Plotwise, this session’s main action was cleansing the rest of the All-Maker Stones. But aside from that, I also ran the plot to learn how to make netch leather armor, and the plot to find a suit of stalhrim fur armor! Killed three different dragons and got most of the Deathbrand armor. And rescued Baldor from the Thalmor, told the Thalmor to fuck off, and located the stalhrim source! Busy session, all around.
- Play date: 8/13/2022
- Session number in this run: 51
- Started in Severin Manor
- Did some initial crafting; leveled up to 59; took Stamina bump and additional Enchanting perk
- Stepped out to cleanse the Earth Stone first thing
- As soon as I was done with that, an Ancient Dragon showed up, so everybody in the town shot at it; it crashed behind the mine and I ran up to finish it off
- Then out into the ash for adventure! Netch hunter party by Old Attius Farm, helped them with their hunt; one hunter killed in the battle; y’all don’t mind if I take his supplies, do you?
- Hey Ralis, you called? What’s up? Draugr and a dead end? Let me and my posse go check it out. Problem sorted! You want more money? Okay fine, I guess you do have to hire more miners, try not to get them killed mmkay?
- Headed east to head up the beach
- Random pissed off High Elf mage near Tel Mithryn; Rulnik and Gogh got him; that got me an Altmer blood sample, two more to go
- Went through Bujold’s Retreat, but it was the middle of the night so nobody was awake
- Proceeded towards Haknir’s Shoal
- Took out a few horkers and that attracted the attention of the pirates, so engaged the pirates in battle and got the map as well as the helm out of the treasure chest, and got the East Empire pendant out of the strongbox
- Then went up to say hi to the Skaal
- Baldor is missing, you say? We can’t have that, you all need your smith, where did you see him last? I’ll take care of this
- But first: searched around some more till I found the camp of the dead peddler I needed to find for the netch leather armor quest, which turned out to be right next to Haknir’s Shoal; searched the place and found the journal that started the quest
- Turned out to have to go see the rieklings on the island right by Frossel, next island over from Haknir’s Shoal, on the other side of it
- Couldn’t talk the riekling chief into surrendering the book with the crafting notes
- Got a directive to go help the rieklings kill a netch or make some imitation netch leather armor; opted to find the hunting party
- This wound up taking me right past the Dark Elf camp i’ve played by before, which also pissed off the nearby rieklings, so had to fight those guys; got the pendant out of the strongbox there too
- Then immediately also got attacked by ash hoppers and took them out
- Headed down the hill towards the hunting party, and that led me right into a fight with a couple more lurkers; took them out
- Finally reached the hunting party; helped them bring down the netch, and had to search it for a sample of giant netch leather
- Interesting thing noted: one of the rieklings actually seemed to worship Rulnik’s summoned familiar? :O
- Returned to the rieklings and gave them the sample, and that got me the key to their chest and a suit of painted netch leather armor, the book with crafting instructions, and other items
- Boinged back to Severin Manor
- Made an entire set of netch leather armor, and happened to have enough netch leather samples to improve the painted stuff as well as one of the regular pieces I made
- I like the painted gear mostly, but not a fan of the helmet; kinda wish i could paint the set I made!
- Set out next to go find Baldor and deal with the Thalmor, and by ‘deal with’ I mean ‘kill all of the bastards for kidnapping that nice smith’
- Got them killed, headed uphill towards the north and BOOM, the game crashed, oops; restarted, thankfully not thrown back far, just to coming out of the lodge again
- Go up the hill take two: weirdly, Rulnik and Gogh didn’t follow me along the path towards Fahlbtharz, so backtracked and took the path past Frostmoon Crag and Altar of Thrond instead; did not bother the werewolves, or the hagravens (though I may come back and bother the hagravens later)
- Reached Moesring Pass, and engaged a few of the rieklings there
- Got ahead of the boys and slew three reavers on the ice cliff just overlooking Northshore Landing
- Shouted Become Ethereal so I could jump safely down to the beach, at which point the boys caught up
- Passed the Intimidate check to make the Thalmor fuck off
- Boinged back to the village to report back to Baldor; got in late, so derped around a little to see if I could find a place to put my campsite
- At which point I discovered the camping code does not let me park a campsite inside a town
- First spot I tried just outside of the Skaal village buried half the shelter and the campfire in snow so that was no good, but breaking camp burned that set of camping supplies, which is why it was good I’d made two!
- Derped around a little more and found the campsite of the villager who’d been murdered by Skjol the Tongueless
- Found Skjol’s journal and got the pointer to the stalhrim island just northeast of Northshore Landing
- Plunked down my campsite on the other side of the Skaal village; slept the night there, and woke up at the Beast Stone!
- Had second occurrence of a bug with a line of Miraak’s being stuck on my screen even after i cleared the stone and after several conversations with other characters; that line eventually vanished next time I fast traveled but that was distracting
- Shouted at the Beast Stone, fought the resultant lurker
- Only spotted rieklings at this Stone and not Bujold’s Nords? But got to see the rieklings attacking a cultist! That was pretty awesome, go little blue guys! Poke the bastard!
- Ran back to the Skaal village to report back to Baldor; sold him a bunch of things, and got him to tell me how to make stalhrim
- Got Tharstan to ask me to accompany him to Vahlok’s Tomb
- Tried to talk to Deor but couldn’t get him to say anything else—and only later realized I’d mistaken him for Wulf, the guy with the werebear brother
- Got Edla to give me her quest to talk to her son, and talked him down from running off into the world
- Boinged back to Northshore Landing and killed assorted mudcrabs, including Old Salty; looted the cabin and a few barrels and the chest; mined the ebony vein
- Took potion of waterwalking to get over to the island; took out Skjol and also a couple of horkers; got the stalhrim fur armor and a battleaxe off of Skjol; found Daedric Battleaxe of Damnation in the sarcophagi
- But could only mine one vein? Apparently the fur armor there replaced the other one?
- Overloaded at that point so summoned the Daedric horse to boing back to Raven Rock
- Improved up all the shiny new stalhrim things to work on my Smithing
- Slept the night, then went out and sold more things to Glover and Fethis
- Got additional netch leather and a shadowed netch leather helmet, yay, so I didn’t have to make one of those
- Realized I don’t actually like the stahlrim fur armor, so gave it to Rulnik instead to upgrade him from the ebony plate, definitely looks better on him
- Went out again to go for the stalhrim source, and went up the western side of the island
- Hit the Deathbrand spot near Bloodskal Barrow, and right about at Bloodskal Barrow got surprise Revered Dragon; took it out, and got immediately overloaded from dragon bits
- Called up the Daedric horse; Bloodskal Barrow hadn’t respawned yet so no problems riding past there; rode uphill from there and marked Damphall Mine for the map
- Fought two reavers just outside
- Rode from there to the Water Stone; cleansed the place; killed there: one cultist, three rieklings, and regular dragon!
- Doublechecked: all four sailors survived the fight, yay!
- Rode on Daedric horse from there to the Deathbrand spot with the mudcrabs; took out the mudcrabs and got the next bit of Deathbrand armor from there
- Rode up to the stalhrim source; cleaned that out and then boinged back to the Earth Stone to ride back to Severin Manor
- Used all the stalhrim to improve the hell out of all the stalhrim things i’ve stockpiled; and that revved my Smithing right back up to 100 \0/
- Also let me level up to 60; took another Stamina bump and Dragon Smithing again
- Made a bunch of dragonbone insulated armor which seems appropriate for Solstheim
- Improved all my dragon things as I could with the materials on hand
- Also traded off a bunch of stalhrim weapons to Rulnik to better outfit him (and because I wanted the ebony crossbow back)
- Popped briefly out to see if i could get more ebony to improve the crossbow and more netch leather; ebony: yes, netch leather: no
- Also got the courier with Ralis’ next letter, but not now, Ralis
- Popped back into Severin Manor
- Improved the crossbow, re-stashed a bunch of things, and saved for the night
Cleansing the Stones quest
Started off the session with a bit of crafting, and then strolled out to have a Shout at the Earth Stone. I can see Shenner being simultaneously outwardly nonchalant yet inwardly determined, as she came up.
“Hi, ‘scuse me, Bralsa, yes, I know, your hands were idle and through them he now speaks, I got that part. Just let me step past you here, I gotta Shout at that thing you’re building, don’t mind me. GOL! Okay, everybody, back up and let me deal with this lurker–oh shit, there’s two of them, I got this one, you all got the other one? Way to go, Redoran Guard! Everybody good now? Everybody okay? Fantastic, please return to your normal everyday not-entranced business.”
Hit the Beast Stone next, just because I wound up getting teleported there when I tried to sleep at my campsite near the Skaal village. Main things of note there: I spotted rieklings at the Stone, but not Bujold’s Nords. And the rieklings totally went to town attacking a cultist. Way to go, little blue guys!
(I think that right there was probably another point in the rieklings’ favor, for whether Shenner’s going to support Team Riekling or Team Nords.)
Also, I triggered a second occurrence of a bug that happened when I got sent to the Wind Stone earlier: I saw a subtitle of a line of Miraak’s get stuck on my screen. I’m pretty sure the line was “Here in my shrine”, but I didn’t get a screencap of it. It eventually went away next time I fast traveled, but up until that point, it was quite distracting.
Last but not least, the Water Stone! Where I noted with satisfaction that all four sailor NPCs did survive the fight with the lurker and cultist, and with the dragon that also showed up.
Take that, Miraak!
I got three of the four pieces of the Deathbrand armor, this session. Started with hitting Haknir’s Shoal, and I’m pretty sure that was where I also discovered that there’s a fishing spot right by there, presumably used by the Skaal. Which answered a question I’d had: i.e., yes, you can do fishing on Solstheim!
While running my other quests, I also hit the locations for armor on the western side of the island, and the northern. Only one remaining I need to hit now is the one by Tel Mithryn, and then I can go for the Deathbrand hoard!
More Than You Can Chew quest
This was the questline to learn how to make netch leather armor, and I liked this one! Turned out to be very easy to run, since all I had to do was search a peddler camp right next to Haknir’s Shoal, talk to rieklings on the island on the other side of Haknir’s Shoal, and then go help rieklings hunting a netch.
I’m simultaneously kind of charmed and alarmed by the idea of rieklings trying to eat netch leather, though! And that same sense of alarm seems to even be in-game, as I got a dialogue prompt trying to talk the riekling chief out of eating it, because of it being toxic to the touch. But hey, for all I know, riekling digestive systems can actually handle netch leather!
I like that the crafting book you get as a result of this quest even talks about multiple techniques for handling the leather, including boiling it. And I definitely liked the painted armor set I got from the rieklings. Makes me wish I could actually decorate armor like they did. That’d be cool.
Experimented with making some of the netch armor myself once the quest was done, and I definitely like the shadowed style better than the regular. Shadowed Boiled seems to be the best stats-wise, but I’m not a fan of the look of the boiled helmet. I may need to see if I can mix and match pieces and still maintain the Matching Set perk.
Definitely like the shadowed netch design better than the standard on Shenner, though it leaves her lower arms kinda bare and that seems problematic for the northern side of the island. The protection for the nose and mouth though seems good for the southern side, and the ash storms.
I also noted on the wiki that this quest give you a chance to go get the Boots of Blinding Speed. I declined, on the grounds that I’d have had to go back to the Skyrim mainland for that, and as I’ve written before, bailing on Solstheim before taking out Miraak seems narratively weird to me.
Plus, not at all sure I want the Boots of Blinding Speed, given that they blind you. And I’m not playing a character here who can negate that problem. Also, the boots cannot be tempered according to the wiki.
That said: I may pop into Fort Hraggstad later, to see if the boots are still obtainable even though I have now actually finished the quest. The wiki is not clear on this!
Interesting question here as well as to whether the rieklings on that specific island will continue to be peaceful to me. So far my thought has been that I’d play the Thirsk Mead Hall quest on the side of the Nords this time, but having had a non-hostile interaction with at least some of the other rieklings puts an interesting other spin on that. I think Shenner’s got at least a strong argument to go easy on the rieklings in the person of Gogh, who has after all been loyally following her around all this time.
One more thing worth notIng: while I was fighting the netch with the riekling hunting party, just afterwards, I saw one of the rieklings actually kneeling and apparently worshipping Rulnik’s summoned familiar. And: whut? That was definitely a thing I’d never seen before! I’m going to have to see if I can trigger that again.
A New Source of Stalhrim quest
This played out pretty much same as previous playthroughs. This time through I did an Intimidation check, which got Ancarion to agree to leave. LOL. Which is pretty hilarious given that he’d just tried to intimidate me, by demanding to be given a reason he shouldn’t just kill me right there where I stood.
“Six reasons, asshole. Me, my two friends here, and the storm atronach and familiar they can summon. And I’ll throw in the Ayleid lich I can call to top it off. Do you really want to pick a fight with us? Because it won’t go well for you. Yeah, you better run. And by the way: I TOTALLY WORSHIP TALOS.”
At any rate, got Baldor to teach me how to work stalhrim, yay! And did eventually make it to the stalhrim source, with a hefty haul of stalhrim to take back to Severin Manor. Where I used it to improve a bunch of the tasty stalhrim items I’d acquired!
Ancient Ice quest
This was one of the few remaining armor quests I hadn’t done yet. Like the others on the Skyrim mainland, this one tied in with the Crimson Dirks and was basically along the lines of “kill the antagonist, get the armor.”
The antagonist in question was Skjol the Tongueless, who turned out to be a) not terribly bright, although apparently capable of writing, as he did have a journal, b) mute (as you would guess from his name), and c) not above murdering an innocent Skaal villager to learn more about stalhrim.
Found him on the little stalhrim island just northeast of Northshore Landing. Where I then discovered that apparently, one of the two stalhrim veins there had been sacrificed to make room to render the armor. Booooo.
Because it turned out that I actually didn’t really like the look of the armor on me. It looked way too bulky, and I’m not a fan of the helmet in particular. I wound up giving it to Rulnik, to upgrade him from his ebony plate–and it did actually seem to work better on him. I think the design of this armor looks better on a guy, or at the very least, on characters with larger frames. Not sure it’d work on, say, a male Bosmer.
While coming back to the Skaal village to report back to Baldor, I attempted to camp by the village–because even though I’m running the USSEP, there’s still no place in the village for me to sleep. So apparently I’m a friend of the Skaal, but they don’t have any room to let me not have to sleep outside?
And I learned for the first time that the camping mechanic won’t let you actually build a campsite inside a city or a town. So I had to go a little ways out of the village to actually make this work.
First place I tried, though, the camp setup was partially overlaid with snow, including most of the shelter and the campfire, which showed only as a glow underneath the snow! This seemed problematic! So I wound up picking a second spot on the path that led back down to the eastern beach, and got that to work better.
I’d not actively thought about it much, but it did occur to me at one point to wonder whether I could fish on Solstheim. The answer to this question turns out to be yes. Found one fishing spot near the Skaal village, right by the path that leads up to them.
Found another one at Northshore Landing, which made decent sense. I’ll have to keep an eye out for any others.
Now that I’ve hit a lot of the standard Solstheim stuff as well as the two armor quests, I think I’m ready to try for more Ghosts of the Tribunal! So next time it’ll be off to Fahlbtharz!
Editing to add
- 11/23/2023: Restored missing gallery.