Elder Scrolls

Swindler's Den

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Cave  Swindler's Den
Hold Whiterun Hold
Location West of Whiterun
Type Cave
Sublocations None
Quests In My Time of Need
Characters Kematu
Enemies Silver Hand
Location ID SwindlersDenExterior

Swindler's Den is a cave east of Rorikstead and southwest of Morthal. It is infested with several leveled bandits. Swindler's Den serves as the base of the Alik'r in the quest In My Time of Need.


Notable itemsEdit

  • In the next room, or ledge overlooking the third room, is a copy of Night Falls on Sentinel on a crate next to a deer pelt. This book's needed for a quest given by Rustleif in Dawnstar
  • Outside of Swindler's Den there are three unmarked locations each containing a skill book.
  • Directly outside the cave are three helmets, an Iron Helmet, a Steel Helmet, and an Imperial Light Helmet.
  • There is a chest on a ledge in the first room of a cave, as well as some White Cap.
  • In the third room will be a small table with a Amethyst, Silver Necklace, 17 gold pieces and a coin purse.
  • In the fourth room there is a chest, another Deer Hide, and the skill book "Thief" on a bed roll.
  • After that in the final room there are the Alik'r and their leader, and a chest.
  • There are two refined malachite ingots and a gold ingot in an open crate on the southern wall of the most northeastern room, to the left of the tunnel entrance leading further into the cave.


  • To the right of the first hall, there are a couple of boulders, the Dragonborn can climb up with spamming the jump button. With that, just follow the path into the final hall, which spares the Dragonborn almost every battle with local bandits.
  • When entering the first hall, there is a practice dummy with a red apple perched atop its head. This is a reference to the story of William Tell, who had to shoot an apple off of his son's head. Amusingly, the dummy has two Iron Arrows in it, being nowhere close to the head. The Dragonborn can play a mini-game of trying to shoot the apple with the Long Bow and Iron Arrows provided on the opposite ledge after clearing the dungeon.


This section contains bugs related to Swindler's Den. 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  ,  PS3  ,  PC  .
  3. If a fix to the bug is known, please provide it, but avoid use of first-person-anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board and not the article.
  •  360   If the cave is reentered after finishing the quest "In My Time of Need" and choosing the ending by helping Kematu, the Alik'r Soldiers and Kematu are still in Swindler's Den, without Saadia. The warriors can be attacked and killed.
    • When entering the den under this scenario, the Alik'r spawn with a Bandit Chief and a couple of regular bandits who immediately start attacking the Alik'r. Who wins is up to chance. Whoever is left alive can now be finished off and looted, (the Alik'r now have no conversation options and are not needed for any further quests).
  •  PS3   360   If the cave is reentered after finishing In My Time of Need there is the possibility the game will get stuck on the loading screen and never actually load the cave. The problem seems to arise as soon as the Dragonborn accepts the "Stealing Plans" quest from Aela the Huntress after clearing Gallows Rock in the Companion questline.
  •  PC   360   PS3  Sometimes after completing In My Time of Need all subsequent reentries into Swindler's Den will cause the game to crash. This can make completing the Companions quest line impossible.
  •  PS3  Once you get into the second room and kill the bandits, you can jump or "mountain" up the side of the right wall to go straight into the room with Kematu, thereby shortening the quest.


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