|Karthald, Western Skyrim|
"Despite Lady Thorn's mysterious past, the Ravenwatch never felt the need to deal with her directly. She seemed content to hide away in the mountains, alone in her horrific castle. This one wonders if ignoring her was a terrible mistake." —Adusa-daro
Castle Thorn is a group dungeon nestled in the Haafingar Mountains of Western Skyrim. It is part of the Stonethorn dungeon pack DLC, along with Stone Garden. The vampire lord named Lady Ingerien, a high elf who once pertained to Clan Direnni, better known by her byname, Lady Thorn, rules from here, commanding her Thorn Legion.
Biding her time in her mountain stronghold, Lady Thorn has quietly built her forces for some nefarious means. Now, whispers and rumors in Western Skyrim point to large host gathered at the castle, preparing to march to war … but to where and for what purpose?
- Castle Thorn Objective: Storm Castle Thorn and uncover Lady Thorn's secret.
- Pledge: Castle Thorn: Prove you are truly Undaunted by clearing Castle Thorn.
- Blood Channeler
- Blood Crawler (Lady Thorn fight)
- Blood Scavenger (Lady Thorn fight)
- Death Hound
- Death Hound Broodling
- Skeleton Hound
- Thorn Legion Marksman
- Thorn Legion Mauler
- Thorn Legion Quickblade
- Thorn Legion Sanguimancer
- Vaduroth's Sickle
- Virulent Viscera
- Volatile Hound (Talfyg fight)
- Blood Guardian (Lady Thorn fight)
- Frozen Gargoyle (Talfyg fight)
- Reanimated Vampire
- Seething Gargoyle
- Thorn Legion Senche-raht
- Architectural Survey Summary Report by Tarnolvar, Chief Surveyor of the Architectural Guild, Branch — A letter addressed to Lady Thorn, regarding the Castle Thorn's structural integrity
- A Daedric Proposal by Galdrus Salobar, Sanguimancer Supreme — A letter addressed to Lady Thorn, regarding the act of resurrecting dead Vampires
Dread Tindulra isn't very complicated when hard mode isn't active. She spits a lot of fire, and starting at 75% health, she periodically raises her head to the sky and howls, calling a swarm of Death Hound Broodlings to chase the group. Avoid the fire, kill the broodlings and defeat Dread Tindulra. It may be a smart idea to leave one of the Death Hound Broodlings alive, as Dread Tindulra will call another group of broodlings some time after one of her swarms has been completely culled.
The Blood Twilight is complicated compared to Dread Tindulra. There are two phases that the Twilight alternates between during the fight. Phase changes are on a one minute timer.
The Blood Twilight engages the group up close during this phase. The change of phases is on a one-minute timer.
- Dark Barrage
- The Blood Twilight attacks one person by rapidly shooting purple bolts at them. The tank can get in front of the target and absorb the damage by blocking. Alternatively, the healer should go nuts to keep the target alive. However, the former is the more viable option. To best mitigate the damage without having the tank block in front of the target, the target should block, set up damage shields and make use of whatever heals they or the healer can throw at them. Attempting to survive without the help of a tank is not viable on Veteran difficulty.
- Shadow Strike
- The Blood Twilight teleports and slams down upon its target, dealing devastating physical damage. This can be survived by blocking, warding and healing on normal, but on Veteran, the Twilight should be focused on the tank to prevent weaker group members from being killed in one shot.
- Summon Blood Channelers
- Summons four Blood Channelers on all four sides of the room to empower the Blood Twilight. Kill them as soon as possible, they channel a beam into the Blood Twilight that causes it to deal more damage.
- Blood Mines
- Blood mines are occasionally summoned after the Blood Channelers die. Stepping on these mines deals magic damage. Try to avoid them; they're very obvious, and look like little red lumps sitting on the ground.
Blood Pool Phase
The Blood Twilight hovers above the center of the arena, becoming invulnerable and causing a pool of red Ichor to rise beneath it. A Reanimated Vampire is summoned during this phase. The change of phases is on a one-minute timer.
- Standing in the ichor applies a slowing debuff, and deals a lot of magic damage over time. Stay out of the ichor. If you get hit into the pool, there are stairwells that you can climb to get out of it. Mitigate the damage as best you can as you make your way back up.
- Shades: The Blood Twilight will summon red shades (identical copies of itself that cannot be hit) to try to push players into the center. If they manage to push you, they deal mild damage.
- Strategy for Avoiding Being Hit Into the Ichor: Try to hug the wall. Your group should pick a corner to huddle in together and burn the Reanimated Vampire down. Huddling in a corner makes the shades less likely to hit you into the center. When the shades show up, stay in the corner and move around. Do not stray too far from the corner, lest you get shoved into the center.
- Blood Channelers
- If there are any Blood Channelers alive during this phase, now would be a good time to take them out, as the Blood Twilight itself will not face you to deal any damage.
Lady Thorn is the final boss of Castle Thorn.
Hard Mode Mechanics
The Ancestral Necropolis is a large graveyard leading up the castle's courtyard, and the first area of the dungeon. Gwendis and Talfyg can be seen arguing near the entrance of the dungeon. Several Thorn Legion Sanguimancers, one Thorn Legion Mauler, several Skeletal Hounds and plenty of Bloodfiends guard the path to the courtyard.
A single Thorn Legion Senche-raht guards the door to the courtyard. You cannot enter the courtyard unless you defeat the group of enemies in front of the door.
A large courtyard with a pointed fence blocking off an expanse of land littered with headstones on either side of the walkway. Dread Tindulra guards the entrance to the castle.
The castle proper. A chest can be found in the entrance hall, to the right of the stairs. An Architectural Survey Summary Report lies on table in the central hallway. A Thorn Legion Senche-raht must be killed to go through the door to the Garden Conservatory.
An indoor garden, complete with gargoyle statues on the rafters above. You will face the Blood Twilight in this chamber.
Southern Training Yard
The Southern Training Yard must be passed to reach the Northern Training Yard. In this area, you will be introduced to the mechanic for the next boss fight. Vampires train for combat here. This is also the first area Hemopteras appear.
Northern Training Yard
Beyond this area lies the Sanctuary of Lament. More vampires can be seen training for combat here.
Sanctuary of Lament
Many creatures have been hung from the ceiling on hooks. Vaduroth is fought here.
Talfyg serves as the dungeon's fourth boss in this section.
The last bastion before the Cathedral, where Lady Thorn is holed up. Two Seething Gargoyles guard the bridge, and two Thorn Legion Senche-rahts guard the door to the Cathedral.
A note titled A Daedric Proposal can be found on a desk in the center of the Cathedral Narthex.
Lady Thorn is fought here.
|Castle Thorn Vanquisher||10||Defeat Dread Tindulra, the Blood Twilight, Vaduroth, Talfyg, and Lady Thorn in Castle Thorn.|
|Stonethorn Explorer||5||Enter either Stone Garden or Castle Thorn for the first time.|
|Stonethorn Scout||10||Complete both Castle Thorn and Stone Garden in Normal.|
|Sickle Skills||10||Burst 70 corpses using any of Vaduroth's Sickles in Castle Thorn.|
|Bane of Thorns||50||Defeat all encounters in addition to Dread Tindulra, the Blood Twilight, Vaduroth, Talfyg, and Lady Thorn after raising the challenge banner in Veteran Castle Thorn within 30 minutes without suffering a group member death.|
|Castle Thorn Challenger||50||Complete the listed achievements for Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Castle Thorn Conqueror||10||Defeat Dread Tindulra, the Blood Twilight, Vaduroth, Talfyg, and Lady Thorn in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Homewrecker||50||Defeat Dread Tindulra, the Blood Twilight, Vaduroth, Talfyg, and Lady Thorn within 30 minutes of entering Veteran Castle Thorn. Your timer starts when you engage the first group on enemies.|
|Impervious Onslaught||50||Defeat all encounters in addition to Dread Tindulra, the Blood Twilight, Vaduroth, Talfyg, and Lady Thorn in Veteran Castle Thorn without suffering a group member death.|
|Stonethorn Delver||50||Complete both Stone Garden and Castle Thorn in Veteran.|
|Thorn Legion Senche-Raht Slayer||10||Defeat 50 Thorn Legion Senche-rahts in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Thorn Legion Slayer||10||Defeat 200 Thorn Legion Vampires in Veteran Castle Thorn. This includes Thorn Legion Sanguimancers, Quickblades, Marksmen, Maulers, or Reanimated Vampires.|
|Thorn Remover||50||Defeat Lady Thorn after raising the challenge banner in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Four by Four||10||Defeat Vaduroth after each group member bursts at least one imbued hanging corpse with the sickle in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Guardian Preserved||10||Defeat Lady Thorn after raising the challenge banner without killing the Blood Guardian in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Hound Pound||10||Defeat Dread Tindulra and kill her Broodlings while they are at least 15 meters apart in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Taking Turns||10||Defeat Lady Thorn after completing both bat swarm phases where each player used the Blood Scavenger synergy at least once per phase in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Let Sleeping Gargoyles Lie||10||Defeat Talfyg without killing any of the large Frozen Gargoyles during his encounter in Veteran Castle Thorn.|
|Set Name||Bonuses||Location(s)||Set Type|
2 items: Adds 15-657 Critical Chance
|Castle Thorn||Light Armor|
2 items: Adds 3-129 Weapon and Spell Damage
|Castle Thorn||Medium Armor|
2 items: Adds 28-1206 Maximum Health
|Castle Thorn||Heavy Armor|
1 item: Adds 28-1206 Maximum Health
|Castle Thorn||Monster Helm Sets|
- The entrance to Castle Thorn has been present since Update 26, with one of the towers also being present in the distance.