Welcome to the Veteran Cradle of Shadows Dungeon Guide! (vCoS)
This walkthrough will mainly focus on doing Cradle of Shadows on Veteran difficulty, we also cover the last boss on Hard Mode, regular veteran mode is covered as well.
If you are playing on normal difficulty, everything will be the same only a lot easier, and it’s great practice for Veteran difficulty if you try to follow along with the mechanics of each boss.
This guide is aimed at beginners who are attempting vCoS for the first time, along with experienced players who want a refresher on the mechanics.
Table Of Contents:
- Dungeon Overview
- First Boss: Sithera
- Second Boss: Khephidaen
- Third Boss: Votary of Velidreth
- Fourth Boss: Dranos Velador
- Final Boss: Velidreth
- Final Boss: Hard Mode
Cradle of Shadows is located in the southwest of Stormhold.
Dark Tunnels with Braziers
Along the way between bosses, you will venture through dark tunnels that have braziers scattered along the way. You need to light these braziers up by synergizing with them.
You will take damage and get slowed whenever you are in the dark, by staying in the light you can recover. Make sure to stay in the light as much as possible and don’t skip lighting up any braziers along the way!
There will also be spiders in these tunnels, you need to pull the spiders into the light from a brazier. Any spider that is not within the light of a brazier will take far less damage, it will take an age to clean up the spiders this way. As soon as they are within the braziers range, they start taking normal damage and you should be able to take them down quickly.
First Boss: Sithera
The first boss in Cradle of Shadows is quite straightforward, just make sure to follow the mechanics and this will be a breeze.
- 3 braziers are located in the room – Make sure to keep the boss (and spiders) in a lit brazier.
- Braziers will go out based on the boss’ health, make sure to move her to another brazier a this stage.
- Interrupt the boss when she is channeling!
There will be a brazier lit at the beginning of the fight, start here! The tank needs to pull the boss into the light, the boss is ranged to use your range taunt and then back off a bit behind the brazier so that the boss is forced to step into the light.
The idea here is the same as the spiders in the caves, if the boss is not within a lit brazier, she will take significantly less damage from you and it will take an age to get her down.
Based on the boss’ health, the brazier you are currently in will go out, you will then need to move her into the next brazier. You need to run over to the next brazier and synergize with it, just like in the dark caves, in order to light it up.
The braziers will go out when you hit the following health percentages of the boss:
50% – 30%
Adds – Spiders
Throughout the fight, spider adds will spawn, they function exactly the same as the ones you encountered in the tunnels getting to the first boss. Make sure to keep them in the light and try to finish them off with AOEs while you are focusing on the boss.
The boss will randomly start charging up an interruptable attack – Make sure to interrupt this and you won’t even have to worry about it.
If you fail to interrupt the charge up, the boss will power up and become more powerful. Try to avoid this for an easier fight.
To get to the next boss, keep moving through the tunnels, making sure to light up all the braziers and finish off the spiders within the reach of the light.
Second Boss: Khephidaen
This fight is similar to the last boss. It is a little trickier though so let’s take a look.
- Keep the boss in the light at all times.
- Every time the boss teleports she needs to be interrupted shortly after.
- The boss will also turn off a brazier whenever she teleports – Be sure to turn it back on by synergizing with it.
- Avoid the big AOE she does!
Whenever I tank this I prefer to slot shield charge so that I can rush into her immediately after she teleports. She performs an interruptable ability right after she teleports – By using shield charge we can quickly interrupt this.
Make sure to block her heavy attacks – they will take you down unless you block.
The boss will start charging up a big AOE, when the circle underneath her expands to the fullest, she will deal devastating damage to anyone caught within it. The tank can block this but you might as well move out of it to save resources.
Teleport & Interrupt
Right after the big AOE, she will teleport to a random location and turn a random brazier off. Make sure to turn this back on!
She will also start channeling an attack right after she teleports – This must be interrupted or she will shoot everyone with a shadow bolt attack that will most likely wipe your group.
This is the same as the last fight but worth mentioning again. Any time the boss is not within a lit brazier’s range – she will take significantly less damage and will take forever to beat. Make sure she is always in a lit brazier.
Adds – Spiders
These are the same spiders as you’ve seen in the previous bits of the damage, same principles apply – keep them in the light and finish them with AOEs.
As you proceed to the next boss – MAKE SURE TO PULL THE LEVER as seen in the picture below. If you don’t do this, you will have to run all the way back through the tunnel again in order to get back to this level. Make sure the lever is pulled before you jump down from the platform you are on.
The lever will unlock the big door straight ahead in this room allowing you to continue through Cradle of Shadows.
Third Boss: Votary of Velidreth
The third boss in Cradle of Shadows is actually quite straight forward.
- Avoid the big AOE! It will one-shot you if you don’t get out!
- Interrupt the boss when it’s feeding on spiders.
The boss will perform a lethal AOE attack, you will see a circle expanding underneath the boss – MAKE SURE to get out of this, it will one-shot you!
The boss will start feeding off the small spider adds replenishing its health. Make sure to interrupt the boss when it does this as quickly as possible.
Adds – Spiders
These are small spiders and should go down purely from your AOEs that are already on the boss. If you notice that they are starting to build up in numbers, make sure to focus on the for a bit until things are under control again.
The boss will spawn small poison pools that will damage anyone standing on top of them. Make sure to avoid these, they deal a lot of damage!
There will be another lever after you finish this boss that you need to pull in order to open up another gate in the main room we just came from. Make sure someone pulls this level, a picture of the level can be seen below for reference.
Fourth Boss: Dranos Velador
This is by far harder than any previous fight in Cradle of Shadows. Make sure your group understands the mechanics on this one!
- Focus on the red shades when they are out and pick up the essence they leave behind.
- Interrupt the shades that are pinning down the tank ASAP or you will lose your tank!
- Avoid the fire AOEs the boss puts down.
- Hold the boss around the middle so that the tank can chain pull the shades easily.
Adds – Shades (Essence of Dranos)
The boss will summon three shades that will be spread out along the edges of the room. During this stage, the boss will be shielded. Make sure to deal with these adds asap. Once they die, they will leave an essence behind, make sure to pick up this essence. By collecting them all, the boss will drop his shield.
It’s easiest if your group is positioned in the middle of the room, the tank should chain pull in the shades so that there is less running around to be done.
Teleport & Pin Down
The boss will teleport around hitting each member of the party – everyone, make sure to block! The boss will spawn an AOE under your feet for every time he teleports, stay out!
He will end his teleport frenzy with the person that has aggro (This should be the tank!) and start charging up a big heavy attack.
Two shades will appear that will pin the player with aggro to the ground, making it impossible to block or do anything for the pinned player. The other players have to quickly interrupt these two shades! Doing this will free the pinned player allowing her/him to block the incoming heavy attack. You have around 3 – 4 seconds to do this, or your tank is dead.
Tank: Make SURE you block as soon as you are freed from the pin-down! The heavy attack will come very quickly once you are freed.
The boss will perform a whirlwind attack which can hurt quite a bit if you are squishy, try to always keep some distance to the boss so that you are ready to step out of this.
Bombs from the statue
The statue hanging upside down from the ceiling will shoot out red orbs that deal splash damage as they land on the ground, they will also emit projectiles that trace the ground in random directions. Stay on your guard!
Ray of death (Statue at 30%)
When the boss reaches 30% health, the statue in the ceiling will fire a red ray directly down on the ground. Red waves will be shooting out from this ray spreading in random directions. Do NOT touch these, they deal a lot of damage!
It is a good idea at this stage to move the boss over the edge of the room so that it becomes a bit easier to avoid these waves. They will keep coming from this point until the fight is over.
Final Boss: Velidreth
The last boss in Cradle of Shadows is quite particular, you will have to deal with some quite tricky mechanics here!
- Make sure two people pick up the torches dropped by the Flesh Atronachs.
- Stay together as you find your way out of the maze.
- DON’T move when Velidreth says “Don’t move a muscle” ->Watch her in the ceiling, when she moves, roll-dodge immediately!
Don’t move a muscle
Velidreth will climb up in the ceiling and say “Don’t move a muscle”. Do NOT move when she does this. You will have a small green circle underneath you, you MUST stay in this circle or you will die!
She will then jump down and send a spike up through the green circle killing anyone who is still standing still. You have to roll dodge to avoid this.
How to get the timing right: As you are standing still, look up in the ceiling, you will see Velidreth hanging there. When she wiggles her back, she will jump down half a second later. This is the time to roll-dodge. I usually wait just until I see her starting to drop down and press roll-dodge immediately when she does this! There are other theories out there on how to get the timing right but I’ve found this way to work every single time for me.
As soon as the Atronachs spawn, make sure to focus all damage on them. As they go down, they will drop their light torch, there will be a total of two. Make sure two people pick these up, Velidreth will banish us into her maze a bit later, we’ll need them in there.
Once you’ve picked it up, you will get a bright circle around you.
Twice during this fight, Velidreth will banish us into her maze. This will happen based on the following boss health percentage:
66% – 33%
But not together, we will be separated into two groups. The two people who picked up the torches from the Flesh Atronachs will ALWAYS be separated, as each group will need a torch.
One player will be holding the torch, the other will not have any light -> The person without a light needs to stay in the light coming from the player with the torch, so stick together! Being in the dark has the same effect as we saw earlier in the dungeon in the spider tunnels. If your ally falls behind, make sure to wait for them!
If you were unable to pick up a torch and end up in the maze without a light – you can use the braziers scattered around to light up your path. This will be very familiar as it will work the same as in the spider caves. Slightly more inconvenient so do your best at picking up the lights from the Atronachs.
We now need to find our way back into the main boss room, check your map to identify your position, you will either be north of the main room or south.
Tip: Having a minimap for this part really helps a lot (if you are on PC), check out Votan’s minimap if you don’t have it already.
As seen on the map above, there will be four gates for the top group and three gates for the bottom group. -> The problem is, one door on each side will be locked! Start heading towards the main boss room, if you encounter a locked door, check you map and make your way to the next one which will be open.
These gates will remain the same the second time Velidreth sends you into the maze, so try and remember which one was open!
There will be traps on the ground as you make your way through the maze, you can only see which ones are armed when they are in the light from the brazier -> Stick together!
The adds are a bit annoying, don’t try to kill them all, just throw out slowing effects to try to keep them far enough behind you as you make your way through the maze. Avoid going back the same route you came from to not run into a horde of bad guys following you.
Velidreth will target a player, pull them in and start feeding, this will drain the ultimate from the player being fed on. There is nothing we can do about this, it is going to happen, we CAN however influence who this player will be. We want the tank to be the lucky one.
Velidreth will choose her target based on who has the most Ultimate available. Therefore, we want everyone to keep using their ultimates as often as possible except for the tank. Tank – avoid using your ultimate abilities at all and Velidreth will very likely choose you every single time.
Velidreth will also summon some adds, focus on them as soon as they appear to get them out of the way. Tank, try and taunt at least one of them, getting both of them is better of course.
Final Boss: Hard Mode
To activate Hard Mode in Cradle of Shadows, interact with the Altar of Adoration (shrine of Mephala) found on the left edge of the room as you enter the boss’s room.
Differences on hard mode vs regular veteran mode:
- In the maze -> 3 out of 4 gates will now be locked in the top room. 2 out of 3 will be locked in the bottom room.
- Velidreth gains 1.2 million more HP.
- The shrine of Mephala bombards the room with red bombs.
The maze on hard mode
This will be a bit tougher on hard mode, but it’s very random of course -> You could get lucky and find the open door right away, or you could run through all of them and have the last one be open.
The key here is that only one gate per section (north and south) will be open. When you get teleported to the maze, make sure to start with a door on the side! Do not start in the center, in case you get unlucky you’ll have to do a lot more running this way.
Check your map, start on either the leftmost or rightmost gate and work your way through each gate until you find the open one. Remeber which gate was open and the second time Velidreth banishes you into the maze it will be a lot easier, as the gates that are open will remain the same.
Red Bombs from the shrine
The shrine you interacted with when activating hard mode will now start shooting out red bombs the leave splash damage when they hit the ground. The bombs also send out projectiles in four directions as they hit the ground.
This adds to the chaos already present with all the poison blobs moving around, do your best to avoid everything!
That sums up Cradle of Shadows! Hopefully you found this guide helpful on your adventures! If you found anything unclear or have a better method up your sleeve, please leave a comment or send a message and I will happily update this guide 🙂
My goal is that everyone should be able to enjoy the best and most difficult content in the Elder Scrolls Online! Thanks so much for reading, and see you in the next dungeon 🙂