The Final Descent is a quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn.


I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the remains of his great-grandfather, Gratian Caerellius, are at the bottom of the mine and that the East Empire Company has falsely designated his ancestor's death as an accident. He's tasked me with exploring the mine on his behalf to locate the remains, and perhaps discovering what killed Gratian Caerellius.


Raven Rock MineEdit

After entering Raven Rock Mine, Aphia Velothi and Crescius Caerellius can be seen arguing about venturing into the mine.

Crescius: "Damn it, woman! I said leave me be!"
Aphia: "Crescius, last time you explored the mine you almost fell to your death. I'm not spending the rest of my days as a widow!"
Crescius: "And I'm telling you that I'll do whatever it takes to find my great-grandfather's remains. He's down here, I can feel it."
Aphia: "That was almost two centuries ago. There may be nothing left to find."
Crescius: "Just let me go, woman!"
Aphia: "Crescius, you're an obstinate old fool and you're going to get yourself killed."

After talking to Crescius, the quest starts.

The path heads down until a platform with a cave to the left side is encountered. Here lives a skeever and a skeleton. Further on, a cave can be seen to the right containing some minor loot and a Frostbite Spiders. The path across the wooden platforms leads to another spider. Down the stairs is another spider. Inside the next corner is a fire trap.

Continuing down the next set of stairs, the path appears blocked, but the wood can be broken. There's an expert-locked East Empire Company strongbox on the chest next to the iron gate.

After unlocking the iron gate with the Raven Rock Mine key, it becomes obvious that the miners accidentally broke into an old tomb, similar to what happened at Soljund's Sinkhole. The path continues to some water, near which several Draugr live. A chest can be found in the left crevice after entering the room with water. The next corner contains a trap. Around the corner and up the stairs, two thrones can be seen in the next room, with a draugr seated on the left one. Around the thrones and through the door at the end are more draugr. They can be killed easily at low levels by using the trap (pressure plate with swinging door).

The next room contains many draugr sitting on thrones. To the left side of the room is a master-locked chest. Through the door at the other end of the chamber, to the right, a stalhrim deposit can be found in the draugr crypt on the left. However this can only be mined with an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. Further down the path is an alchemy lab with all sorts of ingredients, including some added by Dragonborn, specifically two netch jellies which are needed for a miscellaneous quest to retrieve five of them for Milore Ienth.

Further on is a lightning trap at the place with two torches. Through the water to open the door on the right, the next room contains more draugr, some of which may be Draugr Deathlords. Again, they can be easily killed by leading them back to the trap. The archer can be taken care of by sneaking at the entrance and sniping it with a bow because it only stays on the bridge ahead. In the waterfall, a door leads to Bloodskal Barrow. Inside are two urns and a stalhrim deposit with a searchable draugr under it.

Heading back and going upstairs to the right is a door that must be opened. The button for that door can be found on the opposite side of the chamber. There is an expert-locked chest beneath an arcane enchanter. Through the door to the left is a chamber with a spell tome for Ice Spike on a pillar. To the right is a ramp with an adept-level chest underneath. There is a lightning trap at the end of the chamber. Through the already opened wooden door is a walkway with pressure plates just beyond. At the end of the walkway is a door with an adept-locked chest behind it. Turning around, a little alcove is on the right side.

The next room contains the destination. Note that, after jumping down, there is no return until the Dragon Priest Zahkriisos is defeated. After jumping down, the water can be followed to the end, where there's a chest. Afterwards, taking Gratian's Journal off of his corpse and reading it will give the optional objective.

Passing Through the Bloodskal DoorEdit

To open the door, equip the Bloodskal Blade. When doing a power attack, a red beam will come out of the blade. If doing a horizontal attack (done by moving to the side while doing a power attack from a standing position), a horizontal beam will come out, while a straight power attack results in a vertical beam. From the top of the stairs, with the reticle aimed at the glowing red fissures found at the left and right sides of the door, a horizontal power attack will unlock a horizontal red fissure. When a vertical fissure appears, a vertical power attack will unlock it. The sections of the walls will alter themselves along with the red fissures; continuing to aim the reticle and matching attack with the red fissures will eventually result in each side having no visible red fissures left. Now the door can be hit vertically with the reticle aimed along the new, centered red fissure. This will open the door.

Through the unlocked door and the swinging blade traps, the lever at the end of the hallway opens a door. In the middle lies a chest. But this appears to be a trap, because it only contains two gold, and approaching it spawns Zahkriisos.

Zahkriisos is able to spawn seekers to his aid, and can use the master level Destruction spell Lightning Storm. Zahkriisos can be killed by crouching behind a fallen pillar and using the blade's special effect to hit and hide. Having a follower with a bow will also distract him. Alternatively, he can be baited into a tight area, then the Dragonborn can morph into a werewolf. He must be cornered so he can't float over the water.

After he is defeated, the Word Wall teaches a word of the shout Dragon Aspect. Back at the west end of the room, the exit to the right leads to a stand with a Black Book. Reading this will send the Dragonborn to Apocrypha.


Walking forward (being careful of the tentacles that come out of the water) starts the quest "Black Book: The Winds of Change." After completing the quest, the Dragonborn is teleported back to the place where the black book was first picked up.

Raven Rock Mine (second time)Edit

A chest at the left side of the room holds leveled loot. Up the stairs is the door to Bloodskal Barrow. At the end of the passage, activating the chain on the left side opens the stone door. Multiple enemies are present that need to be killed. At the end of the path is a door back to Solstheim. All enemies in both towers need to be killed, in order to allow fast travel. Don't forget the adept-locked chest on top of the second tower. Fast traveling to Raven Rock and returning to Crescius at his house causes him to give a reward of 250–750 GoldIcon when the journal is handed in. The Bloodskal blade cannot be removed from the inventory until the journal is returned to Crescius.

After this, Raven Rock mine will be reopened, which now serves as a large source of ebony.


The Final Descent – DLC2RR03
IDJournal Entry
15I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the mines of Raven Rock contain a secret important enough for him to risk his own life to discover. He appears to have more to tell, so I should listen to what he has to say if I want to learn more.
  • Objective 5: Speak to Crescius Caerellius
20I've stumbled across Crescius Caerellius inside of Raven Rock Mine. He's convinced that the remains of his great-grandfather, Gratian Caerellius, are at the bottom of the mine and that the East Empire Company has falsely designated his ancestor's death as an accident. He's tasked me with exploring the mine on his behalf to locate the remains, and perhaps discovering what killed Gratian Caerellius.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve Gratian Caerellius's Journal
30I've located the skeletal remains of Gratian Caerellius. In his satchel, I've discovered an old journal. In order to return it to Crescius, I'll have to discover a way to escape Bloodskal Barrow.
  • Objective 20: Read Gratian Caerellius's Journal (Optional)
  • Objective 30: Escape Bloodskal Barrow
50After locating the remains of Gratian Caerellius, recovering his journal and escaping Bloodskal Barrow, I should bring the evidence of my discovery to Crescius Caerellius.
  • Objective 40: Return to Crescius Caerellius
200I've located Gratian Caerellius's remains and uncovered the truth regarding his untimely death deep inside Bloodskal Barrow.
  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to The Final Descent. 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  ,  NX  , 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   The Word Wall may not give any words of Dragon Aspect.
    • Exiting the game and reloading a save before killing Zahkriisos will fix this.
    • Approaching The Word Wall before the blue highlighted word disappears, the player can use Whirlwind Sprint to quickly move infront of the wall and receive the Dragon Aspect shout.
    •  PC   Approaching the Word Wall before the blue highlighted word disappears. One can use console commands to turn collision off. After this, they can approach the word wall, and the blue highlighted word should not disappear; they can now retrieve said shout.
  • This can be fixed by going back through the door and re-entering
  • Caerellius may attack upon one's return to Raven Rock. Use the Bend Will shout on him and he will return to normal.
  •  360   PS3   Ebony Ore may not spawn in the mine after the quest has been completed.
  •  360   Upon leaving through the door to Bloodskal Barrow after returning from Apocrypha, a part of the tunnel will disappear and the Dragonborn will fall through the floor.
    • This can be fixed by going back through the door and re-entering.
  • After reading the Black Book, The Winds of Change, the Dragonborn may get stuck.
    • This can be fixed by saving, and then jumping into black sludge.

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Final Descent

  • Bloodskald blade won't fire it's charge so I'm stuck!

    40 messages
    • I’m afraid, on my pc, the help bloodskal command only shows the vertical strike code and rejects the horizontal spell equip code in this thre...
    • Hey, I know this is 3 years late, but I was here because I had the same problem (but it stopped working after the quest after I used it fo...
  • Tips on Killing Zahkriisos

    26 messages
    • wrote: I’m currently facing him and I’m using Auriel’s now with tons of arrows l (even though my archery is at 41 and...
    • Level 16 wood elf. 55 one handed. Used an ebony war axe enchanted with a soul steal enchantment. He never attacked me once, just chased aro...