Legacy of the Dragonborn
Only minor differences between SSE and Classic

Deepholme on map.jpg

After you have discovered Deepholme and established the Explorer's Society, this quest will be available.

At the end of this quest, a new storage area will be available, as well as the Society Guards, who will protect Deepholme and can be recruited as followers.


Find a way into Deepholme.

Pull chain.jpg

Open the expert locked gates and go inside. Behind a door is an entrance sealed by a stone lid (in Classic there were bars). There is a hidden chain on the left side. Pulling the chain will blow away the lid and grant entrance.


Search Deepholme Prison.

To the right is a room with some rubble. Continue further into the room to find a lever. Pulling the lever will open the gate and raise a spiral staircase.

At the bottom of the staircase is a large hall with several blocks, each with a lever. Continue further down the hall to find metal bars blocking your way. There are pull chains on the right side of each wall that will lower the gate in front of you while raising the one behind you.

At the end is a pedestal, you need a key to continue further.

Find a way to open the sealed vault.

Turn back to the large hall, from the gates the key is located at the middle right, (from the entrance middle left). In order to reach the key one must first pull the lever for the staircase to come up. Then pull it again and quickly go inside to use it as an elevator downwards.

On the right side of the gate is a handle to open the gate. Grab the Totemic Key from the hands of the skeleton.

Totemic key location.jpg

Try to use the Totemic Key on the sealed door.

Return to the pedestal behind the gates and use the key on it.

Investigate the inner vault.

Behind the door there's a stone drawbridge. Pull the handle to the right to lower it and defeat the Elven Lich on the platform. Be careful though, the platform is small and beneath you lies certain death.

On the Elven Lich's corpse one can find the Necromancer's Dagger.

Ask Auryen about the Lich.

Return to the museum and have a chat with Auryen.

He'll have a proposal for you; if you refuse the next quest stage will activate. Otherwise skip to Give Auryen the gold.

(optional) Speak with Auryen if you change your mind about Deepholme.

Auryen is certain his idea is really good; if you change your mind return to him to continue the quest.

Give Auryen the gold for the Deepholme project.

Give Auryen the 10.000 gold he needs to handle this off the books.

Return to Auryen in a week.

Do something else or wait for a while, the quest will update once enough time has passed.

Pedestal quest finish.jpg

Check back with Auryen about Deepholme.

Talk to Auryen to finish the quest. You now have access to Deepholme through the totemic key for the front door. Also new guards have been hired for Deepholme and the Museum complete with their own set of armor.

Go to Deepholme and have a chat with Hagar for an in depth explanation.


  • If you're the sneaky type, you can launch some ranged attacks on the Elven Lich before it notices you.
  • Make sure that you don't lose or sell the Totemic Key. It's not marked as a quest item and can easily get lost.

Quest Stages

The Vaults of Deepholme (DBM_DHQuest)
Stage Journal Entry
5 I've read a book about an Atmoran prison called Deepholme which housed many powerful Elven prisoners and relics during Ysgramor's rise to power in Skyrim. If I could find this prison, it could hold some interesting secrets. According to the book it is located off the north coast in the Sea of Ghosts somewhere.

[Note: This quest stage is skipped because the book is missing]

6 I've come upon a strange fortress-like burial ruin on a small patch of land in the northern sea of ghosts. I should see if I can find a way in and explore.

Objective 6: Find a way into Deepholme

10 I have managed to get into Deepholme prison. Though it has been abandoned for ages it seems that there is still movement within.

Objective 10: Search Deepholme prison

15 I found a rather strong door which is locked by some sort of key pedestal. I should continue searching for a way to open it.

Objective 15: Find a way to open the sealed vault

20 I've found an interesting small totemic statue. It seems to be a key of some sort.

Objective 20: Try to use the totemic key on the sealed door

25 I've managed to unlock the sealed vault doors with the totemic key. A wave of heat and ominous power rushes out from the chamber as the last door opens. This could be very bad.

Objective 25: Investigate the inner vault

30 I've slain a powerful Elven Lich that has apparently been sealed away within this chamber since the 1st age. The prison seems more or less purged of the evil that remained here. I should let Auryen know about this place, he may have some insight into who this was.

Objective 30: Ask Auryen about the Elven lich

31 After speaking with Auryen he told me of an idea to utilize Deepholme as a secret vault for storing powerful relics while placing replicas on display. I told him that I didn't think it would be a good idea, but if I change my mind about it, I should let him know.

Objective 31: Speak with Auryen if you change your mind about Deepholme

35 After speaking with Auryen he told me of an idea to utilize Deepholme as a secret vault for storing powerful relics while placing replicas on display. I agree that a safer place would be better, but it will cost me 10,000 gold as Auryen wants to keep the entire project off the books of the museum for secrecy. I should let him know when I have the funds with me.

Objective 35: Give Auryen the gold for the Deepholme project

40 I've given Auryen the tidy sum of 10,000 gold. He is going to send some of the explorers to survey Deepholme and set up shop. I should check back in about a week to find out what's happening.

Objective 40: Return to Auryen in a week

45 It's been a week and the explorers should have assessed Deepholme's viability as a hidden vault for some of the relics of the museum we no longer want to have accessible by the public for safety reasons. I should check back with Auryen.

Objective 45: Check back with Auryen about Deepholme

50 The explorers have finished outfitting Deepholme as a functional display space. At any time I can relocate artifacts there, I just need to remember to make replicas at the museum first.

[Finishes quest]