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.

Use a Destruction spell on the wall to break it.

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:

More puzzling pillars.

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.

Go through the door and as you reach the next room, you hear Tolfdir shouting for you. Looks like he's caught up with us. Be careful of the trapped floor in this room, you can also find an alchemy station to the right. Use it if needed and open the door to the next room, which is amazing.

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.

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    26 October 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are used to the bitter cold and mountanous terrain that mark the lands of Skyrim. Wracked by civil war, and threatened by the return of the legendary dragons, Skyrim faces its darkest hour. You must make sense of this maelstrom, explore the frozen tundra and bring hope to the people. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons. You are that Dragonborn.

Version 1.2

  • Introduction to the Races.
  • How to complete every storyline quest.
  • Where to find and conquer every side-mission.
  • Location of every powerful Dragonwall.
  • Search out and defeat every Dragon.
  • How to find hidden, powerful weapons.
  • Over 200 captioned screenshots provide even more help.
  • Dragonborn DLC covered in full.
  • Dawnguard DLC covered in full.
  • Screenshots for the major side-missions.
  • Achievements/Trophy descriptions (includes all 3 DLC packs).
  • Character Creation guide.

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