High amount of things accomplished this session! Got Nettlebane and brought Danica Pure-Spring a sapling of Eldergleam. Cleared Ustengrav, and discovered some mysterious party had made off with the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller (ohnoez WHO COULD IT BE). Got Noster One-Eye in Solitude his missing helmet. Got enough ingredients to go finish up Balimund’s quest and a bonus, enough ice wraith teeth for Marise. So I was able to eventually buy Honeyside, and become Thane of Riften!
I started the Bards College quest, just to get the skill bumps off of that. And parked myself at Forsaken Cave to do the White Phial retrieval.
- Play date: 11/9/2021
- Session number in this run: 11
- Dropped off a few things in chest at Breezehome to get inventory down to bare minimum
- Took the cart with Lydia to Morthal
- Witnessed Morthal residents confronting steward re: the wizard in town
- Got greeted by Alva who commented how pretty I was? LOL. Apparently she likes orc women?
- Also got greeted by Falion and Benor
- Grabbed nirnroot in passing
- Did not stay at the inn though as low on gold
- Hoofed it to Ustengrav and ran the place to do the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
- Got first word of Become Ethereal, and the mysterious note to go see whoever nabbed the horn
- NOTE: And an Amulet of Mara! So now I have that in reserve for whenever I decide Delga is ready to marry somebody
- Dropped five extra pickaxes and a sword from bandit loot so I wouldn’t be overburdened
- Boinged back to Morthal to see if Lami had any nirnroot or fire salts
- Stayed the night at the inn and changed Lami’s shop the next morning; yay she had fire salts
- Got the last needed one for Balimund, also some healing potions
- Boinged to Solitude to see what I could shop for there
- Sold all the bandit loot to Sayma and Beirand
- No ebony 🙁
- Took cart to Riften
- Did Marise’s ice wraith teeth favor quest since I happened to have found five specifically for her
- Dropped off fire salts with Balimund
- Yay Laila Law-Giver gave me the thane pointer
- Dropped off nightshade with Ingun; no Daedra heart in their inventory though
- Decided to go after Nettlebane again
- Western Watchtower fast travel
- Hoofed it through Riverwood to get to Orphan Rock
- Passed Imperials + prisoner
- Cleared chest for Treasure Map I
- Did a little smithing and made jewelry at Alvor’s forge
- Sold stuff at Lucan’s shop
- Headed south-ish out of Riverwood
- Encountered peddler fighting off a couple of bandits; actually saved the peddler and his horse this time, awesome
- Got Nettlebane this time! Remembered to run hard towards Orphan Rock and engage the hagraven close up
- Better armor and more potions didn’t hurt either
- Destroyed some loot items out of the chests at the hag/witch camp on the enchanter there
- Fast traveled back to Western Watchtower to report in to Danica
- Sold stuff to Khajiit outside Whiterun
- Did alchemy in Breezehome to burn through ingredients, then slept the night
- Got up next morning to smith and sell stuff
- Got Danica’s quest to actually go to Eldergleam, and HI MAURICE okay sure you can come too
- Set out on foot to head to the sanctuary; played with clairvoyance a bit to pick a direction
- Critters killed en route: three wolves
- NPC I hadn’t seen before, Aspiring Mage with a Staff of Reanimation trying to resurrect a dead wolf; it didn’t work for him
- He let me buy the staff off of him, claiming he’d used up all the magic in it, but the staff showed a charge when I took it? Cool, bargain staff ;D
- Dead goat fell down the cliff near Valtheim Towers
- Towers had respawned; new bandit there did not try to charge a toll, because Maurice ran right up and tried to punch her
- DUDE! DO NOT ENGAGE BANDITS WHEN YOU ARE NOT ARMED, you stupid stupid man
- I killed the bandit, and we proceeded on our way
- Crossed river to take a shortcut to Eldergleam
- Mined iron vein near Cradlecrush Rock, and avoided the latter; yeah let’s not go near the giant camp with a very fragile NPC with me, mmkay?
- Maurice: “Those fools are actually fighting!” What fools? Didn’t see anybody fighting nearby?
- Went down hill to bridge
- Dark Brotherhood assassin, first one of this game! Whacked him but good with the greatsword
- Made it safely to sanctuary, but also heard distant dragon
- Did the sanctuary
- Maurice: “I had no idea you were a woman of violence!” Dude, I’m not the one who tried to punch a bandit barehanded, just saying
- Let Maurice do his prayer to get me the sapling anyway
- Fast traveled back to watchtower
- Did some smithing and leveled up to 23; took another enchanting perk
- Handed off the sapling to Danica to conclude the quest
- Sold the Staff of Reanimation to Belethor
- Got a healing potion from Arcadia
- Fast traveled to Meridia’s statue to go get Noster’s helmet
- Second assassin!
- Thalmor and prisoner: “This doesn’t concern you, citizen”
- Made it to Shadowgreen Cavern; whole lotta bears and wolves and especially spriggans in this cave, boy howdy
- However, cleared it out and got Noster’s helmet and other chest loot; also mined a corundum vein
- Hoofed it back to Solitude and came in the back way, and figured out where that actually goes now! To the Emperor’s Tower in Castle Dour, but also to the mill, NICE
- Gave Noster his helmet, and got Sneak bumped
- Shopped a little with Sayma and Angeline; got over 5000 gold 😀
- Went to Bards College to start that quest line; talked to Jorn to get the pointer, talked to Viarmo to apply, and talked to Giraud for history about the verse
- Went out to cart to go to Riften
- Paid Anuriel for Honeyside (though I didn’t have to go all the way to 8K, she took what gold I had)
- Got Laila to make me thane 😀
- Iona now on board as housecarl number three; sit tight, Iona, I’ll be back to actually furnish this house
- Headed out to do White Phial at Forsaken Cave
- Critters killed en route: two bears, two frostbite spiders, two wolves that killed a bunny, one simultaneous wolf and bear, two more wolves
- At Shor’s Stone, did a little Transmute to make a couple of gold ore so i could make a sapphire ring; also did some tanning and armor work so I could sell studded armors to the smith there
- Spotted but did not engage Blood Dragon, may be the Bonestrewn Crest dragon?
- Mined a corundum vein and a silver
- Passed a mercenary who killed a wolf
- Fought barehanded Wood Elf who attacked me while yelling “WHY WON’T YOU DIE?” Dude, maybe because you’re trying to punch a woman wearing heavy armor? Just a thought
- Trio of Stormcloaks fighting a wolf; let them be
- Trio of Imperials + prisoner fighting an ice wraith, ice wraith actually killed one of the Imperials
- A separate ice wraith that attacked me and Lyds at Forsaken Cave
- Mined an iron vein
- Stopped for the night at entrance to Forsaken Cave
Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest
This quest goes a lot faster when I know what I’m doing. Also, it helps that I know what’s coming at the end!
Really, the first most notable thing about this part of the session was running into the Aspiring Mage NPC, since I hadn’t seen him before. And I could not help but notice that while he was supposedly trying to wield a staff to resurrect the dead wolf next to him, there was no actual staff in his hands!
And I’m thinking Delga’s all “um, I’m no mage either, but I’m pretty sure you’re actually supposed to hold the staff?” Still though, it was nice to see that there are still types of NPCs I can discover for the first time even in a third playthrough!
The second most notable thing was coming in through Morthal to get to Ustengrav, and seeing Alva’s reaction to Delga. Called me pretty to my face. Ha! I think Delga’s probably not used to Nord women calling her pretty.
And given how Alva said it, I’m sure she was being all vampiric, but I also choose the headcanon that maybe Alva’s also a trifle queer. 😉
Also, this let me get another nirnroot and the final fire salt I needed to bring to Balimund, so stopping in Morthal was definitely useful.
Last but not least, I nabbed the first word of the Become Ethereal Shout, which is one of the ones I use a lot. So it’s good to have that.
And I found my first Amulet of Mara! So now I get to hold that in reserve while I think about who Delga might wind up wanting to marry.
First stop in Riften
After a shopping break in Solitude, I was able to finish up Balimund’s fire salts quest. And for bonus good measure, I also gave five ice wraith teeth to Marise, since I like her. I didn’t need an additional favor quest to achieve the thaneship, but I just like her, so!
This allowed me to do round one of establishing myself as thane in Riften: getting Laila Law-Giver’s buy-off on me being thane, and her instruction to buy property in the city. \0/
And while I was there, I dropped off all the gathered nightshade with Ingun. One more ingredient to finish up with her to settle that quest.
The Blessings of Nature quest
This wasn’t particularly different than how Alarrah and Merawen did it, though it was satisfying to be able to go back and get Nettlebane after failing before!
I still think Maurice is a bit of a jerk for giving you shit about being a person of violence, when he was clearly within earshot of your conversation with Danica in the temple. So how the hell could he not know your intentions?
Also, on this particular playthrough, I was amused about Maurice bitching at me about an act of violence when he was the one who ran up to punch a bandit in the face. Pot calling the kettle black, my dude!
But now I have Nettlebane, anyway. And more importantly, the ability to get Restoration training from Danica.
Getting Noster’s helmet
I had an imperfect memory of where the hell Shadowgreen Cavern was. I think I visited this place as Alarrah, but not as Merawen. I just remembered it was somewhere northwest of Solitude, but not which of the northward side roads I needed to take to get to it. So I wound up derping around a bit trying to find the right way to the quest marker.
Once I was there the main challenge in the place was spriggans. And I saw Lydia go into kneel-and-recover mode at least once, which tells me I need to take some steps to get her better armor soon!
Also noting for the record that I found a couple more nirnroot in this cavern, up at the top where the boss chest was. I had forgotten there was nirnroot in there! So that put me at 18 out of 20 nirnroots acquired. Two more to go before I can finish off Ingun’s quest.
Got Noster’s helmet back to him, and got my Sneak bumped for the trouble. <3
Taking that back to him in Solitude also gave me an opportunity for another round of shopping. That got me up over the 5K mark, where I needed to be to go back to Riften and buy Honeyside!
And one more thing about coming back to Solitude from fetching that helmet: getting to finally come into the city the back way, and finding out where that doorway actually goes. Answer: up into the mill in the heart of the city! And all the way into Castle Dour and the Emperor’s quarters apparently?
Which I was able to walk right into?
Security hole, much? Has it occurred to nobody in Solitude that maybe having a back door with direct access into the Emperor’s quarters, a back door that’s completely unlocked and unguarded, might not be a good idea?
(Note to self: consider bringing this up once I join the Imperials because I mean HONESTLY.)
Starting the Bards College quest
While I was in Solitude returning Noster’s helmet to him and selling loot to get up over the 5K mark, I also stopped at the Bards College to start their little quest line.
Not because I’m interested in the Bards College per se—see all my previous commentary re: being disappointed at the lack of general plot there. But the bump to every single one of your skills is still highly useful. And I want to go ahead and get that done.
Second stop in Riften
Bouncing back to Riften the second time, I was able to get Honeyside and get the thaneship! So now Iona is on board as housecarl number three on Team Dragonborn.
(And heh, it feels weird to be heading through Riften in a non-Thieves-Guild capacity, at this point! But no, there’s Brynjolf being all Falmerblood-elixir-y in the square, and Keerava isn’t pissed off at me! And oh hey I can actually go talk to Mjoll the Lioness with a clear conscience!)
Heading towards Forsaken Cave
Last major part of the session was heading towards Forsaken Cave on foot, so that I could be in a good position to run that place for the next session!
Forsaken Cave, in fact, to get the White Phial! And whatever else I have time for. I’m heading into a four-day weekend, so I expect significant Delga progress!
Editing to add
- 11/18/2023: Fixed missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.