Elder Scrolls

Snow Veil Sanctum

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Snow Veil Sanctum is an ancient Nordic tomb in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Snow Veil Sanctum is a Nord barrow to the southeast of Winterhold, directly north of Windhelm, and slightly northeast of Stillborn Cave. It is the setting for the quest "Speaking With Silence"; it can't be entered without starting the quest (see Dungeon Lock Outs).

The sanctum is a multilevel dungeon full of Draugr and a number of tripwire, bone chime and pressure plate based traps. It also contains a Word Wall (Disarm).


  • Snow Veil Catacombs. The Dragonborn and Mercer enter this location first during the "Speaking With Silence" quest, then proceeds through to the Snow Veil Sanctum location.


At high levels the Dragonborn can encounter:

Notable itemsEdit


  • The entirety of "Speaking With Silence" happens here, and "Hard Answers" starts near the entrance.


  • There is a button on a pedestal on an overlook in the largest room that can be depressed either by standing on it or with an object the player is manipulating; however there is a glitch that prevents the object being left on the button. The button doesn't appear to do anything.
  • Any followers the Dragonborn has will be forbidden from entering this tomb. Upon entering, there will be a message saying "Followers can't accompany you in here". They will just wait outside until you come back to them.
  • It is possible to enter this dungeon without starting the "Speaking With Silence" quest. Find the back entrance and enter it. If this quest is glitched or hasn't been completed, however, a no-clip trick to pass through the locked gate at the end must be attempted. Once through, the back of the dragon claw puzzle that Mercer bypasses can be seen; approaching this triggers the scene with Karliah and she will say her dialogue, if the player waits 48 hours in-game Mercer will come and say his dialogue. Karliah will take the player out and it will finish the quest and start "Hard Answers." Be warned when doing the no-clip glitch to get in there the player must have opened the gate so Mercer can get through. It is possible to avoid triggering the quest by staying away from the puzzle and using the trick to pass through the wall immediately to its side. This also applies when attempting to leave the dungeon.
  • There is an unmarked location, Shrine of Arkay: Windhelm Hills directly to the south, about a third of the way towards Windhelm.
  • Karliah will often return here after Mercer Frey is killed, instead of going back to Nightingale Hall. She can be found at the very end of the level in the same place where she seemingly shot the player with her special arrow.
  • There is a skeleton at the end of the dungeon, where Mercer betrays the Dragonborn. This skeleton could possibly be Gallus Desidenius, as this was where he was killed. Karliah also found his journal there.


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