Elder Scrolls

Hard Answers

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Hard Answers
Falmer Translation Guide.
Quest Giver Enthir
Location The Frozen Hearth
Prerequisite Speaking With Silence
Next Quest The Pursuit
Reward Nightingale Blade and Enthir as a Fence
Faction Thieves Guild
Type Thieves Guild, Main quest
Quest ID TG06
Hard Answers is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is received right after the completion of Speaking With Silence.



First, the Dragonborn must speak to Enthir, who can usually be found at The Frozen Hearth in Winterhold or in the College of Winterhold. After the conversation with him, they must travel to Markarth and speak to Calcelmo at Understone Keep - he will not grant them access to his research unless persuaded, bribed, intimidated or if they have helped him out by completing the temple quest The Book of Love, completing the side quest to kill the spider Nimhe in the excavation site, or simply just sell him any piece of Dwemer equipment that he requested. It can also be pickpocketed from him.

Calcelmo's MuseumEdit

Once the key to Calcelmo's Museum is obtained, head to the North wing of the Keep and enter the Museum. If Nimhe has not been killed, the guard at the door will tell the Dragonborn that they are not allowed to go in, after the dialogue the guard will allow entrance into the museum. After entering the museum, the guards will not be hostile if Calcemo's quest is completed, or if they bribed him, intimidated or persuaed him. However, if the key was obtained by stealing, the guards will be hostile, which forces them to sneak past or kill the guards, also, watch out for the guard in the center.

In this first area there are many common dwemer artifacts that are directly on display or are in display cases. There are also display cases with expert difficulty locks further into the room that contain weapons, and there are a couple of bookcases with adept difficulty locks with books. A Stone of Barenziah is in the room behind the gate to the left as the Dragoborn enters. In this same room is a chest with an expert level lock with valuable items.

Calcelmo's Laboratory Edit

After getting past guards, head up to Calcelmo's Laboratory, which is restricted; the guards will attack on sight. In the laboratory in an area to the left there is a journal and Spider Control Rod. After a few moments there will be a guard that will walk through the other two doorways opening them up. These guards can be killed with no bounty, a task that can be aided with Aicantar's Spider by using the control rod. The doorway on the left is barred so the right path is the only path available. In order to proceed they must pick the master lock or use Calcemo's key making the lock open efortlessly. Two guards will be talking and eventually travel down a hallway. Either follow the guards and sneak by to get to the staircase to the next area, or go to the opposite path and get to the stairway.

Going the opposite way of the guards will lead to a hallway filled with a gas that is highly lethal and quickly drains health. Opposite to the hallway there is a button that if stepped on will clear the path, however one needs to run through before the gas fills the room again. An object (such as the nearby Markarth guard's body) can be left on top of the button to remove the gas. There are also gas disabling buttons on the sides of the passage, those may be utilized to get "safe spots" for healing. Note that the guards above would probably notice spellcasting.

Note:' Poison resistance does not grant immunity to the damage from the gas. However the Argonian Histskin power can completely negate it. Vampires, too, are immune to the gas.

Alternatively, there is valve on a column near where the two guards walk. Turning the valve activates a spinning blade trap which can be used to kill the guards, while going completely unnoticed (it is on the side of a stone pillar facing away from the patrolling guards a little above a lit lantern).

The next room has a patrolling guard and Calcemo's nephew, Aicantar sitting on a chair in front of a table. At the end of the floor is a valve that can be activated. An explosion will happen that will make Aicantar flee and make it possible to pass and head up to the tower. The explosion can be timed so that the patrolling guard doesn't die. If guards in the previous room are still alive, they will also run through this room. Continue along through the next couple of doorways to the door leading to the wizard's balcony. In the room before the balcony there is a larceny target called the Dwemer Puzzle Cube, which may be taken to Delvin Mallory for leveled gold. On another table there is a chest with valuable loot, plus the enchanting book Twin Secrets.

Calcelmo's TowerEdit

In order to proceed, follow the balcony up and to the right and enter Calcelmo's Tower, and head up to Calcelmo's Stone. To copy Calcemo's research on Falmer one needs to get a roll of paper and a charcoal, which are found in abundance in the room before reaching the stone tablet, before activating the stone. There is also a copy of Chimarvamidium (Heavy Armor skill book) on one of the tables. Once the Dragonborn makes the rubbing, Aicantar, two guards (or three guards without Aicantar) and Captain Aquilius will enter the tower. Aicantar insists that somebody is trying to sabotage his uncle's research, and demands that the guards search the tower from top to bottom.

With a high enough magicka and illusion, it's possible for the Dragonborn to neutralize all four hostiles using one or two pacify area spells. Alternatively, it is possible to just sneak past the guards and reach the door to the balcony. Once the guards are dealt with they can either walk out the door and slide down the waterfall or retrace their steps back to the room previous to the balcony, then take a right (the door to the room need to be unbarred). This room will lead to the starting chamber of Calcemo's Laboratory, allowing them to return to the Museum. Killing the guards and Calcelmo's nephew seems to only occasionally incur a bounty.

Frozen HearthEdit

Once the Dragonborn has left the Understone Keep, the objective marker will automatically update to the Frozen Hearth's cellar in Winterhold. Returning and speaking to Enthir and Karliah at the Frozen Hearth's cellar in Winterhold will complete the quest.



  • This is one of the few Thieves Guild quests in which it is allowed to kill an enemy to complete it.
  • An aid to sneaking through Calcelmo's Laboratory is to use the various traps in the area. If used properly, all guards can be neutralized without getting a bounty.
  • The shout Throw Voice in combination with sneaking can prove useful if the Dragonborn chooses not to eliminate the guards.
  • To avoid almost all confrontations within Calcelmo's Laboratory, player can repeatedly try to activate near the edge of the barred door to the left of the entrance. If done correctly, with luck, it will remove the bar and open the door allowing access opposite the puzzle cube, with the door to the wizard's balcony just to the left.
  • Enthir becomes a guild fence, if the Dragonborn is not already a member of the College of Winterhold, in which case he is automatically a fence.
  • Once the quest is complete, immediately upon exiting Calcelmo's tower there is a narrow path leading to Markarth’s waterfall. There are two skeletons and two Septims at the bottom. This also may be referenced by some of the guards saying "Don't trip".
  • Enthir's dialogue after he gets the rubbing has a typo, he says 'undertsand' instead of 'understand'.
  • If the Dragonborn shouts in Calcelmo's Laboratory, with the door near the first valve open, the normal guard will come over to them and tell not to shout, even if in sneak mode. After the dialogue he will catch the Dragonborn for trespassing.
  • The journal entry still reads "I'll have to find a way to make the information more portable" even after making the rubbing.
  • Aicantar has an alternate dialogue in the lab about hearing a noise (instead of a saboteur) if player makes it past him without activating a trap in the previous room.


This section contains bugs related to Hard Answers. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Hard Answers

  • enthir

    3 messages
    • I had the same problem. I went outside the Inn, waited for 24 hours and it worked. Hope this helps
    • wrote:I had the same problem. I went outside the Inn, waited for 24 hours and it worked. Hope this helps you just saved me hours...
  • the quest "The Pursuit" after "Hard Answers"

    3 messages
    • He also have Childreen and he is not suppose to have it. Does this have an effect at all?
    • We found out why it didn't work. It was because I had Mercers plan in my inventory under the "misc" tab he thought it would have been in books....

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