The Elder Scrolls Online: Storyline Skill Point Quests – Soul Shriven in Coldharbour

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Main Quest – Level 1

Soul Shriven in Coldharbour
Location(s): The Wailing Prison
Reward: Sealed Urn + Soul Magic Skill Line + 1 Skill Point
Recommended Level: 2
Quest Giver: None

– Quick Walkthrough –

  1. Listen to Lyris Titanborn and escape the prison cell.
  2. Talk to The Prophet and head into the Bleeding Forge.
  3. Head into the Towers of Eyes and destroy a Coldharbour Sentinel.
  4. Talk to Cadwell then enter the Undercroft.
  5. Reach the Prophet’s Cell and disable the Dark Pinions.
  6. Enter the Anchor Mooring and defeat the Child of Bones.
  7. Escape Coldharbour.

– Detailed Walkthrough –

You begin your adventure locked in a cave-like prison cell littered with bones, located deep within the bowels of Coldharbour. The distant cries of rebellion echo throughout the halls. As you begin to orient yourself, and start to look for a way out, someone runs past your cell. “Whoa, there! Are you all right? The name’s Lyris.” Lyris then proceeds to smash the lock on your cell: “I hope you’ve still got some fight left in you. You’re going to need it.” Exit the cell and follow Lyris over to the body of a Dremora Churl. “Dead. Must have been the runt of the litter.” The dremora was carrying a Cast-Off Iron Greatsword which you must pick up in order to continue. Once you have done so, follow Lyris down the passageway. “Keep your weapon ready and stay sharp. This place is full of surprises.”

As you continue through the dark tunnels, another Dremora bursts out of the ground. The tutorial freezes the action to guide you though attacking the enemy. Once it is defeated, continue to follow Lyris into a larger room. Three Soul Shriven prisoners are trying to keep a door closed, while something large pummels it from the other side. One of them, an Argonian named Er-Jaseen, calls out as you approach: “Don’t stop, now. Keep moving! More guards are on the way!”

Sure enough, as you enter a room filled with a number of torture cages, a Dremora Kynval appears. The tutorial guides you through blocking an enemy’s heavy attack, indicated by the yellow starburst around the enemy, and exploiting the resulting effect of them being knocked off balance using a heavy attack yourself. Afterwards, you are immediately confronted by a Dremora Kyngald, who begins to cast a spell. Here, you are introduced to interrupting a special attack, indicated by the red starburst. Once again, you can exploit while the enemy is disoriented. A disoriented or off-balance enemy is indicated by the swirling circle around their head.

As you approach the door, a glowing rune appears before you and a ghostly figure known as The Prophet appears. “Greetings, Vestige. Like you, I am a prisoner in this place. You must rescue me. And I, in turn, must rescue you.” Following this cryptic introduction, Lyris asks to speak with you.

“The Prophet! He’s a prisoner here, too. It was very dangerous for him to speak to you, even for a moment. He must think you can help me.”

If you ask what you need to help her to do, Lyris replies: “Break him out, of course! Believe me, I can use all the help I can get. That blind old man is the only person alive who can help us get back home. Tamriel’s a long way from here.” Ask her where you go from here, and she replies: “These tunnels will eventually take us to the Towers of Eyes. That’s where we’ll find the Sentinels.” Asking what the Sentinels are, she elaborates: “Magical constructs created by Molag Bal to guide his vision in Coldharbour. The Sentinels are connected. If we destroy one, the others will be blinded. with any luck, that will buy us the time we need to free the Prophet.” Asking how it can be destroyed, she admits: “I’ve no idea. Brute force? We’ll find a way. We have to. Be ready for anything. I doubt Molag Bal left the Sentinels unguarded.”

Telling her that you still have many questions, she agrees to answer then as best she can. This presents two options:

Who is this Prophet: “He’s a strange one, no doubt about it, but he’s the wisest man I’ve ever met. He sees things. The past, the future.”

What is this place? Where am I?: “You’re obviously not in Tamriel anymore. Think of the most miserable, depressing place you’ve ever been in your life. That’s paradise compared to Coldharbour. And to top it off, well … there is no easy way to say it. You’re dead.”

Asking her how it’s possible that you are having this conversation with her, she replies: “I don’t know. Once we rescue the Prophet, he can tell you about the Gods and the ways of Oblivion. I don’t understand any of it, myself.”

Asking her who killed you, she reveals: “A man named Mannimarco. His Worm Cult is doing some kind of ritual back in Tamriel. They sacrificed you and everyone in this prison, to the Daedric Prince Molag Bal. After you died, whatever was left showed up here. They call you Soul Shriven.” Asking her what that means, she expands: “It means you’re a slave and you’ll spend the rest of eternity in Coldharbour, working under the lash of the Daedra. Unless of course, you come with me.” Asking if she is dead too, she will reply: “No, I wasn’t sacrificed. The Prophet and I were brought here … conventionally, if that makes any sense. But we’re prisoners here, same as you.”

Asking how you will get the Prophet out, she warns: “It won’t be easy. The place is watched by magical constructs called Sentinels. We won’t stand a chance unless we can blind them. I’ll tell you more when we get there. And we’ll never get there if we don’t get moving.” Once the conversation has ended, head into the Bleeding Forge.

The Forgemaster
When you enter the forge, you see a Vaekar the Forgemaster holding a soul shriven around the neck. Watch the scene play out, and Vaekar will attack. Once the Dremora has been dispatched, a glowing aura forms around you, indicating that your level has increased. Opening the character menu shows that you are now at level 2, and you have gained a skill point. You have also gained an attribute point, which can now used to increase either your Health, Magicka or Stamina. The Prophet warns you that the God of Brutality now knows of your escape, and that you must hurry.

Follow the tunnel to reach a door that leads to the Towers of Eyes.

Destroy the Sentinels
Upon reaching this area, Lyris says: “The God of Schemes can see every part of Coldharbour. We need to distract him.” Speaking to her directly, she elaborates: “The Sentinels are connected. If we destroy one, the others will also be blinded for a time.”

Proceed down the stairs ahead, into a large open area, dotted with dead trees and makeshift camps. A long river runs through the middle and battle rages on between the prisoners and Molag Bal’s minions.

A number of Dremora Caitiffs and Churls can be found in the area, engaged in battle with prisoners. Defeat them, or press forward north up the large hill where you will be met by a Feral Shriven. Defeat him and head up the large stone bridge where a clannfear awaits. Once it has been dealt with, keep heading up the bridge until you reach a clearing. A Sentinel is found here, appearing as a large eyeball housed within a stone altar. Here, the tutorial introduces sneaking, and you must attack the Sentinel without it seeing you by approaching it from behind. Once you destroy the Sentinel, Lyris mentions: “Quickly, while he’s blinded we must get to the Prophet’s Cell.” Head back down the stone walkway and across the lake to a gate leading to some stone steps.

As you approach the gate, it bursts into a glowing blue arcane fire, and Molag Bal himself says: “Fool! You will never escape my realm.” Lyris warns: “The door’s warded. We’ll never get in this way.” Speaking to her further, she says: “Damn it! Destroying the Sentinel must have triggered these wards. We’ll need to find another way in. Hmm. Maybe Cadwell can help us.” Asking who Cadwell is, she explains: “Cadwell is the oldest of the Soul Shriven. After years of torment, Soul Shriven usually go insane and turn feral, but not Cadwell. He was already insane before he left Tamriel. Mad as a box of frogs, but completely harmless. You’ll see.” Asking how a mad man can help, she replies: “Cadwell sees things as he wishes them to be. To him, Coldharbour is a wondrous place. It’s his home. And he knows it like the back of his hand. He’s usually down by the river. Let’s go find him.”

Sir Cadwell
Head down by the lake to find a small gathering of Soul Shriven by a campfire, surrounding Cadwell as he plays the lute. Speak to him, and he joyfully replies: “Hello, what’s this? Out for a stroll, then? Lovely day for it.” Asking if he is Cadwell, he replies: “Sir Cadwell, yes indeed. A pleasure! And fair Lyris! Good to see you m’dear! How are you, then?” Explaining to him that you seek to get into the Prophet’s enclosure, he replies: “Oh dear, oh dear. Well that is inconvenient, isn’t it? Tell you what—I happen to know another way in! Much more of a scenic route. Rather a fun little jaunt, actually. Full of traps, and corpses, and nasty beasties filling up the bits in between.” Asking how you will get through, he replies: “Rather cautiously, I expect. Watch your step, hold your nose, and do mind the traps. There’ll like as not be a fair dose of running and skull-bashing as well.” Finally asking where the entrance is, he replies: “Follow the river. You’ll find the door to the Undercroft at the water’s end. Once you’re inside, stick to the light and you’ll find a ladder that will take you right up to the Prophet, straightaway. Do give him my best!” He then ends with: “Best of luck. Do check in now and again, won’t you?”

At this point, it possible to question him further:

Tell me about yourself, Sir Cadwell: “Well, there’s not much to tell, is there? It’s the same old pish-tosh. Gallant knight, epic quest, rescued maidens. I came to this land when my head was quite unceremoniously separated from my body. Bad luck that, but you make the best of things.”

How long have you been here?: “Oh, quite a long time. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I were the oldest of the Soul Shriven. Of those who didn’t go feral, that is. I know every tunnel and path, every nook and cranny. The others look up to me, I suppose.”

How do you know Lyris?: “Ah, Lyris. Girl’s as mad as Sheogorath’s jammies. Heart’s in the right place, I suppose. Says she’s got to rescue the Prophet to save us all from eternal torment. How an old blind man could do that is quite beyond me!”

What do you know about the Prophet?: “An Imperial gentleman. Apparently he was once a powerful mage, but the years haven’t been kind. Lyris says he knows of a path back to Tamriel. I rather think that if one existed, I’d have found it by now.”

You don’t think there’s a way to get home?: “I hadn’t actually given it much thought. Anything is possible, I suppose. Truth is, I’ve been here so long, this place feels like home. But a good uprising now and again is a pleasant diversion, so where’s the harm, eh?”

Next, follow the river south until you reach an iron door that leads to the Undercroft. Lyris remarks: “Cadwell seems to think this undercroft is a delightful place. That probably means it’s a death trap. We’d better be careful.”

You find that the door to the Undercroft is locked. This introduces the Lockpicking system, and you have 60 seconds to try to pick the lock. Once you have successfully picked it, or just forced it open, you can enter the Undercroft.

The Undercroft
Just as Cadwell remarked, the gloomy and dank Undercroft is lined with traps and corpses. Several trunks and urns containing leveled items can also be found throughout. Head forward, and a skeletal warrior will dig its way out of the ground. Dispatch it and continue forward, taking care to avoid the numerous flamethrower traps lining the walls. Continue to traverse your way though the winding tunnels and pools of water until you reach a staircase leading up to the Prophet’s Cell.

The Prophet’s Cell
As soon as you enter the cell, Lyris exclaims: “The Prophet’s cage should be just ahead. Quickly now! We haven’t much time.” and runs ahead. Follow her to reach a vast cavern housing a number of spiked rock formations, piles of spent Soul Gems and pools of Azure Plasm. At the center of the room is a large ritual circle, above which the Prophet hangs in a magical force-field.

Lyris turns to you and explains: “There’s a trick to opening the cell. The only way for a prisoner to leave is for another living soul to take their place. I need to swap places with the Prophet.” Asking her if there another way, she replies: “Believe me, I wish there was. But … I don’t see anyone else here with a beating heart, do you? If Molag Bal isn’t stopped he’ll destroy everyone and everything we’ve ever loved.”

Tell her you’re ready, and she will conclude: “Once it’s done, get moving. The Prophet will know where to go, but he’ll need your eyes, and your protection.” When you have finished speaking, you will need to defend Lyris from two Dremora Baunekyns. When you defeat each one, its essence will fly off to feed a respective Dark Pinion. The two Dark Pinions are found on the north and south sides of Lyris. Head over to each one and disable it. Once this has been completed the exchange will begin to take place. Lyris is raised off the floor and catapulted towards the center of the chamber, while at the same time, the Prophet is ejected from his cell. The two pass through each other mid-way, before the Prophet collapses on the floor in front of you. Lyris can now be seen imprisoned inside the force-field.

Speaking to the Prophet, he says: “Thank the Divines, you are safe! There is that, at least. Lyris sacrificed everything, that we might go free. Her sacrifice must not be in vain.”

Can we find a way to take her with us?

“I wish that were possible. But I promise you, once we escape Coldharbour we will find a way to rescue her together, Vestige.”


“That is the name I have given you. You are but a trace of your former self. A soulless one. An empty vessel that longs to be filled. It is as the Scrolls foretold, but not exactly as I imagined.”

Why does Lyris call you the Prophet?

“That is what I have come to be called. My true name is lost—even to me. Years of torment have taken their toll. Quickly now, we much make haste to the Anchor!”


“The Anchors are Daedric machines of the darkest magic. Their chains bind our world and pull it towards Coldharbour. I can use one of these Anchors to return us to Tamriel, but you must lead me to it.”

Next, head around past the prison cell and to the far side of the room. Head up the stairs, through the tunnel and into The Anchor Mooring.

Defeat the Child of Bones
Upon entering the Anchor Mooring, you are instructed to reach the Mooring Base.

Suddenly, a colossal aetherial visage of Molag Bal appears before you and bellows: “Well done, mortals. But this is the realm of death itself. The armies of unlife are endless!” before disappearing and summoning a final guardian known as the Child of Bones. During battle, the colossal titan will primarily use melee attacks. There will also be one final tutorial instructing you how to break free of a crowd-control effect.

Escape to Tamriel
Once the colossus has been defeated, speak to the Prophet, who explains: “The Dark Anchor’s portal is high above us. I will prepare a spell to lift us to it. But first you must re-attune yourself to Nirn in order to regain your physical form. To do this, you will need a skyshard.”

Asking what a Skyshard is, he elaborates: “A shard of Aetherial magicka that carries the essence of Nirn. Some link them to Lorkhan, the missing god of creation. If you collect and absorb its power, it should restore your corporeal form. I will summon one of these shards for you to absorb.”

Next, the Prophet will stand before the anchor mooring, raise his staff and begin his summon: “Shard of Aetherius. Fall upon us now and anoint us with your blessing.” As the Skyshard appears before you, he prompts you to quickly collect it. Selecting the skyshard causes a beam of light to engulf you, and levitate you briefly from the ground. Once the power has been absorbed, you will receive a short message outlining skyshards.

Once you have collected it, blinding light fills the room and the Prophet begins his ritual: “Great Akatosh, Dragon God of Time! I require your strength! Let the way be opened! Let these wandering souls return home! Let the will of Molag Bal be denied!”

As soon as the ritual is complete, the entire anchor mooring fizzles with lightning and a large rift opens up at the top. The Prophet yells: “Hurry! We must go now.” and runs forward up the staircase. As he reaches the top, the anchor levitates him up from the ground and into the portal. Follow him, and escape to Tamriel.

You will be transported to one of three locations based on the faction you have joined:
Members of the Aldmeri Dominion will find themselves in Auridon, with the option to go to Khenarthi’s Roost after awakening.

Members of the Daggerfall Covenant will find themselves in Glenumbra, with the option to go to Stros M’Kai after awakening.

Members of the Ebonheart Pact will find themselves in Stonefalls, with the option to go to Bleakrock Isle after awakening.

Irrespective of this, you will awaken next to a ghostly Prophet, who will remark: “As I feared, we arrived in different locations.” Where he will say he is depends on your faction.

If you are part of the Aldmeri Dominion, he will say: “I am in a city near the sea, in a land of eternal spring. The air smells of the ocean, and of markets, and gardens.”

If you are part of the Daggerfall Covenant, he will say: “I am in a city of industry, where men speak of intrigues and plots beneath layers of innuendo and pleasantry.”

If you are part of the Ebonheart Pact, he will say: “I am in a place with the smell of burning ash on a hot wind, and the sounds of a distant battle.”

Regardless of where he says he is, the Prophet will conclude: “It matters not. You have awakened once again, and we must set you on your path.”

How long was I unconscious?

“Days? Weeks? I cannot tell. The voyage between worlds disrupted all sense of time and space. I know only that you were deposited into the sea, and some charitable soul fished you out and brought you to dry land.”

What should I do now?

“I’m afraid you will have to decide that for yourself. I must focus on searching for a way to repay Lyris’s bold sacrifice. I cannot simply abandon her to the wrath of Molag Bal.”

When will I see you again?

“I cannot foresee that. Not yet. But we will meet again. There is still much we need to accomplish.”

This marks the end of the introductory quest. The Prophet will have additional dialogue about your current location and the first quest in the alliance questline, which will also vary based on the faction you are part of. The next main quest, The Harborage, does not begin straight away; rather, once you have reached Level 5, the Prophet will contact you through an ethereal projection when you enter a safe area, such as a settlement.

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