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Skyrim's Dawnguard: six secrets and Easter eggs you may have missed

Snow Elf books! Dwarven grenade launchers!

The human intellect is a strange and convoluted thing, wherein cause and effect are often separated by leagues of mystery. The other day, for instance, I wrote about the secrets, Easter eggs and encounters you may have missed in Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC. In a startling twist, I'm now writing about things you might have missed in the previous Skyrim story add-on, Dawnguard. It's almost like one concept suggested the possibility of the other, or something! Perplexing, no?

Dawnguard isn't nearly as good as Dragonborn, thanks to wonky Vampire Lords and comparatively unexciting locations, but it's still worth quarrying if you're an incorrigible Elder Scroller - so by all means scrollololol down this page in search of treasure-related tips. There's a necklace that makes your rucksack bigger, and you can craft a shield which turns people gaseous. Exciting times. Thanks to CVG for pointers.

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1. Locate and use all the Paragons
You might recall my theory about Dawnguard being an add-on campaign that deals with the fate of the Snow Elves, latterly known as the blind, malevolent Falmer. Turns out Snow Elves do feature in Dawnguard, though they're not the main focus. Head south of Castle Volkihar into Haafingar Hold and you'll encounter the Forgotten Vale, a new, sealed-off area which houses a labyrinthine Falmer settlement. The headline-stealing reward is a new Dragonshout, Drain Vitality, but there are also five Paragon items to be found. Each is the property of a Frost Giant - bring your biggest waraxe - and plugs into a mystic portal which grants access to a Snow Elf sanctum, where you'll find weapons, loot and some tomes of unintelligible Falmer lore. The latter can be sold to the librarian at Winterhold in return for cash aplenty and a translation. Lore buffs shouldn't miss out.

2. Collect all the pages for Jiub
The Soul Cairn plays host to an eccentric Dark Elf named Jiub, who you may recall from the introduction to Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Jiub's a budding author, but what with being dead and all he's unable to recover the pages of his lost manuscript. Locate and retrieve all 10 and you'll get a free promotional copy, plus a locket which grants massive boosts to stamina and weight capacity. I could have done with the weight capacity buff last November, Jiub...

3. Renounce the curse and change your face
So you've managed to fall out with all nine Skyrim holds thanks to ill-advised bouts of neck-chomping. How to start afresh? Well, firstly you'll want to talk to any bartender in Skyrim for news of a certain Falion in Morthal. Bring the latter a Black Soul Gem, and he'll root out that nasty advanced case of Sanguinare Vampiris in a trice. Now, head to Riften and visit the Ragged Flagon (it's in the Ratway). Talk to the robed chap named Galathil till he agrees to treat you to a sorcerous facelift. Hey presto! A new challenger appears...

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4. Get the Aetherial Staff and Shield
As detailed on Gamefront, this might be the hardest-hitting staff and shield combo since Gandalf took the lid off a dustbin. The Aetherial Staff allows you to conjure the enormously powerful Dwemer Sphere to puncture your opponents. Batting enemies with the Shield, meanwhile, reduces them to harmless vapour for 15 seconds. To obtain both, start the "Lost to the Ages" sidequest by reading the book titled "The Aetherium Wars" - there's a copy in both Fort Dawnguard and Castle Volkihar's Undercroft. The quest may take you a while, but the rewards are worth the toil.

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