|Skull of Corruption|
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20 points damage, increases to 50 if powered with dreams collected from sleeping people.
Skull of Corruption is the Daedric artifact of Lord Vaermina and can be obtained during the quest "Waking Nightmare". It is a dream-dependent staff of different usage than its predecessor during the Oblivion Crisis.
It can be obtained in the quest Waking Nightmare which begins in Dawnstar. Vaermina orders the Dragonborn to kill priest Erandur while Erandur begs that the weapon be destroyed. Allowing Erandur to destroy the skull does not make obtaining the Oblivion Walker achievement impossible as it is possible to get one more Daedric Artifact by glitching. There are seventeen possible artifacts to collect. (although the Skeleton Key doesn't count towards the Oblivion Walker achievement)
Once the main quest line is complete and the staff has been sold or disenchanted, it is possible to retrieve it as a dropped item from guards in Whiterun. This bug may only occur within the home of the Dragonborn.
In order to collect dreams to power the staff, simply cast 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 becomes an effective place of harvest for dreams due to the large number of sleeping members and the ease of access. The same can be said for Jorrvaskr. Sleeping Draugr are also a good source of dreams, as most burials have a number of Draugr lining the walls.
Another effective location for harvesting dreams are soldier barracks in a city, such as holds, as there are usually quite a large number of guards (usually three to four) that can be found sleeping inside. When dreams are collected or used in an attack, the game will notify how many dreams are left in the staff.
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 near by.
- Leaving it on the weapon rack near the entrance in Breezehome has been known to delete it. It will not reappear in Nightcaller Temple; it will simply vanish.
- Leaving it on the weapon rack upstairs in Hjerim will not delete it, but cause it to become 'loose' and unattached to the rack each time the house is entered.
- After Erandur is killed in Waking Nightmare, get a bounty in Dawnstar, go to jail, and lockpick the door. The guards may draw out a duplicate of the Skull while searching for the perpetrator.
- Initiating combat on an NPC that one has previously stolen dreams from can sometimes cause the staff to collect dreams. Even just using Unrelenting Force on a guard will work.
- Leaving it on the top center weapon rack in the home in Markarth will sometimes delete it. It will not reappear, will not respawn. It's gone forever.