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After completing 'The Lost Expedition', a courier will come to you with a note from Calcelmo. Reading the note will start the quest. This quest consists of three paths that can all be done at a given time. However, certain parts are dependent on other parts. For this reason the walkthrough is split into each of the three branches. The given order here avoids back-tracking to a previous dungeon.

Walkthrough

Seek out and speak to Calcelmo

Read Calcelmo's research notes

Reading the research notes will give you three leads, from here on out split up into Alftand, Xrib and Irkngthand

Alftand

Check the library at the Winterhold college

Search the library for any books on the snow elves or dwemer

There are three books lying on small shelves. Read all three. The names of the books are: Interesting Book On the Dwemer, Unique Book About the Dwemer and Rare Book Concerning the Dwemer

Talk to Urag again

Read Dwemer History and Culture

Ask Urag for another book

Read The Falmer: A Study

Talk to Urag again

Urag will talk to his assistant. This stage can seem to get stuck. If it won't progress on it's own, talk to Urag again and then run outside. Once outside, the quest should update to the next stage.

Look for the Synod mage at Mzulft

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Travel to Mzulft. The synod mage went into the supply room. There is a tunnel behind the Aetherium shard leading to a room full of spiders and a dead Synod mage. Loot his body to get the key to the traveler's chest.

Find the Synod's chest

The chest is back in the storage room, open it up and take the book.

Read 'Fall of the Snow Elves' by Hyminae Whippet.

Read the book: The Fall of the Snow Elves

Investigate the area around Alftand

The quest marker might point towards the top tower, the game is sometimes confused at that specific tower. Your goal is a frozen over door just north of the lower tower entrance. Any fire spell will easily melt the ice and grant access.

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Find the hidden artifact

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Once inside a Ghost will call you and repeatably call for you to follow her.

She'll run directly to a room where there are multiple empty Dwemer Curator's Key's on the shelves and one charged blue one. You want to take an empty one and the blue one with you. The Ghost will disappear once she brought you to the keys.

Continue further into the area into a large multi-leveled round room. On the bottom floor there is a empty display case, the artifact you're looking for has been taken by one of the Falmer that dwell this area. dispose of them and take the Staff recovered from Alftand from them.

When leaving a ghost will appear and attack you.

Deliver the staff you found in the forgotten Annex at Alftand to Calcelmo

This stage can't be completed until all three artifacts have been collected.

Temple of Xrib

Visit the temple of the Divines in Solitude

Search the Temple of the Divines for clues

Talk to Freir and ask her about Xrib, you can either pay her 50 gold or refuse.

Check the Temple of the Divine's book archive

The book archive is left of the shrines, depending on if you paid the bribe or not you can either just take the book or need to steal it.

Read the Encyclopedia Bretonica Vol 9

Ask Calcelmo about his entries in the Encyclopedia Bretonica

Return to Calcelmo after reading the book.

Find Calcelmo's book

The book is on a shelve in a side room of his Dwemer museum.

Investigate the temple of Xrib

Go to the Sightless pit and drop down until you see the door.

Find the hidden artifact

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Again the ghost will call you to follow her. She'll disappear once you reached the Key charger. Put a Empty Dwemer Curator's Key in the charger, after a few seconds a green key will be added to your inventory. (If you do not have a key yet you will have to come back here after getting one)
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Continue further untill you reach a large room with two centurions. Inside this room are two display cases. To open them press the coresponding button ontop of the stairs. One will contains the Staff recovered from Xrib and the other holds Sunblessed.

When leaving you'll once again be attacked by a ghost.

Deliver the staff you found in the Temple of Xrib to Calcelmo

This stage can't be completed until all three artifacts have been collected.

Irkngthand

Investigate Irkngthand

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Blue door blocks your way, continue following your other leads

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Pretty early in you'll stumble across a door with a blue light shinning across it. Here you will need the Blue Dwemer Curator's Key from Alftand to continue.

Continue exploring Irkngthand descent

Deeper in again a door will block your passage, here the green Dwemer Curator's Key you had to charge in Xrib will be needed.

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At the end is a large room with three display cases, one is broken. The other two contain Staff recovered from Irkingthand and Rising Dawn. The buttons are on the top level, one of them requires that you stick close to the wall to walk over to it.

Deliver the staff you found in the ruins of Irkngthand to Calcelmo

With the last staff found, continue towards the exit, the Ghost will call you to follow her and lead you into a icy chamber. However this time the Ghost will change into a Snow Elven Shade and attack you. The battle can take a while as she regenerates a couple of times after being defeated. After she is finally defeated she'll transform back to her Ghostly self and you'll get the Friend of the Falmer spell.

Find a way out of the icy chamber

To get out of the room melt the patch of is in front of the ramp using a fire spell. under the water is a lever to open the gate. However be sure to melt the other patch to at the bottom is a chest containing Wraith's Bite

Go up the ramp and behind the chest is a door leading directly back to the exit. The quest ends here however Deliver the staffs parts stay open.

Return to Calcelmo

Bring Calcelmo the three staves, as a reward he'll give you Snowfall

A few days after bringing Calcelmo the Staves a courier will approach carrying a letter from Calcelmo the upgraded versions of the Staves can then be found in the Hall of Lost Empires

Quest Stages

Quest Name (Quest ID)
Stage Journal Entry
Calcelmo of Markarth has sent me a letter requesting my help regarding his Falmer Translation Tome.

Objective :

Calcelmo has given me his research notes which should shed some light on and offer good leads on discovering the truth about the lost elven race. I'll have a read through them.

Objective :

Calcelmo's notes suggest that one of the Snow Elven artifacts may be found in or around the Dwemer ruin of Irkngthand. He also suggests visiting the Temple of the Divines in Solitude for more information about a god figure named Xrib. It would also be a good idea to check out the library at the Winterhold College for any books on the exodus of the snow elves.

alftand Objective :

Winterhold's librarian, Urag, has suggested searching the library on my own for the information I need.

Objective :

I have found several unusual books concerning the dwemer but nothing that seems very useful. Perhaps Urag will have some other ideas on where to look.

Objective :

Urag has given me a copy of Dwemer History and Culture. Perhaps the clues I seek lie within.

Objective :

Dwemer History and Culture did not have the insights I had hoped for. I should ask Urag again for more leads.

Objective :

Urag has given me another book to read. This time it's The Falmer: A study. I hope it has the clues I am looking for.

Objective :

The book, The Falmer: A study didn't have the clues I need. I'm starting to doubt that the library possesses anything that I need on the subject. I suppose I'll have to ask Urag again.

Objective :

Urag finally had a clue about some of the books which ended up being "borrowed" by some synod mage. His assistant Ertzebet confirmed that they had come by and were asking about Mzulft. I should check out the Dwemer ruins there to see if I can locate the misplaced books.

Objective :

I found the remains of a synod mage who had a travel chest key on him. Hopefully the chest this key goes to will contain the missing books I am looking for.

Objective :

I found the Synod travel chest which contained the missing book entitled Fall of the Snow Elves by Hyminae Whippet. I'll have a read and hopefully it will have the answers I have been looking for.

Objective :

Fall of the snow elves indicates the presence of a snow elven artifact in or around the ruins of Alftand. Finally a lead I can follow up on.

Objective :

There should be a hidden artifact within the Alftand Refugee District.

Objective :

I've discovered a rare Snow Elven staff in Alftand. I should return it to Calcelmo and see what he thinks.

Xrib Objective :

Objective :
I refused to "donate" to Freir, so I will have to search for clues about Xrib on my own. There must be some something stashed away somewhere in the temple.

or Objective :

Objective :
I have made a "contribution" to Freir who has suggested I look at the temple's book archive for the information on Xrib I am looking for.

Objective :

I found a copy of the Encyclopedia Bretonica Vol9 in the archive of the Temple of the Divines which seems to have entries about Xrib. I should see what information it holds.

Objective :

I found that Calcelmo has made notations in a copy of the Enyclopedia Bretonica Vol 9 concerning the temple of Xrib. I should ask him about it for more details.

Objective :

Calcelmo has sent me to find his copy of Legacy of the Dwemer Paragons for further information.

Objective :

Finally! The Legacy of the Dwemer Paragons has shed some light on the existence of the Temple of Xrib deep beneath the sightless pit. I should seek out a potential artifact there.

Objective :

I've located the Refugee Annex near the temple of Xrib. There should be a relic located somewhere in the ruins.

Objective :

I've discovered a rare Snow Elven Staff in the Temple of Xrib. I should return it to Calcelmo and see what he thinks.

Irkngthand Objective :

My progress in Irkngthand is halted by a glowing blue sealed door. I should continue following another lead until I can find a way through.

Objective :

Objective :

I've gotten past the blue sealed door in Irkngthand. I should continue to explore the refugee district for any signs of an artifact.

Objective :

I've discovered a rare Snow Elven staff in Irkngthand. I should return it to Calcelmo and see what he thinks.

Objective :

I've brought peace to the mysterious Snow Elven ghost. Now I must find a way through the gate out her Icy chamber.

Objective :

What have I seen these past days? The Falmer betrayed, their souls screaming for vengeance... A Snow Elf ghost, now vanished, but leaving behind a power to walk among her diminished race. Will I ever know the reason? Will I ever see her again?

Objective :