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When you visit the town of Dawnstar, the townspeople will tell you that they've been having bad dreams. Then inside the Windpeak Inn, you'll meet a priest of Mara named Erandur. He'll tell you that the dreams are coming from the Daedric Lord Vaermina, and he'll invite you to go with him to Nightcaller Temple so you can put a stop to them. If you agree to go then you'll trigger the quest.
After securing your help, Erandur will begin heading towards Nightcaller Temple. He'll wait for you to follow, so if you don't feel like doing the quest yet, then you can ignore Erandur for a while and do some other stuff first. Erandur will walk towards the temple if you follow him, and he'll run if you lead him, so feel free to fast travel to the temple if you've already found it, and reduce the travel time considerably.
When you reach the temple, you'll encounter three frost trolls. Erandur will use fire spells against them, which will draw their attention, giving you the opportunity to skip the fight entirely or pick off the distracted trolls one at a time. After the fight, you'll need to talk to Erandur, and he'll tell you that a group of orcs once attacked the temple, and that the priests of Vaermina released a gas called the Miasma to protect themselves.
Inside the temple, Erandur will lead you a platform overlooking to the
Skull of Corruption
(#2), and he'll explain that the skull is the source of Dawnstar's nightmares, and that it must be destroyed. Then he'll continue on to a barrier (#5), where a pair of orcish invaders will wake up and attack you. After defeating the orcs, Erandur will conjecture that something in the library might allow you to get past the barrier. He'll also admit that he was one of the priests in the temple when the orcs attacked, but that he fled while his brothers died, and subsequently sought repentance with Mara.
Inside the library (#6) you'll be attacked by more orcs and also devotees of Vaermina. When you reach the center of the library, Erandur will tell you that you'll need to locate the book
The Dreamstride. You'll find it on the upper level of the library, on a pedestal on the eastern side (#7).
When you give the book to Erandur, he'll flip through it and find a reference to
, a potion that will allow you to "dreamstride" -- or experience another's memories while in a dream state -- and travel real distances in the process. Erandur will then speculate that you might be able to find such a potion somewhere in the temple. You'll discover it in the laboratory to the west (#8), sitting in a shelf. You'll also find a pair of
in the shelves (#9), which you might want to pick up since they can be useful in crafting.
When you drink Vaermina's Torpor, you'll enter the memory of a priest named Casimir, and you'll find yourself next to the
Skull of Corruption
(#2) with the priests Veren and Thorek. Veren will order you to release the Miasma, and you'll agree to do it. Many parts of the interface will stop working at this point, and so you won't be able to assist in the fighting, or pick anything up, or use your map.
To release the Miasma, you'll need to follow a generally clockwise path through the temple, travelling through the dining hall (#10) and the sleeping quarters (#11) before finally arriving at the Miasma pull chain (#12). When you activate the Miasma, the temple will begin filling with gas, and a short time later you'll exit from the dream state and find yourself next to the pull chain (and past the barrier) in reality. To remove the barrier, you'll need to pick up the soul gem from the receptacle right next to the pull chain.
With the barrier down, you'll be able to talk to Erandur again. He'll be envious that you got to experience the dreamstride, but then he'll urge you on towards the
Skull of Corruption
(#2). When you get there, Veren and Thorek will greet you, but they won't be happy to see you since they'll recognize Erandur as their cowardly brother Casimir. Then they'll attack you using lightning spells.
After the battle, Erandur will announce that it's time to destroy the skull. However, as he's performing the cleansing ritual, Vaermina will contact you and order you to kill him. You'll then have two choices:
- You can kill Erandur. This will allow you to claim the
Skull of Corruption for yourself.
- You can spare Erandur. This will make Erandur available as a companion. He'll stay in the temple when he's not in your party.
Either way, making your choice will complete the quest.
1 - Book
In the lectern here you'll find the book
, which can trigger the quest
2 - Skull of Corruption (Lower Level)
3 - Locked Door (Upper Level)
Erandur will unlock this door during the quest
4 - Closed Gate (Lower Level)
You'll only be able to open this gate by activating the pullbar on the western side.
5 - Barrier (Lower Level)
6 - Library
7 - The Dreamstride
8 - Vaermina's Torpor
9 - Daedra Hearts
10 - Dining Hall
11 - Sleeping Quarters
12 - Miasma Pull Chain
- World exit.