Elessir Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Elessir Becomes Thane of Hjaalmarch and the Pale

Now that I’m finally done rebuilding all the galleries, I can get caught up on backlogged playthrough posts! Here’s another round of Elessir, mostly covering stuff I’ve done before in other playthroughs, but with a bit of Lucien commentary. Main action: taking out J’datharr the Thalmor assassin; slaying the dragon Vuljotnaak; beginning my run through The Cause; getting the amulet fragments from Geirmund’s Hall and Folgunthur; acquiring Dawnfang & Duskfang from the Guardian Vault in the Ratway; taking over Bloodchill Manor after clearing the vampires out of there; becoming Thane of the Pale after slaying a giant for Skald; and becoming Thane of Hjaalmarch after clearing out the vampires in Movarth’s Lair.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 11/3, 11/6-11/7/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 30-32

Friday the 3rd

  • Started in Honeyside in Riften
  • Invested in the Pawned Prawn, the Scorched Hammer, and Elgrim’s Elixirs; sold stuff in all three shops
  • Went out to get the unicorn and rode north towards Kynesgrove
  • Took out assorted critters, cultists, and a cranky Wood Elf
  • Tried but did not succeed at finding pygmy sunfish
  • Proceeded to Kynesgrove and gave Dravynea her frost salts
  • Proceeded to Windhelm and found Ma’dran’s Khajiit on site; sold him a bunch of stuff
  • Also saw J’datharr, so realized I was going to have to help out Malborn
  • But first, rode over to Traitor’s Post and took out the bandits there, for the plot hook for the Daedric mail
  • Returned to Windhelm and found Malborn in the cornerclub; got pointer to deal with the assassin
  • Went back out to the Khajiit camp
  • Bought the armor off of Ma’dran and decided to keep the ring
  • Then asked him about the spy, and he pointed me at J’datharr
  • Took out J’datharr, then went back into Windhelm and told Malborn he was safe
  • LOL, proprietor of the cornerclub was all “some Nord women were murdered? And I should care why, exactly?” Elessir is with you on that, brother Dunmer
  • Well and thoroughly overloaded at this point, so boinged back to Lakeview and dropped off a bunch of stuff
  • Did some smithing and alchemy to burn through backlogged supplies
  • Slept, then got up in the morning and boinged to Whiterun; sold a bunch of stuff
  • Then set out on unicorn westward
  • More assorted critter kills
  • But also Vuljotnaak! And at the same time, a Blooded Vampire
  • Got Viriya her juvenile mudcrab, with a couple of surprises, see below
  • After that, rode over to the shrine to get The Cause underway; took out the Mythic Dawn assassins
  • Fast traveled straight to the Alchemist’s Shack after that so I could hit the cultist camp for information
  • Rode up to to the camp and took out those cultists, and got info pointing at Rielle
  • But for now went to the island with Geirmund’s Hall on it
  • Fished at the fishing spot, and got the Lucky Fishing Hat; also got a bunch more catfish, and reached the four I needed to take to Iddra in Kynesgrove
  • Ran Geirmund’s Hall as long as I was there
  • Boinged back to Riften after that, gave Viriya her mudcrab, and got the bounty to take a glassfish to Zaria in Falkreath
  • Went out to get my unicorn–and got a DRAGON, so had to kill that
  • Finally boinged to Kynesgrove, and dropped off the catfish
  • Also got the quest pointer to talk to Roggi Knot-Beard about the money he owed the innkeeper
  • Found Roggi outside and slipped him enough money to pay off his debt; also got the quest from him for his family’s ancestral shield
  • Went over to the lake near Steamcrag Camp and caught the pygmy sunfish I needed
  • This let me return to Riften and check in with Swims to finish his quest; got the Argonian fishing rod from him
  • Meanwhile headed down into the Ratway, and got Skritch the skeever out of his cage; he’s kinda cute really but he’s also a frigging skeever
  • Went in to run the rest of the plot to get Dawnfang & Duskfang; this played pretty much like previous playthroughs
  • Left Dawnfang and Lorant Bouchard’s Blades armor in Shadowfoot Sanctum
  • Also told Skritch to stay there
  • Boinged to College of Winterhold to try to make the spellbook for conjuring Staada–only to realize I didn’t have the damn bliss bug thorax, so had to boing back to Lakeview to get it, then back to the college
  • Finally made the spellbook!
  • Saved there until next time

Monday the 6th

  • Picked up at the Arch-Mage’s quarters
  • Picked up unicorn in Winterhold and headed for Bloodchill Cavern
  • En route, found bandits vs. a Vigilant of Stendarr vs. a flame atronach! And then some frost trolls showed up! :O
  • So had a bit of a free-for-all until Lucien, Dremora and I took ‘em all out
  • Mined corundum vein
  • Then got another frost troll, and a couple of necromancers coming at me because of Malyn Varen; took them out
  • Proceeded onward; got ahead of Lucien, but he caught up when I reached Bloodchill Cavern
  • Ran the place pretty easily, took out the waiter, and took command of the house
  • Looted a bunch of the leftover food, and a bunch of stuff off the guests as well
  • Headed from there to Dawnstar
  • Sold stuff to Rustleif and invested in his forge
  • Then checked in with the Jarl and got the task to go kill a giant for him, this time at Red Road Pass
  • Rode on over there and did the thing
  • Also had to fight a mammoth since attacking the giant pissed the mammoth off, and a snowy sabre cat showed up during the melee as well; took both critters out and returned to Dawnstar
  • Slept the night at the inn, then checked in with the Jarl in the morning to tell him the job was done
  • Got pointer to be thane and already had one favor fulfilled
  • Sold iron ore to Beitild for favor number two
  • Invested in Frida’s alchemy shop for favor number three, then sold her stuff
  • Reported back to Skald and HURRAY, I’m thane! Also, HI GREGOR
  • Bought land for Heljarchen Hall
  • Boinged to Yorgrim Overlook to get within range of running Forsaken Cave, and killed a couple of frost trolls outside of it
  • Saw somebody running in the distance but don’t know who, might have been Khajiit?
  • Ran Forsaken Cave without any issues; draugr do not hold up well against a daedroth!
  • Got the Word of Power for Marked for Death off the wall
  • Boing to Whiterun and sold a bunch of stuff
  • Invested in Arcadia’s alchemy shop; also bought five rounds of Alchemy training from her
  • Boinged to Lakeview and did a bunch of smithing, alchemy, and enchanting
  • Got Smithing back up to 59, almost ready to unlock Arcane Blacksmithing again
  • Slept the night, then got up in the morning and boinged to Falkreath
  • Invested in Solaf’s shop and sold him a bunch of stuff
  • Invested in Lod’s forge and also sold him a bunch of stuff
  • Spotted a dragon but it was a flyby, did not bother the town
  • Went to Zaria’s alchemy shop and invested in that too
  • Gave her her glassfish, and got the note about the skooma guard
  • Agreed to hand him the disguised invisibility potion, and went over to the barracks to do that
  • Looked at the dossier on Aesrael while there and got the quest to take him out for the elven hunter armor
  • But first gave the guard the disguised potion, and then reported back to Zaria
  • Got the Ring of Surroundings, and finally sold her stuff
  • Boinged from there to Western Watchtower so I could haul a bunch of building materials up to Heljarchen Hall
  • Built out the Small House and most of the exterior items, and most of the interior Small House stuff, so at least Gregor will have a bed and a cooking fire when he’s guarding the place
  • Dropped off the Blade of the Pale there and various building materials to get back under carry weight
  • Went to Morthal next to run Laid to Rest and pick up the thaneship there
  • Boinged to Myrwatch to get there and dropped a bunch of stuff in a storage chest so I wouldn’t have to be overloaded
  • Invested in Lami’s alchemy shop to sell her stuff
  • Then went to talk to the innkeeper and started the plot; played through to Helgi’s ghost asking me to play hide and seek with her
  • Then went off to run Folgunthur while waiting for it to get dark
  • Spotted flyby dragon while heading into the place
  • Ran Folgunthur with no problems; got the ivory claw and the final amulet fragment
  • Then picked up again with Laid to Rest; played through on this pretty much as per previous playthroughs
  • Slept in Myrwatch overnight after taking out Hroggar in Alva’s house
  • Taught Lucien the Conjure Familiar spell and he was delighted by this ❤️
  • Killed once in Movarth’s lair, but second time through the daedroth helped me cut a swath through the place
  • Got Sanguinare Vampiris but that’s what Potions of Cure Disease are for!
  • Overloaded again from loot, so did horse call to get my unicorn so I could ride back over to Morthal
  • Checked in with the Jarl, and got thaned up since I already had three favor quests fulfilled
  • Bought the land for Windstad Manor
  • Boinged back to Lakeview for now though
  • Did more crafting and leveled up to 54
  • Took Arcane Blacksmithing again so I could start working on improving the Ebony Spell Knight armor
  • Saved there

Tuesday the 7th

  • Realized I hadn’t picked up the stuff I left at Myrwatch, so boinged back there to get it
  • Then built out the Small House at Windstad
  • Had to boing to Heljarchen to pick up the materials I’d left there
  • Finished out the smelter at Heljarchen, then got the materials out of the chest there
  • Started on the Main House, but ran out of logs
  • Boinged back to Windstad and built a couple more things
  • Saved there for now

Getting a juvenile mudcrab for Viriya

In a lot of recent playthroughs, I haven’t had to work hard to get Viriya that juvenile mudcrab she wants, since I usually just fish one right up when I’m fishing at the various fishing spots. This time through, though, I had to actually follow the quest marker for it and go to the spot west of Whiterun where you’re guaranteed to get one.

And this time through, that location served me a couple of surprises. First, the pond had the remains of a giant mudcrab, which I don’t think I’d noticed in prior playthroughs. And second, I saw a ghost mudcrab that I could not interact with. I’m not sure if that was supposed to be the ghost of the giant mudcrab, or what? It was normal sized by mudcrab standards.

The mudcrab page for Skyrim on the wiki does mention the remains, and it also mentions that the same location is supposed to be the spot for a guardian mudcrab spirit. But that spirit isn’t supposed to show up unless you’re on the quest for Kyne’s sacred trials, which you get from Froki. And Elessir does not have that quest.

So some sort of buggy behavior was going on there, not sure what brought it about.

A Soul Divided quest

Running this is still fun, even though I have yet to want to actually carry Dawnfang & Duskfang around, or for that matter Bloodthirst.

I was slightly disappointed, though, that Lucien had no commentary for this quest. I guess this is one his creator didn’t write up lines for yet?

Because I could totally hear him saying something like this, once he follows the Dragonborn into the Guardian Vault:

“Um. Right. Creepy-looking sword with an ominous red barrier around it. Are you sure this is a thing we should be acquiring?”

Bloodchill Manor

I only realized during these sessions that oh hey I’m in the 50’s now maybe I’m leveled up enough to take on the waiter! So I finally went after Bloodchill Cavern.

This turned out to be rather easier than I anticipated, thanks to Lucien and also summoning my daedroth. Team Dragonborn took out the waiter pretty quickly! And I was able to take command of the house.

And one of the guests, Verin, even survived the battle! I bet he thinks twice about accepting any future feast invitations in the middle of frigging Winterhold.

Running Forsaken Cave

This, like Bloodchill Cavern, was very easy to do with the ability to summon a daedroth. Draugr do not stand up well against a rampaging daedroth. 😀

It was also weird to be running the place without the White Phial quest active, or the quest to get Frida the Ring of Pure Mixtures. But that’s okay. I don’t particularly need either of those quests in this playthrough, since Kendeshel and Finds will have them covered.

Notable Lucien lines

When we were running Geirmund’s Hall:

“We should move in here. Said no one ever.”

On the way to killing a giant by the orders of the Jarl of Dawnstar:

“Giants are a strange folk. Definitely more intelligent than they might seem. There’ve been attempts to translate their language, but no success yet.”

I expect this resulted in:

Elessir, with raised eyebrow: “Is this your way of trying to talk me out of killing this giant for the Jarl?”

Lucien, plaintively: “Well, I do prefer to avoid violence if possible…?”

Elessir: “If you can figure out in the next five minutes how to tell this giant to stop walloping on citizens of the Pale so I don’t have to kill him, then have at it. If not, well.”

Lucien: <mutters something about failures of both diplomacy and science>

Elessir: “I HEARD THAT.”

And, after I read the dossier on Aesrael in the Falkreath guard barracks:

“This Aesrael character sounds dangerous. If we have the time, I think it’d be worth us tracking him down before he causes too much trouble.”

While I’m working on building things at Heljarchen:

“Hammer, nail, nail, hammer. Whack. Easy. What could possibly go wrong?”

Elessir, pounding on the forge: “I could hit myself in the hand if you keep standing in my light.”

Lucien: “Terribly sorry!”

While we were running Folgunthur:

“Good job I don’t frighten easily. Because if I did… this place would be terrifying.”

When I offer to teach him the Conjure Familiar spell:

“You mean I can have a puppy all of my own? Here boy! Hello! Hello to you! Oh you’re so handsome. So handsome and glowy and magical. Yes you are.”

While we’re hanging out at Myrwatch, dropping another hint about my making him walk all over the place (look, son, if your code would let me offer to have you ride behind me, I would totally do it, but it doesn’t):

“Who needs stairs when you can have magical glowy portals to take you up and down? It’s much more efficient, and far kinder to my poor tired feet.”

Next time

Elessir’s next post will feature reforging the Gauldur amulet; getting the pieces of Mehrunes’ Razor, and the reforged weapon after confronting Silus at Dagon’s altar; taking out the bandit Aesrael and getting the Elven Hunter armor; finding Crowstooth’s camp, and then Crowstooth herself at Arcwind Point (which was unexpectedly difficult!); and last but not least, running Rielle to push the Cause quest along.


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.