Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Harrowhark Explores Whiterun and Mod Problems

This is a somewhat short-ish post and doesn’t have much in the way of actual action, since it was mostly all about my exploring Whiterun and the area right around it, to check out the changes introduced by mods. And I wanted to put this into its own post, since I do have a lot of commentary about the Anna NPCs mod, which I reluctantly decided to delete. And I didn’t want this to be in the same post with action in the posts immediately to come!


  • Play date: 11/25/2022
  • Session number in this run: 3
  • Spent some time exploring the modified Whiterun and the surrounding area, just to check out all the new stuff
  • Went out to check out the new tavern I’d spotted on the way to the western watchtower, but that proved very buggy and I had to delete the Anna NPCs mod, see below
  • Meanwhile, that still left me some good new stuff in Whiterun proper, so I visited the new enchanter shop and the new bakery
  • And yay, getting rid of Anna NPCs did not get rid of the dog and puppy <3
  • Jon Battle-Born had been moved from his hangout spot by Belethor’s! In his place: Jenassa!
  • Alik’r warriors at the gate hailed me and asked for any leads on the woman they’re looking for, so that got the In My Time of Need quest started
  • Saved until next time

My game apparently doesn’t like the Anna NPCs mod?

The Anna NPCs mod was recommended to me, and I’d felt like giving it a shot if nothing else just for amusement at the name. But as of this set of sessions, to my disappointment, I had to deactivate it out of the load order, for two reasons:

  1. Two of the NPCs in the new Azzadal’s Tears inn to the west of Whiterun had screwed-up heads on them, and
  2. The inn dropped to the east of Whiterun was problematically located and mooshed up against Tundra Homestead.

Now, the latter problem here apparently was fixable by an additional patch file provided on the mod’s page on Nexus. But I was not able to figure out how to fix the heads problem for Crystal and Ruby in the inn. From what I saw poking at the forum posts attached to that mods page, this is a known issue with this mod.

So, reluctantly, I pulled the mod out of my load order.

I will say this, though–from what little I saw of them, the four women hanging out in the inn did appear to be interesting characters. I really liked that they’re a bard group, and I especially liked that they had other instruments besides the standard Skyrim lute, drum, and flute on a shelf in the back of the room. By which I mean: a tiny guitar, a fiddle, and a mandolin!

(I will definitely have to explore a bit and see if there are other mods that add new instruments to the game. Or, if the Bards College one I’m running has done so!)

And even if Crystal and Ruby had screwed up heads, I noted with interest that one of them is supposed to be a vampire, and the other a werewolf. I don’t remember which of them was the vampire, but I did chat with her for a bit. And was amused that she was quite frank about being a vampire. Not something I’d expect most vampires to outright admit to complete strangers?

I was also amused by Azura, who notably had blue hair. And who, well, was named Azura. I feel like that’s a bold naming choice for an NPC in a society where people either actively revile or actively worship Daedric Princes, one of whom is in fact named Azura. I cannot imagine that either the Vigilants of Stendarr or a lot of Dunmer would take kindly to a character carrying that name around.

I was not clear though on what exactly they were doing in the tavern. None of them seemed to be functioning in the capacity of innkeeper. They were just hanging out, and periodically getting up to play, or then otherwise sitting at the fire or in various other chairs in the place.

And let me emphasize: that I deleted this mod from my load order is more of a me problem than with the mod itself. This is entirely because I just don’t have the mental bandwidth necessary to try to diagnose the problem and find out if a solution exists for the Crystal and Ruby head problem.

It’s absolutely possible that I could fix this by either of these general approaches:

  1. Was the mod conflicting with something else in my load order?
  2. Was it depending on some tool I didn’t have installed for everything to work correctly?

But either of these approaches requires mental bandwidth. Which, again, I do not currently have. I’d just as soon be actually playing the game.

Now that said: if anybody reading this has successfully used the Anna NPCs mod and knows of any steps to take that I might have missed, do let me know! I’d love to hear about them just for my own edification.

Let me also put in a word of caution here: I have read strong recommendations on various mod pages that it is generally a bad idea to try to uninstall a mod once you have a playthrough started.

I decided to take a chance here because the stuff in the Anna NPCs mod seems pretty well self-contained. Hopefully, I will not have borked my playthrough badly by this decision! We’ll find out.

Also, while I therefore no longer consider the encounter with the women in the inn part of Harrow’s canon, I’m keeping the screenshots anyway and featuring them on this post. Just because I did think they were pretty cool.

Other new Whiterun content

Even though I had to delete the Anna NPCs mod, that still left me plenty of interesting new content in Whiterun thanks to the Dawn of Skyrim mod! I really like the two new shops added, the enchanter shop and the bakery. And all of the new stalls, of which I’ve spotted four. Having a Dunmer and an Argonian visible and present in Whiterun really helps the city feel a lot more like the trade center it’s supposed to be, too! I’m kind of delighted that the Argonian sells cheese. And I like having another known Dunmer NPC in the city! Hopefully he gets along well with Irileth. <3

The new content does make Whiterun’s general layout less open than it was before, but not necessarily in a bad way. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic, just a little cozier. And it does make the little road behind Breezehome, the one that leads back around to the main market square, a bit more lively!

I liked the new stalls back there, the fishery one, the general food one, and one that appears to be specifically set up by the Black-Briar Meadery. Which amuses me on the general grounds of Maven Black-Briar clearly trying to get a foothold in Whiterun! And if the populace just has to visit her guy’s booth rather than walk all the way over to Honningbrew to get their mead, it’s easy septims for her, so there ya go.

It amuses me too that that vendor’s name is apparently Casimir. Not to be confused with the former name of the Dunmer priest over in Dawnstar! (I suppose it’s inevitable that names will be duplicated, with mods?)

And it is good to have another vendor available selling spells, especially.

Very curious about Silverwoof the dog and whether he’s adoptable! And there is also a PUPPY. Because Realistic Animals and Predators brings in young animals! PUPPY. <3 <3 <3

And I like, too, that now Whiterun has a town crier. This seems very appropriate! Somebody’s got to spread the news to the populace.

One more thing of high interest, particularly if you’re a Skyrim veteran sick and tired of hearing Jon Battle-Born going “You know what’s wrong with Skyrim these days?”

With this load order, he’s been moved from his hangout spot by Belethor’s! He’s still in Whiterun, he’s just hanging out in a different spot, and one which makes him a little bit more out of the way. In his place is now Jenassa!

Who, I might add, a) is not chatty at you every time you go by, and b) is wearing different armor than she does in the vanilla game. Looked like she had on Imperial light armor? I’ll have to check her again next time I go by her!

Next time

I’ve gotten in a couple more sessions since this one, and in those, you all will get to hear about my first encounters with Vilja!


Editing to add

  1. 11/29/2022: Had to fix the description of Casimir’s stall, because it’s a Black-Briar Meadery stall, not a Honningbrew one!
  2. 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.