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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 gets 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):
"QETHSEGOL VahRUKIV KiiR JUN JAFNHAR WO LOS AG NahLaaS Naal YOL DO LOT DOVah LODUNOST"
(This) stone commemorates (the) child king Jafnhar who was burned alive by (the) fire of (the) great dragon Lodunost.
- Word of Power, "Fire, Fire Breath", in the last room.
- Battle of Sancre Tor, a two-handed skill book in the first room on a table.
- Shard of Wuuthrad (quest item)
- 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.
- It is possible to access Dustman's Cairn without joining The Companions. In order to access the cave, the Dragonborn has to bypass the barrier of rocks by using tcl console command and then explore it normally, leading them to the word wall. If, however, the Dragonborn pulls the lever that would trap them normally in "Proving Honor", they will be rendered stuck behind the gate and incapable of unsheating their weapons.
This section contains bugs related to Dustman's Cairn. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- 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.
- 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.