Dawnguard,  Delga Playthrough

In Which Delga Forges the Aetherial Crown and Joins the Dawnguard

Pretty plot-heavy session here, since I resolved Arniel’s side quest as well as the Lost to the Ages quest, and began play on Dawnguard!


  • Play date: 12/20/2021
  • Session number in this run: 51
  • Derped around Windstad building a few more things, including shrines to Akatosh and Stendarr in the cellar
  • Boinged back to mage college after that, and bought training in Illusion
  • LOLOLOL new line out of Drevis I hadn’t heard before: “Have you seen Mirabelle around? I know she’s dead, but I thought… Well, I thought she might stop in and say hello anyway.”
  • Put things away in Arch-Mage’s quarters and slept the night
  • Got up next morning and got killed by Ancient Dragon in the courtyard 😛
  • Take two: tried to go to Hall of Countenance, no sign of dragon
  • Got training from Faralda, also bought Adept hood and robes
  • LOLOLOL new line I hadn’t heard before out of her, too: “Certainly a few of my colleagues aren’t quite as talented as they’d like to believe.”
  • Got next phase of Arniel’s quest from him
  • Came back out and there’s the dragon again; this time i got him, remembered to call my atronach first, and also use Stoneflesh
  • Got training from Colette for Restoration
  • New line I hadn’t heard before out of Colette, too! “Just because I don’t fit in here is no reason for others to ridicule me behind my back.”
  • My Alteration is finally high enough that I could buy Ironflesh and Telekinesis spells from Tolfdir! Fuck yeah \0/
  • Got pointer from Enthir as to where to find the courier with Keening; boinged to Cragwallow Slope to get it
  • Cleared the place again, with help of flame atronach
  • Boinged back to college to deliver the dagger to Arniel
  • Arniel go poof, welp guess i get to keep this dagger!
  • Boinged to Alchemist’s Shack to go join Katria to find the Aetherium Forge
  • Slept night at the shack, and looted its respawned ingredients
  • Killed cave bear in the morning
  • Made it to Bthalft and took out the bandits there
  • Made it to the forge and made the crown, and Katria went to her final rest!
  • Got bandit loot on the way out
  • Overloaded so did slow Whirlwind Sprint jaunt to Riften
  • Hostile creatures fought en route: troll, two cave bears, frostbite spider
  • Encountered noble on horse + Imperial escort, vs. regular bear; unfortunately the bear killed the noble and the horse before I got there; hope the escort got paid in advance!
  • The Imperial soldier actually called me “Legate” when I tried to speak to him! So ha, cool, looks like Imperial NPCs do know my rank <3
  • Frostbite spider killed by something that wasn’t me? It had a steel arrow in it
  • Chatted with Imperial guard and the boy Gralnach at Heartwood Mill; guard congratulated me for taking out the Dark Brotherhood, the boy lamented that he and his mom are alone at the mill
  • Made it to Riften, and fppbpt another Letter of Inheritance, looks like the chief Gularzob died at the stronghold, oh wells
  • Waited at the forge since I was overloaded; sold bandit loot and leftover ebony axe from Dark Brotherhood to Balimund
  • Finally bought the porch for Honeyside
  • Got Brand-Shei’s favor quest
  • Boinged back to Windstad for some more building and to get a dragonscale shield built
  • Did a lot of smithing and alchemy and enchanting! Made shield! also assorted jewelry and Imperial armor items which I then enchanted
  • Got the enchanter tower enchanter table built, and safes in the cellar
  • Boinged to Whiterun to sell some stuff, and to see if i could trigger a fast travel dragon
  • Answer: yes! Ancient Dragon! Also two vampires, took them all out, got first vamp while i was absorbing the dragon’s soul in fact ;D
  • Sold stuff to Elrindir, Adrianne, Belethor, Arcadia
  • Did a little alchemy in Breezehome
  • Tried to go to Hejlarchen but caused fast travel bandits, and they kept killing Ria, and that is NOT ACCEPTABLE
  • So rolled back to Whiterun and decided to go do Dawnguard instead
  • Fast traveled to Fallowstone Cave to get near Dayspring Canyon
  • Discovered Lost Prospect Mine for map
  • Fought en route: Arch Conjurer, three wolves
  • Reached Dayspring Canyon, met Isran and did the intro to Dawnguard
  • Got the mission to go check out Dimhollow Crypt
  • Conversed a bit with Celann and Durak, since I hadn’t done that before!
  • Celann = former Vigilant, also not comfortable with them
  • Durak lost two wives to vampires and is avenging them; ha, makes me wish Delga could marry him!
  • Fast traveled to Hall of the Vigilants to get to Dimhollow
  • Began running Dimhollow; did it in sneak because the place is dark and crawling with vampires and Delga, while a cinnamon roll, is not an idiot
  • Got up to just before the part where a vamp is fighting draugr
  • Leveled up to 52 just because sneaking; took Power Bash perk in Block
  • Saved there for the night

Mage college action

Really, the primary amusement I got out of the mage college this session was getting to hear three different lines I don’t commonly hear the NPCs say! I really liked Drevis’ line about whether I’d seen Mirabelle lately, which strongly suggests that the mages of the college are entirely comfortable with the possibility that ghosts of their dead colleagues might periodically show up and converse with them.

Faralda’s line feeds into the vibe I’d already gotten off of Colette–i.e., that this cozy little community of mages isn’t without its drama. And Colette’s line underscores that, too. Makes me feel sorry for her, in fact. This woman’s very aware that her chosen school of magic doesn’t have the same prestige as the others, and that unidentified persons in the college are not above abusing her for it.

That’s got to suck. And this is yet another thing I wish I could actually take action on in the game. Because I feel like that if the game’s going to go to the trouble of setting me up to be Arch-Mage, finding out who the hell is giving Colette anonymous shit and putting a goddamn stop to it ought to be something I could do.

Because for fuck’s sake, people. Grow up and treat one another like professionals. Have some standards!

Also, Colette is absolutely right about wards saving your ass from the undead. And speaking as the Dragonborn, they’re also saving my ass sometimes against dragons. So back the fuck off giving Colette shit.

My new additional headcanon for the mage college: making my displeasure about Colette’s treatment abundantly clear. And being willing to kick whoever’s doing it the hell out of the college. Or at the very least, assigning them to mandatory “helping rebuild Winterhold” duty and making them have to deal face to face with all the suspicious residents of the town, and killing two birds with one stone.

On a lighter note, though, it was very satisfying to be able to finally get the Telekinesis spell! Alteration seems to be Delga’s best school of magic right now, she’s past the 45 mark. So at least one of her schools of magic isn’t completely abysmal. 😉

And finishing off Arniel’s side quest this time led to my noticing a little bit more backstory about the dagger he ordered, i.e., Keening. I noticed this time through that he also mentions a companion dagger called Sunder in his dialogue to the player. And apparently Keening, Sunder, and Wraithguard are all artifacts tied into together with the same backstory? Sunder and Wraithguard come into the game via a Creation Club quest, it’ll be interesting to see if I get access to that once I’m finally able to play the Anniversary Edition.

Lost to the Ages conclusion

Nothing hugely different this time through, just satisfying to report that I concluded that quest and it continues to be one of my favorites. I really like Katria as a character. <3

Now I’ll just need to decide what extra Standing Stone ability to put onto the Aetherial Crown. First two times through I put Mage Stone on it, while keeping Steed Stone as my primary. This time through, for variety, I’m halfway tempted to try the Lover Stone instead. It gives a smaller bonus, 15% instead of 20%, but that smaller bonus applies to all skills. Which seems helpful.

And now it’ll also just be fun to see how fast I encounter Taron Dreth in the wild and have him flip out at me about having the crown. The “KATRIA’S GHOST SAID HELLO” epilogue to the quest is also great fun!

No goddammit you bandits you cannot kill my steward

Tried a couple of times in this session to go to Hejlarchen, to check on the status of my shrines in that cellar and build more if necessary. But the game was bound and determined to throw me a random bandit encounter fast traveling directly to the house, and each time, the damn bandits killed Ria because I couldn’t get to her fast enough.

THIS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE. I like Ria, and I don’t like that if your steward dies, you will not be able to get another one.

So yeah, I backed out of trying to visit Heljarchen for the moment and will just have to come back later. I really wish too that I had the means to improve the default gear worn by my housecarls and stewards, to solve this exact problem. Ria’s default gear is just hide armor, and if she is up against three leveled bandits coming at her with steel and Nordic, she’s kinda fucked.

And this is yet another problem that I know for a fact has been solved by mods, so it’s yet another problem I won’t be able to solve until I have a version of the game that can install them.

Time for Dawnguard! Time to kill some vampires!

Finally, I decided to go ahead and get the Dawnguard plotline underway with Delga.

Mostly, no new ground here–except for actually taking the time to stop and chat with a couple of the Dawnguard NPCs who are on site right out of the gate. Doing this, I learned that Celann is another former Vigilant, who, like Isran, was not happy with their Order.

Also, I learned that the Orc Durak had lost two wives to vampires and he’s bent on avenging their deaths. Which by extension means Durak is clearly a former chieftain. And if he’s not actually in his stronghold, that by extension strongly suggests his entire stronghold might have been wiped out by vampires?

Makes me wish I could marry Durak! I feel like Delga would want to have more conversation with him, and knowing there’s another Orc involved with the Dawnguard will make her feel better about being there.

Next time

Since I left off in the middle of running Dimhollow Crypt last session, first and foremost I’ll need to finish that and do the initial meeting with Serana. And I’ll need to escort her back to Castle Volkihar and turn down her father’s gift.

So maybe on the way to taking Serana home, I could bop by the Lover Stone and turn that on, then hit the Steed Stone on my way back from Castle Volkihar? Yeah that could work. Then I can return to Fort Dawnguard and continue on with the next stages of the plot.



Editing to add

  • 11/19/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.

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.