Avanchnzel is approximately 30 degrees southwest of Riften, at the border between Skyrim and Cyrodiil. It can only be accessed upon starting the quest "Unfathomable Depths." The ruins start out as a cave entrance, then quickly switch to the actual ruins. Expect to fight Dwarven Spider Workers, Dwarven Spider Guardians, Dwarven Spheres, Dwarven Sphere Guardians, and a leveled Dwarven Centurion.
Upon entering Avanchnzel, the Dragonborn will see four orange figures standing at the bottom of the big open room—these are the ghosts of four adventurers who had gone to Avanchnzel to recover the Lexicon and are part of the "Unfathomable Depths" quest.
There is a large chamber open to the sky with a bridge; on the lower level are spiders which can be killed with ranged attacks. A ramp to the left leads up to a couple of rooms and two barred doors; one door leads to the Avanchnzel balcony and the other is barred from the other side. The former is an exterior entrance that can be entered prior to starting "Unfathomable Depths," but only consists of a very small chamber. There is an apprentice-level Dwarven chest on the balcony with leveled loot.
Continuing on will lead to the bottom of the larger chamber, fighting automatons along the way. Here there are two doors to choose from. The first door on the right has a trip wire and leads to a small room with two chests on the back wall containing leveled loot. The other door leads down a hallway, where it ends at the door to the Avanchnzel Animoncultory.
Hallways will lead the Dragonborn further into the ruins. There is one ghost encounter at a locked gate that has a chest with leveled loot behind it. Further up the hallway is a small alcove on the right (up a short flight of stairs) with an apprentice level locked chest. Further ahead can be found the campsite where the now-deceased adventurers stayed; another ghost dialogue encounter is seen here.
There is a door to the right; it contains a trap which is lethal at a low level (the shout Become Ethereal offers no protection here). Open the door and immediately back away to avoid the spinning blades. The trap can also be disarmed—there is a mechanism at the lower right of the door. The door opens to a room that appears to be a spider repair room and contains a single chest. Also on the table is the Restoration skill book, Notes on Racial Phylogeny.
Continuing on, there is a large store room which has an alchemy lab to the left as part of a table. There is another hallway and, through a door, a small store room with a locked door to the right containing a leveled chest and a Dwarven helmet and mace. Additionally, there is a locked gate on the left with leveled loot behind it. Further ahead is another small room with another ghost encounter, which leads to another door and a large chamber.
Entering the chamber on a raised walkway around the room, there are at least four spiders below that can be carefully destroyed from the vantage of the high ground. There is a wall chest to the right from the entrance. Otherwise, go around to the left to get to the stairs down to the main floor. In the next hallway is the body of Drennen, one of the ghosts from the quest dialogue, and prompts another of the quest's ghost dialogue. The next door leads to the Avanchnzel boilery.
Upon entering the boilery, there is another ghost dialogue encounter. It is possible for a spider to be below the catwalk in the hallway; one tactic is to simply conjure a familiar near it until the spider is dead. The next room has a brief ghost encounter which leads on through to the next door—move carefully as a spinning blade trap awaits. Watches-The-Roots' fate is discovered in the form of finding their body at the bottom of the trap.
The next room is the Lexicon Pedestal room with a Dwarven Centurion Guardian standing to the left and the body of Breya to the right. After dealing with the Centurion, proceed to the next door which has a chest and an elevator which connects to the area behind the earlier barred door in Avanchnzel and allows for exiting the ruins.
- 2 Iron Ore Veins – Before entering the actual ruins (within the cave section, near the entrance).
- Book – Notes on Racial Phylogeny (Restoration Skill Book) – Going past the point where Fathoms' expedition set up camp, a door containing a trap can be seen on the right. The book is on a table on the left side of the room.
- 3 Iron Ingots – On a table behind the Adept locked gate in the first room after entering the area.
- 10 Dwarven Metal Ingots – Five on a shelf and four on a table in the room before Roots' body.
- 5 Garnets – Two near the iron ingots, and the other three on the table with the alchemy lab.
- A ruby – On the table with the alchemy lab.
- A Dwarven bow can be found past the hallway on a table.
- Dwarven Spider Worker
- Dwarven Spider Guardian
- Dwarven Sphere Guardian
- Dwarven Centurion (Master)
- In one of the apparitions' appearances, Drennen flees from the party of explorers. His body can be found just around the corner, though it is unclear what killed him.
- There is an area that is blocked off by iron bars; however, there is no button or lever to open the gate. After exploration of the area on the inaccessible side, there seems to be nothing besides a Dwarven Spider Guardian.
- Compared to other Dwemer ruins, Avanchnzel has by far the most Dwarven Spiders roaming the halls.
- In contrast to other ghostly appearances elsewhere, the apparitions that appear here are orange, not blue.
- Avanchnzel was likely a dwemer workshop, due to many rooms being building places of the automatons and the fact that the Lexicon's Ancient Knowledge increases the Smithing Skill.
- The enemies within, like most places, are leveled, meaning that there could be Spider Guardians, Sphere Guardians, and Centurion Masters inside at high levels.
- Avanchnzel is one of two Dwemer ruins that have no Falmer inside, the other is Bthardamz.
- It is possible to enter Avanchnzel without starting "Unfathomable Depths" by climbing the rocks and collapsed pathways up to the ledge, where there is a locked chest with random loot. Enter the unlocked door and into the building. The small door to the rest of the ruin is blocked on the other side by a bar, but this can still be walked through by using a wooden plate up against the door and running into it (or using Whirlwind Sprint) until the "activate door bar" option appears. It is also possible for the Spiders on the other side of the door to notice the Dragonborn when they are running up against the door. Once the door bar is lifted, the door can be opened and gain access to the rest of Avanchnzel. Everything is there, except with some notable exceptions:
- The ghostly appearances of the adventurers do not appear.
- The bodies of Watches-The-Roots, Drennen, and Breya are not there.
- While the Centurion is still at the end of the ruin, there are two others, but they are not actual enemies. This is seen in that they do not move (in fact, it is possible to partially move through them), and they do not attack, though they still "notice" the Dragonborn, and the battle music starts.
- The door to the boss chest and the elevator to the top level of Avanchnzel is key-locked, meaning it cannot be picked open. In order to exit the ruin, one has to go back the way they came.
This section contains bugs related to Avanchnzel (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- Dwarven armor. Although there is a Dwarven Sphere in its chute (this can be seen with Aura Whisper), the Sphere will not come out under any circumstances. One can kill it by using melee weapons where the chute meets the wall; magical attacks do not work.
In the first area, at the bottom, there is a door with a spike trap. Beyond, there are two chests and a chest piece of
- The room can also have audio problems; hissing and garbling of audio that does not happen anywhere else in the ruins.
- In the Avanchnzel Boilery, there is a scrapped spider on a shelf that always spawns halfway in the wall, resulting in it violently shaking accompanied by loud clattering sounds.