In Which Kendis is Revealed as Dragonborn
Kendis’ third session sees her fighting Mirmulnir at the Western Watchtower, discovering Alik’r warriors seeking a Redguard fugitive, thwarting an attempt to assassinate the Jarl, and acquiring the Bow of Shadows!
Play by play
- Play date: 12/9/2022
- Session number in this run: 3
- Picked up where I left off at the inn
- Headed up to Dragonsreach to report in and turn in the Dragonstone
- Cue Irileth and guardsman arriving with news of the dragon, and my being asked to go along and help fight the dragon
- Tried to leave Dragonsreach with Irileth—and the game crashed!
- Only thrown back to coming into Dragonsreach though, so re-did turning in the Dragonstone, and re-cue my being asked to help fight the dragon
- Went down to the guard muster to listen to Irileth’s pep talk, then headed out with her squad
- Mirmulnir killed me with fire three times this time, I think? Finally got him on the fourth round through
- Cue the WUT WHY IS THE DRAGON ON FIRE, and also, HOLY SHIT YOU’RE DRAGONBORN!
- Nabbed all the loot off the dragon, and a few things off nearby dead guard, which of course meant: overloaded!
- Cue the Greybeards going BOOM as I tromped slowly and overloadedly back into Whiterun
- Cue the Alik’r warriors being given shit by the guards
- Sold excess stuff at the Huntsman
- Alik’r warrior pinged me on the way out asking for help finding Saadia
- Headed up to report in at Dragonsreach, and got the directive to go to High Hrothgar, and got proclaimed thane
- Oddly enough Lydia didn’t give me the usual “the jarl has made me your thane” speech; instead she did the “friendly NPC gives you a random gift” thing, and she gave me Fine Boots! <3
- Did not, however, immediately set out for the Throat of the World; important resting to attend to!
- Went down to the inn and rented a room again and crashed
- Got up the next morning and chopped 12 rounds of firewood; sold them to Hulda
- Talked to Saadia and got her OH SHIT THE ALIK’R ARE AFTER ME confrontation
- Went into Arcadia’s shop and sold her all the dragon bits and then bought a bunch of her ingredients; she had fire salts 😀
- Made a bunch of potions to bump up Alchemy, which got me to the point of an available level up
- Bought food from Belethor
- Did another 6 rounds of firewood and went to the forge to make camping supplies
- Returned to Dragonsreach and destroyed things on Farengar’s enchanter table: the weapon i’d brought out of Bleak Falls Barrow for the cold enchantment, and the hide armor I got from the Jarl for the Alteration enchantment
- Decided it was time to then proceed with the Bow of Shadows plot
- Went into the Hall of the Dead
- Talked to Andurs the priest to get his quest to get his amulet back; I told him the gods aren’t a big part of my life, but I think this was Kendis stressing out about current events
- Killed a skeleton, Lydia killed the other
- Read the note by the cheese
- Third skeleton killed me before I could get to the amulet, but only thrown back to coming into the catacombs
- This time killed both initial skeletons with the Axe of Whiterun so filled a couple of petty soul gems (because this time the Axe of Whiterun has a soul trap enchantment, fuck yeah)
- Re-read the cheese note
- Let Lydia kill the third skeleton
- Got the amulet and returned it to the priest
- Went down to the stable to investigate and found the dead stable hand; got his note and his spellbook of Detect Life
- By then it was fairly late so time to crash at the inn; did some cooking including making hot potato soup with the fire salts!
- Slept and took the level up to 8; took additional One-handed perk
- Next day’s agenda: heading over to Silent Moons Camp
- Not successful at hunting en route, but did find a thing I hadn’t seen before: a skeletal hand sticking up out of a small pond, holding a sword, LOL
- Lyds and I took out the bandits! (At least, the ones exterior to the camp, and up by the forge)
- Swiped most of their stuff, and their food
- Did a little smithing at the Lunar Forge so I wouldn’t have to carry the iron ingots I found; improved some of the bandit armor I was carrying; I think this got me a new level up?)
- Got overloaded but compensated by nomming foods
- Mined the nearby silver veins
- Made it unburdened back to Whiterun
- Hastened up to Dragonsreach to deal with the assassin; pretty neat to see the Jarl and his brother attacking the fucker 😉
- A trifle confused that he wasn’t dead until I realized right, I have to deliver the killing blow
- FUCK YEAH BOW OF SHADOWS \0/
- Gave Lydia the Axe of Whiterun and also the Imperial bow I’d been using since it was the best other bow I had on me
- Got payment from Proventus for taking out the assassin
- Went over to the enchanter table and enchanted a couple pieces of bandit loot jewelry; sold those to Farengar and bought spellbooks off him (Bound Sword, Frostbite, Muffle, Healing Hands)
- Went down to the forge and bought more leather from Adrianne
- Sold a few things to Belethor
- Returned to the inn and took a nap for level up to 9; took next Light Armor perk
- Stopped there until next time
I have certainly had my share of game crashes in Skyrim, but I gotta admit, having it crash on me just as I was heading out to help Irileth and the guards kill Mirmulnir was a new one.
I’m not exactly sure what was happening there. I do know that just before the crash happened, Irileth wasn’t moving properly towards the doors. I tried to get her to move by going back to stand near her, which sometimes works for moving NPCs slower than me along.
Fortunately, the second time through worked smoothly!
This time through I had to take some amusement at Balgruuf’s justification for sending me out to help fight the dragon:
“You survived Helgen, so you have more experience with dragons then anyone else here.”
And you know why I survived Helgen? Because I knew that dragon was fucking terrifying and I stayed the hell out of the way of fire breath! Which is basically also my strategy for taking out Mirmulnir. Let the better armored and armed housecarl and guards do most of the shooting, and pop out from under cover only when I can take my own shot.
The Alik’r warriors looking for Saadia hits different when I’m playing a Redguard. I feel like Kendis would be relieved that there are at least a few Redguards in Whiterun–not only Saadia, but also Amren and Saffir, and Ahlam and Nazeem. So she would perhaps have felt like she wasn’t entirely out of place in the city.
But it had to make her nervous to see Alik’r warriors showing up looking for a fugitive Redguard woman. She was probably slightly afraid that they were coming after her, and not entirely comforted that they didn’t seem to recognize her even though she was very clearly a Redguard woman.
And the warrior’s line describing their quarry hits a little differently this time too:
“A woman — a foreigner in these lands. Redguard, like us. She is likely not using her true name.”
That “us” expands a little, when you’re also a Redguard! But Kendis could not have helped but notice that these warriors didn’t ask her for her name.
(We know from the behavior of the warriors in the game that they wander around the countryside interrogating random Redguard women, until one of the two realizes that whatever woman they’re talking to doesn’t have “the scar”. So clearly they have enough of a description of Saadia to use that as an identifying detail. Though as I write this, I also realize that I’m not sure I’ve actually seen a scar on Saadia? The picture of her on the wiki doesn’t seem to have one.)
Any way you slice it, though, this definitely feels like a “side with Saadia this time through” situation. Because since Kendis herself ran off from Hammerfell, I feel like she’d be way more sympathetic to Saadia’s side of the story than Kematu’s.
More on this when I get to the “confronting Kematu” point of the plot!
Getting Lydia as housecarl this time through actually started differently this time! Usually any housecarl will greet you by saying “The Jarl has appointed me to be your housecarl,” and such. This time through, though, Lyds triggered a known thing where an NPC who has a high enough disposition with you will give you a random gift:
“i’m glad we’re friends. I have something for you. Here.”
And she gave me a pair of Fine Boots! An “I’m happy to be your housecarl” present! What a nice Lydia! I think Kendis is going to be very partial to her for being so welcoming. <3
I also figure that right after asking Lydia what the hell being a thane is, she’d also hit her up for info on where exactly High Hrothgar is:
Kendis, once they’re out of earshot of the court: “Can I ask you a stupid question?”
Lydia: “You’re new to our city, my thane, I don’t think any questions you have would be stupid. How can I help?”
Kendis: “Where in Oblivion is High Hrothgar? If it’s that important for me to go, I’d better find it, but I have no idea where it is…? Seven thousand steps? Throat of the World? I got nothing.”
Lydia, chuckling: “Come with me, let me show you something.” (She takes Kendis just outside Whiterun to the stables, and points off to the southeast.) “See that mountain? The big one, not the nearby peaks. That’s the Throat of the World.”
Kendis: “That… looks very, very tall. And very, very cold.”
Lydia, the brawny Nord, cheerfully: “It’ll be a little brisk. We’ll want to bundle up.”
Side note to this: I’m not entirely sure if I can in fact see the Throat of the World from within or next to Whiterun. I think so now that I’ve done a search for it, but now I’m going to have to check! (How can I have played six straight Skyrim playthroughs and not realized you can see the Throat of the World from Whiterun? Clearly I don’t look up enough!)
Heading into the Hall of the Dead to do Andurs’ amulet quest and the investigation for the Bow of Shadows quest gave me another brief opportunity for character development. Andurs asks the player upon greeting them if they believe in “mighty Arkay”.
I told him that the gods were not a big part of my life–but I feel like this may be just a stress reaction on Kendis’ part. She just had a big shock dropped on her with the whole Surprise, You’re Dragonborn thing. So I think she’s beginning to realize that the gods are a much bigger part of her life than she previously anticipated, when all she really wanted was to just get to the College of Winterhold and study magic!
This is now my eighth official Skyrim playthrough, in parallel with the seventh, and I’m still finding things I’d never seen before. Like the skeletal hand holding a sword, sticking up out of a small pond between Whiterun and Silent Moons Camp. Lady of the Lake, Skyrim style? LOLOL.
Reminder to Future Me: when going after the assassin in Dragonsreach, you do have to deliver the killing blow to the guy. Any other NPCs on site, up to and including the Jarl, may attack him. But you have to be the one to kill him.
And all things considered, it’s probably best for Jarl Balgruuf that Kendis did not head out immediately to High Hrothgar. 😉
I’ve already played another session after this one, and that one features Kendis checking out Valtheim Towers to recover Amren’s lost sword!