Alarrah Playthrough

In Which the Dragonborn Goes to Mzulft and Volunruud

This was a short session, compared to some of my other monster sessions lately! Main points were clearing a bounty, finding cogs for Arniel at the college, and finding another Word Wall.


  • Cleared the bounty on a dragon kill at Mount Anthor and blipped back to Winterhold to collect
  • Went back to Mzulft one more time to find the rest of the cogs I needed for Arniel’s side quest at the college
  • Fast traveled to Heljarchen again, where I got jumped by bandits, which Gregor helped me kill
  • Then hoofed it to Volunruud to follow up on another “Letter from a Friend” to find a Word Wall
  • Final fast travel to Western Watchtower resulted in another dragon and a cranky fire wizard
  • In between all of the above, did another round of smithing and alchemy and selling in Whiterun, leveled up to 44, and unlocked the “Merchant” perk that lets me sell anything to any vendor
  • Also remembered that Whiterun has two forges, I don’t have to sell all the armor and weapons to Warmaiden’s, and for that matter the Drunken Hunstman also buys weaponry
  • The guards in Whiterun are now throwing me college-related dialogue, lol


The first major action of this session was to clear a bounty I’d picked up at Winterhold, from the innkeeper there. This was to kill a dragon at Mount Anthor—yet another place I’d already cleared, but hey, always up to re-kill a dragon at a dragon lair, since the things do keep spawning.

Fast traveled to the Shrine of Azura to get there, and it didn’t take long for the dragon to find me. Pretty much as soon as I came out of fast travel, I saw its shadow as it flew overhead. I killed a troll and a sabre cat before finally engaging the Blood Dragon.

I beat it down enough that it actually retreated for a little while, and I saw it fly off and start spitting fire down at Fort Kastav. That put it almost out of my range. I went after it and tried to hit it with arrows from afar, which triggered at least a couple more enemy red dots on my compass bar… but nothing besides the dragon came after me. And I didn’t want to get close enough to Kastav to engage the place by myself.

The dragon eventually came back to get cranky at me some more until I finally took it down. And since this was a re-kill at a previously visited lair, the corpse didn’t disintegrate this time.

With that sorted, I was able to go to Winterhold and collect the bounty.

From there, I then blipped back down to Mzulft one more time, to look for the rest of the cogs I needed for Arniel’s quest. I’d found three already and taken them back to Whiterun, and I had dropped four in the storeroom where I found the Aetherium Shard. So I had to go back into the main dungeon for a while to find three others. One of these I actually found behind a door I hadn’t locked on my main sweep through the place, but the other two I found from automata I’d previously killed and whose broken remains were still littering the floor.

Then, finally, back to Whiterun for more smithing and potion making and selling of things.

Next item on the agenda: following up on a new “Letter from a Friend” to find another Word Wall. Turned out this one was in a place called Volunruud, which, conveniently enough, was a short jaunt west of Heljarchen Hall.

So I blipped up there and got immediately jumped by bandits. But Gregor was right there and jumped into battle with me! Go Gregor! He’s clearly angling for the position of My Second Favorite Housecarl. 😉 I think he’s going to be behind Lydia in line for armor and weaponry upgrades, though he’s doing pretty damned well right now with his default equipment, I feel!

From there, I hoofed it on foot over to Volunruud. Which turned out, kind of as expected, to be a draugr hive with an open-air circular access, similar to what I’d seen before at Ustengrav.

The notable thing about this place, other than the Word Wall, was the dead remains of someone at the front entrance who had notes about his attempt to get into the place. Turned out there was a character called Kvenel who had this as his final resting place, and the dead guy at the front entrance was trying to get to Kvenel’s tomb.

This place wasn’t as big as other draugr hives I’ve been in. It basically had two side forks with rooms, and then the main path that led to the boss chamber. I did the side rooms first, with a little bit of challenge as I discovered a Draugr Deathlord who killed me the first time through.

He didn’t hold up as well when I came back in with my Sneak and bow engaged, though!

Only after I couldn’t get into the main chamber, and consulted the wiki for help, did I realize I’d missed something: that the side branches had replicas of Kvenel’s weapons that I needed to unlock access to the main chamber. So I went back to those branches and found the Ceremonial Sword and Ceremonial Axe, and was able to use those to proceed.

Once I cleared the boss chamber, I found the Word Wall. This one was for a word of the Aura Whisper Shout, which I have now seen Paul using on one of his games, and which may be fun to try as it’s a “detect life” kind of power. And I’m amused that it’s a Shout that has “Whisper” in its name.

After nabbing the named weapons off the remains of the boss, I was overloaded again. But I’d also found a potion of Strength, and that let me temporarily bump my carry weight up enough that I could fast travel down to the western watchtower to get back into Whiterun.

And, boom, dragon, like you do. Another Blood Dragon, in fact.

However, this particular battle had a surprise extra wrinkle. As I was killing the dragon, I realized with surprise that I had fire coming at me from a completely different angle—which turned out to be from a nearby Fire Wizard.

To which I went What The Actual Fuck?

And since I’d come out of fast travel re-over-encumbered (due to the potion wearing off), I couldn’t react fast enough to run over and engage that wizard directly. But I didn’t have to! Because one of the watchtower guards came over and kicked his ass!

Thanks, helpful watchtower guard! For the honor of Whiterun! \0/

Tromped my way back into Whiterun with all the loot I was carrying, and took care of a little more selling of things. I had leveled up to 44 somewhere during the Volunruud dungeon crawl, and that let me unlock the Merchant perk. Which means I can sell anything to any vendor.

Which is super helpful when I’m trying to build up my cash reserves, though now it’s quite strange to be able to sell weapons at the apothecary. 😀 I’ve thrown a lot of money at Arcadia for training, though now I’ve maxed her out on how far she can teach me and I’ll need to find a new apothecary trainer.

Also, I managed to remember again that there are two forges in Whiterun, and I can sell stuff to Eorlund Gray-Mane too. And I can sell weaponry at the Drunken Huntsman, too.

And oh yes: the guards in Whiterun are now throwing me dialogue calling me bard, as well as dialogue referencing events at the college. Apparently the Whiterun guards have now gotten the updates from Solitude and Winterhold about what I’m doing. All the Skyrim guards must be paying the couriers to relay updates on the activities of the Dragonborn. 😀

Next time

I’m walking around with over 13,000 gold at this point, so there’s probably another visit to Solitude in my near future so I can finish building out Proudspire. And I need to find that last Aetherium shard, and re-forge Gauldur’s amulet, and see what Arniel wants with these cogs!

Editing to add

3/9/2022: Reformatted this post to make it better match ones in later playthroughs.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.