Unfortunately, with all the variety of attractions, it is quite difficult to find them all on your own. Here you will find our list useful, in which we have collected the most interesting (in our opinion) secret places of Skyrim. In some you will find funny Easter eggs, in others you will find valuable loot, and still others are not even marked on the map, but still worth it to visit.
Yes, most likely among them will be those that you have already seen, but can you be sure that you have studied this world completely? After all, many of the secrets of The Elder Scrolls are hidden in a very clever way. So stock up on food, potions and prepare your gear – we have a long way to go.
Traveling along the Rift south of the Geirmund Hall, you can find a rocky hill on which an aspiring necromancer arranged practical exercises at the skeletal altar. Apparently, he still has a lot to learn, because he trains on dead chickens, whose bodies are scattered around. Well, dark magic is not an easy thing, and it is quite logical to start with someone smaller and simpler.
The spectacle is still there, but you do not have to admire it for a long time: if you get too close, the magician will get angry and pounce on you. To watch his futile attempts without provoking conflict, use stealth mode. However, the murder of a necromancer is not without meaning: from his corpse you can take a textbook on witchcraft, and from the basket in front of the altar – useful ingredients and sometimes even a stone of souls.
Burning of Izra
This tragic story can be seen in the northern part of Skyrim, on the coast south of Ingvild. The burnt earth and the burned body suggest a dragon attack, but if you carefully study the scene of the incident, it becomes clear that something much stranger happened. Next to the body lies the fire Cloak spell, which suggests the following: an attempt to create a spell ended in catastrophic failure, and instead of a fiery cloak, an explosion occurred.
After searching the corpse, you will find an item called “Necklace of Izra”. If you now talk to Finis Gestor at the Winterhold College, he will tell you about the disappearance of a student, Izra, who was going to practice fire magic spells. These are the remains of a carved quest in which the player had to search for missing students of the College and report his progress to Gestore. As a result, only dialogue and a charred body on the shore remained in the game, which makes what happened look more like a mysterious terrible story than another episode from the adventures of an adventurer in the fantasy world.
Kangrezel, lost away from the walking paths, is like the ruins of dwemer found throughout Skyrim. However, these particular ruins are special. To get to them, follow the path through the canyon to the east of Ansilvounda, you can get to it by going behind the fire next to the tower. Before you hit the road, save the game.
Inside the ruins you will find a large room where a light source hovers in the air. Touch it and fall into a trap: a grate will grow out of the ground around you, an alarm will ring, and then a hidden hole in the floor will be activated. You’re going to fall into it and you’re going to fall, fall, fall… It’s been a long time to fall, so long that during this time you can go bring yourself something to eat.
Eventually, you’ll land in an underground body of water. At its bottom and to the right of the exit from the water will be a treasure chest. After searching them, rise to the surface, but be on the alert – along the way you will meet fallmers, and they are far from friendly. This location is worth a visit both because of the loot and because of the unusually long flight down.
The Sad Fate of Skywalker
This Easter egg is well known, but if you do not know about it, you can easily pass by. To the southeast of Winterhold is the Cold Coast Cave, and in it is a dead adventurer, or rather what is left of him. His skeleton hangs from the ceiling, frozen with his feet in the ice, and below lies a shining sword. This is a direct reference to a scene from Episode 5 of Star Wars where Luke Skywalker was attacked by a local version of Bigfoot – Wampa – and dragged to her cave, where he hung him in exactly the same way.
Upon waking up, Luke sees his feet frozen in the ceiling and uses the Force to pull his lightsaber lying in the snow below. He manages to free himself and escape, but this guy is not so lucky. Apparently, the Force was not with him. Anyway, don’t forget to bring his enchanted sword with you when you go back.
In the ice caps north of the Tower Stone, you can find a unique unmarked location that will especially appeal to those who are interested in the lore series. At the top of the iceberg lies a skeleton, clutching a battered flag with a stranglehold, and next to it his possessions: a chest and a book. The book is a textbook on the Skill of Heavy Armor called “Knights of nine”, it tells the story of a group of treasure hunters who set themselves the goal of finding relics of Pelinal Weitrstrik, the legendary king and warrior.
Judging by the location of the book, the skeleton most likely belongs to Sir Amiel Lannus, the founder of the Order of the Nine and its only member, whose fate remained a mystery to history. Of course, it could be a follower of the Knights, who decided to go in their footsteps, but the first version still sounds more interesting.
In the mountains to the west of the Rift is the tomb of the Nords in the open air – the Wind Arc. Getting there isn’t easy, but if you’re looking for someone to fight, it’s worth it: you can always meet high-level enemies nearby. Most often it is a few Draugrs, sometimes dragon priests, but they are always accompanied by a level dragon, and if your level is 78 or higher, then a rare Legendary Dragon.
After dealing with enemies, search the territory and find a treasure chest, as well as the Wall of Words, on which there will be one of the Words of the cry “sucking out vital energy”. From the bodies of enemies, you can also collect good trophies, and the view from the observation tower opens up quite well. All in all, a great place, but low-level players will have to prepare well before visiting it.
Bard Jump Peak
Bard Jump Peak isn’t such a secret place in itself, quite the opposite. But in the location itself is hidden a secret that is easy not to notice. Climb the parapet at the end of the bridge over the waterfall and gently jump into the water. If you survive, at the bottom you will have a dialogue with a ghost playing the lute.
This is none other than the bard Azzadal, after whom the peak seems to have been named. He will talk about how he died trying to make the same jump, and will be surprised that someone succeeded. After talking to the bard, your Eloquence skill will increase by two points – apparently, this is a reward for a bold jump and for the ability to listen. Not a bad meeting, if you do not pay attention to the bones of the poor man floating around.
This unmarked location is located north of the Winterhold College, so far away that the edge of the map is a stone’s throw away. It is unlikely that you will ever stumble upon it yourself, unless you are arrested in these places. The cold one serves as winterhold prison, but unlike other similar places, it is not so difficult to escape from it: there are no casemates, no military guards, no concrete walls, it is just an ice cave with rusty cages. The guards won’t even take things away from you.
Alas, in terms of trophies, the location is also not impressive, which is somewhat frustrating, because the place is quite secret. However, if you like to travel and discover new things, it is worth getting there. It’s a pity that it is unlikely to happen by accident: winterhold is so boring that you still need to try to get arrested. And beware of the Ice Atronachs – maybe there are no normal guards in the prison, but this does not mean that you were left completely unattended.
Lady of the Lake
West of Vaitran is a lake where a mysterious skeleton holds a hand with a sword above the water. The location is not marked on the map, so the search may take some time. This is a reference to the Lady of the Lake, who in a well-known legend in a very similar way handed King Arthur the sword excalibur.
Unfortunately, this particular blade does not stand out among others. This is just a level sword, the parameters of which depend on the degree of your pumping at the time of its receipt. It is unlikely to replace your favorite weapon, but as a trophy it is quite interesting. A curious fact: when you take the sword, the hand will crumble, and the bones will remain lying on the bottom until the very end of the game, instead of disappearing, as usually happens with corpses. Anyway, from the developers it was a very appropriate idea to refer to the fantasy genre, which served as one of the sources of inspiration for the creation of The Elder Scrolls.
This secret boss is only found in skyrim’s first expansion, The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard. The Reaper’s Lair can be found in the Cairn of Souls, a place that becomes available during the Quest for the Past quest. Cairna Soul is a large location, it takes a long time to explore it, and therefore the Reaper can be easily missed.
Comb the area and find three shards of the Reaper Stone. During the search, you can hear wandering souls saying: “Tss, he is watching us!”. Having found all the fragments, go east as soon as you pass a large stone wall, and sooner or later the Reaper’s Lair will appear in front of you. There, lay the shards on the altar, after which the Reaper himself will appear – a ghostly boss with red-fire eyes burning, dressed as an executioner. Once you’ve dealt with it, you’ll get a daedra heart, black soul stones, and an axe that the boss used as a weapon.
Abandoned boat with riches
If Easter eggs and references to popular culture are not your part, you can always look for hidden treasures. Head to the Kolskeggr mine in the suburbs of Markart. At a bend in the river, you’ll find an abandoned boat loaded with valuables just waiting for you to pick them up.
Numerous precious stones are scattered around the boat, collect them carefully so as not to accidentally throw them into the water. Also on board you can find a pharmacist’s bag filled with alchemical components, and a safe, which is also full of useful prey. And that’s not all: down at the bottom of the river there is also a treasure chest. There’s nothing else to look at here – it’s just a secret place where you can quickly enrich yourself, not a landmark or a hidden piece of lore for the most curious.
The chance to get to this unique location falls only once, when passing the quest “Black Star”. We are talking about the Star of Azura – an artifact capable of storing souls in itself. At the end of the quest, the Dragonborn is carried inside this item to fight With Meileen Waren, whose soul was also there. Inside the star is a bizarre-looking crystalline dimension that looks like the Citadel of Solitude from the classic Superman movies.
There are no valuable items here – all you will come across is Maylyn and a few slumbers, his guards. But the place itself is so unique that any lover of attractions is simply obliged to see it with their own eyes. And then, at the end of the quest, the Star will remain with you, and you can use it as a reusable soul stone. A very good reward.
To the north of the tavern “Old Hroldan” you will find another story with a tragic ending. Not far from the road there is a small halt, and next to it lie the bodies of a man and a woman killed by a wild animal. From the entries in the diary, which can be found there, it becomes clear that these are Karana and Talvur – lovers whose happiness was not destined to come true.
Karana was the daughter of the wealthy Marmart family and wanted to be with Thalwur, a poor miner. The girl’s father would definitely not approve of her union with a man from the lower strata of society, so she decided to run away with her beloved to Riften and live her own happy life together. Alas, fate decreed otherwise, and instead of a new life led them to death.
After searching the stump behind the tent, you will find Talvur’s savings and some items. If you return to the halt after a few days, you will find that the bodies have disappeared, and at the site of the death of the couple there was a sanctuary of Mara, the goddess of love Of Skyrim.
At the bottom of Lake Ilinata south of the Stone, the Lady found her final resting place, the Silver Moon, an old merchant ship. The location is not marked on the map, but the fact that there is something under the water can be guessed by the part of the mast sticking out of it. Judging by the stories of the inhabitants of Riverwood, the shipwreck occurred a long time ago: no one remembers the times when the ship was not yet in the lake.
In the game, it does not often make sense to go underwater, but this is one of the few cases when it is still worth swimming. There are a lot of fish and ingredients around the ship, and inside it is a chest. In the captain’s cabin you can find an axe or axe, there are also the remains of the captain himself. It is unlikely that he will mind if you keep his weapon for yourself.
A Truly Bloody Wedding
While completing the Dark Brotherhood’s quest titled Until Death Separates Us, the player shows up uninvited at the wedding of Vittoria Vichi, the imperial noblewoman he is tasked with killing. The task can be performed in different ways: eliminate the target quickly and quietly, or arrange a massacre in front of the guests. There’s even an opportunity to frame everything as an accident. However, the Brotherhood offers its own way that some may have missed.
Opposite the balcony under which the newlyweds sit, there is a parapet that can be climbed by walking through a door in the northwest corner of the courtyard. There you will find a gift from Gabriella – an enchanted bow named Smer Firiniela, arrows to it and a potion that temporarily increases the skill of shooting. Since there are several fairly simple passage options for the quest, the existence of this rare weapon and a secret shooting position can never be known.
Death of a Spartan
In the mountains west of Kartwasten there is a narrow gorge where a dead saber-tooth lies, from whose body a weapon sticks out. In front of him, very close, lies a human skeleton. It’s an Easter egg that refers to the movie 300, namely the scene where young Leonid fights off a wolf.
With only a spear with him, the Spartan king kills the beast by trapping it between two stone walls. Leonid managed to survive, but this adventurer was not so lucky. It’s funny, but it looks like the skeleton also fell from a height, hitting its head in the process. Not the most heroic death, but he was able to defeat the saber-tooth.
Dragons of the Forgotten Valley
Walking on a frozen lake is a risky and nerve-wracking activity, especially if two dragons with obviously bad intentions suddenly appear from under the ice. During the quest “Touching the Sky” (available only in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard), you will visit a glacial valley, where snow elves once dominated. If you do not explore the area intentionally, you can miss a lot of interesting things, including the secrets of the frozen lake.
In the middle of the lake is a stone on which is inscribed one of the Words of the cry “sucking out vital energy”. When you learn it, you will be attacked by two noble dragons, Naslarum and Voslarum. However, they will appear even if you just reach the center of the lake. Dragons are formidable opponents, and the battle is especially complicated by the fact that there are two of them at once. Beware of dive attacks – dragons will dive under the ice and back, trying to confuse you. After finishing with them, go to the center of the lake and take the contents of the chest, which is now not guarded by anyone.
Sword and Stone
And another reference to the legends of King Arthur, more famous than the previous one. To the east of Kartwasten is the Rebel’s Cairn, a cave associated with the quest “Find the Sword of the Red Eagle”. Right at the entrance to it you will see a large sword sticking out of the stone, and around it – a bunch of human remains. The place is quite conspicuous, so you can accidentally find it even without a quest.
Judging by the number of bodies, there were many who wanted to possess the sword, or at least try to get it out of the stone, and none were going to give this opportunity to anyone else. Visually, the reference looks impressive, only here the sword itself turns out to be an ordinary steel sword without any additional properties. Alas, he does not give the right to claim power in Skyrim either. Well, why, one may ask, was so much blood shed?
The Danmet Trail looks nothing like a landmark. It is not marked on the map, and there is simply nothing to look at here – it is just a narrow road through endless wild places. However, real fans of the series will understand why it is so important. The trail is east of Windhelm, and is the only way to safely walk through the Veloti Mountains to the neighboring skyrma province of Morrowind, where the events of the 2002 game The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowing unfolded.
Hundreds of years before the events of Skyrim in Morrowind, there was a disaster called the Red Year. Then the moon fell to the surface, causing extensive destruction and eruption of the Red Mountain. The province suffered enormous damage, and many surviving residents fled to Skyrim to escape the aftermath of the disaster. Thanks to the Dunmet Trail, refugees could meet friends and family who remained in Morrowind and learn the news from them, which is why the nearest marked location is called the Refugees’ Halt. So despite its inconspicuous appearance, this passage is of great historical importance.
Pilgrim’s Cloak and Shipwrecks in the North
The north of Skyrim is full of unmarked locations and secrets, take for example the remains of shipwrecks found here and there throughout the region. Some of them are marked on the map, but the rest, and there are many of them, will have to be found independently. If you’re in the mood for deep-sea exploration, it’s worth visiting the Pilgrim’s Cloak.
On the surface, this place (located northwest of Winterhold) looks deserted. All the most interesting things are under water: there is a whole cemetery of sunken ships. Keep in mind that you will have to dive deep, so take with you potions of water breath or things with the appropriate enchantment. The water will be muddy and dark at first, creating a very ominous atmosphere, but when you reach the bottom, visibility will improve significantly, and it will not be difficult to navigate.
Most likely, you already know about this place, but it would be strange not to include it in the collection. At the top of the highest mountain in the game, Throats of the World, you can find the unique Serrated Pickaxe. To get to it, you will have to go a long way, but you will get a valuable item, and at the same time the opportunity to admire the beautiful view of the surroundings.
Access here is opened only after completing the quest “Throat of the World”, but with a certain skill, you can climb up in another way, including with the help of glitches. No matter which way you get to the top, the pickaxe adds five levels to your blacksmithing skill and deals electrical damage if used as a weapon. Having extracted the tool, you can immediately test it on nearby veins of ore.
This pickaxe, in the English version called “Notched Pickaxe”, is a reference to the creator of Minecraft Marcus Persson, better known by the nickname Notch. Kirka is one of the main tools in the game he invented, as well as one of its main symbols.