Imperial City Prison Dungeon Guide

This external district of the Imperial City houses the headquarters of the Imperial Legions, as well as the Imperial Prison itself. The City sewers pass beneath the prison as they drain toward Lake Rumare—but they’re inaccessible, of course.

Imperial City Prison 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.  Imperial City Prison 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.

Imperial City Prison Location

Imperial City Prison is located in the Northern Memorial District of Imperial City.  You can also access Imperial City Prison specifically by using the Dungeon Finder.

Inside Imperial City Prison

Imperial City Prison is a four-level dungeon with six bosses and one quest.  The enemies in this dungeon include vigilant watchers, bloodfiends, Xivkyn necromances, and Dremora Ferylkyn.

Summary Execution

I have agreed to help a Daedra called Lyranth attack the Imperial City Prison, which has been overrun by others of her kind. I can free the mortal prisoners held within, but my goal is to eliminate the Daedric invaders.

Completing Summary Execution

You need to defeat Overfiend, the Flesh Sculptor, the Gravelight Sentry, the flesh Abomination, the Warden’s Council and Lord Warden Dusk.  Speak to Lyranth to complete this quest.  Completing this quest will reward you with gold, a skill point, and the Grievous Leeching Ward, part of the Leeching Plate armor set.

Imperial City Prison Boss Mechanics

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


This boss is a very simple one but is heavily underestimated! The tank should hold the boss still with its back to the portal and NEVER spin the boss around. The key point to this fight however is that the group should focus on the adds first, not the boss!

Heavy Attack/Jump – A very simple jump/heavy attack that will be aimed at the tank or whoever has aggro. Be sure to block this as it does knockdown and a LOT of damage.

Flurry – This attack is a cone aoe in front of the boss and is a rapid-hitting flurry attack. The tank needs to BLOCK this or die incredibly fast and must NOT spin the boss around during this attack. If a healer or dps player is caught by this, it is pretty much-guaranteed death!

Adds – During the fight there will be many adds spawning in the room. The tank can of course chain these in and root them but above all the dps should dispatch them quickly and put full focus on the adds, NOT the boss. The boss’s health is what triggers them, so if you push the boss too far, you will be overwhelmed with adds quickly. Pace it! The adds can be interrupted if they are casting and are not immune to any cc. They are easy to get rid of but the less you have to manage with the better!

AOE Curse – This is pretty easy to see, a BIG aoe on the ground which should be avoided. Simply stay out of it. The tank will survive but the dps and healers will take a lot of damage especially if there are adds in the room.

Harvester! – At 50% health and below the boss will shout “Lord Warden, Aid Me!!” When you hear this GET READY! A harvester is going to be joining the fight from the portal. The tank needs to grab her as soon as possible and hold her with the boss, BUT must be sure NOT to spin the boss around in case he is in flurry mode!

The harvester must be focused on as much damage as possible! She will place aoes under players’ feet which deal MASSIVE damage, and once it has fired, within half a second to a second will fire a second one! This one will kill you! If the first one hits you, you must dodge roll almost instantly when you spot it.  Once the harvester is dead, the fight is basically just finish the adds and the boss with no other additional danger.

TIP: save all ultimates for the harvester!

Ibomez the Flesh Sculptor

This is a simple fight that can con horribly wrong if the group is not sure of the mechanics. If you have high damage you are relatively safe but if not, you will have to stick to the rules or get overwhelmed. The tank should hold the boss very still while the group does as much damage as possible while he is in the face of the group. The tank must NOT drop taunt. If the boss does go loose do NOT run around the room.

Uppercut – The boss fires a HUGE heavy attack and knows the target up into the air. Simply block this to avoid it killing you. It should only be hitting the tank, so be sure you don’t drop taunt. But if you are not a tank and it is aiming at you, block and you will be fine.

Inmates! – The boss throughout stages of the fight will run to the pool and inmates will flood the room running from all of the doorways and aiming straight from the pool. Your group must split up into 4 corners/sides of the room and pick up the green piles of goo on the floor. To do this you must synergize them. Once you have the target aoe on your cursor, you have to THROW the ball AT the inmates. The more inmates you kill the better. If you fail miserably you will be in trouble since if too many fall into the pool they will create a Flesh Atronach! If you are really slow at killing the inmates, you can end up with as many as 4x Atronachs in the room AND the boss. Unless you have a HUGE dps group, this is a very big problem.

Atronachs – These MUST be destroyed and are your primary focus. The tank should grab these as soon as possible and stack them on the boss. If a dps is being targeted by one of these all they need to do is block. They do not hit too hard with standard attacks. Panicking players running away will cause a wipe because they will be very difficult to control. The reason these MUST be focused is that if they are NOT killed fast enough they will enrage and one shot kills people one after the other, INCLUDING most tanks!

Sprays! – The boss will cast a cone-shaped aoe at the tank/group, this is easy to avoid since it is such a small angle, simply step out of it. The damage is quite low, however.

Tenderize – Every time the boss comes out of his immunity stage (inmates) he will choose a random member of the group. A message will appear saying that he is “tenderizing” a member of the group. This person is getting beaten to the ground. After a couple of seconds, you can INTERRUPT the boss and stop him from firing his finishing blow. If you fail to interrupt it, the target is DEAD!

Gravelight Sentry

This boss is simple but VERY mobile. The tank needs to grab the boss as soon as possible and try to control him in the center of the room while grabbing agro on a couple of necromancers. Keep the boss in the middle as much as possible to avoid too much poison swimming!

Necromancers – There are 5 necromancers around the room. These must be killed quickly. If they start channeling/casting they MUST be interrupted. Every failed interrupt will result in an additional skeleton entering the room and you will have to deal with it!

Big BOOM! – The boss will do a huge aoe spin and knockback attack which will throw all members hit by it several feet backward, 90% of the time pushing people into the poison. Do NOT swim in the poison for fun and think you will get away with it, get OUT FAST!

Beams – The boss will aim at the player with agro (should be the tank) aiming 3 green beams at them which close in together. These can be blocked and/or walked out of but if you are not blocking you can be stunned/knocked off balance by them. Avoid these if possible.

Poison Bombs – During the entire fight you want to keep moving. The poison around the room is firing out poison splashes/bombs which land in the room and make a rather large aoe on the ground which will stun you! Avoid these as much as possible but if you are definitely going to get caught by one, simply BLOCK and you will mitigate the damage and avoid the stun. Block these, NOT dodge roll and it will cost a lot less stamina, these fire very fast and are present throughout the entire fight.

Flesh Abomination

This boss is very large, hits pretty hard, and has some rather unforgiving mechanics which catch out even the best of players. His health is not huge but the room is massive and the mechanics make you use the whole room. The tank should turn the boss to the edge where the cliff is and try to tank on that side of the room giving the other 3 members as much space as possible.

Hoarvors – At the very beginning there will be two Hoarvors and throughout the fight one at a time spawning. These MUST be focused. You never want to have 2x Hoarvors alive at once. The poison they put on the floor does crazy high damage and if you stay in it for more than a couple of seconds you are dead. If you get caught by  2x poison aoes stacking on each other, that is almost certain death! Kill the Hoavors!

Heavy Attacks – The boss will constantly be hitting the tank with a barrage of large attacks. You can block these but most of them will still occasionally knock you down to simulate just how big he is and how much strength he has, so plant your feet and if he knocks you back, hold your position as much as you can to keep him from dancing around the room. Try to manage your tanking area as much as you can and keep him in the dots from your group.

Hoarvor Splat! – The boss will occasionally run to the middle of the room, and 4x Hoarvors will run to the group members. When this happens, SPREAD OUT! Everyone finds their own corner fast. These deal high damage and you don’t want to get caught by them OR overlap them. When the boss smashes the ground all Hoavors will be splattered by his ground impact and then you can continue the fight as normal.

Poison and Undead Minions! – The boss occasionally will force poison aoes on each member of the group. Spread out FAST and get a clean location without overlapping any of them. They will explode and each player will be knocked down. ONE player will be put inside of an aoe which is staying ON the ground.

This aoe is deadly, there is an outer ring to it pulsing with spluttering poison. you must stay INSIDE the aoe and must NOT touch the ring of poison on the outside of it. If you touch the edges you are dead.  During this phase, the boss will have his hands dug into the ground and he will not be attacking the tank while channeling this effect. Also, undead enemies will appear that need to be killed. They have low health so are easy to deal with but above all, NO player should touch the poison ring. Once it has gone, the fight continues as normal.

Lord-Warden’s Council

This fight is nowhere near as scary as it looks. There are 4 Bodyguards and each has its own individual mechanics. The tank should grab all 4 enemies and try to stack them on the Necromancer. Hold agro the entire time and focus on NOT facing the melee enemies in the group. The group should keep interrupts on the healer bodyguard while focusing on the other 3.

Necromancer – This bodyguard summons skeletal minions and also a totem/crystal-type item out of the ground. If this happens you MUST kill it before continuing in the fight else all Enemies will take TINY damage (about 10% of your usual output). This is why you want to focus on the Necromancer first, Kill him quickly with ultimates and the totem will be no problem. But in the event of it spawning you MUST kill it.

Berserker – Dual wield melee type, very low health easy to kill, but watch for his steel tornado! Be sure to block it.

Knight – This guy doesn’t hit very hard at all, but he does have a nasty charge ability that will knock down anyone caught in its path. The tank can simply block this but others should walk out of it.

Healer – Very simple, this guy heals, interrupt him every time he tries to kill him LAST if you can help it.

AFTERLIFE!!! – ALL bosses will come back in the form of a ghost.  SO this is why you want them dead in a certain order if you can help it. The necromancer will be in ghost form and not really do much to the group. The berserker will come back and steel tornado whoever he likes and the knight will charge the target of his choice while the healer heals…

Since they are ghosts, they cannot be interacted with! Cannot hurt them, cannot taunt them, and cannot BLOCK THEM!  This is crucial to note. If the knight is charging you or the berserker is spinning, get OUT of the aoe, you cannot mitigate it in any way!  And clearly, the reason we kill the healer last is that we cannot interrupt his heals when he is a ghost. So that saves issues for you.

Lord Warden Dusk

This is quite possibly the coolest fight in the game!  There are lots of mechanics going on at once here and you must pay full attention and coordinate with the group. The tank needs to keep agro on the boss at ALL times, everyone must watch their feet and you need to communicate. Split yourself into two teams. One healer and dps and one tank and dps, and stay with your assigned team. This will make more sense once we get to the portal mechanic. This is a very mobile fight and the boss will teleport a lot so timing your ultimates etc is key!

Teleport Jump Attack – The boss will fire a heavy attack at the person with aggro (should be the tank). He will jump in the air, vanish, stun you, and then when he lands he will heavy attack you. When you are stunned break free and hold the block to mitigate this hit. Even as a dps or healer, applying this break-free and block will not do much damage to you at all. So just be sure to follow the mechanic.

Drain Bubbles – The boss will occasionally pull blue orbs out from the ground and they will be situated in the room in places of his choice. The longer the fight the more of these you will get so be careful where you stand. If you go near them, they will snare you, and drain your health rapidly!

Meteors – During the fight meteors will land on random group members’ heads. I see a lot of people trying to dodge roll these and either failing or just wasting a lot of resources. They will stun you if they hit you but if you simply BLOCK, you will mitigate a lot of damage and ignore the stun. Blocking is better for your resources, make it a habit here to get used to. The longer the fight the faster the meteors come down though so be aware of them.

Machine Gun! – The boss will put his hands together and launch a rapid-firing machine gun-type magic attack at a player of HIS choice. This is where agro makes NO difference and the tank and the target must co-ordinate together! The target needs to position BEHIND the tank while the tank blocks the attacks. This is 100% line-of-sight based. If the tank is in front and the target behind, they will be safe, if you peek out from behind the tank or even stand in front of the tank or run away you WILL die! The tank has to be your physical shield and get in the way of it!

Portals! – The boss throughout the fight will spawn 2x portals. You must NOT touch these until the right moment, avoid them at all costs, but be sure to have your group split into two teams. The reason for the teams is because EACH portal has 2 lives! If two people go in, no one else can and it will vanish. If one person goes in during the fight without admitting they made a mistake, when 2 people try to get it later, only one life will be left…someone is gonna die!

IF someone makes a mistake and stands in one at the wrong time, get your teammate to deliberately do the same to the same portal. This will get rid of it and Lord Warden will issue a fresh one.  Now the reason these portals are important is that when he decides to go up HIGH in the air, flapping his wings at the side of the arena…he is about to issue a massive burst of energy to the entire room. THIS will one-shot every player in the room…UNLESS you get in the portal.

Once inside the portal be sure to activate the protection synergy on the way down, and when you finally land to safety, rebuff/heal, etc to take the edge off.  He will later respawn more portals and you will have to repeat this process again. Remember, don’t accidentally use the portals, you need them for when he goes up in the air.

Shades – At 65% health and 35% health the boss will vanish into the middle and 4 shadows of him will appear around the room. These must be killed but only the SOLID one can be killed. The transparent ones cannot be killed. And they will switch from one to the other.

The tank must taunt all of these fast to get the magic shots off of the group or you will wipe fast. If the tank has agro, absorb magicka once every so often will actually absorb the shots and heal the tank. Following this clean keeping up taunts and Absorb magicka spams will basically render the tank immortal and in full control. Note these shades have MASSIVE hitboxes and can be hit with melee abilities like taunts and heavy attacks from a VERY long way away. As a dps and/or healer, use this phase (so long as the tank has everything under control) to get back resources and/or build ultimate. You do not have to NUKE the shades, you can simply kill them slowly and use them to build.

Once the shades are all dead, Lord Warden will appear again in the middle of the room (although OCCASIONALLY he does a sneaky teleport to the side).  All of the mechanics are present all of the time however due to the 65 – 35% stages it is POSSIBLE to kill the boss so fast that you never get a portal jump phase if you can push him to 65 – 35 – 0 fast enough, but THAT will take some practice. Learn the mechanics, stick to them, get comfortable with them and you will be just fine.

Good luck out there!!

Imperial City Prison Dungeon Loot

Below is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in Imperial City Prison.

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 Imperial City Coffer or it could be in her mystery coffer.  You can learn more about the Undaunted in the Undaunted Guide.

Builds That Use Imperial City Prison Gear

Imperial City Prison Achievements

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 008

Free prisoners from their cell blocks in Imperial City Prison.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC Warden Dusk
Darklight Dancer

Defeat the Lord Warden Dusk of Imperial City Prison while you and your group members avoid every Darklight Burst.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 004
Imperial City Dungeon Locksmith

Assemble a key for each of the trophy chests found in the White-Gold Tower and Imperial City Prison group dungeons.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 025 Heroic
Imperial City Prison Conqueror

Defeat the Overfiend, Ibomez the Flesh Sculptor, the Gravelight Sentry, the Flesh Abomination, the Lord Warden’s Council, and Lord Warden Dusk in Veteran Imperial City Prison.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 025
Imperial City Prison Vanquisher

Defeat the Overfiend, Ibomez the Flesh Sculptor, the Gravelight Sentry, the Flesh Abomination, the Lord Warden’s Council, and Lord Warden Dusk in the Imperial City Prison.

ESO In-Game Icon Ability Warrior 032
Life Sentence

Defeat all mini-boss and boss enemies in Veteran Imperial City Prison without suffering a group member death.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 012
Lord Warden’s Retaliation

In Veteran Imperial City Prison, destroy the Warden’s Tome, then defeat Lord Warden Dusk.

ESO Icon Achievement 024
Mindshriven Slayer

Defeat 50 Vigilant Watchers in Veteran Imperial City Prison.

ESO In-Game Icon Acheivement 020
No Prison Can Hold Me

Defeat all mini-boss and boss enemies in Veteran Imperial City Prison within forty five minutes of starting the dungeon. Timer starts when players enter The Bastion.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement IC 026
Out of Sight

In Imperial City Prison, defeat the Overfiend, Ibomez the Flesh Sculptor, the Gravelight Sentry, the Flesh Abomination, and Lord Warden Dusk without any group member being noticed by the Vigilant Watchers.

ESO Icon Achievement 024
Vigilant Watcher Slayer

Defeat 100 Daedra in Veteran Banished Cells I.

Imperial City Prison Leads

The following antiquity leads can be acquired in the Imperial City Prison.

ESO In-Game Icon Antiquities Twitching Eyeball

The Twitching Eyeball is part of the Mora’s Whispers mythic item.

The dig zone for this lead is found in High Isle and Amenos.

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…