Another burst of Gyllerah action, primarily finishing up the Greenshade section of the Aldmeri Dominion plot, and moving on into Malabal Tor; and also, beginning the hunt for witches as part of the quests in Western Skyrim! Which, satisfyingly, pairs me up again with Lyris Titanborn for adventure!
Play by play
- Play dates: 4/11-4/17/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 179-185
Tuesday the 11th through Friday the 14th
- Ran writs all four days, no other significant action
Saturday the 15th
- Ran writs
- Ran surveys in Eastmarch and Northern Elsweyr, but also ran plot!
- Boinged to Marbruk to head to Hectahame from there
- Met up once more with Indaenir
- Helped him get into Hectahame by bringing him Welkynd Stones needed to break through a protective ward
- Got into Hectahame and finally confronted the Shade of Naemon, who bitched at me for being his sister’s lackey, and also that I refused to just die
- Took him out and nabbed the Staff of Magnus, but the Valenheart was still corrupted
- Indaenir attempted to sacrifice himself to save it–but the Green resurrected him and surprise! He’s the new Silvanar!
- Went back out and reported to Ayrenn, and gave her the staff for safekeeping
- Got her directive to proceed to Velyn Harbor in Malabal Tor to help out with the necessary union of the new Silvenar and the new Green Lady
- Headed off to Velyn Harbor
- Discovered the place had been attacked by Redguard Ra Gada warriors and Drublog, a clan of Wood Orcs
- Helped the local forces subdue the invaders; freed assorted citizens so they could join a forming militia; and killed the Drublog and Ra Gada captains
- Had a few harsh words with the captain of the Fists of Thalmor, who were supposed to be defending the town, but the captain did not have what it took to lead them and was clearly a coward
- Spoke with the new Green Lady on the way out, who told me I could not keep up with her moving through the forest and she’d meet me where we needed to be
- Boinged back to Cliffshade after that to log off for the night
Sunday the 16th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Did a little circuit around Alinor to get nirnroot and do some fishing; hit a couple of chests as well; then finished up the writs
- Boinged over to Velyn Harbor to clear the “speak to someone in charge” quest since I forgot to do that the night before
- Headed from there on over to find the Green Lady in Dra’bul
- She asked me to get a lock of hair off a Drublog champion so she could disguise me as one of them
- Got that, but then found her in the longhouse with the chief, who was not entirely hostile but definitely not pleased to see me there
- The Green Lady disguised me and sent me off to go eavesdrop on the shaman’s plan
- I hijacked the shaman’s ritual and summoned a projection of a creature called The Hound
- Caught doing that by Roku, the shaman’s daughter, who warned me my cover was blown and that the Green Lady had been taken; had to go to the Dra’bul arena to find her
- BUT FIRST: nearby dolmen fired off, so ran over there to help out; got out the Resto staff! Ran the skill from 15 clear up to 22! 😀
- Lost my disguise, though, so actually had to fight the Drublog on my way to the arena
- Found Roku there and she got me in; had to break a bunch of totems to free the Green Lady
- But the chieftain killed Roku, yikes
- The Green Lady hastened off to go find the Silvenar
- Had to talk to the shaman on my way out; he pointed me at Jathsogur to try to find the Silvenar
- Made it to Jathsogur and found a projection of Indaenir, who warned me he was captured and asked me to rescue two of his companions
- Boinged back to Alinor from a nearby wayshrine
- Did some inventory management, then boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Monday the 17th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Then went to Vulkhel Guard to try to find Lyris for the coven plot; she was in the Fighters Guild so i headed there
- Got dinged by messenger on the way in, who asked me to go see the Guildmaster at the Fighters Guild in Marbruk; hold that thought, Fighters Guild, I’ll get back to you
- Went in to talk to Lyris who was very pleased to see me; she was on a scouting mission for Skald-King Jorunn
- Fast traveled to Grahtwood with Lyris in search of witches
- Landed in a spot where the Augur of the Obscure fired off, so diverted to trying to find the breach
- And wound up hitting a nearby dolmen, Green Hall
- Spotted the Ossuary of Telacar
- And found a Mage Stone so triggered that, just because I didn’t have a Mundus boon yet
- Circled back around to Lyris, who gave me a medallion enchanted to help me try to find similar magic, i.e., signs of the witches we were tracking
- Followed a magical trail to a ritual site, and got clues there
- Made my way west to get to the other ritual site, but then got sidetracked by Bosmer side plots
- Wound up in Brackenleaf and talked to one of the Briars there, which put me onto a quest to join them
- Also got a side quest from Mendil who wanted me to rescue her friend Firaelion from a spider lair
- Ran the Brackenleaf quest first which required me to do some spirit trials and eat a trip-inducing frog, and talk to their tree; so now I’m a Brackenleaf Briar? Woo! I went native!
- Then ran the spider quest which needed me to go into the delve called the Scuttle Pit
- Rescued Firaelion, then got out and headed to the nearest wayshrine so I could boing the rest of the way over to the other ritual location
- Found vampires! Took those out and then found Lyris, who’d also been fighting vampires
- We compared notes, and I showed her a note that pointed off to an inn in Riften
- Fast traveled there (a lot of fast traveling in this plot), and checked out the Withered Tree inn
- Shady character we were looking for made the mistake of hitting on Lyris, who promptly shoved him off of her, fuck yeah
- Went off to follow the shady dude, and of course he headed into everybody’s favorite spot in Riften, the Ratway!
- Much different layout than in Skyrim, LOL, also a lot fewer thieves and a lot more vampires 😀
- Killed assorted hostiles on the way to finding the shady guy
- Overheard a conversation between him and a Sister Balra who killed him
- Searched the area for evidence, which then led us off to Eastmarch and yet another shady inn, the Grinning Horker
- Nobody obviously there, so we searched the place, and oh hey look! Secret passage that leads all the way down to Blackreach!
- Killed more hostiles down there as we scoped out the place
- Freed some prisoners
- Finally found a dying sentry who gasped out that Skald-King Jorunn was in danger
- Lyris whisked us off to Windhelm, where we had to talk our way past the housecarl to get permission to go find the king
- We fought our way through a boatload of vampires in the palace, and eventually down into the dungeons–where, of course, Sister Balra had imprisoned the king
- Sister Balra turned out to be a fucking big werewolf too, yikes, took a while to take her out
- Started getting the hang of when to use my Resto staff for heals, and by the time I got to this fight I was all the way up to 33
- Freed the king and returned with him and Lyris to the throne room
- Lyris told me they’d have to try to reach out to the king in Western Skyrim and that they’d get in touch again soon, so that concluded the quest
- Headed back to Alinor for a lot of inventory management because I was swimming in loooooot, and had a bunch of writ boxes that still needed opening
- Bought some palladium from Guild trader
- Returned to Cliffshade
- Made a new cp160 Ancient Elf style helmet because tired of Wood Elf style
- Logged out for the night
Taking out the Shade of Naemon
I gotta say, the Shade of Naemon bitching at me about being his sister’s lackey and that I just flat out refused to die was kind of hilarious.
Look, you undead asshole, I’m already dead. Mannimarco beat you to killing me, and I was just too damned ornery to stay stuck in Coldharbour. Damned if I’m going to let the likes of you send me back there. Fuck off. Fuck all the way off. No, farther than that!
Afterwards, when I reported to Ayrenn, she continued to insist that her brother had been a pawn of the Veiled Heritance. The game did not give me any opportunity to debate the matter with her, and I feel like Gyllerah wasn’t about to argue with her Queen. But I’m also pretty damned sure she probably went off to have a quiet word with Raz about how Naemon wasn’t nearly as innocent a dupe as Ayrenn was clearly making herself believe.
(And from what all I’ve seen of Raz so far, I feel I’ve got cause to headcanon that Raz totally agreed with her and also wasn’t going to say a goddamn thing about it.)
Now that said: it was good to finally actually get into a boss fight with the Shade, after all the buildup he’d been getting. Felt a bit anticlimactic at the end, though, maybe because of too much buildup? And he felt a little too easy to kill.
The new Silvenar and the new Green Lady
I’d already seen this as a spoiler reading up in stuff on the wiki, so it wasn’t any surprise when Indaenir became the new Silvenar of the Bosmer. I did rather like that bit of the plot, when he tried to do the whole Noble Sacrifice thing, and the Green basically went “nope, I have other plans for you”.
Which of course says all sorts of interesting things about the Green. If I’m understanding the idea in the lore correctly, it’s kind of the equivalent of Gaea? And clearly has divine power. So that was cool to see in action.
And of course, this led into the whole next phase of the Aldmeri Dominion plot, because my next task was to pay witness to the wedding of the Silvenar and the new Green Lady.
This is the first of a couple of posts talking about this, so I’ll just note here that overall, I think I wanted to like this plot more than I did.
One big thing that stands out for me is the roles of the Silvenar and the Green Lady. From what I see on the wiki, the Silvenar can be either male or female, though I also see this on the wiki page about the Silvenar lore:
The Silvenar seems to be customarily referred to as male, despite supposedly taking on the gender characteristics of the Bosmeri population as a whole.
And, well, I’m not sure what exactly that’s supposed to mean? What are the general gender characteristics of an entire population? I mean, other than “has gender”? If the Bosmer have more males, does that mean the next Silvenar is a dude? If more females, a woman? What if they’re evenly balanced? Does the Silvenar turn out non-binary? And if there’s a population shift, does the Silvenar flip genders?
I feel like this concept could stand to be clearer.
Meanwhile, I’m not sure what I think about the Green Lady clearly being gendered. I’m not seeing any signs on the wiki that there’s any space in the lore for a Green Lord. You can argue that having the Green Lady always be female deliberately avoids assigning a male Bosmer to what’s supposed to be a role all about physical strength, and I kind of like that idea. On the other hand, I’m not entirely cool with having that role be gender-locked if the role of the Silvenar is not.
But that’s at a general background level. In regards to this specific Silvenar and this specific Green Lady, I didn’t feel quite invested in their imminent wedding. You’d think this would be right up my alley, because I am historically a romantic sucker. But I don’t feel like I got quite enough to really buy their union.
Not to mention that I got the vibe of “this Silvenar and this Green Lady are marrying because that’s what the divine will of the Green says they’re supposed to be doing.” Which… not really the stuff of satisfying romance, for me! I’d have loved to see more about what these characters actually thought of one another as people. As it stood, I more just got the sense of these characters filling in their appointed divine roles. They felt more like archetypes than characters.
That said: I’m given to understand though that I may have missed important background context in the Green Lady’s case, from what I saw on her character page.
More on this in a future Gyllerah post, though.
Meanwhile, hey Lyris, let’s go on a witch hunt!
I expressed interest to the Guild on Discord about joining a trial, ideally in a healer role. So we got into a discussion about what kind of armor would be best for me, and one of the answers to this question was Winter’s Respite. Which, as it turns out, is very easy to get pieces for.
And, conveniently enough, I already had the Western Skyrim plotline queued up in my journal, which would put me in real good stead to start accumulating those pieces. So I diverted out of running the Aldmeri Dominion plot, and instead went looking for Lyris Titanborn in Vulkhel Guard.
It was really rather charming how pleased she was to find out I was the help she’d been promised for the scouting mission she was on. <3 Thanks, Lyris, I missed you too!
So she and I went boinging around Grahtwood, trying to get a bead on these witches that were being a goddamn problem. I did however run into some distractions while helping her out with that:
- The plot fast traveled us into Grahtwood, and right on top of a spot that fired off the Augur of the Obscure, so I diverted cycles to looking for a breach
- Also had the Green Hall Dolmen fire off nearby, so went over to help out with that
- Wound up in Brackenreach and ran an entire subplot that let me join the Brackenleaf Briars, because apparently Gyllerah is taking living in Valenwood to heart? 😉
- Ran a second subplot that involved rescuing a guy from the Scuttle Pit delve and reuniting him with his friend (who might have been his girlfriend? Dunno!)
And as this delve was in fact called the Scuttle Pit, it was entirely unsurprising that it was chock full of spiders. Very, very much not a delve for the arachnophobic, oh my no.
Then I returned to Lyris, at which point I discovered that vampires were also involved in this plot, as we had to kill several of them at a ritual site.
The plot yoinked us from Grahtwood over to Riften to track down a shady contact in a shady inn. (Narrator: They were in Riften. Of course the inn was shady.) And after the very satisfying visual of Lyris rejecting our shady contact’s advances (she flung him down to the floor, WOO), I got to track the guy once he left the inn.
At which point he went into everybody’s favorite spot in Riften, the Ratway! Which, I report, has a much different layout in ESO than it does in Skyrim. Also, a lot fewer thieves, and a lot more vampires.
Next up: boinging over to Eastmarch to check out another suspicious inn. Nobody was obviously around in the Grinning Horker, so of course we searched the place. And oh hey look! Secret passage is secret!
And also apparently really fucking long, because that secret passage took us clear down into Blackreach. Given that all of my prior experience getting down into Blackreach was via lifts, it was a trifle surprising to get down there just via a secret passage. Which raises interesting questions about exactly how far down underground Blackreach is?
Now, this was not my first exposure to Blackreach in ESO, I’d been down there already during the Dark Heart of Skyrim event. But this time, I got to see more actual population down there–like the entire mining town, Dusktown. Which appeared to be populated with people who were not down there entirely voluntarily, I think.
But I wasn’t down there to specifically dig into that place’s plot. Instead, Lyris and I killed some hostiles, and freed some prisoners, and finally found a dying sentry who gasped out a warning that the Skald-King was in danger.
So time for one more round of fast traveling! This whisked us off to Windhelm, where my large friend and I had to talk our way past the Skald-King’s housecarl, to be able to get into the palace and check on him.
And given that we found the Palace of the Kings chock full of hostile vampires, I think the housecarl probably needs to go back to housecarl school and learn to PAY A BIT MORE ATTENTION TO THE PALACE RIGHT BEHIND HER GETTING OVERRUN WITH VAMPIRES I mean honestly.
That said: it was decidedly weird walking into that place. It sure was the familiar throne room of the Palace of the Kings, but it looked a trifle different without Ulfric Stormcloak’s dead body lying around! 😆
And also, with a whole bunch of vampires. So many vampires. Lyris and I went through multiple sections of this palace, which sure as hell seemed larger than its Skyrim counterpart. In each and every section, we fought vampires.
When we finally made it down to the place where Sister Balra had imprisoned the king, we of course had to fight her. At which point I saw that we had a trifecta in this plot: not only witches and vampires, but also werewolves.
Big fuck-off werewolves, too. Because when Sister Balra shifted, she was enormous. It took a while to kill her, in fact. But it did give me really good practice with the Restoration staff!
And of course, finally Lyris and I took her out and freed the king. And Lyris sent me on my way, promising that they’d be in touch later when they needed me to help convince the king of Western Skyrim that his realm was in danger.
And speaking of Western Skyrim
I don’t think I’ve covered this in a post yet, so let me say here that I’m kind of digging that the areas of Tamriel we all know as a unified Skyrim in that game are not unified in ESO’s timeline. It really helps underscore that while many aspects of that part of Tamriel are familiar to Skyrim players, it’s clearly not the same timeframe at all. It also helps underscore what seems to me to be the general warlike and contentious nature of the Nords in general.
And I particularly like that there’s an entire extra Hold in this timeframe, Karthald, that doesn’t exist in Skyrim’s timeframe. (More on this in a coming post!)
Lastly, I’m amused that several of the Nord NPCs I’ve spoken to so far appear to have rather different accents than what I hear out of the Nord NPCs in Skyrim. Which is not necessarily a good thing, LOL. I’m not sure what flavor of accent the voice actors were going for, other than “vaguely Nordic/German”, but it definitely felt more pronounced to me than the accents I hear in Skyrim.
All in all, though, definitely enjoying Skyrim-based action in ESO. Familiar enough to seem like my most beloved areas of Tamriel, yet different enough to be exciting! And Lyris is great fun. <3
More adventure in Western Skyrim! More progression of the plot in Malabal Tor! And also, a side helping of Fighters Guild action!
Editing to add
- 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.