Vahtacen's Secret
Quest Information
Starting Location: Imperial City Arcane University
Starting NPC: Raminus Polus
Possible Reward(s): Robe of the Conjurer

Did we miss anything during this quest? Is there something we didn't discover? Let us know!

Once you've finished the Ulterior Motives quest for Raminus, he will tell you that there is a research project going on at one of the Ayleid ruin sites and that you should speak with Irlav Jarol to see if he needs any assistance.

Irlav can typically be found in the Arch-Mage's Lobby, and it just so happens that he does need some assistance. He tells you that the Council of Mages needs him and that he hasn't been able to give the research project the attention that it deserves. In fact, the last report he received from Skaleel at the site claimed that they could not get past a blocked passage. Therefore, Irlav wants you to report to the ruins in his place. He hands you the Vahtacen Ruins Key and asks that you find Skaleel at the site to learn more about the problems that they're having.

Vahtacen is an Ayleid ruin located to the southeast of Cheydinhal, right at the top of the Reed River. Once you're inside, take a left at the first intersection and follow the tunnel until you reach a large stone room. Speak with Skaleel here to learn that the research team is stumped trying to figure out how to activate a pillar. That's what they're calling it anyway, since they don't actually know what it is. What they do know is that it's enchanted and appears to be a lock of some sort. It also reacts to magic, and several of the team's mages have been badly hurt by casting spells at it. Skaleel tells you that you're free to try your luck on the pillar, but recommends that you don't use any complex magic on it - stick to basic spells with single effects.

Use the Vahtacen Ruins Key to enter the next door, then continue down the hallway until you reach Denel. He will shed a little more light on the situation by explaining that there are inscriptions on the walls that are most likely related to the pillar. He mentions that if you could find some other reference for the markings, you might be able to determine what they mean. In fact, Skaleel might have such a reference, but she's been skulking over the way Irlav's been treating her and won't part with the book. Denel suggests that you might be able to convince her otherwise.

Return to Skaleel and ask her about the book. She'll immediately hand over the Ayleid Reference Text, making you wonder why nobody else was able to coax it out of her. Regardless, take the book to Denel and he asks you to read the inscriptions to him so he can reference them within the book. Go around the pillar room and read each of the inscriptions, then repeat each one to Denel. The first relates to fire, the second to frost, the third to fortifying magicka, and the last to damaging magicka. The key to unlocking the pillar is to cast spells with such effects on the stonework itself. If you don't have the spells required, check the chest near Denel to find an assortment of scrolls that cover all of the needed effects. If you still don't have everything you need, leave the ruin and visit a city to purchase them. The trickiest one to track down with be the Fortify Magicka spell that affects a target, as you actually have to create it at the Arcane University. I'd recommend just using the proper scroll from Denel's chest.

Once you have all four spells at your disposal, cast them at the pillar in the following order: Fire, Frost, Damage Magicka, Fortify Magicka. This will reveal a small set of stairs leading down to the entrance into Vahtacen Lorsel. This area of the Ayleid ruin is heavily trapped and guarded by undead, so be careful. Watch the floor for traps in the first few rooms, then be wary of hidden blades in the walls of the last hallway. When you reach the final room, climb the stairs in the southeast corner and activate the switch there. This will lift the staircases leading to the raised platform in the center of the room, but it will also unleash a group of undead that you'll have to contend with first. Once the room is clear of any enemies, ascend the central stairs and push the block to reveal an Ancient Elven Helm. Grab the artifact, then return to Skaleel using the newly revealed exit to the southeast. Skaleel thinks you've really found something important and tells you to show it to Irlav back at the Arcane University.

When you bring it back to the Imperial City, Irlav is very pleased and promises to put a good word in for you at the Council. Return to Raminus to report your progress and he will promote you to the rank of Conjurer and provide a Robe of the Conjurer to symbolize your new rank. He also mentions that the guild has another predicament, which will lead us to the Necromancer's Moon quest.