Elder Scrolls Online,  Marwyth Playthrough

In Which Marwyth Becomes the Champion of Vivec

Jumping over to Marwyth in Elder Scrolls Online action, here’s a catchup post for her from mid-December.

Main action in this post: finishing up the plot on Vvardenfell, advancing the plot in Eastmarch, reaching Champion status (WOO), running a bunch of New Life Festival stuff (including bits I hadn’t done before as Gyllerah), and a heaping side helping of pickpocketing.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 12/19, 12/21-12/23/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 70-73

Tuesday the 19th

  • Returned to advancing the plot on Vvardenfell
  • Went back to Barilzar’s tower to talk to him about making a device to counteract the staff’s effect on Vivec
  • Barilzar sent me off to find some former employees of his for info on three components
  • All three employees turned out to hate his guts, but I did persuade them to tell me where the components I needed were
  • Side note: met Filer Pix in Molag Mar while running this plot, which was my first introduction to Infinite Archive content; did not, however, pursue that quest
  • Ran two of the three places, Arkngthunch-Sturdumz and Nchuleft
  • Second one in particular, Nchuleft, was a large and complex ruin and got me turned around multiple times; see below
  • Doing all this did at least let me level up to 46 though!
  • Meanwhile, got my first really good look at a silt strider, I think this was at the silt strider tower at Molag Mar, and was pleased to discover you can, in fact, ride them
  • Swapped characters a couple of times to hand off old armor pieces to Gyllerah to destroy, to restock my Rogue’s Soot
  • But got all the level 46 gear and was set for the push to level 50!
  • Logged out in Cliffshade for the night

Thursday the 21st

  • Commenced running the New Life Festival
  • Did the mudball thing in Skywatch, then found the Old Life shrine in the Rift
  • Grabbed a bunch of charity writs out of the Swamp Haven Guild bank and started running one of those
  • Wound up with 11 event tickets since I had some from earlier events, so bought a piece needed to get the Hoardhunter Ursauk mount!
  • Boinged into Bangkorai and then hotfooted it east to get into Craglorn, so that I could farm for Potent Nirncrux
  • Got several locations onto Marwyth’s map! And also found a nirncrux! So was able to put out a call to the Guild for help with a Nirnhoned Inferno staff
  • After running Tempest Island as Gyllerah with guildmate who made the staff for me, swapped back to Marwyth and ran around Glenumbra farming lorebooks and skyshards
  • Leveled up to 47 while doing that
  • Nabbed a Thieves Trove, but OHNOEZ, had to kill a witness, so got quite the bounty off of that
  • After that did a hard push through the rest of the Vvardenfell storyline
  • Got the third component for the device to counteract the staff Sunna’rah
  • Returned to Barilzar so he could build the necessary device, which he advised would be a two-person job—one person to operate it and the other person to take care of the combat (and welp, that pretty much nailed down what Seryn would be doing next in the plot)
  • Reported back to Archcanon Tarvus and found him being snotty at Seryn
  • Intervened and got her to agree to help use the device, because next action was going to be to find her brother
  • Chodala had buggered off to Kaushtarari, a shrine of Malacath, so we had to face him there
  • Seryn used the device on him while I took him out, take that, fake Nerevarine!
  • Returned to Vivec (the city) and found the Buoyant Armigers being really nervous about how active Red Mountain was being
  • Got into Vivec’s (the god’s) private chambers and found him in bad shape
  • Used the staff—and OHNOEZ! It actually drained him further!
  • And Archcanon Tarvus was in fact revealed as a traitor—but but not for the reason I was expecting, because he was in fact Barbas in shapeshifted form
  • Barbas buggered off with the staff, now chock full of most of Vivec’s energy
  • Another canon, Llevule, came running in going WTF JUST HAPPENED, so I had to clue him in on the situation
  • Llevule stepped up to the plate with an emergency idea: go get another blessing stone to bolster Vivec
  • So I ran out into the part of the city being constructed, to find a blessing stone
  • Found the overseer’s wife anxiously looking for her (sidebar: WOO same-sex couple fuck yeah)
  • Had trouble actually reaching the overseer, had a hard time finding a way into the construction site and it took me two tries
  • Had to also fight looters while looking for her, because the city was now getting hit with volcanic debris and everybody was freaking the fuck out
  • Finally reached the overseer, sent her back to find her wife, and got the necessary blessing stone
  • Ran back up to Vivec’s chambers with it
  • Canon Llevule used it to replenish him but it was a bandaid on a gaping wound, basically, so we had to fix the actual real problem
  • Vivec urged me to seek the guidance of Azura
  • So I had to go find Seryn in the Archcanon’s chambers, who then promptly channeled Azura
  • Azura ported Barilzar in and commanded him to help me
  • Barilzar fired up a portal into the Clockwork City where Barbas had gone, and the two of us headed in there
  • Killed assorted skaafin and disabled some defenses en route to the atelier where Sotha Sil had done his experiments on divine energy
  • Had Barbas as my boss fight, and that fight also included fun exchanges between him and Clavicus Vile, as Barbas was clearly trying to please his master
  • Finally defeated him, and Barilzar tried to fire up a portal to get me back to Vivec
  • But Vile intercepted me and yoinked me into a shrine of his, where he planned to keep me trapped for a few decades by way of retribution for fucking with his plans
  • Barilzar however managed to catch up, and we hit Vile’s statue with a bit of energy off of Sunna’rah
  • Then we were able to safely return to Vivec, and used the staff to restore his energy to him
  • Which by extension let him keep Baar Dau from falling on the city and destroying Vvardenfell (and that was a nice bit of tension as someone who knows what happens in the Red Year!)
  • Got a pile of quest rewards all through this session since I pushed through the last three parts of this entire storyline
  • Vivec’s last action was to proclaim me a Champion of Vivec, and have me help him hand out rewards to others who helped save the day: the overseer, Barilzar, and Canon Llevule
  • Marwyth did not however fail to notice that SERYN WAS NOT IN THIS LIST
  • Forget where exactly it happened, but also leveled up to 48 partway through this plot, and made good inroads on approaching level 49 too, fuck yeah New Life experience boosts 😀
  • Boinged back to Cliffshade, did some inventory managing, and confirmed I got a new dye color off of finishing this plot
  • Thought I was done at this point, but changed my mind to see if I could make a push to level 50
  • So boinged off to Windhelm to run more of the Ebonheart Pact plot there
  • Talked to Thane Mera Stormcloak
  • Was informed that SHENANIGANS were going on with the celebration set up to honor the tenth year of the rule of Jorunn Skald-King, and Mera asked me to help her out with finding evidence of these shenanigans
  • First up: searched a nearby inn and found a suspicious note about caches planted around the city
  • Got evidence out of these caches to bring back to Mera
  • And SURPRISE! The Stormfist clan were totally cheating to try to win the competitions, and killing people as well!
  • So next I joined a foot race around the city walls, but did not win the race because I stopped to deal with a guy who’d received a mortal blow, and had to learn from him what had happened
  • Reported back to Mera, who proclaimed me Justice Carl of Windhelm, gave me authority to pursue all of these shenanigans further, and sent me off to where the assassins had fled to, outside the city
  • Killed a few hostiles and nabbed some orders, then came back to report to Mera again
  • Mera sent me off to the Hall of Trials to defend the king–who got attacked by Stormfist hostiles right there in the hall, in their attempt to overthrow him and put his twin brother in power
  • Sent off next to Fort Morvunskar to help out there
  • Rescued four soldiers and had them rejoin their troops
  • Killed a warlord and found a stash of stolen relics
  • The ghost of dead Queen Nurnhilde appeared to me, and urged me to return the relics to the royal crypts
  • Paused at that point though because by then I had leveled up to 50 \0/
  • Boinged back to Cliffshade and did final inventory managing, and logged off for the night

Friday the 22nd

  • Writs, then ran another round of the New Life Festival
  • Did the Fish Boon Feast in Shadowfen
  • Then since I was over there anyway, went back to Mud Tree Village and pickpocketed the same guy I hit before
  • Boinged off to Stonefalls and found the Old Life Festival shrine there
  • Switched into the new gear created by Gyllerah, then went general adventuring in Deshaan hoping to farm more Night Mother’s Embrace pieces
  • Ran the Redolent Loam dolmen twice, and the Siltreen dolmen once
  • Teamed up with another player and took out Short-Tusk the world boss
  • Ran Lady Llarel’s Shelter delve, and picked up the side quest involving delivering kwama eggs to a dead mer’s mother
  • Dropped off the kwama eggs, leaving the poor mother to mourn her son, aw
  • Got a few Night Mother’s Embrace pieces but they were all ones I already had
  • Boinged back to Cliffshade and screwed around with my armor dye colors for a while
  • Then logged out for the night

Saturday the 23rd

  • Ran writs and a couple of Alchemy surveys
  • First one was in Blackwood and while there, found a note from a dead pirate with directions to secret treasure
  • So sure why not, Marwyth likes treasure
  • Hunted that down, found the treasure near a ruined fort, and got a skyshard as well
  • Got another skyshard en route to the survey locale (Gyllerah had been there before but Marwyth didn’t know it yet)
  • Ditto the survey in Glenumbra near the Wyrd tree
  • That got me blessed thistle I needed for the Alchemy writ
  • Then ran New Life Festival stuff
  • Did another round of the Old Life Festival and went back to the same shrine in the Rift
  • Brega’s quest was the signal fire one in Bergama, which I like <3
  • Had to take several ships though to get into Sentinel since Marwyth hadn’t been there yet
  • Hoofed it from Sentinel to Bergama, and discovered a few locations on the way
  • Ran the quest and did it in one go, since I remembered to hit the button on the back of the Deck that I’d mapped to Shift, and SPRINT
  • Used the wayshrine nearby to get back to Kynesgrove and check in
  • Then went hunting in Shadowfen for pickpocketing targets
  • Hit the guy at Mud Tree Village twice, and somebody at Alten Corimont too, which got me enough items stolen to satisfy the quest
  • Got the option to proceed to Eastmarch for more pickpocketing, but decided to return to the Thieves Den instead to turn in the quest
  • Got a moderate reward for that, and fenced my stolen items while there
  • Picked up a side quest of Quen’s by reading a note of hers
  • And a side quest about seeing Velsa about heists, after reading a note of hers
  • Talked to Zeira about the next stage of the main Guild quest, which will involve crashing a wedding, LOL
  • Finished off by running a couple of Imperial charity writs for the New Life Festival just to get them out of my inventory
  • Flipped back to Gyllerah to do other stuff for the night

Guild help with Nirnhoned Inferno staff, and also, surprise thievery witness

I already called this out in Gyllerah’s last post, but I’ll give a shoutout here as well to Swamp Haven guildmate @bi0skill3r, who made a Nirnhoned Inferno staff for me once I farmed a Potent Nirncrux in Craglorn. I did that farming as Marwyth specifically, hence noting that in this post as well.

I also specifically ran the Glenumbra skyshard farming as Marwyth, and while we were doing that, we came across a Thieves Trove. Naturally, I had to loot that! But this time I got an unexpected result: having to kill a witness who saw me do it. Oops. Got quite the bounty off of that. But that’s what I have Counterfeit Pardon Edicts for!

This probably did count as a murder as far as the game is concerned, but I don’t think I have any way of checking that like I do in Skyrim. (At least, not without installing an add-on.)

And I don’t think Marwyth was any more pleased about having to kill that person than she was about the one in Balmora.

(Which is impacting my thinking about whether to have Marwyth join the Dark Brotherhood, since as of this writing, 2/16/2024, I do now have that DLC! More on this in a future post.)

Of course, there’s a question here of how heavily this incident actually plays into Marwyth’s narrative, because other than hunting skyshards and such, bi0skill3r and I didn’t actually do roleplay. But I think I’ll assume this is part of Marwyth’s narrative anyway, because by now, she has been over a substantial chunk of the map.

New Life Festival stuff

Since the sessions covered in this post coincided with the 2023 New Life Festival, let’s talk about that first. I’d done that as Gyllerah in 2022, but this time through I decided to do all the New Life stuff as Marwyth. Marwyth may be short and stabby, but hey, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t like a party! 😉

I also decided I’d keep my festival aspirations modest: to get enough event tickets to unlock the Hoardhunter Ursauk mount. So I happily got to work on that.

Noting for the record though that I’m still very “meh” about the whole mudball thing in Skywatch. Still not a fan of the idea of throwing mud on NPCs, or having mud thrown on me. I’ll still do it for the event tickets, but at no other time.

Also, the experience boosts during the festival were instrumental in kicking Marwyth on up into Champion status. I whipped through level 46 clear up to 50 in hardly any time at all, really, just a couple of days!

Marwyth is not, for the record, above committing thievery at the same time as New Life Festival stuff. But in her defense, I note she didn’t steal anything at the same sites as New Life Festival stuff. 😉 (Though as a player, I feel slightly sorry for that guy at the Mud Tree Village whose pockets I picked multiple times. Dude had to wonder why the hell he kept losing stuff out of his pockets.)

One more thing I’ll note here is that I’m kind of amused that there are Imperial charity writs during the New Life Festival. Given that Cyrodiil is under such turmoil during the time frame of the game, and given that everywhere else in Tamriel is busy with the whole Three Banners War thing and the whole Planemeld thing, I gotta admire the resolve of the lady collecting items for those writs. Selvari Abello’s doing her part to try to make the world a bit less shitty for those in need, so good on ya, Selvari.

Action on Vvardenfell

Let’s get the Vvardenfell party started by a bit of snerk about Barilzar. I was legit amused that the three former employees of his that he sent me to find were former employees for a reason: namely, they all hated Barilzar’s guts for various reasons. Which, from what I saw of the character, seemed about on brand.

Side note here: while in Molag Mar to talk to Snorfin the Nord, I met Filer Pyx who tried to recruit me to go to the Infinite Archive. Which was my first taste of Infinite Archive content! I backed out of doing that quest, though, because I didn’t want to try to deal with that while running Vvardenfell at the same time. But I did go back later. More on this to come in future posts.

Also, this was my first taste of the filers being generally adorable. <3 I loved Pyx’s lines.

Of the three places I had to go to for the components, Nchuleft was the most complex. Large and complex enough, in fact, that I got turned around several times trying to run it. I had to work my way down several layers through the place, and the component I needed was actually hiding in a container under a bridge.

Which I only realized after I made it down to the very bottom of the ruin and found a container that looked like it should have had the component, but didn’t. So that was frustrating. And a reminder that when in doubt, I really need to remember to check the map.

I found it interesting that Chodala, once he got shot down in his bid to get proclaimed the Nerevarine, chose to shelter at a shrine of Malacath. This seemed on brand for Chodala, given that Malacath is very, very fond of vengeance. But what I found interesting here is that Malacath actually rebuked him. Which says that Malacath did not consider his vengeance worthy.

And that I take as evidence for the argument that as Daedric Princes go, Malacath is arguably one of the least objectionable. Harsh? Yes. Even cruel, when it suits him. Intolerant of weakness? Absolutely. But he clearly doesn’t love vengeance for vengeance’s sake. He expects a vengeance to have a reason, and there’s something to be said for that. And it clearly pissed off Chodala to no end that Malacath didn’t buy the particular brand of vengeance he was selling.

Of course, there’s also a question here of whether Malacath was just pissed that Chodala was already in service to Clavicus Vile. That hint was dropped by an NPC I spoke to on the way into the fight, who explained why Malacath had rebuked Chodala. I could see Malacath just sneering at anybody who sought to serve him while already serving another Daedric Prince, on the grounds that this suggests a certain level of disregard for whatever oath they already swore to follow the first prince. And Malacath is called the

I also really liked the reveal that Archcanon Talvus was really Barbas in disguise–I had not seen that coming, and since I’d tried not to read ahead too much on this plot, I was nicely surprised by this. It was cool to see Barbas playing such a significant role here, since it gives him a dangerous edge you just do not see in Skyrim. But also thanks to Skyrim, I did have big GODDAMMIT BARBAS YOU ARE BEING A VERY BAD DOG energy, playing through that. 😀

The Buoyant Armigers being nervous about how active Red Mountain was being was good, though it also raises a question for me. I know from Morrowind lore that Baar Dau for the longest time doesn’t crash into Vivec (the city) because Vivec (the god) kept it aloft from the sheer force of his power. But the events of this plot suggest that Red Mountain itself was somehow attuned to the strength of Vivec’s power, as well. I don’t know if there’s other lore evidence for this, though.

It was interesting, too, that folks in Vivec City outright knew that Vivec needed to intervene to keep Baar Dau from crashing down on them. And that raises another question for me: if Vivec was capable of holding Baar Dau aloft in one spot with his divine might, what was keeping him from just moving the damn rock? Presumably he wasn’t capable of changing its trajectory?

Questions which, I think, will have occurred to Marwyth. But which she’ll have kept to herself, because yeaaaah not exactly the kinds of points she wants to raise right inside Vivec’s own seat of power.

Noting Clavicus Vile’s participation in the boss fight with Barbas and its immediate aftermath as another thing I liked, too. I’d seen Vile involved in the Summerset phase of the Daedric War storyline, of course. But running the beginning of it in Vvardenfell gave what I saw in Summerset some more context. And it also contributed to Vile coming across as actually dangerous. Which, again, is not an impression he conveys in Skyrim.

And, LOL, Vile was positively offended that I had dared to fight Barbas:

“How dare you discipline my dog? He was only trying to appease his master. And I’d never harm a hair on whatever insignificant creature you hold dear.

You, on the other hand, require a lesson in manners ….”

Well, asshole, your dog pissed off Azura by trying to kill Vivec. Neither Azura nor I have any fucks to give about Vivec per se, but we have a lot of fucks to give about Vvardenfell. And since you aren’t managing your dog, and Azura can’t come do it herself, I’m here to do it for her. So there.

Last thing I want to touch on here is Marwyth’s frame of mind as of the resolution point of this plot. She was definitely not comfortable with Vivec publicly proclaiming her a Friend of Vivec, and I also suspect she couldn’t help but notice that Seryn was not one of the people that Vivec publicly honored in his little ceremony. Given that Seryn put her ass on the line to go up against her own brother, that seemed unfair to me. And I think Marwyth, Ashlander by birth even if nobody actually seems to remember that now that she’s the Vestige, was rather offended that Vivec didn’t seem to give a fuck about publicly honoring the Ashlander who’d also been instrumental in saving his (allegedly, though okay yes fine, Marwyth is grumpily keeping this to her Inside Voice) divine ass.

The quest rewards were cool, though I had to think very, very hard about whether Marwyth would actually want to wear those bright blue body and face markings. I was strongly tempted by the idea of those markings manifesting on Marwyth just because of Vivec considering it his way of “blessing” her, without actually asking her about it first. Because of course he’d just do it.

And the idea of those markings setting off internal turmoil in Marwyth seemed too delicious to pass up. Here she is a low-profile Ashlander who does not like the Tribunal, and she’s going around bearing the physical signs that one of the Tribunal does in fact favor her. LOL.

So because of that, I kept the body markings. But I ditched the face markings, just because if I used those, I’d have to ditch the Eyes of the Prophet head marking I was already using. And I like what that does to Marwyth’s eyes. I’ll assume that the Eyes of the Prophet also manifested on Marwyth after Vivec “blessed” her.

Meanwhile, for the record, “Champion of Vivec” will not be going on Marwyth’s business card. ;D

Action in Eastmarch

Moving the Ebonheart Pact plot further along was also fun. And it started off by the first important character I talked to being Mera Stormcloak. I did of course snerk at that character’s last name, even as I thought it was very cool to see somebody actually of that clan in Windhelm at this point in time. Because of course Ulfric Stormcloak’s ancestors would be around. And one of them holding the lofty position of thane makes sense, too.

Mera’s naming me Justice Carl kinda made me snerk just because “Justice Carl” sounds like a very low budget superhero. Perhaps on the same team as “Truth Larry” and “Better Tomorrow Darryl”.

I was a trifle amused by the interaction with the ghost of Queen Nurnhilde too, the first time I met her. When she urged me to return stolen relics to the royal crypts, I got a dialogue prompt: “What if I just kept them?”

But I declined to take that option. Marwyth is a thief, but she is also a Dunmer, and she respects ancestral ghosts. She’s not going to be so crass as to talk about robbing them right in front of one. I mean honestly. That’s just rude.

And right after that encounter, I leveled up to 50. I discovered to my satisfaction that as soon as that happened, Marwyth went straight to the same Champion point count as Gyllerah. So I went straight to being able to use cp160 gear! Awesome.

Next time

Marwyth’s next post will feature more 2023 New Life Festival, running the side plot in Balmora to meet Veya (which I really liked), some side action on High Isle and also with the Ashlanders on Vvardenfell, and more Eastmarch main plot.


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.