Lots of action in this, featuring moving the plot along in Western Skyrim; running trials with my Guild for the first time; running a side plot at Karnwasten on Summerset; saving the Green Lady and witnessing her union with the Silvenar; coming to the aid of two sisters in Reaper’s March, one of whom is destined to be the next Mane of the Khajiit; liberating Arenthia from invaders; helping some Bosmer brewers out with a drunken mammoth problem; and last but not least, concluding the Fighters Guild quest and discovering who’d slain the previous Guildmaster.
Play by play
- Play dates: 4/22-4/26/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 190-194
Saturday the 22nd
- Before running trials with the Guild, spent some preliminary adventuring time running more plot in Western Skyrim
- Went to Morthal and spoke to the Jarl there
- Met up with Lyris, and the two of us ran a nearby barrow
- Good practice using my staves on assorted draugr 😀
- Found assorted Morthal soldiers who had become harrowed from a storm created inside the barrow
- Took out Warlord Rukar and destroyed a witch pike
- Got out again and reported back to the Jarl what had happened
- Princess Svana begged Jarl Reddharn to talk to her father
- Lyris escorted the Jarl to Solitude, while Svana and I headed into Karthwatch
- Met Svana at the Eversnow Inn with survivors of the hold being destroyed
- Sister Elra, who we’d seen in the barrow, followed us along the road, taunting us
- Reached the Jarl’s hall and it was not in promising shape
- Found Magister Fridelja inside who had been trying to hold off harrowfiend attacks with her magic; she sent us into the cellar to check on the jarl
- Aaaaaaand ohnoez the Jarl had become a harrowfiend, and I had to kill her
- Went back upstairs to report what had happened
- Svana took Fridelja to brief her father
- Diverted off a little westward to try to find Rigurt the Brash, because I wanted to run his side quest to get his fancy shirt so I could have that for the Winter’s Respite set
- Got partway through that quest, which required me to help him convince a couple of thanes to meet with the Jarl of Whiterun; met both of the thanes and got their quests
- But then had to pause that adventuring for the TRIALS!
- We ran both Sunspire and Cloudrest
- Lots of loot 😀
- Ran Destruction and Restoration Staff skills up a little higher
- After the trial, boinged back to Cliffshade so i could shift back to my default build, since that’s the one with the actual crafting points spent on it
- Did a lot of inventory managing
- Hung a new piece of art in Cliffshade since I got that as part of my loot
- Ran writs
- Boinged back to Western Skyrim for a little while
- On the way to the Blue Palace, saw that they’d been bringing in harrowed victims to be treated at the Temple of the Divines
- Met back up with Svana and Lyris
- Svana told me she’d gotten word from Fennorian who had been doing more in Blackreach and wanted me to talk to him; I agreed to go find him
- But first went to go finish up Rigurt’s plot; had to go into Chillwind Depths again to get him a mushroom
- Then used that as bait to track down a horker for one of the thanes, and helped Rigurt prepare a feast for the other one
- Went with him to go talk to the Jarl of Whiterun; found her a) drunk, and b) VERY flirtatious, LOLOL
- Sadly for the Jarl’s libido, the incoming thanes were right behind us, so she didn’t get very far making the moves on me and had to sober up fast 😉
- Left Rigurt to managing his diplomacy, and he gave me his fancy shirt, which I do like better than the robe for the Winter’s Respite set (but not a fan of the puffy breeches)
- Boinged back to Alinor for additional inventory managing, then back to Cliffshade to take a break
- Later, adjusted the colors of the Winter’s Respite gear a little using the outfit station at the Guild island
- Worked on clearing out some of my stored stuff in my chest
- Finally got all seven of the fragments for the Psijic Ambrosia recipe, though I had to buy a couple from guild traders
- Boinged over to Grahtwood to finish up the Silvenar plot
- Had to help him break the wards on Silvenar (the city), set up by the Hound who was trying to steal the Green Lady for himself
- Had to go find six shards that were magically attuned to the Spinners imprisoned in the city
- Talked to a scout who pointed me at where to find the shards
- Also picked up a side plot involving a band of minstrels that the Hounds had overpowered, and whose instruments they’d stolen
- Helped the minstrels return to their camp and got their instruments back for them
- Killed the werewolf who’d caused them to be captured, since that guy apparently was very much not a music lover
- Since the other minstrels had mistakenly believed the the Bosmer among them had betrayed them, killing the werewolf cleared her name
- Took the shards back to the projection of the Silvenar
- Got into the city and questioned three of the Hound’s minions about how he’d managed to capture the Spinners, then got into each of the Spinners’ homes and had to solve puzzles to free them
- Read books in each of their homes to see the clue about the sequence to use on the puzzles, which all represented the various Mundus stones
- Had to only activate three of them, not all four, and the books dropped hints about which ones to hit
- Freed all the Spinners
- Discovered that the Hound had in fact almost subverted the Green Lady, so went in to distract her while the Silvenar broke through the last of the wards on the place–which was a good time for the Restoration staff!
- The Silvenar broke her free, and I had to kill the Hound
- Hurray! The wedding is on! The eldest Spinner showed up to officiate
- At which point I resolved the quest and returned to Alinor for a bit more inventory managing
- Then logged off for the night
Sunday the 23rd
- Did writs in Alinor, but also a bunch of rearranging of furnishing
- Grabbed a few items out of my inn rooms and also Moonmirth House
- Called in Ember for backup, and decided to run Karnwasten again to see if I could get another fragment of the Big-Eared Ginger Kitten runebox; answer: YES
- Ran the local plot involving the Khajiit Renzir who wanted me to rescue his wife and some of their trade goods
- The wife, Nubani, dropped a reveal on me that her husband is in fact a smuggler, and urged me to chuck the recovered goods into the sea so she could lean on him to start leading a legit life with her
- Agreed to this and fought my way with her and Ember back outside; hey Renzir, here’s your wife, but ohnoez your goods were lost at sea
- Left the happy couple to bicker their way through the aftermath, and boinged off to Grahtwood to return to Aldmeri Dominion plot
- First went to Silvenar so I could talk to the Speaker to the Mane there and get him to point me at Fort Grimwatch; boinged via wayshrine a couple hops into Reaper’s March
- Made it to Fort Grimwatch and met up with a scout who took me in to talk to Shazah
- Helped her purify three corrupted spirit wells while fighting a boatload of dro-m’Athra
- Shazah then purified a pool of darkness in the central tree; the spirit of the First Mane showed up and gave me his blessing so I can pass through fire unharmed, by which he meant, the dark blue fire blocking a nearby temple
- Headed over there to get into the place, and found Khali, Shazah’s sister
- Went with her further into Khaj Rawlith and activated some statues to disrupt a ritual keeping the barriers up on the place
- Shazah caught up with us and I went in with her to take out the red stone in the inner chamber
- Khali went “holy crap, you are the Moon Hallowed” and sent me off to find a priestess, Kauzanabi-jo
- Kauzanabi-jo had me pray at her altar, and the spirit of the First Mane showed up again and went “yep, you sure are totes the Moon Hallowed”
- Kauzanabi-jo went :O and then sent me off to Arenthia
- Met up with a scout called Cariel just outside the city, who had me take a uniform off a fallen invader as a disguise, and sent me in to talk to the resistance
- The local Clan Mother, Kazirra, sent me off to find evidence of what the invaders had been doing
- This mostly worked; found evidence in three of the four houses, though had to play it very carefully getting into one as I was well within viewing range of a suspicious sentry
- Major notable point: yet another Tharn involved with this plot :O
- After I got the evidence I got made, ohnoez, cover blown, Ember and I had to fight our way through the rest of this quest! 😉
- Teamed back up with Cariel to kidnap an incoming centurion; interrogated him and used the imprinting crystal that recorded the illusion playing all over the city to make a new recording, of the centurion fessing up that the invading forces were allied with a Daedric cult; this did not go well for the invaders
- Tracked down General Lavinia and took her out in the inn, then headed into the Temple district
- Took out cultists at an unfinished Dark Anchor and prevented the thing from manifesting
- Fought the Mane in the temple and got the Dark Mane spirit to leave him, at which point he surrendered
- Clan Mother and Cariel thanked me profusely for helping me liberate the city, and sent me on to speak with a Moon Priest in Rawl’kha
- Hit a couple of skyshards on the way to this, including one that happened to be in what looked like the burned husk of a former Bosmer settlement, and yikes what happened there, then? May have to investigate that later
- Made it to Rawl’kha safely
- Priest took me in to speak with the same priestess I spoke to before, and participate in the ritual to judge both of the sisters to see which of them will be the next Mane
- Spoke with the Green Lady, Ayrenn, the former Mane, and his former Speaker to get their takes on what was going on
- The sisters and I all had to drink moon-sugar elixir
- Went with Khali on her path first; saw her anger about the Colovians who killed her mother
- Then did Shazah’s path and got more of the backstory about her father dying in Orcrest
- Went back to finish the ceremony, and this was apparently an initial stage of their trials? Because no decision yet on which one will be Mane
- The priestess suggested I go to a place called Moonmont next, but also dropped a hint about my acquiring a thing called the Golden Claw first (LOL and then do I need to run Bleak Falls Barrow? No no no no wrong game)
- Paused there for additional inventory managing and rearranging of furnishings before logging off for the night
Monday the 24th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Did some boinging around to various places looking for any of the style sheets for master writs; didn’t find any of those that I could afford
- Took time on Auridon to hunt down an antiquity to scry, just to make a little additional cash
- Found the decoy antiquity (disappointing birdhouse) as well as the real one
- Did some fishing on the beach
- Then boinged back to Cliffshade for the night
Tuesday the 25th
- Ran writs in Alinor
- Derped around Artaeum a lot and ran the simple tier antiquity four times just for the gold; also got some cheap oddities to sell that way as well
- Boinged around looking for the remaining time breach portals to close in Valenwood, so I could finish off that part of the Psijic Order quest
- Returned to Artaeum again to talk to Josajeh, who apologized to me for being weird
- She asked me to check in with the Loremaster but also gave me another map of breaches to go close, this time in Blackwood (OH BOY! more wasp country!)
Wednesday the 26th
- Ran writs in Alinor, then did four more rounds of antiquities scrying on Artaeum
- Boinged to various places checking guild traders for prices on style sheets
- Then decided to run the rest of the Fighters Guild quest, which required me first to go find Merric in Vulkwasten in Malabal Tor–which I had conveniently found the night before while looking for breaches, so boinged over there via wayshrine
- Merric and the assembled council told me what was going on, and Merric sent me off to go meet up with Aelif and further investigate Jofnir’s murder
- Aelif sent me into the Guildmaster’s old quarters; found evidence pointing at Ragnthar, and Aelif asked me to meet her there
- Headed over to Baandari Trading Post
- On the way, got yoinked into a side plot involving having to rouse some drunken timber mammoths
- Roused the mammoths and sent them back to their pens
- Then discovered the perpetrator of these shenanigans: jealous mage who was angry at the brewery’s owner (her ex, in fact) over differences of opinions about how to make rotmeth
- Took her out, and returned to the brewer to find him completely soused, but at least also grateful 😉
- Then returned to the Fighters Guild plot! Made it to the trading post
- Questioned a few members of the Guild about Jofnir’s activities
- Then found Aelif who led us off to Ragnthar, at which point things started getting suspicious
- Because surprise! Aelif had magical powers and could break through the barrier on the door into the ruins, and she was able to summon Jofnir’s spirit and forcibly compel him to speak to her
- Jofnir claimed Sees-All-Colors killed him, but he sure didn’t look happy about sharing that information
- Aelif then told me to go report back to Merric, and claimed she was staying put
- So I reported back to Merric, and he was really not happy about Aelif summoning Jofnir’s spirit either
- Messenger showed up again, asking me to meet Aelif in Rawl’kha, so boinged over there to meet up with her–at which point she fired up a portal to the Earth Forge so we could go talk to Merric
- We hit up the Earth Forge; Merric was singing as he worked, and finally he gave me the Prismatic Weapon in staff form
- Aelif fired up another portal, this time into the Halls of Submission
- We found Sees-All-Colors, who confessed to killing Jofnir–but as part of a divine mission given to her by Meridia, to delay Molag Bal
- Aelif revealed herself as a Molag Bal worshipper (I’m shocked, shocked I say), and I had to blow away some pinions to keep her from getting at the Mortuum Vivicus
- Molag Bal transformed her into a titan for the boss fight, which was briefly impressive, but she wasn’t actually as tough as she looked; as I took her out, Molag Bal bitched at her for not being worthy of his gift
- Jofnir’s spirit was freed! And we got the fuck out and reported back to the Fighters Guild assembled at the Earth Forge
- Clued them in as to what the hell had happened
- Everybody agreed to give Colors some leniency but that she could no longer be Guildmaster; Merric was named Guildmaster instead, and Colors was deemed the Light of the Guild to act as his advisor against the Daedra
- Merric gave me permanent access to the Earth Forge to make armor, but I returned to Alinor
- Worked for a while on inventory management, materials hunting, treasure chest looting, and selling things, until I finally got enough gold to buy the style sheet for the Crimson Oath shield I need to make
- Returned to Cliffshade and logged off for the night
Initial Western Skyrim action
As a passionate Skyrim player, I’m continuing to find the Western Skyrim plot delightful. Particularly when I see it using locations that appear in the Skyrim game, but in different ways.
These sessions continued that trend, with my having to go to Morthal and help out the Jarl there. One part of this was just seeing Morthal in general, which did appear to be a bit larger and more prosperous than it is by the time of Skyrim; clearly, the Stormcloak rebellion kicked the prosperity of Morthal in the teeth. But equally interesting was that the plot that brought me here required me to run a nearby barrow with Lyris–and that barrow is one that actually does appear in Skyrim, which I hadn’t realized until I checked the wiki!
The mileage here with Princess Svana was great. I really appreciated how getting a firsthand look at what was going on in Morthal and Karthald motivated her to take action.
And I really also liked that this plot was willing to destroy an entire Hold that does not exist by the time of Skyrim, i.e., Karthald. The wiki says remnants of it do appear in Skyrim, so apparently Bethesda decided to retcon Broken Tower Redoubt as being a lingering remnant of Karthwatch, the Hold’s capital. Neat!
Likewise, I respected that this part of the plot even killed off Karthwatch’s Jarl. Showing up to try to check on her, only to discover that oh shit she’s a harrowfiend and now I have to kill her, packed some good dramatic punch. And I feel rather sorry for poor Magister Fridelja, who was doing her damndest to defend what was left of her Jarl’s hall, only to have to learn from me that the Jarl she’d sent down into the cellar was, in fact, dead at my hand. Ouch.
Brief comic interlude with Rigurt the Brash
At this point, I diverted off from the main Western Skyrim plot to see if I could find Rigurt the Brash, because I’d seen on the wiki that his side quest was a way to get a jerkin in the Winter’s Respite set, as opposed to a robe. So I wanted to take care of that as soon as possible.
It was definitely a tonal contrast with the main Western Skyrim plot, though! Because it was entirely comic, and only when I actually started in on this did I also discover that Rigurt is apparently a recurring NPC as well. So I guess I may run into him again in the future?
I’m not sure if the character strikes me as all that appealing. It was very weird to hear him talking in third person about himself all the time, which made him sound like a Khajiit. Maybe he grew up in Elsweyr? But we’ll see if I ever run into him again.
The quest was easy enough to do, at any rate. And I did get Rigurt’s Fancy Shirt, the jerkin that the quest promised.
Plus, I was deeply amused that you do in fact get to meet the Jarl of Whiterun. Because a) oh hey look! The Jarl of Whiterun actually exists on camera in this game, even if Whiterun doesn’t! And b) she is absolutely soused when you meet her, and she starts hitting on you as soon as you see her, calling you Rigurt’s “surprisingly comely friend”.
Bwahaha. So now I get to headcanon that the Jarl of Whiterun is totally queer. And apparently, she likes rangy Altmer chicks? 😉
Running trials in Sunspire and Cloudrest
This was my very first attempt at running trials along with my Guild, since they decided to arrange doing an intro-level trial run for folks in the Guild ranks who hadn’t done them before. Which turned out to be a lot of fun!
We had two people as tanks, two as healers (one of which was me), and the rest as DPS, for a total of 12 to fill out the full trial roster. And my biggest takeaway from this was that boy howdy yes, healer was the right role for me.
I already knew from Skyrim, as well as running group events in ESO (geysers, Dark Anchors, and harrowstorms), that keeping track of the action in a big group fight is a lot for me to try to keep track of. So in a trial, this meant that we had twelve player characters all ganging up on multiple opponents, and yep, that was a lot.
And I’d already picked up from running Dark Anchors and such that it’s usually a good strategy for me to run circles around the perimeter of the fight and keep throwing heals like crazy. This is generally fine when it’s just me (or me + Ember), but in the trials, I had to be a bit more organized than that. The Guild members who were shepherding us noobs through the fight gave strategy tips that helped a lot, and so my basic function wound up being “try to stick as close to the main cluster of DPS people as possible, and target area of effect heals on them”.
Which let me start getting more familiar with the capabilities of the Winter’s Respite set, to begin with. I was advised that if you trigger any kind of attack that hits the ground, and you’re using a full set of Winter’s Respite gear, the gear triggers an area of healing frost around you that gives buffs to your nearby allies. So I had to practice doing that, which was a thing I could easily trigger either via the main Restoration Staff I was carrying, or via the Templar ability Luminous Shards.
I was able to just keep spamming buttons on my Restoration Staff bar to keep the heals coming. And every so often, I also switched off to the Destruction Staff I had as backup, because that’s the bar I’d parked Luminous Shards on. So I had to get comfy with switching between those two staves on demand, too.
We didn’t take as much time as I might have liked to actually engage with the plot in the two trial locations, as we were moving pretty briskly through, trying to cover both places in two hours. But I’m kind of okay with that! I did at least get a sense of the plot in both places, and anything I missed I can catch up on via the wiki.
Because here’s the thing about the trials: you can run them multiple times, apparently? Just like delves and other types of dungeons. So it’s hard to really get invested in an area’s plot if you can run it multiple times and kill the same boss over and over.
Between the two, though, the plot at Sunspire seemed way more interesting to me than the one at Cloudrest. I really liked the idea of a dragon trying to pass himself off as Akatosh, and terrorizing the local Khajiit into worshipping him. Seems to me like somebody missed the days of the Dragon Cult!
I did notice, though, that now when I go through Alinor in Summerset, I no longer hear that NPC going “Cloudrest destroyed by shadows. Can it be true?” So there’s that!
Back to Western Skyrim
After the trials were over I returned to action in Western Skyrim, where I saw a couple of items of immediate interest. One, I liked the background detail of some of the non-hostile harrowed being brought in to be treated at the Temple of the Divines–though I was simultaneously pleased to see the population trying to help the stricken and worried about whether this will turn out to be very, very bad?
The impression I’m getting from the harrowstorms during this plot is that they’ll either outright kill you, nuke your brain, or turn you into a harrowfiend. I’m pretty sure that those who get brain-nuked aren’t at risk of becoming harrowfiends… but Gyllerah doesn’t know that. So I expect she’d find the situation disquieting at the very least.
And this led into more advancement of Svana’s character arc as well, once I met back up with her and Lyris at the Blue Palace. I particularly liked this exchange between Svana and her Orc friend:
Maugh: “The Svana I know would leave all this bother behind. Come back to the Troll and let the royalty deal with this.”
Svana: “I am the royalty, Maugh. It’s time I started acting like it.”
I find her stepping up to the plate very satisfying! Though I’m a little sad for Maugh, who just wants his drinking buddy back, I think? I don’t know if the plot is going in this direction or not, but I sure hope Maugh actually survives it. It’d be neat if he wound up being Svana’s housecarl!
Finishing up the Silvenar/Green Lady plotline
So this is the part where I go into a bit more detail about why I found the Silvenar/Green Lady portion of the Aldmeri Dominion plotline ultimately unsatisfying. To wit: it basically set up the Green Lady as this badass demigod who’s the living embodiment of the physical strength of the Bosmer, and yet the Hound was able to force mind control on her to claim her for himself.
In other words, it created this powerful female, and didn’t let her use her power in any meaningful way. It robbed her of agency. And it didn’t even let her confront the guy who was trying to control her.
And okay sure I get it, I’m the player character, so I’m the one coming in to solve this plot’s problems, right? But I’d have found this plotline much more satisfying if it had gone down a route of just letting me keep the Hound distracted until the Silvenar broke the Green Lady out of his control–at which point the Green Lady could have been the one to kill him. Or at the very least, confront the bastard about his actions, repudiate him to his face, and let Bosmer justice take its course. There should have been some serious Bosmer justice here. After all, this Hound asshole was explicitly fucking with the power structure of his people, and presumably by extension their ability to uphold the Green Pact.
This should have been a much bigger deal than just me killing the guy.
My being the PC and needing to be the driving force of solving all the quests doesn’t necessarily mean I also have to be the one to kill every single bad guy. Sometimes it’s a better story if I’m the one making it possible for the wronged parties to confront the bad guy. Or only killing the bad guy once the wronged party explicitly asks me to do so.
And as I said before, I really wish that this plot would have also shown a bit more depth to the relationship between Indaenir (the Silvenar) and Gwaering (the Green Lady). The plot did its best to put forth that Ulthorn (the Hound) was mega-jealous and willing to draw on the power of Hircine to claim Gwaering. But Indaenir and Gwaering gave me very little vibe about what they thought about each other. I’d have really loved to see more out of these characters to show their growing attachment to one another as people, preferably aside from the statuses of Silvenar and Green Lady.
The plot wasn’t entirely a bust for me, though. I will note happily that I did enjoy the puzzles I had to solve to free the three Spinners from the Hound’s control. I liked the clue that led me to reading books in each of their quarters, which in turn gave me the clue as to which three of the four pillars in each residence I had to activate.
So I got that plot resolved, anyway. And was pleased to move on to the portion of the Aldmeri Dominion quest line that takes place in Reaper’s March.
But first, Karnwasten
I’d already run this place a time or two, but I recently discovered that the Big-Eared Ginger Kitten exists, and you get bits of runebox for it running Karnwasten. :O
So I had to swing in there with Ember and take a crack at this! Which gave me an opportunity to finally run another local-to-dungeon plot, involving a Khajiit couple who are, of course, smugglers. And the two of them have very different ideas about what line of work they should stay in moving forward!
A nice fun little side plot, even though getting into that delve with just Ember for backup was challenging! And I elected to resolve the plot in favor of Nubani’s desire to get Renzir to stop being a smuggler. Whoops, sorry, Renzir! Your goods were totes lost at sea. Guess you and Nubani are going to have to take up selling legitimate trade goods!
Then, onward to Reaper’s March
I was looking forward to running this plot, thanks to having discovered Shazah’s journal in Orcrest! And now, finally, I got to see the grown version of the young cub who’d written that journal.
And for that matter, I also got to see Khali, Shazah’s sister. Both these characters had very strong introductions and I liked them both out of the gate.
This plot also led me to being identified as yet another culture as someone Highly Important: this time, the Moon Hallowed, which meant I was apparently destined to help these two young Khajiit women meet their destinies as Lunar Champions, and help them determine which of them was going to become the next Mane. I kind of feel like Gyllerah wasn’t terribly invested in being the Moon Hallowed per se–she’s carrying enough on her being the Vestige and all. But I see her definitely liking both of the sisters.
I was pleased as well that this plotline started off with a hefty amount of action. This wasn’t my first time fighting dro-m’Athra, but this was the first time I’d fought them in serious numbers. And it was cool.
Very much enjoyed the piece of the plot liberating Arenthia as well. I knew that was coming eventually, since I’d stumbled across the place in a prior session. But now finally I got to play out the part where I helped the locals fight off the invaders. This was very satisfying. 😀 And I especially liked how the resolution of it was to take over the crystals the invaders were using to project propaganda illusions out to the populace, and replace those projections with a confession from a captured officer about what was going on.
Also, major notable point about this plot here was that the invasion was the work of yet another member of the House of Tharn, this time a dude called Javad who was apparently the nephew of Abnur Tharn. And I could not help but wonder whether every single member of this family is an imperialistic asshole, or what! Including Abnur himself. I don’t let him entirely off the hook here. ;D
And I liked that I was able to break the previous Mane out of the control of the Dark Mane, which let him actually surrender. I’m glad I didn’t have to kill him off. He seemed like a decent soul, even if he was vulnerable to being taken over.
When I got to the part where I had to walk with both sisters on their spirit journeys, I appreciated getting a good look at both of their backgrounds. Khali, I saw, was packing a lot of anger about how her mother had died. I’d already decided earlier, once I’d learned about Shazah, that I was going to resolve this plot in Shazah’s favor–but getting this additional background on Khali made me feel better about that choice. I think Gyllerah’s wise enough to realize at this point of her narrative that someone carrying around the pile of anger Khali was not the best choice to rule her people.
Resuming looking for antiquities
I’d sputtered out on the whole question of looking for antiquities, but as of this set of sessions I went back to doing those. For a couple of reasons:
- Easy way to make gold and I need more of that, now that I need style sheets and materials to do master writs, and those are expensive
- Now that I have two builds on my Armory Station, I dropped points on scrying and excavation on the Healer build, just to see what improving those skills would be like; answer, made it easier!
I’ll keep periodically doing these just to try to get my gold balance up more. And while it’s really easy and low stress to hunt for antiquities on Artaeum (and Eyevea as well, more on this later), I also want to vary it up some and try to look for antiquities in other places as well. Just to see what else I can get! It’s less interesting to scry for the same damn thing over and over.
Was definitely not expecting drunken timber mammoths
This deserves its own section, even if I did this in the middle of running the Fighters Guild action.
I quite liked the little side quest involving drunken timber mammoths in Malabal Tor, even though it threw me a hard curveball partway through about where the narrative was going.
First part of the plot was just trying to poke the drunken mammoths into safely returning to their pens. It took me a little bit to figure out that yes, I did in fact have to attack the mammoths to get them to move–though, thankfully, I didn’t actually have to kill them. I just had to fight them long enough to get them to finally trundle back off to where they needed to be.
Then the second part of the plot kicked in, which involved figuring out who was fucking with the brewery to begin with. Answer: a jealous mage who was the brewery owner’s ex, and who was pissy that she and her ex had differences of opinion about how to make rotmeth properly.
Strong enough differences of opinion, apparently, that she ran off and joined the Worm Cult?
Uh. Yeah. I think she had more going on than just being pissy about the booze. 🤨
Was rather amused that when I took her out and returned to her ex, the brewer, I found him completely soused on his own brew. LOL. But at least he was grateful and rewarded me for my efforts!
Finishing up the Fighters Guild quest
Let me note for the record that I did not see Aelif being the actual culprit of the Fighters Guild quest coming. Well done there, past me, for not reading too much in depth in advance on the wiki!
That said: as soon as I got to the part of this plot where Aelif summoned Jofnir Iceblade’s spirit to question him, it was blatantly obvious that she was suspicious as fuck. Because a) suddenly out of the blue, Aelif is a mage, where I hadn’t noticed her showing any magical skill before, b) she was able to summon Jofnir’s spirit, and c) she forcibly compelled him to talk to her.
That last bit set off alarm bells in particular. Because any member of the Guild who was on the up and up should not have had to force Jofnir’s ghost to speak to her. Particularly given that he’d already tried to warn me on his own that shit was going down.
I found it less suspicious per se, and more just awkward narrative-wise, that I boinged from Ragnthar to Vulkwasten to talk to Merric–and then got another messenger asking me to go talk to Aelif in Rawl’kha. Who then wanted me to go with her to the Earth Forge to talk to Merric.
But given that I’d literally just left Merric, it felt weird to have to boing back and forth like that. I expect that would have felt less weird if I hadn’t played it just straight through like that?
More importantly, though, this led into the finale of the plot. And the reveals that a) Aelif was a Molag Bal worshipper and had been acting in his name all this time, and b) Sees-All-Colors was an agent of Meridia, but actually had killed Jofnir.
Which leads me to the issue I had with this plot: i.e., that Colors’ motive for taking out Jofnir was really fucking thin. Apparently she was on a divine mission from Meridia to delay Molag Bal, and Jofnir was resistant to the Fighters Guild joining that fight? As far as I’m concerned, nothing about that justified Colors killing him. And if Colors’ argument was “Meridia made me do it”, this only contributes to Gyllerah’s ongoing level of suspicion about Meridia.
But that said, the plot clearly wanted the player to consider showing her some leniency. I could have gone the direction of having the Guild execute her, but I didn’t have the heart for that as a player. And I don’t think Gyllerah had the heart for it, either. Because even though she’s suspicious as hell about Meridia’s activities at this point, she can’t deny that Molag Bal trying to take over the world is a goddamn problem. So that effort needs all the allies it can get, even problematic ones like Colors.
And this all throws an interesting tinge over further action I’ll be covering in forthcoming posts: i.e., finally making it to Coldharbour.
The next post will feature seeing Shazah ascend to becoming the new Mane of her people; finishing up the Mages Guild plot; advancing the Main Quest and getting an uncomfortable choice dropped on my head; and last but not least, beginning action in Coldharbour! Featuring, laying eyes on a surprise earlier edition of Darien Gautier!
Editing to add
- 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.