The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund (SSE) (2024)

SSE Version

Classic Version

Second excavation, available 10 days after The Excavation of Windcaller Pass.


  • 1 Join up with the Excavation at Rkund.
  • 2 Excavation site
    • 2.1 Survey for an optimal dig site.
    • 2.2 Return the survey tool to Professor Marassi.
    • 2.3 Return in a couple of days or help with the dig.
    • 2.4 Check in with Marassi.
  • 3 Inside Rkund
    • 3.1 Explore the Ruins of Rkund.
    • 3.2 Show the Cog to Madras.
    • 3.3 Find the Cog Keys and where they are used.
  • 4 Finding the two remaining keys
    • 4.1 Puzzle Key
    • 4.2 Sepulcher
    • 4.3 Magma Key
    • 4.4 Lock
    • 4.5 Enter Karagas' Maze.
  • 5 The mazes
    • 5.1 Explore the Maze
      • 5.1.1 Maze #1
      • 5.1.2 Maze #2
  • 6 Karagas' Tower
    • 6.1 Investigate Karagas' Tower.
    • 6.2 Find a way to get the Explorers to the Tower.
    • 6.3 Bring the explorers back through the transport device.
    • 6.4 Escort the explorers to the transmutation forge by way of the transport device
  • 7 Quest Stages

Join up with the Excavation at Rkund.

The excavation site is south-west of Riften up in the mountains. An easy way to reach it is going through Darklight Tower, when exiting at the top of the Tower follow the path to the left until you see the Excavations camp.

Excavation site

The following steps will repeat for a total of three dig sites. The third time the entrance to Rkund will be uncovered.

Survey for an optimal dig site.

Open up your inventory and use the survey tool you received. A pop-up will say how far away you are from the optimal site.

The first time, it is a building to the north.

The second time, it is a building to the east behind the main tent.

The third one is next to the Dwemer Dig Site.

When you hit the right spot a banner will appear marking the place.

First dig site

Second dig site

Third dig site

Return the survey tool to Professor Marassi.

Bring the survey tool back to Marassi.

Return in a couple of days or help with the dig.

You can either wait or leave the site for 3 days; or you can help digging (that's considerably faster, it takes 12 in-game hours). Either way, the quest will update after that.

Check in with Marassi.

Return to the excavation site and speak with Marassi. The first two times he will reward you with some Dwemer Fragments.

When returning to him for the third time the entrance will be laid open and you can explore Rkund.

Inside Rkund

The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund (SSE) (4)

Explore the Ruins of Rkund.

Make your way past the enemies. Straight up a set of stairs is a large room with a square pit. At the bottom is a Cog on a pedestal. The members of your exploration team will suggest you slide down. Jump down the pit (there is a ledge about halfway down) and pick up the Cog, the pit will fill up with water, giving you a way back up.

Show the Cog to Madras.

Show Madras the Cog and he'll explain that it is actually a key. You'll need to find others and where they're used.

Find the Cog Keys and where they are used.

You need two more keys.

Finding the two remaining keys

The two keys can be found in the Hall of Puzzles and in the Magma Silo. Continue to the north until you reach a large cavern inhabited by Falmer, with walkways leading down.

Puzzle Key

Follow the walkways all the way down. At the bottom of the cavern will be a passage to a room to the west. There is a large door to the Hall of Puzzles and another passage leading north. Ignore the door for now, go through the passage and make your way down the pit to retrieve the Rkund Journal in a backpack floating in the water. The Journal explains the puzzle you need to solve. Make your way back up and enter the Hall of Puzzles.

The puzzle is made of lots of parts that will resemble a giant cog once completed. There are 12 buttons that will move different parts. Pushing a button while a part it controls is in movement will only move the other parts. You can solve it yourself given enough time or follow the hints in the Journal. Leaving the room will reset the puzzle.

Button Pedestals

Unsolved Puzzle

Easy solution:

  • viewed from the platform, from left to right push the first 9 buttons in rapid succession.
  • After everything stops moving the top right diagonal one should be the only one in the wrong position.
  • push the 11th button (second one from the right).
  • Wait until the small round part stops moving and while the diagonal one is still moving and push the 11th button again.

You can also press the buttons in the order indicated (from left to right): 1, 3, 4, 10, 9, 7. After pressing each button, wait until everything stops, then press the next, etc.

Alternatively, if you can move quick enough, start with a fresh puzzle and press 1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 12. This will move every piece towards the middle before any one piece has a chance to stop.

Solved Puzzle

The Cog key


When leaving the Puzzle room with the key, flip the lever at the wall to the left to unlock the Sepulcher room. Go all the way back up the walkways and enter the Sepulcher to the west.

When entering the room all guildmembers will enter the room with you and a cutscene will start playing. This scene is a strong reference to the Wizard of Oz, where the Wizard is now portrayed as a giant floating Dwemer head which calls itself "The Great Kaz". When the head disappears, the gate behind it will open and some treasure chests can be looted. This is also where you meet Eggelmann who will continue to follow Madras around. On a table you'll find the Rkund Control Cube, make sure to pick it up.

Sepulcher Room lever

The Great Kaz

Rkund Control Cube

Magma Key

After leaving the Sepulcher, go down one level, take the ramp to the west to reach the top level again and go to the Magma Silo to the east. Nobody will follow you in.

The easiest way to reach the top is to use the Rkund Control Cube on the switch at the entrance. This will add a portal that simply brings you to the top. Pick up the third Cog key from its pedestal, use the portal again and leave the room.

[Doing it the hard way]

The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund (SSE) (12)

Enter the Silo without using the Cube. On the opposite side of the room is a lever. Once you pull the lever platforms will start moving and the lava will rise. You need to jump from one platform to another until reaching the top of the room. There is a ledge with a locked door and another lever. Use it to open the gate and go down the corridor to the third Cog Key. The lava will have lowered and now you can jump back down.

Control Cube Switch


Third Cog Key


Place the three Cog Keys in their receptables on the medium level of the Cavern.

Enter Karagas' Maze.

The door is located directly below. You need the Rkund Control Cube from the Sepulcher to unlock the door fully. Use it on the switch to the left of the entrance and enter the maze.

Placed Cog Keys

Switch at the door

The mazes

Explore the Maze

The maze is actually two mazes separated by a long corridor. Kyle will join you on your trip through it.

Maze #1

There are four ways in, stairwells and holes to drop down. Additionally you'll have to deal with lots of traps, Dwemer constructs and skeletons. Check out the crate before you enter, it contains 100 torches. Pick up as many torches as you can.

In order to find your way, it is best to place torches everywhere you go. There are lots of torch-stands on the walls to place them in. Mark where you've been with them. Generally you need to get pretty far down and to the north once you encounter nothing but skeevers you should be closer. Enter the long hallway that leads to the second maze. Attention however, at the end there is a tripwire which activates a boulder fall trap, and a pressure plate which makes the Dwemer catapults on top of the maze shoot at you.

Short way through: When standing in front of the doors pick the third entrance. Stick to the left walls, after a bit there is a deep drop down, fall down and again stick to the left side.

Entrance to 1st Maze

Crate of Torches

Maze #2

This one is easy to solve as it is on a single level. Choose either left or right and stick with the wall. Follow the walls and after some time you'll emerge on the other side.

A Dwarven Praetorian will attack and the floor is riddled with trap buttons that activate the fire pylons. Defeat the Praetorian and loot its corpse, be sure to take the Rkund Attunement Sphere from its remains. The Attunement sphere is used in the keyhole to the right of the door to unlock it. Depending on your ENB this keyhole can actually be very hard to spot.

Dwarven Pretorian


Karagas' Tower

Investigate Karagas' Tower.

Karagas' Tower is a large player home, straight ahead you see some kind of forge. Get closer to it and the quest will update to the next objective.

Find a way to get the Explorers to the Tower.

Enter the door to the left of the the forge and go upstairs. To the left there is a Dwemer portal which can be used to take a shortcut back to the start of the maze.

Note: To the right of the portal there is a door leading outside. A fast travel point as well as an anchor point for the Dev Aveza can be found there.

Karagas' Transmutation Forge

Dwemer Portal

Bring the explorers back through the transport device.

Place the Attunement sphere in the Dwarven Mechanism to open up the stairs and get to the other guild members. Speak to Madras to update the quest.

Escort the explorers to the transmutation forge by way of the transport device

Lead the group back down the stairs through the portal and down to the forge. They'll all have a chat and the quest will conclude. You can now use Karagas' Transmutation Forge.

Quest Stages

The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund (DBM_Excavation02)
StageJournal Entry
5, 10[Startup stages]

Professor Marassi and the explorers are setting out for an excavation of the Dwemer ruins of Rkund. I should meet up with the group at the ruin site and see what I can do to help.

Objective 5: Join up with the excavation at Rkund

11Professor Marassi has asked that I use a survey device to assay the best dig site to start looking for the entrance to Rkund. I should use the survey device in various spots until it indicates the location to mark.

Objective 11: Survey for an optimal dig site

12I've set a marker for the first possible dig site for the entrance of Rkund. I should return to Marassi and let him know.

Objective 12: Return the survey tool to Professor Marassi

13The explorers will begin their dig at the site I marked. I should check back in a few days and see what progress has been made or help out to speed things along.

Objective 13: Return in a couple days or help with the dig

14I should check back with the excavation at Rkund and see if they have made any progress.
(if waiting for 3 days)

I've helped dig in search of an entrance, but other than a few sprockets and gears we found little else.
(if having helped digging)

Objective 14: Check in with Marassi

20Professor Marassi has given me the survey tool to scope out an additional site with. I should locate one and return it to him.

Objective 20: Survey for an optimal dig site

30I've marked a new dig site. I should let Marassi know.

Objective 30: Return the survey tool to Professor Marassi

40I should give the team a few days to work on digging in the new site location, then return and see how they are doing. I can also help out with the digging to make shorter work of it.

Objective 40: Return in a couple days or help with the dig

50I should return and check in on the excavation at Rkund.
(if waiting for 3 days)

We continue to dig in search of an entrance to Rkund, this time finding some sculptures and dwemer chests but still no entrance.
(if having helped digging)

Objective 50: Check in with Marassi

55Marassi has asked me to survey another site for the digging because so far, they have not uncovered the entrance to Rkund.

Objective 55: Survey for an optimal dig site

60I've marked a new spot to dig. I should return the survey tool and let Marassi know.

Objective 60: Return the survey tool to Professor Marassi

70The group has started digging for Rkund once again. I'll give them another three days or so and check back. Hopefully it will yield the results we are looking for. I can also help out to make things go quicker.

Objective 70: Return in a couple days or help with the dig

80It's about time to return to the excavation site and see if the team finally uncovered something.
(if waiting for 3 days)

We have finally done it and the entrance was right behind us the whole time!
(if having helped digging)

Objective 80: Check in with Marassi

90We've done it! The team has finally broken through into the ruins of Rkund interior. They are going to join me as we explore the ruins.

Objective 90: Explore the ruins of Rkund

100I've found a strange cog that triggered the water level in the pool. I should show it to Madras and see what he thinks about it.

Objective 100: Show the cog to Madras

101I've shown the cog to Madras who has said that it is a cog key which works together with several others to open a door somewhere. I'll keep an eye out for more cogs.

Objective 101: Find the cog keys and where they are used

102, 103I've found another cog key. I'll keep looking in case there are others.

Objective 102, 103: Find the cog keys and where they are used

105The three cog keys have opened a doorway leading into Karagas' Maze! We're heading there next to explore.

Objective 105: Enter Karagas' Maze

110Kyre will accompany me while the rest of the team waits in the antechamber of the maze. It looks far too involved and complex and if we get separated, it could be disastrous.

Objective 110: Explore the maze

115I've found Karagas' Tower, home to his greatest works according to Madras. I should explore and then figure out how to get the explorers here safely.

Objective 115: Investigate Karagas' tower

120I've found an elaborate machine which Madras will go wild over, no doubt. I should find out if there is another way of getting to the tower other than through the maze.

Objective 120: Find a way to get the explorers to the tower

125I've found a transportation device that has brought me back to the maze antechamber. I should bring the explorers back through it to see the tower.

Objective 125: Bring the explorers back through the transport device

130[technical stage]
135I've rejoined the explorers and will escort them back to the machine in Karagas' Tower.

Objective 130: Escort the explorers to the transmutation forge by way of the transport device

140[completes quest]

We have successfully excavated the Ruins of Rkund, a great achievement for the Guild and for all of posterity.



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Auryen's NotesDagger of Symmachus· Cyrus' Saber· Orgnum's Coffer· Ice Blade of the Monarch· Shalidor's Stone· Umbra· The Bloodworm Helm· The Warlock's Ring· The Dragonmail Cuirass· The Fists of Randagulf· The Tools of Kagrenac
RadiantFinder's Keepers
Explorer's SocietyMainA Room with a View· Digging Up Explorers· The Excavation of Windcaller Pass· The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund· The Visage· Trial of Trinimac
SecondaryTools of the Trade· Eternal Ice· A Path to the Heavens· Branching Out· Branching Out... Again· Branching Out... Ever More· Legacy of the Snow Prince
RadiantOne Man's Junk· Relic Hunt
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SecondaryThe Dinner Guest· Desert Style
Other QuestsMuch Ado About Snow Elves· Dragonborn Gallery· The Hand of Glory· Breaking the Curse· Ongar's Kegbreaker· Back to the Drawing Board· Lord's Mail· Guardians of the Divine· Sanamia's Journals - Mzulft· Sanamia's Journals - Fort Frostmoth· Sanamia's Journals - Valthume· Sanamia's Journals - Lake Ilinalta· Sanamia's Journals - Burial Ruin

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The Excavation of the Ruins of Rkund (SSE) (2024)
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