Labyrinthian is the second part of the third main quest of The Elder Scrolls: Arena. Following Thelen Kaarn's deciphering of the Elder Scrolls, the location of the legendary Labyrinthian is transcribed to the Eternal Champion, and they make their way to the labyrinth to claim the second piece of the Staff of Chaos.
The Mages Guild of Winterhold has inscribed your map with the location of the twisted corridors of the Labyrinthian in the province of Skyrim...
The second part to the third main quest of Arena. Following the successful deciphering of the Elder Scrolls in the Winterhold Mages Guild, the Eternal Champion is given the location of the legendary Labyrinthian. The Champion now must finish the second part in their ten year journey, and claim the second piece of the Staff of Chaos from the twisted corridors of Archmagus Shalidor's Labyrinthian.
- Travel to the Labyrinthian.
- If applicable, defeat Jagar Tharn's ambush.
- Enter the labyrinth, and learn the tale of the Wise and the Dim.
- Best Shalidor's puzzle.
- Best Jagar Tharn's puzzle.
- Claim the second piece of the Staff of Chaos.
After returning Kaarn's Tablet, and the celebratory events after, the Eternal Champion should proceed to the Labyrinthian. The Labyrinthian's main hold of difficulty comes from its confusing passageways from the main floor, and the Domains of Mogrus the Dim and Kanen the Elder.
Similar to the Champion's preparation with the Fortress of Ice, the Champion should buy better armor and weapons if possible. Weapons and armor should be repaired at a shop if damage is accumulated, along with more potions from the Mages Guild. The Champion, if they are a spellcaster, is encouraged to play around with spellmaking if they have the Gold.
It is recommended for the Champion to continue buying Potions of Healing/Potions of Heal True, depending on their money situation, and to include a few Potions of Fire Resist as well, as there are Hell Hounds and lava tunnels. It is easy to avoid the latter, though. When finished preparing, the Champion should traverse to the Labyrinthian.
The Dream BridgeEdit
It is possible, due to the chances of how achieving Jagar Tharn's dream bridge are rolled, that the Champion has not received a dream bridge from Tharn at any point during the escape from the Fang Lair, or the raiding of the Fortress of Ice. This is normal, due to the chances of each Staff of Chaos piece earned.
Due to a fail-safe inside the game, if the Champion has not received a dream bridge from Tharn at any point in-between two Staff of Chaos dungeons, when traveling to the next dungeon for the first time—in this case, to Labyrinthian from Fang Lair—Tharn will forcibly dream bridge on the journey to the former.
It is recommended that the Champion, if they have not received a dream bridge yet from Tharn, prepare for an ambush at the entrance to the Labyrinthian. This also applies to latter dungeons: if the Champion did not achieve a dream bridge from Tharn after completing Labyrinthian, for example, they will be forced to have one on their way to the next Staff of Chaos dungeon, Elden Grove.
For more information on the dream bridge and ambush, see the dream bridge page. If the Champion is comfortable in their current position, and are wary of Tharn if they had not received a dream bridge, they can proceed to the Labyrinthian.
Twisted Corridors – Floor 1Edit
In terms of size, the Labyrinthian is far larger and more complicated than the Fortress of Ice, and in-turn the Fang Lair. The two domains on the second floor, including the first floor, make up a very large and confusing dungeon, hence Labyrinthian being a labyrinth.
The Labyrinthian is the abandoned Nordic testing grounds of Archmagus Shalidor, which is now home to many creatures, many of which have been already fought by the Eternal Champion, and some new, such as the towering Iron Golems, and the larger abundance of Trolls. The main objective is to claim the second Staff of Chaos piece at the far north of the dungeon, in the first floor.
When at the entrance hallway to the Labyrinthian, the Eternal Champion makes note of a message assumed to be carved in the wall:
As implied, the Champion should disregard the other doors and continue along the central door's path. Thereso, they will be told the tale of two strife-weary brothers:
This is the tale of two brothers,
who sought the secret of life.
They ventured into this Labyrinthian,
weary from war and strife...
The first was Kanen the Elder,
a strong and cunning man.
He quested for riches and jewels,
yet found Fate had other plans...
The second was Mogrus the Dim,
and few knew what he was worth.
They saw only the lumbering giant,
not the child who was blessed at birth...
The few they told of their plans,
begged them to desist at their feet.
But the brothers would test this puzzle of the North,
for till then they had known no defeat...
This is the tale of two brothers,
who failed the secret of life.
Forever held by two riddles which lead to the prize,
and a wit as cunning, and sharp as a knife...
The tale talks of two brothers whom are still trapped inside the Labyrinthian for failing the riddle unlocking the "secret of life," which is conveniently what the Champion must unlock to reach the second piece of the Staff of Chaos.
Further ahead, the Champion will enter a hallway with a locked door at the end. When approached, the Champion will make note of another carving:
Mogrus the Dim, though he's a bore,
Holds the only key that unlocks this door.
To find the riddle, you must first find the son,
Start your fateful search behind door number one...
The Champion should now head back to the entrance of the Labyrinthian, and head to the door on the left. When approaching, the Champion makes note of a message cut into the ground:
Scratched in the ground here is the word,
This is where the Champion should not go. "Door 2" leads to the Domain of Kanen, with the Sapphire Key, and not Mogrus with the Diamond Key.
The Champion should proceed to the adjacent door, and enter the one where the Champion makes a note about the markings being "Door 1." Once entered, the Champion should follow the provided map of the first floor. This will lead them on the right path to the second floor of the Domain of Mogrus.
Domain of Mogrus – Floor 2Edit
The Domain of Mogrus is the first section of the second floor that the Champion should enter. The map adjacent has been modified to mark both the Diamond Key, and Mogrus the Dim. Mogrus' domain has magma embedded into the floor, in the western region. It is heavily advised to make use of the provided underground and above-ground passages.
Mogrus' domain also has various creatures, much tougher than was previewed in the Fortress of Ice. Those being Trolls, more Ghouls and Iron Golems, Ghosts, along with other random creatures that may spawn. The objective of being in Mogrus' domain is to get to the north-west portion, where the Spirit of Mogrus lies, whom is actually just a magical Wraith, locked in a cage for eternity.
Mogrus' chamber contains two doors, one being Mogrus' cage, where his red eyes glow and where he constantly moans, and one being the cage for the Diamond Key. While the Champion could simply bash open the door to the key, it is easier and less costly on the used weapon just to talk to Mogrus, especially considering how strong the door is, as it is a magically held lock.
When approached, Mogrus will speak to the Champion, and present them a riddle that once halted him from acquiring the "secret of life":
I am brother Mogrus, the shade of this hall,
Cursed to its lengths, from beginning to end.
Find me the answer, and a door will I call
Fail me but once, and your heart will I rend...
More beautiful than the face of your God,
Yet more wicked than a Daemon's forked tongue?
Dead men eat it all the time,
Live men who eat it die slow...
What is the answer, mortal?
Unlike many of the other puzzles encountered thus far, Mogrus' puzzle only has one answer:
As Mogrus said, if the Champion fails, Mogrus will burst from his cage and try to kill the Champion for failing the question. If the puzzle is solved correctly, Mogrus' spirit is freed from the Labyrinthian's cage. He will proceed to talk to the Champion after:
I have been a fool,
Perhaps a mad wizard's tool.
Yet after untold ages,
I am at last free.
In the cell next to this
lies your reward, the Diamond Key...
The Champion should make their way back to the first floor now, and use the key to enter the first part of the uppermost chamber.
Using the key on the first floor's main chamber door, the door will open and lead the way to a second door. When entering, the Champion will be attacked be two Spiders at either ends of the doorway. The same is with the other side of the dungeon.
When approaching the next door, the Champion makes note of another carving:
Kanen the wise, holds more to be seen,
a key and a riddle, and a test in between.
To get past this portal, a feat done by few,
search for the brother behind door number two...
The Champion should now head back to the Labyrinthian's entrance, and head through the left-most doorway marked "Door 2."
Domain of Kanen – Floor 2Edit
The Domain of Kanen is the second part to the Labyrinthian that the Champion should conquer. It is a step down in difficulty, and does not include magma, which makes it an easy task to best Kanen the Wise and escape. It is still heavily advised to make use of the provided underground and above-ground passages.
In this domain, the Spirit of Kanen is bound to the south-east most chamber. The objective is to get there, claim the Sapphire Key, and free Kanen just as Mogrus was.
Kanen's chamber is very much similar to Mogrus', this chamber containing two doors, one cage holding the Sapphire Key and one binding Kanen the Wise to the Labyrinthian.
When approached, Kanen will speak to the Champion as Mogrus did. Kanen will test the Champion with the riddle that prevented him from acquiring the "secret of life":
I am the brother Kanen, who holds the secret of life.
Not a more cunning riddler, 'twixt ocean and fief.
Answer me this question, o' foolish mortal from above,
or join my eternal task, borne of duty and love...
Two bodies have I,
Though both joined in one.
The more still I stand,
The quicker I run...
What is thy answer?
This puzzle has two answers, though they are generally the same:
- an hourglass
When successfully answered, Kanen's spirit will be freed and he will open the cell door to the Sapphire Key, making one last remark:
I am free to fly the wind,
after an eternity of sickness and sin!
As a reward for setting me free,
The cell next to this holds your Sapphire Key...
The Champion should make their way back to the first floor, and use the key to enter the second and final part of the uppermost chamber.
Secret of Life – Staff of ChaosEdit
Obtaining the Sapphire Key, the Champion should make their way back to the uppermost chamber, and use the key on the second door of the puzzle. Unlocking the door, the Champion should make their way to a third and final door in the puzzle.
After approaching the third door, they will encounter a final puzzle:
Here lies the final portal, the doorway to life...
What force and strength
cannot get through,
I, with a gentle touch, can do;
And many in these twisted halls would stand,
Were I not, as a friend, at hand...
Just like Kanen's riddle, while there are multiple answers, they are generally the same:
- a key
If failed, the door will give an indefinite amount of tries to complete the puzzle. When completed successfully, the door will speak to the Champion, and will open to two Ghosts guarding the Staff piece:
Killing the Ghosts, the second Staff Piece awaits: the first part of the base of the staff, floating over a pool of blood. Collecting it, the Eternal Champion notes the melding of the first and second piece of the staff:
After this, the Champion should leave the Labyrinthian at once and sleep at an inn, to receive the congratulations from Ria Silmane...
- Kanen's hourglass riddle is used again during the quest "The Rosethorn Cache," in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- The Labyrinthian is also explored by the Last Dragonborn, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though the Domains of Kanen or Mogrus are not to be seen, let alone the chamber holding the "secret of life."
- The introductory slide used when starting Arena is a zoomed-in, lower quality rendition of Labyrinthian's introductory slide.
- A redrawn version of the Labyrinthian's exterior is used as the background on the official Elder Scrolls website for Arena.
|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|