Merawen Playthrough

In Which Merawen Recovers a Ghost’s Sword and Goes to Volunruud

Another “general adventuring” kind of session, with the two main points being finishing the quest to get the sword for the ghost in the Old Hroldan Inn, and then going to Volunruud and getting what I’m pretty sure is my last available Shout word off a Word Wall.


  • Session number in this run: 76
  • Did a bit of alchemy in Markarth and bumped Alchemy another couple of points
  • Sold a bunch of things to Endon on the way out
  • Geared up in mage gear and headed north-ish along the road from Markarth
  • Three forsworn and a bandit highwayman orc by Kolskeggr Mine
  • Another farmer who wants to join the Legion
  • Courier near Broken Tower Redoubt–and a Forsworn who attacked me after killing the courier
  • Dammit, Forsworn, you made me zap that perfectly innocent fox over there (sorry fox)
  • Mined a corundum vein
  • Found Liar’s Retreat; holding on running this one till next playthrough, main weapon reward for this is a two-hander and that’ll be more orc chick’s style
  • Found a Stormcloak soldier who told me to send any true sons and daughters of Skyrim to Windhelm; yeah have fun with that
  • Found Cliffside Retreat, another little hunter lodge, hunter is alive so I did not take any of his stuff
  • Went through Dragon Bridge
  • Thief tried to attack me, but I passed a Persuade check to convince him I don’t have any money, lol
  • Veered north again near Meridia’s shrine to follow the road back around to where Deepwood Redoubt and Hag’s End are
  • Three Imperials + prisoner
  • Scavenger who flipped out and attacked me when I caught him looting soldiers; took him down with lightning, also boosted alteration by throwing Ironflesh spell
  • Took out ice wraith with fireball
  • Found Pinemoon Cave; did not engage
  • Found Deepwood Redoubt again, and saw that it had respawned; got warned off by new Forsworn guard
  • Stepped off to go into Nightingale mode but apparently not fast enough for the guard, who went hostile and attacked; I sneak snot him
  • Tried to sneak through the place and avoid the newly spawned Forsworn, but turned out to not be feasible
  • Heard a dragon as I got close to the entrance
  • Avoided some of the Forsworn inside the first part of the dungeon by using Throw Voice Shout
  • Made it to Deepwood Vale, second part of the dungeon
  • Heard dragon again, possibly same dragon?
  • Switched off to stalhrim if there’s a dragon flying around
  • Leveled up to 71 while fighting all the Forsworn
  • Got the sword without having to go into Hag’s End
  • Fast traveled back out to beginning of redoubt to see if I could take out the dragon
  • Found one more Forsworn I had to fight
  • Dead Nord near bear traps
  • Remains of a Vigilant vs. vampire fight, living Vigilant, dead vampire
  • Finally found the dragon, an Ancient Dragon
  • Called up an ash spawn once just to try that spell, then frost atronachs
  • Ancient Dragon tried to fly off at least once and attack nearby orc stronghold
  • Came back to fight with me so I hit it with Ice Storm and Ice Spike spells, then when it landed, got in last few whacks with stalhrim sword
  • Resumed heading towards the inn
  • Courier with a Letter from a Friend pointing at Volunruud, oh good, I wanted to go there anyway
  • Got stuck near Karthspire trying to find a way out of the valley while Forsworn were shooting at me; went ‘fuck it’ and fast traveled to the inn
  • Gave the ghost his sword back; he bumped my One-handed and Block
  • Fast traveled next to college for training
  • Bought new spells from Phinis, now that i can get at the expert tier Conjuration spells
  • Also nabbed Paralyze spell from Tolfdir
  • Fast traveled next to Windstad
  • Revered Dragon!
  • Mostly fought with magic, primarily Ice Spikes, and kept throwing Ironflesh on myself and quaffing a boatload of potions until I was no longer overloaded
  • Dragon finally landed and I killed it with stalhrim sword
  • Went into the hall to craft things
  • Bumped Smithing to 50 and then spent perk point from leveling up to 71 on restoring Advanced Armors perk
  • Smithed enough things to get Smithing back up to 60
  • Enchanted a few things with bonus from Fortify Restoration
  • Headed off to Solitude to sell things
  • Sold things to everybody in Solitude, including the Khajiit outside
  • Boinged down to Whiterun to sell a few more things and then go to Volunruud
  • Switched off to mage gear
  • Sold stuff at Honningbrew
  • Walked by Chilllfurrow and Battle-Born farms
  • Two Vigilants on the road, one of whom threw me the “Walk always in the light or we will drag you to it” line, and in my capacity as a Nightingale of Nocturnal I feel I am officially authorized to say “fuck you, lady”
  • Passed Whitewatch Tower
  • Reached and headed into Volunruud
  • Started throwing Sun Fire, Lesser Ward, and Stendarr’s Aura around on the draugr in the branch of the dungeon with the ceremonial axe
  • Killed twice trying to start the second dungeon leg where the ceremonial sword is
  • Switched off to stalhrim again to clear it
  • Leveled up to 72 while fighting Kvenel and other draugr in boss chamber; got the two named weapons and boss chest loot
  • Went to Whiterun on foot, changed mind about selling things there, fast traveled to college for level 72 training
  • Then went back to Whiterun and sold things
  • Went to Heljarchen; added wall sconces to cellar and dropped off books; found Golldir killing wolves right outside the animal pen, well done there steward, carry on
  • Went to Windstad and made a bunch more stuff
  • Boinged back to Solitude; sold a bunch of stuff and then went home to Proudspire and saved for the night

Quest to get the sword for the ghost

I was a little sad that I wasn’t able to sneak my way through the respawned Deepwood Redoubt. In my experience so far, though, Forsworn are hard to sneak past! Even with my Sneak maxed out and my Nightingale armor on!

I only realized after the fact that invoking the Shadowcloak of Nocturnal power is an option for me, as is the Invisibility spell. But the latter won’t get really useful unless I’m able to get the Quiet Casting perk, and I’m not sure I’ll make it to that?

Still though once I geared back up in the stalhrim heavy armor, clearing Deepwood Vale wasn’t difficult. Really, the main challenge I had getting to the chest with the sword (which turned out to not even be inside Hag’s End) was wondering if the dragon I kept hearing would actually land and engage.

It didn’t, and I don’t know if this is because Deepwood Vale, while technically being an exterior location, is only accessible via Deepwood Redoubt? The dragon might not have been able to get to me!


This is not too large a dungeon, and once I was down in it I remembered the layout, finally. It was less difficult when I ran it as Alarrah, just because for her, I wasn’t nearly so leveled up! And under certain circumstances, clearly, I need to re-evaluate which spells to use in combat. Lesser Ward wasn’t cutting it in the second branch of this dungeon, where I kept getting killed by the draugr across the room hitting me with arrows.

I need to also remember that if I’m in mage mode, dammit, cast Ironflesh or Ebonyflesh to boost my armor rating.

Next time

I still kind of want to do the Forsworn Conspiracy plot, but if there’s a risk of my breaking the main quest by not getting the Dragon Elder Scroll back, I’m going to have to go resolve the Alduin’s Bane quest first.

So I think I’ll need to pop over to the Throat of the World and finally deal with that.


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.