Quick Walkthrough
- Once you have reached level 5, travel to the Shrine of Vaermina and talk to Aymar Douar to begin the quest.
- Acquire one Black Soul Gem and activate the shrine to give it as an offering.
- Find Arkved's Tower, and work your way to the Death Quarters. Steal back the orb from Arkved.
- Return the orb back to the shrine and claim your reward: the Skull of Corruption.
 Detailed Walkthrough
- Speaking to Ontus Vanin in the Talos Plaza District after having read Modern Heretics or have spoken with Ulene Hlervu about "Cheydinhal".
- Speaking to Luther Broad, the innkeeper of Luther Broad's Boarding House in the Elven Gardens District about the "Imperial City".
 An Offering to the God
You must be at least level 5 to start this quest. At the shrine, talk to the Dunmer Aymar Douar. You will learn that you need to offer a Black Soul Gem to Vaermina. After you do, Vaermina will say:
- We meet again, mortal, for we have met before, whether you know it or not. When you mutter in your sleep, you speak to me. When you waken wet with sweat, you've just left my house. I dwell in your dreams; I savor your nightmares. Now, you will serve me. The wizard Arkved has the Orb of Vaermina... snatched from the dreams of my followers and dragged into the waking world. Travel to his tower and retrieve my Orb. Take care, though, mortal. In my Orb, Arkved has found more than he bargained for.
 The Task at Hand
Arkved's Tower is one of the more interesting dungeons in the game. If you are in a hurry, just follow the arrows, fighting all the daedra or using your invisibility spell until you reach Arkved's Death chamber. However, you won't regret checking out the dead-end routes, as some end in rather amazing visual effects and they offer no extra risk. When you reach the Death Chamber, grab the orb from the small table in the room and leave. Arkved is sleeping, and he will not attack you even if you attack him. There is a trap door which you can use to exit from Arkved's quarters. However, you cannot use it to enter his chambers from the outside, because it does not appear until you have explored the rest of the dungeon.
 Returning to the Shrine
Return to Vaermina for your reward, the Skull of Corruption. It creates a "corrupted clone" of any NPC, inheriting all of their abilities and equipment. The clone will fight the original NPC for you. Vaermina will say the following as her parting words:
- My Orb is returned, and Arkved will live out the rest of his days in nightmare. It is fitting. You have proved yourself, mortal. It is fitting, as well, that you should bear my token.
She will say this even if you killed Arkved.
- You cannot wait in the tower, as it is considered trespassing.
- Two crumpled pieces of paper can be found in Arkved's room. They read, "The Horror, The Horror" and "I shall lie here in the dark waiting for death", both allusions to Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, in which the enigmatic Kurtz also becomes deranged by power.
- Even if you killed Arkved, Vaermina will say: "he will live out his days".
 Journal Entries
- Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
- Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
- If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
- On the PC, it is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering
setstage DAVaermina stage, where
stageis the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.