In Which Shenner Acquires Sunder and Wraithguard
In this session, I mostly ran the entirety of the Sightless Pit–not only the original very large main dungeon, but also the new vault added by the AE content, where you can find the artifacts Sunder and Wraithguard!
Neat artifacts, very tasty enchantments, possibly worth getting for heavy-armor-oriented melee characters. One problem though: the big clanky extra-tough centurion guarding them.
- Started in Honeyside
- Boinged to Hob’s Fall Cave and ran the place, got the Helm of Winterhold
- Came out and decided to ride over to Sightless Pit; ran into a snow bear, and Iona managed to piss off the unicorn, so I had to roll back to coming out of Hob’s Fall Cave
- Riding to Sightless Pit take two: re-did initial regular bear, found the snow bear again, and assorted ice wolves and a couple of frost trolls
- Reached and started running Sightless Pit
- Killed once by coming around the corner, and oh shit surprise Falmer Gloomlurker and chaurus! But not thrown back very far
- Had some trouble getting Iona and Gogh to follow me through all the requisite stages of the level, particularly the multi-stage hole you have to jump down
- Wound up overshooting the side passage that leads to the Sightless Vault, the locale for Sunder and Wraithguard
- Also overloaded at that point, and just had Gogh, Iona had fallen behind
- Had to look up what to do with the steam valves for the final puzzle (see commentary below)
- BOY FUCKING HOWDY that Messenger centurion was tough; handed me my ass twice, didn’t help that I was overloaded either
- Third time through finally went ‘why in gods’ name do not I not have my housecarl’, and went back to try to find Iona; fortunately she’d caught up and was in the corridor outside
- So third time through I had her available; gave her a Staff of the Flame Atronach from prior loot, as well as a few other loot items to try to distribute the loot and be less overloaded fighting the messenger
- Finally killed it
- Got the loot off the Messenger, also cleared its boss chest, and got Wraithguard and Sunder, yay? (Not sure if I am impressed by these artifacts yet, see commentary below)
- Tromped very slowly out of the place and took the original exit out of the cavern
- As soon as i got outside, DRAGON
- Which kept flying slightly away to try to start shit with my unicorn, so okay good at least the unicorn was located easily this time 😉
- Took out the dragon after it got in crossbow range a few times; looted it
- Rode over towards Winterhold; had a bit of frost troll and snow bear action, also a frost troll that had killed a couple of Imperial soldiers (sorry guys, I gotta confiscate your stuff and I’m pretty sure you don’t care at this point anyway, as you are in fact very dead)
- Sold a bunch of things to Birna in Winterhold
- Still overloaded so tromped over to Jarl’s longhouse to give the Helm to Korir; got his prompt to become thane
- I’d had two confirmed favors already? So just needed the last one
- Rode Swift Wind carefully up to the college (just to determine that i could in fact ride him up there)
- Bought five rounds of Destruction training from Faralda
- That got me leveled up to 34; took Magicka bump and Glass smithing (which in turn unlocked Amber)
- Then went and got five rounds of Conjuration training from Phinis
- Bought several spellbooks from him including Frost Atronach
- Got Brelyna’s favor quest resolved, which also served as favor number three for Winterhold thaneship
- Talked to Enthir to get him to agree to the deal to swap the staff he wants for Onmund’s amulet
- Also got J’zargo’s scrolls quest queued up
- Decided to not deal with the Augur right now as I was still overloaded
- Fast traveled by unicorn to Riften instead
- Sold a bunch of things to Balimund and Bersi
- Picked up a bunch of materials stashed in the chest at Honeyside
- Dismissed Iona for the moment, then tromped out to the stables to mount up
- Fast traveled to Lakeview
- Created amber helmet, boots, and gauntlets! Need more amber for armor and shield and weapons though
- Did a bunch more smithing besides that, created a bunch of armor, and also created a few more furnishings; took advantage of the Arcane Blacksmith’s apron to get Smithing bumps
- Improved up the studded dragonscale some more, kind of in a mood to switch between that and the Remnants stuff for a bit till I build out the amber
- I think here is where I leveled up to 35? Took Stamina bump and Speech perk
- Went outside and discovered a giant by the house; decided not to engage for the moment
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell a bunch of things
- Bought corundum from Adrianne and improved the Remnants stuff up to Legendary
- Sold a bunch more things to Belethor and Arcadia
- Did a bit of a fishing jaunt; hit the spot by Tundra Homestead, the one in Riverwood, and the one by the Guardian Stones; still no goldfish
- Unicorn and Gogh killed a couple of frostbite spiders; returned to Lakeview
- Giant was still there so took him out
- Went inside for more crafting and rearranging of what armor I’m carrying
- Saved for the night
Main action of this entire session was running the Sightless Pit, and resolving the Legends Lost quest to get Wraithguard and Sunder. (Not to be confused with the Lost Legends book, which is involved with the Forbidden Legend quest for the Gauldur amulet!)
I’ve done several Skyrim playthroughs at this point but have only run Sightless Pit once, with Merawen. So I’d kind of forgotten how big that entire dungeon is! And the Legends Lost content adds another whole section that contains the vault for Wraithguard and Sunder. So it took me a while to actually get there.
You have to solve a steam valve puzzle in order to unlock the gates to access the artifacts, too. This puzzle is somewhat misleading, so warning to Future Me as well as other interested parties: the quest marker only points at a single valve in each room. But you don’t want to focus on just that valve.
What you need to do instead is look for signs of where steam is emerging from all the pipes. Some of the steam points are obvious, you can see them. A few of them weren’t as obvious to me so I had to more go by the sound of where steam was emerging. Whatever valve is closest to emerging steam is the valve you need to activate, and you need to keep doing that until all the steam points are closed and the steam is flowing properly through the pipes.
I kind of liked this puzzle, just because it was a bit new and different from other puzzles I’ve had to solve before in the game. But I only figured out what to do because of looking it up on the internet, because yeah, that quest marker being parked only on one valve the whole time is confusing. So that’s my only complaint with that part.
The other major bit of fun for the conclusion of this quest is the centurion you have to take down. This is a special named centurion, the Messenger, and it was a very hard fight even for my mid-30’s level character. First two times through it completely kicked my ass, even with Gogh summoning his storm atronach, and me summoning anything I was able to summon.
What actually finally worked was me going “why the actual fuck do I not have my housecarl with me” and going back to look for her. Fortunately I didn’t have to look far for her, just out into the corridor that led into the vault. And once I gave Iona the Staff of the Flame Atronach that I’d picked up in previous loot, that gave her the ability to do summons, which bumped up Team Dragonborn by two.
Roster of Team Dragonborn at this point:
- Undying Ghost summoned by me
- Flame Atronach summoned by Iona via staff
- Storm Atronach summoned by Gogh via Spear of Bitter Mercy
With that, I was finally able to take down the Messenger.
Let it also be noted that the Messenger had a really cool design as well. Most centurions in the game have the standard gold-ish dwarven metal color, but this one had a unique black with gold trim design. Very nice. 😀
Now all that said: with all that work I had to do to get to Wraithguard and Sunder, I’m still not entirely sure if it was worth it. Wraithguard is a single dwarven heavy armor gauntlet (which, apparently, because of how Skyrim renders gauntlets, means that you get a non-enchanted dwarven gauntlet on the left hand), and it’s got some really tasty enchantments on it, particularly if you are also wielding Sunder and Keening.
But I am not usually a heavy armor person, and in particular, I’m usually not a fan of the dwarven style of armor. Also, Sunder is a mace, and up until now I’ve favored swords for my one-handed fighting.
So I’m dubious about whether I’d actually use Wraithguard, Sunder, and Keening. The combo of them does seem to add up to a bunch of tasty enchantments, but I’m not sure yet if they would top what I can get off the Imperial Dragon armor right now. I’ll have to compare.
And certainly, what buffs you can get from this gear certainly seem to be most relevant to a warrior character. If you’re playing a sneaky stealth archer type, or if you’re playing a mage, both of which tend to be my preferred play styles, heavier gear is by default less interesting.
But those enchantments are certainly tasty enough to make me consider trying them out! We will see.
Next note of interest after all that action: unlocked Glass smithing, which by extension lets me also now build amber armor and weapons! So I had a bit of a stash of amber built up, enough to let me build a helmet, boots, and gauntlets. I still need to acquire enough amber for armor and a shield, and possibly also a sword and dagger and bow.
And something I’d noted already on Shenner’s run, but which will now document here: at least two characters in Whiterun, Lilith Maiden-Loom and Mila, have not been triggering their usual lines at me when I walk past them. Lilith, at least, does trigger her line if I stop and hit A at her directly.
Jon Battle-Born and Amren are still totes chatty, though. So WTF? This seems like it’s probably some kind of adjustment via the USSEP, maybe to the space around these characters that you have to walk through to cause them to trigger their usual lines? But I don’t see any documentation of it on the wiki.
Really not sure yet! My list of active quests in the journal isn’t quite as gigantic now, but it’s still pretty large, so I should really pick and choose something off of it before taking on additional new stuff. But not sure yet what I want to do!