|Loot||Dragon Priest Mask|
Eight high ranking priests each wear a unique dragon priest mask that bears a powerful enchantment. These priests can be encountered at any level, and are typically found within Nordic tombs and ruins that house word walls. Often they are accompanied by an array of undead underlings, such as draugr and skeletons.
Rule of dragonsDuring the Merethic Era, Dragons ruled much of Tamriel and Atmora. They believed that as they were the children of Akatosh, they were naturally superior to both man and mer.
One of their core beliefs was that power equalled truth. The fact that they held immense power over mortals led them to the conclusion that this itself was the ultimate truth. This gave them the justification in their minds that their rule over mortals was only natural.
The dragon priests themselves can be traced back to Atmora where they were the ruling body during the Merathic Era. Known as the dragon cult, they worshipped many animals as avatars of the gods, the Dragon being chief among them.
Dragons embraced their role as god-kings over men, but rather than deal with the actual ruling itself, they granted small amounts of power to dragon priests in exchange for absolute obedience. In turn, the priests ruled men as equals to the kings. The priests set down laws and codes of living that kept peace between Dragons and men, but to do so they demanded tribute.
When the Atmorans began to migrate to Tamriel over the next several centuries, the dragon priests and cultists were some of the first men to arrive. The system of rule in Tamriel however was quite different from Atmora. It is unclear why this was the case, but the priests began to rule with an iron fist, making slaves of the rest of the population.
At the height of the dragon cult's influence, the capital of Skyrim was considered to be the city of Bromjunaar, located in what is now Hjaalmarch hold. It was here the highest ranking priests met within the temple of Labyrinthian to discuss matters of ruling. It was also during this time the highest ranking dragon priests were granted magical masks that bore powerful enchantments. It is unknown if masks were named after the priests who wore them, or if the priest took on the name of the mask that was granted to them.
RebellionEventually, men rebelled against the cruelty of Alduin and his cult in what is known as the Dragon War. After Alduin was banished from Nirn, a large number of the cultist were killed and the surviving dragon priests were overthrown.
The survivors adapted and went into hiding all across Skyrim. They entombed the remains of the dragons that died during the war within dragon mounds with the belief that Alduin would one day return and resurrect the faithful. However, other sects within the cult believed only those who ascended to the priesthood would be granted a second life.
Upon death, the dragon priests insisted that their followers be buried with them in the various Dragon temples and tombs across Skyrim. This act served a specific purpose, rather than a vain display of power. Because the concept of resurrection upon the return of Alduin was a core belief of the dragon cult, the priests required their followers to perform a daily ritual to facilitate this.Every day, a group of followers that were entombed with the priest would awaken and gather around the sarcophagus of their respective priest. Here, they would prostrate themselves before it for several hours. During this time, an exchange of life force took place between the followers and the priest. This exchange sustained the dormant priest until it was time for his resurrection. Once the ritual was complete, the followers meticulously cleaned the area and would return to their burial chambers. While resting, the drained life force would magically restore itself, ready for the next day.
It is believed that the followers who were doomed to perform this ritual were initially buried as grown men and women, but over thousands of years they deteriorated into the draugr that now fiercly guard the ancient Nordic tombs.
The last known remnants of the dragon cult remained up until 1E 139. A legion of King Harald's soldiers discovered a hidden stronghold of cultists in the secluded monastery, Forelhost high in the Jerall Mountains.
Dragon Priests in Skyrim
Otar the Mad was originally an ancient Nordic chieftain who ruled over the city of Ragnvald in the Merethic Era. Initially, he was believed to have been a fair ruler and successful in battle, but his mind was corrupted by unknown forces that drove him to insanity. Otar became a Dragon Priest and subjected his people to great cruelty until two Nordic heroes named Saerek and Torsten were sent to stop his tyranny.
Both heroes were unable to defeat Otar, so instead they sealed him in a large sarcophagus in Ragnvald and locked it with two skull keys that each of them kept. They pledged to guard the keys so that Otar may never escape his imprisonment. The city of Ragnvald was eventually abandoned, but Saerek and Torsten remained as his guardians.
Rahgot is believed to be one of the Dragon Priests to survive the Dragon War. In the early First Era, he led a small cult in the secluded monastery of Forelhost high in the Jerall Mountains. A legion of King Harald's soldiers, commanded by Skorm Snow-Strider, discovered the hidden stronghold of dragon cultists and laid siege to it for several weeks. In a desperate act, Rahgot ordered the the entire cult to commit mass suicide while Rahgot himself was entombed within the temple.
In life, Hevnoraak was a powerful dragon priest who practiced a form of mind-controlling magic. Using his power, he managed to build up an army of enthralled followers. Before his death, Hevnoraak planned his resurrection obsessively. He drained his own blood from his body and planned to transfer his power back into himself after death, thus becoming a powerful Lich. He was buried in the ancient tomb of Valthume.
Morokei was an powerful priest who was entombed in the ancient city of Bromjunaar, specifically within Labyrinthian. At some unknown point, he came into the posession of the Staff of Magnus, an immensely powerful artifact.
In the early Fourth Era an ill-fated group of mages, including a young Savos Aren, encountered Morokei within Labyrinthian. The trip resulted in their deaths, with the exception of Savos. In an attempt to seal away Morokei permanently, Savos forced two of the surviving mages to remain behind, magically enthralled and forced to maintain a barrier around the Morokei.
Nahkriin was a priest who was buried in the secluded Nordic Temple of Skuldafn, high in the Velothi Mountains. In the Fourth Era, he was found in the service of Alduin and presided over a portal that lead to the Nordic afterlife of Sovngarde.
Dragon Priests in Solstheim
Eight named dragon priests can be encountered at their place of burial throughout Skyrim. Often they are found in the company of several draugr, while some priests can be found guarding word walls. In addition, unnamed dragon priest can be encountered at various locations at higher levels.
Dragon Priest Masks
- Main article: Dragon Priest Mask
Masks that have been obtained from defeated dragon priests can be displayed on their respective bust on the shrine. Once the eight masks are in place, the final mask, Konahrik, is revealed. The other masks may be taken from the shrine once Konahrik is obtained.
Dragon priests are generally identical in both appearance and attributes. They share many of the same spells and resistances. These include the ability to use Wards, Mage Armor and both summon and turn Daedra. They are also immune to poison and paralysis.
The only difference between them is the type of elemental magic they're attached to. Most named dragon priests deal in shock magic and will only use the corresponding spells during combat, such as Thunderbolt or Chain Lightning. Other priests are fire based and will only use Fireball or Incinerate as part of their core arsenal. One exception to this rule is the priest Nahkriin, who is primarily shock based, but also uses fire and frost spells during combat. Some priests also wield a destruction based staff which usually takes precedence over their own spells.
|Rahgot||50||1490||545||Command Daedra, Conjure Flame Atronach, Ebonyflesh, Fireball, Flame Cloak, Greater Ward, Incinerate|
|Ahzidal DB||60||2000||595||Ebonyflesh, Fire Stream, Flame Cloak, Greater Ward, Revenant, Raise Zombie|
|Krosis †||50||1490||545||Command Daedra, Conjure Frost Atronach, Ebonyflesh, Frost Cloak, Greater Ward, Ice Storm, Icy Spear|
|Dukaan DB||60||2000||595||Conjure Seeker, Ebonyflesh, Frost Cloak, Frost Stream, Greater Ward|
|Zahkriisos DB||25-60||1650-2000||320-495||Conjure Seeker, Ebonyflesh, Greater Ward, Lightning Cloak, Lightning Storm, Thunderbolt|
† Krosis, despite being a Frost based priest, mainly attacks with Fire magic as he wields the Staff of Fireballs.
CombatCombat with dragon priests is usually initiated when approaching their sarcophagus. The cover is flung to one side, and the dormant priest will awaken with a high pitched shriek.
As they have no form of melee attack, they are forced to exclusively fight with their elemental magic spells, but this will be overridden if they wield a destruction based staff. Occasionally, they will use a Greater Ward to protect against both melee and magical attacks. Upon death, their bodies will crumble into a pile of ash, while their armor and robes will remain intact.
Most named dragon priest drop an aforementioned dragon priest mask, a leveled amount of gold and, occasionally, a leveled staff. On rare occasions, they may drop Kavohzein's Fang, a unique dragon priest dagger used in the Alteration Ritual Spell quest.
- Originally, dragon priests were to be summoned under the Conjuration skill. The "Conjure Dragon Priest" spell is in the game's files and can actually be used through the use of modding in the Creation Kit.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (First appearance)
- ↑ Dialogue with Paarthurnax
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Dragon War
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Skyrim
- ↑ A Minor Maze
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Loading Screen
- ↑ Note (Forelhost 1)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Amongst the Draugr
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Skorm Snow-Strider's Journal
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Secrets of Ragnvald
- ↑ Dialogue with Valdar
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
|Skyrim||Hevnoraak • Krosis • Morokei • Nahkriin • Otar the Mad • Rahgot • Vokun • Volsung|
|Dragonborn||Ahzidal • Dukaan • Miraak • Vahlok the Jailor • Zahkriisos|