Elder Scrolls

The Break of Dawn

28,578pages on
this wiki
The Break of Dawn
The break of dawn
Quest Giver Meridia
Location West of Solitude
North of Haafingar Stormcloak Camp
Prerequisite Level 12
Reward Dawnbreaker
Type Daedric Quest
Quest ID DA09
The Break of Dawn is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

This quest is started by visiting the Statue to Meridia, or, after reaching level 12, by finding the radiant quest item Meridia's Beacon in random chests. This is one of the more profitable quests in the game.


Upon obtaining the beacon, which is a large gem with no value, Meridia commands the Dragonborn to take the beacon to the shrine located west of Solitude, directly north of the Haafingar Stormcloak Camp. Once there, Meridia will tell the Dragonborn that there is a powerful necromancer named Malkoran defiling her temple, whom the Dragonborn must destroy.


  1. After reaching level 12, the beacon can be found in a variety of locations including but not limited to: Giant camps, bandit camps, dungeons and ruins. If The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn is installed, the beacon may be found in Solstheim.
  2. After bringing Meridia's beacon back to the Statue to Meridia and placing it in the hands of the statue, the Dragonborn is taken up into the clouds to meet Meridia herself.
  3. After falling back to Skyrim, the Dragonborn is instructed to guide a beam of light throughout the ruins, activating pedestals to direct Meridia's light in order to unlock several doors.
  4. After destroying Malkoran and his Corrupted Shades, Malkoran is resurrected as a Shade himself to be defeated a second time.
  5. The Dragonborn retrieves Dawnbreaker, a one-handed sword that has a powerful enchantment against undead.

Detailed walkthroughEdit

Beholding the Beacon of LightEdit


Meridia's Beacon returned in its place

This quest is started in one of two ways:

  • When approaching the Statue to Meridia at her shrine at Mount Kilkreath west of Solitude, Meridia will speak of a profane darkness that has defiled her temple. She will set a quest marker for the Beacon of Meridia, which the Dragonborn must find and bring back to the shrine.
  • Upon reaching level 12, the Dragonborn will find Meridia's Beacon in a random chest anywhere in Skyrim. Upon obtaining the beacon, Meridia will speak about a foul darkness that has defiled her temple. She wants it destroyed, and will direct the Dragonborn to the shrine.

Once the beacon is obtained, Meridia will speak to the Dragonborn every day as she becomes increasingly alarmed at their lack of interest in helping the Solar Daughter. This can be avoided by simply going to the shrine, as the beacon will randomly appear. Note that this effect is removed by update 1.6 or later.

Meridia's BeaconEdit

Skyrim Screen 06

Meridia speaks with the Dragonborn high in the heavens.

Upon approaching the shrine with the beacon, a voice is heard commanding that the beacon be placed at the feet of Meridia.

  • Objective: Replace the beacon
  • Target: Statue to Meridia

The Dragonborn is then whisked into the clouds where a glowing orb of Meridia's light appears. She describes a necromancer named Malkoran planning to raise the dead of Skyrim to wage war on the living, using the energy of a powerful artifact in her shadow-filled shrine. The Dragonborn is to enter her shrine and direct a beam of light throughout the dungeon.

  • Objective: Guide Meridia's Light through the temple
  • Target: Kilkreath Temple, below the Statue to Meridia

Shining Light on the Dark TempleEdit

Upon entering, there is a desecrated corpse on the first flight of stairs. Throughout the entire interior there are an abundance of them, each one with a handsome amount of coin, which makes this quest very profitable (between 3000 and 5000 gold is available). In addition, there are a large number of traps, and two locked doors that, once picked, reveal levers that open nearby gates with treasure on the other side.

There are a total of three pedestals to be activated in the temple to direct Meridia's light. The first large room has the first pedestal. Further down is a second room with several Corrupted Shades and the second pedestal. Once activated, the beam of light drains health and magicka if the Dragonborn steps into its path. At the top of the steps, the beam of light can be seen shining through some debris that cannot be breached; the path continues down the steps and through the hallway to the south. The hallway contains several more corrupted shades, then several doors and eventually a chest with random loot. 

IMG 5957

Light hitting one of the pedestals

The room with the third pedestal had several more shades (one immediately by the entrance). There is a lever locked room on the north side of the area, along with an Arcane Enchanter. After activating the pedestal, the door at the top of the wooden ramp against the south side will be open, which leads outside to the Kilkreath Balcony. The balcony contains an expert-locked chest with leveled loot. Up the stairs is a door that leads to the Kilkreath Ruins.

Up some stairs is a fairly large room with more Shades, plus three more pedestals. Activating the pedestal at the top of the wooden ramp opens a door on that same level to the east. Through the short hallway, there will be four burial urns to the left, a chest, a hallway to the north, and a wooden door against the north wall. The door is trapped, but the trap can be disarmed. Behind the door is a small room with some loot.

Before entering the next hallway, there is a tripwire around the corner to the left that sets off some swinging axes. There is a lever on the floor in the corner which turns off the axes. Through the caged walkway is a platform from which the Dragonborn can jump over the gap to another pedestal on the left. After jumping back over, a ramp leads to good treasure in the northwest corner. A door on the west wall that was just unlocked allows the area to be left.

Next there will be a dimly lit room with a second level on either side. The ramp up to the left (against the west wall) leads to a regular pedestal with a potion that, if taken, triggers a spike trap. The other side will lead the Dragonborn through another short hall to the very top of the main room and to the third pedestal to activate. Once complete, the door to the south on the first floor will open, which leads to a door to the Kilkreath Catacombs.

A hallway leads to a room with the final pedestal. Activating it opens a set of double doors against the east wall. There is one chest here to the right of those doors. Through the doors and down more stairs, Malkoran can be seen performing some sort of ritual. ( Going through the Dungeon can be avoided by walking right of the Statue and going through the entrance to the second part of the Dungeon, to Malkoran's ritual.)

Destroy MalkoranEdit

IMG 5973

Pedestal that holds the defiled Dawnbreaker

Malkoran is accompanied by eight or more corrupted shades. A quick way to get the upper hand is by using a bow or Beast Form to kill Malkoran off first, and to then move back up the steps shooting the shades.

The shades strategy is to get behind the Dragonborn before attacking, but a follower can be helpful. If the Dragonborn stands in the doorway to the chamber, the follower will stand behind them making it impossible for the shades to get around. They will only attack if the Dragonborn moves too far forward, so using magic or a ranged weapon to hit them at point blank range will avoid this. Malkoran is reluctant to move from in front of the altar so he can be worn down from the doorway with a bow.

If The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn has been completed, the Bend Will shout can be targeted directly at Malkoran as the Dragonborn walks into the chamber. He will turn against the shades and quickly dispatch them. Once the shades are gone, it is possible to sneak behind him and land many critical hits so as to avoid dealing with his powerful frost spells. If he is killed fast enough, Malkoran's Shade will emerge but still be under the effect of Bend Will, so it can be hit and it won't hit back.

Topping off the Dragonborn's health/stamina/magicka before the Dragonborn delivers the killing blow to Malkoran will make it easier to survive him, as his shade will rapidly appear and continue throwing frost bolts. It is possible that he will use powerful flame spells instead of frost spells.

When Malkoran and his corrupted followers are finally dead, Meridia tells the Dragonborn to retrieve Dawnbreaker.

Note that there will not be another chance to come back to this room after retrieving Dawnbreaker, and simply taking it will transport the Dragonborn from the room. There are a large number of desecrated corpses, each having 20 - 125 gold, so there is great profit to be made if they are looted before taking the sword.


IMG 5974

Meridia speaks to the Dragonborn after the evil is banished

  • Objective: Retrieve Dawnbreaker

Once the Dragonborn takes Dawnbreaker, they will be whisked back to the heavens for one last conversation and a great view.


  • The quest log after completing the quest will read '...and retrieved the artifact Dawnstar...' instead of saying Dawnbreaker. 
  • Using Dead Thrall or the Ritual Stone power on Malkoran and killing him may result in another Malkoran's Shade spawning. In theory, this process may be used for unlimited farming of Malkoran's Shade for possible coin and skill advancement.
  • Using a projectile spell such as Fireball on the altar holding Dawnbreaker may create a copy of it which flies across the room. It can be picked up before removing the original from the altar to end the quest, leaving two Dawnbreakers in inventory.
  • While being lifted in the air at the shrine, the view of Skyrim's landscape is impressive, as Dragon Bridge, Solitude, Morthal, the Thalmor Embassy, and more can be seen. Depending on distance settings, it may be possible to see the College of Winterhold.


This section contains bugs related to The Break of Dawn. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.


  • The Official Game Guide of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Prima Games.

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Break of Dawn

  • I keep falling to my death on Xbox

    12 messages
    • It's been a year but I feel like I should point out that you want to use the shout right before or after you grab the sword. I think it'll st...
    • There's a trick you an do with Beast Form to fast travel and avoid the falling part entirely. If you search "break of dawn glitch solved"...
  • My Poor Kharjo

    4 messages
    • Go back a save. If he's still in there then fast traveling somewhere else should teleport him to you.
    • ok it's all right i did the plate trick (FINALLY) and got out

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki