During the Dawnguard quest, “Touching the Sky,” Skyrim players will be joined by Serana on a mission to retrieve the mythical Auriel’s Bow from the Inner Sanctum. However, entering the Inner Sanctum is no simple task and requires the Dragonborn to fill the Initiate’s Ewer with water from the five Wayshrines located within the Forgotten Vale. Once the sacred liquid has been collected in Skyrim, it must be then poured into the basin to unlock the great doors to the Inner Sanctum.
After fighting their way through Darkfall Cave, the player and Serana meet Gelebor, one of the two last Snow Elves in Skyrim. Tasking the Dragonborn with slaying his corrupted brother Vyrthur, he teleports the player to the first location where the Initiate’s Ewer water must be drawn, Wayshrine of Illumination. To get to the shrine, follow a winding path illuminated by small worm-like creatures that light the way. Upon arrival, the player will encounter the ethereal Prelate Sidanyis, who presents himself as the shrine’s caretaker. After collecting the water, the Dragonborn can proceed further into the Forgotten Vale.
The second shrine, the Wayshrine of Sight, is located near the beginning of the Forgotten Vale location of the Dawnguard DLC. After fighting a few hostile Sabre Cats and venturing through some ruins, players should head northwest down a path until reaching a second arch. From here, go right, walking northeast towards the Wayshrine. Speak with Prelate Athring and retrieve the water for the Initiate’s Ewer.
Unlocking the Inner Sanctum in Skyrim
The Wayshrine of Learning is the third shrine found in the second portion of the Forgotten Vale. Players will encounter the Wayshrine after following a partially frozen downstream and fighting through a few Frostbite Spiders. Speak with Prelate Celegriath and fill the ewer to proceed.
To get to the Wayshrine of Resolution, the Dragonborn will need to cross a frozen lake guarded by two unique dragons, Naaslaarum and Voslaarum. After defeating or avoiding these two mini-bosses, head to the northwest bank of the lake to reach the Wayshrine. Talk to Prelate Nirilor, and don’t forget to collect the required water.
The final structure, the Wayshrine of Radiance, is much further away than the previous Wayshrines and requires the Dragonborn to travel through the Glacial Crevice, a cave system crawling with Falmer. After reaching the fifth shrine, players can continue to the Inner Sanctum. Use the full ewer of water at the basin in front of the entrance to enter. Wait a few moments for a green glow to appear, unlocking the sun mechanism on the doors. With the door lock puzzle solved in Skyrim, players can finally enter the Inner Sanctum.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.
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