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Dwarven Ruin:
(view on map) (lore page)
# of Zones 2
Clearable Yes
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days or 30 days
Level Min: 12
Bandits, Chaurus, Dwarven Automatons, Falmer, Skeevers
Important Treasure
2920, Last Seed, v8
Aetherium ShardDG
Console Location Code(s)
RaldbtharExterior01, RaldbtharExterior02, RaldbtharExterior03, RaldbtharExterior04, Raldbthar01, Raldbthar02
The Pale
West-southwest of Windhelm
Special Features
# of Tanning Racks 1
# of Workbenches 2
# of Cooking Pots/Spits 1

Raldbthar is a medium-sized Dwarven ruin west-southwest of Windhelm. It contains two zones: Raldbthar and Raldbthar Deep Market.

Raldbthar is one of only three sites that provide initial access to Blackreach.

Related Quests[edit]



A small group of leveled bandits has set up camp outside the main entrance to Raldbthar, and will attack on sight. It is possible to jump up to the upper portion of the ruins, where you can find a silver ore vein behind a tree, and an alcove containing an expert-locked Dwarven chest, several Dwemer metal items and ingredients, and a filled random soul gem. Farther up the stairs beyond the alcove is a locked enclosure that, once unlocked from the inside, allows access to a Dwemer lift that will take you straight down to Raldbthar Deep Market, while a moonstone ore vein is just up the hill from the lift.


The first section of this zone is inhabited by a large group of bandits, who have cleared out the few Dwarven automatons that guarded the entrance area. The bandits are led by Alain Dufont (if you do not yet have the quest Mourning Never Comes active, see notes below before killing him). Dufont carries the unique, enchanted warhammer Aegisbane.

Upon entering, there is a short passage with various items of Dwemer metal scattered across the floor. Ahead on the left are two unowned bed rolls, one of which is occupied by a sleeping bandit, with a food barrel beside them. Opposite the bed rolls is a cart containing more Dwemer metal items. Past the bandit is a toppled gate with two flame spouts firing intermittently across the passage in front of a second open gateway, serving as heat to cook a charred skeever on a rack to the left. There is a passage to the left of the flame spouts leading into a domestic area with stone beds and tables and chairs, with several bandits patrolling or sleeping in this area. There are Dwemer items found on the floor, tables, and shelves. After you pass a cave-in on the left, around the corner to the left is a chest, while across the passage in an alcove ahead are two unusable stone beds. Farther along the passage is a shelf along the right wall with three Dwarven arrows on top. Across the corridor from this shelf is a table holding a sweet roll and a copy of The Aetherium Wars(DG), with a woodcutter's axe on the floor beside it. A bandit is patrolling ahead.

Farther ahead to the southwest is another bandit near a lit fireplace. To the left of this bandit is a room containing five stone beds, two of which are occupied by sleeping bandits. There is also a table with a bottle of alto wine, four bottles of Nord mead, a red apple, a sheaf of wheat, and a random set of armor on top. By one of the beds is a pair of iron boots. By the fire is a baked potato, a loaf of bread, a carrot, two bottles of Nord mead, and some cheese. There is a workbench next to where the bandit was standing. The passage continues ahead to a junction. A ramp down to the right leads to a room containing two bandits and the bandit leader Alain Dufont by a campfire. Alternatively, continuing straight ahead leads to a leveled locked gate.

Beyond the gate is a ramp leading up to an area with an oil slick and out onto a balcony above the room containing Alain Dufont and the two other bandits. From here, you are able to fire two Dwemer ballistae at the group of bandits around the fire, possibly also igniting another oil slick that has pooled around them; this will make the fight significantly easier, but will also scatter various loot in the area. This room can also be reached by passing through the flame spouts near the ruin entrance and descending to a master-locked gate that opens directly into the room, opposite the campfire. There is wooden scaffolding descending from the balcony to the room below. The room's main level features two unowned bed rolls each with a random pair of boots beside them, the remains of a leveled Dwarven sphere, and a barrel near the fire with a common book on top. Under the wooden scaffolding, well hidden and partially in the dark, is an unlocked wooden chest.

There is a locked gate underneath the balcony, with another bandit patrolling the room behind; the bandit will open the gate and join any fighting by the fire. Two long shelves with metal grating above separate the two rooms. The shelves hold many Dwemer items, a loose gold coin, a gold ingot, an iron ingot, a piece of iron ore, two bottles of alto wine, and a copy of the Sneak skill book 2920, Last Seed, v8. Under the two long shelves on the side under the balcony are two chests, one apprentice-locked, the other unlocked. The room under the balcony has suffered severe damage, with cave-ins and fallen masonry lying in piles, and an empty chest in one of the piles. Along the wall to the left of the two shelves separating the rooms is a stone table holding a random mace, a random potion, a random potion of stamina, and more Dwemer metal items, with a sack on the floor nearby. Above the table is a wall shelf with a bottle of alto wine, a random helmet, a leveled potion of stamina, a leveled potion of strength, and a random bow on top. Farther to the left along the same wall at the rear of the room is a master-locked gate up some steps. Behind this is a long stone table holding an unlocked Dwemer chest, two Dwarven metal ingots, three pieces of gold ore, a random enchanted shield, and three large coin purses.

At the rear of the room to the left of the locked gate is an unlocked door that leads further into the zone to areas that are still guarded by leveled Dwarven spiders and Dwarven spheres, a few of which will pop out of the Dwarven scuttles that abound in this section. The next room contains a magicka potion and two loose gold coins just around the corner to the left, an apprentice-locked chest to the right, and a medium coin purse behind a pile of fallen masonry to the left. Watch for several oil slicks that can be used to damage your foes, as well as a double spinning blade trap on an ascending stairway and a steam piston beyond. There are safe areas to the sides of the spinning blades to ascend the stairs. Beyond these traps is a novice-locked chest hidden in a corner behind some horizontal pipes, just past a flight of stairs leading up. At the top of the stairs are three alcoves. The right alcove contains a workbench and a novice-locked chest, the middle alcove contains a stone table with several Dwemer metal items on top, and the left alcove contains a master-locked chest beside another table holding a random filled soul gem and the remains of a Dwarven spider. More stairs to the left lead up to a passage with scuttles on either side. At the end is a lift that will take you down to Raldbthar Deep Market.

Raldbthar Deep Market[edit]

The lift down to the Deep Market drops you off at the top of a short ramp protected by another spinning blade trap. At the bottom on the right is a novice-locked chest. Doors ahead open into a large, multi-level chamber inhabited by Falmer, and a pair of their captive skeevers in a gated pen on your right. Beside the pen is a tanning rack, a small table to the left holding three leather strips and a piece of human flesh, and another table to the right with three pieces of leather and a Falmer war axe. In front of the tanning rack is the body of a Nord. There are three Falmer tents on the lowest level of this chamber. The tent on the right has a small campfire in front, and contains a hay pile you can rest on. Beside the fire is a Dwemer pan, two skeever tails, and a unique charred skeever meat. The middle tent is at the rear of the chamber to the left of stairs leading up, and contains two pieces of chaurus chitin and an unlocked Falmer chest. The final tent is empty. There are two clusters of chaurus egg sacs along the southern wall. At the top of the stairs are the remains of a skeever, with blood splattered all around and the head lying a few feet away. Immediately behind the remains is an apprentice-locked chest, with three charred skeever hides to the left, and a small area to the right featuring a Falmer tent with a campfire and a weak poison inside. More stairs lead up from here to the first ramp that winds its way up to a platform where two leveled Falmer await. There are two empty tents on this platform, with a campfire in front. Walking around the edge of the platform to the other side of the pillar directly behind the campfire, you will find a chest. A metal grating forms a ramp down to another platform, where another Falmer is standing in front of another tent with a campfire inside. Behind this tent is an unlocked Falmer chest and a table with several metal items, a magicka poison, and a button that lowers another ramp from the first platform into place, enabling you to climb to a passage above. At the end of the passage, another ramp descends to a ledge along the tops of the lower structures, with a passage behind a metal grating at the end leading to another set of doors.

Beware the Dwemer ballista trap at the top of a flight of stairs just beyond these doors. It can result in enormous amounts of damage, but alert explorers can spot the pressure plate trigger and avoid it. Just past these stairs is another trap, this one a slicer also triggered by an obvious pressure plate. Watch out for Dwarven spiders and spheres emerging from more Dwarven scuttles in the next corridor. On the east wall by the first set of slanted pipes is an unlocked chest. It is also possible to climb the slanted pipes, turn to the southeast, and then use Whirlwind Sprint or the Vampire Lord Bats power to travel to a section above the trapped passage below. It may also be possible to ride the slicer blades up to this location. There is a hidden chest found by the south wall up here. By the next slanted pipes are several metal items and a random filled soul gem on the ground. The corridor beyond the next doorway contains a closed portcullis, and a platform set with four blue buttons. Pushing the first button on the left will trigger a set of flamethrower traps, while the third button from the left will lower the portcullis. There are three shelves to the right of the buttons holding various Dwemer metal items, with more on a stone table around to the left.

The next area is a large chamber inhabited by four leveled Falmer standing by the openings to four Falmer tents around the chamber. Near the entrance is a small novice-locked room housing two chaurus or chaurus huntersDG, a stone table holding a corundum ingot, two silver ingots, a gold ingot, a piece of gold ore, and a piece of ebony ore, and three Dwarven treasure chests: one unlocked, one expert-locked, and the third apprentice-locked. There are many chaurus egg sacs in and around the room, and four loose chaurus eggs on a shelf at the front. To the left of the small room is a Falmer tent containing a poison and a hay pile. To the right of the main room entrance is a set of three large shelves holding various Dwemer metal items, beside which is a statue of a head with two random soul gems beside it. The first tent on the right contains a potion and has an unlocked chest beside it, while the second tent on the right contains a Falmer bow and a hay pile. A fourth, empty tent is around the corner to the right of the small room. The nearby fifth and final tent, without a Falmer standing in front, has an expert-locked gate at the entrance, and contains an unlocked chest. Past the fifth tent are more chaurus egg sacs as well as another unlocked chest next to a Dwemer bowl.

The bridge in this large chamber can be lowered by removing bones or metal scraps from four jammed gears. One bone is lodged in the gear on your right as you enter the room. A metal scrap is located in the water under the bridge (although sometimes this scrap is on the ground below instead of in the gear; interact with the scrap as you normally would). The remaining two bones jamming gears are in the far corners of the room. After removing all four obstructions, go onto the platform and press the button to lower the bridge ahead. Once lowered, the bridge releases a leveled Dwarven centurion. There is a large Dwarven chest next to the centurion's gantry that contains leveled loot, and a door behind it opening into a passage that leads to spears blocking your way. On the left is a lever that will lower the spears, allowing you to access a room guarded by two leveled Dwarven spiders. There is an adept-locked chest on the wall opposite the entrance, and two sets of wall shelves running most of the way around the room holding many ruined books, a random potion, various Dwemer metal items, two Dwarven metal ingots, a gold ingot, a corundum ingot, and a Dwarven helmet. A door to the right opens into a small room containing an Aetherium Shard for Lost to the AgesDG and two unlocked chests. Opposite this room is a gate with a lift behind that takes you back to the surface.

If you have an Attunement Sphere in your inventory, activating the Dwarven mechanism in the center of the final room will reveal a staircase. Following this staircase down leads to a short corridor ending at a set of double doors that open into Blackreach. An expert-locked gate along this corridor protects two Dwemer treasure chests containing leveled loot.


  • Alain Dufont is present even if Mourning Never Comes is not active. This can cause problems for players trying to complete the optional objective for that quest, since it makes it very easy to kill him before the quest is begun, later resulting in the optional objective not being available.
    • You can kill all of the bandits in this area, even the ones sitting next to Alain around the campfire, and he will not turn hostile. However, if you get too close to him, he will tell you "I don't know how you made it this far, but you'll go no farther." and attack. If this happens, simply run as far away from him as you can and enter sneak mode. He will quickly lose sight of you and stop being hostile, allowing you to walk past him and continue deeper into Raldbthar. He may also accept a yield if you sheathe your weapon.
    • On PC Using the console, you can also input prid 000D2AFF then disable, which will disable Alain, but not kill him. He should automatically be re-enabled eventually. However, if he does remain disabled, you can simply input prid 000D2AFF then enable.
  • The elevator leading to the surface is not reset when the corresponding exterior cell has respawned. The elevator can be reached again from the lower part of the exterior ruin by climbing the rocks and optionally using the Whirlwind Sprint shout. So, if you originally used the elevator to exit the ruin, you can use it again to access the final part of Deep Market leading to Blackreach, thus bypassing most of the dungeon.
  • If you are having trouble with the Dwarven centurion near the end of the ruin, you can lead it back to the room with the slanted pipes (where you were attacked by spiders and spheres) and the centurion won't enter, allowing you to safely pick it off from a distance with magic or archery.


  • If you return to the Deep Market after completing it once, the bridge may be up again. It's possible no bones will be in the gears, leaving no way to lower the bridge again. Even if the bones are there, you may not be able to interact with them properly (even if you dislodge them with a weapon, the gears won't turn).
    • On PCUse the console command tcl to float across the gap and through the raised drawbridge.
    • Go to the end of the platform while the bridge is still up and use the Whirlwind Sprint shout to cross the gap to the raised bridge. At this point, you can use the clipping glitch to pass through the raised bridge. Once through, kill the Dwarven centurion, and you can continue as normal.
    • If you return to Raldbthar during the quest Lost to the Ages, the bones will have been replaced in the gears, and you will be able to interact with them normally, allowing you to progress through the dungeon.
  • One of the bandits near Alain carries the Irkngthand Consortium Key, which doesn't open anything.