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's located near the road between Helgen and Riverwood.



  • Bandit
  • Bandit Outlaw


There are nine iron ore veins. In order relative to the Helgen entrance:

  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, just before the Riverwood exit.
  9. Outside, near the Riverwood entrance, down the slope towards the road. There are actually two veins here, to the right (entering) or left (exiting) the mine.

Gems can be found while mining the ore. Ore veins are easier to spot using the Candlelight spell, or one of the several torches available in the mine.

With The Elder Scrolls V: Hearthfire, there is a quarried stone mine a bit left of the entrance.


Notable Loot



  • There is an entrance east-northeast of the Helgen entrance. It is closer to Riverwood, and leads into the top-level room with the bone alarm.
  • 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. lock-picking 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.
  • 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.
    • Two bandits will be alerted by the dropping of the bridge and they will come to investigate.
  • There is a coin purse on the top left side of the wooden construction just at the other side of the bridge.
  • The first bandit across the bridge holds the key to Embershard Mine.
    • Obtaining the key will prevent picking locks in the mine, (the key cannot be dropped, but it can be given to a follower or placed on a body or in a container).
  • There is a novice locked chest on the ledge behind the waterfall with random loot.
  • There are several gems on a table near the exit, to the left of the room with the hanging rabbits.
  • A Nord man has been captured to work the mines for them.


  • 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.
  •  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.
  • Template:360 Magelight may not work properly here.


*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.