Skyrim is known for a lot of things, but generally speaking, challenging puzzles isn't one of them. Most fans will likely remember their time in Bleak Falls Barrow, where the solution to the puzzle was to look at the palm of the Golden Claw and use the order there. Many of the puzzles in the game are simple like this, but there are a few instances where The Elder Scrolls 5 presents players with some creative and challenging roadblocks. While traversing Volskygge, players will find one such puzzle, but the solution is simple once players know where to look.

Volskygge, like Bleak Falls Barrow, is an ancient Nordic tomb, and as such it has some similarities in its architecture. Most notably, the use of animal totems like the bear, owl, and snake is present in both tombs. To get past this locked door in Skyrim, players will have to decipher a riddle found in a book resting atop a dais. The riddle reads as follows.


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"The first fears all, the second fears none. The third eats what it can, preferably number one. The fourth fears the second, but only when alone. All must be activated in order, if you wish to go home." Throughout the room, players will find four handles above stones inscribed with different totems. The animals on the totems are the snake, bear, fox, and wolf. After deciphering the riddle, players need to pull activate the handles in the order described in the riddle.

Skyrim Volskygge Four Totems Book Puzzle

"The first fears all" refers to the snake, as these creatures frequently lash out in self-defense even against things that are of no threat to them. "The second fears none" is of course talking about the bear, a mighty beast unmatched by much in the wilderness. "The third eats what it can, preferably number one" is the fox, as foxes are scavengers that will eat many things, but snakes are a common meal for them. Finally, "the fourth fears the second, but only when alone" is a nod to the wolf's ability to hunt in a pack. Alone, a wolf would never take on a bear, but together they might stand a chance.

In order to complete the puzzle and move past this locked door, players need to activate the handles in this order: snake, bear, fox, wolf. Doing so should open the gate an unblock the player's path. Though it doesn't have any real value, players that consider themselves scavengers like the fox can take the book and sell it with a value of five gold.

Skyrim is available now on PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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