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Skyrim:The Break of Dawn

< Skyrim: Quests: Daedric

Find Meridia's Beacon and use its light to cleanse her temple of undead.
Quest Giver: Meridia
(after finding her Beacon or Statue)
Location(s): Statue to Meridia, Kilkreath Ruins
Reward: Dawnbreaker
ID: DA09
Required Level: 12
Suggested Level: 24
Lady of Infinite Energies

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Find Meridia's Beacon or find the Statue to Meridia.
  2. Bring Meridia's Beacon to the Statue to Meridia.
  3. Replace the Beacon.
  4. Guide Meridia's Light through the temple.
  5. Destroy Malkoran.
  6. Retrieve Dawnbreaker.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

The Beacon of LightEdit

The Lady of Infinite Energies, Meridia, is a Daedric Prince associated with the energies of living things. She is known for her hatred towards the undead of any kind. While the shrines for most other Daedric Princes in Skyrim have been hidden away in remote areas, Meridia has been given an accessible and fully intact shrine with a temple underneath. Recently, a foul darkness desecrated the temple and as such, Meridia is looking for a new champion. There are two ways to begin the journey towards becoming her champion: either find Meridia's Beacon or find the shrine.

Meridia's Beacon
Find the Beacon
The Beacon can spawn randomly in any boss chest in the game—including those added by Dawnguard and Dragonborn—amounting to over one hundred fifty possible locations. If you happen to find this beacon, as soon as you put it in your inventory you will hear Meridia's voice say, "A new hand touches the Beacon. Listen. Hear me and obey. A foul darkness has seeped into my temple. A darkness that you will destroy." Meridia's voice will then go on to give the location of her statue.
Find the Statue
The Statue is located on Mount Kilkreath (map). As you ascend the steps to the Shrine, Meridia's voice will ring out saying, "A new supplicant approaches. Listen. Hear me and obey. A foul darkness has seeped into my temple. A darkness that you will destroy. But first, you must restore to me my beacon. I shall guide you unto it. Find it and return here. And great shall be your reward." This will add a marker to your map showing the randomized location of the beacon.

Meet MeridiaEdit

Meeting Meridia

When you arrive at the shrine with the beacon in hand, the otherworldly voice will echo through the woods once again, saying, "Look at my temple, lying in ruins. So much for the constancy of mortals, their crafts and their hearts. If they love me not, how can my love reach them? Restore to me my beacon, that I might guide you toward your destiny." Place the beacon in the gem pedestal as instructed and a giant ray of light will shoot towards the sky, transporting you high above Skyrim. Meridia will then show herself in her true form—a blinding ball of light—and will speak to you:

"It is time for my splendor to return to Skyrim. But the token of my truth lies buried in the ruins of my once great temple, now tainted by a profane darkness skittering within. The Necromancer Malkoran defiles my shrine with vile corruptions, trapping lost souls left in the wake of this war to do his bidding. Worse still, he uses the power stored within my own token to fuel his foul deeds. I have brought you here, mortal, to be my champion. You will enter my temple, retrieve my artifact, and destroy the defiler. Guide my light through the temple to open the inner sanctum and destroy the defiler." At this point it is possible to ask about the artifact, but in any case Meridia will send you towards the ground with the words: "Malkoran has forced the doors shut. But this is my temple, and it responds to my decree. I will send down a ray of light. Guide this light through my temple and its doors will open."

Ray of LightEdit

Follow the Light
Light Combined

Once inside the Kilkreath Temple, the profane darkness is palpable everywhere -- a thick, black fog oozes through the corridors, and two burned desecrated corpses welcome you. As you proceed through the first corridor, you'll find another desecrated corpse in an alcove along the left wall, accompanied by several burial urns. Shortly after, there will be a locked door on your left, behind which is a handle that opens the adjacent gate, giving access to a chest and some minor loot on the other side. Take the eastern path and face the first huge chamber. Meridia's ray of light will shine down through the ceiling onto a pedestal. Activate the pedestal and the beam of light will be directed onto a device placed above the eastern tunnel. Note, there are two lootable desecrated corpses in the southeast corner of this room, past the pedestal, and a patch of white cap mushroom is growing along the right-hand wall in the corridor leading to the next room.

When you follow the light, however, enemies will start to emerge. Dark shadows called corrupted shades will attack in hordes, trying to prevent you from bringing light to the temple. Dispose of them and enter the next chamber, then activate the pedestal to direct Meridia's light further into the depths of the ruin. A common soul gem and a candlestick can be located on the table and bookshelf on the left, just past the pedestal. There is also a lootable urn near the eastern passage. The eastern path is blocked, however, so locate the narrow tunnel to the south, and dispose of even more corrupted shades. There are two lootable urns along the left-hand wall. Open the wooden door, and follow the tunnel until you see a chest. There will be a desecrated corpse in the large bowl to the right of the entry door. On the left are two lootable urns and a healing potion on a low shelf. Now, take a left and enter yet another huge chamber with multiple paths and levels, with more corrupted shades to dispatch. In the middle of the lower level, a desecrated corpse is slumped against the table. The beam of light and the pedestal for this room are located above, so head up the set of stairs along the eastern wall. At the top, as you continue along, you'll find an arcane enchanter straight ahead and another lootable urn to your right. Immediately nearby, there is also an expert-locked door, behind which is a lever to open the alcove grate to its left, containing a chest. Cross the nearby stone bridge to find the pedestal. Upon activating it, the light will open a previously locked door to the south that has lootable urns to each side. You can either jump across the small gap or use the southern staircase to reach it. In this newly accessible corridor, there are two burial urns in a left-side alcove, an urn behind a rock pile on the right, a desecrated corpse straight ahead, and another door. Simply continue through the door to get a breath of fresh air on Kilkreath Balcony.

Dawn is BreakingEdit

A Look Outside

Once outside, you will notice your efforts have made six pillars light up, but there is still work to do. Make your way across the balcony, and you'll find a staircase leading up, with an expert-locked chest to its right. Go through the door at the top of the staircase to re-enter Kilkreath Ruins. At the top of the stairs here, there will be a lootable urn to your left. On the right, you'll find the entrance to a huge chamber with multiple levels and more corrupted shades. Kill the opponents and start your investigation by heading left into the chamber. The ground level has a few urns, and in the southwest corner, there is an altar with another desecrated corpse. On a table to its right, there is a lootable burial urn, a ring on top of a plate, and some loose gold. At the southern end of the chamber, note the locked door (key required). Head back to the stairs near the chamber's entrance, along the eastern wall. At the top of the stairs, on the right, is yet another door that needs a key, so go ahead and activate the first pedestal. This will open the eastern door behind you, and there are a couple potions on the shelves to its left. In the first room down the corridor, there is a corrupted shade, scattered lootable urns, and a chest with some minor loot. Hidden in the shadows on the right is a spear-trapped door. A desecrated corpse lies in the doorway, and the room contains an urn, some potions, assorted minor loot, and a chest of minor loot. The main passage will lead the way to a lever (beware of the tripwire with swinging blades on your way). Pull the lever and go south over the bridge. Follow it until you reach an intersection, then take a right turn. This leads you to an alcove in the northwest corner, where you'll find a corrupted shade, a desecrated corpse, and a chest. On the nearby shelves, there are also some potions and other assorted loot, including the Block skill book Battle of Red Mountain.

Backtrack to the intersection and make a running jump to the pedestal. Activate it, see the light shine towards a platform above, then jump back to the intersection. Make a running jump towards the now open western door (with an urn to its right), and follow the tunnel to battle even more corrupted shades. You are now in a room with stairs leading up on both sides, and there are several urns and desecrated corpses scattered around the room. The western staircase leads to a potion on a weight sensitive plate, the eastern one leads to a tunnel containing a few burial urns. Follow the eastern tunnel, and you will reach a lighting pedestal, with a desecrated corpse slumped at its base. Activate this light, and it opens a final door at the southern end of the ground floor of the chamber, which will lead you to Kilkreath Catacombs.

A New Day is DawningEdit

Malkoran is waiting

Once in the catacombs, in a room at the end of the initial corridor, you'll find the final pedestal on a raised dais. Make your way to the pedestal and activate it. This will turn on the final beam of light, open the nearby door, and awaken Malkoran, the necromancer responsible for Meridia's wrath. You'll want to loot this room before leaving, as there will be no turning back once you enter the next chamber. At the base of the dais, you'll find a desecrated corpse, along with some loose gold. Along the right wall is another desecrated corpse, and in the northeast corner, there's a healing potion. In the southeast corner of the room, just beyond the dais, you'll find a chest, a magicka potion, and some burial urns, along with another desecrated corpse. Upon leaving the pedestal room, your journal will update when you reach the final chamber, and it is now your objective to kill Malkoran. He is protected by six corrupted shades and is a strong opponent who uses frost spells from a distance, so use the columns to your advantage. When Malkoran is dead, be aware you will also have to face his shade. When all is said and done, Meridia will speak: "It is done. The defiler is defeated. Take Dawnbreaker from its pedestal." Be sure you loot the room before you retrieve the sword, as you will be transported outside as soon as you take it. In addition to the many urns and desecrated corpses scattered throughout the chamber, there is a healing potion to the left of the entryway. On a table along the left-hand wall, there is a poison bottle hidden in a bowl, and there is a second poison bottle tucked under a broken table on the right-hand side of the room. When you finally retrieve Meridia's powerful sword, everything will turn into light, and you will find yourself high above Skyrim once again, facing Meridia: "Malkoran is vanquished. Skyrim's dead shall remain at rest. This is as it should be. This is because of you. A new day is dawning. And you shall be its herald. Take the mighty Dawnbreaker and with it purge corruption from the dark corners of the world. Wield it in my name, that my influence may grow." Should you choose to obey her wish, you will get the polite final words from Meridia: "May the light of certitude guide your efforts." Should you respond that you won't spread her message, Meridia will tell you: "It matters not. The plant cares nothing for the rays that bring it the warmth of the sun. As you carry Dawnbreaker, so will my light touch the world."


  • If Dragonborn is installed, some radiant locations may be on Solstheim. If you are in Skyrim, you will not receive a quest marker pointing you to the quest location, but must travel to Solstheim first (at which point any quest markers you have to quests in Skyrim will disappear).
  • There were additional lines recorded if you had found and acquired the Beacon, lost it, and then found it again. As the Beacon is a quest item, this dialogue will not be heard under normal conditions.
    • "Do you prefer heedlessness to my luminous glory? Go! Take my beacon to the mount above Kilkreath."
    • "Can you not hear me? Are your ears full of hate? The defiler waxes! Go now, with haste. Take my beacon to Mount Kilkreath."
    • "Fool! He is perverting my Light. A Light that could illuminate Skyrim and her people."
  • Sometimes speaking to Meridia will not show a map marker for the beacon. This is because the beacon is in an area you do not have access to yet, such as Dawnstar Sanctuary or the Katariah. The beacon still exists and finding it will advance the quest. On PC, movetoqt DA09 will place you at the chest that contains the beacon.
  • Even if you are a vampire, Meridia will still recruit you for this quest and declare you her champion, despite her hatred for the undead.
  • There are 43 desecrated corpses throughout Kilkreath Ruins that contain large amounts of gold. If you loot them all, you can get an amount of gold in the range of 1075-5375.
  • It is possible to kill Malkoran and the corrupted shades from the bottom of the staircase into the final chamber. This can help to even the odds of taking on a large number of enemies at once.
  • Meridia will teleport you outside the temple for your final dialogue with her, and at the end she will deposit you on the platform in front of her statue. Any followers you may have (this also includes thralls of any type, such as Dead Thralls or Atronachs) will remain inside the temple. To get them back quickly, go to the door of the temple, enter it, and exit again. When you again appear outside, your follower should have rejoined you. Alternatively, if you have Serana as a follower, fast traveling to Fort Dawnguard will usually cause her to catch up with you.
  • Although the beacon will spawn in a specific location, that location will be changed the first time you enter an area that has a boss container after you reach level 12. This makes it very likely that you will find the beacon shortly after that time. The original location will only be used if you approach the statue before entering an area with a boss container.
  • The player character must level up via skill increases to or beyond level 12 for the quest to be eligible to start. The player cannot be console-commanded to an arbitrarily high level and start the quest.
  • Once you have the beacon in your inventory (either from being asked by her to get it, or finding it in a chest), the beam of light at Meridia's Shrine can be seen as far away as Bloated Man's Grotto in Whiterun hold and other areas of the map that have a view of the mountains around Solitude.


  • You can obtain a duplicate Dawnbreaker by knocking it off its pedestal with an area-of-effect spell during the battle with Malkoran. Retrieve the sword on the ground prior to the sword in the stand to keep both.
  • When you hang in the sky during the time you are supposed to be talking to Meridia after acquiring the sword, there's a strong possibility that nothing will happen and you will be left dangling in the sky, unable to complete the quest, or move anywhere.
  • When you hang in the sky while talking to Meridia, she may suddenly drop you and you die when you hit the ground before the teleportation triggers.
    • This is often caused by carrying too much weight. Try dropping a few things before taking the sword.
    • Walk towards Meridia as soon as she has lifted you into the sky, thereby dropping onto the area at the base of the statue instead of a longer drop further back.
    • Skip through the dialogue with her and you will be able to adjust your position before the fall begins. You need to land on the upper area of her pedestal.
    • The warp takes some time to activate. Try and position yourself over the lowest altitude position you can to maximize your fall time. The road to the southwest is a good choice.
    • In the Windows version, a simpler and foolproof approach is to open the console when the fall starts, click on the background twice, so that no objects are selected, and enter TCL (or ToggleCollision), and exit the console. This stops the free-fall. After the teleport, open the console and type TCL again.
  • If a dragon appears (or is already present) while you are being raised into the sky it will continue to attack, and you will be stuck in the air, as Meridia will not talk while under attack.
    • You will need to reload a save game. If it was a random dragon it may not reappear. If it was the dragon from the nearby word wall, you will need to kill it first.
  • Killing Malkoran in the hallway before the chamber and/or while he is paralyzed may cause his ghost to fail to spawn, making it impossible to finish the quest. Retry from a savegame, or simply wait for the paralysis to wear off before landing the final blow. ?
  • If you have used Auriel's Bow to block out the sun there will be two suns after you give Meridia the stone. ?
  • When fighting Malkoran's Shade, using the Unrelenting Force shout or werewolf power attacks will cause the shade to stop fighting. Unfortunately, it also ceases to take damage (the frozen shade can still be damaged by the Fire Breath shout and with Destruction magic). The shade just floats there, preventing the completion of the quest.
  • If you have backed Malkoran into a corner at the side of the dais killing him, his Shade may spawn inside the wall where you cannot strike him. You can use Area Effect spells to finish him off, but you cannot loot the Shade.
  • Sometimes, when you return Meridia's beacon it will appear on the pedestal, but the Beacon will stay in your inventory forever. ?
    •   Use the player.removeitem 4e4e6 console command to remove the Beacon from your inventory.
  • Standing in the beam of light will slowly drain your magicka, but if you have an Alteration armor spell active (Oakflesh/Stoneflesh/Ironflesh, etc) then you will gain Alteration skill XP.
  • It is possible for the two Meridia speeches to overlap each other.
    •   The Unofficial Skyrim Patch, version 2.1.1, addresses this issue. A delay has been inserted into the trigger script to prevent this from happening.
  • If you have finished the Dark Brotherhood quest line, the quest marker can appear where the boss chest was in the Dawnstar Sanctuary, but the chest will have disappeared.

Quest StagesEdit

The Break of Dawn (DA09)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
50 An otherworldly voice coming from Mount Kilkreath is commanding me to find a beacon and return it.
Objective 5: Find Meridia's beacon
100 I've found a strange gem. An otherworldly voice is commanding me to bring it to Mount Kilkreath.
Objective 10: Bring Meridia's beacon to Mount Kilkreath (After listening to Meridia's speech)
Objective 15: Replace the beacon
300 Meridia has commanded me to enter Kilkreath Ruins, destroy Malkoran, and retrieve the artifact Dawnbreaker. I will need to guide a beam of light through the ruins which will open the way for me.
Objective 20: Guide Meridia's Light through the temple
Objective 30: Destroy Malkoran
Objective 40: Retrieve Dawnbreaker
500 Finishes quest  I have entered Kilkreath Ruins, destroyed Malkoran, and retrieved the artifact Dawnstar [sic], which Meridia has bestowed upon me for my service.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 1, 200, 400, 450.
  • 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 DA09 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 DA09.