Kendeshel Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendeshel Takes Fort Greenwall and Joins the College of Winterhold

This is a single-session post, but I had a lot of commentary on it, so keeping the length down by focusing on a single session! Main action here: setup of quests in and around Riften; getting Wujeeta to tell me about her skooma dealer; helping Largashbur with their initial giant attack; reporting to the Imperial camp in the Rift and getting orders to lean on Anuriel; blackmailing Anuriel for info; helping Hadvar’s squad commander the wagon for supplies; taking over Fort Greenwall; killing another dragon in Solitude; joining the College of Winterhold; discovering the Eye of Magnus (not to mention Jyrik Gauldurson) in Saarthal; taking out the Seducers bandits camped near Fort Kastav; and reporting to Hadvar to help him break into the fort.

Play by play

  • Play date: 10/11/2023
  • Session number in this run: 18
  • Picked up again at the museum at level 38
  • Took the Dev Aveza down to Riften
  • Fast traveling onto the ship put both Lydia and horse Alvis onto the deck, so when the ship arrived, fast traveled to Riften to put the horse back at the stables
  • Took a room at the inn (and saw Maramal’s rant about you are all wicked drunkards and pissing off Lady Mara, heh)
  • Read the book to launch the quest to go find Gogh while in there
  • Went out in the morning to get my horse–and a frost dragon showed up, and it hit the fishery, so I went FUCK
  • Guards, Lydia, and I killed the dragon, then I ran to check the fishery to see if anybody had died
  • Answer: yes, the dragon had killed From-Deepest-Fathoms, dang 😢
  • Got the Lexicon off of her though
  • The dragon had not killed Wujeeta, so I gave her a healing potion and got her to tell me about her skooma dealer
  • While I was there anyway, talked to Swims-In-Deep-Water to start the fishing quests
  • Talked to Viriya and got her quest for the Juvenile Mudcrab
  • Did some fishing and caught Viriya her mudcrab; also caught three of the four fish for Swims
  • Finally got Alvis and rode out to go find the Imperial camp
  • Killed assorted critters on the way
  • Did indeed see a giant hassling Largashbur, so went over to deal with that
  • Got bitched out by Ugor who once again survived the initial fight
  • Atub begged me for troll fat and a Daedra heart, as she does
  • Continued on for the Imperial camp
  • Got a double whammy: cultists and a goblin hunting party! So had a bit of a free for all there for a few moments
  • Went by some Vigilants killing a wolf, but did not otherwise engage
  • Found a statue to Xarxes
  • Swung past the Imperial camp so I could hit the Alchemist’s Shack
  • Got Thistle, the Butterfly in a Jar, and other ingredients
  • Swung back to the Imperial camp to report to Rikke
  • Got her directive to find out what I could from Anuriel, and returned to Riften
  • Headed into Mistveil Keep and told Lydia to stay on guard in the main hall
  • Talked to the Jarl first and got her directive to go clear the skooma dealers out of the warehouse
  • Started quaffing invisibility potions so I could sneak into Anuriel’s room (though I forgot where her room actually was, and hit the Jarl’s quarters hallway first, oops)
  • Finally reached her room and swiped the letter
  • Got spotted by a guard on the way out but only got the one warning so didn’t actually piss off the guard
  • Talked to Anuriel and she escorted me to her room for our private chat; blackmailed her into giving up the info on the wagon
  • Got out again and got another warning about trespassing, but only the one, so didn’t piss off that guard either
  • Headed back out again and boinged back to the Rift camp to report to Rikke; got her directive to go help Hadvar and his scouts
  • Boinged to Shor’s Watchtower to get in range of them
  • Geared up in Imperial gear and snuck over to join Hadvar’s squad
  • We took out all the Stormcloaks and commandeered the wagon
  • Left Hadvar and his squad there and reported back to Rikke; got her directive to help Imperial forces take Fort Greenwall
  • (I think this was when I realized I’d forgotten to retrieve Lydia)
  • It was late when I got back in to Riften, so I derped around on the ship for a bit
  • Found that Snippy was no longer belowdecks but I’m assuming for narrative purposes that he’s still there; I can re-summon him with the controller
  • Confirmed I had a Daedra heart in my ingredients stash, excellent
  • Slept briefly in my on-board bed and then got up in the morning
  • Got Lydia back out of Mistveil Keep
  • Boinged back to Shor’s Watchtower so I could ride over and join the attack on the fort
  • Lyds and I ran in and helped take out all the Stormcloaks
  • Just in case there was anything interesting like more cloaks lying around, I did a bit of a circuit through some of Greenwall’s interiors, but didn’t find anything interesting
  • Returned to the Dev Aveza and flew it back to Solitude
  • Attempted to report back to General Tullius—and got a dragon, so apparently I am not entirely off the hook yet for dragons in Solitude?
  • Killed once and thrown back to coming off the airship
  • Got a dragon the second time through as well, but this time summoned the flame atronach squad to help me take it out
  • Got its soul but the skeleton clipped completely down through the ground, WTF
  • Reported to Tullius and got promoted to Tribune; he gave me a Nordic Ebony Shield and orders to report to Winterhold
  • Note: the Dev Aveza did not have Winterhold as a location it could stop at, so I took the cart from Solitude to get there
  • This plunked Lydia and Alvis the horse into Winterhold with me, even though I’d left Alvis in Riften
  • Took a room at the Frozen Hearth, though I had to wake up the innkeeper to do it XD
  • Also found Latoria! And recruited her for the Explorer’s Society!
  • Read the book to trigger the quest to go after the Dwarven home while in there
  • Decided when I got up that since I was there anyway, time to sign up with the College of Winterhold!
  • Faralda hit me up to cast Magelight again 
  • Got in okay and played through up to finishing Tolfdir’s class; got directive to go to Saarthal
  • Went back down into the town with Lydia
  • Rode over to Saarthal
  • Killed three frost trolls en route (and got my troll fat for Atub!)
  • Ran Saarthal fairly easily thanks to Snap, Crackle, and Pop
  • Tolfdir sent me back to the college to report to the Arch-Mage
  • Got Jyrik’s staff, the word for Ice Form off the Word Wall, and boss chest loot on the way out
  • Returned to the college and slept briefly in my quarters
  • Reported to the Arch-Mage in the morning and found him at his sink; got the Magelight staff
  • Faralda warned me about Ancano when I came out into the main corridor
  • Paid her for five rounds of Destruction training
  • Leveled up to 39; took a Stamina bump and Adept Conjuration perk
  • Did some training in the Hall of the Elements; got more bumps in Conjuration, Illusion, and Restoration
  • Paid Colette for five rounds of Restoration training too
  • Bought some Master Mage Boots, and a Novice and Master version of the dual Illusion/Conjuration robe, so that I can wear the Master one and put the Novice one on display
  • Talked to Mirabelle about research and then talked to Urag
  • Got the Telekinesis Arrows spellbook and the journal with the quest for the unicorn
  • Got directive to go to Fellglow Keep
  • But first, went to the Imperial Winterhold camp, which was way closer to Dawnstar than it was to Winterhold, heh
  • Boinged to the Shrine of Syrabane as nearest landmark, then rode right down the hill to the Winterhold camp
  • Reported to Rikke and got directive to go to Fort Kastav
  • Rode over there (should have just boinged to Yorgrim Overlook but forgot I could do that)
  • Killed a few more critters en route, and also a flame atronach that killed the witch that summoned it
  • Saw a Thalmor vs. Stormcloaks fight coming through Wayward Pass; the Thalmor won the fight and then told me to fuck off
  • Look you guys, WEARING IMPERIAL ARMOR HERE, I am not just a random citizen, I am also on team Let’s Stab the Stormcloaks! But given that you are Thalmor, fuck all of you, the only reason I’m not stabbing you now is that this would probably get me in trouble with the general
  • Went on my way, and decided to hit the Seducers camp since I knew it’d be right by Fort Kastav
  • Found Hadvar’s squad actually fighting the bandits :O
  • Called up the flame atronachs and after a brief and intense fight took out all of the bandits
  • Looted the camp and got all the Dark armor pieces I could find, and the note about Crystaldrift Cave
  • Bit of a problem freeing the elytra, see below
  • Threw the Stash Supplies spell to clean out the inventory
  • Went over to find Hadvar, and oops, my dude, you seem to have lost your entire squadron, sorry about that
  • But fortunately Lydia and I actually count as five, because I can call in atronachs! So don’t worry, we got this
  • Saved at that point until next time

Action in Riften

It’s only been recently that I’ve observed characters actually swimming in my playthroughs. And this is not just a mods thing, since I’ve observed it in Finds-The-Way’s playthrough too. In this session, though, I actually spotted two characters swimming at the same time! Bolli and Viriya!

Given that the wiki says Bolli and his wife Nivenor are totally cheating on each other, I gotta side-eye that swimming just a bit, LOL. Though honestly, Bolli, just ditch Nivenor already and marry Viriya, she’d be a lot better for you. ;D

Blackmailing Anuriel for the sake of the Empire is one of those bits of Skyrim I still haven’t done as much as other bits. So it took me a bit of trial and error before I remembered where the hell her room was–and of course, I’d forgotten to have the correct quest marker active, which wasn’t helping matters much.

I got noticed sneaking about near Anuriel’s room a couple of times–but apparently moved out of the area fast enough that I didn’t piss off the guards. And I saw no trespasses show up on my Crime stats.

While checking that, though, I did see that I had a murder recorded. I’m not sure who the hell I killed that counted as a murder! I didn’t have a high enough bounty for a murder, which suggests I didn’t accidentally kill someone during running stuff for the war. There would have been witnesses to that!

It also suggests I didn’t accidentally kill someone while fighting a dragon by a city–because again, there would have been witnesses to that.

So I’m confused AF here. But oh well!

Side note about Snippy

I also discovered in Riften that Snippy does apparently disappear after a while, if you park him someplace. I don’t know if he returns to his little treasure chamber in Bkhalzarf, or what; all I know is that he did vanish from where I’d parked him belowdecks on the airship.

I’m not mustering many giveafucks about this. I still have the controller device, so if I really want him, I can re-summon him. Mostly, I feel like the soul gem charging thing is the main use I’ll get out of him. Though I should at least try his flashlight and lockpicking, maybe? That might be useful.

For now, at least, I’ll assume for narrative purposes that I’m keeping him parked belowdecks on the ship, regardless of whether or not he’s actually visibly there. It doesn’t seem plausible to me that he’d up and vanish for no apparent reason. (For that matter, it’s not terribly plausible to me that I could use the controller to make him show up again for no apparent reason if he wasn’t already nearby. But I’ll work with this!)

Another dragon attack in Solitude

I did get a Solitude dragon attack in this session, which tells me that the patch I deployed didn’t completely eliminate them. But that seems reasonable, on the grounds that past runs I’ve done have had occasional attacks in Solitude.

As long as I’m back down to the status of “occasional” as opposed to “every time I run a Kendeshel session, and sometimes more than once in the same session”, I’m fine with that.

It’ll be interesting to observe this trend over the rest of the playthrough, though. So so far, the count of Solitude dragon attacks post-patch stands at one.

Killing this dragon also had the unexpected side effect of its skeleton clipping down completely through the ground. I threw the Detect Dead spell, and saw it registering as somewhere below Castle Dour–but damned if I know where it went. I know from the sessions I’ve played since this one that it didn’t just randomly drop into Solitude.

So it may be down in the dungeons of Castle Dour or something? I’ll have to see if I can find it when I try to run Dead Man’s Dread with this alt.

Changing horses around

In this session, when coming back down into Winterhold to head out to Saarthal, I saw that I had an extra option in the menu for Convenient Horses–which let me actively change which horse I’m using. It included the other two Wild Horses I’d found at that point, as well as the reindeer.

So I swapped over to Heidrun! Because honestly, I think that’s Kendeshel’s favorite horse. 😀 And if I was going to have any of my horses with me in Winterhold at all, it made the most sense for it to be the one I’m keeping in Solitude.

Mind you, having any horse with me at all in Winterhold seems weird to me, even if I’d taken the cart to get there rather than the airship. But I can apply the same handwave here about Kendeshel bringing her horse along even as she engaged the cart driver. So that makes bringing Heidrun, as my Solitude-based horse, reasonable.

And none of the remaining Wild Horses I haven’t caught yet are near Winterhold, so I was fine with just swapping off to Heidrun via the horn. Which is clearly a very powerful artifact if the thing lets me magically move my horses around. ;D

Finding Latoria

I’d heard of Latoria from chatter on the Legacy of the Dragonborn Discord, and as of this session, I found her! She was hanging out in the Frozen Hearth in Winterhold, and angsting about wanting to research ancient magics–but not being bold/strong enough to actually go to the places to do that.

She perked up considerably when I offered her a spot in the Explorer’s Society. I think she’s rather adorable. <3

So that makes three out of five recruits acquired!

Joining the College of Winterhold

This is a no-brainer for me in any playthrough, really. Nothing out of the ordinary here for its opening stretches this time through.

So I’ll just note that for Kendeshel in particular, she’s not coming to the college as a complete newbie to magic. Her backstory does have training at the Arcane University and Gwylim. But I think it’s fair to assume that prior to her coming to Skyrim, she mostly just had a grounding in the basics and wasn’t actively pursuing further magical study. But after Sadrith Kegran, and in particular after amassing a pile of powerful spells in Bkhalzarf, I’m thinking she’s extra motivated to get magical training now.

This is of course for the same reasons I threw her at the Imperial Legion and at the Companions: i.e., she’s determined to never been taken by surprise again. And bumping up her magical skill contributes to this.

She’s probably being fanatical about training herself, in fact. And I expect Lydia is making it a housecarl priority to make sure her thane actually sleeps.

The elytra got weird at the Seducers bandit camp

Aside from Hadvar’s entire squad getting killed by the Seducers bandits (oops), the other bit of weirdness I had clearing that camp was with freeing the Demented Elytra Nymph. I couldn’t interact with it once I unlocked the cage, or pick up the note about it on the nearby crate.

I was a little afraid at this point that maybe my follower slots had gotten screwed up somehow. So I sent Thistle off to wait at Breezehome–but that didn’t work.

Saving the game and restarting did work, though. After I did that, I was able to take the note and talk to the Elytra.

Next time

Kendeshel’s next post will be a hard charge through the rest of the civil war, and victory for the Empire! And also, becoming thane in Riften!


Editing to add

  • 11/26/2023: 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.