Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner is Revealed as the Dragonborn

This session got Shenner the Nord into the real start of the Skyrim plotline, i.e., the killing of her first dragon at the watchtower! But also, it saw my successful installation of the Anniversary Edition of Skyrim on my ancient PC. <3


  • Play date: 5/20/2022
  • Session number in this run: 4
  • Bought and successfully installed the Anniversary Edition! So much new stuff! \0/
  • Realized I had a pending level up when I started, so leveled up to 5, Health bump, Light Armor perk I think? (Forgot to record properly at the time)
  • As I was going past Honningbrew Meadery, had a courier come up with an unfamiliar note warning of necromancer activity and urging me to check out a ritual site
  • Bought almost all of a set of Leather Scout armor when I got back to Whiterun
  • Also wound up accidentally launching the forge tutorial with Adrianne, which I’d forgotten I could do
  • Reported to Dragonsreach and got Dragon Rising started
  • Went with Irileth to help them kill Mirmulnir; took potshots at dragon from the door of the tower
  • Holy shit! She’s Dragonborn!
  • Went back to Whiterun and heard Greybeards go BOOM
  • Yay! I’m thane!
  • Did a little shopping after making thane and got the Leather Scout gauntlets to fill out the outfit
  • Sold dragon bits to both Arcadia and Belethor
  • Destroyed weapon from Bleak Falls Barrow boss draugr on Farengar’s enchanter table to get the Frost Damage enchantment
  • Also bought an Adventurer’s Backpack with Bedroll (but was disappointed to learn that this did not contain an actual bedroll)
  • Made camping supplies though
  • Attempted to run the quest to go find the Saints Bandits camp for the sake of doing a new thing, but yeaaaah that didn’t work very well as there were four well-armed bandits, and they outnumbered Lyds and me
  • So I went back through Whiterun and got a bounty to go kill the bandit leader at Silent Moons Camp
  • Also got Amren’s quest to get his sword, which was White River Watch this time, so went to go run that
  • Skeever on the way, one-shotted it
  • Ran White River Watch without too much difficulty
  • Leveled up to 6, took Magicka bump, Armsman perk in One-handed
  • Got a boatload of excess loot and tromped back to Whiterun with it, and sold all of said loot to Ri’saad since the Khajiit were around
  • Took a second crack at those bandits but nope
  • Saved


By far the biggest and most important thing to note about this session was that I successfully installed the Anniversary Edition! And I can report with some satisfaction that it didn’t seem to adversely impact my ability to run. I had no real obvious changes in performance or graphics.

Mind you, this is on an ancient PC laptop. That I’m able to run Skyrim at all is fucking amazing, so I’ll take it. 😉

And as of this writing, I did figure out how to turn on the in-game frames per second counter in the PC Steam client. From what I’ve been seeing so far, I’m averaging around 15 on that. Which is actually better than Dara expected when she saw what the game looked like on my screen–she estimated I was getting 10, maybe!

I’ve also continued to tweak my graphical settings on the box, both at the Windows level and in the Skyrim launcher. So far what I’ve learned from this is that the really critical thing I had to do was turn off occlusion. Next steps will be, trying to figure out if I can find any mods that will boost my performance on this machine. I’ve made an account on nexusmods, and I’ve downloaded the Vortex client, so that seems like a good start.

Meanwhile, I’m absolutely frigging delighted just to have brand new content to play with. Starting with the Leather Scout armor, which I immediately nabbed just because it looks way nicer than the default leather armor, and it’s supposed to be competitive with Elven in terms of armor rating. This should stand me in decent stead until I can upgrade to Scaled, maybe? I’m having a hard time imagining a Nord wearing Elven armor!

And so far I’ve received two hooks for unfamiliar plots at this point–the one I got from Ri’saad previously, and one from a courier who ran up to me after I took the level up to 5. The courier handed me an Anonymous Letter, which is apparently the hook for Plague of the Dead. Which involves zombies. Ha! I’m not sure how much distinction the culture of Skyrim would make between draugr and zombies, because it seems like to me that the draugr already have the whole ‘shambling undead’ concept covered. But I’ll see what else I find out when I go run that plot!

Once I reached Whiterun, I also accidentally triggered the forge tutorial with Adrianne. I’m used to running this with Alvor in Riverwood, and I think maybe I’d done with Adrianne before? But I’d forgotten she could do that. It was amusing hearing Claudia Christian delivering the same tutorial lines I usually hear out of Alvor!

(I wonder if you can get this tutorial with any smith?)

The fight with Mirmulnir went pretty well, and I used the strategy I’ve picked up from the last couple of playthroughs: taking shelter in the watchtower and shooting the dragon from there when he flies by.

Main notable thing about the battle this time: I actually heard Mirmulnir yell “Dovahkiin! No!” I’d only heard this for the first time in Ysani’s playthrough, because without the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch installed, the audio file isn’t present in the English build! But now that I’ve got the USSEP, I was able to actually hear that properly. Awesome.

And running Dragon Rising for the sixth time, I’m finding myself hard pressed to keep to my thought about actually joining the Stormcloaks with this character. I have a real hard time with the idea of Balgruuf making you thane, only for you to show up later with Ulfric’s invading army to take over the place and depose him. Ungrateful bitch much, Dragonborn?

I’ll have to think more about this. For now, I certainly won’t lack for things to do!

Or new things to buy. Let it be noted for the record that I was miffed, miffed I say, that the Adventurer’s Backpack With Bedroll did not include giving you an actual bedroll! False advertising!

I’m still glad I bought it, though! Because of the +75 bump to Carry Weight capacity, if nothing else! And the Adventurer’s Backpack also bumps your Stamina as well. But that said: if backpacks are only a thing now if you have Creation Club content (with or without the Anniversary Edition), how the hell has the Dragonborn been carrying around stuff all this time? In pockets? Apparently the Nords are really, really good at sewing pockets of holding into their clothes?

I tried twice to go after those Saints Bandits that Ri’saad’s note talked about. Their camp is right near North Brittleshin Pass, so not far from Whiterun at all. Very easy for Lyds and me to hike over there.

Also, unfortunately, very easy for our asses to get kicked. There were four bandits on hand at the camp, and they were well armored and well armed. I tried twice to go after them, with no luck.

I’m going to have to consider running another new quest available within Whiterun–and get hold of the Silver Armor to see if that’ll outfit me better!

Or, I’ll have to resort to Stealth Archer tactics and see if I can sneak-snipe them instead? Much will depend on whether they’re awake at night, I think. I’ll have to try sneaking up on them when it isn’t broad frigging daylight.

Next time

I’d already played a bit today before working on this post, so I can note that the next one will feature Shenner clearing Silent Moons Camp, checking out the exterior of Tundra Homestead, and then proceeding on to Ivarstead with the goal of reaching the Greybeards!


Editing to add

  • 11/22/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.