Calcelmo is an elderly Altmer Conjurer who can be found in Understone Keep where his nephew, Aicantar, helps him in the laboratory. He has a great interest in the Dwemer and is the author of many scholarly works about them.
Calcelmo owns the Dwemer Museum and has been excavating Nchuand-Zel. As a scholar of Dwemer history and culture, he has written several books about them, including Dwarves, v1, Dwarves, v2, and Dwarves, v3. He also is an expert on the Falmer, having deciphered most of their language.
After the Dragonborn buys the first piece of the Dwarven armor set, or the first Dwarven weapon, including Dwarven Bolts and arrows, a courier shows up with a letter from Calcelmo, in which he asks for one to be brought to him. Finding, stealing, looting, or crafting an item that Calcelmo would normally be interested in does not trigger the courier.
When the item is taken to Calcelmo in Understone Keep, it can be sold to him through dialogue. Calcelmo may be persuaded to pay more. However, if the dialogue option, "Not good enough. I'll hold onto this. You'll need to find another one," is chosen, that particular deal will be cancelled and can never be re-initiated.
Bring an execution hood to CalcelmoEdit
During the Dark Brotherhood questline, the Dragonborn will be taken to the Abandoned Shack, where one of the prisoners in the shack may be killed. An execution hood can be taken from the corpse. If the hood is sold to a vendor then purchased back, the Dragonborn will receive a note from a courier saying that Calcelmo would like to buy the hood, similarly to Dwarven weapons or armor.
When talking to Kerah, she will ask the Dragonborn to deliver a ring to Calcelmo. Afterwards, the ring may be bought from him.
In order to gain access to the Dwemer Museum, the Dragonborn must have Calcelmo's permission either through Speech, by having helped Calcelmo with a previous quest, or by pickpocketing the key from him. Alternately, the lock on the door can be picked.
Calcelmo grants access to Nchuand-Zel after the Dragonborn kills Nimhe.
"What are you doing here? The excavation site is closed. I don't need any more workers or guards."
- Excavation site? "Nchuand-Zel? The ruins underneath Markarth? The wealth of artifacts that I've based two human lifetimes of research on?"
- Are you a wizard? I wanted to buy some spells. "Magic. That's what they always want. Never history. Never the secrets of the lost races. No, just little spells and enchantments."
- I was looking for you, actually. "I told you I'm not hiring any more guards. Why do you people always bother me when I'm trying to finish my research?"
- "You idiot. Do you even know who I am? The most recognized scholar on the Dwemer in all of Tamriel, and you people keep bothering me! I... I'm sorry I... I got too excited. I'm in the middle of some very... stressful work, and I shouldn't have yelled. How can I help you?"
- I'd like to see the excavation site. "Persistent aren't you? Oh, very well. Who am I to stand in the way of curiosity?"
- A guard said you own the Dwemer Museum. "Correct. It's a private place where I can catalog my research. Occasionally, the Jarl will come in and have questions, but that's thankfully rare."
- "I'll let you in if you agree to something for me. There's a giant spider in Nchuand-Zel. My workers call her "Nimhe," the poisoned one. If you deal with Nimhe, I'll let you into both the excavation site and my Dwemer Museum. What do you say?"
- That spider is as good as dead. "Enthusiasm. Good. Here's the key to the dig site."
(After killing Nimhe the following option becomes available.)
- I've killed Nimhe. "You have my gratitude. That spider had been interfering with my excavations for months. As promised, here's the key to the Dwemer Museum. Mind the displays. Some of them are quite fragile."
- Not interested. "Oh, very well. Probably safest that way."
- You're researching the Dwemer? "Yes. Their history and culture is all around us in Markarth. A race of stonecutters, artisans, and engineers. They invented machines and built elaborate underground cities where they researched powers to rival the gods themselves. And then, at a time we are still not sure when, they disappeared. The whole people, all at once. Leaving behind only their works."
- Why do you need guards? "To protect my research, for one. There are more cutthroat scholars out there who would steal my findings if they got the chance. And the excavations into Nchuand-Zel are dangerous. Dwemer machines and traps still function even after thousands of years."
"What? Oh, goodbye."
- Ancient Falmer Tomes
- Calcelmo's Stone and Calcelmo's Stone Rubbing.
- "What are you doing here? The excavation site is closed. I don't need any more workers or guards."
- "I have things to study, what is it?"
- "The artifacts I've discovered in Nchuand-Zel will make history one day."
- "I used to travel so much before all this Forsworn nonsense. Such an inconvenience..."
- "What? Oh, goodbye." —Ending conversation
- "Ah yes, my matchmaker. What is it I can do for you?" - After completing "The Book of Love"
Aicantar "Uncle Calcelmo..."
Calcelmo "What is it, nephew? Can't you see I'm trying to think here?"
Aicantar "I just wanted to know if you needed anything."
Calcelmo "Um, no. Nothing. Nothing at all."
Aicantar "Are you sure?"
Calcelmo "Stop bothering me, Aicantar!"
Calcelmo "Next season, nephew. Next season for sure..."
Aicantar "'Next season for sure...' What? Uncle Calcelmo, I don't understand what you mean."
Calcelmo "The excavation, Aicantar! Right after I finish my book. We'll start excavating Nchuand-Zel again."
Aicantar "Could I maybe skip the excavation, Uncle Calcelmo? I, uh, just don't think you won't need me."
Calcelmo "Nonsense, you're a vital part of my research team. You'll be there, have no fear! Now, I don't want to hear another word of protest."
- He is voiced by George Coe, the same actor who voiced Tolfdir,Calixto Corrium and many more.
- Calcelmo's offering price of Dwarven items seems to be based on the base price of the item, which means it is better to sell non-enchanted items to him rather than enchanted ones.
- The letter that Calcelmo sends to the player after buying Dwemer weapons or armor incorrectly states his name as "Calcemo," not "Calcelmo," as it should have been (This has been fixed as of the release of Skyrim Special Edition).
- Calcelmo says that he has "spent two human lifetimes" researching the Dwemer.
- In addition to selling general mage goods (robes, soul gems, spell tomes, etc.), Calcelmo also sells Dwarves, v1, v2, and v3, as he is the author of these books.
- If Aicantar is killed during "Hard Answers," Calcelmo doesn't even notice that he's gone.
- Calcelmo and Aicantar never sleep. And although it is named after him, Calcelmo never goes into Calcelmo's Tower, either.
- There is a rare chance that Calcelmo will say "I've been holding onto this for you, here take it." upon which he will give Fine Clothes.
This section contains bugs related to Calcelmo. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- When bringing a Dwarven item to Calcelmo, after he is asked for a better price, the conversation may be exited after a successful persuasion, therefore resetting the conversation, while still improving the Speech skill. This may be exploited for virtually unlimited level increases in Speech.
- Calcelmo may sell his own ring when asked for what he has for sale.
- If the Dragonborn buys an enchanted Dwarven item and destroy it to learn the enchantment, the small quest will be impossible to complete.
- Sometimes, after the Dragonborn brings the Dwarven item to him, the dialogue option only shows "actually, I'm not sure I have it anymore," even though the item is still in the inventory. Dropping the item and picking it back up will fix this.