Fort Dawnguard is a location in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. It serves as the headquarters of the Dawnguard, an order of vampire hunters. The fort can only be accessed via Dayspring Canyon north of Stendarr's Beacon. It is located in the Rift, hidden deep within the Velothi Mountains near the Morrowind border.
- 1 History
- 2 Architecture
- 3 Interior
- 4 Exterior
- 5 Characters
- 6 Bugs
- 7 Appearances
- 8 References
The fort dates back to at least the Second Era, when it was built by the Jarl of Riften. The Jarl's son, through his overly confident and adventurous pursuits, contracted vampirism. The Jarl refused to kill his own son, so instead commissioned the construction of the fort and contracted a large mercenary force, named the "Dawnguard," in order to keep his son quarantined.
Disbandment and disrepair
Historical accounts vary on the years that followed. Some believe the Dawnguard were forced to put down the Jarl's son, in doing so they were banished from the hold and officially disbanded. They later continued their work as vampire hunters, until they broke up, as people increasingly disregarded the threat of vampires, weakening the power of the Dawnguard. Other accounts claim that the Dawnguard, seeing the immense power that being a vampire gave, decided to become vampires themselves. They were said to have preyed on the people of the Rift until they were hunted down.
Either way, the fort fell into a state of disrepair and was eventually abandoned.
Fort Dawnguard has the appearance of a large castle with several towers. The masonry work inside the fort is not only very precise but the stone surfaces have the appearance of a slight shine to them. The tall arched hallways are supported by huge, decorative rectangular pillars. The inside of the fort itself has an arched theme to it, from the ceiling to the blind arches on the walls.
The main lobby is a large circular area littered with barrels and crates. Eight banners adorn the walls displaying the symbol of the Dawnguard. The floor consists of weathered cobblestone and decorative slabs that line the edges of two curved iron grates. Straight ahead is a hallway that leads to all the major ground floor rooms in the fort. When standing in the middle of the circle facing away from the main entrance, the second floor is to the right, the small balcony is another right. The large balcony is to the left, and left again.
To the west is the main dining area. The rectangular room is littered with general clutter and barrels of food. A grand fireplace decorated with banners and animal skulls sits to the side of the large dining table. Two cooking spits are available for use. Adjacent to the fireplace are two shelving units containing general silverware. Behind the shelving is a storage area of sorts. Barrels, bags and crates line the walls, along with several bales of hay and two disused kegs covered in cobwebs. A map of Skyrim is on a desk by a small table in a side room.
The crafting facilities are further west. To the left is a small room with an arcane enchanter and alchemy lab. The shelves contain some basic ingredients and potions, along with several animal skulls. Adjacent is a fully fitted smithy, including a forge, grindstone and workbench. A smelter and tanning rack are on the lower level. The forge, arcane enchanter and alchemy lab will only be available if the Dawnguard are joined and the quests "A New Order" and "Bolstering the Ranks" have been completed.
Heading past the smithy, the fort opens up into a large cave. Opposite the smelter is a small wooden pen built against the cave wall where Gunmar keeps his armored trolls. To the south are two archery targets. Heading back west along the main hallway leads to the sleeping quarters.
The large square room features a dining table and another grand fireplace. Animal hide rugs line the floors and the walls are adorned with several mounted deer and bear heads. There are four cots on the western side of the room, and five cots on the opposite side. Shelving units on the western wall hold pieces of Dawnguard armor and weapons. Most members of the Dawnguard sleep here, aside from Isran, who sleeps upstairs, and Mogrul, who patrols the interior and rooftops of the fort.
Heading further west, the fort walls again end and open up into a large cave. This section is used as a training area and three training dummies are on a wooden platform against the north wall. In addition, a small dog pen is in the far corner, holding Sceolang and Bran. This cavern also leads to Dead Drop Falls. Beleval and Ingjard can be found here during the day training on the dummies.
Dead Drop Falls
- Main article: Dead Drop Falls
Dead Drop Falls is a series of caves that run deep into the mountains.
This room is on the second floor and is cluttered with boxes, barrels, and sacks. The room has a pillar in the middle, and contains a cot, a table, and a shelf. As the Dragonborn progresses through the Dawnguard storyline this room is upgraded into a master bedroom. The cot is replaced with a bed, then four wardrobes and a mannequin are added complete with Dawnguard armor. Dawnguard banners, candles, rugs, and mounts with wolf and moose heads decorate the room. A weapon rack is added, and there are two troughs which hold weapons and ingredients. Five steel ingots and two bolt quivers are also in the room for the taking.
A blood-splattered room up on the second floor. There are various torture devices in the room, along with blood and bones everywhere. Human skulls sit on two shelves while eight deer skulls are mounted on the wall. There is plenty of Nord mead on the wall and some iron ingots as well. On the table, there are several torture tools, as well as a single septim. Large cobwebs hang from the ceiling as with much of the rest of the fort.
There are three sets of stairs that lead to different parts of the roof. Two sets of stairs each open to a small circular battlement with two bedrolls and a chest. There are two weapon racks parallel to each other on each rooftop. On the rooftop nearest to Dead Drop Falls, there is a copy of The Lusty Argonian Maid, a Dawnguard helmet, and a pair of Dawnguard gauntlets. On the rooftop nearest to the entrance and the stairs to the second floor, there is a copy of The Talos Mistake and an Amulet of Talos sitting on two barrels. Beside one of the bedrolls, the skill book 2920, vol 01 - Morning Star is located. The third set of stairs goes to a part of the roof that is significantly larger. On this rooftop there are five weapon racks, two chests, a tanning rack and a grindstone. There is also a table with two chairs, a bedroll, a Dawnguard shield, and a pair of Dawnguard boots.
Initially, fast traveling to the fort places the Dragonborn some distance from the building itself, around where they met up with Agmaer. Following the Dragonborn's decision at the end of "Bloodline," where they chose to side with Isran and the Dawnguard, returning to the fort over the course of the following quests "A New Order" and "Prophet" sees the path leading up to the fort's main doors fortified with several sturdy wooden walls, each one guarded by a Dawnguard member, and the fast travel point bumped up to just outside the main doors. After the fortifications are done, a group of refugees set up camp at the base of the path leading to the main doors.
- Agmaer – A Nord male recruit. Potential follower.
- Beleval – A Bosmeri female vampire hunter. Potential follower.
- Bran – A war-dog and potential follower. Can be recruited after completing "Bloodline" and siding with the Dawnguard.
- Celann – An old associate of Isran and seasoned veteran. Potential follower.
- Durak – An Orcish male vampire hunter. Potential follower.
- Florentius Baenius – Resident alchemist and master Restoration trainer. Appears after the quest "Bolstering the Ranks."
- Gunmar – Dawnguard's blacksmith and master Smithing trainer. Appears after the quest "A New Order."
- Ingjard – A Nord female vampire hunter. Potential follower.
- Isran – Leader of the Dawnguard and Heavy Armor master trainer.
- Mogrul – An Orcish male vampire hunter.
- Sceolang – A war dog and potential follower. Can be recruited after completing "Bloodline" and siding with the Dawnguard.
- Sorine Jurard – general goods merchant and master Archery trainer. Appears after the quest "A New Order."
The following members can be found scouting the outer walls in Dayspring Canyon:
- Ollrod – A Nord male vampire hunter.
- Tilde – A Nord female vampire hunter.
- Vori – A Nord female vampire hunter.
- The alchemy lab will fail to install into Fort Dawnguard, with only barrels appearing where the lab should be, severely reducing Fort Dawnguard's capabilities.
The balcony around the circular foyer may fail to load properly. If this is the case, many of the upper rooms are inaccessible.
- Solution: Reloading the game fixes this issue.
- A large, vital section of the Dead Drop Falls area of the fort may not load, thus turning the path into a large, unloaded physical and visual drop off.
- The game may freeze when new quests are accepted in the foyer.
When entering the main lobby, the floor may not load properly and allow access to the pool of water beneath the central walkway. The floor immediately in front of the entrance may also be absent entirely and allow both characters and the Dragonborn to fall out of the map.
- Solution: Loading an earlier save should fix the problem.
It may not be possible to scroll the map to bring Dawnguard into view as a fast travel location.
- Partial solution: if returning there as a quest directive, bringing up the journal and using "Show On Map" works.
- Holding the right mouse button and dragging the map to change the map's angle of vision may make Fort Dawnguard's location visible on the map.