Fang Lair is the second half of the second subquest of the main quest of The Elder Scrolls: Arena. Following Blubamka's deciphering of the Elder Scrolls, the location of the legendary Fang Lair is inscribed on the Eternal Champion's map. The Champion then makes their way to the mine to claim the first piece of the Staff of Chaos.
The ruler of Rihad has marked your map to show the dwarven mines of Fang Lair in the province of Hammerfell...
- Travel to the Fang Lair.
- Enter the fortress, and solve Jagar Tharn's puzzles.
- Claim the first piece of the Staff of Chaos.
After returning Queen Blubamka's Parchment, the Eternal Champion then proceeds to the Fang Lair. This dungeon is much more difficult than Stonekeep, so more thought should be given to preparations. In particular, buying Potions of Resist Fire are recommended as the final chamber of the Fang Lair holds Hell Hounds, who cast Fireballs. Raiding or re-raiding other dungeons, including Stonekeep can be done to level up the Champion and gain loot.
Once the Champion is comfortable with their current level and equipment, proceed to Fang Lair at the northeastern end of Hammerfell, a 19 day journey from Rihad. The closest town to Fang Lair in Hammerfell is Belkarth Guard, a two day journey. In Skyrim, the neighboring province to which the Fang Lair is near, the closest town is Karthwasten Hall, an eight day journey. However, since Fang Lair is marked on the map, the Champion may fast travel there directly, rather than travelling to a town and walking from there.
The Mines – First FloorEdit
Fang Lair is comparable in size to Stonekeep, but is by far more complex and consists of multiple series of underground tunnels and intertwining hallways.
The main objective is to get to the second floor, which holds the first piece of the Staff of Chaos. The room that with the ladder that ascends to the second floor is in the southwestern most portion of the lair, where six Spiders are caged.
The shortest path to the Fang Lair's "spider prisons" are shown on the map above. This path is not beneficial with regards to experience and loot. Another disadvantage of this path is that it maximizes the time spent in mine shafts, which have no lighting and can make fighting difficult for Champions without light sources. Taking a more circuitous route leads to spending more time on the floor level proper, most of which is brightly lit and makes combat easier and surprise attacks less likely.
Entering the spider prisons, the Champion hears the mass hissing of Spiders. When entering further, a "roleplaying message" will appear on the screen narrating the surrounding environment:
At the south end of the room's cages, there are three doors, all three of which contain separate keys.
Cell 1 and 3 hold Steel Keys, described in the riddle as "Worthless Brass," and Cell 2 holds the Golden Key. If the Champion approaches the southeastern door, it will speak to them:
Thou must prove thy worthiness to proceed
to the Underdark. The correct answer
will open the cell to the gold key,
which will open the portal.
Rush not to answer mortal. The wrong choice will
If the puzzle is solved incorrectly, five Spiders will be released on the Champion. Upon approaching closer, the puzzle will speak again:
As you near, the door itself speaks:
Listen to my puzzle, foolish mortal and prove that you
are worthy of my service...
If Cell 3 holds worthless brass, Cell 2 holds the gold key.
If Cell 1 holds the gold key, Cell 3 holds worthless brass.
If Cell 2 holds worthless brass, Cell 1 holds the gold key.
Knowing this brave fool, and knowing that all that is said
cannot be true, which cell contains the gold key?
There are multiple ways to provide the one correct answer to the door's riddle, though they all are variations on one another:
- cell 2
- the second cell
- the 2nd cell
When responding to the door, capitalization doesn't matter. Anything other than these answers will open the cage doors for the spiders. If the Champion responds with a correct variation, the door will speak to the Champion again:
The door to Cell 2 will unlock and open. Retrieve the golden key from the cell and use it on the puzzle door to reach the ascending ladder to the second floor of Fang Lair.
Staff of Chaos – Second FloorEdit
The second level of Fang Lair is linear in layout. Enter the hallway ahead and defeat the three Skeletons there. The hallway empties into a small square room with lava embedded in the floor. In the center of the room lies an inner room made of black rock that contains the first piece of the Staff of Chaos.
If the Champion is concerned about falling into the lava pools, which is very difficult to do by accident, they can drink a Potion of Resist Fire beforehand and that will completely negate the fire damage from the lava.
Approach the door to the central chamber and the Champion will hear the, angry, growling of the Hell Hounds behind it. Now is the recommended time to drink a Potion of Resist Fire. Approaching the door, the Champion will be asked another riddle:
A simple question for thee,
What is neither fish nor flesh,
feathers nor bone,
But still has fingers,
and thumbs of its own?
What is thy answer, mortal?
Unlike the first puzzle, there are two different acceptable answers (gauntlet or glove), though like the first puzzle, a number of variations of either work:
- a gauntlet
- a glove
Also unlike the first puzzle, if the Champion fails the question, they will not be harmed. If the Champion chooses a correct variation, the door will comment on the Champion's wit, and open:
After the door opens, two Hell Hounds will attack the Champion. This fight can be difficult or easy depending on the Champion's class, stats and equipment.
The Hell Hounds do not resist fire, so if the Champion is standing such that a Hell Hound fires a fireball close to itself or the other hound, either or both will take damage from being within the area of effect of the Fireball. Also, the Fireballs from the Hell Hounds are classified as NPCs casting spells at the Champion, not inherent abilities. Therefore, magic resistance from Willpower reduces damage from this attack.
When the hounds are defeated, the first segment of the Staff of Chaos floats over a pool of blood in the center of the chamber. It is a golden, harpoon-like spike doused in red fire with an angelic choir singing in its area. When taken, a message appears on the screen:
This section contains bugs related to Fang Lair (Quest). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- When sleeping in the dungeon, it's possible that Jagar Tharn may come to the Champion in their sleep before Ria Silmane, or even before achieving the first piece of the Staff of Chaos. There is no known fix, but this does not affect the main questline.
- If the Champion decides to follow the path of the map for the first level shown above, during the exiting of the first alcove in Mine Shaft A, a Ghoul may block the exit to the mine shaft, preventing escape.
- When answering the cell key puzzle, if the player types nothing and hits return, this is accepted as a valid answer to the puzzle. The second puzzle rejects this answer.