Quick Walkthrough
 Detailed Walkthrough
 Part 1
Talk to Arniel Gane and ask if there is any College business you can assist him with. He'll state that it's nothing official, but he is working on a "project". He refuses to say anything about it, but he asks you to bring him ten Dwemer cogs. They can be found randomly throughout any and all Dwarven ruins. If you have not already found a Dwarven ruin, Alftand is near the College of Winterhold, and the ruin under Markarth is easy to find and lower level friendly.
There are plenty of Dwemer cogs inside Dwemer Museum in Understone Keep, specifically in the closest right corner from the entrance; with stealthy movement, all cogs can be obtained without any repercussions, making this the easiest and quickest method. The main College quest line will take you to Mzulft, which also has more than 10 Dwemer cogs. Depending on the ruins and your carry capacity (cogs weigh 10 each) you may end up needing two or three trips to get all the cogs.
Once you have obtained the ten Dwemer cogs, return to Arniel and he will reward you with a small amount of gold.
 Part 2
Arniel needs a very specific item for his project and is having trouble getting Enthir to give it to him. He'd like you to speak to Enthir and return with the item to him. After speaking to Enthir he reveals that the item Arniel wants never belonged to him and is Enthir's property. He agrees to relinquish it though if you'll retrieve the Staff of Tandil he sold to an unscrupulous character.
The character is a boss level caster in a radiantly assigned dungeon. Depending on which one you get the quest may be increasingly more or less difficult. Some of the dungeons such as Boulderfall Cave and Cragwallow Slope are extremely small while others might be rather involved or of a difficult nature. The staff should be either on the boss level caster, somewhere nearby, or in the boss level chest.
Once you have the staff, return to Enthir. He'll give you the Warped Soul Gem, which can then be returned to Arniel to proceed with the quest.
 Radiant Options
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 Part 3
Begin this quest by asking Arniel about the progress of his project. He will say that it is going terribly. He reveals that he is trying to simulate the disappearance of the Dwemer but he needs the warped soul gem that you acquired for him charged. Unfortunately, the apparatus he was using to charge it was destroyed in the process and he has no time to build another. Thus, he is only too happy to accept your generous offer to charge it for him.
Arniel tells you that the Dwemer used to use convectors to charge their soul gems and that some of these devices probably still exist among Dwarven ruins. He needs two more charges after his own initial charge to power the gem. Due to the nature of the warped soul gem, it will destroy the convector it is charged in. What you need to do is find a few Dwemer Convectors and place the warped soul gem inside. He will teach you a spell called Arniel's Convection that must be channeled onto the Dwemer Convector until the stone is charged. Keep channeling the convector until the quest updates. You will then have to find a new Convector and repeat this process up to two times. There seems to be some variance on whether it takes one to three times to fully charge the stone and use of dual casting can complicate the matter.
There are six Dwemer Convectors in all of Skyrim:
- Druadach Redoubt: Across the river from it in an unmarked ruin, east-northeast of the map marker.
- Deep Folk Crossing: Across the bridge from it at an unmarked ruin, just north of the map marker.
- Dwarven Storeroom: Simple freestanding Dwarven structure near Mzulft. No enemies.
- Mzulft: Near the entrance in the first rooms after the hall- just before the second incline. Must have started Revealing the Unseen.
- Ruins of Bthalft: Exterior only ruins, bandits here.
- Shor's Stone: Southwest of the village at an unmarked ruin with a single warlock.
Two are northward of Karthwasten, one south of Ivarstead, one southwest of Shor's Stone, and two among the ruins of Mzulft. The two northwest of Karthwasten are probably the easiest to use since no enemies spawn at their locations (wild animals may be a nuisance however) and they are relatively close together. One is directly north of Karthwasten, northeast and across the river from Druadach Redoubt. It is at the base of the unmarked Dwemer pillar. If you cross the river and follow it upstream you will come to Deep Folk Crossing. Cross the bridge and the second Dwemer Convector will be in front of you. The one south of Ivarstead is at the Ruins of Bthalft and has bandits. The one southwest of Shor's Stone is between there and Autumnshade Clearing and has a rogue mage. At Mzulft, one is inside the storeroom (a separate building to the right of the ruin entrance when you arrive) and the other is within the ruins proper.
 Part 4
Unlike previous parts of the quest, about two or three days must pass before continuing. Thereafter, talk to Arniel again. He is often to be found on the upper floor of the Hall of Attainment, but may also be in the Hall of Countenance. Once more he's used Enthir's services, and once more you have to pick up the pieces.
Talk to Enthir, who is almost always in his room in the Hall of Attainment. He's quite annoyed since he has no idea where the item is — or even what it is, for that matter. He was only tasked with providing transport for it from Morrowind and it simply hasn't arrived. Enthir tells you to go look for the courier somewhere in the east, and marks a location on your map.
The precise location of the courier varies. When you finally do locate him, it's immediately apparent why he didn't complete the delivery. Retrieve the blade "Keening" from his body and return it to Arniel. He is outraged that it wasn't wrapped properly, and amazed that you didn't die when you touched it. By way of explanation he relates something of the background of Keening and Sunder, the legendary tools of the Dwemer Tonal Architect Lord Kagrenac.
Arniel now conducts his experiment in an attempt to figure out how and why the Dwemer disappeared. Striking the warped soul gem with Keening, he finds that it does nothing. He strikes again, gaining no apparent result once more. Having lost his temper, he curses, lashes out a third time... and disappears in a flash of light, never to be seen again.
The quest is then unceremoniously updated as complete. Pick up Keening from the floor if you wish (although it seems to have come down in the world somewhat since the Third Era). Summon Arniel's Shade will be added to your spell list automatically.
 Radiant Options
Possible values of
- Part three is not available until you complete the quest The Eye of Magnus.
- The quest tracker will not track Dwemer cogs you pick up, but they still count for the quest, so you must keep count of them yourself.
- It is not necessary to carry around all 10 cogs at the same time; utilize storage at the College to avoid carrying around the heavy cogs.
- Part two is almost identical in nature to Onmund's Request, but the radiant dungeon assignment might differ. It is possible to be sent to the same location in both quests.
- No matter how many times you use Keening to strike the Warped Soul Gem, you will not disappear in a blinding flash.
- Enthir will have slightly different dialogue during this quest if you are the archmage or completed Hard Answers.
- In some cases the Warped Soul Gem will get duplicated after heating it. This prevents further dialog with Arniel, thus making it impossible to complete the quest.
- You may be able to fix this by leaving one of the duplicates of the gem in the Dwarven Convector. This should allow you to be able to finish the dialogue with Arniel.
- You can remove extra warped gems through the console with the command
player.removeitem 6a10a 1for each extra warped gem in your inventory.
- Assuming this does not occur on the third and final convector heating, this can be fixed by putting both soul gems in the next convector box and then heat it with the spell, this will result in one of the soul gems disappear thus leaving only one to collect and allowing the completion dialogue with Arniel.
- After returning the gem the quest will be completed but if you look at it under completed quests the bullet marker for the last stage is hollow (as if the stage was not completed). This does not seem to affect game play.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.3 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- The quest can fail to update, getting stuck on "Place the warped soul gem into a final Convector". Dual/single casting, alternate Convectors does not remedy.
Mod Notes: The objective displayed jumps ahead of the item you possess, causing the script conditions to fail.
- Place the warped soul gem into a convector, type
setstage MGRArniel03 20in the console, then heat the convector and the quest updates.
- Place the warped soul gem into a convector, type
- It is possible to get Keening from the courier before talking to Enthir about the mysterious item Arniel wanted delivered from Morrowind. When this happens, you can find the courier, but you can't advance the quest because you can't get Keening from him again.
setstage MGRArniel04 30in the console. (Note that of course you don't actually have to go to the courier again to do this.)
- You can also wield Keening and use a Weapon Plaque, then remove it from the plaque.
- A quest journal would trigger multiple times.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.4 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- Keening may disappear with Arniel instead of falling to the floor as it should.
- If Arniel happens to have another weapon equipped before you give him Keening (he has a tendency to pick up stray weapons on occasion), he will attack the Warped Soul Gem with that weapon instead of Keening. The quest will still proceed as normal however, and Keening will still drop when Arniel disappears.
- If you previously killed the boss of the radiant dungeon that contains The Staff of Tandil, the quest marker may direct you to the empty space where the boss's body lay.
setstage MGRArniel02 30and
player.additem 0006a093 1in the console to acquire the Staff and continue the quest.
- Enthir might not actually take the Staff of Tandil when you bring it to him, but it is not marked as a quest item after showing it to Enthir, so you can drop or sell it as you want.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.3.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- It is possible to turn in the 10 cogs to Arniel before he has given you the quest due to a missing condition on the dialogue.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- In the German version of the game you are asked to collect Fässer, which translates as barrels, rather than zahnräder (cogs).
 Quest Stages
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table:
- MGRArniel02: 0.
- MGRArniel03: 255.
- MGRArniel04: 0.