Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see Nelacar.
"I left Winterhold for some time, and returned to stay here at the inn."

Nelacar is an Altmer mage exiled from the College of Winterhold for "bad research." He resides within The Frozen Hearth inn.


The innkeeper Dagur and his wife, Haran, tolerate Nelacar and his experiments, in contrast to most of the citizens of Winterhold who generally distrust mages - most notably Jarl Korir, who frequently complains about Dagur letting mages stay at his inn and others from the college (such as Enthir and Arniel Gane) go to the inn at night to drink.

To keep his identity cloaked, he is referred to as "an elven mage who studies the stars." This nods to his involvement with Malyn Varen's unlawful research into Soul Gems and Azura's Star.


The Black Star[]

After finding the Shrine of Azura and speaking with Aranea Ienith, the sole priestess found there, the Dragonborn can either go to the Inn directly and ask Nelacar about his involvement with the artifact, or ask Faralda at the College of Winterhold if she has heard of the "elven mage who studies the stars." Slightly shocked that the Dragonborn came to this knowledge, she directs them to the The Frozen Hearth where an Altmer named Nelacar is encountered. Requiring a bit of persuasion, intimidation, or gold, Nelacar reveals that a Dunmer necromancer by the name of Malyn Varen stole Azura's Star from the Daedric Prince and retreated to Ilinalta's Deep, where he sought to achieve a measure of immortality by trapping his soul within the contraption.

Aftermath and rewards[]

After recovering the star, he can transform the Broken Azura's Star into The Black Star, an unlimited Black Soul Gem. From this point on, Nelacar becomes a spell tomes merchant. If the Dragonborn brings Azura’s Star to Aranea, however, Nelacar stops offering merchant services and instead berates them for serving Azura if spoken to.

Some Light Theft[]

Malur Seloth desires to keep up his appearance as a mage for the Jarl of Winterhold, and asks the Dragonborn to steal Nelacar's Staff of Arcane Authority.


"My days at the College are long behind me, but I prefer to stay close by."

You're with the College? "No. Gods no, not for years. I left Winterhold for some time, and returned to stay here at the inn."
Why would you live here at the inn? "I still have research that keeps me busy, and being here in Winterhold ensures I have access to former colleagues."
The Black Star

"Dagur and I have an understanding. He gives me privacy, and I make sure my experiments don't blow up his inn."

I'm looking for an elven mage who studies stars. "Who sent you? Was it the College? The Jarl? We agreed there would be no more questions."
A priestess of Azura sent me. (Persuade)
"Azura? Gods, it's all finally coming back to haunt me." (Success)
"You're working with the Daedra? Right. Now tell me the one about the Argonian Maid and the lusty baron." (Failure)
Look, I'm willing to pay. (Bribe)
"A few coins for my soul? If only you understood the irony." (Success)
"I don't think you understand. I'm not answering questions." (Failure)
I didn't agree to anything. Talk. (Intimidate)
"Just calm down. I'll tell you everything." (Success)
"Do you think muscling me is going to work? I'm a wizard. An old. Elven. Wizard. Think about it." (Failure)
"What do you know about soul gems?"
They're for enchanting, correct? "They are. Except the gem is always consumed. They're frail. Except for one."
Soul gems? Why are you asking? "That's what caused all the trouble. Soul gems are used in enchanting, but they break afterwards. Except one."
Don't change the subject. "Soul gems are the subject, friend. They're used in enchanting, then they break. Except one."
"Azura's Star. A Daedric artifact that allows any number of souls to pass through it. Some of us wanted to find out how. I was working under Malyn Varen, then. If only we knew what he was really planning."
What did Malyn do?
Get to the point.
"Malyn wanted to alter the Star. He was dying. Disease. He thought he could store his own soul inside. Become immortal. It drove him mad. Students started dying. Eventually, the College exiled him. He took a few loyal disciples to Ilinalta's Deep and vanished. Look, I don't care who asked you to find the Star, but don't take it back to Azura. The Daedra are evil. They're the reason Malyn went insane."
How does Azura's Star work? "I mentioned how the Star is a soul gem, only it never gets depleted? There's another rule the artifact follows. You can only store white souls in the Star, belonging to the lesser creatures. Azura's magic won't allow black souls to enter it. As a mortal, Malyn's soul was black, so part of his work was breaking past Azura's rules. He was close before... well, I already told you."
How did the daedra drive Malyn insane? "Azura is no ordinary Daedra. She commands an entire realm inside of Oblivion. The more Malyn worked on the Star, the more she was able to damn him. It started slowly at first. Malyn would see things that weren't there. Then he would yell at students over words they hadn't said. Then one day I walked in and Malyn had... killed a student, and in a horrific moment of inspiration, he started using her soul for his work."
It sounds like Malyn got what was coming to him. "The College would agree with you, but do you have any idea how many innocent lives were cut short, just so Azura could have revenge? We're nothing to the Daedra. Pawns to move around, praise, and punish as they see fit."
I misspoke. Forget I asked. "That's for the best."

Upon returning with the Broken Azura's Star:

"Stendarr's Mercy. You found it. Azura's Star. Maybe this is my chance to make things right. I can finish Malyn's work, the way we had meant to before his madness. It would mean cutting the Star off from Azura. Only black souls would be able to enter it once we finished."

Let's do it. "Give me a minute to examine the Star. I'll see what we need to do."
"These cracks and fissures aren't encouraging. Malyn must have been getting desperate after he left the College."
"He did it! He actually managed to trap his own soul inside, but its falling apart. It needs more and more souls to sustain itself."
"The Star is being used to sustain Malyn's soul. I can't fix it while that fragment of him is inside."
So we need to deal with Malyn somehow. "Precisely. But it's not as simple as enchanting Malyn away. He's put up barriers. Souls are only allowed in, not out. If we were to... somehow... send a soul inside the Star. One that was ready to overpower Malyn from the inside...."
I don't like where this is going. "I could soul trap you. Place you inside the Star. Then bring you back once Malyn has been dealt with."
You want to send my soul inside, don't you? "A special type of soul trap. Placing you inside the Star without fully killing you. Once Malyn has been dealt with, I'll bring you back."
"I understand if you need some time to prepare. Let me know when you're ready."
I'm ready to enter the Star. "Okay. Stand very still. This might sting. First, I'll need to grab hold of your soul. Now, take a deep breath."
What do I do once I'm inside? "Malyn's soul should be in the Star. Theoretically, purging him will be just like killing a ghost anywhere else. I'll have a magical tether to your soul while you're inside. Once you're done, it'll be as simple as pulling you back into your body."
What's to keep me from ending up like Malyn? "Malyn's soul is beyond hope because his body is dead. But I'll be keeping you just slightly alive on this end. But be careful. If you die inside the Star, your soul will be disrupted. There's nothing anyone can do for you if that happens."
Won't that kill him? "He's already dead. Worse, the enchantment keeping him intact requires black souls. I don't know how many people he must have killed. If we don't do something, the enchantment will eventually fade, and the Star will slip back into Oblivion. Azura will have the last laugh."
I'd like to think about it. "All right, but hurry. Who knows if Azura is watching us?"

Inside the Star:

"Malyn's enchantments are broken. Hold on. I'm going to pull your soul out of there. Brace yourself."

Upon returning:

"Easy there. The numbness will pass. Just don't strain yourself. We've done it. The Star has been cut off from Azura, and Malyn's soul finally has some measure of peace, even if it is in non-existence."

What do we do with it now? "Now? You could use it for what we meant it for. Using black souls for enchanting. The Black Star will never decay, but it can no longer hold the white souls of lesser creatures. You keep it."
If it's fixed, then it's mine. "Go ahead. Take it."
"I'd sooner finally put this chapter of my life behind me. Congratulations. You've changed the fate of a Daedric artifact and lived."



Nelacar: "I'm sorry, could you describe the smell?"
Dagur: "Like some horrible monster was turned inside out, and then exploded. What did you do?"
Nelacar: "It was a minor miscalculation. I've already corrected it for future experiments."
Dagur: "This, this is why people have a problem with your college, Nelacar."

Dagur: "Is everything well, Nelacar?"
Nelacar: "Oh yes, quite fine. My accommodations here continue to be just what I need."
Dagur: "And there haven't been any... problems?"
Nelacar: "Are you referring to your other customers? No, everything is quite all right. I expect a bit of animosity now and then."
Dagur: "I see. Well, let me know if things get out of hand."

Nelacar: "I say, you didn't hear any loud noises last night, did you? No, ahh... explosion sounds?"
Dagur: "No, I certainly didn't! Is there a reason you're asking me?"
Nelacar: "No, certainly not. A small experiment may have gone awry, but clearly with no discernable consequences."
Dagur: "I... see. And is this something I'll need to worry about in the future?"
Nelacar: "Oh, certainly I hope not! That would be quite unfortunate for my research."


  • "My days at the College are long behind me, but I prefer to stay close by."
  • "Dagur and I have an understanding. He gives me privacy, and I make sure my experiments don't blow up his inn."
  • "I don't deal with any College applicants these days, so don't bother asking." —Before the Dragonborn joins the College
  • "Greetings, Arch-Mage." —If the Dragonborn becomes Arch-Mage of the College
  • "Are you ready to give me the star?"
  • "Just glad that whole business with Malyn is over with. What do you need?" —After "The Black Star," and taking his path
  • "I don't like doing business with Azura's faithful. Make it quick." —After obtaining "Azura's Star"
  • "Absolutely no time to deal with lowlifes these days. Go away." —After obtaining "Azura's Star"
  • "I told you what you wanted to know. What else could you want?"


  • If a persuasion attempt on him failed during The Black Star, he will make a reference to the book The Lusty Argonian Maid.
  • When entering The Frozen Hearth for the first time, Nelacar will be in conversation with Dagur about one of Nelacar's failed experiments.
  • If the College's main questline is completed before talking to Nelacar, he will refer to the Dragonborn as "Arch-Mage" during their first conversation.
  • If Faralda is asked about him during the start of "The Black Star," she will call him a "poor thing," because he lives in the Inn.


This section contains bugs related to Nelacar (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   NX   Even if the Speech skill is boosted to over 100 (via jewelry and/or potions), the persuasion option will not work to convince Nelacar to talk about the Star. This is because of a bug where the game checks Nelacar's Speech skill rather than the player's. The gold and intimidation options are not affected.
  •  PC   360   Nelacar may already be a merchant before completing "The Black Star" in his favor, although he is only supposed to be a merchant after doing said quest for him.