Elder Scrolls

The Staff of Magnus (Quest)

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For other uses, see Staff of Magnus.
The Staff of Magnus
Quest Giver Mirabelle Ervine
Location Labyrinthian
Prerequisite Containment
Next Quest The Eye of Magnus
Reward Staff of Magnus
Faction The College of Winterhold
Type College of Winterhold, Main Quest
Quest ID MG07
The Staff of Magnus is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It serves as the seventh quest in the College of Winterhold string of quests. Traversing Labyrinthian, the Dragonborn searches for the fabled Staff of Magnus. Morokei, a Dragon Priest, holds the staff and must be battled to obtain it. The battle is difficult and recommended for levels 20 and above.


I need to retrieve the Staff of Magnus from within Labyrinthian and return with it to the College of Winterhold. Only the staff will help me put an end to Ancano's abuse of the Eye of Magnus.

Notable items



Skeletal Dragon
A Skeletal Dragon.

It is strongly recommended to get some shock-resistant armor before arriving, as the boss uses high level shock magic and can summon a Storm Atronach. Note that in the Arch-Mage's Quarters at the College of Winterhold, there is a pair of boots with 40% shock resistance next to the bed. Also in the quarters is a Draught of Resist Shock on the shelves with the alchemical ingredients. Approximately four potions of resist shock can be made with the ingredients found here, alleviating some of the difficulty of the boss battle.

Upon arriving at the Labyrinthian, the staircase to the right leads to a large stone door, the Ceremonial Door. Opening this requires the Torc of Labyrinthian, which is given to the Dragonborn by Mirabelle Ervine following Savos Aren's death.

At the Ceremonial Door, a conversation takes place between the ghosts of six former College mages who undertook an expedition within the Labyrinthian. The group is led by Atmah and also includes Savos Aren, Takes-In-Light, Elvali Veren, Girduin, and Hafnar Ice-Fist. Listen to their discussion until they disappear, then click on the door to activate the Torc and enter the Labyrinthian.

On the right side of the foyer, inside the entrance, is a randomly generated spell tome. Possible Spell Tomes found here include Detect Life, Ironflesh, Telekinesis, Waterbreathing and Equilibrium.

The room after this contains a lever opening iron bars. The bars remain open only for a short time, so sprinting is advisable; Whirlwind Sprint will almost certainly achieve this. Alternatively, however, ranged attacks which can be fired through the bars may be a wise idea. The room beyond the bars contains several animated skeletons, including a Skeletal Dragon. All of these can be looted once defeated, although it should be noted that the dragon does not have a soul to absorb.

Beyond this room is another conversation between the mage ghosts, in which they discuss their encounter with the dragon and other skeletons and the fact that Girduin perished in the battle. Standing in this hall is an Etched Tablet which reads:

"Hail All - Brave City Bromjunaar
Forever These Walls Shall Stand
May Enemies See Her Majesty
May all Quake to Behold Her"

Continue down the stairs to the double wooden doors to enter the next area.

Labyrinthian Chasm

To the right is a shelf and a bench. Behind the pillar is a chest containing some gold and a leveled weapon.

Draugr deathlord
Draugr Deathlord inside the Labyrinthian.
SkywalkerPLAdded by SkywalkerPL

Walk down the right-hand stairs to enter a room that holds a frozen door and two guardians. An ethereal voice speaks to the Dragonborn before they enter the room; this experience drains all magicka. A door is covered in ice, and through this passes a hostile Ice Wraith. Melt the ice using Flames, Fire Breath, or another form of fire magic. A Flames spell tome is nearby.

Down the path sits a room guarded by either two Draugr Wights or a troll, depending on the Dragonborn's level. A door, sealed with a Lightning Rune, lies behind them. This rune does approximately 100 points of lightning damage and wards do not protect against it. However, an enemy can open the door from the other side and not set off the rune. Fling projectiles at the trap to spring it prematurely. In this room, on a pedestal, sits a spell tome for Equilibrium which turns 25 points of health into magicka per second. There is also an Alchemy Lab and an Arcane Enchanter, along with some supplies.

At the bottom lies a river and a door leading to the next section, the Labyrinthian Thoroughfare.

Labyrinthian Thoroughfare

Four Malachite Ore veins reside to the right, submerged in water. Continuing forward, there is a vertical shaft with a waterfall, and a grate partway up. Open the grate and use a ranged attack to kill the Draugr seen there from a distance. Toward the bottom, additional Malachite Ore and Gold Ore can be harvested.

Eventually, a room with grated windows along one side and a chest at the other end appears. A troll waits in ambush near the exit. Stand up at the grates and shoot at some of the skeletons with a ranged attack.

Lightning Rune Door
Lightning Rune on a door.

The next room has another gate, operated by a lever, which can reduce spellpower. Below the windows are two Gold Ore veins, although one is placed incorrectly and is inaccessible. The bridge in the middle of the room leads to a small side cave which is the lair for a few more trolls; a chest is found here.

Beyond the gate is a pathway to the left, which leads to the area above the battlements of the gateway; a chest and a skull are found here. Moving forward leads to three wisps floating around a fire and what appear to be gravestones. The wisps are non-hostile until the Dragonborn runs past them After defeating the Wispmother, continue to a door which is on fire. Use frost magic on the door, which may summon a Flame Atronach. If so, it must be defeated before continuing. A Frostbite Tome and Scroll of Ice Spike are found near the door.

A small room here shows another vision of Savos Aren and his expedition; the group has again grown smaller, as Elvali Veren was killed by "something from behind" before anyone could save her. Moving forward leads to a skeleton, a Draugr Wight, and a Spectral Warhound await. The Wight may drop a Drainheart Sword or similar item, as do many of the other spectral foes in this dungeon. Passing through this hallway drains the Dragonborn's magicka, so it may be best to wait and let the enemies come to him/her.

In the next room are two more spectral foes, and a skeletal compatriot below them. Gold ingots and a soul gem can be found on a bookcase. The next door again drains all magicka, and two spectral foes wait beyond it. Continue forward into the Labyrinthian Tribune.

Labyrinthian Tribune

The Tribune is a tomb, with more spectral foes to defeat. Almost immediately a Spell Tome of Steadfast Ward can be collected. The next hallway contains runes, plus fireball and ice storm traps. These traps can be deactivated with anything that dislodges the Soul Gems powering them (e.g., arrows or a Fireball spell), or one can simply run in and take the gem before it fires. The Dragon Shout "Become Ethereal" can be used to gather them one by one without taking damage.

At the end of the hallway is a tower. The higher floor can be accessed by exiting through the door; here can be found some alchemical ingredients, two chests, and a Malachite Ore. In the pool below the tower are a Gold Ore and a Malachite Ore.

A locked gate (adept) is found to the left side of the next intersection. Beyond this is some worthwhile loot, including an enchanted sword, an ebony shield, some potions, and the Ancient Helmet of the Unburned.

Binding of Morokei
The imprisonment of Morokei.
TombRaiserAdded by TombRaiser
Moving forward, a Draugr Deathlord sits on a throne; with a high sneaking skill, the Dragonborn can approach it without detection and do some damage before it has a chance to rise. Once defeated, proceed down the stairs to the Word Wall to learn the Word of Power for Slow Time. There is also a chest hidden on the right side of the room. The next hallway contains a few foes -- a Draugr Scourge, a Draugr Wight and two other foes, which the Dragonborn can draw out of hiding by firing an arrow down the hallway. In the alcove on the left side of the hallway are two Ebony Ingots. At the far end, another vision of Savos and friends appears, in which they talk about how their number has again decreased; Takes-In-Light was mortally injured and urged the remaining three companions to leave her, but the spirits of Savos, Atmah, and Hafnar pledge to one another that they will see their quest through to its end.

At the end, behind a final door, stands the Dragon Priest Morokei, who wields the long-sought Staff of Magnus. He is sealed inside a magical aura, which is being sustained by a pair of Enthralled Wizards; these are all that remain of Atmah and Hafnar, whom Savos sacrificed in order to contain the power of the Dragon Priest.

Fighting Morokei

Morokei, the Dragon Priest.
SkywalkerPLAdded by SkywalkerPL

This fight is not recommended for levels 20 and below. He uses wards, shouts, Mage Armor, and shock spells, but also has a spell which may convert summons or zombies against their summoner. Lower level characters may not see this. Summoners using scrolls are not affected by this either.

Once he locks onto his target, he does not move. As he has high-damage spells, attacking him at melee range is difficult; ranged attacks are effective. The Bretons' Dragonskin power is very useful to kill Morokei by the fact that each attack he uses against your character will instantly regenerate magicka. Shock resistant armor and potions help diminish the effectiveness of his attacks, and a shock resistance score of 80% is enough to be completely invulnerable to his attacks. The Slow Time shout can be used to slow down his attacks, making dodging much easier. Using a Drainspell Bow, found earlier in the dungeon, is also an effective strategy, particularly when used in conjunction with an atronach or summoned daedra, to allow for ranged attacks whilst the conjuration prevents the Dragon Priest from causing harm. Combining ranged attacks with a high sneaking skill can potentially prevent Morokei from doing any damage to the Dragonborn at all before he is defeated.

Upon entry, proceed up the steps where the first enthralled wizard is. Kill him first, then proceed up to the second wizard, and then kill him. Morokei becomes free. Stay at the top and use long range attacks to finish him off. From this position, his spells may not reach the Dragonborn and hurt them.

Leaving Labyrinthian

After killing Morokei, search the chamber. There is a chest at the bottom of the pool of water. Note that a Slaughterfish is in the pool. There are Deathbells near the pool. Behind the ledge where the lower of the two Enthralled Wizards was positioned is the staircase leading to the exit. There are two chests in this room; one is right near the exit door, while the other is concealed in a narrow passage to the immediate left of the stairs. (It can be viewed from the chamber where Morokei was slain through a gated window.)

One last ghostly vision is encountered upon leaving, in which Savos Aren apologizes to his dead friends for having sacrificed them to seal Morokei, and promising that he will make sure no one is ever able to enter the Labyrinthian again.

Finally, Estormo, a Thalmor mage, attempts to kill you to retrieve the Staff of Magnus from you for Ancano. Kill Estormo or sneak past him. Return to the College of Winterhold and talk to Tolfdir.

Morokei dialogue

The following remarks can be heard at intervals throughout the exploration of the Labyrinthian. Each time Morokei speaks to the Dragonborn, the Dragonborn's magicka is completely drained by the experience.

  • "Wo meyz wah dii vul junaar?"  Who comes to my dark kingdom?
  • "Nivahriin muz fen siiv nid aaz het."  Cowardly men will find no mercy here.
  • "You do not answer...Must I use this guttural language of yours?"
  • "Have you returned, Aren? My old friend?"
  • "Do you seek to finish that which you could not?"
  • "You only face failure once more..."
  • "You...You are not Aren, are you? Has he sent you in his place?"
  • "Did he warn you that your own power would be your undoing? That it would only serve to strengthen me?"
  • "Come. Face your end."


Journal Entry

I need to retrieve the Staff of Magnus from within Labyrinthian and return with it to the College of Winterhold. Only the staff will help me put an end to Ancano's abuse of the Eye of Magnus.

  • Objective: Enter Labyrinthian
  • Objective: Find the Staff of Magnus

I have recovered the Staff of Magnus, and need to get it back to the College at once.

  • Objective: Return to Tolfdir

I have recovered the Staff of Magnus.

  • Quest complete


  • Killing one of the Enthralled Wizards, exiting the dungeon, and returning may cause their magicka chain to remain, allowing for infinite health and magicka restoration while standing in it.
  • When fighting the skeletal dragon, the subtitles show that the dragon uses the power-word "Yol" for fire, but the actual attack is an ice attack.
  • Using the Clairvoyance spell after defeating Morokei will lead you back through the Labyrinthian to the entrance, rather than directing you forward to the exit. Following Clairvoyance will cause you to miss the speech of Savos Aren's ghost and the fight with Estormo.
  • Despite the fact that one of the two wizards left behind was Atmah, a woman, both of the Enthralled wizards are male.


This section contains bugs related to The Staff of Magnus (Quest). 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  , and  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Staff of Magnus (Quest)

  • Lagging

    2 messages
    • I am just lagging so bad in the part with the soul gems that throw fire that I can't get past them! No matter how hard I try I always die beca...
    • What are your graphics settings at?
  • Torc of labyrinthian

    2 messages
    • Mirabelle said she was giving me the Torc of Labyrinthian but it's not in my inventory and now I can't find her OR open the Ceremonial door!...
    • From what I can gather, this bug can happen if Arniel Gane is dead before Containment (the quest that takes place before The Staff of magnus)...
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