Dragonborn,  Merawen Playthrough

In Which Merawen Clears More Draugr from Kolbjorn Barrow and Confronts Ildari Sarothril

More side quests on Solstheim this session, with emphasis on moving the Kolbjorn Barrow plot further along, and then returning to Tel Mithryn so I could finish the Briarheart Necropsy quest. And proceed to the Old Friends quest, which let me go take out Ildari Sarothril.


  • Session number in this run: 61
  • Recovered crossbow and bolts from chest stash, just so I can have them handy if I make it back to Markarth to sell Calcelmo a bolt
  • Geared back up in Blades armor
  • Sold stuff to Glover, Milore, Fethis
  • Headed out to Kolbjorn
  • Saw signs of another pyromancer vs. cryomancer battle—or possibly ash spawn targeting something? Spotted fire bolts off to the side, but nothing came after Jenassa and me, and I didn’t go investigate
  • Arrived at Kolbjorn and Ralis asked yet again for me to go take out the draugr
  • Actual living miners fretted about the draugr
  • Got great screenshot of Jenassa and me taking out a Draugr Deathlord while I had Stendarr’s Aura active 😀
  • Got both the artifacts, the gauntlets and the Ring of Arcana
  • Got the ring this time by using Telekinesis through the gate—actually took a few tries to do this, had to reload from save as i reminded myself how the hell to use that spell
  • (Screwed it up once, dropped the ring into the water, and tried to do the gate to get it open and go diving for the ring, but I couldn’t find it in the water, so I rolled back to prior save)
  • Tried the spell again and finally got it to work
  • Went back outside to inform Ralis the draugr were cleared
  • Proceeded to Tel Mithryn
  • Saw distant fire bolts again that suggested pyromancer vs. cryomancer; pyromancer came after me shortly after
  • Three ash spawn after that
  • Got to Neloth’s tower, which had definitely started healing
  • Got his compensation for the Briarheart Necropsy plot
  • He also went straight into “somebody is trying to kill me” commentary, launching Old Friends plot; asked me to go take out Ildari Sarothril for him
  • Talked to Elynea on the way out to see if she needed any help; she asked me for a hagraven claw; also bought a bunch of things from her and sold her a few of my potions
  • Yet another pyromancer vs. cryomancer; this time the pyromancer was a woman, Jenassa took her out before I could reach her
  • (Geez what is it with the ongoing war between fire and frost mages on this island? Does Neloth know about this?)
  • Tromped around trying to find entrance to Highpoint Tower
  • Attacked by random Argonian who came at us yelling GODS DAMN YOU; scaly dude, WTF is your problem?
  • Finally found stairs in and a couple of ash spawn
  • Traded off to the Daedric battleaxe to see if it would be fun, only to go derp right this is a two-handed weapon, so I punted back to Dragonbane instead
  • Killed a bunch of ash spawn as I ran the dungeon
  • Also freed the one surviving imprisoned miner, who promptly ran off as soon as I did that
  • Didn’t run the dungeon in quite as much detail as I did with Alarrah, for previously described “because I don’t need every last scrap of loot” reasons
  • Got in some potshots on Ildari from Sneak mode before making it up the back stairs to a more direct line of fire; took her out with repeated bow shots rather than engaging at close range, and being in Sneak minimized the risk of her smacking me with lightning
  • Yoinked her heart stone as per quest objective
  • Did not take her Telvanni robes, because of the bug with them still being bloodstained and showing the heart stone harness if a female character wears them; this apparently doesn’t happen for male characters
  • Returned to Tel Mithryn to report to Neloth; made me a member of House Telvanni


This session was all about running familiar side quests again, but seeing where I could do things a little differently.

With Unearthed, the Koljborn Barrow plot, I’d gotten to the point of having to do that floor puzzle that requires you to activate a bunch of floor tiles to open a gate–tiles which will then deactivate a short time later, so you have to activate them all very quickly. The goal of opening that gate is to get you access to Ahzidal’s Ring of Arcana, which is on a pedestal past the gate, and just past a small pool.

This time through though I wanted to try the Telekinesis spell instead, just to get more practice at that, and because I’d tried using that spell some earlier in Merawen’s run. Since I’ve been trying to have more of an emphasis on magic with her, it was good to have another excuse to play with that spell. I’m still not good at it; it took me several tries to actually yoink the ring off the pedestal. But I did finally do it!

Also, it’s continuing to be great fun to have Stendarr’s Aura active when I go into a draugr hive now. 😀

As for plots involving Tel Mithryn, I’ve almost done all the interesting ones now. This time through on the Old Friends plot, I did have the advantage of a much better Sneak, which helped in my final battle with Ildari. I’m a little sad that there’s a display bug with her robes when worn by female characters–because the Telvanni robes do look cool and she’s the only source of that outfit that the player can get at, I think.

(I keep thinking it’d be fun to try wandering around in a magic-enhancing outfit rather than armor, but I keep not finding an outfit I really want to do that in.)

Next time

I’m to a point where the only other interesting thing I could do by interacting with Neloth is to get him to give me pointers to the other Black Books. I know where they are, though, and can also get location pointers for them off the random madman encounter. So getting specific pointers to where the books are is kind of optional.

Until I get the next courier showing up I can’t finish up Kolbjorn yet and get that Black Book dealt with. So in the meantime I think what’s likely to happen next session is going to search for the Deathbrand treasure hoard. And possibly also cleansing the Water Stone.

And we’ll see how close I get to level 64, to see if I’ll need to make another jaunt to the mage college for training!


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.