Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the location in Online, see Ragnvald Ritual Site.
"There's an evil to the north, friend, and its name is Ragnvald. A tomb like so many in Skyrim, where the dead have found no peace."
Markarth Guard[src]

Ragnvald is the ruin of an ancient Nordic city that is located in the Reach, north of Markarth, and lies in a deep mountain pass. Ragnvald can also be found directly southwest of the Dwarven ruin Bthardamz. It is the resting place of Otar the Mad, a Dragon Priest. It is one of the few ruins in the Reach that the Forsworn do not appear in.


Ragnvald Temple[]

The door to the temple opens into a large area to the west. A little way ahead is a dais with a table, on which lies a draugr corpse. To the west, an arched passage leads down a set of stairs. The path turns right (north). Straight ahead is a small area with a dead draugr with some loot as well as a soul gem and a potion nearby.

To the right (east), a set of steps leads down to a T intersection. To the right (south) is a dead end with a chest. To the left (north) is a pathway just next to the stairwell (heading west), which leads farther into Ragnvald Temple. While progressing down this pathway, the sound of swinging blades, can be heard nearby. The path turns left, then right again, and leads to a walkway over a tall room. At the end of the walkway, a wooden staircase leads down to a lower level, while a path at the current level leads onwards through a pool of oil into the temple. A leveled draugr awaits in the lower level, while another patrols in the distance.

In the lower level, against the west wall, is a shelf with several alchemy ingredients, while in the southeast corner is an alcove with a chest. In the northern wall is an opening to a path that immediately turns right. Here the swinging blades can be seen that have been heard for so long. At the other end is a draugr guard, a lever that stops the blades, a chest containing minor loot, and a potion.

Back up at the platform, there are four pathways. The first (on the left) has a wooden ramp leading down to a second lower level area. The second (also on the left) leads across a walkway to a platform with a pool of oil, a wooden door heading east that is barred from the other side, and a door to the Ragnvald Crypts (to the south).

The third pathway leads right (south) across an arched walkway to another platform with a wooden door in the north wall that, again, is barred from the other side. The last path leads straight ahead (west) to a set of stairs that lead down to a third lower level section. From the bottom of the steps, straight ahead is a raised platform with a table containing two slots. Activating either one will add the miscellaneous quest "Unlock the Sarcophagus in Ragnvald." Adding the quest will help find the location of the two keys to Otar's tomb. Up the steps at the west end of the room are a set of bars through which another part of the dungeon can be seen, but which cannot be opened.

Back to the east is the rest of this lower level section. A chest and a potion are in the northwest corner. The northeast corner has a table with a soul gem and a potion.

Ragnvald Crypts[]

Entering the door to the Crypts, a path to the south leads to the upper part of a room with two identical hallways that lead south to the same place. The one on the right has a leveled draugr patrolling and the left has pressure plate activated traps. From the crypt on the other end, the path turns left (east), then left again (north). In the next main hall, four draugr of varying strengths will attack.

The path turns right (east), then left, left again (west), then right. At the end of that pathway is a room with a pool of oil in the middle of the floor, a booby-trapped chest at the end of the room, and two more draugr. On the table behind the trapped chest is the Mystery of Talara, Book II. In the right (east) wall is an opening to a path heading upstairs to the left (north) then left again (west). The path turns left again and leads to the upper part of a large multi-level room. To the left (east) is a room with a skull on a pedestal in the middle. However, before that, note that there is a walkway leading west, then north up some stairs, and back west that returns to Rangvald Temple.

The large room with the skull has a raised area on the east end that holds a chest and several urns. There are two wooden ramps leading up to small areas with minor loot. Note the iron coffin in each, with a pool of oil and a lamp above next to each one.

The skull is actually Saerek's Skull Key. The impending battle can be avoided by dropping a similar sized item on the pedestal before taking the skull. This way the pedestal will not activate. Otherwise, once the skull is taken off the push-plate Saerek the Guardian will break out of a coffin in front of the Dragonborn. Once he and the other two draugr are killed, the quest continues by heading back into Ragnvald Temple via the door seen before.

Ragnvald Temple[]

Directly ahead is one of the doors that was barred, only now the door bar can be activated and the door opened. Proceeding north across the stone bridge, then across the arched walkway, around a pillar, and across another bridge is another platform. It is fine to jump off of this platform. Behind to the north is the door to the next area—Ragnvald Canal.

Ragnvald Canal[]

Directly ahead is a waterfall falling into the canal. To the right is a wooden ramp leading down into the canal. To the left is a wooden bridge with leveled draugr present. Across the first wooden bridge and to the right is a small room with a chest. Back at the first wooden bridge, dropping into the water on the right (south), then heading directly forward, next to the stone wall on the right is a lever. Pulling it will drop the bridge. A twisting pathway leads generally south to a chamber with another skull on a pedestal. At the southern end of the lower part of the room is another chest.

This skull is Torsten's Skull Key. Taking it will release enemies. After defeating Guardian Torsten, up the stairs directly opposite his coffin, the bridge to the right (east) leads to steps that climb left (north), then left again (west). Directly across a pillar, a small wooden bridge leads to a novice-locked chest. To the right (north) is a pathway with a trap trigger that releases swinging blades. This pathway leads north, then turns right and back left, crossing another bridge. On the other side is a room with a novice-locked chest and an Arcane Enchanter. An opening leads to the right (east) to another bridge, up some stairs, and back into Ragnvald Temple again.

Otar the Mad[]


The path leads to the other side of the other barred door. Through it is the coffin with two slots in it which is opened with the two skulls that have been collected. After the coffin opens, the dragon priest Otar the Mad will attack.

After Otar is killed, his body contains the Dragon Priest mask Otar. The path past his coffin (to the west) will now be opened.

Through the opening are a chest and several more urns. To the right (north) is an apprentice level chest in the rubble. To the left (south) is a word wall for a word of the Kyne's Peace shout.

The only way to exit is all the way to the east and back out the original entrance to the temple.


  • An alternate method to collect the skulls may be to sneak in and claim them, possibly with Telekinesis, then sneak back out without need to fight.
  • To prevent enemies from being released after taking the skulls, one can leave an object of equal or greater weight in its place (such as a cheese wedge).
  • Alternatively, casting a fire, ice, or lightning rune on the ground in front of the coffin will open it without unlocking it.
  • Additionally, if one wishes to reclaim the skull keys either to sell, (base value for each is 100), or display, they can be taken from their slots on the coffin after the fight. Sometimes if the "take" button is hit fast enough on these skulls, it is possible to get multiple copies up to 7 or 8 of each. The Slow Time shout can be used to ensure one can acquire as many copies as possible.

Notable items[]



This section contains bugs related to Ragnvald. 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.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Otar may stand there and do nothing while he is attacked.
  •  PC   When the player reenters the Ragnvald Temple after obtaining both skull keys, Otar may be clipping through the lid of his sarcophagus in a sitting position. Attacking him while he is in this state causes him to leave his sarcophagus even if the player never inserted the skull keys into their slots.
  •  PS3   The barred door can be opened through the door and reach the other side without doing the rest of the dungeon.
  •  PS3   It is possible to use Unrelenting Force to pass from the top of a set of stairs to an area outside the map. Crouching will cause the player to respawn right in front of Saerek's Skull Key.
  •  PS3   At the start of the Crypt area there is a small elevated platform that has an urn and a movable pot. Using Whirlwind Sprint, it is possible to jump onto the pot and outside of the map. This may respawn the Dragonborn next to Saerek's Skull key.
  • It is possible for all game data to be corrupted if the player gets hit too fast by Otar.
  •  360   When entering Ragnvald Crypt, the wall that has the stairs leading down may not spawn. This allows the Dragonborn to walk out of the map and spawn in the room with Saerek's Skull Key.
  •  NX   When Reentering Ragnvald Temple from a different sub-location with both keys in a followers inventory, simply moving them to your own will trigger Otar to leave his crypt.
  •  PC   Dawnbreaker can cause objects to freeze in space and no longer be capable of interacting with, which can happen to the skull keys. If skull keys are inserted into holes from the opposite sides, they may break the lock completely and require loading a previous save.