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Under Saarthal (Skyrim walkthrough)

Updated on April 9, 2013

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Under Saarthal (Skyrim walkthrough).

To start the Under Saarthal skyrim mission you first have to complete the First Lessons skyrim quest. Tolfdir states during the first College of Winterhold mission 'first lessons' that he would like to arrange a school trip for you and the other apprentices to the ruins of Saarthal; what used to the first capital of Skyrim. The college is undertaking an excavation in the area, and Tolfdir thinks it would be useful for you and the apprentices to have a look around and learn about its past history. He asks you and the others to meet him outside the excavation entrance.

Mission objectives:

1. - Meet Tolfdir outside Saarthal

2. - Follow Tolfdir

3. - Find Arniel Gane

4. - Use the Saarthal Amulet to escape the trap

5. - Follow Tolfdir

6. - Tell Tolfdir about the vision

7. - Follow Tolfdir (plus first puzzle and second puzzle of Saarthal)

8. - Find the danger within Saarthal

9. - Talk to the Arch-Mage

1. Meet Tolfdir outside Saarthal

You will find the Saarthal excavation to the southwest of Winterhold. Tolfdir and the three other apprentices; J'Zargo (Male khatjiit), Onmund (Male nord) and Brelyne Marion (Female dark elf).Tolfdir will ask you if you are ready to enter, and at this time you may say that 'yes, I'm ready' or 'no, I'm not ready yet...' (i.e. if you want to stash up on some health- and magicka potions, which I would recommend).

2. Follow Tolfdir

As you enter Tolfdir will tell you the history of Saarthal as you venture deeper and deeper into the cave which is the ruins of Saarthal; and how the dark elves massacred the nord people which used to inhabit it. Tolfdir gives different tasks to the apprentices, and your task is to assist Arniel Gane, looking for enchanted items or similar which he can appraise.

3. Find Arniel Gane

A bit further into the ruins you will find Arniel Gane, working away within the ruins looking for enchanted items or other objects which might be of interest. You will find the enchanted rings spread around in close viscinity (equip a torch to see them better). The fourth item you will find is the Amulet of Saarthal, however as you take it, iron bars will shut you in the room; trapping you. Tolfdir tells you: ..."See if you can use the Amulet of Saarthal to escape"...

4. Use the Saarthal Amulet to escape the trap

Equip the Saarthal Amulet. You will then see the 'door' starting to glow in an orange light, equip any destruction spell and use it to destroy the door, which will shatter when it is hit with a destruction spell

5. Follow Tolfdir

When you have destroyed the door, Tolfdir will rejoin you and will lead you down the now uncovered hallway, stating how incredible this is, in a very excited manner. You will arrive at a room, in which there is an altar in the middle. Time will at this time freeze, and Nerevan (of the extinct Psijic order) will appear before you in a vision; warning you of the danger which lies ahead in Saarthal.

6. Tell Tolfdir about the vision

When you come out of the haze, Tolfdir will tell you he felt something peculiar, and at this time you tell him about your vision. He says you should see the warning from the Psijic order as a compliment, as they are known to only contact the most promising mages. Tolfdir wonders what dangers might lay ahead. At this time you will be attacked by two draugr and an ice atronach; the draugr are very powerful (draugr scource and a draugr wight), so do not take to lightly on this fight; or the tougher ones which lay ahead. After defeating them you continue down the passage.

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7. Follow Tolfdir (plus first puzzle and second puzzle of Saarthal)

You follow Tolfdir until you reach a big hall with several coffins surrounding it, at this time you will once again come under attack from draugr enemies. After defeating them Tolfdir will stay behind, and tell you to venture on; and that he will rejoin you later.

After this you will find the first puzzle of Saarthal. Hint - To solve this puzzle you need to look behind the pillars... Now, here is the spoiler: The correct combination is (when facing the lever): LEFT (3 pillars): 1) Eagle 2) Snake 3) Fish. Eagle-Snake-Fish. RIGHT (3 pillars): 1) Fish 2) Eagle 3) Eagle. Fish-Eagle-Eagle. From furthest- to closest pillar.

Tip - To see the symbols behind the pillars you need to equip a torch or magelight.

You will encounter a second puzzle of Saarthal as well, later on. Match the symbols written on the wall with the movable pillars. The correct combination is (when facing the lever, from furthest away- to closest pillar) LEFT (2 pillars): 1) Snake 2) Fish. Snake-Fish. RIGHT (2 pillars): 1) Fish 2) Eagle. Fish-Eagle. Solved.

8. Find the danger within Saarthal

You continue through the hallways, battling the enemies which appear before you; amongst them the mighty Draugr deathlords, which in addition to casting powerful spells and shouts, also brandishes ebony- and glass weapons. They can be quite a handful especially in numbers. Before reaching what is the final room, Tolfdir will rejoin you; and at this time you now you are about to meet what is the boss of Saarthal; the master chest is located in the room before the boss.

As you enter the hall you see a hugh orb which glows with a light blue tinge of energy, you will barely have a chance to look around before Jurik Gauldurson attacks you (like a boss!) and Tolfdir. Jurik is untouchable in the beginning, until Tolfdir starts draining energy from the big energy sphere; only then can he be injured with magical spells. Defeat him, and recover the Gauldur amulet fragment.

9. Talk to the Arch-Mage

Tolfdir will say he has never seen anything like this, and tell you to go get the Arch-Mage Saros Aren, as Tolfdir feels he has to see this in person. Proceed out the door behind the sphere, here you will also find a new Dragonshout power called Ice Form (which freezes an enemy solid), you will also find a treasure chest here. Travel to the College of Winterhold to inform the Arch-Mage of the discovery.

Congratulations, you have now completed the Under Saarthal mission.

Mission rewards:

- Staff of Magelight

Next College of Winterhold mission:

- Hitting the books

FAQ (frequently asked questions regarding Under Saarthal):

Q - How do I escape the Saarthal trap?

A - Equip the Saarthal amulet, then throw a destruction spell aimed at the door (which should now be glowing in a orange light).

Q - What is the combination for the first Under Saarthal puzzle?

A - When facing the lever. You have three pillars on your left, and three on the right. The three on the left are: 1) Eagle 2) Snake 3) Fish; the three on the right are: 1) Fish 2) Eagle 3) Eagle. Solved. The lever should now work.

References: Superstoked Magazine / Vondt


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    • Luno2012 profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great walkthrough, easy to follow! voted up!


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