The Path of Transcendence
"From the forbidden secrets I learned in Apocrypha, I have inscribed a dark ritual to parchment that when completed, will allow me to transform into an undead Lich. I should begin to seek out the components necessary for the ritual."
The Black Book will now transport you back to Scourg Barrow when read. There may be a bug that may cause you to remain in Apocrypha; if it does, go back to the save you made before reading the Black Book for the first time. Exit Scourg Barrow through some ice caves occupied by Frost Trolls which will bring you out around the rear of the Barrow. You can now fast travel out of the mountains.
Reading this adds The Broker's Shack, which is west of Falkreath, to your map. Head to the shack. There is a destroyed wagon on the road to the shack, as well as 2 Necromancers and 3 Wolves in the area in front of the shack. The Necromancers and the wolves are likely to be fighting if they see each other, so wait for them to finish, then polish off the survivors.
Finally, ask "What have you got for sale?"
The Broker sells a number of interesting items, but what you are initially interested in are either Solitude Sewers - Ritual Chamber (base price 1,000 Gold) or Ravenscorn Spire - Laboratory (base price 1,000 Gold), purchasing either of which completes the Establish a Ritual Site portion of the quest, and the Black Pearl (base price 1,000 Gold), which is needed for the Phylactery. If you have the money, you may as well buy the various Ravenscorn Spire Notes - Hall, Laboratory, Library and Quarters (base price 1,750 Gold each) and the various Solitude Sewers Notes - Ritual Chamber (base price 1,000 Gold), Quarters (base price 500 Gold) and Venom Garden (base price 1,000 Gold). Note: It's possible that the site you are going to use could have the occupants respawn whilst you are in the process of acquiring the ingredients needed, so you may wish to wait until you have them all, clear it out again if needed, then purchase the relevant site furnishings.
If you aren't rolling in cash and buying the rest of the notes will clean you out, you should wait until the ritual is completed, otherwise you may run short, as this is not a cheap ritual to perform.
Once you have created a Ritual Site, the next step is to make the various items needed for the ritual.
Completing the ritual is not the easiest thing to do, as it requires an Enchanting level of 100 and a lot of rare/expensive ingredients to create items at a Necromantic Altar, which requires an Enchanting level of 100 to use. You have to create various ingredients which are then used to create other required materials, making this a multi-step process.
To create the Phylactery, you need a Crushed Black Pearl, Solution of Magicka Concentrate and an Ensorcelled Vessel.
The Solution of Magicka Concentrate requires 3 Nirnroot, Elixir of Extra Magicka and 5 Moon Sugar.
Elixir of Defiliation
The Elixir of Defiliation requires Finely Ground Bone Meal, Deadly Poison, Poison Bloom, Nightshade Extract and either Embalming Essence or Namira's Corrosion, from Infernal Alchemy.
The total components you need are as follows:
2 Black Soul Gems (One full, one empty): The Broker sells these, or they can be obtained in loot, there are two in The Broker's Shack, locked in a Display Case with an Expert lock; preferably you will have looted some in Apocrypha during Black Book: Whispers of the Veil, if you didn't already have some. The soul gem needed for the Purified Void Salts needs to be full; the one for the Ensorcelled Vessel needs to be empty.
10 Bone Meal: This is dropped by undead, the Broker or other merchants may sell it, and it's a relatively common item.
Deadly Poison: The Broker may sell this, or it may be available from other apothecary merchants or in random loot.
Elixir of Extra Magicka: This will probably be the hardest ingredient to obtain, as it there are no guaranteed bottles, making finding it totally random - and it only seems to appear on the bodies of some Thalmor, Warlocks (the two Necromancers that spawn outside the Broker's Shack are a possible source) and as random potions found lying around - and it doesn't even start appearing in loot until level 40. To increase the chances of finding one, it can be an idea to concentrate on locations and dungeons where Thalmor and Warlocks can be found hanging around. *
Flawless Amethyst: There are a number of guaranteed locations and it may also be found in random loot or for sale.
5 Moon Sugar: The Broker may sell this, as may other apothecaries, there are several guaranteed locations and some Khajiit traders and skooma dealers sell it.
10 Nightshade: The Broker sells 3 of these, there is one in The Broker's Shack, but the plants are common.
3 Nirnroot: The Broker may sell this, as may other apothecaries, there are guaranteed samples in a variety of places around Skyrim, including outside one of the entrances to the Solitude Sewers, and it may be found in apothecary's satchels.
Poison Bloom: Poison Bloom can be harvested from the Poison Bloom plants in Darkfall Passage, which is accessed from Darkfall Cave, but there is also one in The Broker's Shack, locked in a Display Case with an Expert lock. A Poison Bloom plant will be planted in the Venom Garden of Solitude Sewers when that improvement is bought.
3 Vampire Dust: Vampire Dust can be found in a variety of places, Shriekwind Bastion is a Vampire lair, and it may be sold by apothecaries, as well as being dropped by Vampires. The Broker may sell it as well, and there are five in The Broker's Shack.
5 Void Salts: The Broker may sell these and there are three in The Broker's Shack, other apothecaries may sell them too, and there are a number of guaranteed samples as well as in apothecary's satchels.
* The Elixir of Extra Magicka is by far the hardest item to obtain, as finding it is purely random, and can take a long time. Should you wish to shortcut this time, you can add one directly to your inventory by opening the Console and entering player.additem 000ff9fd 1
These need to be created at a Necromantic Altar; the one in the Broker's Shack will do, or alternatively the one at the Ritual Site.
The final appearance of your Lich form can also be altered by changing the colour of the Shroud of Vyngald at a Necromantic Altar. The Shroud can be dyed green and black, using the Black Dye and the Green Dye, together with the shroud, at a Necromantic Altar. The bottles of dye can be found on a table in the cellar of Radiant Raiment in Solitude; they are not for sale. Taking them is theft, and the staff of the shop tend to follow you around, so some sort of stealth will be needed.
Once you have the complete Phylactery and Elixir of Defiliation, head to the ritual site in the Solitude Sewers, or the one in Ravenscorn Spire, assuming that you enchanted the items at The Broker's Shack. Getting to the Ravenscorn Spire lair is the easiest, as it was previously visited in In Their Footsteps. Otherwise, use the following directions.
The entrance from Castle Dour is near to a patch of water in the lower levels of Castle Dour and isn't locked. The entrance from The Winking Skeever is in the basement and also isn't locked. The entrance from the Bards College is in the basement and has a levelled lock that can be opened with the Solitude Sewers Key. The basement door itself also has a levelled lock which can be opened with the Key to Bards College. The external entrances aren't locked; the easternmost entrance has a Mudcrab spawn just outside it, as well as a Nirnroot.
The orders instruct the Guards to kill anyone, or anything, they see; therefore, the Guards are all hostile. Killing them will not result in a crime being committed and a bounty being placed on your head. There is also a necromancer, Torvalen, whose lair is guarded by Skeletons. The Ritual Chamber is in this area.
Probably the quickest way of getting to the Ritual Chamber is by using the entrance from the Bards College, although this will require picking some locks. Enter the sewers from the college, then follow the tunnel down as it descends to the northeast. At the bottom is a missile Skeleton; in the chamber to the southeast is a melee one.
Head northwest from the bottom of the tunnel until you arrive at a T-junction. Take the north-eastern tunnel and you will enter a long chamber with water down one side. There is a melee Skeleton in this area. The Ritual Chamber is off this room behind a door on the northwest wall at the southern end of the room, although it is a good idea to eliminate Torvalen first, who is in a large chamber to the northwest which opens onto the water area, to stop him from interrupting the ritual.
Alternatively, if it is too difficult to enter from Bards College, use the exterior entrance to the east of Solitude Sawmill. Follow the tunnel southeast, then northwest, then take a tunnel that leads southwest that has a Skeever in it.
This leads to a rectangular chamber with water flowing down the centre that is patrolled by a Solitude Sewer Guard. Take the exit in the south-eastern wall on the other side of the water. This has a door in the north-eastern wall at the end that opens into a circular chamber guarded by two Skeevers.
Take the south-eastern door from this room into a large circular room with water in the centre. There are two missile and one melee Skeleton guarding this room. Head southeast into another circular room containing two Skeevers. Take the exit to the northeast and follow the tunnel to a T-junction. Head southeast from this until you reach another T-junction, then head northeast and you will arrive in the large chamber that the Ritual Chamber is off as mentioned earlier.
"I am ready to begin the Ritual of Transcendence. If any component of the Ritual is missing or is not exact, it will surely fail and I will be killed..."
It is a good idea to save the game before trying the ritual, as it can be fatal, especially if a mistake is made.
Stand in the circle and cast Unbind Soul - this spell takes a while to charge, so make sure it is fully ready before releasing it, and you may need to boost your magicka in order to have enough to cast it - then drink the Elixir of Defiliation.
"I have completed the Ritual of Transcendence and become a powerful undead Lich. While in my true form I will be hated and feared, however I am able to use powerful magic from the school of Illusion to disguise myself as my previous mortal appearance."
Performing the Ritual
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