Elder Scrolls Online,  Gyllerah Playthrough

In Which Gyllerah Becomes an Eye of the Queen

In theory this is another multi-session post. But in actual practice, this is one session with actual plot in it, and three in which I basically didn’t do anything but writs. 😉 Main action: saving Queen Ayrenn from being assassinated! And by extension, actually meeting the Queen! Go me!

Play by play

  • Play dates: 12/6-12/9/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 63-66

Tuesday’s play

  • Boinged from Khenarthi’s Roost over to Vulkhel Guard (convenient being able to boing to houses)
  • Explored a little just to find out where all the merchants and craft tables are
  • Heard the nearby Dark Anchor fire off, but did not go to investigate, I wouldn’t have gotten over there fast enough
  • Picked up where I left off in the Hostile Situation plot–and was immediately arrested by the watch captain and thrown into prison with the dead agent
  • And there was Razum-dar to break me out!
  • Snuck out past the one guard in the place
  • Tried to get past the manor guards, only to have one clock me in the face and tell me I wasn’t allowed past
  • Followed Raz’s suggestion to go speak with the merchant Eshaba in the market; slipped her a code phrase and she pointed me at the chest behind her, which had a convenient guard disguise in it
  • Used it to get past the manor guards
  • Reported in to the battlereeve that oh shit there’s an assassination plot, and the watch captain is going to kill the Queen! Got first look at the actual Queen there, too
  • Battlereeve tried to tell me to fuck off, but the Queen overheard us and in particular, how I mentioned Razum-dar, so she gave her leave to investigate this further
  • Battlereeve and I went over to investigate the temple, and oh hey look the watch captain! And assassin minions! We fought them all, leading to the final fight with the captain herself
  • She packed a pretty decent punch but took her out without much trouble
  • Reported back to the Queen, who proclaimed an official Eye of the Queen! Nice!
  • She asked me to help her out at her next stop, Tanzelwil
  • But I paused there and logged out for the night since I’d already done double writs the day before

Wednesday’s play

  • Ran writs; was able to do five of them with my mats
  • Had to pull ingredients for cooking out of the bank, and went out to hunt for kresh fiber, but didn’t find enough
  • So wound up having to buy some from one of the Guild Traders but by god I got 200 of it, and then 5 more off the writ reward, LOL
  • But finished writs
  • Boinged back home to Moonmirth and logged off

Thursday’s and Friday’s play

  • Ran writs, no significant action otherwise


I don’t think I’d appreciated before that there’s a Dark Anchor spawn point within visual range of Vulkhel Guard. When I was exploring the city on 12/6, I heard that thing fire off twice, and actually saw the visuals from within the city itself.

And it’s probably a good thing that the game’s NPCs don’t seem to react to Dark Anchors firing off, or equivalents like the geysers on Summerset. Because I should think that kind of noise and that kind of visual fireworks would be pretty fucking scary to the general populace, and of severe concern to local leadership.

But of more immediate actual concern to the local leadership, I picked up where I’d left off with the Hostile Situation plot. Which involved reporting back to Watch Captain Astanya–and being immediately arrested, and accused of plotting the assassination of the Queen.

And I gotta take a moment to step back and eye this plot. Because what this boils down to is, essentially, this corrupt watch captain nabbing a stranger off the streets, recruiting her to ostensibly help the town watch with a couple of problems–and then immediately framing her for attempted assassination. This makes no goddamn sense to me, narrative-wise.

Because here’s the thing: the plot starts with Astanya explicitly asking you to go help Steward Eminwe and Advisor Norion with problems. You gather evidence from this, and go back and report to Astanya, who sends you over to talk with a couple members of the watch who’ve cornered Fasion. You talk to Fasion, and learn that oh shit, Astanya is corrupt! She’s the one behind the assassination attempt!

And then the plot wants you to go right back to Astanya. The person you just found out is theoretically corrupt. And who, of course, immediately arrests you–because you’re carrying the evidence from the problems she just explicitly asked you to go help the watch with.

The wiki says Astanya has bribed other members of the watch to help her out with this. It doesn’t say that she also bribed Eminwe and Norion–but I feel like it’s possible the corrupt members of the watch could certainly lean on them to make sure they don’t try to deliver testimony in your favor.

But here’s the part I have to give the side-eye: when Fasion warns you that Astanya is corrupt, the plot wants you to go right back to Astanya. This makes no sense to me. If you’ve just been warned that the captain of the watch is corrupt and planning to kill the Queen, why in Divines’ name would you go right back to this person to report in? Why would you not try to find a higher authority to report to?

Like, say, the Queen?

Gyllerah’s coming back into this plot right on the heels of having rooted out corruption in Mistral. So she’s seen firsthand how that can fuck up the power structure in a city. I should think that if she’s got evidence, she’d find that taking that evidence right back to the person she’d just been warned about would be extremely stupid.

And heh, yes, I get it, I had to do this because this was the way the plot was scripted out. I’m just saying, I take some ISSUES with this as a plot choice. 😉

I also found Razum-dar breaking me out of prison and sending me off to talk to his associate in the market a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief, too. This was another point where I felt the lack of Skyrim-style sneaking, because it was stupidly easy to get out of the prison. I just had to sneak past one guard.

And then go to the market, in broad daylight, to talk to Eshaba and get the guard uniform from her. I am having a hard time buying that if Astanya is that corrupt, and has in fact bribed members of the watch to arrange to frame and arrest me, that they’d at least have half a clue what I look like and would spot me going through the market in broad daylight.

I really feel like Raz should just have brought you that guard disguise directly. That would have made a lot more sense. And also, I should think that if the manor guards spotted me trying to go by them once, they should bloody well have remembered my face the second time I went by, just wearing different armor.

And for that matter, if Razum-dar knows you’re innocent, why the actual fuck is he not actually going to talk to the Queen? Why doesn’t he take your evidence that you’ve gathered, as well as Fasion’s accusation, and report in?

Answer: because he’s an NPC and you’re the player character, so you have to do that work. BUT STILL.

Editing to add: Just realized why exactly Astanya’s plot strikes me as weird. Because she has you thrown in jail and then she goes to set up for assassinating the queen. How exactly does throwing me in jail and then going to assassinate the queen serve her purpose? Because I’m already in jail, and I’m therefore not able to actually go kill the Queen, so how does this help her? It would have made much more sense if she’d arranged to dupe me into being in the assassination spot with her, and then she knocks me out and claims she’s captured a dangerous assassin!

Now all that said, at least the climax of the plot was fun. I really liked meeting Queen Ayrenn, who seems awesome, and a lot cooler than the Proxy Queen. I’ll look forward to seeing more of her.

The final fight with the watch captain was decently exciting, too. Astanya packed a pretty decent punch, enough to make fighting her a bit of an effort without being too challenging.

And I’d kind of wondered whether at some point the player would get named an Eye of the Queen. In this plot, I found out that the answer to this question was yes. Because Ayrenn did in fact offer me that position, and now I’m in the same elite spy force as Raz. Awesome. <3

And oh yeah, one thing I can say about the writ running: I’d kind of thought that I’d vary things up a bit and start running writs on Auridon, now that a bunch of my forthcoming RP is going to be centered there. But so far I’m kind of not liking that Vulkhel Guard is super crowded, and the ability to run writs there somewhat less convenient. So right now I’m still doing my writ activity on Summerset. I’ll do a bit more exploration of Vulkhel Guard with this in mind, but so far I’m not expecting to change this immediately.

Next time

Paul’s working on catching up with me in the Auridon plotline, so we can work through the overall Aldmeri Dominion plotline together. But I have a couple other minor side plots I can pursue while he works on that. I’ll probably try to knock down a couple of those, just to having something besides writ running to do.

And I suppose now that I’m an actual Eye of the Queen, I am now expressly affiliated with the Aldmeri Dominion, as opposed to just being part of the Dominion by virtue of being an Altmer. So that’ll factor into future storytelling with this character!


Editing to add

  • 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.


  • Erin Schram

    I had not noticed the plot hole in Hostile Situation. Mostly that is because I was more upset about the railroading to get my character thrown in jail, but also because I assumed that my character had acquired a reputation in Khenarthi’s Roost as a good investigator and Watch Captain Astanya wanted him locked up before he could report to Razum-dar. And my protagonist is easily played as confident that he could defeat Astanya upon confronting her face to face, since he has defeated so many others. A knockout during a cut scenes is cheating.

    A conversation between NPCs in the plaza west of the Barbed Hook Tavern in Skywatch talks about the corrupt watch captain in Vulkhel Guard, but I think the corruption was demanding bribes rather than insurrection.

    You said, “I also found Razum-dar breaking me out of prison and sending me off to talk to his associate in the market a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief, too.” One of the other solutions to getting inside the wall is finding the gap where the wall was never finished in the northwest. That is also hard to swallow. Why wasn’t a guard posted there, too? The most believeable solution is walking northeast along the beach to the out-of-town entrance to the Outlaw’s Refuge and departing the refuge by the grating inside the wall. All Outlaw Refugees have one secret entrance inside town and one outside of town.

    Most quests that involve a disguise as a guard have a few sentry antagonists who will recognize the protagonist as disguised. The sentries are marked in some way for the character to see them and avoid them. But this quest left out that risk.

    As for running Crafting Writs in Vulkhel Guard, in my opinion the crafting set-up there is above average. It has the common problem of distancing the woodworking station from the other crafting areas, but the drop-off point is not far away like in Grahtwood.

    • Angela Korra'ti

      Ah, so I am not alone in finding thie implementation of that plot frustrating!

      Ha, I didn’t know about the gap in the wall! (Because I hadn’t read the wiki closely enough, perhaps! I try to avoid reading the wiki about a particular stage of a plot unless I get actively lost.) But that is interesting to know for any future alts. 😀

      I did know about certain disguises not always being effective, though. And I agree that there should have been an element of that here.

      And noted about the Vulkhel Guard crafting setup, thank you. 🙂

  • Erin Schram

    My ratings of the crafting areas that have crafting writ boards near them:

    Aldmeri Dominion
    1. Vulkhel Guard in Auridon: Above average. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    2. Elden Root in Grahtwood: Average for crafting writs due to distant drop-off, better for deconstruction due to the adjacent bank. Used moderately often due to quests sending me there.
    3. Marbruk in Greenshade: Below average due to stations scattered about. Rarely used.
    4. Velyn Harbor in Malabal Tor: Above average after One Fell Swoop quest is finished, but closed down while pirates hold the town. Rarely used.
    5. Rawl’kha in Reaper’s March: Good. The best in the non-chapter zones. Everything is close and both the bank and the drop-off are nearby. Amy’s Frostmuffin primary residence is Sleek Creek House for fast travel there. This is my most frequent crafting location out of habit.

    Ebonheart Pact
    6. Davon’s Watch in Stonefalls: Below Average due to long stairway to drop-off. Used occassionally by my low-level EP character.
    7. Mornhold in Deshaan: Average. The bank is hard to find, but I memorized its location. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    8. Stormhold in Shadowfen: Above Average. Used by my character Squares-the-Circle because he views Stormhold as home.
    9. Windhelm in Eastmarch: Poor due to scattered crafting areas. Rarely used.
    10. Riften in the Rift: Above Average. Used rarely because the quests to in the Rift seldom send my character to Riften.

    Daggerfall Covenant
    11. Daggerfall in Glenumbra: Below Average because woodworking is across the river. Rarely used.
    12. Wayrest in Stormhaven: Poor due to scattering across the city. Second worst in the game. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    13. Shornhelm in Rivenspire: Average. Rarely used.
    14. Sentinel in Alik’r Desert: Below Average. Used frequently because Sentinel is my farming spot for alchemy ingredients.
    15. Evermore in Bangkorai: Average. Rarely used.

    Non-faction Main-game zones
    16. The Hollow City in Coldharbour: Poor. Worst in game and not fully active until several Coldharbor quests are completed. Rarely used.
    17. Orsinium in Wrothgar: Below Average. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    18. Abah’s Landing in Hew’s Bane: Below Average due to the city being a maze. Rarely used.
    19. Belkarth in Craglorn: Above Average. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.

    Chapter Zones
    20. Vivec City in Vvardenfell: Good. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    21. Alinor in Summerset: Good. Used occassionally due to quests sending me there.
    22. Rimmen in Northern Elsweyr: Good. Second best in game. Used occassionally due to quality.
    23. Solitude in Western Skyrim: Above Average. Rarely used.
    24. Leyawiin in Blackwood: Good. Best in game, but Rimmen is more familiar to me. Used occassionally.
    25. Gonfalon Bay in High Isel: Above Average. Used frequently this year due to hanging in the newest chapter and the nearby location of Ancient Anchor Berth residence for fast travel.

    That is 3 Poor, 6 Below Average, 4 Average, 7 Above Average, and 5 Good. Mistakenly, the list at https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Online:Crafting_Writ_Boards leaves off Solitude and Leyawiin. My Average rating might be less than average because the best crafting areas were added after I defined average.