Elder Scrolls

Skull of Corruption (Skyrim)

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Main article: Staves (Skyrim)
For other uses, see Skull of Corruption.
"What a foul and unnatural weapon you wield, I've never seen its like."
Hold Guard

The Skull of Corruption is a Daedric artifact of the Prince Vaermina. It is a dream-dependent staff of different usage than its predecessor during the Oblivion Crisis.


The staff can be obtained in the quest "Waking Nightmare", which begins in Dawnstar. Vaermina orders the Dragonborn to kill the priest Erandur, while Erandur is in the process of banishing the staff. Allowing Erandur to banish the skull does not make obtaining the Oblivion Walker achievement impossible as it is possible to get one more Daedric Artifact by taking advantage of a bug. There are seventeen possible artifacts to collect (but the Skeleton Key doesn't count towards the Oblivion Walker achievement.)

Once the quest is complete and the staff has been sold, it is possible to retrieve it as a dropped item from guards in Whiterun.

Collecting dreamsEdit

The dreams needed to power the staff can be collected by casting it on a sleeping person. This is not counted as an aggressive action, thus targets do not become hostile. Five dreams are received from each person.

The College of Winterhold is a good place to harvest dreams due to the large number of sleeping members and the ease of access. The same is true for Jorrvaskr Living Quarters. Sleeping draugr are also a good source of dreams, as most burial chambers have a number of draugr lining the walls.

Another effective location for harvesting dreams are soldier barracks in a hold capital, as there are often guards (usually three to four) sleeping inside. When dreams are collected or used in an attack, the number of dreams in the staff will be shown.

Inns, specifically Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm, are also good places for harvesting dreams.

Haelga's Bunkhouse in Riften has many workers and merchants of Riften who sleep there.

Soul gems are still needed to charge the weapon.


The Skull of Corruption can damage multiple targets at once. This is useful when faced with multiple opponents. However, it can also injure followers that are nearby, which might not be very good for a follower with low health if they are in the battle when the Skull of Corruption is used.



This section contains bugs related to Skull of Corruption (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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   This weapon (like some other daedric artifacts) has an unstable physical model which causes it to disappear, delete, move, and fall, when placed on weapon plaques, weapon racks, and in the world in general. Thus, it may disappear when placed in a home. However, it is not affected when placed in a storage container or while in the Dragonborn's inventory.
  • After Erandur is killed in Waking Nightmare, if the Dragonborn gets a bounty in Dawnstar, goes to jail, and picks the door's lock, the guards may draw out a duplicate of the Skull while searching for the perpetrator.
  • Initiating combat on a character that dreams have been stolen from in the past can sometimes cause the staff to collect dreams. Even just using Unrelenting Force on a guard will work.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Autosaving after breaking the barrier will sometimes cause the game to freeze.
  •  360   Occasionally the staff doesn't work, and will not harvest dreams or do damage, even though the animation is displayed.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Skull of Corruption (Skyrim)

  • Skull of Corruption or Erandur?

    7 messages
    • i gave up on the staff after the oblivion walker achievement. Honestly, this is the most underwhelming daedric quest i've played that i rememb...
    • AzuraKnight wrote:The only time i killed Erandur for the Skull of Corruption was on a character made just to get the Oblivion Walker trophy, ...
  • Unique Staff Models?

    16 messages
    • In response to the OP, you may want to use the Staff of Hag's Wrath. It is a unique staff that shares its design with the Forsworn Staff.
    • And the Eye of Melka.

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