In Which Gyllerah Hunts for Antiquities, Time Breaches, and Materials
This is a multi-session post, covering five total sessions, none of which had any major plot action in them. So I’m glomming them together into one big post, just to clear my queue.
Main activity in all of these sessions here was exploring all over the place. I hunted for antiquities, time breaches, and survey materials. Main locations hit: Blackwood, Alik’r Desert, Stormhaven, Bangkorai, Craglorn.
- Play dates: 11/19-11/23/2022
- Session numbers in this run: 48-52
- Had no writs to run, so went out to grab the last two of the artifacts for the Psijic Order side quest: one pretty much right by the entrance to Sunhold and the other just south of the Keep of the Eleven Forces
- Boinged to Artaeum to turn those in; got the achievement for finding them all, and the Fan of False-Face
- Boinged next via wayshrine back to the Alik’r Desert
- Found the time breach near HoonDing’s Watch
- Stopped at Lexi’s Blade to hit a skyshard up on a wall
- Found the next time breach west of Easterly Aerie (though I didn’t mark that locale on the map)
- Spotted a dolmen firing off nearby but did not run over to engage, was too far away
- Did however see a portal with baddies fire off and I did jump in on that with a couple other players
- Headed southwest-ish from there for the third of three breaches in the area
- Found that one finally on the edge of a cliff but only after cutting accidentally through a campsite full of Dominion troops–and only then did I realize hey those are my guys
- But they were hostile anyway, so I ran like hell and only killed one of them who insisted on following me
- Boinged back to Alinor after that and deconstructed a bunch of loot
- Did a bunch of crafting to burn through backlogged lower level materials and also to build up my gold reserve
- Made and sold a bunch of things, then threw six thousand gold into the bank
- Logged off for the night
- Ran writs, because I never ran them the night before so I had last night’s cycle; did those without too much effort
- Then went out and scried for another of the Summerset-local antiquities
- Found a couple Psijic portals and a chest while I was out
- Did some fishing at the sinkhole, and at one of the spots near the docks
- Got three rare fish to bring back and sell and also a coral formation furnishing item
- Returned to Alinor and sold things
- Also discovered the writ board had refreshed, so did round two of writs
- Mostly finished them except for running out of fell hide
- Parked in room and logged off for the night
- Did a bunch of making of things to sell them and clear out carried inventory as well as bank
- Went out to try to run materials surveys
- Went back to the same jewelry spot I hit before in Blackwood and which I now had a duplicate survey for
- Worked my way north from there into territory I hadn’t been in before
- Found assorted hostiles along the northern part of Blackwood
- Couldn’t find a way north so returned to a previously discovered wayshrine at Hutan-Tzel
- Boinged from there to Bergama Wayshrine in the Alik’r Desert
- Had another instance of the clothing survey at Ogre’s Bluff, so re-cleared that one
- Hoofed it east from there trying to find a way into Craglorn; no luck
- Fought a few harpies at Tears of the Dishonored and yep a swarm of three harpies is a bit much
- Returned to Shrike’s Aerie wayshrine
- Boinged from there to Koeglin Village Wayshrine in Stormhaven
- Started working my way east to an alchemist survey spot
- Encountered hostiles all across the countryside
- Found Bearclaw Mine near where I wanted to find the alchemy ingredients
- And SO! MANY! BEARS! Gosh I wonder how the mine got its name!
- Bunch of bandit hostiles by Weeping Giant Wayshrine
- Found the alchemy ingredients and moved on, hoofing it east over the bridge into Bangkorai
- This landed me in Evermore, and there were a lot of hostiles just outside it
- In fact, most of Bangkorai appeared full of hostiles and I did a lot of retracting my steps trying to find a safe path through
- Found one area that was in particular full of Daedra, yikes, large and small ones
- Finally circled my way down into the southern stretch of Bangkorai
- Only to find that the road that led to the gates of Craglorn was under the control of hostile Imperial forces, and I could not figure out how to get around them 😛
- Also my inventory was close to full, so I used the Old Tower Wayshrine to retreat to Alinor
- Started inventory cleanup but then the writ board reset, so I ran writs
- Finished inventory cleanup and parked in inn room until next time
- Went with Paul back to Bangkorai to try to find a way into Craglorn
- We got past the Imperials there okay, once Paul led me through the best sneaky way to do it and reach the gate; got through the gate and landed in friendly forces territory
- Went north and east to try to find the first of my surveys, which was a blacksmith one
- Locations located:
- Crossroads Encampment
- Skyreach Wayshrine
- Atelier of the Twice-Born Star
- Defunct Nirncrux Mine
- This one turned out to be right by the mine; Paul didn’t see it because he didn’t have the survey map
- We worked our way south from there
- Additional locations:
- Valley of Scars Wayshrine
- Found the enchanter survey right by Spellscar but hoo boy that place was rough, full of atronachs, and Paul and I mostly tried to stay the hell out of the way
- We decided to not try for my third survey, because that one had location markers in its note that we hadn’t found yet, so we utilized Spellscar Wayshrine to boing back to Alinor
- Don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I did level up to 36, so returning to Alinor meant I was able to make a whole new set of armor with the next level of materials
- Got all the armor made but wasn’t yet happy with styling and coloring
- Ran writs, then logged off for the night
- Brief session; popped in long enough to get daily reward
- Fucked around with armor styles a little but didn’t change from current Breton look with green and brown color scheme
- Went out scrying for antiquities
- Got another couple rounds of the decanter on Summerset just to pull in a few hundred gold
- Found a few extra loot items from false dig sites but also bonus items in the actual one
- Returned to Alinor to sell stuff, then returned to room for the night
Paul tells me he’s really grooving on the Antiquities system now that we’re both able to do it. He’s actually spent more time on it than I have, and he’s pulled in quite a pretty chunk of change doing it. I’m clearly going to need to spend a bit more time on this, just because it seems more immediately profitable than running writs, maybe? Paul’s to a point where he’s starting to consider purchasing an actual house for K’sragi. I’m not there yet, but I’m starting to build up a credible balance in my bank account.
I appreciated running around Summerset looking for the missing cursed artifacts from the standpoint of just exploring the island. But I was underwhelmed by the end of that quest, since all I got out of it was an achievement, and the Fan of False-Face. Yay? It would have been nice if the Relicmaster might have at least said something grateful for my going to all that work for him!
Running the quest to find the time breaches, on the other hand, is still entertaining. In no small part because of the commentary from the Augur of the Obscure. <3
Looking for the breaches in the Alik’r Desert, too, answered a question I’d had earlier–i.e., that yes, I could in fact have Dominion forces be hostile to me. Even though I, in theory, am affiliated with the Aldmeri Dominion. But I definitely pissed off the Dominion forces camped out near one of those breaches I had to get to!
It took me a considerable amount of time to make it through Stormhaven and then Bangkorai. Partly because of just trying to constantly check the map against where I needed to be, but also for how there were hostiles all over the damn place. Particularly in Bangkorai, through which I had to constantly double back on paths I’d taken before, just to try to avoid the hostiles swarming the area.
And eventually I did have to recruit Paul, who’d gotten into Craglorn before me, to show me the path he’d taken to get in. Even with him along, we found Craglorn a bit much for us to handle! I’d seen on the wiki that the place was originally intended as a group adventure zone, but had been scaled down a bit with the One Tamriel update. Even given that, just getting through Craglorn without actually trying to run any delves or anything was challenging. Particularly near Spellscar, which had atronachs swarming the place.
Ultimately, the most satisfying part of all of this activity was finally making it to level 36. Because that was the point at which I could upgrade what materials I could use for my gear! So now I’ve got a set of armor that’s a mix of spidersilk (for the hat, mostly because I don’t care for the High Elf styles of helmet for either the medium or heavy armors), thick leather, and dwarven metal.
Paul and I just have to do the epilogue of the Summerset plot (though that feels pretty optional at this point?), and then we’ll have an appointment to go see a Hooded Figure.
Editing to add
- 11/25/2022: Missed a screenshot! I had just the one, but I’m adding it here for amusing commentary out of one of the Antiquarians about the decanters I keep sending them.
The Psijic time breach quests take the protagonist all over Summerset and many other Tamriel zones, so they must be very tough for someone who did not have a year in advance to find wayshrines all over the place. I remember the adventure of exploration: first a zone is a maze of strange places and hostile forces, later it is a map of strange places with hostiles in areas to avoid, and finally it is a map of familiar places and resources, some guarded by hostiles.
As for Dominion forces attacking my Dominion characters, they still attack my Dominion characters who are publicly known to be a best friend of Ayrenn, Queen of the Dominion, and famous as the hero who defeated Molag Bal. NPCs are terribly clueless. Since those NPCs are often committing war crimes, I roleplay that their commander doesn’t want my character reporting their atrocities back to Razum-dar or Queen Ayrenn. Or maybe they just didn’t recognize me and assumed that I was a local since some Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit live in other factions.
Craglorn is intimidating. Cync had to visit there at low level once and she repeatedly encountered the warning, “Entering Group Area,” which sounds deadly. Some group areas as a deadly as World Bosses and other group areas are harmless until the crystal in the center is activated. But the most deadly things out in the open in Craglorn are the Celestial Rifts (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Celestial_Rift). They look like Mages Guild portals, but activating one opens up a world of hurt. Sometimes, four warriors can be seen standing around a Celestial Rift. That means that the rift is already active, has killed or chased off whoever activated it, and will erupt into a full attack on anyone else who gets close. In Craglorn “celestial” means dangerous, due to the Star-Gazer crisis that corrupted the constellations.
I like challenge of the overland route to Craglorn: Start in Daggerfall in Glenumbra, run across Glenumbra to Stormhaven, run across Stormhaven to Bangkorai, and run to east central Bangkorai south of the cliff to the gate to Craglorn. However, the capital cities of Elden Root, Mournhold, and Wayrest have a caravan for fast travel to Belkarth in Craglorn (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Star-Gazer_Herald).
Craglorn was released in two separate releases, Lower Craglorn and later Upper Craglorn. That is why reaching Upper Craglorn from Lower Craglorn is so difficult: only two paths connect the two, though characters in Upper Craglorn can jump down cliffs into Lower Craglorn. Upper Craglorn used to be the only place with the nirncrux mineral necessary for the ninth trait Nirnhoned on gear (https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Nirncrux). Now nirncrux can be found in any ore, wood, or fabric node anywhere in Craglorn, about one time out of thirty. Some people regularly farm Craglorn for nirncrux. I save mine for master crafting writs that ask for nirnhoned gear.
Ooh yeah Paul discovered the Celestial Rifts when he got into Craglorn ahead of me! And discovered the hard way why triggering those is a very bad idea. I actually spotted two of them while we were there together, but at his wise council, declined to activate them. 😉
I saw that messaging about “Entering Group Area” / “Leaving Group Area”, yeah. That triggered in the area around Defunct Nirncrux Mine, which is where I had to be for the blacksmithing survey I was trying to run.
Thanks for the tip about the caravan! I figured there had to be some safe means of travel to get there, but I’m enjoying trying to find the overland routes!
Circumnavigating mainland Tamriel on foot is almost possible and becomes closer to possible with further chapters. A character could start in Eastmarch, walk to The Rift, then Stonefalls with a side trip to Bal Foyen, return to Stonefalls to walk to Deshann, then Shadowfen, then Blackwood, then Northern Elsweyer, and branch to either Reaper’s March or Grahtwood. The Valenwood area of Reaper’s March, Malabal Tor, Greenshade, and Grathwood have several gates to each other, missing only a direct connection between Reaper’s March and Greenshade.
We also have that Stormhaven has gates or bridges to Glenumbra, Rivenspire, Wrothgar, and Bangkorai, plus Bangkorai has its own gates to Wrothgar and Craglorn.
The non-island zones of Alik’r Desert, Hew’s Bane, Gold Coast, Southern Elsweyr, and Murkmire are currently isolated, but that might change.
Western Skyrim connects to The Reach, its own DLC. Cyrodiil is a special case, because it can be entered only via the Alliance War mechanism. And island zones have to be reached via ships.
Cool, thanks for laying that out!
It’s still pretty likely that at some point I’ll want to get more content DLCs, but I’m definitely not done exploring the ones I’ve got. Right now I’m just to the point of just looking at all of them and finding survey materials and such. Actually running local quests is a whole other ballgame. This’ll be a while yet. 😀