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Dwarven Ruin:
(view on map) (lore page)
# of Zones 6
Clearable No (see bugs)
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time Never (storage is safe)
Level Min: 16
Afflicted, Dwarven Automatons
Important Treasure
Biography of the Wolf Queen
Reality & Other Falsehoods
Console Location Code(s)
BthardamzExterior01, BthardamzExterior02, BthardamzExterior03, BthardamzExterior04, Bthardamz01, Bthardamz01a, Bthardamz01b, Bthardamz02, Bthardamz02a, Bthardamz03
The Reach
West-northwest of Karthwasten
South-southeast of Deep Folk Crossing
Ore Veins
# of Gold 3
# of Quicksilver 1

Bthardamz is a large Dwarven ruin west-northwest of Karthwasten containing Afflicted and Dwarven automatons. It contains six zones: Bthardamz Upper District, Bthardamz Workshop, Bthardamz Dwelling, Bthardamz Lower District, Bthardamz Study, and Bthardamz Arcanex.

A door across a ramp above requires a key, while the gate at the bottom leads to an overgrown doorway. Neither entrance can be accessed without following the related quest.

Related Quests[edit]



The overgrown entrance

To reach the ruin from the Shrine to Peryite, travel west until you reach a path, then follow the path north, west, and finally south. Two wide stairways lead up to a winding corridor. As you climb the second stairway, you will encounter two of the afflicted, one a melee fighter and the other an archer. Once these opponents have been dealt with, continue up and along the corridor.

You emerge at the top of a pair of spinning blades-trapped stairways leading down to the east to the main entrance, with another set of stairways ascending ahead to the south. The lever for the blades is at the bottom of the second flight of stairs to the east. Also at the bottom of the stairs is a doorway blocked by spears. The lever to retract the spears is to the right of the door.

At the top of the stairs south of the trapped stairs, around the left side of the first covered tower are two Dwemer chests, while a curved walkway on the right side climbs higher to another covered tower filled only with rubble. Finally, a bridge leading north from the first covered tower ends at a locked door that requires a key to open. The locked door is the shortcut exit from the ruin, and is only accessible after completing exploration of the site.

Once you have lowered the spears at the base of the trapped stairs, there is a short, rubble-filled descent to a door. If you haven't started the relevant quest, the door will be overgrown with thick roots, and you will be unable to proceed, but once the quest is started, these roots will disappear. Through this door is a room that has suffered quite a bit of damage, with piles of rubble around the room. The room also features several large pots, two large pillars, and stone benches lining the side walls. The only items of interest in the room are two unlocked Dwemer chests beside the left pillar. A door opposite the entrance leads to Bthardamz Upper District.

Bthardamz Upper District[edit]

Bthardamz Upper District
Upper District entrance

The first room has a chest on a table, a random damage health poison and a pickaxe on another table, and five large pots containing a glowing green substance, one of which is tipped over.

The door onward is to the west, opposite where you entered, opening to a ramp leading down. At the bottom, by three more pots overflowing with the glowing green substance, the passage turns to the north, with a novice-locked gate ahead, and an open door on your left leading to sleeping quarters. There is a stone table and chair beside this door.

The sleeping area is a symmetrical room, with two beds on your left and an opening in front of you, through which is a stone table and a raised section with four more beds (one occupied by a sleeping afflicted). At the other end of the room, there are two beds on your right (one occupied), and another opening leading to four more beds (one occupied) and a table holding a random poison. An unlocked door at this end of the room returns you to the main corridor on the other side of the novice-locked gate.

The path continues to the north, then turns to the west. An open door on your right leads to a room with a caged area in one corner behind an adept-locked gate. The caged area features a table holding a random poison and an unlocked chest. The corridor continues to the west past some rubble, then turns back to the north through a doorway, finally descending into a room with three afflicted praying to Peryite around a stone basin full of glowing green vapor similar to the fumes you inhaled to commune with the Daedric Prince. There is more damage around the room, including a pillar that has toppled and is leaning against a wall in front of you as you enter. The afflicted will attack as soon as you are detected. The path continues in the northwestern corner, heading west and descending further.

At the bottom of the ramp, the corridor opens into a cavernous room, the first part of which is uninteresting, with a pillar in front of you and arched openings to either side. Beyond the pillar, four afflicted roam the main part of the room. Stairs lead up to a large central basin glowing green, and bright green roots snake around the room. To the southwest is a tower, with two ramps leading up to a doorway blocked by spears. To the north are two stairways up to a balcony level. In the middle of the balcony is a lever that lowers the spears blocking the path at the top of the tower opposite, and to the right of the lever is an unlocked chest. To the right of the eastern ramp is a gold ore vein.

At the top of the ramps, you can now continue to a circular platform, with the path heading east towards a closed door. Before reaching the door, the path splits and doubles back on itself, descending several flights of stairs. At the bottom, in an alcove under the circular platform, an unlocked Dwemer chest is mounted on the wall. Backtrack to the closed door, which is unlocked. The rocky sides of this room can be explored, but offer nothing of interest.

Dwarven spheres

Through the door, the corridor descends slightly to a T-junction. Ahead to the east is a room, while the corridor continues to descend to the south. The room ahead contains six Dwarven scuttles on the walls, with an unlocked chest on the east wall between two scuttles from which two Dwarven spheres emerge and attack. In the center of the room are large pipes you can jump over to recuperate during the fight; while you are between the pipes, the spheres will only be able to fire Dwarven bolts at you.

Continuing down the corridor to the south, beware the pressure plate that will activate spinning blades on the ramp. Some afflicted from the next area may also attack if they haven't already fallen afoul of the trap, as they may also activate the blades using the lever on the bottom left pillar. At the bottom is an unlocked gate.

The path past the gate curves to the right, where three afflicted wander. On the left is a raised section, with three small partitioned areas featuring stone benches around tables. On the central table is a random damage magicka poison. The lower section to the right ends with a short flight of stairs up to an unlocked door leading to Bthardamz Workshop.

Bthardamz Workshop[edit]

Bthardamz Workshop
Living area

You emerge in a short corridor, with Dwemer piping in front of you. An unlocked gate on your right leads to a bedroom area, with a double stone bed and nothing else of interest. If you are sneaking, you may witness a scene in which a melee afflicted wandering the corridor wakes a mage in a room to the left, bringing orders from Orchendor. A note lies on the desk in the mage's room. Opposite the mage's room is another unlocked gate to another empty bedroom. Finally, past the mage's room is an open door to the south.

Through the door is a room with three vertical pipes in the middle, a door to the southeast, a long flight of stairs to the east, and a Dwemer chest next to a lit lantern and a scuttle in the nearby northeast corner. When you approach the chest, a leveled Dwarven spider will emerge from the scuttle and attack. When you pass the vertical pipes, three more Dwarven spiders will drop from scuttles in the pipes and attack. Too much noise will attract two afflicted from the next room through the open door to the southeast. Ignore the southeastern room for now, and climb the eastern stairs.

At the top of the long flight of stairs, the door leads back into Bthardamz Upper District, but at a higher level. You emerge on a balcony above where you first entered the workshop, giving you a good vantage point from which to snipe up to four afflicted in the next area. There is a random damage stamina poison and an unlocked chest on the balcony.

Return to the workshop, descend the stairs, and take the open door to the southeast to enter a room containing two afflicted, if you hadn't dispatched them previously. An unlocked chest is on your left as you enter the room. Continue to the east, passing an open doorway to the south. In the next room, a door in the opposite corner leads back into Bthardamz Upper District.

Upon entering this section, if you hadn't dealt with the afflicted from the balcony earlier, there will be four to defeat. Ahead is a basin, from which a sickly glowing tree rises. The path forward is to the right. Two flights of stairs ascend from here, with the shorter right-hand set leading up to a door to Bthardamz Dwelling. Before using this exit, find an unlocked Dwemer chest at the end of a short passage heading north to the left of both flights of stairs, and a gold ore vein along a ledge to the right of the second landing when climbing the left-hand flight of stairs. There is another unlocked chest on the rooftop just west of the gold ore vein. Yet another unlocked Dwemer chest is found on the other side of the second landing to the north, near a small balcony at the end of a short corridor heading north then west. To the southeast, up a third flight of stairs, two ramps, and through a corridor is a door to Bthardamz Lower District, which bypasses Bthardamz Dwelling.

Bthardamz Dwelling[edit]

Bthardamz Dwelling

You emerge in a room that is quite well lit, making sneaking difficult. A stone table and chairs are in front of you, and to the left in the southwest corner is an apprentice-locked gate. Sneaking farther into the room, you will overhear a sister talking to her sleeping brother, both from the Reach; she is obviously unhappy here, blames Orchendor for their situation, and thinks his promises are lies, as she does not feel Peryite's favor and sees no way out of their situation. The siblings are found to the left of the entrance, in a small area around a corner. She is sitting next to him while he sleeps. Next to the bed is an unlocked chest. Through the locked gate is a table holding a copy of the Speech skill book Biography of the Wolf Queen, and to the right of the skill book is an unlocked Dwemer chest. Exit this area through the door you entered through, and continue through the Upper District as directed above to reach the Lower District.

Bthardamz Lower District[edit]

Bthardamz Lower District
Lower District arena

You emerge in a short corridor heading west, with piles of rubble along its length. The passage soon turns north and enters a room. Around the corner to the left is an unlocked gate leading to an unlocked chest. The corridor continues to the north, passing four scuttles; the third and fourth release leveled Dwarven spiders. The corridor turns to the east and ends at a door.

Beyond the door is a large arena-styled room, with a sunken illuminated round platform in its center on which sits a chest, and tiered seats around the platform. There are three afflicted stationed here; one is on the platform in the center, and two sit in the spectator's area. The afflicted on the platform can be disposed of by using the lever near the entrance to activate four stationary spinning blades. There is nothing else of interest in this room. The path forward is opposite the entrance. Through the doors at the end, the corridor continues to the east, then turns to the north, descending to an open door into another room. This room is empty, so continue straight through to the northwest and into the corridor beyond, which ends at a bridge over a stream. Nearby are plants with glowing green buds on them; when struck with a ranged attack, these buds will disappear, leaving that portion of the plant dark.

Two afflicted roam this area. Attacking these opponents can alert up to three more from farther back to investigate. Cross the bridge and follow the path through an open gate to an area with three scuttles on the right-hand wall, from which two leveled Dwarven spheres will emerge and attack. Continue across the open area. Just before passing under an open arch to the north, there is a pressure plate in the middle of the path that activates a slicer trap from above the arch, while to your right you will see an unlocked wooden chest near another scuttle. Beyond the arch you may see a few afflicted roaming, unless you dealt with them before. A lever to the right just past the arch also activates the slicer trap. Here, the path splits, with stairs leading up to the north in front of you, and a brightly lit path off to your right. Climbing the stairs, at the top you pass under a covered section. Immediately after exiting to the other side, if you turn right, against the side wall of the structure you'll find a skeleton beside an unlocked Dwemer chest. Ahead is a raised circular walkway around a waterfall, where an afflicted is stationed unless previously dealt with.

Return to the bottom of the stairs and take the other path to the east, which leads to a gold ore vein on the left. Beside the ore vein are more stairs ascending to the south, leading to an open area with two Dwarven scuttles on the walls. It is possible to sneak past the scuttles, but any noise will cause two leveled Dwarven spiders to emerge and attack. Past the scuttles is a door leading to Bthardamz Study.

Bthardamz Study[edit]

Bthardamz Study

You enter into a room with a closed gate in front of you and a door to your right. Through the gate is a room with an unlocked wooden chest on the right, but nothing else of interest. Through the door to the right is a corridor that turns to the east and leads to the bottom of a ramp. A pressure plate here triggers a spinning blade trap on the ramp. At the top is a scuttle from which a Dwarven sphere will emerge, and a closed gate on your left. Through the gate is another corridor, with a table opposite. To the left of the table is an unlocked Dwemer chest. The corridor ascends to the west, ending at a door leading back to Bthardamz Lower District.

Through the door is a balcony above the previous areas. Around to the right is a ramp down. From the top of the ramp, you can jump onto the roof to the right, where an unlocked Dwemer chest sits in the last alcove along the side of the building you've just emerged from. Descending the ramp, the path splits to the left and right. To the right, across a short bridge and through a gate is another unlocked Dwemer chest. To the left, four afflicted patrol in a group. Once they are dealt with, continue along the corridor until it opens into the main cavern, where you will find a ramp up on your right. At the top of the ramp are three more afflicted; two sit at tables with puddles of the green ichor in front of them, and the third wanders back and forth behind them. On the wall over the right-hand table is an unlocked Dwemer chest.

From the bottom of the ramp, follow the path to the south through another covered area and up another short ramp. At the top are three gates in front of you; both the left and middle gates are open, and the right gate is unlocked. All three gates lead to the same place, so simply continue along the central path. The corridor eventually turns east, and ends at a door leading to Bthardamz Arcanex.

Bthardamz Arcanex[edit]

Bthardamz Arcanex
Arcanex final room

Follow the path onward down and through a partially flooded room, but be aware of two Dwarven spheres and three Dwarven spiders guarding the area. At the top of the long winding ramp, stairs lead down on your left. Descending the stairs brings you to another unlocked Dwemer chest. Back at the top, climb the wide stairs in front of you to the south. As soon as you reach the top, a Dwarven centurion will appear at the far end of a short passage lined with empty scuttles on both sides. Depending on your archery or magic skills, you may be able to destroy the centurion before it reaches you. Once it has been dealt with, search the balcony on the left to find a quicksilver ore vein. At the far end of the passage are two turns to the left, with two scuttles containing leveled Dwarven spiders and a flight of stairs leading up. At the top is a high balcony lined with more scuttles, and after turning to the west, two Dwarven mounted crossbows are on the right. Two Dwarven spiders will emerge from scuttles on the left, and around the corner three more will ambush you. Keep following the path until you eventually find Orchendor. Once you kill him and loot his corpse, you will recover a copy of the Alteration skill book Reality & Other Falsehoods and a key to Bthardamz elevator. The key allows you to open a door on the upper level of the room in the northwest corner. Beyond the door is a small chamber with an unlocked Dwemer chest and a lift, which will take you up to the surface and another locked door that requires the same key.


  • Bthardamz is the only ruin in Skyrim where you can find a wandering Dwarven centurion, as all others are stationed in charging stations before activating. It is found in the corridors leading to the chamber with Orchendor. If left alone (i.e., if it doesn't detect you and you don't engage it), it will walk down the corridor and the crumbled stairs, circle the column with the waterfall inside, then return the way it came, repeating this patrol.
  • In the areas with the mysterious vines, you can actually pop the strange neon green spheres that "grow" on them, but this doesn't seem to have any notable effect.
  • The noxious green puddles of goo found in most zones of Bthardamz are identical in appearance to the "incense" you help create and inhale to start the quest The Only Cure, as well as the vomit many Afflicted spew at you.


  • After you kill Orchendor, his body may disappear or become glitched and unresponsive, making it impossible to retrieve the key for the elevator.
    • To fix this, simply go back to the door you used to enter Bthardamz Arcanex, enter Bthardamz Lower District, then reenter the Arcanex. You should find his body lying where you killed him.
  • Orchendor is not tagged as a boss, preventing the location from being marked as cleared.