Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

Do you look at the majority of player homes and sigh to yourself after only a few images, thinking WHY? Congratulations, you may be as picky as I am! So I made my own home, which has grown to include about everything you might need and yet remains tasteful (IMHO). Still sighing? Move along then and make YOUR own home!

Permissions and credits
  • Mandarin

Do you look at the majority of player homes and sigh to yourself after only a few images, thinking "why would they do that?" Examples: a solid stone hotub or forge/smelter somehow being supported by a rickety wood shack floor; or the same statues pasted everywhere, with glowing balls and fountains pouring from the nipples.. *sigh* Well congratulations, you may be as picky as I am! So anyway I made my own home, which has grown to include about everything you might need and yet remains tasteful (IMHO). Still sighing?! Move along then and make YOUR own, home I'm sure it'll be AWESOME! (*sigh*)

Someone commented that they couldn't tell where vanilla Skyrim ended and where this mod began, that's exactly what I was striving for. The Refuge is concentrated on immersion, aesthetics, authenticity and other big words, while still offering everything an adventurous Dovahkiin might require and more:

  • Portal tower: A door that links numerous locations throughout Skyrim at the touch of a button (like in Howl's Moving Castle). Connects the five player homes, the Archmage's chambers, both Dark Brotherhood Sanctuaries, Sky Haven Temple, High Hrothgar, and the Ragged Flagon (via a new Ratway secret passage under Honneyside). The Dwarven doors are cleverly hidden behind vanilla walls and there is no sign of them besides a small rune on the wall.
  • Optional DLC support provides additional doorways to Fort Dawnguard, Volkihar Keep and Severin Manor. Also adds a summonable archway that you can place wherever you like, a passage down to the Aetherium Forge, more Vault display Artefacts, a Spider Scroll machine, a Staff enchanter, and the Dwarven Forge can do Crossbows and Stalhrim.
  • The Refuge Spirit: Far from home and feeling over-burdened, or did you forget something? Summon this helpful spirit to lighten your load, access your storage or teleport you home. She roams the Refuge when not summoned. Don't want her? Be rude to her and she'll leave (warning: irreversible).
  • Auto-Sorting: Automatically sort all of the gems, ingredients, ores, ingots, hides, soul gems, and monster parts directly from your inventory into their respective containers at the press of a button (works by lists, so items not included (mod-added) won't be sorted).
  • Sorting chests: drop anything in and it will be automatically sorted and sent to the appropriate container (works by keywords; mod-added items will work but even vanilla items without keywords (like ingots) won't be sorted).
  • Sword-in-the-Stone style weapon display that recharges enchanted weapons (SKSE required for recharging).
  • Ancient Dwarven Greatsword with unique appearance, powers and effects. One-handed + unenchanted craftable versions included.
  • Large beautiful mountain-top terrace with a spectacular view (and boss fight, see notes below).
  • Fully functional Dwemer Lift - no load-screens, ride it up and down! (I had to lock the player and move them with the lift else the physics would kill them)
  • Bridge of Khazad-Dûm style entrance cavern, fall off and drop into Blackreach!
  • Fully navmeshed interior and exterior for followers.
  • Distant LODs - your mountain fortress is visible from far away.
  • ALL crafting stations from wood-cutting & cooking to Atronach & Dwarven Forges - with Skyforge steel, stalhrim and crossbows.
  • Crafting stations are linked to their related storage containers for convenience (toggle-able: hit the lamp switch near crafting stations to enable/disable).
  • All standing stones in a beautiful cavern setting, called "quite possibly the most beautiful room in Skyrim modding" - MxR Mods.
  • Hidden vault for safe storage and displaying of powerful artifacts - ALL DISPLAYED ITEMS WILL RETAIN ANY IMPROVEMENTS MADE.
  • Dragon mask displays for ALL masks, including the wooden mask + Dragonborn masks (again, all improvements are retained).
  • The usual mannequins, weapon racks, plaques, display cases, shield displays, bookshelves, divine shrines and labelled storage.
  • A secret storage SO secret that very few have even found it, with unique items for anyone who manages to find it (spoiler at the very end of this DESC).
  • Very comfortable follower living area, with extra beds and its own cooking and wood chopping.
  • Cozy bath chamber with pool and hot-tub. Comes with optional auto-disrober (NPCs will get dressed on leaving the area).
  • A cozy stable for your horse.
  • Various toggle-able lights.
  • Minimal clutter, and ALL OF IT IS STATIC; meaning it won't fly around for no reason (and bloat your saves with meaningless cup locations).

  • Just an esp and a bsa in this version, place in Data folder and activate the esp. The lower in your load order the better.

  • You should check the Changelog post before updating, I'll always warn you there if any action is necessary before each update. If nothing specific is mentioned then you can just update freely (special action updates are rare).
  • If you're using an ancient version (too many versions back to easily track changes) then it's probably easiest to just do a "clean save" before updating: (take everything and leave the Refuge, save, remove the old version, save again, install latest version).

FYI (For Your Information) Before posting a question you may want to have a look here.

  • The Refuge is located on a peak south of Ivarstead, the lower entrance is behind the Rift Imperial military camp. The Imperials simply set up their camp in a convenient clearing by an inaccessible ruin. Don't like them? Dispose of them yourself.
  • The background is that after the Dwemer disappeared, the Refuge became a base for an adventurous Dragonborn (Aemer) and his companion. When he died his companion continued to guard the Refuge beyond death as the Refuge Spirit, never opening the doors for any until a new Dragonborn appeared in Skyrim. I always meant to make a small quest where you have to convince her, but it was never a big priority. You can always dump a large amount of gold down a well if that helps.
  • You can also discover the Retreat by activating the rune in any of your player homes and stepping through. Reset the door when you arrive and go out to the exterior - but beware:
  • If you haven't already explored the area around the refuge you may find yourself in a fight with up to three dragons! The spectacular view is enjoyed by the Refuge Dragon and two nearby vanilla Dragons are visible from the rooftop terrace, so they may join in. Obviously there will be no Dragons until you've completed the "Dragon Rising" quest.
  • You can easily use the Refuge without having to face the Dragon(s) until you're ready, just use the lower entrance.
  • The secret exit from the Atronach Forge area leads to an area with angry Deathlords. Hey, Skyrim's a dangerous place!
  • The Refuge is traditional Dwarven (stone) architecture, there is minimal brass and machinery (only the Dwarven Forge and Lift).
  • The Atronach Forge area is a separate (but connected) ruin, the Nordic ruins scattered around the exterior are all vanilla, and the more modern furnishings are assumed to be brought in recently for comfort (no stone beds).
  • The lower entrance is locked, and the Refuge Spirit holds the key (in her storage chest in the Tree chamber), so you'll have to enter through one of the linked Portals (or Arcwind Point) before you can use the front door. Equipping the key will re-lock the front door.
  • All of the portals are initially locked, requiring the appropriate keys. This is to prevent potentially breaking any quests by accessing an area too early in the game.
  • Key locations: Dawnstar Sanctuary: silver plate in player's bedroom; Falkreath Sanctuary: shelf near Sithis book; Ragged Flagon: little room between Flagon and Cistern; Sky Haven Temple: end of long table before Alduin's Wall; High Hrothgar: before idol between 2 front doors; Fort Dawnguard: bedside table in player's bedroom; Volkihar Keep: Harkon's Quarters; Aetherium Forge: by Dwarven bust after crossing first bridge; all others - through normal gameplay.
  • Extra copies of the new keys (Dawnstar + Falreath Sanctuaries, Ragged Flagon, Sky Haven Temple, High Hrothgar, Fort Dawnguard, Volkihar Keep) can be found in the Secret Storage.
  • Remote Rune locations: downstairs in Breezehome; basement in Honeyside and Proudspire; outside bedroom in Hjerim; end of East hall in High Hrothgar; left side of Alduin's Wall in Sky Haven; by Cistern entrance in Ragged Flagon; under large window (left side) in Archmage's Chambers; in player's bedroom for the rest.
  • Refuge Rune locations: see the image below.
  • The layout may seem a little confusing at first, DON'T WORRY! Once you learn the layout you'll realise it all makes sense!
  • The master bedroom is behind the bars in the hall of mannequins (see below image, some people seem to miss it).
  • Activate the chandeliers in the bedroom to turn them on. Look for runes to toggle on/off other lights and features.
  • Sorted item locations: Master Bedroom: weapons, armour, ammo, jewelry, gold(safe), keys(lockbox), food(pot), potions, ingredients, scrolls, soulgems; Dwarven Forge: misc bones/parts(DragonChest), gems, hides, ores, igots; DragonWall Study: books, spellbooks.
  • If you're rude to the Refuge Spirit when you first meet her in the Tree cavern, you won't see her again!
  • Pants. Just thought I'd throw that out there (if you've read this far I'm actually very impressed).
  • Yes there are some doors that are inaccessible: I have ideas for expansion that I'll work on at my leisure.
  • The 'Sword in the Stone' weapon display requires SKSE to be able to charge enchanted weapons; but it's otherwise not required.
  • Decals have to be enabled for you to see the Dwarven Runes, in case you've disabled them.
  • The Refuge Spirirt doesn't have audio files, but if you want to see subtitles of what she says then try the Fuz Ro D-oh SKSE plugin.
  • Yes I made Hrothmund's Axe (Dragonborn) obtainable, if you were using another mod for that you won't need it anymore.
  • Want to have your spouse/follower(s) move in? Try the My Home Is Your Home (MHIYH) mod.
  • Hearthfires is not supported. I do have the DLC but don't want to add unwanted complication to my game. There have been requests and I may give in one day but for now you're welcome to use one of the many house mods that does require Hearthfires.
  • The summonable archway portal is great for people who want to link-up another house mod or any location not already linked.
  • If you find the arch too large for the location you want to put it, you can resize it using the console (don't forget to also resize the activated portal to match). Your game will remember the size you set it to.
  • Experiencing lag/framerate drop inside the Refuge? It's a high-detail interior. When I played on an aged potato, with hi-res textures and quality ENB, I got playable framerates in there. Don't ask for optimisation, it IS optimised! Look to your own setup.

  • Problems may occur with mods that edit the various connected home/guild interiors, depending on how drastically they changed things.
  • Everything will likely still work, only the hidden portal doors may be blocked by whatever clutter those mods place before them. This can generally be console disabled. If they changed the whole wall that hides the portal, then it probably won't work.

SPOILER: ->Psst... look behind the Whiterun banner!<- :SPOILER