Skyrim:Totems of Hircine

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Walkthrough: written by multiple users, not checked
Reward: written by, checked by RobinHood70
Journey to the given location to find a Totem of Hircine.
Quest Giver: Aela the Huntress
Location(s): Whiterun
Prerequisite Quest: Glory of the Dead
Reward: A Totem of Hircine, leveled gold
ID: CR12
The Totem of Brotherhood in its receptacle in the Underforge

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Travel to the indicated location on your map.
  2. Retrieve the Totem by any means necessary.
  3. Return to the Underforge, then use one of the totem receptacles to complete the quest and receive your reward.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Accepting the Quest[edit]

Asking Aela the Huntress, "Is there any work to be done?" will prompt her to tell you about the Totems of Hircine. She will say that she has located one and would be honored if you go with her to retrieve it. If you accept the quest, she will become your Shield-Sister and will replace your current companion.

Retrieve the Totem of Hircine[edit]

Aela prays to the Totem

Journey to the location given by Aela and kill the enemies lurking around. The location is radiant, and it can be any animal den, vampire lair, or warlock lair with a boss chest. The totem is most often found in the boss chest. Once you have the totem, Aela will approach and ask if you have it. When you tell her you do, she will tell you to bring it back to the Underforge. When you return to the Underforge, place the totem on the marked area—the quest will finish and you will receive a leveled amount of gold. You can now pray to the totem to receive a new power while in Beast Form, which replaces your old one.

There are three total totems, each granting a different ability in Beast Form.


Levels Reward USLEEP Reward
1–9 100 100
10–19 150 150
20–29 300 200
30–39 300 250
40+ 300 300
Level is based on when the player completed the previous quest (or level one for the first quest), not the player's level when receiving the quest or its reward.
The reward amounts for radiant Companions quests do not progress as intended. (details)

The Totems of Hircine[edit]

Left to Right: Totem of the Hunt, Totem of Fear, Totem of Brotherhood

The totems are described in detail in the tome, The Totems of Hircine. By praying to these totems, you will be given a unique ability that replaces the older Howl of Terror; it is activated by pressing the shout button while in beast form. All abilities last for 60 seconds, though the duration can be increased by 15 seconds by equipping the Ring of the MoonDB before activating Beast Mode.


  • If Dragonborn is installed, some radiant locations may be on Solstheim. If you are in Skyrim, you will not receive a quest marker pointing you to the quest location, but must travel to Solstheim first (at which point any quest markers you have to quests in Skyrim will disappear).
  • The location you are sent to may be an already "cleared" location, even if there are other non-cleared locations of the same type yet to be cleared or even discovered: the game does not, in this case, appear to prioritize new locations over known locations.
  • You can only trigger this quest if you are still a werewolf. If you have purified yourself, you are unable to do this quest.
  • If Whiterun is under attack, you cannot enter the Underforge until Whiterun is back to normal. It will tell you a key is needed to enter and that it cannot be lockpicked.
  • At the end of this quest, Aela will begin praying to the new totem in the Underforge. It is possible to ask her to follow you while she is praying; her dialogue will change, and she will allow you access to her inventory, but will not stop praying or move away from the totem.
  • Aela will not give these quests while she is an active follower, though she will give Animal Extermination quests.
  • If you have just dropped off a totem in the Underforge, Aela will be praying to it and only offer an Animal Extermination quest (dialogue option, "I'm looking for work"). Leave the Underforge, return, then talk to Aela again. Repeat until Aela (still in prayer) offers the next totem quest (dialogue, "Is there any work to be done?").
  • This quest is considered by the game as 1 even if it appears 3 times in the journal (once for each totem). This means that the counter for "Quests Completed" and "The Companions Quests Completed" will permanently increase by 1 only by the end of the third quest (it appears as increased by 1 every time you complete one of the three quests, but it will drop back in a few in-game cell loadings).


  • If you've completed A Daedra's Best Friend, you may be taken to Haemar's Cavern and your system can lock up when entering Haemar's Shame. You won't be able to complete the quest and will have Aela as a follower, but with no dialogue options.
    • This also seems to happen if the totem is located in Morvunskar, and A Night To Remember has been completed. This can be worked around by carefully navigating around the point where the portal to the Misty Grove was placed earlier. ?
    • On PC This can be resolved by manually advancing the quest with the console command setstage cr12 20.
  • Curing yourself of lycanthropy while this quest is active causes the Underforge door to become unresponsive. You cannot end the quest or get rid of Aela as a result.
    • On PCYou can finish the quest using the console command coc "WhiterunUnderForge" and placing the totem in its place, but Aela may stay inside, forcing you to use the command each time. ?
  • While recovering a totem located in Ansilvund, it is possible that one of the swinging axe traps may knock Aela through a hole in the map, rendering the quest un-fulfillable. Aela may reappear at a later time although the trigger is unknown. Common factors such as fast traveling and waiting are worth trying. ? One method that has been found effective is to pray at one of the previously acquired totems. Aela may then appear at the entrance of the Underforge.
  • If Aela won't give you the first totem quest, check the status of this quest with the console command "sqs cr12". If both Stage 0 and Stage 1 are marked as completed (with a 1 behind the respective stage), use the console command "resetquest cr12". It is recommended to do this after handing in an Animal Extermination quest but before asking for more work.
  • If you do not complete all of the radiant quests of Aela the Huntress in the initial wave before advancing, you will be stuck doing Animal Extermination quests from her indefinitely, unable to collect the Totems of Hircine. ?
    • On PC Firstly, use the console command setstage CR12 1. Then, get an Animal Extermination quest from Aela. Now use the console command setstage CR01 20 or setstage CR02 20 (depending on which version of the quest you're assigned), and return to Aela to finish the quest. Ask for work from her again and use the command setstage CR12 20 to complete the quest, and go to the Underforge to place the totem, which completes this quest. Repeat these steps 2 more times for the remaining 2 totems. The crucial part seems to be to Tab out of the conversation before Aela finishes her voiceline, when finishing the Animal Extermination quest. If you keep her dialogue open, she will have another Animal Extermination for you. If you close the dialogue before she finishes, she will have a dialogue for the Totems of Hircine quest. Alternatively, this can be fixed by marrying Aela, then again asking her for work after deciding on a place to live. [verification needed — see talk page]
  • If Aela is chosen as your wife, after completing a totem quest she will stay and pray at the totem and will not return home.
    • On Xbox This can be fixed on Xbox 360: You need lots of healing and dual-casting master illusionist abilities. Have her as a follower, take away all her weapons and give her a cheap sword. Then punch her enough times to get her to attack you (heal yourself as needed). Go through the front exit so you are outside of Jorrvaskr... she should follow you out and continue to attack you. Lead her off a good ways at which point, Dual-cast Calm on her and immediately talk to her and have her re-join you. Test her compliance by drawing a weapon or spell (she should do likewise, not just stand there - if she doesn't draw, restart the process). Once she's drawn a weapon, fast-travel to another location. She should now act normally, and if a spouse or steward, should remain at other locations when dismissed.
  • When obtaining the quest for the second totem, your quest marker may point to Jorrvaskr instead of the dungeon indicated in your quest log. The reason is that the quest item spawned on the floor in the main hall of Jorrvaskr instead of in the intended dungeon. The quest item will not be located anywhere in the dungeon indicated in the quest log. ?
    • On PC The item is located in an inaccessible cell within Jorrvaskr. By the way, this problem may also occur for another totem (e.g., the third instead of the second totem). Furthermore, the quest log may offer nothing more than the direction to go collect the totem. Anyway, to resolve this problem, open the console and type movetoqt CR12 which will move the player to a small interior unlighted cell after closing the console. The totem will be found on the ground. Pick up the totem to advance the quest. Next reopen the console and type player.moveto 1A697 and the player will now move to a position beside Aela the Huntress. She should then ask the player if he or she has the totem and the quest can now carry on as normal.

Quest Stages[edit]

Totems of Hircine (CR12)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 Aela has tracked one of the Totems of Hircine to <Alias=Dungeon>, and has come with me to retrieve it.
Objective 10: Retrieve the Totem of Hircine
20 Aela and I retrieved a Totem of Hircine from <Alias=Dungeon>.
Objective 20: Take the Totem to the Underforge
200 Finishes quest☑
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 100.
  • 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 CR12 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 CR12.