Elder Scrolls Online,  Gyllerah Playthrough

In Which Gyllerah Defends the Dominion in Grahtwood and Greenshade

Another big crunchy multi-session post, just because I find this easier to write up for Gyllerah. Expect these to continue for the foreseeable future, y’all.

Main action covered in these sessions: advancing the Aldmeri Dominion plot, with some very satisfying sub-plots inside of that quest line. Much love for the best Sheogorath action I’ve experienced in an Elder Scrolls game to date, as well as the plot involving the Wilderking.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 2/16-2/23/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 129-136

Thursday the 16th

  • Ran two rounds of writs, no other significant action
  • Surveys run: Blacksmith and Clothing surveys in High Isle, Clothing and Woodworking in Western Skyrim
  • Bought from Guild traders: additional ingredients for provisioning
  • Gear work: made cp60 sword, enchanted it and my current cp60 bow

Friday the 17th

Going after the pieces of the Staff of Towers

  • First bit of play was to go after the pieces of staff for the Psijic Order plot
  • Went to Leki’s Blade for the orichalc bit
  • Nearby dolmen fired off while I was there, so ran over to help out with that; that allowed me to get in some loot though I mostly just threw heals around
  • Went to Bangkorai for the adamantine bit; undead in a graveyard, like ya do; killed once when I got a little swarmed by bad guys there
  • Went to Deshaan for the walk-brass bit
  • Came in via Mournhold, and hoofed it from there over to the area of Ghost Snake Vale
  • Last bit in Shadowfen, the crystal bit
  • Returned to Artaeum to turn in all the bits of the staff
  • Talked to Loremaster Celarus, who sent me to have another word with Josajeh; got next round of instruction to close breaches, this time in Valenwood

Going after the pieces of the orrery for Ayrenn’s ratification

  • EVER SO CONVENIENTLY, I was going back to Grahtwood anyway! Returned to work on the Aldmeri Dominion plot
  • This involved looking for a couple of MacGuffins, and also an operator for the orrery to be used to ratify Ayrenn as queen, so set out to do these things
  • First up: Rajhin’s Mantle at the Falinesti Winter Site, which triggered a side quest: A Lasting Winter (more on this below)
  • Had to agree to free Nairume from her icy prison, and got her help to fight a bunch of gargoyles and other beasties to get the mantle
  • Dominion General Endare had gone in ahead of us and reached the thing, and it drove her bonkers, so I had to kill her
  • That was a tough fight as she kept spawning duplicates, and I eventually found out I had to kill both her and her duplicate together very quickly, or else she’d keep spawning duplicates
  • Finally pulled it off and burned the curse off the mantle, so it could be returned safely to Elden Root
  • Onward to Southpoint!
  • Spoke with an initial soldier and then a captain who warned me of the situation: town stricken with madness, citizens killing each other in the streets
  • Captain said he’d sent in some scouts to check out the place, but they hadn’t come back
  • Went in to check the place out; found the operator I was looking for, Daraneth, who put forth the suspicion that the place was under the control of Sheogorath
  • She and I went looking to find the missing scouts
  • Found the first one tied up and under threat of being eaten, so freed him
  • The other two had been turned into bears, so Daraneth and I had to work on turning them back
  • I had to keep the bears from Daraneth while she powered up the magic, and also kept throwing me heals (pretty damned useful actually)
  • Had to get into Daraneth’s laboratory to retrieve a scroll she needed to break through the ward on the cathedral where the mayor of the town was hiding
  • But her house was in an area of the town under assault by Rufinus, a dude who had manifested lightning powers, so had to go up to the top of a tower and talk him down from that
  • Made it into the lab and retrieved the scroll, then went after the mayor–only to discover oh shit, “Daraneth” was actually Sheogorath possessing her body
  • He finally stepped out of her, and threw a spell on me
  • Woke up in a cell with the actual Daraneth who clued me into how she’d been taken over
  • Then Sheo himself showed up again, and LOL, called me “my old friend Hunts-For-Books”
  • He agreed to let me loose only if I’d kill the mayor for him so had to agree to that; I made him agree to leave Southpoint if I succeeded
  • Finally got past his roadblocks (including the part where he ranted about choice and free will, and made me choose between fighting a friend of his and pulling a lever, and the friend was an actual monster named Free Will)
  • Re-confronted the mayor, and managed to talk him into standing down and asking Sheo to take him back to the Shivering Isles with him
  • So they both left and the town was sorta kinda saved, yay?
  • Daraneth agreed to return to Elden Root
  • Left the town behind and did a little fishing at the nearby beach
  • Boinged northward for the final MacGuffin at the Reliquary of Stars, which required me to help a Mages Guild researcher find her missing assistants
  • One of whom had been turned to stone by a phantom dremora, Ukaezai, who then wound up possessing that assistant, and trying to use the Heart of Anumaril to recreate herself a body
  • So I had to kill her and save the assistant, overall a nice crunchy small plot, very appreciated
  • There was a minor side plot as well with putting a ghost to rest when I convinced her her lover wasn’t coming for her

Ayrenn’s ratification

  • Finally returned to Elden Root to report in, and was sent to the orrery for the ratification
  • With Daraneth’s help got the orrery activated–at which point the next plot wrinkle showed up
  • Naemon tried to seize power by flinging himself in the orrery, which promptly turned him into an ogrim, so I had to fight him and kill him
  • Ayrenn point blank ordered everybody in the room to say nothing about what had happened, and as far as she was concerned, anybody who needed to know what happened to Naemon only needed to be told that he’d sacrificed himself to protect her and the Dominion
  • Heard Azareth the ranger boggling about this to King Camoran in the background
  • Ayrenn of course came glowing out of the orrery, thanked me for standing with her, and asked me to proceed next to Marbruk for securing the Staff of Magnus
  • But for now returned to Alinor to do another round of writs
  • During the course of all this play I picked up three more skill points, two off of the quests and one off of skyshards, so dropped those on Enchanting and Provisioning
  • Went past cp80 so picked up the next tier of materials I could use for my gear
  • Filled all those writs and then boinged back to Cliffshade to log off for the night

Saturday the 18th

  • Uh, not sure? I didn’t take notes? Probably just ran writs as I had Skyrim action that day too

Sunday the 19th

The Staff of Magnus

  • This was a fairly large crunchy session, writs were not available so boinged off to Greenshade, which really just meant leaving Cliffshade, LOL
  • Found Captain Sarandil who led me into the vault where the Staff of Magnus was supposedly secured; did not like this guy
  • Did like the part where I saw unusual plants in the vault like crimson nirnroot
  • Shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that the staff was not actually there; Vicereeve Pelidil was the only other person who’d been in the vault lately
  • Herald showed up reporting the arrival of the Queen, so I went to go tell her what happened
  • She spoke of Pelidil having disappeared along with her brother’s body, and GOSH THAT ISN’T SUSPICIOUS OR ANYTHING
  • Razum-dar was with her, so i talked to him to get the next quest
  • (But paused to trigger a skyshard on an upper floor of the Mages Guild)

Frighten the Fearsome

  • Raz sent me off to talk to the Bosmer in Bramblebreach and negotiate an alliance with them
  • Found another Khajiit, Hazazi, who was there already and could not get the Bosmer to talk to him at all; offered to take the problem off his hands, which pleased him greatly
  • Went to talk to Treethane Niriel who told me if I could solve their Wood Orc problem for them she’d be willing to help me petition the Wilderking for an audience
  • She sent me off to get seeds from the Shimmering Tree in their village and use those to plant and grow lurchers in the orc camp
  • On the way, found Aranias and Andur; Aranais claimed to be a scholar with Andur as her protection
  • She had a useful suggestion about taking essence off a kollopi tree to use as a disguise, and Andur warned me about their shaman
  • Off to pester the Orcs, which went mostly well
  • Figured out that the essence trick was short lived, but fortunately there were multiple examples of the kollopi trees
  • Still, some of the Orcs spotted me and I had to take them out
  • Hit a skyshard in the camp as well
  • Finally made it to the chieftain; he and the shaman killed me once, but second time through took him out
  • Got out again and found that Bosmer militia had come in to take the camp over
  • So was able to safely report back to the Treethane, who freely told me how to go petition the Wilderking, though she warned me it had no guarantee of success

Audience With the Wilderking

  • Went off to the Petitioning Stone and got the Wilderking to talk to me
  • He had me show him an example of the Veiled Heritance as common enemies to the Bosmer and the Dominion
  • He acknowledged my position here, but also warned me about Aranias also being with the Veiled Heritance–and that she and Andurs were going to try to kill him (DUN DUN DUN)

The Spinner’s Tale, and The Rock Witch of Silatar

  • Wilderking sent me off to talk to a guy called Spinner Maruin, who worked a magic that built a “story” of Aranias’s past and sent me into it
  • At which point I learned that holy shit, Aranias is stupidly powerful, built an entire island with her magic
  • Her parents freaked out about this and brought in the Heritance to try to force her into training
  • I had to be the balance against that, and to encourage Aranias to do the right thing
  • When I successfully resolved the story the Spinner brought me back

A Tangled Knot

  • I was right near an interesting labyrinth location that seemed to have a skyshard nearby
  • So I went into the labyrinth to check it out and triggered a side quest
  • Found ambulatory wood-ish creature who wanted me to help him explain his existence
  • Had to go through the labyrinth triggering various little magical books that told this guy’s story and how he was connected to the Wilderking, who’d been mortal once, and who’d accidentally killed him but then raised him into the creature he was now
  • A fascinating little bit of background story, but the skyshard was not in there, it was outside the labyrinth, so I swung around to get it before proceeding

Throne of the Wilderking

  • Headed to Greenheart to catch up with Aranias and Andur
  • Had to fight past guardians like the one in the labyrinth, as well as some imps that the Wilderking had lost control of
  • Followed a trail of fire left by Andur to get in
  • Persuaded the Wilderking to help me out with his creatures, and he gave me a bit of an aura that kept them all from attacking me, so I could focus on finding Aranias and Andur
  • Aranias recognized me and let me convince her to help out; gave me a bundle of roots to burrow past Andur’s trail of fire
  • The Wilderking revealed that Aranias was meant to take his place, but I had to actually still take out Andur, and then encourage Aranias to accept her coming transition
  • She turned into the Wilderqueen and agreed to ally with the Dominion

Woodhearth and Veil of Illusion

  • She gave me a portal out again, and my next objective became going to Woodhearth to find the Staff of Magnus
  • Headed there and talked to Yanaril, an agent of the Thalmor
  • Had to report to the local Thalmor headquarters to find Raz and a couple other NPCs, who were working on a plan to slap an illusion on Raz to make him look like the Queen
  • Went with disguised Raz down into the tunnels to look for a contact called Asteril, but it of course turned out to be a trap
  • Raz’s illusion was broken, and he was dazed, so I searched the place without him
  • Found Pelidil’s orders indicating he’s now in charge of the Heritance and they are totes still targeting the Queen; returned to the Thalmor HQ to report in
  • Sent to Asteril’s house but found her dead
  • Returned to the Imperial prison with Raz
  • Took out Veilmistress Aressea, immediately local boss in the dungeon
  • Found out the individual we saw as ‘Asteril’ was actually her twin sister pretending to be her, Laryaril
  • Laryaril clued us in that Pelidil was allying with the Maormer to try to take down the Dominion–and raise Naemon’s body to be the undead leader of an undead army and YIKES
  • So that was a pretty good place to call a halt for the night
  • Boinged back to Cliffshade for inventory cleanup
  • Logged off for the night

Monday the 20th

  • Ran writs
  • Ingredients bought: provisioning ingredients and water hyacinth
  • Went to Northern Elsweyr to run a clothing survey to get enough material to make myself a shadowhide helmet
  • Survey spot was near a shrine and in a spot I’d been to before, but it took me a while to remember how to get to it
  • On the way, encountered a dragon but there were not enough players on hand to fight it, and it handed me my ass several times before I left it to its own devices
  • Returned to Cliffshade, made cp100 helmet
  • Logged off for the night

Tuesday the 21st through Thursday the 23rd

  • Ran writs all three days, no other significant action
  • Surveys done: Alchemy in Malabal Tor, Jewelry on Auridon
  • Ingredients bought: Garlic from Alinor Guild traders, corn from Finnegil in the Plaza of the Hand
  • Gear updates: Shadowhide jack and guards of cp100 quality
  • While in Malabal Tor, also got in one of the Psijic Order time breaches to seal

Going after pieces of the Staff of Towers

Some of the action in this post covered going after pieces of the Staff of Towers for the Psijic Order plot, which I’m poking at in between the bigger run through the Aldmeri Dominion plotline.

Favorite line out of the Augur when I went after the orichalc part of the staff:

The ruins of Leki’s Blade. Really gets you thinking, eh? About mortality. The long, slow march of time … the grim inevitability of death, decay, and obscurity. Phew! Glad I don’t have to worry about that!

I liked boinging around to different locations looking for the staff bits, and I also liked the graphical representation of the trails I had to follow to find them. That was neat!

Going to Deshaan for the bit of the staff there meant going to Mournhold as my fastest way to get in. I briefly considered actually getting the inn room there, partly on the grounds that I did have prior action in that city and came to the attention of Almalexia and all. So out of all the places in Morrowind Gyllerah might want a local place to stay, that’s the best candidate so far.

For the immediate moment, though, I didn’t want to spare the gold for it. And I’d already burned through my stock of purchased crowns. So for now I skipped it. I have other things I want to spend gold on instead, like hunting down some of the esoteric style pages I’m going to need for master writs.

Maybe later on the down the line though I’ll come back for that inn room!

Lastly, I want to note for the record that of all the places in the Tamriel map, the bits with GIANT FUCKING WASPS are the ones that make me go yeeeeek the most. Particularly if they come at you in a swarm. I MEAN HONESTLY.

It is therefore highly, highly unlikely I will ever want a player house in Argonian territory. 😉 Even if I’m playing an Argonian!

A Lasting Winter quest

This was the first of the three quests I had to run in Grahtwood to get the orrery for ratifying Ayrenn up and running, and it required me to recover Rajhin’s Mantle.

I wound up doing this plot a bit of a disservice, because I was playing during TV watching and had the volume on my Deck turned down. So I missed some critical dialogue. But going back and checking the wiki, I saw that the High Elf Nairume was imprisoned in the place by Rajhin’s Shadow…. who was apparently one of seven shadows of the trickster god? Who got obsessed and infatuated with her, and imprisoned her when she spurned his advances.

Yikes. Creepy much?

I liked the part of this quest involved with General Endare as well. She was the Dominion general in theory in charge of the situation–but in actual practice, she got hold of the Mantle and it drove her bonkers. I got through to the veil of madness on her long enough to get her to tell me to take her out if I had to, and I had to.

She was a challenging fight, too. She kept spawning duplicates, and it took me a little bit to figure out that I had to explicitly kill her and her current duplicate together very quickly, otherwise she’d keep spawning new duplicates. That was kind of neat, since it gave an unusual flavor to that battle.

The Grip of Madness quest

Now this was some fun. 😀 Had to go to Southpoint in search of Daraneth, the operator needed to work the orrery for Ayrenn’s ratification. Which was nice and all except for the part where everybody in the town had gone actively batshit, and they were now killing each other in the streets.

And any veteran player of Elder Scrolls games will know that if you see a bunch of people going batshit in a given location, chances are very, very high that good ol’ Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, is involved.

Which of course was the case, as I quickly found out once I located the NPC I was there to talk to.

And here’s what I loved the most about this plot: this was the first time I’d really gotten to see Sheogorath be actively dangerous.

Prior to this point, my familiarity with him had only been via his brief appearance in Skyrim, as well as the beginning of the Mages Guild plot right here in ESO. But the main issue with both of those appearance is just that, for me, our Uncle Sheo comes across as basically just “ha ha, aren’t I the wacky Daedric Prince of Madness? I love cheese!”

But here, though, actively driving people mad, as well as being legit unpredictable in what he’d do next, made him a hell of a lot more interesting to engage with.

And it certainly made the town in general challenging to engage with, just because there were different levels of madness manifesting all over the place. I repeatedly felt vaguely guilty about fighting with deranged citizens coming up to attack me! I didn’t really want to keep them because shit, it wasn’t their fault Sheo drove them binky-bonkers.

Relatedly, it was also weird doing the part where Daraneth and I had to rescue missing scouts and discovered that two of them had been turned into bears. This meant that I had to fight the bears to keep them distracted while Daraneth powered up the magic to turn them back. And that meant I had to be distracting the bears without killing them, which was a weird headspace to be in while a bear-shaped creature is trying to rip my head off. Because even if it’s a transformed scout, right then it still thinks it’s a bear!

Here’s a roundup of my favorite Sheogorath quotes in this plot:

“Well, if it isn’t my old friend Hunts-For-Books! Now don’t look so glum, or the skeevers’ll notice. Then they hit you up for some spare gold, a few shin bones, your best pair of cheese-filled slippers. Insufferable beasts! They can’t hold a conversation.”

“I want him to reach deep down, below all the marmalade and crushing failures defining his life, to find a seed of confidence, and grow it into a tree of gumption he’ll use to beat your brains to paste. But if not, any brain paste’ll do. Even his.”

“Choice wins again. Really tugs at the heart-strings! Careful with those. Yank too hard, and the blood goes everywhere but up. I really do admire this town. Shame I can’t take it with me. Oh, but can’t I? I know just where to put it!”

“We did, did we? Well, I suppose you’re right. Aulie and I could always visit. Perhaps during hurricane season! That would be delightful.”

Some other things I really liked about this plot:

  • I found somebody’s spooky poem
  • Differing levels of madness amongst the townsfolk, not just people being actively homicidal, but also one woman being obsessed with the town being “less grimy”, and a guy who was completely fixated on the hearth fire in his room
  • Having Daraneth flinging me heals while I was fighting, that was super useful, and makes me more interested in finding one of the various Companion characters the game lets you have so I can have somebody being my backup on a regular basis.
  • Talking Rufinus, the guy who’d manifested lightning powers, down from his rampage up on the tower–and that guy was also interesting as he showed up later in the plot as well, doing his best to provide me backup even though he was struggling with still being mentally unstable.
  • Sheo calling me Hunts-For-Books actively made me LOL, nice callback to the other plot there, game! 😀
  • The reveal that Daraneth was in fact possessed by Sheogorath when I first found her was very, very well played. I legit didn’t see that coming, though in retrospect I did feel like “Daraneth” came across as just a little bit too excited by the situation when I first found her. I didn’t realize this was a tell at first!
  • Sheogorath making me agree to kill the mayor for him, with the condition from me that he’d leave Southpoint if I succeeded, of course meant that he totally kept interfering with my ability to carry out his own order.
  • Sheo also making me fight a monster called “Free Will” to get him to lower a bridge, LOL, after identifying me as “Choice”

And last but not least, I was surprised and pleased by the plot resolution of convincing the mad mayor to stand down and beg Sheo to take him back to the Shivering Isles with him.

All in all, this plot was great fun. Show me more of this Sheogorath, Elder Scrolls games!

(And now I’m even more interested to get back to playing Oblivion, to see how Sheo plays once I hit the Shivering Isles expansion there…!)

One more thing I’ll note about this plot: while investigating the town, I saw a note from a “Sorion the Talented” to the innkeeper. This didn’t seem immediately relevant to the plot at hand, and when I looked it up on the wiki, I found that this is indeed apparently a pointer to a different plot entirely. I’ll need to go poking around later to follow up on this.

Ayrenn’s ratification

Skipping past commentary on getting the third MacGuffin, the Heart of Anumaril. Even though that bit was fun too, it wasn’t quite as interesting as the other two.

So let’s cut to the part where I went back for Ayrenn’s ratification at the orrery!

Y’all know how I said in my last post that I halfway respected Prince Naemon after my last interactions with him? Well, he fucking blew it, because of course he did.

The idea was supposed to be that Ayrenn would enter the Orrery, and it would basically judge whether she was fit to be Queen, revealing her true self. But Naemon threw off what in retrospect was clearly a bitter remark about always living in Ayrenn’s shadow, before slapping spells on all of us to hold us in place. Then he ran into the orrery, proclaiming that he could hardly let his sister use such a potentially dangerous device without testing it first himself.

And it promptly turned him into an ogrim. Yikes.

I’m torn about Ayrenn’s reaction to this. She was pretty fucking shocked by it, but I have to take at least a little issue with that, y’know? Let’s review!

  1. Naemon was her brother, already in a position to be potentially super fucking jealous all on his own about her being ahead of him in line to rule
  2. He was the husband of the head of the Veiled Heritance, who still actively want to overthrow Ayrenn by this point in the plot
  3. I had, in fact, brought about the death of his wife, about which he had been palpably bitter the last time I spoke to him

I was legit a bit disappointed by Naemon pulling this stunt. I was actually kind of hoping he’d turn out to be a true supporter of the Queen, which would been way more interesting to me character development wise.

This way feels like an easier, lazier ending for him. But since the plot did go this route, and I was not shocked by it in the slightest, I gotta wonder why in the Divines’ names was Ayrenn the slightest bit shocked?

Because the instant that everybody found out Estre was the leader of the Veiled Heritance, why was Naemon not therefore immediately under suspicion? Because I don’t buy for an instant that Estre was doing all her racist Daedra-worshipping treason without her husband having the slightest clue what was going on. He hasn’t ever struck me as stupid, which means he couldn’t have been oblivious to what Estre was doing because he didn’t know his own ass from a hole in the ground. And that means either:

  1. He was seeing the signs, but for whatever reason was being willfully ignorant about them, because who the fuck knows why? Maybe Estre convinced him she was a harmless noblewoman so he underestimated her and would have no conception of the power base she was building?
  2. Maybe he hated Estre’s guts and only married her for power or political alliance, since Altmer do that, particularly Altmer in high positions of power? So maybe he just didn’t give a fuck about keeping tabs on what Estre was up to? Or,
  3. He knew and actively supported it. Maybe because he was jealous of Ayrenn being ahead of him in line to the throne. Maybe because he hated Ayrenn’s opening up the borders.

Even the risk of possibility number three tells me that the Divine Prosecution in general, and perhaps also the Thalmor in particular, should have been all over this guy. At the very least, house arrest until it can be proven whether or not he’s a threat. And if not house arrest–because clearly Ayrenn didn’t go that route, since I saw Naemon right in King Cameron’s court–then he should have had Eyes of the Queen following his every move.

And given that Naemon wasn’t an idiot, he should have been absolutely aware that he was in a highly suspicious position. And behaving in an exemplary fashion expressly to get Ayrenn to back off of him.

But why weren’t the Divine Prosecution and/or the Thalmor all over him? I know from earlier action on Summerset that the Divine Prosecution is stretched super thin, because of the war with the Pact and the Covenant. Which is presumably also stretching Thalmor forces thin.

So maybe Ayrenn didn’t have access to enough people to enforce keeping Naemon in check?

Or maybe she didn’t trust what DP/Thalmor forces were available? Which, that’d also be legit. Because I’ve also seen in the way this plot’s playing out that there are a fuckload of Altmer supporting the Veiled Heritance. It would not surprise me in the slightest that the Heritance would have footholds in the Divine Prosecution, and the Thalmor in particular.

The fucking Thalmor, man!

But all of that is also assuming an Ayrenn being entirely rational about her brother. Ayrenn is also not an idiot, so I will do the character the courtesy of assuming for narrative purposes that she’s done all this political calculus. None of it erases the fact that Naemon was also her brother, and having her brother pull the stunt that he did at the orrery had to be a huge emotional gutpunch.

So I can see that she’d not be rationally shocked by it, but definitely emotionally shocked.

And even given this, Ayrenn was able to keep her shit together, go into the orrery herself, and issue orders to everyone in the room that as far as the world was concerned, Naemon died a hero.

This is political calculus too: damage control. Because she had to be thinking, if word gets out about what Naemon did, is this going to enflame the Heritance any further?

Still though, I wish I could have seen a bit more nuance to her relationship to Naemon before this happened. And I’m still disappointed that Naemon pulled this.

Oh well, moving on!

The Staff of Magnus quest

As someone who has written copious numbers of posts about her love for the College of Winterhold in Skyrim, the Staff of Magnus is of course very dear to my heart. So it was vaguely disappointing to see it not be terribly interesting here. Because in a quest called The Staff of Magnus, I didn’t actually get to lay my physical hands on it!

So it’ll be interesting to see whether it actually has any plot relevance later.

I had to go find a Captain Sarandil to secure the staff. I did not like this guy. He kept bitching about the Bosmer, and being all condescending about bringing civilization to the wilds. Fuck you very much, captain. Makes me want to decorate Cliffshade with vines. I am going to need to get some Bosmer furniture in there, STAT.

Also, Sarandil, you are not invited to Cliffshade for tea.

I did like the unusual plants in the vault, though! Shoutout to crimson nirnroot. <3

And really, the whole real point of interest in this mini-plot was identifying Vicereeve Pelidil as the next Veiled Heritance asshole I was going to have to take down.

The overall Wilderking story arc

I really liked this entire quest line, and appreciated it zooming the focus in on one particular Veiled Heritance member–and turning her away from that path and onto the path of something greater.

Getting to know Aranias as a character was fun, even if I feel like kludging me into her past was a bit of a simplistic way to make her sympathetic to me. And here’s why: because on the one hand, the “story” about Aranias’s past didn’t count for the part where I killed Andurs. But it did count for making Aranias actually trust me and be willing to take my help.

But I was willing to set that aside, because otherwise, I had great fun with this.

As anyone who’s read my books knows, I’m very partial to the trope of stupendously powerful female mages! So I was inclined to like Aranias, and the whole set of interactions I had with her. Starting with helping her defend her farm attacked by bandits, moving through killing Andurs, and then persuading her to stand against Estre’s insistence that she kill a Bosmer captive with her magic. Great big pile of YEAH NO.

After I did the whole “story” of Aranias’s past, I liked the side quest in the labyrinth as well, just for the sake of getting a fascinating bit of backstory about the Wilderking. Given how things played out following that, I feel that bit of side story informed the action nicely.

Everything culminated in Aranias taking over from the Wilderking, and turning into the Wilderqueen. Which was a beautifully done kind of thing. And even though I’d been sorta kinda kludged into Aranias’s background, at the end of it she accepted me as a legit friend. I really liked being there to witness her ascension. <3

Woodhearth and Veil of Illusion quests

Then it was off to Woodhearth, where i met up yet again with Razum-dar and found him in the middle of a plan to slap an illusion on him to make him look like the Queen–all in the name of drawing out Veiled Heritance conspirators, of course.

This was legit kind of hilarious, because it involved Ayrenn’s voice actor taking over Raz’s lines in his style. She had to constantly correct herself to not say “this one” and speak in third person all the time, LOLOL.

On the other hand, I was not really a fan of this subplot requiring me to work with actual Thalmor. XD

And, the big interesting plot point revealed here was the Veiled Heritance allying with the Maormer to try to take down the Dominion (because allying with the Dominion worked SO WELL on Khenarthi’s Roost?). And that Pelidil was going to try to raise Prince Naemon’s body as the undead leader of an undead army.


Next time

More of the Dominion plotline, probably! And as always, more writs. Getting closer to cp160 at which time I’ll be able to wear the coolest gear.

And now that I’m starting to get master writs in my writ rewards boxes, I’m starting to try to hunt down what I need to do to find some of these unusual styles! I may put cycles into researching this, too.


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.


  • Erin Schram

    Did you find the time breach in the Greenshade Labyrinth? You didn’t mention it.

    As for the apartment in Mournhold my EU dunmer dragonknight Countess Ada Lovelace decided to buy a home in Mournhold, because she was spending a lot of time there. Roleplaying determines which homes my characters buy. She passed up the Flaming Nix Deluxe Garret and chose the Quondam Indorilia west of Mournhold. It was more her noble style and closer to the Mages Guild.

    • Angela Korra'ti

      I did find it, though I saw that the breach was just outside the labyrinth, rather than inside it. I did forget to mention!

      And yeah, “where am I likely to be” is a factor in my home choices, indeed.