Multi-session post, in which most of the action was for the Season of the Dragon event in Northern Elsweyr. But I also got in a little work on the Psijic Order plot, and got some interesting foreshadowing about Josajeh. And, as always, running of writs and furnishing of living spaces!
And, I have commentary in here about possible narrative explanations for the differences in power levels between dragons in ESO, and dragons in Skyrim.
Play by play
- Play dates: 2/1-2/6/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 114-119
Wednesday the 1st
- Picked up in Alinor and ran writs
- Boinged off to Northern Elsweyr for more event action
- This time ran the Tangle delve, which Paul and I had run before; did not get local quest since I already did that
- But I did kill the delve boss!
- Returned to Nisuzi for event rewards
- Boinged around between Moonmirth, Sugar Bowl Suite, and Cliffshade doing furniture checks
- Bought an Elsweyr style bed off one of the guild traders and left that in the Sugar Bowl Suite
Thursday the 2nd
- Got housewarming gifts from Erin! So spent a little time placing those in Cliffshade <3
- Finished making cp10 armor
- Boinged off to Northern Elsweyr for another delve run
- This time it was the Abode of Ignominy
- Got a couple of coffers en route just by harvesting ingredients
- On the way, happened across a dragon battle, fuck yeah; got to it fast enough that I was able to participate and get looooot
- Did Nisuzi’s quest to get three magic trinkets
- Also picked up local quest to find four memory stones and notes by a mage who apparently pulled off some necromancy (that Narama-ko, the Khajiit outside, was way too interested in, LOL)
- Good delve!
- Took out the delve boss and the resurrected senche shown in the memory stones
- For the record: undead Khajiit skeletons and senche-tigers are creepy AF
- Got Narama-ko to give me her quest reward
- Returned to Rimmen and got Nisuzi’s reward as well
- Took writs off the board in Rimmen
- Ran a couple of the writs there in the Rimmen crafting area, but discovered I was short on the cooking ingredients
- Boinged back to Alinor to finish them up, and did six of the seven; did not have enough void cloth
- Made additional items to sell to try to beat down my backlog of materials
- Parked in Cliffshade for the night
Friday the 3rd
- Boinged from Cliffshade off to Alinor to run writs
- Still could not find enough void cloth to finish that last pending one from the day before
- Boinged to Eastmarch to run the last 3 time breaches in the current set
- Closed all three of those, and boinged to Artaeum to report in to the Loremaster
- Learned about the Staff of Towers reappearing
- Talked to Josajeh again, and she angsted about whether it’d be a good thing to use the staff to correct things; GOSH, I WONDER IF THIS IS PLOT RELEVANT
- Got her to stand down–for now, I expect
- Got locations to go find the missing staff bits
- Went out to derp around Artaeum for a bit and see if I could find more void cloth
- Scried for an antiquity and found that
- Got enough void blooms to boing back to Alinor and finish up that pending writ
- Got new set of writs, ran six, and again did not have enough void cloth ;P
- Boinged off to Rimmen to check their guild traders, and one of them had void cloth!
- Bought that and finished off the final pending writ, and turned that in at the writ dropoff
- Checked guild traders again and found one of them had another of those nice Khajiit hanging lanterns
- Boinged back to Cliffshade to place that in my crafting room
- Made an Adept Rider cp20 bow
- Paused there until next time
Saturday the 4th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Did quest to go hunt dragons in Northern Elsweyr
- Which required me to report to Battlereeve Tanerline (hey! I know you!)
- Had to go find three dragonscour areas and hang out there waiting for the dragons to show up
- Which actually worked pretty well, but after killing the first and second was totally full on inventory
- Returned to the market to sell a bunch of treasure and craft a bunch of things to try to beat the storage space down
- Went out again and killed a third dragon
- Resolved the quest and got more loot
- Hit cp30 so started making some armor at that level
- Parked in Cliffshade for the night
Sunday the 5th
- Ran writs
- Made a couple more minor furnishing items for Cliffshade, candles and another Khajiit banner
- No other significant action
Monday the 6th
- Ran writs in Rimmen this time
- Found the bank so I could pull ingredients for cooking and alchemy out of the Guild bank
- Finished off the writs
- Did another round of dragon hunting to finish off the Season of the Dragon event
- Headed to the three general dragon hunting grounds
- Lucked out pretty quickly on a couple of the dragons and didn’t have to wait long before fighting them
- Third one took a little longer to show up, and it was one of the ones that can call down meteors
- Very very like Alduin in Skyrim and that’s kind of yikes
- Got a couple extra coffers off harvesting ingredients in the world in between dragon killing
- Returned to Battlereeve Tanerline and got event coffers
- Spent some of the event tickets I got on a style page
- Boinged back to Alinor for additional crafting; made a couple more minor items to put in Cliffshade
- Stopped there for next time
Last couple of delves for the Season of the Dragon event
I’d already run the Tangle with Paul, so don’t have to go into that again here. I liked the Abode of Ignominy a lot, though! It had an appealing local plot, and I liked its idea of investigating what happened to somebody trying to commit acts of necromancy for pretty decent reasons.
Narama-ko, the NPC who gave me the local delve quest, was delightful as well and upheld the general trend I’ve seen in ESO of Khajiit NPCs often getting the best lines. I also found her slightly alarming at the end when I came back out again and told her what I’d found, and she got just a little bit too interested in the research of the mage she’d sent me in to investigate!
Closing more time breaches
Moved the Psijic Order quest a little further along by finishing that last round of time breaches, which let me return to the Loremaster and check in. And also have a conversation with Josajeh about the Staff of Towers.
That woman seemed just a trifle too interested in the Staff, and spoke ardently about using it to correct wrongs:
“I know. But just between the two of us, don’t you think we could put an item like that to good use? Imagine being able to shift time to avoid the Planemeld, or cure the Knahaten Flu before it took hold. It’s worth at least discussing, right?”
Gracious, that second example there is awfully specific. Somebody has some unresolved trauma in her background, I think. I took the dialogue option to get her to stand down, but this definitely smelled like a for now situation.
Some thoughts about dragons
Individual dragons in Northern Elsweyr, in general, seem to be a much bigger deal than individual dragons in Skyrim. Particularly given that some of the dragons (Fire Dragons, according to the wiki) can call up atronachs and meteor storms.
The only dragon we see calling down meteor storms in Skyrim is Alduin. And the wiki explicitly says that the Meteor Storm Shout used by dragons in ESO was last seen in Skyrim, with Alduin burning down Helgen. I’ve seen him use it repeatedly when fighting him on the Throat of the World and in Sovngarde, too.
And I’m not sure I entirely like the idea of an entire class of dragons being able to do things previously only done by Alduin in Skyrim. Alduin is supposed to be the firstborn of Akatosh, and able to consume the world, after all. So I’m a little bugged by the idea of other dragons having powers that rival his. Or even surpass his, because Alduin sure as hell can’t summon a bunch of flame and iron atronachs. Skyrim doesn’t even have iron atronachs.
This is another of those things where I do intellectually get why ESO did it, i.e., “it’s an MMO, they need to make dragons more challenging for multi-player battles, Skyrim was built first and they didn’t have some of these ideas yet when they did Skyrim, etc., etc.” I get all that.
The Elder Scrolls franchise does a pretty amazing job of maintaining narrative cohesion across all the games, which is one of the reasons I love it. But ESO dragons being more powerful than Skyrim dragons in general, and more powerful than Alduin in particular, just feels narratively skewed. And it underscores complaints I’ve seen, even as a player who came late to Skyrim, about Alduin being a relative pushover.
I wonder if some ambitious modder is eventually going to make a mod to give Alduin the ability to call atronachs? Given the massive unlikelihood of Bethesda remastering Skyrim to make Alduin more in line with dragon behavior in ESO, I feel like this is a problem that’ll eventually need to be solved by the modding community if it is to be solved at all.
And until that happens, I’ll just have to call this one of those little narrative dissonances I’ll have to put up with. 😉
Though now, because I am a writer, I find my writer brain trying to come up with narrative explanations for why the dragons in Northern Elsweyr are a bigger deal than the ones in Skyrim. I can think of a few angles to pursue here:
- The dragons in Northern Elsweyr just might be more powerful southern dragons? This could be backed up by the Elsweyr dragons including Storm Dragons, which are NOT present in Skyrim. We may just be seeing different breeds of dragon in Elsweyr in ESO.
- All the dragons you fight in Skyrim, aside from Alduin, are ones that Alduin explicitly resurrected; maybe they don’t have time to get back up to full strength before the Dragonborn comes along and kills them? Maybe the dragons in Northern Elsweyr have had time to develop those powers because they’ve been around longer?
- Alduin was thrown forward in time by the Elder Scroll; maybe that had an impact on him? And he didn’t even have time to regain full strength before the Dragonborn destroyed him? Even with his eating all the souls of the fallen dead in Sovngarde?
(We shall leave aside the question of how Northern Elsweyr apparently has an inexhaustible supply of dragons, because players do keep killing them. LOL.)
I mentioned this train of thought to Dara (who is also a writer), and I really liked her proposition to explain this: that dragon magic is its own unique kind of magic, and killing off all the dragons by the timeframe of Skyrim meant that that magic was no longer available. Alduin was resurrecting other dragons in an attempt to build it back up again, including for himself.
The idea of dragon magic requiring a critical mass of dragons in the world to reach its peak power would, I feel, explain all of this very nicely. ESO-era dragons can do all these extra things because that critical mass of dragons still exists in the world. Skyrim dragons, not so much.
And as a final note, I was a little surprised to see that Battlereeve Tanerline, who I’d last seen in Summerset as the person who hands out the daily geyser quests, was also the person who handed out the dragon quests for this event! Clearly, Battlereeve Tamerline gets around.
Now that I’ve finished playing the Season of the Dragon event, it’s time to swing back and work on the other pending plots on my queue. I think I’ll boing back to Main Quest next. Now that I’ve hit Champion status I really ought to damn well finish that up. 😀
- 2/11/2023: Updated the gallery with a couple more screenshots, since I found a couple I’d missed while pulling new screenshots off my Steam Deck.