More questing in ESO, as Paul and I met the Proxy Queen in Alinor, and then did a detour to the Illumination Academy to investigate the effects of a rogue enchantment impacting the staff and students there.
- Play date: 10/17/2022
- Session number in this run: 16
- Did a bunch of writs before Paul logged on to play with me
- Then we went up to the palace in Alinor to speak with the Proxy Queen to move that plot along some more, and wow she was bitchy
- She did at any rate give Paul and me permission to go speak to the College of Sapiarchs, and promised she’d relay word to expect us, so Paul and I set out for that
- But we got sidetracked by the Illumination Academy since I told Paul of the plot hook I’d found there
- We decided to run that instead, and Paul spoke to the High Elf who was acting like a Nord
- We went up to the college to talk to Erudil and learned he’d accidentally unleashed an enchantment on the college, and so now all his fellow students and even the professors were acting like characters out of books
- Paul and I had to go around to the various NPCs and try to snap them out of their enchantments
- Main interesting thing about this was spotting a couple of books I recognized from Skyrim by their titles
- Eventually we saw the woman Erudil wanted to impress, Glardir, getting crankier as we broke more of the enchantments, and she ran off into the stacks; Paul and I had to follow her
- We ran into another NPC, the archivist in charge of the stacks, who made very flirtatious commentary at us
- At this point the situation actually got more interesting, because the stacks were haunted, with illusions of trees and ruins all over the place, and ghostly beasts and enemies to fight
- We had to find cursed books and re-shelve them, and finally caught up with Glardir
- We broke her out of her enchantment and she warned us about the actual big bad
- Paul and I paused to take stock before engaging, checked our quick slots!
- And this time HURRAY we killed the boss monster and neither of us died 😀
- Enchantments lifted! The academy can stand down from being crazypants!
- Decided to return to Alinor at that point rather than proceed to go talk to the College of Sapiarchs, we’ll pick that up at another time
- So I did a bit more crafting, then called it a night!
First thing Paul and I did in this session was to stop at the palace in Alinor and speak to the Proxy Queen, to move Summerset’s main plot along a little. The first thing I noticed about the Proxy Queen was that she had a purple version of the same white dress I’d admired on Norianwe, and which I myself have been kindly provided. That dress looks good in purplex! <3
The second thing I noticed about her was boy howdy was she bitchy. She snarked at me for asking her questions, and for how even though I was an Altmer, I had a lot to learn about Summerset society. Fuck you, lady.
Now that I’ve decided Gyllerah’s carrying a little amnesia around from her experiences at the beginning of the game, I think the cumulative effect of all these various Altmer NPCs being bitchy or racist in various ways is certainly adding up in her mind to “if this is what being an Altmer means, fuck it, I don’t think I want to be part of this society.” It’ll be interesting, though, to see if this feeling persists as I meet less horrible Altmer, since there are some! And we’ll see if Paul and I eventually make it to talking to Ayrenn herself.
Bitchy as she was, she did at least do her job in this plot and agree to give Paul and me permission to visit the College of Sapiarchs, and promise to send word to them to expect us. So then we set out in that direction.
However, we got sidetracked! I told Paul about the plot hook encounter I’d had with Merenfire at the Illumination Academy, and we decided to go ahead and run that plot instead. So Paul did the initial encounter with Merenfire (and I confirmed at that point that she wasn’t visible to me anymore, since I’d already talked to her), and then we headed up to the Academy to figure out what the hell was going on.
Answer: a student called Erudil had apparently accidentally released an enchantment that impacted everybody in the Academy, students and professors both, and caused them to act like characters out of books. Paul and I wound up having to go find an assortment of impacted people, and snap them out of their enchantments.
Brief digression on books in the Elder Scrolls games
Part of this involved finding the various books they were reacting to, and I was amused to recognize titles I’d seen in Skyrim as well. Heh. So apparently The Beggar Prince is still having copies made clear into the Fourth Era? 😀
Side thought here: who exactly in Tamriel is making and distributing these books? I don’t think they’re actually printed–that would require a printing press being invented, though I could certainly see the Dwemer figuring out a printing press. And everybody else having no earthly clue what to do with a printing press, so they’re all still handwriting out books and distributing them slowly across the world.
Which means somebody’s been handwriting all these copies of The Lusty Argonian Maid, lololol.
Seriously though it’s interesting to think about who might have made it their job to create new books and circulate them through the world, or to make copies of existing ones so that they aren’t lost. The Mages Guild, and later the College of Winterhold, strike me as possible drivers for this. Maybe also this Illumination Academy Paul and I encountered on Summerset?
Perhaps also orders dedicated to the worship of Julianos? We know from Dawnguard in Skyrim that the Moth Priests are dedicated to maintaining the Elder Scrolls. But could other monastic orders dedicate themselves to creating more mundane books for the world? Are there scriptoriums in Tamriel?
But I digress, so back to the plot
We eventually learned from Erudil that he’d wanted to impress a woman named Glardir, who seemed to get crankier and crankier as we broke the enchantments on other NPCs. And the book Erudil identified as the source of the problem, the Illumnus, kept adding text to it with every enchantment we broke. Text that, I might add, at least at first strongly suggested to me that Sheogorath might be involved in this plot. It certainly smelled like a situation that the Daedric Prince of Madness would delight in.
However, this was not actually the case! As we found out, when Glardir eventually freaked out and ran off into the Academy’s library stacks. When we arrived in the stacks, we were greeted by yet another NPC, Meredil the Archivist. The wiki seems to think this guy is also impacted by the enchantments, because he’s usually quite prudish, but when we found him he hit on us big time. And while I can certainly buy that this guy was also affected, I actually think it would’ve been funnier to have him not impacted at all, and have him just be desperate for some romantic attention. Snerk. 😉
Paul and I had to pursue Glardir deeper into the stacks–and at that point, the plot got a lot more fun. Up until now we’d just been going around talking to various NPCs, but now, finally, we actually got to do some fighting. The entire library was haunted, with ghostly illusions of trees and ruins all over the place, as well as ghostly beasts and enemies to fight. And cursed floating books which we had to return to their proper shelves, too!
We finally caught up with Glardir and broke her out of her enchantment, at which point she warned us about the actual Big Bad of the plot: the Illuminated One, who, again, was not actually Sheogorath. I was slightly disappointed by this. 😉 But only slightly, because the Illuminated One was impressively large and creepy in a Cthuloid sort of way.
And let me also note that this time, Paul and I did enact the strategy of pausing to take stock of our equipment and making sure we were ready before we charged in to fight the boss! That caution paid off, as we took down the Illuminated One without either of us dying. Go us!
So that was entertaining. And now presumably the Illumination Academy can return to whatever its normal business is? And hopefully that business will include identifying, as Erudil himself lamented, why the hell they have a Library of Shrieking Terror. That seems like a thing they should be correcting.
And I got a giggle out of Paul with a callback to Futurama’s “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid” episode. “Now I am leaving Earth for no raisin!”
I’m behind on posting, so the next post after this one will feature me doing a solo side quest, and solving a murder at the Russafeld winery!
Editing to add
- 10/22/2022: Missed a few screenshots, so I have added them to the gallery!