Kendis Playthrough,  Skyrim

Final thoughts on Kendis’ Skyrim Run

Here’s the Final Thoughts wrapup post for Kendis and her playthrough!

Main takeaway here: this run was ultimately disappointing, and I have to advise any Nintendo Switch players to stay off the Anniversary Edition.

Favorite Follower

Gotta swing back to Lydia this time, mostly because I used her way more often than any other follower in this run. Particularly at the end.

Favorite City

Whiterun still reigns supreme.

Favorite Daedric Quest

I don’t feel like any of the Daedric quests really stood out as relevant and meaningful to Kendis. Closest would be, I think, getting Dawnbreaker. But that’s a fairly early game weapon, and that Kendis didn’t particularly stick with it we can chalk up in her narrative to Meridia not really being her thing. 😉

Favorite Non-Daedric Plot

I think this, for Kendis’ storyline, would be a tossup between running the Imperial side of the civil war, and fighting for the Remnants in the Interception quest.

Favorite Armor

The Remnant armor, in that stage of the game, definitely. <3 Later on, though, once Kendis was a confident enough mage, I spent a lot of time in the Arch-Mage robes.

Favorite Weapon

Let’s go with scimitars here, for general Redguard mileage. <3 And in particular, even if it didn’t have impressive enchantments on it like Bloodscythe, Soulrender, Hopesfire, and Trueflame, I think Kendis took kind of hard to the simple unenchanted ebony scimitar she picked up off of Hand Kenro. That thing is beautiful.

Favorite Named Dragon

I’m feeling a tie here between Odahviing and Durnehviir this time through. <3

Things I Actively Disliked

I’m sad still about Survival Mode not working out. I liked it up until the part where I realized that most of the northern stretches of the map will make me fucking freeze to death if I’m not carrying around eight million hot soups in my inventory, and stopping every few minutes to eat one. This is a huge drag, and it was especially annoying during the fight with the Magic Anomalies in Winterhold, when I finally bailed on Survival Mode entirely.

And I still feel like it wrecks my immersion if none of the other characters around me are impacted by the weather, and I am.

Pretty much tied with frustration factor here was how very, very broken Solstheim is on the Anniversary Edition build on the Switch. It wasn’t broken enough to block me from running the Dragonborn plotline, granted. But the lack of a viable house made me much, much less inclined to linger on Solstheim and spend several days of play there, as I’ve liked to do in previous playthroughs. Having to constantly blip back to the mainland to ferry loot back and forth was a big drag on my immersion, too.

Things I Wish I’d Done Differently

I’ll categorize this as kind of wishing I’d done it differently, but only kind of: I did try to make more of a go at being a werewolf in this run. By which I mean, I actually went wolfy a few times in combat, to try it out. But in general I didn’t find being a werewolf particularly more interesting this time than I did in Delga’s run.

This is a more definitive thing, though: I should have played Kendis harder as a mage. Her original backstory, after all, was supposed to be her coming to Skyrim to seek magical training, since it’s very much not a thing in Redguard culture overall. But only in the last stretches of her playthrough did I really return to that.

And Now, Some Stats

  • As of her final session, Kendis clocked in as my richest character to date, with 446,889 gold in her inventory.
  • She was thane in all the Holds, including Eastmarch.
  • She owned the following properties:
    • In Whiterun Hold: Breezehome, Tundra Homestead, Goldenhills Plantation
    • In the Rift: Honeyside
    • In Falkreath Hold: Lakeview Manor
    • In Winterhold: Bloodchill Cavern
    • In Haafingar: Proudspire Manor
    • In Hjaalmarch: Windstad Manor, Myrwatch
    • In the Pale: Heljarchen Hall
    • In the Reach: Hendraheim, Vlindrel Hall
    • In Eastmarch: Hjerim, Nchuanthumz
  • She was a member of the Bards College in Solitude
  • She was Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold
  • She was Harbinger of the Companioans
  • She fought for the Imperials in the civil war

As is typical for me at this point in a Skyrim run, I continued to favor Light Armor and One-handed weapons. As well as bows, though Kendis was arguably much less stealthy than many of my other characters.

At no point did I ever seriously try out Heavy Armor or Two-handed weapons with her, as I sometimes do in a longer-running playthrough. But Kendis’ run was comparatively short, and I didn’t have much time to set too many things Legendary aside from Smithing and Enchanting.

At least as long as Kendis was a werewolf, she did 44 mauls and transformed a total of four times. Not much, overall, and I think at least one of those would have been the first time she went wolfy after Aela turned her. The other three were deliberate combat choices.

I note with interest that 400 days are shown to have passed in her entire run. So that’s a little over a year in game time, a very busy year in which Kendis pretty much picked up power all over Tamriel.

I started using amber weapons towards the end of this run, just because their stats did turn out to be a bit better than dragonbone, and they were lighter. I still think the amber armor looks too gaudy, though I did make a set of it, and I seriously considered whether to try it out.

I am legit startled by Kendis’ Murder stat showing seven! :O I am legit unsure how the hell that happened, since if I have a choice in the matter I try not to actually kill NPCs that aren’t hostile.

And I have five trespasses on her record, as well. Likewise, not sure how that happened, since I also try not to break into places if I’m not running a thief. I think this might have been at least in part a couple of times when I tried to enter a shop that was open, only to be told I had to get out? I think that happened to Kendis a few times.

Here’s the obligatory video for Kendis’ final skill trees:

And here’s the video for her final stats:

Other commentary

On this, my second time playing the Companions, I gotta say they are my least favorite faction to join at this point. Their main plotline is kind of interesting to me, but the side quests are fairly dull for the most part, including getting the totems of Hircine for Aela. Don’t get me wrong–I like Aela. But I also don’t find her quite a compelling enough character on her own to take that as motivation to stay a werewolf.

I really, really wanted to like Survival Mode. And I did like pieces of it, enough that I’m going to probably try a modded run to do a sort of semi-Survival Mode, to do the parts of it that I actually liked. There are enough mod options available that I should be able to pull this off.

Last but not least, I have to definitely recommend against running the Anniversary Edition on the Switch until such time as some bugfix patches are released for it. The early stretches of Kendis’ run were not nearly as problematic as the latter stretches, in terms of performance–but even fairly early on, I saw problems.

But between the things that were actively broken in Solstheim and the performance issues that got worse the longer this playthrough went on, at the end of it all I was no longer engaged and immersed as I wanted to be. It was a trial to get anything done on Solstheim.

Next time

See Elessir’s and Finds-The-Way’s playthroughs for my current other Skyrim action in progress.

Sometime soon, though, I’ll be launching a playthrough with a character that’ll be take two of this one. Because, since Kendis was named after the heroine of my books Faerie Blood and Bone Walker, I feel she deserves a better Skyrim run than this one! Details on this to come.

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.