There's always plenty of work to be done for the College of Winterhold in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The Dragonborn, once a full-fledged member of the organization, can help out the various students and faculty members with their problems.
Arniel Gane is one such mage in need of the player's assistance. Although a bit cagey at first, Arniel will eventually open up about his "experiment." It's up to the Dragonborn to help the old wizard with his hair-brained scheme. It turns out to be quite a convoluted process. Following these steps, however, will make completing "Arniel's Endeavor" a breeze.
Collect 10 Dwemer Cogs
Speaking with Arniel Gane in either the Hall of Countenance or Hall of Attainment will get the quest rolling. Arniel won't go into details, but he requests that the player bring him 10 Dwemer cogs. Any Dwarven dungeon will get the job done, but Alfthand can be a good place to start. It's only a short distance from the College.
Be prepared to fight the usual denizens that inhabit Dwemer ruins: Dwarven Automatons, Frostbite Spiders, and vicious Falmer. Each cog takes up 10 points of Carry Weight, so plan ahead of time. Bringing along a companion to help shoulder the burden is a good idea along with a few extra Strength potions. For more stealthy characters, a quick and easy method involves robbing the Dwemer museum in Markarth. There are more than enough cogs there to complete this stage of the quest. The fact they're stolen makes no difference. Return to Arniel when finished.
Retrieve The Soul Gem From Enthir
Talking to Arniel again will trigger the next phase of the quest. Another resident of the College, Enthir, refuses to hand over a key item needed for Arniel's experiment. Speak to Enthir, who can usually be found in the Hall of Attainment. He's willing to hand over the Warped Soul Gem in return for the Staff of Tandil, which can be found in a random dungeon.
The location can be in any of Skyrim's nine Holds. The item in question, like similar tasks of this nature, can be found within a chest at the end of the dungeon. The process can be very long or very short depending on the location. Once the Staff of Tandil has been secured, return to Enthir. He will dutifully hand over the soul gem and the player may return to Arniel, who will be quite pleased.
Heat The Dwemer Convectors
Once "The Eye of Magnus" quest has been completed for the College of Winterhold, the third part of Anriel's task may be started. Speak to him again and he will reveal the goal of his experiment. Arniel seeks to recreate the cataclysmic event that led to the disappearance of the Dwemer. In order for the experiment to work, the Warped Soul Gem obtained from Enthir needs to be heated. A special Destruction spell called "Arniel's Convection" is given to the player in order to accomplish this task.
The Dragonborn needs to place the Warped Soul Gem inside three Dwemer convectors (shaped like Dwarven treasure chests). Once inside, the player must cast Arniel's Convection at the convector for a few seconds. The journal log will update when the soul gem has been heated enough. The process needs to be repeated a total of three times at a new convector before the task can be completed. Luckily, map markers pinpoint the locations of six possible convectors that can be used. When finished, deliver the charged soul gem to Arniel.
A few days need to pass before the next stage of the quest can be started. Three days at the most will be enough. Speak to Arniel again and he will direct the player to Enthir, who possesses a package that supposedly contains the final piece of the puzzle. Enthir will inform the Dragonborn that the courier tasked with delivering the package hasn't arrived and is long overdue. It's up to the player to track down the courier and retrieve the goods.
The location of the courier will be a random location somewhere in Eastmarch or the Rift. Another dungeon-crawl will typically ensue. Eventually, the player will discover the corpse of the unfortunate courier. The ancient and legendary blade Keening needs to be retrieved from his body. Return to Arniel for the final time and deliver the weapon.
Observe The Experiment
With Keening in his possession, Arniel will finally test out his experiment. The Dragonborn is invited to watch. Arniel will strike the soul gem with Keening twice, with no apparent effect. Enraged, he will strike it a third time and disappear in a flash of light. His experiment seemingly worked. Or did it?
It's a little unclear exactly what happened to Arniel Gane. According to The Elder Scrolls lore, the artifact Wraithguard is required in order to wield Kagrenac's Tools, like Keening. The fact that Wraithguard wasn't required when Arniel used Keening suggests the blade may be a fake. It's also possible the blade simply lost some of its magical powers throughout the intervening centuries. Nevertheless, the quest doesn't spell the end for Arniel. As a reward, the player is given a Conjuration spell called "Summon Arniel's Shade," who will temporarily assist the Dragonborn in combat.
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