Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"A secret the East Empire Company swept under the rug two centuries ago. It killed my great-grandfather, and left Raven Rock with a worthless and tainted mine."
Crescius Caerellius[src]

The Final Descent is a quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn in which the Dragonborn must assist Crescius Caerellius in Raven Rock by exploring the shut-down Raven Rock Mine to locate the remains of Gratian Caerellius.


I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the remains of his great-grandfather, Gratian Caerellius, are at the bottom of the mine and that the East Empire Company has falsely designated his ancestor's death as an accident. He's tasked me with exploring the mine on his behalf to locate the remains, and perhaps discovering what killed Gratian Caerellius.


  1. Speak to Crescius Caerellius
  2. Retrieve Gratian Caerellius's Journal
  3. Read Gratian Caerellius's Journal (optional)
  4. Escape Bloodskal Barrow
  5. Return to Crescius Caerellius


Raven Rock Mine[]

After entering Raven Rock Mine, Aphia Velothi and Crescius Caerellius can be seen arguing about venturing into the mine.

Crescius: "Damn it, woman! I said leave me be!"
Aphia: "Crescius, last time you explored the mine you almost fell to your death. I'm not spending the rest of my days as a widow!"
Crescius: "And I'm telling you that I'll do whatever it takes to find my great-grandfather's remains. He's down here, I can feel it."
Aphia: "That was almost two centuries ago. There may be nothing left to find."
Crescius: "Just let me go, woman!"
Aphia: "Crescius, you're an obstinate old fool and you're going to get yourself killed."

After talking to Crescius, the quest starts:

Hello. "Who in the blazes are you?! Can't you see I'm busy?"

Busy doing what? "Why should I tell you? I don't even know who you are."
Perhaps I could help. "Hmph, maybe. Been difficult trusting people lately, they think I'm crazy."
I'm just exploring. "Exploring, huh? Most folks think this place isn't worth the effort."
It's dangerous here for an old man. "Ask most folks around here and they'd agree with you."
"But mark my words, these mines hold a secret that could put Raven Rock back on the map."
What kind of a secret would be hidden here? "A secret the East Empire Company wept under the rug two centuries ago. It killed my great-grandfather, and left Raven Rock with a worthless and tainted mine."
East Empire Company? "You never heard of them? They're the largest trading company in Tamriel, originally chartered by the Emperor of Cyrodiil himself."
Who was your great-grandfather? "He spent his entire life exploring ancient ruins cross Tamriel and he died in these very mines almost 200 years ago."
How did he die? "East Empire Company called it "a terrible accident," claiming that he was lost in a rockfall, but I know better."
What's your proof? "My wife and I were cleaning out our home, and we came across some of my great-grandfather's things locked in an old chest. I found an unsent letter he's written to the East Empire Company, and a key."
What did the letter say? "It describes a discovery that was made in the mine by some of the diggers. The wanted Gratian to take a closer look. The East Empire Company must have felt it was of great value, and they locked that section of the mine off from everyone else."
The key is to the locked section? "It is. Well, I assume it is. I haven't been able to find the entrance."
This is hardly proof of anything. "Now you're starting to sound like everyone else."
I admit, this does sound suspicious. "Finally! Someone who believes me."
I still think you're crazy. "Sigh. I don't care what you, or anyone else thinks about me."
"I'm telling you... there's something big down there, something that the East Empire Company wanted to hide from everyone."

Crescius will then give the Dragonborn the unsent letter by Gratian and his key and direct them to explore the mine:

Why are you telling me all of this? "Look, my wife nags that I'm too old to go traipsing around these mines chasing my story. Time's my enemy... it's caught up with me before I could find the answers I'm looking for."

So you do need my help. "I do. I want to know what happened to Gratian, and what the East Empire Company is keeping from all of us."
Any idea where to start? "Gratian kept a journal of notes about his discoveries. If you can find his... remains, I'm hoping it will help. Here's everything I have. The letter, the key. Please, do this for me so I can finally regain the respect that I've lost."
Are you sure Gratian's death wasn't an accident? "Look, I know I don't have much to do on. I have that unsent letter, and that's really it. But I also have a miner's instinct that's run in my family from before Gratian was even born. I may sound like a crazy old man to you, but I'm telling you, the tunnels here are solid... they would never collapse like that."
Why were you arguing with Aphia? "She thinks that old age has addled my mind... that I'm seeing things when there's nothing to be seen. I realize she cares about me, but she has to understand that I can't rest until I find out what happened to Gratian"
What if she's right and I don't find anything? "Then I'll settle down peacefully and never set foot in this mine again. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time... even before I discovered Gratian's old things. I just hope both of you don't mistake ,u enthusiasm for insanity."

The Dragonborn can also speak to Crescius' wife, Aphia Velothi:

What were you arguing with Crescius about? "That foolish old man thinks he's thirty years younger than he is. He's going to get himself killed traipsing around the mine."
Why is he exploring the mine? "He's convinced himself that there's some sort of conspiracy involving the East Empire Company and the mine's closure. We came across some old letters that belonged to his great-grandfather in our house and he believes every word written in them."
What did the letters say? "Crescius's great-grandfather worked for the East Empire Company. The letter mention some sort of discovery he was sent to investigate. There's really nothing remarkable in the letters. I don't know what he's so excited about."
I'm guessing you don't agree with Crescius's story. "Poor Crescius is aging and I believe it's addled his mind. As the years have passed, it's gotten worse. He's become obsessed with his theories of conspiracy."
Then where's his great-grandfather? "I'm sure he's down there somewhere, buried under a mountain of rubble like the East Empire Company claims. My greatest fear is that my stubborn mule of a husband will end up suffering the same fate."
Who was Crescius's great-grandfather? "Gratian Caerellius. He was an explorer for the East Empire Company. They'd send him all over Tamriel when they had difficulties in a mining operation. Poor man... can you imagine doing all that dangerous work just to end up dying at your own doorstep?"
What happened to him? "There was a horrible accident, and he was killed when one of the tunnels collapsed. They were never even able to go down there and recover the body... the East Empire Company sealed that section off to prevent any more tragedies. Crescius is convinced it's a story cooked up by the company to cover up something else, but I don't know."
You don't agree with Crescius? "My beloved is almost eighty years old and I think the shock of finding one of his ancestor's things has left his mind a bit... confused. I love him dearly, and I support everything he does, but I can't let him chase this silly idea or he may end up joining Gratian in a rocky grave."

The path heads down until a platform with a cave to the left side is encountered. Here lives a skeever and a skeleton. Further on, a cave can be seen to the right containing some minor loot and a frostbite spider. The path across the wooden platforms leads to another spider. Down the stairs is another spider. Inside the next corner is a fire trap.

Continuing down the next set of stairs, the path appears blocked, but the wood can be broken. There is an expert-locked East Empire Company strongbox on the chest next to the iron gate.

After unlocking the iron gate with the Raven Rock Mine key, it becomes obvious that the miners accidentally broke into an old tomb, similar to what happened at Soljund's Sinkhole. The path continues to some water, near which several draugr live. A chest can be found in the left crevice after entering the room with water. The next corner contains a trap. Around the corner and up the stairs, two thrones can be seen in the next room, with a draugr seated on the left one. Around the thrones and through the door at the end are more draugr. They can be killed easily at low levels by using the trap (pressure plate with swinging door).

The next room contains many draugr sitting on thrones. To the left side of the room is a master-locked chest. Through the door at the other end of the chamber, to the right, a stalhrim deposit can be found in the draugr crypt on the left. However, this can only be mined with an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. Further down the path is an alchemy lab with all sorts of ingredients, including some added by Dragonborn, specifically two netch jellies which are needed for a miscellaneous quest to retrieve five of them for Milore Ienth.

Further on is a lightning trap at the place with two torches. Through the water to open the door on the right, the next room contains more draugr, some of which may be Draugr Deathlords. Again, they can be easily killed by leading them back to the trap. The archer can be taken care of by sneaking at the entrance and sniping it with a bow because it only stays on the bridge ahead. In the waterfall, a door leads to Bloodskal Barrow. Inside are two urns and a stalhrim deposit with a searchable draugr under it.

Heading back and going upstairs to the right is a door that must be opened. The button for that door can be found on the opposite side of the chamber. There is an expert-locked chest beneath an arcane enchanter. Through the door to the left is a chamber with a spell tome for Ice Spike on a pillar. To the right is a ramp with an adept-level chest underneath. There is a lightning trap at the end of the chamber. In the corner of the hall, just past the lightning trap and before turning left, is a chain to open a secret stone door with a chest. Through the already opened wooden door is a walkway with pressure plates just beyond. At the end of the walkway is a door with an adept-locked chest behind it. Turning around, a little alcove is on the right side.

The next room contains the destination. Note that, after jumping down, there is no return until the Dragon Priest Zahkriisos is defeated. After jumping down, the water can be followed to the end, where there is a chest. Afterwards, taking Gratian's Journal off of his corpse and reading it will give the optional objective.

Passing Through the Bloodskal Door[]

To open the door, equip the Bloodskal Blade. When doing a power attack, a red beam will come out of the blade. If doing a horizontal attack (done by moving to the side while doing a power attack from a standing position), a horizontal beam will come out, while a straight power attack results in a vertical beam. From the top of the stairs, with the reticle aimed at the glowing red fissures found at the left and right sides of the door, a horizontal power attack will unlock a horizontal red fissure. When a vertical fissure appears, a vertical power attack will unlock it. The sections of the walls will alter themselves along with the red fissures; continuing to aim the reticle and matching attack directions with the red fissures will eventually result in each side having no visible red fissures left. Now the door can be hit vertically with the reticle aimed along the new, centered red fissure. This will open the door.

Through the unlocked door and the swinging blade traps, the lever at the end of the hallway opens a door. In the middle lies a chest. But this appears to be a trap, because it only contains two gold, and approaching it spawns Zahkriisos.

Zahkriisos is able to spawn seekers to his aid, and can use the master level Destruction spell Lightning Storm. Zahkriisos can be killed by crouching behind a fallen pillar and using the blade's special effect to hit and hide. Having a follower with a bow will also distract him. Alternatively, he can be baited into a tight area, then the Dragonborn can morph into a werewolf. He must be cornered so he cannot float over the water.

After he is defeated, the Word Wall teaches a word of the shout Dragon Aspect. Back at the west end of the room, the exit to the right leads to a stand with a Black Book. Reading this will send the Dragonborn to Apocrypha.


Walking forward (being careful of the tentacles that come out of the water) starts the quest "Black Book: The Winds of Change." After completing the quest, the Dragonborn is teleported back to the place where the black book was first picked up.

Return to Raven Rock Mine[]

A chest at the left side of the room holds leveled loot. Up the stairs is the door to Bloodskal Barrow. At the end of the passage, activating the chain on the left side opens the stone door. Multiple enemies are present that need to be killed. At the end of the path is a door back to Solstheim. All enemies in both towers need to be killed, in order to allow fast travel. Do not forget the adept-locked chest on top of the second tower. Fast travelling to Raven Rock and returning to Crescius at his house causes him to give a reward of 250–750 Gold when the journal is handed in. The Bloodskal blade cannot be removed from the inventory until the journal is returned to Crescius.

I've returned. "You're back! Please, tell me what you've found."
You were right all along. "Let me see that! I knew it! Gratian's death wasn't because of a rockfall, it was just a story to keep people away from the tombs. Now that I have his journal in hand, I can get some closure from the East Empire Company. Make them pay for lying to everyone."
Good luck with that. "Thank you. Now, I believe I owe you a little more than a debt of gratitude for all that work you did. Here... it's not much, but it's the best an old, retired miner can do."

After this, Raven Rock mine will be reopened, which now serves as a large source of ebony.


Level Gold
1–9 250
10–19 400
20–29 500
30–39 600
40+ 750


The Final Descent – DLC2RR03
ID Journal Entry
15 I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the mines of Raven Rock contain a secret important enough for him to risk his own life to discover. He appears to have more to tell, so I should listen to what he has to say if I want to learn more.
  • Objective 5: Speak to Crescius Caerellius
20 I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the remains of his great-grandfather, Gratian Caerellius, are at the bottom of the mine and that the East Empire Company has falsely designated his ancestor's death as an accident. He's tasked me with exploring the mine on his behalf to locate the remains, and perhaps discovering what killed Gratian Caerellius.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve Gratian Caerellius's Journal
30 I've located the skeletal remains of Gratian Caerellius. In his satchel, I've discovered an old journal. In order to return it to Crescius, I'll have to discover a way to escape Bloodskal Barrow.
  • Objective 20: Read Gratian Caerellius's Journal (Optional)
  • Objective 30: Escape Bloodskal Barrow
50 After locating the remains of Gratian Caerellius, recovering his journal and escaping Bloodskal Barrow, I should bring the evidence of my discovery to Crescius Caerellius.
  • Objective 40: Return to Crescius Caerellius
200 I've located Gratian Caerellius's remains and uncovered the truth regarding his untimely death deep inside Bloodskal Barrow.
  • Quest completed


This section contains bugs related to The Final Descent. 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   PS4   XB1   NX   The Word Wall may not give any words of Dragon Aspect.
    • Exiting the game and reloading a save before killing Zahkriisos will fix this.
    • Approaching The Word Wall before the blue highlighted word disappears, the player can use Whirlwind Sprint to quickly move in front of the wall and receive the Dragon Aspect shout.
    •  PC   Approaching the Word Wall before the blue highlighted word disappears. One can use console commands to turn collision off. After this, they can approach the word wall, and the blue highlighted word should not disappear; they can now retrieve said shout.
    • If none of the above fixes the issue, reading the Black Book: The Winds of Change in front of the Word Wall to enter its area of Apocrypha, then immediately reading it again to leave should fix it.
  • Caerellius may attack upon one's return to Raven Rock. Use the Bend Will shout on him and he will return to normal.
  •  360   PS3   Ebony ore may not spawn in the mine after the quest has been completed.
  •  360   Upon leaving through the door to Bloodskal Barrow after returning from Apocrypha, a part of the tunnel will disappear and the Dragonborn will fall through the floor.
    • This can be fixed by going back through the door and re-entering.
  • After reading the Black Book, The Winds of Change, the Dragonborn may get stuck.
    • This can be fixed by saving, and then jumping into black sludge.
  •  PC   The Bloodskal Blade may not fire its energy wave to open the Bloodskal door. To fix the energy wave, see the bugs section on the Bloodskal Blade page. Also, ensure you are doing a power attack by looking for a large drain in stamina after each swing.
    •  PC (Fix)   Alternatively to just pass the door and resume your game, use the console command "tcl" on the Dragonborne (without selecting any target) to disable clipping and pass through the door itself, then the same command to re-enable clipping on the other side. Using the "disable" command on the door will actually create a hole in the map that can be fallen into.