In Which Kendis Visits Alduin’s Wall and Slays a Dragon Priest
Time to swing back around and get caught up on Kendis! Main action in this post: running the Forsworn Conspiracy plot; reaching Alduin’s Wall at Sky Haven Temple, and getting Dragonbane; running the Crypt of the Heart plot and getting the Spell Knight armor; getting Azura’s Star; and defeating the dragon priest Hevnoraak at Valthume.
Play by play
- Play dates: 3/15, 3/18, 3/20/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 47-49
Wednesday the 15th
- Started at Hendraheim and rode west from there
- Passed a group of Thalmor with prisoner
- Fought a Blood Dragon and took it out after it crashed across the river
- Fought zombie horde shortly after that
- Made it to Markarth; cue Weylin stabbing Margret!
- Got the note from Eltrys
- Moved along when the guard told me to
- Went into the Silver-Blood Inn and rented a room for the night
- Asked Kleppr for a rumor and got the rumor about the Hall of the Dead being closed; hmm, maybe I will run this plot and take out some cannibals?
- Slept a few hours, then went into the other room and peeked at the book for the Crypt of the Heart plot
- Went back out and was told to move along again by the guards, but did a quick search of both Weylin and Margret, and got Margret’s key
- Sold stuff to Lisbet
- Read Eltrys’ note, then talked to him at the Shrine of Talos to get him to ask me for help
- Ran through the rest of the conspiracy plot as per pretty much normal
- Passed multiple Persuade checks, which surprised me XD
- Cleared out all five available silver veins in the mine before actually proceeding with the escape
- Summoned Dark Seducer assistance when getting out
- Got out of the mine with the Forsworn
- However, they got stuck in the middle of rampaging out of the city, and hung out on some of the stairs just throwing their combat lines; finally had to step out through the gates and back in again before they seemed to clear out
- Sold stuff to Ghorza to unload once it was morning
- Went back out again to retrieve Yngvi, who’d run off practically over to Left Hand Mine (which I then discovered for the map)
- Mounted up and headed over to run part 1 of the Crypt of the Heart plot
- Saw Vilkas and Ria on the way hunting a sabre cat
- Killed initial three Forsworn at the grave, and got the note about the corrupted heart at Karthspire
- Got the iron and steel Spell Knight armors
- Rode back out again and passed three more Companions (Athis, Farkas, and Torvar) fighting a bear
- Headed on over to Karthspire to rendezvous with Delphine and Esbern
- Which, as expected, pretty much did result in rampaging through the Forsworn camp
- Got the corrupted heart
- Went into Karthspire and Sky Haven Temple
- Realized literally as i was heading in that damn, I wasn’t actually up to level 46 yet, oh wells
- Ran the conversation at Alduin’s Wall
- Got (slightly less powerful) Dragonbane and Blades armor
- Hit the boss loot chest on the way back out
- Returned to Yngvi and rode back over to the Spell Knight’s grave
- Purified the heart, and got the ebony Spell Knight gear
- Rode out from the grave again
- Thalmor execution squad! First one i’ve gotten for Kendis! Took them out
- Rode a little ways further, then realized I’d just as soon fast travel
- Boinged back to Hendraheim and picked up the stash in the chest by the forge
- Boinged to Heljarchen, confirmed nothing interesting stashed there
- Boinged to Lakeview
- Did some smithing, hit 100, leveled up to 46, took Dragon Smithing perk \0/
- Made dragonbone bow and dragonbone sword, and improved a bunch of other things
- Put assorted building materials and armor sets away, so I could get the carry weight back down again
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell a bunch of stuff
- Saved in Breezehome for the night
Saturday the 18th
- Started at Breezehome
- Rode out to get Yngvi
- Boinged to College of Winterhold
- Got three rounds training in Illusion and two in Conjuration
- Rode out from there to hit the Shrine of Azura
- Killed an ice wraith and a frost troll
- Decided to run Sightless Pit first
- Ran the place without too much trouble; none of the Falmer were overly challenging
- Got into the vault with Sunder and Wraithguard
- The Messenger was still a good fight, though not quite the asskicking that Shenner took!
- Went next to go visit the Shrine of Azura, finally
- Got Aranea’s directive to go to Winterhold
- Thought I’d pop in to talk to the Jarl and see if I could get the thaneship of Winterhold now–but the new Jarl was not, in fact, on duty!
- Went to the Frozen Hearth instead
- Found Nelacar who did recognize me as Arch-Mage, and who took my bribe for his info about the star
- Boinged back to Lakeview
- Started circling the lake on foot since it was raining
- Fished in a couple spots, and caught catfish for the rainy day fish quest! Awesome
- Reached and ran Ilinalta’s Deep, again without too much trouble
- Iona got stuck halfway through and wouldn’t follow me through the rest of the way for some reason
- But with Gogh and summonable Saints or Seducers, got through okay anyway
- Got the broken Star, but left Malyn Varen’s grimoire, because yuck
- Overloaded when I got out, but not badly enough that a potion couldn’t handle it
- Boinged straight back to the Shrine of Azura (and Iona did show up correctly there)
- Ran the finale inside the Star, which also went fairly well, had enough gear on me for fire protection, and kept summoning help to throw ahead of me
- Looted all three dremora for their hearts and looted Malyn Varen as well before Azura yanked me out
- Hurray, I have the Star!
- Boinged to College of Winterhold
- Got three rounds of Illusion training and two rounds of Conjuration training
- Finally got dremora lord and storm atronach summon spells
- Saved there for the night
Monday the 20th
- Picked up at College of Winterhold
- Boinged to Whiterun to sell things, and greeted family at Breezehome
- Filled out remaining items in a set of glass armor, which I probably won’t wear, I think? It looks too chonky on Kendis
- Boinged to Lakeview and dropped things off
- Mounted up and headed for Hag Rock Redoubt
- Heard dragon somewhere near Half-Moon Mill but did not see or fight it
- Passed two different hunters in the middle of hunting
- Near Hendraheim had Forsworn vs. Imperials fight, the Imperials helped us fight the Forsworn, thanks guys! Nice work
- Passed Thalmor with prisoner, did not engage
- Started trying to cast Clairvoyance to try to get the right path to Hag Rock Redoubt, but realized it was trying to send me to Dawnstar for the return to the other parts of the Razor, so had to bail on that idea
- Got turned around a couple of times trying to find the right way
- Fought as I did so:
- Three death hounds
- Orc skooma addict
- Multiple bears
- Veered back too far east, and discovered Valthume
- Turned around again and veered back towards Arkngthamz
- Also fought:
- Two werewolves
- Arch conjurer who’d been fighting a bandit
- Reached Hag Rock Redoubt, but killed by frost blast from Forsworn
- Thrown back to discovering Valthume
- So went ahead and ran it
- Nothing particularly new stood out about it
- Whacked a lot of draugr with my dragonbone sword, and filled a lot of soul gems
- Threw dremora around a lot
- Took out Hevnoraak, and got his mask and staff
- RIP Valdar!
- Came out of the barrow and saved there for the night
Action in Markarth
Running the Forsworn Conspiracy resulted in only a couple of unfamiliar things I can write about in this post.
First: I happened to ask Kleppr the innkeeper for a rumor, and that pointed me at the quest to go talk to the priest of Arkay about what’s going on in the Hall of the Dead. I know this leads to the Namira cannibal quest. I have kind of zero interest in playing a cannibal, but I may go run the beginning of this anyway, and just take out Eola. We’ll see what kind of a mood I’m in.
(And you can make a good argument for a werewolf arguably not having much room to critique a coven of cannibals. But Kendis would, I daresay, make a counterargument that eating the hearts of your enemies in battle is not the same thing as just outright eating people!
Though yes, I am aware that this is splitting some very, very fine hairs here.)
There’s something to be said though for a thing in Skyrim I still haven’t done yet.
Second: I was kind of surprised at how easily I passed assorted Persuade checks to get through the conspiracy plot, up to and getting in to see Madanach once I was finally thrown into the mine.
Kendis apparently has developed some talking skills, as you would hope, given that she is now Arch-Mage and Harbinger. She may be a werewolf, but she’s an eloquent werewolf.
And third: on their rampage out of the city, the Forsworn got stuck on some of the stairs. I hadn’t seen this happen before in any playthrough, and couldn’t find any mention of it on my usual wikis. I don’t know if this is related to whatever made Lucia and Sofia get into stuck states when I adopted them? But so far it certainly seems to establish a trend of NPCs getting into weird states in this playthrough.
I don’t know either if playing the Anniversary Edition on the Switch is contributing to this weird trend. It’s certainly possible. But I don’t have enough information to know for sure. It may just be that I got unlucky in this playthrough, and something in charge of NPC AI might have just gotten a little borked in this playthrough in particular, in ways that previous playthroughs on the Switch didn’t.
This was, at any rate, a reasonably easy problem to fix. I didn’t have console access, so I tried going out through the Markarth front gates and back in again, to see if changing zones would reset those NPCs. Answer: yes, it did.
Crypt of the Heart and general action at Karthspire
I had to be amused by having two different Companion encounters back to back, close to where I needed to get for the Crypt of the Heart plot. I triggered the Vilkas and Ria encounter, then triggered the one with Farkas, Athis, and Torvar.
So that was five Companions in the general area! Presumably traveling together on a major hunting expedition, TO WHICH THEY DID NOT INVITE THEIR HARBINGER. Boooooo.
(Okay yes fine I know I’m generally traveling all over Skyrim, so it’s kind of difficult for you to find your Harbinger. But seriously, you guys, that’s what the couriers are for! They can find me anywhere!)
I realized at the last moment coming into Karthspire that I hadn’t quite made it to level 46. Which meant I wasn’t going to get the most powerful version of Dragonbane. Oh well! I couldn’t quite muster enough fucks to give about rolling back and re-running. Dragonbane one tick down is still pretty good!
Running the Sightless Pit and getting Wraithguard and Sunder
I hadn’t actively planned to run the Sightless Pit in Saturday’s session. But since I went right by it en route to Azura’s Shrine, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot.
I hadn’t actually found all the evidence about the caravans as per the quest objectives, but I was curious as to whether it’d let me finish off the quest anyway! Answer: yes. Yes it did.
Mind you, I still don’t actually expect to use Wraithguard and Sunder. But I do like running the dungeon, and the Messenger is a fun fight at the end just because of its unique design.
Going after Azura’s Star
Nothing too out of the ordinary for running the quest for Azura’s Star this time through. I kind of had the same thing happen here that I did with Harrow running the Bards College–which is to say, I ran this quest late enough in Kendis’s playthrough that Ilinalta’s Deep wasn’t too much of a problem. And neither were the dremora inside the Star.
The main notable thing was Iona getting stuck partway through Ilinalta’s Deep. Not sure why. I did accidentally hit her with my sword at one point, and this may have gotten her into a weird state? I don’t know! But Gogh and his storm atronach, as well as my own ability to summon help when I needed it, got me through the rest of the Deep okay.
And Iona did follow me okay next time I fast traveled. So I didn’t have to try to go back in after her.
Hag Rock Redoubt, and Valthume
For Monday’s play, I tried to go to Hag Rock Redoubt. Operative word there being, tried. Getting killed by a frost blast seemed like a pretty strong sign that the Divines were telling me to go run Valthume instead! 😉
Running Valthume was easy enough. It’s a nice large barrow, and I do like the local plot of having to help the guardian ghost Valdar take out the dragon priest Hevnoraak once and for all.
Take two of going to Hag Rock Redoubt, maybe? Just so I can finish up the Mehrunes’ Razor plot.