Dragonborn,  Shenner Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Shenner Defeats Miraak in Apocrypha

I went ahead with the rough plan to go ahead and take out Miraak before finishing off my various other actions on Solstheim. Partly to switch it up for once, and partly because it kind of felt appropriate this time through, as part of Shenner’s version of the “help the island of Solstheim” narrative.

But that was the main action! The rest was going to Fahlbtharz to reforge Trueflame, clearing White Ridge Barrow, and taking care of more side quests at Tel Mithryn.


  • Play date: 9/7/2022
  • Session number in this run: 57
  • Dropped off things at Severin Manor
  • Hoofed it to Fahlbtharz, which had not respawned yet
  • So I went right in and hit up the forge
  • Had to apply just one pyroil tar to the unenchanted weapon to turn it into Trueflame
  • Headed from there to White Ridge Barrow and began running the place
  • Did it a bit out of order: initial chambers with bandits and draugr, then Mireli, then Dukaan the dragon priest, Word Wall, Black Book
  • Took Seeker of Sorcery off the Black Book
  • Then came back out and ran the rest of the barrow; did not make any spiders, and put the mind controlled bandits out of their misery
  • Boinged from there back to Severin Manor for loot selling and drop off
  • Discovered weird bug with not being able to set skills Legendary, had to resolve by jumping to PC and using the spacebar on the keyboard to do it
  • Dropped a bunch of perks on Heavy Armor and Archery, then saved again and returned to playing on the Deck
  • Then headed out from Raven Rock to go to Tel Mithryn
  • Mage fight at Old Attius Farm
  • Random Redguard near the silt strider
  • Talked to Talvas about his spell efforts
  • Talked to Neloth who bitched about Varona not making him tea; agreed to look for Varona
  • Came back out and Talvas was all OHNOEZ ASH GUARDIAN
  • Asked him why he didn’t kill the thing himself, but that didn’t actually get an interesting reply out of him, he just wailed about my not helping him and ran into the tower; still had to kill the ash guardian, okay fine 😉
  • Okay Talvas, it’s dead, are we cool? Also, sell me some of your spellbooks, and have you seen Varona?
  • Went next door to talk to Elynea; agreed to bring her taproots, and got the pointer that Varona had set out for Raven Rock
  • Went out to find Varona and yep she sure was dead
  • Returned to Neloth to report this; agreed to find him a steward; sold him some of my extra items; then set out to go dip my taproots
  • Stopped at Thirsk to be sociable with the Nords, and Bujold is actually slightly less bitchy, so that’s good?
  • Proceeded to the Headwaters; killed Spriggan Earth Mother in the cave and dipped the taproots
  • Came back out and started making my way back to the Skaal village
  • Went underwater once crossing the river; triggered weird bug with the world acting like I was still underwater even when I wasn’t; saved and restarted and the issue went away
  • Arrived at Skaal village and sold stuff to Baldor; also talked to Wulf and got Two-handed training, and the pointer to find his brother
  • Decided to go ahead and talk to Storn to get the main Dragonborn plot concluded; RIP Storn, you were a noble fellow
  • Accidentally read the Winds of Change book first, oops; got back out of that book and read Waking Dreams
  • Got a fair amount of points back on the One-handed skill, just because I periodically had to conjure up the Ayleid Lich or Undying Ghost or Golden Saint Warrior for help, which meant I had to hit things with the One-handed blade
  • Got some points added to Two-handed as well though and even managed to pull off a few power swings
  • Sahrotaar + Seekers was a hard fight though, until I finally managed to throw Bend Will at him, which got him to tell me to mount up, and out of the line of fire of the Seekers
  • Good long fight, and I remembered to do the Dragon Aspect shout so I’d get help from the Ancient Dragonborn during my fight, until Hermaeus Mora finally made with the tentacle stabbing
  • Looted Miraak’s skeleton but also noticed his sword seemed to be duplicated with an un-pick-upable one lying near him
  • Yoinked all my perks off of Light Armor and dropped a bunch of them onto various magic skills
  • Returned for epilogue with Frea, and accepted her advice
  • Then Daedric-horse’d back to Severin Manor
  • Called up the dremora merchant and sold him stuff
  • Stashed a bunch of loot and saved for the night


First action of this session: going to Fahlbtharz to revisit the forge there, and make Trueflame. Which was very easy, given that the place hadn’t respawned yet.

I was able to walk right in, apply one of the bottles of pyroil tar I’d acquired to the Unenchanted Weapon, and then stick the weapon into the forge to turn it into Trueflame.

Points for this being an unusual way to get a weapon, though I wish there’d been a bit more to it. And that there was something else I could do with the other Pyroil Tars. At the very least, it’d be nice to be able to use them to treat the forge as a limited-use enchanter table, where I could enchant any other unenchanted weapon I had on me.

Next up after that: running White Ridge Barrow. Which I treated mostly as a surgical strike on the place, since I was in there primarily to hit the Word Wall and the Black Book. I very specifically did not make any spiders. Especially mind control spiders. Because yuck.

When I boinged back to Severin Manor, I ran into a strange bug. Tried to set my Smithing skill Legendary, and could not get it to work. The action was mapped to my Y key, but nope, didn’t work. Neither did the X key.

It’s not clear to me whether this was a bug introduced by an update to the Anniversary Edition, something caused by my moving Shenner’s playthrough from the PC to the Deck, or what. Not entirely convinced of the latter possibility–just because when I went back to the PC, I couldn’t get it to work there, either, via the controller keys.

What finally worked was hitting my Spacebar while having Shenner’s game loaded on PC, where I had access to the keyboard. This let me set both my Smithing and One-Handed skills Legendary, and drop perks all over Heavy Armor and Archery. Then I saved at that point and jumped back to the Deck.

I will have to keep an eye on this as Shenner’s run continues. Now at least I do have a keyboard for the Deck, so if this happens again, I should be able to wake up the keyboard over Bluetooth and take care of this problem.

When I made it to Tel Mithryn, I tried to switch things up a bit there too and take a different dialogue path with Talvas, once he begged me to kill the ash guardian for him. Asked him why he couldn’t destroy it himself. Which didn’t turn out to be as interesting as I hoped, because it just basically made him wail about not helping him and dive back into the tower–and I still had to kill the ash guardian anyway. So it just amounted to being snotty to Talvas for no good reason, which wasn’t satisfying.

Second strange bug of the session was briefly going underwater while returning to the Skaal village from the headwaters–and triggering a situation where the world still acted like I was underwater even though I wasn’t. I heard the ripply underwater ambiance noise playing, and the entire world around me was overloaded with a watery filter. This was very weird.

The problem came and went a couple of times, but it was persistent enough that I finally saved and quit the game, then came back in. That made it go away.

And that led me to finally reaching the Skaal village.

I decided to go ahead and finish the main Dragonborn plot, even though I haven’t done all the usual things I do on Solstheim quite yet. It felt appropriate to go ahead and resolve that plot, just because Shenner’s now resolved things for the Ashfall’s Tear temple folks, and I feel like it would nag at her to leave the Miraak situation unresolved much longer.

So I ran the Waking Dreams Black Book. Which gave me my first real opportunity to have Shenner in battle in Heavy Armor, because I switched her off to the standard stalhrim Heavy Armor. (Which I definitely like better than the Stalhrim Fur.) And I had her start wielding her stalhrim greatsword, too.

But that said, I also got back a considerable amount of points on the One-handed skill as well. Just because I kept having to summon help in battle, which put me into situations where I still had to hit things with my One-handed blades too.

All in all that made the final MIraak run decently challenging!

Tail end of that battle, though, showed me the third notable bug of the session. I looted Miraak’s skeleton and got all of his stuff, but I also noticed an extra copy of his sword lying next to him, which I could not pick up. This was, in general, definitely a more buggy session than usual, even by Skyrim standards.

Lastly, I didn’t actually do much rearranging of perks off the Skills UI the Black Book gives you, after the Miraak battle. But I did yoink all the perks off of Light Armor and plunked them over onto various magic skills.

I’m not sure if that’s actually a better way of handling things than setting Light Armor to be Legendary, but Light Armor wasn’t quite up to 100 yet and I wanted those perks rearranged, so.

Next time

Closing in on finishing up Solstheim, finally. With the main Dragonborn plot resolved, I can focus now on the remaining stuff. This’ll mean:

  • Doing the rest of Tel Mithryn stuff and taking out Ildari Sarothril
  • Running Vahlok’s Tomb
  • Taking out Karstaag
  • Somewhere in there, finding Torkild and putting him out of his werebear misery

This feels like one or maybe two more sessions’ worth of action, before I return Shenner to the Skyrim mainland.


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: Restoring lost 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.