This session saw the conclusion of my little quest line with Ranis at the Mages Guild–which got me the Daedric dagger I was going for. And then I shifted over to questing for the Fighters Guild instead, which proved to be very lucrative!
- Play date: 10/7/2022
- Session number in this run: 26
- Picked up where I left off in Sadrith Mora
- Mage-boinged to Vivec
- Talked to the Guildmaster, who swore up and down that his advisor would totes tell him if there were any spies in the guild
- He handed me badly written credentials which I took back to Ranis, who agreed they were badly written credentials and gave me scrolls of Summon Golden Saint, and Soul Drinker
- Set out from Balmora to try to run the Fighters Guild quest next, Alof and the Orcs
- On the way, made it back to the area where Thoronor had gotten separated from his friend Edras Oril, so finally ran that plot; took out the two horny kagoutis and then escorted Edril back to Thoronir, who gave me an Amulet of Slowfalling, awesome
- Then found Alof’s Farmhouse not far from that spot; went into the house to talk to Alof and he pointed me at the Daedric shrine I needed to get to, Ashunartes
- Took me several tries to actually make it there as I kept getting killed by frost atronachs >_<
- Also, once I accidentally amulet-boinged back to Balmora, when I meant to try to use one of the Summon Golden Saint scrolls
- What finally worked to get past the multiple frost atronachs was indeed calling up those Golden Saints–a strategy I’m familiar with from Skyrim
- Somewhere in here I leveled up to 15 and took points in Intelligence, Endurance, and Luck, just to give those all a little love as they’re under-exercised compared to my other stats
- Took out assorted cliff racers, rats, kagoutis, and alits as well, some of which were blighted and/or diseased
- Lots more lava pools, and I passed Nissintu a couple of times just because I kept getting lost in this ash-ridden hellscape
- Finally made it to the shrine
- Killed a few scamps outside of it, then made it inside and killed three orcs in there, and stashed a bunch of stuff in a chest
- Orc leader was apparently on an upper level of the shrine; had to go back out and circle around to look for her (while an ash storm was starting up, JOY! Scenic Morrowind baby)
- Killed a dremora lord en route to reaching the orc leader
- Made it to her, took her stuff, came back out
- Fought a rat and an alit right by the exit–and then shortly thereafter was killed by a dreugh >_<
- Thrown back only to coming out of the main bit of shrine after killing the first three orcs, thankfully
- So took out the orc leader a second time; this time exterior Daedra was a hunger
- Made it back to the stash, and amulet-boinged back to Balmora to sell everything
- Very lucrative loot haul! Over 3,000 gold out of that, including 500 gold for the quest reward
- Sold things mostly to Wayn but also a bit to Dralasa and to Ra’Virr
- Bought some journeyman hammers from Wayn to work on repairing my gear
- Rested in the Fighters Guild to heal up, and repaired all my gear
- Saved for the night
After figuring out that Ranis of the Mages Guild was very much not a nice person, it was honestly a bit of a relief to finish her quest line. I got the Daedric dagger Soul Drinker, so hopefully this thing will come in handy later and make running Ranis’ quests worth it.
Relatedly: this is also I think the first time I’ve had to deal at all with the Guildmaster. From what I’m seeing on the wiki, this guy is a complete flake and eventually I’m going to have to see about being his replacement. Particularly given that his final quest apparently escalates him from “harmless flake” up to “blatant psychopath”, since he asks you to kill all the Telvanni councilors. For no apparent reason. And I mean WAT?
For now, at least, I’ll note that it’s a bit interesting to me that the Guildmaster of the Mages Guild in Morrowind is in fact an Imperial. Which makes me wonder if he’s the Guildmaster of the entire Mages Guild, or just the Morrowind branch?
More on Trebonius later, I’m sure.
After finishing up the spy quest, I jumped over to try to run Eydis’ quest for the Fighters Guild, which required me to head off to a Daedric shrine and take out some troublesome orcs.
On the way, I finally found that NPC Thoronor again, the guy who’d gotten separated from his friend Edras while the guy was investigating the habits of mating kagoutis. I took the time to resolve that plot at last, successfully finding Edras, taking out the hostile (and horny) kagoutis, and returning Edras to Thoronor. Which got me an Amulet of Slowfalling for the trouble, and that certainly seems useful!
A thing I want to note about Thoronor: by and large, I find most of Morrowind’s character designs pretty goofy looking by modern graphical standards. After a year and a half of playing Skyrim, certainly, Morrowind’s characters don’t look like people to me the same way Skyrim’s characters do. But that said, I actually kind of appreciate that Thoronor looks kind of short and plump and jolly-looking. Going through the pages for Morrowind’s Wood Elf NPCs, I find there are other characters who also use his general head and body design. But it stood out for me in particular here just because it seemed an appropriate look for somebody who’s apparently a scholar and a naturalist.
Also, he’s got facial hair! I do not remember seeing much of that in Skyrim for the Bosmer NPCs there. But when I check the wiki for the presets available for Bosmer males, I see that yeah, it’s possible for Bosmer to have facial hair in that game too. I just haven’t noticed them. This may be a consequence of playing most of my Skyrim on the Switch; I’ve certainly found other examples of details I never noticed until I started playing on the Deck or on my PC, with larger screens and more detailed graphics available!
Shortly thereafter I found Alof’s Farmhouse, and Alof himself, to get the next tip on where to find the orcs the Fighters Guild wanted me to take out. But it took me several tries to actually make it to the shrine! Because I kept running into frost atronachs, which of course was the type of atronach I did not have a defense against yet. So it turned out to be a damned good thing that Ranis had given me those Summon Golden Saint scrolls, because they were what got me past the atronachs. I just had to be damn sure to use one of the scrolls before the atronach got to me, so that the Saint would have time to actually engage it in combat.
This is, of course, is a strategy I’m long familiar with in Skyrim. So clearly I need some Conjuration oomph in this game! Though it’ll have to be via scrolls at least for a little while, because yeah, my Conjuration for this character is still in the tank. And of course the spell for summoning Golden Saints is of course one of the most magically costly spells in the game.
More immediately achievable, I guess, will be actually getting some frost defense. I have got to start enchanting some armor.
Also, aside from the atronachs, I got delayed in getting to the shrine just because I kept getting lost. I’ve snarked a lot about Solstheim being an ash-ridden hellscape in Skyrim, but it ain’t got nothin’ on this part of Morrowind. This ash-ridden hellscape is, after all, right on the slopes of an active volcano, complete with lava pools. And since this part of the game terrain is mostly just ashy rock with occasional trama shrubs, I find it very hard to navigate through.
And I’ll say straight up that while I acknowledge the argument that there’s more game immersion by physically traversing the landscape rather than fast traveling all over the place, I find the ashy areas of Morrowind particularly oppressive when the Puget Sound region has had smoky conditions from wildfires for a few weeks now. Sorry, game. This is not actually an environment I want to be immersed in.
Once I finally made it to the shrine, it also took me a while to fulfill the quest. Just because the shrine had two levels to it, and the orc leader was on the upper level. Which I didn’t know until I cleared the lower level. So I had to go back outside and circle around to try to find the entrance into the upper level–while an ash storm was starting up. JOY. See previous commentary re: scenic Morrowind!
Despite finding it a slog to actually run the quest, it was very lucrative. I got over 3,000 gold all told out of the whole thing, including the 500 gold quest reward from Eydis. So I feel like that the quest paid out very well for the effort.
While I am tempted to hang onto this gold for purposes of getting a stronghold with House Hlaalu, I’m going to stay on target and drop a bunch of it instead on training up my Alteration and Mysticism. Once I do that, I also have several soul gems that need filling, so I may do another circuit through the general area around Balmora and see about that.
I want to practice using Soul Drinker, just to confirm whether that weapon behaves like I expect soul-trap-enchanted weapons to from Skyrim. I.e., I do a soul trap as soon as I hit the opponent. It would be annoying to have to invoke the weapon as a magical item and then actually hit something with it.
And at the same time, I also want to practice the Soul Trap spell. Again, for purposes of leveling Mysticism.
So I expect Tembriel’s next session will be a lot of that. End goal of this will be getting enough filled soul gems that hopefully I can enchant something properly. This may require me to do another side quest, just so I’ll have enough gold to take back to Galbedir to pay her to do the enchanting!