The Dragonborn cannot gain entry to the ruin before starting this quest (See Dungeon Lock Outs). Approaching northeast from Shearpoint allows entrance by descending from the mountains, and, if carried out correctly, can lead the Dragonborn immediately to the Bandit Chief, avoiding the other enemies.
In the courtyard of the ruin there are five bandits and a chest. All but one of the entrances to the interior of the ruin have collapsed. Internally, Irkngthand harbours the only known statue of a Snow Elf, before the betrayal by the Dwemer caused them to degenerate into the vengeful Falmer.
Due to the high numbers of Falmer, Chaurus and other undesirables which inhabit the ruin, Irkngthand is one of the most difficult Dwemer sites to explore, although a high Sneak skill can prevent conflict within several areas, notably the Irkngthand Slave Pens, in which it is possible to sneak through the entire section without engaging a single enemy.
After the Dragonborn becomes a Nightingale, they are tasked with meeting Karliah and Brynjolf at Irkngthand in order to team up and stop Mercer from stealing the Eyes of the Falmer and from keeping the Skeleton Key.
The trio delves deep into the ruins, until they find Mercer taking the legendary Eyes from an ancient Snow Elf statue in a large hall. The room's ceiling begins to collapse, and, after defeating Mercer and taking back the artifacts, the Nightingales escape by taking advantage of the water flooding the room and swimming into a clearing, and out of the ruins, emerging in Bronze Water Cave.
For an alchemist, Irkngthand features a treasure trove of alchemical ingredients. As with any Dwemer ruin, it is possible to loot Dwarven Oil from the remains of automatons, whilst Falmer often drop Falmer Ears, and occasionally other alchemical ingredients. Additionally, the existence of Chaurus within the ruins provides Chaurus eggs and Chaurus Hunter Antennae, and Skeever Tails, Charred Skeever Hide and Spider Eggs can also be obtained.
Finally, Falmer have apparently taken to cultivating fungi within the dungeon. As a result, a variety of fungi can be harvested, including Imp Stool, Blisterwort, Bleeding Crown, White Cap, Namira's Rot and Fly Amanita, whilst Glowing Mushrooms can often be harvested from the walls of the ruin.
- In a room that has been completely looted, the words "One step ahead - Mercer" are written backwards. This is a message to the Dragonborn and Karliah left by Mercer Frey.
- On an alternative route of pipes above Falmer in the Irkngthand Slave Pens, the Shadowmark for a "Thieves' Cache" is on the stone wall where the player must jump down, though only a lone Potion of Ultimate Healing can be found.
- In Raldbthar, a key can be looted from one of Alain Dufont's guards called "Irkngthand Consortium Key." As there is no such location in the game, the key has no known use.
- Although followers cannot enter (neither during "Blindsighted," nor on subsequent visits), their bonuses, such as Lover's Comfort, will still be applied.
- The flooded Sanctuary section cannot be entered after the "Blindsighted" quest. Even though the door opening animation plays, the transition will not occur.
This section contains bugs related to Irkngthand. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
|Click to see the list of bugs encountered|