This was a short session because Sunday night, so all I had to time to do really was run the Forelost dungeon. With a side helping of loot selling, and buying level 68 training!
- Session number in this run: 71
- Began the run through Forelhost
- Spoke with “Captain Valmir” and got the request to go get the mask/staff (noticed that his dialogue was inconsistent about what he wanted me to fetch)
- This time he was dressed as a Stormcloak because I followed Ralof out of Helgen
- I was able to pickpocket a few of the dragon cultist ghosts, lol, though I didn’t see anything on them worth taking? Tried once anyway and the ghost caught me at it, fpbptpbpt
- Tried to Nightingale it through the dungeon, which let me also discover I could sneak-attack the ghosts too, but got overloaded and had to switch back to stalhrim for better carry bonuses
- Skipped looking for most of the notes and things since I know the backstory of the place now
- Threw Stendarr’s Aura around a lot to take out the draugr
- Leveled up to 68 whlle fighting multiple deathlords in the boss chamber
- Took another perk point on Heavy Armor
- Finally took out Rahgot and got his staff and mask
- Got word for Storm Call off the Word Wall on the battlements
- Jumped down to find Valmir dressed as an Imperial and trying to pitch his plan to an Imperial soldier
- Who did not react well when I showed up, and he accused both of us of being Thalmor
- He ran off at first as I fought Valmir, but then came back at me, so I had to take him out; sorry my dude, I am not a fucking Thalmor
- Whoo boy was I overloaded though; potion + fast travel back into Riften so that I could sell stuff at the Flagon
- Sold a bunch of stuff to Tonilia, including Daedric armor dropped by the dragon at Lost Tongue Overlook
- Bought five rounds of Pickpocket training from Vipir the Fleet because geez, my pickpocketing is ass and this is unacceptable for the Guild Master!
- Sold some things to Brand-Shei, and at Elgrim’s Elixirs
- Fast traveled to Heljarchen to check on the place and see if any additional building is needed
- Did a bit more building in the storage room, and a bit of alchemy
- Boinged to Windstad as well to drop off a few things
- Saved for the night
Siege on the Dragon Cult quest
Running the Forelhost dungeon wasn’t too different than how Alarrah did it, so I’m not going to recap the place in depth here.
But I will note that this time through, as with a bunch of other spots I’ve re-run as Merawen, I didn’t go over it with quite the same level of detail. In this particular case, this was for the following reasons:
- Sunday night session, and I wanted to get through Forelhost if I could, so I didn’t really want to dally
- I already knew the backstory of the place so didn’t feel like I needed to find each and every little note left by the prior inhabitants
One thing I will say here though is that first time through, I don’t think I really properly appreciated what a piece of work Valmir is. I also hadn’t twigged to him being an undercover agent of the Thalmor!
Or an Altmer, for that matter—this is what I get for the Switch build being pretty damned dark in terms of overall lighting, as I’ve said before. Which means that if I encounter any given NPC at night, it often makes it tough to see any racial characteristics, such as the common golden Altmer skin tones.
Still though, the Thalmor thing. This actively came up when I finally emerged from the dungeon, and caught Valmir making his pitch to an Imperial. That Imperial flipped out and accused us both of being Thalmor. In Valmir’s case, he wasn’t wrong!
Plus, I never had quite realized either that the various newer corpses inside the place are clearly others that Valmir has sent in before. There was even a bandit in there, which raises real interesting questions of whether Valmir also had “bandit” in his repertoire of impersonations.
And that also raises the question of why the quest limits Valmir to pretending to be an Imperial or a Stormcloak, based on the player’s prior play choices. If I’m not walking around in either Imperial or Stormcloak armor, how the hell does this asshole know I’m either of them?
And even if he assumes I’m a Stormcloak and dresses accordingly, if I’m not actually a Stormcloak, the dialogue prompt of “If it’ll help the cause…” makes no sense. Merawen has no fucks to give about the Stormcloak cause at this point.
So I kind of feel like Valmir should have had a third option for what he’d do if you’re obviously unaffiliated. Presumably whatever option he invokes to convince bandit NPCs to go into the ruins?
Though I could see some additional possibilities based on how the Dragonborn is currently equipped. You walk up in full armor (like I did), he might spin some bullshit about “help me do this and you will be richly rewarded”. Show up in mage gear, he might go in a “help me do this for the sake of the history we can uncover” direction.
All in all though, he’s clearly a real piece of work. And now that I know he was an undercover Thalmor, stands to reason. Dude sent in multiple people to their deaths prior to the Dragonborn showing up, and he well and thoroughly deserved my handing his ass to him.
Shame I had to kill that actual Imperial, though!
Last side note: it is probably a side effect of my French studies that I keep wanting to pronounce the name of the Dragon Priest in this ruin “rah-go”. With a silent t. I am however not convinced that that’s how I should actually say it? Maybe more like “rah-got”?
Hard to say, given that there are a lot of French-looking names for various NPCs in Skyrim, generally for Bretons. And for all I know, Rahgot might have been a Breton when alive!
Epilogue: Selling and training and building
I’ve been throwing a bunch of money at the mage college for training for a while now with this character. But when I returned to Riften to do a loot selling run at the Thieves Guild, I also realized well shit, my Pickpocketing is still down in the 40’s.
And I’m the frigging Guild Master. This is unacceptable!
So I threw training money at Vipir the Fleet and had him give me five more levels of Pickpocketing. 😀
It also occurred to me that if I set my Lockpicking to Legendary now that it’s hit 100, the Thieves Guild has Vex. A Lockpicking trainer!
Still not sure I’ll do Lockpicking, though. It occurred to me further that I am still walking around with the Black Books in my inventory, including Waking Dreams, so if I really want to I can pop back into that and get access to my Skills trees and rearrange perks by spending dragon souls. That might be something I do with Lockpicking instead? Since I’m long-done with the Thieves Guild plots, and I’m starting to run low on chests I need to lockpick, there are questions here about whether I need to care about maintaining that skill any more. Or if I do, would it be adequate to keep it at 100 and just move the perks over to something else in more active use?
It was kind of neat to actually set foot back in the Thieves Guild again. Just to check in on the place, even aside from being there to sell stuff. And this time I remembered to actually check the shelves where all the special prizes are stored! So I got to see the actual completed Crown of Barenziah.
Which you can apparently activate? But it’s unclear to me if that actually does anything. The wikis are not informative in this regard.
Meanwhile, discovered that yes, I did still have a little bit of remaining building to do at Heljarchen. So I did some of that, as well as returning to Windstad to save for the night once I moved some resources around.
Still not quite ready to go after Alduin, I think. I’m feeling like saving him for last, once I get everything done I want to do. Some things still tempting me are:
- Returning to Arcwind Point and seeing if I can finish running that area, though the Ancient Dragon I ran into there before will probably be replaced by a Revered Dragon!
- Checking out the Orc stronghold with the Daedric quest for Malacath
- Returning to Falkreath and seeing if I can get the quest to kill his ancestor off of Dengeir, or is that permanently blocked now by running that dungeon first for Dawnguard?
- Doing the pirate plot in Windhelm
- Getting the Wabbajack in Solitude
- Doing the Forsworn plot in Markarth since I do have an open quest marker for that
We’ll see what I’m in the mood for next time I play. Right now I’m kind of inclined to go do Arcwind Point, partly because I’m pretty sure that’s the last Shout location I can get to. What remaining ones appear to be quest-locked for if you’re doing the Companions quests, and I’m not planning on doing that with this alt.
Editing to add
- 11/17/2023: Fixed missing gallery, and added a session number.