Continuing the Dawnguard quest line with this session! Got Dexion Evicus rescued, also got Florentius rescued, and proceeded to the parts of the plot where two more Elder Scrolls are needed above and beyond the one that Serana has. Conveniently, since I haven’t yet found the Elder Scroll for the main plot, this means I can get that done now too!
- Play date: 12/22/2021
- Session number in this run: 53
- Got schematic from Orotheim as well as other loot
- Serana didn’t catch up after waiting? Fast traveled from Orotheim to Solitude, at which point Serana caught up with me, so I took time to sell some loot and drop off things at Proudspire
- Proceeded to Dragon Bridge and got a guard to tell me where the Moth Priest had gone
- Investigated ambushed wagon
- Made it to Forebears’ Holdout and rescued Dexion; sent him off to meet up with us at Fort Dawnguard, and boinged that way myself
- Got Dexion to do the initial scroll reading and tell us we need two more scrolls
- Serana offered next convo about finding her mom, and I agreed to go with her to Castle Volkihar
- Checked in with Sorine and gave her her new schematic; got enhanced crossbow; got her next quest to find the fire bolt design; also got her quest to ask Isran about finding Florentius
- (And also bought a few things from her, including an Amulet of Arkay I can take back to Windhelm)
- Talked to Isran to get his permission to go find Florentius
- Decided to do a sweep around the map, on foot as much as possible, gotta exercise Heavy Armor s’more
- Set out from fort on foot; two vampires in the canyon on the way out
- Orc skooma addict when we came out of the canyon
- Cultists at the bridge leading to Riften
- Found a path that led up to Black-Briar Lodge and yeah not going to go bother that house (but now I know a better way to get there for future playthroughs)
- Wolves on that path before I turned around back to the bridge
- Came up on Riften and tried to go around
- Bear and frostbite spider
- Two Stormcloak soldiers that came up beside us and were all ‘move along’ and ‘this doesn’t concern you’; oh I THINK IT DOES, REBEL
- They picked a fight with the guard at the gate, and I got in on that action because fuck you, Stormcloaks
- Stopped at Honeyside to drop off some stuff, heavy things in storage chest, ingredients in the barrel by the door
- Headed north-ish towards Ruunvald
- Four, count ‘em, four different cave bears, three of whom attacked me at once; Serana raised one
- Also a regular bear and a frostbite spider
- And oh hey Thalmor execution squad! First time this game! Wiped them out nicely and then lololololol Serana raised one; she kept zombie moaning and it sounded like a cow XD
- Made it to Ruunvald
- Grabbed the Dawnguard war axe in the tent outside ‘cause I think I can use that
- Got ahead of Serana and her zombie Thalmor though; fast traveled to same spot to get her to catch up, which she did, but without the zombie Thalmor XD
- Started running Ruunvald
- I know that the Vigilants inside are all mind controlled but Delga didn’t know that, so I went in without sneaking first, and then the Vigilants flipped out and attacked
- Still tried to avoid attacking them until they hit first
- Made it through the dungeon and into the final chamber, but impaled by something? not sure who killed me, Minorne or one of the remaining Vigilants? I think I was killed by a crossbow bolt?
- Thrown back only to beginning of ruins section of Ruunvald; second time through got all opponents sorted, and Florentius freed and on board with Team Dawnguard
- Hit the boss chest on the way out
- Hostile creatures fought en route to Windhelm: three cave bears, one wolf, two regular bears
- Non-hostile creatures spotted: flyby dragon (maybe a Blood Dragon?)
- More cultists
- Made it to Windhelm and decided to stop for a loot drop; started enchanting up the Dawnguard Heavy Armor, but only had enough Fortify Enchanting potion to do two pieces
- Fuck I left the Amulet of Arkay in Riften; oh well you’re getting it next time, Torbjorn
- Onward to college
- Talked to Urag at the Arcaneum about the Elder Scroll; hi yes, I’m Dragonborn, did I not mention?
- Got the pointer to Septimus, and set out for his outpost; hit two iron ore veins on the way
- Hi Septimus! Do you know where to find an Elder Scroll? You do? Great! OFF TO ALFTAND
- Hostile creatures fought: three horkers, Serana raised one; two frost trolls; ice wraith; ice wolf which Serana then raised; snowy sabre cat
- Two bandits vs. snow bear observed in distance, confirmed bear won the fight once I got close enough to find two dead bandits
- Another iron ore vein
- Found Alftand Ruined Tower and then found map marker to Alftand; tried to fast travel to it to get out of the ravine
- Vampires! Triggered a sequence of near-instant deaths as I tried to figure out how to fight them; tried fast traveling to Alftand, also tried heading out of the ravine on foot the long way, they came after me that way too
- It took five or six tries before I finally got the right combo of flame atronach + ironflesh + potion every damn move + Sun Fire spell + Volendrung and Fortify Two-Handed potions to take down the vamp trio
- For good measure I actually raised the snowy sabre cat myself to try to get it to fight for me
- If that hard vampire fight wasn’t enough, also ran into a trio of cultists and a trio of bandits at the same time, on the way up the slope to the ruined campsite
- Whipped out Volendrung for this, because at this point Delga was absolutely fucking done and ready to smash some heads
- Quaffed one of my Fortify Two-Handed potions and saw a message saying I was too powerful for Fortify Two-handed? I didn’t know that situation was possible?
- Serana raised one of the cultists, I saw him charging the bandits–then she raised one of the bandits! So in short, necromancy all over the damn place
- Made it into Alftand; saved for the night because Alftand is a big dungeon and this will take some time
From a bigger picture perspective, nothing I did in this run was new territory. But there were several amusing little things I’d never had happen before, and which are worth calling out here. In no particular order:
Curious about the emblem I spotted on the shoulder guards of the Dawnguard armor, and which I’d never noticed before; forum posts I found in searches suggested it’s possibly indicative of Restoration anti-vampire magic on the armor?
Never had had Serana following me while attacked by Thalmor assassins, and now Serana raising zombie Thalmor is my new favorite sport. ;D
(Relatedly: this session is also the first in which I actually tried resurrecting a dead creature myself, i.e., the snowy sabre cat. I don’t think I’m entirely comfortable trying this with actual NPCs, but creatures, less morally dodgy, I feel!)
A bit of a change of pace having to head into Ruunvald and not try to snipe all the Charmed Vigilants. I tried to run it without sneaking, to uphold Delga wanting to give all the Vigilants a chance to prove themselves peaceful before she attacked them. Also, one or two of them reminded her of Onmund from the mage college!
Lots of scenarios in this session where multiple hostiles attacked me at once, from the gang of three bears, to cultists + bandits. I didn’t have any multi-dragon fights this session, but overall, it does seem like this run is getting more likely to throw me combat situations with higher than expected numbers of hostiles. I don’t know if this is a measure of my Difficulty setting, my increasing player level, or both.
The gang of vampires was unusually tough for me to get through! Possibly because my Heavy Armor skill is still down? Gotta work on that! Or switch to the Light Armor!
The thing with the Fortify Two-Handed potion was weird. I’d never seen any potion give me a message like that? I wasn’t aware that there was any kind of cap on how high you could fortify a skill. It might have been odd because of it being one of my weird multi-effect potions? I’ll have to try this again to see if I can replicate the behavior.
And I got a couple of screencaps of the ice wolf Serana raised. Notable because one of the pics is of her next to the ice wolf for scale, which lets you see how big the ice wolf actually is!
Poised to run Alftand, so that’ll probably be the bulk of tonight’s session. This’ll also get me down into Blackreach, and if I have Serana with me, that’ll make running Blackreach more interesting, too! Because this’ll be another “can’t really run it while sneaking” scenario.
I’ll have to see if I can trigger actually fighting the dragon or the giant down there this time. 😀
And I’m about to roll over to level 53, so we’ll have to see where I am when I make it out of Alftand.
Editing to add
- 11/20/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.