By contrast to the last couple of sessions, this one was very action-packed! Not only did I get Potema settled, I also achieved the thaneship of Haafingar.
And got the Wabbajack on the side. And the 22nd and 23rd Stones of Barenziah!
- Set out north-ish from Heljarchen
- Passed the cave with the dead mammoth, spotted a live giant killing something in that cave, did not get close enough to engage
- Got near enough to Fort Dunstad to trigger response from exterior bandits; took them out with Argis + dremora + storm atronachs
- Argis kept whipping out the frost staff he yoinked off a mage in the previous session, and I didn’t want him to piss off the dremora again, so had to play that carefully
- Did not try to clear all of Dunstad, too big for me to tackle right now
- Headed north-westish and found Mzinchaleft but did not engage, already overloaded, will come back to that later
- Frost troll right near there; bandits a little further along, and dremora beheaded one
- And lol Argis did piss off the dremora again with that staff; Argis honey you need to not piss off my dremora! Boys! Boys! You’re both pretty, settle down
- Found destroyed cart
- Two different snowy sabre cats, first one of which killed a snow fox
- Two Vigilants of Stendarr
- Cultists near the Stormcloak camp near Solitude
- Made it into Solitude
- Sold a bunch of bandit loot to Gulum-Ei to unload
- Set Smithing Legendary to free up those perks and let me level up faster
- Dropped perk points all over Light Armor, One-Handed, Alchemy, and Enchanting
- Boinged to Heljarchen to pick up building materials
- Made a bunch of gold rings for enchanting
- Hoofed it down to Whiterun; passed Stormcloak messenger, did not engage for conversation
- In Whiterun, bought some iron and leather from Adrianne and got back some smithing points by making basic stuff
- Sold potions to Arcadia
- Bought a few things from Belethor
- Went up to Dragonsreach to borrow Farengar’s enchanting table; bought several filled soul gems off of him to enchant rings
- FINALLY leveled up to 58! Decided to break level up pattern and take Stamina boost; took Pickpocket Night Thief perk so to work my way up to Extra Pockets next level up
- Now let’s see if i can get that courier finally! Answer: yes!
- And right behind the courier: Erith and Lucia! Hi kids! Yes Erith i do in fact have a gift for you, here, have a dress so that i can tell you apart from Lucia 😉
- Boinged straight to the Blue Palace to find Falk, and oh hey look he’s even there at all hours; my dude don’t you sleep? Forgot to actually read his letter first to get his dialogue prompt though, doh; wound up waiting right there by the court area until it wasn’t the middle of the night, then got his request to go after Potema and headed to the Hall of the Dead to talk to Styrr
- Checked out the catacombs! Gosh there were a lot of draugr and vampires down there and also a cranky ghost necromancer 😉
- However, pretty easy to run the catacombs at level 55 with a fully armed housecarl and two dremora; got a boatload of loot and also Potema’s skull
- Went out the back way and hoofed it back into Solitude via the back entrance
- Sold a boatload of loot to Gulum-Ei, got up over 25,000 gold doing that 😀
- Crashed at the inn for the night then took the skull back to Styrr for him to sanctify, and then went to the Blue Palace to report to Falk; got additional reward money from him
- Got Elisif’s request to take the horn to a Shrine of Talos; boinged to Honningbrew to do that
- Flyby dragon; sold stuff to Mallus after I was sure the dragon was a flyby
- Headed on over to deal with the horn
- Passed Gregor; hi Gregor, where the hell were you that you’re going back to Heljarchen now? Are you and Valdimar doing a circuit of all my houses?
- Reached the shrine and placed the horn, then boinged back to Solitude and reported to Elisif
- Got her blessing to get property! Bought Proudspire!
- And went straight to the thaneship! \0/ Because I’d already done enough favor quests
- Had enough extra gold to buy some of the furnishings as well
- Went to go check the place out
- Hi Jordis, welcome to Team Dragonborn!
- Aaaaand there’s Stone of Barenziah number 22 😉
- Gave Dervenin a septim to do the extra favor quest to clear that line off the quest journal
- And ran the quest to get the Wabbajack while I was at it
- Went back to sleep in Proudspire for a few hours
- Told Argis to wait outside the Blue Palace, then went into Elisif’s quarters, took her Stone of Barenziah, and left her 1,000 septims; 23 of 24 stones acquired, TIME TO FUCK UP SOME THALMOR 😀
- Boinged to Honningbrew and from there, hoofed it to Riverwood
- Argis killed a wolf for me en route
- Hi Delphine! What’s the plan? RIGHT THEN LET’S DO THIS
- Promised to meet her contact Malborn in Solitude, and then meet her at the stables after
- Headed into Whiterun for the night
- Saw a couple of Vigilants chasing a vampire on the way; threw fireballs at the vampire to take it out for them
- Did a bit of smithing at Warmaiden’s just to bump the smithing points a bit
- Settled in at Breezehome for sleeping
- Sorry Erith honey, now is not good games time
- Saved for the night
So yeah this was a very nice, very crunchy session! And mostly kicked into gear because of deciding to go ahead and set my Smithing Legendary, because I was chomping at the bit to get to level 58 and wasn’t leveling up fast enough for my satisfaction.
So punting Smithing to Legendary seemed my best option. We’ll have to see if I can get back up to a state of having Arcane Blacksmithing by the time I need to go to Solstheim! And at least I’m within range of running Dawnguard, which will give me regular interaction with Gunnar for Smithing training purposes.
It amused me to see Argis using the frost staff. I’ve seen my followers using staves before, of course–Lydia and Jenassa both did it to excellent effect. But it’s always slightly alarming to me when my housecarl (or other follower) manages to piss off other followers I have on hand, and a fight breaks out between them!
(It is, I suppose, probably a damned good thing that Serana will take over being my primary follower once Dawnguard starts. I don’t want to have her fighting my future husband!)
Taking out Potema at level 58 was significantly easier than in previous playthroughs, when I ran that quest at lower levels, as will probably surprise no one. Being able to throw the dremora ahead of me to clear the way really helped a lot.
Which just goes to show: apparently for my playstyle, the answer to how to handle a higher difficulty setting is in fact to travel with an easily conjurable pair of dremora bodyguards! We’ll have to see how well this holds up for the inevitable next higher playthroughs.
Likewise, pretty much breezed through the remaining requirements to get the thaneship of Haafingar, as well as the Wabbajack. Speaking of: I might have elected to skip it, except that I read up some more about it on the wiki, and saw commentary that the Wabbajack’s damage output is not governed by anything, including elemental resistances of your opponents and your difficulty settings. Which means this thing could be potentially extremely useful in higher tier battles.
Oh oh oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that I feel like the French voice actor doing Sheogorath did a perfectly acceptable job. But he suffered for a lack of being Wes Johnson, whose performance of Sheogorath in the English version really is delightful.
I still have to giggle over how ridiculously easy it is to waltz right into Elisif’s quarters and take the Stone of Barenziah off her nightstand. Shit, there aren’t even any guards patrolling the corridor outside. At least in Riften, that corridor was patrolled! You’d think that the Blue Palace might be a bit stricter than Riften in terms of keeping eyes on the Jarl’s quarters. But apparently not?
Interesting terms observed:
- Jarl Élisif la Juste: Elisif the Fair (lit. “Elisif the Just”)
- Jordis la Guerrière: Jordis the Shield-Maiden (lit. “Jordis the female warrior”)
I note with interest that at least when I was having dialogue directly with her, Elisif’s name was shown with an accent over the first e, i.e., Élisif. I’ll have to see if it’s consistently spelled this way elsewhere. It’s not spelled that way on the French version of her character wiki page, so not sure?
I also caught what seemed to be an outright text bug, what looked like a line of dialogue bodged into my view of the door into the Pelagius Wing of the Blue Palace. See the screenshot below!
The French line of dialogue is:
À mon avis, vous devriez aller voir Isran. Vous n’avez pas l’air… bien.
In English, this translates to:
In my opinion, you should go see Isran. You don’t look… well.
This certainly seems like a Dawnguard-related line of dialogue, possibly one used when a member of the Dawnguard reacts if they find you’re a vampire?
If so, why the hell it showed up on the view of a door in the Blue Palace is a really weird and damn good question! What a strange little bug.
It’s Happy Fun Go Fuck Up the Thalmor time. 😀
Just the one screenshot, with the weird dialogue bug!