Finally got Lakeview Manor started, setting up my third official home in this run and the first of the buildable ones! And also moved the Companions plotline a little further along, by assassinating a Silver Hand leader by the order of Aela the Huntress.
Plus, a side helping of bandit bounty, and as always, lots and lots and lots of smithing!
- Boinged to Falkreath
- Got bounty for bandit chief in Bilegulch Mine
- Bought land for Lakeview
- Fought bandits on the way since the road there went through that tower structure and it respawned
- Built the small house structure
- Decided to head to Riverwood next to see Delphine; got the horn back
- Went with Delphine to Kynesgrove to take out Sahloknir; oh shit, I’ve seen that big black dragon before, says the Dragonborn
- Got the pointer to do the Thalmor Embassy quest
- Boinged back to High Hrothgar to turn in the horn; got final word of Unrelenting Force; also got a pointer to go find the word in Ragnvald
- Boinged back to Lakeview briefly to build things
- Boinged to Half-Moon mill to buy lumber; waited overnight for Hert to be available
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell and smith stuff, nabbed a bunch of relevant materials, also nabbed a few things from Breezehome
- Told Lydia to stay put at Breezehome so I could go get one of the orcs to be steward; got Ogol to agree to be steward once I got him to Lakeview
- Built a few things including the main house structure
- Decided to go take out the Silver Hand leader next
- Boinged to watchtower
- YAY frost dragon BOO it killed me; thrown back to Lakeview to just after I finished building out the bed in the main house, so good, Ogol is still steward
- And this time Rayya had caught up, so now she’s on site
- Built a few more things, then boinged to watchtower again
- YAY dragon (regular one this time) and the guards and I killed it
- But OH SHIT it was attacking a giant
- OH SHIT the giant’s pissed
- OH SHIT he’s coming at me
- WHEW I shot him down
- Headed back into Whiterun, found Khajiit were on site, sold a bunch of things to Ri’saad
- Wound up with enough gold to buy a couple rounds of Sneak training off of Khayla
- Headed into Breezehome to put some things away and do some alchemy, then got Lydia to head out
- Fast traveled to Weynon Stones
- Silver Hands at Fort Fellhammer saw us coming and started shooting
- I charged in and whipped out Volendrung and started swinging; very satisfying to smack ‘em all with that great big hammer 😉
- Lyds and I took out the three Silver Hands outside the fort
- Got the chief next, who turned out to be an orc, and I swiped all his gear including some Nordic armor
- Cleared the mine section next, took out a few more Silver Hands, and mined all the iron veins in there
- Got overloaded so welp guess I’m hoofing it back to Whiterun
- Whirlwind-Sprinted back towards Whiterun
- Attacked by Boethiah cultist, dispatched same, did not read his book (because fuck a quest that insists that you kill a follower)
- Got close enough to Loreius Farm to see Cicero’s carriage near it, and veered off going that direction because I didn’t want to deal with Cicero while overloaded
- Made it back to Whiterun
- Sold a bunch of stuff to Elrindir, and bought him out of elven and glass arrows
- Made it to Jorrvaskr and reported in to Aela
- Got next quest from her to find a fragment of Wuuthrad at Lost Knife Hideout, also a round of Archery training
- However, decided to go kill the bandit chief in Bilegulch Mine
- Cleared the place, walloped all the bandits with Volendrung, and mined all the orichalcum veins for good measure
- Boinged to Falkreath to get the payment for the bounty
- Sold assorted bandit loot to Lod and Solaf
- Boinged back to Lakeview
- Got Ogol to buy me a bunch of sawn logs so I could build more things; also got him to buy a carriage driver
- Built the entire house structure, opted for armory + storage wing + bedrooms
- Also built out more furniture so Ogol and Rayya will both have beds, and so that I could have a bed when I sleep there
- Used all that handy orichalcum I had to improve my Orcish armor up to legendary
- Boinged back to Whiterun and sold more things to Elrindir
- Parked in Breezehome and saved for the night
Buying land, building Lakeview, and getting a steward
I really liked my decision in Merawen’s run to get separate characters (besides my housecarls) to be stewards of the buildable houses, Lakeview Manor, Heljarchen Hall, and Windstad Manor. My reasoning for this holds: that it means more people are actually living in those houses, and in case I actually need my housecarl at that location for something, I don’t have to leave the house entirely empty.
From a gameplay perspective, I know nothing would actually happen to the place. From a purely IC perspective, though, I feel like this would be important to my character! So I’m doing this purely for a roleplay aid.
And in Delga’s case in particular, it raised the interesting possibility of how to bring in as her stewards for the buildable places once I get them. I felt like she’d want to bring in orcs, if possible. But there are only three orcs on the list of NPCs available to serve the player a steward. They’re all male, which disappoints me slightly as I do appreciate bringing in women where I can.
But on the other hand, two of the three are characters at Largashbur, the stronghold where I just did the Cursed Tribe quest and where I got the hammer Volendrung.
So I had a fun roleplay dilemma to debate with myself about here.
Point: If I went and got the two orcs from that stronghold to be my steward, it’d significantly raise their chances of not getting killed by giants! (I can’t say it’d entirely eliminate them; I have seen giants attack the buildable houses enough times to know that.)
Counterpoint: It’d also mean two fewer warriors at Largashbur, a stronghold already suffering from giant attacks due to Malacath’s curse. I feel like Delga, as an orc, would be aware that asking two of a stronghold’s warriors to leave the place and come be her stewards is problematic at best.
Also, Delga herself is not exactly a traditional orc. She’s a female orc not currently bound to any stronghold, having abandoned hers for a life amongst the cities, rather than commit herself to becoming one of several wives of a chieftain. So there are legit questions here of how orcs in a stronghold would react to her, and what they’d think about choosing to go serve a female who is very clearly not behaving the way their culture believes most females should behave.
Rebuttal: For Largashbur in particular, these orcs do know Malacath allowed her to keep the hammer Volendrung. Therefore, arguably, they could perceive her as being favored by Malacath. And therefore, conclude that if they serve her, they could also be favored by Malacath.
And for a tribe that just came through a stint of Malacath being actively pissed off at them, any way they could think of to please Malacath is probably going to be very interesting to them.
All of which leads me to going ahead and getting Ogol the orc as my steward at Lakeview, and I will go back and get Lob, the other one, as soon as I have another buildable property!
I’ve built out the overall structure of Lakeview now, including the wings. I’m going with armory + storage room + bedrooms as my layout there. I also like having a library or an enchanter tower in the buildable properties. But I can’t do armory and library, or enchanter tower and bedrooms, in the same house. So one of the other properties will have to have the library and enchanter tower.
Still though, lots of building to do at Lakeview. I have now reached that stage of the game where it’s important to buy every single scrap of iron I can get my hands on!
Side note: Delga and the hammer
I also feel like getting Volendrung probably makes Delga feel a lot more secure about her life choices. Even more so than discovering she’s Dragonborn.
Because sure, discovering she has miraculous powers and is able to eat the souls of dragons is awesome and all. But as far as she can tell so far this power didn’t come to her from Malacath, her culture’s actual god, and so I feel like she’s had a niggling little bit of doubt about whether her current course of action is pleasing to him.
Now though, she helped Largashbur. And she has the hammer. After being told directly by Malacath to put it on the shrine! So she has to be thinking at this point that yeah, despite what her culture may tell her she should be doing, Malacath has to be pretty damned okay with her current path in life.
Fighting the dragon and surprise giant at the watchtower
This was one of the more alarming dragon encounters I’ve done, just for the extra surprise giant, and how the giant came running straight at me.
I had to back up hard and fast to stay out of his range, shooting arrows as fast as I possibly could. I pulled it off, but it took me several shots to do so!
And I also note that while the watchtower guards did shoot at the dragon and help me take it out, they did not shoot at the giant. Geez, you guys, were you out of arrows or what?
Next time I fight a giant, though, I’ll need to see if I can take it down with the hammer. 😀
Taking on the Silver Hand at Fort Fellhammer
I flirted briefly with taking Rayya as my follower to Fort Fellhammer, but ultimately decided to go with Lyds. Because this was Companion business. And Lydia is the housecarl who actually saw me become a member of the Circle.
Plus, she’s also got better armor than Rayya does right now!
So Lyds it was. Now, I’d run Fort Fellhammer as Merawen, but not as Alarrah. So not brand new territory, but still fairly fresh!
Turned out that the Silver Hand leader I was supposed to kill was a fellow orc. This raises interesting questions to me about whether the orcs have any different attitudes about lycanthropy than the rest of the races of Tamriel? The overall impression I have from reading around on the wiki is that almost everybody flips their shit over werewolves, just like how almost everybody flips their shit over vampires.
You could make an argument that the Silver Hand are to werewolves what the Dawnguard are to vampires. But there is a critical difference between the groups, according to the wiki. Which is: the Silver Hand in a lot of ways are little better than bandits. They’ve been known to attack and torture innocent civilians. And if you encounter them as the player character, they will be hostile to you even if you’re not a werewolf.
And here my Delga is a werewolf. That she willingly accepted this says real interesting things about how not connected she must be to traditional orc culture. Possibly also how she might have taken the offer from Aela and Skjor because she thought it was the price to pay for being offered glory among the Companions?
And there are also questions here of how she must feel about orcs who hunt werewolves. This orc in particular, though? If the Silver Hand are little better than bandits, and the Code of Malacath expressly prohibits theft, I think Delga felt free to say fuck this guy and whack him into Oblivion with the hammer.
And speaking of whacking orcs with Volendrung
I’d kind of forgotten that Bilegulch Mine was populated exclusively by orcs.
But no scruples about taking these guys out, either. Because bandits. Seriously, fuck those guys!
And no scruples whatsoever about mining every single orichalcum vein in the place when I was done with the hammer-smashing, either.
I need to go after that fragment of Wuuthrad, which will take me to Lost Knife Hideout, one of the bandit lairs I spotted as Merawen but with which I have not yet actually engaged.
And I suspect going after Grimsever so I can return it to Mjoll the Lioness is in my near future, too!
Still on screenshot hiatus, until my galleries are fully fixed.
Editing to add 11/28/2021
Galleries are now fixed! So here’s the screencaps for this session! Most of these were because I wanted to see what the lines being uttered in the dragon language were, with the subtitles on.