The Ritual Stone - Standing Stone Primary Location - "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim"
The Ritual Stone
The Ritual Stone is one of the 13 Standing Stones scattered throughout Skyrim, each possessing a special blessing which you can receive by finding and activating one of the stones. The Ritual Stone in particular, grants a special spell which can be used once a day to raised undead to fight on your behalf, without spending magika to do so. Remember you can only have one blessing active at a time, and each stone's bonus will last until changed to a different one.
Nearby Items: None besides enemy loot.
- Apprentice Necromancer
- Raised Skeleton x2
How To Find The Ritual StoneClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Ritual Stone is a particularly easy Standing Stone to locate early on in Skyrim. You can locate the stone by taking the road that leads out of Whiterun, and following to cross the bridge across the Honningbrew Meadery. Following this path east will take you past Whiteriver Watch along the south side of the river and then eventually lead up a hill, where you will find a path to your left that leads you to the Ritual Stone.
You will also find Graywinter Watch directly north of the stone location, seen as the mountain or den icon overlapped by the stone icon in the world map picture below. In the final picture below you can find another close up aerial view of the location that shows the stone doorway path that leads up the hill to the actual stone itself.
The Ritual Stone is one of 4 Standing Stones which provide a usable spell that costs no magika but allows you to perform a certain special feat each day. The Ritual Stone in particular provides you with a Raise Undead spell that differs from the normal spell by instead of being free and once per-day use, is area of effect cast and allows you to raise entire groups of the recently deceased to fight on your behalf. You will find this spell ready for use under your Powers tab of the skill book.
The one serious drawback of the stone's granted ability is the limited use, considering it can only be activated once every in-game 24 hours while also being limited in duration. Generally they last for 60 seconds before your raised undead collapse back into their useless actually dead state.
Second, the spell while being area of effect, seems to suffer in range when cast in rocky terrain or enclosed quarters with many obstacles between you and the corpses. Try to pick a good spot where you have full line of sight to the bodies you wish to raise while keeping in mind the actual range of the spell to get the most out of your ability.
Finally the spell also suffers from the general concept of the regular undead raising spell it is based off of. Not only are your zombies slow and easily defeated, but you have to actually have eliminated some of your current threat to actually be able to have corpses to raise, since their limited duration combined with these factors makes it impossible to take them with you to locations not already nearby.
Overall the spell is definitely more of an amusement related ability, which you can have some serious fun with especially if getting side tracked and taking on the populace of one of the many hold capitals. Don't expect significant utility to the Ritual Stone's blessing while progressing through the lands and quests of Skyrim.
The other spell granting stones are the Serpent Stone (paralyze), Shadow Stone (invisiblity) and Tower Stone (instant lockpick).
Nearby ThreatsClick thumbnail to view full-size
When you first arrive at the Ritual Stone in Skyrim, you are likely to run across a hostile Necromancer whom raises a pair of Skeletons to fight on her behalf as soon as you are detected. The battle shouldn't be too difficult, as the Necromancer is typically a lower level, however you should try to take out the Skeletons first to limit your targets since they tend to drop quickly. Try to also take advantage of the stone structures to use as cover from her spell attacks.
You may also encounter a pair of Wolves when approaching the beginning of the path that leads up to the stone from the main road, however they pose little threat. There are no items to speak of, nor are there any ingredients nearby to find, however those in search of some loot can find a few items on the Skeletons and Necromancer. If you still need more, check out Graywinter Watch which is literally a few steps away.