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Skyrim:High Gate Ruins

Skyrim: Places: Nordic Ruins
SR-mapicon-Nordic Ruin.png
Nordic Ruin:
High Gate Ruins
(view on map)
# of Zones 3
Clearable Yes
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days or 30 days
Level Min: 24
Draugr, Vokun
Important Treasure
A Hypothetical Treachery
Console Location Code(s)
HighGateRuins01, HighGateRuins02, HighGateRuins03, HighGateRuinsExterior
The Pale
West of Dawnstar
East of Wreck of the Icerunner
Special Features
Word Wall Storm Call
# of Arcane Enchanters 1
The entrance to High Gate Ruins

High Gate Ruins is a medium-sized Nordic ruin directly west of Dawnstar, and a short distance east of the Wreck of the Icerunner. It contains three interior zones: High Gate Ruins, High Gate Ruins Catacombs, and Vokun's Throne Room.

The dragon priest Vokun resides here. The quest A Scroll For Anska is initiated as soon as you speak with Anska in the ruins. There is also a word wall here which teaches part of the Storm Call dragon shout.

Related Quests

  • Note: This location is one of many potential targets for one or more of the radiant quests found on this page.


High Gate Ruins

The ruins are inhabited by draugr. There are numerous urns and burial urns that can be looted throughout. In the first room after encountering Anska there is an unlocked chest toward the far wall and some shelves against the east wall, these hold a large coin purse and a few food sacks. On the walkway above the chest is an altar and a bookshelf where a random filled soul gem, a random one-handed weapon and a few random potions may be found. Following the walkway round to the left brings you to a copy of the Destruction skill book A Hypothetical Treachery near a skeleton. An unlocked chest can be found by following the walkway all the way round to the right.

At the rear of the walkway is an iron door with a passage behind it descending several flights of stairs that are trapped with two spear traps. At the bottom is a room guarded by several leveled draugr. There are many large and small units holding a random weapon, two bottles of alto wine, a bottle of wine, two bottles of Nord mead, five random potions, two bowls of bone meal, a bowl of ectoplasm, two bowls of fire salts, a rock warbler egg, a luna moth wing, a bowl of troll fat, a medium coin purse and two apothecary's satchels. There is also an arcane enchanter at the rear of the room to the left of the passage onward.

A passage leads past a pressure plate that triggers a spike wall trap and an upright sarcophagus containing a leveled draugr to another two-tier room containing four levers. If Anska is with you she will comment on the room being some sort of puzzle. True enough, set into the floor is a stairway behind a trapdoor which is opened by pulling the levers in the correct order. The solution is carved into the rock high up on the walls of the room: Eagle—Whale—Fox—Snake. At the bottom of the stairs is a small catacombs with a sideboard on the left holding a random potion of healing and an iron door leading to the Catacombs.

High Gate Ruins Catacombs

From the entrance into this area, a corridor leads deeper into the catacombs past an upright dormant draugr who awaken at your presence. Before you descend a flight of stairs. At the bottom the passage passes into a chamber with many alcoves on either side. There is a leveled draugr on the right before the passage turns. Past some barrels to two more draugr at the next corner. Ahead is a pressure plate that triggers a poison dart trap from in front and there is another draugr standing in an alcove to the left. The next area has a sideboard with a random sword, a random potion of health, a random potion of regeneration and a random potion on top. Next there is a leveled draugr in a alcove to the left, opposite a chest with a pressure plate in front that triggers a spear trap from behind the chest. There are also several loose septims scattered on the ground. Around the corner are iron doors that open into a room with two upright sarcophagi and a plinth with a random soul gem atop a weight sensitive plate, removing the soul gem will cause the sarcophagi to burst open revealing two leveled draugr. There is an adept-locked door in the southeastern corner behind which you can find a set of shelves holding an unlocked chest and a one-handed weapon. In the southwestern corner is a passage heading south, passing a sideboard with another couple of random potions and then widening similar to the passages that normally approach puzzle doors, there are many pressure plates along this section, the first five trigger spear traps up from the floor, and then the last three trigger poison dart traps. At the far end is a set of double doors.

Through these is another similar to the room with the soul gem, but this one contains a lever in the center and two doorways in the corners blocked by large stones. Pulling the lever opens the right hand door and releases a leveled draugr. In the alcove is a second lever that operates the other door. After dealing with a second leveled draugr check their alcove for a third lever that opens the iron gate to the east. There is a small room containing a set of shelves holding many random potions, a random two-handed weapon, a random shield and helmet. There is also an iron door to the east that leads into Vokun's throne room.

Vokun's Throne Room

A short corridor leads to the double door of the throne room proper. Along the corridor there is a large stone bowl containing three leveled potions; one of each healing, magicka, stamina. As you approach the double door, it will open on its own to reveal Vokun rising from his sarcophagus. When dispatched, Vokun drops his eponymous mask.

On the far side of Vokun's Throne Room is an antechamber containing two unlocked chests (one of which contains good loot), several urns and burial urns, and a word wall which teaches a word from the Storm Call dragon shout.

The scroll for the quest A Scroll For Anska will be sitting on the stone table in front of the word wall.

A shortcut back to the exit exists on the upper level of the antechamber, to the left of the room as you enter from the throne room. A passageway leads via a chain-operated gate to the room in which Anska is originally found.



  • If the radiant quest Fetch me that Book! or Shalidor's Insights has been accepted and directs you to High Gate Ruins, the book will be located in a chest in the antechamber behind Vokun's Throne Room. However, the antechamber will be inaccessible if you have already visited High Gate Ruins and killed Vokun.
    • PC Only This bug is fixed by version 1.2 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
    • Pc22.png This can be resolved by using console commands, either to resurrect Vokun and kill him again (select the body, not his ashes) or to simply pass through one of the closed gates (use tcl to turn clipping on and off).
    • Vokun's Throne Room may be accessed by utilizing a follower to open the gate blocking you from the antechamber exit above the first room. This is accomplished by bringing a follower after clearing out the entire dungeon (unconfirmed if clearing out the dungeon is necessary), climbing up the pile of rubble, in the first room, beside Anska, and using Whirlwind Sprint to access the walkway leading to the exit from the antechamber (simply climbing the rubble at the left corner of the balcony also works). The follower will run through the dungeon and eventually, in approximately 1-3 minutes, appear on the other side of the gate from you. The follower can then be instructed to pull the chain, thereby opening the gate and permitting you into Vokun's Throne Room.
      • Since the 1.4 patch, using the wait command while standing against the gate no longer works.
    • Another fight-fire-with-fire solution is to 'kettle step' through the wall. It's a glitch where you set a kettle on the floor, mouth down and bottom up, and then use Whirlwind Sprint over the top of the upturned kettle. If done right, you will go through the door.
  • When you first enter High Gate Ruins catacombs, Anska will state, "That gem looks suspicious to me." This should be triggered when you enter the room with the soul gem on a pressure plate later in the catacombs.