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Skyrim:Deathbrand (quest)

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Walkthrough: written by Krusty, not checked
Reward: written by Krusty, not checked
Find the treasure of Haknir Death-Brand.
Quest Giver: Reading Deathbrand
Location(s): Haknir's Shoal, Gyldenhul Barrow
Reward: Deathbrand armor, Bloodscythe and Soulrender, a minimum of 6400 gold
ID: DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQST / DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQSTMisc
Required Items: Ancient Nordic Pickaxe
Required Level: 36
Suggested Level: 40
The resting place of the King of Ghosts

Quick WalkthroughEdit

Note: You must be level 36 before you can start this quest.

  1. (Optional) Read Deathbrand.
  2. Find the treasure map.
  3. Locate the four ancient chests containing the pieces of Deathbrand armor.
  4. Explore Gyldenhul Barrow.
  5. Defeat Haknir Death-Brand and his crew.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

Tale of TreasureEdit

Haknir Death-Brand was known for rages and fits of madness, and he delighted in torture and murder for its own sake. He was said to have lived an unnaturally long life, and displayed a terrible scar on his face known as "the Deathbrand", which no man could look upon without flinching. Due to the terrible scar, some thought of him as a Daedra while others spoke of a pact he made with Mehrunes Dagon, calling the scar a seal between him and the Prince of Destruction. Before his death, he told his crew that none were worthy to be his successor or have his treasure. He placed a curse on his armor and his scimitars, Bloodscythe and Soulrender. He commanded a crewman to bury his armor in four separate locations on Solstheim, each marked by a map, before sealing him in his tomb at Gyldenhul Barrow along with all his treasure.

This story was written down by a House Redoran scribe and ended up as the book Deathbrand. Once you have reached level 36, reading the book will start the miscellaneous objective to find Haknir's treasure. There are a total of eleven copies of the book on Solstheim. Please see this section for a complete list of locations. It is also possible to initiate the quest by asking about the latest rumors from Geldis Sadri at the Retching Netch, who will mark the site on your map upon inquiring.

"Boss said to bring you back or bring back your corpse."

Additionally, you may overhear an argument in the wilderness between a female pirate and a male pirate mage:

Pirate: "I told him 'no' once already."
Pirate Mage: "We've got work to do."
Pirate: "I'm not chasing that map. It's a fool's errand. I'm done. Leave me alone."
Pirate Mage: "Boss said to bring you back or bring back your corpse."
Pirate: "Is that so? Well, you'll never get that treasure now!"
Pirate Mage: "Time to die!"

After their argument, they will attack each other over the discussed treasure. If you stand aside during their fight, the pirate may lose the battle, and you can loot a copy of the book from her corpse.

The Silent ScreamEdit

According to the book, Garuk Windrime and the rest of the crew arrived on a shoal in northern Solstheim, where they started digging the hole for the first of the four iron-bound chests. The same night, Garuk's heart was filled with greed; he opened the chest, took out the helm within and placed it on his head... and then began to scream. Although it remains unclear what happened to Garuk, it is said that his scream can still be heard on that same shoal, on moonlit nights.

"I told you. Just where the map said it would be."

After reading the book, a map marker will point you towards Haknir's Shoal, a small campsite along the coast in northeastern Solstheim. Travel to the camp and you will find it inhabited by pirates and their captain. If you manage to sneak up on the camp, you can overhear their conversation:

Pirate: "See? I told you. Just where the map said it would be."
Captain: "We don't even know what's inside. And besides, there's... the curse."
Pirate: "Don't tell me you believe that rot! Well, as soon as Jorn gets back, you'll see. You'll see."

From here, it is possible to kill the pirate captain and his followers or simply pickpocket the captain and steal the Deathbrand Treasure Map he is carrying. Once you have obtained the treasure map, the quest will initiate. Search the camp for the half-buried ancient chest and pick the expert-leveled lock. Inside, you will find the Deathbrand Helm, the same helm worn by Garuk Windrime, although the rumors of his scream on moonlit nights turn out to be highly exaggerated.

The Treasure HuntEdit

With one of the four chests found, three remain. Take a good look at the treasure map, and it becomes clear that Haknir's crew followed orders and placed them as far apart as possible. Note that you will have no map markers and will receive no quest updates until you have claimed the contents of all four chests.

Quick Access to Treasure Map

Tel Mithryn (Southeast)Edit

Travel to the home of Telvanni wizard Neloth and find the river west of the settlement. Where the river flows into the Sea of Ghosts, a family of netch floats around. To the northeast of the netch family are several boulders in a pile, and three ash spawn will attack as you get close. Search the area for the ancient chest (screenshot) and notice that two treasure hunters beat you to it, but paid with their lives. Pick the expert-leveled lock on the chest and claim the Deathbrand Boots.

Raven Rock (Southwest)Edit

"We... we actually found it!"

Southwest of Raven Rock is the Earth Stone. Head to the stone and proceed in a north-northwestern direction until you reach a small pine forest, with a family of netch floating around above the water nearby. As you get closer, you will see a reaver and a reaver lord discussing the chest they just dug up:

Reaver: "I can't believe it. We... we actually found it!"
Reaver Lord: "Well, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and open it."
Reaver: "No, no, I couldn't. ...You open it."
Reaver Lord: "Maybe... we should think about this some more."

When they discover you, they will obviously be hostile. Deal with them both and locate the ancient chest (screenshot), pick the adept-leveled lock and claim the Deathbrand Armor.

Bristleback Cave (Northwest)Edit

The hidden dock, Northshore Landing, is located at the foot of the icy mountains of northwestern Solstheim. A small ways southwest of the dock is a small camp inhabited by rieklings guarding the entrance to Bristleback Cave. Proceed south along the shore and you will find a tidal pool with some mud crabs and the ancient chest (screenshot). Pick the adept-leveled lock on the chest and claim the Deathbrand Gauntlets.

A Cursed TroveEdit

In whichever Deathbrand Armor chest (above) you open last, you will find the Gyldenhul Barrow Key, and the quest will update. The map marker will now point you towards the Nordic ruin, Gyldenhul Barrow.

80 piles of gold

Gyldenhul Barrow is located on Horker Island, east of Skaal Village. It is guarded by a few patrolling reavers. There is a Quicksilver Ore Vein slightly to the northeast of the entrance. The door has a master-level lock on it, but the key you found will open it. Inside, you will find a dead Adventurer carrying a note detailing how his search for treasure ended in the small barrow. He had to barricade himself inside, waiting for a group of bandits to disappear from outside the ruin. In the meantime, he noticed a small draft from behind one of the two stalhrim deposits, although his pickaxe was unable to break them down. Approach the western stalhrim deposit and use your ancient Nordic pickaxe to tear it down. Behind it is a narrow tunnel leading further into the ruin. Unlock the door and enter a wide tunnel filled to the brink with piles of gold—a total of 80 piles, each worth between 80 and 120 gold, along with several pieces of jewelry, chests, and other valuables. However, as you start to loot the place, a portcullis will fall behind you, so the only way is onward.

When you have claimed the huge treasure from the room, proceed to the southern door and unlock it with the key. Head down the tunnel until you reach a large chamber with the skeletal remains of Haknir Death-Brand. Next to the skeleton lies the legendary scimitar Bloodscythe. Once you claim it, Haknir Death-Brand's ghost will appear and attack you, then teleport away after he loses about 20% health. Members of his crew appear to fight you, including Garuk Windrime and Thalin Ebonhand. As you kill some of them off, Haknir Death-Brand will spawn again, and the cycle will repeat until he is dead. Once defeated you'll attain another unique scimitar named Soulrender. It has an added effect when dual-wielded with Bloodscythe. Also when Haknir falls, the way back out will re-open.

Deathbrand LocationsEdit

Bloodskal Barrow One on a dresser near a double bed
Another on a set of shelves near an unusable cooking spit
Deor Woodcutter's House On a set of shelves next to some barrels in the corner
Fort Frostmoth On a cupboard shelf near the boss chest
Greathall On a desk in the northwest corner
Morvayn Manor Chambers On a set of shelves along the wall
The Retching Netch On a bookshelf in a room on the lower floor
Tel Mithryn One on a set of shelves near a table displaying a large map
Another on a separate table nearby
Tel Mithryn Steward's House On a small shelf next to the bed
Temple Atop a small round table in Galdrus Hlervu's room


  • It is possible to avoid fighting his crew by killing Haknir in one blow (sneaking with a dagger, for instance). It is also possible to instantly kill him using the Wabbajack.
  • The treasure map is filed under the miscellaneous section of the inventory, not under books.


  • The quest may get fouled and cannot be properly completed if you break into Gyldenhul Barrow by picking the lock and have the Wax Key perk.
  • The treasure map may vanish when it is picked up. Note that the treasure map is a Misc item, not a Book.
  • If you die you won't be able to pick up the sword again. ?

Quest StagesEdit

Deathbrand (DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQST)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
29 At Haknir's Shoal, a band of pirates uncovered an ancient treasure chest containing a single piece of Stalhrim armor. How did they know to dig in this remote spot?
Objective 29: Learn more about the buried treasure
30 A band of pirates followed an ancient treasure map to Haknir's Shoal, where they discovered a chest at the location marked on the map. By following the map, perhaps I can find the rest of the treasure they sought.
Objective 30: Use the Deathbrand Treasure Map to find the treasure
31 A band of pirates followed an ancient treasure map to Haknir's Shoal, where they found a chest containing a piece of the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. By following their map, perhaps I can find the rest of the treasure they sought.
70 By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. In addition to his armor, one chest also contained the key to Gyldenhul Barrow. Could it be connected to Haknir's treasure?
Objective 70: Explore Gyldenhul Barrow
80 By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I found a room filled with Haknir's cursed gold. But touching it triggered the curse: the doors behind me have sealed.
90 By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I found his tomb and one of his cursed swords. But when I touched the sword, his ghost appeared and attacked.
Objective 90: Defeat Haknir Death-Brand
100 By following an ancient treasure map, I found the armor of Haknir Death-Brand, the legendary pirate king. A key contained in one of the chests led me to Gyldenhul Barrow, where I defeated Haknir's ghost and claimed his swords and gold as well.
Deathbrand (DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQSTMisc)
Objective 10: Search for the treasure of Haknir Death-Brand
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table:
    • DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQST: 0, 1, 10, 20, 40, 41, 42, 43, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 200.
    • DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQSTMisc: 20.
  • Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the Radiant Quest system, and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  • On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQST / DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQSTMisc stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages, but it is possible to clear all stages of the quest using resetquest DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQST / DLC2dunHaknirTreasureQSTMisc.