This is a multi-day session post again, but only a few of these days saw actual RP action. Main highlights: moving the Aldmeri Dominion plot further along, and learning more about what exactly the Shade of Naemon is trying to do; identifying a thief in Marbruk; running my first Master Writ; and running Orcrest in Northern Elsweyr. Delightful, delightful Orcrest. Yuk.
Play by play
- Play dates: 3/19-3/20, 3/22-3/29/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 158-167
Sunday the 19th
- Picked up at Cliffshade
- Reported to the Queen since Cliffshade is, in fact, in Marbruk; went over to her residence to check in with her and brought her the letter from the major
- Captain Sarandil showed up with word that Prince Naemon was raised from the dead and now trying to corrupt Valenwood; OHNOEZ
- Ayrenn handed me off to talk to Sarandil because she had to process the news (understandably!)
- Sarandil asked me to report to Driladan Pass and find a scout there to see how I could help out next
- Went out to do that, but got sidetracked by a different plot
- Dude named Cinnar hanging out on a bench called me over; he turned out to be an undercover captain of the city guard, and recruited me to help him catch a thief called the Artisan
- Talked to assorted citizens to get clues
- Also saw that Marbruk has writ boards so I picked up writs there
- Thief turned out to be a Bosmer assistant at the bank, who was pissed about the Altmer coming in and building Marbruk in Bosmer territory
- Nidras returned the stolen items to the wrong houses so I had to break into a couple of them to retrieve them all
- Got arrested by overzealous guard who thought I was the thief, of course
- Got him to take me back to Cinnar who was salty about having his cover blown, but I gave him the stolen things, and resolved the quest
- Boinged to Alinor to run writs
- Short on jewelry materials so boinged to Eastmarch to fulfill a jewelry survey
- Helped another player kill a giant and a mammoth that appeared to be world bosses
- Pulled nirnroot and Cloud Mist out of the Guild bank, and bought a couple other ingredients from Guild traders to be able to finish the Alchemy writ
- Boinged back to Cliffshade and logged out for the night
Monday the 20th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Was missing nirnroot and other alchemy ingredients, and also fish, Ancestor Silk, and Ruby Ash Wood
- Did what writs I could, then went out on an ingredients hunting run right around Alinor
- Found a boatload of chests of varying difficulties
- Also found the noblewoman’s party and one of her people fighting a griffin, an encounter I’d seen before, but never quite this close to Alinor?
- Helped her guy kill the gryphon, and got “Your help was acceptable”
- GEE THANKS KINLADY
- Found the nirnroot, Cloud Mist, Ancestor Silk, and Ruby Ash Wood I needed
- Collected enough saltwater bait to fish a spot on the beach
- Returned to Alinor and finished off the rest of the writs
- Hit cp160 and got a new Imperial themed costume, awesome
- Logged out for the night though
Wednesday the 22st through Friday the 24th
- No significant action, just checking in to run writs or get daily rewards
Saturday the 25th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Didn’t have enough electrum to do the jewelry one but did the other six
- Boinged to Cliffshade then out into Marbruk to pick up where I left off with the Greenshade plot
- Met up with Indaenir and helped him deal with the incursion of undead coming into the pass
- Rescued Akkhuz-ri, who’s the current Mane of the Khajiit
- We had to use a torchbug to find three skulls of dead Bosmer, and question them about what the Shade of Naemon was doing
- Released two of them so their souls could go free, but the third one was an asshole soul and ranted about how the Green should serve the Bosmer, so fuck that soul, he has to stay in his skull
- Had to deal with corruption in one area turning a bunch of Bosmer feral; activated some standing stones to work on that
- Killed a strangler called the Eldest, and took its heart; promised Indaenir I would not use the heart to kill corrupted tree spirits, just took them out myself
- Fought and defeated the Servant of Naemon, who was basically a red shadowy shade
- This didn’t un-feral the feral Bosmer, but it did at least turn them no longer hostile, so there’s that
- Confirmed that yeah, that area I went through before, Dread Vullain, was important to this plot
- Had to find and re-steal the general’s bow so I could invoke the Right of Theft to get him to back the fuck off
- Yoinked into the shadow realm to find that bow
- Indaenir gave me the option to either release the Blackroots or make them fight; chose ‘make them fight’
- Kept getting yoinked into the shadow realm more, where I wound up having to close some rifts from that side
- Finally made it back out again and got the directive to go meet up with the Queen in Hectahame
- Realized though that I could actually do a master writ out of the set of them I’ve accumulated
- Huzzin was selling a style sheet for Skinchanger shields, so I bought that
- Boinged to Northern Elsweyr to hit the Rimmen Masterworks and craft the shield at the Vastarie’s Tutelage set stations
- Had to buy enough tannins from Alinor Guild traders to improve the shield up to Epic
- Boinged off to Elden Root to turn in the writ; got seven writ vouchers off of it
- Boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Sunday the 26th
- Ran writs in Alinor, which required me to do a harvesting run in Northern Elsweyr and sell enough things to get all the electrum I needed to finish off the previous day’s writs, and this day’s as well
Monday the 27th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Didn’t have enough materials for Blacksmithing, Alchemy, or Provisioning
- Boinged off to Deshaan to run an Alchemy writ just north of West Narsis Wayshrine
- Killed assorted hostiles at the edge of a lake, almost stumbled into fighting a world boss right there, Short-Tusk the giant kagouti
- Got a couple of nirnroot there while I was at it, also needed for the Alchemy writ
- Boinged off to Northern Elsweyr for Blacksmithing writ
- Boinged back to Alinor to finish the writs
- Bought three of the four Provisioning ingredients but ran out of gold, so fell back to the Guild bank for the Jazbay Grapes
- Boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Tuesday the 28th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Boinged to Northern Elsweyr with intent to find Orcrest, and maybe find the recipe for my master writ for Provisioning (Orcrest Agony Pale Ale); Guild traders in Rimmen didn’t have it, and neither did the chef or the baker at the Sugar Bowl in Rimmen
- Hoofed it out from there
- Made it close to Orcrest and saw a dragon on the scene, so called in Ember and started trying to fight it; it handed me my ass repeatedly, before some other players finally showed up and I was able to participate in the group kill
- Headed from there to Orcrest
- Found a Peryite worshipper outside, who remembered me from Summerset, OH GOODY
- Got his quest to find his missing friend inside the city, and agreed to find the friend
- Discovered that OH GOOD the entire place is disease ridden! HOW PLEASANT
- Fought a whole bunch of delightful, and by delightful I mean horrible, creatures
- Found the friend’s dropped items, and eventually a little group of living survivors who’d locked the guy up because he wouldn’t shut the fuck up about Peryite
- He agreed to come with me if I got anything he could use as evidence that Peryite had caused the plague; had to then hunt the place for his evidence as well as supplies for the survivors
- Ember got killed a few times, and I got killed repeatedly when we found one of the bosses on hand
- Eventually bailed on confronting the boss, and instead got the rest of the items I needed, and hightailed it back to the survivors
- Got the guy out to be reunited with his friend, yeaaaah you guys have fun worshipping your plague god
- Boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Wednesday the 29th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Hit the first day of the Jester’s Festival at Vulkhel Guard in Auridon, and found the orc dressed up to be “Queen Ayrenn”
- She sent me off to throw flower petals on grumpy people in Skywatch and the College of Aldmeri Propriety, and I then I got a similar quest for doing it in Glenumbra
- Got event tickets off of that
- Very low on funds so decided to run a couple of treasure maps
- Boinged to Deshaan to hit one in the very eastern most part of it, at Smuggler’s Slip, which turned out to be right by a Dark Anchor
- I didn’t hit the anchor fast enough though and missed the fight when it triggered, too distracted by attacks from local smugglers
- Got the treasure I was there for though!
- Boinged to Northern Elsweyr and hit a second treasure spot there, on the southern edge of the map, just south of the Anequina Moon Gate
- Boinged back to Alinor for inventory arranging
- Then boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Reporting to Ayrenn in Marbruk
I didn’t realize at the time I bought it that Cliffshade was going to be in a location significant to the Aldmeri Dominion plot. But I’ll certainly note here that it sure is convenient for the parts of this plot involved with Marbruk! Because it’s kind of neat to be able to go “okay so the next thing I need to do is report to the Queen in Marbruk” and then realize “hey, my house is in Marbruk!”
And the big thing that stood out to me about reporting to Ayrenn at this point was that she was clearly badly rattled by receiving confirmation that her brother had been raised from the dead–and was now, in an undead state, leading an assault on their own people. She had to stand back and ask me to speak to Captain Sarandil when he showed up, because she was clearly having a holy shit what do I do with this moment.
Not hugely plot relevant mind you, but a very nice little bit of character development. So I really appreciated that. This woman has the mettle to lead the Aldmeri Dominion, no question. But this doesn’t mean she’s immune to the impact of realizing her brother is now undead and attacking their people. That’s a whole helluva lot for anybody to process. Even Queens.
Solving some thievery in Marbruk
Before I went any further with the Aldmeri Dominion plot, though, I got sidetracked by a local-to-Marbruk plot. I got hailed by an elf called Cinnar, who turned out to be the captain of the Marbruk guard undercover, and who wanted my help in identifying a thief called the Artisan.
This wasn’t a bad plot, really, but it was kind of silly. Cinnar’s cover was not terribly secure if an overzealous guard could come up to him right in the city square and go “hey boss, I caught this thief, she claims she was working for you.” And who, exactly, was he trying to hide the fact that he was captain of the guard from? According to the wiki there’s only about a hundred NPCs in Marbruk to begin with, so it’s not like there’s a huge pool of people to pick from.
(And yes, I get that at least in theory there are probably way, way more people in Marbruk than the game can actually easily portray. I get this mental disconnect in Skyrim, too. When there’s only 77 named NPCs and assorted guards wandering around Whiterun, it’s difficult to remember the place is supposed to be a bustling trade center!)
Plus, the whole aspect of my having to plant the stolen goods back in their proper houses seemed like a way to force a little bit of conflict into the plot, with the mistaken arrest. And also, I didn’t even see any sign of Nidras actually being arrested or anything of that nature.
Or, for that matter, any sign that they deliberately decided to not arrest him, on the grounds that his motives were political. And maybe the Altmer didn’t want it known that a Bosmer was trying to foment unrest about their presence in Marbruk?
But if that were the case, the plot should have said so. All in all: meh.
This set of sessions did see me make it to cp level 160, yay! Which means that now I do have access to all the highest tiers of material for armor and weapons.
But it’ll be a while before I have the really kickass gear, though. I did see that the highest tier of gear takes a lot more materials to make. And I’m running low on both funds and materials.
I will need to work on building up more of an account balance, clearly!
Moving the plot along in Greenshade
When I came back to Marbruk to actually move that plot along some more, I got in some good stuff. This introduced me to the character Indaenir, who I’m given to understand is going to be quite significant pretty soon in this plotline. I.e., future Silvenar. Trying not to look up more than that about him, though, just to preserve some sense of surprise!
He was interesting, though. I liked that he had enough connection going on with the forest to get information from torchbugs, and that his overall attitude was to try to handle things as peacefully as possible. Including the part where I didn’t use the heart of the Eldest to fight corrupted tree spirits.
I suspect I may have failed him a bit by explicitly telling the souls of the Blackroot Clan that I wanted them to fight for Queen Ayrenn, but, well. Gyllerah is not quite as compassionate as Indaenir, clearly! And she doesn’t have much patience or sympathy for an entire tribe of attackers who want to overrun a village, and who then as ghosts bitch about the villagers sabotaging them by poisoning themselves.
“Welp, maybe you shouldn’t have attacked that village then,” seems like the appropriate thing to say there.
Gyllerah will be a bit more willing to let them off the hook after they atone for themselves.
I did use a little bit of compassion though when it came to the spirits stuck in their skulls. Two of them I did let off the hook, but the one who ranted about the Green needing to serve the Bosmer rather than the other way around? Yeah, fuck that guy. He gets to stay in his skull.
But speaking of the Blackroots–yes, this confirmed for me that the area I’d walked through before was in fact critical to this part of the plot. The blue glowing lights I’d seen were the points at which I was supposed to view the scenes of what had happened in Dread Vullain. And I didn’t trigger them the first time through because I didn’t have this plot active yet.
And for the record: wow yeah the idea that this entire village poisoned themselves because they knew the Blackroots would eat them after they conquered them in battle is pretty fucked up right there. For values of fucked up meaning, I kind of admire how hardcore that is. I already knew the Bosmer practiced cannibalism to the degree of eating their foes after a battle, but knowing that in theory because I read it off the wiki is different than seeing as a significant plot point in an active plot. And I was pleased to see it in play here.
I did rather like the Shadow Realm version of Valenwood, though I gotta admit it was a trifle redundant after running the whole Summerset plot. “Ah, another plot in which the Bad Guy wants to turn this realm into a realm of darkness? Must be Tuesday!”
And I wanted to be more impressed by the Servant of Naemon than I was. It would have helped a lot if I’d been better able to see the Servant of Naemon. But when fighting him in the Shadow Realm in particular, I found his red shadowy self very hard to see. It was like fighting a nightblade who’s just gone invisible, except the whole time instead of just the few seconds a nightblade teleports. So that wasn’t exactly satisfactory.
I hope it won’t be too much longer before I get to the part where I’m actually fighting Naemon, though. Big Scary Undead Naemon is getting a lot of buildup here. I wanna go up against him directly now.
Running my first Master Writ
I’ve racked up about a dozen of these things now, since I’m getting them semi-regularly in my writ rewards boxes. And now I’ve finally actually been able to run one.
I lucked out, because I found Huzzin in the Alinor Guild traders area selling one of the stylesheets I needed. And I also needed to buy enough tannins to improve the shield up to Epic, once I actually made it.
But now I know how the mechanics of this work, and how to find the guy to give the crafted thing to, to collect master writ vouchers. So now I have a few more of those.
And I want to do more of them, but wow buying style pages and materials is expensive! And I gotta rethink my strategy in general of trying not to rely on the Guild bank as much, just because buying stuff off of Guild traders in general is expensive and I’ve quickly burned through my stock of gold. I’m going to have to build up more.
Running Orcrest, and having my ass handed to me repeatedly
I wound up running Orcrest in Northern Elsweyr under a rather mistaken idea that it might be a way for me to find the recipe for Orcrest Agony Pale Ale. Which I need for the Master Provisioning writ I’ve got.
Now, running Orcrest didn’t actually get me that recipe. As I understand it, my options for finding that recipe are pretty much “hope it spawns in a container” or “hope a Guild trader has it”. But I thought, maybe if I run the actual Orcrest, I’d have an opportunity to loot containers.
On the way in, I found a dragon very nearby, so diverted over to fight it. Which resulted in my ass being handed to me repeatedly, until other players showed up and I was able to help with the group kill. Note to self: even with Ember along, this is not enough to take down a dragon.
When I actually got to Orcrest, I discovered that the place was a) a public dungeon, and b) also full of PLAGUE!
The local plot was in fact a Peryite worshipper–who recognized me from Summerset. I think he was one of the two Peryite worshippers Razum-dar had been questioning in Shimmerine. He begged me to go into Orcrest and find his missing friend, which I agreed to do.
Orcrest isn’t the first public dungeon I’ve been in–the first one was Karnwasten in Summerset. But this was the first time I tried to run one by myself, really. (Though I did bring in Ember for backup.)
And it was definitely a challenge. High numbers of combatants, and the one boss I tried to fight (Alchemist Zhininda) also repeatedly handing me my ass. I wound up backing out of fighting her, because Ember and I together just could not take her. (I did like her as a character, though, and how she kept screaming “You are all unclean!” in combat.)
As for Orcrest in general: yuk. Not a fan.
(But I did note one diary of a survivor of the plague that I think was interesting background for a character I’ll meet later when I get to the Khajiit portions of the Aldmeri Dominion plot!)
And extra Not a Fan for Peryite and his worshippers. Yeaaaaah, you very strange Bosmer and Breton dudes, you have fun worshipping your plague god. I’m going to be over here having hot showers for the next eight years. Byyyyyye!
WORST. DAEDRA. EVER.
I did run the first day of this on Wednesday; I didn’t make it online last night so I missed day two.
Not sure what I think of this yet. We’ll see.
More Jester’s Festival stuff, most likely. And I’ll see about moving the Aldmeri Dominion plot further along.
Editing to add
- 11/26/2023: Restored missing gallery.