Elder Scrolls

Bloated Man's Grotto

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Cave  Bloated Man's Grotto
Bloated Man's Grotto Entrance
Bloated Man's Grotto Maplocation
Hold Falkreath Hold
Location North of Half-Moon Mill
South of Sleeping Tree Camp
Type Cave
Quests Find Runil's Journal
Ill Met by Moonlight
Shalidor's Insights
Characters Sinding
Enemies Cave Bear
Sabre Cat
Location ID BloatedMansGrottoExterior01

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.


This section contains bugs related to Bloated Man's Grotto. 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.
  • After the quest is complete, the area may not be marked as cleared.
  •  PC   360   PS3  Sinding may respawn.
  •  PC   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

    13 messages
    • It's been nearly 6 game months since I finished the quest (xbox360) and it still hasn't reset. Does killing sinding after the quest affect it?
    • 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...
  • 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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