Elder Scrolls

Bloated Man's Grotto

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Bloated Man's Grotto is a cave located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is a small area surrounded by short cliffs that consists of a Shrine of Talos and a circular pathway that wraps around the back of the cave to the entrance. It can easily be reached from Riverwood by walking across the White River to the northwest, past Anise's Cabin and through Brittleshin Pass, then heading due west.


After the Thalmor attacked Cloud Ruler Temple, Acilius Bolar was the only known survivor of the attack. From there, he traveled north to Skyrim, eventually ending up in the Grotto.

However, he was pursued by the Thalmor and as such, to prevent the Thalmor from "desecrating" the shrine, went to "face his death with honour".[1] This suggests he left the grotto and hoped that if the Thalmor killed him, then they would not enter the grotto and be unable to destroy the shrine to Talos.


Find Runil's JournalEdit

Runil asks to find his journal, which may be here as a possible location for Runil's Journal.

Ill Met by MoonlightEdit

The grotto acts as the main setting for the Daedric Quest. Sinding will escape here from the prison in Falkreath, and can either be spared or killed by the Dragonborn.

Shalidor's InsightsEdit

One of the chests inside is a possible location for a scroll.

Notable itemsEdit

  • Bolar's Oathblade – A unique Blades sword.
  • Bolar's Writ – The final note left by Bolar, the last Blade who survived the attack on Cloud Ruler Temple.
  • Four chests:
    1. After entering into the main part of the cove, there are waterfalls to the Dragonborn's immediate right. A locked chest is hidden behind a dead, hollowed out trunk on a ledge before the first waterfall.
    2. An unlocked chest is hidden at the bottom of the small water pool, under the initial waterfall.
    3. An unlocked chest can be found in the built-up area, in front of the Shrine of Talos and statue.
    4. A master-locked chest is hidden on a ledge down the path to the left of the entrance inside the grotto. The area is marked by a dead deer. There are sometimes two wolves standing near the dead deer and the chest will be due east of them.
  • Four hawk's nests:
    1. Near the top of the central rocky peak, due south of the Shrine of Talos.
    2. Due west of [1], near the end of a rocky outcropping.
    3. Further south from [1], is another nest resting on the inaccessible mountains.
    4. Northwest from [3], is another nest on the surrounding mountains.
  • One gold ore vein:
    1. Hidden next to a large waterfall, on top of the rocks.


Alchemy ingredientsEdit



  • A bottle of Skooma can be found on a dead Nord's body, hidden behind Bolar's Oathblade.
  • In the quest "Ill Met By Moonlight," the moon is actually red, as it is Hircine's Bloodmoon.
  • Using the Detect Life spell inside the cove shows all hostile characters as friendly until they are approached.
  • Despite its appearance like an outdoor area, fast travel is disabled while inside the grotto.


This section contains bugs related to Bloated Man's Grotto. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • After the quest is complete, the area may not be marked as cleared.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Sinding may respawn.
  •  PC   360   Sometimes if the cave is re-entered after completing the quest "Ill Met by Moonlight", the cave will still be part of Hircine's realm and there may be a point where further progress into the grotto is blocked as though there is an invisible wall. To exit the cave, simply walk back towards the entrance.



Start a Discussion Discussions about Bloated Man's Grotto

  • Shrine of Talos in Bloated Man's Grotto

    14 messages
    • in my opinion it's best to try and find bloated man's grotto before you accept the quest (Ill met by moonlight) and it should be there and if i...
    • If you finished Ill Met by Moonlight, and got the savior's hide only, wait one week and come back to Bloated Man's Grotto. You're welcome.
  • No Sinding in Grotto?

    5 messages
    • OP here: I also went back to my save file and found him wandering the road outside (though he was not when I last played). A dragon attac...
    • I found out the issue to this. Basically there is a glitch in the dialog option when talking to the White Stag. On some occasions when you sa...

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