Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendis Clears Fort Hraggstad and Slays Sahloknir

Kendis’ two latest sessions, in which I cleared out Fort Hraggstad finally, killed Sahloknir with Delphine, returned the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller to the Greybeards, acquired the stolen Lord’s Mail, took out the dragon and dragon priest Krosis at Shearpoint, and got herself a unicorn!

Whew! Busy sessions indeed.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 2/1, 2/3/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 27-28

Wednesday the 1st

  • Picked up in Solitude
  • Sold a few things to Beirand and Sayma to beat down the carry load a bit
  • Fetched Lightning from stables and rode over to Fort Hraggstad
  • Fought en route: ice wraiths
  • However, Lightning buggered off and I couldn’t find him
  • Attempted then to hit the fort; this failed multiple times, both with frontal assault and with trying to sneak in through the back
  • Then l realized: wait a minute, I’m a fucking werewolf
  • So I wolfed out and started attacking bandits that way; that took them out a lot faster, and I nommed their hearts
  • Cleared out all the bandits that way and also took all their stuff, because fuck you bandits
  • Had to tromp very slowly back to Solitude though because Lightning had buggered off, and I couldn’t find him via Detect Life
  • Encountered cultists when I made it back to the road, so took them out
  • Passed M’aiq the Liar on the way back, HI M’AIQ
  • Whirlwind-Sprinted my way back to Solitude
  • Tromped up to Castle Dour and reported in to Legate Rikke
  • Got Tullius to swear me in and give me orders to get gear from Beirand
  • Then got the quest to meet Rikke and her squad at Korvanjund to get the Jagged Crown
  • Reported to Beirand for gear; told him “medium” before I remembered, oh right, the studded Imperial armor can’t be improved without the bugfix patch 😛
  • So sold that and a bunch of other stuff to Beirand, Fihada, and Sayma
  • Boinged to Katla’s farm to retrieve Lightning
  • Boinged to Lakeview to do some building and inventory managing
  • Boinged over to Riverwood to rendezvous with Delphine
  • Sold a few more things to Alvor before doing so
  • Then went through the “hi, here’s the Horn, now let’s go kill a dragon at Kynesgrove” conversation with Delphine
  • But got Lightning first so I could ride alongside Delphine while she was running
  • Made it safely to Kynesgrove; cue the innkeeper going oh shit, dragon
  • Went up for Alduin resurrecting Sahloknir, and then took Sahloknir out
  • Got objective to meet Delphine back at Riverwood
  • Looted nearby dead Stormcloak on the way out, thinking that armor will be handy later for Imperial subterfuge purposes
  • Passed the innkeeper on the way back
  • Found Ahkari up on the rocks near Kynesgrove without her other caravan mates, WTF? She travels between Riften and Dawnstar so was surprised to see her nearby; didn’t stop me from shopping with her though!
  • Thought briefly about going over to intercept Tyra for the ebony plate armor but will get back to that
  • Instead rode back to Whiterun, and stopped in a couple of places to loot previously killed critters
  • Encountered vampire masquerade on the way and took out those vamps
  • Also took out vampire + thrall duo near White River Watch
  • Ri’saad’s caravan was at Whiterun so shopped with him, too.
  • Headed into Whiterun and sold some stuff to Elrindir
  • Parked in Breezehome
  • Retrieved stashed ingredients and oh hey look a Daedra heart!
  • Saved for the night

Friday the 3rd

  • Started off at Breezehome
  • Grabbed a few more things to move back to Lakeview
  • Boinged off to High Hrothgar to drop off the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
  • Got the final word of Unrelenting Force
  • Got a pointer to the word of power at Bonestrewn Crest from Arngeir
  • Boinged to Largashbur and found a fresh giant trying to attack the gate; helped take him out
  • Also had to help the orcs kill a spider and apparently also a pissed off goat?
  • Talked to Atub and gave her the Daedra heart and troll fat
  • Went in to listen to her talk to Yamarz, and do the ritual to summon Malacath
  • Cue Malacath ordering Yamarz to go kill the giant for him, and Yamarz demanding I go with him
  • Mounted up and rode off to follow him
  • Killed en route: a fox, a couple of frostbite spiders, and a couple of bears
  • Reached Riften, and Yamarz cut through, but I was on horseback and couldn’t follow
  • Discovered Nightingale Hall while trying to get around the city
  • Then just fast traveled to the stables and tried to catch up with him from there
  • Only ZOMBIE HORDE, and they killed me, ohnoez
  • Thrown back to just by Nightingale Hall; fast traveled to stables again
  • This time did not get zombies, but did get four bears, killed all of those
  • Caught up with Yamarz at Fallowstone and went in to run the place
  • And triggered weird bug, see below!
  • Looted the boss chest at the shrine
  • Boinged back to Largashbur to report back to Atub
  • Sorry, your chief was a dick, and see, Malacath backs me up on this; my work here is done, y’all try not to die, okay?
  • Returned to Riften to sell stuff to Balimund and Bersi
  • Fished at the dock; got glassfish
  • Fished at Honeyside; got goldfish
  • Went out on foot to hunt for nirnroot
  • Tried to fish at Faldar’s Tooth but whoops it respawned; ducked down along the water to get out of their line of fire
  • Proceeded around the lake, picking nirnroot where I could
  • Killed assorted critters
  • Passed treasure hunters near Sarethi Farm but didn’t get close enough to them to piss them off
  • Boinged off to Whiterun to hunt for the rest of the nirnroot
  • Got the two nirnroots from the river along the road, then found some more near Halted Stream
  • There, fought assorted mudcrabs, cultists, and the bandits from the Halted Stream Camp exterior
  • Boinged over to Redoran’s Retreat from there and found remaining needed nirnroot
  • Boinged back to Riften to give all the ingredients to Ingun; got her payment and the key to her chest
  • Decided to hoof it over and catch the unicorn!
  • Tamed the unicorn! And found cultists as soon as I started trying to ride back to Riften; Lyds, unicorn, and I took them out
  • Saw Lightning setting out to return to home spot near Whiterun
  • Decided to go after the Lord’s Mail next
  • Boinged back to Western Watchtower; camp with the Alik’r mercenaries was just near there
  • Took out the three mercenaries without any trouble
  • Got the cursed Lord’s Mail
  • Surprised to find Penitus Oculatus bracers and boots in the chest, the wiki didn’t mention those as part of the loot available with this content?
  • Boinged to Solitude to take care of removing the curse
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Sayma
  • Tromped up to the Temple of the Divines and prayed at the shrine of Kynareth to cleanse the armor
  • Got Captain Aldis to confirm for me that Angeline’s daughter was dead
  • Went over to Beirand and shopped with him, got iron and leather
  • Got him to armor the unicorn in steel armor to try that out
  • Stopped by Angeline to update her about what Captain Aldis had said
  • Went out to the stables to fetch the now armored unicorn
  • Boinged next to Lakeview
  • Did a bit of building but Lakeview is almost completely built out now
  • Dropped off the Orcish Scaled armor and the Stormcloak gear I’d swiped in the previous session
  • Now outfitted in Lord’s Mail + Penitus Oculatus pieces + light helmet
  • Boinged back to Whiterun
  • Went to Dragonsreach and paid Proventus for Tundra Homestead
  • Stopped by Jorrvaskr to see if Farkas or Vilkas want me to de-wolf them yet; answer: no
  • Got quest out of Farkas to go take out undead at Bleak Falls Barrow
  • But for now more interested in hitting Shearpoint
  • Stopped at Warmaiden’s to swap out the steel horse armor for elven because that just does look better on the unicorn
  • Stopped to register unicorn with the stable; he is now officially dubbed Yngvi
  • Rode over to open up Tundra Homestead; dropped off Morokei mask and ruby dragon claw and Butterfly in a Jar
  • Fought sabre cat near the house; got to see the Lord’s Mail in action doing damage to the sabre cat
  • Also took out a bear 
  • Rode over to Shearpoint, got zombie horde at spawn point near Fellglow Keep; thanks to the unicorn, we prevailed!
  • Took out the dragon, a frost-breathing Blood Dragon, at Shearpoint
  • Woke Krosis up when I got close to the Word Wall
  • Lydia damn near got roasted; Yngvi did most of the work; but we finally took out Krosis and I did get in the killing shot, fuck yeah
  • Looted the boss chest and got all three words of Throw Voice
  • Boinged back to Whiterun and sold stuff to Elrindir
  • Confirmed that Lightning is in fact back at the spot where I first found him; well, it’s warm there anyway and there’s grass, and he’s easy to find if I want him
  • Parked by Yngvi near the stables
  • Saved there for the night

Clearing Fort Hraggstad

I discovered to my chagrin that apparently, level 33 was still not enough to take out all the bandits in Fort Hraggstad. Got myself killed multiple times trying to get into the place, both via frontal assault and sneaking in the back. Dropping a campsite nearby and sleeping until it was dark didn’t even help with the sneaking. As soon as I started fighting anybody inside the main area of the fort, that brought the rest of the bandits running.

I even tried bailing once and going to Riverwood instead (with the idea being, I’d talk to Delphine and move the main plot along), but that didn’t work. Because derp, the game doesn’t let you fast travel with enemies nearby.

But then I had an epiphany: wait a minute, I’m a fucking werewolf!

So I wolfed out and that turned the tide. I was able to quickly take out several bandits that way, and nom their hearts for good measure. One of the bandits yelled “monster” at me before I took her out.

Lady, I don’t believe I asked you for your opinion. Also, fuck you, I claim this fort, all your stuff, and your tasty heart in the name of the Emperor!

Lydia, bless her stalwart heart, didn’t bat an eye. I imagine this exchange, after I came back out of wolf mode:

Me: “Right then. Fort cleared. And just between us, Legate Rikke doesn’t need to know exactly how we cleared this place for her, right?”

Lydia: “She won’t hear it from me, my thane.”

Me: <grins wolfishly>

I’ll just have to remember to not wolf out while clearing any subsequent forts with actual Imperial troops around. Pretty damn sure they’d frown mightily on that.

What also interests me here: this was another instance in which I took deliberate advantage of being a werewolf, outside the context of the Companions plotline. I’m definitely getting more mileage out of it with Kendis than I did with Delga. And ripping bandits apart was really rather fun. 😉

At the moment, I’m not actually in a hurry to de-wolf Kendis. I kinda wanna hang in there and run Aela’s Hircine quests this time, since I didn’t do it with Delga. And also talk to the werewolves on Solstheim.

Getting the Lord’s Mail

One of the Anniversary Edition things I hadn’t done in Shenner’s run was to acquire the Lord’s Mail. This is a piece of heavy armor that comes initially cursed, but which you can cleanse at the Shrine of Kynareth in Solitude.

I skipped doing this with Shenner since the trigger for starting this quest is a letter to General Tullius in Castle Dour, lying on a table. Reading that letter starts the quest.

Mind you, taking the letter counts as stealing. So I only read it and didn’t pick it up. I still kinda feel like that’s a little dodgy, since the letter is on a table in a side room and you don’t exactly have any reason to be in that room.

But that said, after I returned from clearing Fort Hraggstad, got sworn in by Tullius, and got orders from Rikke to meet her squad at Korvanjund, I detoured into that side room and had a peek at the letter. About the only narrative justification I have for this is Kendis just getting slightly distracted by which door to go through on the way out. Heh. Probably due to doing her damndest to play it cool and hope neither of her new superiors noticed the smell of bandit blood on her breath. 😉

Once I read that letter, getting the actual armor was easy enough. There was a camp very close to the Western Watchtower by Whiterun, where the Alik’r mercenaries were hanging out. They were immediately hostile and attacked me as soon as Lydia, my new unicorn (more on this below), and I came within range.

They were also very, very easy to kill. This now makes the second time Kendis has had to fight Alik’r warriors in Skyrim, which is an interesting thing to think about. It must boggle her a little that she is now in a position to fight and defeat her own homeland’s best warriors.

In addition to getting the Lord’s Mail, I also scarfed a few examples of custom Alik’r outfits off these guys, the same overall style but in green and yellow variants. I’d seen these before in Shenner’s run, just sold in Radiant Raiment, but this was the first time I’d actually seen them on the relevant NPCs.

And I do like the green and yellow variants, particularly on this Redguard Dragonborn. 😀

As for the Lord’s Mail itself, after getting it from the mercenaries, I just had to take it back to Solitude and go to the Temple of the Divines to cleanse it. So now I have this fancy heavy armor. Not sure yet how long I’ll actually use it, but the enchantment on it is pretty tasty. I’ll try it out for at least a bit.

Meanwhile, I was actively surprised by finding Penitus Oculatus bracers and boots in the same chest that contained the Lord’s Mail. The wiki did not identify these as items included with this particular content. And now I really kind of hope I can get a matching helmet? Because the standard light Imperial helmet is a lighter brown and doesn’t really match the Penitus Oculatus pieces.

(Though really, none of those light armor pieces quite match the Lord’s Mail either. I kinda feel like I should be wearing heavy armor pieces with it, even though I am nowhere near the Matching Set perk for Heavy Armor. I may just have to make appropriate pieces and see what they look like. Or maybe pair the Lord’s Mail up with the gauntlets and boots from the Imperial Dragon armor set once I run that plot?)

Meeting up with Delphine, retrieving the Horn, and slaying Sahloknir

Since this is the unmodded playthrough, this all played out pretty much as per previous playthroughs.

The only real difference this time was, given that I did have a regular horse I’m riding, I rode alongside Delphine while she ran the route to Kynesgrove. This did make me kind of wish she had a horse of her own!

Also, being the one on the horse actually kept me from bothering to engage with most of the hostiles on the way. I didn’t bother to get off the horse despite us encountering assorted critters, an assassin, and at least one other random hostile. I didn’t want to bother to have to hunt Lightning down if he ran off.

I did have to giggle at this line of Sahloknir’s once we were fighting him, though:

“I am Sahloknir! Hear my Voice and despair!”

I’m sorry, what did you say? I can’t hear you over the sound of my shooting you to death.

Running the Cursed Tribe plot

This actually played out a little differently than usual, because I triggered a bug I’d never seen before.

The bug was that once Yamarz and I got through Fallowstone Cave and reached Giant’s Grove, I told him as I usually do that it was his job to kill the giant. This time, though, I actually followed him because I wanted to see how the giant killed him.

To my surprise, this did not happen. Yamarz chased the giant over up against a nearby tree, and the giant appeared to actually be in a stuck state. He didn’t hit back at Yamarz at all. And Yamarz was actually able to kill him!

But then Yamarz acted like I had killed the giant instead, and turned on me, claiming he couldn’t let me leave the place alive. I had no choice but to defend myself. And I took Yamarz out in one blow.

According to the wiki, this is a known bug. It is not one of the ones reported as fixed in the USSEP, though. So it’s possible I could reproduce this over in Harrow’s run, too. I’ll have to try it out just out of general curiosity.

This seems like a thing that would be fixable in theory by community mods, maybe. The easiest possible solution, I’d think, would be finding whatever causes the giant to become stuck in this scenario and fix that. I do wonder if it’s specifically because I followed Yamarz to witness the battle, rather than hanging back and waiting for the giant to kill him. That was the main difference I can think of from how I usually play out this plot.

Certainly, I can’t think of any narrative reason why Yamarz would be successful at killing the giant, and still want to kill you anyway. If he actually succeeds in following Malacath’s orders, then that’d mean he’d proven himself as a chief. My impression of Malacath is that he’d accept that. So I’d think that in this scenario Yamarz would return as chief to the tribe and the quest would resolve.

The problem with that is, of course, that that doesn’t give you a reason to get Volendrung.

I have a hard time imagining that Yamarz would voluntarily cede the weapon to you if he had in fact just proven himself to Malacath. Nor, really, do I feel like Malacath would want him to. It’s an Orcish weapon, and as far as Malacath is concerned, it’d make sense to let a worthy chieftain actually wield it.

So the best thing I can think of here is to tie back to what Malacath actually says during the original summoning ritual:

“You don’t deserve to call yourself an Orc! You’re weak, you’re small, and you’re an embarrassment! You let giants… Giants!… overrun my shrine. Bring me their leader’s club as an offering, and I might release you from this curse!”

The operative word here being “might”. Malacath didn’t say for sure he’d lift the curse if Yamarz fulfilled his command.

I could see a scenario here where Malacath holds to that “might”, and tells Yamarz he isn’t done proving himself yet. At which point Yamarz flips out, because he literally just killed a giant as his god commanded, and he defies Malacath. Maybe he threatens to destroy the shrine that the giants had defiled. Maybe he even threatens to turn his entire tribe away from Malacath worship.

You could then have an opportunity to try to talk him down. At which point he turns on you, because who the hell are you to tell an Orc chieftain what he should and should not do? And then you kill him in good conscience, and you get Volendrung.

If you are specifically playing an Orc yourself, I could also see Malacath expressly ordering you to to take out Yamarz for his defiance. At which point, again, you kill the rogue chieftain and get Volendrung as your reward.

Now all of that above said, still not entirely sure if I’ll use Volendrung myself. Since as I’ve written before, I don’t tend to favor heavy weapons. But I will have to think about whether to let Lyds have this one!

Brief note about fishing

Now that I’ve played Elder Scrolls Online for a while, I can definitely say that I prefer fishing in Skyrim. Just because Skyrim makes you wait less time before you get a hit on your line!

And speaking of that unicorn I mentioned above…

I decided to go ahead and catch and tame the unicorn. Which means Lightning is now supplanted as Kendis’ primary mount.

I feel a little sad about that, just because Lightning has been a good horse. But the unicorn is way more powerful a mount, and it did prove super helpful it letting me take out a zombie horde as well as the Alik’r mercenaries with the Lord’s Mail.

This does also underscore, though, that I really wish the game’s horse functionality would let you actually assign a horse to a given stable by default. I think it’s silly that the last horse you rode will always return to wherever you originally found it, even if that spot is in the middle of the wilderness.

I should think that if you went to the trouble of taming a horse, it would become accustomed to wherever your actual home stable is. It knows where to find food and care.

But, well, this is what Convenient Horses is for, I guess? Just wish, as I do so many times, that I could install mods on the Switch!

And at least in Lightning’s case, his original “where I found him” spot is right by Whiterun. So he’s easy to find if indeed I do wind up wanting to ride him again.

I claim narrative headcanon, though, that Kendis totally had Lydia ride Lightning back to Whiterun. Or Lakeview. She does have a stable at Lakeview.

Or, really, that Kendis just outright gave Lightning to Lydia. Being able to give Inigo a horse in Harrow’s run makes me really wish I could do so here.

This time through, unlike with Shenner’s run, I did also take the trouble to try out the steel horse armor on the unicorn. I didn’t like it. I like the elven armor a lot better, so switched off to that. Now I have the extra steel horse armor, though, in my inventory. I’ll need to sell that.

I also took the trouble to register the unicorn at the Whiterun stables, just to get a name assigned to him. So now the unicorn’s official name is Yngvi!

Brief note about talking to Captain Aldis about Angeline’s daughter

Turns out that if you’re actually officially in the Legion, and you try to talk to Captain Aldis about what happened to Angeline’s daughter, you actually get a dialogue option to order him to tell you.

This surprised me, given that I have barely started my participation in the war with this alt! And I had the option to actually order a captain to tell me something?

Clearly, I have more pull with the Legion than I thought I did. 😉

Next time

Still in a bit of a mood to knock down minor side quests off of Kendis’ rather lengthy list of quests in her journal. I want to do a few more of those, maybe, before I report to Korvanjund and help out with getting the Jagged Crown.


Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery. And discovered apparently I hadn’t actually added captions to this one the first time, so this gallery has captions now!

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.