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Oblivion:Seeking Your Roots

< Oblivion: Quests: Skingrad
After discovering a peculiar plant called Nirnroot, you decide to investigate it further.
Quest Giver: Sinderion in Skingrad
Location(s): Skingrad
Reward: One bottle of elixir per set of Nirnroot. After Sinderion's research is completed, he'll purchase them from you.
Fame/Infamy: Fame +1; Infamy +1 if Sinderion dies
ID: MS39
Nirnroot can often be found near water

Quick WalkthroughEdit

  1. Harvest Nirnroot for the first time to be given a new quest. You should ask an alchemist about it.
  2. Question alchemists to get no useful information other than to see Sinderion in Skingrad.
  3. Find Sinderion in his cellar at the West Weald Inn in Skingrad. Ask him about Nirnroot, and he'll tell you a story.
  4. He tells you to collect a certain number of Nirnroot which you should return to him. He'll tell you to wait 24 hours that so he may finish his research. When he's done, he rewards you with a potion, and you should repeat the process three more times.
  5. When you've gone through this a total of four times, he'll have exhausted his research, and from now on he'll just pay in gold for any Nirnroot that you should return to him.

Detailed WalkthroughEdit

A Word on NirnrootEdit

Nirnroot is a very noticeable, vibrant, greenish-blue plant with four large leaves, usually located close to water and emitting a quiet ringing noise. There are hundreds of locations where the plant can be found, but unlike every other plant in the game it does not regrow; each plant can only be harvested once. As a result, it is considered to be a rare plant. Details on where the plant can be found are provided on the Nirnroot page.

When harvested for the first time, a new quest will be added with the information that the plant is very rare and that you should consult an alchemist about it. This quest will also be added if you talk to Sinderion (see below). Ask about Nirnroot. In the inventory the ingredient is shown to have no value (likely to represent that its value is unknown).

Best Botanist in CyrodiilEdit

When asked, alchemists are stumped by this ingredient and will suggest that you go see Sinderion in Skingrad, who is said to be the best botanist in Cyrodiil.

Sinderion can be found in his cellar at the West Weald Inn. When you select the dialogue topic "Nirnroot", he will tell you a lengthy story that boils down to a powerful potion called Elixir of Exploration and will mark Shadeleaf Copse on your map, where three sprigs of Nirnroot can be harvested. He gives you a note describing the plant and its location, and asks you to collect enough plants so that he can make some of the elixirs.

Each time you bring him a set of Nirnroot, he devises a new, more powerful elixir that he can make... but only if you can go collect even more Nirnroot plants.

Nirnroot SamplesEdit

At each of the four stages of this quest you will repeat the following steps:

  1. Sinderion will ask you to collect a number of nirnroots (first 10, then 20, 30, 40) so that he may create a variant of the elixir.
  2. Once you bring him the desired number of Nirnroot sprigs, select the "Elixir of Exploration" dialogue topic for him to take the sprigs. He tells you to wait for 24 hours to finish his research.
  3. When he's done with the research, he will reward you with one bottle of his new elixir and tells you to bring more Nirnroot.
  4. An additional bottle of the new elixir is available for purchase from him each time you speak with him. It respawns in his inventory like a usual non-unique item (e.g., arrows).

The quest ends after you have brought Sinderion the last 40 (total 100, which is one third of all the plants in Cyrodiil) sprigs of Nirnroot. He says that he has exhausted his research regarding the Elixir of Exploration. But if you find more Nirnroot in your travels, he will be happy to buy it from you (at least 10 samples of Nirnroot each time).

Potion Level Nirnroot requested Effects Duration Base Value
Weak 10 Night Eye,
Fortify Health 20
300 seconds 55
Moderate 20 Night Eye,
Fortify Health, Fatigue 20
300 seconds 80
Strong 30 Night Eye,
Fortify Health, Fatigue 20,
Fortify Blade, Blunt, Destruction, Restoration, Security, Sneak 5
300 seconds 170
Grand 40 Night Eye,
Fortify Health, Fatigue 20,
Fortify Blade, Blunt, Destruction, Restoration, Security, Sneak 10
300 seconds 275
--- 10 After the quest is over, you can turn in 10 nirnroots at a time; your only reward is the gold --- 250


Finishing this quest results in Sinderion's disposition skyrocketing to 100, and haggling becomes fairly easy. Your mileage may vary, but it's a good place to off-load collected ingredients and potions that you don't need. This can be helpful if you're not an alchemist or a user of a lot of potions, especially since the fields around Skingrad are a very ingredient-rich area.


You need 100 Nirnroots to complete the quest, but there are over 300 in Cyrodiil. Searching on the shores of the major bodies of water will get you to your goal relatively quickly. Searching around the Topal Bay in the Blackwood area, both sides of the Niben Bay and the lower/upper Niben, and Lake Rumare (both the outer and the island shores) will net you more than enough Nirnroots to complete the quest. Simply start on one side of the Bay, work your way up to and around Lake Rumare, and back down to the other side of the Topal Bay.

Since Nirnroot Plants do not respawn, it is possible to softlock completion of this quest by using too many of the ingredients for other purposes. If this happens, you can rely on a single sample of harvested Nirnroot in Deepscorn Bastion that respawns every three days—provided you have the Vile Lair official download installed.


  • Nirnroot emits a faint, pulsating noise. This sound is very useful in locating nirnroots in unfavorable conditions.
  • While most outdoor bodies of water host a Nirnroot, there are a few that do not.
  • Usually, Nirnroot is located near a landmark in its immediate vicinity. This landmark may be a structure, cell, or natural object (such as a rock or a tree). For instance, many Nirnroots are located near the notable parts of bridges, such as the ends or supports.
  • Nirnroot does not always grow directly beside the edge of water. For instance, if a beach is particularly wide, it may be found throughout its breadth.
  • Most of these rules do not apply to the Blackwood area. Nirnroot is very common there, growing in different and quite random places near water, but sometimes 50-100 feet away from it, often in clear view and without any specific reference point.
  • Bodies of water inside caves/forts will sometimes host a Nirnroot.
  • Many houses of upper class citizens contain potted Nirnroots; similarly, they may be found in many quest-related houses and areas. Picking a potted Nirnroot, even while in clear view of someone, is not a crime.
  • If the small island you just visited has no Nirnroot by its shores, it will be located right in its middle.
  • Nirnroot never grows in groups. About the only areas where Nirnroots grow remotely close to each other are around the walls of Leyawiin, Shadeleaf Copse and the swamps by Fieldhouse Cave. Some islands carry more than one Nirnroot, but no shrine, ruin, cave or such has more than one.
  • The best time to search for Nirnroot is during the day when the weather is sunny and clear. Fog makes it hard to see, rain makes it hard to hear, and thunderstorms make it difficult to both see and hear Nirnroot.
  •   You can slide the "Grass Distance" bar to zero (far left) under Video options. This makes searching for Nirnroot much easier: since the Nirnroot plants are considered objects (not foliage), they will continue to be visible, while grass and other ground plants will not be rendered. You can also use the console command "tg" which means "Toggle Grass" to achieve the same effect.
  • It is not possible to duplicate Nirnroots with either the identical scroll glitch or the magical chest in the Arch-Mage's chamber.
  • After you have completed the quest by turning in all 100 samples of Nirnroot to Sinderion, you can continue to give him Nirnroot samples ten at a time; in return, he will give you 250 gold. However, if you are a Master Alchemist it is more profitable to turn the Nirnroots into Drain Health poisons, which, at their highest quality, have a base price of 56 gold each, as opposed to the 25 gold Sinderion gives you for each Nirnroot sample.
  • If you wish to barter with Sinderion, do so before you give him a batch of Nirnroot. Once you have given him the Nirnroot, he will tell you to return in 24 hours to receive your potion and break off conversation. If you try to converse with him again before 24 hours have elapsed, he will tell you to come back later and break off conversation once more, making it impossible to barter with him until he has finished the elixir.


  • The messages that appear in the game keep track of how many Nirnroots you have picked so far, not how many Nirnroots you have in your possession. For example, while hunting for 20 Nirnroots you will get the message: "I've found 20 more of the Nirnroot, I should return to Sinderion in Skingrad..." However, if you have lost a Nirnroot (left it in a chest that resets, dropped it, eaten it, etc), you may only have 19 in your possession. In this case you would need to keep looking despite what the message says, because Sinderion only cares about how many Nirnroots you have in your possession when you talk to him.

Journal EntriesEdit

Seeking Your Roots (MS39)
Stage Finishes Quest Journal Entry
10 I've recovered a sprig of Nirnroot. A plant ingredient this unusual must have value. Perhaps I should bring it to an alchemist and find out a little more about it. An alchemist can be found in almost every city in Cyrodiil.
20 The alchemist I've spoken to has referred me to Sinderion in Skingrad. Apparently he specializes in the more botanical aspects of alchemy. I should bring the Nirnroot to him.
30 Sinderion, an alchemist in Skingrad is looking for a rare root known as Nirnroot. According to his research, this rare root can be a powerful ingredient in the creation of a special potion known as the Elixir of Exploration. Because of this, Sinderion has tasked me to find 10 samples of this mystical plant. He indicated a part of the Great Forest to the northeast called Shadeleaf Copse as a good starting point.
40 I have reached The Shadeleaf Copse. I can now begin my search for the Nirnroot.
60 I've now found a total of 10 Nirnroot. I should return to Sinderion in Skingrad so he can begin creating an Elixir of Exploration from them.
65 I've given Sinderion the first 10 samples of Nirnroot. He told me if I wish to have a moderate version of the Elixir of Exploration made, he'd need 20 more samples.
70 I've found 20 more of the Nirnroot. I should return to Sinderion in Skingrad so he can begin creating a moderate version of the Elixir of Exploration from them.
75 I've given Sinderion 20 samples of Nirnroot. He told me if I wish to have a strong version of the Elixir of Exploration made, he'd need 30 more samples.
80 I've found 30 more of the Nirnroot. I should return to Sinderion in Skingrad so he can begin creating a strong version of the Elixir of Exploration from them.
85 I've given Sinderion 30 samples of Nirnroot. He told me if I wish to have a grand version of the Elixir of Exploration made, he'd need 40 more samples.
90 I've found 40 more samples of Nirnroot. I should return to Sinderion in Skingrad so he can begin creating a grand version of the Elixir of Exploration from them.
100 Yes  Sinderion informed me that he's exhausted his research regarding the Elixir of Exploration. However, he mentioned that he'd be glad to pay for any more samples of Nirnroot that I can find so he can keep himself supplied with the ingredient. Hopefully, I will come across more in my travels to bring to him.
200 Yes  Sinderion has died, and the future of Nirnroot research has disappeared with him.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in random order.
  • If an entry is marked as "Finishes Quest" it means the quest disappears from the Active Quest list, but you may still receive new entries for that quest.
  •   It is possible to use the console to advance through the quest by entering setstage MS39 stage, where stage is the number of the stage you wish to complete. It is not possible to un-complete (i.e. go back) quest stages. See SetStage for more information.