Herein begins the third of my Skyrim playthroughs, featuring the orc warrior Delga! My main goals with her are to play a couple of aspects of the game I haven’t pursued yet as either Alarrah or Merawen, namely:
- Joining the Companions
- Playing the Imperial side of the war
So let’s get down to it, shall we?
- Session number in this run: 1
- Created orc warrior Delga and played through Helgen
- Actually played through Helgen a few times, because I ran into a bug with Alduin not breaking a hole in the keep wall that I was supposed to jump through, and also because I kept changing my mind on what I wanted Delga to look like
- Followed Hadvar out of the crisis
- Knowing that Hadvar and Ralof both have kin in Riverwood now makes me go ‘welp this town must be awkward with the political drama on top of the romantic drama’
- Took as much as I could carry out of the Helgen catacombs, and started smacking Stormcloaks with two-handed weapons
- However I also grabbed the gear off the dead mage in the Imperial torture cage
- So that got me novice mage gear and the spellbook for Sparks (since still not sure I’m not going to do magic with this character, I like magic too much)
- Actually got to see the inside of Alvor’s house and his wife Sigrid (I’d seen the kid before in Merawen’s run)
- Got Alvor to give me initial supplies, and ask me to go to Whiterun to tell the Jarl Riverwood needs aid
- Asked Alvor if I could use his forge, and did the smithing tutorial
- Popped into the Riverwood trader and bought a few things, including spellbooks for Frostbite and Fury
- Got the quest for going after the Golden Claw
- Let Camilla lead me to the bridge then, so I could go to Whiterun as well
- Passed Imperials + prisoner but avoided them
- Also finally saw the Companions fighting the giant at Pelagia Farm! And got the pointer from them about what to do if I wanted to join them
- Though, lololol, you guys kill the giant and then give me shit for not getting over there fast enough to help you? Fpbptpbpt
- Headed on into Whiterun, got the guard to let me in when I told him Riverwood called for aid
- Overheard conversation between Idolaf and Adrianne about her making an order of swords for the Imperial forces, and Idolaf refusing to go to Eorlund Gray-Mane for help
- Went up to Dragonsreach
- Irileth confronted me to demand WTF was I doing there
- I told her about the dragon attacking Helgen, and she let me approach the Jarl
- Jarl got my report (and this time I avoided snarking on the Imperials being about to cut off my head, must remember, Delga doesn’t snark!)
- Jarl ordered Irileth to send a detachment to Riverwood
- Also ordered me to come with him to talk to Farengar, and gave me some steel armor for my trouble
- Farengar asked me to go get the Dragonstone
- This time through I didn’t do the ‘what does this have to do with dragons’ question, and Farengar spoke approvingly of me being direct and to the point
- However, I didn’t miss that Farengar also snarks on Riverwood; yes yes, I know the place, I WAS just there
- Headed back towards Riverwood
- Saw Irileth briefing the guards for the detachment duty on my way out; they also ran past me as I headed back out past the stables
- Headed up to Bleak Falls Barrow; killed a few wolves on the way up, and started going after bandits
- Weird to be not sneaking after three months of playing Merawen 😀
- Started swiping useful stuff off the bandits
- Leveled up to 2
- Also started using Flames in combat
- Killed by Wounded Frostbite Spider shortly before rescuing the trapped bandit
- Made it through the rest of the dungeon okay though
- Got the Unrelenting Force word off the wall; also got the Dragonstone
- Made it out of the barrow west of Riverwood; by this point I was level 4
- Found Anise’s Cabin on the way back to the bridge
- Also found a skeever that gave me Ataxia, stupid skeever
- Went to hang out in the inn since Delphine was gone and I couldn’t rent a room
- Blew through some ingredients at the inn’s alchemy table
- Returned the claw to Lucan the following morning
- Bought a bunch of things, including a potion of Cure Disease
- And spellbooks of Lesser Ward and Oakflesh
- Headed back towards Whiterun to report in and give Farengar the Dragonstone
- Cue Iriileth with the word that OH SHIT THERE’S A DRAGON
- Cue being sent to the Western Watchtower
- Dragon killed me three times before I finally was able to take it down :O
- Cue everybody going HOLY SHIT YOU’RE DRAGONBORN
- Returned to Whiterun; cue Greybeards booming DOVAHKIIN on my way in
- Cue the Jarl going “You better go see the Greybeards, like, now, and also, congrats, you are now a thane of Whiterun!”
- HI LYDIA!
- Took a room at the inn to rest overnight
- Sold stuff to Belethor and Arcadia the next morning
- Bought some steel and iron from Adrianne to improve my armor and weapons; this got me up to level 5
- I think it was somewhere in here when I talked to Amren, and got his quest to go get his family sword back?
- Decided to go check out Jorrvaskr and see about joining the Companions (weird walking into the place without intent to rob it, too, lol)
- Kodlak sent me out with Vilkas to train in the yard
- And umm oops, it kind of pissed off Lydia and she attacked him, YIKES? Eorlund Gray-Mane showed up and jumped into battle, and welp I got killed by Vilkas, DAMMIT LYDIA
- Sent Lydia home to Dragonsreach so she wouldn’t flip out next time through
- Satisfied Vilkas who sent me to Eorlund with a sword that needed sharpening
- Then Eorlund asked me to take a shield to Aela
- Aela got Farkas to show me where the free beds are
- Farkas also asked me to go intimidate Belethor, and seriously? I get to beat up on Belethor? Awesome 😀 😀
- Brawled with Belethor in his shop while Sigurd yelled “Twelve septims on the big one!” Lololol
- Went back to Jorrvaskr, Farkas paid me for the effort, then sent me to Skjor for first quest to go get a fragment of Wuuthraad, and told me Farkas would be coming with me
- Saved for the night
Delga’s character goals and archetype
Archetype-wise, I’m envisioning Delga as a tank type. She will favor heavy armor and two-handed weapons, but this is not to say she won’t ignore her archery or her one-handed weapons. A proper warrior, after all, is going to want to fight with anything she can get her hands on.
This is also not to say she won’t ever do magic or alchemy or enchanting. I enjoy those aspects of the game too much to neglect them on this playthrough. And Dara made a good point to me: that since smithing is culturally highly important to the Orcs, I could approach this from the standpoint of, Delga thinking that potions and enchantments are just another way to properly contribute to the smithing art. Because you can’t get potions of Fortify Smithing without alchemy!
Personality-wise, I see her as a total cinnamon roll. She will be a true and loyal friend, and will want to help everybody, which I figure will be a nice change of pace from Merawen being more cold and calculating, and a master thief. Those of you familiar with She-Ra and the Princesses of Power will know exactly what I mean when I say that Scorpia is a role model here for how I’m seeing this character.
This will set me up to want to talk to pretty much everybody and see what kind of favor quests I can get from them! The goal here being, trying to see what little side quests I may have missed here and there. Or, actually going ahead and doing the ones I decided not to do the first two times through.
Still thinking some about Delga’s background. Knowing what I do at this point about how Orc strongholds are structured such that all marriages are to the chieftains, and daughters of chieftains are sent off to other strongholds to become wives there, I’m considering whether Delga was on her way to a new stronghold for an agreed-upon marriage, and that’s when the Imperials caught her coming over the border?
Or maybe she was running away from an agreed-upon marriage? Not sure yet! I need to think about which of these two options seems more in character for her. And also what makes logical sense given that none of the Orc strongholds within Skyrim’s borders are going to have the slightest idea who she is.
(Oh man, totally toying with the idea now of whether she might have been promised to the chief of Largashbur!)
Lastly, I’ll note that even in a single session, I was able to hear Delga vocalizing enough to realize that as an orc, she apparently has a different template than elf females do for the various noises you can make (grunting in pain, or yelling during combat, or doing a Shout, or whatever). Delga’s noises don’t sound like Alarrah’s and Merawen’s. Hers are deeper-pitched.
Differences in getting out of Helgen this time
Since one of my goals with this run is to fight for the Imperials, I chose to follow Hadvar out of Helgen. And it’s only on this time through that I finally began to appreciate that the two choices you have for getting out of Helgen, following Hadvar or following Ralof, both lead you to Riverwood. Both of these men have ties there. It’s very clear as well that they know one another, and each has strong feelings about the other one being on the opposite side of the war.
(Snerk. And if this isn’t an enemies-to-lovers ship waiting to happen, I don’t know what is! Somebody must surely have written Skyrim fanfic shipping these boys?)
I think I’d have appreciated Hadvar more if his accent wasn’t all over the damn place. I swear sometimes he had that sort of pseudo-Nordic sound several Skyrim characters do, and sometimes he actually sounded Southern. The inconsistency was distracting.
This was also the first time I properly clued in that the flow of events doesn’t have you choosing to follow Hadvar or Ralof until after you initially follow Ralof into the keep–and then get separated from the Stormcloaks once Alduin opens a hole in the tower wall. And in fact I triggered a bug with that, because I got Ralof into a mode where he yelled “GET BACK!” without Alduin actually destroying that part of the wall.
(How shocked am I that I triggered a bug right out of the gate? Not at all shocked. Dammit Skyrim, I love you, but why you gotta be this way?)
Getting past that bug, apparently, required me to make sure that I didn’t go up the stairs too quickly. I needed to let Ralof be ahead of me.
Also, I gotta make a sour face at the Imperials having a torturer. To his credit, Hadvar expresses regret about that.
And, of course, since following Hadvar meant I came into Riverwood under different circumstances, I got help from different NPCs this time. It does seem appropriate for Delga to get in good with the local blacksmith. <3
Differences in Bleak Falls Barrow run
Not too much different here than the two previous playthroughs. I will however note that it was definitely a weird change of pace striding through that barrow with hardly any sneaking at all. Because sneaking? Not really on Delga’s agenda. 😉
And that Wounded Frostbite Spider did give me a bit of trouble, in the initial stirrings of signs that yeah, playing another notch up on the Difficulty setting is going to make me need to be more careful!
Differences in going to Whiterun, and the dragon fight at the Western Watchtower
Had to catch myself a few times re: dialogue choices with the guards, with Irileth, with the Jarl, and with Farengar. Kept wanting to make the same dialogue choices I’d done with Alarrah or Merawen, and–no, not with this character. I need to remember the goals of “no snark” and “be helpful rather than confrontational”.
I noticed this time through as well that Irileth totally has the same voice actor as Jenassa. So that actor apparently did all the bad-assed Dunmer females. 😀 (Sidebar: I really do like Irileth! And it still pleases me that the Jarl of Whiterun has a Dunmer housecarl. And that the Nord guards of Whiterun clearly totally respect her and follow her.)
Once I got to the point of doing the Dragon Rising quest, and fighting off the attack of Mirmulnir, having that Difficulty setting up another notch definitely came into play. That dragon killed me three different times before I finally figured out where best to take cover and keep firing arrows… and when to finally emerge from cover and get in the final few shots to take the dragon out.
Also noting for the record, since Mirmulnir is a fire-breather, I tried throwing the Frostbite spell at him too. Because yeah. I think Delga is possibly a budding battlemage! (Or maybe a spellsword. Lol. It’s not entirely clear to me yet what the difference is between the two, since the wikis just give me an overall impression of ‘these are warriors who also use magic’?)
Joining the Companions
This of course was the biggest difference from anything I’ve done with the previous two characters–starting with actually getting the opening encounter of the three Companions fighting with the giant at Pelagia Farm.
I took that as inspiration to go check out Jorrvaskr as soon as the opportunity presented itself. And as I noted above, it was kind of odd walking into the place openly, without intending to rob it!
So far, out of the characters in Jorrvaskr, I’m not sure who I’m going to like the most. Aela and Ria seem promising, though I’ll need to interact with more of these people to get a better sense of who they all are.
Three surprises so far in joining this faction:
- I of course already knew that Eorlund Gray-Mane was a character. Every blacksmith in Skyrim talks about him at some point, and I’d seen him before on the few trips I made to the Skyforge with Alarrah and Merawen. However, joining the Companions actually puts you into a position to actually deal with him more directly and have actual conversations with him and stuff. So I had a bit of an “oh you actually exist” moment when I started actually talking to the guy.
- It was very surprising to be sent out into the yard behind Jorrvaskr to do some practice sparring with Vilkas–only to have this completely piss off Lydia, who jumped in to attack Vilkas. Which also provoked Eorlund into running down from the Skyforge. Next thing I knew Vilkas had killed me. YIKES?
- The first official “do something as a Companion” quest let me punch Belethor in the face!
Seriously, any player who’s ever shopped in Whiterun knows Belethor is a total jerk. Hell, even the guards in Whiterun know it, they have dialogue lines about him being a “sleazy little man”. I’ve been wanting to punch that guy since I first heard him drawl “Do come back” at me when I’m leaving his shop.
And the Hired Muscle quest let me actually punch him. Because it can send you to go intimidate almost any citizen of Skyrim, and I just happened to get lucky and get Belethor as my target.
Very surprised as well that his assistant Sigurd didn’t flip out when the fight broke out? But maybe that’s just because Belethor came at me first? All I did was tell him “I’m here to resolve a dispute”, and it was game on, he came around the counter and started to brawl.
Last but not least it does kind of amuse me about how fast you start getting hints that something about the Companions is more than meets the eye. Certain comments about hunting and blood the characters make to one another.
(And given how I’m seeing Delga as a cinnamon roll, this is going to be real interesting thinking about how that’ll stack up against her being a werewolf. Giant puppy? Ha!)
Jarl Balgruuf did tell Delga to go speak to the Greybeards, so I better go do that, I think? And that Delga did not actually go straight to the Throat of the World, and instead got herself involved with the Companions, says potentially interesting things about how this cinnamon roll of a young Orc perhaps has visions of glory and battle.
Which in turn suggests that maybe she bailed on whatever stronghold she was raised in? Must definitely think about this.
I also want to go to Halted Stream Camp and get Amren his sword. Partly because making friends with Amren fits well with my character goals, and partly because Halted Stream Camp is a very profitable bandit lair to clear out. 😀 I suspect though that Lydia is going to have to gently remind her thane that she really does have go to the Throat of the World as the Jarl commanded.
“Oh I know! And we will! But I just want to help that guy get his sword back first. Won’t take long.”
So yeah, I’ll see what order I do these things in!
Editing to add
- 11/18/2023: Fixed missing gallery, and added a session number.