Unlock any door or lock without breaking. Meet the unbreakable lockpick, The Skyrim Skeleton Key – in addition to many other weapons, armor, and tools, Skeleton Key is the ultimate tool for every thief and adventurer on their journey! Knowing how to get it, its uses, and its benefits are pretty much the information that every player should know from the early going.
How To Acquire Skeleton KeyTo acquire the Skyrim Skeleton Key in your playthrough, you must first journey to the city of Riften, located in the southeastern region of the map.
Upon arrival, seek out a character named Brynjolf, who can typically be found in the Riften marketplace during the day or the Ragged Flagon tavern in the Ratway beneath the city. Complete Brynjolf’s initial quest, “A Chance Arrangement” to gain his trust and receive an invitation to join the Thieves Guild.After joining the guild, progress through the Thieves Guild questline by completing various quests, such as “Loud and Clear,” “Dampened Spirits,” “Scoundrel’s Folly,” and “Speaking With Silence.” During the latter quest, you will encounter and ally with a former Thieves Guild member named Karliah.
Together, they will work to uncover the treachery of the current Thieves Guild leader, Mercer Frey, by completing the quests “Hard Answers” and “The Pursuit”. Once the truth about Mercer Frey is revealed, players will embark on the “Blindsighted” quest to retrieve the Skeleton Key.The Blindsighted quest will lead you to the ancient Dwemer ruin of Irkngthand, where you must confront and defeat Mercer Frey in a climactic battle. You will be met with a group of bandits at the entrance of Irkngthand. Just take them down and enter the place. You will find Karliah there.Keep going and you will encounter Dwarven Centurion Master. He will be standing asleep. Just hit him once or twice and he will wake up. Once he is fully awake, just take him down as well and keep going. But beware that this whole place is filled with numerous traps.Eventually, you will find Mercer Frey removing an eye of a statue. Now the main part comes, the battle with Mercer Frey! Be careful when fighting with him as he has this ability to disappear. Upon his defeat, players can collect the coveted Skeleton Key from his remains and enjoy the benefits of this unique and powerful artifact.
Uses And Benefits
- Unbreakable Lockpick: The Skeleton Key’s primary benefit is its function as an unbreakable lockpick, allowing players to open any lock without breaking, saving time and resources while adventuring.
- Leveling Lockpicking Skill: Despite being unbreakable, the Skeleton Key still grants experience points when used, helping players level up their Lockpicking skill for more accessible lockpicking even without the artifact.
- Progressing The Thieves Guild Questline: The Skeleton Key is an essential item in the Thieves Guild questline, enabling players to delve deeper into the story and make decisions that impact the future of the guild and its members.
Connection To NocturnalThe Key’s link to the Daedric Prince of Shadows, Nocturnal, provides players with unique opportunities for blessings and abilities, depending on their choices within the Thieves Guild questline.
Versatility In Gameplay
The Skeleton Key offers players the freedom to decide whether to return the artifact or keep it for personal use, allowing them to tailor their gaming experience based on their preferred playstyle and character build.
The Choice: Return Or Retain
In Skyrim, you will have the option to either retain the Skeleton Key for an indefinite amount of time or just return it. At the end of the Thieves Guild questline, you’ll be faced with the choice to return the Skeleton Key to Nocturnal’s Twilight Sepulcher, thereby restoring the Thieves Guild to its former glory, or to keep it for personal use.
Returning the Key
If you choose to return the Skeleton Key, you’ll complete the quest “Darkness Returns” and receive Nocturnal’s blessing, which grants you one of three passive abilities:
- The Shadowcloak of Nocturnal: Invisibility for 120 seconds when sneaking.
- The Subterfuge of Nocturnal: Nearby enemies will attack each other for 30 seconds.
- The Ebonmere of Nocturnal: Recharge your sneak attack critical damage bonus faster.
Additionally, returning the Skeleton Key will fully restore the Thieves Guild, allowing you to become its Guildmaster and receive various perks such as a tribute chest, a merchant fence with a high gold capacity, and unique Thieves Guild armor.
Keeping The Key
If you decide to keep the Key, you’ll retain its unbreakable lockpick functionality, making lockpicking much easier throughout the game. However, you will not be able to complete the Thieves Guild questline or receive Nocturnal’s blessing.
You just have to leave the Thieves Guild questline and not complete it. In this way, you can keep the skeleton key for an infinite amount of time.
Tips And Tricks
- Leveling Lockpicking: If you plan to return the Key, consider using it to level up your Lockpicking skill quickly before doing so. This will make lockpicking more manageable after you no longer have the Skeleton Key.
- Save Often: If you decide to keep the Key, remember to save your game frequently, as you may encounter bugs or glitches preventing you from progressing in the Thieves Guild questline.
- Consider Your Character Build: If you’re playing a stealth-based character, it may be more beneficial to return it and receive Nocturnal’s blessing. On the other hand, if lockpicking is essential to your playstyle, keeping the Skeleton Key might be the better option.
Skeleton Key Background And Lore
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Skeleton Key is a unique artifact with a rich background and lore deeply rooted in the game’s universe. The key is associated with Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Shadows, who governs over the realms of stealth, luck, and darkness.
As a symbol of her power, the Key holds the ability to unlock any door or lock without breaking, making it an invaluable tool for thieves and adventurers alike. The Skeleton Key has appeared in several installments of the Elder Scrolls series, consistently serving as a critical element of the Thieves Guild questline.
The enigmatic nature of Nocturnal and the almost limitless potential of the Skeleton Key have made it a highly sought-after artifact by those who seek to harness its power or gain the favor of the mysterious Daedric Prince.
As we conclude this comprehensive guide, we hope that you now possess the knowledge and understanding required to successfully acquire the enigmatic Skeleton Key. This artifact’s unparalleled potential to unlock any door or lock without breaking makes it an invaluable asset to many players.
By following the step-by-step instructions and considering the various choices and consequences of retaining or returning the Skeleton Key, you are well-equipped to tailor your Skyrim experience to your preferred playstyle and character build.
It, now, solely depends on you whether you want to conclude the Thieves Guild questline and get Nocturnal’s blessings and some skills or you want an indefinite power to open up any lock without hesitation. You can refer to the subreddit post to get an idea of whether to return the key or keep it.
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