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Vampire Faction -- Scroll Scouting / Chasing Echoes /Seeking Disclosure

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Vampire Faction -- Scroll Scouting / Chasing Echoes /Seeking Disclosure

If you completed the main game then you either possess the Dragon Elder Scroll or you sold it to Urag gro-Shub at the Mages College of Winterhold -- either way you need to get that Elder Scroll so either grab it from your house or head to the College and buy it back from him.  If you already have it, great, if not go buy it back now.

Urog tries to rip you off by charging you 4K but if you are the Arch Mage you can get it for 2K and hey, every gold piece counts.  Success in buying the scroll completes the quest SCROLL SCOUTING and updates the quest SEEKING DISCLOSURE adding a tick to the Dragon Scroll requirement.

Now open your Quest List and flag the CHASING ECHOES quest as that is the next one we need to do in order to update SEEKING DISCLOSURE and then complete it!  With it flagged talk to Serana --  work your way through the conversation with her to learn that she has an idea of where her mother might be... Sort of.  In the process of helping her realize where to look you learn a bit about her father and her.

So now that she thinks that she knows where to look, head back to the Castle and go around to the inlet and tunnel and go in.  Wow is this quest moving along fast or what?

Identifying the correct entrance to the secret passage

-- The Castle Gardens --

Once you go around back and up the stairs you will find a door that leads into the castle -- you will battle your way along the path and including a Feral Vampire with a Journal Fragment on him that reveals that he was denied membership in the group and has been playing the subversive.  Wow.

In the back of the area is a chamber with an Alchemy crafting station and a level -- pull the lever to raise the gate giving you access to the next area.  Head there and to the back and pull the lever that you find to lower the bridge, then backtack to the room with all the bones in it and head into the courtyard.

When you arrive here there is a large sundial in the center and Serana tells you how bad it looks compared to what it used to look like.  She figures out that it has to have something to do with the dial -- and your new job is to find themissing tiles to complete the set.  There are three missing pieces and when you place them back a stairs opens up going below the sundial!

Head down and you will enter the lower ruins where you will battle your way through Skeletons and Gargoyles until you reach a large room in which Serana tells you there should be a secret passage -- this is the room in which you are attacked by three Garglyles.  At the end of the room in a small alcove is a small fireplace -- activate the candles on the left side of the fireplace and you reveal the entrance to the passage -- which leads to Valerica's Laboratory.

Note: based on the conversations that I had with other gamers while playing Dawnguard for this guide this part was the most annoying and frustrating for most players because they had a very hard time finding the correct room and then the secret passage.  I suspect that at least part of the reason for that is that all of the fireplaces previously seen on this quest were both larger and had fires burning in them... 

So even knowing that they were looking for a room with a fireplace the small size and the fact that it has no fire actually burning in it served to confuse.  So in a nutshell, when you reach the room in which you are attacked by three Gargoyles AND Serana comments that there should be a secret passage here -- THAT is the correct room.  So just head to the back (opposite from the side you entered from) and look into the shallow alcove that is up three steps (or so) and look for the firewood -- that is the fireplace.  Twist the left-hand candle and voila!  You are in to the passage.  Hope that helps mates...

Opening the Soul Cairn Portal

-- Valerica's Laboratory --

When you arrive in the lab Serana gives you a basic briefing of sorts and you have a chat with her -- and she tells you that she needs her mother's journal -- that it will likely offer the clue that you both clearly need to progress from here.  You will find the journal on a bookshelf (it has a red cover), and even though technically Serana has to read it for the the quest to advance you can (and should) read it anyway since in addition to telling you the ingrediants you need it also provides you with some interesting background information as well, so bonus!

After you read it Serana asks if you found it -- and you tell her yes -- and she insists on reading it herself, after which she tells you the three ingredients that are required to open something called the Soul Cairn.  They are:

(1) Finely Ground Bone Meal - On the table with the skulls near the entrance, in a large silver bowl.
(2) Purified Void Salts - On the last shelf on the balcony, in a large silver bowl.
(3) Soul Gem Shards - Atop a wardrobe just past the stairs on the right, in a large silver bowl.

You will find all three Alchemy ingredients in the room across all of the levels -- all of which are in special larger containers -- and after you collect these and place them in the chalice on the balcony overlooking the portal, Serana will add some of her blood to the mixture causing the portal to open thus allowing access to the Soul Cairn. 

After the animation for the opening completes a set of stairs will appear linking the balcony to the portal, at which point you can just head down the stairs and enter it to zone in to the Soul Cairn, completing the quest CHASING ECHOES, and starting the quest BEYOND DEATH.

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