|Location||Southwest of Heartwood Mill|
West and south of Riften
Upon entering Avanchnzel, the Dragonborn will see four orange figures standing at the bottom of the big open room. These are the ghosts of four adventurers who had been sent to Avanchnzel to recover the Lexicon.
Owing to the large amount of Automatons, scraps, metals and also its size, it’s likely that Avanchnzel was some form of Automaton repair or maintenance facility, as well as a Library for the Lexicon during the Dwemer reign. 5 Dwarven Centurions can be found here, two of them on stone slabs in one of the chambers along with other machinery, suggesting they were undergoing serious repairs. Shelves stacked with metals, scraps and destroyed Spiders and Spheres suggest storage of spare parts or storage of damaged equipment or machinery.
The Ruins start out as a cave entrance then quickly switches to the actual ruins. Expect to fight Dwarven Spider Workers, Dwarven Spider Guardians, Dwarven Spheres, Dwarven Sphere Guardians, and a Dwarven Centurion.
There is a large chamber open to the sky with a bridge; on the lower level are 3 to 5 spiders which can be killed with ranged attacks. A ramp to the left leads up to a couple of rooms and two barred doors; one door leads to Avanchnzel Balcony and the other is barred from the other side. The former is an exterior entrance that can be entered prior to starting "Unfathomable Depths", but only consists of a very small chamber between the exit door and a barred door. There is an apprentice-level Dwarven chest on the balcony with leveled loot.
Continuing on will lead you down to the bottom of the larger chamber, fighting automatons along the way. Here there are two doors to choose from. The first door on the right has a trip wire that may or may not already be tripped and leads to a small room with two chests on the back wall. The other door leads down a hallway with another encounter with the ghosts who obligingly destroy two Dwarven Sphere Guardians. The hallway ends at the door to the Avanchnzel Animoncultory.
This area is pretty straight forward: continue to follow the hallways. There is one ghost encounter at a locked gate that has a chest with leveled loot behind it. Further up the hallway is a small alcove on the right (up a short flight of stairs) with an apprentice-locked chest. Next is the camp of the ghosts and their four bed rolls with another ghostly encounter.
Shortly after this encounter is a door to the right; it is trapped and for lower level/health players it is instant death (the shout Become Ethereal is no protection here). Open the door and immediately back away to avoid the spinning blades. The trap can also be disarmed; there is a hard to see mechanism at the lower right of the door. The door opens to a room that appears to be a spider repair room and contains a single chest. Also on the table is the Restoration skill book, Notes on Racial Phylogeny.
Continuing on, there is a large store room which has an Alchemy Lab to the left as part of a table. There is another hallway and, through a door, a small store room with a locked door to the right containing a leveled chest and a Dwarven Helmet and Mace. Additionally, there is a locked gate on the left with leveled loot behind it. Onward is another small room with a ghostly encounter then through a door into a large chamber.
Entering the chamber on a raised walkway around the room, there are at least four spiders below that can be carefully destroyed from the vantage of the high ground. There is a wall chest to the right from the entrance. Otherwise, go around to the left to get to the stairs down the main floor. In the next hallway is the body of Drennen, one of the ghosts you have been seeing, and prompts another ghostly visit. The next door leads to the Avanchnzel Boilery.
Upon entering the Boilery there is another ghostly visit. It is possible for a spider to be below the catwalk in the hallway; one tactic is to simply conjure a familiar near it until the spider is dead. The next room has a brief ghostly encounter; on through the next door, move carefully as a spinning blade trap awaits. Watches-The-Roots' body lies at the bottom of the trap.
The next room is the Lexicon Pedestal room with a Dwarven Centurion Guardian standing to the left and the body of Breya to the right. After dealing with the Centurion, proceed to the next door which has a chest and an elevator which connects to the area behind the latter barred door in Avanchnzel.
- There are quite a few Dwemer scrap pieces that can be broken down into Dwarven Metal Ingots in here. Most of them will probably come from the automatons found on the shelves, tables and the ones killed, although there are a few pieces of scrap lying about, as well.
- Alchemy Ingredients:
- 2 Iron Ore Veins - Before entering the actual ruins proper (within the cave section, near the entrance)
- 1 Dwarven Armor - Once you reach the cavern floor of the big chamber, on the southern side of the wall there is a door that has a trap wire on it. Through that door (and the next one right after), the armor is lying on the ground, with a potion on the table right in front of it.
- Chest - On the right side of the path on the corner of a wall, a little bit past the first door you have to open. It's right where the ruins open up into a big open chamber for the first time.
- Chest - At first crossroads, keep going straight (don't take the ramp going upwards)...eventually you'll start going downhill along a ramp and at a corner you'll come across an Apprentice locked gate. The chest is behind that.
- 2 Chests - Once you reach the cavern floor of the big chamber, on the southern side of walls there is a door that has a trap wire on it. Through that door (and the next one right after), the chests are on the wall over top of the table that the Dwarven Armor mentioned above is sitting in front of.
- Chest - Continuing on through the dungeon, at the point where you see the third instance of the ghostly figures...there is a chest to the left right beside one of the Dwarven Sphere corpses on the ground.
- Dwarven Oil - 0+ (These are common drops from the Dwarven Automatons)
- Book - Notes on Racial Phylogeny (Skill Book - Restoration) - Going past the point where Fathom's expedition set up camp, you will come across a door on your right. This door is trapped, but going inside (after you disarm it OR avoid the trap, whichever) you will find this book on a table on the left side of the room.
- Other Items:
- 3 Iron Ingots - On a table behind the Adept locked gate in the first room after entering the area (where you encounter more "ghosts" talking about the locked gate)
- 5 Garnets – Two on a table behind the Adept locked gate in the first room after entering the area (where you encounter more "ghosts" talking about the locked gate). Three more on the table with the Alchemy Lab
- 1 Ruby - On the floor under the table with the Alchemy Lab (it may be that this is supposed to be on the table but it clipped through to under it)
- 1 Dwarven Bow - On a table after going through the next hallway (past the Apprentice level Chest)
- 1 Dwarven Helmet - Continuing on, will come across a room with a giant set of shelves and some automatons wandering around, to the right immediately after getting into the room there is an Adept level locked door. The helmet is at the back of this locked room, on a table.
- Leveled Arrows - Next to the aforementioned bow on the table.
- Chest - To the right of the table behind the Adept locked gate in the first room after entering the area (where you encounter more "ghosts" talking about the locked gate)
- Apprentice level locked Chest - Continuing down the path further into Avanchnzel, you will see some stairs to your right that leads to a small alcove. This chest is on the table in that alcove.