Shivering:The Fountainhead

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Cave:
The Fountainhead
(view on map) (lore page)
# of Zones 3
Occupants
Priests of Order, Gnarls, Syl or Thadon
Important Treasure
3 Hollowed Amber Limbs
2 Hollowed Amber Stumps
Console Location Code(s)
XPGloomstonePassage01, XPGloomstonePassage02, XPGloomstonePassage03
Location
Under Sheogorath's Palace
The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead is a large cave underneath Sheogorath's Throne Room; initially sealed shut containing Priests of Order (quest-related). It contains three zones: The Fountainhead, The Fountainhead, Pool of Mania, and The Fountainhead, Pool of Dementia.

Related Quests[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • The entrance to this cave is sealed shut until the related quest has been started.
  • After the related quest, all the gnarls will be friendly and all the root doors and hollowed stumps devoid of crystals.
  • One test zone related to this area did not make it to the final game. "XPGloomstonePassage04" is the console code for a zone, called "Nursery of Delirium", which is nothing but four root doors.
  • This dungeon contains 73 Flame Stalk plants, 46 Fungus Stalk plants, 5 Rot Scale plants, 18 Screaming Maw plants, 5 Thorn Hook plants, 11 Watcher's Eye plants, 177 Root Stalk plants, and 73 Withering Moon plants.
  • For more information on The Fountainhead, see the Lore article.

Zone 1: The Fountainhead[edit]

Map of The Fountainhead
Key to Maps
A Gnarl Chrysalis

Before the Greymarch, the peaceful sanctuary underneath the Palace was used by Sheogorath for meditation amidst the tame gnarls tending the roots. When enter during the related quest, you will find the cave and even its wooden inhabitants infested by Order. The ordered Gnarls, recognizable by a bluish halo, will all be hostile and will attack you on sight. The Gnarls are infected by drinking the water from one of the four fountains, all poisoned by Priests of Order (P). These Gnarls will have an effect on your exploration, as they will infest root doors and urns, making them inaccessible with a single touch. The infected doors can only be opened by Shards of Order, carried by the Priests, or by waiting for a tame Gnarl to unlock them. To aid in this task, new tame Gnarls can be spawned by activating any of the three Gnarl Chrysalises found in convenient locations throughout the Fountainhead (Q on map).

Upon entering, directly in front of you is a root door (L) infected by Order and apparently inaccessible. After the tame Gnarl Cultivator (G) opens the door, proceed forward to an intersection and make a decision: to the east is the entrance to the Pool of Dementia through door F while to the west lies the entrance to the Pool of Mania through door C. Note that door D and E function as easy escape routes from the Pools. Do not bother with the two Amber resources at H or the many urns (green dots on map) at this point, as it is possible to return to the Fountainhead once everything is cleansed and loot the entire zone in peace.

As the Gnarls, both friendly and hostile, move around randomly, the safest approach is to follow the red map markers towards your desired zone. Each direction will land you at an intersection with two tunnels, both of them leading to a root door. Chances are that one of the doors will be accessible; otherwise, try the other path. Remember that ordered doors can be unlocked by a Shard of Order or by a tame Gnarl, and there are Gnarl Chrysalises (Q) close to doors K and M.

Occupants:

Treasure:

Doors and Gates:

  • There are five doors in/out of this zone
  • 1 door (at J) leads out of dungeon to Sheogorath's Palace
  • 6 Root Doors at I, K, L, M, N, and O

Other:

  • 3 Gnarl Chrysalises at locations Q on map

Zone 2: The Fountainhead, Pool of Mania[edit]

Map of The Fountainhead, Pool of Mania
The Pool of Mania

If you have already cleansed the Pool of Dementia your main objective in this zone will be either Thadon or Syl at T, depending on your choice during the Ritual of Accession. If this is the first pool you visit, your objective will be to cleanse the Pool of Mania near P before moving on to the Pool of Dementia.

Around the corner from the entrance at C is a three-way junction: the paths to the left and right both leads to root doors (I and J) guarded, and probably infected, by ordered Gnarls. Head north instead and spawn a friendly Gnarl from the Gnarl Chrysalis at K. The path leading west is the better option as it will take you past the amber limb at H. Both routes lead to the same huge chamber, with thick and twisted Roots of Madness dangerously close to tearing the whole place apart. Jump down to the lower level and check the tunnel underneath the central platform for a hollowed stump. Activate the Chrysalis at K and wait for the Gnarl to open door G, then continue through the root tunnel. Finally, you will arrive the Pool of Mania, evident by a large root covered in Flame Stalks sprouting directly into the water and three Priests of Order gathered around an obelisk (P). If you already cleansed the Pool of Dementia you will also find either Thadon or Syl on the small platform in the northeastern corner. Dispose of the enemies and watch the crystal obelisk disappear into the water before heading up the root bridge towards door D, which takes you back to The Fountainhead.

Occupants:

Treasure:

Doors and Gates:

  • There are two doors (at D and C) in/out of this zone, both leading to the zone The Fountainhead
  • 3 Root Doors at G, I, and J

Other:

  • 2 Gnarl Chrysalises at locations K on map

Zone 3: The Fountainhead, Pool of Dementia[edit]

Map of The Fountainhead, Pool of Dementia

If you have already cleansed the Pool of Mania your main objective in this zone will be either Thadon or Syl at T, depending on your choice during the Ritual of Accession. If this is the first pool you visit, your objective will be to cleanse the Pool of Dementia near P and then move on to the Pool of Mania.

From door F you will emerge on a ledge on the upper level of a large room covered with thick roots from the Tree of Madness in the Palace above. Activate the gnarl chrysalis at K, then examine the lower level for a hollowed amber stump (H) and some minor loot. Proceed up the root bridge and explore the opposite ledge for more valuables, then locate the tunnel heading west. The root door at J is blocked, so use a Shard of Order or wait for the recently created Gnarl to unlock it. Proceed through the tunnel until you reach an intersection: going straight will lead you to another Chrysalis (K), while the left tunnel leads to a hollowed stump and to tunnels leading to root doors G and I, which are possibly blocked by order. In the final room, three Priests of Order await, along with several Gnarls, so be prepared. Kill the priests, thus cleansing the Pool of Dementia and make sure to loot the Shards of Order from their bodies. If you already cleansed the Pool of Mania, you will find either Thadon or Syl on the small platform at T. When all is said and done, explore the room for loot and locate door E, which takes you back to The Fountainhead.

Occupants:

  • Thadon or Syl at location T (if you have already cleansed the Pool of Mania)
  • 3 Priests of Order (Dementia; non-respawning) at locations P on map
  • 3 Gnarls (Dementia; non-respawning)
  • 4 Gnarls (Ordered; Dementia; non-respawning)

Treasure:

Doors and Gates:

  • There are two doors (at E and F) in/out of this zone, both leading to the zone The Fountainhead
  • 3 Root Doors at G, I, and J

Other:

  • 2 Gnarl Chrysalises at locations K on map