The UESPWiki – Your source for The Elder Scrolls since 1995
Jump to: navigation, search
SR-mapicon-Nordic Ruin.png
Nordic Ruin:
(view on map) (lore page)
# of Zones 3
Clearable Yes
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days or 30 days
Level Min: 24
Dragon Cultists, Draugr, Skeevers, Rahgot, Lost PaladinCC
Important Treasure
Dragon Priest Staff
The Exodus
Console Location Code(s)
ForelhostBrokenTower, ForelhostExterior01, ForelhostExterior02, ForelhostExterior03, ForelhostExterior04, Forelhost01, Forelhost02, Forelhost03
The Rift
Special Features
Word Wall Storm Call
# of Alchemy Labs 2
# of Arcane Enchanters 1
# of Forges/Anvils 1
# of Grindstones 1
# of Workbenches 1
Ore Veins
# of Gold 1
# of Quicksilver 1

Forelhost is a large Nordic ruin on a peak southeast of Riften which contains a word wall for the Storm Call shout. The ruins have an exterior courtyard and three interior zones: Forelhost Stronghold, Forelhost Crypt, and Forelhost Refectory.

Related Quests[edit]



The courtyard of Forelhost contains a small campsite with a single tent. This is where Captain Valmir can be found, claiming to be an Imperial or Stormcloak officer, depending on your allegiance and progress in the civil war questline. He asks for your help, and can give you information on the history of the Dragon Cult, initiating the quest Siege on the Dragon Cult. The courtyard is surrounded by the remains of the walls and battlements, with a door leading into the stronghold. A chest and two potions atop a food barrel are next to Captain Valmir's tent, while a dilapidated tower across a stone bridge to the northeast contains an expert-locked chest.

The word wall is reachable by scaling the mountainside through a combination of jumping and/or using the Whirlwind Sprint shout, bypassing the dungeon entirely. The mountain slope northeast of the ruins, or the arch above the door to the ruins, can be climbed in this way.

Forelhost Stronghold[edit]

The first zone of the fortress is partially in ruins. The direct route to the second zone is blocked by a portcullis, so you'll have to take a long, trapped path around behind it to reach the next zone. This zone is populated with the ghosts of the dragon cultists, which are invisible until you are quite close, though they can be detected with Detect Dead. Some of the cultists are melee warriors, while others are mages. Later in the zone, you will also meet draugr.

Skorm Snow-Strider's journal can be found in this zone, providing additional background information on the fortress and the last days of the siege of the Dragon Cult's final stronghold. In addition to various ancient Nord weapons scattered about, the following notable loot can be found in this zone: a potion on a sideboard in the first room; a poison next to a draugr corpse lying in the passage beyond the first room opposite the closed portcullis; a medium coin purse on the ground at the top of the stairs past the draugr corpse; a helmet, another medium coin purse, and a chest in the rubble-filled room past the draugr corpse; a set of three plus one additional loose ancient Nord arrows, two burial urns, three falmer ears, a bowl of fire salts, a small coin purse, a potion, and an apprentice-locked chest in the room with Skorm Snow-Strider's journal; a small burial urn at the top of the short stairway leading up to the sleeping quarters; four poisons, five burial urns, and an urn in the sleeping quarters; a potion, three urns, a burial urn, a small coin purse, and an adept-locked chest on the balconies above a room with a forge, a workbench, a grindstone, a chest, an urn, a burial urn, two sets of four ancient Nord arrows, a draugr corpse, some iron ore and ingots, and a large coin purse; two urns, a salt pile, a potion, and a draugr corpse in a kitchen and attached pantry; two potions, eleven loose gold coins, an apprentice-trapped chest, and a soul gem in a two-level room adjacent to the kitchen; and a burnt corpse with an iron helmet and an iron greatsword and two wrapped draugr corpses at the top and bottom of the stairway leading down to Forelhost Crypt.

Forelhost Crypt[edit]

The second zone consists of old burial crypts. Immediately after entering this zone, the path curves to the right. There are two dead draugr and a stealth Dragon Cultist in this corridor. There is a table at the end of the corridor with a soul gem, and exits to the left heading northwest and to the right heading southeast. To reach the third zone, you must pass down through the well past the left exit. However, the well is enclosed in a cage secured by a master-level lock. You can either pick the lock, or search the other path past the right exit to find the key to the well at the back of the crypts. The corridor to the well room has two swinging axe traps, and in the well room are three urns, a potion, and a weapon.

Past the southeast exit to the right, you come to a descending corridor with a dead draugr, a burial urn, a White Cap, a Namira's Rot, and an Imp Stool. At the end of the ramp is an open wooden door to a room that contains a sort of altar, a stealth Dragon Cultist, a table with two dead draugr, and two additional dead draugr on the ground to the right of the table. The room also contains a healing potion on a wall sconce to the left of the table, two burial urns, and an urn. Two wooden doors are on the northeast wall, and an iron door is on the southeast wall. The wooden door to the left of the altar leads to a small storage alcove with two ingredient barrels, while the wooden door to the right is barred from the other side.

Taking the iron door, you come to a corridor ending in a T-junction, with an urn in front of you. Three burial urns are in a wall alcove to the left, while the short corridor to the left contains an active draugr and two urns. The right corridor descends into a room containing a leveled draugr, six urns, and three burial urns. In front of you as you enter the room, there is an open wooden door to a room containing an urn and another draugr, who will be alerted by the fight. Around a corner to the southeast in the room with the leveled draugr, on the northeastern wall, is a discreet wooden door opening to a short corridor with an unlocked chest and a pressure plate that activates a spike wall.

On the northwest wall of the leveled draugr room is an iron door leading to a corridor with webbed walls and an urn on the right. There is a slumbering draugr next to a lit brazier directly in front of you, along with another urn in a wall alcove opposite; here, the corridor turns to the right. There is a leveled draugr farther ahead that will be alerted by the fight. Near this second draugr is a dead draugr, an emerald on a trapped plinth that activates a spear trap when the gem is removed, and a healing potion on another plinth that activates a poison dart trap when the potion is removed. Note that the poison darts will not stop (see notes). The corridor then turns again to the southeast. At the end of the corridor, past another swinging axe trap, is a room with a pillar with a lightning rune, three dead draugr, a dead bandit, and two slumbering leveled draugr. There is another lightning rune on the floor, near the descending stairs that exit this room to the northeast.

Descending the stairs, you come to a corridor with a slumbering draugr lying in front of you. The corridor curves to the right, to a torchlit corner with a master-locked chest, before turning back to the left, where three slumbering leveled draugr lie. An urn is nearby. Farther down the corridor are three more slumbering draugr as well as two draugr corpses in wall alcoves to the right, and before the corridor again turns to the left, a pressure plate on the floor activates a spike wall. After the left turn is another pressure plate for the same trap, and in front of you is yet another slumbering draugr, with two more draugr corpses and another urn in this stretch of the passage. After three more turns passing two further draugr corpses are three more slumbering draugr, two of them leveled. Two pressure plates on the floor in this area activate two poison dart traps; the second plate is right before an iron door.

After this iron door there is a larger room, where three leveled draugr will emerge from sarcophagi. Between the middle and right sarcophagi, on a well-lit raised area, there is an unlocked chest that contains the key to the well cage, as well as some other loot. An urn is also found on the raised area. From the top of the wooden stairs opposite the middle sarcophagus, you can jump across to a raised ledge circling a pillar to the northeast to reach another unlocked chest. Returning to the top of the stairs, the balcony contains an urn, two burial urns, and on a sideboard, an enchanted weapon. A stone bridge crosses to a second pillar circled by an ascending wooden ramp, with a large coin purse underneath the base of the ramp at the back of the pillar. Continuing up the ramp, you come to a frost trap that can be deactivated by removing the soul gem from the nearby plinth. Continuing along the path, you come to the barred door that leads to the altar room.

Once you gain access to the well, descend the wooden spiral staircase and swim through a tunnel to the northwest to reach a cave with some skeevers and the corpse of a frostbite spider. This area contains a quicksilver ore vein between two large webs at the top of the ramp, a gold ore vein to its left, and a lootable egg sac to the right of the quicksilver vein. The next chamber past another flooded tunnel to the northeast contains a poison lying on the ground underwater near wooden steps up to a dry balcony area. The balcony features a dead draugr on the ground, a table holding three poisons and an ancient note, a total of three urns and two burial urns, and a copy of the Restoration skill book The Exodus on the set of shelves to the right.

The next room to the northeast is another catacombs area, with three leveled draugr and a trap comprising a raising circular section of the floor. The passage rises to the left, passing four draugr corpses in wall alcoves on the right side, turns left again, and ends at the iron door to Forelhost Refectory. Twelve wrapped draugr corpses are piled by the door.

Forelhost Refectory[edit]

Seven more wrapped draugr corpses lie on the ground at the entrance. Ascending a flight of stairs, four more wrapped draugr corpses and two urns are in a corner before a left turn and a second ascending set of stairs. At the top of the second flight is a T-junction, with paths ahead and to the right. At the junction, a helmet and a pair of gauntlets are on pedestals along the left wall. Ahead, an alcove to the left holds a chest, while another pair of gauntlets is on a pedestal at a dead end ahead. Returning to the junction and proceeding to the right brings you to a fairly large room with a row of stone tables, a locked portcullis ahead, a raised balcony to your right with some draugr archers, and a set of double doors to your left. This lower level of the room contains twenty-one burial urns (most empty), four urns, a soul gem on a sideboard under the balcony, a pile of five wrapped draugr corpses to the right of the portcullis, and on the tables, another draugr corpse as well as another ancient note.

Passing through the double doors to the southeast takes you to a corridor lined with two urns and three burial urns, with a fire rune trap near an oil slick at a right turn in the middle. At the end of the corridor is a door to the right leading into a room with a balcony at the back and four sarcophagi along the walls, three of which burst open to release draugr. This lower level contains a central shallow pit with five wrapped draugr corpses, three urns, four burial urns, an adept-locked chest, and a table holding a soul gem, a potion, and another ancient note. Climb the wooden steps at the back of the room to the balcony, where a fireplace and another burial urn are found. Steps down to the right heading northeast soon end in the closed portcullis, which can now be opened using the lever on the wall to the right. Another exit from the balcony to the northwest opens to a room with two tables in the middle set with two alchemy labs, three sets of shelves against the walls, and a throne in which a draugr corpse pierced by an ancient Nord sword and arrows sits next to an interesting note. In addition to clutter, the tables and shelves hold fifteen deathbells (including five in a stone bowl on the ground in front of the tables), two poisons, a potion, three falmer ears, three charred skeever hides, a bowl of fire salts, and another note to which the note on the throne was apparently a pointed reply.

Wooden steps at the back of the room lead up to another balcony, which contains a Spell Tome: Flames, a medium coin purse, and four loose gold coins. A passage with a short flight of descending stairs to the northeast leads to a long room with many sideboards and shelving units, with the glass claw resting on a pedestal around a corner to the left. Near the entrance to the room, doors to the right open to the balcony overlooking the first large room in the zone, where an urn is found. A locked door near the back of the room leads to a small alcove containing the soul gem for the spellcaster trap) firing through a window into the room, although the soul gem can also be taken to deactivate the trap from the other side of the window. Another locked door farther back in the room reveals a smaller alcove with a potion, a shield, and an ancient Nord sword on a set of shelves. In addition to the claw and various clutter, the long room contains a few pieces of ancient Nord equipment, two burial urns, a mammoth tusk, a soul gem, and a potion on a weight sensitive plate; taking the potion triggers a spear trap.

Removing the glass claw from its pedestal retracts the spears blocking the exit at the back of the long room. Beyond this exit, a passage ascends past three burial urns and an apprentice-locked chest to end at a door on the left. Through the door is a room with an urn, two burial urns, a wrapped draugr corpse on a set of tables, an arcane enchanter near the tables, and an apprentice-locked chest in the back. An exit to the right of the chest leads to a corridor with a pressure plate activating a flame spout trap from above near the entrance. The corridor winds and ascends past four burial urns to reach a wide hallway typical of the areas immediately before Nordic puzzle doors. Sure enough, the hallway ends at a door that must be opened with the glass claw using the sequence (from outer to inner ring): Fox—Owl—Snake. The door opens to the final room.

At the back of this large room up a wide flight of stairs, you will meet Rahgot, dragon priest of Alduin, and bearer of the eponymous mask. As you approach his tomb, he will rise to attack, along with four leveled draugr. This can prove to be a very challenging battle at higher levels, as you will likely be facing several draugr deathlords along with Rahgot. It is possible to split the group, making it easier to defeat. You only need to go as far as the top of the steps for Rahgot and the draugr to rise. Once they do, quickly returning back down the steps and to the other end of the previous hallway can draw the first two draugr away. It is also possible to draw the other two draugr out of the main room in the same way, making all four easier to dispatch. Rahgot's main offense is fire, in the form of fire-based Destruction spells, the high-damage fire walls produced by his staff, and the flame atronach he can summon. Rahgot carries his mask and a key to Forelhost Battlements. Other than Rahgot himself, the only features of note in this large room are the boss chest behind and to the left of his tomb, an altar holding some weapons directly behind his tomb, and the exit to the battlements beyond.

Exterior: Forelhost Battlements[edit]

The door behind Rahgot's tomb opens onto the balcony above the entry door in the courtyard. Make your way around to the right to find the word wall bearing one of the words of the Storm Call shout. From here, you can jump down to the courtyard, by Captain Valmir's camp.

The Lost Paladin can be encountered in front of the word wall if the Creation Chrysamere is installed.


  • The glass claw gate may not retract when the claw is taken. To fix this, place an object on the pedestal where the claw was resting, then take that item to release the door.
  • The glass claw may get knocked off its pedestal and onto the ground if spells with a blast effect are cast nearby.
  • The ghosts are considered NPCs, and thus cannot be soul-trapped in regular soul gems. Black soul gems are required.
  • One of the traps encountered within the fortress is triggered by a weight sensitive plate on a pedestal (currently held in place by a potion). When the potion is removed, a volley of darts will be fired, and will continue firing until another weight of some sort is placed on the trigger.
  • The above-mentioned trap sometimes cannot be reset by placing another object upon the pedestal. If you reload the game from the previous autosave (the door just entered), it may reset the trap. Then, being careful to not trigger the trap again, stay to the right-hand side of the wall.
  • If you haven't yet chosen to join either the Imperials or Stormcloaks in the civil war, Captain Valmir will appear as a Stormcloak or an Imperial officer, respectively, depending on whether you chose to follow Ralof or Hadvar during the quest Unbound.
  • The first few cultists carry an inordinate amount of arrows, up to 126 each.
  • The cultists wear ancient Nord armor, making Forelhost the only location where all pieces of this type of armor may be looted at once.
  • The Dragon Cultists can be detected with the Detect Dead spell before they go hostile.
  • Many of the battles involve large numbers of draugr gathered around a trap of some kind, making many battles hazardous. Ranged weapons are suggested.
  • Clearing Forelhost may create significant save file bloat. To address this, use the wait menu for 31 days to reset the game cells. [verification needed]
  • Forelhost also appears in ESO and Legends.


  • Many of the traps with pressure plates in Forelhost Crypt are triggered even if the player has the Light Foot perk.
  • If the puzzle door does not work, check here for possible fixes.
  • The mask and key may not be on Rahgot's body, rendering the quest uncompletable.
  • The contents of the boss chest do not respawn with the rest of the dungeon. ?