This session was mostly about moving the main plot far enough along to reach Diplomatic Immunity–which meant recovering the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, slaying Sahloknir to gain Delphine’s assistance, and then returning the Horn to the Greybeards. And with a side helping of beginning the Bards College quest!
- Play date: 5/15/2022
- Session number in this run: 7
- Started running Ustengrav
- Leveled up to 18; took Health bump; took Animage perk in Illusion
- Ran the place and got at least a bit of loot, filled a few soul gems, got the first word of Become Ethereal
- OHNOEZ where could the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller POSSIBLY BE
- Finished running the place and boinged back to Western Watchtower
- Went in to sell a few things; destroyed a couple more things for enchantments; made some potions and sold them to Arcadia the next morning
- Headed to Riverwood to ask Delphine WTF; got her objective to go to Kynesgrove
- Ran into fire mage vs. ice mage fight at the spawn point near White River Watch; Delphine delivered quite the wallop, and I wound up blowing the ice mage adept off a slope with Unrelenting Force; didn’t find either body though and wasn’t inclined to look for them long
- Lost track of Delphine? She got ahead of us? Lyds and I hoofed it after her
- Valtheim Towers reset, so this time I actually ran it, because now I have Faanshi’s anti-bandit backstory set; cleared the place without too much trouble
- Killed a few wolves and also my first cave bear with this alt
- Discovered Mixwater Mill and Windhelm Stables for the map
- Made it to Kynesgrove; Delphine was waiting so got down to the business of taking out Sahloknir
- Got Delphine on board with helping me out after the dragon was dead
- Got her plan to raid the Thalmor Embassy; so while she went off to plot, I boinged to High Hrothgar to give the Greybeards the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller back
- Got them to recognize me as Dragonborn; got the third word of Unrelenting Force
- Also got pointer to word wall at Volunruud (which I’d conveniently already discovered the previous session heading to Morthal)
- Boinged back to Whiterun; did some more shopping with Ri’saad
- Did a bit of alchemy in Breezehome; sold some extra clothes to Belethor
- Took the carriage to Solitude
- Ma’dran’s Khajiit were outside Solitude so shopped with them! Bought several bear skins
- Chatted with Noster Eagle-Eye and got the quest to get his helmet back
- Went to Bards College and started that plot
- Bought five rounds of Speech training with Giraud
- Headed south to Dead Men’s Respite
- Passed noble on horse + Imperial escort
- Attacked by Khajiit skooma addict simultaneously with mudcrab
- Spotted Stormcloaks vs. Imperials fight; Stormcloaks won; I helped myself to the armor and arms from the fallen Imperials
- Onward to Dead Men’s Respite; parked there and saved for the night
Going by the advice of the Spellsword/Battlemage builds post on skyrimguides.com, I’ve started dropping more perks on Faanshi’s Illusion tree. I really want to get Quiet Casting unlocked as fast as possible. I haven’t really unlocked the full potential of a powerful Illusion tree, I think. Ysani was more Conjuration, but I think I’ll try to aim for Faanshi’s major magical specialty being Illusion.
(Which is not to say I won’t unlock summoning a Dremora Lord, because I totally will. Having my dremora lord buddy is way too handy!)
I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t called this out in previous playthrough posts, so just to get this on record, note to Future Me, and also note to any other Skyrim players who might find this post: when running through that gate puzzle in Ustengrav, remember to sprint through the tone pillars, then hit Whirlwind Sprint to make it past the gates.
It always takes me a time or two to remember how to do that correctly! On the Switch, this means initiating a sprint with the left JoyCon’s stick, and then doing the Shout while I’m sprinting, with the R key on the right JoyCon. And it also means just sprinting straight through the tone pillars, not trying to run to each one to activate it individually. That wastes seconds you don’t have when you have to get through those gates before they come back down. If you do it right, you’re still running past the tone pillars close enough to trigger them. Just aim straight at the gates and start sprinting.
(And oh yeah: if you have a follower, Future Me, make them stay put so they don’t also try to follow you through the gates.)
Other than that, as I have called out in previous playthrough posts, Ustengrav goes a lot faster when you know what you’re doing.
Delphine vanishing on me en route to Kynesgrove felt kind of like the opposite of Barbas vanishing on me in Kilkreath–i.e., Delphine got ahead of me, I think, whereas I got ahead of Barbas. Reminder to self though that I need to be more careful about that. If I’m going to go to the trouble of having an essential follower, I need to have them properly on hand to take full advantage of that! This will be important later, definitely, once I’m running Dawnguard and have Serana.
It’s a little weird to me at this point running into the mage fight encounter when I’m not on Solstheim. The one I ran into in this session is so far the second one I’ve seen, though, so apparently Faanshi’s just rolling lucky on getting mages on the World Interactions table? Or something?
Heh. Bought five different bearskins off of Ma’dran! Which, after the one I killed on the way to Kynesgrove, got me up to six on the quest to get bearskins for Temba Wide-Arm. “Khajiit agreed to acquire bear skins for the mill owner of Ivarstead. Khajiit did not promise she herself would kill the bears.”
Took a little more time to pay witness to Roggvir’s execution on the way into Solitude, this time. Just to see what the various NPCs said to me, or each other, as they walked away from the scene. Several NPCs went straight back to their usual daily lines, though I heard at least one or two sorrowful remarks about Roggvir having been a good man.
Also: “Oh dear. Khajiit does not know if she likes this city, if her first sight of it is an execution. She worries that the next one might be of Khajiit.”
Likewise, encountering a Khajiit skooma addict felt problematic! “No, brother! Khajiit does not wish to fight one of her own people in this cold northern land! Ow. Ow. All right, fine. Khajiit supposes she must fight you. She apologizes.”
And looting the bodies of the slain Imperial soldiers after a Stormcloaks vs. Imperials fight definitely feels different when playing a Khajiit. “Ah, the fighting is over. Khajiit will help herself to the spoils from the fallen, if the victors do not wish to claim them. A peaceful greeting to you, storm-cloaked ones.”
(Because heh, just as I came up to loot the bodies, the Stormcloaks, who I thought had walked off out of camera range, came back! But they didn’t stop to hassle me.)
One more thing worth noting since I’ve now had multiple shopping visits with Ri’saad: it was good to note that I do not get the dialogue prompt with him to ask him about his homeland. Which I should damn well not, if I’m playing a Khajiit! I should already know about Elsweyr! So I’m glad to see that the game apparently accounts for that.
Going to run Dead Men’s Respite. Time will probably permit me to swing back to Solitude after to turn in Olaf’s verse and reinstate the festival. We’ll see if I have time to also do the three “go find an instrument’ quests!
Editing to add
- 11/21/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.