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 Quick Walkthrough
- Speak to Isran.
- Travel to Dimhollow Crypt to find out what the vampires are after.
- Solve the puzzle.
- Speak to the Mysterious Woman.
 Detailed Walkthrough
 Dimhollow Crypt
Having been given your assignment from Isran, go investigate Dimhollow Crypt. As you enter the first room you will overhear two vampires conversing. Accompanying the two vampires is a single death hound. Here you will find the body of Vigilant Tolan near the bodies of two dead vampires. You will also notice a closed gate, blocking progress deeper into the cavern. After disposing of the vampires and their death hound, turn your attention to the opposite side of the room from which the closed gate is located. You will see a stone structure. Enter it to find a number of useful items, including a leveled sword in a draugr coffin and a couple of leveled potions. At the top floor of the structure you will find a pull chain to open the gate at the other side of the room.
In the next room there is a leveled vampire accompanied by several skeletons. Defeat or sneak past them to find another gate with glowing mushrooms growing on either side. In the chamber on the other side of the gate you will find a few dead draugr and an arcane enchanter. Exit through down the stairs on the right side to find a vampire and its death hound companion battling some draugr. After dealing with any remaining enemies exit down another staircase to find a room with four gated doors, all of which can be opened by pulling the chain next to it. The hallway straight ahead leads to a pedestal with a couple leveled potions, the first door on the left leads to a master-locked chest, the door on your right opens to a leveled draugr, and the fourth door, to the left of the altar door, leads to the next chamber. Some of these hallways have unreachable treasure in the alcoves to the side—use Telekinesis or an area-effect spell to bring them into reach.
The next chamber is littered with the corpses of frostbite spiders, along with two live vampires and two death hounds. After dealing with the enemies proceed through the rather straightforward hallway to discover a large gate and a leveled vampire fighting a wounded frostbite spider. After dealing with the victor proceed to the small wooden door at the other end of the room to enter Dimhollow Cavern.
As you enter Dimhollow Cavern you will overhear the vampire Lokil interrogating Vigilant Adalvald. You will also find a Scroll of Fire Storm located on a pedestal directly in front of you. Lokil, his thrall, and an unnamed vampire will become hostile towards you as soon as you reveal yourself.
After killing them, make your way to center of the stone structure. Pressing the button in the center will cause a spike to emerge, stabbing you in the hand as a purple light comes out of the ground. Push each of the braziers into or away from the center of the circle so that they touch the end of the purple fire within their path, causing the pattern to expand towards the next brazier, until you connect them all. The center of the circle will descend to reveal a stone monolith beneath the button, containing a Mysterious Woman carrying an Elder Scroll. Upon speaking to the woman, she will tell you her name is Serana and that she is a vampire. She will ask you to take her to her family home, Castle Volkihar to the west of Solitude. Asking her a few questions will reveal that she is not very trusting of you, but she does reveal that she has been imprisoned for a very long time, even before the rise of the Empire of Cyrodiil.
 Escaping the Crypt
After freeing Serana, exit the cavern by crossing the small stone bridge opposite the side of the room you came in from to be ambushed by two gargoyles. After dealing with them head up to the door located to the right of where the gargoyles were hidden to come to a small chamber with little of note except for the few skeletons and leveled draugr that will attack when pulling the lever to open yet another barred gate. Head through the gate to come to a huge chamber with lots of leveled undead. Here you will find a boss chest with leveled loot, the first word for the dragon shout Drain Vitality, and a couple of burnt corpses with small amounts of gold. After dealing with the enemies and getting the desired loot, head out through the gated door at the opposite end of the room from where you came in to complete the quest.
One achievement is unlocked when you complete this quest:
- AwakeningDG (20 points/Bronze)
- Dimhollow Crypt can be difficult to find due to its location atop a mountain. Head directly east of Frostmere Crypt and you'll soon see a southbound path up the mountain. Look for steps to continue following the path upward. Alternatively, you can find the Lord Stone and the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon. From the front of the shrine, follow the dirt path that skirt the cliff face east.
- Dimhollow Crypt will be almost empty if you encounter it before this quest has started, with just a few wolves inside and the gate will be blocked. The pull chain will also not be there.
- When pressing the button in the center of the room, you may get stuck in a continuous loop of pressing the button.
- When you enter Dimhollow Cavern, the gate may not open.
- This quest may not start after finishing the Dawnguard quest.
 Quest Stages
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 5, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 30, 999.
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