In Which Tembriel Visits Some Ashlanders
Meanwhile, back in the land of Morrowind, Tembriel has finally made it to the camp of the Ashlanders she needs to approach for information about the Nerevarine prophecies! Unsurprisingly, they are not terribly impressed with this Bosmer Outlander’s claim that she fulfills them. ;D
This is another double session post that I’m treating as really two parts of the same session, since neither of these were terribly long play sessions, and they all fit into the general narrative of “find those Ashlanders and convince them to talk to me”.
- Play dates: 9/19, 9/21/2022
- Session number in this run: 20-21
- Picked up again at the Ashalmawia shrine
- Tried a couple of times to kill the flame atronach; this did not go well, even after I pulled a retreat to Ald’ruhn and Balmora, and bought a sword that does frost damage
- Wound up raiding Hlaalo Manor for a few more things to sell, including some of the clothes off of the dead guy, but not enough to buy me ability to survive a flame atronach
- Sorry Sason, rescuing your wife is going to have to wait until I can survive being set on fire
- NEW PLAN! Hoofed it in the rough direction of the Urshilaku Camp I needed to hit
- Killed multiple nix-hounds, cliff racers, rats, and a kwama forager
- Passed an NPC who turned out to be a pilgrim according to the wiki; didn’t stop to talk to him
- Already had two side quests queued up, didn’t want to be distracted right now by a third
- Spotted another Daedric shrine with something glowing in the distance that I had a sneaky suspicion might have been a frost atronach? Yeaaaah hard pass on that
- But had trouble figuring out the way I wanted to go–until I realized WHY AM I NOT LEVITATING? I can get over these hills
- Of course this meant levitating up to multiple cliff racers, and then right into an ash storm (which is where I found the pilgrim)
- Finally derped my way into Mar Gaan and saved there for the night
- After starting play again, derped my way north-ish from Maar Gan
- Found and fought a couple more named Ashlanders at a campfire who instantly attacked me as soon as they saw me coming (pretty sure they were Zanat Assarnuridan and Dakin Kuntarnammu)
- Found two notable locations but did not engage with either:
- Killed a bunch of critters but also encountered three notable new opponents:
- Corprus stalker
- Ash zombie
- Ash slave
- Made it to the Urshilaku Camp
- Gave kwama eggs to Tussurradad to get him to point me at the champion to talk to
- Handed two rounds of 100 gold to said champion, Zabamund, to get him to talk to me about the Nerevarine prophecies at all, and then another 200 to get permission to go speak to the Ashkan, Sul-Matuul
- Got the directive to go fetch the bow from the Urshilaku Burial Caverns
- Tromped over there and killed additional critters en route
- Saved there for the night
I’ll admit straight up that I’ve found the last few sessions of Morrowind frustrating. Not being able to get past that flame atronach is the second time so far in this game that I’ve had to face a quest where I couldn’t get past a powerful opponent, and have therefore had to retreat and come back later.
This is not entirely unfamiliar to me, mind you. Faanshi’s challenges clearing Volunruud in her Skyrim playthrough come to mind. But I didn’t like it there, either!
Mind you, Faanshi’s Skyrim playthrough is also set at my highest tier of Difficulty in Skyrim to date. I haven’t adjusted the difficulty in Morrowind, though; I don’t even know if that’s possible. So this behavior of opponents I’m encountering at this point is entirely the default behavior of the game.
I even sought advice from the Skywind Discord folks, and what they told me was to keep in mind that Morrowind, even more so than Skyrim, is very much a stats-based game. Which means that yeah, in some cases my only real option is just going to be to run off and come back later once I’ve leveled up some more.
And I suppose that I’d mind it less if Morrowind wasn’t so much of a slog to tromp through. I don’t mind the lack of fast travel so much when it comes to getting back and forth between the various towns. But when I’m trying to get somewhere remote–like, say, an Ashlander camp–and it takes me multiple hops by silt strider and a long slog on foot to get to the destination, that’s wearisome. Particularly if I have to tromp at walking speed the whole way, unless I feel like burning Fatigue for no good reason.
(Which, I suppose, is what I’m carrying all those Restore Fatigue potions for!)
After a few fruitless attempts to take out that flame atronach, though, I was forced to admit that retreat was the better part of valor here. Plus, I was tired of side questing and wanted to do more main plot stuff. So, I got back on track with finding the Ashlanders at the Urshilaku camp!
Once I decided to proceed with that, at least, things got more interesting.
And one possible remedy to this whole tromping around problem: remembering that I am, in fact, carrying a Steel Blade of Heaven. Which means I can levitate. Which at least in this particular scenario let me cut down some of the tromping around! Because if I can go straight over hills rather than to go the long way around them, that will be supremely helpful.
Of course, that puts me a lot closer to cliff racers. And levitating into an ash storm? Everybody’s favorite game!
Found another example of hostile Ashlanders hanging out at a campfire, who immediately ran over to attack me as soon as I came into range. Which raises interesting questions about whether I’ll need to expect random Ashlanders outside of actual tribal camps to be hostile.
Falasmaryon was definitely the most interesting-looking place I’ve found outside of any of the cities, due to its size and architectural style. I looked the place up on the wiki and read only that it is indeed heavily involved with Dagoth cultists–so this seems like a place I’m going to have to check out later.
And, finally, I started seeing some interesting minions of Dagoth to fight: a corpus stalker, an ash zombie, and an ash slave. The Ash Zombie was the same creature I’d encountered running Ghosts of the Tribunal in Skyrim, so yeah, creepy here too! And the Ash Slave turned out to be a bit of a challenge, what with packing a magical punch.
Once I finally arrived at the Ashlander camp and began to negotiate my way in, I was grateful that I’d saved up the kwama eggs and that I had a good stock of gold on me. Because that let me work my way through to talking to the Ashkan, and finally getting the directive to go after his father’s bow in the burial chambers!
And I really did rather like visiting their camp. I particularly liked the wind chimes they had set up in the circle of their yurts. Visually interesting decorations besides the chimes, as well!
Going to see how far into the Urshilaku Burial Caverns I can get! This may take a while. In fact, this may take a LOT of whiles.