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Skyrim:Dawnguard Rune Axe

< Skyrim: Items: Artifacts
Artifact: Dawnguard Rune Axe (xx01668c)
Type One-handed War Axe
Added by Dawnguard
Editor ID DLC1DawnguardRuneAxe
Damage Damage 11
Damage Damage 11 {{{health}}}
Speed 0.9
Speed 0.9 Reach 1
Weight Weight 13 Value Value 175
Quality Tempering Steel Ingot
Quality Tempering Steel Ingot Perk Steel Smithing
Sun Damage, 0–100 pts in 15 ft
Dawnguard Rune Axe
"An axe imbued with magic fueled by the destruction of the unholy. With every victorious blow against an undead creature, its power grows." — Florentius Baenius

The Dawnguard Rune Axe is a powerful war axe received as part of the Lost Relic quest. It is the only artifact in the game that is a war axe.

Its enchantment deals 10 extra sun damage to undead for every 10 undead killed with the axe. Consequently, the enchantment becomes more powerful the more it is used, up to a maximum of 100 extra damage. This axe can be extremely powerful against groups of undead, as the enchantment has an area of effect. It also doesn't need to be recharged with soul gems.

In addition, this axe instantly shatters any ward spells it hits.


  • The Axe's enchantment does not work on raised undead, unless they are a vampire or other undead creature.
  • The counter in the item's description will continue to count past 100 kills, even though no extra damage is gained.
  • As long as the target dies within 2 seconds of hitting them with the Axe, the kill counter will still increase.
  • You can easily raise your kill count to 100 by raising your own undead, then killing them with the axe.
    • If you have access to Dead Thrall, you can reuse the same vampire corpse indefinitely.
    • The Conjure BonemanDG spell can be used to summon a Boneman,DG hit it with the axe, and wait 1 hour so it dies. This will increment the kill counter, and can be used to reach 100 kills since the kill counter doesn't reset (see bugs).
    • The Ritual Stone can be used to raise and kill many undead at once. If the Ritual Stone is stored on the Aetherial Crown,DG you can re-equip the crown to refresh the Ritual Stone's cooldown and repeat the process.
  • The sun damage enchantment can be further improved with the Necromage perk, Bone Wolf's RevengeCC power, and the Bloodworm Helm'sCC enchantment.
  • HendraheimCC, Bloodchill ManorCC and Myrwatch's galleryCCcontain special holders for this item in their galleries.


  • The Axe's kill counter is supposed to reset every day after 5:00 AM, but the script that should reset it wasn't implemented correctly.
    Mod Notes: The script that resets the counter only activates when picking up the Dawnguard Rune Axe inside the testPhil holding cell, which is impossible in normal gameplay.
  • At 100 kills, the Axe's enchantment will deal no damage. Getting another kill will set the damage to 100.
    Mod Notes: In the CK, the final condition for the enchantment's damage checks for >100 kills, rather than >=100.
  • Unlike other sources of sun damage, the Axe's enchantment is affected by the Augmented Flames perk and the AhzidalDB mask.
    Mod Notes: The axe uses the unique DLC1DawnguardRuneAxeDamageEffect magic effect, which has the MagicDamageFire keyword.
  • Rarely, the axe's kill counter may never increase from zero kills. ?