Main action of this session: a thing Ysani’s been waiting for for months, her chance to strike back against the Thalmor! By which I mean: raiding their embassy, rather more violently and spectacularly than I planned!
- Play date: 3/12/2022
- Session number in this run: 47
- Headed out from Whiterun to stop and sell a couple of things at Honningbrew
- Gave Argis the Daedric helmet I’ve been carrying around to protect his head! But not sure I like the look of it on him, I may have to switch him off to just straight up ebony
- Boinged to Lakeview to drop off the coral dragon claw
- Bandits! Only that thing happened where one of them spawned weirdly and I could not find the bandit chief anywhere, though i kept hearing him?
- Enchanted a few things, jewelry and bandit loot, to blow through my filled soul gems and get the carry weight down, and also to have things to sell
- Mined iron ore vein where Lydia’s been hanging out last several times I’ve seen her; also did a little transmutation of iron ore into gold, so I could make a couple more jewelry bits
- Boinged to Heljarchen and filled ingredients barrel there
- Boinged to Solitude to sell bandit loot and enchanted things; sold some stuff to Beirand and Sayma
- Checked in with Malborn and gave him all the stuff to smuggle into the embassy
- Reported to Delphine at the stables, got into the party clothes, and got on the cart
- Got Idgrod to be my distraction again, yay
- However, things got weird once I got into the kitchen because Argis showed up
- Welp so much for the plan for sneaking through the place, rampage it is!
- Started calling up dremora and throwing them at the Thalmor; eat fiery dremora death, you Thalmor bastards!
- Nabbed every small thing I could get my hands on on general thieving principles, including everything several Thalmor soldiers were carrying
- Particularly satisfying how fast they killed them even before they had the chance to threaten me with Malborn! Though i had to actually pickpocket one of them to trigger them into attack mode so the dremora could slay them, lol
- Did at any rate get out of the embassy with both Etienne and Malborn alive
- And also just as Etienne was thanking me for getting him out, a goddamn dragon showed up lololol; Etienne ran off but the dremora and Argis killed the lizard very quickly as soon as it landed, nice job boys
- Overloaded at that point so had to tromp off a little ways, at which point a troll also attacked, and I got off one fireball in its face before the boys killed it, too
- Ate some of the food I swiped from the embassy to get down under max carry weight
- Boinged to the Guardian Stones to go to Riverwood; Argis killed a couple of wolves for me en route
- Reported to Delphine in the inn; got her directive to go to Riften, and conveniently I wanted to go there anyway 😉
- Set out on foot to go to Honningbrew and sell stuff to Mallus to lose the Thalmor loot
- Passed a friendly mercenary in ebony armor
- Also a hostile mudcrab, but Argis killed it before I could
- Sold stuff to Mallus, then boinged directly to the Thieves Guild entrance
- Got into the Flagon and reported to Vex about the Stones of Barenziah
- Got her quest to go get the crown to finally put them all in
- Asked Vekel the Man about finding Esbern
- Got his pointer to go look in the Ratway Warrens
- Saved there for the night
Apparently it is possible for Lakeview Manor to have hostiles spawn within the walls of the house. I had another incident this session of a thing I’ve had happen before–where a trio of bandits spawns, but I can find only two of them. I can hear the third one, but can’t find them.
I looked this up on the Lakeview Manor wiki page, and yep, down in the Bugs section, they call this out. Very strange bug, and so far I’ve only observed it at Lakeview. Not sure what it is about that house in particular that causes the problem.
But that was just a weird little starter to the main action of the session: the Thalmor Embassy. 😀
And I would just like to note for the record that I didn’t go in planning to rampage through the place. But I also didn’t expect that Argis would actually show up in the kitchen once Malborn got me back there to give me access to the chest where he’d stashed my stuff!
I went back to doublecheck my previous posts. For all three previous playthroughs (Alarrah, Merawen, Delga), I had Lydia as my active follower. For all three of those playthroughs, she vanished and only caught up with me again in Riverwood, after I returned to report to Delphine. This time through though I had Argis as my active follower. So there’s a real interesting question here of which is the normal behavior–Lydia vanishing and catching up with me later, or Argis coming in to join me in the kitchen!
This does raise some fun questions, too, about how this plays into the narrative of Ysani and Argis’ relationship. It feels like Argis probably flat out refused to let Ysani go in there alone.
Ysani: Well, that’s one hell of a plan Delphine’s laid out, isn’t it? I’m ready for this. I think…. wait. You’re not. Argis, what’s that look about?
Argis: <scowls vehemently>
Ysani: Come on. Talk to me.
Argis: I don’t think you should go in there alone, my thane.
Ysani: I kind of don’t have a choice. You heard Delphine. I have to get in there, find the evidence we need, and get out. I can do this. It’s what I’ve learned from the Guild. And you know I can call up dremora to help me if I really need to. I won’t be exactly be alone.
Argis: <scowls even harder>
Argis: <gruffly> I’m supposed to protect you.
Ysani: I know you swore an oath–
Argis: <interrupting> Not just that. I… don’t like having to worry about you. And I’ll worry if you go in there without me.
Ysani: <staring, in a bit of wonder, as he can’t quite meet her eyes> But you can’t go in there with me. Delphine got only one invitation. <She lifts a hand to touch it gently to his armored chest.> They won’t let you in.
Argis: <staring down at her hand, and then finally directly at her face, when he cracks a small grin> You leave that to me, my thane. That’ll be my part of the plan.
Ysani: <suddenly brilliantly smiling> I’ll do that. And you know what? If you’re going to be my co-conspirator in this, I think you really ought to call me Ysani. Give it a try.
Argis: <his face visibly easing> Ysani.
Yes. This is exactly the way it happened. 😉
Still though I’m not quite sure yet how Argis managed to get into the kitchens. It’s not like he’s exactly stealthy! Presumably he had to bribe the Khajiit in the kitchen? But how he managed to get to the door to bribe her to begin with, and make it past any Thalmor who might have challenged him, is just going to have to be an exercise for the reader.
For purposes of this post, what’s relevant to mention at this point is that specifically because Argis showed up, I had to pretty much chuck any plans to run the embassy in Nightingale mode out the window. Because Argis is very well armored and very well armed, and he’s splendid at whacking things with the dragonbone greatsword I gave him. What he’s not good at: sneaking!
So I started calling up the dremora and hurling them ahead of me, any time we got close enough to any of the patrolling Thalmor soldiers or mages. Réjean, André, and Argis proceeded to lay waste to all opposition that crossed our path, and I think they even got into fights with some hostiles outside my immediate line of sight. Once we got out into the courtyard that leads to Elenwen’s solar, I saw the dremora run off around the front of the building and fight hostiles there too.
I looted a lot of slain enemies and wound up with six different sets of light elven armor, a set of glass, and a couple items off the first slain mage as well as Rulendil. Thalmor informant Gissur was taken out in the fighting, too.
So that’s at least nine different Thalmor soldiers and/or mages taken out, as well as one informant. Which brings the total of slain Thalmor and Thalmor operatives to 21!
And it was very satisfying to have the dremora ready and waiting at the point where I had to save Malborn, too. Kind of lollertastic that I had to actively pickpocket one of the soldiers, because they spawned without a trace of reacting to the dremora STANDING RIGHT THERE. Once I did that, though, the dremora instantly killed them, without Malborn getting his hair mussed, really. 😉
Aside from Argis showing up and having to rampage through the place, I also noted glitchy door behavior, too. Doors I was pretty damned sure I’d closed (like the one Malborn was supposed to close and lock behind me) kept opening again.
Also: just on general principles, I stole every small portable thing I could get my hands on, within reasonable limits of my carry weight capacity!
Speaking of stealing: I don’t think I ever properly realized before that Etienne is actually a member of the Guild? Which I should have twigged on before, when I ran this quest as Merawen and he made it back to Guild HQ and thanked me for saving him. But only this time through, when I looked him up again on the wiki, did I realize dude’s actually a member of the Guild! All the more reason to get him safely out of the embassy. Rather my duty as the Guildmaster!
I have to image Ysani and Argis simultaneously yelling OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE when that dragon showed up, though. 😀
Last but not least, once I did finally make it to Riften and hit the Ragged Flagon, I went oh derp right about the quest to have to go get the actual Crown of Barenziah to put all the Stones in. So that, I think, is going to have to wait until I get Esbern safely out of the Ratway and off to Riverwood with Delphine!
One more thing I want to note this time through: I surely cannot be the only one who looks at Elenwen and thinks, this woman looks super-gaunt and not healthy? Her cheeks are very, very dark compared with the pale Altmer gold of her complexion. Other Altmer in the game don’t look so strikingly gaunt as she does, and I can’t tell whether it’s just her in particular, some weird Thalmor fashion choice on her part, or whether I just haven’t seen other examples of Altmer who match her physical character type.
If I didn’t know any better though, I’d totally wonder if she was a vampire.
Interesting terms observed:
- Manoir de Hauteflèche: Proudspire Manor (lit. “Manor of Highspire”)
- Ambassade du Thalmor: Thalmor Embassy
- Jarl Idgrod Ailedejais: Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone (lit. “Jarl Idgrod Jetwing”)
- Parangon: Paragon
Proudspire Manor’s translation probably should have gone with my previous post! But this session is where I remembered to take a screencap of my key to the place, so I could see what it was named. And it’s almost a literal translation. I hadn’t previously realized that flèche, a word I’d known up till now to mean arrow, can also mean spire. But haute is high, not proud–I think? It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch in English to call high and proud akin in meaning for this context. It might be possible in French, too? The fr.wiktionary.org page for haut suggests evidence for this.
I’m also a bit late to the game noting how Idgrod’s sobriquet Ravencrone is translated. Ailedejais I think can be broken down into constituent parts? Aile is wing. And dejais can be de jais, two words, according to reverso.net. So Ailedejais is basically wing of jet-black. So not a literal translation, since it loses the crone part of the name. But I could see a more direct translation being a problem here.
Parangon, in this session, was the term for paragon–i.e., the function the Crown of Barenziah can serve for the Thieves Guild.
Left off right before hunting for Esbern in the Ratway! So will pick up there next time.
Editing to add
- 11/21/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.