The Forgotten Vale is a hidden region of Skyrim that is inhabited by Falmer. However, it once was a holy place to their predecessors, the Snow Elves, and houses a temple to the goddess Auri-El. It also contains a massive frozen-over lake and waterfall, where dragons are known to lurk, even underwater. It contains variants of almost any species known in Skyrim, including the otherwise unseen Frost Giants.
Forgotten Vale Cave
Shortly after entering the vale the Dragonborn will stumble upon a small cave, just north of the main path. In the cave a Rope Release opens up a hidden passage to the a Shellbug that can be mined for Shellbug Chitin.
Further along the path the Wayshrine of Sight is located. And entering the main vale with the frozen waterfalls, to the south-east is the Wayshrine of Learning. At the northern end of the frozen lake the Wayshrine of Resolution is located. Finally just before crossing the stone bridge to the Inner Sanctum the Wayshrine of Radiance appears.
Entering the main vale, turn north along the frozen waterfalls, upriver to find the Paragon Portal, that lets you place paragon gems (from Frost Giants), opening portals to various hidden areas in the vale.
- see Darkfall Grotto
Forgotten Vale Overlook
The Forgotten Vale Overlook is accessed by using the Emerald Paragon at the Paragon Portal.
Forgotten Vale Forest
After the Wayshrine of Resolution, following the river upstream will lead to a cave connecting the river bed with the Falmer tents up in the mountains, this can be used as a short cut to avoid some of the Falmer resistance in the canyon. Another Shellbug can be found here.
Located up the cliff at the south-eastern tip of the ice lake in the Forgotten Vale, reaching the sanctum requires taking a long-winding path through the vale. A secret room at the sanctum can only be accessed via Paragon Portal by using the Sapphire Paragon. A Shrine of Auriel can be found here.
- Touching the Sky, the search for Auriel's Bow.
- Forgotten Vale Books Quest, "Bring Ancient Falmer Tome to Urag-gro Shub".
Items of Note
- Forgotten Vale Cave: Falmer chest ~1120 value (L72).
- Darkfall Grotto: Falmer chests ~1930, ~1140, ~1550, ~1620 value (L72).
- Glacial Crevice (via Diamond Paragon): Metal Chest ~1210 value (L72).
- Forgotten Vale Forest (via Ruby Paragon): Falmer Warmonger with Auriel's Shield and metal Chest ~440 value (L72).
Inner Sanctum hidden room (via Sapphire Paragon):
- Garnet ×14, Flawless Garnet ×4, Amethyst ×4, Flawless Amethyst ×3, Diamond ×2, Emerald and Flawless Emerald.
- Elven Sword of Malediction, Elven Shield, Elven Light Gauntlets and Elven Helmet.
- Metal chests ~380, ~1060, ~540 value (L72).
Dark Grotto (via Amethyst Paragon):
- Falmer chests ~2710, ~1050, ~2690, ~1760, ~170, ~1560, ~1110, ~1830, ~1230, value (L72).
Forgotten Vale Overlook (via Emerald Paragon, follow river):
- A copy of Unknown Book, Vol. II, Elven Greatsword of Evoking, Ebony Bow of the Inferno and metal Chest ~1650 value (L72).
Forgotten Vale (out in the open):
- Silver Ore Vein ×7, Gold Ore Vein ×5, Malachite Ore Vein ×7, Moonstone Ore Vein ×9 (at ice lake), Orichalcum Ore Vein ×7 (near Sharpslope Cave), Quicksilver Ore Vein ×10 (exiting Glacial Crevice), Gold Ore ×4 (Sharpslope Cave exit), Moonstone Ore, Quicksilver Ore ×8 and Silver Ore.
- Metal chests ~1420 ~740, ~470; satchel ~410, ~410, Falmer chests ~2420, ~2050, ~580, ~4360, ~790, ~1520, ~1110, ~720, ~1350 value (L72).
- A copy of Unknown Book, Vol. I can be found just passing the spiders, entering the main vale, next to a skeleton.
- Around frozen lake: Potions ×5, Elven Sword and metal Chest ~1690 value (L72).
- Potions ×16, alchemy lab, Falmer Bow, Garnet ×3, Ruby, Amethyst, Emerald, Greater Soul Gem, and Honed Falmer Sword.
- A copy of Unknown Book, Vol. III, south of the upper Sharpslope Cave exit, in a tent.
- A copy of Unknown Book, Vol. IV, south of the Inner Sanctum, in the lower canyon in a tent with mammoth scull above the doorway.
- Under Inner Sanctum bridge, south-west side, east along cliff: Gold Ore Vein, Honed Falmer Sword, Gold Ruby Necklace, Powdered Mammoth Tusk, Gold Ore ×2, Flawless Diamond and Diamond.
- On north-eastern side of bridge, go west: Elven Greatsword and Flawless Sapphire.
- Potions ×17, Silver Emerald Necklace, Necklace of Extreme Health, Circlet of Waterbreathing, Amethyst, Emerald and Garnet.
- Staff of Ice Spikes, Elven Arrows ×30 and Elven War Axe.
- Metal chests ~1170, ~1970, ~980, ~1380 value (L72).
- Scroll of Blizzard, Scroll of Fireball, Scroll of Ironflesh, Scroll of Conjure Flame Atronach, Scroll of Grand Healing, Scroll of Fire Storm and Spell Tome: Pacify.
A glacial crevice formed during tens of thousands of years of water flow from the high peaks of the Haafingar Mountains, carving the Glacial Crevice portion of what would become known as the Forgotten Vale. The original inhabitants of Skyrim, the Snow Elves, discovered it at thousands of years before the Fourth Era and built the Chantry of Auriel, the grandest of their five temples.
During the Snow Elf Genocide, some refugees fled to the Forgotten Vale. Due to the Chantry's isolation, it remained unaffected by the invasion of the Nords in the Merethic Era. As such, the Snow Elves of the Forgotten Vale had no need of the protection of the Dwemer, who demanded the blinding of the race. Their remaining kin, "the Betrayed", degenerated over the ages into the modern Falmer. Following the disappearance of the Dwemer in 1E 700, the Falmer somehow spread to the vale and began attacking the Chantry. The Chantry was overwhelmed by their sheer numbers, and the final bastion of Snow Elves was wiped out.
Arch-Curate Vyrthur, leader of the Chantry, had been abandoned by Auri-El after becoming infected with vampirism. Embittered, he created a prophecy which would see the darkening of the sun by corrupting Auriel's Bow in order to spite the god. He allied himself with the Falmer and retreated to the inner sanctum, where he awaited his prophecy to come to fruition. His brother, Knight-Paladin Gelebor, was the only other Snow Elf to survive, and retreated into the caves as he has vowed never to leave the Wayshrines unguarded. The Falmer and their tamed Chaurus then proceeded to spread throughout the vale unhindered.
In 4E 201, the Forgotten Vale was visited by Serana and the Last Dragonborn, who had been guided there by an Elder Scroll to fulfill Vyrthur's prophecy. Through the Darkfall Cave, the skeletons of many snow elves were found in the caves, and they encountered Gelebor tending to the shrine that led to Darkfall Passage. They made a pilgrimage to the five Wayshrines to gain access to the inner sanctum in order to save Vyrthur from the Falmer at the request of the mistaken Gelebor. Instead, the two discovered Vyrthur's affliction and betrayal, and killed him. In return, Gelebor gifted them with Auriel's Bow as foretold by the prophecy. The Dragonborn also defeated the dragons Voslaarum and Naaslaarum, and recovered Auriel's Shield from the Falmer.