Skyrim:High Gate Ruins
|# of Zones||3|
|Respawn Time||10 days or 30 days|
|A Hypothetical Treachery
|Console Location Code(s)|
|HighGateRuins01, HighGateRuins02, HighGateRuins03, HighGateRuinsExterior|
|West of Dawnstar
East of Wreck of the Icerunner
|Word Wall||Storm Call|
|# of Arcane Enchanters||1|
High Gate Ruins is a medium-sized Nordic ruin directly west of Dawnstar, a short distance east of the Wreck of the Icerunner. It contains three interior zones: High Gate Ruins, High Gate Ruins Catacombs, and Vokun's Throne Room.
The dragon priest Vokun resides here. The quest A Scroll For Anska is initiated as soon as you speak with Anska in the ruins. There is also a word wall here which teaches part of the Storm Call dragon shout.
- Alteration Ritual Spell: Acquire Kahvozein's Fang and use it to get heartscales from a dragon for Tolfdir. (radiant)
- A Scroll For Anska: Help Anska trace her roots in High Gate Ruins.
- Note: This location is one of many potential targets for one or more of the radiant quests found on this page.
High Gate Ruins
The ruins are inhabited by draugr. There are numerous urns, burial urns, and dead draugr that can be looted throughout. In the large room after the room where Anska is first found, there is an unlocked chest toward the far wall, and some shelves against the east wall holding a large coin purse and a few food sacks. On the walkway above the chest is an altar and a bookshelf where a random filled soul gem, a random one-handed weapon, and four random potions may be found. Following the walkway around to the west brings you to a copy of the Destruction skill book A Hypothetical Treachery near a lootable skeleton. An unlocked chest can be found by following the walkway all the way around to the east.
At the rear of the walkway is an iron door with a passage behind it descending several flights of stairs that are trapped with two spear traps. At the bottom is a room guarded by several leveled draugr. There are many large and small shelving units holding a random weapon, two bottles of alto wine, a bottle of wine, two bottles of Nord mead, five random potions, two bowls of bone meal, a bowl of ectoplasm, two bowls of fire salts, a rock warbler egg, a luna moth wing, a bowl of troll fat, a large coin purse, and two apothecary's satchels. There is also an arcane enchanter at the rear of the room to the left of the passage onward.
A passage leads past a pressure plate that triggers a spike wall trap and an upright sarcophagus containing a leveled draugr to another two-tier room containing four levers. If Anska is with you, she will comment on the room being some sort of puzzle. True enough, set into the floor is a wooden spiral stairway under a trapdoor which is opened by pulling the levers in the correct order. The solution is carved into the rock high up on the walls of the room: Eagle—Whale—Fox—Snake. At the bottom of the stairway is a small catacombs, with a sideboard on the left holding a random potion of healing, and an iron door ahead leading to High Gate Ruins Catacombs.
High Gate Ruins Catacombs
From the entrance into this area, a corridor leads deeper into the catacombs past an upright dormant draugr who awakens at your presence, before you descend a spiral stairway. At the bottom, the passage passes into a chamber with many alcoves on either side. There is a leveled draugr on the right before the passage turns. Pass some barrels to two more draugr at the next corner. Ahead is a pressure plate that triggers a poison dart trap from in front, and another draugr standing in an alcove to the left. The next area has a sideboard with a random sword, a random potion of health, a random potion of regeneration, and a third random potion on top. Next is a leveled draugr in an alcove to the left, opposite a chest with a pressure plate in front that triggers a spear trap from behind the chest; eight loose septims are also scattered on the ground in front of the chest. Around the corner are iron doors that open into a room with two upright sarcophagi and a plinth with a random soul gem atop a weight sensitive plate. Removing the soul gem will cause the sarcophagi to burst open, revealing two leveled draugr. There is an adept-locked door in the southeastern corner, behind which you can find a set of shelves holding an unlocked chest and a one-handed weapon. In the southwestern corner is a passage heading south, passing a sideboard with another couple random potions, then widening similar to the passages that normally approach puzzle doors. There are many pressure plates along this section: the first five trigger spear traps thrusting up from the floor, and the last three trigger poison dart traps. At the far end is a set of double doors.
Through these doors is another room similar to the room with the soul gem, but this one contains a lever in the center and two doorways in the corners blocked by large stones. Pulling the lever opens the right-hand door and releases a leveled draugr. In the alcove behind that draugr is a second lever that operates the other door. After dealing with a second leveled draugr, check their alcove for a third lever that opens the iron gate to the east, which leads to a very short passage. To the right along this passage is a set of shelves holding six random potions, a random two-handed weapon, a random shield, and a random helmet. An iron door to the east at the end of the passage leads to Vokun's Throne Room.
Vokun's Throne Room
A short corridor leads to the set of double doors opening to the throne room proper. Along the corridor is a large stone bowl containing three leveled potions, one each of healing, magicka, and stamina. As you approach the double doors, they will automatically open to reveal Vokun rising from his sarcophagus. When dispatched, Vokun drops his eponymous mask.
On the far side of the throne room is a treasure chamber containing two unlocked chests (one of which contains good loot), several urns and burial urns, and a word wall which teaches a word for the Storm Call dragon shout. The scroll for the quest A Scroll For Anska will be sitting on the stone table in front of the word wall.
A shortcut back to the exit is found on the upper level of the treasure chamber, to the left of the room as you enter from the throne room. A passageway leads via a chain-operated gate to a balcony overlooking the room in which Anska was originally found.
- Two orichalcum ore veins are located 240 feet south-southeast of the ruins.
- If you have Hearthfire installed, the ruins are located a very short distance almost directly behind Windstad Manor.
- If the radiant quest Fetch me that Book!, Shalidor's Insights, or Azra's Staffs has been accepted and directs you to High Gate Ruins, the book or staff will be located in a chest in the treasure chamber behind Vokun's Throne Room. However, the chamber will be inaccessible if you have already visited High Gate Ruins and killed Vokun.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- This can be resolved by using console commands, either to resurrect Vokun and kill him again (select the body, not his ashes), or to simply pass through one of the closed gates (use
tclto turn clipping on and off).
- Vokun's Throne Room may be accessed by using a follower to open the gate blocking you from the treasure chamber exit above the first room. This is accomplished by bringing a follower after clearing out the entire dungeon (it is not yet confirmed whether clearing the dungeon first is necessary), climbing up the pile of rubble in the first room beside Anska, and using Whirlwind Sprint or climbing the rubble at the left corner of the balcony to access the walkway leading to the exit from the treasure chamber. The follower will run through the dungeon, and eventually, in approximately 1-3 minutes, appear on the other side of the gate from you. The follower can then be instructed to pull the chain, thereby opening the gate and permitting you into Vokun's Throne Room.
- Since the 1.4 patch, using the wait command while standing against the gate no longer works.
- Another fight-fire-with-fire solution is to 'kettle step' through the wall. It's a glitch where you set a kettle on the floor, mouth down and bottom up, then use Whirlwind Sprint over the top of the upturned kettle. If done right, you will go through the door.
- You can clip through the gate by using the Whirlwind Sprint shout while holding a bowl up to the gate in the throne room. Doing so will cause you to clip through the gate.
- When you first enter High Gate Ruins Catacombs, Anska will state, "That gem looks suspicious to me." This should be triggered when you enter the room with the soul gem on a pressure plate later in the zone.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- When revisiting the ruins, the four puzzle levers used to open the trapdoor spring back, so the trapdoor will not open.
- In the puzzle room, pulling only the Eagle, Whale, and Snake levers (in that order) also opens the floor grating.