This session turned out to be a bit more eventful than planned–in no small part because I finally went ahead and got married, and adopted two children! All because Neloth decided to order me to go look at a Briarheart for him, which in turned required leaving Solstheim again for a trip back to the mainland.
Who I married: Aela the Huntress! Who I adopted: Sofie and Lucia. Where I settled them: Lakeview Manor.
Deets behind the fold!
- Did a little settling of inventory at Severin Manor
- Tried to make Elsweyr Fondue only to discover well shit, I used all my moon sugar, oops
- Spotted something large flying in the distance when I came out of Severin Manor and thought “that’s going to be a dragon, isn’t it?”
- Narrator: “It was a dragon.”
- Had time to shop with Glover, Milore, and Fethis before it got to the town
- Also popped into the Netch and bought a couple of bottles of Ashfire Mead from Geldis to take over to Elmus at Bujold’s Retreat
- Then the dragon showed up; helped everybody shoot at it
- It finally crashed up behind the mine, and I ran up there to finish it off; got the soul properly this time
- Also heard a madman ranting nearby; talked to him after killing the dragon
- He pointed me at Neloth’s Black Book in Tel Mithryn, and then flipped out and attacked me; Calder took him out
- Went back down into the town to drop off more things at Severin Manor and then prepare to head out properly
- Pyromancer vs. cryomancer; Calder actually started shooting at them before one of them could come after us; pyromancer won the fight and I finally shot her down
- Burnt spriggan (I think one I’d fought before because 2/3rds of its health bar was gone)
- Searched unmarked chest with dead reaver
- Two ash spawns and oh hey there’s my sample to take back to Neloth
- Headed on over to Tel Mithryn
- Dropped off Daedra heart with Elynea
- Dropped off ash sample with Neloth; got asked to go inspect a Briarheart warrior for him
- Time for second returning to mainland break! Fast traveled to Windhelm
- And there’s Sofie being all pitiful; okay kid, guess I’m gonna adopt you
- Only had options to send her to one of the built houses, because those were the only places I had beds for children; okay then Heljarchen it is, go say hi to your new uncle Gregor
- Dropped off Calder to watch over Hjerim
- Fast traveled to college to check in there and look at my stock of ingredients
- Got five rounds of Destruction training with Faralda
- Also sold her the staff I’d gotten off the cryomancer on Solstheim and the Fast Healing spellbook from the pyromancer
- Off to Riften! Talked to Maramal at the Temple of Mara re: marriage and a donation
- Off to Fort Dawnguard! Hey Durak, help me out, dude
- Fast traveled to Heljarchen, to get this place a steward who can kick ass
- Oh hey look bandits! Whose asses Durak and I proceeded to kick
- Hey Durak, wanna be my steward? Awesome
- Hi Gregor! I brought you a kid! and also an orc!
- Courier! Second note from Ralis; hold that thought, Ralis, back on Solstheim in a bit
- Boinged to Whiterun; sold stuff at Warmaiden’s
- Picked up things for children at Breezehome; also made a bit of food
- Sold stuff to Belethor and Arcadia
- Went to Jorrvaskr and Amulet of Mara’d at Aela!
- Got her actively following me ‘cause Aela hon, Imma need you to help me go hassle the Forsworn
- Adopted Lucia! Sent her to Heljarchen for a bit
- Headed out on foot with Aela
- Khajiit tents outside Whiterun, but no Khajiit in them, damn I was hoping to buy some moon sugar
- Flyby dragon at Western Watchtower
- Imperial guards checking out fallen corpse
- And oh right i gave Aela my original dragonscale 😀
- Hi M’aiq the Liar!
- Vigilants near the remains of Vuljotnaak
- Heard somebody call ‘somebody do something’ but for no apparent reason? Sabre cat maybe? It caught up with Aela and me, and I shot it down with the stalhrim bow
- Tail end of what looked like a fight between three pit wolves from Cragslane Cavern, a bouncer from there, a hunter, and a spriggan?
- Went past three of the Khajiit who belong with the tents back at Whiterun? What are you guys doing all the way over here past Rorikstead?
- Made it all the way to Lost Valley Redoubt
- Cleared the place, got a Briarheart killed off even before i made it to the hagravens; scanned it for Neloth
- Then went to the hagravens and took them out in the middle of making another Briarheart
- Got the last word for Become Ethereal off the Word Wall
- Then did the bard’s leap and HI GHOST BARD! Got the Speech boost
- Fast traveled to Riften from there; stopped in the temple to tell Maramal i wanted a wedding
- Did some shopping with Bersi and Elgrim
- Went back to Honeyside and did a bunch of alchemy to burn through ingredients; slept the night
- Did the wedding! \0/ Kids showed up as well as Enchanting trainer from the mage college of all people
- Decided to put family at Lakeview instead of Heljarchen, because that’s actually where I built a bedroom wing, so room there for four adults and two children
- Aela agreed to meet me at Lakeview
- Fast traveled back to Solstheim to take care of business
- Did a bunch of alchemy and smithing; leveled up to 66 and took Advanced Armors perk
- Slept the night at Severin Manor
- Got up to do shopping, and that kicked Speech up to 100, but not worth setting Legendary as I have gotten one perk on it so far; gotta fix that
- Headed for Kolbjorn Barrow
- Attacked by hostile Breton in mostly ebony armor; took him out
- Then tried to ride Arvak back into Raven Rock to drop off loot, only to discover I can’t ride him through the tunnel gate, WTF
- So rode to Kolbjorn instead and ran next round of the barrow; got the waterwalking boots and also the Ring of Necromancy
- Arvak’d straight back to Raven Rock for loot dropoff
- Did more crafting then slept the night
- Went out to shop again and sell Glover some things
- AND ANOTHER GODDAMN REVERED DRAGON
- Crashlanded behind the town in the same place the first one did
- And the bones of the first one relocated down by Fethis’ shop, twitching, NOT THE SLIGHTEST BIT CREEPY OR ANYTHING; also a bit of a frame rate hit, WTF
- Went back to Severin Manor for yet another loot dropoff
- Finally went back to out to get to Tel Mithryn
- Attacked by Imperial who yelled absolutely nothing at me, just came at me with dual-wielded daggers, mixed armor, banded + dwarven boots + steel Imperial gauntlets
- Attacked by ash spawn right at Tel Mithryn, gee I wonder who’s getting bolder in her attacks
- Checked with Elynea to see if she had any netch jelly; nope but she did ask me for a hagraven claw
- Checked in with Neloth; gave him his memories of the Briarheart from the spell; also got him to give me the ring to track Ildari
- But first time to go deal with the Elmus quest and also Edla
- Headed north along the beach
- Three reavers, who might have fought an ice wraith? I found an ice pile
- Reached Bujold’s Retreat; gave Elmus the Ashfire Mead
- Finally talked to Bujold to get her take on what’s going on
- Delga: ‘Wait, those little blue guys…? They kicked you out of your home? Da hell? Okay now hold on what if I come with you? Would that let you get it back?’
- Bujold: ‘Fuck yeah! Let’s do this!’
- Mead hall retaken!
- Bujold: ‘Come with me to Hrothmund’s Barrow! I need his blessing to settle in again here!’
- Saved for the night
Okay yeah so this turned into a way more eventful session than planned, in terms of overall life events for Delga!
I knew eventually Neloth would send me back to the mainland to go look at a Briarheart for him–another instance of narrative silliness. Just because I still have a real hard time with the idea of the Dragonborn taking a multi-day journey all the way westward, back on the mainland, to take care of this while Miraak is still a threat.
But hey, see previous commentary re: narrative flexibility in an open-world game. 😀
So when I got that quest from Neloth, I took the opportunity to drop Calder off at Windhelm first. He’s a perfectly competent housecarl, but not really much in the way of personality.
And stopping in Windhelm also put me back in Sofie’s path, at which point I figured the game was point-blank telling me “Hey you, are you going to walk past this pitiful cold, starving child again? Adopt her, for fuck’s sake!”
So I did! At first I decided to send her to Heljarchen, even though I settled on Lakeview later. I think I can handwave that narrative-wise by deciding that Heljarchen was easier to get to from Windhelm?
Then I boinged down to Riften and set the stage for getting married, by stopping at the Temple of Mara.
Next: boinging to Fort Dawnguard to pick up Durak and get him on board as the new steward at Heljarchen. Which turned out to be extra helpful given that when we showed up at Heljarchen, there was a whole fresh round of bandits to fight! And Durak helped me kick their asses splendidly.
(And while I was there, I planted some more deathbell around Ria’s cairn. It seemed appropriate!)
Then on Whiterun. And I legit wasn’t entirely sure who I’d choose to marry, though at this point I knew it was going to be one of the Companions: either Aela or Vilkas, as they were the ones with the most interesting plot presence. But I finally settled on Aela, just because I couldn’t quite muster enough commitment to having Delga marry a dude. And I feel like if Skyrim’s going to let me do F/F marriages, I’m going to do that as much as I possibly can. 😀
So Aela it was! And it was delightful to be reminded that I had in fact already given her a full set of dragonscale armor. I’m going to have to bring her back my dragonbone bow from Solstheim as a present, though!
Attendees of the wedding were both Sofie and Lucia, and Sergius from the mage college. Glad to see somebody from the mage college showed up! But having both the children there was helpful narrative-wise as I can assume that maybe Gregor sent them safely, and Aela was able to take them with her to Lakeview.
Meanwhile, aside from all that, the action on Solstheim was unusually dragon-heavy, with two different Revered Dragon attacks on Raven Rock proper in the same session. :O Which makes me less salty than I’d otherwise be about not being able to settle a family in Severin Manor–because seriously, if the town gets dive-bombed by dragons that often, do I really want my kids there?
Also noted though that both dragons crash-landed in more or less the same place, up behind the entrance to Raven Rock Mine. And that the bones of the first dragon being displaced down into the main town area appeared to cause a frame rate hit. I hope that this won’t impact the rest of my gameplay until I’m done with the Dragonborn plot? We’ll have to see.
Koljborn Barrow’s plot continues to move along, and I remembered this time through that there’d probably been an artifact I forgot to fetch on the last visit. So this time I picked up both the boots and the ring.
Last but definitely not least, I returned to Bujold’s Retreat and did the assault to help them take back Thirsk Mead Hall.
And now that I’ve done that, I’ve gotten some more direct experience with why Bujold is not exactly a worthy leader. I knew about her from the wiki, but now I’ve actually seen her in play, and my impression of her is not positive. First time I saw her she was arguing with her husband Kuvar about why they hadn’t tried to take back the Mead Hall yet. He was advocating for trying it, and she was pushing back on him.
Yet when I show up, and offer to help them do it, she immediately starts bitching about how the others in the camp are lazy, the subtext here being blaming them for why they haven’t taken back their home yet.
Conclusion: I do not like this woman. 😐 And I’m going to have to think about how Delga the Cinnamon Roll, who wants to like and help everybody, is going to have to react to seeing Hrothmund refuse to give Bujold his blessing.
It’ll be off to Hrothmund’s Barrow, to conclude the Retaking Thirsk plot!
I’ve also got to run Vahlok’s Tomb, and eventually swing around to run Benkongerike and White Ridge Barrow too. And there’s a Deathbrand hoard to find!
And Neloth’s nemesis to track down, too. Plenty of options to choose from and not sure which one I’ll do next yet!