Bethesda’s Skyrim is their fifth instalment in their popular and three time Game of the Year award wining series called The Elder Scrolls. Now Skyrim has been available worldwide since the 11th November 2011 and with its DLC expansions Dawnguard (2012/2013), Hearthfire (2012/2013), and Dragonborn (2012/2013) being released not long after.
So it can be safely assumed that most people have played and completed the game, which does leave the simple question of…What now?
What do you do post-game, well here is a little suggestion, tackle the optional and bonus hidden bosses. Now most players are aware of the The Ebony Warrior quest-line from the Dragonborn DLC, which is available after you reach level 80.
During which you participate in a fight to the death with an experienced Redguard warrior at the Last Vigil campsite, located high in the Velothi Mountains, so he can receive an honourable death and enter the Nordic afterlife of Sovngarde.
But one bonus boss isn’t really much, and unsurprisingly although he stands at Level 80, he doesn’t place too much of a challenge to experienced players. So arguably he is bit uneventful.
This is why, there is an alternative. While The Ebony Warrior is effectively hand-given to you once you reached Level 80, these following bonus bosses will require some active searching on your part.
So now we shall introduce the three hidden bonus bosses of Skyrim who provide a bit more entertainment than The Ebony Warrior. Starting from the lowest level to the highest.
Firstly we have Vulthuryol (Dovahzul: ), the “Dark-Overlord-Fire”.
This level 50 Ancient Dragon can be summoned in the underground ruins of the Dwemer capital city of Blackreach (Dwemeris: Fal Zhardum Din).
To find him, you first need to head towards the ancient Dwemer ruin called the Tower of Mzark, that is located in the Hold of the Pale.
Following which you must transverse the Glowing Mushrooms, the endangered Snow Elves’ degenerate offspring the Falmer and the insectile Chaurus who infest the massive underground cavern of the Blackreach ruins.
Now inside the Blackreach ruins you need to head to the centre of the underground complex.
Your target in Blackmarch rests above the Debate Hall and the Hall of Rumination.
It is a large glowing yellow Dwemer orb, that you must strike with the Unrelenting Force (Dovahzul: ) Dragon Shout, better know as Fus Ro Dah (Force, Balance, Push). Doing so will cause the Dwemer orb to ring and echo throughout the Blackreach cavern ruins and summon forth Vulthuryol.
Now you just need to defeat him and resulting absorb his soul, and you will have defeated your first hidden bonus boss of Skyrim.
Although if you like, you can avoid engaging in combat with Vulthuryol, leaving the dragon to take up a stationary position on the ground (as he interestingly does not fly within Blackreach) and can even been seen to attack the various inhabitants of Blackreach such as the ancient mechanical Dwemer automatons known as the Animunculi or the lone Giant that wanders the cavern ruins.
However, be careful as Vulthuryol can only be summoned once.
Secondly we have Karstaag the Ghost Frost Giant.
Now veteran players may remember the level 90 Karstaag from the Bloodmoon expansion for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
Where he ruled as a king over a tribe of Rieklings in Castle Karstaag, until the legitimate reincarnation of Indoril Nerevar, the Protector of Morrowind the Nerevarine beheaded him in the Huntsman’s Hall of Mortrag Glacier, as part of the Bloodmoon Prophecy of Hircine’s Hunt.
Now the first you need to do is to find Karstaag’s severed head, by going to the Glacial Cave on the north coast of Solstheim.
From here you need to descend into the cave and fight your way through three lone Rieklings. Which is easy enough, then at the very southern end of the cave you will find Karstaag’s Skull logged within the icy walls of the cave.
Now you need to take Karstaag’s Skull to the Castle Karstaag Ruins on the north-western edge of Solstheim. The cave system is home to a tribe of Rieklings, who are not particularly though but favour surprise swarm tactics.
Once you reached the end of the cave system you will come across Karstaag’s throne, which you need to place his skull upon (by merely activating it), following this the complex will begin to rumble and shake, and you will be greeted by the hostile ghost of Karstaag.
Once Karstaag lies dead…again. You will be rewarded with a limited three-time use power called Summon Karstaag. Which will allow you to summon his spectral form to aid you in battle.
And there you go, that is the second hidden bonus boss defeated.
Thirdly and lastly, we have the Reaper.
This possibly level 100 Skeleton, resides in the Reaper’s Lair within the Soul Cain, that can only be accessed via a portal in Castle Volkihar during, and after, the quest Chasing Echoes.
To summon the Reaper, you must collect at least three Reaper Gem Fragments and place them upon the altar in the Reaper’s Lair.
Each of the Reaper Gem Fragments are scattered in chests around the Soul Cairn; unfortunately each specific fragment spawns in two different locations, however only one set of the three different fragments is needed. As they can be a pain to find, your best bet is to find one of the Ideal Masters (giant floating health-draining gems), as there is always a chest directly underneath them which contains Reaper Gem Fragments.
Once defeated you can find a Daedra Heart on it’s remains, suggesting that it is Daedric in nature, however this is just speculation as even the souls within the Soul Cain have no idea what it truly is.
Nonetheless, there you go, you have now defeated the third and final hidden bonus boss of Skyrim.
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