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Dispatches From Northwatch - Part 16: Solstheim Secrets I

Published 12 months ago by David Hodgson

Last Time: I mined the most precious resource of Solstheim and manufactured Stalhrim Armor. It’s all detailed here.
This Time: I begin a wander around Solstheim and uncover some of its many and varied secrets. Read all about Staff Enchanting here:
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You can’t get the staff these days:  When brandishing a long stick with a carved end, you’d better make sure it’s enchanted. Fortunately, a strange device on Solstheim finally allows such items to be crafted.

There’s lots more to discover than half-bured Ash Yams across the isle of Solstheim, and the following weeks of Skyrim blogging reveals some of the most potent, interesting, and downright alarming. This time, we put up with the yammering of a Dark Elf named Neloth in return for a go at his Staff Enchanter device. Up until this point, those wielding magical staffs may have felt a little put-out by the lack of crafting opportunities. No so now; the Dragonborn expansion adds the ability to create your very own staffs. Of course, this all takes place on a Staff Enchanting Workbench. Where would one find one of those, then?
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There’s Not Mushroom in Tel Mithryn: Neloth’s toadstool tower may be cramped, but it holds a wealth of secrets. In particular, there’s a locked chamber with a special workbench.

The answer is Tel Mithryn, a small but highly-defendable Dunmeri outpost where centuries of careful horticulture have allowed giant Emperor Parasol mushrooms to flourish into towering abodes for the small population lead by a mage named Neloth. He can be quite insufferable, and has ideas about his competency so full of hubris that he makes General Tullius look like Maramal the Priest of Mara (that joke kills in Riften). But put up with Neloth you must; until he finally requests your help to find him a new dogsbody in a side quest called Relutant Steward.
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Putting up with Neloth’s Nonsense: If you’re after access to the Staff Enchanter, it’s best off placating Neloth; agreeing to his often-ludicrous demands, and finishing a series of quests for him. After one specific outing, he finally gives up his key.

Finish this side quest with some degree of competency, and Neloth hands over his key as part of the reward for this quest. Now you’re able to access the only Staff Enchanting workbench in all of Skyrim (and Solstheim). Of course, you won’t be fashioning staffs out of thin air; there are some base ingredients that must be gathered before your fiddling yields results. As you’re finishing up quests for Neloth, be sure to gather an un-enchanted staff or two; these are only available from Neloth himself (for a price!), and any other staffs you find as treasure won’t work. Bring your septims and purchase as many un-enchanted staffs as you wish. Then start a hunt for Heart Stones. These resources are deposits from the epic volcanic eruption that’s been blighting the southern parts of Solstheims for decades. Heart Stones are found in deposits all across the ash-filled parts of Solstheim.
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Some Enchanted Evening: Stick a staff in the holder, plonk in a Heart Stone and fumble across for the correct incantation, and with a bit of luck (and competency), you’ll have furnished your first Enchanted Staff!

The final element you need for Staff Enchanting success is knowledge of the spell you wish to place into the staff. For example, creating a Staff of Thunderbolts is a whole lot easier if you know the Thunderbolt spell, and completely impossible if you don’t. The actual forging of the staff works just like forging an item (you select the one you want to craft based on the ingredients you see highlighted). And then… success! As an added bonus, your Enchanting skill increases based on the value of the staff you’ve imbued.

What about the different staffs you can create? Well, that’s shown in a table on page 155 of our newly-published Legendary guide. But I’m not supposed to mention that yet. Whoops.

What are your favorite staffs to create? Or didn’t you have the patience to pay your respects to Neloth? Tell us about it here.

Until next time, may your Staffs all be enchanted, and your interactions with Neloth be as pain-free as possible.

As always, look for the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Revised & Expanded Prima Official Game Guide at a retailer near you!

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