Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

"The cave has a bad history. Long ago, Potema the Wolf Queen used it for necromantic rituals. That's where it got the name. That was over 500 years ago. Nothing much down there now - but everyone's always convinced the cave is haunted."
Falk Firebeard[src]

The Man Who Cried Wolf is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is given by Falk Firebeard, Steward to Jarl Elisif at Solitude. Varnius Junius, a representative from Dragon Bridge, nervously and impatiently pleaded to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave due to rumors of inexplicable disappearances and strange lights, but so far has only received reinforced guard patrols.


A representative from Dragon Bridge has appealed to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave. Falk Firebeard has asked me to clear out the cave.


  1. Speak to Falk Firebeard in Solitude
  2. Clear out Wolfskull Cave, killing the necromancers conducting the binding ritual
  3. Return to Falk to get the reward


The Summoning Spell

After entering the cave, the path starts north, gradually turns to the right, then sharply left (northwest). After a draugr is dispatched, the path turns slightly right (north). Two necromancers are sitting in front of a cook fire to the left (northwest), and wooden door opens to the north.

Down the steps beyond the door is a room with several enemies, including a frost atronach, depending on player level, otherwise, it will be a necromancer, skeleton, and high-level draugr, like a Draugr Wight. In the center of the room is a sinkhole. After jumping down the sinkhole, the passage leads north-northwest to Wolfskull Ruins.

To the north is another overlook, where necromancers and the Ritual Master can be heard chanting a summoning spell for the long-dead Potema Septim, the "Wolf Queen." The ghostly form of Potema is at the top of a tower.

Another passage to the left (west) leads to the bottom. Alternatively, it is possible to jump down carefully to the right from the overlook (if the Dragonborn turns left they will fall and be teleported to the bottom of the sinkhole).

At the bottom of the steps are several enemies, then a curved set of steps leads up to the east, curving eventually to the west. At the top is a satchel against the right-hand wall, and an opening leads east. Another set of steps leads up to the northeast. At the first landing are numerous leveled draugr and necromancers. The next set of steps leads to a second landing where the path turns left (northwest). Another set of steps leads up to the northwest, then west. At the top of those steps is a walkway with another draugr, maybe a necromancer patrolling with them.

The walkway leads generally east, then to a final curved set of steps up to the top of the tower where the necromantic ritual to bind Potema is happening. The necromancers who are conducting the ceremony can be killed to interrupt the resurrection. Alternatively, if the Dragonborn has not killed the draugr on the way in, they will begin to attack the necromancers shortly after reaching the ritual circle, provided the Dragonborn has a high enough Sneak skill. Sneaking and waiting is sufficient for the draugr to kill the necromancers, and begin the next phase of the quest. Otherwise, go ahead and kill the necromancers yourself, including the Ritual Master. Once they are all dead, including the Ritual Master, Potema's spirit escapes. She will be dealt with later. A lever to the left of a drawbridge drops it, creating a path southeast to the next tower. There is a boss level chest against the southeast wall of the second tower top, and a set of stairs leading down. At the bottom, a path leads southeast to a door back to Wolfskull Cave. Beyond the door, it is possible to jump down next to the cart in the initial small cavern, then exit the cave.

Returning to Falk allows him to give the reward. Now the key to the Pelagius Wing can be received from him for the Daedric quest "The Mind of Madness."

After completing the quest, Falk Firebeard may send a letter to the Dragonborn via courier asking for help after more information has been uncovered about the events in the cave regarding Potema. Speaking to him then begins the sequel quest "The Wolf Queen Awakened."


The Man Who Cried Wolf – MS06Start
ID Journal Entry
15 A representative from Dragon Bridge has appealed to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave. Falk Firebeard has asked me to clear out the cave.
  • Objective 15: Ask Falk Firebeard about Wolfskull Cave
50 A representative from Dragon Bridge has appealed to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave. Falk Firebeard has asked me to clear out the cave.
  • Objective 50: Clear out Wolfskull Cave
100 I have confronted and stopped a group of necromancers attempting to summon Potema, the Wolf Queen, in Wolfskull Cave. I should return to Falk Firebeard with the news.
  • Objective 100: Speak to Falk Firebeard
  • Quest complete


  • If this cave is entered before starting "The Man Who Cried Wolf" quest, the cave will have a couple of bandits and the sinkhole is sealed off with ice preventing entry to Wolfskull Ruins.
  • The interior part of the cave contains several high towers and ledges. The Unrelenting Force shout can be used to push enemies over the edges to their deaths.
  • Killing the Ritual Master will release the conjurers' control of the draugr, causing them to turn against their masters. However, the draugr will still turn against their masters if the Dragonborn simply waits in the ritual circle unseen. Standing on top of the stone tablet while sneaking and invisible is an excellent way to wait out the ensuing battle without getting bumped up against.
  • It is possible to pickpocket the Letter from Falk Firebeard before going to the cave, thus giving the Dragonborn an information of what they will find there.
  • It is possible to snipe most of the draugr with a bow before going through it by standing on the ledge, thus making it easier to fight the necromancer and the one draugr that are on the other side. The two Archery perks, Steady Hand and Eagle Eye, combined with the Slow Time shout and a fire-enchanted bow will make things easier, especially for races that are excellent at bow usage.
  • It is also possible to complete the objective "Clear Out Wolfskull Cave" by shooting a well-aimed arrow at the Ritual Master on top of the tower, from the ledge, thus abruptly concluding the event. A high sneak skill along with Aura Whisper will help. The rest will remain, however you can just turn around and turn in the quest.
  • The necromancers and Ritual Master next to the altar neither disappear nor respawn, making them great candidates for the Dead Thrall spell and/or The Ritual Stone power.
  • When entering the ruins during the quest, one can hear the entire ritual:

Ritual master "Potema, hear our call and awaken. We summon you!"
All summoners together "We summon Potema!"
Ritual master "Long have you dreamed the dreamless sleep of death, Potema. No longer. Hear our call and awaken. We summon you!"
All summoners together "We summon Potema!"

Then, when going underneath two towers connected by a bridge:

Potema "Yes, YES! Return me to this realm!"
Ritual master "As our voices summon you, the blood of the innocent binds you, Wolf Queen!"
Potema "What? What are you doing?"
All summoners together "Summoned with words, bound by blood."
Potema "You ants don't have the power to bind ME!"
All summoners together "Summoned with words, bound by blood."


This section contains bugs related to The Man Who Cried Wolf. 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  /  PS5  ,  XS  , 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   PS5   XS   This quest conflicts with "Tending the Flames." While that quest is active, Varnius Junius may remain standing in the corner until King Olaf's verse is recited to the court and the player re-enters the palace.
  •  PC   Upon entering the Blue Palace for the first time, Varnius may not approach the throne, at all, therefore not initiating the dialogue needed to start the quest.
    •  PC (Fix)   This can be fixed by typing setstage MS06Start 5 into the console.
  •  PC   If the Bard's College is investigated first, Falk Firebeard may end up standing there with a quest marker over his head and no other speech options.
    • Both situations where the quest is frozen can be worked around by opening the console and entering setstage MS06Start 5. This will trigger Varnius Junius to deliver his report to the Jarl and properly progress the quest after some discussion amongst the Jarl's advisors.
  •  PS4   PC   XB1   Wolfskull Cave is entered after accepting quest, mercenaries, mages, skeletons, and draugr can be found, and the Ruins cannot be accessed.
    •  PC (Fix)   This can be fixed by fighting through to the final room where the chest is found. Once in there, the console command TCL will turn off collision. It is then possible to float through the floor. After getting through the floor, turning off "NoClip Mode" allows the Dragonborn to enter Wolfskull Ruins area. A follower will not follow through the floor. However, they will spawn in the next area once it is entered.
    • Fix: One can glitch through the cave wall, by falling past the ice using an object and sprinting, or by using the Whirlwind Sprint shout.confirmation needed
  • There is a hole on the right side of the ruin after exiting the tower, that if entered cannot be exited.
    •  PC   The console command player.moveto RefID will take the Dragonborn to the corresponding character's location.