Elder Knowledge

In Brief

  1. Learn the location of the Elder Scroll
  2. (Optional) Talk to Esbern or (Optional) Talk to Arngeir
  3. Recover the Elder Scroll


After starting this quest, ask either Arngeir or Esbern about where one might locate an Elder Scroll. Both will point you in the same direction: the College of Winterhold. If you have not yet joined the college, you can get past Faralda by saying you’re the Dragonborn, and demonstrate a shout for her.

Once inside the college, talk to the librarian, Urag gro-Shub, who will tell you about a man who knows much of the Elder Scrolls. Travel north to find Septimus Signus, at his outpost. He will tell you to visit a Dwemer ruin to find the scroll, and gives you an attunement sphere and a lexicon, which will act as keys in the rest of the quest. This also starts the quest Discerning the Transmundane, the Daedric quest for Hermaeus Mora.

This mission features a very large Dwemer ruin by the name of Alftand which acts as a gateway to Blackreach, a tremendous underground cavern. There are many auxiliary objectives to be found in Blackreach, meaning that this quest can be quite a lengthy one. Both Alftand and Blackreach contain Steam Centurions and Falmer, both of which are capable of making this quest nigh-impossible if preparations are not made.

The easiest way to attack this lengthy quest is to prepare yourself for multiple battles, some of which can be difficult. First, you must make your way through Alftand. It is a large dungeon with a lot of fighting, but it is fairly self-explanatory. Follow your quest arrow, and you will easily make it through assuming you’ve brought the necessary equipment for battle. Eventually, you will reach a door, which you will walk out of, and encounter several Falmers. Kill the Falmers, and on each side of you will be two staircases. Walk up the staircase, and there will be a lever. Pull the lever, and you’ll see a gate open.

Walk through the gate, and to the left is a Centurion, a dwarven machine battle soldier. If you want to fight him, do not attempt to run away. If you run away, or even stand/attack from a distance, he will use an extremely strong spell doing constant damage, which will kill you in seconds, regardless of your level. You must attack him from close up. An easy strategy is to keep trying to get behind him, due to his extremely slow attack speed. After you kill him, continue up more stairs where you will encounter two people which will attack you. It is possible to have these two people attack each other and the centurion. They will finish of the centurion together, then kill each other, and you kill the remaining one. There will be a mysterious table, which will reveal a staircase upon activation (which requires one of the items given to you by the crazy man) . If you walk down the stairs, and enter the door, you can avoid fighting these two people.

Finally, you will be in Blackreach, a vast underground cavern. Blackreach is a very difficult place to get through if you’re a low level. There is a great deal of Falmer and Dwemer robotics. The game will give you a quest marker, which looks like it’s telling you to visit a mountain range, but Blackreach is VERY LARGE. The marker is IN Blackreach. You will have to trudge your way through, which may take a while. Avoid buildings, as they seem to have concentrations of enemies.

When you reach the marker, you will find a building to go inside, which seems to be some type of observatory. Look around the big Dwemer containment structure, to find a little podium with buttons. The order seems to be different for everyone, but it seems to work to do this: Press the third button from the left repeatedly until the second button lights up. Then do the same with the second button until the first lights up. Press the first, and the Elder Scroll will be revealed. All that’s left to do now is use the elevator-like structure to get out of Blackreach.

With the Elder Scroll in hand, return to Paarthurnax at the Throat of the World to begin the next quest.