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Skyrim:Swindler's Den

Skyrim: Places: Caves
Swindler's Den
(view on map)
# of Zones 1
Clearable Yes (see bugs)
Dungeon Yes
Respawn Time 10 days
Level Min: 6
Bandits, Kematu, Alik'r Warriors
Important Treasure
Console Location Code(s)
SwindlersDenExterior, SwindlersDen01
Whiterun Hold
Special Features
# of Cooking Pots/Spits 1
Ore Veins
# of Iron 1
Swindler's Den

Swindler's Den is a small, circular cave system located between Whiterun and Rorikstead containing bandits.

Related Quests

Radiant Quests

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



There is a banner flying from a post to the right of the entrance, with a barrel with a goat cheese wedge on top, and a bandit are to the left. Four helmets can be found on short posts around the main post including an iron helmet, an Imperial light helmet, a hide helmet and a steel helmet.

Swindler's Den

Upon entering there is a narrow passage descending into a large chamber where two bandits are discussing current events. There is a table with an iron dagger, two bottles of Nord mead and a loaf of bread on top. Beside this is a flat-topped rock with a crate, a food sack, three loose potatoes on and behind this is a patch of white cap fungi, with a second sample in a bucket beside it. There is also an unowned bed roll with another bottle of Nord mead laid out on the ground and above it all is a ledge which can be used as a short-cut back to the exit later. To the west is a practice dummy and a wooden block by a rock pillar, with a leg of goat on top, a red apple and an open crate containing a sprig of frost mirriam and a bulb of garlic beside it. At the rear of the chamber, on a ledge illuminated by a hole in the roof, is an unlocked chest. A passage out of this room is also in the rear of the chamber on the north wall. Part way along the passage is an illuminated alcove on the left, containing a random bow and quiver of arrows. The passage then emerges onto a ledge overlooking a second chamber with a campfire and two bandits attending. There is a whole skeever spitted over the fire, which you can harvest for a charred skeever hide and a cooking pot hanging below. There are two unowned bed rolls around the fire and a woodcutter's axe leaning against a pile of firewood, with twpo loose pieces nearby. To the left is a bucket containing a green apple, a potato and cabbage. In the western corner of the chamber is a crate with a satchel and a random potion of magicka on top, while against the south wall is another crate with an iron helmet and a pair of iron gauntlets on top. There is a passage leading from this chamber on the east wall. The passage takes a couple of turns as it rises before entering a large chamber containing three bandits on the main level mostly sitting at a row of long wooden tables, with a fourth bandit, who is a magic-user standing on a ledge at the rear overlooking the chamber. On the tables are four bottles of Nord mead, a baked potato, a portion of grilled leeks and a venison chop. Between two of the tables is a crate and two food sacks. Under the ledge to the east is a small square table with a small coin purse, a silver necklace, an amethyst and seveteen loose septims on top. The table may be disrupted during the melee, so the loot may end up scattered on the ground. Upon entering the chamber and engaging the bandits at least two additional bandits, may converge from the adjoining chamber via the passage on the north wall. The magic-user will engage you with ranged spells from the ledge. On the ground, to the left of the next passage is a deer hide by more firewood.

The passage passes an alcove on the right containing a straw bale with a skeleton partially buried in it and a bottle of ale on top, before turning to the east and climbing to the next chamber, where two more bandits can be found unless they've already been dealt with. There is a small slightly raised section opposite where you enter containing several barrels, an unlocked chest and a table with a deer hide on top. By the raised section is an extinguished campfire with four whole salmon hanging over it and a fifth on a wooden block beside the fire, ad two bed rolls nearby. At the rear of the chamber is a second campfire with two more bed rolls beside it. On one of these is a copy of the Pickpocket skill book Thief and to the southeast are several barrels and crates beside another long table with four salmon steaks, a pheasant, a gourd, a cast iron pot containing two raw rabbit legs and a leek, and a potato. By the table is a food sack and a kettle containing two cabbages and a potato, while hanging above from two racks are two pheasants and three rabbits. Just to the left of the exit on the south wall, on top of a rock formation are two refined malachite ingots and a gold ingot in an open crate and three food sacks. The passage continues south, before turning west an leading out onto the ledge where the magic-user was standing in the previous chamber.

Along the front edge of the ledge on a crate is another deer hide and further along to the west is a wooden block with an iron dagger on top and behind this is patch of imp stool fungus. Take care as there are two bear traps by the mouth of the passage leading onwards. Proceed through the passage as it takes a couple of turns before entering a partially flooded section. On the south and north-west walls are Nordic barnacle clusters, with two more clusters at the bottom of the wooden ramp. The water is initially chest-high, but becomes shallow as you approach the back of a waterfall. Passing through the waterfall leads to a wooden ramp.

At the top of the ramp during the related quest you will find Kematu and up to six Alik'r Warriors, each clothed in Hammerfell garb, Redguard boots and Alik'r hoods and armed with a scimitar, except Kematu who is armed with twin scimitars. On the right, at the top of the ramp, between several barrels is an unlocked boss chest. On the barrels are four bottles of Nord mead and a leveled potion of magicka. To the left is a patch of Namira's Rot fungus, with a second patch growing against the south wall. To the right of the chest, against the north wall are several crates with a whole salmon and a cast iron pot containing two chicken's eggs on top. In front of this is an unowned bed roll. A passage heads north, passing an alcove lit by a brazier with an earthen ramp leading up. Find an iron ore vein in the wall at the base of the ramp. Ascending the earthen ramp will lead to the ledge in the first chamber, thus completing the circuit of Swindler's Den. On your left is a crate with a long bow leaning against it and a quiver and several loose iron arrows on top. Jump down from the ledge to make your exit.


  • It is possible to climb up to the eastern ledge in the first chamber, which will allow you to backtrack through the den and reach the boss and his chest without fighting most of the cave's inhabitants.
  • South of Swindler's Den is an unmarked shrine of Stendarr. Sitting on the altar are a goblet, a guaranteed flawless amethyst, a salt pile, a copy of the Enchanting skill book Twin Secrets, and a strongbox which may contain up to two random leveled gems, two random leveled pieces of jewelry, and/or some gold.
  • Due west of the den is an unmarked shrine of Zenithar, set against a large boulder.


  • If you side with Kematu in the quest In My Time Of Need, he will still appear at the back of this cave, even after he has supposedly left for Hammerfell.
  • The normal bandit boss here is not tagged as a boss, preventing the location from being marked as cleared.