This being Delga’s final play session, in which she does what it says on the tin: going up against Alduin the World-Eater and finally slaying him for good in Sovngarde!
- Sold more things in Whiterun to Warmaiden’s, Belethor’s, Arcadia’s
- Went outside the gates to call up Arvak so I could ride to Heljarchen
- Started riding and spotted a distant dragon vs. giant battle—Elder Dragon, and the dragon won the fight with the giant
- But I also spotted the bandits from the hillside camp coming over to attack the dragon, and when I came closer the bandits spotted me
- Got off Arvak and called up the Dremora Lord for help since I was overloaded
- Bandits took out the dragon but a couple of summons of the Dremora Lord took out the bandits
- Proceeded on Arvak towards Heljarchen
- Saw a bandit fight in progress! Spotted Durak and Aela doing the defending—and wait Aela I thought you were going to be at Lakeview, WTF, did I send you to the wrong house?
- But welp this is also why I wanted a powerful steward at Heljarchen 😉
- Also found both Lucia and Sofie out nearby, which meant the bandit fight was happening in front of the kids! Fucking bandits
- Dropped off a whole bunch of stuff all over the house
- Sold more stuff to the Dremora Merchant
- Fast traveled to Windstad to drop off books there
- Realized holy shit I didn’t have the stalhrim sword? WTF? Fast traveled back to Heljarchen, and whew I left it there on the weapon rack in the cellar
- Boinged to Solitude from there to sell more stuff; hit Radiant Raiment, Angeline’s, Bits and Pieces, the forge
- Boinged to Throat of the World from there; greeted by Paarthurnax and urged to the Time-Wound
- FUCK triggered the cutscene bug again, had to roll back to prior auto-save which was just after selling stuff at the forge in Solitude
- Take two of cutscene worked correctly and I was able to proceed
- GAME ON, ALDUIN! But fucking hell that was hard, took three times this time, though this time through I’m better at hitting him with the Dragonrend shout
- Tried crossbow the second time through, not so much a fan of that; also tried invoking the dremora but that didn’t last long
- Second time through, also accidentally called up the Dremora Merchant before I switched off to the Dragonrend shout, OOPS
- Boy howdy did I burn through a bunch of potions
- Took rather a great deal of pleasure in pelting Alduin with dragonbone arrows while he was doing his final pontificating
- Paarthurnax sent me off to Dragonsreach and I made my pitch to the jarl, which went rather more simply without having to do Season Unending
- Right back to Paarthurnax to learn the Shout to call Odahviing—which bypasses the entire question of whether to kill Paarthurnax, and I am okay with that
- And then right back to Dragonsreach, c’mon Balgruuf, let’s do this thing
- Odahviing trapped, convinced to take me off to Skuldafn, and off to Skuldafn we go!
- Dremora Lord and flame atronach called in to help with the bunch of draugr and the two initial dragons
- Also whipped out Slow Time and Dragon Aspect Shouts
- (In retrospect making both One-handed and Two-handed Legendary so close to the end game was a bad idea, had a harder time beating up on the draugr with my One-handed so low, but the dremora and atronach helped)
- (Lesson to be learned here: do not ignore your Conjuration, kids)
- Charged through Skuldafn as fast as possible
- Lots of level up on both Heavy Armor and One-handed
- Leveled up to 73 when taking out the generic dragon priest who had the diamond claw
- Took additional One-handed perk since I wanted that to do more damage en route to Alduin
- Got a word for Storm Call and only then realized, shit, I hadn’t run either of the other two places where you get the other two words for this Shout! Oh well lol
- Fought the final dragon priest on top of the closed portal, which was slightly alarming!
- Made it through into Sovngarde
- Did not find UIfric Stormcloak, about which I was disappointed!
- But I did see Kodlak Whitemane, so yay he made it to Sovngarde! Rest easy sir, I’m here to take out the dragon!
- Actually hit Alduin with Dragonrend on the first try and got him to crash; surprisingly, he didn’t actually kill me in this battle, and it went pretty quickly
- Did not let Tsun send me back to Tamriel immediately, just so I could go say goodbye to the warriors who’d fought with me, as well as a bonus Stormcloak soldier
- Then I let Tsun send me back to Tamriel
- Did final scene with dragons
- Then returned to Heljarchen Hall and wife and kids <3
The big takeaway I have from this session is that the final stage of the main plot is a lot simpler if you’ve finished the war on one side or the other, and you don’t have to do Season Unending. Because I whipped through all this action rather faster than I was expecting!
Extra bonus that not having to do Season Unending also meant that I was given an option to return to Paarthurnax to get the Shout for calling Odahviing. And since I didn’t have to talk to Esbern at all, that meant I bypassed the whole question of whether to kill Paarthurnax. I am entirely okay with this.
This did mean though that I had to bounce back and forth between the Throat of the World and Whiterun twice, though. Which seemed a little awkward, play-wise? Because it’s basically this:
Paarthurnax: Go ask the Jarl of Whiterun if you can trap one of Alduin’s allies in his castle!
Me: Hey, Balgruuf, can I trap a dragon in your castle?
Balgruuf: I’m sorry, I thought you said ‘can I trap a dragon in your castle’?
Me: That’s exactly what I said!
Balgruuf: I am not a fan of this plan, but I trust you know what you’re doing, Dragonborn…
Me: <realizes it would be a good idea to figure out how the hell to actually summon one of Alduin’s allies> <trudges all the way back to the Throat of the World>
Me: So hey Paarthurnax, any ideas about how to actually call one of Alduin’s allies?
Paarthurnax: Actually, yes. Here, here’s a Shout you can use to call Odahviing!
Me: You couldn’t have told me this the last time I was here…?
Still though I felt this was a reasonable price to pay for not having to worry about being forced to kill Paarthurnax!
Ooh and also: doing the end game this way also appears to have resolved the oddity of Sovngarde being mentioned in conversation with Arngeir before you actually know Alduin went to Sovngarde. Because in this playthrough, I never talked to Arngeir or Esbern, just to Paarthurnax. So that oddity of dialogue never came up.
As for the actual fighting with Alduin, the fight with him on the Throat of the World proved more challenging than the one in Sovngarde, possibly just because the one on the Throat of the World was all on me. Whereas in Sovngarde, I had the other three heroes helping me out.
Took me three tries to make it through the first Alduin battle, and each time it was entirely because of the damn dragon dropping flaming meteors on my head, and my not paying enough attention to my health bar to keep the potions of healing coming.
Just to vary it up a bit, and because I do have improved appreciation for my Dremora Lord buddy, I tried summoning him a few times during the fight. Didn’t help much, though. Alduin packs a powerful punch and was able to chomp the dremora right back to Oblivion very quickly. So I didn’t bother with that the third time through.
My Dremora Lord buddy was a lot more helpful once I made it to Skuldafn, though. Because there I had to get past a bunch of Draugr Deathlords, and for that, the dremora was much more evenly matched.
Also was very pleased for more opportunities to try out the Slow Time Shout. That was very cool, as it let me get in like seven or eight extra hits on an opponent before the Shout expired. I will have to up the priority of engaging this Shout in playthroughs to come!
As noted above, I regretted setting both One-handed and Two-handed to Legendary back on Solstheim. Note to Future Me: don’t do that so close to the endgame! You need to keep your damage abilities up for wailing on those draugr and dragons at Skuldafn, not to mention Alduin himself!
And I was really kind of disappointed that I didn’t find Ulfric Stormcloak wandering around in Sovngarde. I was really kind of looking forward to seeing him having realized that “oh shit, I was feeding Alduin this entire time by carrying out this war!”
Very pleased though that I did find Kodlak Whitemane, which was appropriate for Delga’s narrative and let her see that the previous Harbinger’s spirit did in fact make it to Sovngarde. <3
Just to vary it up a bit, I did also take a few moments before returning from Sovngarde to go talk to the three warriors who’d fought with me, just to see what they’d say. I felt that was appropriate! And it was nice as well to actually get good looks at them up close, because that wasn’t a thing I’d been able to do before either.
I was kind of delighted that a random Stormcloak soldier was also standing among them, and he too had a line to say, though his wasn’t quite as fancy as the others. I was happy to record them all in screenshots though! In no small part because given that Delga spent the war fighting for the Empire, there’s some nice narrative closure to get this little bit of praise from a Stormcloak, too.
And oh yeah one more thing I want to note because it was funny: I got back to Heljarchen, and the first thing I saw there was Durak out chopping wood at the chopping block. I tried to get a screencap of this but didn’t hit the button at the right time, so I didn’t get to preserve it visually. So I’ll just have to giggle here about his line: “I really like killing vampires.”
Delivered all gruff and Orc-like. And that, sir, is why I engaged you as my steward for Heljarchen Hall. Any vampires show up to bother my kids, I expect you to kill the hell out of them. ;D
One final wrap up post to go for Delga, and then I’ll be charging headlong into the playthrough in French, starring Ysani Demers, Breton mage!