elder scrolls skyrim kahvozeins fang

Elder Scrolls Skyrim Kahvozein’s Fang

If you’re anything like me, a decent chunk of your Skyrim playthroughs consisted of hunting down cool weapons, and while there are almost too many favorites to count, Kahvozein’s Fang is easily one of the most interesting. 

This particular knife offers the unique capability of collecting Dragon Heartscales from the bodies of the countless dragons you’ll face throughout the game: these are a much more valuable type of scale than the ordinary ones you’ll be familiar with – something that can only be obtained through the use of this item.

The dagger has caused a lot of confusion over the years, with players accidentally acquiring it and being oblivious to its hidden power.

Kahvozein’s Fang is part of one of Skyrim’s more significant side quests, and obtaining it comes with some pretty hefty prerequisites. Fear not, though: in this guide, I’m going to go through everything you need to do to get your hands on it.

We’ll cover how to start the quest, find the dagger, harness its novel abilities, and collect some seriously awesome spells that come with seeing your mission to its end. 

Bottom Line Up Front

If you’re in a rush, here are the main things you need to know about acquiring Kahvozein’s Fang Fang:

  • Kahvozein’s Fang Fang is a rare dagger that enables the player to harvest Dragon Heartscales, a special type of scale with a particularly high value.
  • First, you must reach level 90 in Alteration Magic. Instructions for doing so are provided below.
  • You then need to speak with Tolfdir at The College of Winterhold; he’ll ask you to locate and retrieve the dagger as part of the Master Alteration Ritual Spell Quest, the location of which is marked on your map as one of six possible dungeon areas.
  • Having retrieved Kahvozein’s Fang, you’ll need to slay a dragon, dealing the finishing blow with the dagger to obtain the Dragon Heartscales Tolfdir requires. Then, return to him to complete the quest. You’ll be able to keep the dagger, and you’ll also gain access to one of two of the Master Alteration spells (the one you don’t pick can be bought from him).
  • Once you have completed the quest, you can continue to collect Dragon Heartscales to sell them for profit.

First Things First: Alteration Magic

Unfortunately, acquiring this weapon comes with the big pre-requisite of being level 90 in Alteration magic. There are both traditional and extra quick ways of achieving this – which you pick will depend on the degree to which you’re comfortable with cheating, so I’ll outline both briefly below before we begin.

The Solitude Gate Mountain Option

The best cheese I’ve come across for leveling up Alteration early and quickly is to use a method that was only recently discovered. Earlier this year, a Reddit post shared a method that involves you repeatedly casting the Magelight spell towards the highest point of a particular mountain.

You’ll need to stand outside the gates at Solitude to do it and have learned the Magelight spell (you can buy the necessary Spell Tomb from Faengar at Dragonsreach, and it’s sometimes available at random from standard merchants). 

Standing at the Solitude Gates, take a few steps backward, turn left, and look up so that your view resembles the image below. From here, all you need to do is repeatedly cast the spell in this direction to see your level continually increase.

elder scrolls skyrim kahvozein’s fang
Credit to u/kuntilnakhybrid for discovering the trick. | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided

The trick works because you’re granted an XP bonus the further Magelight travels to reach its target. The mountain peak is a point just within the render distance of the player’s current location, providing an excellent opportunity for the exploit.

The Traditional Method

I’m aware that not all people want to perform what they consider a trick or a cheat, however, so here are some tips for leveling Alteration as quickly as possible the traditional way.

The most legitimate way is to practice using the spell over and over. It’s been a longstanding consensus that one of the easiest albeit laborious ways of leveling up Alteration is to repeatedly use the Detect Life spell, which you get by completing an easy early-game quest called Infiltration (started by speaking to an NPC called Stalleo at Treva’s Watch).

elder scrolls skyrim the detect life spell
the Detect Life spell | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided

The spell enables the user to see living creatures through walls when cast, which is a great asset if you’re doing a stealth run. The benefit of using it for leveling Alteration is that, unlike other methods, it doesn’t harm anyone when you cast it. This means you can head to a populated area like a city and cast it over and over for a risk-free way to level.

Obtaining Kahvozein’s Fang: The Master Alteration Ritual Spell Quest

Following your pilgrimage to level 90 Alteration, you then want to travel to the College of Winterhold and speak with Tolfdir. Head through the main gates of the college and into the circular hallway, proceeding right until you reach the door labeled The Hall of Attainment. This is a dormitory of sorts, and you’ll find him in one of the few open rooms.

Note: his location does change depending on where you’re at in the game, but given the requirements of this quest, I’m going to assume you’ve already completed the Eye of Magnus quest (the last element of the College of Winterhold questline).

Go up and talk to him, and ask, “Is there anything more I can learn about Alteration magic?“. He’ll inform you about some of his research that he thinks you might be able to help with given your skills in the field.

Tolfdir explains he needs to obtain Dragon Heartscales to continue working on his spells, which is when you’re informed of Kahvozein’s Fang – an item with the unique capability of harvesting the scales.

elder scrolls skyrim master alteration ritual spell quest
Tolfdir explains your mission. | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided

Tolfdir will then mark a location on your map where the dagger is located. The location is random, but you’ll always find Kanvozein’s Fang hidden in a chest somewhere or on some sort of boss in one of several possible dungeons.

The Dungeon

It seems that the dungeon you need to travel to is set depending on your level at the time. If you’re a higher level you’ll be sent off to one of the harder locations and vice-versa. 

They’re typical dungeons in every sense, mostly comprised of several Draugr to fight with a few traps and puzzles along the way, and some sort of boss at the end. I can’t cover walkthroughs for each of these individually, but here is each possible location and what you must do to acquire the weapon:

  • Valthume: This tomb is the final resting place of the Dragon Priest Hevnoraak, and you’ll locate it by heading directly southeast from the entrance of Markath. Having progressed through the dungeon and into the room with the Word Wall, you’ll find a large chest a meter or so from the wall that contains Kahvozein’s Fang.
  • Labyrinthian: This location is found buried within one of the nine Holds in Skyrim, which you reach by heading south-east of Morthal (you’ll already have it as a fast travel location if you’ve completed the College of Winterhold quest line). Progress through the dungeon and defeat the Dragon Priest Morokei to obtain the dagger.
  • Forelhost: Head southeast of Riften to find the tomb of Dragon Priest Rahgot, Forelhost. Reach the end of the dungeon to defeat him and claim the weapon.
  • Volskygge: Travel west of Solitude and head into the large mountainous area. As you progress through, you’ll easily spot a large Nordic ruin where the tomb of Volskygge is located. Make it to the end of the dungeon and defeat the priest, Volsung. Having done so, you can find Kahvozein’s Fang in a chest by the side of his throne.
  • Ragnvald: Go north of Markarth to find a deep mountain pass and a large Nordic ruin. Within, you’ll find the Ragnvald tomb. Get to the end and fight the Dragon Priest, Otar the Mad, and loot the dagger from his body.
  • High Gate Ruins: These ruins are located in The Pale Hold directly west of Dawnstar, and having traversed them to the end, you’ll need to fight Dragon Priest Vokrun to acquire the knife. Make sure you take Kahvozein’s Fang before leaving the throne room; if you leave without it, the room will be permanently closed off and you can no longer enter.

This may have already happened if you’ve completed the associated quest A Scroll for Anska, but there’s a fix: take a look at the Trivia section of this Wiki page to find out how to overcome it.

elder scrolls skyrim the dungeon
Each of these dungeons will be pretty familiar to you. | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided

Returning to Tolfdir to Complete the Quest

Once you’ve managed to obtain the knife, using it is nice and simple. Fight a dragon and use the knife equipped in your right hand (this is essential) to strike the finishing blow. All you need to do then is search the dragon skeleton and the scales will become available to you.

If you’re looking for a consistent place to enable a Dragon to spawn, I recommend repeatedly fast traveling between Dawnstar and Riverwood: I found this trick from an old gamefaqs.com thread back in the day and I’ve used it consistently ever since.

Ideally, you’ll want to lure the dragon beyond the borders of these settlements, though; you don’t want supporting archer fire from the surrounding guards to finish the Dragon off before you have a chance to use the dagger!

elder scrolls skyrim returning to tolfdir
Fighting for your first Heartscale. | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided

Given the previously described value of Dragon Heartscales, you’ll probably want to head off and sell the first one you obtain right away, but you want to finish Tolfdir’s quest first.

Return to the College of Winterhold and hand him the initial one. He’ll give you the master Alteration Spell Dragon Hide and sell you the other one, Mass Polarises.

Dragon Hide enhances your armor by reducing damage taken by a whopping 80 percent for 30 seconds, while the Mass Polarizes spell has the capability of paralyzing any enemy within 40 feet for 15 seconds. Having acquired your spells, the quest is over, and you get to keep the knife.

You can continue to use it in the same way described above to acquire more Dragon Heartscales and sell them, and selling them as a high-value item is their only purpose after completing Tolfdir’s quest to obtain the dagger and the spells.

Note: Many players have complained that they can’t remove Kahvozein’s Fang from their inventory.

You won’t be able to do so anywhere, but if you own a house with a display case, you’re able to put the weapon inside by equipping it, walking up to the case, and interacting with it by pressing E. Hjerim in Windhelm is the property with the highest number of display cases for you to utilize.

Some Interesting Lore

If you’re as wrapped up in Skyrim’s expansive history as I am, you’ll likely be interested in the lore covering Kahvozein’s Fang. 

We can learn a lot simply from exhausting Tolfdir’s dialogue, but the basic gist of the dagger’s history is that it was created by a subgroup within the Dragon Cult.

The Dragon Cult was made up of Dragon Priests – powerful mages who kept peace between the races of Skyrim and their Dragon gods. In essence, they were the spokespeople of the dragons on the ground.

The dagger was created and wielded by this particular sect, and they regularly used it for sacrifices. Great care was taken in sharpening the dagger so that it was always ready for its next victim, but following the first defeat of Alduin and the defeat of the Dragon Cult as a whole, the item faded into obscurity.

Tolfdir would eventually learn of the location of Kahvozein’s fang within one of the Dragon Priest’s abandoned tombs and send the Dragon Born to obtain it for him.

The reasoning behind the weapon’s unique abilities has spawned many different theories over the years. It’s beyond the scope of this article, but if you’re interested, I recommend this Reddit thread as a great starting point for learning more.

elder scrolls skyrim dragon heartscales
Dragon Heartscales | Bethesda Game Studios via Scrolls Guided


Question: Are there any Dragon Types that Kahvozein’s Fang doesn’t Work with?

Answer: Kahvozein’s Fang works on all dragon skeletons or bodies, with a couple of exceptions. You can’t harvest Dragon Heartscales from Skeletal Dragons because they don’t have any scales. It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes a bug occurs whereby dragons don’t release their souls as they ordinarily would. In these instances, the player can be blocked from harvesting the scales.

Question: Is it Possible to Find Kahvozein’s Fang without Starting the Master Alteration Ritual Spell Quest?

Answer: Yes. If you happen to be in the dungeon where the dagger is located, you’ll be able to get the dagger early and use it to harvest Dragon Heartscales. This doesn’t seem to affect the quest either, so if you’re really lucky, you could save yourself the trouble. The problem is that predicting where the dagger is is impossible.

Question: The Gate to Winterhold College is Locked. What Now?

Answer: The main entrance to the college will remain locked until you have completed Elder Knowledge. This quest is part of the main quest line in the early game. Given what’s required of you to acquire the weapon, I’d wait until you have some more experience before tackling the quest: get a few dragon fights under your belt first, and work on leveling up your Alteration skills. 

Elder Scrolls Skyrim Kahvozein’s Fang: Wrapping Up

I hope this guide has proven useful in both finding and using Kahvozein’s Fang. Don’t forget to check out our other Skyrim guides, such as our The World-Eater’s Eyrie guide or, if you’re looking to bypass the grind, our Infinite XP Guide.

Read More: Best Dagger in Skyrim

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