I actually did main plot stuff in this session–i.e., visiting Paarthurnax and getting the objective to find the Elder Scroll, and learning the Clear Skies Shout–but I’m way more amused by how I got word that a song was written about how awesome I have become at fishing. LOL. Spent time on other side quests as well, finishing off the Pets plotline, recovering a staff for Enthir to get Onmund’s amulet back, and finding a couple aspects of the game that were buggy even though I’m running the USSEP in this playthrough.
- Play date: 7/16/2022
- Session number in this run: 38
- Started in Lakeview
- Dropped off some items (ebony ingots, Daedra hearts) but grabbed other building materials
- Boinged to mage college
- Got 5 rounds Restoration training with Colette; bought a few new spells from her
- Tolfdir did not have the Transmute spell, damn
- Boinged to High Hrothgar next
- Talked to Arngeir, took a couple of different dialogue options with him this time, mostly to challenge him about the Blades and stopping Alduin
- After Master Einarth told him to STFD, got the Clear Skies Shout and went up to talk to Paarthurnax
- Killed on the way up the mountain: two different ice wraiths, one frost troll
- Talked to Paarthurnax and got the objective to find the Elder Scroll
- Hmm did not have a dialogue item re: talking to Urag; this seems buggy (see commentary below)
- Came back down the mountain to where I’d left Swift Wind on the steps to High Hrothgar
- Mined orichalcum and silver veins on the way back down to the courtyard
- Got on Swift Wind and boinged to Wayward Pass to get within range of Yngvild
- Fought en route:
- Random Redguard in Orcish plate and Ebony helmet and other mixed armor bits
- Another ice wraith
- Snowy sabre cat
- Two ice wolves
- Ran Yngvild without much trouble
- Got the journals and noted that did not trigger a quest to take them back to Vekel, so the USSEP clearly addressed that (but not well enough, more on this below)
- Overloaded, but was able to return to the college
- Crashed in the Arch-Mage’s quarters till morning
- Went to talk to Enthir and give him the staff he wanted, then sold him a bunch of stuff to get back under carry weight
- Got Onmund’s amulet back and then returned that to Onmund
- Boinged back to Cronvangr Cave to find the frostbite spider there; the place had respawned, so I had to kill a bunch of other frostbite spiders
- Found the trap door into the vampire lair; killed a few vampires, including the naturalist
- Got a ruined book I was able to take to the Atronach Forge
- Freed Arachnia and sent it off to Bloodchilll Cavern
- Boinged down to Lakeview to look for the final pet, Sweet Roll the Fox
- Encountered en route: hunter
- Also, Blood Dragon!
- Killed it just before finding the fox, and the dead thief that was the prior owner
- Fed the fox a sweet roll, and sent it off to guard Tundra Homestead
- Did a bit of building at Heljarchen
- Had Rulnik stand down for a bit, at which point he informed me there were skeevers in the basement
- Went down to deal with that and by ‘deal’ I mean ‘let Gogh and Rulnik and storm atronach kill them’
- Boys! BOYS! Try not to explode the cellar?
- Found my kitchen actually had steamed mudcrab legs, so grabbed that for Gisli; also made crab stew
- Boinged back to Lakeview but had no arctic char there
- Boinged to Windstad to see if I could find a fishing spot; no, but I did finally find the hatchery, and should try that out
- Explored along the beach and made it to the Wreck of the Brinehammer
- Found another Blood Dragon and fought it
- Also fought the bandits at the unmarked camp near the Brinehammer, since they were alerted by the fight with the dragon
- Killed assorted ice wolves, snowy sabre cats, and bears (both here and later when working my way back west along the beach)
- Fished the spot by the shack but didn’t get a char
- Boinged to Dawnstar
- Khajiit were there so shopped with them
- Then fished Dawnstar’s spot but no char there either
- Interesting side note: spotted unfamiliar NPC
- Boinged to Winterhold and made my way down to the water to try to find another spot but no
- Boinged back to mage college briefly, and made a few things at the Atronach Forge: Conjure Ayleid Lich spellbook, and also fire, frost, and void salts
- Came back out and boinged to Windhelm
- Adopted Sofie so Lucia could have a sister
- Then went out to the dock and fished there; finally! a char!
- Boinged to Solitude
- Cooked the char at Proudspire’s kitchen, then took the meal to the Skeever
- Was able to serve it even after midnight; Gisli was clearly up late and hungry 😉
- She actually left me a nice note! And a tip! And a promise to see if she could get Viarmo to write a song about me
- Boinged to Riften to see if I could get rid of the journals; Vekel gave me no prompt to take them
- LOL, Tonilia told me if I was looking for conversation the Flagon wasn’t the place
- Also visited the Face Sculptor just for giggles, though I made no significant changes to Shenner’s look, mostly just gave her a new haircut
- Couldn’t leave the journals in Shadowfoot Sanctum either; went back briefly topside, then realized I could fix this with the debug console
- So set the stage of the journals quest to 40 so it would explicitly let me go back to Vekel; gave them to him, and he gave me an Iron Mace of Embers
- As I came back up topside from that, got a courier–with a song from Viarmo! “The Fisher Queen”! Lolololol
- Saved there for the night
First real action in this session was to go to High Hrothgar and take care of the “meeting Paarthurnax” portion of the main plotline. Which led me to discovering another thing that seems buggy, in different ways from my playthroughs on the Switch build.
Namely: when you ask Paarthurnax where to find an Elder Scroll, he admits that you’re probably in a better position to know than he is, given how he’s lived in seclusion up on the mountain for several thousand years. Usually when I hit this point of the plot, I get a dialogue option in which I muse that the “Lorekeeper of the College of Winterhold” might know. Which is to say, Urag.
I didn’t get that this time, which confused me. According to the wiki, whether you get that line depends on whether you’ve actually spoken to Urag before.
Here’s the confusing part: at this point of Shenner’s playthrough, I’m the Arch-Mage. Which by definition means I’ve talked to Urag, because you have to do that in order to actually progress through the mage college’s plotline.
So real confused as to why the hell I didn’t get that option here. Instead, I got a line about speculating that either Arngeir or Esbern might know. Which is fine and all, but since Arngeir and Esbern both eventually point you at the College of Winterhold anyway, I elected to just skip that part and go talk to Urag directly myself.
I suppose it’s also worth pointing out that this is the first Skyrim playthrough in which I’ve ever actually had a mount with me going to High Hrothgar. Which meant I had to leave poor Swift Wind out on the cold, cold steps, since the place doesn’t exactly have a stable.
About which I can’t exactly fault it, on general grounds of “who the hell is going to bring a horse up the 7,000 steps?” Answer: the Dragonborn!
Still though I feel like if you try to fast travel to High Hrothgar and you do in fact have a horse active, your horse should be parked down in Ivarstead. I mean, there’s not exactly a stable in Ivarstead either, but at least your mount could be reasonably warm without being up on the snowy, snowy mountain and risking fighting frost trolls and wolves and bears and such! Swift Wind could take ’em, but hell, even my valiant unicorn probably appreciates not having to be in the cold frosty wind.
Side thought: I also feel like even the tiny towns like Ivarstead should damn well have some kind of stable, even if it’s a little one. People still surely have to come through the tinier places on horseback! And those horses need to eat! At least there should be a stable structure like the one you can build at the built houses. You could have one of those at the tinier towns without it having to be staffed by NPCs. Just some little shelter where your horse could hang out while you’re going about your local business.
Next up, running Yngvild, since I had to go there to get the staff for Enthir, and resolve Onmund’s amulet quest. Out of vague curiosity as to how it would work if I ran that dungeon not as a member of the Thieves Guild, on the PC, I went ahead and grabbed Arondil’s journals. Even though, as I have written about before, Arondil is skeevy as fuck.
I noted that I did not get a quest objective to take the journals back to Vekel the Man at the Ragged Flagon. According to the wiki, this is an adjustment that the USSEP has made, because in theory that quest objective is only supposed to be available for members of the Guild. I checked and found that Vekel didn’t even give me a dialogue prompt for the quest.
And here’s the problem with that: the damn journals were still marked as quest items in my inventory, so I could not get rid of them.
Once again, debug console to the rescue. I looked up the appropriate quest ID for the Toying With the Dead quest, and used the
setstage command to make the game give me the objective to take the journals to Vekel.
I’m going to take the liberty of assuming, for narrative purposes, that being down there in the Ratway long enough to buy Shadowfoot Sanctum and find Esbern at least let me establish enough of a rapport with Vekel that he let me give him the journals for his client. I may not be officially Guild, but okay fine, let’s call me a freelance consultant, shall we?
(Really though, I just wanted to get rid of the damn journals. Because like I said, Arondil is skeevy as fuck.)
And, note to Future Me: next time I run Yngvild, just leave the damn journals be!
At any rate, running Yngvild let me take that staff back to Enthir (even though I actually got two copies of the staff), and get Onmund’s amulet quest resolved. And on a second trip to the college this session, I made a few things at the Atronach Forge. Notably, the spellbook for Conjure Ayleid Lich, which you get the ability to do once you run the Cause. Will be interested to try this out now that I can cast it.
(And heh, I feel like Shenner might periodically have to stop and reflect on how she’s apparently getting pretty good at summoning ghosts? It’s only a little bit of light necromancy…)
Decided to go ahead and finish off the Pets questline, and did the necessary steps to find both the pet frostbite spider (Arachnia) and the pet fox (Sweet Roll). I sent the spider off to Bloodchill Cavern, on the thought that Arachnia can perhaps be my anti-Falmer defense mechanism. And Sweet Roll I sent off to Tundra Homestead.
(I also feel like feeding sweet rolls to a fox is, shall we say, problematic! But this is not a consideration the game wants to take the time to make, LOL.)
And now that I’m done with it, I’m feeling like yeah, mostly not interested in the Pets plotline. But I gotta experiment more and see whether the ability to have pets show up and cart off loot for me continues to be useful. Not sure yet if I’ll be able to summon the pets while on Solstheim.
Meanwhile, also moved the Fishing quests along! And got the necessary ingredients to make Gisli her seafood dinner–though again, I kind of take issue with this just because the objective is more about cooking than it is about fishing. And most of the ingredients you need aren’t even ones you get by fishing, either–they’re from mudcrabs, or they’re vegetables for the stew.
That said: still pretty charmed by how the plot played out. Just because Gisli leaves you a really nice note and a tip. Apparently, it’s actually possible to please the ever-cranky Gisli, if you give her tasty seafood!
She was in fact pleased enough that she apparently commissioned Viarmo from the Bard’s College to write a song about the “Fisher Queen”, which I found out she’d done for sure when I got a courier showing up a little while later handing me a missive with the lyrics. Ha! 😀
I’d have been more pleased by this if I actually would hear bards singing this in inns, but, well, that would have taken voice work. As it stands, I am pleased that this plot not only involved Gisli in a positive way, but also involved the Bard’s College to give Viarmo an opportunity to actually write a song.
One other thing I want to call out for when I went to Dawnstar to fish there: on the way in, I went past an unfamiliar NPC. I’ve played Skyrim enough times now that I have a pretty good visual sense of what all the various known NPCs in a location look like, including what they’re wearing. So I saw somebody go by in the blue version of one of the dress styles I like, an outfit I don’t normally seen worn in Dawnstar. She turned out to be Irine, a Dunmer. And the wiki says she’s one of the NPCs added by the Vigil Enforcer Armor Set Creation, which is more AE content I still want to run!
So I’ll have to swing back and check out that plot later.
Last but not least, since I did boing to Windhelm for fishing purposes, I also took the time to adopt little Sofie the flower girl. Just because a) pitiful child selling flowers because she’s all alone and has to sleep outside in cold-as-fuck Windhelm, and also b) Lucia needs a sister at Lakeview!
Still working on whittling down my list of pending quests in the journal. Shenner and Faanshi are now pretty close in terms of game progress, but I don’t want to run the same thing at the same time with them. So while Shenner’s close enough along that she could go hunting for the Elder Scroll, I will likely hold off on that until I run Solstheim with her.
So right now my goal for her is to clear out some more stuff off her quest journal, maybe go follow up on some Words of Power, and any thaneship work I still need to do. I’d like to make more progress on that before I take off to Solstheim!
I also discovered that the Transmute Mineral Ore spellbook is not actually available for purchase. I’ll have to run either Halted Stream Camp or Ansilvund to go get it. So since that spell is useful and I’m missing not having it, I suspect I’ll be doing this soon!
And oh yeah: probably gonna marry that Rulnik guy, he’s pretty good in a fight! 😉
Editing to add
- 11/23/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.