|Appears in||Skyrim, ESO|
Mzulft is a Dwarven ruin located in Eastmarch, far north of Riften. At its height, Mzulft was a major Dwemer city that joined an alliance with three other Dwarven city-states, led by Arkngthamz, in order to research Aetherium.
Mzulft was built as a vast dedicated manufacturing site, and was considered vital by the Dwemer. It was home to a storage site for raw Aetherium, which was kept outside due to the substance being harmonically volatile. The settlement also had a mountaintop Oculory, as well as soul gems used to preserve memories. The complex extended deep into the Velothi Mountains, with a surface entrance at Skuldafn far to the east.
Sometime after the Alessian Slave Rebellion, various Ayleid kingdoms launched a desperate search for the fabled Wrathstone, a weapon that they believed would be their salvation against the encroaching forces of the Alessian Empire. An expedition marched to Mzulft, where it was rumored the Wrathstone was held. The Ayleids besieged Mzulft, but failed to breach it or retrieve the artifact. At the time, the Ayleids were unaware that the Dwemer only possessed the left half of the Wrathstone, and that half was stored not at Mzulft, but at nearby Kagrenzel. The famed Dwemer architect Mhuvnak left Mzulft for Kagrenzel immediately after the attack to retrieve the artifact, realizing that it may need to be better guarded. It is thought that he found the defenses of Kagrenzel inadequate, and built the Vault of Mhuvnak to house it instead.
The alliance with the other three Dwemer city-states shattered once Aetherium's true power was discovered, and Mzulft fell to the Nords led by King Gellir, who attacked the weakened Dwemer holdings while they fought among themselves. Mzulft was briefly reclaimed by the Dwemer a century later, and thrived. However, the Vault of Mhuvnak was buried in a mountain of ice and lost during this period. The Dwemer of Mzulft attempted to use their Oculory to locate the "Frostvault", but no record of the results of their search was found, and the left half of the Wrathstone was not reclaimed. Mzulft was left abandoned after the Dwemer's disappearance in 1E 700.
At some point, adventurer and author Herebane traveled to Mzulft and fought off a Dwarven Centurion. In Sun's Dawn of 2E 129, a researcher inside of Mzulft studied the soul gems, maps, and mysterious magical orbs inside the ruins. They theorized the orbs could retains images within their cloudy depths when magically charged, by holding one near one of the crystal Dwemer memory devices and having the energy will rush into them, along with the associated information. In their altercations with the constructs they attempted to destroy the glass orbs rather than let the researcher have them, and the doors soon closed on their own, locking the researcher inside. A group of adventurers camped at Cragwallow and followed a map given to them by Holgunn One-Eye to Mzulft. Holgunn had given Ingjard a key for them to borrow to get inside. Bashnag was curious about what would happen if he stepped on a metal plate on the ground, and when he did so, a crossbow bolt shot out from an unseen location, barely missing his head. Three metal objects fell from a hole in the wall across the room, and it became clear they were Dwarven spiders. One of them exploded as it fell, shocking Bashnag so badly he collapsed. The second was killed by Fenrig's axe, and Ingjard's arrows disabled the third. Bashnag was merely unconscious, not dead, and came to shortly afterward. They made their way further inside. Footfalls-in-Snow tapped a carving in the wall, which opened to allow two spheres to roll out. They unfolded themselves and fought. It was a more difficult battle—the spheres were trying to keep one at range and one at melee distance—but eventually Fenrig and Bashnag landed the final blows. After they finished collecting the metal parts, Footfalls-in-Snow leaned up against a pipe, commenting on how warm it was. Bashnag pointed out that it wasn't a pipe, it was a leg. Specifically, it was the leg of a centurion that had just been awakened. They fired arrows at it and eventually got one between its plates, which slowed it down. Grundvik attacked its legs, knocking it over, and while it was on the ground, Footfalls-in-Snow hacked at its chest until he was able to pull out the dynamo core.
In 2E 582, the ruins were explored by Raynor and Kireth Vanos, two Dunmer siblings. Within Mzulft they discovered the memory-storing soul gems, and the memories they extracted helped legitimize the duo as reputable adventurers and scholars. In 4E 201, the Synod launched an expedition to the ruins to make use of its Oculory, which could be used to locate magical artifacts. However, the Falmer had taken over the ruins, and slaughtered the majority of the expedition. A mage from the College of Winterhold arrived a short time later to speak with the Synod. Using the Oculory, the College were able to locate the Staff of Magnus. A fragment of Aetherium was also looted from the ruins that year.