Harrowhark Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Harrowhark Meets Paarthurnax and Hunts for an Elder Scroll

And now, to swing back around to my ex-vampire in Skyrim! This is a multi-session post, just because I’m way behind on getting posts up in general. But also because most of this is familiar territory, and I didn’t have new to say to do all of these in fewer sessions per post.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 4/13-4/15, 4/18, 4/24-4/25/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 63-68

Thurday the 13th

  • Picked up at Windstad working on building
  • Tried to boing to High Hrothgar, but it rendered wrong and the doors wouldn’t work
  • So boinged to Honningbrew instead to fish; it was raining, but nothing interesting caught
  • Boinged into Whiterun to sell things, and then sold more things to Khajiit outside
  • Boinged back to High Hrothgar–and crashed
  • Retried this a few times, but yep, the Deck’s still being problematic, so shifted to the VM
  • Still had issues getting High Hrothgar to render correctly, so boinged to Dawnstar instead
  • Came in in the evening; got Ancient Dragon, so had to help the Dawnstar guards take it out
  • At least one casualty, so I snurched his gear for my guard armor collection
  • Successfully killed the dragon
  • Found the ferryman actually away from his boat (must have been getting a drink at the inn?), but was still able to pay him to take us to Giant’s Tooth
  • Got in, got the ironwood fruit, and took out the spriggans in the cave
  • Then took out the giants and ice wraiths, and returned to Dawnstar
  • Boinged back to Whiterun and slept at Breezehome
  • Made the ironwood soup and took it to Danica
  • Boinged again to High Hrothgar, and this time got in correctly
  • Got a pointer to the Word of Power at Autumnwatch Tower from Arngeir
  • Went out and got the Clear Skies Shout in the courtyard
  • Encountered and dispatched on the way up the mountain: one frost troll, two ice wraiths
  • Had a nice long chat with the old dragon, and got pointer to go find an Elder Scroll
  • Boinged off to Bloodchill Cavern first, though
  • Got the pointer to return to Whiterun to check on Rulnik when I got there
  • Put the Guard of the Pale gear in the armory
  • Boinged off to the mage college
  • Saved in Arch-Mage’s quarters for the night

Friday the 14th

  • Very short session test, didn’t do much, just wanted to see how far I could get before crashing

Saturday the 15th

  • Short session, testing out how far I could get before crashing, after running STR on the deck most of the night
  • Picked up again at Arch-Mage’s quarters, redid the initial stuff I’d tried the night before
  • Slept until morning in the Arch-Mage’s quarters
  • Went down to the Arcaneum and talked to Urag about how to find an Elder Scroll; got pointed at Septimus
  • Did a little training in the Hall of the Elements and got another point in Destruction magic
  • Headed out on foot to get to Septimus’ outpost
  • Threw Clear Skies Shout around to clear up the weather a bit, and made it over to the outpost
  • Got Septimus to point me at Alftand
  • Headed back out and hoofed it back across the ice
  • Went straight to Alftand and managed to find a pretty direct route there, awesome
  • Started running Alftand, saved just before going in
  • Made it as far in as J’darr, but then the game crashed just as i was fighting him ;P
  • Stopped there for the night

Tuesday the 18th

  • Picked up outside Alftand and started running the place
  • Pretty much as per previous playthroughs, except for commentary from Lucien and Inigo
  • Killed assorted Dwemer machines and Falmer
  • Took out the centurion, Sulla, and Umana
  • Took the Targe of the Blooded
  • Made it into Blackreach
  • Killed the guardian near Sinderion’s Field Laboratory
  • Went in and looted the lab and started the crimson nirnroot quest
  • Saved there for the night

Monday the 24th

  • Picked up at Sinderion’s laboratory in Blackreach; did a bit more inventory cleanup in there
  • Tested how far I could get before the game started crashing
  • Answer: got 26 of 30 required nirnroot, 23 more than what I’d started with; kept quicksaving every time I found one
  • Eventually started crashing though down in the water near the Derelict Pumphouse
  • So switched over to VM to finish the Blackreach run
  • Got ahead of Inigo and Lucien though in getting the final couple of nirnroot behind Tower of Mzark, and they didn’t catch up with me when I made it into the tower to get the Elder Scroll
  • Lucien did catch up when I left the tower, though
  • Went to Whiterun to sell a bunch of things, as I was very heavily overloaded
  • Boinged back to Lakeview for additional inventory managing–and also, brief interlude of fighting bandits!
  • Which got me a whole extra set of Daedric plate armor since the bandit chief was wearing that
  • Saved there for the night

Tuesday the 25th

  • Had a false start of trying to do a bunch of crafting and then go to Riften and sell things, but lost that to a crash that threw me all the way back to Lakeview
  • So redid a bunch of that crafting, and sold a bunch of stuff in Whiterun
  • Also decided to get Lydia on housecarl duty; I had initially thought to give her the bandit chief’s Daedric plate, only to discover I’d already given her a prior set of Daedric plate
  • Accidentally ate my spadefish, so tried to fish some more near Tundra Homestead; nothing interesting caught
  • Leveled up to 58
  • Boinged to High Hrothgar to check in with Paarthurnax
  • Saved there until next time


A lot of my Harrowhark action lately has been familiar territory, as I try to figure out how to get out of the situation I’m in with crashing regularly happening on the Deck. Doing stuff I don’t have to think about too much is better, when I’m trying to figure out technical issues with the game. So all of the action here is territory I’ve covered already in previous playthroughs.

I will say though that I think I’d forgotten that it’s possible to take a conversational path with Arngeir, when asking him about Dragonrend, that does not result in his refusing to help you! Good to be reminded of that, just because I feel like that that adds some depth to Arngeir as a character.

Some new stuff I can comment on, though, is Lucien and Inigo both having good commentary all over these sessions!

  1. Lucien had commentary about the air in Dawnstar feeling “wrong” to him.
  2. Since I had to re-run arriving at High Hrothgar, noted again that Lucien did react to hearing Paarthurnax’s name: “Paarthurnax. Paarthurnax. Curious name. I wonder… no, surely not. A ridiculous notion.” That boy is smart. 😉
  3. Inigo, however, did not clue in in advance, and could not believe his eyes when we discovered Paarthurnax: “A Dragon? No, my imagination.”
  4. Lucien, after we talked to Paarthurnax: “Isn’t it splendid? We need an Elder Scroll. My father could have helped you if you’d asked him thirty years ago but now, now it’s going to be tricky.”
  5. Lucien, when we reached Septimus’s outpost: “Well this is a charming little place for a perfectly reasonable scholar to live.”
  6. Inigo, on the way to Alftand: “If this weather keeps up perhaps i will grow a white coat.”
  7. Inigo, once we entered Alftand: “An Elder Scroll is somewhere beneath us, I can almost smell it.”
  8. Also Inigo, in Alftand: “If I were an Elder Scroll, where would I hide? Probably somewhere warmer.”
  9. Lucien, while fighting Falmer in Alftand: “Now, see here… oh, actually on second thoughts, that’s probably a touch insensitive, isn’t it? Whoops.”
  10. Lucien, once we reached Blackreach: “I can’t believe it. Blackreach. It’s real.”
  11. Lucien enthused about the Lexicon, too
  12. Once we reached Blackreach, Lucien had bunches of lines about the crystals and mushrooms; he theorized the crystals might be aetherium and wanted to get samples to take back for testing
  13. Lucien: “I can see why the Dwemer loved this place. It’s beautiful. Aside from all of the horrible monsters.”
  14. Inigo: “Maybe we should hit that big orange globe with something! … Maybe not.” LOLOL.
  15. Also Inigo: “I will never be able to describe this to anyone.”

A couple different times in Blackreach, Lucien actually wished he could get a good look at the Lexicon. I was a little sad I couldn’t actually hand it to him to inspect!

And in general I was delighted by both his and Inigo’s reactions to Blackreach. Lucien was clearly in scholarly heaven, gushing about everything he was seeing. Inigo was clearly equally awed, but as he’s not quite as verbally eloquent as Lucien, he was forced to admit he didn’t have the words to capture everything we were looking at. I liked that contrast in their reactions.

I am also slightly regretful that I managed to get ahead of both of them, by the time I got the last of the crimson nirnroot and headed into the tower to get the Elder Scroll. This meant neither of them were actually in the room with me when I got it, so I didn’t get a chance to hear what they would have had to say about it. I did not, however, want to bother to replay getting the scroll. I was overloaded at this point and wanted to minimize how much tromping around I was doing.

Lucien did catch up once I left Blackreach, though! And asserted that “We should get the scroll back to Paarthurnax. Alduin’s not going to defeat himself!”

Last but not least, I wound up actually getting Lydia back on housecarl duty. I didn’t really pre-plan this. I initially asked her to follow me just to try to give her the Daedric plate armor I got off the bandits that attacked Lakeview–only to discover that I’d already given her a previous set of Daedric plate!

But then I decided, fuck it, I wanted her to still be following me. I adore Lucien and Inigo at this point, but they do mean my party was slanting heavily dudes, and I wanted to balance things out a bit. Plus I just missed Lyds. <3

Next time

So as of the end of the final session here, Lydia was on duty and following along with Lucien and Inigo. So right now, Team Dragonborn stands at four, and they’ll be who I have at my back when we do the first round of fighting with Alduin on the Throat of the World!

And given that I also gave Lyds some better weapons, including a dragonbone crossbow, I look forward to seeing her whip that out. Muahaha.

Having that fight with Alduin will be what I do next. After that: not sure yet. Kendis is heading into the final stretches of Dawnguard, and she’ll probably head to Solstheim after that. So right now I’m not currently inclined to duplicate with Harrow what Kendis is doing.

I’m halfway considering going ahead and finishing the main quest with Harrow, just because I haven’t done the scenario in a while of taking out Alduin and then doing a whole bunch of other things. But also, because I still haven’t hit Bruma yet with Harrow, and I feel like it’d be best to take out Alduin before tackling that. It makes more sense to me, narrative-wise.


No screenshots this time.

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.