I boinged around a lot in this session, but in between all of the fast traveling, I did actually also revisit the main plot! Which meant taking the Dragon Elder Scroll up to the top of the Throat of the World, learning Dragonrend, and having the first round of fighting with Alduin.
And Alduin was only one of the dragons I fought in this session, though unlike the two Revered Dragons and the Ancient one, he actually survived the fight!
Next to that, doing the Mind of Madness quest and getting the Wabbajack from Sheogorath was a relaxing vacation. 😀
- Tried to leave Solitude to go to the Throat of the World, but a Revered Dragon showed up; it killed one of the nearby guards, and kept flying around out of my range; finally killed it just outside the Solitude gates, and guards, the stable owners, and the boy from Katla’s farm came over to gawk
- Mined iron vein down by the mill
- Swam across the river
- Found dead snow bear and dead horse and dead elk, is this from a dragon respawned on Eldersblood Peak?
- Noble on horse and escort got stuck on steps leading into Labyrinthian
- I cut through Labyrinthian on my way south–and ran into my own housecarl fighting a troll? WTF, Valdimar, why are you here? o.O
- (But at least the troll didn’t kill him, I should bloody well hope not)
- Found Hamvir’s Rest; killed three skeletons with Stendarr’s Aura, and also a lower level draugr, before clearing the boss chest
- Found Drelas’s Cottage but did not engage
- Dragon continuing to fly in the distance; pretty sure that was respawned Eldersblood Peak dragon? Did not engage
- Made it down to the road by Whiterun after cutting cross-country; stopped off to sell things at Honningbrew
- Three bandits pretending to be Imperials hit me up for a ‘fine’; I told them I had no gold to spare, they attacked me
- I took out the leader and one of the others; the third one, a mage, freaked after I hit her a few times and ran off, so I did not pursue
- Went past Stormcloaks near Ivarstead
- Stormcloak: “I don’t want some snotty elf telling me what gods I can and can’t worship!” Me: “My dude, FWIW, I have zero fucks to give about who you worship.”
- Found a hunter and dog but had to roll back when a sabre cat attacked, and the dog jumped into the battle–and I think I may have accidentally killed the dog when I hit the sabre cat with a fireball? Oops, sorry about that! Triggered a bounty in Eastmarch
- Rolled back to auto-save that dropped me back to just before the Stormcloaks
- Encountered M’aiq the Liar, but got lost and had to fast travel to Ivarstead to get back on track
- Killed assorted bears and trolls on the way up the Throat of the World
- Hi Greybeards! Don’t mind me, I’m just here to talk to the dragon
- Took the Dragon Scroll to the Time-Wound as per Paarthurnax’s instructions
- This time I had no trouble viewing the cutscene, though some of the audio for characters’ lines didn’t play; I did at least have subtitles on so I was able to follow all the lines that way
- And now I have Dragonrend oops oh shit Alduin is here
- Did somewhat better this time through than with Alarrah; didn’t take me as long to hit Alduin with Dragonrend to get him to land
- Paarthurnax urged me to go talk to the Jarl in Whiterun to get on board with the plan to trap one of Alduin’s allies in Dragonsreach
- Headed back down the mountain
- Stopped to talk to Arngeir on the way out; he was all ‘we heard Dragonrend, did you actually defeat Alduin?’ When I said ‘nope not so much’, Arngeir was supportive of the Dragonsreach plan, so that’s something
- Asked Arngeir for another Shout word tip, to see what happened; he sent me to Arcwind Point even though i’ve been there? Apparently there is a bug with Arcwind Point not being properly marked as cleared?
- When I checked it out, place had respawned; I killed another Revered Dragon, a bunch of skeletons, and the dragon priest and his storm atronach
- But the Word Wall was stuck, and the quest marker wouldn’t clear
- Boinged to Honningbrew to sell things
- Boinged to Windstad to build things; pretty sure I heard bandits somewhere behind the house
- Went inside to get Roggi to buy me some stone; went back outside to get it, and ah yes there are the bandits
- Bandit Chief: “Do you think you can take me?” Me: “Son, I just fought Alduin and survived, so yes, I do think I can take you!”
- Took the bandits, and all their stuff
- Got the purchased stone out of my workbench chest
- Went back inside to build things! Got smithing up by four points, and right to the verge of leveling up to 73
- Blipped to mage college; sold Dragon Elder Scroll to Urag, who was very, very surprised, but apparently I can’t also sell him the Blood and Sun scrolls?
- Blipped to Solstheim; sold a bunch of things to Glover
- Popped into Severin Manor to make sure I didn’t leave anything useful in the place; cleared all the books off the shelves, and grabbed the soul gems lying around
- Sold stuff to Milore and Fethis, then went outside the city
- Arch Pyromancer vs. Arch Cryomancer, ooh the mage fights leveled up! I took out both of them
- Ash hopper came at me, and then ran off when I hit it with chain lightning; when it came back, I killed it and finally leveled up to 73
- Took Glass Smithing perk again
- Headed towards Kagrumez to see if it’s still fucked up
- Second round of ash hoppers
- Burnt spriggan, which also ran off after I zapped it some; spriggan was intercepted by a party of netch hunters; I killed the spriggan for them and declined their offer to join their hunt
- Second spriggan, which also freaked and ran off
- Made it back to Kagrumez, grumph, it didn’t respawn, so yep, not running Kagrumez this game
- Boinged to Tel Mithryn; got Neloth’s once-over to make sure I wasn’t crazy
- Got Conjuration training from Talvas; bought Bound Dagger spellbook from him, and also other spellbooks i turned out to have already, oops
- Overloaded, so Arvak’d back to Windhelm
- Potioned up and boinged to Western Watchtower
- Re-Arvak’d and rode into Whiterun
- Sold stuff to Arcadia, Belethor, and Warmaiden’s
- Boinged to Heljarchen; dropped off a bunch of books I’d brought over from Solstheim
- Boinged to Solitude; double enchanted a ring to get better carry weight bonus
- Made some more potions
- Slept a bit, and then ran The Mind of Madness quest to get the Wabbajack
- Shopped at Angeline’s, Bits and Pieces, and Radiant Raiment; also sold stuff to Gulum-Ei
- Boinged to Windstad for more smithing
- Boinged back to Western Watchtower to go to Whiterun
- Ancient Dragon! Yes yes, I took its very soul, geez you guys have seen me do this how many times now?
- Khajiit were at the Whiterun gate; bought a boatload of soul gems off Ri’saad so was able to basically trade him those for a bunch of my crafted armor
- Sold stuff at Warmaiden’s and Arcadia’s
- Saved for the night
Main quest action
This time through, the action up on the top of the Throat of the World went more smoothly than it did in Alarrah’s run. Most importantly, the big cutscene where you observe the three heroes of old fighting and banishing Alduin, and from which you learn the Dragonrend Shout, actually played out mostly correctly the first time and I was able to witness all the action in the scene.
It wasn’t entirely bug-free–just because characters’ lines kept not playing their audio. I could tell they were talking, just because their subtitles were triggering, but I kept not actually hearing them.
Still though that was a distinct improvement over the scene just getting completely stuck.
And when Alduin finally showed up, I think it did take me less time to get him grounded with Dragonrend and pelt him with arrows than it did when Alarrah fought him. But only a bit less, I think. I still find it challenging throwing Shouts at a dragon in the air, and Alduin is very swift on the wing. And I kept losing track of my aiming pointer, possibly because of the skies being full of smoke and cloud once Alduin started dropping meteors on me!
The other major difference from Alarrah’s run I’ll note here is that I did actually talk to Arngeir on the way out–and Arngeir confirmed that the Greybeards had witnessed Alduin flying to the mountaintop, and heard me throwing Dragonrend around.
And Arngeir was actually supportive of the plan to capture one of Alduin’s allies in Dragonsreach! Given how Arngeir had been dismissive of the whole idea of fighting Alduin earlier, this makes me feel better about the guy. He’s apparently not as eager to see the world ending as he came across before.
I find it a little hilarious, after all the bitching I’ve done about the southern part of Solstheim being an ash-ridden hellscape, that I did in fact go back there on purpose.
The main point of this was going to Tel Mithryn so that I could get Conjuration training from Talvas. That school of magic was lagging behind the others, since it’s the one I’ve used the least (all that summoning of Arvak notwithstanding). And apparently Phinis at the mage college will only train me up to 75, as he’s an Expert level trainer–and Talvas is the Master level trainer for Conjuration.
I wasn’t quite to the point of specifically needing Talvas yet, mind you. My Conjuration was only at 67, so I could have gotten in another round of training with Phinis. But that said, I also wanted to pick up all the books I’d left at Severin Manor, and doublecheck whether I’d left anything else useful there. And I wanted to check Kagrumez to verify that it was still not playable.
Also, all the vendors in Raven Rock have more money at their disposal than the vendors on the mainland do. Which is kind of hilarious as well, given that Raven Rock is a tiny Morrowind colony in an ash-ridden hellscape. And they had all this money available even before I re-opened the ebony mine for them! Councilor Morvayn must really be bankrolling the hell out of the place.
All in all though I think I am kind of partial to Solstheim at this point. And I suspect Merawen has reached a place of peace with her past, if she’s willing to set foot on Solstheim deliberately, within visual range of Red Mountain.
I’m starting to feel like Merawen is approaching her endpoint. The Forsworn Conspiracy plot is the only one I have left that I know about that I’m somewhat interested in playing–so I’m running out of things to do other than the main plotline.
And I’m still not to the point of being able to run the ritual quests for the mage college.
Which suggests to me that if I want to try to get my magic up to that level, I have a lot of work to do still!
Illusion and Destruction both have to get up to 100, because those quests are bugged and the dialogue prompts for them don’t appear till you hit 100. The other three can be 90. Still though most of my magic is in the 70’s, and even my Destruction is only in the mid-80’s.
So I feel like I may need to just do a circuit around Skyrim and do a boatload of bounties. And then fight everything in sight with magic!
Now that I’ve run the portion of the main quest that involves round one with Alduin, though, and safely handed off the Elder Scroll to Urag, I should also be clear to go do the Forsworn Conspiray plot. I left off last session in Whiterun, so I think I’ll work my way westward again on foot and see what happens. Do a few bounties, and also maybe hit some of the places I skipped on the last road trip and go ahead and do them.
And arguably, I can do all of these things after sorting Alduin? But I still feel like I want to do Alduin last just for narrative purposes.