Another double session post, since the first half of this was too short to really count for a post on its own. Basically this was final post-Miraak action on Solstheim before Shenner officially returned to the Skyrim mainland.
- Play dates: 9/24, 9/26/2022
- Session numbers in this run: 61-62
- Picked up in Severin Manor
- Stashed armor and weapons, then went out to sell things to Glover, Fethis, and Milore
- Fast traveled to Tel Mithryn to check in with Neloth
- Saw Drovas running down from Neloth’s door over to the steward’s house?
- Yay i’m a member of House Telvanni? Joy?
- Went out to hoof it from there to Vahlok’s Tomb
- Saw a netch leather shield lying near the bottom of Neloth’s stair ramp, apparently belonged to a treasure hunter but didn’t see any other sign of said treasure hunter
- However, I could search the shield and get a bunch of loot
- Hoofed it towards the tomb; killed one ash spawn and some ash hoppers
- Shortly thereafter killed by rieklings near the tomb (and I mean honestly that’s just embarrassing)
- Thrown back to coming out of Neloth’s house
- No sign of the treasure hunter shield this time, but did get a nix-hound, and this time we took out the rieklings
- Parked at the entrance of Vahlok’s Tomb and saved there
- Picked up where I left off at that point, and ran Vahlok’s Tomb with no problems
- Yay, nobody fell off the blue bridges this time!
- Got all the words of the Battle Fury Shout, and a happy old scholar left at the Word Wall
- Stopped by the Skaal Village and broke my campsite to be polite, I won’t be back for a while
- Sold things to Baldor, and got five rounds of Two-handed training from Wulf
- Stopped to talk to Frea again, because I couldn’t remember ever having done so before on prior playthroughs at this point, and was surprised that she still had things to say to me!
- Got her farewell, and that was a good way to end my presence in the Skaal village
- Headed up to try to take out Karstaag
- Fought en route:
- A few horkers
- A pirate chieftain that had respawned on Haknir’s Shoal
- A random imperial who attacked me just up the cliff from Haknir’s Shoal
- Made it to Karstaag’s cavern but could not take HIM out >_<
- Will have to come back later maybe? Not sure I really feel like I need to kill him this time
- So instead returned to Severin Manor via Daedric horse
- Got all my stuff to pack up and return to the mainland
- Boinged first to Windhelm and then immediately boinged out to the stables to see if the Khajiit were there; answer: yes! So sold Ma’dran a bunch of stuff
- Boinged to mage college and sold a bunch more things to Colette and Drevis; also picked up my unicorn <3
- Boinged to Bloodchill Manor; dropped off several weapons and a couple of armor sets but grabbed dragon priest masks and some of Miraak’s stuff
- Boinged to Hendraheim to drop off those things, just to get all my dragon priest masks in the same place (but no place to put the amethyst claw bits?)
- Boinged to Lakeview; dropped off a whole bunch of things
- Made a whole bunch of soul gem arrowheads just to work on Smithing a bit
- Traded off to the Ebony Spell Knight armor
- Boinged to Heljarchen whoops wait no I didn’t build the library here, boinged to Windstad instead
- Dropped off almost all the books I was carrying on me, except for duplicates
- Whoops wait one copy of History of Raven Rock, Vol. 1 marked as stolen?
- Summoned dremora merchant and sold him all the duplicate books, but he wouldn’t take the stolen one, damn
- Boinged back to Lakeview and saved for the night
Although everything I did in this session was familiar territory, there was one new wrinkle to it: i.e., going back to the Skaal village, and having a final word with Frea. I’m pretty sure I never did so in the first four playthroughs! And she still had words to say to me!
Namely: she gave the Black Book Epistolary Acumen, the one which gave Hermaeus Mora access to killing her father, and told me to throw it into the sea.
Heh. Hon, I would totally throw the thing into the sea for you, except for the part where it’s a quest item and locked in my inventory!
Which does raise an interesting question, though: i.e., the headcanon of what the Dragonborn should do with the Black Books. I’ve never been particularly inclined to believe that any of my characters would really want to actively serve Hermaeus Mora.
But roughly speaking, I’m kind of feeling like Alarrah, Merawen, and Ysani probably would have all put the Books under strict magical protection in the College of Winterhold, and possibly would have had to revive Urag after he fainted from the shock of what they brought him. 😉
Delga… I feel like she probably would want to actively destroy the things. And would be willing to go to great measures to try to do so. She’d probably start with Shouting at them, to see if fire or frost Shouts could destroy them. Or if Unrelenting Force could destroy them. Failing that, I could easily see her deciding to go on a pilgrimage to Morrowind for the _express_ purpose of chucking the damn things into the volcano. Possibly recruiting Odahviing to bear her there, if Odahviing could get in and out with minimal exposure to the ash in there.
Shenner, I feel, might go in Delga’s direction with this, too. I think Shenner’s not quite a powerful enough mage to really be as tempted by the lure of forbidden knowledge as Mora might think. But she’s also seen enough examples of mages obsessed with knowledge that she’d be aware that having the Books on site at the college might actually be a very, very bad idea.
So she might also consider trying to chuck the books into Red Mountain. Or seeking the help of the Vigil of Stendarr to destroy them.
Regardless, it was very nice actually to have that final conversation with Frea. She also admitted she’d never really chosen to be shaman of the village; she had expected maybe to be chief, or first hunter. So I got to chat with her a bit about her future, and get a final farewell from her. Which was good closure.
I was a bit surprised that i wasn’t able to take out Karstaag, but arguably, I came in underpowered. I don’t think I was super low in terms of level, at least compared to when I took him out in prior playthroughs. Alarrah comes immediately to mind here.
But I was lacking several things with which I’d taken out Karstaag in prior playthroughs:
- I didn’t have a weapon that could do fire damage and that’s a goddamn problem when fighting Karstaag
- I haven’t done Dawnguard yet with Shenner, so I couldn’t call in Durnehviir
- I also haven’t taken out Alduin, so I couldn’t call in a Hero of Sovngarde
I did not, unfortunately, think of using the Dragon Aspect Shout, which I did have. That might actually have been helpful.
So this was a situation where I had to retreat, after Karstaag handed me my ass multiple times. I’m going to have to think about whether I want to make a point of coming back to Solstheim just for the sake of returning the ass-kicking favor. I’m not entirely sure I want to bother, but I may change my mind later, we’ll see!
Later, while at Windstad and dropping off all the books I was carrying in my library (seriously, I had well over 50 weight units worth of books), I discovered that one of the copies I had on me of History of Raven Rock, Vol. 1 was marked stolen. Oops? Not sure how I managed to pull that off unless I pulled it out of the safe in Severin Manor, prior to Councilor Morvayn ceding it to me?
So now I’m going to have to figure out how to get rid of it. I should be able to fix this once I unlock the Fence perk in Speech, I think. Belethor will take it off my hands at that point, I’m sure. 😉 (I feel like the dremora should have taken it from me, though! WTF does a dremora care about whether I stole the thing I’m trying to sell him?)
Next big question before me here is, whether I want to take Shenner straight into Dawnguard–or whether I want to go for more of the AE content I haven’t hit yet.
There’s still an entire plot I haven’t done called Forgotten Seasons, which I’m interested in. There are also some minor ones involving specific weapons or bits or armor that I am not so interested in, at least right now, and there is an argument here in favor of saving some things for future playthroughs.
But before I do either Dawnguard or Forgotten Seasons, I think it’s high goddamn time I went to Riften and married Rulnik!
No screenshots this time.