|Quest Giver||Reading Heddic's Volunruud Notes|
|Location||Volunruud: North of Halted Stream Camp|
In brief, the walkthrough for this cavern is:
After entering Volunruud, the Dragonborn stands in a small cave with passages in several directions. The left-most passage has no enemies, but contains an urn and a treasure chest filled with loot (this is where Amaund Motierre is for the Dark Brotherhood quests). The next door leads into a crypt with a few Draugr lying at rest. Continue to follow the path straight down into a winding cavern with another Draugr warrior lurking about. The last room has a boss level Draugr defending it.
This Draugr has the ability to use the Unrelenting Force/Disarm shout and uses Frost-based destruction magic, like Ice Spike, making it a challenging opponent. Be aware of the rusted metal plates on the floor. Stepping on them causes a metal spike to jut out and stab the Dragonborn if he/she fails to move away in time.
On the wall, behind the throne the Draugr was sitting on, the Ceremonial Axe will hang. There is also a copy of the skillbook Mace Etiquette on the right-hand side of the throne. Next, look at the right-side opening in the main cavern. Follow the winding tunnel and to reach the top of a multi-level room with several Draugr opponents including a Draugr Wight, capable of casting Frost Destruction spells.
Be aware of the swinging door trap in front of the opening to the portion of the room where the Draugr are located. This area narrows into a corridor that can be used to trap the Draugr. Step on the trap and move out of the way so it hits the enemy or cast rune spells on the tunnel floor so the enemies trigger it as the run by. If timed properly, use a Shout attack to hit multiple targets as they cluster in the tunnel as well.
After the room is cleared, go through the spiked gate, avoiding the trigger plate, and follow the right tunnel up onto a high catwalk. Go across to the room with an Ancient Nord Helmet on a skull. One Draugr will attack in this room. Continue through the door to pick up the Ceremonial Sword. You will immediately be attacked by two more Draugrs.
With the two Ceremonial weapons in hand, return to the main cavern and turn your attention to the final room at the top of the steps. In this room there is a large table surrounded by candles. There's a leveled shield on the table and some embalming tools. Open the door on the opposite side of the room and the two ceremonial weapons are taken. Now the door to the Elder's Cairn can be opened.
Enter this part of the cavern and look right to see a Burned Corpse kneeling in front of a fireplace, clenching a scroll of Ice Storm. Proceed into the next room. Tthere are two Draugr at the top of the room. Deal with them or they may drop down off of the bridge and sneak up behind. In this room, there is a rhythmic swishing sound which fades to become the sound of Nord chanting, indicating that the words of a Shout are nearby. But that also means there is a strong defender...
Continue down the hall to a narrow passage. At the end, is Kvenel and, depending on your level, equipment and skills he can be a very challenging opponent. Even with a low archery and sneak skill it's fairly easy to kill him from behind the row of pillars circling the room. Just remember to only fire when hidden and to make sure the Dragonborn can move easily to the other side of the room as soon as an arrow has been fired.
After Killing Kvenel continue upstairs and find some good loot which may include a Dragon priest dagger (the Dragon priest dagger will be on top of a book, which will increase your one armed skill by one point). There may be a skeleton back at the entrance after defeating Kvenel the Tongue.
- Kvenel is capable of casting various ice based destruction spells, summoning Frost Atronachs and using the Unrelenting Force Shout. Depending on the player's level and how far into the chambers you fight, there is also the threat of fighting mid-high level Draugr such as the Draugr Scourge that will crawl out of the coffin besides Kevenel's throne. Draugrs may also awaken mid-battle and join the fight. Do not allow yourself to be surrounded.
- If you cannot find the ceremonial sword within its specific room (the quest arrow points toward the ceiling), try using storm call and it may appear on the ground with a clatter.
- It took two hits to down a companion, one to kill a Familiar and two hits to down a Level 7 warrior. Note that for some play-throughs Kvenel won't heal, so if you have decent Sneak, kill the Draugr on the path, sneak until you can see him, put an arrow into Kvenel, sneak away until Hidden, wait a few seconds and repeat - you should be able to take down this difficult opponent without drawing a sword or casting a spell.
- It is also possible to lure Kvenel back into the main cavern that leads into Volunruud, where there is more room to dodge and large pillars to hide behind. On the way back to the entrance door, place rune spells (e.g. Fire Runes) along the cave corridors or use stronger summons such as Flame Atronachs to slow him down and cause some damage to cover your retreat. Make sure to use the sprint button or Kvenel will go up the staircase that leads to the Dragon runes, over to the stone bridge, drop down and outflank you. This typically happens if the user doesn't move far enough into the room to fight him. Once in the main hall, keep moving around the pillars so Kvenel is unable to get a clear shot at you. After taking enough damage, Kvenel may temporarily retreat into one of the side corridors giving the player the chance to heal and recover.
- Try trapping him in between the coffin by his throne and the wall.
- Alternatively for Stealth builds, you can bait him into revealing his back with arrows for an easier backstab. Just shoot him in the face once and run back to the entrance until he turns around. While walking back towards the throne, his Stealth detection is extremely low. You can also use invisibility potions to make sure you get the sneaky hit.
- If all other tactics fail, there is a more guaranteed way to a easy win if you have the Flames or any other spell you can hold down. You hit him only once with an arrow or spell so that he notices you, and when he does, run back to the door you entered through and back into the main room. If he follows you into the main room, good, if not, try to bait him once more. So here is the tactic: after you go through the door, run to the other end of the table, then wait for him to come through the door. He will then attempt to get around the table, but keep circling the table while he runs about it while constantly casting your magic. If he comes too close, use Unrelenting Force to knock him away.
Once you have beaten Kvenel various other opponents may spawn, kill them and get the Shout on the wall (Aura Whisper ). You can also use this area over here to kill Kvenel. Simply sneak over here, fire an arrow at him, then press against the wall and he will not see you. Then repeat when he goes back to his throne/seat. NOTE: Past the word wall, there is a chest hidden on a ledge. If you jump towards it and hit "A", you can open it while you're in the air, or use Whirlwind Sprint to boost to the ledge from the bridge. (It's possible to just walk along the very tiny ledge to the hidden chest and make it without falling.)
In the room with the swinging spiked gate, a pot can trigger the gate and it will remain stuck, blocking the path.
- if you didn't save etc:- Jump from the top of the wooden stairs onto the left hand side of the wall to the vines and a tiny ledge in the wall, then onto the next tiny ledge and vines, keep walking forward and jumping, then onto the platform on the other side of the room above the trap door.)
- The ceremonial weapons needed to advance the quest can not be picked up.
- The quest will not start if Volunruud is explored before reading the notes. Attempting to open the Elder's Cairn Door, even with both Ceremonial Weapons, will bring up the message "You lack the required item."
Some instances the ceremonial weapons will not appear in their designated spots.
- Can be solved by typing in the console command player.additem ID 0008adfb 1 for the axe, and player.additem ID 0008adfc 1 for the sword and after getting both items, the buged one this way, type setstage dunVolunruudQST 20.
- When putting in one weapon without the other (Putting in the sword first, then getting the axe and putting it in later) can made the door inoperable.
- If one has Vampire Lord, they can transform near the door an phase through it, bypassing most of the quest. However the quest will be glitched and can never be completed.
- Kvenel the Tongue may occasionally become stuck in the floor, luckily he is still killable with area-of-effect spells.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (First appearance)