Skyrim Enter the Soul Cairn
In Skyrim, the hero and Serana enter Valerica’s study and find that she is still missing. Serana studies the arcane work in Valerica’s study and deduces that her mother has entered the Soul Cairn. Amongst the scholars of Skyrim, the Soul Cairn is a plane of Oblivion postulated to contain the souls captured in soul gems and later left to rot. The hero and Serana must find certain items within Valerica’s study including Valerica’s Journal, the soul gem shards, the finely ground bone meal and the purified void salts. This will guide the hero and Serana on how to find the above items, and then enter the Soul Cairn to locate Serana’s mother.
Skyrim Find Valerica’s Journal
The first step in trying to enter the Soul Cairn is to find Valerica’s Journal and find out what she has been up to. This treasure hunt within Valerica’s study will be based on the hero standing and looking down at the circular structure on the ground from the altar. The hero will be directly facing the mammoth head skull on the wall when standing on the altar. Note that the portal vessel will be on the left of the hero when standing in this direction. This circular structure will be the entrance into the Soul Cairn when it is activated.
In the position described above, look to the right and see a small study with bookshelves (filled with books). Head there and look at the middle of the bookshelves for a small red book. This book is Valerica’s Journal. Bring it to Serana. Serana will decipher Valerica’s Journal and find that she has fled to the Soul Cairn by mixing some soul gem shards, some finely ground bone meal, some purified void salts and her own blood to create a portal to the Soul Cairn.
Skyrim Enter the Soul Cairn
Skyrim Find Soul Gem Shards in Valerica’s Study
The next step is to find the soul gem shards. These can be found on the shelf to the left of the hero when facing the mammoth head. The shelf that contains the soul gem shards also contains lots of other soul gems, so that should be easy to identify. Grab the soul gem shards and go find the next set of ingredients for the portal vessel.
Skyrim Find the Finely Ground Bone Meal
The finely ground bone meal is easily located with the study. The table full of bones below the mammoth head skull will contain the finely ground bone meal. Grab that and look for the third set of ingredients.
Skyrim Find the Purified Void Salts
The purified void salts will be the hardest of the items to fish out in Valerica’s study. This bowl of purified void salts is well hidden within other salts on a shelf (besides the wall) on the right of the hero when facing the mammoth head skull. The hero needs to face the center of the shelf and take out some of the other salts before the purified void salts will become available.
Skyrim Create the Portal to the Soul Cairn
With all three items above, go to the altar above the circular structure and mix the three items together with the fourth ingredient – the blood of Serana, in the portal vessel. Watch in awe as a pool of light appears above the circular structure. That is the portal to the Soul Cairn. Enter the Soul Cairn and prepare to experience a totally different world to that of Tamriel.