I actually have three sessions queued up to write about, but this is a single session post on the general grounds that it is Main Quest, and I feel this bit stands better on its own.
Done in this session: reaching the Harborage in Vulkhel Guard, and receiving a gigantic infodump of exposition from the Prophet; and venturing back into Coldharbour to rescue Lyris Titanborn.
Play by play
- Play date: 12/3/2022
- Session number in this run: 60
- Finished futzing with my level 38 armor and got to a white/gray/black color scheme I kinda like
- It felt appropriate for Gyllerah having frigging died and now being a weird vestige of herself
- Boinged to Vulkhel Guard to try to follow up on the Harborage thing
- Got a quest prompt for it as soon as I arrived in the city, so went over to follow the marker to the Harborage
- Found the Prophet inside and had a long conversation with him; he admitted me into his thoughts and did a boatload of exposition:
- History of the Five Companions
- Shocker, Mannimarco is a murderous lying bastard traitor
- And now Gyllerah has a big big reason to be sympathetic to the Prophet because oh hey he has memory issues too; she now suspects she may be a victim of the Soulburst
- The Prophet urged me to regather the Five Companions (or at least, y’know, the ones that aren’t murderous lying bastard traitors); told me to let him meditate to try to locate Lyris in Coldharbour
- Went out to explore a little, but it didn’t take long for the Prophet to ping me and tell me to come back
- When I returned, he opened a portal to send me to Coldharbour to rescue Lyris
- She’d been imprisoned and nearly broken; I had to run several objectives to restore her spirits:
- Resolving her grief about her father
- Getting her armor and battleaxe back
- Killing the huge terriifying multi-eyed monster that was the key source of her terrors
- Killed a bunch of dremora as we made our way through
- Got a vision of one of her companions, Sai Sahan, being tortured for his knowledge of where the Amulet of Kings is
- Also got an astral ping from Abnur Tharn who is apparently not as much of a traitor as Lyris and the Prophet thought?
- Got Lyris safely out and reunited with the Prophet
- Let him work on finding Sai Sahan; he pinged me again shortly after
- Both of these quests (finding the Harborage, rescuing Lyris) got me a couple more skill points; dropped them on Woodworking to bump me up to using yew, and on Blacksmithing to bump me up to using calcinium
- Went back to Alinor to work on writs; was lacking the higher tier materials
- Went back to Reaper’s March to try to find that blacksmithing survey spot i’d been looking for before
- Main locale found en route: Arenthia, which apparently was suffering an invasion, as I belatedly discovered after I actually got in there and found several of the gates barred
- Got back out again and finally worked my way to the spot; got a mix of dwarven ore and calcinium
- Boinged back to Alinor
- Finished all writs and parked in room for the night
Main quest commentary
This is the part where I say that I’d read up a little on details of the main plot, and I’d read about the Prophet having memory issues as a result of the Soulburst. That, right there, is what led me to think I could do something similar with Gyllerah, by way of explaining why she’s a little amnesiac, and also why she’s a little displaced in time (i.e., why she keeps running quests out of apparent chronological order).
So when I went to the Harborage to meet up with the Prophet and get his massive dose of exposition, I feel like this would have been a character defining encounter for Gyllerah, on a similar scale to “getting killed and waking up in Coldharbour an apparent vestige of her original living self”. Because now that she’s talked with the Prophet, a lot more things about her recent existence are starting to make sense. She’s suspecting she may also be a victim of this Soulburst the Prophet told her about. And she’s wondering if the dread she’s felt with the Dark Anchors she’s already spotted is tied to what she just went through in Coldharbour.
She’s got huge sympathy for the Prophet now. And she’s very inclined to work with him just on general solidarity grounds.
And as soon as she learned that Mannimarco was one of the Five Companions, that had to have provoked a powerful reaction out of her. She’d remember seeing that asshole’s face as she died, and that she’d seen visions of him squaring off against Vanus Galerion in the Traitor’s Vault. Up until now she’d known of him only as a name of someone evidently extremely dangerous.
Now she knows that he is an active force now, and that furthermore, he’s responsible for her death and the general fucked up state of her existence.
Her awareness of him is now extremely fucking personal.
When the Prophet told her to go away for a little bit so that he could meditate and try to locate Lyris, I envision Gyllerah stepping back out into the nearby surroundings, feeling very shaken and detached from the city around her. Probably fortunately for Gyllerah, it didn’t take long for the Prophet to ping me to come back. And that’s when the real meat of this session started.
Because now that the Prophet had dumped a metric shitton of exposition on me, he followed this up with “okay, ready to go back to Coldharbour? Y’know, the place you went when you died?”
And here, I think Gyllerah agreed not only by virtue of being a Player Character(TM), but also because of that weird detachment I’m seeing her experiencing here. Part of her going “I should really be freaking out about this more than I am”, and part of her going “But Lyris rescued my ass so I need to go back in and rescue her.”
So back into Coldharbour she went!
And I already knew I liked Lyris, but this second jaunt into Coldharbour really cemented that. Needing to break her out of the mental torment being inflicted on her was a splendid way for the game to introduce elements of her backstory to you, leavened with fighting action–because of course, you have to fight a lot of daedric beasties to help her break out.
It was super satisfying, too, to get her armor and battleaxe back to her. <3
The Prophet did find Sai Sahan just about as quickly as he found Lyris (which raises intriguing questions of how exactly he’s doing this finding). But I paused quest action there just because I wanted some writ work.
One thing I hadn’t caught before on forays through the wiki, though, was that Abnur Tharn was one of the Five Companions. Which made me wonder if that pending question I had about going to see him was a thing blocked by not doing enough of the main quest yet? I looked it up and found that the quest I have pending with him is apparently the prologue for the dragon-related zone action in Northern Elsweyr.
So dubious about whether I should launch that yet. I think I should get to the point of actually meeting Tharn in the main quest first.
And let me note for the record that I do actually know who the Prophet really is, because I did see that in passing while browsing the wiki. What I don’t know yet is how that information is revealed to the player. So that’s going to be quite the reveal when Gyllerah finds out!
Meanwhile, back to Reaper’s March
Writ running this time gave me a chance to return to Reaper’s March to find that survey locale I hadn’t been able to find before. This let me find the usual assortment of wayshrines and other locations, the most significant of which was the city Arenthia.
Which, as I discovered when I got there, was actually being invaded. I only found this out when I got into the city proper and started being attacked by random soldiers–and then found that I couldn’t actually get through any of the gates I encountered. Yikes?
I even wound up seeing a projected message to the citizenry from the general of the invading forces, and wasn’t that just barrels of cheer.
I finally wound up scrambling to find a way back out of the place, because it felt like way more plot than I wanted to deal with right that moment. And I did finally get back out again, and track down the survey locale.
Continuing the theme of “Gyllerah is more freaked out than she’d like to admit by current events”, I went to Khenarthi’s Roost to follow up on what are supposed to be starter quests once you get out of Coldharbour. And which I’m only playing now, which means I’m meeting Razum-dar all over again. See previous commentary re: Gyllerah’s life not being in chronological order!