The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
Find out what the vampires are looking for.
Quest Giver: Isran
Location(s): Dimhollow Crypt
Prerequisite Quest: Dawnguard
Next Quest: Bloodline
Reward: None
Suggested Level: 6

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Speak to Isran.
  2. Travel to Dimhollow Crypt to find out what the vampires are after.
  3. Solve the puzzle.
  4. Speak to the Mysterious Woman.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Activating the button

Dimhollow Crypt[edit]

For a more detailed walkthrough of Dimhollow Crypt, see the place page.

After speaking to Isran, make your way across Skyrim to Dimhollow Crypt, which lies high in the mountains east of Morthal. To reach it, head directly east of Frostmere Crypt until you reach a southbound path up the mountain or alternatively start at the of Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon and follow the dirt path that skirts the cliff face east.

As you enter the first room you will overhear two vampires conversing over the body of Vigilant Tolan and two of their kin. Dispose of the vampires and the accompanying death hound and head inside the ruined tower to the southwest, where you will find a pull-chain. This opens the gate near the bodies and allows you to progress further.

Make your way through the ruins, battling vampires and skeletons as you go along. You will eventually arrive in a larger room where a vampire and its death hound are battling some draugr. Mop up the survivors and head to the western-most of the four pull-chain-opened gates in the room. In the next chamber, a vampire is sat high up on a stone ledge and three skeletons will rise up from the water in the middle of the room.

Navigate the honeycomb crypts further beyond, which contain the corpses of a few frostbite spiders as well as two very much alive vampires and their death hounds. In the final section of the crypt you will find a vampire fighting a wounded frostbite spider behind a closed gate. Wait for one to prevail before opening the gate by pulling the lever nearby, dispatching the victor and heading into Dimhollow Cavern.


The puzzle solved

As you enter Dimhollow Cavern you will overhear the vampire Lokil interrogating Vigilant Adalvald, who will die before revealing anything to his captor. After Adalvald dies, Lokil, his thrall, and an accompanying vampire will become hostile towards you as soon as they detect you. Use your starting position on a balcony overlooking the vampires to snipe down at them. You can also close the gate to the balcony behind you by pulling a lever inside, giving you some respite from the fight if needed.

After killing the vampires, make your way to the circular stone structure that dominates this chamber. Pressing the button atop the pedestal in the center will cause a spike to emerge, impaling your hand as a purple light shines up from troughs in the floor. Push each of the movable braziers into or away from the center of the circle so that they touch the end of the purple light within their path, causing the pattern to expand towards the next brazier, until you connect them all. The center of the structure will then descend to reveal a stone monolith beneath the pedestal, which contains a mysterious woman carrying an Elder Scroll.

Upon speaking to the woman, she will tell you that her name is Serana and that she is a vampire. She will ask you to take her to her family home, Castle Volkihar, northwest of Solitude. Asking her a few questions will reveal that she is not very trusting of you, but she does reveal that she has been imprisoned for a very long time, since even before the rise of the First Empire of Cyrodiil (i.e., about 4,200 years before current events). Once you finish your conversation with her, the quest completes and the next one begins.


One achievement is unlocked when you complete this quest:

  • SR-achievement-Awakening.png AwakeningDG (20 points/Bronze)


  • Serana will have unique dialogue if you are a vampire. She will assume that her father sent you, and if told that you were sent by the Dawnguard will remark that it doesn't sound like the name of a group of vampires. She will also note that the Dawnguard will eventually figure out what you are and turn on you.
  • If you free Serana without killing the other vampires first, she will turn hostile towards them. This can be useful if you're too weak to take them on yourself. Lure the vampires away or use hit-and-run tactics on the pillars, saving often, until Serana is free.
  • Once freed, Serana will follow you indefinitely until the quest is completed. Because she is part of a quest, she will not count as a follower. This allows the possibility to use her as a second follower.


  • Upon pressing the button in the center of the room, the initial bit of purple fire will appear, but the quest arrow above the button will not disappear. The columns will move and there will still be vibration and whatnot when it's in the right place, but the purple fire will not respond. When all columns are in place, nothing happens.
  • When pressing the button in the center of the room, you may get stuck in a continuous loop of pressing the button. The purple fire does not appear and the columns cannot be moved.
    • This may happen when being attacked while pressing the button. Reload a previous save and make sure you kill everyone first.
  • This quest may not start after finishing the Dawnguard quest.
    • A possible solution is to enter the console before talking to Isran, and issue the commands stopquest DLC1NPCMentalModel followed by startquest DLC1NPCMentalModel
  • If you have a vampire thrall with you when you activate the button atop the pedestal that impales your hand, the thrall will attack you. The thrall will become friendly again if you sheathe their weapons/spells.
  • Sometimes you will be unable to speak to Serana.
    • Saving and reloading the save appears to fix this.
  • On rare occasions, Serana will not be in the monolith, and will only appear if you wait. Upon talking to her, she will begin walking away to an unknown location. This may be related to an issue with the Castle Volkihar entrance. ?
  • Having a follower when opening Serana's sarcophagus may lead to a bug preventing A New Order from starting. It is advised to make a save before doing so and should the bug occur, dismissing any current followers as well as entering set playerfollowercount to 0 into the console, then proceeding as normal. ?

Quest Stages[edit]

Awakening (DLC1VQ01)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I've met Isran, the leader of a group of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguard. The vampires that attacked the Hall of the Vigilants may have been after something in a place called Dimhollow Crypt. Isran has asked me to find out what the vampires are looking for.
Objective 30: Find out what the vampires are seeking
Objective 40: Speak to the mysterious woman
40 Isran, the leader of a group of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguard, asked me to find out what the vampires were seeking in a place called Dimhollow Crypt. Deep in the crypt, I freed a mysterious young woman named Serana from an ancient sarcophagus.
200 Finishes quest☑ Isran, the leader of a group of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguard, asked me to find out what the vampires were seeking in a place called Dimhollow Crypt. Deep in the crypt, I freed a mysterious young woman named Serana from an ancient sarcophagus.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 5, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 30, 999.
  • 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 DLC1VQ01 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 DLC1VQ01.
Prev: Dawnguard Next: Bloodline