Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Sunderstone Gorge is a cave located in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It is a medium-sized cave, sheltering several leveled mages and necromancers as well as skeletons.


No Stone Unturned[]

One of the Stones of Barenziah is here in the final room with the Word Wall. It is next to one of the corpses above the stone slab.

Arniel's Endeavor[]

One of the possible locations where the Staff of Tandil can be found for Enthir.


If the Dragonborn travels to the cave via horse, the nearby Fire Mage or Necromancer may kill the horse (with Shadowmere and Arvak being the exceptions). This can be avoided by dismounting before approaching the entrance.

Within the cave, there are several leveled mages and necromancers (most of whom will be Fire Mages, with either one Master fire mage, Master ice mage, Arch necromancer, or a Master necromancer at the entrance) as well as skeletons.

There are also many booby traps to watch out for. At one point, there is a fire trap that can be triggered by killing the skeleton to the right (south) with a bow. Proceeding north, there is a junction. The right (east) path leads to a wall that can't be climbed, but contains three silver ore veins.

The straight (north) path leads to a spiked gate trap protecting a room with several mages (pyromancers, necromancers, etc.). At the opposite (north) end of the room, a small alcove to the right (east) contains an adept locked chest. Wooden steps lead up to the left (west), then left again (south) to a wooden bridge leading east. There is an apprentice locked chest to the right (west) before crossing the bridge.

The bridge leads to a T intersection. To the right (south) is a dead end. Turning left (north), then right (east) leads to a wooden door. Beyond, the path slopes down to a soul gem fire trap. Beyond that is a door to the right (south) that, when opened, springs a poison dart trap. Behind that door is a tiny room with a bookshelf containing a chest, soul gem, and random loot. Back out on the path, there is a combination cooking and sleeping area, with two enemy mages, an Alchemy Lab and two cages against the right (south) wall. In the southeast corner is a small alcove to the east that contains a master locked chest that is half buried.

From the southeast corner of the room, a path leads south, east, then south to a room that dead ends to the left (east), while to the right is an iron door. Beyond that door is a large multi-level room with two more enemy mages, and a Flame Atronach that appears as soon as the Dragonborn climbs the first set of steps. On the top level are two soul gems, the Conjuration skill book 2920, vol 10 - Frostfall on a lectern between them, and a Word Wall containing one of the three words for the Fire Breath shout. A dead body of a Breton lies in a small cage between the Word Wall and the exit to the cave. There is also a table with two dead bodies of a Redguard and a Wood Elf right in front of the wall — on the southwest corner of that table is a Stone of Barenziah. A chest with leveled loot and an Arcane Enchanter are against the north wall.

To the south is a spear gate that can be dropped by pulling a chain to its left. Behind this gate is a small area with a number of books, an alchemy lab, and another pull chain (to the right of the lab) that drops the second spear gate, which opens the shortcut back to the entrance (jumping off the wall that could not be climbed earlier).

Notable items[]

  • Word WallFire Breath
  • Apprentice locked chest to the right (west) just before the wooden bridge leading east.
  • Conjuration skill book2920, vol 10 - Frostfall – On the lectern in front of the Word Wall.
  • Stone of Barenziah – On a table with the two dead bodies, in front of the Word Wall. 
  • A dead Wood Elf – In the same room as the Word of Power (for the quest "Discerning the Transmundane")
  • Human Heart – On one of the shelves, inside a cast iron pot besides the room with the Word Wall.
  • Four silver ore veins:
    1. At the fire trap with the skeleton to the right, against the east wall on the ground. (after the trap with the mammoth tusk)
    2. Right at the fall of the passageway that leads to the exit once the cave has been cleared.
    3. To the left of [2].
    4. Other side of [2].




  • Sunderstone Gorge is also known as "Greywater Gorge." The Greybeards use the latter when telling the Dragonborn that there is a Word of Power there, as will any note from Urag gro-Shub or a Letter from a Friend. Note that this does not occur with the 1.9 patch.
  • The mage before the cave entrance may not be present (such as at night) when the Dragonborn approaches. If this happens, he may instead be present and attack when leaving the cave.
  • It is possible that a Dragon will also appear. The dragon will attack anyone it sees, including the mage. The mage, however, will ignore the dragon.
  • The majority of the dungeon can be skipped by heading straight to the Word Wall. When the oil and pressure plate trap is reached, turning right down the alley with the skeever and half buried urn leads to an apparent dead end. However, it is possible to scale the wall by jumping on the urn, then jumping to the top of the ledge. After proceeding to the gate, activating the alchemy lab on the left hand side will cause the Dragonborn to appear on the other side of that gate. Activating the chain to the right through the second gate will open it, allowing access to the word wall. It is possible to use a bow to shoot through both spike barriers (aiming carefully through the gaps) and kill the mages on the other side while they are still unaware of the Dragonborn's presence.