The great tundra province that is the setting of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is full of strange sights and sounds. Occult occurrences, unique creatures, brutal tales, and unexpected resources are but some of what can be found in the land of the Nords. Skyrim itself is divided into nine smaller holds, each with its own unique traits.

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Falkreath Hold, the southernmost part of Skyrim, borders with Cyrodiil and Hammerfell, though it is truly Nordic in culture. It is the place of many macabre happenings that the Dragonborn can stumble across. Some don't even show up on the map, though probably should because of how intriguing they are to gamers.

10 The Headless Skeleton

a chest next to a headless skeleton and a skill book in skyrim's snowy landscape.

Just southwest of Fort Neugrad, among some snow-capped pine trees, the Dragonborn can find a mutilated skeleton with the perpetrating implement present at the site of the assault. A headless, fleshless body is resting against a conifer with an axe embedded into the trunk of the tree, clearly having decapitated the poor soul.

Next to this mysterious victim, there will be a book that increases the player's Conjuration skill; something often used in dealing with the dead. There is also a chest full of loot to plunder. The axe can even be taken, however, it is not special in any way save that it was used as a prop for this brutal execution scene.


9 A Dark Elf's Grave

a simple gravestone in a non descript field in skyrim

A common trend that can be found in Falkreath Hold is that grisly tableaus of sinister past deeds can be found everywhere. Some can even be slight enigmas that go mostly unexplained and force the player to come to their own conclusions.

To the northwest of Half-Moon Mill, there is a simply decorated gravestone with the dead body of a Dunmer laying nearby. There is no note or anything else that explains what went down, but a coin purse and a dagger are on the ground next to the body. At first, one would think this was the work of bandits, but why would bandits leave money and a free weapon behind?

8 Fisherman's Island In Lake Ilinalta

shore of a small island in skyrim

Lake Ilinalta is a significant feature in the region as it is a huge body of water that is teeming with life. In the south of these fresh waters, the player can find a small island covered with a handful of pine trees, a small camp, and bees.

In addition to the makeshift rest, there is a beehive on this spit of land that will constantly spawn bees. However, the hive itself is simply a container that can be looted for bees, honeycombs, and beehive husks, all of which are ingredients that could be useful to any alchemist.

7 Sunken Barrow

a burial place submerged underwater in a lake in skyrim.

The depths of Lake Ilinalta hold even greater treasure. East of the island with the beehive and simple camp, there lies a barrow that has been submerged due to some sort of rising in the lake's waters long ago. It can be spotted from the surface by three standing stones covered in moss that poke out of the murky teal.

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In this flooded burial mound one can find and pillage the remains and treasure of some long-dead Nord. This discovery can raise thoughts of other such loot to be found in parts of the lake that were not once underwater.

6 Bugling Elk

a male elk in the woods performing a mating call

'Bugling' is the term for when male elks do their mating call, which resembles the sound made by the musical instrument known similarly as a 'Bugle.' A common sound in the ambiance of many games set in the woods, the source cannot usually be found.

Southeast of Evergreen Grove, the Dragonborn can happen across a male elk letting out this classic call. This is the only one in the game that does this. Be warned that their acoustics will attract the attention of predators that spawn when the player approaches.

5 Ilinalta Foothills' Shrine Of Talos

dead nord bodies in front of a shrine to talos

If one follows the path leading northwest out of Helgen, they will eventually come to a horrific site if they keep to the left of the path: a bloody massacre beneath a shrine to Talos consisting of four dead Nords and one dead Thalmor soldier.

On the body of the Thalmor Justiciar, there are orders from their superior. The note seems to indicate that this agent of the Thalmor, named Sanyon, had claimed that there were people worshiping Talos south of Lake Ilinalta. They were not believed, however, and sought to gather proof first-hand. Things seemed to spiral out of control from there, as some sort of conflict broke out between the Nords and the Thalmor agent.

4 The Sacrificial Altar In Evergreen Woods

spooky altar in the woods where necromancers hang out in skyrim

About halfway between Evergreen Woods and Cracked Tusk Keep, there are four ancient standing stones surrounding a stone altar. All over this gray structure, the bones and blood of many unknown victims decorate it in a hideous manner.

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Upon the slab of cold stone rests the dead body of an Imperial woman. Leering over the corpse is a man in necromancer robes likely up to some sort of fell Conjuration magic. In addition to the loot that can be found on the dead woman and the necromancer, there is a book titled "2920, Frostfall, v10" which will raise the player's Conjuration skill.

3 Khajiit Caravan Massacre

dead khajiit and horses from a caravan ambush in skyrim

South of Orphan Rock, there is a stretch of road leading east that is strewn with the dead bodies of Khajiit and their horses. This was clearly the work of bandits from the clues offered by the remains.

However, when one approaches to investigate, the very same bandits who robbed this caravan will reappear from the nearby woods and attack the Dragonborn. After the brigand scum are dealt with, the player can find some loot including a book titled "The Buying Game," which can raise the player's Speech skill.

2 The Indigestible Emerald

skeleton of an animal with an emerald in it on the ground in skyrim

On a thin stretch of grass to the southeast of Anise's Cabin, the player can come across this skeleton of an animal. Not that uncommon of a sight until one notices the flawless emerald within the broken ribs of the deceased creature. There isn't even any trap or consequence for taking the gem, it's just a little hidden treasure laying out in the relative open.

More amazingly, however, is that the flawless emerald respawns every few weeks. If the Dragonborn wants to build up a supply of precious stones, this would be a good spot to remember.

1 Prospector's Shack

burnt cabin by a waterfall in skyrim

North of Ancient's Ascent, near the beginning of the path leading up the mountain, one can find a cabin by a waterfall. What should be a picturesque location is instead the site of a localized catastrophe. The cabin is blackened on two sides and the charred husks of its former owners can be found just outside.

Inside, one can find a chest, a book called "Purloined Shadows" that increases Pickpocketing, and a note that will reveal the truth of what happened to this place. The note contains the observations of a dragon coming and going from the nearby peak housing Ancient's Ascent, making it quite clear what committed the arson.

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