- Once you have reached level 5, travel to Vaermina's Shrine and talk to Aymar Douar to begin the quest.
- Acquire one Black Soul Gem and activate the shrine to give it as an offering.
- Find Arkved's Tower, and work your way to the Death Quarters. Steal back the orb from Arkved.
- Return the orb back to the shrine and claim your reward: the Skull of Corruption.
Locating the Shrine of Vaermina
Vaermina's Shrine is located on the shore of Lake Poppad, a short walk southwest of Cheydinhal. The location of this shrine can be marked on your map by any of the following methods:
An Offering to the God
You must be at least level 5 to start this quest. At the shrine, talk to the Dunmer Aymar Douar. You will learn that you need to offer a Black Soul Gem to Vaermina. After you do, Vaermina will say:
- We meet again, mortal, for we have met before, whether you know it or not. When you mutter in your sleep, you speak to me. When you waken wet with sweat, you've just left my house. I dwell in your dreams; I savor your nightmares. Now, you will serve me. The wizard Arkved has the Orb of Vaermina... snatched from the dreams of my followers and dragged into the waking world. Travel to his tower and retrieve my Orb. Take care, though, mortal. In my Orb, Arkved has found more than he bargained for.
The Task at Hand
A nightmare realm, in more ways than one
Arkved's Tower is one of the more interesting dungeons in the game. If you are in a hurry, just follow the arrows, fighting all the daedra or using your invisibility spell until you reach Arkved's Death chamber. When you reach the Death Chamber, grab the orb from the small table in the room and leave. Arkved is sleeping, and he will not attack you even if you attack him. There is a trap door which you can use to exit from Arkved's quarters. However, you cannot use it to enter his chambers from the outside, because it does not appear until you have explored the rest of the dungeon.
Returning to the Shrine
Return to Vaermina for your reward, the Skull of Corruption. It creates a "corrupted clone" of any NPC, inheriting all of their abilities and equipment. The clone will fight the original NPC for you. Vaermina will say the following as her parting words:
- My Orb is returned, and Arkved will live out the rest of his days in nightmare. It is fitting. You have proved yourself, mortal. It is fitting, as well, that you should bear my token.
- You cannot wait in the tower, as it is considered trespassing.
- Vaermina will mention Arkved living out his days even if you killed him.
- If you re-enter Arkved's Tower after receiving the Skull of Corruption, Arkved will be standing upright.
- If you use the Skull of Corruption on Arkved, he will awaken and his corrupted clone will attack him; they will fight until the clone disappears, and Arkved will return to being unconscious.
- If you have Unofficial Oblivion Patch installed, and you have completed Confront the King, the unique Colossal Black Soul Gem filled with Hannibal Traven's soul takes precedence over any other Black Soul Gem in your inventory and will be taken as offering. If you want to keep it, store it somewhere safe before activating Vaermina's shrine.
||Vaermina's followers have told me that an offering of a black soul gem is needed in order to summon the Daedra. [You must be level 5 to begin this quest.]
||After I left an offering of a black soul gem, Vaermina's followers summoned the Daedra, who spoke to me. Vaermina told me of an Orb that had been stolen by the wizard Arkved. I am to travel to his tower, retrieve the Orb, and bring it back to Vaermina.
||I have retrieved the Orb of Vaermina. I should now return it to the Shrine.
||Vaermina was pleased that I returned the Orb of Vaermina. I have been rewarded with the Skull of Corruption.
- 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 random order.
- 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.
- It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering
setstage DAVaermina 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. See SetStage for more information.