Main article: Staves (Skyrim)
For other uses, see Skull of Corruption.
"What a foul and unnatural weapon you wield, never have I seen its like."
Hold Guard[src]

The Skull of Corruption is a Daedric artifact of the Daedra Prince Vaermina. It is a dream-dependent staff of different usage than its predecessor during the Oblivion Crisis.

Acquisition[edit | edit source]

The staff can be obtained in the quest "Waking Nightmare," which begins in Dawnstar. Vaermina orders the Dragonborn to kill the priest Erandur, while Erandur is in the process of banishing the staff. Allowing Erandur to banish the skull does not make obtaining the Oblivion Walker achievement impossible as it is possible to get one more Daedric Artifact by taking advantage of a bug. There are seventeen possible artifacts to collect (but the Skeleton Key does not count towards the Oblivion Walker achievement).

Once the quest is complete and the staff has been sold, it is possible to retrieve it as a dropped item from guards in Whiterun.

Collecting dreams[edit | edit source]

The dreams needed to power the staff can be collected by casting it on a sleeping person. This is not counted as an aggressive action, thus targets do not become hostile. Five dreams are received from each person.

The College of Winterhold is a good place to harvest dreams due to the large number of sleeping members and the ease of access. The same is true for Jorrvaskr Living Quarters. Sleeping draugr are also a good source of dreams, as most burial chambers have a number of draugr lining the walls.

Another effective location for harvesting dreams are soldier barracks in a hold capital, as there are often guards (usually 3–4) sleeping inside. When dreams are collected or used in an attack, the number of dreams in the staff will be shown.

Inns, specifically Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm, are also good places for harvesting dreams.

Haelga's Bunkhouse in Riften has many workers and merchants of Riften who sleep there.

Soul gems are still needed to charge the weapon.

Usefulness[edit | edit source]

The Skull of Corruption can damage multiple targets at once. This is useful when faced with multiple opponents. However, it can also injure followers that are nearby, which might not be very good for a follower with low health if they are in the battle when the Skull of Corruption is used.

Its damage can only be increased beyond 50 points through Weakness to Magic poisons. It is affected by no perks, however the Night Thief and Poisoned perks from the Pickpocket skill tree are very useful for this purpose versus sleeping enemies. Furthermore, Vampirism is useful with the staff, pickpocket perks, and killing enemies in such a fashion due to the sneak bonus and ability to feed prior to harvesting a dream charge and killing the target. Finally, having the Ring of Namira equipped as well will allow the corpse to be eaten for further statistical gain.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Bugs[edit | edit source]

This section contains bugs related to Skull of Corruption (Skyrim). 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   This weapon (like some other Daedric artifacts) has an unstable physical model which causes it to disappear, delete, move, and fall when placed upon weapon plaques, weapon racks, and on any surface. Thus, it may disappear when placed in a home. However, it is not affected when placed in a storage container or while in the Dragonborn's inventory. However, the Housecarls may also retain the lost items, which can be traded or pickpocketed back.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Autosaving or autoloading after breaking the barrier will sometimes cause the game to freeze.
  •  360   Occasionally, the staff does not work, and will not harvest dreams or do damage, even though the animation is displayed.
  •  PC   PS4   After defeating Erandur, the Skull of Corruption may still be unobtainable as the barrier will remain unbroken.
  • If the Skull of Corruption is given to Delphine before entering the Thalmor Embassy during the quest "Diplomatic Immunity," she will not give it back upon completion of the quest. It cannot be retrieved by stealing or pickpocketing.
  • After Erandur is killed in Waking Nightmare, if the Dragonborn gets a bounty in Dawnstar, goes to jail, and picks the door's lock, the guards may draw out a duplicate of the Skull while searching for the perpetrator.
  • Initiating combat on a character that dreams have been stolen from in the past can sometimes cause the staff to collect dreams. Even just using Unrelenting Force on a guard will work.
  •  PC  Sometimes, if Serana is a follower, harvesting dreams from a sleeping person or attacking an enemy will damage her, even if she is not in field of view.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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