Elder Scrolls Online,  Gyllerah Playthrough

In Which Gyllerah Gains the Hall of the Lunar Champion

This is actually a full week of play for Gyllerah in mid-to-late December, but as per my recent policy tweak of ESO posts, I’m only counting sessions in which I do any actual adventuring or group content for purposes of tracking how many sessions Gyllerah has run.

Main action here: pushing the Northern Elsweyr plot along and getting the Hall of the Lunar Champion; a bunch of Antiquities hunting; and some side questing on Stros M’Kai, which I visited for the first time.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 12/17, 12/21, 12/23/2023
  • Session numbers in this run (counting days when I did something besides crafting, harvesting resources, and antiquities): 314-316

Sunday the 17th

  • Went off to Northern Elsweyr to move the plot there further along
  • Had to meet a contact to get help on sneaking into the palace, a loyal retainer of Khamira’s parents who’d safely buried a master key to sneak in somewhere nearby
  • Khamira showed up to talk to him as well and told me to follow his instructions, while she stayed to chat with him for a while
  • Found where he’d buried the key and snuck by a few critters to get to it, including a couple of minotaurs, then boinged back to Rimmen
  • Met up again with the plot’s main characters, including Abnur Tharn
  • Tharn dropped a suggestion that Zamarak might have been a former King’s Claw, and we discussed the plan for getting into the palace and taking out Euraxia
  • Went with Nala-do first to burn the siege engines aiming at Rimmen, and killed assorted hostiles while doing this
  • Then Zamarak and I cut through the sewers to find the back way in and use the key
  • We discovered the dead bodies of the king and queen had disappeared (narrator: oh shit)
  • Killed some more hostiles on the way into the throne room
  • Ran into Zumog Phoom and Cadwell’s head, who trapped us in a room with undead
  • Zamarak got us out by magically busting down the door
  • Rescued Cadwell (the Soul-Shriven) from being tortured by Zumog Phoom and his own undead head
  • We finally made it out into the courtyard where Euraxia was talking to the dragon Mulaamnir, who basically told her ‘fuck off, we have no use for you any more’
  • Then it was time to officially fight with Euraxia
  • She killed Nala-do, and then raised the dead bodies of the king and queen to attack us, which was legit creepy
  • And she kept summoning air atronachs, but I did eventually defeat her without having to yell for Ember, go me
  • Had final convo with Tharn, who kept swearing up and down that Euraxia was his half sister and the world is better off without her
  • Had final convo with Khamira who was very pointed about my not being allowed to tell her when she should and should not grieve
  • She sent me off to report to Gharesh-ri for the next stage of the plot, but also gave me quest rewards, including access to the Hall of the Lunar Champion
  • So I went over to check that out since it was right there in Rimmen
  • Placed the first tablet to wake up the altar
  • Then finally returned to Cliffshade for inventory managing and logged out until next time

Wednesday the 20th

  • Swamp Haven got a trader so I put some things on sale (notably, Dragon’s Blood, which got me a tidy sum)

Thursday the 21st

  • Got another player in Swamp Haven to make a Nirnhoned staff for me, for research for my Master Writs (two!) for Nirnhoned on Staves
  • Then did a bit of group action with that same player
  • Ran Tempest Island with me being healer for a gathered group
  • Then flipped over to Marwyth and accompanied the other player on a skyshard run
  • Researched the staff to get that onto the queue

Friday the 22nd

  • Swapped back and forth between Gyllerah and Marwyth to do a bit of handoff of equipment as I worked on some cp160 gear for Marwyth
  • Looted a Thieves Trove while running a boatload of surveys, so had to go turn in that loot to the fence
  • Played with the Transmute table at the Swamp Haven Guild island, and built three Night Mother’s Embrace pieces for Marwyth

Saturday the 23rd

  • Ran Dreadsail Reef trial with Swamp Haven
  • Then did inventory managing and swapped off to Marwyth
  • Later did a bunch of Antiquities hunting on Stros M’Kai just because I hadn’t been there before
  • Nabbed a Dwemer puzzle box and an animated Dwemer star chart to use as furnishings
  • also ran a couple of side plots
  • Retrieved some Dwemer parts for a researcher in Port Hunding: one that involved retrieving Dwemer parts for a researcher, and another that involved helping a captain rescue her captured crew from a bunch of pirates
  • Tried to run a third plot that involved following clues to buried treasure, which sounded like fun but I found the clues annoying
  • And also saw in searching online about them that the reward wasn’t worth it, so I bailed out of that quest
  • Got good money off the Antiquities hunt though!

Furnishing type commentary

This set of sessions saw me finally going ahead and getting the rest of the storage chests I was missing. All eight chests are now placed in Kelesan’ruhn, though I’m still maintaining three in Cliffshade, since Cliffshade is still my primary house. Kelesan’ruhn isn’t quite furnished up enough yet for me to want to make that a primary residence.

I was pretty pleased with putting my circle of chests into the workshop part of the residence, though!

I did a bit of experimenting as to which chests I wanted in Cliffshade, and what the purposes of the various chests would be, just to keep all of Gyllerah’s stuff organized. So as of this writing (2/7/2024), the Cliffshade chests are three general categories:

  • One for all surveys, treasure maps, and master writs, since those eat up my inventory fast
  • One for various interesting bits of gear for both characters
  • One to serve as bank overflow

Other chests in Kelesan’ruhn are:

  • One to contain various furnishings that I don’t like well enough to actually use, but might eventually want to either sell or destroy, and will need to review
  • One to contain Companion gear
  • One to contain various fragmentary items that I eventually want to combine to get something (like the various items for the Big-Eared Ginger Kitten), or any other item that I might need eventually but don’t need right this instant (like Attribute Respecification Scrolls)

Which still leaves me a couple of overflow chests, I think. Handy for now. I’m sure I’ll fill them up with something sooner or later.

I thought I’d chuck a bunch of ingredients into a chest, but rapidly realized that this is counterproductive if I need quick access to ingredients for crafting. So all of that stuff needs to be in my bank. Unless I have more than 200 of something, in which case it goes into the overflow chest. And if it’s in the overflow chest, I’ll either eventually use it or sell it, is the thought there.

So about that Zumog Phoom guy

Noting for the record: I still cannot take “Zumog Phoom” seriously as the name of an antagonist. I get that “Zumog” on the face of it seems similar to the names of other Orcs I’ve seen in both Skyrim and ESO. But still, it sounds like it ought to be the name of an evil alien species in a B movie. Attack of the Zumogs, now playing on Netflix!

And “Phoom” sounds like the noise the Zumogs would make as they strafe a city with long-burst heat rays. PHOOOOOM. PHOOOOOM. PHOOOOOM.

I’d say this is a disservice to the character, except for how ultimately ol’ Mogs didn’t really turn out to be particularly complex or interesting. He had some legit creepy moments, like going around with Cadwell’s talking floating head, as well as torturing the Soul-Shriven Cadwell. Yet neither in this post’s session nor in the rest of any of the Northern Elsweyr stuff did I get any real sense about why this guy wanted to resurrect Cadwell in particular, why he supported Euraxia’s rule, and such. So he more or less just came across as your bog-standard Evil Necromancer, going around enslaving dead souls because that’s what Evil Necromancers do, and such.

Checking the wiki, I see Phoom’s page says he was apparently a ranking member of the Order of the Black Worm, and a former student of Mannimarco. Because of course he was. Not that this actually makes him any more well-rounded as a character, but it at least would have been nice to encounter that information somewhere in the actual plot!

Other Northern Elsweyr commentary

Since this post also sees the part where I took out Euraxia Tharn, let’s talk about her too. I will cheerfully cop to being amused by Euraxia being so very offended by Mulaamnir turning on her. Who could have known that when she founded Rimmen’s chapter of the Dragons Eating People’s Faces Party, the dragons might eventually eat her face?

And it was also legit creepy to see Euraxia raising the dead corpses of Khamira’s parents to fight for her. Though honestly, I was more moved plot-wise by her actually killing Nala-do during the battle, since I had not expected that to happen, and I liked that character. Don’t get me wrong, reanimating the dead queen and king was creepy. But that was also telegraphed pretty hard when Zamarak and I discovered that their bodies were missing, earlier in the same session.

Last couple of interactions in this overall section of the plot were fun, too. I liked Abnur Tharn’s ongoing insistence on calling Euraxia his half sister, and being adamant that the world was better off without her. (Really, I get the vibe that Tharn just really hates the rest of his family and wishes they would all fuck off into Oblivion. I begin to see how he grew into the irascible misanthrope he is when the player meets him!)

I also really liked Khamira pushing back to the player when you try to ask her if she needs to take time to mourn her parents. Khamira is clearly gutpunched about seeing their dead bodies raised and having to put them down in battle. But she also steps immediately up to the plate and starts managing things in the aftermath of Euraxia’s death, while being explicit to the player about owning the choice of when it’s appropriate for her to take the time to grieve. She was three hundred percent right about that, and seeing her demand that right for herself really kicked up the character another notch for me.

And oh yeah, one more thing I want to call out, because this was an amusing exchange in the annals of Shut The Hell Up, Abnur Tharn. I threw an Intimidate line at him:

“Not at all. You did plenty when you set the Dragons free.”

To which he replied:

“Oh, how biting! Was that supposed to wound my feelings? Amateur! And have you already forgotten the part you played in the Halls of Colossus? Your hands are as stained as mine.”

Asshole, I was only there because you asked for my help. Including the part where I opened that gate on your instructions. Sheesh! ;D

Hall of the Lunar Champion

As a result of taking out Euraxia and returning Khamira to the rule of Rimmen, I was awarded the Hall of the Lunar Champion. Which is nice and all but I’m honestly not sure what to do with it. The game considers it a player manor, but the big thing about the place is that it gives you some altars that control portals off to other spots you can use as housing. Two of which I don’t have access to, because I don’t have the relevant DLCs.

As of this writing I’ve finished the main Northern Elsweyr plot (more on this in subsequent posts), which means I do have access to at least one area you can reach from the Hall of Champions, a ledge that overlooks the Halls of Colossus. But again, not sure what to do with that.

The letter I received in game mail that granted me ownership of the place says outright that it’s a temple. So by definition that strikes me as a place that’d be weird to try to outfit as a house. It also strikes me a trifle weird that the Khajiit might feel it appropriate to hand over custody of a sacred space to an outsider who isn’t even Khajiit! But I’ll leave that aside for gameplay purposes. ;D

I may need to go look at what other players have done with the space for inspiration, maybe. I’ve only dabbled in furnishing to a very small degree, and I’m not sure yet if I will muster enough giveafuck to try to do something interesting with the Hall. We’ll see.

Crafting and trading commentary

These Gyllerah sessions were parallel to Marwyth leveling up to 46, so as Gyllerah, I finished out a level 46 gear set for her. And then Marwyth hit level 50, and immediately leapt to the same CP level as Gyllerah! So I was able to also create a cp160 gear set for her.

Meanwhile, I was able to finally finish off a Master Writ to make Psijic Ambrosia. I needed to make eight of them–and the recipe called for Perfect Roe. So I had to sit on that writ for a very long time, since Perfect Roe is hard to get, unless you’re willing to spend a crapton of time fishing in the hope that you’ll get lucky when you fillet your catches, and get a Perfect Roe off of that.

The takeaway I have from that, particularly now that I’ve joined a trading guild (more on this to come in a future post), is that any Master Writ that requires you to use Perfect Roe is almost not worth the time and effort. I may revisit this opinion though, once I drop enough skill points on Gyllerah’s Provisioning to max out the perk that gives me extra servings of anything I make. That way at least I could cut back hard on the amount of Perfect Roe I’d actually need.

Meanwhile, had a learning experience trying to run a Master Writ for an Abah’s Watch Inferno Staff. I realized I’d made two errors:

  1. I’d already bought the damned style sheet, so wound up buying it twice; chucked the extra one over at Marwyth
  2. I had my notes for it wrong on my Master Writs spreadsheet, in particular what set I needed to use, and didn’t realize the actual correct set was one that needed me to know all nine traits

Oops. So that required me to research Nirnhoned on Inferno Staves. That, at least, I was able to solve by calling for help from the Guild. Went farming for nirncrux in Craglorn, and that got me a Potent Nirncrux I could hand off to a guildmate to get them to make the staff for me.

I kicked off that research once this was done, and let the timer start chugging, and accepted I’d be blocked on Woodworking Master Writs for a while. But it was worth the effort, since I had two different writs that required Nirnhoned on Staves. So one burst of research would take both of them out at once.

Last but not least, I finally learned how to use a Transmute station. Swamp Haven has one on our Guild island, so I went to that and played with making three pieces of Night Mother’s Embrace gear for Marwyth. That was pretty neat.

Group adventure with guildmate

Shoutout to Swamp Haven guildmate @bi0sk1ll3r, who did the Nirnhoned staff research for me. And with whom I also did run in Tempest Island, my first visit to that dungeon. I provided healer support and we whipped through there pretty quickly, so I didn’t really have much of an impression of the place. I’ll clearly need to visit it again.

Then @bi0skill3r and I did a skyshard charge through Glenumbra, and I did pick up a few skyshards on Marwyth that I hadn’t hit before. So that was helpful!

A note about Thieves Troves

I have decided Gyllerah has no personal moral objection to looting Thieves Troves. ‘Cause really, functionally speaking, there’s little difference between looting a Thieves Trove in the wild vs. lockpicking your way into a random chest.

The only real difference between them is that the goods in question are actually stolen. So of course I have to deal with this by handing them off to a fence. That part I think Gyllerah’s iffy on.

Mostly, this is a question of me as a player going “oooh I want the shiny thing” every time I run into a trove, LOL. But if I’m going to allow myself to raid them as Gyllerah, I think I’ll have the rough explanation for this being, she’s confiscating the goods. And Marwyth has managed to communicate to her (via their overlapping presences in Cliffshade) that at least the Outlaws Refuge within walking distance of the house is as trustworthy as it’s possible for an Outlaws Refuge to be.

And Gyllerah’s willing to have them as potential allies if she has to. Though for the record, she will not be joining the Thieves Guild!

Action on Stros M’Kai

My play on 12/23 saw my first serious visit to Stros M’Kai. I was mostly there to run antiquities, and to just explore the place since I hadn’t been there before. But while I was there, I also ran a few side plots just because I could.

I rather like the plot that involves having to bring four Dwemer parts to a researcher in Port Hunding, who’s trying to make a Dwemer machine functional again. Gyllerah’s a seasoned enough adventurer at this point that I think she had a healthy level of why on Nirn do you think this is a good idea going on. But at the same time, she’s also a seasoned enough antiquarian that she was genuinely curious about whether this guy’s efforts were going to be successful.

And I suppose it was a refreshing change of pace to see somebody trying to activate a Dwemer machine and for it to not immediately go on a rampage, requiring me to destroy it. ;D

I also ran a plot requiring me to rescue captured crewmembers of a ship captained by a Breton named Larisa. Only much later did I find out that this was actually part of the Stros M’Kai zone story! And running it out of sequence did impact me later. More on this to come in a future post.

But that said, I did like Larisa as a character. And was not particularly surprised that she was the type of rogue who would absolutely poison a pirate captain who’d captured and tortured her crew. This plot gave me the option of giving said pirate the antidote to the poison, leaving her to die slowly, or just killing her on the spot. I went with giving her the antidote, even though Larisa did not approve of my choice.

Next time

Gyllerah’s next post will feature a bunch more Antiquities adventures, getting Mirri as my official second available Companion, and meeting a character who’s fascinated me ever since I found out about her: Vastarie!


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.