Cradle of Shadows Dungeon Guide

The Cradle of Shadows is the seat of power of the enigmatic figure known only as the Lady of Lace. What lies behind its veil of darkness is known only by her fanatical followers.

Cradle of Shadows is a four-person dungeon in the game The Elder Scrolls Online. The dungeon consists of various rooms and corridors, each with its own challenges and enemies.  Cradle of Shadows can be accessed at Level 45.  In this guide, I shall explain the mechanics as well as what you should and shouldn’t do while facing the dungeon’s bosses.

Cradle of Shadows Location

Cradle of Shadows is located in the northwestern region of Shadowfen.  Travel slightly southwest from the Stillrise Wayshrine to reach Cradle of Shadows.  You can also access Cradle of Shadows specifically by using the Dungeon Finder.

Inside Cradle of Shadows

DUNGEON is a five-level dungeon with five bosses and one quest.  The enemies in this dungeon include Silken Ring Assassins, Spikderkitch Wefters, and Veildreth’s Devotion.

Silk and Shadow

An Argonian Shadowscale named Tsatva-Lan went missing while investigating the lair of a rival group of assassins known as the Silken Ring. His former student, Hides-the-Ashes, asked me to help her track down her mentor and rescue him.

Completing Silk and Shadow

You will need to defeat Votary of Velidreth, pull switches, unlock gates, defeat Dranos Velador, and Veildreth, the Lady of Lace.  Speak to Hides-the-Ashes to complete this quest.  Completing this quest will reward you with gold, a skill point, and the Unidentified Cradle of Shadows Armaments.

Cradle of Shadows Boss Mechanics

Need specific info?  Click these quick links to go directly to each section.


This boss as a first boss can be quite tricky. Already you have been taught the mechanics about the lights(as also explained in the video) but this is where they really count. The tank needs to keep the boss and the adds with him/her at all times and keep her IN the light. You have every right to be scared of the dark here! If you try to attack her in the dark she will only receive 10% of all damage, so she must always be in the circle.

Power up – The boss will try channel an ability between her random poison spits which will make her stronger. This is extremely easy to spot and can be interrupted. So long as you interrupt every time, this mechanic will never actually happen!

Spiders – The spiders are the same as the ones you encountered in the tunnel. The same rules apply. Keep them together, kill them with as much aoe as possible and keep them IN THE LIGHT!

Braziers – Throughout the fight the braziers will go out! Be sure to move to the middle one at 50% and turn it on taking the boss with you. Then light the final one and take the boss to it at 30%. It helps if you can have one member keep an eye on the health of the boss and make an early run for the brazier to get a bit of a head start so that people are not in the dark so long.

Poison spits – The boss will spit poison randomly during the fight at the person with agro (should be the tank) simply block these when they hit you, their damage is not anything too difficult to manage.

Khephidaen the Spiderkith

This boss is simple to dispatch but can be made to be a lot more difficult than necessary. If ONE person doesn’t understand the mechanics with this and/or at least co-ordinate with the group it becomes a complete mess. The tank needs to taunt at ALL times and keep the boss in the light!

Heavy attack – The boss will hit with a DEVASTATING heavy attack. The tank should be the only one getting hit by this and you MUST block! If a dps or healer gets hit with this, block and pray…you MAY survive. Key point to remember however is NOT to run away, she will kill you if you are not blocking regardless.

Burst – The boss will create a large spreading aoe and when it reaches full size it will explode. You as dps and healers must stay OUT of this. If it touches you, you are dead. Tanks can block it but i would not recommend it, simply step out of it and get back in again when it is gone.

Spiders  The spiders you have seen 100 times before already, keep them in the lights, control them and kill them. Do NOT run away or run around in circles, this will make things really difficult for the tank. The fight must be controlled.

Teleport  After every Burst aoe she does (once per phase) she will teleport to a random brazier in the room and turn it off. During this phase shadows will appear and start shooting at the group. Get your team to turn the braziers back on asap else you will eventually run the risk of running out of lights. The shadows don’t last long but the light will get rid of them.

Shadow bolts – Every time she teleports she will also cast an attack which will cast 4 shadow bolts at the ground, one at each player. This deals HUGE damage and knocks down. For some players this can be a guaranteed one shot. To prevent this, when she teleports you MUST keep your eyes open and look for the channeling of this ability and interrupt it asap! Long ranged interrupts like “crushing shock” help like hell in this fight!

Votary of Velidreth

This boss is as simple as they get…BUT can kill even the most experienced group if they are not paying attention or get too comfortable. The tank should hold this boss in the MIDDLE of the room, NOT the corner. The middle is safe, the corner is dead. Remember that!

Spider adds  During the fight very small spider adds will enter the room from the ceiling. These should die very fast to passive aoe damage on the ground if you have any but need to die fast else they can cause a problem with small negative aoes and projectiles hitting the group.

Heavy attack – Very simple here, a heavy attack should be something you are very familiar with by now, BLOCK when it is about to hit you. This should only be aimed at the tank unless a taunt has fallen off. If this aims at a dps or healer role be sure again to BLOCK, do NOT run, you will die!

Poison Circles  During the fight the boss will place multiple poison circles on the ground which cause HUGE damage to anyone standing in them…Don’t stand in them, that could not be any clearer!

Feeding – If the boss channels and tries to feed off of dead spiders, you MUST interrupt it. The boss can heal more than 10% per second and this fight will be a really long one if not paid attention too.

BOOM! – The boss will make a MASSIVE spreading aoe which explodes when it reaches full size. This must be avoided at all costs! As soon as you see these, get OUT of it! Even some of the strongest tanks out there will receive a one shot from this, even if they are blocking. Once it has gone, get back into position again. THIS is why you use the middle of the room and not the corner. If you are in the corner, you have NO WHERE to go! Boom…dead.


Dranos Velandor

This boss is every P.U.G’s nightmare, it is actually pretty simple but it is fast paced so people have to react quickly. The boss has several phases and there is a lot of aoe in the room so you must watch your feet and not run around like a headless chicken. The tank should hold the boss still as much as possible and NEVER drop taunt. If you drop taunt the mechanics will apply to other members of the group rather than the tank and wipes will happen over and over. 

Shadows  The boss will go immune to all damage (but can still be taunted for agro). During this phase the statue in the middle will emit nasty red waves of damage across the floor (you must avoid these) and 3 shadows will be placed around the room. Now you need to kill these as fast as possible and then pick up the red orbs that they drop. Once 3 orbs have been picked up the boss is able to be attacked again and will be stunned for a brief moment giving you a dps window. An easy way to deal with this is (as explained in the video) to get your tank to pull IN the shadows to the middle and kill them there. It saves people running around the room and is much more controlled. 

Mortar  The boss raise his hand in the air occasionally and a red blot will leave his hand and land on the floor with a large round aoe. Once it hits the floor it will split and do additional damage in different directions as it disappears. Be sure to ALWAYS stay out of this. When it is coming your way, move! 

Tick Tick SPIN! – The boss will spawn 2 adds with very low health and they are pinning whoever has agro to the ground, there is NOTHING the person pinned can do. This is why you must not ever let the tank taunt fall off, because if you do, one of the dps/healers will be pinned instead. During the pinned phase (which lasts about 2-3 seconds (it is very fast) the boss will wind up a HUGE heavy attack. If your group doesnt interrupt the TWO adds, the heavy attack will hit the target and kill them outright, guaranteed one shot!

If your group are successful and they manage to release the target, the player MUST BLOCK! The heavy attack is still coming and you must defend yourself. All other players should stand back once the boss is loose because this heavy attack is not just on the target but in aoe too, it is an extremely aggressive steel tornado!

SO, group interrupt, tank block asap!

Teleport strike – This is exactly the same as the last boss in Spindleclutch II in terms of mechanics, but with a slight twist. The boss will teleport strike from one group member to the next until all 4 have been hit, then he will go back to his original spot. The way to mitigate this is to simply BLOCK. Each player blocks and then he will move to the next! However the slight twist is that once he has connected with each player he will leave an aoe under people (so 4x aoes eventually) be sure once you have blocked, to step out of this and not take any additional damage.


This boss is a tricky one!! LOTS of mechanics, lots of unforgiving situations and random twists making the difference between a pass and a fail. The tank needs to keep hold of this boss at all times and if possible hold her to one side of the room. NOT in the middle if you can help it, there is a LOT going on. 

Heavy attack  The boss will fire off a simple heavy attack during the fight. It isn’t particularly powerful but should be blocked by whoever she is targeting. 

Flurry  The boss cast a very small frontal cone aoe in the form of a flurry, simply block this and all will be fine but because of this the tank should NOT spin the boss on the group. A dps or healer can die fast to this. 

Adds – During the fight melee and ranged adds will spawn. These must be focused! The ranged need interrupting when they channel abilities and the melee must be watched carefully else they will uppercut you. If the tank can grab these and hold them on the boss without spinning her around this makes things a lot easier. The most important mechanics are based on the boss’s health so don’t over burn her. Kill the adds first and then move on to her! 

Don’t Move A Muscle! – If she starts to climb into the ceiling, she will shout “don’t move a muscle”…do NOT MOVE! no matter what happens, do NOT move!( note: also a message will pop up saying “Velidreth prepares to hunt from the shadows”)…once the room starts to go light again she will jump down to the floor again. Look up at the celing, as soon as you see her wiggle, dodge roll immediately!

If you dodge roll or move early, you are dead! Big spike up the whoo-harr!And if dodge roll too late? same applies. This is a one shot mechanic! It is EXTREMELY rare for anyone to live through this. 

Devour  Do not save your ultimates for Christmas to come around again! Velidreth will look for the person saving up ultimate and draw them in. She will devour your ultimate pool rendering whatever ultimate you thought you were holding on to, USELESS. So the tip for this is, use your ultimates as soon as they are ready and/or use the cheapest ultimates you possibly can.

Draining orbs  There are orbs flying around the room which sometimes change colour, this is especially dangerous while under 30% health because the room is full of red ones. Basically each ball will drain the resources relevant to the colour they are if you touch them. Green will drain your stamina, blue will drain you magicka, and red will of course drain your health. Avoid these at all costs!

Atronachs  These are KEY for the catacombs. When the atronachs spawn 81% and around 51% you MUST focus them. Don’t push the boss, kill them fast. Each one will drop a light on the floor. Asign two members of your group to pick on up each. You will be split into two groups at random and one person of each group will be holding the light. If you don’t pick these up you are very unlikely to complete the next phase.

Banished to the catacombs  The boss will banish the group to the catacombs (maze) and this will happen TWICE in the fight. Once at 66% and again at 31%. Both groups of two will be sent off, each with 1 light (previously picked up by the atronach deaths.

What you need to do here is stay together and find your way through the map back to the middle. Find the open door ways and make your way to safety.

Now there are some mechanics to consider. The light is to save you from the dark so do not run away from your team mate and leave them in the dark else they will be snared and eventually die to aoe. There are dremora adds and hoavors in the catacombs trying to beat you down. Don’t try to focus these down because you WILL just get overwhelmed by them. Keep down snares/roots etc to cc them while they are chasing you (note, time stop is very good for this). Each connecting path between each room has traps on the floor but the light will reveal them, so watch your feet and don’t stand on the red pads.

Which door is open? That is for YOU to find out. On regular mode it is quite easy to find your way out, but on Hardmode mode doors are CLOSED! So you have to back track a lot if luck is not on your side. Which of course means running through the adds you already left behind. Too much of this will end up with you getting focused down by an army of enemies.

A very helpful tip for these doors is that the door you used the FIRST time you were banished will still be open the SECOND time…how good is your memory ? 😉

Once you get back into the middle the fight continues as normal but if you are coming back into the boss room for the second time from the catacombs (31% health) no more additional mechanics are added. Watch the orbs, stay out of her face if you are a dps/healer, hold her still as a tank and control any adds. Stack and burn from here, it is execute, so focus and do not die!

Resurrection tips!  IF someone tries to resurrect, the boss will cast a fast paced projectile to interrupt the resser. If you spot her doing this, interrupt her so she cannot stop the res and she will not duplicate this action for at least 10 seconds. SO if you are a really meaty tank and you are trying to save your group (last man standing) START a res then cancel it and interrupt the boss…THEN go back to the res and she wont try it giving you a window for recovery. #dummyres!

The fight is rough and i will take patience, co-ordination, practice, and as far as the doors in the catacombs are concerned, a bit of rng!

Best of luck!

Cradle of Shadows Dungeon Loot

Below is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in Cradle of Shadows.

On normal the loot is blue and the boss does NOT drop a monster helmet, but on veteran difficulty all of the loot is purple and the main boss DOES drop a special monster helmet.

Note: in dungeons some individual bosses can drop a unique item but generally, the weapons and jewelry (non-named items) come from the last boss. HOWEVER the entire loot table can also drop from trash and chests, so loot everything!  Got the gear in the wrong traits?  Don’t worry!  You can alter the traits by either transmuting or reconstruct the piece with a trait of your choice.  For more information see the Introduction to Transmuting and Reconstructing article.

If you are looking for a matching shoulder monster piece, visit the Undaunted Pledge Master Urgarlag Chief-Bane at the nearest Undaunted enclave.  She sells a 50/50 chance at the shoulder piece as part of the Shadows of the Hist Coffer or it could be in her mystery coffer.  You can learn more about the Undaunted in the Undaunted Guide.

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Builds That Use DUNGEON Gear

Cradle of Shadows Achievements

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Beacon in the Night

Defeat Sithera, Khephidaen the Spiderkith, the Votary of Velidreth, Dranos Velador, and Velidreth the Lady of Lace in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without suffering a group member death.

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Cradle of Shadows Challenger

Complete the listed achievements for Veteran Cradle of Shadows.

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Cradle of Shadows Conqueror

Defeat Sithera, Khephidaen the Spiderkith, the Votary of Velidreth, Dranos Velador, and Velidreth the Lady of Lace in Veteran Cradle of Shadows.

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Cradle of Shadows Vanquisher

Defeat Sithera, Khephidaen the Spiderkith, the Votary of Velidreth, Dranos Velador, and Velidreth the Lady of Lace in the Cradle of Shadows.

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Divided He Fell

Defeat Dranos Velador in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without absorbing any orbs.

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Embrace the Shadow

Defeat Velidreth in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without using the Atronach’s Light synergy.

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Defeat Sithera, Khephidaen the Spiderkith, the Votary of Velidreth, Dranos Velador, and Velidreth the Lady of Lace in Veteran Cradle of Shadows within 30 minutes of starting the dungeon. Timer starts on entering the initial caverns.

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Fear No Darkness

Pass through the spider caves in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without lighting more than two braziers.

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Destroy 50 statues of Velidreth’s Devotion in Veteran Cradle of Shadows.

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Nothing To See Here

Defeat Velidreth in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without any party members being caught by her Shadow Sense.

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Defeat Khephidaen the Spiderkith in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without relighting any extinguished braziers.

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Shadows of the Hist Delver

Complete Veteran Cradle of Shadows and Veteran Ruins of Mazzatun.

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Shadows of the Hist Explorer

Enter either the Ruins of Mazzatun or the Cradle of Shadows for the first time.

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Silken Ring Style Master

Learn every chapter in the Silken Ring style book, occasionally found as rewards for completing the Cradle of Shadows dungeon.

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Spider Cult Slayer

Defeat 600 members of the Silken Ring or their Spiderkith allies in Veteran Cradle of Shadows.

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Velidreth’s Vengeance

Defeat Velidreth in Veteran Cradle of Shadows, after first enraging her by defiling her statue of Mephala.

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Venomous Evasion

Defeat Velidreth in Cradle of Shadows without any party members being hit by venom sacs.

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Web Walker

Defeat Velidreth in Veteran Cradle of Shadows without any party members dying in the catacombs.

Cradle of Shadows Leads

The following antiquity leads can be acquired in the Cradle of Shadows.

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The Ritual Circlet is part of the Gaze of Sithis mythic item.

The dig zone for this lead is found in Blackwood.

Final Note

Thank you for taking the time to watch the content and read this guide. Be sure on your travels to remember, although once you get very experienced you may make these dungeons much easier and faster… it starts from the ground up and it’s…