In Which Faanshi Joins the Bards College
Busy session! This one was all about running Dead Men’s Respite and bringing King Olaf’s verse back to the Bard’s College, and accomplishing the first of the “go get an instrument” quests. With a side helping of starting the museum quest in Dawnstar, taking out a bandit chief at Broken Helm Hollow, and coming to the attention of Brynjolf in Riften!
- Tried to begin Dead Men’s Respite, but oops where’s my housecarl? Lyds hadn’t caught up with me yet apparently, from that last encounter with Stormcloaks vs. Imperials. Stepped back outside and derped around a little till she caught up
- Then began Dead Men’s Respite, take two
- Spotted Svaknir’s ghost, then took the ruby claw
- Oh HI DRAUGR! Meet my sword that really wants to make you explode!
- First death: killed by battering ram trap that I missed 😛
- Second death: killed by draugr past the swinging blades trap
- Eventually made through, and stayed the fuck out of Olaf’s way, and let Svaknir have at him until the draugr were cleared out; then I pegged Olaf with arrows from afar
- Leveled up to 20; took Stamina bump, and perk to cut the cost of Apprentice level Conjuration spells
- Olaf didn’t have an ebony sword this time! He had an ebony war axe instead! Boooooo
- Got the next word of Whirlwind Sprint, and some other tasty loot out of the boss chest
- Tromped back outside and handed some stuff off to Lyds so i could fast travel; boinged to Solitude
- Got a courier with a) Letter from a Friend pointing at Shriekwind Bastion, and b) letter from Dawnstar re: the museum; hold that thought, Dawnstar, I’ll get to you
- Got the stuff back from Lyds and sold a bunch of it to Beirand and Fihada; bought an elven bow and dagger, also a Hunting Bow of Souls to destroy for the Soul Trap enchantment later
- And Beirand also had a scaled helmet! Yay! Bought a corundum ingot off of him so I could improve it
- Sold stuff to Bits and Pieces as well
- Reported to Bard’s College to turn in the verse and help Viarmo fill it in, then present it to the court
- Talked to Jorn, got told to come back after dark
- Bought some Fine Clothes from Radiant Raiment (“Khajiit must look her best attending the festival”)
- Made a few potions in Angeline’s shop
- Finally, festival on! Got made a bard
- “Khajiit does not see the connection of burning this king and the war? But she is not of this land, so clearly she is missing something. But yes, Khajiit will go and retrieve this flute.”
- Armored up and set out on foot to head off to Hob’s Fall Cave
- Went past Fort Snowhawk, but didn’t get close enough to it to mark it for the map, just because I wasn’t in the mood to engage with the place
- Apprentice vs. novice necromancer were fighting near Meeko’s cabin, and Meeko was in fact in on that figh
- Discovered the cabin for the map and found Meeko returned to it; did not engage Meeko as a follower for generally obvious ‘Khajiit does not like dogs’ reasons 😉
- Vampire masquerade
- Came across bandits vs. conjurers; took out the bandits after they took out the conjurers
- Got overloaded by bandit loot but had a Draught of Strength at the ready
- Attacked by three ice wolves, but Lydia and a couple of Vigilants took them out
- The Vigilants were snarky about the daedra, and Khajiit does not take kindly to being told who she can and cannot worship. She thinks the Vigilants should mind their own business, lest the Hungry Cat eat their heads
- Marked Windward Ruins for the map
- Oh hey look more Khajiit outside Dawnstar! Sold them all my bandit loot
- Visited the museum and got the quest to get the bits of the Razor
- Stopped to talk to Rustleif and got the quest to bring him a copy of Night Falls on Sentinel (“Which, conveniently, Khajiit has back at Whiterun. She will bring it to you.”)
- Headed out from Dawnstar towards Hob’s Fall Cave
- Found burned remains of Yisra, and got Flame Cloak spellbook and her necklace
- Attacked by sabre cat, but Whirlwind Sprinted out of range and let Lydia and the atronach handle it
- Ran and cleared Hob’s Fall Cave
- Got copy of Aetherium Wars! And the first of the Unusual Gems
- Leveled up to 21; took Magicka bump and Light Foot perk in Sneak
- Returned to Solitude and gave the flute back to Pantea; got the quests from the other two teachers
- Headed out from Solitude and sold things to Ma’dran, since a couple of the Khajiit were outside
- Went down to the cart and bought a ride to Riften, and HELLO THERE FIRST BLOOD DRAGON OF THE GAME, which was promptly attacked by guards AND by Khajiit who were on hand! That was an impressive battle 😀
- Sold dragon bits to Ahkari, then hoofed it off in search of Broken Helm Hollow
- Argonian thief tried to mug me right outside the place; failed Persuade check to make him back off, then went all Don’t Have Time for Thisl (“Khajiit in fact will walk away from you. Her housecarl and her fiery friend here, however, will teach you the error of your ways. And ah, you have scaled boots! How convenient. These will nicely match the armor this one is wearing.”)
- Ran Broken Helm Hollow and oh hey one of the bandits was in fact Khajiit
- Discovered dead body of Leifnarr, but had to back off, because finding him without talking to his wife first is bugged; rolled back one auto-save to undo that, and just raided the boss chest and got the Two-handed skill bump off the book by the chest
- Returned to Riften; tried to go in the back way but got shunted by the guard around to the north gate
- Told the north gate guards this was a shakedown (“Khajiit is not impressed by your crude tactics.”), and allowed into the city
- Overheard Mjoll and Aerin; confronted by Maul; spotted Sapphire leading on Shadr
- “Khajiit thinks there is much tension in this city. She must walk with caution.”
- Made it to the Bee and Barb, and why hello there Brynjolf! Got his quest to steal the ring
- Got a room from Keerava and slept the night
- Got up and sold bandit loot to Balimund, and collected the bounty from Anuriel
- Saved there for the night
Apparently I forgot to record when I leveled up to 19? Oops! Welp, suffice to say I did that. Probably somewhere early in Dead Men’s Respite.
This time through I was honestly a little surprised at how much difficulty I had getting past the swinging blades trap in Dead Men’s Respite. I did not have the option of untriggering the gate out to that trap, just because I threw my flame atronach into the room ahead of me, and the insuing melee meant that that trap got triggered even before I got up there. So I had no choice but to try to get past it.
First several tries, I tried it with the Become Ethereal Shout. This didn’t help, as I discovered that the trap was still able to knock me off the bridge. And at least once or twice, it also hit me with a disease. Boooooo.
What finally worked was just Whirlwind Sprinting it. Barely. Because I still got sliced up pretty badly even doing that. But at least I made it through, and remembered to save after that point so that any future deaths would not make me have to run that gauntlet again!
“Khajiit was disappointed that the dead king had an axe. She prefers to fight with a sword. It is more like her claws. Khajiit was not, however, disappointed in receiving the next word of Whirlwind Sprint!”
I’d run into the cart with the fallen horse before near Stonehills—but I don’t remember ever coming by there and finding an active battle in progress, between bandits and conjurers. Apparently that’s the backstory of this cart? It was being driven by a group of conjurers who got attacked by bandits, and this time through I actually came across the attack. I don’t think I’d ever known what was up with that cart before. Neat.
Bard’s College plot went like it generally does. Though I am amused by the question of exactly what singing is like for the Khajiit. If they even do lyrics-based singing, or would their musical traditions be more oriented around chanting? I could definitely see a Khajiit performer doing some droning type of singing, or even something atonal.
Between running into the Vigilants of Stendarr, beginning the Pieces of the Past quest, and what I’m seeing about how Khajiit religion works on the wikis, I’m kind of feeling like Faanshi would be rather more nonchalant about any worship of Daedra than many humans or elves. Especially if Azura/Azurah is considered the primary Khajiit deity. And also, I feel like she’ll probably be more transactional about certain things than my previous characters. For example—not being terribly alarmed by the prospect of Silus wanting to get his mitts on the pieces of Mehrunes’ Razor. I figure at this stage of the game her primary interest in getting enough money to survive, and maybe eventually make her way home to Elsweyr. And if that means accepting a job from a dubious museum owner, so be it! Khajiit will acquire these pieces for him.
I am definitely paying more attention to how many other Khajiit I encounter in this run. There aren’t many in the game in general, other than the ones in the caravans. The examples I know about are:
- Random skooma addicts
- Some of the hunters in the Ill Met By Moonlight plot
- Random Dark Brotherhood assassins
- Bandits in certain locations
- The brothers in Alftand
- J’zargo at the mage college
- And of course M’aiq the Liar 😉
- Random general unnamed Khajiit who can come up and attack you like examples of any other random race of character
I figure every single time she sees one of her people, Faanshi perks up a little. Only to be quite disappointed if that other Khajiit turns out to be hostile!
And, of course, the tail end of this session was significant in that it launched the Thieves Guild plotline as well. I wasn’t actively seeking to join the Guild this session. But as I learned with Ysani’s run, it is absolutely possible for Brynjolf to come up and corner you with his proposition, even if you don’t approach him first. This time, he approached me at night in the Bee and Barb.
And what made that particularly hilarious is that while he was talking to me, both Maven Black-Briar and her son Heming walked right up to me and were in my face while Brynjolf kept talking. I’m pretty sure Brynjolf wasn’t intended to be quite that blatantly obvious to other NPCs about what he was asking me about.
“Khajiit is not sure her ears heard correctly. But she is sure the ears of these others have heard. Perhaps you should be quieter when making your propositions.”
Also: I have to admit that it feels almost too stereotypical to me for a Khajiit to join the Guild. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it, because I will! Again for reasons mentioned above re: Faanshi wanting to get enough money to survive and maybe make it safely home. Not to mention, feeling rather salty about the Nords giving her kind shit in general, so not really having many fucks to give about acquiring their shiny things out from under them.
I’ve mused before about how the Dragonborn’s various housecarls must feel about their thane doing things like, say, taking over the Thieves Guild. None of your housecarls ever bitch about this, or go “I swore to carry your burdens, but these things aren’t yours, what the actual fuck are you doing, my thane?” I cannot help but wonder if, realistically speaking, your housecarls would be a little more inclined to bitch about this if you’re Khajiit or Argonian.
All of which basically adds up to, I suspect I’ll need to send Lydia home once I actually seriously start running the Guild plots. Faanshi may be utterly pragmatic about what she needs to do to survive in this cold, hostile land, but that doesn’t mean she wants to risk pissing off the housecarls assigned to protect her.
I’m a little behind on posts, and the session after this one is already played. Main action in that was finishing up the Bard’s College “find an instrument” quests, which meant running Stony Creek Cave and Halldir’s Cairn.