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Skyrim:Ruunvald Excavation

< Skyrim: Places: Caves
Ruunvald Excavation
(view on map)
Added by Dawnguard
# of Zones 2
Clearable No
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time Never (storage is safe)
Charmed Vigilants, Huskies, Minorne, Moric Sidrey‎, Volk
Console Location Code(s)
DLC1Ruunvald01, DLC1Ruunvald02
The Rift
East of Shor's Stone
Northeast of Fort Greenwall
Ore Veins
# of Malachite 4
Ruunvald Excavation

Ruunvald Excavation is a medium-sized cave east of Shor's Stone containing Vigilants charmed by the conjurer Minorne. It contains two zones: Ruunvald Excavation and Ruunvald Temple.

Related QuestsEdit


Florentius Baenius

† He relocates to Fort Dawnguard after being rescued here.



Prior to the start of the related quest, this location is named Ruunvald Ruins, and the entrances are locked and require a key.

The excavation is high in the eastern mountains, south-southeast of Tolvald's Cave. Beside the entrance is a large tent containing two unowned bed rolls, used by those on guard duty protecting the site from bandits and animals. The excavation was started by a team of Vigilants of Stendarr led by Moric Sidrey. Inside the tent by the bed rolls is a Dawnguard war axe, a pair of steel cuffed boots, two green apples, an apothecary's satchel, and Volk's journal. The journal is by Volk, who was one of the guards, and one of the last to enter the cave. In front of the tent is an old extinguished campfire and a banner hanging from a tall post. There is a lone snowberry bush behind the tent, along with several crates and unusable barrels. The tent itself resembles the ones at Imperial camps. The entrance consists of typical wooden doors seen on mines throughout Skyrim. A lit lantern on a wooden post is to the left of the entrance.

Ruunvald ExcavationEdit

Upon entering, you are in a supported tunnel descending to the north, leading down to a wooden ramp descending around the outside wall of a large chamber. Ahead is what appears to be one of the Vigilants of Stendarr, standing facing away from you at the entrance to another tunnel opposite. The ramp continues down past this tunnel to the ground below. It transpires that everyone within the site has been charmed and will attack you on sight; you are unable to even talk with them. To the right of the first charmed Vigilant is a crate holding the journal Discovering Ruunvald, Vol. I, in which Moric documents the early progress of the expedition.

There is a second charmed Vigilant at the bottom of the chamber, who will also attack you on sight. There are numerous crates and barrels and an unlocked chest on and near a wooden platform at the bottom of the chamber. There is also an unowned bed roll and table on a second platform, with a pair of boots and a pickaxe beside the bed roll. To the right of this platform is a malachite ore vein.

The tunnel heads north and eventually opens into a wider tunnel, where several barrels, crates, and an empty cart are stored. There is a charmed Vigilant patrolling this part of the tunnel. The tunnel then descends further, passing another cart on your left containing three pieces of malachite ore. Ahead is a junction where the tunnel turns southwest, but beware a tripwire across the passage. There is another charmed Vigilant on the right mining a malachite ore vein, and an alcove in front containing an unowned bed roll beside a table holding an empty burial urn, a garnet, a silver necklace, and three loose septims. Under the table is another loose coin, with a second burial urn to the right and an unlocked chest to the left. There is an oil slick on the ground, and an oil lantern hanging above which is released by the tripwire. The tunnel continues to the southwest, passing several crates and barrels. On your right, on a crate is a Scroll of Turn Undead and a small coin purse.

The tunnel turns left again, with a burial urn and an unlocked chest in front. Just after the turning, the tunnel opens into another large chamber, with a central rock pillar and plenty of wooden support beams. There is a charmed Vigilant mining a malachite ore vein below you. A ramp leads down on your right. At the bottom, there is a charmed Vigilant patrolling the chamber and a husky farther back, who may be alerted by any fighting. To the right of the ore vein the Vigilant was mining is an open crate containing a piece of malachite ore. There are several pickaxes found around this chamber. On a wooden platform to the southwest is a bed roll, with a barrel and crates on either side. On these are a quiver of steel bolts, a random potion of true shot, and two random potions of healing, magicka, or stamina. Behind the central pillar is a lean-to with a bed roll under it and a crate beside it holding Discovering Ruunvald, Vol. II, which documents the success of the expedition, but also mentions losses of time and headaches.

To the east is another narrow tunnel that takes a couple of turns before entering a wider section partially floored with wood. In front is a short ramp down to a burial urn and an adept-locked chest. Beyond this first ramp and down a second ramp is an alcove on the right, with a charmed Vigilant sitting at a table with a medium coin purse on top and three unowned bed rolls beside it. There is also a husky in this alcove. The tunnel continues to the east before turning north once again, by a fish barrel and a barrel of ingredients. The turning leads to another wooden platform running around a chamber, with a ramp leading down to the right. There is a charmed Vigilant at the bottom, where you will find a food sack and barrel under the ramp. To the south is a large urn beside a set of shelves holding ten common books, with a long wooden table in front holding Discovering Ruunvald, Vol. III. This journal is the first to mention Minorne, someone who seems to be constantly in Moric's thoughts. To the west, the tunnel is double width and filled with crates, barrels, and sacks, with a pillar of earth and rock supporting the ceiling. Take care, as there are a total of three pressure plates on the ground in this area. One is on either side of the pillar, triggering a single crossbow bolt from mounted crossbows on the ceiling and to the right, respectively. A third pressure plate where the tunnel narrows triggers two crossbow bolts from two mounted crossbows on barrels ahead. The three traps will only fire once each, and the four crossbows can all be taken. Past the pressure plates, the tunnel turns south, with a malachite ore vein in an alcove to the north.

The entrance to Ruunvald Temple

This next section begins to show signs of a Nordic barrow, and a large chamber ahead has a wooden bridge suspended from east to west. There is a charmed Vigilant wandering across the bridge, and many others nearby. Any fighting is likely to attract several of them, including Volk, the author of the journal found outside. On the western side of the bridge is a ramp leading down to the bottom of this chamber around the corner on your left, two empty open crates and an unowned bed roll on your right, and ahead at the back a small room containing an unlocked chest and a burial urn in the niche by the "window" overlooking the main room. In the corner by the ramp leading down is a square wooden table holding two random potions of healing, magicka, or stamina, as well as a small coin purse. The ramp descends to a walkway that is still above the ground connected to another suspended bridge that crosses the room from south to north, before another ramp leads down to the east. Ahead to the east is a cart filled with rocks and a piece of malachite ore; behind the cart is a skeleton crushed under a cave-in, with a pickaxe beside it. A tunnel leads farther down to the north on your left. Against the south wall to the right is a square table and chair, with a burial urn beside them. To the west is a brief descent to the lowest level of the chamber. Descending the tunnel to the north, the northeastern corner of the area features an alcove where Volk will be sitting at a table beside two food barrels and three sacks, if he was not previously alerted by fighting. The alcove also includes an owned single bed with an unlocked chest containing random loot at its foot, while on the table and one of the barrels are a small coin purse, two bottles of Nord mead, a bottle of Honningbrew mead, and a honey nut treat. Near the southwest corner of the area is a passage with distinctly Nordic architecture leading to doors to Ruunvald Temple. Just before this passage is Discovering Ruunvald, Vol. IV on a barrel under the wooden structure supporting the previous walkways above.

Ruunvald TempleEdit

Through the door is a passage which staggers to the left after a short distance. At the corner is a carved stone head with an elk's skull and horns in front, candles on either side, and a book entitled Minorne. The book is written by Moric and extols the virtues of Minorne, who has obviously charmed everyone within the excavation except Florentius Baenius, who has been locked up for still praying to Arkay.

On the left in front of a second carved head are three burial urns. The passage descends a flight of stairs to the south, and enters a split-level room containing Minorne, Moric, and one other charmed Vigilant. Wooden stairs lead down into the room. There are four large urns total in the southwest and southern corners, and wide stairs leading up to the east. At the top is a locked cage on the right that requires a key, which is carried by Minorne. Florentius is in the cage; speak to him to advance the related quest. On the lower level to the south beneath the cage is an iron door, which is also locked and requires the same key as the cage. It opens into a narrow passage, and after a couple of turns leads to a large room. Around the room is an unlocked chest against the east wall, two empty sideboards, an unowned single bed, two large urns, a stone table with a built-in alchemy lab, and a lever that raises part of the floor to reveal a spiral staircase. On the table are three random potions of healing, magicka, or stamina, a poison, a random empty soul gem, and a copy of The Aetherium Wars. The stairs lead down to a narrow passage and an iron door, locked with the same key again, which leads outside to the mountains via an alternative exit a short distance south of Tolvald's Cave.


  • Prior to the start of the related quest, discovering the location will not add the map marker to your map. The nearest discoverable place is Tolvald's Cave.
  • The entrance only appears after the quest has been started, so siding with the Volkihar clan makes it impossible to enter the excavation.
    • The entrance and map marker can be enabled using the console commands prid xx00d1fe followed by disable.
    • Faction side quests for the Volkihar vampires may choose this location, even though the map marker does not appear on your map when siding with the clan.[verification needed]
  • Once Minorne is dead, the remaining charmed Vigilants will die; however, the huskies will not.


  • The copy of Discovering Ruunvald, Vol. IV often clips through the barrel, making it almost impossible for console players to obtain.
    • The Unrelenting Force shout or a Fireball spell can be used to push the book back towards the outer edge, where it may clip back through just enough to be grabbed.
  • Sometimes upon entering Ruunvald, usually after killing the two charmed Vigilants, the game may freeze. ?
    •   Advancing the related quest with the console should work around the problem.
  • Once you have fed on any of the corpses of the charmed Vigilants in Ruunvald Excavation as a werewolf, you will have a permanent glowing red mist around your head, just like the charmed Vigilants.
    •   To add or remove the mist effect, use the console commands player.addspell 02018c5d and player.removespell 02018c5d.
  • There are two deleted navmeshes in the vanilla DLC when inspected in TES5Edit. These deleted navmeshes are associated with the DLC1RuunvaldExterior01 cell. This is a potential related cause for reported freezing or crashing in this area of the game world. These deleted navmeshes in Dawnguard.esm are in [CELL:0000BBA5] in worldspace WRLD:0000003C at <44,-15>. ?