Another combo of new stuff and old stuff in this session, wherein I got the other two missing instruments for the Bards College–but also got Dead Man’s Dread, a beached pirate ship, as arguably the most unusual home I’ve acquired in Skyrim to date! And also, I tried out the new Fishing content!
- Picked up from Lakeview
- Got Lydia back on duty and headed from Lakeview for Halldir’s Cairn
- Encountered en route:
- Frostbite spider
- Vigilant Vampire Hunter hunting a Blooded Vampire, did not engage
- Fought and took out the two bandits at the bandit fort by the road
- Two more Vigilants going the other way
- Reached and ran Halldir’s Cairn
- Leveled up to 20 while fighting Halldir; took Stamina bump and first Sneak perk
- Note: elemental effects on Halldir more obvious on the PC, cool, also only one staff!
- Boinged to Solitude
- Gave Giraud the drum and got combat skills bumped
- Waited in the Bards College till morning, then found Inge and got the quest to get the lute
- Fast traveled to Windhelm Stables
- Courier caught up with me there and gave me the invitation to the Dawnstar museum
- Hoofed it past Kynesgrove to get down to Stony Creek Cave
- Killed en route:
- Four wolves
- One cave bear (which actually attacked in conjunction with one of the wolves and one of the skeevers)
- One sabre cat (who’d killed NPC Plautis Carvain, guess he’s not making it to the wedding, but I didn’t see any sign of his wife and bodyguard?)
- Two skeevers
- Female Dunmer thief once I got near to Stony Creek Cave
- Tried out fishing at the dock near Stony Creek Cave!
- Caught several fish, several junk items, but also two of the rings you can find
- Started running Stony Creek Cave, which also involved a little bit of new stuff, notably the Ruin’s Edge bow, and a bunch of cheese! Which is apparently a Sheogorath callback
- However, did not find the bandit boss in the room with the boss chest, which apparently is a known periodic bug? Will have to come back later for Treasure Map X
- Attempted to hoof it back a bit from there to see if I could find Plautis’ wife and bodyguard but nope
- Fast traveled back to Solitude; dropped off the lute with Inge and got her to bump all my stealth skills
- Went next to Castle Dour to look for the plot hook for The Restless, the pirate plot (YARR)
- Found the dungeon with the clue in it and bribed the guard to let me in; found the loose brick with the map to the island
- Also found a crumbling mortar section of wall that let me find what looked like an escape tunnel? Ooh yes wiki says you can use this if you happen to get arrested and want to break out; it led me out by Angeline’s shop
- Headed on foot to find the boat to go to the island; came near the Thalmor Embassy but did not mark for the map; also got ahead of Lydia
- Found the refugee couple again and gave them 5 gold
- Made it to the shore where the boat is but Lyds still hadn’t caught up, so I experimented with the camping supplies to see what that was like, and fast traveled to my own campsite to get Lyds to catch up
- Then had to fight a group of bandits at the shore; one of the bandits, Celeste, had the Blackwater Blade and a note talking about how her group was trying to find a ship
- Took out the bandits, then took the boat to the island to investigate!
- Surprisingly large pirate ship! Full of skeletons and ghosts, and interesting backstory about how they got stranded there
- So looted a bunch of things and then handed Lyds a lot of things so I could fast travel back to Solitude; another courier showed up and gave me a Pirate’s Note advising i could use the ship as a home base
- Sold some things to get unburdened first, and got Angeline’s quest to talk to Captain Aldis
- Boinged back to the site to claim it, so now I have a pirate ship home, yay? LOL
- I could fast travel directly to the island but, oddly, could not fast travel back, had to take the boat to get back–but oh okay wiki says there is a map I can find to open up a couple of ways to fast travel back from the island?
- Boinged next to Hendraheim
- HI DRAGON! BYE DRAGON! Kicked the dragon’s ass with Lydia and flame atronach
- Then dropped off a bunch of things, including the Ruby Dragon Claw, Dawnbreaker, Cyrus’s Sabre and the Blackwater Blade I got from running the pirate plot, and a bunch of books
- Did some enchanting and alchemy; leveled up to 21; took Health bump and first Enchanting perk
- Boinged back to Solitude to sell a few more things
- Attempted to go to to Castle Dour, but couldn’t convince the Legate to let me be the champion in the Imperials vs. Stormcloaks duel
- Also too late to talk to Captain Aldis, so boinged to Lakeview for building
- Had Lydia stand down
- Built out a lot of things, additional furniture, but also worked on the aquarium in the cellar just to see what that was like; added some salmon to a large fish tank
- Boinged to Whiterun for additional shopping next time
- Saved for the night
Two things of note when running Halldir’s Cairn: I don’t know if it’s a bugfix or just because it’s easier to notice on the PC than it is on the Switch, but I was struck this time through by how it was more obvious when Halldir changed what element he had defending him. What was definitely a bugfix: getting only one staff off of him this time!
I don’t run into Plautis Carvain very often. But I do know that he usually is wandering Skyrim with his wife and bodyguard, as they’re trying to get to the wedding in Solitude. This time through though I only found him, as he was getting chased by a sabre cat. That promptly killed him, before I was able to reach him in time. I did not see any sign of his wife and bodyguard nearby, though. Again, not sure if that was a bug, or if they’d been killed by something else when they spawned in my vicinity, and I just hadn’t seen it happen on screen.
Next major thing of note was that once I reached Stony Creek Cave, I actually tried out the Fishing content for the first time. There’s a dock right near that cave, and it’s one of the designated fishing spots. So I finally got a chance to use the fishing rod I’ve been carrying around!
I was very amused by how similar the process is to fishing in Animal Crossing. I had to apply the Fishing Supplies on the dock, which triggered an animation of my line going into the water. Then I had to wait for a couple of weak pulls on the line before I got a strong one, signifying that I’d actually caught something. Then I had to hit the A key to pull up my catch.
Like in Animal Crossing, you can catch a variety of fish. And it’s dependent upon where you’re fishing, what time of day it is, and what kind of weather is happening. You can also periodically pull up junk items out of the water.
But unlike in Animal Crossing, you can also periodically fish up cool stuff. I found two of the unique enchanted rings you can apparently find while fishing!
This also automatically triggered the quest to go visit the Riften Fishery. Because apparently there’s a whole series of quests you can do to work on fishing skills, which will let you meet new NPCs and get new cool stuff. I’m clearly going to have to try this, since it pleases me that there’s actual quests you can do, it’s not just a question of basic fishing activity.
The two rings I found were Denstagmer’s Ring and the Ring of Phynaster. Both of these have very useful enchantments on them, but between the two, Phynaster’s seems more useful, with its magic resistance and shock resistance combo. So I’m wearing that one for now.
Stony Creek Cave also involved a bit of new stuff. There were a few extra bandits in the back where the moonstone ore veins are, and one of those guys was carrying a bow called Ruin’s Edge. Which seems like a pretty badassed bow, and I’d like to try it, though right now I’m way more impressed by the Bow of Shadows still. 😀
That bandit chief was also carrying a bunch of cheese for no obvious reason. According to the wiki, this is actually a Sheogorath callback, since the Ruin’s Edge bow originally appeared in the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion! LOL.
But I did not find the boss bandit in the side room where I have to go to get the lute. The wiki says that this can occasionally happen, that that bandit sometimes doesn’t spawn. And there’s apparently no known debug console fix for this? So I’ll have to wait for the dungeon to reset, or else come back later when I run a quest that points me there and which requires spawning that specific character.
(This may be a reason to actually go deliberately trigger that “hunt down my errant crewmember” quest with Kjar in Windhelm?)
Next up after that, major new content fun: running The Restless, the quest that leads you to find the lost pirate ship Dead Man’s Dread. 😀
This required me to first of all go poke around in the dungeon in Castle Dour. Which is not a thing I’ve done often in any prior playthrough; up until now, I’d only been down there once. But it was pretty easy to bribe the guard to get into the cell I needed to find, and once there, I easily found the loose brick where the map to the island was hidden.
I also found the section of crumbling mortar that is not new to this plot, and which is apparently the expected means for you to escape out of the dungeon if you happen to get arrested! Knocking that wall down and finding an entire tunnel through which I could emerge back into Solitude seems like a thing that should have attracted some attention. But no. LOL.
Traveling on foot to reach the spot where the boat to the island was also gave me an opportunity to try out my camping supplies. Very straightforward, just had to find a spot to set up camp, which resulted in a shelter with a bedroll in it, a campfire, and a crate to sit on. Also a fast travel marker on the map!
Which let me get Lydia caught up with me, since I was able to fast travel to the camp after just stepping a short distance away from it. Useful to keep in mind for later.
And I think having a campsite will definitely be more useful to me once I tackle playing in Survival Mode. For now, not sure how useful it will prove to be. I’ll have to look out for further opportunities to set up camp someplace. (Maybe at the Skaal village on Solstheim, since there aren’t any usable beds there?)
Once I had Lyds again, I proceeded with the quest. Next step was fighting the bandits camped out near the boat I had to get to. The main amusing thing about that was that their named leader, Celeste, had a note on her that made me giggle, and she also had a named sword, the Blackwater Blade.
Once I took her group out, I was able to use the nearby boat to travel to the target island. (And unlike the last time I traveled to a new island in this run, there weren’t any giants!)
On that island, I finally found the ship inside a cavern. Surprisingly large ship, too! Full of all kinds of little nooks and crannies and crafting stations. And a whole bunch of pissed off skeletons and ghosts.
None of those ghosts and skeletons were particularly challenging. Mainly, the fun for me here was exploring the ship, and finally finding the remains of the captain and the journal that gave the backstory of how they’d gotten stranded on the island. Some nice glimpses there into Redguard history, since this crew was apparently a bunch of Redguards, and they had a saboteur on board.
And so now I have a pirate ship home! Yay? LOL. It’s not exactly practical, as it’s on a remote northern island. So mostly this might be a place to flee to if I have to run away from the Thalmor or something? And maybe if I were playing a thief in this run, it’d be an amusing place to put ill-gotten gains. We’ll see if I wind up actually leaving anything there. I’ll need to go back at least once, because I missed the map that’s supposed to be useful for fast traveling back.
Honestly though, I feel like my favorite part of that whole set of content is new clothes. Because the sailor-themed outfits are neat and a couple of them look really cool on my character. <3
Last new thing to talk about this post, also in relation to the Fishing content: started building out the aquarium section of Lakeview’s cellar, now that that’s a thing I can do! I’m not sure what I think about this? I guess it’s kind of neat that you can have fish tanks in your basement? I’ll see how cool it looks once I’m actually done building it.
Legit not sure! I have a lot of options to choose from!
A lot of screenshots this time, just because I wanted to show off the various types of sailor/pirate-themed clothes you can get as part of the Dead Man’s Dread content.