In Which Gyllerah Investigates a Dwemer Ruin and Defuses a Rebellion
Two main points of action in this post: moving the Fighters Guild plot along by heading into a Dwemer ruin in the company of Sees-All-Colors, and then helping the Vinedusk Rangers defuse the politically volatile situation with the Blacksap Rebellion.
Play by play
- Play dates: 3/4-3/10/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 145-151
Saturday the 4th
- Picked up at Cliffshade
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Then went out to follow up on the Fighters Guild plot
- Went to Elden Root Fighters Guild and found Sees-All-Colors
- She fired up a portal that took us to a Dwemer ruin, Mzeneldt, my first Dwemer ruin run in this game!
- Saw a story playing out in this ruin similar to how I’ve seen stories play out in Skyrim with Labyrinthian and Avanchnzel: i.e., group of ghosts making their way through the place, with scenes about what happened
- Pretty sure Sees-All-Colors is going to turn out to be a problem in this plot, she seemed just a trifle too eager to delve into the place and find the details of the weapon the scenes kept referring to
- And of course there was a centurion at the end, which was also a good hard fight
- Colors threw a portal to get back to the Fighters Guild
- But I got pinged by the ghost of the previous Guildmaster, Jofnir, who warned me somebody was about to betray me; DUN DUN DUN
- GOSH, I WONDER WHO HE’S TALKING ABOUT
- Boinged back through the portal then, and talked to Merric to finish the quest
- Stepped out of Elden Root a bit indecisive as to what to do next
- Got hailed by a Vinedusk Ranger, Forinor, who asked me to come with him to a secure location
- Learned that the Vinedusk Rangers were trying to squash a rebellion of the Blacksap Remnants; they’d captured the leader of the first rebellion
- Talked to the guy and convinced him to help by stating I was the person who’d brought the general who’d crushed them the first time to justice, Endare, the same person I’d had to take out while getting Rajhin’s Mantle
- He gave me some info about his sons meant to help me better talk them down, and I agreed to do this
- Forinor sent me back to Elden Root; followed up on this plot later
- Returned to Alinor for inventory management
- Boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Sunday the 5th
- Didn’t play, just logged in long enough to get daily reward (poisons, meh)
Monday the 6th
- Last day of explorer event
- Picked up at Elden Root and did six of seven writs there
- Needed rubedo leather, so boinged to Rivenspire to try to run a clothier survey
- Wound up just outside Shornhelm
- Saw Darien Gautier’s name pop up, and !!!!!
- Don’t think Gyllerah’s quite ready to see an earlier version of that boy yet XD
- For now derped around until I found Camp Tamrith, and the survey location there
- Got the materials, and boinged back to Alinor to do the seventh writ and general inventory management
- Boinged to Cliffshade and made cp130 armor and weapons
- Then logged off for the night
Tuesday the 7th
- Ran the writs in Alinor
- Mostly able to finish everything, except I was short on materials to make an Elixir of Magicka, and none of the guild traders had anything relevant
- Went out to do a circuit around Alinor, found columbine, and that solved the problem
- Finished up writs, and also made a hanging lantern to hang up at Cliffshade
- Boinged back to Cliffshade to finish up for the night
- And yay! The nook with the bench has more light now!
Wednesday the 8th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Boinged back to Cliffshade
- Decided I really didn’t like the look of Breton medium armor, so started Redguard style cp130 instead (and then eventually just shifted back over to my last established outfit till I go up to cp140 armor)
Thursday the 9th
- Ran writs in Alinor (four of the seven)
- Boinged off to run three different woodworker surveys, in Eastmarch, Shadowfen, and Glenumbra
- That got me enough wood (and also enough ore from incidental mining) that I could finish up the woodworking and blacksmith writs
- Then just bought 200 rubedo leather since one of the guild traders had it for cheap (thanks for coming through for me, Huzz!)
- Boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Friday the 10th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Had everything except rubedite ingots, so bought some from guild trader in Alinor
- Boinged off to Elden Root to finish up the Vinedusk Rangers plot
- This plot needed me to go to Cormount
- This didn’t go quite as smoothly as I would have liked, I screwed up using the passphrases to get in good with the Blacksap agents, and finally had to resort to persuasion, and my status as the one who brought Endare to justice
- Managed to capture both of the sons without having to fight them
- Then fought several lurchers at nearby Dominion camps
- Convinced the Vinedusk Rangers to tell the king to have a public trial, rather than having the father and sons locked up out of sight
- Then boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Fighters Guild plot
This post sees a small milestone for me in my ESO experience: visiting my first Dwemer ruin in this game, Mzeneldt! Overall it looked very familiar for the most part, keeping very close to the same style of ruins I see in Skyrim, though many details were a trifle fancier.
Of course, the place was full of automations. I particularly liked that the dwarven spiders lit up on the top when they threw electrical fields, that was neat.
The guardian spheres felt like they were tougher than I’m used to them being in Skyrim. I was cp 120+ in that session, and even given that, it felt like killing those particular machines took me longer than it does in Skyrim. One of them even killed me once.
This was not a bad thing! I appreciated them being challenging.
Mzeneldt used a trope I’ve seen in Labyrinthian and Avanchnzel in Skyrim: a group of ghosts moving ahead of the player and playing out a bunch of scenes, letting you know the history of what happened to them. Which, I think, may explain why this dungeon was set up to run solo? Because I expect it would be super visually confusing to have multiple players running the place, which would result in a bunch of different instances of the ghosts. Problematic for keeping track of when they needed to spawn, too!
Now, I’m pretty sure I know this already because of reading an accidental spoiler, but I’m not going back to doublecheck–but I’m pretty sure Sees-All-Colors is going to be a problem in this plot. She came across to me as just a trifle too eager to discover the secrets of this weapon we were supposedly in the ruin to find.
Plus, there was the appearance of Jofnir Iceblade at the end of the run, who warned me I was in danger from someone close to me. Given that there have been exactly three named NPCs of note in this entire plot so far (I’m not counting the messengers who keep showing up going “Comrade, the Guildmaster wants to see you”), this makes the list of suspects rather thin. 😉
Noting for the record
Daily rewards of high numbers of poisons just are not interesting to me. I’ve tried using them, and I just don’t like it. Particularly the part where they cancel out a weapon’s enchantments.
So I’ve taken to destroying any that I get as daily rewards, since I can’t actually sell them. I’d offer them up for use by other Guild members, but I daresay any other player who regularly logs in is probably swimming in poisons, too. And any player inclined to actually use them probably is able to create more of them via Alchemy anyway.
And speaking of resources and my Guild, I’ve also tried to back off taking things out of the Guild bank. I’ve hit Champion status now and am making enough money off of writs that I can afford to buy my own goddamn resources when I need to! So it feels appropriate to leave the stuff in the Guild bank for others now.
I’ll also try to periodically make things for Guild members to deconstruct if they want them for experience purposes. Cync and Amy, helping out me and Paul, have been excellent for this. Now I want to pay it forward. <3
Brief almost-sighting of Darien in Shornhelm
I knew already that there would be an earlier-in-his-timeline version of Darien Gautier running around elsewhere in the game. But during these sessions, I actually found out where that would be: Shornhelm, in Rivenspire.
Found this out just by derping around Rivenspire exploring, and looking for survey spots. It took me aback to see his name pop up on a quest marker, just past one of the gates into the city!
But that’s as close as I got to seeing him. I didn’t actually go in to find him. I wasn’t in the mood to actually engage with the city, I just wanted to look for my survey stuff!
Plus, I feel like Gyllerah will have quite the emotional gutpunch when she actually lays eyes on Darien again, and I wasn’t quite prepared to settle in for that. LOL.
But I will definitely eventually circle back around to this, probably when running Cadwell’s Silver.
The Blacksap’s Hold quest
This is a side plot I stumbled into, just because I heard somebody hail me when I was derping around doing writs in Elden Root. That somebody turned out to be a Vinedusk Ranger, who asked for my help with a distinctly awkward situation they were in, having captured the leader of an opposing faction and now trying to put down the rebellion from the rest of that faction.
I wound up doing this in two parts, the initial encounter where I questioned the father, and then following up on it later with the rest of it where I had to capture the sons.
I kind of liked this one. It was politically crunchy, not only in terms of factions of Bosmer fighting against each other, but also different factions of Bosmer reacting to the Dominion coming in and pretty much taking over things.
As an Altmer who’s now an Eye of the Queen, explicitly working for Queen Ayrenn, this certainly puts Gyllerah in a bit of an awkward position in regards to any Bosmer factions that are explicitly anti-Dominion. But I did appreciate that the plot gave me some opportunity to try to defuse the situation as best I could, and to try to work with the captured father to convince his sons to give up peacefully. And to do the same for the sons as well, though the second son was a lot crankier about it than his brother.
I gotta give at least a bit of props to that second son, as well, Gorinir. When I finally reached him, his very first line was to order the nearby guards to not attack me, on the grounds that if I’d made it that far, they’d just get themselves killed. Good to see he had some sense. 😀
It did help as well that I had explicitly taken out General Endare as part of the plot to get the items for the orrery. That gave my persuasions some pull. As a player, I found that satisfying.
And the resolution was also satisfying and politically crunchy. The Rangers were initially going to just keep the father and sons locked up out of sight, but I persuaded them to advise the king to go with a public trial. Just because hey, King Camoran? Locking up your political prisoners without public visibility isn’t cool.
Plus, in general I liked that a big sticking point here was the Green Pact. Ever since I learned that that is a thing in Bosmer culture, I’d been hoping to see more about that. And it was very satisfying to see it be important here. Even if most players might go wait what the Bosmer actually eat their dead, WTF, it’s still a super critical part of the culture according to the lore. So it’s appropriate to see it being a major factor in the conflict here.
Still keeping the end of the Main Quest paused for now. But not sure whether I want to return to more Aldmeri Dominion questing, or maybe nudge the Mages Guild or the Ruthless Competition quests along a little further. We’ll see!
- 3/18/2023: Oops, left off the screenshots gallery for this post! Fixed.
Though General Endare is personally encountered only during the A Lasting Winter quest at the Falinesti Winter Site, she has a longer story. Since she does not have a quest line covering her history, I gradually learned her story from remarks in other quests and an overhead conversation in the Elden Root crafting area. We see a flawed Altmer hero overcome by hubris.
General Endare had suppressed the Blacksap Rebellion and became famous and respected. She and her Jade Dragoons were stationed to protect Haven. However, she learned that Rajhin’s Mantle was necessary to operate the Orrery to ratify Ayrenn as queen. She abandoned her post, went to search for the mantle, and was caught in the Lasting Winter quest. Haven was raided by pirates in her absence. And the protagonist has to clean up the mess in her trail.
For other sides of the Greenpact, see the Pact Advocate quest in Karthdar in Grahtwood and the Right of Theft quest at Dread Vullain in Greenshade.
My first ESO character was the Bosmer templar Erinlar. I was gradually learning about the Greenpact on a character would should have been raised in the Greenpact. That broke verisimulitude. Thus, I made up a convoluted backstory about how he was raised in Elsweyr among the Khajiit, because I had already learned some Khajiit culture on Khenarthi’s Roost.
Yeah, I’ve picked up a good bit about Endare running most of those quests you mentioned.
I still need to swing through the rest of Greenshade to finish up that part of the Aldmeri Dominion quest line. What else I do in Grahtwood and Greenshade will remain to be seen!
By the way, I am stealing Gyllerah’s backstory as from a minor diplomatic family. I run a Pathfinder 2nd Edition roleplaying game on Fridays, 6pm Eastern time and 3pm Pacific time because four of my players are East Coast and three are West Coast. I converted Paizo’s 2017 adventure path, Ironfang Invasion, to PF2 rules. And my players constantly enact unexpected but perfectly reasonable plot twists.
At 18th level during the beginning of the 6th module they were invited to a war council where delegates from many states and city-states would negotiate how to ally in the war against the Ironfang Legion. The dwarf delegate from the dwarven city of Kraggodan was a spy, and the players quickly spotted this. I expected this. What I didn’t expect was them to get in touch with Kraggodan magically–they had made friends there in the 4th module–and immediately pick up a replacement delegate from Kraggodan via the Tree Stride spell. I asked, “Do you want a male or female delegate?”, found a web page that generated random dwarven names, and rolled for level and class. Thus, 8th-level dwarven monk Erimdotalyn Iceview joined the war council.
Now I need to figure out her background and diplomatic agenda. Monk is an unusual class for a delegate, but we already have a ranger, cleric, merchant, two generals, swashbuckler, alchemist, and rogue (the rogue is Amy’s player character). And Iceview is not an important diplomat; instead. she is expendible due to what happened to the original delegate replaced by the spy. The young daughter of a diplomatic family sounds good.
Nice! Glad to have contributed something to your other character. 🙂