This session saw the end of the Retaking Thirsk plot–in which exactly zero things happened to make me regret refusing to let Bujold take over proper leadership of the Mead Hall. Meanwhile, I found Torkild the werebear, went up against multiple trolls and dragons, and helped Neloth figure out who was causing all his recent troubles.
- Nabbed a few riekling spears and other loot off slain rieklings outside the mead hall
- Headed off to try to make it to Hrothmund’s Barrow
- Wound up at Skaal village
- Talked to Edla to resolve her quest and got several ingredients from her; also bought a final netch jelly
- Bought a couple more stalhrim off of Baldor and sold him some other things
- Set off again; wound up finding Kagrumez by going the other way around mead hall; did not engage with Kagrumez yet though, and have not yet officially discovered it for the map
- Took out a pulsing spider egg before it could explode
- Mined ruby geode
- Found Brodir Grove; took out the reavers there; looted the camp and got another pendant
- Followed quest marker only to realize I had the marker active for bringing the netch jelly back to Milore in Raven Rock, oops
- So okay stopped for loot dropoff at Severin Manor; slept the night
- Gave Milore her netch jelly
- Sold a few things to Glover and Fethis
- Headed west and north out of the town
- Spotted possible dragon flying over the water?
- Found shrine of Kynareth i hadn’t known about before! Actually found an albino spider pod first then realized, oh shit this is a shrine; put the pod back, don’t want to rob a shrine
- Mined emerald geode nearby, then found another one right by a gold vein
- Heard distant dragon? Possibly same dragon?
- Surprise hidden chest! Got good loot out of it
- Headed north along the shore
- Oh hey there’s Torkild OH SHIT he’s a werebear and quite bonkers; dammit Torkild, sorry I gotta kill you and go report to your brother
- Bristleback came up and also tried to attack me, sorry piggy
- And yep there sure is a dragon up there in the sky, and didn’t take long to actually engage it; respawned dragon, it didn’t give me a soul, probably same dragon i killed at the Water Stone before; took it out with crossbow
- Headed up into the hills to get to the barrow
- Attacked by two reavers, took them out with crossbow
- Went past a riekling camp; took out one riekling rider who attacked me
- Found White Ridge Barrow; did not engage for now
- Exploded at? Possibly by a spider?
- Almost caught up to Bujold who was fighting a troll; killed the troll
- But then the Serpentine Dragon from Saering’s Watch showed up and killed me, oof >_<
- Thrown back to just before killing the first dragon; re-killed it
- Re-killed the two reavers
- Re-killed the riekling rider; couple more rieklings came after me, so I sicced a flame atronach on them
- Rediscovered White Ridge Barrow
- And there’s the exploding spider, yep it was a frost spider
- Engaged a frost troll this time without Bujold
- Got her intro to what’s going to happen in the barrow, and just as I was going in wait what she ran off to fight a second frost troll? HEY LADY what about communing with Hrothmund’s spirit OH OKAY FINE
- Killed the troll, and the dragon, finally–not that Bujold was HELPFUL OR ANYTHING
- Cut back around to get back to the barrow; found a dead troll, and then another live one, which I took out
- Found Bujold waiting by the barrow entrance THANKS FOR NOTHING LADY
- Went into the barrow with her, and witnessed Hrothmund’s spirit shooting her the fuck down
- No lady I am totally not lying for you, Malacath would smite me if I lied for you
- So okay fine guess we’re doing this; took her out with a few swipes of the greatsword
- Didn’t take anything out of the barrow out of respect to Hrothmund but did mine a gold vein on the way out
- Made it back to the Skaal village
- Stopped in the great hall and chatted with chief Fanari; got her to give me a go kill the bandit quest
- Also heard Tharstan packing for Vahlok’s tomb, lol
- Waited the night in the hall, because fucking cold out there wot
- Then went out to sell stuff to Baldor; also bought a few things off of Edla
- Followed up with Wulf, which got him to bump several of my skills, go me!
- Onward to Thirsk Mead Hall
- Got quest from the smith to bring him stalhrim and ebony
- Went inside the hall; confronted by Kuvar re: what happened to Bujold
- Decided to lie to him on the grounds that Delga decided it would be kinder to not tell the guy his wife was rejected by Hrothmund
- Also got the juniper berry quest from Elmus and the spears quest from Hilund
- Headed towards Tel Mithryn
- Mined corundum vein
- Killed two ice wraiths
- Found prior dead reavers; nabbed loot but overloaded
- Rode Arvak down to Tel Mithryn
- Got out the tracking ring; found the graveyard
- Fought the ash spawn, using cold spells! Burned through several magicka potions to do it
- Went back to Neloth to report in; got him to figure out it’s Ildari who has it in for him, and send me after her
- Bought several new spells off of Talvas
- Went back out to fast travel to Raven Rock for loot dropoff
- Sold stuff to Glover and bought some ebony ingots off of him
- Headed back into Severin Manor to drop off some stuff
- Did a little smithing and enchanting; had four stalhrim ore, but sorry smith guy, I need these to better my gear you’ll have to wait till I swing back to the source
- Saved for the night
Conclusion of the Retaking Thirsk quest
Between what I’d read on the wikis and what I’d experienced in the last play session, I already knew I didn’t like Bujold the Unworthy very much. I hadn’t quite anticipated, though, getting some critical demonstration of why she is called “the Unworthy” when I finally rendezvoused with her at Hrothmund’s Barrow.
Part one of this was seeing her struggle to fight a frost troll. Part two was when the Serpentine Dragon showed up, and I specifically heard Bujold yell “I’m getting out of here!”
In other words, she would rather flee than join her ally in battle–the ally who had in fact helped her little tribe get their home back.
I’ll grudgingly allow that once the dragon actually landed to find with us, Bujold did try to fight with it. But she sure as hell wasn’t very good at it. And I eventually found her waiting back at the barrow entrance once I killed the dragon the second time through.
And I gotta say, as cinnamon-roll-y as Delga is, even she is going to be a tad salty when she trudges up to the entrance of a barrow, having just kicked a dragon’s ass without the help of her so-called ally, and a couple of frost trolls to boot… and the first words out of the so-called ally’s mouth are “I’d really just rather get to the barrow, if that’s all right with you.”
I’m sorry, did I slow you down by killing that dragon who was about to fry your ass?
So yeah. Already predisposed to not be charitable to Bujold. So when we got into the barrow (side note: the flooded chamber emptying of its water when we came down the stairs was a nice touch), and Hrothmund’s spirit specifically denied her a second blessing, there was no way Delga was going to put up with being asked to lie about Bujold’s being rejected by the ghost.
Particularly after Paul pointed out to me that Delga’s own god, Malacath, had already had her bring about the downfall of a weak leader. Delga is a pretty unorthodox orc, but she’s still an Orc, and this situation was too close to Largashbur for her comfort. The Dovahkiin who refused to lie for Yamarz was sure as hell not going to lie for a chieftain who wasn’t even an Orc.
Now that said? I did choose to have Delga lie to Kuvar about not knowing what happened to Bujold. Just because after witnessing the argument between Kuvar and Bujold before, I feel like Delga would decide that Kuvar’s heart was in the right place. And that it’d be kinder to Kuvar to not let him think his wife was an unworthy failure. Maybe specifically because these were Nords and not Orcs. She knows Nords don’t live by the code of Malacath and don’t value strength in quite the same way Orcs do. But she’s seen enough of Nords to know that they do place some value in strength, and she’d seen Kuvar specifically trying to do what she’d call the right thing and winning their home back.
(And as I write this out, I think that if Delga had been a more orthodox, less cinnamon-roll-y Orc, she absolutely would have just told the guy to his face that his wife failed Hrothmund’s test and attacked her. But I also went this way because I didn’t want to get kicked out of the mead hall quite yet; I wanted to do the other side quests for the little group, just because they are new things that I want to try before leaving Solstheim.)
Still though, overall? Between Bujold’s little tribe and the rieklings? I’m Team Riekling all the way at this point!
(Oh, and also? I cannot help but notice that these Nords, who are specifically supposed to be an offshoot from the Skaal, have the sort of armor and weaponry I’d usually expect out of Nords on the mainland. But I also can’t help but notice them bitching about how cold it was to live in the camp on the beach. You guys? THE SKAAL WEAR FURS. Why the hell weren’t you wearing furs? And did it occur to none of you to maybe, oh, I dunno, go ask the Skaal for help? Their village is just a short walk to the north! Sheesh.)
I was initially disappointed I’d neglected to bring Aela over from the mainland, just because at first I thought maybe Aela would be sympathetic to the plight of Nords kicked out of their mead hall. But here’s another thing–I don’t think for an instant that the Companions would have put up with a pack of little blue guys chasing them out of their home.
(Of course, Jorrvaskr is smack in the middle of Whiterun, so not even remotely similar situation. BUT STILL.)
Now, though, I’m kinda glad I left Aela at Lakeview. I feel like Aela would have laughed herself silly over this pack of clowns.
Visit to the Skaal village
Still not ready to do the end of the Dragonborn plot and bring about the death of Storn, but I also wasn’t just going to wander off and leave the Skaal village be. I finished up Edla’s quest and Wulf’s as well.
And, for the first time, I ventured into the great hall to speak with the actual chief of the Skaal, since I don’t remember doing that before. And I got her quest to go take out a bandit for her. Heh. I don’t think she’ll make me her thane, but this sure does sound familiar. 😉
More charmingly, I also overheard the scholar Tharstan–who, according to the wikis, is supposed to be the chief’s actual husband–bustling about the hall packing for his trip to Vahlok’s tomb. Which was delightful.
Followup on Old Friends quest
And then it was back to Tel Mithryn to do the followup about Neloth’s “nemesis”. I was overloaded at this point, so I rode Arvak down to Tel Mithryn. And also wound up engaging the ash spawn in the graveyard with ranged ice spike spells, for a change of pace.
Didn’t do as much damage as I would have liked, though. I think I better start thinking about dropping some perks onto my fire and frost damage in Destruction!
Got as far as getting Neloth’s orders to go find Ildari and rip out her heartstone. And on the way out, bought several more spells off of Talvas.
Ildari, I’m coming for you! And I suspect I’m about due for another visit to Kolbjorn Barrow.