Merawen Playthrough

In Which Merawen Aids a Treasure-Seeker and the Largashbur Orc Stronghold

This was a big crunchy session, with three main overall things I did: running the Angarvunde dungeon, doing the Cursed Tribe Daedric quest, and finally properly clearing Arcwind Point.

Killed not one, not two, but three Revered Dragons. Fortunately not all at once. And now I have a very, very large hammer. As well as an increased appreciation for using magic both offensively and defensively!


  • Session number in this run: 72
  • Low-key building of things in Windstad; made enchanter table upstairs, also dropped several more decorations and lamps and furniture in various rooms
  • Blipped down to Autumnwatch Tower to get back through Arcwind Point
  • Passed Froki’s Shack, and nabbed the extra Diadem of the Savant off the wood chopping block because I didn’t get it running Shalidor’s Maze! And since it’s not supposed to be at Froki’s Shack anyway, fuck it, i’ll take it from there 😀
  • Derped around a bit trying to find the right way south
  • Found Talos shrine again
  • Zapped a cave bear to death with lightning bolts
  • Found Angarvunde, a locale I hadn’t run before! And it’s not quest-locked! Can do!
  • Entered the cavern, found Medresi Dran bitching about her team bailing on her
  • Agreed to help her get her treasure
  • Killed three draugr for her to get things underway (taking out Draugr Deathlords is more challenging when I do it with magic, but oh hey wards block Unrelenting Force, awesome)
  • Went back to Medresi and got her to move forward in the dungeon, but we were blocked by a gate
  • She gave me a key to check the side doors
  • Went to the one that leads down into catacombs section
  • Fought more draugr down there but ran out of potions to restore my magicka
  • Switched off to Nightingale armor and blade to keep getting some work on restoring light armor
  • Killed by a Draugr Deathlord when I failed to pull in a healing potion fast enough, oops
  • Not thrown back too far though, just back to the beginning of the catacombs section
  • Tried dragonscale armor + stalhrim sword on right hand, Greater Ward on left the second time through, for Restoration boosting purposes and also to block Shouts from Deathlords
  • Cleared catacombs area without too much trouble and found the lever to bring down the spikes
  • Proceeded to ruins area; cleared that part too, though there were two gates to clear for that
  • Got back out to the main area, and heard Medresi yell “The treasure is mine! All mine!”
  • Only to die as she triggered a spike trap before I even reached her, oops, but she also conveniently opened up a stairway down
  • So I went down there and oh hey Word Wall (pretty sure you couldn’t have used this anyway, Medresi)
  • Found Medresi’s team’s camp outside; took her journal for posterity
  • Derped around more to the south
  • Found Avanchnzel, too bad I can’t actually run it
  • Hi M’aiq the Liar!
  • Killed a cave bear with Incinerate, stupid bear you be on fire now
  • Found cursed Orc stronghold Largashbur
  • Orc women Ugor and Atub argued about whether to let me in
  • Atub asked me to bring her troll fat and a Daedra heart for a ritual, can do! (Now where did I leave my Daedra hearts?)
  • Boinged to Riften: no Daedra hearts in Elgrim’s Elixirs
  • Boinged to Heljarchen: no alchemy ingredients there at all
  • Boinged to Windstad: OH SHIT REVERED DRAGON
  • Valdimar actually helped me fight it with Ice Spike spells, well done Valdimar, you earned your pay for the month
  • Roggi: “It’s like the ancient legends! Dragonborn!” Right, did I not mention that Dragonborn thing when I hired you?
  • (Also, I had no Daedra hearts in my barrels here)
  • Boinged to Solitude: Yay! I had a Daedra heart at Proudspire!
  • Hi Jenassa! Bye Jenassa! I gotta go help some orcs *zoom*
  • Sold stuff to Beirand and Sayma
  • Boinged back to orcs and witnessed ritual to call upon Malacath
  • Malacath ripped the orc chief a new one and told him to go kill a giant
  • Chief Yamarz insisted I come with him, so okay fine, ran along after him as he headed for the giants’ lair
  • Fought cave bear and troll, and also had another unexpected magic rupture; killed the anomalies, and auto-activated Aftershock
  • Resumed trying to catch up with Yamarz; cut through Riften
  • Fought two bears just outside Riften
  • Found a hunter fighting another bear past the hill; there was also a dead dog and a dead vampire nightstalker? Hunter must have had a hell of a fight
  • Caught up with Yamarz at Fallowstone Cave, and we went inside
  • Passed but did not engage a giant because Yamarz kept running onward; did fight two more bears though
  • Arrived at Giant’s Grove
  • Orc chief tried to get me to kill the giant for him; fuck you, no, I distinctly heard Malacath tell you to do it
  • Yamarz went okay fine and attacked the giant himself, but of course the giant pasted him, so I had to kill it anyway
  • Malacath addressed me at that point, and was all “nice work! Two for the price of one! Now go back and whip the rest of those assholes into shape”
  • Got out of Fallowstone Cave because I couldn’t fast travel out of Giant’s Grove, and then fast traveled back to Largashbur
  • Reported back to Atub, yep, your chief sure is dead
  • Malacath: “And also a coward and a weakling, so this other guy is in charge now, don’t fuck it up. Also you, put the hammer on the shrine, you’re the only one here who doesn’t suck”
  • And the giant club turned into Volendrung, so now I have a very big hammer
  • Fast traveled back to Froki’s Shack to try to find the way to Arcwind Point
  • Ah right, next path west of Froki’s Shack, closer to Autumnwatch
  • Hi there, two frost trolls! Would you like to meet my hammer? It is VERY LARGE
  • (Welp, this sure does let me level up Two-handed, doesn’t it)
  • Draugr Deathlord in mini-barrow actually ran away from me as I pounded on him with the hammer, lol, but I caught up with him and finished the job
  • Couple of quicksilver veins
  • Reached Arcwind Point, began to engage Revered Dragon
  • But it kept flying off to engage what turned out to be draugr, and a Deathlord Fus Ro Dah’d me right off the damn cliff, oops (also: ow)
  • Dropped back to where I found the second quicksilver vein
  • Second time through, got the Revered Dragon on the ground and took it on with sword
  • And blew through four skeletons with Stendarr’s Aura
  • Deathlord tried to Fus Ro Dah me but this time he only ragdolled me, and I finished him off while absorbing the dragon soul, HA
  • Ooh dragon priest boss monster out of the sarcophagus by the Word Wall; took him out with some more Stendarr’s Aura
  • Got the word off the wall
  • Worked my way further up the mountain and killed two more Deathlords; Fus Ro Dah’d the second one right off the cliff, back at you you undead asshole
  • Found a tower at the top with a hell of a view of Throat of the World, awesome
  • Potion + fast travel to Honningbrew to sell stuff
  • Boinged to Falkreath to follow up re: Dengeir, confirmed, his quest for his ancestor is gone
  • Headed north on foot
  • Passed trio of Imperial soldiers and Stormcloak prisoner; one of the Imperials got killed by boulders at the bandit tower, and then the remaining three, including the prisoner, killed a bear together
  • Dudes! You should all just bail on the war effort and go get mead after that
  • Reached Lakeview and mined my ore veins nearby for iron
  • Whacked a bear and a couple of wolves with the hammer on the way to Riverwood
  • Stopped in Riverwood to buy iron
  • Switched off to magic gear partway between Riverwood and Honningbrew
  • Passed a party of Thalmor close to Whiterun; they didn’t give me any shit, but yeah, you all can continue to fuck off
  • Stopped in Whiterun for the night
  • Leveled up to 69 by throwing Transmute on a bunch of the iron to make gold
  • Reactivated Elven smithing; also pushed Smithing up a few points by making jewelry and leather armor
  • Slept the night at Breezehome
  • Picked up stalhrim greatsword because I wanted it back for two-handed work
  • Sold leather armor pieces I made to Adrianne, and bought stuff from Arcadia
  • Boinged to college for training; got training from everybody, and resolved impromptu Aftershock quest with Tolfdir
  • Slept the night in Arch-Mage’s quarters
  • Made a boatload of new potions, also enchanted the hell out of a bunch of jewelry
  • Came out to save for the night and HELLO THERE REVERED DRAGON
  • Colette witnessed the battle! Both times actually, because I let the stupid dragon get close enough to me to chomp while I was trying to kill it with magic; second time through I stalhrim’d up and hit it with arrows
  • Colette: “My money’s on the big one!” Lololololol
  • Then I saved for the night

Angarvunde dungeon

I was very pleased to discover this place, because I think I’d seen references to it on the wiki before, but I had it in my head that it was quest-locked for some reason. It was not! So I was able to run the place, and I was happy to do so as it was a new thing to do.

Plus, the NPC in there was a fellow Dunmer, and female, and I feel this made Merawen more inclined to help her.

Too bad for Medresi that she let her treasure-hunting fervor get in the way of her sense. Sigh. If it’s any consolation to you, dead Medresi, the treasure of this place would have disappointed you anyway, as I’m pretty sure you’re not Dragonborn!

Aside from the unfortunate Medresi, I did find this dungeon fun in terms of layout and structure. It had some nice looping aspects to it, with two distinct areas that you had to clear to open the main gate to get through to reach the Word Wall.

And of course, lots of draugr to take down. I amused myself trying to throw magic at them as much as I could, though I kept regularly running out of magicka trying to maintain a Greater Ward. I may need to experiment with throwing Lesser Ward instead to see if I can sustain that for longer.

Also, it was pretty entertaining throwing Sun Fire at draugr, too! The other useful spell I picked up during the Dawnguard plot. Only really useful against undead, but if you’re in a draugr hive, that’s entirely okay!

And the other useful thing I discovered: wards block Unrelenting Force. Which is a real handy thing to know if you’re going up against Draugr Deathlords who can Fus Ro Dah you.

The Cursed Tribe quest

Arguably this would have been more entertaining to save for playthrough number three where I expect to run an Orc woman, but I wanted to go ahead and do this anyway just because it was a new thing! And because I was down in that area of the Rift anyway.

The quest turned out to be easier than I expected. Partly because I’m very overpowered for it (the wiki says a suggested level for it is 32), but also because I apparently triggered a glitch that let me bypass the very first plot item of the quest.

You’re supposed to show up at Largashbur and immediately find the place under attack, with a giant at the gates. Your helping the Orcs take down this giant is supposed to be what encourages Atub to ask you for your help.

However, when I showed up, there was no giant attack. I just saw a few unnamed Orc NPCs standing around outside the gates. I did trigger an argument between Atub and another Orc woman, Ugor, about whether I could come in or not. So the quest did get underway regardless and I was able to go straight to the part where Atub asked me to bring her troll fat and a Daedra heart.

Once I did that, the rest of the quest proceeded normally. And I did rather like the very straightforward simplicity of it. Malacath has cursed this tribe because their leader is a coward and a weakling, but he’s also willing to forgive them once the chief has been eliminated. And willing to give the Dragonborn Volendrung, for that matter.

I don’t think the weapon is really Merawen’s style—it’s bigger than she is! But I did enjoy experimenting with it, and rapidly escalating my Two-handed skill. Which told me I may want to experiment with using a different Two-handed weapon for a bit until I finish playing Merawen, just to give myself something else to do to keep leveling up.

(Hence, picking up the stalhrim greatsword later in this run, at Whiterun. Of the Two-handed weapons I have, this one struck me as the one most likely to suit Merawen’s tastes.)

Arcwind Point

This session let me get back to finish up this spot properly, and I’m glad I did! It was an interesting change of pace to have the ruin be situated entirely outdoors, and having it also be up in the mountains meant I was able to get some spectacular views.

Main takeaway I had from running this area, though, was this: make damn sure, when fighting Draugr Deathlords at the top of a cliff, that you don’t have your back to the cliff drop. Because one good Unrelenting Force Shout will send you right over.

I was pretty impressed, in fact, by the long “bouncing down the cliff” sequence I got when the Deathlord I was fighting pulled that on me. Also, I actually clipped through multiple portions of the cliff on the way down!

Mage college crafting and training and DRAGON

As I noted above in the highlights, I did level up to 69 while in Whiterun, thanks to use of the Transmute spell. So that necessitated boinging back to the college for another round of mage training.

(I tried to do Light Armor training with Amren in Whiterun but apparently there’s another glitch of some kind. As of this writing my Light Armor is 48, and Amren is a Common-level trainer, so in theory he should be able to get me up to 50? But I had no training prompt from him. I don’t know if it vanished because I’d reset the skill to Legendary or what. Or if it’s just glitched with him specifically. I was able to buy Smithing training from Balimund, so it may be specific to Amren?)

And even though my Enchanting is at 100 and therefore work to enchant things won’t level me, I did spend some time enchanting a bunch of my stock of jewelry items for later selling. And it’s crossed my mind that I need to evaluate my best prospects for enchanting up suitable jewelry items and clothing for ideal mage gear, if I want to become more of a combat mage!

Made a boatload of potions as well, though not as many Fortify Enchanting or Fortify Smithing potions as I was hoping to do. I’ll have to get more ingredients for those.

Still though I’m quite enjoying the higher caliber of potions I’m able to make with the right perks on Alchemy. 😀

The other major notable point about this visit to the college was that, as almost always happens to me, I did have another dragon show up in the courtyard. But this time, Colette actually witnessed me fighting it.

She threw off a couple of lines: “Those fools are actually fighting!” Which I’d heard before. And, “My money’s on the big one!” Which I had not.

And I’m torn between lolololol (because that second line is hilarious), and thinking “Hey Colette you know you could help your Arch-Mage better survive this fight if you did something useful and oh, I dunno, THREW SOME WARDS ON ME? Aren’t you always going on about how Restoration is an equally valid school of magic? And how wards save lives? Howsabout you put your magic where your mouth is?”


Next time

Still not done with side action I can do before I finally go deal with moving the main plot along!

I have I think one more dungeon I can run to get a Shout word. And maybe three more plots I’m interested in doing—revisiting the Forsworn Conspiracy plot, revisiting getting the Wabbajack, and the pirate plot in Windhelm.

But I’m also still interested in getting the mage college upper-tier quests in, so I need to get at least one of my magic schools to 90 for that. Right now Destruction is closest, as that’s in the high 70’s, but I still have a ways to go!

So I need to run around a while and find reasons to use my magic, as that’ll bump that number up faster than just paying for training. Plus, it’s just fun to wander Skyrim on foot and find places I either haven’t seen before, or haven’t seen lately!


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.