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Skyrim:The Man Who Cried Wolf

< Skyrim: Quests: Side Quests
Investigate reports of strange happenings in Wolfskull Cave.
Quest Giver: Falk Firebeard
Location(s): Wolfskull Cave, Solitude
Next Quest: The Wolf Queen Awakened, Elisif's Tribute
Reward: Leveled gold
Disposition: =1 (Elisif the Fair)
=1 (Falk Firebeard)
ID: MS06Start
Suggested Level: 8
Welcome to Wolfskull Cave

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Talk to Falk Firebeard in the Blue Palace in Solitude.
  2. Travel to Wolfskull Cave.
  3. Stop the ritual to summon Potema.
  4. Return to Falk Firebeard.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

The MessengerEdit

In Solitude, the innkeeper and residing bard at the Winking Skeever will all tell you about a scared Dragon Bridge resident who recently arrived to ask Jarl Elisif for help. They will not reveal anything else, so head to the Blue Palace, where you will witness Varnius Junius trying to convince Elisif that the inexplicable disappearances and strange occurrences near Wolfskull Cave should be taken seriously. While Elisif tries her best to calm the near hysterical Varnius, her court wizard and steward will both disregard the claims:

"Haafingar's people will always be safe under my rule."

Varnius: "I swear to you, unnatural magics are coming from that cave! There are strange noises and lights! We need someone to investigate!"
Elisif: "Then we will immediately send out a legion to scour the cave and secure the town. Haafingar's people will always be safe under my rule."
Varnius: "Th...thank you, my Jarl thank you."
Sybille: "Your eminence, my scrying has suggested nothing in the area. Dragon Bridge is under imperial control. This is likely superstitious nonsense."
Falk: "Perhaps a more... tempered reaction... might be called for?"
Elisif: "Oh. Yes, of course you are right. Falk, tell Captain Aldis I said to assign a few extra soldiers to Dragon Bridge."
Varnius: "Thank you, Jarl Elisif. But about the cave..."
Falk: "I will have someone take care of the cave as well Varnius, you can rest easy. You're dismissed."

After the court has acknowledged his claims, Varnius Junius will be relieved and leave the castle, unaware that nobody plans on doing anything to solve his problem. Speak to Falk Firebeard, who will admit he thinks Varnius is overreacting and that he has his hands full dealing with the recent murder of High King Torygg, the grieving Elisif, and the ongoing war. Offer to take a look at Wolfskull Cave for him, and he will gladly accept.

Wolfskull CaveEdit

Wolfskull Cave is located due west of Solitude and north of the Statue to Meridia. As you arrive, two skeletons will guard the entrance, hinting at darker things to come. Enter the cave and proceed through the first chamber. Before long, you will be attacked by hordes of leveled necromancers, all keen on protecting their secret. As you progress, leveled draugr and more skeletons will attack. In the third chamber, you will arrive at a pit, and will have no choice but jump in. Take the northern tunnel and enter Wolfskull Ruins.

"We summon Potema!"

As you enter, it quickly becomes clear that something is very wrong in the cave; blue beams of light spear across the room and chanting voices can be heard:

Ritual Master: "Wolf Queen. Hear our call and awaken. We summon Potema!"
Necromancers: "We summon Potema!"
Ritual Master: "Long have you slept the dreamless sleep of death, Potema. No longer. Hear us Wolf Queen! We Summon You!"
Necromancers: "We summon Potema!"

Take a look from the ledge and you'll notice that the blue lights all lead to the same platform, high above ground level. Backtrack a bit and locate the tunnel leading west. The chamber ahead is covered in oil, so use it to your advantage against the patrolling necromancer.

The Wolf QueenEdit

Back in the main chamber, there are stairs leading further down and enemies will attack. Fight your way to ground level and enter the ruin where a set of stairs will lead back up. As you make your way upstairs, it becomes apparent that the necromancer's ritual is about to go wrong, as Potema will shout:

"Summoned with words. Bound by blood."
Potema's escape

Potema: "Yes! Yes! Return me to this realm!"
Ritual Master: "As our voices summon you the blood of the innocent binds you Wolf Queen!"
Necromancers: "Summoned with words. Bound by blood."
Potema: "What! What are you doing?! You fools! You cannot bind me to your wills!"
Necromancers: "Summoned with words. Bound by blood."
Potema: "You ants don't have the power to bind me!"

Keep going up one set of stairs after another, fighting the opposition on your way. As your reach the source of the blue light, the ritual master will speak once again: "Something is wrong. There is an intruder." As you climb the tower, an additional four necromancers will attack. At the top, you will find the ritual master busy performing the ritual to revive Potema. There is only one way to stop her. When she is dead, the blue light will disappear through a hole in the ceiling and everything will be quiet. Read the Light Armor skill book The Refugees from the altar, then activate the lever to lower the drawbridge. Loot the chest on the other side and follow the path, a shortcut back to the first chamber of Wolfskull Cave.

Falk FirebeardEdit

Back in the Blue Palace, busy castle steward Falk Firebeard will be curious to know whether you found anything other than wild animals and bandits in Wolfskull Cave. When you tell him that necromancers tried to resurrect Potema, he will be shocked and will ask if you stopped them. At this point, you will have no choice but to tell him you interrupted the ritual and that it is done. He will then explain that you have done Solitude a larger service than you can imagine and reward you with a leveled amount of gold. However, Potema is far from defeated. After you level up at least once and wait a few days, a courier delivers a very concerned letter from Falk Firebeard, beginning the quest The Wolf Queen Awakened.


  • Falk Firebeard carries a letter which the courier later gives you in order to begin The Wolf Queen Awakened. It is possible to pickpocket this letter before you even talk to Falk about Wolfskull Cave.
  • Attacking the summoning circle will draw all enemies to you, even ones you missed at the base of the tower.
  • A good archer can kill the ritual master and advance the quest without leaving the ledge at the entrance to Wolfskull ruins. Advance to the edge of the ledge and target the moving enemies on the level just below the top of the ruins. Eventually all of the necromancers, including the ritual master, will run to that level, and if you're patient you can pick them all off from a safe position.
  • If you grab the Staff of the Frost Atronach from the Arch-Mage's Quarters, you can conjure a Frost Atronach from the ledge all the way up to the top of the tower which should do a good job of taking most of the ritual party out.
  • Killing the Ritual Master will unbind the Draugr and cause them to attack the Necromancers.
  • This quest is also a prerequisite for Elisif's Tribute, which is required before Elisif will allow you to start the thane quest for Haafingar.
  • The opening conversation between Varnius and Elisif will not change even if not witnessed until after the Stormcloaks have taken Solitude. Elisif will still mention Captain Aldis, who would have already disappeared from the game, and Sybille Stentor will still claim that Dragon Bridge is under Imperial control.


  • The quest may at times fail to advance to stage 15 when you enter the court, resulting in Varnius Junius and the rest of the court standing without interacting with each other, and when spoken to, will simply tell you not to interrupt the court. This seems to occur if any of the courtiers leave the Blue Palace before Varnius' audience begins. Jarl Elisif will leave the Blue Palace to take part in Season Unending, Tending the Flames, Battle for Solitude, Bound Until Death and Diplomatic Immunity, and Erikur will also leave the palace for the latter two, so it is advisable to visit the Blue Palace before beginning any of these quests.
    •   You can use the console command setstage MS06Start 15 to force this step to initiate.
    • Killing Sybille Stentor (the only courtier present who is not essential) also seems to remedy this.
  • This quest changes the contents of Wolfskull Cave while it is active. This makes it impossible to clear Wolfskull Cave, and can also cause conflicts with any radiant quests that happen to send you to the cave, making it impossible to complete those quests. Therefore it is best to complete this quest as quickly as possible after triggering it.
  • For unknown reasons, sometime the marker for miscellaneous quest "Head to the Solitude Court" isn't removed when you talk with Falk Firebeard or complete "The Man Who Cried Wolf".
    •   You can use the console command setstage MS06Start 10 to deactivate the marker from miscellaneous quest.

Quest StagesEdit

The Man Who Cried Wolf (MS06Start)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
15 A representative from Dragon Bridge has appealed to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave. Falk Firebeard is looking for someone to look into the issue.
50 A representative from Dragon Bridge has appealed to the court in Solitude for help investigating Wolfskull Cave. Falk Firebeard has asked me to clear out the cave.
Objective 50: Clear Out Wolfskull Cave
100 I have confronted and stopped a group of necromancers attempting to summon Potema, the Wolf Queen, in Wolfskull Cave. I should return to Falk Firebeard with the news.
Objective 100: Speak to Falk Firebeard
250 Finishes quest 
Objective 15: Ask Falk Firebeard about Wolfskull Cave
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 5, 10, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 83, 85, 90, 105, 110, 115.
  • 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 MS06Start 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 MS06Start.
Prev: None Next: The Wolf Queen Awakened, Elisif's Tribute