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Skyrim:Extracting an Argonian

Skyrim: Quests: Miscellaneous: Favors
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SR-qico-Miscellaneous.png Rescue Derkeethus from his Falmer captors.
Location(s): Darkwater Crossing, Darkwater Pass
Reward: Derkeethus as a potential follower
Disposition: +1 (Derkeethus)
ID: DarkwaterCrossingDerkeethusRescueQuest
Suggested Spells: Muffle, Fire Damage
Suggested Level: 9+
Derkeethus, trapped in the cave where you find him

Quick Walkthrough

  1. Speak to the residents of Darkwater Crossing.
  2. Travel to Darkwater Pass.
  3. Search the cave for Derkeethus.
  4. Free Derkeethus from his prison.
  5. Escort Derkeethus out of the cave.

Detailed Walkthrough

Darkwater Crossing

If you talk to the residents of Darkwater Crossing (for example Sondas Drenim, a miner in nearby Goldenrock Mine), you will soon hear of an Argonian named Derkeethus who recently went to explore the pools around Darkwater - and who hasn't been seen in a long time. The residents will not be able to say for sure where Derkeethus is, but he has actually run into trouble inside Darkwater Pass.

Locating Darkwater Pass can be difficult. The easiest route from Darkwater Crossing is to cross the bridge that spans the river to the south west of the settlement. At the crossing, take the right path. Just before you reach the second bridge and Fort Amol, a stone marker to the left of the road will indicate a dusty path heading west up the mountainside. Follow the path as it curves sharply south, and onward through the trees along the cliff's edge. Eventually you will come to a large pool fed by three large waterfalls. Drop into the pool and turn directly around to the north - an iron door in the cliff wall in front of you leads to Darkwater Pass.

Darkwater Pass

Follow the low tunnel past an unlocked chest, and you will reach a small cavern. Watch out - a Falmer will drop out of a Falmer hive in the wall immediately to your right as you enter. Follow the path up into the next area. A Falmer waits immediately ahead outside a tent, and yet another may drop from a hive above and to the left. Turn directly North at this point and you will see a smaller cave leading off from the main chamber. Head through a chaurus nest, containing three of the creatures, and up the stairs to reach a small room with a trap door in the center. Look down through the bars to see Derkeethus pacing about in the trap. Be mindful of the Falmer in the adjoining room with an arcane enchanter (step in here and two more Falmer will drop from the hives up near the ceiling).

Standing on the center of the trapdoor, turn to face exactly north east. You should be able to make out a lever on the far wall. Pulling this lever should lower the wall directly to the left and reveal a wooden staircase leading down to Derkeethus, who will immediately engage you in conversation. He will ask you to help him escape. The key to the prison cell is in the Burial Urn on the top step right inside the door.

Although there is still more of Darkwater Pass to explore, the easiest way to get Derkeethus out is to head straight back the way you came - particularly as the Argonian is one of many followers who will not crouch into a sneaking stance when you do, and there are some nasty traps and Falmer further up the cave.

Once you have led Derkeethus to safety, he will thank you for saving him. You can now recruit him as a follower if you wish. If not, you can recruit him at any time from Darkwater Crossing.


  • Derkeethus will only continue to follow you if you remain close to him. If you move too far away he will turn around and return to the pit he started in.
  • On rare occasions Derkeethus may appear on the trail between the upper and lower entrances to Darkwater Pass, begging for help escaping the cave. Just lead him to the lower entrance. He will thank you and promptly vanish. He may then be found at Darkwater Crossing.
  • This quest can sometimes clash with the companions quest where a NPC needs to be rescued allowing you to do both at the same time potentially giving you two temporary followers.


  • Residents may only talk about Derkeethus going missing and give no quest or objectives. Locating his prison in Darkwater Pass should bring you to quest stage 20.
  • Derkeethus may not follow you once freed from his prison. Attempt normal resolutions - waiting, talking, leaving and returning, or reloading the game.

Quest Stages

Extracting an Argonian (DarkwaterCrossingDerkeethusRescueQuest)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 One of the fisherman from Darkwater Crossing has gone missing, allegedly kidnapped by a group of Falmer nearby.
Objective 10: Find Derkeethus.
Objective 20: Get Derkeethus out of the cave.
200 Finishes quest I rescued Derkeethus from the Falmer of Darkwater Pass, and he's returned to his home in Darkwater Crossing.
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 205.