An option to skip the whole dungeon and simply grab the mask and word wall is to climb the mountain directly to Volskygge Peak. Reaching the peak there will be a boss battle with the Dragon Priest Volsung. He will drop his dragon priest mask, which is also called Volsung. One of the words of the Whirlwind Sprint shout is also located here.
Just before the dungeon's main entrance, there's a stairway down to some sort of excavation. To the left, there's an entrance to a small tomb aside from the main dungeon. Care should be exercised when entering this, as there's a swing trap mounted in the ceiling. Inside are some loot, and two coffins. The right one has already been opened and there's a dead draugr on the floor. The left one is closed, but can be forced to opened in several ways, most easily by placing a fire rune. This will release a leveled draugr.
From here, a stairway goes up again, to the dungeon courtyard. A bandit camp can be found here.
This section is fairly straightforward. In the first large room with a throne and a poison dart trap in front of it, plus several bandits. From there, the path leads west, then turns north. In the next room, a swinging spiked gate trap can be avoided by passing to its right. The path continues to the west down some stairs to an apprentice-locked chest with random loot and another bandit. The path turns north, then splits at a T intersection. To the left (west) is a room with two bandits, a bookshelf with a copy of Surfeit of Thieves, and an adept-locked gate with a lever behind it. Pulling the lever reveals a secret door to the west, which leads to several potions and a chest with random loot.
To the east from the T intersection is a large dining hall with two doorways to the left (north) and an iron door to the east. The north doorways lead to different ends of the same hallway, which in turn leads to several other dining rooms that have no notable loot. The iron door has a swinging log trap in the doorway that is difficult to avoid, though sneaking up to the trap's activation plate and standing on while the trap comes down, then moving forward and to the side while the trap is receding back into the ceiling will avoid it. Beyond it, the path turns to the left (north) and leads to a room with a puzzle to solve. There are four insignia (bear, wolf, fox, snake) near the floor, and each has a pedestal behind it with a handle that can be activated. To solve the puzzle, it is necessary to activate the handles in the correct order. The riddle of the puzzle is described in the book The Four Totems of Volskygge, which is on a pedestal near the north end of the room. The riddle goes as follows:
The first fears all, the second fears none.
The third eats what it can, preferably number one.
The fourth fears the second, but only when alone.
All must be activated in order, if you wish to go home.
Snake, Bear, Fox, Wolf.
The Snake fears all, The Bear fears none.
The Fox eats what it can, Preferably the Snake.
The Wolf fears the Bear, But only when it's separated from its pack.
Continuing through the newly opened door, there is a spiral staircase down, a chest, and a lever on the left-side wall of the northern-most alcove that opens a secret passage to a room with minor loot that is protected by a poison dart trap. Proceeding down the wooden spiral stairs and through the short passage leads to a door to the next area.
The corridor beyond the door leads down stairs and into a room with a soul gem, and urns containing random loot. The lever next to the soul gem stand just opens a set of iron bars to a small alcove. Behind the iron door to the north is a room with a draugr. There is a chest to the right in the back - it is booby trapped, but can be disarmed. On the altar, there are two soul gems and a skeever tail. The iron bars to the west are opened by activating the lever on the wall to the right. The room beyond has a grate over a pit, and just beyond, a pressure plate that activates a pendulum axe.
In the next room is a trap door that opens on a pit with spikes, but which has wooden platforms that can be jumped between to get to the bottom safely. At the bottom, there is a lone draugr to fight. Proceeding to the south, the passage turns to the west, then proceeds up stairs to a room where there are three draugr and several side alcoves with crypts. To the north from there is a passage that leads back to the room with the trap door.
In the room with the trap door, there is a dead bandit. On the wall hidden behind her, there is a lever that opens to a room with another lever that will close the first wall and open a second. In this room, there is an adept locked chest and a healing potion on a pedestal. Once the potion is removed, spikes will come up from the floor, so it is best to approach the pedestal with the potion from behind.
Back in the room with the three draugr, to the south is a spiked gate trap, behind which is an apprentice-locked chest. The path turns to the right (west), where two more draugr are found. The path turns north, then opens up into a large square room with a large column in the center and crypts all around. There are multiple draugr here.
Up the stairs is another powerful draugr, and a third burial chamber. There is a live draugr in a crypt on the right which can be attacked before it awakens. Through the open iron doors straight ahead, there is another draugr scourge. On the altar, there are three health related potions.
Back through the iron doors, to the right (west), there is a staircase leading up. In the middle of the staircase, there is a pressure plate that releases a battering ram. In some cases, it will take out the draugr on top of the stairs. The path continues up to the west, then becomes a cave that winds around, with eleven frostbite spiders along the way before reaching their nest. Once in their nest, the path continues through a narrow corridor. After cutting one spider web that blocks the path, there are four more frostbite spiders. The path continues up, requiring cutting through several more spider webs. Eventually, the rough cave reverts to a regular dungeon again.
At the top of the stairs is a booby trapped chest that can be disarmed, or else it's best to be on its left side to avoid the battering ram. The path turns right (south) and proceeds down a ramp. In the room straight ahead, there is a room with two arched bridges across a stream, plus three draugr.
The river flows out through a passage to the right. At the end of the passage is an orichalcum ore vein and a chest.
Back in the room with the stream, there are stairs leading up to the south, and then another set up to the left (east). At the top of those stairs is a draugr death overlord sitting on a throne. After having dealt with him, the room should be looted. The path continues up the stairs behind the throne to a door to Volskygge Peak.
Volskygge Peak is, as its name states, the peak of the dungeon. At Volskygge Peak, the Dragonborn will encounter the Dragon Priest Volsung. Volsung will drop Volsung's Mask, one of the eight dragon priest masks. The only other notable sight at Volskygge peak is the Whirlwind Sprint word wall.
It is possible to bypass the entire dungeon (except Volsung) to get straight to the Whirlwind Sprint word wall by climbing the mountain which works best with a horse. Out of the door and immediately to the left is a large set of stairs leading to a word of power for the Whirlwind Sprint shout and the dragon priest Volsung. Once Volsung is dead, his mask should be taken to complete Volskygge.
- Dragon Priest Mask: Volsung Mask
- Surfeit of Thieves (Lockpicking skill book)
- The Four Totems of Volskygge
- Word Wall: Whirlwind Sprint
- Possible place for Kahvozein's Fang: Quest item for Alteration Ritual Spell, a quest given by Tolfdir. If climbing to the peak externally, the door to the dungeon there is not locked, and the Fang is just inside.
- Two emeralds - One on each side of the central pillar, down the steps from Volsung's coffin.
- There is a spike wall trap past the pit traps that some followers are not able to get around. Taking a careful starting from the right and hugging the right wall will usually result in the follower getting past.
- If the Thieves Guild quest Darkness Returns has been completed, and the perk of Shadowcloak of Nocturnal was chosen, if using that perk, the dragon priest will not detect the Dragonborn.
- If having problems dealing with the draugr, it is possible to lure it back to the opening with the frostbite spiders, where there is a ledge that can jumped onto whilst he cannot. Then he can simply be attacked with ranged attacks until he dies. Note, however, that he can still shout, but infrequently. Another option to deal with the draugr death overlord is to use Unrelenting Force shout on it in its starting room and aim it at the shelves in the back right side. It can get caught behind them and he won't be able to get out but can still be killed with a bow or magic. If it is in the gap between the shelves and the wall when killing it, it will still be close enough to search. He can still shout, though. One can also run around in circles on the two bridges in the room before the throne room and cast a Wall spell (Wall of Flames, Wall of Frost, Wall of Storms) or use a staff enchanted with one of the spells while he runs behind trying to catch up. One can also cast runes in this manner.
- The entire tomb can be completely bypassed by just climbing to the peak. When standing in front of the main entrance, it is possible to head left and keep scaling up the mountainside in a horizontal zigzag. This is especially useful for any Dragonborn who can take on the dragon priest, but has problems with the overlord. Jumping on the rocks will get the Dragonborn up to the top fastest. The Dragonborn can also run straight up the slope if they have a horse. Note that Shadowmere will help fight the dragon priest, and in some cases completely distract him.
- Once the puzzle involving the four animals is solved, the latter half of this dungeon can NOT be accessed again. The gate opened by the puzzle will once again close and the puzzle will lock. It is suggested to stock up on plenty of items that can deal with undead as well as plenty of health potions before entering this gate. If it is necessary to get past the gate after it has locked again, this can be done by either:
- Using the console command disable on the gate, or use tcl To pass.
- Going up the hill to Volskygge Peak, then going back through the passages from the door located on the peak.
- The Draugr at the end of the dungeon will always be a Draugr Death Overlord, regardless of the player's level when entering, which can result in a very difficult fight. However, this also means that one can get an Ebony war axe or sword very early in the game.
- The healing potion on the pedestal in the hidden room is always an Ultimate Healing potion, regardless of level, when said potions normally begin to appear at levels 30+.
This section contains bugs related to Volskygge. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- It is possible for the glowing words to not appear and thus be impossible to learn the word. This also means that the dragon priest and his mask are unavailable as well, as Volsung only bursts from his coffin after the word is learned. To get around this, the Unrelenting Force shout can be used on the priest's coffin, which will blast the priest out of the coffin and slam him against the wall. This will also stun him for a short time and make the fight against him easier. One tactic is to also throw a fire rune in front of the coffin, which will awaken him. It won't get the word but at least the mask will be received (confirmed on PC). Learning Whirlwind Sprint as part of the main quest first before clearing this dungeon may resolve this. Also, all 3 parts of Whirlwind Sprint can be unlocked regardless of whether or not Volskygge's word wall shows up.
- Closing the trapped door that leads to a pit with stairs below (past the spiked pit) can cause game to freeze.
The gate might not open.
- A solution is to save, reload, and enter the sequence again.
tclcan be used to enable no clip. The console command
If the dungeon has previously been completed and the shout discovered on the word wall, and then the Dragonborn retreated from Volsung, the next time the Dragonborn returns to Volskygge Peak, Volsung will not come out of his coffin.
- A solution is to jump into Volsung's coffin and angle a weapon (sword, dagger, mace, etc.) directly on Volsung's chest. He will then appear and be ready for combat.
- Sometimes, if the quest "Find the source of power in Volskygge" is active, and Northwind Mine was passed through, finding the Aura Whisper word of power on Northwind Summit will cause this quest to be completed.
- Fireball, runes, or the Unrelenting Force shout should not be used in this instance to knock them loose, due to the small size of the gems. Instead, rotate the cursor around until the "take" option appears. The Emeralds on the peak may clip partially through the snow, making them hard to take.