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I'm incorrigibly curious, and discovering the contents of the locked containers (of various types) in the Arcaneum in the College of Winterhold is something I've always wanted to do. I was wondering if Urag awards you with the key once you've completed his fetch quests, or if you have to pickpocket the key off him (I haven't been able to activate the "Pickpocket" prompt).

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2 Answers 2

Urag gro-Shub has the key to the locked cases in the Arcaneum, but you can't pickpocket it off of him, apparently.

Further, none of the quests he gives you results in you getting the key from him. I don't believe it is possible to get it by killing him, since he's flagged as essential. I think you're just going to have to "look and not touch" in this case.

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No, but I have discovered a glitch to where you you hover over just the right spot on some of the cases, it allows you access. I also think that if you haven't completed the darkness returns quest and still have the skeletal key you can access them.

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the skeleton key is simply an unbreakable pick. it doesn't allow you to access unpickable locks –  z ' Feb 16 at 15:11

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