The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Guide - Knights of the Nine
7: Wisdom of the Ages
Fort Bulwark is located just above the 'd' in the 'Blackwood' text on the world map. With 'Wisdom of the Ages' set as your active quest, make your way to Fort Bulwark, locate the entrance, and head inside. More often than not, following the area on your compass here will just lead you to a dead end.
Upon entering Fort Bulwak, move forward and turn left when you can. When you come to the split, turn left and start down this corridor. Turn right when you can to reach a raised bridge and an Iron Gate that cannot be opened. Cross the stone bridge and follow the path at the other end until you reach a room with a red carpet. When you first enter this room, activate the Turn Handle below the lit torch up ahead. After hitting the switch, leave the room, turn left at the first passage, and continue heading in this direction. You will soon come to another switch. Activate the second switch to lower the raised bridges and open the Iron Gate. Return to the stone bridge area and head through the gate.
Cross the stone bridges and you'll find yourself in front of some floor panels. You must step on the floor panels in a certain way to unlock the Iron Gate at the end of the passage. The candles are your guide here; the number of candles next to the set of floor panels indicates which of the panels must be stepped on.
Step on the panels in the correct order to raise the gate.
Notice the single candle next to the first set of floor panels; this single candle indicates that one must step on the floor panel furthest to the left. On the right side of the next set of floor panels, there are two candles; this indicates that one must step on the middle panel. Next to the third set of floor panels are three candles, so step on the floor panel furthest to the right. A single candle sits next to the fourth set of floor panels, so step on the panel furthest to the left. The sequence is left (one candle), center (two candles), right (three candles), and left again (one candle).
Once you have correctly crossed the floor panels, the Iron Gate will open, allowing you to proceed through the door on the opposite side. Once in the next area, start following the arrow on your compass. When you reach the raised bridge, activate the switch to the left of it to lower it. Cross the bridge to reach the platform, and then turn left and activate the switch there. The bridge ahead of you will lower, while the one behind you will return to its initial position. After crossing the second bridge, proceed down the stairs. You'll come to an area with several statues; clear the room of enemies first, and then make note of the circle at the center of the statues. You must turn the statues so they are facing the circle at the center using the handles on each statue. When each statue is facing the center, stand on the circle and wait.
A doorway will open near the giant platform. Leave the circle, head down the tunnel, and proceed through the door that you come to. You'll soon find yourself in another room. Approach the chest on the platform and withdraw the first item. Your goal here is to place the correct item in each of the chests in this room. Upon removing an item from the main chest, you will be shown the correct location of one of the items that needs to be placed. In that way, this puzzle could be likened to memory game.
Place the items in the correct chests to reveal the path to the Shield of the Crusader.
Look for each item under the Misc. section of your character's inventory. When the items have been placed in the correct chests, a new path will be revealed. Head past the item chest and start down this tunnel. You will soon come to the Shield of the Crusader. Take the Shield of the Crusader into your inventory to complete the quest.
If you want to get out of Fort Bulwark quickly, there's no need to walk back through the entire dungeon again. Next to the platform that held the relic is a tunnel. Head down this tunnel and go through the door to reach an Iron Gate. Activate the switch at the right of the Iron Gate to open it. Once in the room with the stone bridges, simply drop down to lower level and make your way back to the entrance from there.