Skyrim: Waking Nightmare Quest Walkthrough

“Waking Nightmare” is one of the many Daedric quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Each quest covers a certain Daedric Prince in the universe, ranging from the insane Sheogorath to the forgotten Clavicus Vile.

In the case of “Waking Nightmare,” you will get to see the handiwork of Vaermira and her followers. Her desire to harvest the dreams of Dawnstar has hit a fever pitch with the town. One of the town’s priests, Erandur, has a solution to fixing the town’s nightmare curse. Completing this quest can net you either a companion or a powerful Daedric Artifact. Here is a complete guide to the “Waking Nightmares” quest in Skyrim.

How To Start The Quest

Starting the “Waking Nightmare” quest is rather simple due to the lack of prerequisites. Travel to Dawnstar and speak to a priest named Erandur in Windpeak Inn. He will talk about the town’s nightmare curse, theorizing that Vaermina is behind it. Erandur will ask you to venture to Nightcaller Temple, a tower looming over the Hold.

Accepting his offer will start the quest. Escort him to the tower over the nearby hill, taking down any frost trolls or other wildlife that inhabit the path. After some exposition about the origins of the curse, head inside the temple to start the quest’s first step.

Explore Nightcaller Temple

The first part of this quest involves following Erandur through the temple. Stick by his side as he leads you to the source of the nightmares. Upon reaching an energy barrier further down the temple, Erandur will reveal himself to be a priest of Vaermina that fled the temple long ago. When a band of Orcs arrived at Nightcaller Temple to kill its inhabitants, Erandur left and became a priest of Mara. He hopes that he can right the wrongs of this temple by destroying the source of Dawnstar’s nightmares: the Skull of Corruption.

Continue to follow Erandur until he leads you to a library, killing any awakened Vaermina priests as you go. To remove the barrier, you will need to find The Dreamstride book and Vaermina’s Torpor. The library will have the book, but you’ll need to explore more of the temple to find the potion. You can find the book on the top floor on a pedestal. Bring the book to Erandur to start the next step.

Find Vaermina’s Torpor And Drink It

Erandur will describe the potion as a small flask. In-game, it has the appearance of a Potion of Ultimate Healing with a darker shade of red. Vaermina’s Torpor rests in the laboratory next to the library you found The Dreamstride book. It will be residing on a shelf on the laboratory’s bottom floor beside a whole host of alchemy ingredients.

Upon bringing the potion to Erandur, he will ask you to drink it. Consume the item in your inventory to start a strange flashback sequence where you take control of a Vaermina priest. Veren Duleri will ask you, a priest named Casimir, to release the Miasma on the orc invaders. To do so, run past the fighting enemies until you reach a statue of Vaermina. Pulling a chain in front of the statue will release the Miasma.

It turns out that the barrier blocking further exploration was at this statue. You will abruptly be pulled back to the present in this same spot. To remove the barrier, grab the soul gem beside the Vaermina statue. This will allow you to regroup and Erundar and open the path to the Skull of Corruption. Trek down to the bottom of Nightcaller Temple to deal with the Daedric Artifact.

Side With Erandur Or Vaermina

Both you and Erandur must fight Vaermina priests Veren and Thorek upon reaching the Skull of Corruption. In a not-so-shocking twist of events, Erandur is revealed to be Casimir. Kill both Veren and Thorek.

Once done, Erandur will prepare a spell to destroy the Skull of Corruption once and for all. Vaermina begins to talk to you once Erandur starts the ritual, stating that he’s deceiving you.

You have two options at this point:

  1. Kill Erandur and take the Skull of Corruption.
  2. Wait until Erandur finishes the ritual, destroying the Skull of Corruption for good.

Attacking Erandur at this point will make him hostile, forcing you to kill him. Fortunately, he’s a weak opponent. Either best him or let Erandur complete the ritual to finish the quest. Note that if you’re interested in earning the Oblivion Walker achievement, you must kill Erandur. If Erandur destroys the Skull of Corruption, it voids this achievement for the rest of your playthrough.

Waking Nightmare’s Quest Rewards

Completing this quest will grant either Erandur as a potential companion or the Skull of Corruption Daedric Artifact.

Siding With Erandur

Completing this quest on Erandur’s side will unlock him as a companion. Erandur is a Dunmer skilled in all magic schools, including Restoration and Conjuration. He prefers to use Destruction spells such as Firebolt and Flames, although he is more than capable of using a mace or sword. He makes for a solid companion for archer or mage builds that prefer to keep their distance.

Siding With Vaermina

Killing Erandur will grant the Skull of Corruption as your quest reward. This staff deals 20 points of magic damage in a large area. Uniquely, using this staff on sleeping NPCs will charge the staff. This increases its damage output to a cap of 50 points of magic damage. Using the Skull of Corruption on sleeping NPCs will not make them hostile. Only five dreams may be harvested from any given NPC.

Mages will get more mileage out of using Destruction spells. That said, builds that prefer to use melee weapons can get some excellent mileage out of this staff. Just be careful using the Skull of Corruption in enclosed spaces; the AoE damage can harm allies.

Next: Skyrim: Spellsword Build Guide

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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