The Midden is a dungeon found beneath the College of Winterhold. Trap doors leading to The Midden can be found just north of the door to the Hall of the Elements in the College's courtyard, and under the stairs in the Hall of Countenance.
Whichever way the Midden is entered, there will be a room with four openings on a wall (in a two by two arrangement). The bottom right opening is clear, while the others are barred with iron grates. However, the opening leads to a long drop to a room with a waterfall that can be reached in another way.
To the northeast is a passage that leads to a split. The right side (which leads to the east) leads to a single empty jail cell. The left (north) passage leads to a snow-covered room that joins on to a low-ceilinged room with many pillars with two exits. An exit path to the east northeast leads to a large room with an attached room straight across to the southeast that contains the Atronach Forge. A passageway to the southwest leads to a cell door, with a room beyond that has a bench containing some alchemy ingredients.
Further southwest is the floor of the waterfall room seen before. The stairs on the left side lead to a ledge with nothing but a Draugr. Instead, continuing along the path under the ledge to the southwest leads to The Midden Dark.
The Midden Dark
Upon entering, after walking across a short passageway, there is an ice cave with a bridge across it. After crossing the bridge, a path to the left (still inside the ice cave) leads down to a ledge with a chest with some gold in it. Returning to the bridge level from the ledge is possible (by jumping on top of the chest, then hugging the wall to the left and jumping while moving forward). However, upon dropping further down into the depths of the cave from the ledge, it will be impossible to climb back up. However, proceeding through the cavern as described below will eventually lead back to the bridge.
At the bottom of the cave, one passage leads west that eventually leads outside. Another passage leads east to what appear to be sewers. In the first room (one with columns spread throughout) are a skeleton, the corpses of Frostbite Spiders, and some low-level weapons and armor. Against the north wall of the room is a passage to the east that is blocked by spider webs that can be cut with a blade. The passage turns to the north northwest and leads to another ice cave, where steps lead up to what appears to be the remains of someone attempting to cook.
Further up the steps is a circular room with a table to the left that has a copy of the Midden Incident Report and an Investigator's Key. The report speaks of a group of students who were killed while attempting a summoning ritual, and a strange sculpture from which four rings were pried (which are now supposedly stored in The Arcanaeum). To the south southwest is an alcove with ingredients. In the center of the room is a sculpture of a hand for the quest "Forgotten Names."
Up a set of steps to the northwest is a door that leads to a room with a pit containing a large number of skeletons and two Draugr. Up a short set of steps is an alchemy lab, with the alchemy the skill book De Rerum Dirennis is on the left side.
From there, the path leads up stairs to the south, then it leads down another set of stairs to another ice cave. This has passages to the west northwest and southeast. The southeast passage leads back to the first ice cave encountered in this cavern. The other leads to stairs down to a locked door, where the Augur of Dunlain can be found.
Summon the Dremora Pirate.
Consult with the Augur of Dunlain about the Eye of Magnus.
- Atronach Forge Manual on a table next to the forge itself.
- A copy of the skill book, De Rerum Dirennis can be found on the alchemy lab in the Midden Dark.
- A skeleton with a leveled enchanted dagger can be found In the Midden, near the Hall of Countenance entrance.
- 2 bowls of fire salts also on the table.
- 2 rubies in the eye sockets of the elk skull, in the first chamber on one of the skeletons.
- Master Illusion Text on table just outside the Atronach Forge.
- Orichalcum ingot on the wardrobe next to the entrance to the Atronach Forge.
- 4 ingots of Refined Moonstone in a basket in the ceiling rafters.
- Torchbug Thoraxes litter the path through The Midden.
- Proceeding to the bottom of the ice cave will prevent returning directly, but the entire lower level of the cavern eventually loops back to the bridge.
- The lower parts of the cavern are not shown on the map, except for a few minor details.