Dawnguard,  Shenner Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Shenner Marries Rulnik and Joins the Dawnguard

Now that Shenner’s done running Dragonborn, time to swing back around and run Dawnguard! But first: a stop in Riften to finally marry her loyal follower, Rulnik!


  • Play date: 10/3/2022
  • Session number in this run: 63
  • Picked up at Lakeview Manor
  • Hi kids, be good, Mom’s going to Riften to marry Rulnik, mind Lydia while we’re gone!
  • Off to Riften!
  • Hi Maramal please accept this donation to the temple, and BTW how do you get married?
  • Hey Rulnik, like my amulet?
  • Hey Maramal Rulnik likes my amulet, we wanna marry up!
  • Ambled around Riften for a while killing time
  • Did some enchanting in Honeyside (hi Iona!)
  • Sold things to Bersi and Madesi and Brand-Shei and Elgrim
  • Did a little smithing at Balimund’s forge
  • Finally crashed for a while at Honeyside, then went to get married ^_^
  • Guests: both kids, and also the farmer Mathies from Falkreath
  • Told Rulnik to go live in Heljarchen since he’s steward there anyway; honey, take the kids home, okay?
  • Kids, you’re going to meet your uncle Gregor! And everybody be safe, I gotta go kill some vampires; Gogh, you’re with me
  • Went out the back gate of Riften
  • Saw flyby low-buzzing dragon, but it didn’t attack; circled around Riften’s wall to see if I could find it, but nope
  • Retrieved unicorn from the stables, and saw stable horse briefly kill a wolf! Way to go, horse!
  • Mounted up on the unicorn and headed for Dayspring Canyon
  • Encountered big fight between three dremora and two Vigilants of Stendarr, with bonus three wolves :O (fantastic, free Daedra hearts!)
  • Shortly after that, also got an assassin of the Dark Brotherhood, because right I haven’t wiped out the Brotherhood yet with this alt; took her out too
  • Made it to Dayspring Canyon (note to Future Me: this route to Dayspring Canyon is a lot shorter, just circle to the left around Riften from the front gate, then follow the road)
  • Got initial quest to go check out Dimhollow Crypt
  • Went back out to retrieve unicorn (and spotted fishing spot on the way out, stopped for screenshots)
  • Mounted up again and then fast traveled to Dimhollow since I’d found it earlier
  • Started running the place; ebony crossbow real handy
  • Also well stocked with Potions of Cure Disease, which was good because fucking vampires kept infecting me
  • Kept conjuring buddies to help out
  • Made it to the chamber with Serana and took out Lokil, his henchvamps, and the thrall
  • Paused at that point and saved for the night


Noteworthy thing about stopping by Riften to finally marry Rulnik: finding Iona at Honeyside. And I know she volunteered to be steward of Windstad already, as per this post. So why the hell wasn’t she at Windstad? And I’ve already taken her back to Windstad once this game, at which point she had the prompt to be steward, but walked off back to Riften. So apparently she’s still not actually steward?

This is very confusing. I don’t know if this is an AE-level bug or what. I may have to try putting a different steward there?

I’ll have to pop Shenner back to Windstad at least once and see if it’s her Windstad or Faanshi’s where I still have Windstad’s first room set up as a “small house” room rather than the entry hall. If so, I kind of wonder whether putting a steward on a house is broken if you don’t convert the small house to the entry hall?

Meanwhile, it’s always amusing to figure out who the random NPCs are that show up at your wedding if you get married in Riften. This time around I got both of my kids (which, appropriate), and an NPC it took me forever to actually identify: Mathies, the farmer from Falkreath. He must really have appreciated me helping him harvest his cabbages!

(And I feel kind of sheepish for poor Mathies, here. Dude just wants to run his farm and the Dragonborn doesn’t remember who the hell he is when he shows up for her wedding! Sorry, Mathies! I should send you a donation to help you buy more cabbage seeds. And maybe hire some farmhands.)

On this, my sixth Skyrim playthrough, it definitely feels weird to be running Dawnguard after Dragonborn. And once I actually started running Dawnguard, I had two immediate effects.

One, since this is the AE and there are acres of extra crossbows available, having Isran hand me the starter Dawnguard crossbow was kind of hilarious.

Isran, handing me a basic steel crossbow: “Here, take this crossbow, you’ll need this.”

Me, brandishing ebony crossbow, enchanted to do shock damage: “Thanks, but dude, seriously, I got this.” 😀

And two, starting Dawnguard this late in Shenner’s playthrough, at level 65, meant that all the vampires I got in Dimhollow Crypt were higher-level vamps, Ancient and Nightmaster. And when I got hit by three of them at once partway through the dungeon, it was definitely a little more challenging than usual getting through there.

But then, that’s what I brought Gogh for! And being able to throw conjurations around was also helpful.

As was the ebony crossbow and the shock enchantment I have on it. Because plammoing Lokil and his henchvamps from a distance was definitely satisfying. Lokil actually came running up to me before I made it down to the wide area with Serana’s puzzle, but once he was at close range that just meant I had a wider area to hit him with the crossbow bolts. 😀

There will be interesting questions here of whether Shenner being level 65 will make it easier for me to continue to visit cities during Dawnguard. The Traveler, it seems, only levels up to 53! Which means I can totally take him.

(But I’ll have to do it quickly, because I still don’t want to risk any city NPCs dying!)

Next time

Paused just before the point where I run the puzzle to free Serana, so my next Shenner session will be doing that, and getting Serana back to Castle Volkihar. Time permitting, I’ll boing back to Isran and report in, and see if I can go fetch Gunmar and Sorine!


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: Restored missing 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.