The Lost Expedition is a quest to restore the ancient power of, the city of Nchuand-Zel and discover what happened to the missing expedition party that went exploring within the abandoned city. The quest is obtained by reading Alethius's Notes next to his dead body in the Nchuand-Zel Excavation Site. The easiest way to start this quest is to read the note right after killing the Frostbite Spider Nimhe during Calcelmo's miscellaneous quest to eliminate Nimhe and during Thieves Guild quest Hard Answers. Also, Calcelmo will ask the player to kill the spider if asked to see the ruins. The note is found right up the stairs from where you fight Nimhe.
- Recover Stromm's Diary
- Recover Erj's Notes
- Recover Krag's Journal
- Recover Staubin's Diary
- Re-activate Nchuand-Zel's automated defenses
- Find someone who knows about the expedition
After obtaining the quest, cut through the spider web and enter Nchuand-Zel. Follow the quest marker to the Nchuand-Zel Quarters, while watching out for pressure plates and Falmer. Go down the first set of stairs and follow the path until reaching the dead body of Stromm by a tree. After reading Stromm's Journal the Dragonborn is now tasked with finding three other journals.
Return to the Nchuand-Zel. From here go to the bottom level and swim to the door across the water to enter the Nchuand-Zel Armory. (When crossing the main hall whirlwind sprint could be used as a shortcut to get to the door of the armory) Once inside follow the path to the left not up the stairs. After passing a locked gate the Dragonborn will find Erj's dead body and his journal. After reading his journal continue following the path and quest marker until reaching a door and exit back out to the Nchuand-Zel.
After exiting, straight ahead will be Krag's dead body and his journal. To the left, on a bench, is the Alteration skill book, Sithis. After reading his journal follow the path up and enter the door to Nchuand-Zel Control. Follow the path and eventually finding Staubin's dead body and journal.
The Dragonborn is now tasked with re-activating Nchuand-Zel's automated defenses which is done by activating the lever at the end of the path (activating this will start a war between the Falmer and the defenses). After re-activating the defenses go to the exit and back to Understone Keep.
The easiest way to do this is to NOT follow the quest marker, because it will lead the Dragonborn around the dungeon again. When the Dragonborn enters the great hall, the Falmer will begin fighting with the defenses. Go left, up the pathway near the mountainside and turn left again, and procede to the entrance of the Nchuand-Zel Excavation Site. (For further information check your map)
Speak to Calcelmo who is on the left after the bridge. This completes the quest.
Aside from a large number of dwarven metal pieces that can be smelted to get Dwarven Metal Ingots and other loot along the way, Calcemo will give a leveled amount of gold for completing this quest.
This section contains bugs related to The Lost Expedition. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- It is possible to skip through most of the quest if the Dragonborn has a Do Not Delete Box. When the Dragonborn reaches the first bridge, look right and find a walkway leading down. Jump and place the Do Not Delete Box below the Dragonborn and jump on it to get onto the walkway, which puts the Dragonborn at the Control Room.
- If any journal is collected before Stromm's journal is obtained, the prompt for getting those journals will not appear. But the quest can still be completed.
- If the Dragonborn opens any journal, it will add one copy to his/her inventory. If the Dragonborn reopens it, it will add one more and so on.
- When the Dragonborn loots one of the expedition members' bodies, a copy of their journal will automatically open and be placed into the Dragonborn's inventory. Taking the copy from their body gives a second copy.
- If a journal that the Dragonborn already has in the inventory does not complete the objective, drop it and pick it up again to complete that objective.
- After the defenses have been activated, some of the Falmer may become mini versions of themselves, albeit still deadly (Confirmed PS3 and 360, Version 1.5).
- If Alethius' journal is picked up without starting the quest until later, the web wall will become impassible without loading a save game prior to reading Alethius's journal.
- If a sword does not get through the web wall then try a bow instead. One arrow will open the wall. Destruction magic will also work.
- If the Dragonborn ran past the Dwarven Centurion on the bridge it will just stand there. This makes it very easy to exploit it for sneak and archery leveling by shooting it from a different bridge.
- After activating the lever bringing all the Dwemer Machines to life, the quest marker may lead back to the armory instead of the Understone Keep. It will keep pointing to go from the main room to the armory to go find someone. Just ignore it and go back to Understone Keep.
- When returning, running back past the spider Nimhe through the tunnel can sink you under the map. Fixes itself.
- If a follower is present when leaving Nchuand-Zel and are exiting the ruins by the ramp along the mountainside, the follower may not take the shortcut.
- When the quest is finished, the items stored next to Calcelmo are no longer named with "stealing", but taking them still gives a bounty. So be aware!