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|This article is on the quest. If you are looking for the article on the book of the same name, see The Path of Transcendance.|
The Path of Transcendance
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Shroud of Vyngald obtained
- Construct the Phylactery
- Create the Elixir of Defilation
- Establish a Ritual Site
- Read the Broker's Message
- Seek out The Broker
- Go to the Ritual Site
- Complete the Ritual of Transcendence
This quest has some strict requirements to complete it:
- The Poison bloom can be found at the alchemy location in infernal alchemy. They are on the ground infront of the table. I know because I tested it and I am on the bloodstone chalice still and already have a poison bloom.
- Alternatively, purchasing one of the ritual sites will provide the ingredient there.
- It can also be stolen from a display case in the Broker's Shack.
- To use the Necromantic Altars throughout the land, the Dragonborn's Enchanting must be at maximum level.
- The Shroud of Vyngald must have been obtained during Exhuming Power: without it, the process to become a lich will not work.
This quest begins immediately after the Black Book has been read and takes the Dragonborn on a long journey to become an undead Lich.
The journey is long, but reading the Ritual Notes that have been written down will give some vague clues as to what must be done. The Dragonborn should take note of the many ingredients that need to be obtained to create the required elixirs and items, such as the Phylactery and the Elixir of Defilation.
The first task is to exit Scourg Barrow. This can be done by leaving Apocrypha via the book at the end and following the path to the left of the Blood Bowl. A Frost Troll guards this exit, but will prove little threat. The path on the left will lead to an exit East of the entry point of Scourg Barrow.
To find the required ingredients to make the elixirs, the Dragonborn needs to fast travel to one of the major hold cities. This will cause a Courier to be sent who will provide a note of someone who can sell the Dragonborn some of the required ingredients stated on the Ritual Notes.
The Broker can be found within Falkreath Hold at the Broker's Shack. A leveled Necromancer will be found outside the shack and should be dispatched. Enter the shack and the Dragonborn will find the Broker inside, usually sitting at the fire. She will explain about some key ingredients, which can be purchased directly from her. She also sells various plans and documents, but the Dragonborn need only purchase the plan for a Ritual Site within the Solitude Sewers for the quest.
Some items can only be purchased directly from the Broker, such as the Black Pearl. Note that some of these ingredients only exist singularly and need multiples to make all the required ingredients. The vast majority of ingredients needed can be found around the world of Skyrim, so a long trek will be necessary. For the purposes of this guide, only general locations will be stated:
- Bone Meal can be commonly found on the bodies of Draugr: searching some tombs will likely yield enough, as well as merchants.
- Void Salts can be easily obtained from merchants or by killing enemy Storm Atronachs.
- Moon Sugar is an illegal substance within Skyrim: as such, it can only be found with the Khajiit caravans or by a random encounter with people who sell Skooma.
- Nirnroot is the easiest ingredient to find, as it can be found glowing and emitting a sound along most river banks. Sarethi Farm, near Riften, grow lots of Nirnroot for the Dragonborn. Or Nirnroot island on Solstiem
- Vampire Dust may be trickier to obtain, as it requires the killing of vampires. This can be done by entering known vampire covens -- such as Shriekwind Bastion -- or killing vampires during random attacks on hold cities. If the Dragonborn is a Vampire Lord or has completed the Dawnguard main quest on the side of the Dawnguard, then they may find Vampire Dust within Castle Volkihar. Most alchemists will have one available, though it might require a bit of searching.
- The dragon born is no longer required to be on the dawnguard quest touching the sky to obtain a poison bloom.
- There is also a single Poison Bloom in a display case at the Broker's Shack, which may be stolen.
- Purchasing the garden in the Solitude Sewers will also yield a single poison bloom.
- Deadly Poisons can be found on many merchants: the Khajiit caravans are known to carry some.
- A Flawless Amethyst is also required: this may be tricky to obtain if the active effect Prowler's Profit isn't active, but a known source for a Flawless Amethyst is a book within the Temple of Dibella, located in Markarth.
- Black Souls Gems are easy to find: exploring Scourg Barrow is almost certainly going to uncover two of them. Otherwise, Falion in Morthal will almost certainly sell them, as will any other mage merchant in Skyrim, most prominently Enthir at the College of Winterhold. The Broker also sells 3 Black Soul Gems. There are also several to be found in Apocrypha
- The Elixir of Extra Magicka may be difficult to find. Depending on the Dragonborn's level, they might find this elixir within Silverdrift Lair in a section that loops near some Draugr crypts. Otherwise, merchants may sell this.
Once all the required materials have been obtained, return to the Broker's Shack and use the nearby Necromantic Altar to produce the required items:
- Nightshade Extract: Requires 8 Nightshade
- Finely Ground Bone Meal: Requires 10 Bone Meal
- Purified Void Salts: Requires 5 Void Salts, 1 Black Soul Gem and 1 Crushed Black Pearl
These intermediate ingredients are then used to produce the four compounds needed for the ritual:
- Elixir of Defilation: Requires 1 Finely Ground Bone Meal, 1 Deadly Poison, 1 Poison Bloom, 1 Nightshade Extract and 1 Embalming Essence OR 1 Namira's Corrosion
- Ensorcelled Vessel: Requires 1 Flawless Amethyst, 3 Vampire Dust, 1 Black Soul Gem and 1 Purified Void Salts
- Solution of Magicka Concentrate: Requires 3 Nirnroot, 1 Elixir of Extra Magicka and 5 Moon Sugar
- Phylactery: Requires 1 Crushed Black Pearl, 1 Solution of Magicka Concentrate and 1 Ensorcelled Vessel
Once these items and potions have been crafted, the Dragonborn needs to purchase the Ritual Chamber plans from the Broker for Solitude Sewers. This will update the quest and direct the Dragonborn to the Ritual Chamber.
The Solitude Sewers can be entered from a number of locations: some entrances will place the Dragonborn very close to enemies, while others are locked and will need lockpicking to use. If the Dragonborn wants to avoid a large portion of the sewers and be close to the Ritual Chamber, they can enter through a locked grate in the cellar areas of the Bards College, which places the Dragonborn very close to Torvalen, a Necromancer who was living in the sewers.
If the Dragonborn chooses a different entrance and wants to take a longer route, they will have to defeat Sewer Guards who have been placed there by Captain Aldis to stop intruders. Looting their bodies will indicate that they were all given orders to stop intruders from exploring the sewers. They also have a key which unlocks the vast majority of doors and grates around the sewers, but some high leveled locks do not work with this key.
Once Torvalen has been dispatched, search the area around his desk for a spell tome, his journal and a note. After this search, backtrack to the door on the right from the entrance into this area, which leads into an area clearly laid out for a ritual. If the Ritual Chamber plans were purchased from the Broker, the quest will update and tell the Dragonborn to complete the ritual.
The Phylactery must be placed in the alcove directly opposite the entrance door. Once everything is prepared, stand in the center of the circle and cast the Unbind Soul spell: this requires a large amount of magicka and will almost certainly require maximum Conjuration skill and the required perks to lower its cost. The spell does not work until magicka stops being drained while casting, at which point the Dragonborn will only have 60 seconds to use the Elixir of Defilation. If done correctly, the Dragonborn will fall to their knees and their soul will be absorbed into the Phylactery, transforming them into a lich and completing the main quest.
- The Sewer Guards will be Imperials even if the Civil War questline has been completed in favor of the Stormcloaks.