Picked up where I left off last night, in the middle of infiltrating the catacombs under Solitude to get to the spirit of Potema, the so-called Wolf Queen, and take her out before she could finish resurrecting herself and start rampaging across Skyrim.
And while this certainly was a fun quest, ultimately I didn’t find it as difficult as others—say, taking out Malkoran during The Break of Dawn.
Details behind the fold!
So yeah, came out of save last night still in the catacombs. As dungeons I’ve encountered in Skyrim go so far, this one was more complicated in structure than several others—but not as complicated as it looked, since ultimately the path through it was pretty linear even if it had a few curves and bends here and there.
There were only a couple of places where obvious progress was hindered—doors of the type that had revolving stone blocking gates, as well as iron grills. I had to throw levers to get the doors to stop revolving at exactly the right time, so that Lydia and I could proceed through them.
(Note that progress through these doors was ultimately one-way, a thing I only discovered after I finished killing Potema and had to find my way out!)
Had only one slightly dicey moment prior to reaching Potema herself, when a vampire jumped me very quickly, fast enough that I wasn’t sure if she’d had time to infect me. So I blew another Potion of Cure Disease on that, just to be sure. And after that point, even if it meant I’d blow my Sneak advantage, I kept throwing Candlelight spells around just to see where the hell I was going. The dungeon wasn’t terribly complex, but it was pretty friggin’ dark.
Potema’s spirit also kept throwing snarky commentary at me about how I’d serve her in death, and could I stand up to her inner council, etc., etc. Yeah ghost lady, keep talking while I kill these draugr deathlords (and make sure they haven’t killed Lydia).
Wait, are you still talking? Eat Dawnbreaker, Wolf Queen! <stabs ghost until it evaporates>
Potema did throw around a lot of lightning, but honestly, it did less damage to me than I’d feared. I had only one Potion of Resist Shock and that did appear to be adequate. And I’ve got Lydia pretty well armored at this point; she survived those blasts, too.
And while there was some pretty good loot to be had in chests once I took out Potema’s ghost and got her skull, the very best loot was stuff I got off one of the Draugr Deathlords I killed. Namely, an ebony shield and an ebony war axe. Nice. (I didn’t want to keep either of them, since the shield was heavy armor and Lyds favors two-handed weapons. Plus, I got her outfitted with a war axe I created later that actually did more damage than the ebony one. So I sold the ebony things later for pretty pennies in Whiterun!)
Honestly, the most challenging bit of this entire dungeon turned out to be trying to get out. There was a passageway out behind Potema’s throne, and that actually wound up letting out on a cliff north of Solitude.
A cliff which, I might add, had no obvious way down. And when I emerged onto it, I was too overloaded to fast travel. So I tried to head back in to go out the way I’d come, but that didn’t work either—because that’s when I discovered that those revolving doors had started revolving again and I couldn’t turn them off from the other side. Fpfpvpbt.
So I wound up dropping a couple of lower-value things I’d scarfed off assorted draugr, just to get my carry weight back down under the maximum. Then I returned to the cliff with Lydia, and finally fast traveled back into Solitude.
Sold some things at Bits and Pieces. Then stopped at the Hall of the Dead to hand off the skull to the priest, who made happy commentary about how if the steward didn’t make it clear, I’d done a great service for Solitude. Why thank you old priest dude. <3
That said? The steward did in fact make it clear. Returned to the Blue Palace to show up and report in that the Wolf Queen problem had been sorted. Which made Falk Firebeard quite happy, and he forked over a reward of gold as well as the Shield of Solitude. Told me that no matter what side of the war you supported, Potema would have been a threat to everybody, and that as far as the court was concerned, I was a hero of Solitude. <3
And now I have leave to buy Proudspire Manor, the last thing I need to do to get Elisif’s sign off on me being her thane. But since that’ll cost me 25,000 gold (YIKES), I got a lot of gold saving to do before I can build up to that!
Paul is continuing to advocate that I join the Thieves Guild as this whole “moral compass” thing Alarrah has is interfering with her ability to build up her wealth, lol. But failing that, at least for the immediate moment, my best options for building up a gold reserve are probably going to be making and selling fancy items and potions, and doing bounties to kill dragons and/or bandits and/or giants.
I do want to buy Proudspire Manor, but I also want to buy the property in Falkreath, since I have a housecarl there who needs a place to hang out. Solitude’s housecarl would be housecarl number four, and I’m getting to the point of having enough housecarls that I may need to start cycling through which of them I want to follow me on any given quest line. Maybe I’ll switch off between them whenever I do a quest in a specific area where I’m thane?
And I do have significant areas of the map that are still open questions to me: Dawnstar, Winterhold, Markarth, Windhelm. And several potentially interesting minor locations I’ve come across.
And of course I do have pending main quest line business in Riften, which is also still kind of an open book.
All of which adds up to, legit not sure where I’m going to go next for tonight’s run. I may just wind up doing a bunch of crafting and alchemy and bounty work!