Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendis Slays Silver Hands and Seeks the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

Another double session post. Major action here: going to Morthal, which took about all of the first session because Survival Mode; nearly freezing my pants off in Morthal, again because Survival Mode; claiming Myrwatch for desperately needed easy access to shelter; running Ustengrav; and last but not least, learning that Kodlak has a special task for me!

Play by play

  • Play dates: 1/3, 1/5/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 16-17

Tuesday’s play

  • Picked up at Breezehome
  • Bought more iron from Warmaiden’s
  • Sold a few things to Belethor
  • Headed out to get Lightning and ride to the farm
  • Stopped to buy things from Ri’saad since Khajiit were on site
  • Got horse, set out for the farm–and the game locked up, had to restart >_<
  • Thrown back to coming out of Whiterun
  • Bought things from Ri’saad and got horse, take two
  • This time rode safely to farm
  • Killed a few wolves en route on the road, also just outside the farm, close enough that Golldir spotted Lyds and me coming and got in on the wolf killing action
  • Crashed at the farmhouse for the night
  • Then got up and built out the rest of the property, so Golldir could have a proper place to sleep and also hire a couple of hands
  • Set out from there through Rorikstead and past currently non-spawned bandit crossroads
  • Did not go through Robber’s Gorge; diverted to the river which actually put me on course to Orotheim for Aela’s quest to kill a Silver Hand leader
  • Killed a sabre cat on the way
  • Ran Orotheim with no issues
  • Took a nap in there to rest up because inside sleeping spot
  • Looted the place on the way out
  • Killed a cave bear while trying to find a way down to the river that would let me not break Lightning’s legs (dubious about the realism of getting the horse down those rocks, LOL)
  • Nonetheless, made it down to the river and crossed it
  • Found a vampire and thrall that were apparently pretending to be in trouble? Not an encounter I think I’ve seen before; Lyds and I took them out
  • Aaaaand also another cave bear right after
  • Shortly after that, oh shiiiiit huge zombie horde, and also frostbite spiders
  • Rode like hell and reached Morthal–which was damn good timing because I got to the point of freezing
  • Ducked into the inn to warm up, and oh good, Lyds caught up
  • Heard Alva having a conversation with the innkeeper Jonna about how she wasn’t…. hungry; again, something I hadn’t heard before, ha!
  • Rented a room and crashed for the night
  • Got up with the intention of scoping out Myrwatch
  • Stopped at Lami’s shop on the way and made several potions and sold them to her, and also to warm up because it was raining and still kind of stupidly cold
  • Came back out aaaaaaand Blood Dragon because of course there was
  • Helped the guards take down the dragon, which crashed over by Jorgen’s mill
  • It took out at least one guard so I looted the guy’s stuff for the guard armor collection; also looted the dragon
  • Then tromped back over and sold Lami all the dragon bits and bought a bunch of ingredients off of her, including super critical fire salts
  • Then finally tromped over to find Myrwatch, but it was getting late-ish and the damn air made it to “frigid”, so had to deploy a hot soup to not freeze up
  • Made it over to Myrwatch and threw flame atronach at the chaurus outside, then looted the dead Hans and got the clue to trigger the seal on the place
  • Got in and claimed the place!
  • Dropped a bunch of building mats in the barrel next to the forge
  • Then slept for the night to rest up and warm up
  • Leveled up to 24 with this sleep; took Health bump and next perk in Enchanting
  • Dropped a bunch of items so I wouldn’t have to carry them in Ustengrav:
    • Armor onto various mannequins
    • Weapons onto plaques
    • Daggers into display cases
  • Since I bumped my enchanting, and had a grand soul gem, dropped a carry weight enchantment on a ring in my inventory
  • Thusly unburdened, set out to find out where the hell my horse got to; answer: just west of the mill
  • Mounted up and headed over to Ustengrav to hunt for the horn
  • Marked Movarth’s lair en route
  • Fought bandits at the bandit cave
  • Stepped inside Ustengrav and saved there for the night

Thursday’s play

  • Picked up in Ustengrav
  • Ran the place with no problems, nothing killed me
  • Got the word for Become Ethereal
  • Made it past the spiders and got to the Mysterious Note
  • Got boss loot and got out again
  • Slept at the bandit camp, right next to the dead guy, pleasant dreams!
  • Rode over in the morning to Myrwatch
  • Killed a couple of frostbite spiders en route
  • Gathered up the things I’d stashed at Myrwatch, including several loose things that went flying when i came into the gallery because the place has issues with that o.O
  • Played with the staff enchanter
  • Did a little alchemy and a little bit of smithing
  • Slept the night
  • Got up again and set out on the road, decided not to deal with Morthal for now
  • Killed a couple more frostbite spiders that were hassling Talsgar the Wanderer
  • Swung around down through Rorikstead
  • Stopped by the farm to collect profits from Golldir, also pantry supplies
  • Rode onward to Whiterun
  • Stopped and fought a thief en route
  • Horse ran off from that fight and nearly got too close to two passing giants; caught up with the horse and kept riding
  • Evaded a third giant with a cow
  • Made it to Whiterun and sold a bunch of stuff to Adrianne, Belethor, and Arcadia
  • Bought some food from Anoriath and Carlotta so I could cook more foods
  • Reported in at Jorrvaskr
  • Aela told me again she’d been running interference about our ‘take out the Silver Hand’ plans and that nobody had caught on to what we were doing–except Kodlak, apparently ;P
  • Went down to talk to Kodlak and got the directive to go take out the witches and bring him their heads
  • Agreed to do this, and then returned to Breezehome
  • Did a little cooking and saved there for the night


The big thing I discovered in the first of these two sessions was an extension of what I already kind of knew–that pretty much the entire northern half of the map in Skyrim seems to be a problem in Survival Mode.

I had not, however, expected the air to reach “frigid” right by Morthal. Or that I could reach “freezing” status inside the town proper. And ever since that stretch of play, I’ve been trying to figure out if that makes geographic sense at all.

Morthal is right on the edge of a marsh to the north, but immediately to the south is the snowy road. So I’m kind of wondering whether Morthal’s situated such that it’s prone to freezing temperatures just because it is on the border of a snowy area? But I feel like I’m having to grasp at straws there. Mostly, having Morthal be every bit as cold as the top of the Throat of the World feels like dirty pool on Survival Mode’s part. So apparently I’m going to have to expect all the snowy areas of the map to be a freezing threat, not just the mountain?

Right then. I’ll have to plan accordingly for getting to Dawnstar as well as Winterhold.

I did at least get the opportunity to observe that Morthal’s tolerable during daylight hours, and if it’s not raining or snowing. But I need to be prepared for even those circumstances to make me chilly. And I’ll need to come back with more camping supplies to arrange getting the thaneship, taking out the vamps at Movarth’s Lair, and getting Windstad Manor.

Overall though, I’m feeling kind of surly about there not being any apparent temperature difference between any of the snowy areas in the game. This is definitely turning into one of the things I don’t like about Survival Mode, and it’s going to be a motivator for my wanting to try a modded playthrough later with certain mods that do some of the same things but differently, as I called out in this post earlier today.

And here’s the other thing about my mad dash into Morthal–it was motivated hardcore by having seen a zombie horde coming at me out on the road, and a couple of frostbite spiders. Between all of those and the temperature, I was very much in oh shit run away mode. And this was a lot easier to do on a horse. So very pleased I was riding at the time.

(Sorry that I rode ahead of you, Lyds! But at least she caught up!)

Meanwhile, once I reached the inn, I got to hear a conversation between Alva the vampire and Jonna the innkeeper that I actually hadn’t heard before–in which Alva was actively hitting on Jonna, and dropping hints about her vampirism by turning down food. Hee.

Next up: taking over Myrwatch. Since Kendis is a budding mage, I feel like getting that tower probably hit her differently than it did Shenner. And possibly even Harrow, with the idea there being that Harrow’s more jaded about magic and a lot more cautious about where she’ll be willing to practice it. She didn’t miss that Morthal’s not happy about having a wizard around, and Myrwatch is really close to Morthal, so.

Kendis, I think, was really impressed by the place. And very grateful not only that she found an obvious shelter very near Morthal and her ultimate destination of Ustengrav, but also that she had enough magical know-how to figure out how to get in and claim the tower for her own.

Having to do another round of Where The Hell Did My Horse Go let me confirm that casting Detect Life did not, in fact, show me Helgi’s ghost over in the burned ruins of her house. I’d be curious to know if you could see her with Detect Dead, though!

Last but not least, returning to Jorrvaskr got me the chance to talk to Aela and then Kodlak. Because I had to giggle about Aela being all “I’ve been running interference, nobody’s figured out what we’re doing yet”–and then, as soon as I asked for work, segueing straight to “Uh, Kodlak’s clued in and he wants to talk to you.” Snerk. You might have led with that, maybe?

Going down to talk to Kodlak and taking a seat as he directed made the apple pie on his table go flying. This was apparently the session of things flying all over the place, but not in an amusing Skyrim Together Reborn kind of way!

And now I have the directive to go take out some witches!

Next time

The cave with the Glenmoril Coven is more or less south of Hendraheim. But I feel like a visit to Lakeview is called for first, so I can work more on building it out. And maybe I’ll swing through Falkreath on the way over? We’ll see!


No screenshots this time.

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.