Skyrim,  Skyrim Together Playthrough

In Which the Dragonborns Slay Malkoran and a Couple Other NPCs While They’re At It

If you like your Skyrim with a heaping helping of shenanigans and general silliness, here, here’s another session of me, Dara, and Mel playing Skyrim Together Reborn! Main action: finding it surprisingly difficult to take out Malkoran, but eventually getting Dawnbreaker; getting the Wabbajack in Solitude; selling a bunch of things and picking up a bunch of quests; Mel getting Breezehome as well as a horse; and the surprise finale of killing off Elrindir and Nazeem in the Drunken Huntsman. ;D

Play by play

  • Play date: 5/6/2023
  • Session number in this run: 7

Running Kilkreath Ruins and getting Dawnbreaker

  • Picked up where we left off at the doors of Kilkreath Ruins and started running the place
  • Played around a bit with the hard to reach nook with loot on shelves; neither Dara nor Mel was able to get at any interesting loot, even with attempting to deploy Unrelenting Force
  • And of course we’d already raided the chest out on the balcony, so nothing to do there
  • Kitty generally took point on picking locks
  • Did okay up until the end where we got to Malkoran; killing him generating a fuckton of shades; we rolled back a bit from that and tried again
  • Suggested everybody take stock of their spells and potions before we went in
  • Took us multiple tries to take him out and we did keep generating extra shades, but we finally got him and Mel took Dawnbreaker
  • We all got yoinked skyward–but Dara crashed at that point, which threw her back into the temple πŸ™
  • Mel and I waited for her outside while she stayed off the server to re-run the end of the quest by herself, where she had to fight two remaining and invisible enemies, aided by her local instance of Lydia
  • Dara got Dawnbreaker, went skyward for the final convo with Meridia–and got stuck there, so Mel and I had to give her the proper setstage command in the console to let her go ahead and finish up the quest
  • That finally let Dara get back down to the ground to rejoin us, so she rejoined the server and we picked up from there
  • And we all declared it LET’S GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE time

Shopping in Solitude and getting the Wabbajack

  • Boinged over to Solitude to do a bunch of shopping
  • Dara replenished her arrow supply
  • I got getting some mage gear at Radiant Raiment, an Apprentice Conjuration robe and a circlet for Conjuration as well
  • LOL, Roggvir’s body still lying outside the shop πŸ˜‰
  • Experimentally grabbed Vagrant hood and robe and boots, which looked good on Luciriel and, surprisingly, were visible to Mel when I was wearing them!
  • Dara got in some alchemy time at Angeline’s shop
  • Mel talked to Jaree-Ra, Solitude’s favorite Skeevy as Fuck Argonian, and got the Lights Out quest from him
  • Mel also wanted to run Potema’s quest which required us to go to the Blue Palace to get the quest hook
  • On the way she talked to Dervenin to get the quest hook to get the Wabbajack, and talked to Erdi to convince her to let us into the Pelagius wing
  • So we got in there and it was rather different coming in in a group ;D
  • All of us landed inside the mind of Pelagius, all in the same outfit of fine clothes (though the hat does have issues with Khajiit ears)
  • Running this quest was even quicker with three of us
  • Once we were returned to the Pelagius Wing we nabbed a bunch of random items (hey, we are thieves)
  • Found a Lockpicking skillbook which we took turns on by stashing it in a barrel
  • Once we got out of there we went up to the court to get the plot hook for the Wolf Queen quest (which of course meant that Elisif’s court was in session… in the middle of the night, LOL)
  • I tried to talk to Sybille Stentor but she refused to take conversation once I followed her into her chamber

Shopping in Whiterun

  • After that we decided to boing to Whiterun to sell more things
  • Boinged first to the stables to see if the Khajiit were there: answer, yes!
  • While we were all trying to talk to the Khajiit, I pointed out to the others that there was a horse nearby for the grabbing if anybody wanted it, so Mel nabbed the red horse that hangs out near Whiterun
  • However, Dara and I could not see it; what we saw was Mel riding around on an invisible horse, LOL
  • Went into Whiterun proper and we all sold more things
  • Noticed weirdness with our in-game time, Dara seemed to be a few hours ahead of us and we were all showing 0th day of the 0th year; this impacted us trying to get into the shops correctly, until we all got into the general window of shop time
  • I finally got a Conjure Flame Atronach spell courtesy of Farengar πŸ˜€
  • Mel had enough money on her to buy a house. so she got Breezehome and furnished it
  • At which point we discovered that while Dara and I could enter Breezehome once she unlocked the door, it appeared as unfurnished to us
  • Also, we still had the prompt to purchase it from Proventus
  • Confirmed we could use the bed for sleeping and put things into the upstairs chest, without the contents syncing either

Epilogue: brawls in the Drunken Huntsman!

  • After checking out the house situation we were all pretty much done, except Mel got in an epilogue with the Hired Muscle quest for the Companions
  • In this case the target citizen was Elrindir in the Drunken Huntsman, so Mel went to go talk to him, and by talk we mean ‘brawl’
  • The brawl seemed to conclude normally, but then Elrindir whipped out an axe and started attacking Mel for reals :O
  • Vignar Gray-Mane also got in on the fight, fighting in Mel’s favor (because affiliated with the Companions, no doubt), and Elrindir wound up dead but vertical behind his counter, snerk
  • Absolutely no quest involved, however, in Mel deciding to kick Nazeem’s ass ;D
  • Mel streamed this action over Discord because this fight broke out after Dara and I disconnected from the server, but we wanted to know what was going on
  • Jenassa was all “gasp, another fight!” but she stayed the hell out of it
  • Nazeem was surprisingly hard to kill
  • Even though a guard in the Huntsman kept throwing off lines about committing a crime against Skyrim and her people, he seemed strangely reluctant to actually attack Mel, LOLOLOL
  • Jenassa afterwards went over to Nazeem’s corpse and was all “oh, what happened?”
  • And on that note was where we left off for the night ;D

General instability and weirdness

This was another run where Mel had a couple of hard crashes, which is indicating to us so far that the recent releases of Skyrim Together aren’t really doing much for us in terms of overall stability. These crashes were bad enough that she had to restart her PC, which of course meant we also had to leave and then rejoin her server.

For myself, I was getting crappy performance trying to stream to my Mac off the Steam Deck. So I just played directly on the Deck this time, while using Discord on the computer. The consequence of this was that with my headset on for Discord purposes, I did miss out on most of the game’s sounds. But not entirely, which did legit surprise and please me.

Still though, I want to poke further at this streaming question and see if I can improve matters any.

Meanwhile, while we did keep Lydia with us for the duration of this session, she frequently got into a weird state where she looked like she was supposed to have her sword drawn, but hadn’t actually drawn it. It was still sheathed at her side. So she looked like she was basically walking around ready to punch something. This being Lydia, it was kind of hilarious. It eventually stopped, but we aren’t sure why.

Running Kilkreath

Charging through the Kilkreath Ruins mostly went pretty well. It’s definitely easier with three Dragonborns on hand. The Corrupted Shades aren’t too much of a concern even for a single Dragonborn, as long as you’ve got a good follower. But with three of us plus Lydia, we pretty much cut a swath through the place.

Up until the end when we got to Malkoran, anyway, at which point we got an unpleasant surprise: a fuckton of shades in the final boss chamber, enough that we took a hard hit in the frame rates, and at least the first time through it was entirely unplayable.

From my vantage point, since I was hanging back trying to cast my familiar and/or shoot arrows, it was difficult to see whether this was a question of the six normal shades in the chamber being replicated for all three of us, killing Malkoran generating extra ones, or both. Either way, the damn chamber filled up hard with shades, which were extra creepy as several of them started levitating in the room as well.

Remembering the first time I played this dungeon and Paul’s advice, the second time through I warned Dara and Mel that Malkoran tended to throw frost and shock attacks and that I’ve been most often killed by him via frost blasts. And after the first failed attempt, I also suggested everybody take stock of available potions and spells. I was the only one with the Oakflesh spell, and I absolutely made use of it. Didn’t help much as I did keep getting killed, but at least it made the instadeath slightly less insta. I think?

Further complicating the situation, every time any of us died, we respawned out in the final chamber with the last of the beacons. Which meant we couldn’t get through the final door down to Malkoran, because opening that door is triggered by activating that last beacon. So we had to keep teleporting forward into the boss chamber to catch up with the fight.

in my case, this meant teleporting in and immediately getting killed at least once. Because if I was teleporting to catch up with Mel, sometimes this landed me right in the middle of whatever fight she had going on!

I finally gave up trying to summon my familiar and punted to archery instead, just because I was not doing enough damage to stem the tide, magically. So once I started trying to take potshots at shades from a distance, that did help some.

It took us multiple tries, but we did finally take the bastard out, and Mel took Dawnbreaker. Of note here: even at that point, I wasn’t sure if we were done, because we did spot a couple more red dots on our HUDs.

Nonetheless, Mel taking Dawnbreaker triggered us all getting yoinked skyward for the final conversation with Meridia–but Kilreath wasn’t done throwing us curveballs yet. Because Dara had an extremely badly timed crash at that point, which threw her back into the temple. πŸ™

At Mel’s suggestion, Dara attempted to finish the quest by herself, without being connected to the server, so that she could try to catch up. At which point, the aforementioned two remaining red dots came into play–but they turned out to be invisible, which certainly made killing them complicated. Fortunately for Dara, Lydia kept attacking them with her sword, which gave Dara at least a rough idea of where to shoot.

She was able to clear the room and get Dawnbreaker for herself, and get back into the sky. But Meridia wouldn’t talk to her, augh. So Mel and I had to advise her as to how to open up the console and use the correct command to mark the quest as completed.

That put Dara back down on the ground with us, and she was able to rejoin the server so we could proceed.

Off to Solitude for shopping and Uncle Sheo

So after that rather stressful experience, we were all fuck this where’s the tavern let’s go get some mead, and we boinged off to Solitude for a shopping break.

Dara replenished her arrow supply and worked on making potions in Angeline’s shop, while I hit up Radiant Raiment and got gear useful for being a mage: an Apprentice Conjuration robe, as well as a Conjuration circlet.

While I was in there, I also nabbed a full set of Vagrant gear, the robe, hood, and boots. And was amused to discover that a) the outfit looks good on Luciriel, and b) Mel could actually see it. So I may well keep that gear around and enchant it up appropriately once I have a chance and a high enough Enchanting skill level.

Mel specifically wanted to run the Potema quest, so we headed to the Blue Palace so she could pick up that quest hook for us. Which of course meant that we were in a good position to also pick up the quest hook for the Wabbajack!

Mel talked to Dervenin about that to get the initial hook, and then talked to Erdi to persuade her to let us into the Pelagius Wing. So off we went to run that quest.

Which was definitely much easier and faster with three Dragonborns, and it was a pretty easy and fast quest to begin with. We all wound up with the same outfit of fine clothes, and we all wound up with a copy of the Wabbajack as well.

Once we left Pelagius’ mind we explored a bit and grabbed a bunch of random things–because hey, we are playing thieves! And by the time we got out of the Pelagius Wing, it was the middle of the night.

But Mel still wanted the Potema quest, so we went upstairs. And found Elisif’s court in session, in the middle of the night, because that scene with Varnius triggers no matter what time you show up. LOL. So presumably Elisif woke everybody up just because this one guy from Dragon Bridge had a report about scary noises in a cave.

The weird hour also kept me from talking to Sybille Stentor, to see if she had any spellbooks I could buy (really wanted Conjure Flame Atronach). I had to follow her into her chamber after the court dispersed, and she refused to talk to me! She threw off a line about not interrupting the court, but I think it was really more of a question of my trying to talk to her in the middle of the night.

(And, y’know, she is a vampire, so it’s not like she’s going to be asleep, but hey!)

Shopping and other action in Whiterun

We still had stuff to sell, so after finishing up in Solitude, we decided to go ahead and boing to Whiterun rather than waiting for the shops to reopen in Solitude.

At my suggestion we fast traveled to the stables rather than directly into the city, since that would put us in the proper spot to check for the Khajiit. Who were present! Though they did do the same broken behavior we’d seen before of them setting off towards the road, even as we all tried to sell them stuff.

I also pointed out to Dara and Mel that there was a handy free wild horse nearby if either of them wanted to nab and tame it. Mel went for it! But we rapidly found that while she was on the horse, Dara and I couldn’t see it. So we saw a lot of her riding around on an invisible horse. LOL.

In Whiterun proper, we also all discovered we had some weirdness going on with server time. Dara appeared to be a few hours ahead of us, and the date was showing up weird for all of us, the 0th day of the 0th year. This caused us some instability as well for being able to get into shops, until we managed to all get within the general time window of the shops being open. We’ll have to keep an eye on this in future sessions.

Mel had enough money on hand to buy a house! She in fact had enough to get Tundra Homestead, but she opted for Breezehome once we discussed that Tundra Homestead is an Anniversary Edition home. And its behavior would therefore be unpredictable.

With the extra money, though, she was able to not only buy Breezehome, but furnish it as well. This gave us an opportunity to see how homes behave in this shared playthrough–and we confirmed what the STR FAQ says, that player homes don’t actually sync. Dara and I were able to enter Breezehome once Mel unlocked it, but it rendered as unfurnished to us even though she’d furnished it. Also, both Dara and I still had the prompt to purchase the house from Proventus.

So Dara and I are going to have to build up our own stock of funds to buy our own instances of Breezehome, or wherever else we decide to settle. Breezehome probably, just because it is the easiest house to get.

We derped around a bit testing the upstairs chest, too, and confirmed that Dara and I both could put things into the chest and have them not sync over to each other. Which means that we can all use that chest for safe storage. Presumably also the downstairs one, though we’ll need to check that one too.

Epilogue: Fights at the Drunken Huntsman

After we sorted the house situation out, we were all pretty much done. But Mel wound up getting in an epilogue of an outbreak of surprise violence in the Drunken Hunstman!

This started with her taking the Hired Muscle quest for the Companions, the one where you’re tasked with going to intimidate a citizen into making amends for a previous wrong. In this case, the target citizen was Elrindir, the proprietor of the Drunken Huntsman, so Mel went over there to talk to him. And by talk, we mean “brawl”.

The brawl seemed to go normally enough, and Mel thought it was done–except then Elrindir whipped out an axe and started fighting Mel for real. Yikes.

Jenassa, once this fight broke out, stayed the hell out of it. Which I feel indicates that she was clearly the one sensible person in the room. ;D

Elrindir wound up propped up dead behind his counter, which was simultaneously funny and creepy. The real interesting question here is going to be whether Elrindir stays dead. Because if y’all will recall, Mel had also gotten into a brawl with Uthgerd the Unbroken in an earlier session, a brawl which in theory resulted in Uthgerd’s death, but she did not stay dead! We saw her alive later!

Meanwhile, though, there was no quest whatsoever involved in Mel deciding to kick Nazeem’s ass, since he was also in the Huntsman. And anyone who’s played Skyrim for more than five minutes will understand when we say Nazeem totally had it coming. Mel streamed this for Dara and me over Discord since all this broke out after we disconnected from her server, but we totally wanted to see what was going on!


Mel: “Oh I sent him to the Cloud District alright.”

Dara: “You have done your nation a service.”

Me: “That by itself should get you thaned in Whiterun all over again!”

Afterwards, Jenassa went over to Nazeem’s corpse and was all “Oh! What happened?” We decided this was plausible deniability on her part. Again, because most sensible person in the room. πŸ˜€

Next time

We haven’t decided yet! But since we’re in Whiterun, this would put us in a good place to get the Bow of Shadows for Kitty. Or maybe we’ll boing back to Solitude and run Potema’s quest, since Mel wanted to do that. We’ll decide next time we play! Stay tuned!


We all got screenshots this time, so here’s mine:

Here’s Dara’s:

And here’s Mel’s:

Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: Restored missing galleries.

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.