Getting the Elder Scroll | Elder Knowledge

This section of the TES V: Skyrim guide covers the first part of the Elder Knowledge main quest walkthrough, which involves obtaining the Elder Scroll. To do this, you must explore the Alftand ruins, which are inhabited by many dangerous monsters that must be defeated before you can proceed.

New main objective: Recover the Elder Scroll

New main objective: Transcribe the Lexicon

Leave Septimus Signus’s Outpost and consult the world map to find Alftand, which you may have already discovered. If fast travel is not available, start from Winterhold and follow the main path south before turning west at the first opportunity. Be cautious throughout the journey, as Horkers and Ice Wolves may attack you. You will see the ruins from a distance (as shown in the screenshot above), making it easier to plan your approach.

Upon reaching the ruins, you can explore the ruined buildings if you wish, although this is optional. Your objective is to navigate through narrow and dangerous passages and cross precarious bridges to reach the entrance to the Alftand Glacial Ruins (as shown in the screenshot above). Save your progress and continue onwards. During the initial exploration phase, you will primarily walk through linear corridors and should not get lost. Ignore J’darr’s voice, as you will encounter him in a few minutes.

Be vigilant and look out for Dwarven Spiders, as they often carry soul gems. You will encounter the first Dwarven Spider Worker soon (as shown in the screenshot above), and it should not pose much of a threat. Note that Spiders can attack from both close and long range. Keep exploring the ruins and prepare to defeat two more spiders.

Upon reaching the northern part of the ruins, J’darr will become hostile towards you. After dealing with him, continue your exploration. You will soon encounter a stronger enemy in the form of a Dwarven Sphere (as shown in the screenshot above). This machine can deal significant damage, so be careful if your character has low defense. If you attempt close combat, avoid the Sphere’s stronger attacks. It is advisable to draw the machine’s attention to a party member to plan your attack better. Remember to search its remains, as they may contain more valuable treasure than the Spiders.

If you wish, you can spend some time jumping between the moving machine parts to reach the upper ledge, which contains a chest with valuable treasures. Alternatively, take the northern passage (as shown in the screenshot above). Be prepared to destroy more Dwarven Spider Workers. Along the way, you will notice a small room to the north with a locked gate. If possible, pick the lock, as there are valuable artifacts inside.

Whether or not you explored the northern room, the gate in the west must be opened in order to continue exploring the ruins. Two new Dwarven Spiders will be patrolling the area, so be prepared to attack them. You can hack into the locked western room, but I suggest doing so only if you don’t mind fighting another Dwarven Sphere (as shown in the screenshot above).

Go south and defeat a Dwarven Spider on your way, then head east. Be aware that you are now above the previously visited room and must watch out for the machinery (as shown in the screenshot above), as you may be pushed down and have to go through the same location again. Eliminate two more Dwarven Spiders and reach the gate that leads to the Alftand Animonculory.

Go east and explore all the nooks and recesses, searching for valuable items and chests that can be picklocked. Open the big gate and prepare for a difficult battle. You will be attacked by another Dwarven Sphere (as shown in the screenshot above), so take any precautions necessary. However, that’s not the only problem, as Dwarven Spiders will also appear soon enough. After getting rid of all of them, explore the area and go up the stairs to the upper level.

Continue going east and approach the upward ramp (as shown in the screenshot above) carefully, as touching any of the three pressure plates will activate a hard-to-avoid trap. Deal with the next Dwarven Spider and use the lever, which will allow you to enter the large, multilevel room. You can also explore the western corridor (Dwarven Spider and a chest with precious treasures), or choose the path leading to the lower level.

After reaching the lower level and dealing with a Dwarven Spider, you will need to make a decision. If you want to collect all the treasures from the ruins, try to open the eastern gate. Eliminate the Spider and check one of the corners, picking another lock. Inside the new room, you should find a few chests with precious artifacts and The Locked Room, which will boost your Lockpicking skill. If you want to focus on the mission or have already explored the room, stand by the edge (as shown in the screenshot above) and jump down onto the lower balcony.

Destroy the Dwarven Spider and head along the ramp to the lower level. On your way to the next location, you will encounter the monsters known as Falmers (as shown in the screenshot above) for the first time. Be very careful, as they are far more resistant than most humanoids that you have encountered until now. Falmers can represent one of three professions (warrior, mage, and archer), so you will have to modify your tactics depending on which type you come across. Don’t forget to check their bodies afterwards, as you can find precious items in most cases. Also note that there is an easy way of eliminating the Falmers in this location, using the Unrelenting Force to knock them back, causing them to die from falling down. Just be sure not to use it on a member of your own party.

Climb to the top, but watch out for triggering a dangerous trap by touching any lines on your way. Your goal is to reach the corridor with a fire trap (shown in the screenshot above). Wait for the trap to turn off and either use Whirlwind Sprint or run quickly to avoid getting damaged. Then, you need to go through several rooms and defeat groups of Falmers. Use Shouts and attack the monsters one by one. Keep an eye on your party member as they can die easily. The second room also has flames, but you can ignore them by going back to the previous corridor.

Take the southwest corridor and prepare to face more Falmers. Eliminate the Falmer Skulker (shown in the screenshot above) as quickly as possible because they can use magic and deal more damage than the others. Ignore the lever and head southeast to reach another large gate.

Once again, use the ramp to head to the lower levels. Besides Falmers, you’ll also encounter a Frostbite Spider, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to defeat. After getting down, head to the northeast gate. Don’t rush to the exit because there’s yet another trap here (shown in the screenshot above). Disarm or avoid it before heading to the passage leading to the Alftand Cathedral.

Go east and navigate through another set of pressure plates. You’ll also have to defeat a couple more Falmers, with at least one of them capable of using magic. After entering the larger room, defeat the monsters and use the stairs to reach the upper balcony. Interact with the lever (shown in the screenshot above) to open the passage in the distance.

Go down and use the new passage, heading southwest. Check the contents of the chests as they contain precious treasures. Then, go up the stairs and prepare to battle a Dwarven Centurion (shown in the screenshot above), which serves as a mini-boss. If you prefer direct combat, make sure to regenerate your health and stamina throughout the battle. If you have a shield, use it often.

If your character uses ranged attacks, you can use a trick. Return to the lever on the upper balcony that you used recently. Make sure your party member is out of the way, then pull the lever. This way, the Centurion won’t be able to get to you (as shown in the screenshot above). The boss can still attack you with range attacks, but they’re easier to avoid. Regardless of your chosen tactic, examine the Centurion’s remains after the battle to find the Key to Alftand Lift. Also, note that there’s a second Centurion lying beside it that you should examine as well. After reaching another room, you’ll witness a fight between Sulla Trebatius and Umana (shown in the screenshot above). As both characters are powerful, wait for one of them to die before entering. Otherwise, they’ll unite against you, making it hard to survive. Examine their bodies to find multiple items, especially useful for the warrior class.

To get to Blackreach, use the Attunement Sphere received from Septimus Signus on the dwarven mechanism’s console. Once there, it’s a good idea to head towards the large ballista southwest of the starting point and try to eliminate the Dwarven Sphere in the distance. While exploring Blackreach, be careful of enemies, such as Falmers and Frostbite Spiders, and avoid approaching stronger ones like Giants. To get to the Tower of Mzark, head towards the very tall tower in the west and use the lever to open the door. In the Tower, put the Blank Lexicon received from Septimus Signus onto the Lexicon Receptacle and solve the puzzle to unveil the Elder Scroll and transcribe it onto the lexicon. Don’t forget to pick up the “charged” Lexicon before taking the Elder Scroll.


1. What is the Elder Scroll and why is it important in the game?

The Elder Scroll is a powerful artifact in the game that allows the user to see into the past, present, and future. It is important because it is needed to complete the main questline of Skyrim and is also involved in several other quests throughout the game.

2. How do I obtain the Elder Scroll?

To obtain the Elder Scroll, you must complete the quest “Elder Knowledge.” This quest is given to you by Paarthurnax after completing the quest “Alduin’s Bane.” You must travel to the Dwemer ruins of Blackreach and locate the Tower of Mzark. Inside the tower, you will find a lexicon that must be used in conjunction with the dwarven mechanism to gain access to the Elder Scroll.

3. Can I obtain the Elder Scroll without completing the quest “Elder Knowledge”?

No, the Elder Scroll can only be obtained through the completion of the “Elder Knowledge” quest. It is a crucial step in the main questline and cannot be bypassed.

4. What can I do with the Elder Scroll once I have obtained it?

Once you have obtained the Elder Scroll, you must bring it to the Time-Wound on the Throat of the World to learn the Dragonrend shout. After that, the Elder Scroll can be used to gain insight into the events of the past, present, and future.

5. Is the Elder Scroll a one-time use item?

No, the Elder Scroll can be used multiple times. However, it is important to note that each use will cause the player to temporarily go blind due to the overwhelming power of the artifact.

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