Hogwarts Legacy Cairn Dungeons Guide

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The wizarding world of Harry Potter has only grown in strength since the ending of the core group of films in the series. Continually, new products or IPs associated with the franchise have hit the figurative shelves, giving us die-hard fans something to look forward to and enjoy – letting us dive deeper into this amazing world. 

While fans worldwide have fallen in love with Newt and his plotline from the Fantastic Beasts movies, I have felt something almost akin to homesick, missing the halls of Hogwarts and all the madness that continues, seemingly, every year. 

When Hogwarts Legacy was announced, the fandom went into meltdown as everyone became obsessed with exploring the grounds of Hogwarts and the surrounding areas in a graphical fidelity never seen before. 

When I first got my hands on the game, everything went as expected, my character was inducted into Hogwarts (Slytherin, of course), and I started attending classes. However, it wasn’t long before, in true Hogwarts fashion, my 15-year-old character began getting thrown into more and more dangerous scenarios. At the same time, the adults seemingly sat back and had a nice little butter beer. 

Out of all the dangerous locations available to your character, one of the most challenging to find and complete is the Cairn Dungeons. There are 13 of these Cairns across the game’s map, and in this guide, we will be taking a look at each one. By the end, you will know everything required to not only survive these locations but thrive in them. Let’s go!

What are Cairn Dungeons?

As previously stated, there are 13 unique Cairn Dungeons scattered around the greater Hogwarts area. Each dungeon can either be completed to advance the main story or get yourself some handsome loot. However, for most of these locations, the game will direct the player there at some point, either for a main or side quest. 

A special map icon and a set of stacked rocks by the entrance characterize these dungeons. Once inside, these locations all share similar characteristics. When explored properly, the player can expect to come up against a series of challenges that will definitely hold your attention, as well as a vast underground area to explore.

When found at the correct time in the story, these locations are often filled with enemies. However, if discovered as you naturally explore the map before the plot demands it, these enemies may either be missing or simply act as stand-ins, respawning as soon as the game sends you back for plot reasons. 

Now that we all have a good general understanding of what Cairn Dungeons are, let’s take a look at each of them in turn.

Intrepid Explorer Cairn Dungeons

There is a trophy associated with these dungeons. Should the player discover the correct five dungeons, they will unlock the Intrepid Explorer trophy. This seems as good a spot as any to start our list. Finding all of these first five entries will get you a rather secretive trophy in the game. 

Tomb of Treachery 

Tomb of Treachery

  • Location: Southeast of Keenbridge
  • Associated Quest: Cursed Tomb Treasure
  • Collection Chests:

As you might expect from a location named like this, your experience here will not be one filled with flowers and rainbows. To find this location via the main plot, you will have to progress along the main path far enough to complete the ‘Helm of Urtkot’ quest and a few other measly tasks along the way to ensure you have the correct spells and experience under your belt for the location. However, in my experience, if you are at this point in the game, you will have acquired all of this stuff almost by accident anyway. 

The main puzzle inside this cairn will involve the common ‘moth to a flame’ motif that the developers have seemingly fallen in love with during the game’s development. You will need to use Lumos to drag a series of moths to the correct locations to open the door. 

When fully explored, expect to emerge from the dungeon with up to 400 Galleons, 180 XP, and some funky new attire. Of course, you have also ticked off the first of five required dungeons for your trophy.

Moonstone Garden 

Moonstone Garden

  • Location: Directly between Feldcroft Catacomb and Irondale
  • Associated Quest: The Centaur and the Stone
  • Collection Chests: 2

Your next cairn mission, should you choose to accept it, is given to the player as part of Poppy’s relationship questline. The player must have completed two specific quests, the ‘Suprise Meeting’ Poppy mission and the ‘In the Shadow of the Mountain’ quest from the main story. You will also need to be at least level 30 even to begin these quests in the first place. 

This location is actually one of the easier cairns to complete, requiring the player to find and replace the moonstone in the correct location simply. 

Of course, you can travel to this location regardless of player level and plot development point, but it will be distinctly deserted if you do so. When I traveled here on a clean save, having done barely anything, the site was completely deserted. 

Dale Family Tomb

Dale Family Tomb

  • Location: Southeast of Hogwarts and East of Brocburrow Hamlet 
  • Associated Quest: Beeting a Curse
  • Collection Chests: 1

As this location is slightly less important to the main quest, you can pretty much fire on ahead and journey to this cairn without the worry of missing out on something. The side quest that sends you here is a little abstract, and I even missed it during my first playthrough of the game. 

However, if you do want to get here naturally, you must start the Beeting a Curse side quest.to unlock this mission, complete the ‘Charles Rookwood’s Trail’ main quest and the ‘Summoner’s Court: Match 2’ side quest. Through this side quest, you will meet and become friends with the quest giver Samantha Dale.

The only interesting thing I have to write about this location is the fact that it houses one of the four ‘Infamous Foes’ that are scattered around the map. In the tomb, you will eventually find The Riparian Troll. By the way, if you had to google what Riparian means, so did I, and I have a degree in this stupid language. 

Feldcroft Catacomb 

Feldcroft Catacomb 

  • Location: Southeast of Feldcroft Hamlet
  • Associated Quest: In the Shadow of Time
  • Collection Chests: 2

This location is arguably one of the most important in the entire game when it comes to progressing your relationship with Sebastion, Ominis, and Anne. The player will be brought here as part of two quests involving your relationship with Sebastion as you continue your search for something that will cure Anne of her horrible curse. 

Completing this cairn dungeon will bring the player one step closer to the relic that has the potential to save Anne while simultaneously giving the player increased access to the Unforgivable Curses that many of us were dying to get our hands on the entire game. 

The main challenge in this cairn involves fighting your way through a horde of spiders until reaching a bone-chilling puzzle. At both sides of the door you must pass through are two broken-down skeletons; the player must use Accio and Wingardium Leviosa to carry the scattered bones to their correct locations. When the bones sit properly, the door will open to the player. 

The Collector’s Cave 

The Collector's Cave

  • Location: In between Hogsmeade and Jackdaws Tomb
  • Associated Quest: The Helm of Urtkot
  • Collection Chests: 1

The last location you must visit to gain the Intrepid Explorer trophy will be revealed to the player during the main quest line. While you can go here under your own steam, the mission in question is so early in the main storyline that you may as well wait until the proper time to explore it comes calling. 

Once again, this location will require the player to complete a moth door puzzle, however, with a little annoying twist. To access these moths, the player will have to manipulate contraptions that control platforms, all the while never losing your moth. This part can be quite annoying. I completed this portion with sheer luck and definitely not how the developers intended, so good luck. 

The dungeon is populated by Inferius and many moth doors, making it one of the most annoying dungeons to complete. However, once you complete this location, you will have earned the Intrepid Explorer trophy.

The Remaining Cairn Dungeons 

6. The Coastal Mine 

The Coastal Mine

  • Location: Northeast of Marunweem Lake and North of Tower Tunnel 
  • Associated Quest: Lodgok’s Loyalty
  • Collection Chests: 2

While this cairn is located where I have stated, the easiest way to find it is by looking on your map for the most easterly Floo Flame location. East of this fast travel site, you will find the Coastal Mine location. 

Once here, you may find the area completely swarmed by Ranrok’s loyalists and even a troll, making getting through the front door rather difficult. However, once the literal 15-year-old manages to strike their way through a legion of loyal goblins and a troll, you will need to work your way through a series of puzzles and loyalists to free Lodgok. 

Outside of this, the most interesting thing about this location is the presence of another Infamous Foe – Grodbik. Let me tell you; he is a lot easier to deal with than the Riparian Troll. 

Overlook Mine

Overlook Mine

  • Location: Most Northeasterly part of the map and East of the Ford Bog Floo Flame
  • Associated Quest: In the Shadow of the Mine 
  • Collection Chests: 2

Unfortunately, this location is part of the final stages of the main questline; therefore, if you want to experience Overlook Mine in all its glory, you will have to either bomb through the main story fairly quickly or wait a little while. As always, you can still go here before the storyline brings you here, but the place will be a shadow of its future self.

The entire point of Overlook Mine is to serve as a location for you and your pal Sebastion to hunt through on your quest for another piece of the Triptych. Once you meet with Sebastion at the mouth of the mine, he will inform the player that this location is an apparent hub or stronghold for Ranrok’s loyalists, giving the player the option to move forward with stealth or violence. Pretty sure nobody chose stealth here.

Once you arrive here, simply follow the cart track into the bowels of the mine and fight your way through the countless goblins. In terms of puzzles or other challenges, the most you’re going to deal with here is a simple rune-blocked door, requiring you to find all the symbols and hit them in quick succession with a basic cast.

Tower Tunnel 

Tower Tunnel

  • Location: East of Marunweem Lakeb 
  • Associated Quest: Shadow of the Mountain
  • Collection Chests:

This location can only be accessed via an entrance located behind a steep climb or broom ride up to the top of a mountain. The entrance is then further protected by some camping goblins. After this, cast a Revelio spell to find a precariously balanced rock wall that can be easily opened with Depulso. 

This location, therefore, requires the player to have reached at least level 24 before you can commence, and the Shadow of the Mountain quest will require the player to have already completed the Niamh Fitzgerald’s Trail quest. 

Phoenix Mountain Cave 

Phoenix Mountain Cave

  • Location: Northeast of Poidsear Castle and Nort of Marunweem Bridge
  • Associated Quest: Phoenix Rising 
  • Collection Chests: 2

Suppose you want to access this location naturally via the plotted-out storyline. In that case, you will need to have already completed Niamh Fitzgerald’s Trial quest and all of Deek’s optional quests within the Room of Requirement. This is important as the Phoenix Rising quest involves rescuing a magical creature; you can guess what type.

Thankfully, a Floo flame station will be located right here for ease of travel after discovery. When you do eventually arrive, though, you will encounter the Phoenix in question for the first time before it flies away. This creature will then fly a set path, leading you through the structure. 

In a rare turn of events, this location doesn’t really have any puzzles or challenges for the player to overcome, save for a few easily dispatched dark wizards.

The Mine’s Eye 

The Mine's Eye 

  • Location: Southeast of Keenbridge 
  • Associated Quest: It’s All Gobbledegook 
  • Collection Chests: 2

The biggest challenge people have with this location is getting by the large metal door with the creepy eye hanging over it. However, the answer is actually quite simple once you stumble upon it once. Much like the seeing-eye chests that are dotted around the map, the player can pass this door by casting the invisible illusion spell. After the eye cannot see the player, simply interact with it as normal to pass through. 

These seeing-eye doors will basically be the only challenge placed before the player during the entire dungeon crawl. Basically, this mission will teach the player how to open those infernal chests you’ve seen around the map but can’t figure out how to open. 

Alternatively, it’s only me who had an issue opening these chests, and I just sound like an idiot now. 

Horklump Hollow

Horklump Hollow

  • Location: The Forbidden Forrest – west of the Upper Hogsfield Floo Flame location 
  • Associated Quest: A Friend in Deed 
  • Collection Chests: 1

Once you enter the Forbidden Forrest for the first time and realize there isn’t any lurking, unicorn blood-feasting monster around every corner, you will feel free to explore at your own pace. To find this particular cairn, the player must head to the southeastern edge of the forest. 

While the player may arrive here on one of Serona Ryan’s side quests, the draw to complete the area entirely by collecting the chest inside the massive and sprawling cave might also bring you here. 

The cave system is not complicated at all for players adept in their spellwork, as you will simply have to cast a couple of Incendios and Confringos to clear your path.

Spinners Cave 

Spinners Cave

  • Location: Southeast section of the Forbidden Forrest – On the border with Hogsmede Valley
  • Associated Quest: The Plight of the House-Elf
  • Collection Chests: 1

The Spinners Cave can be visited as part of the Room of Requirements side quests and is given by Deek. This is probably the best place to start exploring the cave system, as it is not somewhere a newly minted Hogwarts student should attempt to enter. Also, this side quest is rather hard-hitting and interesting, so exploring the cave at the right time is key. 

The one issue many Hogwarts Legacy fans are dealing with regarding this quest and location is actually escaping the cave once you have traveled deeply into the site. The reason many players have difficulty with this location is that they expect it to behave in the same way as all other cairns in the game. Unlike them, the Spinners cave does not have an alternate escape path located in the final room. Instead, you are best to travel back on the same path you came through. 

If you do ever feel stuck in one of the many rooms of the cave, look for piles of wood or boxes pilled against walls. Often, you can use spells such as Incendio to clear these obstructions and move on to the next section. 

Jackdaw’s Tomb 

Jackdaw's Tomb

  • Location: Directly west of Hogsmeade
  • Associated Quests: Jackdaw’s Rest
  • Collection Chests: 1

The best way to stumble upon this cairn is through the main storyline, as part of the Jackdaw’s Rest quest. The way you acquire this quest will be different depending on the house your character belongs to, but the general quest is unaffected. 

Once you find the location, you will begin tackling the numerous puzzles nestled in this location. A great deal of them require the player to strike symbols surrounding entrance doors or other similar puzzles you would have come across numerous times in the game by this point. 

Inside the tomb itself, your main issue will be a large number of spiders, both small and large. However, once these enemies are all defeated, the chest at the end of your path will make the battles perfectly worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How many Cairn Dungeons are there in Hogwarts Legacy 

Answer: In total, there are 13 Cairn Dungeons in the game. Each is associated in some way with a main or side quest, resulting in most players coming across the locations as and when required. 

Question: Can you use the Unforgivable Curses in Hogwarts Legacy 

Answer: Through the player’s work and continued movement up the quest line, you will work with Sebastion, slowly being taught the Unforgivable Curses, which you can then use on the unsuspecting members of the wizarding world every time they do not meet your expectations. 

Question: How many endings are there in Hogwarts Legacy?

Answer: Not to give away anything or declare spoiler warnings, but there are three main endings that the player can achieve in Hogwarts Legacy. There is a ‘good’, ‘bad’, and universal ending that deals with everything you have chosen. 

Conclusion

Hogwarts Legacy was and is easily a GOTY nomination for me. The fact that I could jump on my own Nimbus and explore the grounds of Hogwarts in breathtaking detail was enough for me, regardless of the great storyline and varied locations out there for the player to explore. 

Some of the best and most interesting locations in this game are the Cairn Dungeons. You can tell that the developers spent a lot of time here, having side and main quests lead the player through the locations in one form or another to ensure you got to see them throughout your playtime. 

I recommend that you take some of the information provided in this article and explore them all for yourself during your HL playthrough. What’s the worst that could happen? A small death by a spider?

Regardless, I hope you found all the information you might need regarding these locations, and I wish you luck in your adventures.

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