Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Defeats a Forsworn Fugitive, a Bandit Chief, and a Giant

Main action in this session was finally resolving the Bones for a Crow quest, as well as the quest A Dying Wish. These sent me to Arcwind Point to finally slay the Forsworn fugitive Crowstooth, and also gain the gratitude of Rulnik Wind-Strider for saving his life, which now makes him available to me as a follower. Also, I ran a couple of bounties, and have Windstad Manor in progress!

Highlights

  • Did a little bit of alchemy in Breezehome
  • Sold a couple of armor pieces to Warmaiden’s
  • Went out and found the fishing spot at the river near Tundra Homestead; didn’t catch a goldfish, damn
  • Rode over to Riverwood; passed a giant en route but moved past it fast enough along the road that I didn’t have to care
  • Fished in Riverwood, then rode back to Whiterun
  • Iona and Gogh killed a couple of wolves; bypassed the giant as well
  • Got back to Whiterun; slept the night
  • Gouldn’t get Rulnik to talk to me yet in the temple, so went and sold things to Belethor until I got the prompt to return to Rulnik; talked to him, got his dagger and the Bittercup, and his availability as a follower!
  • Hold that thought, Rulnik, I may be back for you, just try not to get ataxia again, mmkay?
  • Meanwhile tried three straight times to make it back to Arcwind Point; first two times killed towards the end, not too sure what killed me the first two times, whether it was Crowstooth, Alvarsorr the Rat, or the Draugr Death Overlord
  • Third time through though successfully killed the frost dragon first, as well as the boss draugr down by the Word Wall, then sent a Seducer warrior ahead of me a couple of times to engage the Draugr Scourge, Crowstooth, and Alvasorr; third time was the charm, finally prevailed!
  • Got Crowstooth’s weapon Tyrant’s Bane; also the Falmer stuff off of Alvasorr, a helm called Dire Visage, and the weapon called Namira’s Itch
  • Final loot was on the body of Bjormund Wind-Strider, a suit of dragonplate insulated helmet, boots, and gauntlets, with dragonbone mail
  • Had to tromp overloaded out of Arcwind Point for a bit because Swift Wind had run off and I had to find him
  • While looking for him took an alternate path, and discovered Varlais Cavern nearby—this is apparently a locale for the Cause plotline and I am not ready for that yet, so did not try to peek in there
  • Swung back to go down the other path and finally found Swift Wind near the small tomb not far from the dragon area of the site
  • Mounted up and rode out the long way, back towards Froki’s Shack
  • Mined a quicksilver vein on the way out; also killed a couple of snow bears specifically while mounted just to practice that (see below for commentary on that)
  • Went near enough Froki’s Shack to mark it for the map but otherwise did not engage, may come back later just because i don’t think i’ve ever actually talked to Froki?
  • Boinged to Lakeview next
  • Gave Iona the dragon armor i got off of Bjormund; traded off my dragonscale for the Daedric mail after improving a couple of its pieces; put the dragonscale as well as the falmer stuff on mannequins
  • Tried to leave to mount up and go to Whiterun to sell stuff, but bandits spawned inside the walls, so none of my three housecarls on site or Gogh or Swift Wind could find them
  • I found the command you can use in the console that lets you walk through walls, and killed and found the third bandit that way, which was fucking weird; toggled that command back to return to normal
  • Found Swift Wind who’d run further off from the house
  • Fast traveled to Whiterun to sell stuff finally and refresh supplies for next quest
  • Went out to run Bleakwind Basin giant bounty
  • Bought some stuff from Khajiit! Ri’saad had amber and madness ore, snapped that up
  • Flyby dragon overhead while I ran Bleakwind Basin
  • Only took a couple of ebony crossbow shots to alert the giant and then the rest of Team Dragonborn took him out; fortunately we didn’t piss off the other giant or the three mammoths I saw not far away
  • Fast traveled straight back to Dragonsreach to collect that bounty; Proventus was out on the Dragonsreach porch and I saw a dragon flying in the distance, possibly the same one I’d seen while killing the giant? Felt my controller rumble
  • Did a little enchanting at Farengar’s table
  • Leveled up to 33; took Health bump and Well Fitted Heavy Armor perk
  • Came back out to ride off to Robber’s Gorge
  • Passed 3 Thalmor + prisoner, also noble on horse + soldier escort; move aside please, superior mount coming through 😉
  • Took out a few wolves and also four bandits north of Rorikstead, then reached Robber’s Gorge
  • Fuck you, toll bandit, I am not giving you any gold; started running the place
  • Got plenty of loot off bandits, and oh hey the bandit chief had studded dragonscale on! I’ll have to confiscate that please
  • Went down into Robber’s Cove and got the journal, then went out to the treasure chest too
  • Swift Wind came after me and killed a slaughterfish in the water, what a good unicorn
  • Got on him and fast traveled to Solitude to sell a bunch of stuff to Sayma and Beirand; also did a bit more armor improvement
  • Boinged to Morthal
  • Checked in with the steward and got the bounty paid for the bandit leader; also bought the land for Windstad Manor
  • Rode over there to start building the Small House
  • Team killed a couple of frostbite spiders en route
  • Built Small House structure, left several building materials in chest inside to come back to later
  • Boinged back to Lakeview
  • Improved the dragonscale yoinked off of bandit chief; stashed that in the cupboard with other armor pieces I want to keep
  • Made some ingots out of ore I’d collected, including the amber
  • Saved for the night

Commentary

Having a ridable mount lasting longer than a single session is continuing to please me immensely. It’s also letting me start making some observations about what having an actual regular ridable mount can bring to the game.

For example: every so often, a random giant will show up right in the middle of the road in various places in Skyrim. The road that leads to Riverwood, if you’re coming from Whiterun, is one of the places where I’ve seen this more than once. Unless you’re a higher level character, at least 30+, then getting past a giant in the road can be a problem. Because if you come up near a giant, he will get hostile at you. And he will swing his club and very likely send you flying into the air and right back down again for a very fast death.

But if you’re on horseback, or in my case unicorn-back, a giant in the road becomes less of a problem. Because you can speed up your pace and just gallop past the big bastard. Time it right and your follower(s) will break out running to catch up, and not engage the giant either.

Which meant I didn’t have to care about the giant hanging out near Riverwood! (One hopes that nobody else had to care about the giant either.)

After the starting fishing in this session, I next got the Dying Wish quest resolved by chatting with Rulnik Wind-Strider at the Temple of Kynareth. Awesome, so now I have this guy available as a follower! I will need to try him out.

He’s apparently got a level cap of 75, which makes him potentially one of the best followers in the game. He does Destruction and Illusion magic, and also has the One-handed and Heavy Armor skills, according to the wiki. What I do not see on his page, however, is what spells he knows.

By default he is wearing Expert Robes of Alteration. Since I don’t know what spells he knows, I don’t know if he’s got Stoneflesh or Ebonyflesh. So I will have to figure out whether I need to get this man some decent armor, or if he’s comparable to Neloth in power and perfectly capable of defending himself without having to armor up.

Another thing I don’t see on his page: whether he’s related to Bjormund Wind-Strider, a dead NPC I found at Arcwind Point. Since Bjormund was also a Nord and a redhead from the glimpse I got of him, and also since the quests both these guys appear in were created by the same Creation author, it seems plausible to me that they might have been brothers. (Though there’s no indication that Rulnik was involved with the Crimson Dirks, from what I’m seeing so far?)

Speaking of Arcwind Point, my next major action in the session was trying to return there to finish up the Bones for a Crow quest. That took me three tries. Important note here is that therefore, trying to run the Bones for a Crow quest is not recommended for lower-level characters! I was level 32 as of this attempt and I still had a hard go of it.

Crowstooth is not in the main part of Arcwind Point where the Word Wall is, and the dragon. She’s further up the steps, where there’s a small tomb and a tower beyond that. And when you make it up there, there will be at least one leveled draugr as well as a Khajiit named Alvasorr the Rat. I’m not sure which of the three of these NPCs killed me the first two times through, just because my PC laptop is old and stupid, and as I’ve complained before, combat with multiple enemies is hard for me to keep up with on that machine.

But third time through, though, I pulled it off. Which meant that in addition to the general boss loot available in the nearby chest, I also got a couple of named weapons off of Crowstooth and Alvasorr: Tyrant’s Bane (good name for a Forsworn weapon) and Namira’s Itch (charming).

I also got a suit of Falmer armor off of Alvasorr, including a helmet called Dire Visage. This raises interesting questions about Alvasorr that are not addressed in the plot, namely, how the hell does he see wearing a Falmer helmet? Falmer helmets do not account for eyes in their design! Which they shouldn’t, because Falmer are blind. So I have a real hard time buying how any sighted character would want to wear and use one?

Now, there’s no info given in the plot on this particular Khajiit, so for all I know he might actually have been blind. But that also raises the question of whether he’s using other senses to compensate? Or magic? No way of knowing!

One notable thing about the Dire Visage helmet, though: it had an enchantment on it to cut the cost of both Conjuration and Alteration spells. And the wiki says it can be disenchanted. I will be taking advantage of this later!

And one other notable thing: on the three times through Arcwind Point, I kept spotting a draugr type I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before: a Draugr Scourge Lord. They’re apparently a couple hops down from Draugr Deathlord in terms of power level? But apparently I just haven’t been in a location with draugr at the right point in my own leveling up to trigger one of those.

The important final loot of this plot, though, was the dragon armor on the dead Bjormund Wind-Strider, at the very top of the tower. Not clear why he was dead, presumably Crowstooth and/or Alvasorr killed him? But he was wearing insulated dragonplate and dragonbone mail armor. Alternate design of the heavy dragonplate armor in the vanilla game. And since it’s got fur layers to it, this suggests additional comfort if you’re wearing it, not to mention protection against Skyrim’s snowy climate.

And oh yes: third time through on the Frost Dragon, I actually engaged it close up and did that delightful cinematic where I jump on its head and stab it to death. 😀 I would have gotten video, but I’m not sure yet how I can do that while playing Skyrim on the PC.

Tromping out of Arcwind Point, slowly because I was overloaded, leads me to the next thing I can say about having a regular, non-killable mount that I don’t call up by summons: playing the Skyrim version of Where the Hell Did I Park? Which is complicated by how your mount can and will attack things coming at you, and sometimes will run the hell off on its own. So it may or may not be where you originally dismounted.

So I had to figure out where the hell Swift Wind had gotten off to. And while doing that, I discovered a new bit of the overall site that I hadn’t seen before: Varlais Cavern. This is an additional locale brought in by the Cause plotline, also new AE content, and I am not ready to run that yet. So I’ll have to come back and check that out later.

(Note about this: Varlais Cavern is shown as cleared on my map, presumably because it’s considered part of Arcwind Point and therefore got marked as cleared when I cleared Arcwind in general? Will have to see what it’s like when I get in there.)

Riding Swift Wind out of the place, the long path that led back towards Froki’s Shack as opposed to the steep path I’d taken to get down there from the Imperial camp, let me learn another thing about being a mounted character. I tried attacking two snow bears while mounted, and saw that neither Iona nor Gogh actually engaged the snow bears while I was doing that.

So if I’m mounted, apparently my followers will not help me in combat? But if I’m not mounted, they will.

Likewise, Swift Wind himself didn’t respond to the bears while I was on his back.

I expect that all of this is possibly challenging to code and not a thing Bethesda had cycles to implement properly? It would not surprise me if somebody’s improved mounted combat in a mod, though. Later on down the line when I have the Steam Deck, I may need to see if that’s the case. For now, though, it was a weird play experience. And it told me that yeah, I’m just going to have to get off the unicorn if I have to deal with fighting.

Next up: boinged to Lakeview, about which the most notable thing was that I had yet another occurrence of the spawning of bandits inside the walls of the house. This is apparently not a thing fixed by the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch!

And it resulted in Team Dragonborn (three housecarls all on site, Gogh, and Swift Wind) running in circles around the house and flailing weapons at the walls!

I’m pretty sure two of the bandits got killed that way. The third one, though, I got. And I only managed that because I learned the appropriate debug console command to actually give me access to the inside of the walls of the house!

The command was tcl. This turned off object collision, which basically meant I was able to walk straight through the walls of the house and see where the bandit was, and kill him. Also, this looked very weird, as it put me into this area that was bounded by the house walls, but which had exterior ground that I was partially sunk into. I didn’t get a screenshot of the actual bandit there, but I’ll have to do that next time this happens.

Anyway, got in there, killed the bandit, came out again, and toggled the command off to return things to normal.

Main things I want to say about the action running the two bounties, the giant and the bandit leader:

Going to Proventus in Dragonsreach to pick up the payment for the giant took me out to the back porch area, where I sometimes I have to go to find the steward; while out there, I saw a dragon flying in the distance that might have been the same one that flew overhead while I was fighting the giant? And it did make my controller rumble.

Which raises an interesting question: is it possible for dragons to attack that open porch area before you actually have to be there to call and capture Odahviing for the main plot?

And the bandit chief at Robber’s Gorge was actually wearing mostly studded dragonscale, the same stuff I’d gotten at Yorgrim Overlook. I was surprised by that, and will be additionally surprised if that stuff starts showing up on other bandit chiefs I run into. I kind of feel like dragonscale armor of either type should be more rare than that.

Next time

Still have a whole bunch of unresolved plot hooks all over my quest journal, and not sure what I’m in the mood to do next?

Probably the Interception plot, for previously mentioned anti-Thalmor action? And halfway interested in following up on that Not the Slightest Bit Suspicious invitation to the feast, just to see what Bloodchill Manor looks like. 😉

Screenshots

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.

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