In the base game and DLCs. there are a total of 27 dragon shouts in Skyrim. The shouts are the natural language of the dragons, referred to as Thu’um. Each shout has a unique ability and effect. Dragonborn are able to learn the shouts by inspecting the word walls and absorbing the souls of slain dragons. The Greybeards of High Hrothgar also have the ability to teach the Dragonborn ancient Thu’um.
Marked for Death is one of the most powerful shouts players can learn in the game, even after the two expansions. This guide will walk gamers through where to find the word wall and how to use the shout effectively.
Where To Find The Word Wall
The Marked for Death Nordic word wall is in the Forsaken Cave, which is to the west of Windhelm. Players can find the cave by following the path that leads to the west bridge on the south side of the river. Gamers that follow the path will cross the bridge to the west and ride along the path that leads northwest. At the fork, those looking for the shout must continue west on the snowy trail. Not too far from there will be the entrance to the cave.
The Forsaken Cave
The first couple of enemies in the cave are Frost Trolls. For high-level players they will be relatively harmless. New and lower level Dragonborn will want to use stealth tactics or bring a few potions to ensure survival. As they proceed down into the dungeon, people will have to fight their way through multiple high-level Draugr enemies.
There will be a number of pressure traps along the way, so players will want to keep an eye out for them. Apart from an additional floor trap and swinging axe trap, the Nordic dungeon is straightforward and can be cleared in under ten minutes. For some reason, the loot in the Forsaken Cave is atrocious, so it is not worth picking locks and exploring treasure rooms.
Curalmil And The Word Wall
After making their way through the axe trap, Dragonborn will have to defeat the Draugr boss named Curalmil. The boss is just like nearly every Dragur boss in the game. He has a decent amount of health, but most medium to high-level characters will kill him in short order. Those that have high sneak stats can crouch walk in and get the 3X multiplier while he is asleep.
During the fight, three other high-level Draugr will spawn near the entrance to the room. Curalmil will drop an Ebony War Axe and a few gold, which is okay for the effort. Once the boss and his minions have been dispensed, Dragonborn can loot the chest and inspect the word wall. The character will learn Marked for Death if close enough to the wall.
The chest will have several useful items in it. The Ring of Pure Mixtures has a high chance to spawn in the chest. When equipped, the Ring of Pure Mixtures provides a 12% bonus to created potions. Meridia’s Beacon is another common spawn that will initiate a side quest. There will be a hefty bag of gold and two enchanted items almost every drop. Rings, circlets, and necklaces are quite common as well.
Marked For Death
If a Dragonborn has learned the shout, the player must acquire the soul of a dragon to use it. Anyone that needs to slay a dragon can travel to one of the lairs marked on the map, or fast travel to an outdoor location. For those that are unaware, each shout has multiple words. To unlock all three words, the Dragonborn will need two additional dragon souls.
The Marked for Death shout depletes the armor of an enemy in the area of effect and inflicts a small amount of damage every second for a minute. The armor reduction and damage effects will vary depending on the number of words the Dragonborn has unlocked. With all three words, Marked for Death will reduce armor by 75 and inflict 60 3hp ticks over the course of a minute.
With just one shout, Marked for Death does not appear to be one of the better shouts in the game. The armor reduction is nice, but 180 damage is not an impressive output in a minute. However, Marked for Death’s effects stack with each subsequent shout. With two shouts, enemies will have 150 less armor and are hit with 6 damage per second. Armor reduction can make an enemy’s armor negative if stacked enough times.
High-level enemies, including dragons can be killed in just one blow if the shout is consistently stacked. Because of the stacking potential, Marked for Death is one of the most dominant shouts to use against almost any enemy. The shout will make taking down legendary dragons as easy as defeating a cave boss.