Returned for a bit to the Aldmeri Dominion plot, and helping Queen Ayrenn out with her tour of Auridon. Because (shocker!) Certain Forces appear to not take kindly to her ascending to the throne!
Also, the obligatory running around for writs, materials surveys, and antiquities.
Play by play
- Play dates: 1/4-1/7/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 86-89
- Ran writs, no other significant action
- Also didn’t finish up all the writs because I was short on kresh fiber
- Needed to finish off previous writ, so went out to do a clothing survey in Northern Elsweyr
- So did a lot of derping around that zone just to explore it
- Notable critters fought:
- Terror birds
- Notable locations found:
- The Stitches
- Merryvale Farms
- Found a couple of skyshards which got me a new skill point
- Leveled up to 45 while exploring so that got me three total skill points to spend; spent a couple of them on hirelings to bring me stuff
- Spotted a dragon moving around on the map and made a point of staying the fuck out of its way
- Later found a dead dragon, and NPCs standing around it, at what i think must have been the Scab Ridge Dragonscour?
- Finally found the clothier survey site and got the materials
- Boinged back to Alinor from there to finish out the previous day’s writ
- Ran writs, then went out to hunt down a couple of simple antiquities
- Did one on Summerset that I’d already done several times, the decanter
- Then boinged to Auridon to try a different one
- That took a while to hunt down and I had to navigate along the northern part of the island, and bypass multiple locations under hostile attack
- Also had to deal with a decoy location because my scry wasn’t perfect, and I wound up hitting the decoy location first, for a cheaper treasure
- Finally found the actual location and got that treasure
- Boinged briefly into Vulkhel Guard to try to hunt down whatever NPC it’d been who was inviting me to do something ‘worthwhile’
- Found her, Concordia Mercius, representing Cyrodilic Collections, a group looking for Argonian artifacts to return to Black Marsh
- She asked for my help, which launched the Ruthless Competition quest
- Hold that thought, Concordia, I’ll get back to you
- Then finally boinged back to Alinor and logged off for the night
- Ran writs
- Then boinged over to Vulkhel Guard so I could go to Tanzelwil and meet up with the Queen’s entourage
- Found Prince Naemon, the Queen’s brother, who clued me in as to Ayrenn having trouble doing the rituals and prayer
- Went over to talk to Ayrenn herself, who asked me to provide assistance to a couple of priestesses at ritual sites
- Reaching those priestesses caused me to have to fight several random hostile spirits, since the whole area was full of them
- Went to the western site and helped a priestess shielding herself from a hostile spirit; had to wait for that spirit to respawn, since a player was fighting her just as I arrived
- Then went to the northern site and killed several hostile spirits while that priestess finished her ritual
- Returned to Ayrenn; we discussed an advisor of hers, Norion, possibly being behind the spirits being hostile
- She asked me to accompany her into Inner Tanzelwil to help defend her as she finished the proper rituals
- This required us to take out Norion when we found him; he was a pretty decent fight and kept summoning hostile spirits to help him
- But we finally took him out and Ayrenn finished praying to no longer hostile spirits, who gave her their blessing
- She also gave me an Eaglebanner Longbow and sent me on my way
- Returned to Alinor for inventory management; I decided to make the new bow my primary bow as it had better stats on it than my current <3
Exploring Northern Elsweyr
Increasing my plot activity is making me feel better about jaunting out to do surveys or antiquities. I feel a lot better about this game when I can vary it up like that.
And I quite enjoyed exploring Northern Elsweyr in this set of sessions. I really like that it’s a different flavor of desert than the Alik’r, and I found several examples of beautiful foliage.
One thing that struck me though as I navigated the place was the huge numbers of harpies. I started wondering about harpies in general, given their similarity to hagravens. According to the wiki, there’s content in ESO that explicitly establishes that harpies can even sometimes be found serving hagravens.
Which makes me wonder if hagravens got started because witches saw harpies and thought that was an excellent idea? The wiki is not clear on that, but it seems like at least a possibility for how the original rituals for making hagravens got started.
The other big thing that struck me about Northern Elsweyr was a thing that Paul warned me about: that dragons are the Northern Elsweyr version of world events like dolmens and harrowstorms. He’d mentioned that dragons do move on the zone map, and that I should be extremely wary about engaging them, as in his experience they’re bigger and more formidable than dragons in Skyrim.
With that in mind, when I saw one moving around on the map, I made an express point of staying the hell out of its way. I did however find what seemed to be the immediate aftermath of a dragon battle–because I found a fallen dragon, with several NPCs standing around it. I couldn’t confirm the location on the map, but I suspect it might have been the Scab Ridge Dragonscour.
So who are you and what’s this worthwhile thing you want me to do?
Previous visits to Vulkhel Guard had included one of the many quest-giving NPCs there throwing me a line inviting me to do something “worthwhile”. I was curious about this so took the time to go find that NPC and find out exactly what she wanted.
She turned out to be Concordia Mercius, representing a group called Cyrodilic Collections, whose goal was to acquire Argonian artifacts and return them to Black Marsh. Ideally, establishing a museum for them there, for the Argonian people.
This sounded like a noble enough goal so I agreed to do this. She asked me to help her take down a competitor. We’ll have to see if she’s on the up and up, but later.
Getting in good with the Queen
And last but definitely not least, the major action of this set of sessions was returning to the pending Aldmeri Dominion quest, which put me back into the company of Queen Ayrenn. I had to go find her entourage near Tanzelwil, and help out with challenges Ayrenn was facing in doing the proper rituals and prayers required for a formal claimant to the throne.
More references to the Veiled Heritance got dropped in the conversations I had in this little adventure. And I learned two things of interest:
- Prince Naemon, Ayrenn’s brother, had apparently been the previous heir? Got to wonder exactly how he feels about being displaced
- Ayrenn had at least one advisor, Norion, who was clearly part of the Veiled Heritance; strong suspicion here that she has more advisors who might be compromised, though she dismissed the idea when I asked her about it
One other thing that occurred to me is that one of the sets you can get in Auridon is called Twin Sisters. Which sure does make me wonder whether this “Veiled Queen” I’m hearing about is Ayrenn’s twin, and working to keep her sister off the throne. I am very deliberately not reading ahead on the wiki, just to keep this as an element of surprise, and I want to see if I’ve called this when I get to the appropriate point later. 😉
Ayrenn called me her “friend” several times during our conversations. Which was rather gratifying! As an official Eye of the Queen now, I suppose I’ve proven myself to her as reliable.
And I gotta say, she handled herself quite well in Inner Tanzelwil, which bolstered her line to me about having been a warrior before she had to take over royal duties. So she clearly hasn’t lost her edge. It’ll be interesting to see how much more fighting she’ll have to do as this plot proceeds.
I think my next plot action will be boinging back to the Main Quest. Tharn does want me to go have a word with Varen. And I should probably do that, even though Gyllerah’s feeling rather surly about being lied to!
Editing to add
- 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.