This quest can be started after finding and reading a copy of Deathbrand at level 36 or higher. Reading it before level 36 will not activate the quest. A copy can be found in Tel Mithryn or Raven Rock Temple.
However, there is an alternate way to activate the quest at level 36 or higher without the book having to be read. If the pirates guarding the ancient chest at Haknir's Shoal are killed, the Deathbrand Helm will spawn in the chest and the quest will be activated. The dead Pirate Captain will also have the map to the other locations, as well as the book.
Locations of the armor pieces are as follows:
|Deathbrand Helm||Haknir's Shoal, north of the Wind Stone, in an expert-locked ancient chest.|
|Deathbrand Armor||Due north of the Earth Stone and southwest of Bloodskal Barrow, along the coast, in an adept-locked ancient chest next to a large fallen tree. Guarded by two Reavers.|
|Deathbrand Boots||West of Tel Mithryn, at the bottom of a tall cliff face along the shore, in an expert-locked ancient chest. Surrounded by a group of ash spawn.|
|Deathbrand Gauntlets||South of Bristleback Cave, along the coast, in a ditch before a waterfall, in an adept-locked ancient chest. Surrounded by a group of mudcrabs.|
The key to Gyldenhul Barrow will be in the last chest when the final piece of armor is found.
To the left of the entrance to Gyldenhul Barrow, near the water, is a quicksilver Vein. Just inside lies a dead adventurer, and a note can be found on his corpse. Two sarcophagi containing Stalhrim are on either side of him. The sarcophagus on the left contains a draugr with some minor loot.
To proceed any further, an ancient Nordic pickaxe is required to mine through the Stalhrim in the sarcophagi on the right, which will reveal a secret passage to a lower chamber. This area is a treasure trove, containing many piles of gold (around 75, each with an average 100 pieces, some as few as 75, others as high as 150). Assorted gems, potions, poisons and weapons, as well as burial urns containing loot and gold are located here. As soon an item is picked up, the gate behind will close. The iron door at the south end of the room opens to a set of steps down that turn left (east) to a large chamber, and the resting place of Haknir Death-Brand.
His skeletal remains can be found in the lower chamber against the east wall. Up the stairs to the right of him is a chest containing leveled loot. Located directly behind him is a unique scimitar named Bloodscythe.
When Bloodscythe is taken, the ghost of Haknir Death-Brand will appear and turn hostile. During battle he will periodically disappear once he begins to take damage, and will summon several members of his crew, including Garuk Windrime and Thalin Ebonhand, to aid him.
Upon his defeat, another unique Scimitar named Soulrender can be looted from his remains.
|At Haknir's Shoal, a band of pirates uncovered an ancient treasure chest containing a single piece of Stalhrim armor. How did they know to dig in this remote spot?|
| A band of pirates followed an ancient treasure map to Haknir's Shoal, where they discovered a chest at the location marked on the map. By following the map, perhaps I can find the rest of the treasure they sought.
|By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. In addition to his armor, one chest also contained the key to Gyldenhul Barrow. Could it be connected to Haknir's treasure?
|By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I found a room filled with Haknir's cursed gold. But touching it triggered the curse: the doors behind me have sealed.|
|By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I found his tomb and one of his cursed swords. But when I touched the sword, his ghost appeared and attacked.
|By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I defeated Haknir's ghost and claimed his swords and gold as well.
- Chests that contain the armor set will not appear until the quest is activated.
- Unlike the Treasure Maps, the map for the other pieces of armor will not show up in the books section of the inventory. It shows up as a miscellaneous item instead.
- The quest will not activate when the Dragonborn is under level 36. However, it can be activated manually by having the Wax Key perk and picking the lock to the door to Gyldenhul Barrow. This will give the Dragonborn the key to the barrow, which can then be used to open the locked doors that are not pickable later on. Taking the sword starts both the quest and the battle.
- The pirates have at least one person typically wearing most of a Nordic Carved Armor Set for those not invested in Smithing.
This section contains bugs related to Deathbrand (Quest). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- If the Wax Key perk is active and Haknir Death-Brand is killed before getting the armor, the armor becomes unobtainable.
- Sometimes, the stalhrim cannot be mined to open the passage.
- Solution: The stalhrim takes longer than normal to mine out, 6 strikes/piece instead of 3 strikes/piece, and can only be mined with an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. If that is not the problem, trying to mine again or reverting to an older save may resolve the issue.
- Bloodscythe cannot be picked up to activate Haknir Death-Brand.
- Solution: reloading a save from before entering Gyldenhul Barrow, then trying again.
- At Haknir's Shoal, the treasure map vanishes when taken from the Pirate Captain.
- The quest may not start, despite reading the book.
- Upon entering Gyldenhul Barrow, the floor and walls will not fully load. This will cause the Dragonborn to fall through the floor, then reappear back in front of the exit repeatedly.
- Solution: Exiting the barrow, then re-entering or reloading a save and trying again.
- Killing Haknir Death-Brand and then waiting 2 or more hours may lock his inventory, thus rendering him unable to be looted.