Speak with Paarthurnax and ask about the Elder Scroll.
To learn more about the Elder Scroll, visit High Hrothgar and speak with Arngeir, or speak with Esbern at Sky Haven Temple. Regardless of who you ask, both will tell you to visit the the College of Winterhold.
College of Winterhold
Upon arrival to the College of Winterhold you will be met by an Altmer named Faralda. If you have not already joined the College of Winterhold faction you will be prevented from entering the college. There are several options to gain entry:
- Persuade: You can persuade Faralda to let you in.
- Test: You can take Faralda's test by casting a random spell.
- Shout: You can tell Faralda that you are Dragonborn and show her a shout. Complete one of these actions and she will let you into the College.
Once you have gained entry to the College locate Urag gro-Shub, who runs the Arcanaeum inside the College. Ask him about the Elder Scrolls and he will give you two books written about them. (If they're not working, check the Notes section). If you have not yet started the side quest Discerning the Transmundane, reading Ruminations on the Elder Scrolls will begin that quest. After you tell Urag that the Ruminations on the Elder Scrolls is incomprehensible, he will tell you that the book was written by an expert on the Elder Scrolls, Septimus Signus. He gives you the last known location of Septimus.
Alternatively, the player can simply go to Septimus Signus' Outpost, and avoid joining the College altogether.
You must go to Septimus Signus's Outpost, the northern iceberg where Septimus has made his home. Climb down the ladder to find Septimus working on a Dwemer Box. Ask Septimus about the Elder Scroll, and he will tell you that you must go to Blackreach, a large underground Dwemer city that lies underneath the ruins of Alftand. He will give you the Attunement Sphere and the Blank Lexicon.
The next stage of the mission takes you to Alftand, leading on to the ancient underground city of Blackreach. This portion of the quest can be difficult for lower-level characters, as Blackreach contains many Falmer and Dwarven Animunculi.
Alftand is located in the glacial mountains southwest of Winterhold. When you enter Alftand you will need to travel throughout large glacial tunnels. Follow the tunnel until you reach the Dwemer Ruins. When you reach the door that can be unlocked from the other side, proceed to the passage that heads west up a ramp.
Continue north, and you will encounter two Dwarven Spheres. Kill or avoid them and head through the gold door and up to a Dwarven Spider–infested passage stretching south. This main passage leads east, above the room with the Dwemer Spheres in it. Dodge the pistons and continue on to the Alftand Animonculory.
AnimonculoryTravel through the Alftand Animonculory, past the spinning blades, to find a locked gate. There is a lever on the right by the big pipe and on the other side of the gate that is accessible from the far left position. Open the gate and proceed to a massive shaft in the Animonculory. Travel down this shaft and you will encounter four Falmer. Dispatch or sneak by them. Alternatively, you can use the Become Ethereal shout to jump straight to the bottom. Taking this course could potentially cause the character to be overwhelmed by the number of Falmer at the bottom, and bypasses valuable items on the way down.
Midway down the shaft one of the ramps is broken, requiring a jump down to the platform below. This could potentially result in the character taking some damage. To minimize damage, jump to the pipe on the right side to descend approximately halfway down prior to jumping. At this point returning to the levels above is only possible by continuing to another exit and re-entering Alftand.
Once at the bottom there is an entrance to a gold door preceded by fire jets. While it is possible to walk through the fire jets to the door, it is also possible to avoid taking fire damage by passing through a small gap between the pipes on the left side. Enter the door, which leads to a Falmer nest. Go through the nest, dispatching or avoiding the Falmer inside. Go though the golden door on the southwest. This leads to a bridge, followed by another looping walkway containing several Falmer and at least one Frostbite Spider.
Now enter the Alftand Cathedral. Battle or avoid the two Falmer. Travel up the stairs and activate the switch, then pass through the newly opened gate. You will find a Dwarven Centurion that you must defeat, as it holds the key you need to proceed. A simpler way to defeat the Centurion is to lean in the left part of the gate, and firing an arrow at the Centurion. As it comes close, it will try to fire steam at the player. Go far till the steam's range, and fire arrows from there. The Fire Breath Shout is also effective with the same strategy, but arrows make time go faster. Another option is to walk back down the stairs. The Centurion will follow you. Let it try to catch you around the round "water well". A Frostbite spider will appear and start attacking the Centurion. Wait, and the spider will damage or destroy the Centurion. Next, proceed to the gate on the southwest where you will hear two adventurers, Sulla and Umanan, arguing. Engage or sneak past them to continue. If you remain concealed they will eventually fight, leaving one survivor. Proceed to the Dwarven Mechanism and insert the Attunement Sphere you received from Septimus. The floor will part, revealing stairs down to a hidden gold door and an entrance into the undercity of Blackreach.
- Note: At this point the elevator immediately behind the "Dwarven Mechanism" will take you back to Skyrim. This lift can then be taken back to this point if you are at or nearing your maximum carry weight. This location is also a useful midway point for returning later to collect the various bits of Dwemer metal for converting to ingots.
BlackreachYou can exit Blackreach using the Dwarven Elevator just left of your location. There are several Dwarven Centurion along the road, but it is possible to avoid them. Dispatch or sneak by the Dwemer Sphere and the Falmer (a very easy way to dispose of the sphere is to activate the nearby crossbow before the sphere activates, as this kills it instantly), and follow the cobblestone path southeast to a golden button encased on a Dwarven head pedestal. Press it, and the elevator behind lights up, allowing you to ascend and exit back outside. Open the gate to allow later entery from the Great Lift of Alftand.
Once inside the Tower of Mzark, you will come to a room with a number of alchemical ingredients and other items. The Oculory is through the gold door on the far side of the room. Go up the spiral staircase. Near the top is a level area with desks, ruined books, and a door to an elevator to the surface. Near the door is a dead body, Drokt. The Journal of Drokt is next to his skeletal remains.
Go up the ramp above the elevator door to the controls. The controls consist of a Lexicon Receptacle and four positioning buttons embedded in pedestals.Activate the Lexicon Receptacle, so the Blank Lexicon rests on top of it. The two pedestals to the Receptacle’s left, the only ones currently active, open and close the Oculory lenses. Press the taller of the two pedestals (right of the pedestal with the lens chart on it in the middle of the buttons) until the pedestal with the blue button to the left of the middle one starts to glow. Move to this new pedestal (at this point, the Blank Lexicon may be glowing blue). The two pedestals to the left of the lens chart, the taller of which is now active, control the ceiling lens array. Press the button of the taller, left pedestal twice, until the button on the left of that (the smaller pedestal) begins to glow. Note, if you press the left button too many times, you may have to start over with the farthest right button pedestal (as a reset). Now press that button, and a large set of lens crystals descends from the ceiling and stops. The main crystal rotates and splits apart to reveal a tube-like carrying device, which contains the Elder Scroll.
Acquiring the scroll completes this quest. Retrieve the Lexicon in order to continue Discerning the Transmundane.
I met the master of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax. He told me that the ancient Nords used an Elder Scroll to cast Alduin forward in time. If I can recover that same Elder Scroll, I may be able to use it to learn the "Dragonrend" Shout directly from the ancient heroes.
I met the master of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax. He told me that the ancient Nords used an Elder Scroll to cast Alduin forward in time. If I can recover that same Elder Scroll, I may be able to use it to learn the "Dragonrend" Shout directly from the ancient heroes. Esbern suggested that someone at the College of Winterhold might know how to find this Elder Scroll.
I met the master of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax. He told me that the ancient Nords used an Elder Scroll to cast Alduin forward in time. If I can recover that same Elder Scroll, I may be able to use it to learn the "Dragonrend" Shout directly from the ancient heroes. Arngeir suggested that someone at the College of Winterhold might know how to find this Elder Scroll.
I met the master of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax. He told me that the ancient Nords used an Elder Scroll to cast Alduin forward in time. If I can recover that same Elder Scroll, I may be able to use it to learn the "Dragonrend" Shout directly from the ancient heroes. I've learned that a scholar named Septimus Signus might know where to find it.
I met the master of the Greybeards, the dragon Paarthurnax. He told me that the ancient Nords used an Elder Scroll to cast Alduin forward in time. Now that I've recovered that Elder Scroll, I may be able to use it to learn the "Dragonrend" Shout directly from the ancient heroes.
This section contains bugs related to Elder Knowledge. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|
- Faralda will teach you the spell that she asks you to cast if you do not have it.
- The best choice may be to take Faralda's test, since if you do not know the spell she asks you to use, it can be bought from her for 30 gold, an immense discount that should be taken advantage of.
- You can go to Septimus Signus directly, skipping a portion of the quest.
- If you are in the middle of The Staff Of Magnus quest, it is impossible to talk to Urag gro-Shub. You must complete The Staff of Magnus first.
- If you have already completed Discerning the Transmundane and thus killed Septimus Signus, then to do this quest, simply travel to Blackreach and head back to where you did the puzzle at the end of it- the Scroll should still be there, waiting for you.
- If you read the Scroll anywhere other than the Time Wound at the Throat of the World, you will be blinded for several seconds.
- If you have cleared out other Dwemer Ruins such as Mzinchaleft or Raldbthar, they can act as a shortcut to Blackreach. They are all connected as long as you have the Attunement Sphere. This can lead to a faster way to get through for completion of the quest.
- You can skip the entire dungeon and head straight to the observatorium by finding the Tower of Mzark on the map, getting a plate, going to the tower, pressing the plate up against the locked door and sprinting towards the plate. This will cause you to glitch through the locked door. From here you can take the lift down.
- When Urag gro-Shub tells you about the Elder Scrolls, he mentions that "All of it is true. Even the falsehoods. Especially the falsehoods." This is very likely a reference to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Wire" in which the character Garak says "All of it is true. Even the lies. Especially the lies," when asked if the answers he gave during questioning were true.
| Elder Knowledge|
Complete "Elder Knowledge"
|Skyrim Main Quests|
|Act I||Unbound • Before the Storm • Bleak Falls Barrow • Dragon Rising • The Way of the Voice |
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
|Act II||A Blade in the Dark • Diplomatic Immunity • A Cornered Rat • Alduin's Wall • The Throat of the World |
Elder Knowledge • Alduin's Bane
|Act III||Season Unending • The Fallen • The World-Eater's Eyrie • Sovngarde |
Dragonslayer • Epilogue