Daedric Artifacts Guide (Spoilers!)
Greetings traveler. Pull up a chair, grab a flagon of mead, and listen to my tale about Daedric artifacts. There are a total of fifteen that can be obtained in Skyrim, and since all of them can be both tricky to discover and to obtain I will now tell you how to find all of them. Be prepared to follow the foul Daedric lords' will and trickery, but all is fair in legendary artifacts and exploration.
Be warned that many of them can be lost forever if you choose a wrong path somewhere, so be sure to save often when doing these quests! Also note that there is a level requirement on some of them, so if you can't find the quest simply come back after a couple of levels.
"Waking Nightmare" (Skull of Corruption)
- Found Where?: The inn at Dawnstar, "Windpeak Inn"
- Quest Giver?: Erandur
- Artifact Obtained?: Skull of Corruption (Staff)
- Daedric Lord?: Vaermina
The residents of Dawnstar complain about having frequent nightmares that won't quit. It seems the mage Erandur in the Windpeak Inn knows more about this than he wants to talk about in public. When you accept the quest you'll escort Erandur to the nearby ruin Nightcaller Temple. Take note that several sources claim that the quest bugged out for them when they entered the ruin, since Erandur disappeared after entering thus making the quest impossible to complete. Save often, as always.
Inside the temple you'll encounter several orcs and mages who try to hinder your progress. Hopefully you and Erandur will have little trouble defeating them, and it even turns out the mages are Erandur's former buddies. When you get close to the end of the ruins, Erandur will start chanting a spell to end the nightmares. At this point the Daedric lord Vaermina will talk directly to you, telling you that Erandur will betray you. YOU MUST KILL ERANDUR BEFORE HE FINISHES THE RITUAL, OTHERWISE YOU WON'T GET THE ARTIFACT.
"The Black Star" (The Black Star / Azura's Star)
- Found Where?: Shrine of Azura, south of Winterhold
- Quest Giver?: Aranea Ienith, at Shrine of Azura
- Artifact Obtained?: The Black Star (Misc.) / Azura's Star (Misc.)
- Daedric Lord?: Azura
The Shrine of Azura is not far from Winterhold, but can be somewhat tricky to locate since it's in the mountain regions. When you finally reach the shrine, Aranea will tell you that Azura have chosen you to be her new champion and wants you to talk to an Elf in the Frozen Hearth Inn in Winterhold. In the inn you can speak to Dagur, who will tell you that the Elf in question have rented a room and is named Nelacar. After speaking to Nelacar you'll have to go to the dungeon Ilinalta's Deep to get Azura's Star back from the foul mage Malyn Varen. After getting the (broken) item back you have to decide if you want to give it to Aranea or Nelacar for repairing.
Both rewards are terrific in their own way. Repairing the item through Nelacar's aid will eventually give you The Black Star; an endless soul gem that can only house humanoid souls for capture. On the flipside, repairing the item through Aranea's aid will give you Azura's Star, which is an endless regular soul gem that can house all souls except humanoids for capture. If you go with Aranea you can also get her as a companion after the quest is done. You repair the broken item by entering it and destroying the evil souls that are housed within, so be prepared before you enter.
"Discerning the Transmundane" (Oghma Infinium)
- Found Where?: Septimus Sigmus Outpost, north of Winterhold College
- Quest Giver?: Septimus Sigmus
- Artifact Obtained?: Oghma Infinium (Book)
- Daedric Lord?: Hermaeus Mora
North of the Winterhold College is an island among the ice fields, and on this island is Septimus Sigmus Outpost, the home of a man gone insane. You'll visit him during the main questline when you're asked to find an Elder Scroll, but feel free to visit him even if you're not on that quest. Before you start the Daedric quest you must get an imprint of an Elder Scroll for him from some Dwemer ruins.
After that he wants blood from an Orc, a Falmer, a Dark Elf, a Wood Elf and a High Elf. Whenever you kill one of these types you can take a blood sample when you're looting their bodies. Since it can take a while to find all different types it's suggested to simply have this quest running in the "background" while doing other stuff.
Once you have all the blood needed and hand it over to Septimus Sigmus you'll eventually get the Oghma Infinium. This book is, simply put; amazing. It allows you to gain 5 skill points in 5 skills, depending on what path you choose when you read it. Path of Might will give you +5 to Heavy Armor, One-Handed Weapons, Smithing, Two-Handed Weapons and Archery. Path of Shadow will give you +5 to Light Armor, Pickpocket, Speech, Sneak and Lockpicking. Path of Magic will give you +5 to Destruction, Restoration, Conjuration, Illusion and Alteration. Be aware that you can only choose one path, the book will be destroyed after reading it once.
"Pieces of the Past" (Mehrunes' Razor)
- Found Where?: Museum in Dawnstar
- Quest Giver?: Silus
- Artifact Obtained?: Mehrunes' Razor (Dagger)
- Daedric Lord?: Mehrunes Dagon
A weird man in Dawnstar is running a museum dedicated to the Mythic Dawn cult (the dudes who murdered the emperor in TES IV: Oblivion, and opened the gates to Oblivion). He unfortunately is missing a grand item in his exhibit: Mehrunes' Razor. It has been divided up into three pieces, which you are then asked to obtain and put back together. Two of the pieces are from different dungeons, which are quite straightforward. The third piece is owned by a man living in Morthal. How you get his piece is up to you. Rob him, kill him, buy it, whichever.
After you have all three pieces you need to travel to Mehrunes Dagon's shrine together with Silus to put the dagger together. At the shrine, Mehrunes will tell you to kill Silus or he won't repair the dagger. After you take care of Silus, feel free to loot your new dagger. Be prepared to fight, however, since the tricky Mehrunes will summon two Daedras to fight you after you loot the dagger. That fight is totally optional, but you get a key to Mehrunes' shrine for more loot if you kill them.
"Boethiah's Calling" (Ebony Mail)
- Found Where?: Reading the book "Boethiah's Proving" found in several locations. Septimus Sigmus Outpost has one.
- Quest Giver?: Boethiah High Priestess
- Artifact Obtained?: Ebony Mail (Chest Armor)
- Daedric Lord?: Boethiah
After you read the book "Boethiah's Proving" you'll get a quest to find Boethiah's Shrine. The book can be found in various locations, but there's always one in Septimus Sigmus Outpost. Follow the map marker to the shrine, and when you arrive the High Priestess will ask you to prove yourself. She wants you to lure a person to that shrine and sacrifice them. Lovely. Easiest way to do this is to hire a companion you don't care about. I chose the guy in Riften's Pub. Back at the shrine with your companion, tell him that you "Want him to do something", then order him to touch the shrine and then kill him.
After all that, Boethiah will appear and ask that someone steps up as her new champion. All the cultists will start fighting left and right, so sit back and watch until there's only one left alive and take care of him yourself. Boethiah will declare you her new champion, and demand that you retrieve a lost Ebony Mail for her. Go to the dungeon, kill everything, get the Ebony Mail, celebrate.
"The Whispering Door" (Ebony Blade)
- Found Where?: Rumour from Whiterun inn ("The Bannered Mane") bartender
- Quest Giver?: Jarl Balgruuf
- Artifact Obtained?: Ebony Blade (2-Handed Sword)
- Daedric Lord?: Mephala
After you've completed the main quest "Dragon Rising" you can go to the inn in Whiterun and bug the bartender for rumours. Eventually she'll mention that the Jarl's children are acting weird lately, and suggest that you talk to the Jarl about it. Since you're now a Thane you can speak frankly to the Jarl, who'll ask you to speak to one of his sons. The son is bitter and acting like a douche, but eventually says that a magical door in the cellar is speaking to him and is revealing secrets.
After inspecting the door and promising to open it, pickpocket the key for it from the Jarl. After that you just need to open the door and loot your fancy new sword.
"The Cursed Tribe" (Volendrung)
- Found Where?: Largashbur, west of Riften and south of the lake
- Quest Giver?: Atub
- Artifact Obtained?: Volendrung (2-Handed Mace)
- Daedric Lord?: Malacath
West of the town Riften there's an Orc camp called Largashbur which is under attack by a giant. After you help to kill the giant you can talk to the camp's shaman Atub. She says that the tribe has been cursed and that they need your help. She ask you to bring her Troll Fat and a Daedra Heart to prepare a ritual. If you're having trouble finding Daedra Hearts, there's one easy to steal in the Companion's Hall in Whiterun, in Kodlak Whitemane's room. After giving the items to Atub, Malacath will let all the Orcs know that he's pissed off at them and demands that the chief of the tribe kill a giant chief and obtain his club. The chief is not pleased to hear this and demand that you help him do so.
After fighting through a cave with the chief he ask you to kill the giant alone since he's "tired". Kill the giant. Then the Orc foolishly decides that you should die as well. Kill him. Malacath will be happy with your work and reward you with Volendrung after you return to Largashbur.
"Ill Met By Moonlight" (Savior's Hide / Ring of Hircine)
- Found Where? Falkreath Jail, located in Falkreath Barracks
- Quest Giver?: Sinding
- Artifact Obtained?: Savior's Hide (Chest Armor) / Ring of Hircine (Ring)
- Daedric Lord?: Hircine
In Falkreath you can head down to the jail to spit on the prisoners *cough* - I mean talk to one of the prisoners named Sinding. It seems he killed a young girl while being affected by beastly powers due to him stealing a ring. You promise to help him out by killing a beast in the nearby woods, so he gives you the Cursed Ring of Hircine (which will randomly transform you into a warewolf, so GET OUT OF TOWN ASAP) and then he escapes the prison. After killing the beast, which is the spirit of Hircine, you're then asked by Hircine to kill Sinding who's now living in a cave.
When you arrive in the cave you're greeted by a ton of dead hunters who've tried to kill Sinding before you. Laugh at them, as you press on. You're now left with a choice; either help Sinding killing the hunters to get the Ring of Hircine, or simply kill Sinding to get the Savior's Hide. Both of them count as a Daedric Artifact, so make your choice. The ring is a neat if you enjoy playing as a warewolf (reduced cooldown on transforming), but otherwise I'd go with the armor.
There is a way (bug?) to get both artifacts, which has yet to be patched away (thanks to skrutop for pointing this out). I haven't tried this method myself yet, but keep lots of saves like usual.
- Agree to help Sinding kill the hunters.
- Talk to Sinding afterwards.
- Kill him and loot his hide.
- Quickly run out of the cave before Hircine can talk to you.
- Hircine will appear outside the cave and reward you with the ring.
- Go back into the cave, and Hircine will again appear and reward you with the hide. Neat!
"A Daedra's Best Friend" (Clavicus Vile's Masque)
- Found Where?: Falkreath, upon entering the town
- Quest Giver?: Barbas
- Artifact Obtained?: Clavicus Vile's Masque (Head Armor)
- Daedric Lord?: Clavicus Vile
When you enter Falkreath the first time you overhear someone talking about a roaming dog outside the town. Go there to find a talking dog named Barbas, who wants nothing more than to reunite with his master Clavicus Vile. Agree to help, and then go for a LONG walk with the slowest dog in the world. You'll clear out a cave of vampires together, and then finally talk to Clavicus. He's disappointed with the mutt, and wants you to get his Rueful Axe back to him from a mage in another dungeon.
After returning with the axe Clavicus wants you to kill Barbas with the axe. If you kill Barbas you get to keep the axe, but it doesn't count as an artifact (thanks to skrutop for pointing this out)! Refuse instead and you'll get Clavicus' mask. The dog will, of course, be thankful that you're more forgiving than his Daedric master.
"The Break of Dawn" (Dawnbreaker)
- Found Where?: Statue to Meridia, located in the mountains west of Solitude
- Quest Giver?: Statue to Meridia
- Artifact Obtained?: Dawnbreaker (1-Handed Sword)
- Daedric Lord?: Meridia
Another dungeon crawling quest for another Daedra. This time it's Meridia who wants you to first obtain her beacon, and then enter the temple underneath her statue to banish the evil down there. Eventually you'll be rewarded with Dawnbreaker, a totally awesome sword against undead foes. Really not much to say about this quest other than just that.
"The Only Cure" (Spellbreaker)
- Found Where?: Shrine of Peryite, located quite far northeast of Markarth
- Quest Giver?: Kesh
- Artifact Obtained?: Spellbreaker (Shield)
- Daedric Lord?: Peryite
When you arrive at the shrine a khajiit named Kesh wants you to bring him some ingredients to be able to communicate with Peryite. You need to bring a Deathbell Flower, a Flawless Ruby, a Silver Ingot and some Vampire Dust. The flower and dust can often be bought from alchemy stores, and the ore ingot can be bought from blacksmith shops. Flawless Ruby is the only troublesome item, try pickpocketing rich people for it.
After getting these items Peryite wants you to enter a nearby dungeon and kill his former champion and take over his title. Do as he wants, and you'll be rewarded with the kickass shield Spellbreaker.
"House of Horrors" (Mace of Molag Bal)
- Found Where?: Markarth
- Quest Giver?: Vigilant Tyranus
- Artifact Obtained?: Mace of Molag Bal (1-Handed Mace)
- Daedric Lord?: Molag Bal
When you arrive in Markarth you can walk straight ahead and eventually Vigilant Tyranus will ask for your help to clear out some demons from an abandoned house. Agree, and prepare for some spooky shit to go down. After the dust settles, and you've killed Vigilant Tyranus, Molag Bal will speak to you and demand that you rescue a priest and bring him to this shrine. Agree, and set off to rescue the priest Logrulf the Woeful. After his rescue you'll go back to the abandoned house and beat Logrulf into submission. After that Molag Bal will be pleased, and will reward you with his mace.
"The Taste of Death" (Ring of Namira)
- Found Where?: Markarth, Understone Keep
- Quest Giver?: Verulus
- Artifact Obtained?: Ring of Namira (Ring)
- Daedric Lord?: Namira
Another quest that makes you feel sick (hopefully). The priest Verulus will ask you to investigate the Halls of the Dead in Markarth since dead bodies have been disappearing lately. Once you enter a girl named Eola greets you, asking you to help her taking back her cave-home in exchange to leaving the bodies of Markarth alone. Agree, and meet her at the cave after telling Verulus everything will be alright (without mentioning Eola of course). After clearing the cave with Eola it seems she's in a cult devoted to Namira, and ask you to bring her a fresh body for a feast. Oh dear.
Go back to your buddy Verulus, bribe him with some gold, and bring him to the cave. Then kill him. Then...eat his flesh. After the little supper Namira will be most pleased with you, and will reward you with her ring. While wearing the ring you'll regain health and stamina when you eat corpses, so enjoy your new life as a cannibal.
"A Night to Remember" (Sanguine Rose)
- Found Where?: Any big town's inn or pub
- Quest Giver?: Sam Guevenne
- Artifact Obtained?: Sanguine Rose (Staff)
- Daedric Lord?: Sanguine
Have you ever been so drunk that you can't remember what you did the night before? Have you ever been so drunk that you trashed a holy temple, married a witch, and stole a goat to pay off the wedding ring? After you agree to Sam's drinking competition, that's exactly what (apparently) happens. You'll find Sam in any town's inn or pub, asking you to partake in a drinking challenge. After you agree you awake in another town's temple, and you're then asked to clean up your mess. After following a series of clues you'll eventually end up at a ruin called Morvunskar, fight a whole lot of mages, and finally end up in Sanguine's (Sam's) party garden. He'll apologize, but thank you for a fun evening, and then reward you with the Sanguine Rose.
"The Mind of Madness" (Wabbajack)
- Found Where?: Solitude
- Quest Giver?: Dervenin
- Artifact Obtained?: Wabbajack (Staff?)
- Daedric Lord?: Sheogorath
Wandering the streets of Solitude is a beggar named Dervenin. Find him, and he'll ask you to find his master who "went off to a tea-party years ago with his best friend the emperor". Alright. Eventually you'll end up in the twisted mind of a dead emperor who's, well, having a tea-party with Sheogorath. It seems Sheogorath wants you to help his friend regain his sanity, so you're asked to help out with just that.
You'll only have the Wabbajack to solve things with. During the "Paranoia"-sequence you need to shoot either of the folks sitting on the chairs, not the monsters fighting. During the "Night Terrors"-sequence you need to shoot the sleeping man, then whatever creature that appears. Keep repeating until the sleeping man awakes. During the "Anger Issues"-sequence you need to shoot the little guy to make him grow, and then shoot the attackers to make them small. If any of these sequences made sense to you I'm sure you'll love your new toy Sheogorath rewards you with; the Wabbajack staff.
And there you have it! I hope these tales brought you joy and terror, because what else can a Daedric Lord bring? And remember; if in doubt, always agree to whatever they ask.