Dragonborn,  Merawen Playthrough

In Which Merawen Begins Saving Solstheim from Miraak

Very busy session all around. Got the main Dragonborn plot properly underway with finding Miraak’s temple and meeting Frea of the Skaal, and letting that proceed along to the point of clearing four of the All-Maker Stones with the Bend Will Shout, and beginning the search for more of the Black Books.

Also, got the Kolbjorn Barrow plot properly underway and the A New Source of Stalhrim plot, as well as hunting for pieces of the Deathbrand armor. And got Cindiri Arano her folio back.


  • Session number in this run: 57
  • Killed Argonian mage en route to Kolbjorn; probably a good thing that I beat Jenassa to killing him, otherwise she might start resurrecting everything with the Staff of Revenants he had on him
  • Reached Kolbjorn and had opening chat with Ralis; gave him his 1,000 septims for diggers
  • Found the Strident Squall and took out the reavers; cleared the wreck and got the folio and other goodies, and mined nearby heart stone deposit
  • Started tracking along the coast looking for the Deathbrand treasure spot
  • Came across party of netch hunters in combat with a netch; Lurker Vindicator showed up during that, so Jenassa and I fought that; one of the hunters was killed, I think? But another one was all “this will bring meat and bones to our people and glory to our families”
  • Got a netch jelly sample off the bull netch they took down
  • Circled around behind Tel Mithryn; fought a few ash spawn, including one at Tel Mithryn graveyard
  • Found the Sun Stone, being worked by reavers
  • Took out a cave bear and a bristleback
  • Spotted a lot of dragon bones around the vicinity of the Beast Stone, where I killed a cultist; rieklings were working this stone
  • Reached the temple and found Frea trying to rouse her people; teamed up with her to head further into the temple
  • Killed lots and lots of draugr, and also cultists
  • Made it past the swinging blade traps, but these at least could be turned off
  • Finally made it to the final rooms (because geez this temple is enormous); broke out Stendarr’s Aura again, because HI THERE DRAUGR DEATH OVERLORD DO YOU LIKE SUNLIGHT I SURE DO
  • Made it to the Black Book; had initial encounter with Miraak in Apocrypha, and he snarked on my having not done much besides kill a few dragons
  • Emerged from Black Book, Frea urged me to go talk to her dad, so we hastened to the Skaal village
  • Important takeaway for Merawen at this point: all of Solstheim is at risk here, not just Raven Rock
  • Sent to go get the Word of Power at Saering’s Watch, but I was overloaded, so I boinged over to drop off stuff at Severin Manor; realized I’d forgotten to put on the Carry Weight jewelry, but dropped off stuff anyway and rested up
  • Headed out to Saering’s Watch
  • Another round of cryomancer vs. pyromancer; both of you can fuck off, seriously boys, behave or so help me Reclamations I will turn this island around
  • Reaver vs. icewraiths: “Time to die, outlander!” Yeah, you were saying? <STAB> Also, how the hell are icewraiths surviving on the ash-ridden hellscape part of the island?
  • Passed Frostmoon Crag but didn’t stop to bother the werewolves; one of them followed us a little ways, presumably to make sure we weren’t going to start some shit? But she didn’t attack us, so okay then
  • Reached Altar of Thrond and cleared it of the hagravens; got a Daedra heart and Expel Daedra spell
  • Reached Moesring Pass; HI RIEKLINGS
  • Unmarked location with a dead reaver by a chest, and riekling ambush
  • Heard the Serpentine Dragon finding draugr before I got to the actual location; Draugr Deathlord saw me coming, and started trying to attack me
  • Took down both the dragon and the draugr, but fucking Miraak nabbed the dragon soul; took down remaining draugr to clear the locale
  • Headed off south to the Wind Stone
  • Random encounters: standalone frost troll, frost troll vs. a reaver, Lurker Vindicator
  • Jenassa started shooting at pirates and oh right they’ve got the Deathbrand treasure map, so guess I’m clearing this pirate camp then! Got map, got Deathbrand helmet
  • Cleansed the Wind Stone, killed the Lurker Guardian than erupted there, let the very surprised Skaal hurry home
  • Returned to the village to check in with Storn
  • He advised me to cleanse the rest of the Stones I could reach (excluding the Tree stone); also advised me to go talk to Neloth about the Black Books
  • Headed south towards Tel Mithryn; found Bujold’s Retreat, but also found that the Nords there (the ones who got kicked out of Thirsk Mead Hall by the rieklings) are impacted by Miraak too
  • Started following one of them, who tromped back through the Skaal village on the way to another Stone
  • In the village, overheard the discussion about Baldor going missing, so stopped to answer that, for the prompt to start the New Source of Stalhrim plot
  • Reached the Beast Stone and cleansed that, liberating both the Nords and the rieklings there; Kuvar was all “I feel different… more myself”
  • Turned on quest marker to direct myself back to the Abandoned Lodge, which I’d found already on a previous Solstheim visit
  • Merawen: “The fucking Thalmor? Seriously?”
  • Thalmor: “Unless you’re looking for a fight, back off!”
  • Fight ensued, Thalmor were not victorious
  • Baldor successfully found and questioned; got his plea to go get the map back from Ancarion
  • CAN DO, but first, Raven Rock! There’s another Stone there that needs Shouting at
  • Made it back to Raven Rock to cleanse the Earth Stone and startle a lot of townsfolk
  • Crafting break at Severin Manor time! Lots of enchanting, alchemy, and smithing
  • Crashed and got up again the next morning
  • Got courier telling me to come talk to Ralis, also got a Revered Dragon showing up right on the tail end of the courier conversation!
  • Dragon landed on my house, I think the fuck not, dragon!
  • However, I don’t think I actually landed the killing blow on it, but it landed behind my house and I slurped up its soul anyway
  • Lots of surprised townsfolk going holy crap you took its soul, um hi yeah I did tell y’all I’m the Dragonborn? No no, the other Dragonborn, not the one actually trying to mind control you. Surprise!
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Glover, and bought another piece of stalhrim armor off of him, this time light armor (for a dude who doesn’t know how to forge stalhrim, he sure does seem to know how to get stuff made out of it)
  • Headed out to check in at Kolbjorn; yet another round of cryomancer vs. pyromancer
  • Cleared round one of draugr in Kolbjorn Barrow and gave Ralis his 2,000 septims for more diggers
  • Onward to Tel Mithryn; fought an Altmer conjurer
  • Found the three ash spawn and the ancient chest with the second Deathbrand item, the boots
  • Also found Tel Mithryn apothecary being creepy and heading for the Sun Stone, so yeah let’s fix up this problem shall we?
  • Reavers creepily chanting: “He grows ever near to us.”
  • Merawen: “Not if I have anything to say about it, and what I have to say is GOL!” <Shouts>
  • Reavers, now awake: “DA FUCK JUST HAPPENED?”
  • Approached Tel Mithryn; saw Talvas trying to do his ash guardian spell
  • Steward hailed me, and we chatted a bit; I went in to talk to Neloth about the Black Books
  • He was surprisingly unbothered by me walking in late at night, lol; he also remembered me from Raven Rock
  • Let Neloth lead me and Jenassa to Nchardak to deal with getting the interesting Black Book there
  • Saved for the night

General commentary

Covered a lot of ground in this session, both in terms of “territory explored on Solstheim” and “progression of game plot”. None of this was unfamiliar ground, so I kind of don’t need to go into explicit detail on it above what I have in the highlights section.

Main differences here from Alarrah’s run are really just, order of things as they’re playing out. And I paid a little more attention this time through as to when NPCs headed for the Stones in chant mode. I feel like this really underscored for Merawen that this whole Miraak problem impacts everybody on the island, not just Raven Rock. It’s a reminder to her that as partial as she may be to the idea of helping her people, she has to think in bigger terms than that.

It was definitely new having to fight a Revered Dragon pretty much right by Severin Manor, though. This was not the first dragon I’ve fought in Raven Rock–not even the first I’ve fought in Raven Rock in this particular run. But usually I’ve fought them on the opposite side of the town! And this does make the second time I’ve fought a dragon in close proximity to one of my actual houses.

I’m a little relieved, too, that the game doesn’t account for things like a dragon’s weight when the dragon lands on structures! Otherwise I’d have been real nervous about the beast breaking Severin Manor’s roof!

Couple other things I noticed this time through that I don’t think I properly appreciated during Alarrah’s run:

  1. I’m pretty sure I’ve been told this before. But I don’t think it ever properly clicked with me that Morrowind is in fact in visual range from Solstheim, and that there’s only a narrow channel between Solstheim’s southern shore and the Morrowind mainland. This became particularly obvious to me when I took a screencap from the shoreline near Tel Mithryn, and then brightened that screenshot up in Preview.
  2. Setting foot in Neloth’s tower, I could see several green growths on various walls that seem to be part of the whole wilting of the tower inflicted by Ildari.

Next time

Immediate priority will be doing the visit to Nchardak. That all by itself will be a fairly big chunk of a run, particularly if I go all the way into the Gardener of Men quest, by reading the Black Book.

That’ll put me a pretty strong ways into the Dragonborn plot, so I’ll need to back off a little and take care of other side stuff. Specifically, I’ll need to hold off a bit on cleansing the Wind Stone.

And I need to figure out what I want to do for level 62’s round of training. The selection of trainers available on Solstheim is somewhat limited, so I need to decide if I’m going to target one of the Solstheim-based trainers, or find a reason to return to Skyrim so that I can hit the mage college.


I know I said there would probably not be as many screenshots on Solstheim because of Alarrah’s run covering a lot of it, but I was kind of wrong! I didn’t really start in on regular screenshots with Alarrah until partway through Dragonborn with her. So I didn’t have much for the beginning of the Dragonborn plot.

So here are these.

Editing to add

  • 11/17/2023: Fixed missing gallery, and added a session number.

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.