Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Beyond Death is a quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.


Serana and I have entered the Soul Cairn in pursuit of her estranged mother, Valerica, and the Elder Scroll she took when she fled Castle Volkihar.


After entering the Soul Cairn, follow the mark along the path up to the massive ruin where you will find Valerica. Along the way the Dragonborn will pass souls sitting or walking about and one of them will begin a dialogue with the Dragonborn and the quest "Find Arvak's Skull" begins. Bonemen, Wrathmen and Mistmen might also appear when passing stacks of bones or other structures. When arriving at the ruin, Serana calls out her mother's name and she walks towards her daughter, behind a barrier that keeps her imprisoned.

Speak to Valerica[]

After speaking to her daughter, Valerica turns to the Dragonborn and through the dialogue she tells the story about what happened. She also reveals that she has the Elder Scroll in safe keeping and what needs to be done. To free her the Dragonborn needs to eliminate the Keepers.

Kill the Boneyard Keepers[]

A Boneyard Keeper

Follow the markers to the three destinations and kill the three Boneyard Keepers. If the Boneyard Keeper is on top of the structure, the Dragonborn is guided to jump into a soulwell and be transported to the top of the ruin. Once you have killed the keeper on the structure, stand on the soulwell at the top of the stairs to get back down. After all three are killed, return to Valerica to find that the barrier is gone and she is free. She explains what must be done in order to get the Elder Scroll. The Dragonborn must defeat Durnehviir, a dragon.

Defeat Durnehviir[]

Follow Valerica through the door to the Boneyard. Soon Durnehviir appears and with the help of both Valerica and Serana, defeat the dragon. He will put up a fight and summon help from Bonemen with his unique shout.

Retrieve Elder Scroll (Blood)[]

After the dragon is defeated, Valerica shows the Dragonborn where the Elder Scroll is hidden. Exit the Boneyard with Serana and outside Durnehviir is waiting and initiates a conversation where he teaches the Summon Durnehviir shout. He requests the Dragonborn summon him while in Tamriel so that he may see his home once again.

Return to Tamriel[]

Once the Dragonborn and Serana return to Valerica's Study, through the portal, the quest is complete. It is possible to fast travel out of Castle Volkihar instead of walking back.


Beyond Death – DLC1VQ05
ID Journal Entry
10 Serana and I have entered the Soul Cairn in pursuit of her estranged mother, Valerica, and the Elder Scroll she took when she fled Castle Volkihar.
  • Objective 10: Locate Valerica
  • Objective 20: Speak to Valerica
30 Serana and I have located Valerica imprisoned within a massive ruin. When confronted by us, Valerica revealed that Serana's blood is an integral part of the Tyranny of the Sun. After the reconciliation between the two of them, Valerica confessed to having the Elder Scroll hidden in her ramshackle living space. In order to free her from the prison, Serana and I will have to locate and slay the Keepers who maintain the barrier around the ruins.
  • Objective 30: Kill the Boneyard Keepers (<Global=DLC1VQ05KeepersKilled>/3)
  • Objective 40: Speak to Valerica
50 Serana and I have slain all three of the Keepers and the barrier around Valerica's prison has faded. We rejoined Valerica, who has agreed to take us to the location where the Elder Scroll is hidden.
  • Objective 50: Follow Valerica
  • Objective 60: Retrieve the Elder Scroll
  • Objective 70: Slay Durnehviir
80 As Valerica was leading us to the Elder Scroll, an ancient dragon named Durnehviir swooped into the ruins and attacked. It proved to be a challenging battle, but we've emerged unscathed.
  • Objective 90: Speak to Valerica
  • Objective 95: Follow Valerica
  • Objective 100: Retrieve the Elder Scroll
  • Objective 110: Speak to Valerica
  • Objective 120: Return to Tamriel
200 Dawnguard: We've exited the Soul Cairn with the Elder Scroll in hand. Serana's mother, Valerica, is unwilling to return with us to Tamriel until we've dealt with her husband and thwarted the Tyranny of the Sun.
  • Quest complete
Vampire: We've exited the Soul Cairn with the Elder Scroll in hand. Serana's mother, Valerica, is unwilling to return with us to Tamriel until we've dealt with her husband and completed the Tyranny of the Sun using our own methods.
  • Quest complete
Beyond Death Soul Gem Handler – DLC1VQ05SoulGemHandler
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Soul Essence Gem
  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to Beyond Death. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
Click to see the list of bugs encountered
  • The quest may become incompletable if Valerica does not initiate her dialogue when the castle is approached.
    •  PS4   This bug can sometimes be resolved by waiting at the top of the stairs by the castle entrance.
    •  PC   This can be solved by using the console command tcl to toggle collision, then pass through the barrier, and then using unlock on the Boneyard door. After entering the Boneyard, the Dragonborn can then slay Durnehviir, which will cause the quest to continue normally.
  • Valerica may only walk halfway up the stairs, then descend them, making the quest unable to be completed. This may cause the Xbox 360 achievement to not be rewarded. Ask Valerica to wait in the stairs and continue alone to the top . The portal can then be crossed.
  • Valerica and Serana may become stuck at the doors to the Boneyard, and will not enter. The Dragonborn may still go in to kill the dragon, but Valerica and Serana will not enter the Boneyard, making the quest unable to be completed.
    •  PC   This can be solved using console commands. After entering the Boneyard, select Valerica or Serana with the command prid(02003B8E for Valerica; 02002B74 for Serana) and then use moveto player to bring each of them to the Dragonborn. Once in the Boneyard, they should continue the sequence normally.
  • Durnehviir might not attack at all, making it impossible to progress beyond the "Slay Durnehviir" objective.
    •  PC   Use setstage DLC1VQ05 80 to mark that stage as completed.
  • If the Dragonborn departs the Soul Cairn and cures their vampirism, they will be unable to return to the Sould Cairn, and Serana will no longer offer the Dragonborn choice of becoming a vampire, or having their soul partially locked away.
  • There is a chance that, when the Dragonborn's soul is partially captured, the controller will vibrate in pulses and the Dragonborn will still glow with the blue smoke that shows they have half of their soul. This may be caused by talking to Serana before entering the Soul Cairn while standing at the bottom of the entrance.
  • If the Dragonborn unlocks the last two words of the shout that Durnehviir gives them before they "learns=" the first word, he will not be able to be summoned at all.
  • Valerica may not give the Elder Scroll to the Dragonborn.


Main article: Achievements (Dawnguard)
Achievement Dawnguard Beyond Death.jpg
Beyond Death
Complete "Beyond Death"
Points 20 Gamer points.svg
Bronze trophy