This is a single session post, which has turned out to be less common for Gyllerah’s playthrough. But I had enough action happen in this session that a single post is warranted!
I scried for antiquities and successfully found a couple. I visited the Alik’r Desert for the first time. I boinged to Auridon to find out why someone at the Mages Guild wanted to see me, and then started the Mages Guild plot and the main plot in Auridon about stopping an assassination attempt on the Queen. And I visited the realm of Sheogorath! Whew. That’s a lot.
- Play date: 11/15/2022
- Session number in this run: 45
- Unexpectedly busy session tonight :O
- Scried for an antiquity on Summerset, and found it near Sil-Var-Woad; had to practice using the Antiquarian’s Eye to zoom in on the dig site
- Boinged to Artaeum to scry for another one; found that one too with a little bit of effort
- Went to Alik’r Desert for surveys; had to take the boat from Alinor Docks to Stormhaven, and from there, took another boat to Sentinel; hoofed it south and east
- Locations passed:
- House of the Silent Magnifico
- Rain Catcher Fields
- Morwha’s Bounty
- Divad’s Chagrin Mine Wayshrine
- Hatiha’s Camp
- Ogre’s Bluff
- Found the clothing materials cache at Ogre’s Bluff, then veered north and east
- Additional locations found:
- Leki’s Blade
- Sep’s Spine
- Tava’s Blessing
- Saltwalker Militia Camp
- Tears of the Dishonored
- Shrike’s Aerie Wayshrine
- The Thief
- Stopped in Kozanset and went into the Mages Guild building because they had a skyshard on the roof; got hailed there by NPC messenger Adelle Montagne, who gave me a message that I needed to see Valaste in the Mages Guild at Vukhel Guard
- Went on my way and found the jewelry seams
- Used the Shrike’s Aerie wayshrine to get to Vukhel Guard and proceeded to have a whole extra round of adventuring on Auridon!
- Valaste at the Mages Guild asked me to go get some books for her out of the Ondil Ruins
- Also got hailed by Vanus frigging Galerion but held off on that for the moment
- Headed north out of town but got hailed by a guard on my way out who wanted me to talk to the watch captain; again, held on that
- Also did not remember this until I was looking at the screenshots I took, but got hailed by a messenger named Anais Davaux who said she had a message for someone matching my description, from someone named Abnur Tharn
- Headed north to Ondil
- Other locations noted:
- Note: Phaer was near Dara’s last known location on Auridon! Also appears to be plague inflicted so that’s fun
- Killed multiple plague zombies before making it into Ondil, a delve, which was full of zombie-like bloodthralls and giant bats
- Found the four tomes Valaste wanted–and the ghost of Arch-Mage Shalidor showed up and told me to take the tomes back to Valaste and that fire would reveal the words on the blank pages
- Killed a vampire, Aluvus, who was the boss of the delve, then headed back out to return to Vukhel Guard
- Locations passed en route:
- Skirted near but did not go to Iluvamir Dolmen
- Dolmen actually fired off as I headed into the city but I didn’t go engage with it; instead went back to the Mages Guild
- Talked to Valaste and tossed the blank book into an arcane fire as directed, which showed a summoning spell; Valaste used this to summon Shalidor
- Shalidor was cranky about Sheogorath having conned him out of a refuge island he’d built for mages, and he wanted it back; he opened a portal into Sheogorath’s realm to send me in and try to get back more books
- Met Haskill, Sheogorath’s chamberlain, who tested me by opening a portal and making me fight scamps and a couple of seducers
- He also offered me a job as a house servant, LOL; hard pass, because seriously, I gotta deal with another frigging Daedric prince?
- Killed a large cranky beast to get near the books , and Sheogorath himself showed up
- Uncle Sheo let me have the first book but leaned on me to agree to a deal to pass tests for the other three, and summoned Shalidor to fill him in–and also warned him that he’d cursed the first of the books so that Shalidor couldn’t read it
- Shalidor was not amused by this and sent me back to the Mages Guild to update Valaste and get her to translate the first book
- Valaste sent me on my way so she could work on the translation
- Finally talked to Vanus Galerion properly, and he told me I needed to go see an oracle who’d contacted him about me explicitly, so I got another subquest for that
- Went to go talk to the guard captain, who gave me a couple tasks to help her out
- Found a burglary in progress where an assassin killed someone who had deployment plans, possibly to interfere with the arrival of the queen
- Had to go talk to a steward, and found evidence of poisoned meat in the food stores
- And got attacked by somebody from the Veiled Heritance
- Guard captain sent me to go help a subordinate who’d captured an intruder and needed help questioning him
- Talked my way into the situation, and the intruder actually revealed that the guard captain is totes corrupt and that there’s going to be an assassin attempt on the queen
- AWKWARD, particularly when the guards came in and captured the guy
- They asked me to go report back to the captain, but it was getting late so I boinged back to Alinor instead
- Worked on my writs and finished most of them but wasn’t able to finish the enchanting writ
- Forget where exactly in this session it happened but I finally leveled up to 34, and since I found multiple skyshards this session, also picked up a couple extra skill points; advanced what materials I can use on Blacksmithing, Clothing, and Woodworking, which means Ebonthread and Dwarven ore are now part of my materials finds
- Did as many writs as I could and played around a little with what the new materials will look like when I make armor with them
- Logged off for the night
Hunting for antiquities
So yeah, this session was a lot. First up: got in some actual practice using the Antiquities system. And now that I’ve done it a couple of times, it’s starting to make more sense to me. I feel like more practice is required before I’ll really get the hang of it, though.
But I like having this mechanism as another excuse to just explore the land. Getting loot to sell is bonus!
As of this session I reached level 34; as of this writing, I’m actually at level 35. Not sure yet how being able to hunt for antiquities is going to play into Gyllerah’s future sessions. But it’ll be nice to have this to play around with in between doing larger adventures, or if I happen to run low on materials surveys.
Visiting the Alik’r Desert
This was cool. I really enjoyed my first look at Redguard home turf. There’s no desert terrain in Skyrim. You can argue that Morrowind as a game has some aspects in common with a desert–it’s hot, the terrain is rolling and monotonous, there are ash storms that are very like sandstorms, and what vegetation is present is kind of cactus-like. But the Ashlands still aren’t actually a desert.
Plus, the Redguards in general aren’t a people I’ve explored much with. There are several Redguard NPCs in Skyrim to be sure, but the most distinctive ones, the Alik’r warriors involved with the In My Time of Need plot, are presented to the player in the context of finding the fugitive Saadia. And periodic guard commentary about their curved swords. Nothing there to really give the player a proper sense of what Redguard culture is like.
So landing in Sentinel and getting a good look at the place, as well as a few other towns in that zone, was quite cool. Unsurprisingly, the architecture as a whole had a sort of melded African and Arabic feel to it, and the place names definitely felt Arabic. I didn’t stop to deal with any NPCs to speak of (aside from Adelle at the Mages Guild), because this was a materials finding journey and I didn’t want to get involved in local quests. But I still very much enjoyed just exploring the place.
Ogre’s Bluff in particular, where I found the clothier materials, seemed like it had some sort of highly interesting plot going on since there were signs of multiple camps with skeletons in the vicinity.
And, also, I had the Augur of the Obscure trigger off near a ruin close to that spot, indicating that I’ll need to come back there eventually and shut down some portals for the Psijics.
Noted that harpies were very present in this desert, and spotted a flock of them from afar at one point. I didn’t get close enough to them to engage, just because dealing with six harpies at once seemed like a bit much. Also noted that one of the wayshrines was called Shrike’s Aerie, which was interesting given how a bunch of shrikes are in service to Nocturnal.
Aside from getting the materials, this trip was also helpful in letting me find multiple skyshards. And for giving me the opportunity to finally speak with Adelle, who I’d been spotting in multiple other locations, so that she could give me the plot hook to get the Mages Guild plot underway.
Which led me to my next stop: Auridon.
Mages Guild plot in Auridon
I knew the Mages Guild had their own overall plot but hadn’t had a chance before now to get it started. Glad I did, because a few fun things happened as part of this.
One, I got to explore more of southern Auridon, which I hadn’t done before. Which finally put me near Dara’s last known location in the game, even though she’s not actually playing and probably won’t. But if she changes her mind, now I’m better prepared to help her out with what to do next.
Two, the ghost of Shalidor totally had a voice actor I recognized, though I had to look him up to confirm his name: Michael Gough. This guy is front and center in Skyrim, with his most prominent character in my playthroughs being none other than Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun. He sounded very, very familiar as soon as Shalidor started talking to me! And according to IMDB, Shalidor is the only character he voices in ESO. I am delighted to have discovered him. <3
Three, this session also marked my first official visit in any Elder Scrolls game to the realm of Sheogorath! And Gyllerah got to actually deal with Sheogorath directly. Who felt very familiar, since his portrayal here was very close to how he’s portrayed in Skyrim in the Mind of Madness plot, where you get the Wabbajack. He does not have the same voice actor (I looked this up to confirm), but the performances are still very similar between the two games, so I don’t particularly mind that he has a different actor here.
Whole lotta zombies all over ESO, wow. With both plague-stricken villages and necromancers actively turning people into zombies, from what I can tell so far. Or in the case of Ondil, vampires?
Meeting Sheogorath now adds a fifth Daedric Prince to the list of ones Gyllerah has now dealt with directly. And I think she’s simultaneously a little disappointed but also a lot relieved that she didn’t feel any particular pull towards Uncle Sheo as a possible source of her amnesia. So she can at least right now take comfort in how she’s probably not mad.
Meeting Vanus Galerion was kind of disappointing, really. Because he very much came across with that Altmer superiority that Gyllerah’s seen way too much of at this point, so her initial impression is “wow I don’t like this guy”. Even if he did stand up to a necromancer, from what she saw in the Traitor’s Vault. And Gyllerah knows at this point that this guy is the founder of the Mages Guild, so is pretty much her boss within the jurisdiction of the Guild. But she still doesn’t like him.
Assassination plot on Auridon
This started off with a bang, and I certainly enjoyed working my way into it. But I realized partway in that “oh shit if this is building up to an assassination attempt on the queen, this is a major plot, right?”
Looked it up on the wiki and confirmed: yes. This is a major plot, and in fact is the first plot you get dropped into on Auridon if you land in Khenarthi’s Roost following doing the opening rounds of the Main Quest.
I therefore will be putting a hard pause on proceeding through this plotline until Paul and I get the opening rounds of the Main Quest out of the way. Then I’ll pick up on this later after that. Just because while I can put up with doing some things out of order in ESO, this particular plotline seems important enough that I feel like I should try to do it in sequence as much as I can. Hopefully I haven’t fucked up anything by starting it out of order. We’ll see.
(I don’t think the game would actually fuck anything up in that respect? See my previous commentary re: it being inevitable that you’ll play things out of order on this game. This is really more of a personal preference on my part.)
In the next post I’ll put up, Gyllerah and K’sragi, with the help of Darien Gautier and Leythen, make a valiant stand against Nocturnal’s machinations, and wrest back control of the Crystal Tower! Take that, Nocturnal!