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(lore page)
# of Zones 4
Clearable Yes
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days or 30 days
Nahkriin, Draugr, Dragons
Important Treasure
Diamond Claw
Console Location Code(s)
Skuldafn01, Skuldafn02, Skuldafn04, Skuldafn05
Special Features
Word Wall Storm Call
Skuldafn Temple from arrival point

Skuldafn is a dragon-infested sprawling ruin, containing a portal to Sovngarde guarded by a dragon priest. There are four interior zones, two of which are unconnected: Skuldafn Temple, a second Skuldafn Temple, Skuldafn North Tower, and Skuldafn South Tower, and an exterior to the rear of the temple.

The only way to reach Skuldafn is by forcing Odahviing to fly you there; this is accomplished during The Fallen. He will fly off after leaving you there. The only way to leave Skuldafn is to take the portal to the Nordic afterlife.

Related Quests[edit]



Overview of Skuldafn Temple

Odahviing will drop you off on top of an old dragon mound. You should be facing east, towards a low arch which opens to a stone bridge over a shallow lake. Just to the right before the arch is a tree stump with some mora tapinella growing on it. There is a draugr on either side of the far end of the bridge, another leveled draugr patrolling the stairs off to the far right, and a dragon constantly circling overhead.

Beyond the far end of the bridge to the left is a blue mountain flower, while to the right is a purple mountain flower, a thistle and a snowberry bush to the left of stairs leading up. To the right before these are other stairs descending to the lake, which seems to contain nothing of interest. Along the southern edge is another purple mountain flower, and a blue mountain flower, with a purple mountain flower at the far end to the right of the main waterfall feeding the lake. Returning to the first flight of stairs rising to the south, and you will enter a paved area with another two leveled draugr; one of which is a magic-user. There is another thistle to the right, and a red mountain flower to the left past them.

After this is a large courtyard, and when you enter it, another dragon will begin circling overhead. There are more draugr patrolling the battlements to the left, who may detect you if you choose to fight the dragon here. There is a snowberry bush just to left of the section where you enter, and a purple mountain flower further along the wall. There is another snowberry bush at the base of the stairs on the far side, a thistle in the middle of the area and a tree stump to the right with mora tapinella fungus growing on it. The entrance to Skuldafn South Tower is to the south of this area.

At the top of the stairs, on a walkway above is a draugr patrolling backwards and forwards along it. Heading forward, there is a ruined tower to the left; it contains a single chest on the first floor. There is draugr patrolling the next area, another watching the area from the broken stairs to the north, two more walking along the higher walkway to the west, and two more on the higher walkway to the east (one is patrolling the length of the walkway, while the other stands still).

Once all of these draugr are dealt with, make your way along the walkways to the south. There is an altar here with three draugr, two are patrolling the lower area, and one is guarding the altar, which has an unlocked chest on it. To the east of the altar is the door to Skuldafn North Tower. Before you enter the temple, follow the walls to the west and north, and you will find an unlocked chest with random potion of healing beside it. If you look up you should see a wooden bridge connecting the tower in front of you and the second external zone.

Skuldafn Temple[edit]

In keeping with the general theme of the place, the temple is rather large. There is an urn in front with another on the left and altar with two random poisons on top to the right. The first room may appear deserted, but there are three leveled draugr waiting towards the rear of the room, behind the central raised section. Both paths pass under bridges that link this raised area with the sides of the chamber and lead to the same place; the path on the right is strewn with rubble, but contains an unlocked chest, while the left-hand path is booby-trapped. There are two pressure plates along the path that activate a series of poison darts to shoot from both walls. In the area where the three draugr can be found is another altar with two burial urns on top and four more on the ground around it.

After dispatching these first draugr, continue up the stairs; again, both lead to the same area. There is a magic-using draugr in the middle of the room, while another four slumber in sarcophagi to the sides. One on each side will emerge as you reach the top of the stairs, while the other two will emerge once you pass the rotating pillars. Once they are out of the way, take a moment to assess the puzzle. There are two solutions here for two gates; the two side pillars must face outwards, while the one in the middle faces the gates. The right-hand gate's solution, from east to west, is Snake—Eagle—Whale, and the left-hand gate's solution is Snake—Snake—Whale. Raising the second gate will not lower the first.

There is a cave-in behind the right-hand gate with an unlocked chest among the rubble, while to the left of the left-hand gate is another urn and the path continues through this one. Once past the gate there is a cave-in directly ahead, with a flight of stairs rising to the west. The passage leads out onto a balcony overlooking a small room containing a draugr magic-user standing in front of an altar. There are two flights of stairs descending into the room on either side of a large statue. Be warned though, this is an ambush, as you begin to descend the stairs two further draugr burst from sarcophagi; one at the back of the room behind the altar and the other on the balcony off to the right. Directly under the statue is an unlocked chest and on the altar is a mummified draugr and three burial urns. When the sarcophagus on the western wall burst open it revealed an opening in the rear.

Through this you'll see a large amount of cobwebs and spider egg sacs. You'll also be able to hear several frostbite spiders moving around. You will have to hack or burn your way through the webbing into catacombs that are infested with the spiders, with a series of alcoves along both walls. The catacombs rise to the north, where another section has caved-in. There are three egg sacs that you can harvest spider eggs from among the fallen masonry. There is a doorway to the east covered with more cobwebs you'll have to hack or burn through. Through this is a narrow passage that first turns north and climbs more stairs, before turning west again, with yet more stairs leading up. There is a spider near the top of the first flight and two more at the top in a wider section of passage, in front of a pair of iron doors. There is a blocked passage on the right containing another egg sac that can be harvested and an unlocked chest hidden beneath thick cobwebs you'll need to hack or burn through. On the floor to the right of the doors is a salt pile.

Through the door is a room with a raised central section and balconies on both sides, linked by walkways crossing the central area. There are two draugr in this room, they patrol both balconies and the central section. There is a pillar puzzle here too, the ultimate solution is, from left to right, Whale—Snake—Eagle. You can also use the Whirlwind Sprint dragon shout to get across. The first pillar is immediately in front of you when you enter the room, this is the "middle" pillar, and should be turned so the snake shows. On the lower level there is an urn to the left and an unlocked chest behind the central section. The symbol for the middle totem can also be seen at the rear of the room. The other symbols are high above the walkways on either side of the room. There are stairs leading up on the right, leading up to the balcony and the third pillar, which should be turned so the eagle shows. Head across the bridges, past the lever with a multitude of skulls lying around it, to the "first" pillar, which should be turned so the whale shows. Once this is done, pull the lever and a raised wooden bridge will fall into place from the east, granting access to a pair of iron doors and an urn on either side of the bridge. Through the doors to the second Skuldafn Temple zone.

Skuldafn Temple[edit]

Prepare for another battle; around the corner to the left is a split-level room containing three draugr, one on the same level, and two above. There is an empty chest on an altar in front of the draugr on your level. The path forward is up a wide flight of stairs at the back of the room, then to the right, which cuts back to a bridge over the altar. Once across the bridge there's a doorway into a wider passage that turns north after a few paces. At the far end is another doorway into a room with a pressure plate on the floor which activates a double trap. The first part is highly visible when triggered, being that a lantern drops onto, and ignites, an oil slick. The second part, which the fire is designed partly to distract you from, is a poison dart trap on the opposite wall. There is a wooden spiral staircase in the middle of the room. On your left is a sideboard with a burial urn on top and beside this is an urn and against the back wall is a set of shelves holding an empty random soul gem, a leveled potion of stamina and a food sack, with a burial urn on the floor beside it.

At the top of the staircase is a room with a closed gate to the north, a closed iron door to the south with a window on either side. Looking through each of the windows is a draugr, who may well detect you. There is a third leveled draugr slumbering in a sarcophagus in the same room, which will burst open when you enter the room. There an oil slick on the floor, an oil lantern hanging above in the room, an unlocked chest to your right, and the lever for the closed gate to the left.

The passage beyond the gate rises, passing an urn before turning east by more fallen masonry. The next passage has two pressure plates along it, that drop another oil lantern into an oil slick and ignite it. One of the plates is in front of an unlocked chest on the right, the other a short distance before the lantern. At the far end there are some skeletal remains beside an iron battleaxe. At this point the passage turns back to the north and another passage leads to a puzzle door, guarded by a high level draugr or even a dragon priest. The draugr carries the diamond claw which reveals the combination for the door as Fox—Moth—Dragon, from top to bottom. Through the doorway is a short flight of stairs leading up into a huge chamber, with the word wall at the far end of a wide path with two thrones on either side. On the first two thrones are skeletal remains that you are able to loot.

A short walk past the throne is the word wall. The wall reveals one word for the Storm Call dragon shout. Continue to the left of the wall, past a lootable burnt corpse and an iron greatsword. Climb the stairs and follow the passage, which turns left before the entrance to a room on the right. It contains a stone table with a dead draugr laid out on top, along with two random potions of healing, magicka or stamina, a random war axe, a random helmet, and a burial urn. Beside the table on the floor is a second burial urn, with an urn on the left and a set of shelves holding three more burial urns, a leveled potion of regeneration, and a stone bowl containing a flawless diamond, a flawless emerald and a flawless amethyst hidden under a linen wrap. At the end of the passage is a pair of iron doors leading to Skuldafn temple exterior.

Skuldafn Temple Exterior[edit]

When you emerge at least two draugr will immediately notice your presence. Deal with them then head straight forwards from the door to the tower connected by a short wooden bridge that was visible from the outer courtyard. Head down a level to find a set of shelves and sideboard holding two random potions of healing, magicka or stamina, a honed ancient Nord sword, a flawless emerald and several ruined books. There is also a urn on this level. There is a ramp leading down on the outside of the tower to the lower levels, where you will find an urn and an unlocked chest. Be careful not to fall down here, if you survive you will have to traverse the whole temple again.

If you have attempted to sneak during this part, you may have noticed that you are being detected, but not attacked. If you look high above to the north-northeast you will see a dragon looking back. This dragon, and another on the opposite side of the portal which is also visible, are unaggressive. Head to the south and then east; take care of the two draugr here before heading up the stairs to the left.

The dragon priest Nahkriin awaits. He has a small amount of inbuilt resistance to magic, and knows a lot of spells, including summoning, ward, wall, and cloak spells. Altogether he has a decent amount of magic resistance and a small amount of physical resistance. He also has perks for greater magic and healing effects from his spells, so it will be a tough fight.

Once he has been defeated, loot him for his eponymous mask, and his staff, which is needed to access Sovngarde. You can choose to fight the two unaggressive dragons, for their loot and souls, at this point. Attacking one of them will turn both aggressive, one generally uses frost breath, while the other uses fire breath. They will repeat over and over the phrase "Skuldafn fen kos dinok" while attacking you.

When you are ready, walk up the small platform in the middle of the area and face the area where the portal was. Activate the Dragon Seal by placing Nahkriin's staff in it, then make your way over to the portal. Jump into the middle of the portal to exit Skuldafn and enter the Nordic afterlife of Sovngarde.

Skuldafn South Tower[edit]

The tower is quite small, but still heavily populated by leveled draugr. Before ascending the staircase, check the room to your right. There are two draugr in here, and an urn. There is another draugr patrolling the staircase. There are two more draugr in the room at the top of the staircase that are guarding an unlocked chest and two urns, one of which is broken. The doors to the southeast and southwest are exits to the building. You emerge high above the entrance, but can jump down to the protrusion that is the entrance, and then jump safely to the ground.

Skuldafn North Tower[edit]

The tower is quite small too, and there are still a few draugr about. Before ascending the staircase, check the room to your right, there is a single draugr. There is another draugr patrolling the staircase. There is one more draugr in the room at the top of the staircase that is guarding an unlocked chest. The door to the southwest exits the building. As before, you emerge high above the entrance, but can jump down to the protrusion that is the entrance, and then jump safely to the ground. Before you do so, enter the other door to discover another unlocked chest that was hidden by the rubble inside.


  • This location is only accessible during the related quest, and it is impossible to return to Skuldafn Temple after you enter the portal to Sovngarde, so make sure you get everything you want from the Temple before you jump in the portal. Remember that Nahkriin's mask is required to get the ninth dragon priest mask, Konahrik, so be sure to loot him.
  • All four dragons present in Skuldafn are unique. The difference between the ordinary versions and the first two dragons is that they have the dunSkuldafnDragonFaction so they don't fight the draugr present, and their displayed name will always be "Dragon". The two dragons by the portal are unaggressive versions of the first two, but will fight you if you attack them. All four may have higher stats than the ordinary versions of their type.
  • If DurnehviirDG is summoned in Skuldafn, he will also speak the unique dialogue that the other dragons in the area have while in combat.


  • If the puzzle door or rotating pillars do not work, check here for possible fixes.