Less new action in this session than I was hoping for, but well, what action there was was fun, so that’s okay! It helps that I can try to vary up what old action I’m doing compared to Faanshi’s sessions, just so I’m not doing the same thing at the same time with the two characters.
Highlights of this session: banished the spirit of the Wolf Queen, Potema; got permission to buy Proudspire Manor in Solitude; retrieved the stolen books from Fellglow Keep; bought Tundra Homestead near Whiterun; killed the dragon at Lost Tongue Overlook; and got a journal about a mysterious weapon out of Crystaldrift Cave.
- Play date: 6/12/2022
- Session number in this run: 18
- Picked up in Solitude and started running the rest of the Potema plot, heading down into the catacombs after talking to Falk Firebeard and Styrr
- Got disarmed by a combatant before I reached Potema herself, may have been a vampire, may have been a draugr, dunno? Either way, bastard knocked the Bow of Shadows out of my hand and I didn’t realize this until after I got out of the catacombs
- Reported to Styrr and Falk Firebeard that Potema had been dealt with; got the Shield of Solitude and Falk’s thanks
- Also got Elisif’s request to put her husband’s horn at a Shrine of Talos
- Boinged to Goldenhills and picked up farm profits from Illia; also asked her to hire a second farmhand
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell stuff, and also buy Tundra Homestead; went over to check it out and it is very pretty 😀
- Rode the unicorn from there over to the shrine
- Got attacked by Thalmor agent Lorcalin and a Thalmor Soldier at the shrine site, and Team Dragonborn took them out
- Then ran Fellglow Keep; accidentally sorta kinda left Orthorn with the Caller, oops; didn’t mean to do that at the time, but y’know, don’t really feel about that
- Also note: found a daedra heart while running this lair, so that’ll be helpful later when I return to Largashbur
- Boinged back to Solitude
- Parked Gogh and Lydia at the entrance to the Temple of the Divines, then went back in and retrieved the Bow of Shadows
- Returned to the Blue Palace and reported to Elisif that i’d dropped off the horn; got the right to buy property, yay!
- But hold that thought, amassing that money will take me a while
- Boinged back to the mage college to return the books
- Got Onmund’s favor quest started since he went by me as I was coming in through the gate
- As was Enthir, so I tried to talk to him, but was rudely interrupted by the arrival of a frost dragon in the courtyard; multiple mages in the courtyard, including Savon Aren, so that dragon died pretty damned fast
- Couldn’t find Enthir to resume the conversation, so went in to talk to Urag instead
- Found him in the Hall of the Elements with several of the other mages, all discussing the Eye of Magnus; pretty damn sure i haven’t seen that conversation before? :O
- Got the skill books from Urag, and since I was right there in the Hall of the Elements, turned around and talked to Tolfdir
- Which triggered Ancano coming in to demand my presence, so went off to the Arch-Mage’s quarters next
- HI QUARANIR!
- Agreed to find the Augur, but first I wanted to find Enthir
- Went down to Winterhold to see if he was in the Frozen Hearth; answer: no, but the Jarl was, so I got his quest to go find the Helm of Winterhold
- Which was in Hob’s Fall Cave, so also queued up the quest to help out Ranmir so I won’t have to go back there twice
- This necessitated also going to Riften to talk to Vex, which is a challenge given that I am not in the Thieves Guild with this alt (yet)
- But first I bought the enchanter table for Honeyside, the porch, and the garden
- Moved the weapons I’d stashed in the upstairs chest downstairs to the weapons rack; note: Riften thane weapon actually named Blade of […], oops
- Did a little general shopping
- Decided to go take out the dragon at Lost Tongue Overlook, which was successful this time
- This necessitated fast traveling to Gromm’s Pass, and as soon as I arrived, heh, a bear showed up; got off the unicorn and let the unicorn stomp the bear to death, with help from Lydia and Gogh
- Also checked out Crystaldrift Cave since I got a quest prompt for that earlier
- Found Galdor’s body as per usual, but also found the new journal saying to bring a madness ore and an amber ore and leave them in the embers to retrieve his weapon (which will be Nerveshatter)
- Went back to Riften to collect on the bounty
- Boinged to Lakeview and did some building to fill out more of the armory
- Left the Daedric mail there until I can improve it, and the Elven light armor I got off the Thalmor Soldier
- Boinged to Hendraheim next; did a boatload of alchemy since I’d picked up a lot of ingredients
- Saved there for the night
First major action of this session was to run the rest of the Potema plot, as I said above. And this went pretty swimmingly, since I headed in there with both Lydia and Gogh backing me up.
In fact, the only real difficulty was that just before I reached Potema herself in the boss chamber, I got disarmed during a fight that included both a vampire and a draugr deathlord. I don’t know which of them actually disarmed me. But I didn’t realize at the time that they’d knocked the Bow of Shadows out of my hand!
And I didn’t figure this out until after I’d gotten out of the catacombs. OOPS.
Still, though, it’s worth noting that Potema’s boss chamber, where she’s hitting you with a bunch of lightning, was less of a worry with the Imperial Dragon armor on. Because mmmm tasty elemental resistances. Didn’t hurt either that I had significant help in Lydia, Gogh, and Gogh’s storm atronach.
I did notice that Gogh got beaten down into recovery state multiple times, which makes me wish I could give the little guy some better armor? But apparently that’s not an option.
After dealing with Potema, then I did actually get in some new content action. I went to the farm first to see about collecting profits from Illia, and noted a couple of interesting things from that.
One, I found Illia in the bunkhouse since I showed up during evening hours. So apparently that bunkhouse I built includes a bed for the steward as well as whatever two farmhands I have available. Good to know! Relatedly, I also asked Ilia to hire a second farmhand, because I’d tried the “hire a specific NPC” thing with Brenuin. And my only other three options make me go “meh”. So I want to see what happens if I tell Illia to hire a second farmhand for me.
And two, she handed me over 7,000 gold when I asked for the profits! Holy crap! And this is even without planting all of the available soil spots on the farm. It’ll be interesting to see if the tally goes up when I plant more things. Strongly recommend therefore that anybody playing the AE definitely get the farm set up, just as a source of easily accessible gold.
With that kind of cash suddenly handed to me, I had over 14,000 on me. I thought about keeping it to build up for buying Proudspire, but realized that there was a whole other, new to me property that I could pick up instead. I.e., Tundra Homestead. Which is way less expensive!
So I bought that property from Proventus at Dragonsreach, and went over to check it out. It’s not as big and grand as Hendraheim is, but honestly? I kinda like it! It’s cozy, but also very pretty, with some design elements that make it look fresh to me. I really like that the walls have art, and that art looks like small versions of Skyrim screenshots!
And I like that various shelves with doors on them render in such a way to give the look of the doors having panes of glass in them you can see through, to see the content that’s supposedly in those shelves. Even if that doesn’t actually match what objects you put in there, it’s still a nice touch! And not something I’ve seen the original game content doing with shelves.
Tundra Homestead has a cellar a lot like Hendraheim’s, at least with the same kind of special display spots for the various unique artifacts, though Hendraheim has way more armor mannequins available. Which says that if you get more than one of the AE’s available homes, you have multiple options as to where you want to store the special items. But you don’t necessarily have the same options everywhere for displaying armor.
(And for that matter, I know Hendraheim doesn’t actually give you spots for all available special weapons. For example, it has no holders for the Nightingale Bow and Blade. Those may only be storable at Shadowfoot Sanctum. I’ll be checking this.)
Rode Swift Wind (still going lololol over how I get to ride a frigging unicorn now) over to the Talos shrine, just because it was really nearby. At which point I was attacked by Agent Lorcalin, as well as a Thalmor Soldier!
I am legit unsure if I’ve seen Lorcalin at that Shrine of Talos before. I want to say I have, because something’s niggling in the back of my mind about having had a fight there before? But I’m not sure if Lorcalin feels familiar just because I’ve read about him on the wiki, or what. None of my prior playthrough posts mentions him. I do see a mention on the wiki that the Thalmor might not spawn at all at the shrine site, so apparently I’ve just not spawned them on previous playthroughs? Or, it might be a thing resulting from the USSEP, I dunno! I’ll have to see if I get the Thalmor in Faanshi’s playthrough when I swing around to do that plot with her.
Then I ran Fellglow Keep since that was also nearby. And discovered two things at that point:
- If I go idle while in the conversation prompt with Orthorn about whether he can follow me out, I can in fact idle out of that prompt and Orthorn will default to following me
- It is also possible to accidentally leave him with the Caller
I was trying to see if I could specifically refuse to leave Orthorn with her, but apparently not. So note to Future Me: do not take the “perhaps we can come to an arrangement” option if you do not in fact intend to leave Orthorn with the Caller.
So as soon as I took that option the only other dialogue prompt I had was whether I could take the books peacefully and go. And Orthorn disappeared, presumably back to his cell. And I didn’t really properly realize at the time that that’s what happened. By the time I did realize this, I was far enough along past that point that I didn’t want to roll back and fix it.
And, lol, I’m legit of two minds about this. On the one hand, feeling a little bad about leaving the poor guy there. On the other hand, this is a guy who thought it was a good idea to steal materials from the College of Winterhold, just so he could get in good with his new buddies. A group of actual necromancers. So while he doesn’t seem actively malevolent when the Dragonborn finds him, there is certainly evidence here to indicate that he’s:
- Not above stealing things if it means he can impress his chosen group of associates
- Rebellious enough that he’s willing to flee the college rather than abide by its strictures on what kinds of studies are appropriate
- Possibly at least passively enough malevolent, if not actively malevolent, that the kinds of experiments these assholes are doing is interesting to him
- Stupid enough to believe that these necromancers were going to treat him as one of their own, rather than turning on him and locking him up for further experiments
So he’s sticky-fingered and stupid at best, and at worst, actively malevolent while also being supremely stupid.
Y’know, writing all that out makes me feel a lot less bad about leaving him behind. Snerk.
After that, I then did go back and retrieve the Bow of Shadows. I’m not sure yet what the narrative explanation for this is, whether it’s a matter of Shenner just going “that bow is fucking amazing and I need it back”, or if she’s also got some measure of wondering if whatever force (i.e., Nocturnal) sent that bow to her is trying to tell her something. LOL. Not sure if Shenner actually realizes the bow is an artifact of Nocturnal or not. But at the very least, I could see her wondering if some Divine or Daedra sent her that bow. And she may be wondering, if it is an artifact of a Daedra, how she feels about that!
Off to the mage college next! At which point I had both Onmund and Enthir walking by me as I came in through the gates, so I wound up getting Onmund’s favor quest started. Since Enthir was right there, I tried to talk to him about Onmund’s amulet. But I got rudely interrupted by the arrival of a Frost Dragon! Big notable thing about that: at this point in Shenner’s playthrough, Savos Aren is still alive. So I got to see him in combat, calling up a dremora lord. I also spotted a flame atronach, but I don’t know who called that up—maybe Mirabelle?
Either way, that dragon did not last long. Definitely impressive though to see Savos Aren participating in a dragon attack in the courtyard. First time I ever actually saw him respond to a dragon’s arrival!
Couldn’t find Enthir after that, which led to the next new thing I had happen at the college. Went into the Hall of the Elements since I wanted to return the stolen books to Urag, but the quest marker sent me into the main hall, rather than into the Arcaneum. And there, I found Urag and several other NPCs gathered and talking about the Eye of Magnus.
I’m not sure if this is another situation resulting from running the USSEP, or if I just haven’t been in the Hall of the Elements before at the right point in the plotline to see that conversation happening. Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Urag in the Hall of the Elements before, outside the Arcaneum, but only when Colette is doing her Restoration lecture.
I’d actually noticed this in a previous session, but documenting it here. When I got made thane of Riften, Laila Law-Giver gave me a blade that was called “Blade of […]”, not “Blade of the Rift” as I would have expected. The wiki indicates that the USSEP does attempt to resolve the original broken behavior of you just getting a generic enchanted weapon. But it looks like their fix didn’t entirely fix the problem.
Another minor but still new thing I want to note. When I found the Dark Seducers camp in a previous session and looted it once I was done clearing it out, one of the items I found in a knapsack was a note that pointed me at a potential hidden treasure in Crystaldrift Cave. So since that locale was near to Lost Tongue Overlook, I went over there to follow up on that after killing the dragon.
This cave is small, and in the vanilla game the main thing of interest in there is the body of a dead Bosmer who has a Staff of Charming next to him. The new quest objective gives you a hook to acquire the weapon Nerveshatter, if you bring an amber ore and a madness ore back to the locale and put them in the embers near Gadnor’s body. As it happens, I’ve already found both amber and madness ore in this game. But I’d already refined the amber into an ingot, and I can’t use that for this quest! So I’ll have to find another amber to come back and satisfy the objective.
And last but not least, I still rather adore Gogh. <3 He started off this session back in a default state of wearing his skull helmet, so apparently even if you change out his clothing options, they don’t stick? But that’s okay! As long as the little guy keeps calling up a storm atronach for me, he can wear whatever he damn well pleases.
This session was pretty heavily oriented around familiar material, so I want to do more new stuff with Shenner’s next session. It’s Monday as I write this, so her next session will fall tomorrow night, Tuesday. And as that’s a weeknight, I’ll probably not be able to run a hugely long session.
But fishing is likely! I need to find goldfish! And I’m tempted to see if having Gogh along on Team Dragonborn is the edge I need to go clear out Giant’s Tooth and finish up that quest! Let’s find out, shall we?
Editing to add
- 11/22/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.