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Skyrim:Skull of Corruption

< Skyrim: Items: Artifacts
Daedric Artifact: Skull of Corruption (00035066)
(lore page)
Type Staff
Editor ID DA16SkullofCorruption
Damage Damage 2
Damage Damage 2 {{{health}}}
Weight Weight 10 Value Value 1680
20 points damage, increases to 50 if powered with dreams collected from sleeping people:
  • Dreamsteal, 10 pts for 43200 secs in 5 ft
  • Waking Nightmare, 40 pts in 15 ft
  • Psychic Agony, 15 pts
Charge/Cost = Uses 3000/40=75
Skull of Corruption

The Skull of Corruption is a dream-powered staff given by Vaermina as a reward for completing the Waking Nightmare quest in Dawnstar. To Dreamsteal, you simply cast it on a sleeping person and it will collect their dreams; however, it will still need to be charged with soul gems as well.

If equipped, guards will make comments about the staff: "What manner of staff is that? Such a horror..." and "What a foul and unnatural weapon you wield. Never have I seen its like."

The staff should never harm a sleeping NPC. Both of the damaging components of the enchantment, Waking Nightmare and Psychic Agony, affect only targets who are awake. Once cast on a sleeping NPC, that NPC gains the Dreamsteal active effect for 43,200 seconds (12 hours). While they have this effect, Dreamsteal won't work on them again. The Dreamsteal component also has neither the Detrimental nor Hostile flags checked, and has No Hit Event and Painless, and therefore should be considered non-hostile by witnesses.

Dreamsteal stores five dreams per valid target and expends one stored dream per hostile firing.

Psychic Agony, the base damaging component of the enchantment, only functions while the staff contains no stored dreams. Therefore, only Waking Nightmare or Psychic Agony can take effect from a single shot, not both.

Related QuestsEdit


  • This Daedric Artifact can be missed if you allow Erandur to destroy it during Waking Nightmare.
  • In Daggerfall and Oblivion, the Skull of Corruption had the ability to clone people.
  • Myrwatch's galleryCC contains a special holder for this item.
  • The Skull of Corruption deals element-less damage; there is no frost, shock or fire involved, like most direct-damage staves. In addition, there also is no magic school it is attached to, meaning that there is no way to lower the cost of each use of the weapon, as you can with almost all other staves. Because of this property, it will deal equal damage to everything, as there will be no magic or elemental resistances of the one it's cast at to deal with.


  • The number of dreams left contained in the staff, as noted in-game, may drop from 0 to -1. This may cause the artifact to cease any damage output, and is remedied by casting the staff on the sleeping NPC.
  • If the staff is stored in a container and a combat situation occurs within the building, it is possible for an NPC to take the staff and wield it. (Witnessed in Hall of Attainment with Mirabelle Ervine and Honeyside with Iona. Witnessed in wardrobes, chests, and end tables. Staff may need to be alone in the container. NPC is more likely to take the staff if they do not already have a weapon.) ?
  • Staff may disappear from weapon racks in houses when the player exits and re-enters the building. (Witnessed in Honeyside) ?