Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For other uses, see The White Phial.
"Curalmil was a crafty one, even in death. You would need the skills of a master alchemist to reach his resting place. Luckily for you, I've already made the mixture."

The White Phial is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Nurelion, a dying Altmer alchemist, is the owner of The White Phial, the Windhelm apothecary shop that bears the name of a magical phial that he has spent much of his life in search of.


The alchemist of Windhelm, Nurelion, has asked me to find the legendary White Phial for him.


  1. Retrieve the White Phial
  2. Bring the Phial to Nurelion
  3. Speak to Quintus Navale


Nurelion explains to the Dragonborn that the White Phial is a magical vessel made from Unmelting Snow gathered at the Throat of the World and that it purifies, amplifies and refills any liquid placed within it; the ultimate embodiment of Alchemy itself.

He has finally discovered its location but is too old and sickly to retrieve it on his own. Consequently, he seeks the aid of the Dragonborn in his quest to recover it.

Upon accepting the quest from Nurelion, he will produce Nurelion's Mixture to help gain access to the phial. It is learned that the Forsaken Cave is the final resting place of his coveted phial and that the cave is located west of Windhelm.

Forsaken Cave[]

The ancient bowl after Nurelion's mixture is poured.

The Dragonborn will encounter snow bears, ice wraiths, or frost trolls upon entering the cave, and draugr as they progress deeper into it. The corridors lead into a small chamber guarded by several draugr. Two of the draugr stand in alcoves on the wall, and can be killed before they wake up. An adept locked door to the left of the entrance contains basic loot.

The path continues to the north-west, passing through a room guarded by two leveled draugr, and ends at the door to the Forsaken Crypt. On the shelves beside the door are several helpful potions.

Forsaken Crypt[]

The Dragonborn enters into a room patrolled by a single draugr, then follows the path east to a bridge leading over the first room that they had entered. On the other side of the bridge is a draugr and a chest. A room to the north is guarded by two draugr, and then a circular section in the middle of the floor will attempt to crush the Dragonborn against spikes on the ceiling when first stepped onto – this occurs even if the Light Foot perk has been purchased. An expert locked door to the left of the entrance leads to a chest containing basic loot, before the path continues southwards to a covered walkway. Two draugr wait on the other side of the walkway, and a further two wait in alcoves around the corner.

Proceeding through the iron door, the Dragonborn passes through a hallway with two swinging axes into Curalmil's burial chamber. Upon entering the room, Curalmil emerges from his sarcophagus, accompanied by several draugr guards. A platform behind the sarcophagus contains a chest and a Word Wall for the Marked for Death shout. A passageway beneath the Word Wall leads to a room containing a basin that can be activated and filled with Nurelion's Mixture. This opens a hidden door into the chamber containing the White Phial. There are also many alchemical ingredients, several potions, and the skill book A Game at Dinner.

A door in the south corner of Curalmil's burial chamber leads back to the Forsaken Cave. A lever on the wall opens a hidden door, and the Dragonborn emerges into the room where they had first encountered the bears or frost trolls.

Returning with the Phial[]

Upon returning to his shop in Windhelm, Nurelion has become even sicker than before. Upon inspecting the phial, he is livid that the phial is cracked and vociferates at having sent such a clumsy adventurer to retrieve his life's ambition. With his lifetime dream broken, he is crushed and only manages to reward the Dovahkiin with 5 Gold.

Nurelion's apprentice, Quintus Navale, may optionally be spoken to, as he is much more sympathetic to the Dragonborn's ordeal, he explains that Nurelion is not well and parts with a more reasonable reward of 500 Gold.


After completing the quest "The Throat of the World" (or if it is completed already), Quintus sends a letter by courier regarding the White Phial. After reading the letter, the follow up quest will begin: "Repairing the Phial".


The White Phial – MS12
ID Journal Entry
10 The alchemist of Windhelm, Nurelion, has asked me to find the legendary White Phial for him.
  • Objective 10: Retrieve the White Phial
  • Objective 20: Bring the Phial to Nurelion
  • Objective 21: Speak to Quintus
100 I retrieved the White Phial for Nurelion, but it was damaged beyond repair. His assistant, Quintus, still paid me my reward, though.
  • Quest complete


This section contains bugs related to The White Phial (Quest). 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.
  •  PC   If a Thieves Guild dynamic quest specifies The White Phial as a quest target and the Dragonborn trespasses into the shop in the night, the scripted conversation between Nurelion and Quintus Navale about finding The White Phial will be interrupted. They will both then say "You're not supposed to be here." repeatedly, even if one returns during the day. This will prevent the Dragonborn from starting the quest and buying anything from the shop.
    •  PC (Fix)   This problem can be fixed by teleporting Nurelion to the Dragonborn - open the console, click on Nurelion, walk outside, open the console again and type in moveto player. This will allow the Dragonborn to talk to both Nurelion and Quintus Navale properly again.
  •  PC   360   PS3   The Phial can disappear if the dungeon is left without taking it.
  • At the completion of the quest, even when "asleep and dying" on his bed, Nurelion continues his standard dialogue about not liking loiterers and those who gawk at his goods.
    • It is possible to receive double the amount that Quintus gives as a reward. Often when the initial dialogue with Nurelion is finished too quickly (without exiting during the middle of the dialogue), he will repeat the same dialogue if the second dialogue is not exited, which would result in a duplication of the 500 Gold reward.
    • While gathering the ingredients for the next part of the quest, after looting the heart off the body, even though it is in inventory, the quest may still say that the heart has yet to be obtained off of the man. This makes it impossible to complete the quest.