Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendis Becomes Thane of the Reach and Does a Lot of Fishing

Still working on clearing side quests in Kendis’ journal in Skyrim, before I send her off to Solstheim to go toe to toe with Miraak! Mostly, this meant becoming thane in the Reach, getting Vlindrel Hall, and doing a bunch more fishing to get the overall Fishing quest lines finished up, including defeating a giant spirit crab in Dawnstar.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 8/4, 8/7, 8/13/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 74-76

Friday the 4th

  • Started by Old Hroldan Inn; rode northward-ish from there to Deepwood Redoubt and Volskygge
  • Rapidly lost track of Lydia, because traveling while mounted
  • Heard dragon flying overhead but did not engage
  • Found Volskygge and Yngvi went into attack mode against exterior bandits
  • Finally just fast traveled right to Volskygge to get Lydia to catch up, then ran the place
  • Got through okay, through the bit with the spiders, and to the bit with the final Draugr Death Overlord on the stairs
  • Took him out and made it out to the Word Wall; got the final word of Whirlwind Sprint
  • Took out the dragon priest
  • Hoofed it down the slope from there to get back to Yngvi, because overloaded
  • Found Yngvi after throwing a bunch of Detect Life spells, then mounted up and headed into Solitude to sell stuff
  • Once back under carry weight, fast traveled back to Volskygge to get within range of Deepwood Redoubt
  • Once again, heard dragon but did not see or engage
  • Took out exterior Forsworn, then got in and started running the place
  • Made it out to Deepwood Vale; heard dragon out there too, but no sign of one attacking
  • Tried to summon Durnehviir to get him to help me fight the Forsworn here., but couldn’t find a spot large enough to contain him when he materializes
  • Finally took out the Briarheart that was tagged as the Forsworn leader, which gave me the objective to return to Markarth
  • Elected to go ahead and run Hag’s End for the last word of the Slow Time Shout
  • Also got the Bloodthorn dagger, and Whirlwind-Sprinted over across the river to get the Predator’s Grace boots and the loot out of the extra chest over there
  • Then I returned to Markarth
  • Reported to the steward to collect the bounty and reported to the Jarl that the Forsworn leader was dead; both of them paid me
  • The Jarl asked me to get his father’s shield back, this time from Dead Crone Rock, which I’d already been to with this alt
  • Boinged back to Lakeview for inventory managing, and made an amber sword to go with the amber bow
  • I think here was where I leveled up to 59? Took Health perk and Elemental Potency perk in Conjuration, which puts me at one more perk to get for Twin Souls, fuck yeah
  • Boinged to the College of Winterhold
  • Got five more rounds of Illusion training with Drevis, and finally got the stat high enough to get him to sell me an Invisibility spell 😀
  • Went down into the Midden and made the Conjure Ayleid Lich spell at the Atronach Forge
  • Dragon showed up in the courtyard though—first Revered Dragon sighting for this playthrough!
  • Summoned storm atronach to try to deal with it, and started throwing lightning at it myself
  • It kept landing in the courtyard, where Arniel Gane also got in on the fight
  • The damn thing managed to chomp me >_<
  • Second time through I crashed, which didn’t let me finish the fight anyway
  • Third time through I made it out of the college without a fight
  • Fast traveled to Western Watchtower
  • Another dragon showed up, but this time as part of a Dragon vs. Giant encounter; the dragon won so I looted the giant
  • Dawnguard Novice Hakar showed up after I tried to locate Yngvi following the battle and dropped his equipment at me, yelling that he couldn’t take it anymore; took his stuff, and he ran off
  • Went into Whiterun to sell things, including Hakar’s Heavy Dawnguard Armor
  • Boinged back to Solitude to run the sewers again and look for a Bliss Bug, so I could use the thorax to make a Conjure Staada spell
  • Was not successful in finding a bliss bug, but did get a bunch of ingredients and more amber out of the sewers; also took out a bunch of respawned Corrupted Spriggans and Elytra Nymphs
  • Boinged back to Lakeview
  • Refined what amber I’d picked up anyway to leave the ingots for later
  • Did a boatload of alchemy to burn through a huge cache of ingredients
  • Dropped enchantments on the amber bow and sword, since i was able to make decent Fortify Enchantment potions to bolster the stat
  • Fast traveled directly to Dead Crone Rock
  • Hag Rock Redoubt, which leads up to it, had respawned; Team Dragonborn got into it with the Forsworn there
  • Did get to summon Durnehviir finally! Got the third word of his Shout
  • Then got in and ran Dead Crone Rock
  • Only had to take out the interior Forsworn, nobody left up by the Word Wall since I’d already cleared it; that part didn’t respawn
  • Got the shield out of the loot chest and came back to Markarth to turn it in
  • Got permission to buy property, and the pointer to be thane
  • Bought Vlindrel Hall from the steward and paid for all the furnishings
  • Immediately triggered all five favor quests being fulfilled, so was able to get the thaneship
  • Went to Vlindrel Hall to drop off the ebony armor the Jarl gave m, as well as the Blade of the Reach (which was actually an axe, LOL)
  • Saved there until next time

Monday the 7th

  • Started off in Vlindrel Hall
  • Fast traveled to Reachwater Rock to re-do underground fishing (since I accidentally cooked the fish I’d caught before)
  • Caught three of the fish I needed, then boinged to Brood Cavern
  • Bears had respawned so had to have Lydia and the Dremora take them out, but got the fourth fish
  • Looted the chest since it refilled–and got more Fine-Cut Void Salts, and another objective to take them back to Captain Wayfinder; this is apparently a known bug?
  • Boinged to Riften to report in to Swims
  • Got new bounties from Swims and Viriya, and Viriya’s objective to go cook Gisli a seafood feast
  • Boinged to Arcwind Point to see if I could get the dragonplate armor yet
  • Place had respawned so had to kill a Revered Dragon, and assorted draugr and skeletons
  • But nope, still a skeleton at the top of the tower–OH WELL
  • Boinged from there to Whiterun to sell loot
  • Boinged to Lakeview and dropped off stuff
  • Had a couple of salmon in my aquarium, so grabbed them for the salmon bounty for Dawnstar
  • Boinged to Guardian Stones and fished, caught one more salmon
  • Rode for Riverwood
  • Surprise attack by random storm atronach, hadn’t seen one of those in the wild before; I wonder if this had been a “witch fighting a mis-summoned atronach” encounter, and I just didn’t find the witch?
  • Reached Riverwood and OH SHIT DRAGON, another Revered Dragon, which put up a hell of a fight
  • It took out two different guards before we finally brought it down
  • No Riverwood named NPCs killed, whew, most importantly Alvor
  • Fished the Riverwood fishing spot and got a Lyretail Anthias for the rare fish objective
  • Boinged to Western Watchtower and tried to ride for nearby stream to hunt mudcrabs
  • Graphics started flaking out on me again, so saved and restarted
  • Got cultists! Took them out with Lyds and dremora and Yngvi
  • Killed a couple of mudcrabs for stew ingredients, then boinged back to Whiterun
  • Got butter and made steamed crab legs, and leek and potato for the stew, but couldn’t find garlic
  • Boinged to Lakeview to check my ingredients stock there
  • Harvested garlic braid by the fire and made the crab stew
  • Dropped off dragon bits in cellar
  • Fast traveled to Dawnstar…. and crashed >_<
  • Restarted, then fast traveled again to Dawnstar
  • Dropped off salmon with the innkeeper
  • Got note to start the Vigilant armor quest
  • Gave extra void salts to the captain
  • Fished the lake and got the necessary fish for Gisli’s meal, and also an angler
  • Boinged to Solitude to try to cook the feast, but the Winking Skeever has no cooking pot and AND NEITHER DID PROUDSPIRE because bugs, WTAF
  • Boinged to Winstad to cook there 😛
  • Lyds and Yngvi killed a couple of wolves as soon as we fast traveled in
  • Valdimar warned me of skeever problem so took care of that
  • Then finally cooked the food and took it back to Solitude
  • Served it to Gisli and got the payment
  • Went down to fish at Solitude Sawmill, but realized it counted as a stream locale and boinged back to Brood Cavern instead; did not get necessary fish there
  • Decided to go to Chillwind Depths next, but hadn’t discovered it yet so had to ride over there
  • Blood Dragon showed up near Crabber’s Shanty so stopped to take it out
  • Gave Robber’s Gorge a wide berth since I wasn’t in the mood to fight bandits
  • Went past probable mercenary, also M’aiq the Liar
  • Crossed the river to the abandoned camp near Chillwind
  • Found bear outside the cave as per usual and threw some Elemental Blast action at it–but it actually ran into the river and started fighting slaughterfish!
  • Took out bear and slaughterfish with Elemental Blast
  • Went into Chillwind and started fishing
  • Still didn’t catch the Scorpion Tail fish I was hoping for, but did catch a bunch of other underground type fish
  • Fast traveled to Riften from there
  • Did additional fishing, including on fishing spot near the Black-Briar Meadery, because HEY ANOTHER RIFTEN FISHING SPOT I NEVER KNEW ABOUT BEFORE, cool
  • Finally caught an Angelfish, which put me at 3 of the 4 rare fish
  • Got the next quest from Viriya, the one for Bronze Water Cave
  • Got the courier with the Fisher Queen song from Viarmo <3
  • Parked in Honeyside and saved until next time

Sunday the 13th

  • Picked up again at Honeyside and slept the night
  • Decided to head back to Dawnstar and finish up the Vigil of Stendarr plot there
  • Fast traveled to the Windward Ruins
  • Found the dead Azarain and got the journal with pointers on who to follow
  • Didn’t try to pickpocket or trail the suspects, just because I remembered how this plot went from before
  • Cleared the cultists! Or at least Lydia and my dremora did–but apparently the dremora accidentally hit Lyds, because she attacked afterwards and then dispelled it, oops
  • Took the Vigil Silver Hand armor to sell, as well as other loose loot
  • Took small useful things off the Vigilants like gold and torches, but did not take their gear
  • Came back out again as the legit miners were starting their morning work
  • Decided to hit the fishing quest next at Bronze Water Cave
  • Fast traveled to Nightgate Inn to get within range, since this isn’t a thief playthrough and I didn’t have Bronze Water Cave on my map yet
  • Got Fisherman’s Journal and objective to get schematic out of Alftand
  • Fast traveled to Alftand to get within range of the ruined tower; rode down and around to get there
  • Killed en route: one frost troll, one ice wolf
  • Spotted dragon flying overhead, but did not engage
  • Got into the tower from the bottom, and had to go through flamethrower trap, ouch
  • Got the schematic for the fishing rod after killing a few dwemer machines
  • Got out again, mounted up, and boinged to Markarth to sell things and talk to Calcelmo
  • Sold things!
  • Got courier with the OH SHIT GIANT CRABS IN DAWNSTAR letter from Viriya, fuck yeah
  • But first: gave Calcelmo the schematic, and also invested in his business; here, have 500 gold to use for academic research!
  • Came back out again and boinged to Lakeview to drop off things
  • Slept a few hours after putting a bunch of things away
  • Saved and restarted because game’s graphics got wonky again
  • Boinged back to Markarth to get the Dwarven rod from Calcelmo, and saw the 24 hour time window close as soon as I arrived
  • Slept in Vlindrel Hall and also dropped some books off
  • Got the Dwarven rod from Calcelmo and also sold him a few books and scrolls
  • Boinged back to Bronze Water Cave
  • Saw dragon overhead, but it wasn’t close enough to engage
  • Fished up the actuators and then got the chest and its axes and other treasure
  • Boinged next to Windward Ruins again to get back to Dawnstar for crabs finale–and got an Ancient Dragon! Took it out, full Team Dragonborn effort, including Yngvi and dremora
  • Rode over to the beach and joined the fight with the mudcrabs
  • Five Imperial soldier casualties, but catapults for the win!
  • Had final words with Viriya, then rode over to the town and sold stuff to Rustleif
  • Checked in with Jarl Brina Merilis and got her reward payment
  • Boinged to Brood Cavern to try to catch last rare fish, and SUCCESS
  • Boinged back to Riften to follow up with Swims and Viriya
  • Checked in with Swims and got the Fang of Haynekhtnamet <3
  • Parked in Honeyside and saved until next time

Running Volskygge and Deepwood Redoubt

It’d been a while since I last ran Volskygge–I never got to run it in Harrow’s playthrough, and I never ran it in Shenner’s either. Last time I hit Volskygge was in Faanshi’s run.

Getting there, I actually lost Lydia. This is what happens when you’re traveling on a mount and you wind up climbing over improbable mountain slopes! Because experienced Skyrim players will know, if you have a horse, it’s kind of ridiculously awesome how well you can climb over things when you’re on horseback. So by the time I got to Volskygge, Lydia was way behind me. I wound up having to just fast travel to the place, even though I was right there, to get Lyds to catch up.

Since it had been a while since I’d last run this barrow, I didn’t remember all of the various bits of completely. And I’m sure I missed some spots.

That said, I had no particular surprises running the place, at least until I got out to the Word Wall and fought the dragon priest. He was easier than usual to kill this time, just because Lyds and my summoned dremora managed to corner him right by the Word Wall!

Likewise, it’d been a while since I’d last set foot in Deepwood Redoubt. I didn’t hit it in Harrow’s run or in Shenner’s; Faanshi’s run was the last time I hit this place, too.

Which meant that I wound up triggering some lightning runes because I’d forgotten the damn things were in there. Oops. Also, ouch.

I’d hoped to summon Durnehviir in the Deepwood Vale part of this dungeon, to get him to help me take out all the Forsworn in that camp. This didn’t work. I couldn’t find a place large enough to contain him! But still, Lyds and the dremora and I did okay clearing it so I could proceed on into Hag’s End.

Mind you, I didn’t need to proceed on into Hag’s End; the main reason to go to Deepwood Redoubt to begin with was to kill the local Forsworn leader that I had the two simultaneous quests for. But I wanted to run Hag’s End anyway, in no small part for the final word of Slow Time.

Objective achieved! Then I went back to Markarth, and got both the Jarl and his steward to pay me for taking out that Briarheart.

Really not cut out for the job, but at least he knows it

I’ve seen Dawnguard Novice Hakar show up only twice before this playthrough, in Delga’s run and then in Ysani’s. And I was vaguely surprised to not see the vampires that to my knowledge are supposed to be hassling Hakar if you happen to find him.

Kind of wondering whether the dragon that spawned when I showed up at the Western Watchtower, the one that was fighting the giant, actually took out the vamps? I did see the dragon fly off in that direction temporarily, but didn’t get a good look at what it was attacking.

Hakar somehow managed to survive this, anyway, and came running up to me to yell about how he couldn’t take it anymore and throw his armor and a key and orders in my direction. Which meant I got to take and sell his Heavy Dawnguard Armor. And I have his note about where some caches are.

And at least this time he gets to live, hopefully! I hope he goes off and finds a nice place to be a farmer or something. I’m a little sad I can’t hire him as a steward of something when I encounter him.

Re-running Dead Crone Rock

I’d already run Dead Crone Rock in this playthrough, while going after Mehrunes’ Razor, so of course the place had respawned. So when we fast traveled in, Lyds and Yngvi immediately got into it with the Forsworn and the giant frostbite spider stuck in the tent.

And at this point, I did get to summon Durnehviir! Though by the time I got him in, Lyds, Yngvi, and the dremora had mostly already taken out the Forsworn. But I did get the third word of Durnehviir’s Shout. And he did get in a bit of attack time on the last Forsworn!

(Maybe I should summon him again once I get to Solstheim, just to let him go at it with the dragon at Saering’s Watch! I feel like the ability to summon Durnehviir on demand shouldn’t just be limited to getting the words of his Shout.)

Clearly Captain Wayfinder has issues with his crew losing void salts

I had not been previously aware, I think, that you could actually get another round of Fine-Cut Void Salts if you go back to the location you got them before, for Captain Wayfinder’s quest in Dawnstar. This happened when I returned to Brood Cavern to do fishing there, and found that it had respawned!

Clearly, this captain has issues with his crew continually losing Fine-Cut Void Salts. Possibly deliberate issues on the part of the crew. 😉 I now amuse myself with the thought that maybe his crew stole back the salts after I brought them back to him!

And as with many bugs in Skyrim, this is a thing on record as being fixed by the USSEP.

Guess I’m just not getting dragonplate armor this run?

I did one attempt to return to Arcwind Point to see whether the place respawning would let me get at Bjormund Wind-Strider’s body, finally, and the dragonplate armor he’d been wearing.

Answer: nope! I did get back to the place after it respawned, but when I got to the top of the tower, there was still a skeleton up there.

Oh well. That’s as much effort as I feel like putting into trying to solve this. I’ll just have to live without getting that armor, I guess!

Though honestly, not getting the armor is less vexing to me than having a stuck and unfixable quest in my journal.

Making a seafood feast for Gisli

I’d only run this plot once before, in Shenner’s run. I didn’t get far enough along with fishing as Harrow to reach it. And even though I installed the AE at the end of Faanshi’s run, I didn’t bother to run most of the AE stuff with her.

And given that Shenner’s run had been modded, with the USSEP, I had not previously realized that an unmodded Proudspire Manor doesn’t actually have a working cooking pot, because of a bug.

Apparently, the Winking Skeever also doesn’t have a cooking pot or spit! Which actively surprised me, given that I knew there was a cooking spit in the Bannered Mare in Whiterun. I just doublechecked all the inns listed on the wiki, where I see that yes, all the other inns in major cities do have cooking spits. Hell, the Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth has two. The smaller town inns do not have cooking spits, but the big ones, yes.

So why the hell doesn’t the Winking Skeever have one? This seems like an oversight, but I see no mention of this being considered a bug on the wiki.

All of which meant that I had no easy way to cook Gisli’s feast in Solitude at all, never mind directly inside the WInking Skeever. I had to boing all the way over to Windstad just to cook her food. Which certainly seems problematic for purposes of keeping that meal hot!

If Skyrim had wayshrines like in ESO, or Mark/Recall spells like in Morrowind, I could see this being less logistically problematic. I certainly can’t see Kendis riding all the way over to Windstad, making a meal, packing it up, and then bringing it all the way back to the Winking Skeever. Not unless she maybe had enough fire magic control to make a little pocket of warmth right around the food. And I have trouble imagining this working without burning the chest or the bag she was carrying the food in!

So, LOL, yeah, this makes the whole idea of Gisli’s little feast quest even less plausible to me. As I wrote during Shenner’s run, I have a real hard time buying that Gisli is so finicky an eater that she couldn’t find a single cook in Solitude capable of making her a meal she could stand to eat. Especially in a city right on the Sea of Ghosts, with a major functioning dock, and at least one merchant of record selling fresh fish in the market on a daily basis.

Though heh, maybe Gisli just thinks all the cooks in the city are in the pay of her brother and she can’t stand the idea of engaging anybody who even just might be working for Erikur? That I could buy.

Running the Unholy Vigil plot

I liked this one mostly when I ran it as Shenner, though I still find it dubious that an entire Daedric cult could somehow manage to make a secret altar in the back of a mine. But then, this is in Dawnstar, the town with a temple to Vaermina just up the hill. So maybe the whole damn town are just all Daedra worshippers and very, very good at pretending they aren’t? 😉

This time through, though, I felt like Kendis probably took less well to taking out this cult than Shenner did. Not because Kendis has any love for Molag Bal, to be sure. But she’s also a werewolf, so I figure she’s no particular friend of the Vigil of Stendarr, either. So I left most of the armor in the secret cult hideout there, except for the loose set lying out and not actually on any dead bodies.

And I kept the looting of loose items as well as items on the dead Vigilants down to a minimum, too. Part of it was feeling like Kendis wasn’t really eager to have anything off of dead Vigilants, but also, I was running close to being overloaded anyway.

Finishing up Fishing quests

Since I was able to finally give Swims-In-Deep-Water his rare fish, he gave me the Fang of Haynekhtnamet. Which I had to look up to remind myself what the hell it’s called, because I’d written this into my notes as the Fang of Whosawhatsis.

And now I’m totally going to be thinking of this dagger as that for the rest of the game, LOL.

I continue to be impressed by the giant spirit crab attack on Dawnstar, at least in terms of it being super fun to actually play. I’m willing to overlook the improbable logistics of a giant spirit crab only taking damage from catapults you have to arm with flaming pots carried around by mudcrabs. 😉

So now this just means I’ll need to help Viriya set up her merchant stall in Riften, and that’ll finish me up for all the Fishing stuff in this run. Which will help clear the slate nicely to get Kendis ready to go run Dragonborn.

Next time

I think I have one or two more sessions’ worth of stuff to clear out of the journal before I take off for Solstheim! So Kendis’ next post will probably feature clearing out remaining side quest items, and setting out for Raven Rock.


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.