been killed. These enemies are not the frozen ones standing about but are spawned as the waves progress, sometimes replacing the frozen variety. Sometimes they spawn inside the architecture or get stuck in odd places. If area effect spells cannot kill them reloading a save is your only recourse. After each wave there is a pause before Vyrthur gives another rant and unleashes the next wave. Sending an arrow or two, or an area damage spell in his direction may speed things along a little.
    •   This can also be fixed by using the command "killall" in the boss arena (note that both Vyrthur and Serana will be put on the bleed out state as both of them are set to essential at the moment and can't die) but this updates Vyrthur's Scripts and can hopefully allow you to progress, if that's the case and Vyrthur Summons the Ancient Frost Atronach, immediately hit the console, click Serana and use the command "resurrect", once you kill the Atronach Vyrthur will do a shockwave and run to the balcony, once he reaches the balcony he will die (because he is not set to essential anymore) just click on his corpse and "resurrect" him, and that'll hopefully allow the following scene and boss fight to progress normally.
  • Knight-Paladin Gelebor may not activate the first wayshrine.
    •   Open the console and select Gelebor, enter the code disable, then enable.
    •   Sometimes Serana can get stuck in combat mode, preventing her dialogue with Gelebor. Open the console and select Serana, enter the code disable, then enable.
    •   You can fix this problem by using the console command setstage DLC1VQ07 50. This fix will not work unless Serana is next to you when you first speak with Gelebor. Serana has extensive dialogue exchange with Gelebor which leads to him giving you the Initiate's Ewer. Without the Ewer in your inventory, advancing the quest stage to open the Wayshrine will not help you.[verification needed — is this true?]
  • The final objective to 'Retrieve Auriel's Bow' may not properly register as completed as it should, even after picking it up. A message signifying the quest's completion will still turn up, though the game ceases to progress after that. Neither Serana nor Gelebor will have proper dialogue options, and the following quest, 'Kindred Judgement', does not begin.
    •   The Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, version 2.0.0, fixes this bug.
    •   Use the console command setstage DLC1VQ07 200 to properly complete the final 'Retrieve Auriel's Bow' objective.
  • Serana may attack Gelebor immediately after you finish the first dialogue with him, ceasing quest progression. ?
    •   Using the console command killall will fix this. You will have to wait a bit, until dialogue starts between Serana and Gelebor. They will both remain in the crouched, dying position, but they will go back to normal once a new area is entered.
  • After finishing the quest, Serana might not have the dialogue to start Kindred Judgment but will allow you to use her blood to make Bloodcursed arrows.
    •   The Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, version 2.0.0, fixes this bug.
    • Completing a minor side quest before fighting Vyrthur may fix this.

Quest StagesEdit

Touching the Sky (DLC1VQ07)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 The vision provided by the Elder Scrolls seems to indicate that Auriel's Bow may be located in a place known as Darkfall Cave. I should proceed there as soon as I'm prepared if I wish to recover the bow and stop Harkon from completing the Tyranny of the Sun.
Objective 20: Locate Auriel's Bow
The vision provided by the Elder Scrolls seems to indicate that Auriel's Bow may be located in a place known as Darkfall Cave. I should proceed there as soon as I'm prepared if I wish to recover the bow and stop Harkon from completing the Tyranny of the Sun.
Objective 20: Locate Auriel's Bow
Objective 30: Speak to Gelebor
50 I've encountered Gelebor, a snow elf Knight-Paladin of the Chantry of Auri-El. He's requesting I kill his brother, Arch-Curate Vyrthur, who's been corrupted by the Falmer. I've been given an Initiate's Ewer which will ultimately provide me access to the Chantry's Inner Sanctum where both Arch-Curate Vyrthur and Auriel's Bow are located.
Objective 50: Survive Darkfall Passage
Objective 70: Fill the Initiate's Ewer (<Global=DLC1VQ07EwerFills>/5)
100 I've completely filled the Initiate's Ewer given to me by Knight-Paladin Gelebor. All that remains is gaining access to the Chantry's Inner Sanctum where both Arch-Curate Vyrthur and Auriel's Bow are located.
Objective 80: Gain entry to the Inner Sanctum
110 I've gained access to the Chantry's Inner Sanctum. I should find and confront Arch-Curate Vyrthur in order to secure Auriel's Bow.
Objective 90: Locate Arch-Curate Vyrthur
Objective 100: Confront Arch-Curate Vyrthur
Objective 110: Slay Arch-Curate Vyrthur
Objective 120: Speak to Gelebor
Objective 130: Retrieve Auriel's Bow
200 Finishes quest  It's been revealed to me that the Tyranny of the Sun was created by Arch-Curate Vyrthur as his revenge upon Auriel for rebuking him when he was turned into a vampire. He possessed Auriel's Bow, but still needed the blood of a pure vampire to complete his ritual. This placed Serana in mortal danger, and I had no choice but to destroy him. I now possess the final piece of the Tyranny of the Sun, Auriel's Bow.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 35, 36, 60, 65, 70, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 87, 90, 91, 92, 95, 96, 97, 105, 130, 131, 132.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage DLC1VQ07 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest DLC1VQ07.
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