Blackreach, also known as Fal'Zhardum Din[note 1] in Dwemeris, is a large city in a massive underground cavern found underneath the Tower of Mzark filled with geodes, glowing mushrooms, Chaurus and Falmer. The cavern encompasses the area between three Dwemer cities―Alftand, Mzinchaleft, and Raldbthar―and connects them.
Unlike most other Dwemer cities, some of the glowing mushrooms here are substantially larger than those found elsewhere, with stalks even taller than the buildings themselves. The ceiling of the entire cave system glows with blue bioluminescent lights, and massive glowing vines that hang down, as well as some that "float" upwards near the Raldbthar Deep Market. There is a teal fog within Blackreach that makes grasping the size of Blackreach difficult, and mushroom spores that float throughout the air. Massive geode stones and geode veins also dot the ground, and the pools of water found within are an almost entirely opaque teal.
History[edit | edit source]
Sometime after 1E 221, the Dwemer of Skyrim discovered a considerable amount of a raw mineral with considerable magical properties, which they referred to as Aetherium. The Dwemer quickly built four new cities, which were Arkngthamz, Mzulft, Raldbthar, and Bthar-zel (now known as Deep Folk Crossing), which would work together to research this new mineral and develop new technologies forged from Aetherium.
The roles for this project were spread out between the four cities; Arkngthamz would serve as the project's command center and the primary research facility, Raldbthar (which happened to be located directly above Blackreach) would concern itself with mining operations, and Mzulft was used as a storage site. It is unknown what role Bthar-zel undertook in this project, though it is believed it was an experimentation facility. The city of Bthalft was not a part of the alliance, and it was used as the site for the Aetherium Forge; a large, magma-infused forge which would be the basis for extremely advanced weapons, armor, tools, and other items that combined the great metalwork and engineering skills of the Dwemer and the innate magical powers of Aetherium.
The project was initially successful; with the alliance of the four cities bringing peace, harmony, and scientific and technological advancement to the Dwemer. However, after three years, the four cities began to yearn for independent control over the Aetherium, the Aetherium Forge and the incredible matter it could create.
Sublocations[edit | edit source]
The following areas can be reached from Blackreach:
Entrances[edit | edit source]
- Tower of Mzark: this is the initial point of entry into Blackreach, and is the only one available until or unless the Dragonborn starts the "Discerning the Transmundane" quest. It is near the southwest corner of the map.
- Mzinchaleft*: once cleared, the Mzinchaleft Gatehouse contains a Dwarven Mechanism that, once activated, opens a spiral staircase in the floor around the mechanism. The mechanism can only be activated using the Attunement Sphere obtained from Septimus Signus, who lives at his outpost north of the College of Winterhold, during the quest "Discerning the Transmundane." This leads directly to a door to Blackreach. Because the Mzinchaleft Gatehouse can be accessed quickly (once cleared) from Skyrim, using an unlocked elevator (the entrance is located on the road just northwest of Mzinchaleft), this location can be a fast, straightforward access point to Blackreach later. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Mzinchaleft Gatehouse.
- Raldbthar*: located on the peak near Shearpoint (where the Dragon Priest Krosis is located). Once cleared, this also requires the Attunement Sphere to enter. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Raldbthar Deep Market.
- Alftand*: located facing the Sea of Ghosts near to Mount Anthor and Saarthal. Inside Blackreach, it is labeled as Alftand Cathedral.
- Great Lift at Mzinchaleft: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
- Great Lift at Raldbthar: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
- Great Lift at Alftand: becomes accessible and appears on the world map after it has been used for the first time to exit Blackreach.
- Note: The Great Lifts are places in which the Dragonborn can exit Blackreach quickly and easily. One must push the 'Activate' button on the top of the huge Dwarven helmet statue to lower the bars.
- Before using these locations as entrances into Blackreach, they must first be unlocked. If attempting to enter Blackreach using them, the Dragonborn will encounter impassable barriers unless they have first been unlocked from the other side.
Locations inside Blackreach[edit | edit source]
- Debate Hall: near a giant glowing orb in the approximate center of Blackreach.
- Alftand Cathedral: when cleared, the Alftand Cathedral contains an entrance to and exit from the far northeast end of Blackreach.
- Hall of Rumination
- Pumping Station (Silent City)
- Derelict Pumphouse
- Silent City Catacombs
- Farm Overseer's House
- Silent Ruin
- War Quarters
- Reeking Tower
- Sinderion's Field Laboratory
Quests[edit | edit source]
- Elder Knowledge
- Discerning the Transmundane
- A Return To Your Roots
- Seeking Disclosure DG
- Scroll Scouting DG
Notable items[edit | edit source]
Alchemy ingredients[edit | edit source]
Because of the vast size of Blackreach, these figures may not be exhaustive.
- With Dawnguard installed, this area is excellent for farming chaurus hunter antennae, as there will be more chaurus hunters than standard chaurus.
- Bleeding Crown – 10
- Blisterwort – 17
- Chaurus Eggs – 32+ (drops from the chaurus in the area)
- Chaurus Hunter Antennae – 20+ (drops from chaurus hunters)
- Daedra Heart – 1 inside Sinderion's Field Laboratory
- Crimson Nirnroot – 44
- Dwarven Oil – 0+ (drops from the Dwarven Automatons in the area)
- Falmer Ear – 0+ (drops from the Falmer in the area)
- Fly Amanita – 2
- Giant's Toe – 0–1 (drops from the giant in the area)
- Glow Dust – 4
- Imp Stool – 3
- Namira's Rot – 5
- Spider Egg – 2
- Troll Fat – 2
- White Cap – 4
- Wisp Wrappings – 1
Mining[edit | edit source]
- Corundum Ore Veins – 14
- Ebony Ore Veins – 6
- There is one between the Pumping Station and two Falmer huts, almost directly under the balcony from the pumping station, by the Wispmother.
- One is to the far south of the Debate Hall and slightly west of the top of the Derelict Pumphouse, behind the edge of the waterfall that splits on either side of the rock that has a Crimson Nirnroot sitting on the very tip.
- Next to Sinderion's Field Laboratory.
- Northeast of the Tower of Mzark, on a small island (not far from the tower's structure).
- Due south of Debate Hall, and due east of the Tower of Mzark.
- At a tower with a spiral path east of the Pumping Station, found directly touching the tower’s base.
- Geode Veins – 30
- Gold Ore Veins – 2
- Moonstone Ore Veins – 2
- Orichalcum Ore Veins – 3
- Quicksilver Ore Veins – 3
- Note that with the abundance of geode veins here, this is an excellent place to collect many empty soul gems, as geode veins can yield anything from petty soul gems to black soul gems, as well as possibly various precious gemstones, just like any other vein.
Books[edit | edit source]
- 2920, vol 06 - Mid Year (Skill Book – Heavy Armor): on a table west of the War Quarters building. The table is at the top of the short set of stairs near the lever that triggers the blade trap.
- Sinderion's Field Journal: found in Sinderion's Field Laboratory on Sinderion's remains. Reading this book is one way to initiate the quest "A Return To Your Roots."
- Warrior: in a small Dwarven house, Silent Ruin, on a stone chair with a pressure plate in front of it.
- De Rerum Dirennis: on a stone desk inside Sinderion's Field Laboratory, next to a sample of Crimson Nirnroot.
Other loot[edit | edit source]
- Falmer Armor: the chest piece can be found in a Falmer hut to the west of the entrance leading to Raldbthar Deep Market. Other pieces can be found on the Falmer in the area, depending on the Dragonborn's level.
- Adept-level locked chest: inside Novice-level locked gate just to the west of the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance.
- Master-level locked chest: just to the right of the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance on the wall, facing out into Blackreach.
- There are many Dwarven Centurions with Centurion Dynamo Cores to collect within Blackreach, as well as other places where cores can be found. Leaving and returning after three days allows the centurions to respawn and be battled again.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Blackreach is considered an outdoor area, despite being underground. This means that the Storm Call and Summon Durnehviir shout as well as Summon Arvak work here, and vampires will be weakened during normal daylight hours, although there is no daylight. Couriers may also spawn inside. However, it is still impossible to fast travel. With all of the official add-ons installed, the negative effects of being a vampire are no longer felt, as in it is constant night.
- The scale in Blackreach is slightly smaller than on the surface. In other words, walking one mile in Blackreach is the equivalent of walking one and one-third miles on the surface.
- Blackreach is mentioned in the book Dwemer Inquiries Vol III. On the second to last page, the author writes, "The most reasonable translation ... I have managed to decipher is 'Blackest Kingdom Reaches', but I cannot imagine what that means." Also, on the sixth page of the book, the author explains that the same Dwemer phrase is found particularly on "ornate metal frames in the deepest reaches of the Strongholds Alftand, Irkgnthand and Mzinchaleft of Skyrim." Two of these Strongholds (Alftand and Mzinchaleft) connect directly to Blackreach.
- It is heavily implied by the book The Aetherium Wars that the large chunks of glowing crystals found scattered throughout Blackreach are actually Aetherium lodes.
- There is a Dwemer ballista trap which can be fired with a lever near the entrance from Alftand Cathedral.
- In order to summon the dragon Vulthuryol when standing on the ground, at least two words of the Unrelenting Force shout need to be used, using only one word will not summon him. However, if one of the towers from the Debate Hall is exited out onto the "courtyard," then one will be above the "sun," and one-word Unrelenting Force can be used, due to the sun's close proximity. Vulthuryol is successfully summoned when the "sun" produces a "clang" sound.
- When entering from the Alftand Cathedral, to the left, high up on the rock wall are some giant glowing mushrooms, which are x20 bigger than normal glowing mushrooms. However, they are inaccessible.
- Although most Crimson Nirnroot respawns over time, there are some locations that when the herb is picked, will not respawn later.
- It is possible to reach Blackreach without starting either "Discerning the Transmundane" or "Elder Knowledge" by glitching through the gate of the Tower of Mzark with a Wooden Plate held up to the gate and running up against it or using Whirlwind Sprint to force the player through, then activating the lift to descend into the tower and from there the rest of Blackreach. One can then activate the lifts by Alftand, Raldbthar, and Mzinchaleft to gain access to the surface and the ability to use them later. When in Blackreach, one can enter Sinderion's Field Laboratory and pick up the key on the table to the Dwarven Mechanism, which will allow access to Blackreach via the stairs in Alftand, Mzinchaleft and Raldbthar, as well. However, as this particular key is not considered a quest item like the one given by Septimus Signus, it can be dropped from the inventory and potentially lost.
Bugs[edit | edit source]
This section contains bugs related to Blackreach (Skyrim). Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
- There is a glitch that will not allow crossing of the bridge to the Elder Scroll. To fix this, delete the update data from game data utility, then re-update the game. This also fixes the framerate drops and seems to fix most of the glitches on the PS3 version.
Lifts to the surface can occasionally cause the game to effectively freeze on the loading screen, barring all actions apart from quick-loading.
- console, wait five to ten seconds, then close it. Open the
- This can also be prevented entirely by temporarily disabling autosaves on traveling, and then enabling them after using the lifts.
- Whirlwind Sprint, sprinting, jumping, or rolling do not seem to allow Dragonborn to leave. There is a Falmer tent near the Raldbthar Deep Market entrance which will trap the Dragonborn inside it if it is somehow entered. The only solution seems to be loading a previous save, as
- On some occasions, it is possible to alter the weather/daylight in Blackreach by entering and exiting the gate in the north-western corner of Blackreach (follow the path up from one of the elevators), or by entering the Tower of Mzark from inside Blackreach, then exiting back to Blackreach. This may cause all of Blackreach to be as bright as a normal day outside, greatly improving visibility.
- A leveled Falmer may fall from the sky upon leaving Sinderion's Field Laboratory.
- Occasionally it may start to snow in Blackreach, and the visuals will look like the Dragonborn is outside; using the Clear Skies shout will not have any effect.
- The only way to solve this is by leaving the area and waiting for it to respawn; this may be caused by entering one of the three Dwarven ruins which does not yet have an entrance towards Blackreach. Entering the ruin from the outside and clearing it again to provide access to Blackreach from within might also fix this.