Very busy session, in which I did all of the general “establish myself in Raven Rock” plots, which gave me access to Severin Manor. So, running the plot for the mine, taking out Falx Carius at Fort Frostmoth, and foiling the plot to assassinate Councilor Morvayn!
- Play date: 9/25/2022
- Session number in this run: 59
- Picked up in Raven Rock
- Had opening conversations with Glover
- Got the quest to get his bonemold formula back, also the quest to get the pickaxe
- Shopped a bit with him and Fethis and Milore
- Went over to investigate the shrine
- Met Neloth who pointed me at the temple
- But first: time to go into the mine and find out about getting that pickaxe back, and agree to help Crescius!
- And Serana got to do her thing, resurrecting skeevers and skeletons and draugr, lololol 😉
- No additional commentary about Solstheim in particular but she started throwing off her lines about ruins as soon as I came into the mine, and her combat lines once we started finding things to fight
- Ran the entire Bloodskal Barrow
- Serana did very well against the draugr at the waterfall; mostly threw storm atronachs at them, then dremora, while staying out of the line of fire; managed to not get killed by them!
- Serana like any other follower had trouble getting past the blade traps, and I kept throwing necromantic healing at her on general principles even though she didn’t really need me to do that
- Stayed the hell out of the line of fire from dragon priest once we reached him; again, threw atronachs at him first, then dremora; they wound up cornering him, with Serana, in the back right corner of the room behind a pillar
- Got the first word of Dragon Aspect shout then took his mask
- Ran the Winds of Change Black Book; took Companion’s Insight power
- Came back out of the book and proceeded to fight our way out through the reavers, both inside the barrow and outside
- Then Arvak’d back to Raven Rock; late when we got back
- Dropped off a bunch of stuff in the urn in the square, then went into the Retching Netch
- Found Glover and told him I’d found Crescius; got him to let me keep the pickaxe
- Then got the quest from Cindiri to get the folio
- Rented a room and slept; woke up and actually boinged to the Earth Stone, which was convenient
- Chatted with Neloth when I snapped out of it; he was highly intrigued by my being able to do that
- Tried to head back into town but a Revered Dragon showed up, and it wound up frying me to death
- Thrown back to just before I slept in the Netch; re-slept
- This time woke up at the Sun Stone; fast traveled right back to Raven Rock
- Checked in with Crescius to resolve his quest
- Did a little more shopping with Glover and Fethis; sold Fethis the East Empire pendant from the mine
- Then headed out to get the folio for Cindiri
- Stopped at Old Attius Farm first to help Captain Veleth with the ash spawn
- Got the quest to go take out Falx Carius; headed that way
- But first stopped to run the Strident Squall
- One of the reavers was an Argonian, Serana raised her, that was a particularly disturbing zombie noise 😉
- Got the folio and the pendant out of the ship, then headed onward to Fort Frostmoth
- Serana was particularly aggro at the exterior ash spawn; threw dremora around to help her before we finally made it into the fort
- Ran the place, took out all ash spawn and General Carius; got the Champion’s Cudgel
- Arvak’d back to Raven Rock and immediately found Veleth heading to the Bulwark Barracks; followed him in there to report back to him
- Got his payment for the work and the pointer to go talk to Adril Arano
- Grabbed all my stuff out of the storage urn
- Then found Arano waiting for me on the spot on the path just past Severin Manor; apparently having to thwart an assassination made him temporarily immune to Miraak, even though it was late enough at night that he should in theory have been at the shrine? LOL
- Got the directive to go talk to Geldis
- But first hung out at Glover’s forge for a while and did some smithing
- Leveled up to 62; took Magicka perk and re-instated Arcane Blacksmithing
- Also did a little alchemy
- Waited for an hour for Glover to show up, then sold him and Fethis stuff (two more East Empire pendants for Fethis, in particular)
- Stowed everything else back in the urn
- Went in to talk to Geldis and got the directive to go hang out in the tomb; found Tilisu, did not confront
- Went back to report to Adril; got directive to raid Severin Manor; fought Mirri and Tilisu right at the door; got evidence from the safe
- Reported back to Adril and got directive to go to Ashfallow Citadel; headed out that way
- Netch hunters at Old Attius Farm; decided to join the hunt; netch actually attacked me! Made it through with potions, and also no hunters getting killed
- Other opponents killed en route:
- Seven total ash hoppers
- Pyromancer vs. cryomancer
- The two reavers near Ashfallow Citadel
- Reached the citadel; Serana took on the Morag Tong outside and raised one, which I attacked without realizing she’d raised that person, oops
- Headed in and ran the place; threw dremora ahead of me to help Serana clear the way; surprisingly, didn’t get killed once!
- Found copy of Ahdizal’s Descent while clearing the place, which triggered directive to go to Kolbjorn Barrow; hold that thought, Kolbjorn, I’ll get to you
- Returned to Raven Rock; found Adril coming back from the Netch, so told him immediately what had happened; he took me to Councilor Morvayn
- Got Severin Manor \0/
- Got all my stuff back out of the urn
- Went in with Serana to stash stuff in all my usual places
- Did a little enchanting and got Enchanting up to 100
- Saved for the night
Everything I did in this run was familiar territory, so mostly my commentary this time is going to be about what it was like having Serana as a follower on Solstheim.
Can confirm, Serana has no particularly interesting dialogue for being on Solstheim, so far as I can tell. Investigation of mods on Nexus finds me two different mods that actually address this problem. One of them actually revoices the character, while another cobbles together new lines for her out of the existing Serana dialogue.
Between the two, I think I’m inclined more to try the latter one first. While I appreciate that completely revoicing Serana’s lines with a new actress is a legit way to handle this (and apparently that mod’s creator is even working on re-doing Serana’s original lines with the same person, for consistency), I like Serana’s original actress. That’s part of the charm of the character for me. So I’m reluctant to bail on that performance completely.
Though regardless, this playthrough is on the Switch, so I can’t install either mod for Faanshi’s run anyway! So for now I just have whatever Serana lines have reason to trigger on Solstheim, and some of her usual set of lines did trigger in this session:
- Usual combat lines like “Where did you come from?” and “That’s teamwork, right there.”
- Remarking on being taught to stay out of ruins when she was growing up, and now she understands why (triggered inside Raven Rock Mine and Bloodskal Barrow).
- Remarking on exterior conditions, particularly the line about not being a fan of the sun but even that would be “better than this”–which, admittedly, is legit fair for Solstheim’s ashy conditions!
And of course, once I hit actual combat with her, Serana continued to be her glorious necromancer self. Resurrected things right and left, not only in the mine and Bloodskal Barrow, but also in Ashfallow Citadel.
(Heh, there are also apparently mods that deliberately turn off Serana’s necromancy. Snerk. That seems entirely counter to the point of the character, who is, after all, the daughter of a powerful necromancer and learned everything she knows from Valerica. I feel like if you’re going to have Serana as a follower at all, having her resurrect every dead thing in range is part of the package!
Though that said, I do agree with the dialogue edit mod I want to try fixing her saying “Yes, what do you need?” so often.)
Anyway, long story short, yes, having Serana along as my follower for Faanshi’s visit to Solstheim definitely was a good choice. She was especially helpful at the waterfall section of Bloodskal Barrow, since she’s Essential. I was able to let her, my storm atronachs, and then my dremora clear the way for me while I stayed out of the line of fire.
She was also helpful against the dragon priest in the barrow, since she and the dremora managed to get him cornered behind a pillar at the back of the dungeon, so he wasn’t able to hit me with his lightning bolts.
One other place where I really did feel the lack of unique Serana commentary, though, was when I read the Black Book in this dungeon. I’m very sure that Serana should definitely have something to say about the tentacles coming out of that Black Book to yank me into Apocrypha!
After that, Serana’s combat help was also great for running Fort Frostmoth and Ashfallow Citadel. Particularly the latter, given the trouble I had getting through the end of the citadel in Ysani’s run. And I know at least one Morag Tong assassin yelled something about “you can’t win this”.
“Oh, but Khajiit thinks she can. Would you prefer to be killed by Khajiit’s dremora, or her vampire friend? This one is beneficent and will allow you to choose.”
All in all, feeling very pleased about the decision to let Serana come along on this. I may keep her all the way through to Alduin!
Now that I’ve established myself in Raven Rock properly, I can turn my attention to hitting the temple and getting the Dragonborn plot properly moving along. Will probably also stop at Kolbjorn on the way, to get that underway as well!
No screenshots this time.