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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
Southeast of Riften
West of Stendarr's Beacon
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 southeast of Riften containing Dragon Cultists, draugr, and skeevers. It contains three zones: Forelhost Stronghold, Forelhost Crypt, and Forelhost Refectory.

The ruin features a word wall for the Storm Call shout.

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 room is a foyer featuring an unlocked iron door with two braziers on either side, one lit and the other extinguished. Just beyond the door, a corpse can be found lying next to an open fire. A Dragon Cultist will be lurking near an empty pedestal in the center of the room. The cultists will initially be invisible without a spell of Detect Dead or an Aura Whisper shout, but they will appear as ghostly figures when you approach or attack.

On opposite walls just before the next room are two tables with some leather strips. Before passing through the doorway, beware the pressure plate on the ground which releases a battering ram from the ceiling. To the left of the smoldering fire in front of you hides a dragon cultist; behind them is a closed portcullis that cannot be opened from this side. Another cultist lurks to the north, past the fire; behind them is a chest resting on the right side of the stairs beneath a collapsed passage.

Take the passage east and collect a random poison next to a dead draugr on the floor, then climb the stairs. At the top of the stairs, look right to find a coin purse on the ground. Continue down the hall at the top of the stairs to find a caved-in room where a skeletal corpse rests in the dust next to a random helmet. Just past this unlootable skeleton is another coin purse and a half-buried chest.

Return to the passage and turn left around a corner heading south. You will encounter a bloody remains of a Stormcloak Soldier who has been killed by the nearby proximity swinging blade trap. There are only two blades to the trap, so it is relatively easy to bypass. On the other side you will find a table to your right with a couple Ancient Nord weapons and quivers of Ancient Nord arrows.

As you round the corner, there are two burial urns directly ahead, next to a bench against the southwestern wall. Your quest marker will point you towards Skorm Snow-Strider's journal, which is necessary for the associated quest and provides insight into the presence of the dragon cultists. Two cultists guard the journal on either side of the room. The journal will be lying on a table between a coin purse and a random potion or poison. To the left of this table is a locked chest with some minor loot. On the shelves to the right of the table are three falmer ears and a bowl of fire salts. To the right of the shelves are two patches of Fly Amanita and a Bleeding Crown; to the right of these is a table with a random sword.

A wooden door in the western corner leads to a very short hall with a staircase enveloped by vines, a burial urn on the left, and another wooden door at the end. Opening the door reveals a room full of wooden beds. Standing in the center of the room is a dragon cultist, with another cultist in the northern corner. Unlootable skeletons rest in some of the beds, and several poisons can be found sitting atop the headboards, referencing the events detailed in Skorm Snow-Strider's journal. There are five burial urns around this room, and one urn by the southwest doorway to the next room.

Through the doorway, a short flight of stairs descends into a crumbling corridor that turns left before opening into a large multi-leveled room. Just past the doorway to your right is an empty throne and a table with a random potion. Before descending into the lower room, turn east to find two urns and a gated bridge. The bridge leads to a small area with an adept-locked chest, a coin purse, two more Ancient Nord weapons, an urn, and a burial urn. After looting, cross back over the bridge and proceed down the stairs.

In this lower level, a dragon cultist stands between a fallen brazier and a functional anvil with an iron ingot on top. To the left, you will find a grindstone next to an unlocked chest half-buried in the rubble. To the right, an iron ore and a sword are resting on a workbench. Against the western wall is a stone table with two Ancient Nord weapons and a silver ore, as well as a bed where you may find a dead draugr and another Ancient Nord weapon on the floor. To the right of the bed is a burial urn and a set of shelves holding two quivers of Ancient Nord arrows, a random Ancient Nord weapon, four iron ores, and an iron ingot. Against the northern wall, a low shelf holds three more iron ingots and a gold ore. Several more Ancient Nord weapons can be found on a shelf beneath the staircase between a pile of firewood and an urn.

On the left side of the doorway to the southwest lies a coin purse. The doorway passes through three stone arches before opening into a room containing a few tables with various dining implements. As you enter, a dragon cultist stands between you and a small pantry room to the southwest; to the left of the cultist is an urn. The pantry contains food sacks, another urn, an Elixir of Strength on the shelves to the right, and a dead draugr lying on a bed.

Returning to the dining room, a salt pile can be collected from the center table. A passage to the north will lead you into a room with a spiral staircase. As you enter and approach the staircase, one leveled draugr will emerge from a standing sarcophagus immediately to your left, and another draugr does the same just past the staircase. There is also another dragon cultist standing atop a stone platform to the southwest. On the platform, an altar holds a random soul gem. On the ground floor below the platform is a small table with a potion of healing and a wooden plate containing five loose gold coins and two soul gem fragments. Six more gold coins sit on a set of shelves along the northeastern wall, and a random healing potion can be found in a low shelf by the stairs.

Climb the spiral staircase in the center of the room and carefully walk around the pressure plate at the center of the pillar to avoid triggering a dart trap. Then cross the bridge to a platform where you will find a chest harnessed to a leveled tension cable connected to a deadly spear trap.

Cross back over the bridge or drop to the ground level and find a wooden door on the north side of the room. Use caution upon entry, as a pressure plate on the floor ignites a flame spout trap, which will immediately alert the leveled draugr lurking at the bottom of the stairs to your left. Towards the east is another pressure plate for a second flame spout trap. Along the hallway you will find three burnt corpses that fell victim to these traps; all three are still wearing lootable pieces of armor and holding lootable weapons. A pedestal along the southeast wall holds a dagger. A lever in the hall to the east opens the previously-inaccessible portcullis leading back into the first zone.

Travel down the stairs to the north to loot two dead draugr and open the doors leading 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 hidden dragon cultist in this corridor. There is a table at the end of the corridor with a soul gem, and doorways to the left heading northwest and to the right heading southeast. To reach the third zone, you must pass down through the well via the left doorway. However, the well is enclosed in a cage secured by a master-level lock. You can either pick the lock, or follow the other path to the right to find the key to the well at the back of the crypts. The corridor to the well room has two swinging blade traps, and in the well room are three urns, a potion, and a weapon.

Taking the southeast exit to the right, you come to a descending corridor with a dead draugr, two burial urns, 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 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 four 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, an urn on the right, and another leveled draugr slumbering in a nook to your left. There is a second draugr sleeping 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 any combat. In the room to the east 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 blade 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 sleeping 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 more sleeping leveled draugr lie. An urn is nearby. Farther down the corridor are three more sleeping 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 sleeping 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 sleeping 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 coin purse underneath the base of the ramp at the back of the pillar. At the top of the ramp, turn right to find an Ancient Nord Bow and two Ancient Nord Arrows. Turning back to the bridge, 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 back to the altar room.

Once you gain access to the well, descend the wooden spiral staircase into the water. At the bottom you can find an Ancient Nord weapon, a nordic barnacle cluster, and a slaughterfish egg nest. Swim through the underwater tunnel to the northwest, harvesting more barnacles, eggs, and glowing mushrooms before reaching 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, a lootable egg sac to the right of the quicksilver vein, and more glowing mushrooms. A tunnel to the northeast leads to a flooded chamber; more slaughterfish eggs and a poison can be found underwater. Wooden steps lead up to a dry balcony area featuring a dead draugr with a poison on the ground, a table holding three more 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, as well as two patches of fly amanita. 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; after taking this pair of gauntlets off the pedestal, poison dart traps on either side will activate. Returning to the junction and proceeding through the iron door to the southwest brings you to a fairly large room with two patrolling draugr, 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 an ancient note.

Passing through the double doors to the southeast takes you to a corridor lined with two urns and three burial urns, with two fire rune traps near an oil slick at a right turn in the middle, where a leveled draugr patrols. At the end of the oil-covered 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 eleven wrapped draugr corpses, three urns, four burial urns, an adept-locked chest, and a table holding a soul gem, a potion, a stone bowl containing five deathbell, and another ancient note. There are also numerous patches of deathbell, snowberries, various mountain flowers, and a canis root. 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 a leveled draugr lurking around the corner to the right, with another leveled draugr waiting upstairs at the back of the room. There are 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 more 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, shelving units, and a patrolling draugr at the back wall. Near the entrance to the room, doors on the right open to the balcony overlooking the first large room in the zone. If you didn't already kill the leveled draugr standing on this balcony earlier, it will be waiting for you here and may enter the room if it hears combat. An urn can be found to the right side of the balcony. In the main room, a shock damage spellcaster trap fires through a window ahead. The soul gem to deactivate the trap can be taken directly from the window, or accessed through a locked door around the back of the room. Another locked door farther back in the room reveals a small alcove with a potion, a shield, and an Ancient Nord sword on a set of shelves. The Glass Claw rests on a pedestal nearby. 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 a leveled draugr, 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 with a spear trap 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, patrolled by another leveled draugr, 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 Chrysamere Creation 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 Dragon 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 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.
  • At high sneak levels, if you enter the final boss area in sneak mode, Raghot might not rise until you stand up. Until this, his model is visible in the sarcophagus, but it cannot be looted or interacted with.
  • 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 you have 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. ?