After the previous Quest, First Lessons, you'll automatically start this one. You have to visit Saarthal, the site of an ongoing excavation by the college. Where's it at exactly? It's southwest of Winterhold. Once you arrive, speak to Tolfdir who's just outside. You can buy spells from him if you like. I recommend buying the Candlelight and Stoneflesh.
Once inside, follow the characters and when prompted if you have any questions left, ask whatever you need and proceed. Keep on following Tolfdir until you reach Arniel Gane. He'll ask you to go check out the ruins to the north, and 4 markers appear for 4 items: 3 rings and an amulet. Approach the one directly ahead of you (the amulet) and remove it. Once removed, you'll be caught in a trap! To escape, equip the amulet and the wall where you got it starts to spew some kind of gas.
Now speak to Tolfdir and follow him. At the end of the path, a little scene takes place. After it's done, tell Tolfdir about the Psijic Order and all that, and then he decides to search the coffins. Watch out for the draugr that appear, you can just have Tolfdir kill 'em if you want. Proceed through the catacombs and in the next larger room, you'll be attacked by more draugr. Wonderful.
Kill them and Tolfdir will decide to stay behind to check the place out, so proceed to the marker in the next room by activating the chains on each side of the door. Follow the path, but beware of draugr popping out of coffins and a few fire rune traps on the floor.
Follow the path until you go up a level. There are two chests up here you can loot before going through an iron door. Be careful of another floor trap in front of the next chest you see. When you reach a room with bed-like places on the walls, you'll also find some black-colored pillars on the sides with various animals, like an eagle, a snake, or a whale. Behind the pillars, there's another picture of an animal, only smaller. Rotate the pillars until they match the animal behind it.
Once you do so correctly with all 6 pillars, use the lever and the gate opens. Open the doors at the end of the hallway to find yourself in a larger room. In here, you'll find a strong foe, so be ready (It was a Draugr Deathlord for me). Continue on, grabbing the chest and avoiding the frost runes on the floor, and you'll be in another room with a puzzle similar to the previous one.
However, there's a catch here: Rotating the pillars will also rotate the other pillars . They're trying to get smart on us! Check out what does what below:
Here's the order in which you need to press the pillars to solve this puzzle quickly (using the numbered screenshot above as reference):
- Turn pillar numbered **3** *once.*
- Turn pillar numbered **1** *once* .
- Turn pillar numbered **4** **** *once.*
- Turn pillar numbered **2** **** *once.*
- Turn pillar numbered **4** **** *once more.*
- Now hit the lever to raise the gate blocking your way.
An enemy named Jyrik Gouldurson appears, and it's impossible to damage him. What you need to do is to distract it while Tolfdir extracts the power from the orb behind it. Once you're given the order, approach the enemy and kill it.
Once he's defeated, talk to Tolfdir. He will ask you to bring the Arch-Mage to this place, so we'll do that... when the time comes. Haha, nah. Before that, go behind the orb, through the iron door, and follow the path and you'll see a chest in the center of some grass and a Word Wall . Approach it to learn a word for the Shout Ice Form . Very nice.
Now proceed through the door and you'll find a shortcut to the entrance. Way to go. Leave the place and head to the College. Once here, seek out the Arch-Mage. After you speak with him he tells you to go find Urag to learn more about the orb. That finishes this quest and start the next one.