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TESV Blackreach 2
Hold Winterhold, The Pale
Location Deep beneath the ruins of Mzinchaleft, Raldbthar, and Alftand
Type Dwarven Ruin
Quests Elder Knowledge
Discerning the Transmundane
A Return To Your Roots
Characters Sinderion
Enemies Falmer
Dwarven Automatons
Frost Troll
Frostbite Spider

Blackreach is an ancient Dwemer ruin located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Blackreach, or Fal Zhardum Din in Dwemeris,[1] is a large city in a massive underground cavern found underneath the Tower of Mzark filled with glowing mushrooms and Falmer. The cavern encompasses the area between three Dwemer cities―Alftand, Mzinchaleft, and Raldbthar―and connects them.

Like most other Dwemer cities, it now lies in ruin, overrun by Falmer, Chaurus, and full of glowing mushrooms. The glowing mushrooms here are substantially larger than those found elsewhere, with stalks taller than buildings. The ceiling of the entire cave system glows with blue bioluminescent lights, and massive glowing vines that hang down. There is a teal fog within Blackreach that makes grasping the size of Blackreach difficult, and mushroom spores that float throughout the air. Massive geode stones and geode veins also dot the ground, and the pools of water found within are an almost entirely opaque teal.

Typically, this location is encountered as part of the "Elder Knowledge" quest. However, it is possible to discover it earlier, by initiating the quest "Discerning the Transmundane".


Map of four dwemer cities in skyrim

A map of Skyrim highlighting the locations of Blackreach, Arkngthamz, Mzulft, Raldbthar, and Bthar-zel/Deep Folk Crossing that undertook in the project to research Aetherium.

Blackreach's Reach

Entrances to Blackreach

Sometime after 1E 221,[2] the Dwemer of Skyrim discovered a considerable amount of a raw mineral with considerable magical properties, which they referred to as Aetherium. The Dwemer quickly built four new cities, which were Arkngthamz, MzulftRaldbthar, and Bthar-zel (now known as Deep Folk Crossing), which would work together to research this new mineral and develop new technologies forged from Aetherium.[3]

The roles for this project were spread out between the four cities; Arkngthamz would serve as the project's command center and the primary research center, Raldbthar (which happened to be located directly above Blackreach) would deal with mining operations, and Mzulft was used as a storage site. It is unknown what role Bthar-zel undertook in this project, however it is believed it was an experimentation facility. The city of Bthalft was not a part of the alliance, and it was used as the site for the Aetherium Forge; a large, magma-infused forge which would be the basis for extremely advanced weapons, armor, tools, and other items that combined the great metalwork and engineering skills of the Dwemer and the innate magical powers of Aetherium.[3][4]

At first the project was successful; with the alliance of the four cities bringing peace, harmony, and scientific and technological advancement to the Dwemer. However, after three years, the four cities began to want independent control over the Aetherium, the Aetherium Forge and the incredible matter it could procreate.[2]



The 'Sun' used to summon Vulthuryol.

The following areas can be reached from Blackreach:


  • Tower of Mzark: this is the initial point of entry into Blackreach, and is the only one available until the Dragonborn starts the "Elder Knowledge" quest.
  • Mzinchaleft*: once cleared, the Mzinchaleft Gatehouse contains a Dwarven Mechanism that, once activated, opens a spiral staircase in the floor around the mechanism. The mechanism can only be activated using the Attunement Sphere obtained from Septimus Signus, who lives at his outpost north of the College of Winterhold, during the quest "Discerning the Transmundane". This leads directly to a door to Blackreach. Because the Mzinchaleft Gatehouse can be accessed quickly (once cleared) from Skyrim, using an unlocked elevator (the entrance is located on the road just northwest of Mzinchaleft), this location can be a fast, straightforward access point to Blackreach later. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Mzinchaleft Gatehouse.
  • Raldbthar*: located on the peak near Shearpoint (where the Dragon Priest Krosis is located). Once cleared, this also requires the Attunement Sphere to enter. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Raldbthar Deep Market.
  • Alftand*: located facing the Sea of Ghosts near to Mount Anthor and Saarthal. This is the most likely way for the Dragonborn to enter Blackreach for the first time. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Alftand Cathedral.
  • Great Lift at Mzinchaleft: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
  • Great Lift at Raldbthar: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
  • Great Lift at Alftand: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
    • Note: The Great Lifts are places in which the Dragonborn can exit Blackreach quickly and easily. One must push the 'Activate' button on the top of the huge Dwarven helmet to lower the bars.
  • *Before using these locations as entrances into Blackreach, they must first be unlocked. If attempting to leave Blackreach using them, the Dragonborn will encounter impassable barriers unless they have first been unlocked from the other side.

Locations inside BlackreachEdit


Notable LootEdit

Alchemy ingredientsEdit

Because of the vast size of Blackreach, these figures may not be exhaustive.


  • Corundum Ore Veins - 14
  • Ebony Ore Veins - 5
    • There is one between the Pumping Station and two Falmer huts, almost directly under the balcony from the pumping station, by the Wispmother.
    • One is to the far south of the Debate Hall and slightly west of the top of the Derelict Pumphouse, behind the edge of the waterfall that splits on either side of the rock that has a Crimson Nirnroot sitting on the very tip.
    • Next to Sinderion's Field Laboratory.
    • Northeast of the Tower of Mzark, on a small island (not far from the tower's structure).
    • Due to the south of Debate Hall, and due east of the Tower of Mzark.
  • Geode Veins - 30
  • Gold Ore Veins - 2
  • Moonstone Ore Veins - 2
  • Orichalcum Ore Veins - 3
  • Quicksilver Ore Veins - 3
  • Note that with the abundance of Geode Veins here, this is an excellent place to collect many empty Soul Gems, as Geode Veins can yield anything from Petty Soul Gems to Black Soul Gems, as well as possibly various precious gemstones, just like any other vein.


Other lootEdit

  • Falmer Armor: the chest piece can be found in a Falmer hut to the west of the entrance leading to Raldbthar Deep Market. Other pieces can be found on the Falmer in the area, depending on the Dragonborn's level.
  • Adept-level locked chest: inside Novice-level locked gate just to the west of the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance.
  • Master-level locked chest: just to the right of the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance on the wall, facing out into Blackreach.
  • There are many Dwarven Centurions with Centurion Dynamo Cores to collect within Blackreach, as well as other places where cores can be found. Leaving and returning after three days allows the centurions to respawn and be battled again.



  • Blackreach is considered an outdoor area, despite being underground. This means that the Storm Call and Summon Durnehviir Shout as well as Summon Arvak work here, and vampires will be weakened during normal daylight hours, although there is no daylight. Couriers may also spawn inside. However, it is still impossible to fast travel. With all of the official add-ons installed, the negative effects of being a vampire are no longer felt, as in it is constant night.
  • The scale in Blackreach is slightly smaller than on the surface. In other words, walking one mile in Blackreach is the equivalent of walking one and one-third miles on the surface.
  • Blackreach is mentioned in the book Dwemer Inquiries Vol III. On the second to last page, the author writes, "The most reasonable translation ... I have managed to decipher is 'Blackest Kingdom Reaches', but I cannot imagine what that means." Also, on the sixth page of the book, the author explains that the same Dwemer phrase is found particularly on "ornate metal frames in the deepest reaches of the Strongholds Alftand, Irkgnthand and Mzinchaleft of Skyrim." Two of these Strongholds (Alftand and Mzinchaleft) connect directly to Blackreach.[1]
  • It is heavily implied by the book The Aetherium Wars that the large chunks of glowing crystals found scattered throughout Blackreach are actually Aetherium lodes.[2]
  • There is a Dwemer Ballista Trap which can be fired with a lever near the entrance from Alftand Cathedral.


This section contains bugs related to Blackreach. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Confirm all bugs with other editors on the talk page before adding them below.
  2. Always try reloading an old save first, before asking for assistance.
  3. Do not discuss possible bug fixes or origins. Leave those and all other first-person-anecdotes on the talk page, not the article.
  4. Always add  360  ,  PS3  , or  PC   to clarify which system the bug appears on.
  •  PS3   There is a glitch that will not allow crossing of the bridge to the Elder Scroll. To fix this, delete the update data from game data utility, then re-update the game. This also fixes the framerate drops and seems to fix most of the glitches on the PS3 version.
  •  PC   360   PS3  Lifts to the surface can occasionally cause the game to effectively freeze on the loading screen, barring all actions apart from quick-loading.
    •  PC(Fix)   Open the console, wait five to ten seconds, then close it.
    •  PC   360   PS3  This can also be prevented entirely by temporarily disabling autosaves on traveling, and then enabling them after using the lifts.
  •  360   PS3   There is a Falmer tent near the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance which will trap the Dragonborn inside it if it is somehow entered. The only solution seems to be loading a previous save, as Whirlwind Sprint, sprinting, jumping, or rolling do not seem to allow Dragonborn to leave.
  • On some occasions, it is possible to alter the weather/daylight in Blackreach by entering and exiting the gate in the north-western corner of Blackreach (follow the path up from one of the elevators), or by entering the Tower of Mzark from inside Blackreach, then exiting back to Blackreach. This may cause all of Blackreach to be as bright as a normal day outside, greatly improving visibility. 
  •  360   A leveled Falmer may fall from the sky upon leaving Sinderion's Field Laboratory.
  • Occasionally it may start to snow in Blackreach, and the visuals will look like the Dragonborn is outside; using the Clear Skies shout will not have any effect.
    • The only way to solve this is by leaving the area and waiting for it to respawn; this may be caused by entering one of the three Dwarven ruins which does not yet have an entrance towards Blackreach. Entering the ruin from the outside and clearing it again to provide access to Blackreach from within might also fix this.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Blackreach

  • What was the hardest Dungeon/Cave/Ruin gave you the most beating?

    116 messages
    • GreywOlf776 wrote:It has to be in azuras star because all those dadrea in their are very hard they kept killing me until I came up with a plan...
    • Liars retreat. so many falmer nighprowlers.
  • Just who is Mzark

    37 messages
    • The Anumidium wrote: Maybe Mzark was a Dwemer god. In one of the several loading screens for Skyrim it says "But our brethren, the Dwemer, scor...
    • -AR- wrote: As for what Mzark is? It's likely either some Dwemer figure of great renown, perhaps either the architect of the tower or ...

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