Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Quests through Mzinchaleft and Arkngthamz

Turned out I had a few more side quests to do still, before sending Shenner off to Solstheim! This is a double session post, covering sessions in which I hit Mzinchaleft to recover Mjoll the Lioness’ sword Grimsever, and then hit Arkngthamz to get Katria’s plot underway. And there was fishing! SO MUCH FISHING.

Highlights

Sunday’s play

  • Play date: 7/24
  • Session number in this run: 42
  • Started in Whiterun; sold a few things to Adrianne and Belethor
  • Boinged to Lakeview to drop off a bunch of things
  • Traded off to the Ebony Spell Knight armor
  • Boinged to Windward Ruins to get to Mzinchaleft
  • Flyby dragon
  • Rode over to Mzinchaleft and ran the place without any problems
  • Lots of one-hitting of various bandits and Falmer
  • Nabbed the full set of fur armor just to have it
  • Took out the centurion with Golden Saint warrior and also my elven crossbow \0/
  • Got Grimsever; boinged to Riften to give it back to Mjoll; happy Mjoll!
  • Sold a bunch of things to Balimund
  • Also got five rounds of Smithing training from him, which leveled me up to 53
  • Realized I never spent perk off of previous level up? So I had two perks to spend, dropped one on Glass smithing and one on the next tier of Heavy Armor
  • Then bought four more rounds of training from Balimund to get me to 75
  • Boinged back to Lakeview but discovered I couldn’t make amber armor yet, I had no moonstone there, so I improved up the other amber pieces instead (clearly I require more amber)
  • Meanwhile did a bunch of other smithing and alchemy and enchanting
  • Did not quite make it up to level 54
  • Boinged to Dushnikh Yal to get within range of Arkngthamz
  • Fought bear outside entrance
  • Stopped there and saved for the night

Tuesday’s play

  • Play date: 7/26/2022
  • Session number in this run: 43
  • Started at door to Arkngthamz
  • Ran the place without any problems
  • Tried to get on Swift Wind to ride to Purewater Run, but rudely interrupted by Frost Dragon at Dushnikh Yal
  • All the orcs came out to gawk so I figured it would just be polite to trade with them! Sold their smith and alchemist a bunch of things including dragon bits
  • Then headed back out to find the unicorn; couldn’t find him so fast traveled to Purewater Run to get him to catch up
  • Investigated the cave but it did not actually have a fishing spot as I was hoping; evaded a couple of slaughterfish while in there
  • Came back out and boinged to Reachwater Rock to fish there; did not get the tripod spiderfish i wanted
  • Boinged to Chillwind Depths; killed bear outside; and there I got the tripod spiderfish
  • Boinged to Riften; crashed at Honeyside
  • Got up next morning, and gave the underground fish to Swims-In-Deep-Water
  • Got the quest to find the rare fish; read book 5 of Fishing Mastery
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Balimund and Bersi
  • Headed out the north gate and mounted up to head toward Mzulft for the next aetherium shard
  • Encountered en route:
    • Five, count ‘em, five bears (not all at once)
    • Two wolves
    • Two trolls
    • Found the remnants of what looked like a battle between three dremora and three Vigilants of Stendarr :O
  • Cleared out the Mzulft storeroom; got second shard; hi Katria!
  • Boinged back to Lakeview to drop off loot; also picked up the angelfish I needed
  • Then went on another fishing expedition
  • First stop: Whiterun; sold some stuff then rode around to the fishing spot by the bridge
  • Dragon flew by overhead and triggered fight music but didn’t actually start fighting; Swift Wind almost wandered off though so I had to go get him
  • Then did some fishing; caught the lyretail fish I needed
  • Boinged next to Dead Men’s Respite; this time, a Blood Dragon did actually attack, so took that out as it was fighting a frost troll
  • Got on Swift Wind after that and rode around to the river
  • Marked Crabber’s Shanty for the map, then rode over to Brood Cavern
  • I think Team Dragonborn took out a total of five bears inside and outside the cave?
  • Also heard probable Eldersblood Peak dragon in the distance
  • Did more fishing inside the cave and got the scorpion fish
  • Next stop: Dawnstar; shopped with Ahkari’s Khajiit and fished at the shore in the town; didn’t get final fish but got Mentor’s Ring
  • Boinged next to Windhelm; shopped with Ma’dran’s Khajiit
  • Tried to ride over to find the fishing spot where I’d fought the vampire horker but couldn’t find it? Might have been only a temporary fishing spot?
  • Fast traveled back to Windhelm; went into the city to hit the docks and fish there; finally got an angler
  • Boinged to Riften; gave Swims the fish, and got the Fang of Haynekhtnamet <3
  • Also got a bounty to bring a pearlfish to Frida in Dawnstar
  • Boinged to Whiterun from there and sold things
  • Boinged back to Lakeview; did a bunch of crafting; saved for the night

Commentary

Not much to say about the Mzinchaleft part of this post that I didn’t already note up above. So I’ll focus the commentary part of this on the Arkngthamz session instead.

Primary thing I noted about running Arkngthamz this time: as with a lot of other dungeons in Skyrim, this one was significantly easier for me to run just because the build on my PC doesn’t run as dark as the one on the Switch does.

Secondary thing: I was surprised that getting Rulnik and Gogh both to follow me through wasn’t any more difficult than it was! The two problem spots I’ve always had in prior playthroughs were:

  1. Getting a follower to come after me off the pipes and jump down to the corridor that leads to the resonators
  2. Getting a follower to come with me off the high jump into the water that leads to the way out of the place

I’d already identified in previous playthroughs that I need to linger in that corridor long enough to let whatever follower I’ve got catch up. I just had to wait a little longer this time, just because I had a total of three followers at that point–both Rulnik and Gogh as well as Katria.

This is however maybe the first time I’ve realized that followers can’t come with me down off of that jump maybe because there’s a risk it will kill them? The wiki page for Arkngthamz thinks so. But it also seems to me like the code for dictating how your followers catch up with you probably just has a lot of trouble with that jump? Because I know that followers will often take the long way around if you do something difficult for them to track, like say climbing freehand up a mountain.

I went and checked all my previous Arkngthamz posts, and in almost all of them, I reported that no followers ever came with me down off that jump. I am not a hundred percent sure of this, maybe 98.2 percent sure! I want to say that I remember Lydia following me off the jump in Alarrah’s run–but I’m pretty sure I’m conflating that memory with others of Lydia following me down with jumps elsewhere in the game. At this point I’m going to assume that’s probably the case.

And this time was no exception, to be sure. Neither Rulnik nor Gogh followed me off the jump, though both of them caught up with me while I was outside.

Curious though if they would have caught up with me if I had waited long enough once coming down off the jump. Would they have come back out the long way?

That however would require me to hang around probably for several hours in game time to wait for them to catch up, and heh, not quite that interested in that piece of data!

After running Arkngthamz, I turned to fishing, round one. I had to catch one more underground fish, and hit three different spots before I finally got the tripod spiderfish. Got that sorted, and picked up the quest for the final round of fishing, for rare fish this time.

But before that, I headed for Mzulft to pick up the next aetherium shard. And here’s the interesting thing about that ride: I ran into what looked like the remnants of a battle between Vigilants of Stendarr and some dremora. There were three of each, all dead, scattered around both sides of the road.

I looted the daedra hearts off of all three dremora, as well as a few of the items carried by the Vigilants. But what I didn’t see was any sign of what had actually prompted the fight. I did not see a Vigilants vs. dremora encounter listed on the World Interactions wiki page. So I’m not sure here if this was a thing activated by the USSEP, or maybe brought in with Anniversary Edition/Creation content. I’m not seeing anything on the two wikis I follow either way, and I haven’t found any useful results in general searches either.

Then it was time for fishing, round two!

First fishing attempt was at the spot near Tundra Homestead. Notable thing there: getting the lyretail anthias fish I wanted. But also, after a dragon briefly buzzed us, I caught Swift Wind wandering away, back across the bridge. No idea where Swift Wind thought he was going? I ran after him and got on him to ride him back to the fishing spot, to keep him with me.

(Kind of curious though as to whether he was just startled by the dragon and trying to pick a distant spot nearby that he considered ‘safer’, or what.)

Had to boing around quite a bit to get the other fish I needed, since I already had an angelfish. And the end result of this quest was a dragonbone dagger called the Fang of Haynekhtnamet. Which appears to be a fairly badassed dagger, with a shock damage enchantment. I had to look up what or who exactly Haynekhtnamet is–answer, a beast legendary in Argonian lore, apparently? And ah okay this is a beast that shows up in Elder Scrolls Online.

Next time

Still working on whittling down Shenner’s list of quest objectives before I commit to sending her off to Solstheim. I’d like to have the Aetherial Crown before I do that, I think.

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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