Elder Scrolls

Dustman's Cairn

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Tomb Dustman's Cairn
Dustman's Cairn
Dustman's Cairn Maplocation
Hold Whiterun Hold
Type Tomb
Enemies Draugr
Silver Hand members
Frostbite Spider
Giant Frostbite Spider
Dustman's Cairn is an ancient Nordic tomb located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Dustman's Cairn is located southeast of Morthal and south-southeast of the Labyrinthian. The entrance is blocked until the The Companions quest, "Proving Honor" has been activated. From Whiterun, head west past the Western Watchtower until reaching Fort Greymoor, then head north until locating it.


The first room contains Battle of Sancre Tor, a skill book that increases Two-Handed, along with a novice locked chest. The dungeon will begin with the Dragonborn fighting draugr. Once reaching the part where the Dragonborn get locked in by pulling a lever, the Silver Hand will show up and surround Farkas, who will transform into a Werewolf and slaughter them all. Proceeding through the dungeon, they will now face a mix of Silver Hand and draugr.

Eventually, the Dragonborn will come to a large room with a locked iron door, the key for which is in the chest in the same room. The room immediately preceding this room has a locked wooden door (adept) that has some ingredients inside. Through the iron door a few skeevers will be encountered. There is also an alchemy lab. A passage off this room will lead to a spider's lair with a giant frostbite spider and a regular frostbite spider.

Next, pass through a waterfall and walk across some catwalks to run into some draugr. Walk through the next passage containing draugr crypts and come to an iron door. Through this door is an altar room with the fragment of Wuuthrad for the Companions quest "Proving Honor" and also a Word Wall which contains one of the words of power for the Fire Breath shout. Grabbing the fragment causes the draugr in the room to attack. There are several urns and a chest in the altar room. To exit the dungeon, take the stairs to the upper level in the altar room and go through the opening in one of the coffins. This leads to a secret passage exiting at the beginning room.

The Word Wall romanization and translation (word of power bolded):


(This) stone commemorates (the) child king Jafnhar who was burned alive by (the) fire of (the) great dragon Lodunost.

Notable itemsEdit



  • At the end there will be several waves of draugr. It is possible to short-circuit this ambush by attacking the coffins in the walls to bring them out one at a time before taking the fragment.
  • This location is locked to the Dragonborn prior to "Proving Honor". For a list of locations unlocked by quests, see Dungeon Lock Outs.
  • The name comes from the Nordic expression for draugr, 'dustman'.
  • This location is one of the very few locations in the game in which birds' nests are found indoors.


This section contains bugs related to Dustman's Cairn. 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.
  •  PS3   When doing the Companions quest for the search of the shard of Wuuthrad, there is a graphical bug near the ending of the dungeon. The walls might flash blue, then when the Dragonborn leaves, everything is pitch black. Quitting and restarting the game fixes this.
  •  PC   Right next to the first wooden door in Dustman's Cairn is a pot in a small alcove. If walked into, the Dragonborn phases through the ground and will fall for a short time before being dropped back at the beginning where the Dragonborn first entered the room.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Dustman's Cairn

  • Dustman's Cairn connections

    2 messages
    • Just went through here and passed what I think is a Hall of Stories-ish plaque that I remember is for Potema. It is encrusted with what looks l...
    • I noticed this too but my only thought was how to steal the ruby. I'm a Nightingale, for goodness sake, I should know how to pry rubies out of walls!
  • any way of getting fire breath without having to join the companions?

    5 messages
    • There is another word wall where you can learn the first word. The second you can learn from one of the dragons. If you wish to get all three, ...
    • Krow Dawnstar wrote:Try going into Dustman's Cairn without the Companions?  Most of those caves you can go into without doing the quest i...

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