Forgotten Seasons
Creation Club

Skyrim:Runoff Caverns

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SR-mapicon-Cave.png
Cave:
Runoff Caverns
(view on map)
Added by Forgotten Seasons
# of Zones 7
Clearable No
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days
Occupants
Mercenaries, Dwarven Automatons, Atronachs, Ice Wraiths, Spriggans, Animals
Important Treasure
Dwarven Autumn Visage
Dwarven Drone Fly
Dwarven Spring Visage
Dwarven Winter Visage
Turn of the Seasons
Ward of the Seasons
Console Location Code(s)
ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeon01, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeon02, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeon03, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeonSeason01, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeonSeason02, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeonSeason03, ccTWBSSE001DwarvenPuzzleDungeonSeason04
Region
The Reach
Location
West of Lost Valley Redoubt
East-southeast of Valthume
Runoff Caverns

Runoff Caverns is a large cave west of Lost Valley Redoubt containing mercenaries, Dwarven automatons, atronachs, ice wraiths, spriggans, and animals. It contains seven zones: Runoff Caverns, Vardnknd Gallery, Autumn's Bells, Spring's Symphony, Summer's Chords, Winter's Chimes, and Vardnknd Skykiller Gallery.

The caverns hold the ruins of Vardnknd, which houses a dangerous Dwemer "weather witch" device capable of manipulating the weather across all of Skyrim. Several zones within the caverns feature distinct climates and related environments.

Related Quests[edit]

Walkthrough[edit]

Exterior[edit]

The exterior appears to be an unassuming cave entrance, distinguished only by the strange torso of a Broken Dwarven Horse found sitting in a pool of water nearby. There is an iron ore vein nearby. As it is found high up in the mountains, it can be most easily reached by going southwest past Cradle Stone Tower.

Runoff Caverns[edit]

The entrance to Vardnknd

This section of the dungeon transitions from a natural cavern to a Dwarven ruin. You will need to descend to the bottom of the main chamber and explore the side passages in order to access the ruins of Vardnknd. The central drawbridge can be lowered from the other side of the main chamber after navigating all the way around the chamber, creating a shortcut back to the entrance. This section is filled with hostile mercenaries and Dwarven automatons.

Vardnknd Gallery[edit]

Vardnknd Gallery machinery

This section functions as a hub area for the entire dungeon, connecting to each of the other sections. Elberon can be found here, and will be struck by lightning the minute you enter Vardnknd Gallery. Elberon's Apprentice will spawn here as part of the quest Forgotten Seasons.

Each of the four seasonal rooms accessed from this section has an area outside the door where the climate within has begun to spread into the main chamber. The scenery hints at what season you will be entering. The climatic extremes allow the vegetation in Spring and Autumn to grow gigantic, and for populations of herbivorous animals to spend their whole lives in these ecosystems.

Each seasonal room has previously been explored by mercenaries in Elberon's employ; none of them have survived long enough to meet you, but one in each section (the first corpse encountered) will carry a note in their inventory explaining how to navigate the room and the tasks needed to obtain the conduit gem.

Autumn's Bells[edit]

Autumn's Bells

The door to this section is the northwest of the four season doors. Just outside it, an autumnal harvest of wheat, cabbage, wild spiky grass, and wild gourds grows. Unlootable humanoid bones lie half-hidden in the vegetation.

This section consists of a large Dwarven chamber filled with wild spiky grass and fields of strange glowing wheat being maintained by hostile Dwarven automatons. The Dwarven Autumn Visage and all parts for the quest The Dwarven Horse can be found here. The chamber also contains its own wildlife, including many strangely colored rabbits.

Spring's Symphony[edit]

Spring's Symphony

The entrance to this section is the southeast of the four season doors. Just outside the door, birdsong is heard and giant mountain flowers of all types grow gigantic in a small meadow. Of note are incredibly rare, unplantable yellow mountain flowers which can otherwise only be found in locations added by the Dawnguard add-on (such as Ancestor Glade).

This section consists of winding Dwarven passages filled with a green haze. The path is blocked by roots at several points, and can only be unblocked by killing a nearby Blooming Spriggan. This section is filled with various hostile and passive animals and also contains a boss-level Blooming Spriggan Matron. The Dwarven Spring Visage and Dwarven Drone Fly can be found here.

Summer's Chords[edit]

Summer's Chords

The entrance to this room is the northeastern door, just past Elberon’s campsite. The doorway is on a landing where two sets of stairs on either side meet. Rather fittingly, it is next to the main room’s lava pool.

This section is made up of lava-filled chambers crossed by various bridges and pipes. It contains hostile flame atronachs and automatons, as well as several flame-spraying pipes that stop and go at regular intervals. As explained by the Note on Summer, you will need to guide a Repair Spider through this zone to activate each service waypoint dotted throughout; a Spider Control Rod can be found near the entrance for this purpose. Disabling the waypoints at the far end of each room is also important.

The spider itself is spawned by flipping a lever near where the rod is found; the dead mercenary who carries the Note on Summer is also found here, presumably having succumbed to the heat before being able to release the spider. The narrow walkways combined with having one or more followers may temporarily impede the spider's movement past you to the next service waypoint, but it may visually "teleport" to the spot you have indicated and be able to disable the waypoint.

There are only two chests in this room. All other loot is recovered from enemies in the area.

Winter's Chimes[edit]

Winter's Chimes

The entrance to this section is through the southwest door. Just outside this door, a snowdrift has overflowed beneath the threshold and brings cold air with it into the main chamber. Several unlootable dead Automatons lie half-buried in this avalanche.

This section initially appears to be a snowy exterior area, but is in fact a large natural cavern which is subject to unending, artificially chilly weather. It is filled with vertical Dwarven architecture and half-frozen pools of water. You must be willing to jump down several long drops into deep pools of water; presumably this is why followers cannot accompany you here. Although merely a visual effect in the base game, the cold winds and icy waters of this section are compatible with the Survival Mode Creation and will be a severe challenge to navigate if you are playing with it enabled due to its effect on your character's Cold attribute. This area is filled with Frosted Dwarven Spiders, frost atronachs, and ice wraiths, and contains a boss-level Frosted Dwarven Centurion. The Dwarven Winter Visage can be found here.

Note: There is a gap between platforms on the edge of one of the deep “wells” that can be crossed with 2 words of Whirlwind Sprint. Only one word is usually not enough, and all three words will cause you to overshoot the mark. However, traveling too far is not a big problem because you will be going in that direction anyway.

Vardnknd Skykiller Gallery[edit]

This section is initially inaccessible and can only be accessed by means of a set of stairs in Vardnknd Gallery which will rise as part of the quest Forgotten Seasons. It is one large chamber and contains the final boss of the dungeon, a giant Dwarven spider called The Sky Orchestrator, which will drop the Ward of the Seasons cuirass when defeated. You will then be able to claim the Turn of the Seasons book and utilize a shortcut which will place you back at the beginning of Runoff Caverns, near the exit.

Notes[edit]

  • This is the only location where wild spiky grass can be found.

Bugs[edit]

  • This location is marked as undiscovered on your map from the start of the game.
  • The stairs leading to Vardnknd Skykiller Gallery may not rise visually, but you will still be able to ascend them once you've cleared all four of the seasonal zones.
  • After finishing the quest and leaving the dungeon, if you return to Vardnknd Gallery then try to exit via Vardnknd Skykiller Gallery, the gate may be closed.
    • On PC From the console, use the TCL command to clip through the gate.
    • You can also just leave the long way around.