Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Joins the Bards College

This session was another mix of old and new stuff, though a bit more of the old stuff this time. Got officially inducted into the Bard’s College, which was familiar! But part of finding the lost flute for Pantea netted me a whole bunch of spells that were not. Though they do appear to be tasty!


  • Play date: 6/1/2022
  • Session number in this run: 12
  • Picked up at Dead Men’s Respite
  • First thing that happened was a fugitive running up to the very door of the tomb and handing me an Iron Mace of Fear; I waited a short bit but no hunter came running up
  • So went ahead and ran the dungeon, with no issues
  • Leveled up to 18 just by sneaking in the initial part of the dungeon; took Health bump and next Armsman perk in One-handed
  • Was able to break the trigger on the gate leading to the swinging blades, so didn’t have to deal with that
  • Got an ebony sword again off of Olaf this time; got the verse and other tasty loot, and the word for Whirlwind Sprint
  • Hoofed it back to Solitude but still no sign of the hunter; did spot a mammoth and a giant not far off in the trees, and the mammoth actually spotted me and Lydia; fight music kicked in, but I ran like hell and the mammoth did not pursue
  • Spotted Meeko once I made it to the road, but did not follow Meeko to his shack
  • Passed through Dragon Bridge; passed farmer on the way to Windhelm; reached Solitude with no problems
  • Did a bit of shopping at Radiant Raiment and Bits and Pieces
  • Reported to the Bards College and brought Viarmo the verse; helped him fill in the missing bits and went with him to the court to present it
  • Hurray, the festival’s on!
  • Noted with surprise that I got a new perk off of becoming a bard: ‘Gift of Gab’
  • Couldn’t get Pantea to give me the flute quest after the Burning
  • Went to the Winking Skeever to sleep the night and see if I could get the professors to give me the quests in the morning
  • Went back to the college in the morning and found everybody still stuck in Festival mode, so I opened the debug console and entered the recommended command from the wiki; that unstuck everybody and I was able to get Pantea’s quest for the flute
  • Took the cart to Winterhold; hoofed it from there over to Hob’s Fall Cave
  • Fought en route, and all during the same fight: dragon! Cave bear! And a horker!
  • After that, later, a snowy sabre cat
  • Reached and ran Hob’s Fall Cave
  • New thing: full cache of Arcane Accessories spell tomes 😀
  • I think I leveled up to 19 here? Took Magicka bump and Eagle Eye perk in Archery
  • Also got the Stone of Barenziah, the flute, and other tasty loot
  • Boinged from Hob’s Fall Cave back to Solitude
  • Got the quest for Rjorn’s drum from Giraud
  • Found Pantea down on the lower floor of the college, so since I was down there I poked around a little to explore, and that let me find where the staff beds are; got Pantea to bump all my magic stats
  • Found the side exit out of the building
  • From there, boinged to Lakeview
  • Heard howls of wolves but no wolves came up to fight
  • Lydia volunteered to be steward, so let her do so
  • Did a lot more building of furnishings until i ran out of iron, but at least now Lyds and Rayya have beds!
  • Boinged to Whiterun for a shopping expedition to get iron and sell stuff
  • Read a notice about a Battle of Champions in the Drunken Huntsman, ah okay this is the plot involving a selected champion for a Stormcloaks vs. Imperials duel; did not elect to follow up on that yet
  • Boinged back to Lakeview for additional building and crafting
  • Lyds warned me about skeevers in the basement, so I went down there and practiced one of the new spells, Elemental Flare, just to see how that worked
  • Saved there for the night


Right out of the gate this session started off with a bit of oddness. I’d saved at the door of Dead Men’s Respite in the session before. And when I fired up the game again this time, I was immediately greeted by a Fugitive running up and doing the thing where he hands you a random enchanted weapon, and demands that you hang onto it for him while he runs off. And not to snitch on him or else he will totes kill you.

Usually when this happens, he’s immediately followed by a pissed-off Hunter who’s all “hey, did you see the asshole who stole my weapon?” And usually, I give the weapon back and go “yep, he totally went that way.” Just because the random enchanted weapon usually isn’t that interesting. 😉

This time, though? No Hunter. I hung out right there at the door to the dungeon for a short bit, but no sign of the Hunter character. So I went on in to run Dead Men’s Respite, and wound up getting an Iron Mace of Fear out of the deal. Which I then sold later!

Next interesting bit I want to call out here is the tail end of the Tending the Flames quest, where you come back with the verse and help Viarmo convince Elisif to restore the Burning of King Olaf Festival. Two things of note happened this time through.

One, I got a quest reward I’d never seen before, an effect called ‘The Gift of Gab’, which set my Speech skill to increase 15% faster. And, well, highly appropriate for a bard! Apparently this was supposed to be in the vanilla game but it didn’t work, and it was a fix implemented by the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch.

Two, less cool was that I triggered a bug I’d never seen before, where the Burning of King Olaf Festival gets stuck, and all of the attending NPCs keep hanging out there at the site and never resume going about their business after. Given that one of these NPCs is Pantea, the singing teacher who gives you the quest to go get a lost flute, this is problematic!

However, this was also an issue with a known fix to implement in the debug console. Up until now, I’ve never actually been able to use any known fixes like that, since the Switch build of Skyrim has no debug console. But this was on the PC, so I was actually able to use the debug console for the first time!

This was super-easy and required me to do only two things:

  1. Hit the ~ key to open the console
  2. Type in this command: setstage MS05KingOlafsFestival 200

I don’t know what I expected the debug console to actually look like, really. But I was pleasantly surprised that it actually had some transparency to it, so that you could still see what was on screen behind it. And it only occupied maybe a quarter of the screen. So it wasn’t intrusive, and I appreciated that.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything else happens in this game where I’ll need to open the console again. The two big things I’ll keep an eye out for being the follower carry weight bug, and the one where the cutscene that gets you the Dragonrend Shout breaks if you change positions before Alduin shows up.

As a side note, LOL, I am a bit amused that Viarmo’s attempt to change Elisif’s mind went so well that she proclaimed the college should now do the Burning weekly. That seems a trifle over the top for a festival that previously was yearly! But then, it is also established in the game that Elisif tends to be overeager in her proclamations as Jarl. So this actually seems in character for her.

Still, one wonders how long the college will actually maintain a weekly burning! They’ll have to stock up on materials to make the effigy out of, or maybe pay a mage to enchant it so the fire won’t actually destroy it.

After that, running Hob’s Fall Cave to get the flute for Pantea, I had the next fun new thing: finding the chest in that dungeon that has an entire cache of all of the tasty new spells available as part of the Arcane Accessories Creation, part of the Anniversary Edition content. Very tasty new spells. I’ve already tried a couple of the simpler ones, and need to practice with these more!

One more thing worth mentioning about the Bard’s College this time: I actually explored the lower floor of the place a bit, just because I couldn’t remember ever having been down there before. But this time I had reason to find both Jorn and Pantea on that floor, because that’s where the quest markers to talk to them directed me. And it was actually kind of neat to explore a bit of new space I hadn’t been in.

Next interesting new thing was that while shopping in Whiterun, I found a notice at Elrindir’s counter that talked about a pending Stormcloak vs. Imperial challenge, where their selected champions would battle each other. I’d seen mention of this plot on the wiki while reading up about the Anniversary/Creations content! So it was kind of cool to discover I could do this plot without actually having to join either faction.

I haven’t started running it yet, but probably will. I did peek ahead to see what the armor and weaponry you can get as a reward in this quest are like. And both sets of armor seem very powerful, so I want to check them out.

I did get an opportunity to try one of the new spells on the second visit to Lakeview. Lydia warned me about skittering in the basement, so I went down there for some pest control. Which let me practice the Elemental Flare spell! Worked very impressively. Looking forward to trying that spell’s more powerful cousins!

Because fucking basement skeevers, man.

And last new thing: while down in the cellar, I did also notice that an aquarium is a thing I can build down there, now. This came in with the Fishing content, which was actually available even before I installed the Anniversary Edition. Because that Creation is provided for free if you buy the Special Edition on Steam, now!

Next time

I’ll probably run both of the pending find an instrument quests. And figure out what new content I want to play with next! Maybe I’ll go check out the Dead Man’s Dread stuff, about the pirates. YARR.


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.