Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Snow Veil Sanctum is an ancient Nordic tomb in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Snow Veil Sanctum is a Nord barrow to the southeast of Winterhold, directly north of Windhelm, and slightly northeast of Stillborn Cave. It is the setting for the quest "Speaking With Silence;" it can't be entered without starting the quest (see Dungeon Lock Outs).

The sanctum is a multilevel dungeon guarded by many Draugr, there are also a number of tripwire, bone chime and pressure plate based traps. It contains a Word Wall for the shout Disarm.


Snow Veil Catacombs[]

The Dragonborn and Mercer Frey enter this location first during the quest "Speaking With Silence."

Snow Veil Sanctum[]

It is the last section of the cavern, many traps, a leveled Draugr, that may be a Dragon Priest at higher level, guards the sanctuary, this is where the Word Wall may be found.


Speaking With Silence[]

Mercer Frey sends the Dragonborn after who they think is the traitor among the guild.

Hard Answers[]

At the end of "Speaking with Silence" and once the ruins have been exited, Karliah tasks the Dragonborn with speaking to Enthir in Winterhold.

Find the Helm of Winterhold[]

Possible location for the Helm of Winterhold.

The Litany of Larceny[]

This is the location for one of the objects Delvin will buy.

Notable items[]


At high levels the Dragonborn can encounter:


  • If the Dragonborn has a follower before entering the tomb, a message appears "Followers can't accompany you in here." They will be waiting outside for the return of the player.
  • It is possible to enter this dungeon without starting the "Speaking With Silence" quest. Find the back entrance and enter it. If this quest is glitched or has not been completed, however, a wall-breach glitch must be used to pass through the locked gate. Once through, the back of the dragon claw puzzle that Mercer bypasses can be seen; approaching this triggers the scene with Karliah and she will go through her dialogue, if the Dragonborn waits 48 hours in-game Mercer will come and say his dialogue. Karliah will take the Dragonborn out and it will finish the quest and start "Hard Answers." Although, when doing the wall-breach to get in there the player must have opened the gate so Mercer can get through. It is possible to avoid triggering the quest by staying away from the puzzle and using the trick to pass through the wall immediately to its side. This also applies when attempting to leave the dungeon.
  • The puzzle door initially shows two hawks and one snake, symbolizing two nightingales and one traitor.
  • There is an unmarked location, Shrine of Arkay: Windhelm Hills directly to the south, about a third of the way towards Windhelm.
  • Karliah will often return here after Mercer Frey is killed, instead of going back to Nightingale Hall. She can be found at the very end of the level in the same place where she seemingly shot the player with her poisoned arrow.
  • There is a skeleton at the end of the dungeon, where Mercer betrays the Dragonborn. This skeleton could possibly be Gallus Desidenius, as this was where he was killed. Karliah also found his journal there.