In Which Gyllerah Goes to Auridon, and Does a Whole Lot of Writs and Delves
This post spans a bunch of sessions, just because most of the ESO activity I’ve had this week all falls into the categories of “running writs, and looking for ingredients to satisfy them”, and “running delves with Paul to get event loot.” So not too much here to go over in depth on a session by session basis.
One big exception to this: we actually went to Auridon to run one of the main event quests going on, which means we’ve now also been to Elden Root in Grahtwood. And we did see the Hooded Figure! But we didn’t engage with her yet.
- Play dates: 10/23-10/27/2022
- Session numbers for these runs: 22-26
Sunday the 23rd
- Took daily quest from Justiciar to go look for five Articles of Faith in King’s Haven Pass
- Went back to that delve and found all the things
- Got back out again and came back to Alinor to satisfy the quest
- Talked to the Orc who’d gotten into an argument with a High Elf; ran that quest, which required me to visit Tor-Hame-Khard to learn Lirendel’s full name, and later had the satisfaction of seeing the orc punch the elf’s lights out
- And apparently Altmer full names are frigging gigantic? Another interesting point of detail for Gyllerah’s backstory: since she’s just ‘Gyllerah’
- Found a couple more Psijic portals to loot while running around for the duel quest; got some good deconstructable and/or researchable loot off of that
- Next up: got the event quest that’s the freebie that requires you to go to Auridon
- Summoned the witchmother to talk to her and got her quest to get her some guts, a dark essence, and a pumpkin
- Went back to Wasten Coraldale delve to try to take out the boss there for an essence
- Took out Maorbet there but that turned out to not be the boss, so had to look up on the wiki to discover I was looking for a powerful mage to fight, Stormsinger Farya
- Managed to take her out singlehandedly and got the essence and a plunder skull, which got me the rest of the feathers I needed as well \0/
- So took the boat from Summerset to Elden Root for my very first quest off of Summerset
- WHY HELLO THERE HOODED FIGURE, sorry not ready to talk to you yet, hold that thought
- Rendezvoused with Paul to get to Auridon, which required me to ride overland
- Went through Haven and was immediately attacked by hostiles all tagged as ‘Jackdaw’, apparently they were pirates? Made it through with Paul’s help
- Got to Fisherman’s Isle and took a boat from there to Auridon, where more riding had to happen to get to the event location (and again, hard charging past pirates, pirate problems all over the damn place apparently?)
- Finished the quest with the pumpkin and guts and essence first, and got the witchmother’s whistle, but heh not really in a mood to go around looking skeletal, though I was amused at Paul doing so
- Paul and I got the other quest proceeding as well, presenting the cursed feathers to the other witchmother; made an effigy as the quest directed, and put it in the right place to activate the portal into the Evergloam
- Paul and I were severely outclassed fighting the boss monster in there, so we came back out again and yelled for help from other nearby players
- Got a couple more players and their companions to join us to make a group of six total, that time through we took out the boss monster 😀
- Got an event plunder skull off of it, and heh got a writ to make a bowl of eyeballs, YAY?
- Returned to Summerset
- Did a little more crafting to sell some stuff and clear out backlogged materials, then called it quits for the night
Monday the 24th
- Did daily writs
- Then took daily Divine Prosecution quest, which sent me to Eton Nir Grotto
- Went to Tor-Hame-Khard again to try to find the boss monster there
- Didn’t find the monster but did re-kill the rogue Justiciar so that at least got me event loot and more tickets
- Also leveled up to 24
- Returned to event camp, bought first of three things required to make the dragon as per advice from Cync
- Made and sold a few things, then called it a night
Tuesday the 25th
- Ran writs
- Ran Eton Nir Grotto again, this time with Paul
- Spoke with Seeks-the-Dark who turned out to be a member of the Thieves Guild; got quest from him to find his missing apprentice, and to recover tokens of Meridia
Wednesday the 26th
- Ran writs
- Hit one of the abyssal geysers while out exploring for ingredients
- Paul wasn’t up for playing so I did a daily quest to go hit Tor-Hame-Khard yet again, and this time I killed the Kurgando there
- Got stolen relics and Sagacian plans for the DP
Thursday the 27th
- Ran writs
- Hit Artaeum with Paul and ran the Traitor’s Vault delve there
- That was awesome, very loot-heavy, made us work for it but paid off quite well
- Also gave us some in-depth looks at Mannimarco and Galerion
- And had an interesting orc NPC who seems to be a bit of a rogue as far as the Psijic Order is concerned
- After Paul logged off, stayed up a while later after that, trying to get to level 26
- Wandered around a lot and killed a bunch of monsters
- Took a brief potshot at Keelsplitter since I passed other players attacking it but didn’t get any loot off of it
- Returned to run second round of writs since the writs board reset
- Got very close to tipping over into level 26 before logging off for the night
Y’all will note that this post covers a larger span of days than I usually do in my playthrough posting. This has been entirely because when I’m playing ESO, typically with Paul, I’m not in as good a position to stop and take notes periodically as I can do with Skyrim or Morrowind. The reason for this: because I can’t just pause the game if I need to take a break. Monsters can and will respawn. So if I go idle while I’m trying to take notes, and Paul and I are in a delve, this means I’m not helping Paul fight.
Also, there’s only so much interesting stuff I can about “yep, I ran some writs, and then ran some more writs, and did I mention writs?”
One thing I can mention about writ running, though: it’s certainly the best way to make money and a pretty decent way to get experience points, too. But Paul and I share the lament of why, if a writ wants us to find ingredient X, that’s always the one thing we cannot frigging find for the life of us when we go out ingredient gathering. Instead, we find heaping loads of ingredients Y, Z, W, Q, J, etc. Sometimes this is a problem solvable by a visit to our Guild Bank, but not always!
And here’s the main thing I can mention about running delves: I’m finding that while running the delves the first time through is interesting for plot purposes, it’s less interesting to me to come back and re-visit them. Mind you, I appreciate the good loot. But I’m finding that it kind of rattles my ability to be fully immersed for roleplay purposes if I visit the exact same delve three times in one week, and every single monster or enemy I killed there the last time has totally respawned and is ready to be killed again.
Likewise, the world bosses and the geysers. Mustering some roleplay awe for “holy shit Keelspitter is big and has ALL THE HITPOINTS IN THE WORLD” works way better for me the first time than it does for subsequent visits.
I get that this is a consequence of playing an MMO and at least for that reason, I’m fine with it. It’s just a different experience for me than playing solo in Skyrim or Morrowind, and I’ll need to figure out how to adjust building Gyllerah’s narrative in my head accordingly.
That said: all of these various sessions covered in this post did give me some fodder for exactly that.
A Duelist’s Dilemma quest
I’d noticed, when going through Alinor on a daily basis, a conversation between an Altmer named Lirendel and an Orc named Roguzog. When you hear this conversation trigger, Lirendel is basically being an asshole to Roguzog and telling him to go properly learn Altmer dueling customs to challenge him correctly. And then, and only then, will Lirendel bother to teach him a lesson.
So I took on this quest by talking to Roguzog, and learning from him that Lirendel had started the whole thing by being an asshole to him in the inn, enough to provoke Rogs into calling him out. But Lirendel refuses to fight with him unless Roguzog follows traditional Altmer dueling customs.
I agreed to help Rogs out, which required me to confirm the Altmer dueling traditions first. That conversation with Lirendel even had the question about me actually forgetting what those customs are–which, yes! Because I have amnesia!
Then I had to go find out Lirendel’s full name, which required the first of the visits to Tor-Hame-Khard in the sessions covered by this post. The full name in question turned out to be, as quoted on the wiki:
Lirendel Rumilion ‘len Inecil Culanarin Salolinwe ‘ata Piryaden-Itelnoril Hilnore Firlamil ‘cal Ternerben-Nivulirel
Yikes. And that too had to strike Gyllerah oddly, because as far as she knows she’s just “Gyllerah”. But there are interesting questions to consider here, about whether the upper crust of Altmer nobility are the ones with names this spectacularly long. Does Gyllerah have more name than she actually remembers? If so, how much more? If her parents were lower level diplomats, perhaps the equivalent of upper middle class Altmer or maybe lowest tier nobility at best, would that mean she’d have a shorter full name than Lirendel?
Aside from questions of name, though, it was certainly also very satisfying to see Roguzog eventually just completely say “fuck it” to the whole idea of an Altmer duel, and just walk up to the guy and punch his lights out. 😀 Lirendel totes had it coming.
And I’m definitely adding this to the annals of “Gyllerah is not impressed by what she’s seeing of her own society’s people.”
Going to Auridon for the Plucking the Crow quest
This was a significant milestone! Not only for purposes of fulfilling the event quest, but also because it marked the first time Paul and I ventured off of Summerset.
Getting to Auridon required a two-hop journey: first by taking the boat from Alinor to Elden Root, and then taking a boat from Fisherman’s Isle to Auridon.
This did not entirely make sense to me given that Auridon is right to the east of Summerset, and Grahtwood is further east, on the mainland? But after researching on the wiki, I couldn’t find any immediately obvious way to get from Summerset straight to Auridon, by boat.
Stopping in Elden Root, though, had one major notable aspect: the Hooded Figure approached both Paul and then me, when I caught up and got there.
Neither of us actually chose to deal with the Hooded Figure yet. We’re aware she is mandatory for kicking off the Main Quest of the game, but we’re not ready to deal with that. So we’ll come back to her later.
For now, what impressed me the most about this excursion was just the glimpses of both Grahtwood and Auridon. Hurray! New terrain! 😀 Even though it seems like there are pirate problems all over the goddamn place, since Paul and I had to go through a couple of different places apparently overrun by pirates. Again, a thing we’ll have to check out later.
En route, we made a point of going near every wayshrine we passed, just to discover them for the map and be able to use them later.
Once we finally made it to the event site, it was certainly quite hopping, since so many other players were also there for the event. And the Crowborne Horror was certainly an exciting event boss to fight. Paul and I were severely outclassed by ourselves, but fortunately there were plenty of other nearby players we were able to recruit into a group. So getting a bit of hands-on experience doing that was very helpful.
And satisfying, too, since we recruited a couple of players that also had Companions, so that made us a force of six rather than a force of four. Plenty enough to take out the Horror!
Paul and I discovered as the week progressed that that same witchmother could recruit you again to try to collect feathers for her to fight the Horror. However, Paul and I both have so far declined to do it again. It was interesting to do once, but not so much again, and right now we have other fish to fry.
Half-Formed Understandings quest, and the Traitor’s Vault
I noticed when looking at the Summerset map that the delve icon on the left showed me as needing to complete six delves for the zone. But there were only five actual delves on Summerset. I concluded to Paul that this must mean that the sixth delve to complete was the one on Artaeum, the Psijic Order’s island.
So we decided to run that delve, and it turned out to be a very satisfying adventure!
The NPC who gave us the quest hook was herself quite interesting, an Orc called Ulliceta gra-Kogg. I liked her not only for the unusual aspect of her being an Orc in an order that’s predominantly Altmer, but also because she was clearly a bit of a rebel as far as the Order was concerned. If you’re familiar with Star Trek: Lower Decks, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Ulliceta struck me as kind of the Beckett Mariner of the Psijic order. 😉
Plus, the overall plot of the delve required us to trigger four visions that showed us backstory involving Vanus Galerion, the founder of the Mages Guild, and the necromancer Mannimarco. I know enough about Mannimarco to know that he’s serious business bad news, and these visions definitely bore that out.
Action-wise, the delve was also very satisfying in general. Lots of challenging creatures to fight, none of which were overwhelming difficult, but also not so easy as to make the place a cakewalk. Plus, there was a high degree of loot! Not only dropped by the hostiles, but also all over the place in various urns and crates and wardrobes and such.
Paul and I are interested in finishing up current activity for the event quest and spending enough event tickets to get a couple of the fun things. Paul wants the bear-dog and I want the dragon illusion pet.
With that in mind we’re hoping to go talk to Battlereeve Tanerline next time we play, and get the quest hooks to go officially hit the various geysers since those will be a grand source of event loot as well.
Plus, we need to investigate the Psijic Order’s side quest to find lost artifacts in Thieves Guild Dead Drop boxes. Paul has one of those, and he wants it out of his inventory, so we need to find out how to trigger that quest. I’ll be looking this up on the wiki.
I mentioned Ulliceta gra-Kogg in my October 23 comment (https://skyrim.annathepiper.org/2022/10/23/in-which-gyllerah-seeks-a-kidnapped-bride-to-be/#comment-213), because I thought that she would appeal to Gyllerah. Which means that you have illuminated Gyllerah’s personality through this chronicle. I have seen this story before: a character loses her connection to her culture, must look at it from a new perspective, and grows personally because she is examining herself, too.
What I didn’t know until checking the wiki is that Ulliceta gra-Kogg was mentioned in a lore book in the Skyrim game, https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Black_Arts_On_Trial, as a historical figure.
I am curious about Gyllerah’s journey northward across nearly the full length of Auridon to reach Olyve’s Brewery. A list of wayshrines mapped would tell me the route. To my characters, Auridon is a tame place because they have tamed it. Even the ones who have not eliminated the troubles there know from my other characters which trouble spots to avoid. But a new player going from Vulkhel Guard to Olyve’s Brewery would go past Veiled Heritage traitors, plagued peasants, hostile ghosts, pirate invasions, and wolves and bears and imps. I have done runs across other countries, because I like the land route for my first visit to Craglorn–start from Daggerfall in Glenumbra, run through Glenumbra to Stormhaven, run through Stormhaven to the bridge to Bangkorai, and sneak through the troubles in southern Bangkorai to the gate to Craglorn. My characters usually die and resurrect on the journey.
Cync’s primary residence Grand Topal Island Hideaway exits to Fisherman’s Isle and my primary residence Barbed Hook Private Room is in Skywatch in Auridon, so you could have taken a shortcut via visiting people’s homes. A quick jaunt to the Barbed Hook Private Room is handy during the Mud Ball Merriment quest of the New Life Festival in December.
Ah, thank you for the reminder of your prior mentioning of the Orc character!
Re: Gyllerah’s journey through Auridon–I didn’t say much about it on the post just because I didn’t take good notes on it at the time. Paul and I ran very quickly through Grahtwood and Auridon, because our goal was to get to the event location. So we didn’t linger to look at much en route. I’ll have to doublecheck my game map now and see which wayshrines we actually activated. I’ll check that for you since you asked.
Narrative-wise… this is one of those things I’m not entirely sure how to work in Gyllerah’s story. Holiday events like this, even if they have an ostensible plot with them (e.g., this witch wants you to break into Nocturnal’s realm and take out a monster for her), strike me as a player as kind of weirdly parallel to the actual action of the game.
The upshot of that being, I’m not sure yet if I consider that jaunt to the event location actually part of Gyllerah’s canon or not. I think Auridon and Grahtwood both will make a bigger impact on me once we actually visit them for real, as opposed to tearing through them at top speed just because we want to get to an event location and don’t want to be diverted by saving Haven from pirates, or whatever else.
I often have to ignore some activities by my characters or pretend they occurred in a different order for the character’s life to make sense as a story.
I also have many days where my characters do nothing besides gathering resources and fulfulling daily writs or endeavors, because I was too tired to deal with quests (I retired due to fatigue problems).
My argonian warden character Squares-the-Circle was good for minimal play. He spent a year real time in Stormhold in Shadowfen, a Black Marsh city that he felt was home, doing only daily crafting with resources gathered by my other characters. Squares-the-Circle has a laidback combat style based on damage over time, and does not think of himself as a heroic warrior who ought to quest. When the Greymoor chapter introduced searching for antiquities, he became more active, because he could think of himself as an archeologist. Two months ago, he took on the companion Ember (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Ember), because he could think of himself as a teacher, too.
Nice. 🙂 I love the name Squares-the-Circle!
P.S. Re: Ulliceta showing up in a Skyrim book: OH WOW that’s cool. And I had no idea because I haven’t read all of those books in depth. I really ought to. Particularly given that Paul actually gave me a boxed set of Bethesda’s release of all that text in actual printed and hardback form. 😀