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18.3 Boethiah's Calling

Minor Spoilers

Prerequisites: You must be Level 30 or higher.

Intersecting Quests: None

Locations: Sacellum of Boethiah, Knifepoint Mine, Knifepoint Ridge

Characters: Boethiah

Enemies: Bandit, Boethiah Cultist, Champion of Boethiah, Frost Troll, Priestess of Boethiah

Objectives: Find the shrine of Boethiah, Find the cult of Boethiah, Lead someone to become trapped by the shrine and slay them, Speak to Boethiah’s Conduit, Slay the other cultists, Slay everyone at Knifepoint Ridge stealthily, Retrieve and equip the Ebony Mail

Congealing an Empty Vapor

Once you’re an experienced adventurer (Level 32 or higher), you can join the cult of the fabled Boethiah, the Prince of Plots and original god-ancestor of the Dark Elves. This is triggered via one of the following antics:

During your searching, you (randomly) uncover a book named Boethiah’s Proving and read it.

During your travels, you (randomly) encounter a Boethiah Cultist, who attacks you. Slay the cultist, search the corpse, and uncover the book. Then read it.

Or, you can simply stumble upon the Sacellum of Boethiah (although you won’t have the map marker to guide you, and the location is deserted until you reach Level 32).

Objective: Find the shrine of Boethiah

Objective: Find the cult of Boethiah
Target: Sacellum of Boethiah

Brave the Frost Trolls, or other weathered adversaries, as you trek up the snowy mountains east of Windhelm. Among the rocks and snow is a rudimentary arena, where those seeking the gaze of Boethiah are engaged in bloody combat. Confront a Priestess of Boethiah without resorting to combat (yet). She explains that you are an “empty vapor,” unworthy of Boethiah’s attention.

Tell her you’re not afraid of her, and you learn about Boethiah, who only cares for those who care for themselves. You are to prove that you can lie; you must find someone, gain their trust, lead them to the shrine above, and instruct your thrall to touch the Pillar of Sacrifice.

This stalls your victim, who you must slay with a ceremonial dagger. If your will is strong, Boethiah will stir and you will be one of them!

Items gained:
Blade of Sacrifice

Objective: Lead someone to become trapped by the shrine and slay them
Target: Any Follower, at the Sacellum of Boethiah

Enthralling a Willing Thrall

Leave this place of violence and ponder for a moment: Which Follower is worth sacrificing to Boethiah? One who has accompanied you on many of your adventurers or one who is waiting patiently for your return? You may choose any Follower you’ve met during your travels. Remember the following:

If your morals prevent you from sacrificing just anyone, then choose a Follower who has annoyed you or you don’t like. This doesn’t affect your standing in Skyrim; it just makes you feel better about leading a friend to their death!

You must sacrifice someone to complete this quest. If your morals prevent this, perhaps the Prince of Plots isn’t right for you....

If you don’t suffer from this guilt or don’t care who you wish to sacrifice, then anyone stupid enough to blindly follow you will do! This can be anyone you’ve befriended, a hireling in your service or a Housecarl appointed to you by a Jarl.


For a complete list of Followers, consult the Training chapter. This quest involves human sacrifice and an unwilling subject. To minimize any regrets you may have about leading someone to their death, simply complete the Dark Brotherhood Quests, obtain an initiate, and sacrifice one of them.

Bring your unwitting victim back to the Sacellum of Boethiah. To avoid them dying during the trek, you may wish to Fast-Travel here. Climb up the steps to the Pillar of Sacrifice, and instruct your victim to activate it. As your Follower inspects the pillar, he is trapped by magical energy.

Arm yourself with the Blade of Sacrifice (given by the Priestess), and don’t finish slashing until your Follower collapses in a pool of blood. Your murder soon yields results: Boethiah possesses the bloody corpse!


Remember! It is more fitting to murder your Follower using the Blade of Sacrifice, but any weapon will do. Point your Follower to interact with the Pillar of Sacrifice so they are standing in the correct spot before the slaying begins.

Objective: Speak to Boethiah’s Conduit
Target: Your slain Follower, at the Sacellum of Boethiah

Boethiah enters the flesh of the recently culled. Make your answers more insulting rather than sycophantic to earn a modicum of her respect. She then addresses you and the cultists who have gathered to witness your commune. She has a special task for the one who exceeds the rest—the one who is left standing. With that, she leaves your Follower’s corpse, and mayhem ensues!

Objective: Slay the other cultists

Draw your preferred weapon, head down to the fighting pit, and begin killing the cultists. Let the shrine be bathed in blood! There are usually around five cultists to slay.

You can wade in or hang back and let your fellow cultists fight among themselves before you move in to finish the wounded. Once all are dead, Boethiah possesses the last one to die and congratulates you on your ferocity in combat.

If you’re able to cast aside your honor, Boethiah has one more task. Her previous champion displeases her, and she wishes him replaced in the traditional fashion:

You are to kill everyone at Knifepoint Ridge, as quickly and as invisibly as possible. You are but an instrument of Boethiah; showing yourself too frequently will displease her.

Objective: Slay everyone at Knifepoint Ridge stealthily

Objective: Retrieve and equip the Ebony Mail
Target: All enemies and Champion of Boethiah at Knifepoint Ridge


The area of Knifepoint Ridge where the Champion lurks is inaccessible prior to this quest’s start, so you can’t attempt an early reconnoiter of the area. Slaying foes before the start of this quest doesn’t affect the number of enemies you face, either.

As You Will It, So It Shall Be

Knifepoint Ridge, in the southern hills equidistant between Markarth and Whiterun, is where you prove yourself to Boethiah. Approach the small collection of huts, tents, and guard towers and slay the bandits quickly and effectively.

Don’t charge in but try to remain hidden, although rampaging through here is still possible. Be sure no one is left on the surface before locating and opening the entrance to Knifepoint Mine.


Wait for nightfall, and use the Invisibility and Muffle spells to increase your stealthiness. Instead of taking the main road to the camp’s front entrance, climb the steep slope to the southeast. Work your way around and behind the guard tower (bypassing the rock trap); this route to the Blacksmith’s shed is easier. Now shoot the Champion of Boethiah through a hole in the wall!


If you take the side hallway that ramps down, locate a hidden path underneath the scaffolding, immediately on your left. If you sneak through here, you’ll have access to a passage on the opposite side of the large chamber that winds around and exits right next to the Champion’s shack. This allows you to bypass all the enemies in this area.

Once inside the mine, try the stealthy plans mentioned, sneaking and knifing foes using, for example, Sneak attacks from bows at a distance or Invisibility. There are several bottles of poison you can use, and there’s an Alchemy Table in the area caged off from the large chamber; use this to make your attacks more potent or your movement more stealthy. When you reach the Champion of Boethiah, use the fire-through-the-hole tactic or approach and strike him down from behind, if you can.

Quest Conclusion

Ransack the corpse of the slain Champion for your prizes. Equip the Ebony Mail to conclude this quest. Boethiah speaks to you, exclaiming her satisfaction at the blood you spilled in her honor. Your name is to be written on Boethiah’s tablet of absolute darkness, and you receive her blessing.

Items gained:
Ebony Shield
Ebony Boots
Ebony Gauntlets
Ebony Mail

Postquest Activities

Congratulations! Serve your new mistress well!