In Which Merawen Seeks Stones of Barenziah and Kills Dragons
After yesterday’s big exciting post, this one is rather more low-key. In this session I mostly just focused on taking care of some pending side work, with the main goals being “get the remaining Stones of Barenziah” and “clear a few things off the Miscellaneous section of my journal quests”.
- Since I’d just rolled over to level 49, I headed back to the mage college to get my round of training in there
- While there, Enthir asked me, “so did Delvin send you again, or are you here on your own this time?” Dude, I am the Arch-Mage, remember?
- Then it was off to Whiterun territory to seek Rannveig’s Fast
- Passed M’aiq the Liar on the way, hi M’aiq!
- Just north-ish of Swindler’s Den, spotted a giant and mammoth, did not engage; started hearing dragon roars as well
- Elder Dragon spotted me when I came out of Sneak, so I started taking potshots at it, but it flew off before I could kill it; however, found it again once I climbed down to lower ground and was able to take it out
- Spotted second dragon flying in the direction I was trying to go, that one was possibly a re-spawned Eldersblood Peak dragon?
- Passed the standard trio of Imperials having the “Why’d you join the legion?” conversation
- Hit an iron ore vein, and then found the burrow; attacked by two different Subjugated Ghosts and also a Ghost Adventurer at the exterior of the dungeon, wiki says there should have been three Subjugated Ghosts? I think I missed one?
- Also found a skeleton magic-user, and then that second dragon–which gave me no soul to absorb when I took it out, so yeah, probably re-spawned Eldersblood Peak dragon
- Inside the dungeon I kept finding more Subjugated Ghosts who kept apologizing for attacking me
- Also found the Word Wall and fell through the trap door in front of it, ha ha very funny, dungeon!
- Killed the warlock Sild who chortled over me falling into his cage, fuck you asshole, this is for those poor ghosts you’ve been tormenting
- Killed a few more ghosts and found a back exit before I made it back to the Word Wall; Shout word finally achieved once I figured out how to get to the wall and avoid the trap door
- Back to Whiterun to drop off stuff since i killed two different dragons, but also to see if I could break into Jorrvaskr XD
- Suited up in the Nightingale Armor, and went behind Jorrvaskr to try the back entrance; went into Sneak and saved at this point
- Fight going on in the living quarters when i came in! Apparently the Companions really like to brawl
- Found the way down into the living quarters; I think I found the right bedroom to target but two NPCs were talking in front of it so didn’t seem like i could get there
- Will have to recon this place again later when it’s not close to daylight, and when I don’t trigger a lot of initial “introducing these characters” conversations?
- Decided to take care of Arniel’s Warped Soul Gem and headed off to Mzulft to hit its Dwemer convectors
- Tried to go to Lakeview after that to drop off things and smelt some Dwarven metal items, but a fucking Ancient Dragon showed up at my house attacking the bandits that also generated
- Three times it killed me!
- Tried the Western Watchtower next to see if I could redirect the dragon encounter, because there at least I would have help; no go, but I did sell a few things in Whiterun
- Popped back to Lakeview and finally killed the damn dragon with the help of Rayya and Illia, also killed the bandits and took their stuff; this is why I wanted a second combat person on site at the house
- Crafted a bunch of arrows to replenish my supply and use the dragonbones; also made a round of Daedric arrows, and some ebony
- Put on Guild Master armor and fast traveled to Honningbrew to sell stuff
- Sighted dragon number four but it flew off without engaging
- Boinged back to Lakeview to drop off remaining building materials and prep for next action
- Went to look for third convector near Shor’s Stone
- Attacked by fire wizard and also two frostbite spiders at that unmarked locale, but was able to dispatch them and get the Warped Soul Gem finished up
- Dropped off Warped Soul Gem with Arniel at the college
- Boinged back to Whiterun to pick up Lydia
- Went hunting for Dragontooth Crater for the bounty on the dragon there
- Fast traveled to Sundered Towers for landmark; killed one Forsworn there; spotted dragon, did not engage
- Found Karthwasten on the way northward and oh yeah there’s drama here
- Distracted by captive in the pond in the crater and OH HEY Miraak cultists; dispatched same
- Came across more Forsworn who’d attacked a peddler; took out the Forsworn but couldn’t do anything for the dead peddler (so I took her stuff); her horse ran off
- Overshot the turnoff to find the dragon and found a place called Harmugstahl; did not enter for now, may enter later?
- Blood Dragon at the crater; got final word of Elemental Fury; went to Markarth to collect bounty
- (And oh yeah, at some point in this session, I forgot where, I returned to the Guild to give Delvin the Left Eye of the Falmer and get a tidy 3200 gold off of that!)
This was a dungeon I think I’d passed before as Alarrah–because I remember the ghosts outside of it being all “I don’t want to do this” even as they attack you. But I never actually ran the dungeon before.
Turns out there’s a warlock in there named Sild, who’s been capturing passersby and experimenting on their ghosts. Yikes.
There’s also a Word Wall for Kyne’s Peace in there, but it’s got a trap door right in front of it that drops you down into one of Sild’s cages. Ha ha very funny minus five, Sild.
Between that and his chortling over capturing me, it didn’t take me long to decide to just start pelting him with arrows just so he’d shut the fuck up.
Naturally this pissed him off and he started actively attacking me. Dude. Surely you didn’t expect me to take this whole “experimenting on me” thing quietly?
Taking Sild out (as well as putting the various ghosts he’d subjugated out of their misery) was the easy part of this dungeon. The slightly less easy part was actually trying to find my way back to the Word Wall, and then how to get to it without triggering the trap door. Because this was a pretty large dungeon (not the largest I’ve run, but not small either), and kind of easy to get lost in!
Next big thing I wanted to do in this run is get at least one more of the Stones of Barenziah. So I decided to try to scope out how difficult it would be to get into Jorrvaskr to get the one they’ve got.
Answer: less difficult than I expected, but still not easy, and I still haven’t done it.
I did make one important discovery when I came into the place, and that is: they don’t lock the back door at night. Which is highly relevant to a thief’s interests.
Came into the place to find though that a whole bunch of them were gathered in the main hall, even though it was after hours game-time–because there was one of those scenes going on that I’m pretty sure is along the lines of “this is the first time the player is entering this location, so let’s play this out”, even if the characters would otherwise not be awake at that point.
But with all those people in the main hall, that raised the risk of my being seen even with sneaking. So I ducked back out again, waited a bit, then tried again. This time the main hall was mostly empty, and that did let me poke around a bit until I finally found my way down to the living quarters on the lower floor.
And I also found what I’m pretty sure is the correct bedroom to aim for. But before I could get near it, I noticed two NPCs parked outside that door, talking. Pretty sure that was another “introducing these characters because this is the first time the player is entering this location” thing?
Still though because they were right by the door that I wanted to investigate, that meant the risk was too high for trying to get in there right then.
The wiki says that the Companions take a very dim view of thieves and will attack you if they catch you trying to steal from them. They go slightly easier on members of the Guild and only charge you a fine of 500 gold. Now, mind you, this presupposes that they actually catch you.
And with my maxed out Sneak, and a necklace that boosts Sneak past that, and my shiny new Shadowcloak of Nocturnal ability that lets me become invisible while sneaking, for 120 seconds, once a day… their chances of actually catching me are pretty damn slim.
But that said, there’s no sense in making it easy for them, either. Even with my various sneaking advantages, if the room you’re trying to get through is well lit, and the character you’re trying to sneak past is looking in your direction, that tilts things away from being in your favor. As I learned trying to break into Ogmund’s place in Markarth.
So I need to try to get back into Jorrvaskr after hours again, preferably between 1am and 3am when there’s a decent shot everybody will be asleep.
Then we’ll see if that shiny Stone of Barenziah can be mine. 😉
As if bandits, giants, and basement skeevers weren’t bad enough?
I’ve already learned once in this run that it’s possible to stack random encounters when you come out of fast travel–with that double dragon fight I had at the Western Watchtower.
Something like that happened to me with this run, too, when I had an Ancient Dragon stack with a trio of bandits, coming out of fast travel at Lakeview!
The dragon was clearly trying to attack the bandits first, but it didn’t take it long to start attacking me, either. Three damn times the thing killed me, and all I was trying to do was go in my house so I could build stuff.
This was enough of a problem that I finally tried to go to the Western Watchtower to see if I could generate the dragon there, because at least then I’d have additional fighting help. No dice. The game was determined to throw me a dragon at my house.
I did at least take the time to sell some stuff in Whiterun, and then finally tried to come back to Lakeview. This time, I actually got Rayya and Illia in on the fight, and we managed to take down the bandits and the dragon.
This, this right here, is exactly why I wanted another combat-capable person on site as my steward. Illia’s a combat mage, but I saw her also whip out a bow during this fight. Note to self: build Illia a better bow!
And this did mean this was my third dragon kill this session. So I took the time to burn through a lot of dragon bits to replenish my stock of dragonbone arrows, since Lakeview also has a wood chopping block and that gives me plenty of firewood to play with. I made some Daedric and ebony arrows while I was at it, too.
Arniel’s Endeavor quest
Returned to this quest, finally, and dealt with heating up the Warped Soul gem as per quest requirements. Took care of two of these just by going back to Mzulft.
The third and final one I decided to do by hitting an unmarked location not far from Shor’s Stone. This required me to fight the hostile mage that was there, as well as a couple of surprise frostbite spiders.
These were the easiest available options for the convectors, of which there are six in the game. But that was fine as I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of time on this. I had bigger fish to fry!
And by fish, I mean, dragons.
Dragontooth Crater bounty
I had a pending bounty for the Reach on the dragon at Dragontooth Crater, so the rest of this session went to dealing with that. Got Lydia at my back on this as I didn’t want to go dragon hunting alone.
This was a familiar locale, since I’d run it as Alarrah. But I hadn’t found it yet as Merawen, so it took a little time to get there. And that, by extension, meant fighting at least a few Forsworn. Also, cultists, since another trio of those showed up.
At least the dragon was a Blood Dragon rather than an Ancient; this run has really liked throwing Ancient Dragons at me lately! And I got the dragon sorted and the final word for Elemental Fury off the Word Wall.
Boinged back to Markarth for the bounty reward, and that’s where I left off for the night.
Since Lyds and I are still in Markarth, I’ll probably go swing down to run the Arkngthamz ruins and start the Lost to the Ages quest! Which ought to be plenty for a Sunday night session.
No screenshots this time since I forgot to take any in Jorrvaskr, the one real new bit of territory I covered. I’ll take decent screencaps of there when I come back for the Stone!
And while Rannveig’s Fast was also new territory, the inside of it didn’t look particularly different from the insides of the other draugr-cave-style dungeons I’ve run. So I didn’t get any really good screencaps from that either.