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Ancient Cavern: Misc



Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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Not to be confused with Living Rock Caverns.
Ancient Cavern
Kingdom Kandarin
Members Area Yes
Main Music Barb Wire
Levels 2
Strongest Monster Mithril dragon
Quests None
Inhabitants/Race Various
The Ancient Cavern.

The Ancient Cavern is an area reached from the whirlpool near Otto Godblessed's house. The player must dive into the whirlpool to enter the cavern, which contains many high-level monsters, including the highest level dragon, the Mithril Dragon. Fighting these dragons is one of the two possible methods of obtaining a Dragon full helm without having to purchase it. The dragons occasionally drop the helm directly. They also occasionally drop Chewed bones. Lighting a Pyre ship made with Chewed bones releases the spirit of a departed barbarian, who occasionally rewards the player with this rare piece of armour.

The cavern is in a members-only area and can only be accessed after the player has undergone Barbarian Training. (Barbarian training is also required to be able to make pyre ships.) If a player dives into the whirlpool before undergoing Barbarian Training, the player is swept away, takes a small amount of damage, and washes up on shore near Hadley's house.

Players cannot leave the cavern via the whirlpool. Instead, they may leave by riding on one of two aged logs that can be found near the Waterfiends. The logs are floating on the water, as shown on the map, and have examine text of 'A log jammed by the current, perhaps rideable'.

A Fairy ring, also located near the waterfiends, can be restored for use by players who can use the rings. With a Spade and 5 Mushrooms in inventory and with a Dramen or Lunar staff equipped, the player can restore the ring by using one of the mushrooms on the 'Enchanted land' spot near the center of the ring. After it is restored, players can use it to quickly teleport in and out of the cave. The fairy ring code is BJQ.

Warning: Waterfiends may be close enough to attack anyone going to the logs, restoring the ring, or teleporting to the ring.



A player diving into the whirlpool.
A Mithril Dragon.

The Ancient Cavern is one of the most dangerous dungeons in all of RuneScape. All players who enter the area should be well prepared to face dragons with long-range attacks and high-level monsters that can attack using more than one combat style.

To access the dungeon the player must have learned about funeral pyre burning, in Barbarian Training from Otto Godblessed. To enter the dungeon, the player jumps into the whirlpool off the jetty on the northern shore of the Baxtorian Falls lake. Players cannot jump into the whirlpool if they have a Summoning familiar summoned. Upon entering the cavern, the player appears on a small platform with stairs to the lower level and can see a Mithril Dragon off in the distance in another part of the upper level. No creatures can be seen on the lower level until the player descends the stairs, so the platform cannot be used for making ranged or magic attacks.

The biggest dangers in the cavern are the Brutal Green Dragons on the lower level and the Mithril Dragons on the upper level. Players should be prepared to be attacked by a brutal green dragon as soon as they descend the stairs to the lower level, and it can use melee, magic, and dragonfire breath. Inexperienced players can get killed upon descending the steps if not prepared for dragonfire breath attacks. The Protect from Magic Prayer can help reduce damage as well. The lower level also has many other monsters in various places.

The caves are very dangerous, so it is recommended to pack good combat gear, an Anti-dragon shield, Antifire potions, Super sets, an emergency (one-click) teleport, and high-healing food. A Ring of life may occasionally save players in mortal danger, but the high-hitting monsters have the potential to outright kill players before the ring can activate.

Location and travel

Surface access to Ancient Cavern

The whirlpool entrance to the Ancient Cavern is south of the Barbarian Outpost near Baxtorian Falls. Players can get there by walking west from Seers' Village, north from East Ardougne, or east from the Tree Gnome Stronghold. (From the stronghold, players with level 37 Agility can take the shortcut northeast of the Grand Tree; otherwise, the more round-about route through the stronghold's southern gate is necessary.)

Some teleports can be used to get near the whirlpool:

Two teleports can be used to directly enter the dungeon:

Map of the cavern

A map of the Ancient Cavern.

The upper level is split into separate sections. The small northern section is where the player appears after jumping in the whirlpool on the surface world. Stairs #1 connects this section to the lower level. The main part of the upper level can be reached from stairs #2 while the Dragon forge chamber can be reached from stairs #3. Stairs #3, the 'rough-hewn steps', once were too slippery to climb until after the While Guthix Sleeps quest was finished but now can be climbed by anyone in the cavern, giving access to the Slayer Master, Kuradal, and the entrance to her slayer dungeon. The Dragon forge, and the mithril door at #4 are discussed below.

"Skeletons" on the map are Skeleton warlords. "Barbarians" are Confused barbarians. "Spirits" are Fearsome Barbarian Spirits.

The location of the monsters on the map is approximate, as they wander about. For example, a skeleton warlord occasionally can be found with the waterfiends.

A total of 12 Mithril ore rocks can be found on the upper level. None are safe to mine, as mithril dragons roam throughout the upper level. One Skeleton warlord is also present on this level, in the south-east area.

Fairy ring BJQ can be found at the western edge of the lower level. It must be restored before it can be used, as explained earlier in the article.

Dragon forge

The Dragon forge.
One of the few remaining Dragonkin structures accessible to players.

On 28 October Jagex released the Swept Away quest and the 2008 Halloween event. At the bottom of the news article announcing this update, a message stated that 'A distant rumble had recently been heard just north of Baxtorian Waterfall...'[1]. This affected the Ancient Cavern. The cavern itself is (supposedly) larger, and rough hewn steps in the south west corner (stairs #3 on the map), which were previously unclimbable due to them being slippery, can now be climbed. Kuradal and the entrance to her dungeon are near the top of the steps, as explained earlier in the article.

Beyond Kuradal is a long cave, ending in a chamber, the Dragon forge, that contains a large basin, 3 dragon heads made out of metal, and many anvils. There are channels in the side of the basin and marks in the floor where lava flows from the mouths of the dragons and into the basin, then flows out again and runs along the floor, out of the room. The running lava is used to smith Dragon platebody. (It is widely believed, but not known for certain, that all types of Dragon equipment once were smithed here.)

The forge is lit from the Mithril key chamber (see below). Once the orb in the chamber is lit, the forge fills with molten lava and can now be used. The player can use a Blast fusion hammer, purchasable from the Blast Furnace Foreman at the Blast Furnace in Keldagrim for 1,000,000 coins, to fuse together the three parts of the dragon platebody with 92 Smithing (the Assist system can be used).

Players who try to use a metal bar on one of the anvils get the message, 'The anvil resists the metal pushing it away'. This also occurs with elemental bars, even though they are not classified as metal.


Mithril key chamber and lighting the forge

After the completion of the quest, While Guthix Sleeps, it is possible to unlock the mithril door on the upper level using a Dragonkin key. This key is made by fusing together the Strange key teeth with the Strange key loop, items found during the quest. The player can get the key fused by using either piece on a Mithril dragon while have the other piece of the key in inventory. Be aware that some player regard this activity as being hazardous while the mithril dragons are aggressive, although it is possible to fuse the key on a mithril dragon that is attacking. The key cannot be fused on a mithril dragon, however, while the player is being attacked by a different mithril dragon.

The Dragonkin key unlocks the mithril door. The key disappears when this occurs, and the door thereafter remains unlocked. The player can enter the Mithril key chamber. When outside the chamber on the cavern's upper level, an outline of what seems to be the chamber is visible on the minimap. However, once the player enters the chamber, no part of the upper level is visible and the chamber is larger and slightly different shaped than what appears to be chamber on the upper level. The reason for this is not known—perhaps it is magical (like the dining room being a different size in Recipe for Disaster) or perhaps it is actually located on a different level (such as above the Dragon forge).

Inside the mithril door are three hanging dragon heads and a giant orb in the centre. The player can use Fire Wave on each head to have fire to appear in their mouths and cause them to slide towards the orb in the centre.

Rummaging skeletons

A pile of old barbarian bones.

Lower-level players sometimes visit the cavern in search of bones to make pyre ships, as learned in Barbarian Training. Since mithril dragons, the source of Chewed bones, are extremely dangerous to lower-level players, the player should concentrate on finding Mangled bones instead. These bones can be obtained by rummaging the barbarian skeletons that are lying on the ground. There is one such skeleton just south of the safespot described above. Be aware that rummaging a skeleton can result in the player taking up to 19 damage.

Messages and rewards when rummaging skeletons: "You rummage in the sharp, slimy pile of bones in search of something useful..."

  • " find something and stow it in your pack." (Or, if the inventory is full, " find something, but it drops to the floor."). Items that may be found include:
  • "...the bones object." One of the following barbarian skeletons may appear and attack (Protect from melee is effective against them):
    • Skeleton heavy (level 132). When killed, it drops bones and can drop 3 noted silver bars.
    • Skeleton hero (level 149). When killed, it drops bones and can drop 323 coins, yew logs, or gold ore.
  • "...but there's nothing remotely valuable." Nothing was found.

When rummaged, a skeleton disappears. It respawns after about two minutes. If a skeleton heavy or hero appears when it was rummaged, the heavy or hero disappears when the skeleton respawns.

Dragon full helmet

A player wearing a Dragon full helm earned from a Mithril dragon.

The Dragon full helmet can be obtained from the Ancient Caverns or bought from another player. Mithril dragons can drop the helmet directly or can drop chewed bones. These bones can be burned with pyre ships, releasing spirits that might have the helmet as a reward.

The Dragon full helmet is the second strongest helmet that does not ever have to be repaired. Its stats are only surpassed by the Third age full helmet.


Confused barbarians (level-132) and Skeleton warlords (level-132), both of which wander the lower level, are opponents that are not that difficult. Spirits are tougher, hitting harder. All three, however, only use melee, so the protection from melee prayer is effective against them.

Waterfiends are much more of a challenge. They use magic and ranged attacks, and their ranged attack is extremely accurate.

Brutal green dragons are tougher still, as they attack with melee, magic, and dragonfire breath. They are also immune to poison.

Mithril dragons are very formidable. They attack using melee, magic, range, and dragonfire breath. They are also immune to poison. The mithril dragons can hit high, so make sure to watch out for this. Even with good armour and high defence, be aware that death is a possibility at any time.

On 8 December, Jagex updated the ancient cavern with a new area housing the slayer master Kuradal and a variety of slayer monsters.

A list of the new monsters are.

Quests and Miniquests


Music tracks unlocked:


  • Kuradal will tell the player that Lucien has recently taken an interest in the Ancient Cavern and has been sending agents to examine the cavern and the dragon forge. This may be a hint for an upcoming quest involving the Mahjarrat. The quest, While Guthix Sleeps, which involved Lucien, ended with the player acquiring the Dragonkin key pieces, which allows use of the dragon forge, and with a cutscene of the Dragonkin preparing to return to Gielinor.


  1. ^ Jagex. Hallowe'en Event and Quest. Update.

This article uses material from the "Ancient Cavern" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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