Skyrim is known for its vast terrains, snowy mountains, and quests filled with myths and lore.
So, when Bethesda dropped the game’s first DLC, Dragonborn, in December 2012, players got something more to play and explore the beauty of Skyrim.
Dragonborn is set in Solstheim, the vast island between Skyrim’s mainland and the island of Vvardenfell. You can explore various quests on Solstheim, meet new characters, hire a new follower, and even meet Miraak, the first Dragonborn, a Dragon Priest, and champion of Hermaeus Mora.
But you will only be able to explore Solstheim when you reach its port city – Raven Rock. To reach Raven Rock, you need to cross the Sea of Ghosts.
Then how to get to Raven Rock in Skyrim?
To reach Raven Rock, you must fast-travel to the Windhelm Stables; there, you will find the Northern Maiden boat and its captain Gjalund Salt-Sage. He will take you to Raven Rock.
But there’s a lot more to know about Raven Rock than just how to reach there, and in this complete Raven Rock guide, we will discuss everything that is there to know about this wonderful port city of Solstheim.
Let’s jump into the article together!
Where is Raven Rock in Skyrim?
Raven Rock is the first place you explore as part of the Dragonborn DLC quest. It is one of the largest cities on the southwestern coast of Solstheim. The island is closer to the Morrowind region rather than Skyrim.
The city of Raven Rock was established by the East Empire Company and is now under the control of House Redoran, the most powerful of the Great Houses of Morrowind.
Raven Rock was featured in Morrowind’s Bloodmoon DLC, allowing players to travel to Solstheim to combat a werewolf threat. At the time, it was controlled by the East Empire Company and was quite different from its current state in Morrowind.
Raven Rock is the most populous city in Solstheim and also its capital. The city was established in the late Third Era primarily for mining purposes. Today, the city harbors sellswords and traders for business purposes.
The city of Raven Rock is known for its mysteries and riddles, but you can explore the city for multiple side quests and useful locations to collect valuable items.
How to Get to Raven Rock in Skyrim?
After you kill the dragon at the watchtower in Whiterun, you will be called to High Hrothgar by the Greybeards. Here, you will continue with the main questline with “The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller” quest.
Once you retrieve the horn, two strangers will attack you. You will engage in combat with them, allowing you to kill them. These two strangers are the Cultists of Miraak – the one true Dragonborn.
After you kill these cultists, you will discover a note called ‘Cultists’ Orders’. This note will prompt you to visit the Windhelm docks and find the boat Northern Maiden – the boat that these cultists used to come to Skyrim.
Once you locate the Northern Maiden, you will find its captain Gjalund Salt-Sage on the decks of the ship. Due to his bad personal experience with the cultists from Solstheim, initially, Gjalund will refuse to take you to Raven Rock.
However, you can either persuade, intimidate, or bribe him to take you there. Depending on your conversation, you could end up paying up to 500 gold coins to Gjalund.
Once a deal is agreed, the screen will go dark. When the screen lifts, you will see the boat facing the cliff of the southwestern coast of Solstheim and then docking at Raven Rock.
When Should You Go to Raven Rock?
I suggest that you only head to Solstheim after completing the main quest in Skyrim. This will give you better context and continuity for your gaming experience.
Enemies on Solstheim, especially Ash Spawns, are really tough to beat. So, you will need to gather the necessary gear and items. You can gather these items during the Skyrim quests.
I recommend you to be at a minimum of level 30 or more before you touch down on Solstheim. I also suggest that you have at least 3 dragon souls saved up, just in case; if you have the Daedric armor, even better.
Also, just like you get Serana as a follower in the Dawnguard DLC, in the Dragonborn DLC, you can hire Teldryn Sero, a Dunmer mercenary, at the Retching Netch – a prime Inn at Raven Rock. You can hire him at the cost of 500 gold.
Teldryn will help you combat Ash Spawns, easing your burden.
Important Quests in Raven Rock
The entire Dragonborn DLC is set on the island of Solstheim, and thus once you reach the island via Raven Rock, a lot of quests will be unlocked for you.
Here’s a list of quests available on the island:
- An Axe to Find
- Clean Sweep
- Feeding the Addiction
- Fetch the Netch
- March of the Dead
- The Final Descent
- First Edition
- It’s All In The Taste
- Paid in Full
- Pain in the Necklace
- Recipe for Distraction
- Served Cold
Let me tell you some of the most interesting quests and the rewards you get for completing them.
➡️ An Axe to Find
In this quest, you are assigned a task by Glover Mallory to bring back his Ancient Nordic Pickaxe from Crescius Caerellius.
Why you should do this quest as soon as possible?
Because on completing this quest, you will get to keep the Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. I suggest you do this quest before you enter the Raven Rock mine. That’s because you need this pickaxe to mine the Stalhrim Ore and collect Stalhrim. You can make strong Stalhrim weapons and armor from it.
Once you have the Ancient Nordic Pickaxe, you are well-equipped to move to the next quest – The Final Descent.
➡️ The Final Descent
In this quest, you will go to the Raven Rock mine and retrieve Gratian Caerellius’ (Crescius’ great-grandfather) journal.
In the process, the Dragonborn will enter the ancient Nordic ruins and slaughter all the Draugrs that haunt the place. You will also need to find the Dragon Prince and kill him off.
Once you return Gratian’s journal, Crescius will reward you with gold. But with this gold, you will get two powerful weapons:
- Bloodskal Blade: A legendary two-handed greatsword that fires arcs of light at your enemies. This sword can also be used to open the gates of Bloodskal Barrow.
- Zahkriisos Mask: After attaining the Bloodskal Blade and solving a puzzle, you can enter the Bloodskal Barrow. Here, kill the dragon priest inside and steal his Zahkriisos Mask. The mask offers 50% resistance to shocks; shock spells also do 25% more damage.
Along with these powerful weapons, you will also get a Word of Power Wall for Dragon Aspect. Once the dragon priest is killed, a word of power wall will appear in front of you.
Congratulations! You now have one of the words needed for the Dragon Aspect shout. Using this shout grants the Dragonborn temporary dragon-like abilities. These shouts can also be useful when fighting dragons and other powerful enemies.
Upon completion of The Final Descent quest, you will also free the Raven Rock mine from the evil Dragon Priest. Now, the Raven Rock settlers can restart their mining work, bringing prosperity back to the city.
➡️ Served Cold
One of the most interesting and crucial quests you will do in the Dragonborn DLC. After completing “The March of the Dead” and “The Final Descent” quests, Captain Veleth will assign you this quest.
In this quest, the Dragonborn needs to thwart an assassination attempt on the first councilor Lleril Morvayn.
Adril Arano, the second councilor, will hand you the responsibility to track down the suspects, collect evidence, and kill the assassins.
Once this quest is completed successfully, Morvayn will be delighted and gift you up to 10,000 gold coins.
If you want to get a house in Raven Rock, Skyrim, you must complete the “Served Cold” quest. The quest will give you Severin Manor as a reward. The manor is the only player home that you can own on Solstheim.
➡️ Pain in the Necklace
One of the miscellaneous quests that you can dive into if you want more gold. Like Skyrim’s “No Stone Unturned” quest, this is another brain-numbing jewelry collection quest.
Pain in the Necklace will be assigned to you by Fethis Alor. He will tell you about the East Empire Pendants – unique trinkets made exclusively for East Empire Company employees.
You, the Dragonborn, will have to find these 32 East Empire Pendants spread across the island of Solstheim. For each Pendant, Fethis will pay 500 gold.
Here is a list of all the East Empire Pendants in Raven Rock:
Alor House: Go to the basement; you will find a Pendant on the table.
Caerellius House: Next to the cooking pot, on the stone shelf.
Glover Mallory’s House: Enter the house; on the right-side table, you will find some Pendants.
Northern Maiden: Underneath the docks where the boat is docked.
Morvayn Manor: On the stone shelf next to the small round table on the top floor.
Raven Rock Mine: The Pendants are underneath the table in the first room upstairs.
Raven Rock Mine: Right side of the Iron Gate.
The Bulwark: A table on the right with rolls of paper and Alto Wine.
The Retching Netch: Found behind the bar on a shelf close to the floor.
Strident Squall: Even though this place is outside Raven Rock, you’ll be visiting this place during the First Edition quest. You will find the Pendants on the bottom shelf inside the cargo hold.
Important Locations in Raven Rock
There are some important locations in Raven Rock that you must visit while you’re on the island of Solstheim.
Some of them are essential to the main storyline of the Dragonborn DLC, and you will visit them during the quests, while some places can be ignored.
Here are some of the important locations on Raven Rock:
➡️ The Dunmer Temple
When you get off at the Raven Rock port, the first place you see is the Dunmer temple. It’s a sacred place for the Dunmer people and is operated by Elder Othreloth and his companions.
The temple consists of three Holy Shrines – Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. The quests “Clean Sweep” and “Served Cold” initiate from this Temple. In this building, the Dunmer lay their dead to rest via a ritual called the Reclamation, which uses holy fire for purification.
➡️ Cold Cinder Cave
A mysterious abandoned cave that is not present on the map. It is at the starting edge of Raven Rock and can be accessed through a trapdoor.
The Cold Cinder Cave divides the way into two separate directions. One goes to the Bulwark Jail, while the other one takes you to the hidden chamber. In this chamber, you will find a precious chest guarded by Ash Spawn. You can kill the Ash Spawn, thereby allowing you to open the chest for some valuable rewards.
➡️ Alor House
The residence of Fethsin and Dreyla Alor is located near the market square. It contains many useful items. Some of these are the Poison Song Books collection and EEC letters, and even Hallgerd’s Tale – heavy armor for battles and combat.
➡️ Severin Manor
Once you complete the “Served Cold” quest, you will get Severin Manor as a reward. The house has an excellent supply stash, and you’re likely to find all the basic materials here for crafting and future quests.
In Severin Manor, the alchemy lab and enchanter’s table can also be put to good use. Thus, you can prepare various alchemy recipes to get spells and potions. The enchanter’s table also lets you enhance your enchanting capabilities.
The Dragonborn DLC is one of the most loved DLCs of Skyrim; it lets you explore the island of Solstheim and the harbor of Raven Rock. The last time Elder Scroll players could do so was in The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind: Bloodmoon DLC.
Since the Bloodmoon DLC, a lot has changed at Solstheim: the graphics, the texture, the storyline, and more. All thanks to Bethesda!
These DLCs establish The Elder Scrolls as one of the best story-driven games for PC.
During the side quests at Raven Rock, you will learn more about the Dunmer culture and how they are coping with the aftermath of the Red Mountain eruption.
Solstheim, even though a small frontier, is a truly unique location that cannot be found in vanilla Skyrim.
And thus, I urge you to explore this beautiful world on your own.
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