Elder Scrolls Online,  Gyllerah Playthrough

In Which Gyllerah Quests in Deshaan, and Shows Her Zeal for Zenithar

This post covers a large span of time, nearly a month, but less actual game activity than you’d think–just because a lot of what I did on ESO with Gyllerah over the last many weeks has just been crafting and writs and such, with only sporadic actual RP. Main things of interest in this post: running trials with the Guild, moving things along in Deshaan a bit, moving the Psijic Order plotline further along, and the Zeal of Zenithar event.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 7/16-7/17, 7/19, 7/21-7/22, 7/25-8/9/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 270-290

All days

  • Usual daily writs and crafting

All days 7/27 through 8/7

  • Zeal of Zenithar event activity, and a lot of master writ work, hunting antiquities, and hunting treasure chests for event rewards

Sunday the 16th

  • Did initial bit of plague plot in the Serk and played that through pretty much the same as Marwyth, with one notable exception, saving the sick brother instead of letting him kill himself
  • Got as far as going to Narsis and paused at that point

Monday the 17th

  • Ran two Undaunted dungeons with Guild
  • Volenfell was pretty neat, and I recognized the character Tharayya from the Demon Weapon quest 😀
  • Learned a few things running Elden Root II, see below

Wednesday the 19th

  • Finally did master writ for Outlaw guards since that research timer finished–then discovered that the next writ I tried for guards wanted me to research the other trait I didn’t have yet, this is what i get for not properly vetting the writ before I take it ;P
  • Also turned in an Enchanting writ

Friday the 21st

  • Did a bit of rearranging of my bars for Healer skills to prep for trial in Maw of Lorkhaj
  • As per recommendations grabbed the Purge ability off the support skill line and plunked it onto my back bar, swapping it in for Wall of Storms since I need all Healer skills on both bars really

Saturday the 22nd

  • Ran Maw of Lorkhaj and Cloudrest trials with Guild
  • Maw was surprisingly easy and I didn’t die once! Go me!
  • At Cloudrest on the other hand we kicked up the difficulty a bit, and I died a lot
  • Got dinged at least once by the weapon overload mechanic, also need to get a better sense of when to get the fuck out of the way of the portal
  • Tried to keep on top of the group but things were very chaotic
  • Got a bunch of good loot though
  • Tried to run my first Alchemy master writ but discovered it required me to have the Laboratory Use perk
  • Improved most of Marwyth’s level 36 gear up to purple since she leveled up

Tuesday the 25th

  • Created a bunch of guild trader listings since the Guild scored a trader (and started seeing things sell, WOO)
  • Did a bunch of fishing and harvesting on Artaeum; finally got a second perfect roe for the ongoing Psijic Ambrosia writ
  • Did master writ activity; created and turned in a glyph
  • Picked up the style page for Elder Argonian swords, and a Hackwing Plumage, so I could make and turn in a sword as well

Wednesday the 26th

  • Guild got a trader active, and I got a nice amount of cash off of guild listings 😀
  • Bought a jewelry research scroll so I could finish the research timer on necklaces a day early
  • Finally did the Whitestrake’s necklace, though I had to buy a Dawn-Prism to do it (cheaper than what I paid to get Amy’s, for that matter)
  • Burned through every single jewelry survey I had on me, so I could build a stock of platinum back up for doing the rest of the jewelry surveys i have
  • Ran some antiquities on Betnikh, first the lead for the style page for Ancestral Orc belts, then a couple others
  • Found where a bunch of zombies and necromancers appear to be on the loose because this game sure does love its zombies; bypassed that area though
  • Got another six K or so off of the antiquities run
  • Returned to Cliffshade for more crafting and inventory management before logging off for the night

Thursday the 27th

  • Had more things that sold off the trader so posted some new listings
  • Got an event box off the blacksmithing writ rewards
  • Did some stuff for the Zeal of Zenithar event
  • Gathered apples and made baked apples for the quest giver, then brought him a maple log bundle
  • Fought a bandit boss to get back a blessed awl
  • Called in Ember for help with that since the quest giver was all “you should gather more adventurers”
  • Died once doing that, but second time through was okay
  • Returned the awl to the quest giver and got another event reward box
  • Picked up an event daily which i satisfied by running antiquities in Eastmarch
  • Returned to Cliffshade for inventory managing and logged off for the night

Friday the 28th

  • Ran the Zeal of Zenithar event by doing another round of antiquity hunting, this time to get the Alinor Allemande emote in Summerset
  • Ran Malak’s Maw in Deshaan, because I needed access to the final breach to close there to finish up the quest A Time for Mud and Mushrooms
  • Returned to Artaeum to report in to the Loremaster and Josajeh, and got directive to go find the last bits of the Staff of Towers

Saturday the 29th

  • Ran the Halls of Fabrication trial with the Guild
  • More profitable selling activity, sold potent nirncrux 😀
  • Bought Stags of Z’en style page for belts since I had a master writ that wanted it
  • Chose poorly trying to improve it though without all the improvement mats in hand, improvement failed, had to start rebuilding up my stock of tempering alloy

Sunday the 30th

  • Lots of login issues earlier in the day but things eventually settled down
  • Spent most of my remaining crowns on a couple of plants for Cliffshade, also a High Elf style bookshelf and and books to put on bookshelves
  • Swapped out the Khajiit bookshelf for the High Elf one, and put an Undaunted trophy on top of it (which has apparently now maxed out how many collectibles I can have in Cliffshade)
  • Put the Khajiit bookshelf in Moonmirth House, and put some books on it too

Monday the 31st

  • Ran Obsidian Gorge in Deshaan; played through to the point of reaching Mournhold
  • Posted some dreugh wax for sale on the Guild trader; this got me enough money that I was able to buy another zircon grain and finish the pending jewelry master writ I had, which got me another event box, nice
  • Got a third storage chest only to discover I couldn’t place the damn thing in Cliffshade
  • So for now put the third chest in the Flaming Nix inn room as I’m considering that Marwyth space, and I want this chest to be for stuff I’m holding in reserve for her, like the Nightmother’s Embrace gear pieces I’m stocking up on
  • Meanwhile pulled my fortified nirncrux down from sale and reposted it at a lower price since the average asking price on it had gone down

Tuesday the 1st

  • Went hunting for the four pieces of the Staff of Towers
  • Ran the part of the Deshaan plot where I had to clear out the Daedra in the Tribunal temple, so now Gyllerah is a Hand of Almalexia, yay?

Running the plague plot in the Serk

I mostly did this the same as Marwyth–except for the major exception of choosing to save Dethisam’s life, rather than letting him kill himself. The main impact this appears to have is that his sister Aerona doesn’t step up as the leader of the town.

And the final scene when you return with the ingredients to make a proper treatment means you give it to Dethisam rather than to his and Aerona’s uncle, Ornis Verobar. I had legit thought Ornis had vanished out of the plot entirely at that point, but apparently I wasn’t paying close enough attention. He was there, according to the wiki. Which means he apparently does survive getting infected, even though I didn’t give the final potion to him?

So this way does appear to be the less “everybody dies” way of playing the plot. Little sad that Aerona didn’t get to step up as town consul, though. Since she’s the primary NPC you deal with in this plot, I feel like she should get some recognition for her efforts even if Dethisam lives. Maybe let them be co-consuls or something!

Running pledges with the Guild

Did a couple of Undaunted pledges with the Guild in this set of sessions: Volenfell and the more difficult version of Elden Root.

I liked the Volenfell one a lot. The local plot was fun, and I recognized the character Tharayya from the Demon Weapon quest! She turned out to be quite the piece of work, too, with a lot of drama involving her and her ex.

Learned a few things while running Elden Root as well, namely:

  1. As per advice swapped out one of the Desto skills off my back bar to Echoing Vigor instead
  2. Discussed best practices to deal with when to throw War Horn: coordinate with other players! Who else has War Horn? Need to work on best timing of when to throw the Horn to keep it up as best as possible for the good of the group
  3. I am not keeping best track of which button triggers which ability. The timers on the skill bars do help, but I still lose track of which button is which during the height of a battle 😛

Number three on this list is a bit of a problem, and I will need to think about what to do about that. I’m hoping it will at least improve with practice. I need, I think, to run more Undaunted pledges.

Running trials with the Guild

I’ve decided that whenever I run a trial with the Guild, this is not actually part of Gyllerah’s personal narrative. This is just to keep things simpler for me, because I can’t really come up with a decent explanation for why Gyllerah would show up in a bunch of these random places and run through them with a bunch of characters she doesn’t actually know. 😉 For me, running trials is way more of a social thing than it is a “roleplay my character” thing.

The Guild’s pretty good about giving newbies a chance to experience the local stories for these various trials, to be sure. And I’ve enjoyed doing that! But I also feel a little weird dawdling too long taking in story conversations with quest givers, when the rest of the trial gang wants to go kill stuff. So this tends to make me rush through talking through quests in trial locations–because hey, I want to go kill stuff too!

All of which means that in terms of story, the various trials don’t leave enough of lingering impression on me to contribute anything to Gyllerah’s narrative. And to be clear: I am not bothered by this. I don’t mind just going back to the wiki and looking up what story details I may have missed. Like I said: running trials is way more of a social thing for me than anything else.

That said: of the trials I ran with the Guild during the weeks covered by this post, I liked the Maw of Lorkhaj the best, with Halls of Fabrication in second. And I was a last-minute addition to the Halls of Fabrication run, too! Because the group was running a little low on DPS, so they pulled me in as a surprise third healer just to fill out the ranks to 12.

I still very much feel like a newbie in trials, though. I’m starting to get more of a hang of things, now that I’ve got some better healer gear to wear–especially the Symphony of Blades mask, which the Guild funds helped me acquire! (Speaking of which, the Khajiit merchant that I bought it from is hilarious. I loved Adhazabi Aba-daro’s line that I caught in one of the screencaps, and she’s got a bunch of other similar great lines listed on her wiki page.) But I definitely need more practice.

Action in Mournhold

I’d already previously run some of the zone action in Mournhold with Gyllerah, so I just skipped right past that bit and went straight to the part where I had to help out Almalexia by clearing out Daedra in the Tribunal Temple. And since I’d done that already with Marwyth, no surprises there.

Gyllerah, I think, was definitely less unnerved by Almalexia proclaiming her a Hand than Marwyth was. Not being a Dunmer, Gyllerah doesn’t have the cultural baggage involved with being expected to worship the Three, or, in the case of the Ashlanders, growing up to explicitly believe them to be false gods. So what Gyllerah has to go on here is just what she’s experienced since the Soulburst scrambled her memory.

Which is to say, she’s seen a lot of shit. She’s interacted directly with many of the Daedric Princes now. And she’s experienced Mannimarco trying to elevate himself to godhood, so she damn well knows that people try to pull that shit off. She’s even spoken directly with Azura, who dropped a big ol’ hint about the Three being originally mortal. So I figure by now, Gyllerah privately buys that the Three are mortals who managed to achieve apotheosis. And I’m not sure she approves of that, necessarily. But she’s also seeing that by and large, the Three seem to genuinely give a fuck about the welfare of Morrowind. And they’re not being actively oppressive to anybody as near as she can see.

So I think she’s slotted the Three into the same headspace as the less malevolent Daedra, e.g., Meridia, e.g., Azura. By which I mean, she’s aware they’re packing massive amounts of power, of which she is wary, but as long as they’re not doing anything actively harmful to the people of Tamriel, she’s willing enough to leave them be. And in some cases to help them out, if it means helping out the people of Tamriel.

Malak’s Maw and yet more pieces of the Staff of Towers

I’d legit forgotten to record running this in my notes for the 28th, and only remembered when I started reviewing the screenshots I’d taken!

So I don’t have a bunch of details recorded for this. What I can summarize though is that this was a surprisingly crunchy little place to visit–because for starters, it turned out to be a Covenant base in Deshaan, so that layered in all of the war mileage on top of everything else. And there was a local necromancer who had captive souls that needed freeing. And all the Orcs in the place were there on a contract from the Orc King to kill Dark Elves. And there was a captured Nord scout to rescue, and supplies to burn down on her behalf to get back at her captors.

And really, I’d only wanted to close that breach coming in! ;D So it was exciting to have all this extra stuff to do on top of that!

Once I got that done I returned to Artaeum to report back in, and was given the task of finding the remaining pieces of the Staff of Towers. Which all went pretty quickly, nothing really of note to report about that either.

And now I have yet more breaches to go close. Checking the wiki, I see I have two more sets of breaches to chug through. Kinda tired of closing breaches at this point, and honestly, I think I was tired of it earlier in this plot, too. Which probably explains why I haven’t actually bothered to finish up the Psijic Order plot yet.

Zeal of Zenithar event

This was a major part of the latter half of my action covered in this post. And I’m of two minds about it!

On the one hand, it occurred to me partway through that heh, this is basically an event to glorify a lot of grindy stuff you do in this game. Such as, master writs, buying stuff from Guild traders, finding treasure chests, and all of the various things you have to grind through to actually raise money and/or find materials to do these things. And I had to giggle a bit about that.

On the other hand, this event was also super profitable for me. My Guild doesn’t often do public trading; as per Cync’s announcements on our Guild Discord, traders are expensive and so our Guild only does them for major game events. But when we do have them, and I can put up stuff to sell, I can rake in a bunch of gold. That was very satisfying. 😀

The gold I raised off of this event let me buy a bunch more bank space, and financed enough materials acquisition that I burned through a bunch of master writs, too. That in turn let me get a third storage chest, which is now parked in Cliffshade beside the first two (after I rearranged what collectibles I had in the place). This is extremely useful for sharing resources back and forth between Gyllerah and Marwyth, because I do not have enough bank space to contain everything.

Once I got through the initial event setup, too, I appreciated that the daily event stuff was fairly low-key and easy to accomplish, for a lot of reward. With extra rewards gotten off my master writs, too!

All that said, heh, I did do the event only as Gyllerah. I avoided it completely as Marwyth, just because I figured a thief was going to have way fewer fucks to give about worshipping Zenithar through honest daily toil. 😉

Next time

Gyllerah’s next post will feature some delve action, as much furthering of the Psijic Order plot as possible, and if I feel particularly ambitious, maybe also starting the plotline in Northern Elsweyr. I need something for Gyllerah to do while Marwyth is having adventures in Vvardenfell!


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.