Waking Flame Preview—The Dread Cellar

Continue your Gates of Oblivion adventure in the Dread Cellar, a new four-player dungeon arriving as part of the Waking Flame DLC.


Located in the hills of northern Blackwood, the Dread Cellar once served as one of the Empire’s most notorious prisons. Home to dissidents, rebels, and political prisoners, this secret location seldom released those sent to it, and rumors abound of the guard’s brutal treatment of their captives.

Believed to be shuttered years ago, the Dread Cellar just recently began emanating mysterious magical energies and is now occupied by the Dagonic cult, the Waking Flame. Warned of the prison’s reawakening by none other than Lyranth Foolkiller, a Dremora frequently involved in this year’s Gates of Oblivion year-long adventure, the battlemages of the Imperial Legion, including the trainee battlemage Lucilla Caprenia and her master, Martus Tullius, have been dispatched to investigate this troubling news.

“With the Dread Cellar, we wanted to create a sense of mystery around its origins, what is happening there, and what roles the characters previously played,” explains Mike Finnigan, ESO’s Encounters Lead. “While there is a clear Daedric threat at play, nobody’s hands are clean when it comes to this place, and we tried to translate this into the dungeon’s worldbuilding, atmosphere, and audio.”

With your help, the battlemages must make their way deep into the prison and discover the cause of the magical disturbance, but what other horrors await them within this once-feared gulag? And what greater purpose does the Dread Cellar serve for the Waking Flame cultists that now inhabit it?


As you escort your Battlemage allies into the prison, you’ll find the devoted minions of Mehrunes Dagon standing in your way. This includes Waking Flame cultists wielding potent fire magics and a host of Daedric beasts, including monstrous daedroth, ogrim, and even more fearsome foes.

“When designing the Dread Cellar’s enemies, we wanted to make use of a large variety of Daedric minions to create a real challenge for players,” explains Finnigan. “For example, there are two kinds of the Xivilai found throughout the dungeon, and they are no pushovers, so your group will need to stay on their toes even in the non-boss areas.”

As you battle your way through the Dread Cellar, you’ll also have to face three bosses, each possessing unique mechanics that you’ll need to learn and overcome in the heat of battle. These bosses include the horrific Scorion Broodlord, a Deadlands-touched arachnid with the power to move about the area via portals.

These challenges await you in both Normal and Veteran difficulties, with a Veteran Hard Mode available for each of the dungeon’s three bosses if you and your allies are looking to truly test your might! 


Buried deep within the Dread Cellar are a host of collectibles, gear, and more. This includes four unique items sets (one light, one medium, one heavy, and one monster set), each with their own set bonuses and abilities, such as the Scorion’s Feast:

While equipped with this set, the first time you hit an enemy with a heavy attack, you’ll grant a boost to both your Magicka and Stamina recovery for both you and your party. However, if you strike with another heavy attack while still enjoying the benefits of the first buff, its effect will change to one that boosts your party’s damage instead. Depending on the situation, you can choose to help your team’s recovery or DPS—it’s up to you!

In addition to the new item sets, you can also earn a unique selection of Achievements and collectibles as you battle your way through the dungeon. This includes the Agonymium Stone, a new memento you can earn when you complete the Dread Cellar on Veteran difficulty, and a selection of unique titles and furnishings.

Finally, just by entering the Dread Cellar (or Waking Flame’s second dungeon, Red Petal Bastion) you will receive the Scorion Pyreling pet!


The Gates of Oblivion saga continues with the Dread Cellar dungeon and Waking Flame DLC. The Prince of Destruction’s great scheme was not thwarted during the events of the Blackwood Chapter, only delayed, and in this dungeon you can discover one small part of the larger story that will continue with the upcoming Deadlands DLC later this year. Are you ready to uncover the long-forgotten sins of the Empire? Let us know via TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

Part of the Gates of Oblivion year-long adventure, The Elder Scrolls Online: Waking Flame arrives on PC/Mac and Stadia on August 23, and on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on August 31.

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