Elder Scrolls

Dead Men's Respite

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Dead Men's Respite
Dead mens respite
Dead mens map
Hold Hjaalmarch
Location Southwest of Morthal
Type Nordic Tomb
Sublocations None
Quests Tending the Flames
Characters Ghost of Svaknir
King Olaf One-Eye
Enemies Draugr
Frostbite Spiders
Word Wall Whirlwind Sprint
Location ID DeadMensRespite01

Dead Men's Respite is an ancient nordic tomb in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is located southwest of Morthal on the bank of the Hjaal River in Hjaalmarch Hold. The tomb is the final resting place of |King Olaf. The initiation quest for the Bards College faction, "Tending the Flames", takes place here. Dead Man's Respite is also a possible location for the Companions radiant quest, "Trouble in Skyrim".


Upon entering the dungeon, the Dragonborn will see Svaknir ( The blue ghost ), but will be unable to interact with it. There is a Ruby Dragon Claw on the middle table upon entering the ruin that will unlock the door and release four enemies into the room. It is possible to kill the four Draugr in this room while sneaking, before picking up the Claw, while they are asleep. There is an Iron Door on the left of this room with minor loot.

Down the hall, the Dragonborn will come to a burial chamber and see the ghost disappear through a wall. This part of the tomb is a puzzle as there are rotating doorways activated by a pull chain. Activating the pull chain will change the doors, opening some and closing others.

Eventually, the Dragonborn comes to a room with two circular grates in the floor. Two Frostbite Spiders will drop from the ceiling. To the left there is an urn behind a spider's web and an apprentice chest. Open the gate on the far side of the room by activating the chain to the right of the entrance. Follow the watery passage to a large, two-story room. Walk up the wooden ramp on the right, the cage-like door is rigged with an adept-level trap. Activate it in the bottom right corner of the door to avoid the pendulum axes. The trap may be disabled by pulling the chain on the pillar once past it. Up the stairs is an iron door.

Past the iron door is an Arcane Enchanter and a sealed door that is currently inaccessible. To the right of this and down the slope there is a powerful Draugr that may use the Disarm shout. There are more rooms with draugr, but only one will be hostile until passing through again on the way back out. They may be killed before they wake on the first walk through. The leveled Draugr Warlord will attack soon as one enters the room. The left side of the room he is found in has a floor trap switch, a draugr body, a Grand Soul Gem, a Common Soul Gem, a stamina potion and several Scrolls. Going through the right side will bring the Dragonborn to a room with another circular grate in the floor. An expert locked door with a master locked chest behind it can be found on the way.

In the room with the circular grate, cage doors will open and about six Restless Draugr will attack. A trapped chest in one of the back rooms contains some minor loot. Pull the chain to open the grate and proceed down the spiral staircase. At the bottom, pull the handle to open a secret doorway.

Next is a room with Svaknir's ghost, as well as his corpse. The corpse clutches King Olaf's Verse and the Dragonborn must take the book to continue the journey.  The book is not actually on the body of Svaknir but is in his hands. Aim at the book and take it in order to get it, searching Svaknir will only get gold. The ghost will again disappear.

Climb back up the spiral staircase, and then retrace your steps back out of the room. When you return to the sealed door, Svaknir's ghost will be waiting, and he will open the door.

Dead mens puzzle

Dead Men's Respite Ruby Dragon Claw puzzle solution

Behind this door will be a puzzle door and the Dragonborn must arrange the pictures on the door to match the symbols on the dragon claw in order to enter the next room. (Wolf, Eagle, Wolf).

Past the door is King Olaf's burial room. The ghost of Svaknir calls upon King Olaf, causing waves of Draugr to attack. Svaknir will help the Dragonborn fight the Draugr and King Olaf One-Eye will appear to join the fight. It is possible for a sneaking archer to kill most of the seated Draugr from the doorway, before King Olaf is awakened.

After the Dragonborn and Svaknir's ghost defeat Olaf, Svaknir's ghost pulls out a lute, plays a few notes, and disappears now that he is finally at peace. At this end of the room is a Word Wall. The Dragonborn can either loot the key from Olaf's body or pick a Master level lock to go through a door to a small room with treasure. Using the lever there will unlock the next door back to the first room of the dungeon.

Notable lootEdit



Tending the FlamesEdit

In order to prove their worth, the Dragonborn must traverse the dungeon and retrieve King Olaf's Verse. After acquiring the book, King Olaf One-Eye himself must be fought and killed before leaving the tomb.

Trouble in SkyrimEdit

Find the Source of PowerEdit

Find the word of power.


This section contains bugs related to Dead Men's Respite. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.



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