Time for Gyllerah catchup! A bunch of Coldharbour-based adventuring in this one, as well as the aftermath of breaking Gyllerah’s armory station builds again, as I lamented before. And I ran into two notable recurring NPCs, the dremora Lyranth, and the hapless servant Stibbons.
Plus, now that I have an alt, it’s amusing to think about a narrative explanation for why they’re sharing the same house but never seeing each other!
Play by play
- Play dates: 5/24-5/31/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 217-224
Wednesday the 24th and Thursday the 25th
- Writs; finished the master writ for the Innate Axiom ring
Friday the 26th
- Ran three group dungeons with Guild mates
- Finally cleared Fungal Grotto I off my list, but I think I forgot to pick up the local quest for it? Will need to follow up
- Then ran Arx Corinium and Wayrest Sewers
- Overall goal was to practice my healing
- Takeaway from this: yep I sure do need to practice more, not really prepped to run a trial
- Took some more suggestions for how to polish up my primary and back bars
- Got a bunch of loot and a couple more trophies to decorate my house \0/
- Ran writs
- Also ran the Cave of Trophies delve in Coldharbour, so I could do the quest with the lost pendant, and to get the Khajiit mourning his mate’s death safely into the Hollow City
- Got the skyshard and also killed the delve boss
- Boinged back to Alinor for inventory managing
- Allocated some champion points on both builds, and made sure to spend skill points on both builds as well
- Gave Vigor to the Healer build and morphed it to Echoing Vigor
- Dropped the points on Alchemy on the Default build to try to restore prior crafting ability
- Logged out from there for the night
Saturday the 27th
- Watched Guild run trial to observe healer technique
- After trial was over, installed OdySupportIcons add-on that puts icons on group members indicating function which will hopefully help me better track who is who
- Ran writs; jumped to Stormhaven to run jewelry survey for that
- Ran a couple of antiquities in Greenshade; also ran a couple of local plots and pulled in Ember for backup, and also to try to practice tracking Ember and targeting laying down Luminous Shards or Illustrious Healing
- Ran quest and antiquity hunt at Moonhenge
- Then got the antiquity I was there for afterwards
- Headed off towards the eastern part of Greenshade to find the other antiquity, which took me to the Falinesti Spring site
- Discovered some Falinesti Faithful who had been captured by wood orcs, so I had to get in there and rescue the survivors
- One of them had been killed, and one of the remaining ones was dead set on murdering the chief’s entire family by way of revenge, but I was having none of that shit and told her so
- Got back out again and reported back to the other survivors
- Then got the last antiquity
- Thought about hitting a dolmen but circled too wide on my wandering and missed it
- Fought a bunch of “Hollow” hostiles and did some harvesting of assorted things
- Made it back to Marbruk
- Did a bunch of selling of things and inventory management both there and in Alinor
- Then parked back in Cliffshade until next time
- FOLLOWUP: blew up my fucking Healer build by accident because OF COURSE I DID
- Had to spend time working on partially fixing that before I went I AM TOO ANNOYED BY THIS
- Punted over to making a new alt, Marwyth
Sunday the 28th
- Worked on recovering my broken Healer build, and setting up recovery mechanisms for fixing it again next time I do this (which I’m sure I will); more deets in In Which Gyllerah Has Another Reset
- Once I got the bars configured the way I wanted them, ran writs in Default build
- Then flipped to Healer build and took Ember to Coldharbour to do some adventuring and work on practicing the slotted Healer skills (and also to move the Coldharbour action a little further along)
- Ran the Vault of Haman Forgefire delve; this was a crunchy one 😀
- Boss chamber at the end was definitely alarming, what with having to aim a jump down into LAVA and try to make sure to not land on the part that could actually fry me to death (or at least, so I assume, but I landed okay so didn’t have to care!)
- After running the delve and taking out the boss, hoofed it from there past the Everfull Flagon and then back again, trying to find a way to the Village of the Lost
- Killed assorted shriven near the Everfull Flagon
- Helped out with a fight or two I saw other players having (opportunity to throw some heals around)
- Had to work a bit to find the path into the Village of the Lost–which proved to be a very challenging public dungeon
- Ran the main plot of the dungeon as well as a side plot with a Khajiit priest of Meridia who needed my help
- Finally finished both plots and got out again
- Dismissed Ember and boinged back to Alinor and Cliffshade for inventory managing
Monday the 29th
- Ran writs and took on new jewelry master writ; no other significant action
- Did a little investigating of the current status of Gyllerah’s default build skill bars, more on this below
Tuesday the 30th
- Ran writs
- Also ran alchemy survey in Glenumbra, same alchemy spot I’ve hit before near the Beldama Wyrd Tree
- Did three antiquities of all the levels I can get to, and that required more wandering
- Major notable location noted was “Hag Fen”; gosh, I wonder what got that place that name <snerk>
- Researched on how to gear up companions and decided I wanna do an “Aggressive” build on Ember, so started building that out for her, and added a couple more of her skills to her skill bar
- Boinged off to Coldharbour for further action
- Tried to find the right way out of the city and got lost right around Cadwell’s Hovel
- He had a TOTALLY ADORABLE critter living there, a bantam guar named Honor
- Got re-oriented location wise
- Then ran the Grotto of Depravity delve, which was fairly easy as delves go, or else I’m also just getting better at the new skill bars!
- Found a lute in there while taking out the delve boss, which triggered a quest to bring the lute back to somebody in the Hollow City
- Came back out of the delve and triggered encounter with Treeminder Xohaneel, which led me to run the Wisdom of the Ages quest (more on this below)
- Then returned to the Hollow City and dropped off the lute with its owner, who was in the Shining Star pub
- (I think this was also where I found Alessio Guillon and got the Missing Prophecy quest)
- Dismissed Ember and returned to Alinor and Cliffshade for inventory management
- Logged off for the night
Wednesday the 31st
- Ran writs
- Did a circuit around Alinor to harvest the things I was missing
- Hit the very tail end of the Welenkin geyser firing off, and helped just enough to actually get in on the loot shell
- Not sure I’m digging the One Hand and Shield skill bar yet though
- Started hitting the Guild traders to see if they had an appropriate bow for Ember
- Finally found the Sul-Xan shoulder style I needed for one of my master writs; bought that and the Death Hopper Vocal Sac materials to make it
- Then boinged off to do that, and had to also buy some elegant lining to improve it up enough
- Boinged to Elden Root to turn it in for seven writ vouchers
- Paused, then later picked up again and switched over to Healer build
- Called in Ember and returned to Coldharbour
- Headed out from Hollow City to try to aim for Aba-Loria delve
- However, ran the Truth, Lies, and Prisoners plot instead
- After that, explored around a bit to try to find the bank, because the Hollow City does have one; deposited some stuff
- Heh, the banker had a prompt to ask her if we really needed a bank if the world was going to end; she told me not to give up because the people in the city weren’t giving up on me, aw <3
- Went back out again and got closer to the delve, but this time also found the note that led to rescuing Stibbons from an amorous Winged Twilight, so ran that plot instead
- Rescued Stibbons; overall takeaway I got from that is that his employer will probably not have noticed he was gone 😉
- Returned again to the Hollow City
- Dismissed Ember and boinged back to Alinor and Cliffshade for final inventory management
- Dropped off some stuff in the main storage chest for Marwyth to get at
- Logged out for the night
Takeaways from watching a veteran trial
The start of this block of sessions features running three group dungeons with my Guild mates. The main takeaway from these was that I definitely need more practice and experience before I can really participate in a veteran-level trial.
So with that in mind, I observed the Guild doing that the next day and tried to pay attention in particular to healer technique, since Silvermist was acting as primary healer and was easy for me to track during the action.
Main things I noted during that:
- Try to mostly stay on the edge of the group
- But more important is environmental awareness, try to be able to see everybody, particularly the tanks
- Try to figure out when to do group heals and when to do solo target heals
And another thing of note from that trial was that I learned about the OdySupportIcons add-on. This thing plunks large icons over the heads of people in a group, with the idea being to help you keep track of where people are and what function they have in the group (tank, DPS, healer). This seemed incredibly vital for my personal ability to keep track of people’s locations, so I installed the hell outta that.
And about those group dungeons
As for the three group dungeons we ran, Fungal Grotto, Wayrest Sewers, and Arx Corinium, heh. This was another situation of blazing through the dungeons so fast that I barely registered what the local plots actually were.
I think I actually actively missed the local plot for Fungal Grotto. But, well, that’s what doublechecking stuff on the wiki is for. 😀 Not sure that Gyllerah would have been entirely at ease helping some Mephala cultists, but at least she knows from running the Summerset plotline that not all of Mephala’s worshippers are horrible, so there’s that!
I got a better sense of what was going on with the Arx Corinium plot, and I liked that the quest there was actually on behalf of some nereids! Interesting to have them be non-hostile NPCs with actual speaking lines. Awesome.
And with Wayrest Sewers, that plot didn’t make as much of an impression on me while running the dungeon, but I did get the essentials. Zombies. Necromancers. Not much more than that was necessary. ;D
Moonhenge’s Tear quest
This was fun. I had to get into Moonhenge, fight a bunch of Daedra invading through a portal from Coldharbour, and rescue some scouts who’d gotten yanked into Coldharbour as a result. This required me to also grab some keys and destroy some crystals, as you do.
There were several named NPCs involved with this plot, all of whom were ones I’d met before. I liked that! Continuity across plots is good. 🙂
The only way for all of us to get back to Tamriel safely was to get a sigil stone and read a particular scroll, but with the caveat that whoever read the scroll would be trapped. Gyllerah, however, was not about to force anybody else to do this. She’s very much in a frame of mind of “NOBODY GETS LEFT BEHIND IN COLDHARBOUR GODDAMMIT”. So she ordered everybody else out, and read the scroll herself.
And of course I got out! But it was shaky and a little suspenseful actually getting back out again, just because the entire environment turned into a shaky, fiery death trap. And even if I knew intellectually that of course I was going to get out, still suspenseful trying to make it safely back to the portal!
The Falinesti Faithful quest
This one was less crunchy than the Moonhenge quest. Though I was kind of amused by the whole “I’m just here to find a lost antiquity? I don’t actually want to fight you guys? Okay okay fine I’ll fight you, Wood Orcs, let’s do this” aspect of it all.
I was not, however, down with helping Fanrel murder the Wood Orc chief’s entire family for purposes of revenge. Look, Falinestis, I’m sorry about your lost friend and all, yes, the Wood Orcs kinda suck, but I’m not going to murder an entire family for you. Find me the asshole who killed your friend and I’ll fight that guy in open combat, but murdering the chief’s family? Nope. Sorry.
Fanrel, naturally, was not pleased by my decision. I am not seeing on the wiki that she has any other action in the game. So I rather suspect Fanrel got herself killed in her mad rush for vengeance. Not exactly a fan of that idea either, but the game didn’t give me an option to drag Fanrel back to her surviving compatriots and convince them to take a less vengeful course. So not much else I could do with this.
Fixing Gyllerah’s builds again
As I documented in In Which Gyllerah Has Another Reset, I broke her builds again. This time I broke the Healer build, which actively pissed me off. I hadn’t yet really recovered the Default build back to the way I’d wanted it before from breaking that one!
I documented what happened in that post and what I did about it, so I won’t replicate it here. Suffice to say that it was frustrating, but now at least I have mechanisms in place for easier recovery next time it happens. Because I’m sure I’ll eventually destroy one or the other of my builds again. ;P
Vault of Haman Forgefire delve and Village of the Lost public dungeon
I ran these two things on the 28th as part of the same session, and that made for some nice crunchy Coldharbour-based adventuring.
I liked the delve for being full of lava, and also flame atronachs. And the lava theme was carried right on through to the boss chamber, where I actively had to jump down into an area surrounded by lava. This was alarming! But fortunately I’d picked up while reading about other lava areas in the game that areas where the lava is dark are safe to walk on.
Which meant they were also safe to jump down onto. So I jumped down safely, and did not fry to death! Go me!
Onward from there to the Village of the Lost, which, as noted above, turned out to be an extremely challenging public dungeon. The whole damn thing was a series of islands, some of which were in the air, so it was a challenge just trying to figure out how to get to all the various islands.
And also a challenge fighting the large mobs of dremora and other Daedra that kept swarming me and Ember! But this was an excellent opportunity to practice the new healer bar configurations, and especially to work on swapping between my bars fast in combat, tracking Ember’s location, and paying attention to the timers on my bars.
It honestly all worked better than I expected, with the combo of healing staff as primary weapon and ice staff as backup! The add-ons I’ve got installed now are definitely helping, particularly the OdySupportIcons one to let me get better at spotting where the hell I need to be throwing heals, and the timer countdowns on my bars.
The side plot with the Khajiit priest of Meridia was pretty good, just because the character was lively and had a bunch of fun comments as he was following me and Ember around. But I really liked the main local plot, involving the three village leaders who’d become soul-shriven, and who I needed to liberate from the place.
All three of them, a Khajiit, an Orc, and a Dunmer, looked fairly ghastly, as soul-shriven do. I think Gyllerah had a frisson of dismay, wondering if she looked that ghastly when Mannimarco originally killed her. As a player, I know of course that the whole point of the Vestige is that the player manages to make a perfect simulacrum of their earthly body as part of this plot. And Gyllerah certainly has had plenty of chances to see herself in mirrors and reflected in water, and such. But I think she still gets a bit of an unpleasant shock whenever she sees the shriven in Coldharbour. It just reinforces her resolve to rescue as many people in the hellish place as she can.
I liked the backstory for each of the three villages and how they’d gotten yanked into Coldharbour, too.
I don’t think I took out all the bosses in the dungeon. There are seven listed on the wiki, and I think maybe I got four or five of them? At least four. But I didn’t count them all.
Had to call in Ezabi multiple times to unload stuff into the bank though, and I destroyed a bunch of things I might have otherwise tried to deconstruct or sell. Because I was swimming in loot by the time I got through the place.
Doublechecking Gyllerah’s current default skill bars
I only belatedly realized, after rearranging both of Gyllerah’s builds again, that I didn’t allocate points to the Restoration staff on her Default build. Which is a problem, given that I keep trying to use the Resto staff the same way I’m now set up to do on the Healer build.
I’ll have to work on building the Resto staff skill line back up on the Default build, since I’m currently disinclined to try to respec it again.
Still not entirely sure I like the One Hand and Shield skills, but they’re still pretty new to me.
For now, I’ve got the original primary skill bar I’d set up with Templar stuff on the Default build. That’ll do me until I build up the Resto staff line on it.
Unexpected adorable critter in Cadwell’s Hovel
While derping around outside the Hollow City, I found Cadwell’s Hovel. And was surprised to see a totally adorable small critter living there, which initially looked to me like some kind of baby dragon chicken.
I looked on the wiki and determined that this was apparently Honor, a bantam guar! Who is, yes indeed, totes adorable. And I maintain that bantam guars do in fact look like baby dragon chickens.
The wiki notes Honor’s unusual coloration, too, which is supposed to indicate his connection with Coldharbour. He might in fact be soul-shriven? It’s unclear.
What’s important, though, is totes adorable baby dragon chicken.
Wisdom of the Ages quest
This was a fun one. 😀 It had really nice stakes, with the Argonian population of Haj Uxith being divided over the fate of their suffering Hist tree.
I ran the Trial of Spirit as per Treeminder Xohaneel’s directive. This was a fairly straightforward little puzzle, where I had to demonstrate understanding of the spirit of the Argonian people.
Then I ran the Trial of Body as per the directive of An-Jeen-Sakka, who headed the warrior faction of the village. This was actually the tribe’s sneaky way of sending me in to fuck up the sap extracting operation the dremora from Molag Bal had going on–because the terms of the deal the village had with Molag Bal said that they could not interfere with the dremora. I, on the other hand, was not bound in the slightest by their deal.
CAN DO, y’all. Just point me at the dremora I need to go fuck up for you.
Once that was done, I decided the debate in favor of the scholars. I feel like Gyllerah would want to put the poor suffering tree out of its misery, rather than let it remain barely alive in eternal service to Molag Bal. Because fuck that.
Notably, I also got to skip the part where I had to fight the warrior factor’s champion to make them accept my decision, because I passed an Intimidate check against An-Jeen-Sakka. So that required me to destroy the vampiric crystal keeping the Hist tree in a barely alive state. And I talked to the Treeminder to resolve the quest.
Truth, Lies, and Prisoners quest
This was another good one! I actually stumbled across this one en route to the Aba-Loria delve, which was my actual intention. But then I found the Wood Elf Gwilir not far outside of the city, and he begged me for help. So I jumped down into the prison pit to rescue the other Fighters Guild prisoners down there.
And this particular prison pit was another Coldharbour example of the prisoners being kept in check because their captors were mentally fucking with them. The Fighters Guild NPCs hadn’t managed to muster the will to escape on their own, and their captains in particular were actively starting to lose it. They had to be convinced I was real by my bringing them a lost sword and a lost helmet.
But what I really liked about this plot was actually the female dremora Lyranth. Ran into her just generally hanging out and observing my efforts, and when I talked to her, I saw she had an odd level of interest in the goings-on of mortals. She loftily claimed to not really give a fuck about us, but she nonetheless did drop hints about what I needed to do. And later on outright claimed that my interests and hers aligned, as she pointed me in the direction of the overseer of the prison pit, who she also wanted dead.
She’s apparently a recurring character. Awesome. I’ll be definitely interested to see more of her.
In addition to taking out the boss, I had to kill a bunch of ogrims and watchers as well. And finally got everybody rescued, and returned to the Hollow City.
I feel sorry for poor Gwilir, though. He was super embarrassed about how he’d fled when everybody else got thrown into the pit, and later, the Orc Skordo, one of the NPCs I rescued, had an epilogue encounter with him. With the heavy implication that Skordo was going to kick his ass. The game didn’t give me a chance to intervene, but I’m going to assume for headcanon purposes that Gyllerah would definitely have tried to keep Skordo from roughing up the poor guy too much.
Because I mean hell, this is Coldharbour we’re talking about here. Gyllerah’s got some measure of sympathy for anybody breaking under the pressure of being trapped here. Not everybody gets to have the fortitude of Lyris Titanborn, Sai Sahan, and the Prophet!
Saving Stibbons quest
This one was clearly intended for comedy, which was actually kind of welcome against the hellscape backdrop of Coldharbour. And this was also my first encounter with another recurring character, Stibbons.
Not sure what I think of this guy yet! I was definitely amused by his increasingly urgent notes I found leading up to the lair where he’d been imprisoned, though from what I’ve seen looking him up on the wiki, he seems to have a string of misadventures all over the game. He doesn’t seem like a bumbling idiot, though, so maybe he’s just super, super unlucky. 😉
The impression I have of him so far is that he’s fussy, very concerned about the particulars of his job, and probably generally pretty good at it. I also have the impression that, unfortunately, his employer probably had no goddamn idea he was gone!
Gyllerah and Marwyth sharing a house
I’m not really worrying too much about coming up with a narrative explanation for why Marwyth now has access to Gyllerah’s house. But I’m toying with the idea of the Soulburst causing a bit of a Dragon Break, explaining why every single player character in the game is in fact the Vestige. Because every single one of us is actually needed to properly stop Molag Bal and the Planemeld!
And if multiple Vestiges can exist at the same time, it also feels totes plausible to me that some of them could wind up crossing paths and overlapping each other’s activity. Which is why Gyllerah is now seeing signs that some other person who she never sees has been infiltrating her house, LOL.
Ezabi sees Marwyth, though. And I can see a bit of a conversation like this:
Gyllerah: “Someone’s been here. My anvil’s warm.”
Ezabi: “Do not look at this one. This one has no thumbs to use your anvil.”
Gyllerah: “But did you see anything? Was someone actually here?”
Ezabi: “There was a Dark Elf. She appeared out of nowhere, and looked very surprised. This one heard her speak of Coldharbour, and asked her her name. She would not say. She said only that she had been called Vestige. Is that not also what you are called, fragrant employer?”
Gyllerah: “WHAT. Vestige? Are you sure?”
Ezabi, dryly: “This one may not have thumbs, but she does have ears, and they are very sharp.”
Gyllerah: “I’m sorry, Ezabi, of course your ears are magnificent. Was she just here once?”
Ezabi: “Three or four times now. She looks disturbed each time this one sees her. Ezabi has offered to guard her things for her, as this one can do.”
Gyllerah: “So that’s why you’ve got more things than what I leave with you. And I take it this is why I’ve started finding extra things in the chests, too?”
Ezabi: “Just so, fragrant employer. This one does not think the Dark Elf is an enemy. Shall Ezabi continue to welcome her to this house?”
Gyllerah: “Yes. Find out if she needs help. And if she’s going to leave things for me, maybe I can help her out.”
Gyllerah’s next post is going to feature running Dreadsail Reef for the first time, as well as a bucketload of writ activity as per usual. And I’m trying to establish a cadence of moving materials between Gyllerah and Marwyth, too.
And I’ll be continuing the run through Coldharbour. I definitely want to try to hit as many of the side quests in Coldharbour as possible, because yeah, NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND ON GYLLERAH’S WATCH.