A very magic-heavy session, as I moved the mage college plot further along–and also continued to put mage follower Rulnik Wind-Strider through his paces! Ran the Mzulft ruin, and got the information on where the Staff of Magnus is. And oh shit, the Arch-Mage is dead!
- Started at mage college
- Tromped down the bridge to Winterhold so i could mount up on Swift Wind
- Fast traveled to Windhelm
- Sold dragon bits to Nurelion, and assorted other items to Niranye
- Went outside to reach the stables
- Found Khajiit on site so bought amber and madness, and assorted interesting ingredients
- Rode south-ish to Mzulft
- Passed en route:
- Talsgar the Wanderer, who stopped to fight a couple of wolves
- Dunmer farmer going to Solitude to join the Legion
- Spotted but not engaged: giant, two mammoths
- Spotted and engaged: skeever, sabre cat
- Reached and started running Mzulft
- Killed once by chaurus near the researchers’ built platform, but ran the rest of the place without too much trouble
- Lost level up to 38 by getting killed by the chaurus, but regained it shortly thereafter
- Took Stamina bump and next Armsman perk in One-handed
- Also tried to pay attention to what Rulnik was doing so I could figure out how many spells he knows; answer, at least four
- Declined to open some of the locked chests and doors, as I’m running low on lockpicks and not currently playing this alt as a thief
- Got the pointer to the staff being at Labyrinthian and the vision to go back to the college ASAP
- But first: stopped in Windhelm to sell stuff (it’s on the way, okay Nerien? and i’ll get back to the college faster if I’m not overburdened!)
- Sold a bunch of armor and weapons to Oengul, but Nurelion hadn’t reset his inventory yet so couldn’t sell more things to him
- Returned to the college
- Cue oh shit Ancano’s doing something to the eye! BOOM! Oh shit, the Arch-Mage is dead!
- Fight with the magical anomalies in Winterhold did rather go better with Rulnik, Gogh, and a pissed off unicorn
- Swift Wind was already battling the things when I arrived, what a good unicorn!
- Killed all the anomalies, then ran back up to the college and got Mirabelle’s orders to get the staff
- But first:
- Boinged to Tundra Homestead, thought I’d drop off stuff but realized all my good stuff was at Windstad
- Boinged to Windstad and cleaned out the supply chest
- Boinged back to Lakeview because that’s where I’d stashed the amber stuff
- But nope, damn, can’t make amber armor yet, so improved my amber gauntlets up to Legendary instead
- Did some other Smithing and ran up a couple more points on that skill
- Leveled up to 39; took Health bump; took Orcish smithing perk
- Dropped off books on the shelf and ingredients in the barrel
- Put the amber armor items back in the armory
- Saved for the night
So far I am definitely enjoying Rulnik as a follower. But since his wiki page is less than informative about what spells he’s packing, and I don’t know yet what magic I can throw at the console to make it tell me that info, I’m having to rely upon what I can observe about him in active play.
And active observation has told me that Rulnik knows at least four spells, as follows:
- Flame Cloak
- Conjure Familiar
- A lightning spell
- A mage armor spell
I can’t get more specific about what lightning and mage armor spells Rulnik knows–just because as far as I know there’s no obvious visual difference between the various types of each. So I don’t know if Rulnik’s lightning spell is Sparks or Lightning Bolt, for example. And I don’t know if his mage armor spell is Oakflesh, Stoneflesh, Ironflesh, or what.
(Sidebar: it’d be kind of neat if the various grades of mage armor spell had a slightly different color to help you tell them apart when they’re cast by NPCs.)
Rulnik was definitely handy in particular once I got the mage college plot far enough along to have to fight the magic anomalies in Winterhold. And having Gogh and Swift Wind on hand was super helpful as well. Swift Wind in particular, since he was already hanging out down at the bottom of the bridge, was already fighting the anomalies as well when I got there. What a good unicorn!
It’s not been too terribly long since I ran Mzulft with Faanshi, so I don’t have much to add to that running Mzulft with Shenner. About the only distinct difference was that since Shenner’s only at Adept level Difficulty and I’m running her as more of a melee fighter, I could in fact get away with tromping up to the centurion at the end of the dungeon and whacking it to death with my sword. Which is still extremely satisfying. <3
Main notable thing at the end of the session was just doing a check of whether I’m able to have a full set of amber armor yet. Not so much. I need at least seven more bits of amber to make actual armor and a shield. And I’d like a few more besides that to make weaponry as well, not to mention improving it all. I’ll have to consider doing another delve into the Solitude sewers to replenish my stock!
Y’all may have noticed I’m playing more Shenner sessions than I am Faanshi; this is intentional, out of interest in all the new content. Also, I like having access to the debug console and mods, and seeing what impacts that has on my gameplay.
Which brings me to another NPC conversation I’ve spotted in this build, which I have never heard on the Switch. At the mage college, there’s a conversation that happens between Colette and Drevis, that goes like this:
Colette: “How are you, Drevis?”
Drevis: “Ugh. What do you want?”
Colette: “Why should I want anything? Why can’t I simply be sociable with my colleagues?”
Drevis: “I’m busy right now, Colette.”
Colette: “Well, then. Fine. Have a nice day.”
And this conversation makes me simultaneously annoyed with Drevis for being an asshole, and more sorry for Colette. I was already sad for her given that her colleagues give her shit for specializing in Restoration. But this is Drevis being actively rude. Dammit, Drevis, there’s no call for you to be an asshole.
Okay so sure, Colette presents as whiny to the player. But frankly, I think she’s justified in complaining. I’ve seen at least two different other NPCs in the college being shitty to her in this build. Urag is borderline, with dialogue that’s heavily implying he doesn’t like her, but at least he’s not actively rude.
Drevis, though, no question. He’s being a dick.
Makes me wish I had a mod that would allow me, in my capacity as Arch-Mage, to sternly order people to back the fuck off with Colette. #JusticeForColetteMarence
And aside from that, really curious as to why I’m hearing all of these extra conversations in the PC build that I’ve never heard on the Switch before. I’ve heard extra dialogue in both the mage college and Solitude, but the conversations I’m hearing aren’t described on the wiki as bugged. So not sure what’s going on there.
Still not far enough along to do the next major AE quest I want to do, The Cause. So I’m considering what to do in the meantime. Options:
- Continue the mage college, just to get that done and dealt with, which means going to Labyrinthian next and then probably whipping right back to the college to save it from exploding
- Shenner doesn’t have the Razor yet, I might go after that
- She’s also not yet thane of Dawnstar and I don’t think I have the thaneship of the Reach with her either
- Since I’m running two playthroughs at once, I’m tempted to actually go to Solstheim before doing Dawnguard with Shenner–in no small part because there’s new content on Solstheim, as well