Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendis Becomes Thane of the Pale and Takes Territory for the Empire

This is another three-session post, as I’m trying to clear out my queue to get caught up! Main action here: lot of war stuff, since I took both the Pale and the Rift for the Empire; got Bloodchill Cavern; got the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal; got the cracked White Phial for Nurelion; got the ironwood fruit to make the healing soup for Rulnik; got the Headman’s Cleaver; and last but not least, became thane of the Pale after putting Brina Merilis in power as Jarl.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 2/21, 2/23, 2/25/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 36-38

Tuesday the 21st

  • Started off in Lakeview; got Lydia on duty 
  • Boinged to Whiterun to sell things
  • Decided to run Silverdrift Lair as first action this session, and since that place was already on my map, just fast traveled straight to it
  • Kinda ran it bass-ackwards, hit the various interesting boss chests first on the lower level
  • Got the Ancestral Sword of Clan Ice-Blade that’s the endgame of the Gray Cowl plot, even though I hadn’t done more than get the quest prompt for that, LOL
  • Got three different glass shields as loot!
  • Got the word for the Disarm Shout and finally got out again
  • Rode from there to aim for Bloodchill Cavern since it wasn’t on my map
  • First tried to swing east from Silverdrift and cut up through Wayward Pass
  • Hit a zombie horde–and I think this was where I accidentally killed Lydia, because she got in front of me while I was trying to swing at a zombie, GODDAMNIT LYDS STAY OUT OF THE WAY
  • Rolled back from that and that caused me to boing back to coming out of Silverdrift
  • Took different route this time and wound up passing Driftshade Refuge
  • OH HEY THERE SILVER HANDS THAT RESPAWNED! I remember you guys! Skjor says HI! <stabby>
  • Only killed one of them outside the place, though I saw another red dot for the one on the roof
  • Finally found the route to Bloodchilll Cavern
  • Took out a couple of spriggans that appeared to have killed a frost troll on the way
  • Running Bloodchill Cavern took several tries
  • Kept having my ass handed to me by the waiter, who turned out to be a fairly powerful lightning-throwing mage
  • So again, wound up having to make explicitly careful use of the Slow Time Shout so I could finally take him down and get the place
  • Looted a bunch of things off the various fallen
  • Headed out to discover that yet again Yngvi had vanished from where I left him
  • Also spotted a mammoth who’d just killed two sabre cats just down the hill; got close enough to loot one of the sabre cats, but the mammoth was also very close by, and giving me and Lyds a look like DO NOT EVEN COME NEAR ME OR I WILL FUCK YOU UP
  • Went back inside to confirm the place had reset properly
  • But also got very weird glitchy rendering behavior I hadn’t seen before in Shenner’s run, or Harrow’s; will have to see if this recurs, maybe it’s a Switch thing?
  • Left Stormcloak gear there, as well as the Steel Soldier armor
  • Headed back out again and started hoofing it westward towards the Pale Imperial Camp
  • Reached Snowpoint Beacon, and killed bandit just outside the tower–but the one on top of it killed me, ow
  • Thrown back to coming out of Bloodchill Cavern again
  • This time took different route and wound up going past Driftshade Refuge again, at which point Lydia took out the bandit still on the roof of that place
  • Hoofed it part of the way towards Windward Ruins before I realized wait hold up I can eat some food and make a campsite, and that’ll help get down my carry weight! So I did that
  • Also took advantage of the campsite to let me fast travel and get Yngvi back; once I was back on my unicorn, started riding the rest of the way
  • Overshot Agrane Peryval’s campsite though I was actively looking for it
  • Took out some bandits who’d been fighting ice wraiths, then spotted Agrane’s camp finally; sold him a good amount of the loot from the vampire fight in Bloodchilll Cavern
  • Found the unmarked bandit camp on the coast and took out the three bandits there, all of whom turned out to be Redguard women; I think Kendis was all WAIT MY SISTERS DON’T DO THIS SHIT oh well okay FINE let’s do this
  • Which also made me realize wait don’t I usually get a dragon right around here?
  • Reached the camp and got Rikke’s orders to steal the Stormcloak courier’s orders
  • Sold the quartermaster more of my loot
  • Then got the dragon I was expecting, and barely had to do a thing, what with Lydia, Yngvi, and every single soldier in the place running over to beat up on the dragon
  • I slurped up its soul, at which point all the soldiers had to be WAIT WHAT IS SHE DOING, LOL
  • Sidetracked to Windstad for a bit
  • Triggered an instance of that whole invisible bandits bug, but couldn’t make the bandits render so I could fight them
  • So just built as many things as I could before running out of materials
  • Next item on the agenda: finding that courier!
  • Boinged to Nightgate Inn; questioned the innkeeper and persuaded him the courier’s life was in danger; got quest marker for the courier coming back from Windhelm
  • Went out to intercept him
  • Took him out with a bowshot only to realize it counted as a murder on my crime stats
  • Rolled back to coming out of Nightgate Inn and intercepted the courier a second time to provoke him into attacking me first, but yep that counted as a murder too, OHWELLS
  • Got those orders anyway, and boinged back to the Imperial camp to hand them off to Rikke, who gleefully tweaked them and told me to make sure they got into the hands of the commander in Dawnstar
  • Boinged off to Dawnstar and found Akhari’s Khajiit caravan on site; for once they actually had their tents up which was a bit of a surprise, so shopped with Akhari to lighten the load
  • Broke out the Stormcloak officer gear I’d commandeered after the battle for Whiterun; the commander totes bought it and was all “go get a drink!” at me
  • Headed blithely back out again but only changed back into Imperial gear once out of range of the city
  • Boinged back to the Imperial camp to report in, and got orders to join up with the squad about to attack Fort Dunstad
  • Boinged to the Weynon Stones to get there; got off Yngvi when i met up with the squad, then ran in to help them take the place
  • Hurray, the fort is ours! Looted a whole buncha fallen Stormcloaks
  • Tromped slowly back out to find Yngvi and this time at least did successfully find him
  • Boinged back to Solitude to report in to Tullius
  • Sold a bunch of things to Sayma and Beirand to unload
  • Reported in and got promoted to Praefect; got an ebony shield, and orders to rendezvous with the Imperial camp in the Rift for my next round of action
  • But first,  realized this now means oh fuck yeah, Brina Merilis is now in charge in Dawnstar, so boinged back there to say hi and get her pointer to become thane 😀
  • Already had two of those favors fulfilled, because nightmare plot, and also putting her into power–so even though I have three favor quests queued up, I don’t need all of them for thane purposes now
  • Boinged down to Riften to try to move the Gray Cowl plot along so i could get rid of the otherwise useless Ancestral Sword
  • Looted the thief’s body in the graveyard
  • Tried to boing to Solitude for the next phase only to realize fuck, I have to get the items from the strongbox in Bolli’s house first, so boinged back to Riften
  • Could not find Nivenor to get her to fork over the key to the strongbox; looked for her in the Bee and Barb, but no luck
  • Did however read the letter to trigger the Blue in the Face quest! Soon I’ll get a little goblin buddy!
  • Slept the night at Honeyside
  • Found a window of time when Bolli’s house was open, so was able to enter without breaking in
  • Talked to Nivenor to pass the Persuade check to get her key; got the instructions and the forged deed
  • Then boinged back to Solitude
  • Tried talking to Gisli but she blew me off, so had to sneak into Erikur’s house
  • Found the mage Melaran in there, but he didn’t spot me or Lydia; once he was gone, safely made it up to the top floor to swipe the letter about Gisli’s actions
  • Returned to Gisli and convinced her to sell me the deed
  • Returned to Riften and went back to the Gray Fox’s grave
  • The Fox showed up and gave me the cowl, and took the sword; quest resolved!
  • Boinged back to Lakeview; did a boatload of smithing and making armor out of materials on hand
  • Leveled up to 40; took Magicka bump and Adept Conjuration perk

Thursday the 23rd

  • Picked up at Lakeview
  • Boinged to Whiterun and sold things
  • Boinged over to Tundra Homestead to drop off the ebony claw there
  • Boinged to Orotheim to get within range of Brood Cavern, which took a judicious bit of maneuvering with Yngvi to finally get to the cave
  • Killed two bears outside and three bears inside, with the help of summoning my own bear; take that, bears!
  • Looted the place and got the Fine-Cut Void Salts out of the chest, along with other loot
  • Hit the corundum vein inside and a couple of iron veins outside
  • Boinged over to Yorgrim Overlook to get within range of Forsaken Cave; killed snow bear outside that
  • Ran the place without too much trouble; got the Ring of Pure Mixtures out of the boss chest by the Word Wall, and the word for Marked for Death
  • Used Nurelion’s mixture and got to the area in the back with the cracked White Phial
  • Boinged back to Dawnstar
  • Came in late, but found Frida coming out of the inn so stopped her to give her the ring; third favor quest achieved!
  • Rented a room in the inn to have a sleep
  • Then got up the next morning to check in with new Jarl Brina, and got her to make me thane \0/
  • Also got her to sell me the land for Heljarchen Hall, so HI GREGOR! Welcome to Team Dragonborn!
  • Went back out into the town and gave Captain Wayfinder his update (though he didn’t actually take the Fine-Cut Void Salts, this bug still happens? Interestingly, I did not have actual regular void salts)
  • Dropped off the hilt of the Razor with Silus
  • Took boat ride from Dawnstar to Giant’s Tooth
  • Snuck around past the giants’ camp into the cave, but fucked up the order of events, didn’t properly satisfy the objective for exploring around the camp
  • So had to redo that part, so I’d properly mark off exploring the camp before heading in to get the ironfruit; therefore ran that bit twice
  • Got the ironfruit and got out again
  • Saw giants running off to the beach, and Lydia and I were able to almost make it to the beach–but whoops no, there are the ice wraiths and the giants
  • Took them out and only then were we able to return to the boat and go back to Dawnstar
  • Boinged back to Whiterun; slept at Breezehome
  • Next morning made the ironwood soup and stopped by the Temple of Kynareth to drop it off for Rulnik
  • Parked back in Breezehome and saved for the night

Saturday the 25th

  • Started off at Breezehome
  • Sold some junk to Belethor
  • Went out and got Yngvi, then rode over to fishing spot by Tundra Homestead and fished there
  • Rode out from there to follow the road past Valtheim Towers
  • As per previous passing of this locale, toll bandit did not challenge me when I’m mounted
  • Almost made it to the bridge and then ELDER DRAGON! Frost breather
  • Stopped and fought it, and it nearly took out Lyds a couple of times, so I had to throw heals at her
  • Called up golden or dark archers or flame atronach, and took it out after a good hard fight
  • When it landed, Yngvi fought it from the front, Lydia from the back, and me pelting it with arrows from the side; take that, dragon! Behold the teamwork of Team Dragonborn!
  • Rode from there to Lost Knife Hideout for the Headman’s Cleaver plot, and also just to kill bandits, just because I like this bandit lair!
  • Very satisfying to keep calling up the bear to throw at them ;D
  • Hit all the high points of this dungeon, various chests (main boss chest as well as the one hidden back at the head of the stream), gold vein
  • Got the weapon as well as the journals off the two Orc brothers, and and orcish armor to sell
  • Tromped slowly back out (because overloaded) to get back to Yngvi, then boinged to Riften to sell things
  • Boinged to Windstad–and fucking hell a second Elder Dragon! Another frost breather! Lydia, Valdimar, Yngvi, summoned archer, and I all took it down
  • Picked up supply cache there
  • Boinged to Whitewatch Tower as quickest way to get to Heljarchen; killed a sabre cat en route
  • Built most of the Small House structure but ran out of iron; stashed stuff in outside chest to come back to
  • Boinged to Lakeview to drop off the Headman’s Cleaver
  • Sotted Lucia stuck in the kitchen and still in “I need to tell all the other kids goodbye and get my things” mode? o.O
  • Boinged to Rift Imperial Camp and got orders to go blackmail Anuriel
  • Boinged to Riften for that; slept in Honeyside, then told Lydia to hang out there and wait
  • Headed over to the Keep
  • Strolled in, quaffed a potion of invisibility, then snuck into Anuriel’s quarters and swiped the letter to her from Maven
  • Had a little chat with Anuriel about that, and got her to tell me about the wagon shipment as well as hand over a nice little sum on the side
  • Boinged back to the camp to report to Rikke, and got orders to meet with scouts on the road
  • HI HADVAR! Let’s shoot some Stormcloaks, shall we?
  • Stormcloaks shot, wagon seized (and heh, I looted the wagon, and consider this shorthand for getting the weapons and money back into Imperial hands!)
  • Boinged back to the camp and did in fact sell all of the weapons to the quartermaster
  • Got orders to report to Fort Greenwall
  • Tried to come in via Shor’s Stone–but got a third Elder Dragon, this time a fire breather
  • Lyds, Yngvi, Shor’s Stone guards, and I killed it–only afterwards, I spotted Lydia fighting with one of the guards! She killed him and got me a 1,000 gold bounty in the Rift, goddammit Lydia
  • Rolled back to the Imperial camp
  • Take two: boinged to Riften stables, and this time came in from the south because that was where the invasion squad was anyway
  • Did not get a dragon this time, so overall net tally of dragons this session returned to two
  • Good hard fight! Took out several Stormcloaks and then looted several more on general principles
  • Tromped back out to get Yngvi, then boinged to Solitude
  • Sold a boatload of Stormcloak loot to Beirand (hey Beirand, y’know you could melt all this stuff down if you got Elisif to let you build a frigging smelter? MAN I miss not having a Solitude smelter in an unmodded run)
  • Reported in to Tullius and got orders to report to the Winterhold camp
  • Briefly boinged to Windstad by mistake, then proceeded to Heljarchen
  • Built the missing door on the Small House (which looked kinda neat without the door), and then built the main house structure and assorted outside accoutrements
  • Once I had the smelter up, was able to smelt more iron ore and go inside to build furniture
  • Made good progress furnishing the Main House, including fireplace and beds!
  • Did not quite finish the Main House though, ran out of iron, will have to come back
  • Boinged back to Lakeview for crafting; made amber helmet and assorted jewelry
  • Leveled up to 41; took Stamina bump and Ebony Smithing perk, which let me do some additional improvements on my gear
  • Also did some alchemy
  • Boinged to Whiterun to follow up on Rulnik
  • Did more alchemy at Breezehome
  • Slept a few hours, then checked in on Rulnik; hurray, he’s well!
  • Went to Jorrvaskr to see about Companion quests and to see if I could de-wolf Vilkas or Farkas, which took several tries and several rollback attempts
  • Farkas wanted to do the dragon thing again, about which I was unenthused
  • Vilkas wanted me to run a citizen rescue, also not terribly enthused about that
  • Tried Aela, and she tried to send me off to Markarth to get a wolf out of Endon’s house (how the fuck did a wolf get into a city?)
  • Finally decided to do Vilkas’s citizen rescue, and go save Jervar at Halted Stream
  • Got there only to find Thalmor vs. Stormcloaks right in front of the camp! The Thalmor won, and killed the Stormcloaks as well as the outside bandits
  • The Thalmor did try to warn me off but didn’t get close enough to actually do anything about it, so I let them go
  • Found Jervar trying to find the first bandit inside the mine; killed that bandit for him and got him out
  • Escorted Jervar back near Whiterun (which is kinda legit for him given that he lives at the stables just outside the city
  • Returned to Jorrvaskr
  • Got Vilkas to give me the Purity quest this time, but it was glitchy; he vanished on me as soon as I came out of Jorrvaskr
  • Wound up rolling back to Lakeview just after i did the alchemy–oh wells! Lost that amusing bit with the Thalmor, as well as the followup with Rulnik
  • And apparently I’m going to have to de-wolf Farkas before de-wolfing Vilkas?
  • Saved for the night

Getting Bloodchill Cavern

I don’t know if this is a consequence of running Bloodchill Cavern this far along into my game or not, but wow, it took me several tries to get it this time. The waiter NPC handed me my ass repeatedly. And, looking on the wiki, I see why: he’s level 65. So even though I came in there as a level 40 character, that’s still a huge gap to cover! And I feel like having a character in there that’s frigging level 65 is a tad unbalanced.

Hmm. Shenner ran Bloodchill Cavern at level 35. And as I wrote at the time, she already had Rulnik and Gogh, so she mopped up the place pretty fast. Harrow ran the vampire version of this plot, so she never had to fight the waiter.

Kendis, on the other hand, came in with just Lydia as backup. And while I was able to do some summoning to bring in help, my summoned creatures got taken out pretty quickly by that waiter.

Lesson to be learned here: if you’re coming in as a non-vamp, be damn sure to have backup. If you’re running modded, consider multiple followers at once if possible. If you’re not running modded, and you’re also not a vampire, hold off on getting Bloodchill Cavern till you’re damn sure you can take down that waiter. The Slow Time Shout proved critical for me. And since the waiter is a powerful mage, elemental resistances are critical. Thinking on it, Shenner having Gogh, who was able to summon a storm atronach, would have helped a lot with taking this guy out.

So, general warning to Future Me, as well as anybody else who might want to run the AE version of the game!

One other thing I want to note about Bloodchill Cavern here: upon coming back in to see if the place had reset properly, I got some very weird glitchy rendering behavior, where large parts of the main corridor and some of the rooms were just not drawing correctly and it made me look like I was in the middle of a partially drawn void. This was very weird.

I never saw this in Shenner’s run, and so far haven’t seen it in Harrow’s either. So this may or may not be limited to the Switch? And it’s also possible that it might have been a one-time “the house was still resetting from the earlier fight state” thing. I’ll have to see if it recurs, and if so, I’ll get screenshots.

Still, in an abundance of caution, I decided to not actually leave anything critical there. Mostly this was because I actually wanted to sell all the loot I was carrying, but also, the glitchiness made me very wary of leaving anything critical there. I didn’t want to risk losing anything I couldn’t get back later.

Invisible bandits are invisible

I’m pretty sure that I haven’t gotten the invisible bandits bug at Windstad or Heljarchen before? This time, I saw it happen at Windstad–and the wiki does in fact confirm Windstad sometimes shows this problem. It does not say Heljarchen Hall shows it.

But yeah, saw it at Windstad this time. I did a full circuit around the house, but could only hear the bandits, couldn’t find them. Going into the house with my summoned Golden Saint didn’t help, either. I saw Valdimar poised in combat mode when I came in, but no bandits!

Went back outside again, still no bandits.

The wiki seems to think that in theory you might be able to fix this problem by leaving the house’s game cell, perhaps by going into the house and coming out again. That’s exactly what I did here, but it didn’t work for me. I never did get those bandits to show up.

And since this is the Switch, I wasn’t able to do the console trick of the tcl command. But I do wonder whether fast traveling to another location would help. Or even just going far enough away on foot that you’re considered to be in a different location cell, then coming back again so the house can re-render. I’ll have to try that next time I see this bug happen.

Intercepting the Stormcloak courier

Played this pretty much the same way I’d done in Delga’s run–because I figured Kendis was going to try to minimize the amount of time she had to spend in Windhelm. I went to the Nightgate Inn instead of Candlehearth, and persuaded my way into getting the innkeeper to tell me the courier would be back soon.

By which I mean, told him ohnoez his life is in danger! Which was technically not really a lie.

What I didn’t realize during Delga’s run though was, taking out that courier counts as a murder even if he attacks you first. I didn’t realize this when I tried to re-do my interception of the courier to arrange things so he’d hit me first–and that didn’t help. He still showed as a murder on my crime stats.

Which was not exactly satisfying. This is a bug that got fixed with the USSEP, but, well, Switch build.

Future Me, I think, may need to try pickpocketing those orders off of him instead, maybe while he’s asleep in the inn room. That way I wouldn’t even have to kill him.

This time through, I note with amusement that I was wearing Stormcloak officer gear by way of my disguise, and that worked as well as Delga wearing the regular gear. Though I feel like somebody showing up in an officer’s uniform running a simple messenger task should really have provoked a different response out of the commander, snerk. 😉 Particularly given that the officer gear did not hide my face, and therefore made it clear that Kendis is, in fact, a Redguard!

And I should think that a Redguard as a Stormcloak officer should raise some eyebrows. Partly for generally xenophobic “SKYRIM IS FOR THE NORDS” issues, but also partly for the points I’ve discussed earlier about Kendis really not having a horse in this race. She’s from an independent nation, why the fuck would she care about being in the Stormcloaks?

But apparently this never occurred to the commander in Dawnstar. Maybe next time he’ll pay a little more attention to his messengers. 😀

And here’s the other problem with coming into Dawnstar wearing Stormcloak officer gear: Kendis had already been to Dawnstar. It ain’t like it’s a big place. People already know her there and are probably even aware she’s the Dragonborn. So there’s a non-zero possibility that some portion of the citizenry may absolutely know she’s not a Stormcloak. Rumors about the Dragonborn do, after all, spread all over Skyrim like wildfire.

So I shall headcanon that anybody who spotted me in that officer gear might have been keeping mum about my identity on purpose. Just because Skald is enough of an asshole that nobody likes him, and he’s already wringing Dawnstar dry because RAR EMPIRE WE MUST SEND ALL OUR MEN TO THE FRONT RAR.

Taking Fort Dunstad and Fort Greenwall

During the parts of these sessions where I had to join the Imperial forces taking forts, I saw a thing that I’d experienced before in Shenner’s run as well as in ESO: namely, that I do have trouble keeping up with the action in a large melee.

In ESO, this usually means things like Dark Anchors or dragon fights. In Skyrim, usually it means if Team Dragonborn is large enough that I can get six or seven combatants fighting on my behalf at once. But in this case in particular, it was a bunch of Imperials (including me) vs. a bunch of Stormcloaks.

My reaction time is a factor here, but I think it’s also a matter of how much onscreen action I can parse at once. So in ESO this means that in a big group fight I often just run around the edge of the action, throwing heals. In this situation in Skyrim, though, it meant that a lot of the Stormcloak killing was not done by me. I had to spin off on my own, and pick off stragglers so I wouldn’t risk hitting somebody else on my side of the action.

Fort Greenwall worked better for me than Fort Dunstad did. This might have been a question of Greenwall having more open areas where it was easy enough for me to get the fuck out of the way of other Imperial soldiers.

The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal

I didn’t have a huge number of fucks to give about running this plot with this character, to be honest! But then I got the pointer to the Word Wall in Silverdrift Lair, and just running the place in general meant I got the Ancestral Sword of Clan Ice-Blade.

So I went ahead and ran the plot anyway, though I did it rather out of order. This was the only way for me to do anything useful with the sword!

(Next time, I might have to just skip the chest that actually has the sword in it…)

I’m still not quite used to this plot since I’ve run it only once before, so I bounced back and forth between Riften and Solitude a couple of times before I remembered the proper sequence of events.

And once I got to Solitude, there was a bit of surprise: I was able to stroll right into Erikur’s house. I managed to find a time window where I didn’t have to lockpick the place–which in retrospect should have been a warning that somebody was in the house.

Namely, the mage Melaran, who’s apparently an employee of Erikur’s? I don’t think I never knew that. But fortunately this guy didn’t spot me. I saw him first, ducked around the corner to hide, and so Lyds and I were safe from discovery.

I was also kind of shocked that I was able to actually wait three hours for Melaran to leave. Apparently it didn’t count as trespassing if the house was open when I showed up?

Regardless, I took only the suspicious letter to Gisli so I could confront her with it. Kendis not being Guild, I wasn’t going to take anything else!


It’s still a little weird to me to run Lost Knife Hideout and not have it be populated by the Silver Hand? But since I wasn’t in there as part of the Companions plotline, I just had the usual generic bandits as well as occasional Greencap ones. Plus the two Orc NPCs for the Headman’s Cleaver plot.

Still, though, I do like this bandit hideout no matter which set of bandits is hanging out in it. It’s nice and large and has all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies.

And as always, I got overloaded just looting the fuck out of the place. But I didn’t care, because by god I was getting out there with everything I nabbed, including the cheese. 😀 Kendis might not be a thief, but she is absolutely going to commandeer resources hoarded by bandits!

Weird behavior out of Lucia

So ever since having adopted Lucia in Whiterun this time, I’ve been seeing this behavior out of her where all she says to me is that she has to go get her things and tell the other kids goodbye. She’s said this to me in Whiterun, at Lakeview, and on the way into Whiterun.

The wiki says this apparently is a known issue, not with Lucia in particular, but any kid you adopt. The kid may just get hung up on that one dialogue line. A possible fix is to move your family to a new home, as long as you have another suitable house.

Here’s the problem with that: Kendis still hasn’t married anybody! So I can’t trigger the “move the family” option yet.

Windstad has bedrooms in it now, but I am not going to move Lucia all the way there. The various AE homes I’ve picked up in this run in theory would be suitable, except for how I keep seeing on the wiki pages for them that children and/or spouses may refuse to enter those new homes. Which is a goddamn problem.

I feel like I want to test that information, though. Because hiya, I’m an SDET! And it would be kind of nice to actually have a family parked in Tundra Homestead, if possible.

But before I do that, I want to try adopting another kid first to see if that maybe breaks Lucia out of her loop. And I still need to figure out who Kendis is going to marry, so I can actually trigger the spousal option for deciding where to live.

And honestly, kinda eyeing Vilkas for this. But still thinking about it! More on Vilkas below.

Blackmailing Anuriel

Kendis was arguably not entirely virtuous with her blackmail of Anuriel–just because I leaned on her to fork over a payment in addition to the information about the shipment. Heh. I didn’t remember off the top of my head that that dialogue option would lead to a bribe, otherwise I would have just been happy with the information achieved!

Though I feel like next time I try blackmailing Anuriel, I should threaten to take Maven’s letter public. ;D

Of course, that’s kind of hilarious given that Maven does become Jarl as soon as the Rift is in Imperial hands. At which point Anuriel’s letter from Maven becomes a moot point entirely!

(Though it’s also hilarious to think that Anuriel gets exiled to Windhelm, so look where accepting bribes from Maven Black-Briar actually got her.)

De-wolfing Vilkas and/or Farkas

I didn’t run into this in Delga’s run, probably because I tried to de-wolf Farkas first when I was playing her… but apparently, if you try to help Vilkas lose his wolf blood, you can cause quite a bit of glitchy behavior such as what I saw in the third of the three sessions I’m covering in this post.

It was a trifle disappointing, too! I was really in the mood to try to de-wolf at least one of those boys, and Vilkas mysteriously disappearing on me kinda threw me out of my game flow.

A trifle disappointing as well to lose that amusing Thalmor vs. Stormcloaks vs. bandits fight at Halted Stream!

Still though trying to get Vilkas into the de-wolfing “Purity” quest did remind me of a thing about Vilkas: I kinda like this guy. He has a charming line:

Come to me with questions. I know our history almost as well as Vignar by now. Except I can remember it.”

And what makes this line charming for me is how his voice actor delivers the last few words with a bit of a rough rueful laugh. <3 It doesn’t sound like he’s dissing Vignar, just acknowledging that he doesn’t have the older man’s memory issues!

Plus, I do like Vilkas’ little character arc as he goes from wanting to take revenge for Kodlak’s death to wanting to eventually follow Kodlak’s own teachings about losing his wolf blood. So at the moment I’m kind of eying him as a potential marriage candidate for Kendis!

Next time

Need to re-do the bit where I check on Rulnik. And may just go ahead and try getting a quest off of Vilkas again to see if he still wants me to rescue Jervar from Halted Stream? Just because even though I’ve run the place already as Kendis, it is an excellent source of iron ore, and I’ll need that for Heljarchen Hall.

But then I’ll need to move on to the Winterhold camp!


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.