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Entrance to the Forgotten Vale

Wayshrine of Sight

The ice waterfalls

Wayshrine of Learning

The frozen lake

Wayshrine of Resolution

The Paragon Portal

The Glacial Crevice

Wayshrine of Radiance and Inner Sanctum

Forgotten Vale

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.

At the north-eastern shore of the frozen lake a word wall for the shout Drain Vitality can be found.




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.

Paragon Portal[]

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.

Darkfall Grotto[]

see Darkfall Grotto

Forgotten Vale Overlook[]

The Forgotten Vale Overlook is accessed by using the Emerald Paragon at the Paragon Portal.

Forgotten Vale Forest[]

The Forgotten Vale Forest is located within the Forgotten Vale and accessed via the Paragon Portal by using the Ruby Paragon.

Sharpslope Cave[]

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.

Glacial Crevice[]

On the roundabout path to the Inner Sanctum, the Glacial Crevice will need to be traversed. High up an otherwise inaccessible ledge can be explored via Paragon Portal by using the Diamond Paragon.

Inner Sanctum[]

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.


Items of Note[]

  • Forgotten Vale Cave: Falmer chest ~1120 Gold.png value (L72).
  • Darkfall Grotto: Falmer chests ~1930, ~1140, ~1550, ~1620 Gold.png value (L72).
  • Glacial Crevice (via Diamond Paragon): Metal Chest ~1210 Gold.png value (L72).
  • Forgotten Vale Forest (via Ruby Paragon): Falmer Warmonger with Auriel's Shield and metal Chest ~440 Gold.png value (L72).

Inner Sanctum hidden room (via Sapphire Paragon):

Dark Grotto (via Amethyst Paragon):

  • Potion and metal Chest ~860 Gold.png value (L72).
  • Sharpslope Cave: Falmer Chest ~4670 Gold.png value (L72).

Glacial Crevice:

  • Falmer chests ~2710, ~1050, ~2690, ~1760, ~170, ~1560, ~1110, ~1830, ~1230, Gold.png value (L72).

Forgotten Vale Overlook (via Emerald Paragon, follow river):

Forgotten Vale (out in the open):

Inner Sanctum:


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.