Extremely eventful session! Shenner picked up thaneships in Morthal and Riften, tracked down and tamed a unicorn, rescued a goblin from imprisonment by a false god, and retrieved a set of Daedric mail!
(And if you’re going, “Hey Anna, I thought you were alternating between Faanshi and Shenner,” you are correct! But this time I wanted two back to back Shenner sessions, because I wanted closure with Movarth.)
- Picked up where I left off in Movarth’s lair; successfully killed him! Then killed by one of the remaining minions ouch >_<
- So had to kill him again! Finally took out the bastard and his minions
- Leveled up to 27; took Health bump
- Cleared the place and returned to Morthal; reported to Idgrod that Movarth was dead; got her offer to be thane and directive to help her people
- Got the free favor for clearing Laid to Rest quest; got Idgrod the Younger’s letter quest
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell some stuff, including last round of dragon bits, and drop off the letter
- This got me over 8K for Honeyside woo \0/
- Boinged to Hendraheim and did a little forging, made elven arrows with remaining firewood
- Attempted to boing to Goldenhills, but got two dragons at once and they killed me
- Take two, only got a flyby dragon, so dropped off a bunch of clothes and other items; got Song of the Alchemists off the shelves there
- Returned to Morthal; dropped off the book with Lami
- Hurray, I’m thane! HI VALDIMAR
- Boinged to Riften; sold Ingun her deathbell and nightshade
- Bought Honeyside got the thaneship! HI IONA! \0/
- Checked in with Viriya at the fishery for a new fishing quest: goldfish for Mila in Whiterun; also LOL, Viriya’s juvenile mudcrab follows her around like a pet
- Derped around the lake for a while looking for fishing spots and nirnroot
- Avoided the bandits at Faldar’s Tooth although I heard them trying to fight frostbite spiders
- Heard but did not spot a nearby Argonian who might have been an assassin or thief?
- Also heard M’aiq getting the hell out of the way as Lyds went after a wolf
- Found fishing spot at Heartwood Mill; got a goldfish! But I need two because Swims’ quest wants one as well
- Went to Lost Tongue Overlook to try to fulfill a bounty, and killed by dragon; thrown all the way to coming out of Honeyside (dammit)
- So went fishing at the fishery, and got a glassfish!
- Hoofed it back around towards the mill, and went by Largashbur en route, so okay fine let’s take out the giant
- This time Atub and Ugor actually came outside the walls and Ugor survived the fight
- Got to the mill and did more fishing there; got a spadefish again, will need one of those later
- Heard Lydia yell for help for some reason while I was fishing, but didn’t see an obvious threat? Dara thinks it might have been slaughterfish
- Boinged to Guardian Stones and fished again there
- Hoofed it into Riverwood and sold stuff to Alvor and Lucan; bought a necklace of Waterbreathing to get its enchantment
- Fished by the Riverwood bridge, then hoofed it into Whiterun and yoinked a few nirnroot on the way; sold a few things to Arcadia even though she didn’t have nirnroot
- Boinged back to Riften to try for the unicorn and the goblin quest
- Came outside the gates and HELLO DRAGON; killed it along with stable horses and guards
- Then went after the unicorn! Just before I reached it a gargoyle showed up, and the unicorn came running over to attack it, neat
- I had to chase it down and try to ride it in order to tame it, and on the third try it worked! Now I have a unicorn 😀
- Rode the unicorn over to Gromm’s Pass
- Found Broken Helm Hollow en route and killed exterior bandits; also killed a few wolves, and one bear
- (DO NOT PISS OFF MY HORSE, BEAR, IT HAS A SWORD ON ITS HEAD AND IT WILL END YOU)
- Made it to Gromm’s Pass and started running the place; lots of steel-blue entoloma all over
- Found and killed the “blue god”, lololol, he’s an outcast Orc from Largashbur, awesome
- Freed Gogh! And now I have a goblin friend!
- Came back out of the cave to find another bear trying to start some shit; let the unicorn fight it for a bit, then took it out with my crossbow
- Got on the unicorn and fast traveled to Riften to sell stuff
- Got courier with the “oh shit Potema’s not actually un-summoned HALP” letter from Falk Firebeard; hold that thought, Falk, back to you shortly
- Smithed and sold stuff to Balimund and Bersi; bought alchemy lab for Honeyside
- Boinged from Riften to Yorgrim Overlook so I could see about taking out the Seducer bandit camp, and with Team Dragonborn now augmented by two unkillable creatures, had no trouble whatsoever taking out that camp
- Got all the Dark armor and relevant notes, and freed the nymph to get it as a new pet
- Boinged next to Lakeview and did a bunch of building since I had amassed some iron; built out the full structures for a bedroom wing and an armory; built most of the furnishings in the bedroom wing and started on a bit of the armory
- Got attacked by bandits right as i was trying to craft stuff on the outdoor workbench! However, Gogh and unicorn and both onsite housecarls took care of that problem, and I did get in a few whacks on the bandit leader since he came up right behind me
- Boinged next to Hendraheim to add the Dark Seducers stuff to the growing armory there
- As soon as I showed up at Hendraheim, new dragon attack, and a bear, LOL
- Dragon kept landing right on the house while I was underneath its porch overhang, and that rattled the house rather alarmingly! :O But we took out the dragon (and the bear)
- Dropped off a full suit of the Seducer armor and most of the weapons
- Then did a bunch of enchanting and alchemy
- Leveled up to 28; took Magicka bump and realized I’d forgotten to take a perk for the level 27 level up; dropped two perks onto Heavy Armor as long as I’m going to be wearing the Imperial Dragon gear
- Lydia triggered a weird bug with getting stuck next to one of the mannequins, the one with the silver armor on it; it was displaced and she was acting like she was stuck on the mannequin stand; don’t know if it was because she had the same armor type? o.O
- Realized the unicorn disappeared after the dragon battle
- Ordered the new nymph to stay at Hendraheim to keep the first one company
- Dropped off a boatload of building materials in the chest by the forge so I could fast travel
- Attempted to fast travel to Whiterun stables to see if all members of Team Dragonborn followed me; answer: yes! Whew
- Went into Whiterun to sell a bunch of stuff I’d enchanted, the Dark gear and a few other items
- Paid Warmaiden’s to armor the unicorn, and the elven armor looks ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL
- Boinged back to Hendraheim to nab the materials I’d left there; boinged to Lakeview to drop them off; wound up having my peeps take out a couple of wolves before we left
- Next up: off to Traitor’s Post!
- Boinged to Windhelm Stables; heard the Khajiit on site but didn’t stop to say hi
- Re-discovered the line of three farms
- Got near Traitor’s Post and saw the tail end of a battle, a couple of dead necromancers and at least one dead bandit, and Erwan off in the distance
- Ice wolf showed up and got Gogh, Lydia, and Swift Wind on alert, so GAME ON
- Made it to Erwan, and Swift Wind and I took her out; got her journal and the info about trading the ring for armor
- So then I had to return to the Khajiit, but they’d left Windhelm so tried to ride to catch up with them
- Team killed a few more wolves and a couple of frostbite spiders
- We caught up with the Khajiit right by Fort Fellhammer
- Traded Ma’dran the Ring of Masser for the armor
- Since we were right by Fort Fellhammer, exterior bandits started shooting at us, Gogh and Swift wind went after them; then I looted the bandits
- Got back on the unicorn and fast traveled to Solitude
- Sold a whole bunch of things to Sayma and Beirand; bought more bone arrows from Fihada
- Saved there for the night to queue up going after Potema properly
Finishing up the Laid to Rest plot, and getting the thaneship in Morthal
So yeah, as I said above, I’ve established this pattern of alternating between Faanshi and Shenner’s playthroughs. Which is working pretty well, as it helps maintain my interest in both of them despite Shenner’s playthrough having all the shiny new Anniversary Edition content!
This time through I did two back to back Shenner sessions because I’d left off in the middle of going after Movarth, and I wanted some goddamn closure!
I did, however, wind up having to kill Movarth twice. First time I successfully took him out (mostly with bone arrows, fired from the Bow of Shadows), I shortly thereafter got killed by one of his remaining minions. So I had to kill him again.
Important takeaway here, for Future Me: Movarth can heal himself. So it’s important to hit him with a lot of damage fast. Which is why I wound up resorting to just hitting him as fast as I could with my bone arrows and the Bow of Shadows, since that was the fastest damage I can throw at him given the constraints of my laptop.
Second takeaway here: if possible, try to take him out quietly so you don’t alert the minions in the adjacent rooms. Because that can wind up getting you swarmed by a total of five vampires, and six if Alva’s made it to the lair. Which is a bit much.
The caveat to this being, if you take Movarth out quietly, any of his minions are still alive, and you want to fully explore and loot the lair, be prepared to throw fast damage at the minions too. One of them is an archer. So you need to get him taken down quickly. (That’s the one that took me out the first time I killed Movarth.)
Fetching my copy of Song of the Alchemists for Lami proved more difficult than anticipated, just because when I fast traveled to Goldenhills, I had two dragons show up. And this isn’t even the Master Difficulty playthrough! Two dragons at once was a bit much, and they took me out. Ouch.
That said, once I tried a second time (and only got a flyby dragon that time), it was super convenient to already have a copy of that book to take back to Lami. Normally I can’t do that quest for her until I run Dragonborn! Because the only other copies of that book I know about require either a) stealing it from the Bard’s College, or b) killing Anise and taking over her cabin, neither of which I’ve ever been inclined to do.
But if you’ve got the AE, or at least the Goldenhills Creation on a non-AE build, then you get access to another copy as soon as the quest for Goldenhills is resolved. Neat.
So that set me up nicely to get the thaneship in Hjaalmarch! Did a couple of quick favor quests, and boom, new housecarl. HI VALDIMAR! Welcome to Team Dragonborn! Stand by, I’ll get you a house to watch over as soon as I can.
Buying Honeyside, and getting the thaneship in Riften
Meanwhile, since I’d accumulated enough deathbell and nightshade for two of the three ingredients quests for Ingun, I boinged to Riften to buy Honeyside and finish up getting the thaneship in Riften. Ingun’s money meant that not only was I able to buy the house, I was able to go ahead and start on furnishing it, too.
So HI IONA! Welcome to Team Dragonborn! I’ll finish furnishing your digs for you as soon as I can!
(Side note: when I first came into the house, I actually found Iona downstairs in her quarters! Which perhaps marks the first time I’ve seen Iona in her quarters in that house. Not clear to me whether this is part of the bugfix patch, or a coincidence! Could be either.)
Fishing, and also Orcs
Next up was some followup on the fishing quests. I was rather charmed to see Viriya at the fishery with her juvenile mudcrab following her around like a pet, and I had a new dialogue option with her to observe how the creature seemed to be growing quickly! Going to be amusing to see if it continues to follow her around once it’s fully grown.
Got a new fishing bounty quest from her, for a goldfish for Mila, one of the kids in Whiterun. (She’s the one that keeps going “I work with my mother…”.)
This is yet another quest that overlaps with the one I’m still trying to resolve for Swims-in-Deep-Water, though! Because I need to find a goldfish for him, too, the one remaining one on his list of four. Next goldfish I catch is going to him; Mila will have to wait a bit.
Plus, my fishing efforts had to be done twice, because that dragon at Lost Tongue Overlook took me out. Which threw me all the way to coming out of Honeyside!
Since I lost take one of the fishing, I also lost the goldfish I caught at the mill. But take two got me a glassfish, which I also needed for Swims. So now I’m down to just needing two goldfish. The river there does appear to be a potential good spot for goldfish, so I’ll try fishing along the river some more.
Meanwhile, take two of the fishing attempt also put me near Largashbur, so I went ahead and got the Cursed Tribe quest going.
This time through was notable just because I saw both Atub and Ugor outside the walls of the stronghold! Presumably because they were coming after the giant. Also, Ugor actually survived the fight, so I was able to get her initial cranky “fuck off, outsider, we don’t want you here” line.
Note also that I did not have to engage the giant hand to hand. I was able to take him down with a few bone arrow shots. Lesson here: bone arrows are super useful. Buy any ones you can get your hands on if you’re running the AE. They do one more damage point than dragonbone arrows, making them the most powerful arrows in the game. But they’re also sold by merchants long before you’re able to make your own dragonbone arrows! So stock up.
(Relatedly: you can make your own bone arrows once you unlock Dragon smithing. But making those requires 1 firewood and ten dragon bones, to get you a total of ten arrows. Whereas if you spend a firewood and one dragon bone, you get 24 dragonbone arrows. So continuing to make the dragonbone type of arrow will get you a lot more bang for your buck. But definitely buy any bone arrows you see!)
One more thing to note here: the wiki says the “all the orcs in that stronghold may get still slaughtered by giants anyway after the quest is done” bug is in fact fixed in the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. Which makes me feel a lot better about running the Cursed Tribe plot! If the rest of the Orcs actually get to live, I’ll feel a lot better about coming back to Largashbur later to visit them.
Creature of Legend quest
Next up, I decided to follow up on that unicorn quest I picked up by reading the journal found at the Arcaneum in the College of Winterhold.
The unicorn is added to the game as part of the Wild Horses Creation content. There’s a nice little backstory here about the Psijic Order apparently having rescued a unicorn from the distant past, after the last one was slain in a ritual to Hircine. (Though hey, Psijics? Consider rescuing a second one, mmkay? Because if you want to replenish the species, you’ll need a breeding pair.)
All you need to do for this quest is to track down the unicorn and tame it, which is another mechanism added by the Wild Horses content. You have to try to get on the unicorn and ride it, and stay on its back until it stop trying to throw you. Once you do that, then voilà, you have a unicorn!
Here’s the exciting part about that. This unicorn is level 50. And marked Essential in the game, which means it cannot be killed. So if like me you’ve played vanilla Skyrim and been frustrated by how fragile the regular horses are, having a powerful mount to ride is absolutely delightful. So now I have a mount to ride, to help me out with my chronic issue of being overburdened, and I don’t have to wait to run Dawnguard and be able to summon Arvak before I can ride places!
And this is a mount who will not in fact fall over and die if I happen to ride in the general area of a bear!
Even more entertainingly, there is also new content in the Creations that are included with the AE that lets you actually armor any horse. You can get Steel or Elven horse armor, and the Elven stuff totally looks wing-like. So if you put that on a unicorn, it’s so over-the-top She-Ra and the Princesses of Power that I’m gonna just die of squee. 😍
Also worth noting: the Wild Horses content also includes some literal wild horses that you can also track down and tame, if you are so inclined! They aren’t as powerful as the unicorn in terms of level–they’re level 20. But they are also marked Essential. So you can get an entire herd of your own horses, if you want!
And I may in fact try that, just because it’s a new thing and I’m excited about the prospect of trying new things! But for now, the unicorn is wonderful. And I will in fact name him Swift Wind, even if the new mechanic for naming horses doesn’t actually let you choose your own name, and only lets you pick one off a preset list. THIS UNICORN IS SWIFT WIND, DAMMIT, and I will be taking new further questions at this time!
Also, I am giggling imagining the reactions of Skyrim NPCs, particularly at stables, when I ride around the land on this beautiful creature.
“Wait… her horse… it has a horn? What the hell kind of horse is this? Is that a unicorn? It’s… it’s just like the ancient legends!”
“Well, she is the Dragonborn, what did you expect her to be riding?”
“I dunno? A dragon, maybe?”
“You better hope she doesn’t show up here with a dragon. We do not have space in this stable for one of those.”
Blue in the Face quest
Right on the heels of getting the unicorn as my new ride, I ran the Blue in the Face quest. This one was huge fun. <3 I love the backstory, because not only does it involve a tribe of goblins coming north from Cyrodiil and getting trapped in a cave in the Rift after a cave-in, it also pulls in an Orc NPC from the nearby Largashbur stronghold.
An Orc who, as it happens, is apparently the most pitiful Orc hunter that ever existed in Tamriel. He gets a bag of blue mushrooms dumped on his head by his mocking chief (i.e., Yamarz, who we already know is an asshole from the Cursed Tribe plot), which temporarily dyes his skin blue. And this lets him discover that these goblins totally think he’s their Blue God, an aspect of Malacath.
So the Orc sets himself up as the god of these goblins.
But it just so happens that Gogh, the chief hunter of this tribe, actually sees him re-applying the blue paste he figures out how to make out of the mushrooms. And Gogh realizes he’s a fake.
The Orc tries to eliminate this threat by sentencing him to fight in the pit just before his throne. When you show up as part of this plot, you have the option to free Gogh from the pit once you take out the false god, as well as his hostile goblin worshippers. This lets you also get Gogh on board as a follower. Specifically, a “creature” follower, which means you can have him as a follower even when you have a regular follower like a housecarl.
And you absolutely want to do this. Here’s why: Gogh is apparently a champion of HIrcine, and he wields an artifact of Hircine called the Spear of Bitter Mercy. You cannot claim this spear from Gogh, the game doesn’t let you do it. But he will use it in battle to defend you. And its artifact ability?
It summons a storm atronach. 😀
So if you don’t have that spell yet to call up your own storm atronach, having a goblin follower who can do this for you? Badassed. And did I mention Gogh is also marked Essential?
Also, the cave where this plot takes place is chock fulla the blue mushrooms, Steel-blue Entoloma. Which you can use as an alchemical ingredient. I discovered later in the session that you can use them to make Fortify Carry Weight potions, fuck yeah!
And you can also apparently plant them, at any home you own that has spots of fertile ground you can plant things in. So you can build up a supply of them.
Once I had Gogh following me around, I noticed with interest that he is bigger than the rieklings on Solstheim. I saw him standing next to various NPCs in Riften, and he’s just a little shorter than humans, it looks like. Whereas rieklings are more like half the size of humans.
Returning to the Balance of Power quest
Y’all may recall that I’d attempted to take out the Seducers bandit camp earlier, when I’d found the alternative dragonscale armor at Yorgrim Overlook. This did not go well at the time.
But with Team Dragonborn now augmented by an unkillable unicorn and an unkillable goblin who can summon his own storm atronach, I figured it would now be viable to revisit that site!
I was correct. We mopped up the place. I acquired all of the Dark armor and weapons they had, as well as the relevant notes and journals, and I freed the nymph out of the cage.
Much more plot to be done on this quest, but now at least I’ve moved it along some more!
Note that I am not a fan of either the Golden Saint or Dark Seducer armor, just because I don’t like skimpy armor no matter how powerful it’s supposed to be. I’d consider using the Dark weaponry though, maybe. It’s supposed to be about on par with Glass weapons.
But I did take examples of both the Dark armor and Dark weapons off to Hendraheim to be stored. And I am totally running out of mannequins and plaques there! I’m going to need more houses just to put all the fancy armor and weapons on display!
(Side note: narrative-wise, I figure Shenner’s periodically got to be going ‘how in the name of Talos is this now my life?’ Because I envision her coming from a humble Nord farming family, and her backstory puts her at odds with her sister who tried to marry up in the world just to get out of being a pig farmer all her life–and who isn’t above assassinating her own husband to secure her rank in Cyrodiil. Now, though, Shenner is totally her superior in terms of accumulated wealth. She’s got a total of five properties already, Breezehome, Honeyside, Lakeview, Hendraheim, and Goldenhills, and I’ve barely begun accumulating all the houses you can get from both the vanilla and AE content.)
Returning to the Missing Merchant quest
After the success of taking Team Dragonborn to the Seducers camp, I decided to go back and revisit taking out Erwan, so I could try to get the Daedric mail!
This also worked swimmingly. It helped that when I showed up, there’d apparently just been a fight between the local bandits and a couple of necromancers! I found the necromancers dead and at least one already slain exterior bandit, and I saw Erwan in the distance fighting, too.
But with the unicorn and Gogh now on my side, taking her out went much more smoothly this time.
Resolving the plot required that I go find the Khajiit that I had in fact just seen passing by Windhelm. But when I got back to Windhelm, they’d already broken camp! So I had to ride after them to see if I could catch up.
This necessitated killing a few more wolves, as well as bandits at the exterior of Fort Fellhammer. But we did in fact catch up with Ma’dran’s caravan–and I was able to trade the Ring of Masser to him for the Daedric mail.
Which, as it turns out, is in fact slightly more powerful than the studded dragonscale! So I think this may be my new light armor set!
Note that I could have kept the Ring of Masser and tried to just buy the armor off of Ma’dran. But I didn’t have enough gold on me for that; it would have cost me 5K. It has some really tasty enchantments on it, though. I’ll have to see if Ma’dran still has it next time I see his caravan!
After that huge round of exciting new content, I’m ready to return for at least a bit to previously known ground–and run the rest of the Potema plotline, which should put me on course to gaining the thaneship in Haafingar, and buying Proudspire Manor.
But I will also see if I can revisit some of the other still-pending quests I wasn’t able to resolve before. I want to return to Arcwind Point and finish up the Crowstooth plot, which is supposed to get me the alternative dragonplate armor.
And there’s the plot to resolve with Erwan’s brother Edward as well, which leads to the Daedric plate.
Or, since the Interception plotline is underway with the Remnants from Hammerfell, I might aim for that too just because that promises anti-Thalmor action. 😀
Boy howdy do I have screenshots this time!