Dragonborn,  Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Meets Hermaeus Mora and Goes to Solstheim

Most of this session was finishing up some loose ends, both side quests and main plot stuff–until I finally got Shenner, with Rulnik and Gogh in tow, over to Solstheim! Which means I am now officially going to be running Dragonborn with this alt, but with some dabbling in the additional AE content on Solstheim as well.

Highlights

  • Play date: 8/3/2022
  • Session number in this run: 47
  • Started in Whiterun; sold a couple more things to Adrianne, Belethor, Arcadia
  • Boinged next to Lakeview and dropped off a few things
  • Hi kids, be good to Lydia and Rayya mmkay?
  • Boinged to Windstad and dropped off all the books I was carrying
  • Boinged to Solitude and sold assorted bits of jewelry I’d enchanted
  • Boinged to Geirmund’s Hall with intent to fish to see if I could get a pearlfish for Frida’s bounty
  • Answer: no, but what I did get was a fire-breathing dragon ;P
  • Had to chase it around the island a little bit but finally took it out, with help of Rulnik, Gogh, and conjured Dark Seducer archer; then actually got my fishing done
  • Boinged to Avrusa’s farm–and got another horde of seven zombies, who unfortunately killed the farm guard, oops (but now I have Riften guard armor to add to the collection)
  • Gave Avrusa the crimson nirnroot; sorry about your guard! I killed those zombies real good to avenge her though (you might wanna burn the body to keep it from rising, just a thought)
  • Got her quest to get Jazbay grapes
  • Boinged to Riften; sold a few things to Balimund and Bersi
  • Fished at the dock, and there I caught a pearlfish
  • Boinged to Dawnstar
  • Found and shopped with the Khajiit, then gave Frida the pearlfish and got 400 gold
  • [Might have been here that I boinged to Septimus’ outpost and returned the Lexicon? And also oh good, a writhing mass of tentacles wants me to be his champion, JOY]
  • Boinged down to Windhelm stables to check if there were Khajiit there
  • Answer, no, so started my way south past Kynesgrove to get Jazbay grapes
  • Killed while doing this:
    • Wolf
    • Sabre cat
    • Cultists
  • Encountered but not engaged:
    • Giant
    • Two mammoths
  • Boinged back to Avrusa’s farm and gave her the Jazbay grapes
  • Boinged to Bloodchill Cavern and dropped off the Riften guard armor
  • Boinged to Markarth and picked up payment from Muiri
  • Boinged to Windhelm and went to the docks
  • Confronted the captain about the cultists trying to kill me, and persuaded him to go ahead and take me to Solstheim (and maybe figure out what weirdness is going on there!) (Don’t worry, dude, I GOT THIS)
  • Arrived in Raven Rock around 3:30am or so
  • Booked a room at the Netch
  • Woke up at the Wind Stone!
  • Decided I didn’t want to deal with that part of the island yet though, so fast traveled back to Raven Rock
  • Ran the rest of the Nordic jewelry plot; found dead craftsman just outside Raven Rock, and two reavers about to loot him; Rulnik and Gogh and I took care of that problem
  • And there’s blood sample number one! Plenty of Dunmer blood on this island that’s for sure
  • Got the guy’s book about making Nordic jewelry and a few crafting materials, including three bits of stalhrim
  • Returned to Raven Rock and invested in Glover’s forge; also got his quest to get his pickaxe back
  • Bought stuff from Milore and Fethis as well, then made Nordic jewelry to resolve that quest
  • Saved there for the night

Commentary

Given that this session is the one where I officially headed over to Solstheim, I feel like it’s appropriate to take a moment to ponder for narrative purposes how this impacts Shenner’s growing number of dependents. Namely, the kids.

This being a playthrough where the two children are safely adopted and taking shelter at Lakeview with not one but two housecarls, I feel like this means Shenner doesn’t have to worry much about Lucia and Sofie being protected. But her being on Solstheim for a while does, I expect, mean she’ll have left instructions with Rayya and Lydia to look after the girls well. And by ‘look after’ I mean ‘give them weapons lessons’. 😀

So I’m assuming for the sake of narrative that she had the conversation when she stopped by Lakeview at the beginning of this session!

Next stop of note: going to Geirmund’s Hall, just as the nearest landmark to get to that would keep me from dropping a fast travel dragon on the Sarethi Farm. And also, I wanted to try the fishing spot there anyway.

I didn’t get the pearlfish I wanted. But I did get a fast travel dragon. And this time, that dragon actually delayed several seconds showing up, and happened to spawn at an unusual time. I’d reached the fishing spot on the island and gone into the inventory UI to put on the Ring of Kynareth and wield my fishing rod–and right when I came out of the UI was when the dragon showed up. So that was rather surprising and abrupt! And necessitated me having to switch right back off the fishing rod as my wielded thing, since I wasn’t going to kill any dragons with that.

Mind you, I then just fast traveled to Avrusa’s farm. Since I’d just had a dragon I didn’t get one this time, but I did get another horde of zombies. Fortunately, I arrived while it was still dark out, so the sisters were inside their house and not in danger.

Their farm guard however was not so fortunate. She fell to the zombie onslaught. Oops. But on the upside, heh, that got me Riften guard armor for my guard armor collection!

While writing this post I realized I forgot to make note of when I went back to Septimus’ outpost to give him back the Lexicon. I did go ahead and decide to do it, just to get to the point where I could get the blood extractor, and move the main plot along at least a little while going over to Solstheim.

And this time through, when seeing the manifestation of Hermaeus Mora for the first time, I went ahead with the “I am your servant, lord” option. Mostly because I couldn’t quite see Shenner going for the “vile demon” schtick. I think she’s probably actually feeling that way, but also being cautious. I’ll think about if her mood changes as she interacts more with Mora on Solstheim. And it’ll be interesting to see what dialogue I get out of him once I come back from Solstheim and finally get the Oghma Infinium.

Going to the Northern Maiden for passage to Solstheim, I decided to actually try for the Persuade check this time through. That, I feel like Shenner would be more ardent about. Happily, the Persuade check actually worked. And I actually kind of liked taking the “you’re the captain?” dialogue path this time, just because it gave me a little more background detail about his experience bringing over the cultists before.

Which raises another fun question: if Captain Salt-Sage had his brains fucked with when he brought cultists over from Solstheim, and lost time doing it, exactly how many of those bastards did he ferry over? Did he bring over a whole boatload of them at once so they could spread out across Skyrim in their hunt for the “false Dragonborn”? Or did they keep sending over a few at a time every time the captain fell under Miraak’s spell at night?

Anyway, got the greeting from Adril Arano at the dock as expected. And since I got in to Raven Rock very late, I went ahead and rented a room at the Netch as my character would naturally think to do…

… and of course woke up at one of the All-Maker Stones. The Wind Stone this time, which kind of startled me, as I was expecting to land at Miraak’s temple, just because that’s what’s happened the last couple playthroughs.

This meant I got a good look at the enthralled Skaal all working the Wind Stone, including the scholar Tharstan. But this was the Wind Stone specifically–and given that I had literally just gotten to Solstheim, I don’t have the Bend Will Shout yet, so there was no real way for me to interact with any of those people quite yet. So for now, I decided to fast travel back to Raven Rock.

I’m thinking Shenner might not have wanted to go necessarily. But I’m going to play this as, she snapped out of Miraak’s spell only because her Dragonborn nature reasserted itself, possibly with a helpful intervention of Rulnik and Gogh, who would have followed her all the way to the place–because they weren’t working on the shrine too. So let’s say Rulnik actually deliberately hauled her off, out of concern for her, with Gogh helping him out.

Back at Raven Rock, I then proceeded to play out the rest of the jewelry plot. Which wasn’t complicated. Just had to find the poor dead jeweler who’d gotten jumped right near the Earth Stone, and the two live reavers who were about to loot him. I took both of them out, searched the jeweler, and found his notes on how to make Nordic jewelry. So now I can do that. Something else useful to do with stalhrim!

This also let me get the first of the blood samples to eventually take back to Septimus. There aren’t any Falmer on Solstheim, but I can definitely get an Altmer sample when I go fight with the Thalmor. I may or may not be able to find Bosmer and Orsimer samples. We’ll see!

Next time

I really want to jump into playing the Ghosts of the Tribunal plot, but I think I may have to do the assassination plot first just to secure Severin Manor. But I could maybe nail down the opening moves of both plots? Let’s find out!

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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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