Two main points of this session; running the cave at Frossel, which I hadn’t done before! Which let me discover rieklings actually worshipping a makeshift idol.
And also: taking out the ghost frost giant Karstaag! 😀
- Ran Frossel—kind of one and a half times because I missed the East Empire strongbox the first time through
- Discovered rieklings actually worshipping something: a carriage and what looked like a ice sculpture they’d made of a horse :O
- Called up the Dremora Merchant first time out of Frossel but still didn’t sell him enough stuff to get un-overloaded
- Wound up quaffing a Restoration potion to get my carry weight items boosted so I would be under the limit
- Also discovered at this point that Frossel’s not actually on an islet, it’s on a peninsula off the main island so I was able to walk southward to the Skaal village
- Stopped there and sold a bunch of stuff to Baldor
- Then walked to Thirsk Mead Hall; gave Elmus the juniper berries he wanted, and got five rounds of Heavy Armor training from Kuvar
- Fast traveled back to Raven Rock for loot drop
- Decided to set Smithing Legendary for the second time and set Enchanting Legendary for the first time
- Got a bunch of perks back and dropped them all on One-Handed, Alchemy, Speech, and Restoration, which will beef up my Alchemy game considerably
- Also took a few perks in these areas that I hadn’t tried before, such as the 50 percent resistance to poison perk for Alchemy and also the Restoration perk for healing spells curing fifty percent more
- Did a boatload of alchemy, then started on enchanting my backlog of jewelry; bumped up enchanting back to 41
- Leveled up to 71; dropped a perk back on Smithing to unlock Steel smithing
- Called up the Dremora Merchant to sell him more stuff a couple of times; stashed everything else back in chests
- Slept a few hours in the other bed in the manor, then headed out to shop in Raven Rock
- Sold a bunch of stuff to all three vendors (which went easier now with the Merchant perk)
- Headed out of town and engaged cultists at Old Attius Farm
- Arch Pyromancer vs. Arch Cryomancer near Tel Mithryn
- Another round of cultists passing Nchardak
- Leveled Two-Handed up to 100 at that point; set it Legendary to get back the perks, and rolled the perks into Heavy Armor to really bump up the armor rating
- Swung up through the Skaal village and got five rounds of Two-Handed weapons training from Wulf
- Headed onward to find Karstaag’s cave
- Got him in one go :O
- Saved there for the night
Two overall points of interest I want to talk about for this session. The first of these was the cave at Frossel, which I hadn’t explored before on either Alarrah’s or Merawen’s playthroughs.
I’d stayed away before, I think, because there are several caves all over Solstheim that are essentially just riekling camps. And I do feel guilty, as I’ve written before, about stomping into their spaces and wiping out the little guys. I mean, sure, so much of Skyrim is in fact stomping into other people’s spaces, fighting them, and taking their stuff. Sure!
But with the rieklings it feels like less of a fair fight. At least the bandits and Forsworn are my size! Rieklings, though, it feels like kicking puppies. Small blue puppies that want to throw a bunch of pointy, pointy spears at me, but puppies nonetheless!
Frossel did not do much to dissuade me from this. If anything, it only exacerbated the problem for me—because when I got into the final chamber of the place, I found a bunch of rieklings that were actively engaged in idol worship. :O
And their “idol” was a broken carriage they’d decorated with a bunch of their symbols, as well as various scavenged artifacts like a knapsack and a pitchfork. In front of the carriage, they’d constructed a horse-like ice sculpture, and decorated that, too.
So I was all “wait, so not only am I stomping into their space, wiping them all out, and taking their stuff, I’m also interrupting a religious ceremony?”
I was not entirely okay with this!
And at the same time, I found this arguably the most fascinating little tidbit of detail that the game gives you about the rieklings. When I mentioned this to Paul, he drew parallels with the real-life phenomenon of a cargo cult, and yes, exactly that!
I’d already known that the rieklings scavenged things like dishes and other random objects from the Dunmer and Nord cultures around them. But I hadn’t really put it together that they might also be worshipping the providers of these goods in some way. The tribe that takes over Thirsk Mead Hall might be an exception to this if they consider the Nords led by Bujold as competition for the mead hall, rather than gods to be worshipped?
Long story short, very fun to think about. And it makes me actively wish I could befriend all the riekling tribes on the island just by giving them stuff, lol.
Meanwhile, the other big action of this session was going to take out Karstaag the ghost frost giant. And I was frankly kind of amazed that I got him in one go! But I attribute this completely to prepping well before I actually activated his throne to summon him. What I did that worked:
- Casting Ebonyflesh spell to bump up the armor rating even further
- Quaffing a bunch of potions of Regenerate Health, Elixir of Resist Cold, and Restore Health
- Stalhrim bow and arrows that do fire damage, fuck yeah; could possibly have also got him with the crossbow and the exploding fire bolts?
- Fire rune thrown down at the base of the throne before I activated it
And having Iona keep back out of the way doubtless helped keep her alive, too!
Not bad for a character only at level 71. Take that, level 90 ghost frost giant!
I think I’m ready to return to the Skaal village now and take on Miraak. i’ve hit all the things on Solstheim I really want to do at this point, so it’s time to finish up the Dragonborn plot, take down Miraak, and return to the Skyrim mainland!
Time permitting, I may or may not then proceed to the Throat of the World and see about reading that Elder Scroll. I hear there’s a Time-Wound up there that’ll teach me a very interesting Shout!