|# of Zones||4|
|Respawn Time||10 days or 30 days|
|Falmer, Dwarven Automatons|
|Console Location Code(s)|
|Alftand01, Alftand02, AlftandZCell, AlftandExterior01, AlftandExterior02, AlftandExterior03|
|Southwest of Winterhold|
|# of Alchemy Labs||1|
|# of Tanning Racks||3|
|# of Forges/Anvils||2|
|# of Workbenches||1|
Alftand is a large Dwarven ruin southwest of Winterhold. It contains four zones: Alftand Glacial Ruins, Alftand Animonculory, Alftand Cathedral, and Alftand Ruined Tower, which is a separate building.
Outside the entrance is the camp of an ill-fated expedition led by Sulla Trebatius. An Expedition Manifest written by Sulla, with some background information and a list of expedition members, is inside one of the shacks, lying on the ground next to a chest.
Following the catwalk north of the camp leads to the entrance to the Alftand Glacial Ruins.
 Related Quests
- Elder Knowledge: Recover an Elder Scroll to learn an Ancient Secret.
- Discerning the Transmundane: Uncover the secrets of the mysterious Dwemer lockbox.
 Zone 1: Alftand Glacial Ruins
An ice tunnel leads to a spot where you can hear part of an argument between the Khajiit brothers, J'darr and J'zhar. Eventually you enter a large room with a worktable loaded with wrecked Dwarven automata. Behind a locked gate to the north is a lift to the Alftand Animonculory; it can only be accessed from below. To the west the path leads back into the ruins. Up a ramp and around a corner is J'darr standing over his brother’s corpse: J'zhar's Journal has information about them. Deal with J'darr and follow the path to a large room where two Dwarven Automatons will attack. In the northwest corner of the room there is a series of three pistons which thrust up vertically. You can "ride" those pistons up to get access to a ledge with two chests and some potions. Alternatively, you can jump across the gap (over the fourth piston) to bypass the following section and simply follow the path around the room to the Animonculory.
Exit the room via the northeast corner. The passage has flammable gas in the air. The next room has a locked gate with two chests behind it. The door to the left leads to a T-junction with another chest, trapped with a pressure plate. The path to the north is blocked by a cave-in, but there’s another chest in the rubble. The path to the south has two rooms on either side. The last one on the right has a locked door with a Dwarven Sphere and a chest behind it. Go up a ramp and continue until you’re overlooking the first big room (the one with the two Spiders and the three pistons). The path goes around the western and southern walls; horizontal pistons can push you off to the room below if you’re not careful. Another Dwarven Spider may attack while you negotiate the pistons. Climb some rubble at the end and continue along the eastern wall until you reach the door to the Alftand Animonculory.
 Zone 2: Alftand Animonculory
Follow the passage to a room with stairs and another Automaton. A Dwarven metal gate under the stairs leads to the body of the Wood Elf Endrast and a hidden chest. Endrast's journal tells how he ran away after being captured by the Falmer and hid here until he died. The room upstairs has piles of Chaurus Eggs. The exit leads to a ramp with a spinning blade trap; avoid the pressure plates that trigger it. Around the corner at the top is a lever that opens the door to a huge vertical cavern with ramps leading to the bottom. Descend the ramp. A dead-end tunnel to your left has a chest at the end, hidden behind spider webs. Continue downward and reach a landing with more Chaurus Eggs and a locked door. Behind the door is a treasure room with two locked gates. The gate to the south has a chest behind it; the gate to the east has another chest, a skeleton, and the Lockpicking skill book The Locked Room. There’s no ramp down from the landing; you must jump down to the next level. Here is the body of the Orc Yag gra-Gortwog. A ramp to the west leads upwards to a platform with a chest guarded by a steam piston. A ramp to the east goes downward past falling water. Another steam piston further down can push you off the ramp. At the end of this ramp is a landing along the eastern wall of the cavern. A tripwire can set off a Falmer claw trap. Past the trap, another ramp leads down to a landing where burning liquid is falling. Wait for it to stop or just go around. The passage behind it leads down to a room with several Falmer shelters (and Falmer) and an alchemy lab. Continue on to a second room with more Falmer and two horizontal fire jets to avoid. Deal with the Falmer and there’s a chest to loot, plus lots of Dwarven artifacts and Alchemy ingredients. Exit and go downstairs to a third room full of Falmer. To the right as you descend is a lift to the Glacial Ruins. Proceeding to the left you will find the body of the High Elf Valie on a table and an exit leading to the cavern bottom. There you will find more Falmer, a Frostbite Spider, and the door to the Alftand Cathedral.
 Zone 3: Alftand Cathedral
The Alftand Cathedral is the final room in Alftand; it houses a lift to the surface as well as the passage to Blackreach. In the entry corridor is a Claw trap in the floor set off by a tripwire. The next room has a slicer trap triggered by pressure plates. The exit passage leads to a set of double doors. Through the double doors is the main Cathedral room. Inside, one or two Falmer patrol before the spiked gate, which is lowered using the lever on the platform above the entrance accessed by the stairs to the left. There is also a Frostbite Spider or Skeever, and possibly a Chaurus Reaper. There are Falmer chests on either side of the spiked gate, along with Chaurus Eggs and Glowing Mushrooms. Once through the gate, there are two Dwarven Centurions. One Dwarven Centurion is destroyed and is lying prone before its station and the other activates as you approach it. Past the Centurions is another gate unlocked by a key found on the Centurion you fought; just past this gate are the female Redguard Umana and the male Imperial Sulla Trebatius, who begin fighting after a brief exchange of words and are hostile to you. Umana is carrying the enchanted shield Targe of the Blooded. In the center of the Cathedral dais is the Dwarven Mechanism; if you have the Attunement Sphere, you can activate it and the floor will retract into stairs leading to Blackreach. Behind the Dwarven Mechanism is the Alftand Lift, which will take you to Sulla’s camp on the surface.
 Alftand Ruined Tower
There are two entrances to the Alftand Ruined Tower. There is an entrance to the northwest of the Alftand map marker (approach from the northwest, i.e. from Frostflow Lighthouse), and another reached by approaching the ruins from the north and following the worn path. As the worn portion of the path ends, bear left and note a Dwemer tower that has fallen over just ahead. This marks the start of the gap in the ice. Follow through the ice gap until it ends. Climb a few feet up the quickly steepening slope at the end of the path just enough so you can jump onto the ledge on your right, and the entrance is there on your left. If you come upon the ruins from the south you need to travel around the ruins southward in order to reach the path.
The inside of the Alftand Ruined Tower is relatively small, and contains Dwarven automatons and a reasonable amount of Dwemer loot. One notable hazard is a fire trap that is triggered by the same buttons that open and close a door. There doesn't seem to be any way of disabling the fire trap, or of opening the door without triggering the fire trap; All you can do is run through the fire if you want to get past the trap and explore the rest of the area. Using whirlwind sprint will allow you to get past the trap without taking fire damage.
This area does not connect to the other Alftand areas.
- The Alchemy ingredient Small Pearl cannot be harvested. Alftand is one of the few places one can be found as part of a loot drop.
- After obtaining the Elder Scroll from Blackreach as part of Discerning the Transmundane and bringing it to Septimus Signus, he will task the player with obtaining blood samples from five Dwemer-related races of Skyrim. Four of them—High Elf, Wood Elf, Falmer, and Orc—can be found in the Alftand Animonculory from the corpses of the expedition members and any dead Falmer. Unfortunately, you must return to Septimus to get the required Essence Extractor, so there's no avoiding a second trip. (Occasionally, Valie's body will be missing - this seems to happen after her body is not looted at first discovery but if you return after enough time has passed for respawning.)
- If you travel far enough into the crevice that is southeast of the Alftand Ruined Tower, you can activate the map marker and subsequently fast-travel, in turn negating a portion of the ruins.
- While in Alftand Animonculory you can use Become Ethereal to simply jump to the very bottom, thereby avoiding most of the area and saving considerable time.