Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Embershard Mine is an iron mine located northwest of Helgen, northeast of the Guardian Stones, and southwest of Riverwood. The mine itself is run by bandits.

It is usually one of the first locations found if the Dragonborn follows the Main Quest, since it is located near the road between Helgen and Riverwood.



Ore veins[]

There are eight iron ore veins inside and one outside. In order relative to the Helgen entrance:

(Note: This is relative to the first open interior area where the bridge is.)

  1. Next to the campfire near the Helgen entrance (there is a pickaxe conveniently placed in front of this vein).
  2. First intersection, between the collapsed tunnel and the bridge lever room.
  3. Bottom of the tunnel, just after the bridge next to a wood pile.
  4. Just past the jail cell, behind support beams holding the wall up.
  5. Hallway, just past the jail cell next to a wood pile.
  6. Bottom level of the large room next to the water under the walkway (where the bandits are camped).
  7. Middle level of the large room next to the waterfall. Take the path behind the kitchen – to the left after exiting the tunnel under the timber on the wall in the darkness. Be watchful, as there is little to distinguish the vein from the surrounding rubble.
  8. Path from the top level of the large room next to a rattle trap, on the right, before the exit.
  9. After leaving through the mine's hidden entrance by walking down the slope towards the road leading into Riverwood. Ore veins are easier to spot using the Candlelight spell, or one of the several torches available in the mine.

With Hearthfire, there is a quarried stone mine a bit left of the entrance.


Notable items[]

Alchemy ingredients[]

  • Fly Amanita – scattered throughout the mine.
  • Charred Skeever Hide – on a wooden plate, on the dining table.
  • Hanging Moss – three of them in the final chamber, one near the forge and two above the water pool (requires a jump to reach).


  • The mine is an ideal place to visit, right after getting out of Helgen and when you are heading to Riverwood. It offers you a couple of average fights and a bit of loot in the form of gold, gemstones and iron ore, as well as several torches, however – perhaps most notable for an early character – there is both a woodcutter's axe outside of the mine (right hand side of the entrance) and you can also find yourself a pickaxe in the mine. Both of these are useful tools that a new player may want to get their hands on if they either want to be able to mine minerals or be able to chop wood for money or any other reason.
  • There is a hidden entrance east-northeast of the Helgen entrance. It is closer to Riverwood, and leads into the top-level room with the bone alarm.
  • The bridge to the left of the first two bandits is triggered by a lever. Go straight past the first two bandits. At the intersection turn left. The lever is in a room. When entering the mine for the first time two bandits will be alerted by the dropping of the bridge and they will come to investigate.
  • However, if the hidden entrance has ever been entered, the two bandits will not appear when the bridge is lowered -- in other words, if the player enters the hidden entrance at any time before lowering the drawbridge, there will be two fewer bandits total in the mine.
  • Also, if the two bandits in the first chamber are alive (or reanimated) when the bridge is lowered, those two bandits will not spawn.
  • This mine is very close to the Guardian Stones, which means fast travel (via map) and real game time travel are about the same. To add 20% to the skills available here without taking too much time, use fast travel to:
    • Set the Guardian Stone of preferred play style to clear the mine of bandits. Do not pick locks (unless Thief Stone is set) and do not read books (except Light Armor Forging if Warrior Stone is set, or spell books if Mage Stone is set) yet.
    • Set The Thief Stone to pick locks (Lockpicking is a Stealth skill).
    • Set the Warrior Stone to improve weapons and armor at the grindstone, forge and workbench. Smithing is a Combat skill.
  • A single bandit guards the entrance, making an easy kill for beginners who just escaped Helgen.
  • At the bottom of the ramp, upon first entering, there will be a cave in. There is a cart at the top of the ramp that can be pushed down the ramp to trigger the trap. Alternatively, avoid walking over the tripwire initially, and then lead the bandits back across it.
  • There is a coin purse on the top left side of the wooden construction just at the other side of the bridge.
  • The bandit who sits on the chair outside the treasure room across the bridge holds the Embershard Mine key.
  • There is a novice locked chest on the ledge behind the waterfall with random loot.
  • If sneaking and undetected when first entering the mine, there will be a conversation between two bandits down near the water:

Bandit 1: "Aren't you worried that someone's going to walk in here? The entrance isn't exactly hidden, you know."
Bandit 2: "This again? I told you, we have someone standing guard out there. And don't forget the rock trap we rigged up. So, stop your worrying and get some rest. Your shift is coming up and I don't want you dozing off again like last time."

After killing them and using the lever in the next room to lower the drawbridge, two bandits will come to investigate. Continuing to remain undetected will allow their nervous conversation to be heard:

Bandit 1: "The bridge went down!"
Bandit 2: "I think I heard something over here."
Bandit 1: "I thought we had a guard posted outside."
Bandit 2: "We did! But keep your eyes peeled. I don't think we're alone in here. You check the entrance. I'm going to look over here."


This section contains bugs related to Embershard Mine. 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  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  PS3   The Dragonborn can occasionally fall through the floor of the final room and reappear at the entrance of Embershard Mine. Needs confirmation on Xbox 360 and PC.
  •  360   Magelight may not work properly here.
  • In Hearthfire, if the Dragonborn is away from their house for a while, a spouse may be kidnapped and brought here. If the spouse is not rescued in time, the miniquest might seem to finish before the rescue has actually been completed. After this, the spouse will behave strangely. Walking backwards, moon-walking, extremely slow or bowlegged movement are all symptoms. Unrelenting Force does not affect them and they cannot be woken while sleeping. The fact is that the spouse is actually dead and wasn't rescued in time. However, due to a bug, the spouse is in an undead condition. It happens if the character dies outside of the Dragonborn's view. Fix:
    1. Relieve the spouse of all items, as the inventory will be reset.
    2. Open the console, target the spouse and use the resurrect command. The spouse will shimmer briefly. Verify that everything is fine, otherwise repeat.
    • Another way to solve this problem is to punch or attack the spouse until their health is very low and they become hostile. This will fix the bug, though their hostility will have to be dealt with (generally fixed by entering the house, going back out and sheathing any weapon).
    • Another problem with the kidnapped spouse is that the quest marker may not point to the mine, but instead somewhere near Whiterun. Nearing the quest marker will cause the quest to be completed, but the spouse disappearing. There is also a glitch where the mine will be entered but the spouse will not be there. The solution is to reload to an earlier save and travel directly to the mine, bypassing the house and bandit with the ransom note.