Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendis Does a Lot of Side Questing

These two sessions for Kendis were basically all about trying to beat down her side quests on the quest journal. Highlights: re-running Bleak Falls Barrow, having a brawl with Elrindir, killing a dragon at Autumnwatch Tower, killing another dragon at Bonestrewn Crest, fetching Wylandriah’s remaining items and returning them to her, and last but not least, acquiring some Daedric mail!

Play by play

  • Play dates: 2/5, 2/7/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 29-30

Sunday the 5th

  • Picked up with Yngvi at Whiterun stables
  • Sent Lydia offduty temporarily
  • Went to go run Bleak Falls Barrow again to satisfy the quest from Farkas
  • Fast traveled to the barrow and Yngvi and i had to fight the exterior bandits
  • Took the opportunity to fry assorted draugr with J’zargo’s scrolls; one-shotted the rest of them
  • Near the spot where in theory I could have found Thomas, I got a frost troll
  • Fortunately, the puzzle door that a starting character has to use the golden claw on had not reset, so I was still able to get to the boss chamber and take out the draugr overlord there
  • The Word Wall still played the chanting sound , even though i’d already learned the word off of it; this is apparently a known bug
  • Got out again–and, DRAGON! How convenient, I needed another soul for my backlog of unlocked Shouts
  • Killed it, and fast traveled back to Whiterun to move Yngvi since I’d left him at the entrance to the barrow
  • Got a courier since I’d thrown the Become Ethereal Shout a couple of times in the barrow; handed over a Letter From a Friend, this time for Skyborn Altar
  • Reported back in to Farkas and got his fee for the work
  • Since the “talk to the Companion leaders for work” quest reset, went ahead and took another job off of Farkas
  • This one was “go intimidate Elrindir”, so I went and brawled with him
  • Had to change out of the Lord’s Mail since the wiki warned having that on would violate the rules of a brawl
  • Won the brawl and got Elrindir to agree to make amends for whatever he’d done that pissed somebody off
  • Went back to Farkas and tried to get him to tell me if he wanted me to de-wolf him, but this time I got his quest about going to kill a dragon
  • Target locale: Autumnwatch Tower
  • Fast traveled to the Alchemist’s Shack to get nearby
  • Killed a couple of wolves and rode over towards the dragon lair
  • Discovered the Rift Imperial Camp for the map (greetings, soldiers, will be back later to have some action with you)
  • Rode up to the tower
  • Another repro of the “Farkas didn’t actually help me fight the dragon” bug, but Yngvi and I took it out, so it was all fine
  • Got the word for Marked for Death off the word wall
  • Boinged back to Whiterun and that made Farkas catch up with me; resolved the quest with him
  • Boinged back to Lakeview
  • Did some inventory managing
  • Improved the studded dragonscale armor finally!
  • Saved there for the night

Tuesday the 7th

  • Picked up at Lakeview
  • Boinged to Whiterun and bought a few materials
  • Improved both of my scimitars!
  • Checked with Farkas in Jorrvaskr but nope he still doesn’t want to be dewolfed
  • Boinged to the mage college
  • Got two rounds of training with all the trainers, because I leveled up to 35 between training; took health bump and next Enchanting perk
  • Went back up to the Arch-Mage’s quarters; dropped a fire damage enchantment on one of the scimitars and frost damage on the other
  • Went down to Winterhold to get Yngvi; popped into the inn and got Wylandriah’s orichalcum ingot
  • Boinged from there down to Windhelm
  • Went into the White Phial shop; got Nurelion’s quest to get the Phial as long as I’m going to Forsaken Cave anyway; also got Wylandriah’s soul gem while i was in there
  • Went back out to get Yngvi again and rode down to find Bonestrewn Crest
  • Took out the dragon before reaching the lair, a Blood Dragon, frost breather
  • Went up and got the word for Frost Breath off the word wall, and cleared the boss chest
  • Boinged from there to Hlaalu Farm near Windhelm
  • Rode from there over to Traitor’s Post to try to clear the bandits there and take down Erwan
  • Passed Hollyfrost Farm
  • Killed once at Traitor’s Post by the bandit chief there; thrown back to Bonestrewn Crest
  • Re-did boinging to Hlaalu Farm
  • Re-did Traitor’s Post and this time cleared it
  • Tried to boing to Solitude to find Ma’dran’s caravan but he relocated just as I was fast traveling in
  • Boinged back to Windhelm
  • Traded Ma’dran the Ring of Masser for the Daedric mail
  • Boinged next down to Riften
  • Sold stuff to Balimund and Bersi
  • Returned Wylandriah’s items to her; bought a Waterbreathing spellbook off of her
  • Boinged back to Lakeview; did a little more building and crafting and organizing inventory
  • Saved for the night

Re-running Bleak Falls Barrow

Going back and reviewing my “bleak falls barrow” tag, I see that only way back in Alarrah’s playthrough did I ever actually go near that barrow again after visiting it the first time. All the rest of my prior Dragonborns never had any reason to return.

This time, though, with Farkas’ quest for random Companions work, I had a reason to go back to re-run the place. And I was legit curious as to what re-running it would be like.

Answer: at level 34, it’s a lot easier to run than at the start of the game, that’s for sure. 😀

According to the wiki, in theory I should have been able to find the dead body of an adventurer named Thomas on this revisit. His body spawns if you go into the barrow at least level 18.

However, he was apparently up on a ledge, and I didn’t bother to try to climb or Shout him down off of it. I’m kind of amused that he’s there, though. I like the idea that it’s a little extra objective for anybody who does actually come back to the barrow for whatever reason.

On the other hand, I don’t think I’d ever have known he was there if I hadn’t seen him mentioned on the wiki. I’m a very “explore the fuck out of a place” kind of Skyrim player, but I’m not quite to the hardcore point of testing “what happens if I Shout in every single room” or “hey, I’m in a cavern! How well can I climb and where can I get to?” I just don’t have the patience for that, not without some distinct reward to make it worth my time. And from what I see on the wiki about the late lamented Thomas, he’s not carrying enough to make it quite worth going after his loot.

Another interesting difference at level 34: near the spot where in theory I could have found Thomas, there was a frost troll for me to fight. No problems taking it out, though had I come in at level 18 (the earliest this troll could have spawned), I might have had issues!

I pretty much one-shotted all the draugr, but was kind of surprised that they didn’t appear to have leveled up with me. Not a single Draugr Deathlord to be found! Which suggests Bleak Falls Barrow is set for lower level draugr with the expectation that most players will just run it the one time, at the beginning of the game.

Getting through the swinging blade traps is a lot easier when you’ve got the Become Ethereal Shout, yep. 😀

The puzzle gate you have to go through partway through the dungeon had reset, so I had to re-do that bit. I did find a living bandit just shortly before reaching the gate, but he was not trying to get through the gate. I don’t know if he’d have done so if he hadn’t spotted me, or if “bandit tries to get through the gate” is an event you’d only see coming through the first time.

The puzzle door you go through with the golden dragon claw, though, was still wide open. Which was a damn good thing, because I didn’t have the golden claw anymore, of course. I was in fact a little worried that I might have to go back after it, but no. That raises the question though of whether any of the other puzzle doors that require a claw to get through would reset back to their closed state if their barrows respawn?

I can’t think of a single example of having to re-run any of those other barrows in any of my prior games. And I’d think that the vast majority of the time, if you’re a player who collects all of those dragon claws, you’re probably going to be stuffing them in a trunk in one of your houses. Or putting them up for display if you’re running the AE, and have one of the houses where you can do that. You’re not going to be carrying them around in your inventory with you. So even if for some reason you do have to revisit one of those barrows, it seems unlikely that you’d have the relevant claw with you.

Hmm. This is a thing Future Me will need to keep an eye out for!

Let me also note here for the record that having canceled Survival Mode in this run saved me the trouble of having to tromp all the way back around to the entrance of the barrow, through freezing terrain, to get my mount back. So I’ll take a moment to be grateful for that.

A little bit more Companions work

Hrmph, I feel like if you become the Harbinger of the Companions, you ought to be off the hook for the recurring “talk to the Companions leaders for work” quest. Or at the very least, the dialogue you trigger for those ought to change a trifle. They should stop reminding you you shouldn’t kill anybody if you have to go have a brawl, and such.

And for that matter, I feel like the Harbinger of the Companions ought to be above going to punch citizens over their behavior. You ought to, IMO, at least have the opportunity to talk a transgressing citizen into making amends without having to punch their lights out first.

You could make a strong argument for the Companions being headquartered in Skyrim meaning they operate by Nord customs. Most of them are Nords, who as a general rule do in fact resolve disputes by brawls!

But I’m not actually playing a Nord here, and for that matter, Elrindir isn’t a Nord either. So I feel like a Redguard Harbinger of the Companions should at least have had a chance to settle the dispute with another non-Nord without resorting to fisticuffs.

The other thing to note about the brawl here: I explicitly changed out of the Lord’s Mail before doing so. Because I’d seen on the wiki that having that on, due to its enchantment for pulling health off of enemies, would violate the rules of the brawl.

And I got an opportunity to take Farkas to go help me kill a dragon. Which replicated the same buggy behavior I saw in Delga’s run: i.e., he didn’t actually help me fight the dragon, but caught up with me later and acted like he had.

A note about weaponry

Heh, as long as I’m playing a Redguard, I feel like dual-wielding some scimitars is absolutely called for now that I have two of them. And for good measure, I slapped fire and frost enchantments on them.

These should stand me in good stead for a while until I maybe get the Remnant scimitars, or Bloodscythe and Soulrender on Solstheim. Or maybe Hopesfire and Trueflame? We’ll see!

Next time

I’m in the mood to go get that Remnants armor. And I also want to check out that dwarven home, since that’s AE content I haven’t covered yet.


Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.

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.