Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the book, see The Totems of Hircine.

Totems of Hircine is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Totems of Hircine quests are available to werewolves after becoming Harbinger of The Companions or marrying Aela. The questline revolves around recovering three distinct totems from three different dungeons. The quests are available through Aela the Huntress.


Aela has tracked one of the Totems of Hircine to a dungeon, and has come with me to retrieve it.


  1. Retrieve the Totem of Hircine
  2. Take the Totem to the Underforge


The locations of the werewolf totems are random. Each Totem can be found in either an animal den, a warlock lair or a vampire lair. The totems can be found within chests with some loot also inside or they can be found on a dead body.

Praying to one of the totems in The Underforge will grant a unique power that can be activated while in Beast Form. These are considered lesser powers and thus can be used multiple times per day.

These are:

  • Totem of The Hunt: Detect Life ability.
  • Totem of Brotherhood: Summon two wolf spirits.
  • Totem of Fear: Howling will activate Fear against enemies.

With the addition of The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, these powers can be improved when perks are added to the Werewolf skill tree.

Possible locations[]

First totem[]

Second totem[]

Third totem[]


Totems of Hircine – CR12
ID Journal Entry
10 Aela has tracked one of the Totems of Hircine to <Alias=Dungeon>, and has come with me to retrieve it.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the Totem of Hircine
20 Aela and I have retrieved a Totem of Hircine from <Alias=Dungeon>.
  • Objective 20: Take the Totem to the Underforge
  • Quest complete


  • In between each totem retrieval, you may be given a few side missions before Aela asks for your assistance again. Normal amount = 4 / lowest = 0 / highest = 10. If you specifically want this side mission and she gives you another, back out of the conversation and leave the area you're currently in and then reenter. Doing this will reset the task she has for you. It's a random chance each time of what job you get. The same applies to starting the quest line as well.
  • The Totem of Fear is the default power of Beast Form.
  • If Aela has the dialogue option "Is there any work to be done?" it means she will give a Totem quest.
  • As the objective marker is randomized, you may have the possibility of the second or third Totem quest leading to the same dungeon as the one before, much like with any other radiant quest.
  • When starting the totems questline, Aela states that Skjor had found a book describing totems of Hircine, and that he had brought it up to Kodlak shortly before he started to look for a cure to his Lycanthropy. Afterwards, Skjor had not brought it up again.
  • When starting the final leg of the quest, Aela states that everybody can be bought for a certain amount of coin, and that everyone also has "a pain threshold," indicating that she may have tortured someone to get the location of the final Totem.


This section contains bugs related to Totems of Hircine. 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.
Click to show
  • This quest may be impossible to start as Aela will constantly give the player "Animal Extermination" quests. This is possibly caused by marrying her (living at her house helps with this). This may also be caused by being cured of Lycanthropy. This quest will not start if the Dawnguard DLC questline has been played through up to the point where Serana becomes your follower (she cannot be dismissed until the end of the questline); this makes it impossible to get the totem quests from Aela, because the quest automatically turns Aela into your follower, so if you already have a follower with you, she simply will give "Animal Extermination" quests, until your follower is dismissed. Again Serana is not dismissable until the end of the Dawnguard questline. Possible solutions are below.
    • Have all the remaining witches' heads in your inventory and not stored in one of your houses (Tested on 360). For PC - You might also have to drop all the remaining heads and then pick them back up to register obtaining them, you will then be able to initiate the quest.
    • If having married Aela, ask her to return to live in her house, Jorrvaskr. Gather all leftover witch's heads and then talk to her in Jorrvaskr.
    • Console command: Setstage cr12 10 will kick start the quest, however there will be no quest marker indicating where the totem is when entering Southfringe Sanctum, unknown with other radiant locations.
    • Console command: resetquest Cr12 then complete a hunting job. Before she leaves the area, ask her for work and the dialog option may come up for the totem quest.
    • Finish or do not start the Dawnguard quests until you complete the totem quests. The fact that the werewolf perks and talent tree are new with the Dawnguard DLC, makes it easy to start the Dawnguard questline but then seek out the totems and find that it is impossible. This makes almost half of the werewolf perks useless until the Dawnguard questline is complete.
  • After resetting the quest (like mentioned above) the second totem might still be unavailable. Doing "Dragon Seekers" quests for Vilkas might help unblocking it. Possible causes for the Totem 1 marked completed glitch: storing the Glenmoril Witch heads, taking Aela as a follower and marrying her. Best to avoid all three.
  • Using Aela as a follower may stop her from giving this quest. This may be because the quest auto-assigns her to be a "temporary follower" and it gets confused (you'll notice you can't trade equipment with her during this time). Dismissing her as a follower, leaving the area, then waiting for three in-game days may be enough to clear up this problem. Don't ask her to follow you until you've acquired all the totems.
  • If married to Aela, while traveling to Harmugstahl to get the werewolf totem, she may disappear and you will not be able to complete this quest. It is possible to fix this bug by waiting in Dragonsreach for 24 hours, but it does not always work.
  • If you've completed "A Daedra's Best Friend," and a Totems of Hircine quest sends you to Haemar's Shame, the game may crash.
    •  PC   Solution: this can be resolved by manually advancing the quest with the console command setstage cr12 20.
    •  360 (Fix)   Solution: One possible way would be to stop following the "Totems of Hiricine" quest and follow a quest that leads the Dragonborn to an area that Aela cannot follow you into, thereby forcing her to leave your side and put the quest on hold. Afterward, find her and (SAVE FIRST) start the quest again and see if the totem will be at a different location, or get her to follow into Haemar's Shame, then start the quest again.
  • When visiting the Underforge to place a totem in the correct place, Aela will be running on the spot or into objects. This will continue when you leave causing Aela to slowly slide down the side of Jorrvaskar and into Whiterun. It seems to stop when you leave Whiterun and repeats every time you bring a totem back. A way to prevent this, is to go into Sneak mode before entering the Underforge, making sure Aela is also in Sneak mode. When inside the Underforge, you can leave Sneak mode, and Aela should resume walking normally.
  •  PC   360   If you have completed "A Night to Remember" and Morvunskar is the location of the totem, then Sanguine may be there fighting mages. When you defeat the mages, Sanguine will wander about saying random dialogue such as, "I don't owe you money, do I?" However, if you attack him he cannot be killed, meaning that eventually you will die in a fight with him.
    • Solution: If this happens reload the save and be careful not to hit him next time.
    • Solution: Leave area and return, if Aela is still attacking him paralyzing her will stop her attacks, letting you continue.
  •  PS3   If you have completed "A Night to Remember," the game may crash when you try to enter Morvunskar.
  • The game may crash after you have received the quest to find a totem and attempt to zone out of Jorrvaskr. In this event, you will be stuck within the building unless you reload another save. This can be fixed on PC by player.moveto [any character outside of Jorrvaskr].
  •  360   If the player cures themselves of Lycanthropy after beginning a "Totems of Hircine" mission, while Aela is following them, the door to the Underforge will become inoperable, and the quest will be impossible to finish. In addition, Aela will not leave your side. (Confirmed on PS3, too.)
  •  360   One may be able to accept an additional radiant quest from one other Companion at some point, and it may glitch this quest, causing Aela to constantly talk to the player when they have the totem, but only giving the default dialogue options such as training or asking her for work.
    • Completing the extra quest seems to fix the issue.
  •  360   If any of the Companions died (apart from Kodlak) before this quest, Aela will constantly talk to you when she gets close enough. This also makes her follow you everywhere and counts her as a pursuing enemy.
    • Solution: Pay all bounties in all nine holds, but do not go to jail.
    • Having any other Companions quests may also be the culprit, as both are considered Radiant Quests, and normally only one of any faction may be accepted at a time.
      • Solution: You will have to complete the extra quest and wait 24 hours near Jorrvaskr; Aela will then appear and talk to you to continue the quest.
  •  PC   The game may crash at Cragwallow Slope while entering into the cave for the third totem.
  •  PC   360   Aela may disappear in one of the totem quests. If she does then continue through the 'dungeon' then just go to the Underforge, wait 24 hours, enter the bottom floor of Jorrvaskr, and she should then reappear.
  •  PC   360   PS3   When going to Brood Cavern, you may lose vision.
    • Solution: Try and exit the cave and re-enter.
  • After picking up the totem from a chest, if you do not speak to Aela and tell her that you have found the werewolf totem before leaving the cave or dungeon, she will disappear and you will not be able to place the Totem in the Underforge.
    • Go back to Jorrvaskr and stay outside. Wait 24 hours, then enter Jorrvaskr. She will either be inside, or outside in the back patio area. Approach her and she should initiate a conversation prompting you about the totem.
  • If you choose Aela the Huntress to be a member of the Blades, it may make it impossible to start this quest.
  • For those who cannot start the quest. Use console coc qasmoke, get the Totems from the misc chest, then coc riverwood out of there. Once you have the totems you need, use console setstage cr12 10 to start the quest, then go into the Underforge and type setstage cr12 20 in console. After that code you should be able to place the totem you are carrying down on the stone.