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Alftand is an ancient Dwemer Ruin located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The quests "Elder Knowledge" and "Discerning the Transmundane" concurrently unfold here. Upon entering the ruins for the first time a team of trapped archaeologists is discovered; the story of their fate, disrupted by a snowstorm and the Falmer also plays out within.

The location has three sublocations, including the Alftand Glacial Ruins, the Alftand Animunculory, and the Alftand Cathedral.

There are approximately two-hundred ingots worth of Dwarven Scrap metal, ideal for advancing the Smithing skill and earning gold.


Alftand Ruined TowerEdit

Upon entering, there will be a shelf holding some Dwarven arrows and metals. Beside the shelf is a spiral staircase leading down, deeper into the tower. At the end of the staircase one Dwarven Spider Worker will spawn out of the wall directly in front of the Dragonborn and another one behind more shelves. There are several iron and silver ore and ingots scattered throughout the room and more dwarven metal. Proceeding further shows two buttons against a wall. Pressing them will activate ceiling spike traps on the other side of the wall for purposes unknown. One will eventually arrive at the spike trap's location but first encounter a Dwarven Sphere.

The spike traps can also be activated by pressure plates directly below them. Beyond the traps is a door and a button before it. Pressing the button is the only way to open the door as there is no option to open or unlock it. Doing so will activate a relatively harmless fire trap. Sprinting or rolling can allow one to avoid taking any damage at all. Then, in front of the Dragonborn will be a desk with another button that, if pressed, will close the door and disable the trap. Going further will lead to a small ice cave where two final Dwarven Spider Workers will spawn. At the end of the cave will be a door exiting far under the wooden bridges leading to Alftand.

The Ruined Tower is an ideal source of Dwarven Scrap to smelt into Dwarven Metal Ingots. The following is an approximate amount of the Dwarven Scrap not accounting for the random loot found within Animunculi:

For an approximate total of a possible eighty-eight Dwemer Metal Ingots.

Alftand AnimonculoryEdit

Alftand Glacial RuinsEdit

Alftand CathedralEdit


Elder KnowledgeEdit

The Dragonborn must venture into the ruins of Alftand in order to find out what happened to a group of archaeologists that went exploring in the ruins.

The Dragonborn finds various clues along the way as to what happened to them, including finding two Khajiit brothers, one alive and one dead, as well as other dead members of the expedition in various other places.


Sulla vs. Umana

Discerning the TransmundaneEdit

The Dragonborn met Septimus Signus, a brilliant but mad scholar living in the northern ice fields. He's directed then to a Dwarven observatory that supposedly houses an Elder Scroll. He doesn't care about the Scroll itself, but wants them to use some kind of machine there to inscribe a Dwarven lexicon with the Scroll's knowledge and bring it to him.

Ancient TechnologyEdit

Sorine Jurard will explain that she has located a schematic that can provide a new upgrade or ammunition type for the crossbow. She asks the Dragonborn to retrieve it from a radiant location, typically a Dwarven ruin or bandit stronghold, the chosen location can also be a part of another DLC.

Notable itemsEdit

  • Targe of the Blooded - Unique shield found on Umana near the end of the dungeon.
  • The Locked Room a Lockpicking skill book in the Alftand Animonculory. After entering the Animonculory, and traversing a few hallways, eventually the Dragonborn will come to an astoundingly deep room, with many stone walkways descending. After following a couple of the walkways, they will come to a large bronze door, Average locked. Inside the door is the treasury, and to the left is another locked gate, the book is behind this gate.
  • On a platform above the moving pistons in Alftand Glacial Ruins, (use the pistons to get up there), is a chest
  • Locked chest behind a locked gate in Alftand Glacial Ruins.
  • Approximately two-hundred Dwarven metal ingots worth of Dwemer Scrap metal. This includes the Dwemer metal available in the Dwemer tower located at the end of the ravine. About one-hundred eleven ingots worth of metal in the ruins and about eighty-eight ingots worth of metal in the tower.
  • Expedition Manifest - Inside a shack, uphill from the entrance to Alftand Glacial Ruins, on the ground, next to a chest.
  • Research Notes - Once inside Alftand Glacial Ruins, keep heading straight until you reach a horizontally barred gateway. On a stone table in front of said gateway are two broken Dwarven Spiders and the Research Notes. Also there is a chest behind the table.
  • J'zhar's Journal - After entering Alftand Glacial Ruins, and reaching the barred gateway, instead take a left down a snow tunnel. Eventually the twins J'zhar (deceased) and J'darr can be found. The journal is found next to J'zhar's corpse, on the ground, next to J'zhar's pack, which contains a random amount of empty skooma bottles and some random potions.
  • Umana's Journal - Alftand Glacial Ruins - Past J'zhar's corpse, on a table, just after exiting the snow tunnel.
  • Endrast's Journal - Alftand Animonculory - After entering the Animonculory, heading down the hall and soon coming to a large room with a staircase to the right, and a ledge in front. Instead of heading up the stairs, there's an open section of bars under the ledge. Endrast's corpse is here next to the journal. There are also a couple lockpicks near the journal.
  • Sulla's Journal - Alftand Glacial Ruins - Just around the corner from the entrance, on a barrel.



  • On seeing the Dragonborn or the Dragonborn's companion, J'darr will refer to them as "smooth skins," even if the Dragonborn is a Khajiit. Ghouls in Bethesda's Fallout Series also refer to humans as "Smooth Skin."
  • Going through Alftand is not required to obtain the Elder Scroll, one can go through any ruin that leads to Blackreach.
  • It is possible to completely bypass this ruin and still get into Blackreach. By standing against the gate of one of the above-ground lifts and casting Summon Arvak, it is possible to get through the gate by mounting and then unmounting Arvak. One can then use the lever to open the gate and descend into Blackreach. Note: If it worked correctly, Arvak will appear to be halfway through the gate.
  • Another way to completely bypass the ruin is by standing at the gate and holding a plate in front of the player and running into it. One must move the plate around to find the correct spots that allow them to move through the gate.
  • Alftand means "elf tooth" in Swedish.

See alsoEdit


Start a Discussion Discussions about Alftand

  • Damn Dwarves pt. 2

    4 messages
    • Its a pretty big place the wiki page has a small guide here but UESP has a better walkthough here.
    • AzuraKnight wrote:Its a pretty big place the wiki page has a small guide here but UESP has a better walkthough here. You rock, dude. Thanks!

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