Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Harmugstahl is a fort found northeast of Markarth and west of Solitude. It is relatively small compared to some of Skyrim's labyrinth-like subterranean areas and is easily navigated. There is one puzzle in Harmugstahl with four levers controlling a metal barred/spiked passageway. There is one adept locked door that needs to be picked. There are also two locked doors found after encountering Kornalus Frey; both can be unlocked with his key.

In Kornalus' room there is a Shrine of Julianos and a few alchemy ingredients.


Upon entering the cave, the Dragonborn will be greeted by an adventurer killing a frostbite spider. Upon asking him, "What was going on with that spider?" he will reply, "I don't know, but this place is full of them. Every one I've encountered has been enchanted or the like. Look, I'm getting out of here. Normally, spiders make my skin crawl, but magic spiders? Blech!"

The Dragonborn will also encounter the cave's resident mage, Kornalus. It appears he has been experimenting on the spiders by enchanting them with fire, frost and shock enchantments. The enchantments manifest themselves in special attacks the spiders can deal, as well as a magical glow on their bodies. Many spider corpses can also be found lying on tables scattered about the cave. Taking any loot from their body may cause them to ignite.

Lever puzzle solution[]

Upon arriving in the room, all the levers should be up. If they are not, it will not work, so you need to either load your auto-save game from when you entered the area, or try to exit the area and enter again, until you have them all in the correct position.

If the levers are all up (opposite to you, pointing to the gate), if you number the levers 1, 2, 3, 4 starting from the left when facing the corridor (so 1 being the left one, and 4 being the right one), you should pull 1, then wait until the two leftmost spears have retracted, then pull lever 4.

The reason for this solution is simple: lever 1 inverts the position of spears 1 and 2. Lever 2 inverts the position of spears 1, 2 and 3. Levers 3 and 4 do the exact same thing, but on the opposite side: lever 3 inverts spears 2, 3 and 4. Lever 4 inverts spears 3 and 4. This knowledge will prove invaluable if you have already played with the levers prior to reading this, and their positions are all messed up. The puzzle begins with all 4 spears in the "raised" position.

The confusion about this puzzle stems from the fact that after pulling a lever it takes a few moments for all the spears associated with that lever to change position. Pulling another lever before the spears finish moving means that lever has no effect. Simply wait patiently for the spears to finish moving before pulling the next lever.

Notable items[]


Family Heirloom[]

Fulfill a contract for the Companions to retrieve a stolen family heirloom.

Arniel's Endeavor[]

Retrieve a staff for Enthir.

Lost Relic[]

Retrieve the Dawnguard Rune Hammer.

The Forgemaster's Fingers[]

Find this item to gain access to Orc Strongholds.

Totems of Hircine[]

Aela the Huntress asks the Dragonborn to retrieve three werewolf Totems.

Wind and Sand[]

Retrieve a copy of the book Wind and Sand for Neloth.

Fetch Me That Book![]

Find rare books for Urag gro-Shub.

Trouble in Skyrim[]

Kill the leader of Harmugstahl.


This section contains bugs related to Harmugstahl. 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  , 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   The front spikes can sometimes glitch and not move, or are invisible.
    • Exiting and re-entering the fort to can sometimes correct it.
    •  PS3 (Fix)   Use Whirlwind Sprint while holding a wooden bowl with the grab action to get through the four spikes
    •  PC (Fix)   Go into the console, click on one of the spikes, type "disable," and repeat for any other spikes needed.
  •  360   Whacking an already-dead spider with a weapon will trigger an animation, showing what attribute it had.
  •  360   After going through the room, with the caged spiders. If you go up the stairs to the bedroom, the spider on the tables legs can be moving, making it look like it is dancing. Eventually it stops, after attacking it a few times.
  •  PC   360   When fast-traveling here, a dead hagraven may be lying near the base of the stairs.
  • If the spiders in the cage at the end are attacked with a melee weapon, it's possible to end up getting a critical hit with a kill animation and get stuck in the cage with no way out.
    • Reload a previous save.
  •  PC   The adventurer and Barbas may attack each other on sight.
  •  PC   The adventurer may attack Fjotra on sight.