I'm having a bit of a problem with the Proving Honor quest and I'm not sure what I'm missing.

I'm level 21, have done numerous other quests/dungeons/dragons, and didn't really follow along on the Companions quests until now, but when I enter Dustman’s Cairn I just get destroyed by the first three Draugr that appear in the area.

Farkas is practically killed instantly too, so I'm wondering what I'm missing. Or is there is some dungeon or area that adjusts to my level, and should I just come back when I'm higher level?

  • I did this quest at level 14, without any problems. Being a mage in light armor, I do tend to hide behind my conjured flame atronach and spawn flames through it. Draughr really shouldn't be a problem, especially if you use your shouts well.
    – Konerak
    Nov 17, 2011 at 15:10

5 Answers 5


It is somewhat known that most areas have some sort of scaling mechanic. If you have a quest that is quite difficult it could be a number of things:

  • The game's difficulty setting
  • The level of the skills you are using affecting how well you can do combat
  • the scaling, when combined with the difficulty setting, has made the enemies much too difficult
  • The equipment you are currently using
  • The combat strategy you have been using has been inefficient and it hasnt been a problem until now

Try setting the difficulty lower and see how low it needs to go before it becomes managable. It may just be that the scaling for that quest is off.

  • cheers, i'll try this tonight
    – Paul Farry
    Nov 17, 2011 at 22:33
  • 1
    in ps3 i can't find a way to lower diffuculty, but I left this quest for a few levels and came back, much easier, once i cleared the first 3 mobs, most of the area was easy until the very last area. Which I needed to be a sniper up in the rack above to be able to pick them off. I would get slaughered by them once again, but finally finished it :-)
    – Paul Farry
    Nov 20, 2011 at 8:57

I have found the last stage of Proving Honor to be extremely difficult when I first encountered it. There seems to be an endless stream of Draugr Deathlords as well as weaker Draugrs. At some point, you and Farkas are fighting 6 Deathlords at same time and they all have disarm and unrelenting force shouts. Those Deathlords seem to have infinite health and whatever you do don't seem to make a dent on their health. How do you overcome that overwhelming odds?

There are several things that work to your advantage: 1. Farkas cannot die. 2. When Farkas is not disabled, he can do really good damage against these Draugrs. 3. These Dragr Deathlords do not regenerate, but you and Farkas do.

So, one very basic way of getting through this area is to simply run around and not get hit too often. You just need to stay alive. Eventually Farkas will kill of all of them if you survive long enough. It may take a long time but it will be done. Maybe it will take 30 minutes, maybe an hour. It may seem strange how can you dodge 4 Draugr Deathlords and 2 Draugr Scourges chasing after you? But it can be done. They are quite slow. Keep running round the circles near the altar area. Run away to the balcony and go back and forth. If you get surrounded, you can jump on the table, or jump off the balcony. Or use your whirlwind or unrelenting force. Or find an opening and and sprint out of there.

If you want to end this fight quicker, you can contribute by damaging them. Just make sure that you don't get hit too many times and watch your health. Go back to running away if your health gets too low. These Draugrs are vulnerable to fire. And you just learned Fire Breath dragon shout on the wall. If you have a dragon soul, you can use it to end the fight quicker. It does pretty good damage. You can also use the flame spell, even if you are not normally a magic user. Just be patient and don't panic. These draugrs have a lot of health, and it will take long time to kill them.

Depending on your play style and level of your character, you may not have found this level to be challenging. For example, once you reach level 30, disarm will go away.

[Edit] I have since discovered that it is not normal to encounter a room full of Draugr Deathlords at level 10. It was due to a glitch. The problem went away after running verify game cache. I did not encounter Deathlords at Dustman's Cairn until the character was above Level 30 after the fix.

  • 2
    The Benny Hill Scrolls
    – kotekzot
    Mar 28, 2012 at 4:14

There is an easier way to do this. before you get the axe shard, For some reason if you get right in front of a coffin and do a sword(I used a sword, not sure if it work with hammers, axe, etc.) sneak attack, the attack will go through! Then the enemy will be forced to come out and only that one will come out. Do this to all the coffins one by one. The only coffin laying down is the only exception to this, but you can lure him out with an unrelenting force shout or any other damaging shouts. Enjoy! :D

  • I noticed that power attacks with great swords work also. I found less satisfying to do it this way because it felt like cheating to me.
    – Anderson
    Mar 28, 2012 at 18:12
  • I use fire runes to sneak attack individual coffins, so long as you don't go too far into a room - you only have to deal with one enemy at a time. Feb 18, 2015 at 9:37

I jumped in the corner where they didn't or couldn't hit me and just shot them all with my bow. Wasn't too hard after I did that quick 3 minutes or so. Just jump behind the 3 vases on the floor up to the top there it's not very high but they can't target you with there swords .


Run, and heal, avoid getting hit too much is literally all the advice I can say. Get lots of health potions and save is what I did.

I got dawnbreaker and that helped me tbh.

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