Elder Scrolls

The Break of Dawn

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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 by finding the radiant quest item Meridia's Beacon, before ever visiting the shrine in random chests, past level 12. Note that this is one of the more profitable quests available in terms of gold.


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.

Walkthrough Edit

  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 into 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
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After reaching Level 12, the Dragonborn may discover this strange gem randomly in one of the large and ornate chests he or she opens; it's not in any fixed location. Alternatively, the Dragonborn can travel to Meridia's shrine where she will speak of a profane darkness that has defiled her temple, and will then set a waypoint to the beacon. Once the beacon is obtained, Meridia will speak to the Dragonborn every day (this effect is removed by update 1.6 or earlier) as she becomes increasingly alarmed at their lack of interest in helping the Solar Daughter, Meridia. This can be avoided by simply going to the shrine, as the beacon will randomly appear.

Meridia's BeaconEdit

Skyrim Screen 06
Meridia speaks with the Dragonborn high in the heavens.
LunarfallAdded by Lunarfall

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 elaborates about 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

After making a way inside, 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 ripe for the looting, 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 one 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
YedankerAdded by Yedanker

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 and a few urns. After activating the pedestal, the iron 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 boobytrapped, but the trap (master-level) can be disarmed. Behind the door is a small room with some loot. Before entering the next hallway, there is a conveniently placed tripwire around the corner to the left that sets off some swinging axes. There is a lever on the floor in the corner that appears to do nothing. Through the caged walkway is a platform from which the Dragonborn can jump over the gap to another pedestal on the left, jump back over and take the ramp to find good treasure in the northwest corner, then go through the door on the west wall that was just unlocked.

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.

Destroy MalkoranEdit

IMG 5973
Pedestal that holds the defiled Dawnbreaker
YedankerAdded by Yedanker

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 where he is. He will turn against the Shades and quickly dispatch them. Once the Shades are gone, it is possible to sneak behind him and land as many critical hits as can be delivered 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.

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

Note that there will not be another chance to come back to this room after retrieving the 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
YedankerAdded by Yedanker
  • Objective: Retrieve Dawnbreaker

Once the Dragonborn takes Dawnbreaker, again being careful of the beam, 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  , and  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

  • Possible glitch fix for "the break of dawn"

    2 messages
    • Ok so I read post after post about and experiencing the fall to your death after grabbing the dawnbreaker sword and talking to her. I kept dy...
    • can not get shout to work is their another way keep from dying when falling after talking to meridia
  • I found a second beacon?

    4 messages
    • The wiki page states that when you wander too close to a large dungeon the beacon may remove itself from your inventory to the boss chest i...
    • wrote:The wiki page states that when you wander too close to a large dungeon the beacon may remove itself from your inventory...
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