Fortress of Ice the first part to the third main quest of The Elder Scrolls: Arena. Following the successful venture into the Fang Lair, the Eternal Champion must do a task for Thelen Kaarn: retrieve a Tablet from Archmagus Shalidor's home, the Fortress of Ice, to decipher the Elder Scrolls and find the Archmagus' personal testing grounds, the Labyrinthian.
The Mages Guild of Winterhold has marked the Fortress of Ice on your map of Skyrim...
The first part to the third main quest of Arena. Following the Eternal Champion's venture into the Fang Lair, Ria has divined the location of the second piece of the Staff of Chaos: the Labyrinthian. The Champion must talk to Thelen Kaarn, a wizard from the Winterhold Mages Guild, and obtain a Tablet from Archmagus Shalidor's home, the Fortress of Ice, to decipher the location of the Archmagus' magical testing grounds, the Labyrinthian.
- Receive Ria Silmane's dream bridge.
- Receive Jagar Tharn's dream bridge.
- Survive Tharn's ambush.
- Travel to the city-state of Winterhold, in Skyrim.
- Enter the Mages Guild and receive the favor from Thelen Kaarn.
- Recover the missing Tablet from the Fortress of Ice.
- Return to Kaarn to decipher the Labyrinthian's location.
The Dream BridgesEdit
After escaping the Fang Lair and sleeping properly in an inn, Ria Silmane will approach the Eternal Champion in their sleep to congratulate them on the success of claiming the first piece of the Staff of Chaos, and tell them about the next piece.
Ria assumes Tharn doesn't know of the Champion yet. The Champion's encouraged to leave the area they're in, and sleep outside or in a dungeon so Jagar Tharn can, angrily, come to them in a dream bridge.
Enraged the Champion is attempting to save Uriel Septim VII, the proper emperor, across time and space Tharn will send a minion to ambush and attack the Champion, proving Ria's theory of Tharn's knowledge of you wrong.
If the Champion is not prepared, Tharn may send an opponent which is very difficult to kill. At lower levels, he simply should send a Minotaur or the like. These minions could also look like basic Thieves, and Warriors.
Due to how Tharn's chances of invading the Champion's dream bridges are rolled, it is possible that Tharn may not come in a dream at all. This is explained more thoroughly in the Labyrinthian section of the quest, as it is not important as of now.
After the possible ambush, the Champion should follow Ria's advice. Seeing she said to look for the Fortress of Ice, and seeing that the only lands of snow and possibly ice are in Skyrim, the Champion should travel to a city-state in Skyrim.
From Belkarth Guard to Karthwasten Hall, the closest two towns, it's a 13-day journey. But, from Belkarth Guard to the nearest city-state, Snowhawk, it's a 19-day journey. The Champion is encouraged to go to either the city-state or the town to begin searching for the Labyinthtian. Mages, priests, pedestrians, and street-entertainers should provide well enough information.
While searching, the Champion will be told that there is a search going on for the Labyrinthian, giving note that the Champion should investigate around Winterhold.
If the Champion isn't already in Winterhold, they should travel to the city-state as soon as available.
The Mages' GuildEdit
Interrogating the citizens of Winterhold will lead the Champion to Winterhold's Mages Guild, where they've apparently fallen on harder times after a caravan attack, and that the guild may tell the Champion about the Labyrinthian for a favor.
West of the city's gates the Mages Guild can be found; a large blue building. Inside, a mage can be found searching at the far back of the room, by the name of Thelen Kaarn. When spoken to, he will speak warmly to the Champion, a significant change from Queen Blubamka:
The Champion should accept the offer, and Kaarn will be pleased:
Proceeding the talks with Kaarn, the Champion should henceforth stock up on supplies. Kaarn will dispense potions and magical items to the player like any normal Mages Guild wizard. Inns are similar everywhere else except Hammerfell: black brick buildings with crescent moon-shaped shutters on windows and a sign over the door with a mug of gold. Weapon shops look like blue brick shops with the sign of a sword over the door.
Potions of Strength and Potions of Cold Resist are recommended, as are mages to purchase the Resist Cold spell from the Mages Guild, as many monsters that wield ice-based attacks are found inside the fortress and can be very dangerous to a non-Nord raced character. Being a Nord isn't required, though. The Champion should also stock up on Potions of Healing or Potion of Heal True, as there are almost no niches or raised platforms to sleep on in the fortress, excluding the Knights' Quarters (which have to be purged of Knights first). Healing spells, such as Heal True are also beneficial.
For both mages and non-mages, it's recommended to get an item ending in "of Light" to remove visibility fog. Some of the Fortress of Ice's ice-based enemies can't be seen with the low visibility, leading in many unfair deaths-by-ranged-projectile. This item can be found as an unnamed Mark or Crystal in dungeons, which can be identified through the Mages Guild for a hefty price, or simply by buying a pre-identified one through the Mages Guild.
It's also recommended to buy a sword of Elven-rank or higher, if available. The towering Ice Golem of the Fortress of Ice can only be damaged with Elven-make weaponry or of higher higher quality, such as Dwarven, Mithril, or Adamantium.
There's also no shame in raiding all past dungeons the Champion has visited, whether they be randomly generated in the wilderness or an important dungeon like Fang Lair or Stonekeep. Enemies and loot will always respawn when leaving to a city, and coming back to the dungeon.
Stolen Tablet – First FloorEdit
It's worth noting now that if the Eternal Champion dies at any point after acquiring the first piece of the Staff of Chaos, Jagar Tharn will taunt them in death, instead of Ria Silmane wishing them peace:
This change does not revert.
The Fortress of Ice is relatively below Stonekeep in level of complexity, and farther below Fang Lair, but is unfortunately far more difficult with its groups of ice-based enemies. The objective is to get to the second floor, through a stairwell at the north-central end of the dungeon, a blue dot on the map.
Starting from the Fortress of Ice and onwards, the Champion should turn to the annotated map which is always provided for the fastest venture to the objective in a dungeon. Latter dungeons past Fang Lair are very difficult to explain in words, without being done poorly.
The Champion will likely be greeted by Knights on their way to the second floor. Knights are very dangerous opponents, and should be fought with caution, as even a single Knight is a tough opponent to defeat at earlier levels. Considering that there are usually multiple Knights in one location, spanning from two to three, caution is advised throughout the entirety of the first floor.
Stolen Tablet – Second FloorEdit
On the second floor, the way to the Tablet is far more linear, though that does not mean it's easier to find. The objective is a small room at the north-western end of the floor.
It is very easy to get lost and go to corridors that lead to dead-ends. Again, the Champion should refer to the provided map for the rest of their adventure.
The Champion should beware of the numerous Ice Golems and Snow Wolves on the way there, as both have almost doubled in amount. Both can take the Eternal Champion down in seconds if they are not prepared, especially Snow Wolves, which spawn in pairs of two.
After reaching the chamber door which guards the Tablet, the door will speak to the Champion and will give a riddle to open it:
I touch your face,
I'm in your words,
I'm lack of space,
And beloved of birds...
What am I?
There are multiple answers:
- the air
- the wind
If answered incorrectly, nothing will happen, the door will stay shut. When answered correctly, a "roleplaying message" will prompt:
Once the riddle is answered correctly, and the Ice Golem standing guard inside is slain, the Tablet can be claimed from the floor. A roleplaying message appears, a reminder for the Eternal Champion:
The Champion should make their way out of the Fortress of Ice at their own pace, and carefully. They can choose to explore more for better loot and experience, but the Champion should return to Winterhold, and speak to Thelen Kaarn.
The Elder ScrollEdit
Upon returning to Kaarn, he will happily greet the Champion, and praise them:
Signalling the Champion is to leave, the Champion must stock up again on supplies, and make their way towards the infamous testing grounds of Archmagus Shalidor's Labyrinthian.
- The first floor counts as one of the least complex parts of a dungeon in Arena.
This section contains bugs related to Fortress of Ice (Quest). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- There's an open wall in a part of the fortress, which leads to an infinite void outside of the map.
|Arena Main Quest|
|Escape From Prison • Stonekeep • Fang Lair • Fortress of Ice • Labyrinthian • Selene's Web • Elden Grove • Temple of Agamanus • Halls of Colossus • Temple of the Mad God • Crystal Tower • Mines of Khuras • Crypt of Hearts • Vaults of Gemin • Murkwood • Black Gate • Dagoth-Ur • Imperial Palace|