Elder Scrolls Online,  Gyllerah Playthrough

In Which Gyllerah Hunts Witches, the Hound, and Daedra in the White-Gold Tower

I’ve been leaning very heavily on RP in recent Gyllerah sessions, which is why there’s been a lot more to report! And which is why I’ve been lagging behind on getting her posts up, because it takes a while to compose them.

Lots of action here, featuring moving the Fighters Guild, Western Skyrim, and Aldmeri Dominion plots further along; and also, running my very first group dungeon, the White-Gold Tower in the Imperial City! So now I’ve got Spell Power Cure and Winter’s Respite gear to play with, and I can experiment with a healer-focused build on Gyllerah now.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 4/18-4/21/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 186-189

Tuesday the 18th

  • Ran writs in Alinor
  • Boinged off to Vulkhel Guard to look for Lyris; no dice
  • Went back to Marbruk via Cliffshade and hit the Fighter’s Guild
  • Talked to the Guildmaster; she and I headed off to a new ruin, Abagarlas, to do more research about the Mortuum Vivicus
  • Killed assorted hostiles including Queen Palolel and Prince Malyon
  • Discovered the Vivicum was still intact and got there just as Molag Bal yoinked it into Coldharbour
  • Colors sent me on to the Earth Forge to meet up with Merric and help him work on the Prismatic Core
  • We did that and were promptly attacked by undead sent in by Molag Bal
  • Killed Queen Palolel again, this time in lich form
  • Left the forge with Merric to meet up with Aelif
  • Jofnir Iceblade’s ghost showed up again, and ohnoez! He was totally murdered
  • Returned to the Guildhall to report to Colors, who was all ohnoez we must discuss this and sent me off on my way
  • Boinged to Solitude and oh good! There’s the Western Skyrim plot
  • Nabbed by a ragged NPC as soon as I stepped out of the wayshrine; he thrust me a note, warned me not to trust anybody but Lyris, and keeled over dead
  • Suspicious guard came up to demand to know what I was doing, so I blew him off, then went to go follow up on the cryptic hints in the guy’s note
  • Found and questioned a contact; found a suspicious marked crate; and found Brondold’s journal, which had more clues
  • Returned to Solitude and found Lyris at the Blue Palace
  • She let me in on her meeting with the queen, who was willing to listen to us, but insisted we bring more conclusive proof
  • Questioned a shady AF dice player in an alley, and also a drunk orc in the Lonely Troll inn–which actually also led to questioning the princess, Svana
  • Amused AF by a guard who totally fanboyed Lyris, LOLOLOL
  • Took a few moments around here in the proceedings to actually buy the inn room in this inn, so I can get back to Solitude quickly
  • Went off to find an abandoned temple, where I fought another hostile and found another clue
  • Returned to Lyris and we hurried off towards Kilkreath Temple separately
  • Found Fennorian, a non-hostile vampire of House Ravenwatch; helped him investigate the witch pikes near the temple
  • Killed assorted harrowfiends and death hounds
  • Talked with Lyris again and helped Fennorian recover his alchemical equipment
  • Headed to nearby ruins and fought Sister Ambritt, a Reach witch, and took her out
  • Got Fennorian’s pointer to proceed to Morthal for further investigation, and got the dagger Ambritt’s Iceflame from Lyris
  • Boinged back to Alinor from there and bought some rubedo leather
  • Boinged back to Cliffshade and made a couple more cp160 Ancient Elf armor items
  • Logged out for the night

Wednesday the 19th

  • Ran writs in Alinor, then boinged back to Western Skyrim to run plot
  • First went to the Kilkreath Temple to run the side plot to get Meridia’s Healing Rod
  • Worked with a priestess Bavian to help her investigate what happened to all her fellow worshippers, and eventually got to the catacombs to help her recover an artifact called Meridia’s Brilliance
  • Bavian was very unhappy with why Meridia apparently didn’t actually do anything about this disaster, but was determined to help the survivors anyway, and she gave me the healing rod
  • Traded to that instead of the Adept Rider Resto staff I’d been using
  • Headed back into Solitude to follow up on the main plot there, and oh shit the Queen was assassinated!
  • The king basically told Lyris and me to fuck all the way off, but Lyris didn’t want to bail completely, so we investigated what the hell happened
  • Answer: a vampire killed the queen, as we determined once I found a Reach amulet at a nearby broken window
  • Found a couple of witnesses out in the city who’d seen the bastard get by them, including the initial snotty guard who’d confronted me at the wayshrine
  • Guard was not pleased, but backed off of me when I dropped a large stone hint that he might have been derelict in his duty if a vampire got past him
  • Went out to hunt the vampire myself, which required following up with Fennorian outside Morthal; found him at the camp of a “clever woman”, Old Mjolen
  • Old Mjolen sent me off to get deathbell and wolf bones to do magic on the amulet I’d found so I could use it to track the assassin, which eventually led Fenn and me to Chillwind Depths
  • Found a chest just outside here, with Winter’s Respite breeches in it, awesome
  • Found the local-to-delve plot where a couple of brothers and their sister had been attacked by a chaurus; the sister was very ill and the brothers wanted me to go in and fetch ingredients for them
  • One of the brothers came in with me
  • Delve time! Also FALMER and CHAURUS and FROSTBITE SPIDER time, but also variations on frostbite spiders not included in Skyrim
  • This was a big crunchy delve, and I eventually had to call Ember in
  • Took out the chaurus boss, and pretty sure this is where I got another drop of a Winter’s Respite item, the sash
  • Got the ingredients for Hamvir and tracked down the assassin, but the asshole wounded Fenn and escaped; found some documents as clues
  • Went back outside and finished up the ingredients quest, and rendezvoused with Lyris and Fenn to follow the clues to Silversnow Mine
  • Got into that and went down yet another tunnel into Blackreach
  • We had to destroy some witch pikes surrounding a suspicious mining town where indentured workers were mining… something
  • Entered the Dwemer run Kagnthamz to finally find the assassin, Pentarch Khorb, who we then proceeded to kill real good
  • Witnessed a summoning ritual carried out by Sister Tharda, another Reach witch, in which she appeared to be resurrecting werewolves (yikes), but she twigged to us so we had to run down there and battle her as the boss
  • Took her out, then returned to Solitude to report in to Princess Svana, who agreed to help me because her mother would have wanted it; got the Surcoat of Solitude from her as quest reward
  • Started up the next plot in the arc, then boinged back to Alinor for inventory managing
  • Then boinged to Cliffshade for a bit of house stuff
  • Bought an armory station off of the Crown Store and plunked that into a nook
  • Swapped out Adept Rider armor items for some light armor versions that looked better with the Winter’s Respite gear
  • Moved the couch for Ezabi upstairs, and made another end table for the upper floor
  • Stopped there for the night

Thursday the 20th

  • Ran writs in Alinor
  • No RP action, but did hit our Guild house finally, and figure out where the set stations there are
  • Boinged around a bit between there and Alinor as I worked on creating boots for a master writ, Druid’s Braid set, Psijic Order style
  • Had to go in twice because I made the shoes by mistake, way to waste materials there, me! 😛
  • That got me 100 writ vouchers! Still not quite enough to get a 60-slot chest but getting there
  • Experimented with the Armory Station; set main build as Default, and started creating a Healer build
  • Saved there for the night

Friday the 21st

  • Whoo boy big session action 😀
  • Got a few additional Winter’s Respite things from Guild mates
  • Got some coaching on optimizing the Healer build on my Armory Station
  • Then Guild mates helped me run White-Gold tower, exciting 😀
  • Main goal: getting me some Spell Power Cure gear for healing purposes, and also to just practice running a dungeon in a group
  • Got enough Spell Power Cure things, either traded from Guild mates or scarfed on my own from looting, that I was able to have a full set of five things; now I can mix and match that and Winter’s Respite
  • We ran the tower, and got loot, and slew monsters, and holy shit the bosses :O
  • After that, boinged off to do inventory management and run writs for a while
  • Then went out for adventuring action and to try to bolster Restoration and Destruction staff abilities some more
  • Picked up where I left off in Malabal Tor
  • Called in Ember for backup, and also because I could practice Restoration while she threw lightning around, though I periodically also switched to my new Spell Power Cure lightning staff, ZAP
  • Rescued the Silvenar’s ambassadors in Jathsogur, and wound up having to choose which one to sacrifice to save the Silvenar (yikes)
  • They both volunteered and so of course I had to be the one to choose
  • Sacrificed the one that wasn’t badly hurt, and the remaining one had me destroy assorted focus stones
  • Then we hit the keep where the Silvenar was being held prisoner, and defended him against the Drublog chief and others while he worked on breaking himself out of the magic sphere holding him
  • He got loose and invited me to his wedding to the Green Lady, how nice; promised I’d meet him there <3
  • Then took Ember over to the nearby Xylo River Basin Dolmen because healing pratice! Waited long enough for it to fire off twice in fact, and that let me get the Resto staff up to 41 and Destruction staff up to 15
  • Returned to boinging back and forth between Alinor and house for more inventory management
  • Made a whole new set of Adept Rider armor for primary build, just because the light armor doesn’t cut it when I need to be doing damage
  • Noted that in addition to picking up the Spell Power Cure stuff I’d also picked up some Essence Thief set pieces, and those are medium, but i don’t like the Xivkyn look so I blew them up for the materials
  • Succeeded in finding Thieves Guild boots style page so bought that for not too much gold ^_^
  • Still can’t make those boots yet; I need more boot traits
  • Spent some of my few remaining crowns on plants for Cliffshade, including an Elsweyr cactus thing that I bought to please Ezabi, hee
  • Paused there for the night

Fighters Guild action

As of this writing I’ve actually finished the Fighters Guild plot, so I know now where this went. Which means that, looking back, I can see that I was still suspicious of Sees-All-Colors as of this set of sessions. Particularly once I got to the part where Jofnir Iceblade’s ghost told me he was murdered, and how Colors seemed just a little bit too eager to explore these ruins she kept hauling me off to.

Anybody who’s run the Lost to the Ages plot in Skyrim will understand what I mean when I say the Earth Forge gave me huge Aetherium Forge vibes. This does not really surprise me given that the wiki says the Earth Forge is a Dwemer ruin hidden in mountains, and now I have a headcanon that the Earth Forge and the Aetherium Forge were totally both built by the same architect.

I have some issues with how this played out, though. More in forthcoming posts on this.

Kicking off the plot in Western Skyrim

I was already pleased with the action in the prologue for this plot, run with Lyris Titanborn. So once I figured out what I had to do to move the plot further along (i.e., go to Solitude), I was definitely not disappointed with how things started off. Nice dramatic opener there with the guy running up to me at the wayshrine, gasping out a warning, handing me a message, and then keeling over dead!

Hell, I even liked the bitchy guard who showed up to give me shit about my suspicious proximity to a dead body, too. Bonus points for this same bitchy guard showing up in an exchange later, as well.

I also kind of adored the guard who lit up when he realized I was accompanied by Lyris Titanborn. He totally went into gushing fanboy mode and even asked me if I knew if she was betrothed. Rein it in there, pal, I think there’s another Redguard ahead of you in line in that regard, and sorry, but Sai Sahan would hand you your ass. 😉

In general this plot is not lacking for colorful characters, in particular Fennorian the vampire and Princess Svana. I’d seen passing mention of House Ravenwatch while just derping around the wiki, but now that I’ve met Fennorian on camera, I like the info he gave me about his House being an order of vampires deliberately trying to live as non-hostile to normal citizens. And I will hope that this means they don’t want to live in horrible blood-soaked lairs like vampires do in Skyrim, because I mean ew. 😉

And Svana is equally vividly portrayed, starting off as a fun-loving, hard-drinking reprobate princess with a fondness for getting blitzed at the Lonely Troll with her Orc pal. But the hard reality of the plot very soon smacks her in the face, once her mother gets assassinated. And this sets her up nicely with a “princess needs to step up to the plate for her people” character development arc.

Lyris continues to be badassed in this plot, and I enjoy her way more than I do any of the other major NPCs out of the Main Quest. <3 I am delighted to be able to run a zone quest with her!

I liked Old Mjolen as a character, even though I kept wanting to call her Mjoll. Though I am less sure whether I liked her being referred to as a “clever woman”. It clearly was in the context of a title rather than just calling her smart or wise, and it was clearly intended to be an alternate way of just outright saying “wise woman”. So I kind of like it for purposes of trying to use a different term, but kind of don’t like it just because it fell awkwardly on my ear.

And I also want to note that Chillwind Depths turned out to be a really respectable delve. I have yet to actually run the place in full in Skyrim, I’ve only ducked in there a time for two for fishing or minor quests. But from what I’m seeing on the wiki, and the maps for both games’ versions of it, ESO did a pretty fair job replicating the structure of the place as shown in Skyrim!

It was filled to the brim with Falmer, chaurus, and frostbite spiders, too. Which really threw me hard Skyrim vibes, only more so, because the monsters don’t respawn anywhere remotely as fast in Skyrim as they do in ESO. Bonus points as well for there being variations on frostbite spiders that do not appear in Skyrim. Because additional types of giant spiders are that much fun, apparently!

This was a big enough and crunchy enough delve that I eventually had to call in Ember as backup to run it, too. About which I’d like to note that even as I appreciate having an on-demand follower in ESO, I also find it a little hilarious that I can in fact summon her at will. This is not a thing I’m used to doing in Skyrim at all! At least, not without the aid of mods.

Action at Meridia’s temple

It was very weird to be hitting up Meridia’s temple in Kilkreath, and not for kicking Malkoran’s ass and getting Dawnbreaker. LOL. And I’m not a hundred percent sure of this, but I got the sense that it was a different layout as well than what I know from the temple in Skyrim.

I was simultaneously sad for the priestess Bavian, whose faith in Meridia was wrecked by her temple being destroyed by the harrowstorm, and also respectful of Bavian for deciding to still keep doing her best to help the survivors even though her faith in her goddess was destroyed. And kind of respectful of the plot for going there, too. It seems absolutely appropriate that one of Meridia’s faithful would have some really goddamn harsh questions after seeing no sign of Meridia actually doing anything about this disaster.

And given that I know now that Meridia is actively involved in the ending of the Main Quest, this raises real interesting questions about Meridia’s motives, too. Did she completely miss that one of her own temples was destroyed because she was too focused on contesting Molag Bal’s attempt to take over Nirn? Was this a question of inattention on Meridia’s part? Or a question of disinterest? As of when she visited the temple Gyllerah did not know yet that Meridia would be involved with what’s to come in Coldharbour… but she did know Meridia was involved in the situation on Summerset. And she’ll not have forgotten Darien’s warning to her. So I figure Gyllerah’s side-eying this situation hard.

Additional side note: the game tagged her in dialogue as Priest Bavian, not Priestess Bavian, which was an interesting little detail. I don’t know whether the intention there was to deliberately make “priest” gender-neutral in the game, and whether it’s an ESO-wide thing, or just specific to this bunch of Meridia worshippers? Now I am totally going to have to doublecheck other priestly characters to see if I spot a trend with this.

Meanwhile, I could not help but notice that the thing I had to fetch for Bavian, Meridia’s Brilliance, looked an awful lot like Meridia’s Beacon in Skyrim. But it is apparently explicitly not the same thing? Because according to the wiki, the beacon does also exist in ESO.

An interlude to talk about house furnishing

I gotta admit, furnishing Cliffshade is growing on me. In the earlier stretches of my time playing ESO so far, I’d thought I wasn’t going to be interested in this. But as I’ve slowly accumulated furniture items and made the house look cozier and more lived-in, I’m beginning to appreciate it more.

Mind you, I’ve also been just focusing furnishing efforts on Cliffshade. I have half a dozen inn rooms at this point, but haven’t been bothering to furnish those, just because I’ve got them mostly as shortcuts for getting into various interesting locations quickly without having to bother with a wayshrine. But eventually, at least, I should put beds and stuff in those rooms at the very least.

I also spent some of the final session in this post getting some plants for Cliffshade. Including an Elsweyr cactus-looking thing, which I explicitly got to please Ezabi. Which just goes to show you how I’m taking to furnishing my house, if I’m roleplaying in my head that my banker kitty pal is now a permanent houseguest and I want the house to be pleasing to her. 😉

Running the White-Gold Tower

This was a first for me: running the White-Gold Tower in Cyrodiil, with the help of members of my Guild! When I told the Guild on our Discord that I was interested in participating in trials as a healer, Spell Power Cure was one of the two armor sets recommended to me to get–and the way to get Spell Power Cure stuff is to go run the White-Gold Tower.

So this served two goals for me: 1) getting some examples of that gear, and 2) actually running a group dungeon for the first time, with more than just one other player.

This was great fun! I appreciated the chance to practice running a dungeon in a team, but I also appreciated visiting the place for lore reasons! I am of course long familiar at this point with the Moth Priests courtesy of Dawnguard in Skyrim, and their connection to the Tower. Likewise, I know just from lore how important the tower in general is as part of Cyrodiil history. The treaty that ended the Great War in Skyrim, after all, was called the White-Gold Concordat.

It also amused the hell out of me to see another member of the Tharn family here, being a fine upstanding human being. Or at least, so it looked to me at the time. Because I also discovered that running a dungeon in a group doesn’t leave quite as much time as I’d like to actually appreciate the plot going on!

Because I totes missed while running the tower that the so-called Empress Regent Clivia Tharn was not, in fact, Clivia Tharn at all. She was Molag Kena, pretending to be Clivia Tharn. And I only know this now because I went and looked up ESO’s version of the tower on the wiki!

What I did not miss, however, was the ginormous Dark Anchor poised over the top of the tower. Because Molag Bal was of course trying to yoink the tower into Coldharbour, and there was great big hey I know what that is energy there.

There are also questions here of how exactly to work this into Gyllerah’s narrative. I think I’ll have to call it another out-of-phase thing, because I haven’t actually gotten into the Imperial City on my own yet. But by now, I kinda feel like Gyllerah’s used to sporadically still boinging around in time, and only making sense later of what she experiences.

One thing would have been clear to her, though, particularly once we got to the top of the tower and saw it getting wrecked: this would have felt real familiar. Because this is not Gyllerah’s first “Daedric Prince trying destroy a tower” rodeo. I’m pretty sure she came out of that tower thinking WHAT IS IT WITH YOU DAEDRIC PRINCES AND TRYING TO RIP TOWERS APART YES I AM LOOKING AT YOU NOCTURNAL.

Also noting for the record that I think I actually like the Winter’s Respite set better than the Spell Power Cure one, at least in terms of its overall appearance. Not a fan of the Xivkyn style, I think. But more on this in coming posts.

Noting as well that I was definitely impressed on how the bosses just kept coming in that tower as we worked our way up. Which is of course why you have to run the place with a group. Going in there solo is just not going to happen. Certainly not if you’re me, anyway!

Meanwhile, back in Malabal Tor

Next major RP action here was picking up where I’d left off in the Aldmeri Dominion plotline, and taking Ember in to rescue the Silvenar’s captured ambassadors. This turned out to be yet another one of those “the player has to decide which NPC is going to survive this plot” kind of deals, which always makes me go a little yikes. And it never helps that the NPCs are all “pick me pick me” even when it’s blatantly obvious one of them has got to die. Waugh.

I was, at any rate, able to help the Silvenar break out of captivity and he invited me to Silvenar (the city, which is not the slightest bit confusing name-wise or anything) for his wedding to the Green Lady. How nice! (Note to self: do not bring the happy couple fruit-flavored cakes for their wedding. Maybe avoid cake altogether? Is cake even the slightest bit Green-Pact-compliant?)

And since there was a dolmen in range, which I saw firing off while running the plot, I went over there after finishing up to hang out and wait for it to fire off a couple more times. This let me get in practice time with both of the staves I was carrying, the Restoration and Destruction ones. I think fighting with staves is growing on me, too. It feels more intuitive in ESO than it does in Skyrim.

Next time

Finishing up the Malabal Tor section of the Aldmeri Dominion quest line, and moving on into the Reaper’s March part! More action in Western Skyrim, including discovering the unfortunate fate of Karthland, but also meeting the Jarl of Whiterun (sorta kinda)! Finishing up the Fighters Guild plot!

And last but certainly not least, running my very first ESO trial!


Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.

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.


  • Erin Schram

    I overheard your adventure in the White-Gold Tower, because Amy finds headsets painful and uses speakers instead. I had ended my Friday, April 21st Pathfinder game session promptly at 9pm EDT (6pm PDT), mostly because I was tired, but also because I knew that Cync and Amy wanted the opportunity to run a group dungeon with you.

    I also heard your trial run yesterday, May 6.

    Elder Scrolls Online seems a good place to reconnect with old friends.