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Vahtacen's Secret

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Vahtacen's Secret is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

An archaeological dig is in progress inside the Ayleid Ruin of Vahtacen, but the mages there have run into some difficulties. The Hero can help them solve the problem.


Raminus Polus asks the Hero to speak to Irlav Jarol about an archaeological dig site at Vahtacen, an ancient Ayleid Ruin. Speak to Irlav and he will give directions there.



Travel to Vahtacen and find Skaleel inside, who'll tell the Hero that they haven't been able to advance with the archaeological dig. Follow the map markers to the pillar and talk to Denel. He will instruct them to get a book from Skaleel, so go back to her and get the reference guide.

Vahtacen's Secret Pillarroom

The Pillar room

Head back to the room with the pillar, read all four of the stone inscriptions on the walls, and have Denel translate them. There is a chest next to him with scrolls they will need, plus some other random ones so it's not completely obvious what one need to use. They have to cast the spells on the pillar on target or use touch spells (must use spells on the pillar itself):

  1. av molag anyammis: Fire spell - target spell
  2. av mafre nagaia: Frost spell - target spell
  3. magicka loria: Sever Magicka - touch spell
  4. magicka sila: Fortify Magicka - or an elevate magicka scroll can also be used here, it is also a touch spell.

Any other order will result in the Hero receiving an electric shock. If done properly, each successive spell will lower the columns more. When all the pillars are lowered a staircase is revealed to the entrance to the Vahtacen Lorsel.

Vahtacen LorselEdit

Vahtacen's Secret Vahtacen Lorsel

Raised center platform

Head inside Vahtacen Lorsel and follow the hallways and rooms. Watch out for floors that either drop away or raise up to spike traps as well as automatic shock nodes on the ceilings.

Be on the lookout for Ayleid Coffers containing gold and Varla Stones or Welkynd Stones. Fight the two or three wraiths and, in the final large room, see a raised platform with collapsed stairs on either side.

Go past it and up the southeast stairs. Activate the switch on the right column, which raises the stairs in the middle of the room providing access to the center platform. Go up these stairs and one of the four columns on the platform contains a push button to reveal the goal, an Ancient Elven Helm (not magical).

When going up the platform, Ancient Ghosts, Skeleton Guardians, or Liches are summoned (level-dependent). 

Vahtacen's Secret Finding Helm

Ancient Elven Helm

With the helm in hand, go back up the southeast stairs, the wall at the top opened when the helm was taken, revealing an exit. There are some stashes full of enchanted items and gold to the left and right. There are a few more wraiths here, and at least one Lich.

Once the enemies are dispatched, follow the corridors back to Skaleel and speak to her. She will be very happy for the progress and tell the Hero to quickly return to the university. Return to the Imperial City and complete the quest by speaking with Irlav again.

Speak to Raminus about the next quest and advancement and receive the reward.


Journal Entry
  • Update: After accepting the quest from Raminus Polus:

Raminus Polus has asked that I speak with Irlav Jarol about assisting with his research.

  • Update: After speaking to Irlav Jarol:

I need to find the Ayelid [sic] ruins of Vahtacen and speak with Skaleel.

  • Update: After speaking to Skaleel in Vahtacen:

A room in Vahtacen contains a pillar that reacts to magic. I need to figure out how it works, but I must be careful so that I am not harmed. It's been suggested that I should stay away from anything but simple, single-effect spells.

  • Update: After speaking to Denel:

Skaleel may have some reference material for deciphering the Ayleid symbols in Vahtacen. I should ask her for it.

  • Update: After retrieving the reference guide and giving it to Denel:

Denel has offered to find translations of the inscriptions on the walls of Vahtacen. I should read all the inscriptions, and then tell him what they say.

  • Update: After opening the pillar with the spells cast in the right order:

I've solved the puzzle of the pillar, opening up more of the ruins of Vahtacen.

  • Update: After retrieving the Ancient Elven Helm:

I've found an object deep within Vahtacen. I should take it to Skaleel.

  • Update: After showing the object to Skaleel:

I need to deliver the Ayelid [sic] artifact to Irlav Jarol.

  • Update: After delivering the artifact to Jarol:

I have delivered the artifact to Irlav Jarol.

  • Quest complete


  • If any spell scroll is wasted, a replacement can be purchased (there are several spell merchants).
  • If the player leaves Vahtacen and waits three full days after which they left, the scrolls will appear back inside the chest.
  • Saving is suggested before casting the scrolls, as this must be done in the proper order or the caster will get a strong electric shock and their health will deteriorate quickly.
  • A strong anti-shock spell like Electric Shell will defend against the powerful shock correction received if the spell or sequence is wrong.
  • Drain Magicka will not substitute for damage magicka.

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