Halldir's Cairn is a cave and the final resting place of the famous drummer Halldir.


It is found southwest of Falkreath. Several quests are focused here which may be spoiled by premature exploration. This is a small-to-moderate sized single-level dungeon with undead foes and moderately difficult bosses. The border between Skyrim and Hammerfell lies very close to the cave and can be found if you are walking the road south west.



Just inside the entrance of the cave, there will be a column of blue light and three dead bodies around it - they are Agrius, Raen and Vidgrod.

On a pedestal near the column is a journal, telling of a ghostly voice compelling the bandits to kill themselves on a blood-soaked rock cairn, as well as a key to the only door going further inside the cave, (key to Halldir's Crypt). This first room has no enemies and has numerous mushrooms.

Eventually, the Dragonborn will reach a draugr sitting on a throne. After a fight, there will be an iron gate which is opened with a lever that is located behind the throne. Hostile ghosts appear as the Dragonborn advances through the catacombs. Along the way, there will be a locked iron door with an adept-level chest behind it that only contains gold.

A room with a pillar puzzle is the next challenge. Rotate the three pillars in the room, so that the symbols on the pillars match the symbols on the walls opposite them, (bird, snake, fish) then pull a lever to advance to the next room. Incorrect combinations activate a dart trap shooting poisoned darts.

After passing the door and through a short cavern with a pool (that has minor loot at the bottom), bearing to the left will lead to a room protected by a tripwire connected to a battering ram. Behind that is a room that can be seen through a hole in an earlier room. The table holds a soul gem, other loot, and a chest that has a fire trap when opened.

Once the first step is taken into the final room, a fight against Halldir will begin. He uses strong destruction spells. When reduced to about two-thirds of his health he will use a special ability to produce three copies of himself. These use ice, fire and shock spells, individually. Once all three forms have been defeated, Halldir reappears in the middle of the room to finish the fight. If sufficient damage is done with a single bow shot, he can be killed immediately and the three incarnations do not appear. Halldir drops a random ancient Nord sword or an ancient Nord war axe with a random enchantment, some gold and Halldir's Staff, which has calm and soul trap effects. After Halldir is killed, a trap door in the center of the room can be opened to return to the initial room of the cavern. The blood covered cairn will now be gone. All that is left are some rocks on the floor where the cairn was.

It is a long drop down. To avoid injury, drop to the first partial platform, and then the second before dropping to the floor.

Notable Loot

Alchemy Ingredients

Mostly mushrooms, mostly in the first room. Approximate numbers:



  • The pillar puzzle may not turn properly when activated, to fix this reload the cave.
  •  360   As this dungeon can be entered several times for different quests, sometimes the object of the venture cannot be obtained, and the quest cannot be finished. For example, if Rjorn's Drum is picked up the first time in the cairn without having activated that quest, the quest to find it can not be completed. Or, if entered after the first time to kill the leader, (Companion's repeatable quest), killing the Dragon Priest that spawns instead of Halldir does not complete the quest.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Halldir may spawn completely invisible for no apparent reason, along with his copies.


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