Double session post, main action of which was Harrowhark acquiring Azura’s Star, recovering the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, and slaying the dragon Sahloknir. And, Team Dragonborn paid a little visit to Lost Valley Redoubt and pissed off a whole lot of Forsworn!
Play by play
- Play dates: 1/29, 1/31/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 26-27
Sunday the 29th
- Picked up at Windstad Manor
- Boinged off to Shrine of Azura to see if i could finish that up; answer: yes!
- Summoned the daedroth with my new spell and it made short work of the dremora and Malyn Varen
- Next up: boinged to Riverwood to meet up with Delphine
- Lucien had a delightful conversation with Delphine once we got on the road, lololol
- However: ran into bandits by White River Watch, and Lucien accidentally hit Delphine and provoked her into attacking him and Inigo, oooooops
- So I had to roll back from that, but fortunately that only threw me back to coming out of the Sleeping Giant in Riverwood
- Second time through Delphine decided to get hostile at the bandits at Valtheim Towers, so we cleared the place
- Got a couple of pieces of ebony plate armor off the bandit chief there, and by then Delphine got ahead of us
- Took out a bear that was trying to be rude to Rusher, then proceeded to Kynesgrove
- Some hostile critter came after us and passing Stormcloaks yelped about it, but I honestly didn’t see what it was? Skeever maybe? I was mounted and couldn’t get a good view of it from horseback
- Killed a bear and a couple of frostbite spiders en route to Kynesgrove, from horseback even
- Got an alert that I’d reached my training goal with my horse, will have to see how to proceed with horse stuff from there
- Reached Kynesgrove and took out Sahloknir
- Got Delphine to clue me in as to her intentions and pointer to come find her in Riverwood later
- Looted the dragon, got the soul
- Boinged off to High Hrothgar to return the horn to the Greybeards
- Got them to officially recognize me as Dragonborn and give me the final word of Unrelenting Force
- Got Arngeir to give me a pointer to a word wall: Bonestrewn Crest this time
- Boinged to Lakeview for supplies check but confirmed I’d stashed stuff at Windstad
- Boinged back there; built the Main House structure and started furnishing it; built stuff there until I ran out of iron
- Boinged back to Lakeview to store a bunch of stuff
- Did some alchemy to burn through ingredients
- Improved the Hedge Mage armor up to Legendary
- Improved the dragonscale armor and will be keeping it for serious combat situations
- Boinged to Whiterun; sold some stuff to Belethor
- Went up to Dragonsreach and did a boatload of enchanting; put a soul trap enchantment on my Scout sword
- Level up to 35; took Stamina bump and finally took Dwarven Smithing perk
- Sold Farengar a bunch of enchanted jewelry and bought several spells from him
- Paused to train Lucien in Illusion
- Sold some stuff at Warmaiden’s; improved the Bow of Shadows 😀
- Decided I was in the mood to head to the Reach and take care of assorted things there, but before I even got past the watchtower, SURPRISE DRAGON! Took it out
- Took out cultists near Barleydark Farm
- And, notably, since I had a soul trap enchantment on the Scout sword, that let me fill the black soul gem I was carrying
- Took out a sabre cat near the crossroads that branch off to Rorikstead
- Also got a horde of zombies, so called up the daedroth again and that helped a lot
- At the next crossroads got Forsworn hassling a peddler; took out the Forsworn, and the peddler survived! She lamented at me about the state of traveling in the Reach, so I bought a bunch of things from her
- Proceeded to Hendraheim
- Smelted down some of the weapons we got off the zombies, and improved my Scout weapons
- Saved there for the night
Tuesday the 30th
- Picked up at Hendraheim
- Rode from there over to Lost Valley Redoubt
- Overshot it a little and came across the river by Gloomreach instead; skipped it for now
- Took out assorted cranky Forsworn as well as the hagravens in Lost Valley Redoubt
- Got the second word for Become Ethereal and unlocked it
- Jumped off Bard’s Leap Summit (although accidentally on my horse when I summoned him instead of doing Become Ethereal, LOL); survived the fall!
- Saw the ghost of Azzadal and got the Speech bump off of that
- Headed from there over to get Red Eagle’s sword
- Ran Red Eagle Redoubt and Sundered Towers
- Lucien got a trifle sidetracked for some reason? So most of this I just ran with Inigo
- Succeeded in getting the sword, but was overloaded at that point
- Summoned Hjalte so I could fast travel to Markarth stables, which let Lucien catch up with me again
- Went into Markarth and sold a bunch of stuff to Lisbet
- Boinged from there off to Windstad to see if I could work on building the place out more; answer: no, because I’d left all the materials at Lakeview
- So boinged back there and built a few things
- Saved there until next time
First thing I want to note about these two sessions is that I got multiple chances to try out the Conjure Daedroth spell, and fuck yeah that was awesome!
My only complaint really is that it cut too fast a swath through the dremora and Malyn Varen. I had time to loot only one dremora before Azura pulled me out! 😀 But I got the Star and got the quest resolved, and that was the important part.
The daedroth came in real handy later, too, when Inigo and Lucien and I encountered a zombie horde. So far, this seems to be an entirely delightful alternative to conjuring my own dremora lords. It should be very fun to call up two of them later.
One other thing I’ll note about the finale of the Azura’s Star plot this time: Survival Mode has definitely influenced my thinking. Because when I came back to the Shrine of Azura and talked to Aranea, all I could think of was oh god honey why is your goddess making you live in a blizzard?
I mean, honestly! Aranea’s a Dunmer! Who fled out of Morrowind! So her people built this shrine to Azura in the middle of Winterhold, and didn’t think to, oh, I dunno, also put some houses there?
It makes me sad that I can’t hire Aranea as a steward once she learns from Azura that she won’t be getting any more visions. Because I just want to go oh honey and let her come to one of my houses. And give her a nice bed, and a nice roaring fire, and some comfy slippers, so that she never, ever has to stay outside in a blizzard again.
(And oh good, I see I am not the only player who’s gone WTF at this. There’s an Azura Shrine Temple mod up on Nexus, which does close what I was saying–this is adding not houses, but at least a temple at the base of the shrine. So that there’s some actual shelter to get out of the constant snowy hell that is Winterhold. You cannot tell me the Dunmer didn’t built this shrine with at least some shelter from the snow.)
Next thing: Lucien once more was delightful, once we met up with Delphine and set out for Kynesgrove. He started trying to make small talk with her about whether she had a surname, and even if Delphine was her real name or a “secret spy alias”.
Delphine was pointedly not interested in his small talk, and came as close to telling him to fuck off as the game allows her to do. Snerk. “Mind your own business.”
One presumes that this threw Lucien a bit off his game. Because shortly after that, we got to White River Watch–where we ran into some bandits. Combat ensued, but Lucien must have hit Delphine. Because right after we took out the bandits, she attacked Lucien and Inigo. Oops.
Boys! Boys! Do not hit Delphine! She is Essential, and she will absolutely hand you your asses.
(And while we’re on the topic, I strongly recommend you boys don’t hit Serana with ranged magic either. JUST SAYING. I expect a non-zero risk of my having to do a rollback in future sessions to save Lucien from Serana ice-spiking him, too. We’ll see! I don’t want that boy dying on me before I have a chance to go run his quest on Solstheim.)
Lucien and Inigo both got delightful lines, in response to the dragons slain in these two sessions!
Lucien, after we took out Sahloknir: “So just to recap – dragon necromancers are a thing now. Am I the only one who finds that highly, highly concerning?”
(Ooh, he’s gonna love Durnehviir. Which will be a whole separate interesting question: whether Lucien and Inigo will be able to continue to follow me during Dawnguard, since neither of them occupy my actual main follower slot. So I’m pretty sure Serana won’t actually wind up banishing them?)
Inigo, after we took out the dragon by the Western Watchtower: “Doesn’t it hurt when you do that soul sucking thing? It does not look or smell natural.”
Taking out the cultists near Barleydark Farm actually let me fill the black soul gem I was carrying. And that means Harrowhark now has possession of the means to cure herself of vampirism, though she has not yet learned this in character.
So now I’m thinking ahead to when I will, in fact, cure Harrow of vampirism.
My plans for her have definitely changed. I’d originally started expecting to play her as a vampire and a necromancer. And while the vampire thing has definitely hung in there, the necromancer thing not so much. I’m also waffling on the question of whether to go ahead with making her a vampire lord and running Dawnguard in favor of the vampires. The reason for my indecision: given my earlier thought of her convincing her followers to stick with her as she tries to find a cure, I kinda feel like she wouldn’t want to become more of a vampire.
But I need to think about this.
Heading to run Lost Valley Redoubt let me re-discover a location I’ve found in this game exactly one previous time: Gloomreach. Apparently, I found this spot back in Merawen’s run, but didn’t enter it at the time. I didn’t enter it this time either, but am now going to have to check it out just because I’m vaguely shocked that there are still locations in Skyrim I haven’t explored yet!
Got a bit of a giggle trying to do Bard’s Leap Summit, once I was done with the majority of Lost Valley Redoubt. I forgot to queue up the Become Ethereal Shout–so when I hit the Shout button, what actually happened was that I triggered the Horse Call power instead, and summoned Hjalte.
And yet, I managed to survive jumping down from Bard’s Leap Summit on horseback! This is apparently part of the perks of having an unkillable horse. 😀
It was only after that, and after I’d gotten out of Lost Valley Redoubt, that I discovered from the wiki that the best route I could have taken to get into the place for the Forgotten Seasons AE content was actually back up by the hagravens. Oops. I’ll have to swing back for that later!
More of the sweep through the Reach, I think, since I didn’t do all the stuff I wanted to do in the second of these two sessions. So what’s left to do will be:
- Working my way to the Forgotten Ruins quest and meeting up with Cassia
- Finding Rebel’s Cairn
- Arkngthamz maybe?
And I may or may not also get in finding the aforementioned Forgotten Seasons stuff, or swinging back into Markarth since I do still have a pending theft to take care of there. Not to mention doing the Forsworn Conspiracy (will Inigo and Lucien go to Cidhna Mine with me?), and initiating action there to get the thaneship!
Editing to add
- 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.