Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Becomes Thane of the Reach

Two major highlights of this session: Shenner achieved the thaneship of the Reach, and then busted up a Daedric cult in Dawnstar!


  • Play date: 7/22/2022
  • Session number in this run: 41
  • Started in Markarth; slept a few hours in the inn
  • Sold a few things to Lisbet in the morning, then went to go talk to the Jarl
  • Reported in that the Forsworn leader was dead
  • Got Igmund’s directive to go get his father’s shield, which this time was at Bleakwind Bluff
  • Went outside and fast traveled to Moldering Ruins to get there
  • Immediate battle with not only the thralls and death hound at the ruins, but also the dragon Nahagliiv who showed up
  • Then rode immediately northward to get to Bleakwind Bluff; tore through that place too
  • And LOL unicorn went right up the stairs to fight with the Forsworn and the Hagraven
  • Got the shield okay and other loot in the boss chest
  • Boinged back to Markarth to report in
  • Gave the Jarl his shield and got offer of the thaneship
  • Immediately had enough money to buy Vlindrel Hall and furnish it, so did that
  • Got directive to help his people but turns out I had already done five? Oh derp I’ve invested in stores
  • So yay I’m thane! And I have Vlindrel Hall! HI ARGIS
  • Dropped off a few things, then boinged back to Lakeview to check on the kids and other housecarls
  • Did some smithing, alchemy, and enchanting
  • Leveled up to 52; took Magicka bump; Magicka still showing red on the skill tree, Health is showing green, Stamina is showing white
  • Did not immediately take a perk; did more enchanting until Enchanting hit 100, then I took the Extra Effect perk
  • Boinged off to Whiterun; sold a bunch of things to all the shops, and got more iron
  • Boinged to Heljarchen to build out more of the storage wing there
  • Boinged to Riften to check on Viriya
  • After that, decided to run the Unholy Vigil quest
  • Boinged to Hall of the Vigilant; got flyby dragon; found the note there to Keeper Carcette
  • Directed to look at Windpeak Inn for more info
  • Rode from there past Windward Ruins to Dawnstar
  • Said hi to Khajiit and shopped with Ahkari
  • Went into the inn and found a note asking for a meeting–at Windward Ruins, LOL
  • Went back to the ruins and found dead body of a Vigilant (and ah okay the note was actually for him)
  • Had a bit of trouble following the suspects, wound up failing the objectives to follow and not be noticed by them; had to confirm which suspect to follow via the wiki
  • Killed time during the day by fishing, also by investing in the apothecary and the forge; bought up a whole bunch more iron
  • Then hid out in the mine for a while until it was late enough that I could trail Harald’s quest marker into the secret Daedric cult hideout part of the mine
  • Killed all the cultists, and the shrine to Molag Bal was suitably creepy with a blood fountain and everything (blood probably from the dead Vigilants in the coffins?)
  • Went back outside and sold Vigil armor pieces to the Khajiit
  • Did a bunch of boinging between Heljarchen, Lakeview, and Whiterun
  • Built a few more things in the storage wing at Heljarchen, but too many building materials now, so started building out Iron Spell Knight Armor to sell
  • Also wound up setting Enchanting Legendary just to rebuild the Smithing tree (disgruntled to waste the Extra Effect perk but i’ll get back to it later, this is higher priority! i want to be able to make my amber armor!)
  • Discovered I could invest at Drunken Huntsman! Yay! So now Elrindir tells me I’m useful 😉
  • Saved for the night


Right out of the gate, I started off the session by going on the quest to get Igmund his father’s shield back. Which also led me to fighting Nahagliiv, since Moldering Ruins was close enough to Ivarstead to attract that dragon’s attention.

And once I got the shield, this was perhaps the fastest I’ve ever achieved the thaneship of the Reach! Because not only was the shield I had to get for Igmund at Bleakwind Bluff, which is super easy to run, I’d also already taken care of all the favor quests required for the thaneship–because of investing in Markarth shops, pretty much. So I was able to return the shield, buy Vlindrel Hall, furnish it, and get declared thane all in one go.

I think I chose poorly in terms of how to spend my perks this time. Because I got Enchanting up to 100, and not too long after, decided I really wanted the perks on Smithing instead, so wound up setting Enchanting Legendary even before I got a chance to do anything with the Extra Effect perk. I’m not entirely satisfied with that choice. But on the other hand, I feel like getting the ability to finally make my amber armor is higher priority!

And given that I plan to go to Solstheim before I run Dawnguard with this alt, I want Ebony Smithing back, too. I’ll need that to play with stalhrim.

It was satisfying to boing to Riften and check on Viriya, just to see the new market stall she’d set up. Her new stall was right next to Grelka’s! She was selling crab meat and chitin but also general wares.

And all I can think is, “Okay good, have fun selling stuff, and try not to punch Grelka, mmkay?”

Viriya gave me a token of appreciation, too, an enchanted crab charm like the one I already had, but with better enchantments on it! It had a waterbreathing enchantment, but also boosts to both Light and Heavy Armor. Nice. 😀

After that, my next action was to run the Unholy Vigil quest in Dawnstar. Let it be noted that while I did like running this plot, and while it didn’t escape my attention that they tried to make it at least tie in a bit with the Waking Nightmare one, I kind of feel the connection didn’t quite work as well as it should have done.

The info I picked up on basically indicated that the Vigil of Stendarr was investigating Daedric activity in Dawnstar, and that they knew about the nightmare problem. But clearly they hadn’t actually talked to Erandur, because he knew for sure where the nightmares were coming from. And I’d think that if the Vigil were really interested in investigating Daedric activity in the Pale, they’d be really fucking interested in an entire temple to Vaermina literally just up the hill from the town.

But nobody thought to check out that temple? Or maybe have a conversation with the priest of Mara who’s also trying to soothe the populace?

This is, I feel, a distinct failure on the part of the Vigil. But, well, they don’t exactly have the most solid track record of getting things done in this game, I gotta say!

Now all that said, I did like this plot. It was another one that handled the problem of having to avoid new conversations pretty well, again making use of giving you information via notes and journals. This time, the notes were also specifically not for you, they were clearly left by earlier participants in the plot, such as the note that lured Vigilant Azarain off to the Windward Ruins.

And I liked this plot even given my strained sense of disbelief that the cult had an entire secret hideout room inside Quicksilver Mine. Comma, a highly active, working mine, with people in and out all the time!

I saw NPCs down there mining late into the evening, while I was hidden waiting for Harald to show up. Which tells me that the cultists would have had a short span of time every day in which they could have legitimately gotten away with building their secret cult hideout. Complete with a blood fountain for Molag Bal and everything.

I’d have thought at least that a big button on the wall might have caught somebody’s attention?

I know, I know, I should really just relax. But hey, this is my writer brain trying to make sense of the narrative. 😀

The cult hideout was suitably creepy, though. And it was a good battle, even if brief. The cultists didn’t stand much of a chance against Team Dragonborn. Had I come in there as a lower level character, I expect it would have been a lot more of a problem.

Last but not least, noted with satisfaction that running the USSEP meant that I was able to invest at the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun. Oh good. I like Elrindir. <3

Next time

Now that I’ve started Dawnguard with Faanshi, pretty sure a trip to Solstheim is in Shenner’s imminent future!


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: Restored missing gallery.

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.