Here we go folks, Kendis’ last official Skyrim session post. Action here: going to Skuldafn and Sovngarde, to take out Alduin for the game finale.
This will be followed by a Final Thoughts post.
Play by play
- Play date: 8/31/2023
- Session number in this run: 82
- Started in Dragonsreach
- Got Balgruuf on board with the dragon trapping plan, then realized oh shit right, I don’t have the shout to call Odahviing
- Went back out again to deal with that
- Boinged to Hendraheim first and confirmed that yep, the Robe of the Lich and the Mask of Dagoth Ur duplicated on the mannequin where I’d previously had elven armor
- Boinged to the Throat of the World to talk to Paarthurnax; got him to teach me to call Odahviing
- Boinged back to Whiterun to make with the plan
- LOL, Lucia asked me for an allowance; here, kid have 1,000 gold, because your mom is about to go to Sovngarde to kill Alduin, have fun!
- Headed back up to Dragonsreach and played through the finale, pretty much as per previous playthroughs
- With one exception: this time in Skuldafn I tried calling in Durnehviir a few times for the exterior combat
- Between Durneviir and both dremora lords, made it through all of Skuldafn without any real problems, and took out the dragon priest Nahkriin at the portal as well
- Got into Sovngarde and played that through as per previous experience
- This time spotted Kodlak and Ulfric, though I didn’t get the regretful line out of Ulfric that i was hoping for
- Invoked the right of Dragonborn to ask for entry to the hall; fought Tsum and got him to let me in
- Went in to talk to the three heroes and get them to team up with me to go back outside and kick Alduin’s ass
- We did the three rounds of joint Shouting, and I downed Alduin with Dragonrend pretty quickly
- Took him out super fast even though he managed to get off a Shout to bring down meteors, which kept falling until he actually disintegrated (sidebar: ow)
- But yay Alduin is vanquished!
- Got Tsum to return me to Tamriel, and did dragon epilogue
- Paarthurnax, I respect yo, but you’ll have to forgive me if I can’t exactly be mournful that I killed your brother
- And aww thank you, Odahviing, I like you too
- Returned to Whiterun, and sold some things to Adrianne and Belethor and Arcadia
- Got up to 395K gold
- Boinged off to Goldenhills to pick up final round of profits; slept the night there
- Got 51K gold, fuck yeah, that kicked me up over 400K 😀
- From there, boinged to Tundra Homestead
- Dropped off the dragon priest mask and the claw I was carrying
- Returned to Whiterun and parked in Breezehome
- Lucia asked me for more money
- Kid, didn’t I literally just give you 1,000 gold a couple days ago? What did you spend it all on? But okay here fine, pay the Companions for some sparring lessons, mmkay?
- Rulnik dear, I missed you, but I haven’t been gone so long that I’ve forgotten this house is no longer new to you, and didn’t you already open that store? 😉
- Took final videos of stats, and saved for the final time
Let’s start this post off by noting that after four straight days of wrestling with hardcore performance problems on Solstheim, it was legit startling to run Skuldafn and Sovngarde without the slightest hitch.
No crashes. No game freezes. This did in fact make it take much less time than I was expecting!
I have no particular explanation for this, except maybe that these two locations are a) base game, and b) specifically end game locations. And I suppose it’d be reasonable that of all the places in Skyrim you hit during the course of a playthrough, those in particular should not be fucked up. By the time you’re running Skuldafn, you’re ready for the final fight with Alduin. And fucking that up for the player with unstable performance would be very, very bad.
So it was a relief that this session overall went well, and mostly in keeping with previous playthroughs. I still have a couple of things to note here anyway, because I generally always do. 🙂
Just because I was curious, early in this session I boinged back to Hendraheim to check the mannequins where I’d had elven armor, removed it, and then replaced it with the stuff I’d brought from Solstheim. All three of those mannequins had duplicated the elven armor on them, so I removed the stuff from Solstheim and took it off to Myrwatch.
And when I came back, I saw that at least one of those mannequins had indeed duplicated the Robe of the Lich and the Mask of Dagoth Ur, while still having the duplicated elven armor on it too. So yep, that bug can totally stack.
(Now, this bug was fixed in the USSEP as far as I know. So I shouldn’t see it impact Elessir, but it may come up in Finds-The-Way’s playthrough. So I will need to consider armor display strategies with her.)
I do really still like being able to just get the Shout to call Odahviing from Paarthurnax and bypassing the whole question of fighting over Paarthurnax with the Blades. <3 This remains one of the strongest arguments to me in favor of running the civil war plot.
And having had a considerable amount of practice with Dragonrend at this point meant I was able to down Odahviing at Dragonsreach pretty quickly. Likewise, Alduin himself in Sovngarde.
I still gotta put in the obligatory snerk about why the hell a Redguard would care about going to Sovngarde, anyway. ;D Redguard Heaven is the Far Shores!
(I suppose though that making a version of “heaven” that adjusts to whatever the player selected as their race would have made a fuckton more work. And would still not account for any scenario where the player character’s chosen religious affiliation is not the default for their race!)
One change I did in Skuldafn this time was to call in Durnehviir a few times, for the exterior combat with the Draugr Deathlords, and the two dragons. I heard him start fighting draugr, and one or two times he threw off a line in the dragon tongue that included the word “Skuldafn”. According to the Elder Scrolls wiki, this line was:
“Skuldafn fen kos dinok!”
This translates to “Skuldafn will be death.” Awesome. I’m pleased that they put in an extra little bit of dialogue for him in this scenario!
But he did not seem to hang around very long at each summons. I don’t know if this was because he took enough damage from the draugr fights that he was dispelled quickly, or whether summoning him extra times after the first three has shorter duration. I see no info on the wikis about his summons duration changing, so I have no idea on this, really. But it certainly seemed like his presence was very short each time. I know I wound up calling him like three times before I finally went in to run the Skuldafn interior.
Still though he thanked me for giving him freedom from the Ideal Masters each time I did it, temporary though that freedom might have been. <3
This was only the second time I played through the civil war at all, the first time being all the way back in Delga’s run. So I was looking for Ulfric as I made my way through the mist to the Hall of Valor–and I did see him, standing near Kodlak Whitemane! I was pleased to find him since I’d recorded in Delga’s run that she hadn’t seen him.
However, I didn’t get the line out of Ulfric I was hoping to hear him say, after reading it on the wiki. The wiki says he’s got this line he can give you:
“Skyrim was betrayed, the blood of her sons spilled in doomed struggle against fate. And so in death, too late, I learn the truth – fed by war, so waxed the power of Alduin, World-Eater – wisdom now useless. By gods’ jest in this grim mist together snared, Stormcloak and Imperial, we wander hopeless, waiting for succor.”
In other words, Ulfric clues in that he was simply contributing to Alduin’s strength by triggering a war. I suppose being stabbed to death in his own throne room was finally enough to knock some sense into him?
I’m not sure why I didn’t get this line out of Ulfric. It may have been a question of my seeing him right after Kodlak? Kodlak also had a long line to deliver. And it would not have surprised me that, given that I’d already observed performance issues in the previous few sessions, the game didn’t catch up fast enough after Kodlak delivered his line to have Ulfric then do his.
I was legit amused by Lucia hitting me up for money twice in this session, once before taking off to Sovngarde, and once after I got back. I expect Kendis is going to find out Lucia’s hired her and Sofie their very own sweetroll chef, and are refusing to share sweetrolls with Dagny up in Dragonsreach. Or Braith. ;D
Kendis’ run is now complete, so I’ll do her Final Thoughts post and close her out. See Elessir’s and Finds-The-Way’s playthroughs for ongoing Skyrim action!
Editing to add
- 11/25/2023: Restored missing gallery.