Elder Scrolls

Dawnbreaker (Skyrim)

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Base Damage:
12 DamageIcon
10 WeightIcon
Base Value:
740 GoldIcon
Additional Effects:
Burns for 10-15 points, and if killing undead, a chance to cause a firey [sic] [Do not change this to fiery. This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.] explosion that turns or destroys nearby undead.
Class: One-Handed, Sword
Upgrade Material: Ebony Ingot
Perk: None
FormID: 0004E4EE
For other uses, see Dawnbreaker.
"Mortals call it Dawnbreaker, for it was forged in a holy light that breaks upon my foes, burning away corruption and false life."

Dawnbreaker is a unique one-handed sword found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Dawnbreaker is a Daedric artifact given as a gift by the Daedric Prince Meridia upon completion of the quest "The Break of Dawn."


Dawnbreaker bears a unique enchantment called "Meridia's Retribution" that works similar to soul trap in that each hit infects the target for ten seconds. If the target is killed within that time, it may explode. Over the course of ten seconds, the chance to trigger an explosion is 1 - (.75 ^ x), where x is the number of strikes. In other words, the more times the target is hit, the more likely the explosion is to happen. Also, the explosion only happens if the target is undead. It is not actually necessary for the killing blow that triggers the explosion to be dealt with Dawnbreaker. A second enchantment deals ten to fifteen points of fire damage with each hit. The fire damage depends on the Augmented Flames perk, dealing 12 points of damage for the first rank and 15 points for the second.

This blast will damage any nearby undead (including turning undead followers such as Serana and dead thralls, depending on level) and can cause any survivors to flee for a short period of time. Undead killed in the blast will crumble into ash piles. The fiery explosion has the same visual effect and functions as the Bane of the Undead spell.

In addition, this weapon has a very high number of charges; much higher than most enchanted weapons. Since soul gems restore a fixed amount of charge, this weapon will require more than a single grand soul to recharge it fully.


The Dawnbreaker can be upgraded with an ebony ingot and the Arcane Blacksmith perk, however, it does not benefit from any Smithing perks. This means that the weapon cannot be improved past flawless quality without boosting the Smithing skill over 100. This can be achieved by using enchanted apparel or blacksmithing potions to fortify Smithing.


Despite other swords having higher damage, the special enchantment makes Dawnbreaker very useful for dealing with several draugr at once. High-level draugr, such as a draugr deathlords, almost always attack alongside several lower leveled ones that can be killed in a few hits. The resulting explosion instantly kills low level undead and causes the high-level draugr to flee.

It is also an effective weapon against vampires. In addition to being very vulnerable to fire, they are also undead, therefore they are affected by the fiery explosion. However, if the Dragonborn is a vampire, the resulting explosion will affect them as well. Members of the Dawnguard may want to obtain it, as it will be helpful while fighting vampires, and especially helpful during the siege of Castle Volkihar.

Duplication exploitEdit

Two copies of Dawnbreaker can be obtained. This is achieved by casting a spell or using a shout with significant kinetic force (i.e., Fire Storm, Fireball, Fire Rune, etc.) beside the sword altar after defeating Malkoran and his shades. This will cause a copy of Dawnbreaker to fly across the room, while the original still stays where it is. Find and pick up the copy before obtaining the original from the altar, because doing so ends the quest and transports the Dragonborn outside the dungeon.


This section contains bugs related to Dawnbreaker (Skyrim). 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  , 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.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Dawnbreaker (Skyrim)

  • Glitch for dawnbreaker

    4 messages
    • wrote: I lost the dawnbreaker because a draugr used disarm,how do I get it back? (xbox 360) There are only two ways you can ...
    • Its possible a draugr picked it up too so it could be worth checking their corpses if you go back to look for it.
  • Shades can have Dawnbreaker?

    6 messages
    • Yeah... Funny one too...
    • I ran into this glitch today. It may be related to duplication glits when you get second sword by using exploding spell like fireball.

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