In Which Gyllerah Visits Mephala’s Realm, and Also Morrowind
This is another multi-session post, since a bunch of this was solo/writs activity and not worth posting on its own. But then Paul and I got in some plot advancement! And I also got to visit ESO’s version of Morrowind!
- Play dates: 11/2-11/5/2022
- Session numbers in this run: 32-35
- Did writs
- Went to Artaeum to speak to the Relicmaster to get the artifacts quest started
- Got a copy of the codex
- Then went hunting for the first several artifacts; got six of them, then returned to Artaeum to drop them off
- Explored the island for a little while, then returned to Summerset
- Hit the Direnni geyser for the last of six!
- Checked in with the Battlereeve and closed the geyser quest; avoided getting a new one from her
- Did inventory management logged off for the night
- Ran writs
- Went out looking for more Psijic artifacts; found the one near Russafeld, but had a lot of trouble finding the one near Ebon Stadmont, never did find it
- Finally derped around a little longer until inventory was full, then returned to Alinor
- Dd some loot dropoff
- Wayshrined over to Artaeum and dropped off the one artifact I did get
- Returned to Alinor and logged off for the night
- Started with adventuring this time!
- Joined Paul at the Illumination Academy
- Had to run a little puzzle to find books and put them on the right pedestals to get through an illusion, and find a Sapiarch we had to talk to
- Got her to tell us where her colleague had gone, which was King’s Haven Pass
- We headed in there to run the delve and this time we were able to get through the door that had been blocked to us before
- Came in to find Meridia’s Golden Knight being sucked into a portal by spider webs, yikes
- The other Sapiarch had been fatally wounded; he urged us to take the Dawnstar gem that got broken off of Dawnbreaker
- Valsirenn projected in and urged us to return to Artaeum immediately to speak to the Ritemaster
- So we wayshrined over there and had a chat with Iachesis
- Got a gryphon jack off of him for that work <3
- Then went down into the Dreaming Cave underneath the portal to further discuss emerging memories he was regaining
- Iachesis decided we needed to contact Meridia for help on restoring Dawnbreaker
- He sent us to go have a word with Valsirenn’s husband, who was snarky: ‘What, do you think all the Daedric cultists know each other?’
- But he also dropped heavy hints about Mephala’s forces having wiped out a lot of Meridia’s worshippers
- Valsirenn urged us to go find Razum-dar in Shimmerene
- So we wayshrined over there, and found him talking to Peryite cultists trying to recruit him, LOL
- Got him to agree to go to Eton Nir Grotto with us to meet a friend of his who was a Meridia priestess
- Got into the grotto and fought a bunch of Daedra in there
- Made it to the shrine, another previously blocked area now open to us, and spoke with Raz’s contact
- Also actually talked to Meridia! Who sounded less haughty then she does in Skyrim, LOL
- Then it was right back to Artaeum to report to the Ritemaster, who fired up a portal to Mephala’s realm
- Valsirenn came in with us but she got separated from us, so first we had to find her; she was trapped in a webbing cocoon we had to rescue her from
- And we kept using the Dawnstar gem to look for Darien Gautier, the golden knight; eventually found him imprisoned as well, and got him free
- Final big battle with Daedra swarm while Valsirenn worked on opening a return portal for us to get us back to Artaeum
- Home free! Then Darien was escorted off to the healers
- And the Ritemaster asked us to speak with his apprentice Oriandra for followup on how to get the Heart of Transparent Law
- Paul and I called it a halt there since that was a good breaking point!
- And I boinged back to Alinor for writs and inventory management before logging off for the night
- Ran writs; was able to do all of them locally except the clothing one
- So I boinged to the wayshrine at Seyda Neen on Vvardenfell! Which looks fucking amazing
- Hoofed it to the southeastern part of the island
- Passed by Vivec and Suran on the way
- Noted with interest that Vivec appears to be getting built in this time frame? Saw some signs of construction
- Killed some familiar critters (ailts and nix-hounds) and not familiar critters (cliff striders, nix-oxen)
- Killed a few unfamiliar bandit types, Red Exiles, and also Netch Gouger goblins
- Found two different skyshards and scored a skill point; dropped it on jewelry to reduce research time
- Found the cache of clothing and leather materials
- Swung to the northwest to try to find the cache for jewelry
- Passed through Balmora, which looked amazing as well, same kind of architecture but with trees and a lot more life to the city and wow
- Hoofed it further north and found Ald’ruhn, which was close enough to the Ashlands that I could see Red Mountain! And see ash falling! And lava pools!
- Found a Psijic portal and got a piece of Warrior-Poet armor out of that, which appears to be a Redoran style, awesome
- But inventory was getting full, so returned to the Ald’ruhn wayshrine and boinged back home to Summerset
- Finished the writ for spidersilk clothes and did some inventory management
- Parked in the room until next time
The Vault of Moawita quest
There’s a little side quest involved with the Psijic Order, which Paul and I discovered sorta kinda by accident. All over Summerset, there are assorted “Thieves Guild Dead Drop” chests which contain various types of cursed artifacts. These were apparently stolen from the Psijic Order, and the order’s Relicmaster can give you a quest to get them back.
Paul beat me to actually starting this quest, but once he told me that it was a grand way to explore the hell out of Summerset, I followed his example and started it. It’s not a complex quest at all; you just have to speak to the Relicmaster, Glenadir, and get him to give you the quest to retrieve the artifacts.
It’s a little confusing though in that there’s no quest associated with actually bringing the artifacts back; this quest officially “ends” once you get a copy of the codex that tells you where the artifacts are. So it’s not clear to me what kind of reward you will get for bringing all the artifacts back in.
Still, though, Paul’s right; it is a good way to explore the island. So I’ll be finishing this up as time permits.
Finishing up the Abyssal Geysers
I have now run all six of the geysers on Summerset, so was able to close out that quest from my journal. I don’t find the payoff for the quest really adequate for the trouble necessary to get to a geyser at the right time, and the effort required to fight off the stream of hostiles.
As Paul and I continue activity on Summerset, I won’t turn down fighting at a geyser if we’re near one when it goes off. But I’m not going to actively look for any more of that now that I’ve successfully hit all six of them.
The Tower Sentinels quest
There was a great deal of boinging around to various locations and talking to people with this. But it was cool to actually have a reason to go back to the Illumination Academy. Likewise, revisiting both King’s Haven Pass and Eton Nir Grotto, and getting to see the bits of those two delves that were blocked off from us before.
(Which of course raises the question of whether all delves in the game are like that, with some areas you won’t be able to get to unless you’re on the main quest line for the zone? I suppose I’ll find out!)
Things got a lot more interesting, though, once we learned more about Meridia’s golden knight, i.e., Darien Gautier. At this point in the plot, Dawnbreaker actually became plot-relevant, which I really rather liked. On an MMO environment, I am totally okay with players’ exposures to Daedric artifacts only being part of major plots.
Plus, it was just fun to learn more about this Darien guy, who is apparently the embodiment of Meridia’s will? At least according to Meridia herself, who we also got to talk to once we reached her shrine. I was amused that she sounded at least slightly less haughty in this encounter than she does in Skyrim.
The real meat of this adventure, though, was heading into Mephala’s realm, the Spiral Skein. This place really reminded both Paul and me of Blackreach in Skyrim, due to large numbers of giant mushrooms, as well as the general color scheme of the place.
However, lots of different and arguably scarier monsters: spiders, scorpions, and Daedra in service to Mephala, some of whom were powerful enough to summon backup like flesh atronachs. Nothing Paul and I fought was too challenging, or too easy! Good steady fighting, just hard enough to keep us alert as we proceeded to the point of having to rescue Darien.
All in all, some satisfying adventuring! And Paul and I both liked the new jacks we got off of the Ritemaster as part of rewards for the quest progress.
Last but not least, I gotta enthuse about blipping over to Morrowind! This was entirely just to run some more of those surveys Paul and I are accumulating as part of running writs–so I had no real in-character reason to go over there above and beyond that.
It does give me amusing food for thought to consider exactly how Gyllerah traveled all the way over there and back, though. And what she thinks about the wayshrines. Canonically, I’m given to understand that the wayshrines aren’t public transport for everybody–just the player, for reasons that are connected to the main quest of ESO. (I’m avoiding looking up more about this than I already know, but this much at least I’ve seen in my forays through the wiki.)
Given that I have not actually run the main quest yet, there are questions here of whether I should be able to use the wayshrines. 😉 But this is clearly one of those things you can’t think too heavily about, just because I’m still a player character. Kind of like how a bunch of things in Skyrim are super dangerous (e.g., forging amber or madness armor) unless you happen to be the Dragonborn!
For now, I’m going to assume that Gyllerah has discovered she can in fact take advantage of the wayshrines to go places–a lot faster than she could if she traveled the whole way on foot, by horse, by boat, or whatever. Maybe she thinks it’s a side effect of her experiences being flung through the portal and landing on Balfiera?
Hell, for all she knows, she may have always been able to use wayshrines like this!
Going to Vvardenfell, at any rate, was very satisfying, since I’ve got a Morrowind playthrough going as well! Seeing several familiar locations in much better graphics was exciting. And I very much loved that familiar musical themes played as I wandered that landscape. I suspect Vvardenfell may be one of the initial places outside of Summerset I explore in depth, just because I’m hugely curious to see how it stacks up against the Vvardenfell portrayed in Morrowind much later.
Big difference I noticed so far here: Vivec City being still partially under construction!
But Seyda Neen looked super familiar, as did Balmora and Suran–though all of them were rendered with much more vivid detail. I didn’t make it into Ald’ruhn proper, but from what I glimpsed, it might actually be one of the places notably different from the Morrowind game’s era. I’ll have to find out!
Some of the hostiles I fought on Vvardenfell were familiar creatures, and some of them weren’t–creatures like nix-oxen and cliff striders, which I’m given to understand were driven into extinction with Red Mountain’s eruption just after the Morrowind time frame. There were unfamiliar humanoid hostiles as well, Red Exiles and Netch Gouger goblins.
And I did get close enough to Red Mountain to get glimpses of the Ashlands terrain. I’m going to be super curious to see how that portion of the terrain gets rendered in ESO’s style, and how much of an ash-ridden hellscape it’s going to be!
I want to take another stab at finding that artifact near Ebon Stadmont, and then I’ll try to boing back to Vvardenfell to track down the jewelry materials cache near Gnisis!
Not sure when Paul and I will continue moving the Summerset plot along, since we’re heading into another work week and we aren’t as regularly playing together on weeknights, as I said before. So at least for the next few days I’ll probably be doing solo runs.
No NPCs in Elder Scrolls Online have talked about the wayshrines to my characters. The only NPCs that have traveled by wayshrine are the pets and companions of the PCs. They really don’t use the wayshrine; instead, they always appear next to the PC they follow, but that gives the impression that they travel by whichever method the PC uses. A wayshrine in a town is often in a prominent place on a town square or road, but the locals ignore it.
I thought that ESO had no lore about wayshrines, but some wayshrines do have lore (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Wayshrines), such as the Snow Elf Wayshrines in the Forgotten Vale in the Dawnguard expansion of Skyrim. And that lore page gives a link to the one piece of lore about wayshrines in ESO itself: the book Wayshrines of Tamriel by Beredalmo the Signifier (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Wayshrines_of_Tamriel).
Vvardenfell has an exploration quest similar to the finding missing relics in Summerset for the Vault of Moawita. The Vivec Temple Canton (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Temple_Canton) with the Vivec Temple Wayshrine on it has a room called the Library of Vivec. Talking to the librarian Bradyn gives a quest to make rubbings of ancestral tombs across Vvardenfell (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:The_Lost_Library). The more rubbings the protagonist provides, the bigger Bradyn’s dioramic model of Vvardenfell grows. The protagonist receives a copy of the diorama as a house furnishing upon completion of the quest. Amy’s roguish characters also love the Archcanon’s Office in that canton, because looting items there does not count as stealing.
Huh, okay, so the NPCs also know about and use the wayshrines? Then I got the wrong impression from one bit of lore I was reading on the wiki. Thanks for calling that out.
That ALSO returns me to a thought I had about how, if the wayshrines are a thing in ESO’s era, why are they no longer a thing later. You can’t travel via wayshrine in Morrowind, for example. I was kind of imagining a thing where all the wayshrines were destroyed as part of the Oblivion crisis? But I couldn’t find a definitive answer to that.
Thanks for the tip about the Morrowind quest! I told Paul that I was interested in making that the next locale I explore in depth and he proposed running a delve there soon. 😀 Maybe we can take that quest up too.
I guess my comment was unclear. The locals view the wayshrines as shrines to the Divines. They think that they help souls go to the afterlife Aetherius. I suspect that in unrecorded history a rare NPC had the special PC wayshrine resurrection ability and found themselves resurrected at a wayshrine, which confirmed the wayshrine’s link to the afterlife. But I have never seen or heard of an NPC using a wayshrine, except for a pet or companion NPC accompanying a PC (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Companions).
The book Wayshrines of Tamriel says that Lord Corvus Direnni speculated that some people could use the wayshrines as portals, but they would have to have lost their soul to an afterlife, the state of PCs on the main quest. My characters grew annoyed at being addessed as Soulless One, but it was better than being called Vestige. They could continue to use the wayshrines if the soul was restored, the state of PCs after the main quest.
On the other hand, Corvus had a workshop in Direnni Tower on the Isle of Balfiera. Thus, we have a plausible chance that Corvus had created the portals that Gyllerah and K’sragi used as a way of attuning ordinary people to wayshrine travel. Likewise, since my characters Squares-the-Circle and Princess Grace Hopper first appeared in a Sload-created mindscape in Summerset, perhaps the mindscapes also attune people to wayshrine travel.
If the common people later learned that enemy soldiers could use the wayshrines to invade their towns, then maybe they destoyed them out of fear.
Yes, that bit of lore you’re linking off to is explicitly what i was pinging off of before, the implication I took from that was that the general population does not use the wayshrines for moving around, they just use them as places of worship.
But every single player character in ESO can use them to move around, for Main Quest Reasons.
Okay, so my commentary stands re: Gyllerah trying to avoid thinking too hard about why she can use the wayshrines to blip clear across the countryside and nobody else she knows can. 😉 Except K’sragi!