Skyrim:The Staff of Magnus

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SR-qico-College of Winterhold.png Retrieve the Staff of Magnus.
Quest Giver: Mirabelle Ervine
Location(s): Labyrinthian
Prerequisite Quest: Containment
Next Quest: The Eye of Magnus
Reward: Staff of Magnus, Morokei
ID: MG07
Suggested Level: 24
Morokei enclosed in an energy shield, wielding the Staff of Magnus

[edit] Quick Walkthrough

  1. Travel to Labyrinthian.
  2. Kill the dragon priest Morokei.
  3. Retrieve the Staff of Magnus.

[edit] Detailed Walkthrough

[edit] Enter Labyrinthian

A ghostly image of Savos and his companions

As the Containment quest comes to an end, you will be given the Torc of Labyrinthian, and Labyrinthian will be marked on your map.

Labyrinthian sits astride a pass through the mountains southeast of Morthal. It can be approached from the north or south end of the pass.

Bring the Torc with you as it is required to enter the Labyrinthian indoor ruins. Approach the Ceremonial Door and a ghostly after-image of a younger Savos Aren and five companions, Atmah, Girduin, Takes-In-Light, Hafnar Ice-Fist and Elvali Veren, will appear. Apparently, the late Arch-Mage had explored the ruins before; the apparition will replay certain dialogue and events as you progress through the ruins, although the number of companions diminishes until Savos is left as the lone survivor of the group, forcing Atmah and Hafnar Ice-Fist, the only surviving mages, to stay behind and seal Morokei, a Dragon Priest away so he could escape.

Note that as you travel through the Labyrinthian ruins, you will hear Morokei's voice in certain locations. Each time this happens, a large portion of your magicka will be drained away.

The common path through the ruins detailed in the rest of the walk-through leads to an exit hatch located on top of a stone platform, directly southeast from where you arrive when fast-traveling to Labyrinthian, in line with the circular barrow. This hatch can be reached and entered, allowing you access to a door that is "barred from the other side". However, if you want to get to this place after you've cleared the dungeon for access into the final rooms, you can do so as follows: From the barrow, follow the path with stairs southeast, past the pillar. The platform is on the right, between the broken stone arch and the stone archway. Proceed through the archway and perform some creative jumps to your right to get on top of that stone archway. The hatch will be visible.

[edit] Labyrinthian (Indoors)

The Labyrinthian indoor ruins are fairly straightforward and guarded by a number of undead. The entrance room is littered with skeleton corpses; at the opposite end of the room, on your right, you will find a Spell Tome on an altar. Proceed through a passage leading to a closed gate opening on a wide room. Levers on each side of the gate can be used to raise it, but it will fall down after a few seconds. A number of skeletons await beyond the gate, as well as a Skeletal Dragon.

Arrows cannot be shot through the closed gate, but some spells and dragon shouts (e.g., Frostbite and Fire Breath, but not Fireball or Lightning Chain) can. It is also possible to raise the gate and shoot through the open entrance without entering. You can thus eliminate the skeletons and even the dragon before going into the room. In addition, the dragon doesn't seem to be able to fit through the gate, so if you have entered, you can retreat back through it to take cover.

[edit] Labyrinthian Chasm

As you enter this zone, at the top of the stairs, on your right (west), you can find a chest hidden in the corner of an alcove. At the bottom of the stairs you will enter a room with a blue-glowing ice crystal on your right. A leveled draugr stands on a pedestal in the room.

Approaching the crystal will trigger Morokei's voice (which drains your magicka), and spawns a Frost Spirit. After the fight, cast a Flames spell on the ice crystal to reveal a doorway behind it. A Spell Tome: Flames rests on a podium nearby.

Enter the chasm beyond, where you will hear Morokei's voice again and you will face a couple of draugr, likely including a medium-level draugr who may conjure frost atronachs. After descending the first level, you can enter a side passage leading down to a small room guarded by a draugr boss and another leveled draugr. You'll find a boss chest there, an arcane enchanter, an alchemy lab, and a Spell Tome: Equilibrium.

Return to the chasm and descend another level. Here, the passageway will fork, with a bridge in front of you and a side passage continuing deeper into the chasm. You will hear Morokei's voice once again, this time in intelligible language, and a draugr patrolling the side passage may detect your presence.

Both directions (across the bridge and down the side of the chasm) lead to the bottom of the chasm. The bridge leads to a room where you will find two leveled draugr, including a draugr boss, a few spare potions and some ingredients. Beyond, the cave leads to the river running at the bottom of the chasm (a small passage on your right as you descend will lead to an Argonian corpse and the draugr boss's chest). A door by the river at the bottom of the chasm leads to the next section of the ruins. Approaching the door will trigger another message from Morokei.

[edit] Labyrinthian Thoroughfare

Follow along the stream and open a gate. This leads to a room haunted by a skeleton and a draugr. Once you eliminate them, you can either open a novice locked gate to the west, or take a passage to the north. A bucket on the right on the other side of the gate contains a gold ore. If you open the gate, take a few steps downstream and turn right. Travel through the small room and proceed onward. If you take the passage to the north, you will arrive at the same place after meeting a skeleton and passing some water containing four Malachite Ore samples.

As you enter the next room, Morokei speaks to you once again. The room is otherwise empty, and leads to a larger room where you will find a few scattered skeleton corpses and a troll. Three grated openings provide a view upon a large, multi-leveled cavern. The entrance to this cavern is located to the right of these windows. Upon descending this passage, you will hear from Morokei again, and at this time he will recognize that you're not Savos Aren. You will see a bridge below you, providing an entrance deeper into the cave to the west.

You will battle two skeletons as you descend into the cavern. At least one of them will be on top of a second bridge over a gated door, and one of these will likely direct Ice Missile frost attacks at you. It is possible that one or two of the skeletons will not come down to your location at this point.

If you cross the bridge to the left of the last flight of stairs before the lever-controlled gate, there is a small room with two trolls, a chest and a burial urn.

To the north is situated a lever-controlled gate. When you approach it, Morokei will again speak to you and deplete your magicka. Wait for it to regenerate if you wish before opening the gate, beyond which you will find a swarm of wisps and a wispmother. Kill the wispmother as quickly as possible, as she will summon shades (clones). As you approach the gate, Morokei will speak once more.

If you double back before the wisps, there is a short set of stairs with a potion and a chest at the top.

Past the wispmother, you will find an area filled with short stone pillars. Beyond, a sealed door with a fire burning in front of it awaits. As you approach, you will hear Morokei's voice one more time, and a Fire Spirit will spawn and attack. Once the spirit is dead, you can cast a frost spell on the door to open it. If you have not learned this spell yet, you can use the Spell Tome: Frostbite or the ice-based scrolls found to the left of the door.

And then there were three...

Beyond this door you will find a short passage and a gate leading into a circular room. As you enter, another vision of young Savos Aren and his companions will appear.

The next room is guarded by a skeleton, a Spectral Warhound and a ghostly draugr wight. Be careful as you approach them because Morokei will speak to you one more time, draining your magicka. The room where the ghosts are found has a trap door in the floor and passage to the right of the entrance, both leading to the similar room just below this. If you jump into the trap door and do not land on the log to break your fall or otherwise protect yourself, the fall is likely to kill you. There is also passage to the right of the entrance, guarded by several ghostly Draugr Wight. At the bottom room, you will end up in the middle of a pair of ghostly draugr wights. One of these will be a boss, capable of using a shout against you, and they both may be carrying enchanted weapons. Finally, you will find a door leading to the next zone, Labyrinthian, Tribune.

[edit] Labyrinthian, Tribune

Proceeding a short distance past the door, you will encounter two ghostly draugr wights, one of them a boss, and a Spectral Warhound. Around the next corner you will find a Spell Tome: Steadfast Ward on a podium and then enter a corridor with a few spellcaster traps that will unleash powerful destruction spells at you. There is a frost rune on the floor midway down, and a Ghost Warhound or other guardian may await at the other end.

The passage leads to a ledge on a cave with a pool. From here you can climb up to a room with some additional loot, up the stairs on the far wall near the chest is a malachite ore inside a basket, and a couple of ghostly draugr. Underwater, at the bottom of the pool another two malachite ore can be found, as well as a gold ore. Go back to the ledge and down into the cave and face another ghostly draugr.

At the bottom of the stairs leading out of this cave you will find a skeleton shackled to a wall with a leveled dagger in its chest. To the left, an adept-level locked gate leads to a few valuable items and the unique item Ancient Helmet of the Unburned. To the right, more steps lead to an iron door, in front of which, your magicka will be drained.

Beyond the door, a high-leveled draugr (capable of using the Disarm dragon shout), sits on a throne facing away from you, attended by a Spectral Warhound companion. Once the fight is over, you can approach the word wall to the southeast of the throne to learn a word of the Slow Time shout.

After the throne room, you will enter a corridor with a series of columns on each side. Progress with care, as you will trigger another magicka-draining effect, and activate a group of skeletons and ghostly draugr (one of which may be able to conjure a frost atronach).

At the opposite end of the corridor, the ghostly Savos and a diminished band of his companions lament that all of their number have not made it this far. One of them mentions a feeling that the final trial lies beyond the next door, and they vow to stick together and move forward. Open the iron door to the south.

[edit] Fighting Morokei

Two enthralled wizards holding Morokei with magic

As you enter the large room, Morokei is completely protected by an energy shield cast by two enthralled wizards. Later events (an after-image from Savos' expedition) explain they are two of Savos' companions who sacrificed their lives to keep the Dragon Priest in check. You need to attack them to interrupt their casting and initiate the fight with Morokei himself. A variety of strategies and techniques can be used to win this encounter; here are the most common suggestions and tips:

  • Against the Enthralled Wizards:
    • Drainspell Bows (from the ghostly Draugr encountered in Labyrinthian) have been proven to be effective against the mages protecting Morokei;
    • The mages can be targeted from the corridor leading to the room, allowing you to replenish your resources before engaging Morokei;
    • The mage on the higher platform commands a vantage point within the cave; you may want to take his place;
    • It is also possible to climb the wall immediately to the left and approach from above. You can sneak attack both wizards and have a good vantage point to attack Morokei. With a high enough Sneak skill, it'll take some time noticing you and you can even manage to kill him before he attacks;
  • Against Morokei:
    • Morokei can conjure a storm atronach, although it seems he will not summon the atronach again once you kill it;
    • Morokei can Command Daedra, turning your own summoned atronachs against you;
    • Although Morokei can turn your atronachs against you, it appears he cannot do the same with familiars.[verification needed — see talk page]
    • Morokei seems to prefer ranged and magical attacks, avoiding fighting at close quarters;
    • The platforms around the walls of the room provide defensible positions that should provide you with an edge in the fight;
    • It appears that if you can back him into the small pool in the room, he cannot get out of the water trapping him, but he can still fight back.
    • You can use the doorway to the room where Morokei is found as cover by engaging him multiple times from a distance and then closing the door: If Morokei is far enough away from the door when you attack him he will stop searching for you before he reaches the door. This allows you to kill him without him ever engaging you.
    • Standing on the upper platform and using the Staff of Jyrik Gauldurson (obtained during Under Saarthal) This allows continuous damage physical and magical even while Morokei is draining magicka.

Once the Dragon Priest has been defeated, collect both Morokei's Mask and the Staff of Magnus. Your next objective will be to return to Tolfdir.

[edit] Return to Tolfdir

Proceed through the door toward a shortcut out of Labyrinthian. Savos will again manifest in an apparition, leaving the room alone while apologizing for sacrificing his companions to keep the Dragon Priest imprisoned, and swearing to seal the ruin. Unbar and open the wooden door.

As you open a gate to the next room, Estormo, a Thalmor mage and associate of Ancano, will enter the room from the other side and block your path. He'll tell you that he will take the staff from you because Ancano wants it kept safe, and you dead. He will prepare to cast a shock spell at you.

You can either proceed to defeat Estormo or yield to him, preventing combat altogether. You can now leave Labyrinthian by continuing onward, then climbing some stairs to the right.

The College will have disappeared from your map. The nearest destination to which you can fast travel is Winterhold. Once you arrive there, enter the gate to the College. You will find Tolfdir, along with Faralda and Arniel Gane battling Magic Anomalies.

Once the anomalies are gone, speak to Tolfdir. He will indicate that Ancano is still causing problems and that they cannot stop him. If you ask about Mirabelle, Tolfdir will tell you that she is dead. When Tolfdir asks you to lead the group in to take care of Ancano, the quest will complete and The Eye of Magnus will initiate.

[edit] Notes

  • The magicka drain associated with Morokei's voice is scripted and always drains all your magicka, even if you used the Fortify Restoration exploit to create game-breaking Fortify Magicka items. It is completely unaffected by Resist Magic or Spell Absorption effects from potions or apparel.
  • Some of the optional quests cannot be completed while this quest is active. Characters in College of Winterhold may also become inactive.
  • Both of the enthralled wizards in Labyrinthian Tribune are male, despite the fact that there was a female wizard remaining at the end of Savos Aren's endeavor.
  • See this page for the Morokei's transcript throughout the quest.
  • It is possible to sneak into the room with the Skeletal Dragon (assuming your sneak skill is high enough) and to pick off everyone of the skeletons before you battle the skeletal dragon.
  • It is possible to kill both the enthralled wizards and Morokei without ever engaging combat. If one has a bow level of at least 60, archery perks, high-damage arrows (preferably Ebony), and is sneaking just inside the doorway of Morokei's room. This will level up both your sneak and archery skill sets without ever having to battle difficult atronachs or Morokei himself.

[edit] Bugs

  • After killing the skeletal dragon, it will sometimes reanimate. The cause is unknown but it may have to do with using powers such as Nightingale Subterfuge on it before engaging in battle.
  • It is possible to receive two copies of the Staff of Magnus; the cause for this is unknown and presumed to be a scripting error.
  • Sometimes, the after-images of Savos and his companions will not engage in their intended dialogue, and stand still instead.
  • Estormo will become friendly again if you cause him to flee.
  • Estormo may fail to arrive after you obtain the Staff of Magnus. ?
  • Morokei may not attack at all, simply floating towards you and not doing anything.
    • Pc22.png Use the prid 00086CF4 then kill console commands to kill Morokei; the quest will advance directly to "Find the staff of Magnus".
  • It is possible to bypass the part of the quest where you fight Estormo by backtracking through the dungeon instead of using the shorter exit path. The quest will progress normally after this is done.
  • If you are a vampire and it is daytime, you will take sun damage while inside the Labyrinthian, even if you are indoors. ?

[edit] Quest Stages

The Staff of Magnus (MG07)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I need to retrieve the Staff of Magnus from within Labyrinthian and return with it to the College of Winterhold. Only the staff will help me put an end to Ancano's abuse of the Eye of Magnus.
Objective 10: Enter Labyrinthian
Objective 20: Find the Staff of Magnus
50 I have recovered the Staff of Magnus, and need to get it back to the College at once.
Objective 80: Return to Tolfdir
Objective 80: Return to Tolfdir
200 Finishes quest I have recovered the Staff of Magnus.
Objective 30: Defeat the Dragon Priest
Objective 40: Retrieve the Staff of Magnus
Objective 50: Exit Labrynthian
Objective 60: Escape the Thalmor
Objective 70: Find a way out of Labrynthian
  • The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table: 0, 30, 40, 60, 70.

Prev: Containment Up: College of Winterhold Next: The Eye of Magnus

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