Kendeshel Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Kendeshel Explores the Ruins of Winterhold

Back to Kendeshel’s playthrough! After this one I have four more playthrough posts left for catching up on 2023, then I can work on getting caught up on 2024’s posts!

Main action here: running the Fall of Winterhold quest added in by Immersive College of Winterhold; taking out Tyra Blood-Fire, the Seducers bandits near Forsaken Cave, and the dragon Viinturuth; and doing a little light thievery on behalf of the East Empire Company in Windhelm.

Play by play

  • Play date: 12/26/2023
  • Session number in this run: 35
  • Picked up again at the Safehouse
  • Did a little inventory cleanup before taking the Dev Aveza over to Wyrmstooth
  • Found Athir, Shargam, and Daenlit and resolved their quests
  • Marked Hunter’s Shack for the map; found a hunter in there, but she didn’t have any interesting dialogue
  • Decided I was not in the immediate mood for more Wyrmstooth though
  • Returned to Solitude and did some general side questing
  • Took the Dev Aveza down to Whiterun
  • Boinged back and forth a few times between Lakeview and Whiterun, working on building out more of Lakeview
  • Checked back in at Jorrvaskr to resolve the pending Hired Muscle quest with Farkas, and he pointed me at Skjor who wanted me to come find him in the Underforge
  • (Hold that thought, Skjor, not quite ready to get my wolf on yet)
  • Headed off to the College of Winterhold
  • Took five rounds of Destruction training with Faralda, which let me level up to 57
  • Did a bunch of training in the Hall of the Elements
  • Also took five rounds of Restoration training with Colette, which let me level up to 58
  • Took Glass and Advanced Heavy Smithing perks
  • Then headed off to the north to try to find Septimus
  • Got a little turned around though, and overshot his outpost
  • But I also found the Chill, Winterhold’s jail, which got a map marker added by the USSEP
  • Fought a frost atronach inside the place, and three more outside, oh hey look free frost salts! 😉
  • Otherwise wasn’t terribly interesting, but did find a Winterhold guard doll in there, though
  • Returned to the college and started running the Fall of Winterhold quest
  • This time through I actually picked up a couple extra details, see below
  • Finally found a journal that explained the creepy room with the draugr and hostile shades
  • Also, when I got to the door of the Temple of the Gods, saw a little graveyard just beyond it and fought a few more hostile shades there
  • Ran most of the rest of it as per previous playthroughs
  • Main difference once I got out to the fight with the dragon Kahvozein and the dragon priest Beinaarkh was that an extra dragon showed up
  • I started with throwing dremora but quickly punted to storm atronachs, and surprisingly had to do the fight only once
  • Also found a Nordic dig site right there by the site of the battle, so dug at that
  • This got me a bump to 25 in the Archaeology skill, and I took the Benefactor perk off of that
  • Next stop: Windhelm
  • Popped into the White Phial to talk to Quintus about restoring the Phial; got the quests to go find the three ingredients he wants
  • Slept at Hjerim just because I felt like it’d be polite to check in with the local housecarl, and was reminded that I did need to finish furnishing the place
  • So got up in the morning and went over to the Palace of the Kings to buy the remaining furnishings
  • Then headed down to the docks and gave a coin to the beggar to move the Tyra Blood-Fire plot further along
  • Popped into the East Empire Company warehouse to get the info about the ship that went down
  • Talked to the guy in there as well about the pirates plot, and got directive to steal the logbook from the Shatter-Shields’ office next door
  • Headed out on foot to go tame the pale mare near Yngol Barrow
  • Rode her back over to the stables and registered and named her, which dubbed her Vernandi
  • No obvious Norse myth reference for this, but did find a Verdandi which was almost right; regardless, welcome to my roster of horses, Vernandi!
  • Had some trouble getting the Convenient Horses menu to work with her though, which was preventing me from telling her the Windhelm stable was her home, and choosing gear for her
  • Spotted a dragon in the distance that I could see even from the Windhelm stables; figured that was Viinturuth
  • Rode over to take out Tyra, but got cultists though so had to take them out first
  • Then rode over to clear the bandit camp to push the Saints and Seducers plot further along
  • On the way discovered that the dragon I’d spotted was not Viinturuth, it was Alduin
  • Who resurrected Viinturuth when I came into the area, so then I killed Viinturuth
  • Reached the Seducers bandit camp, but had to fight the frost troll right by the entrance to Forsaken Cave first
  • This attracted the bandits so we got into it with them
  • First use of Summon Daedroth spell, here \0/
  • Once again I only found three bandits to loot, I think the daedroth might have knocked one over the cliff? But I got Svarig’s journal and that was the important part
  • Then returned to Windhelm and popped into the Shatter-Shield office
  • Look, Suvaris, I like you and I’m sorry the local Nords are dickweeds to you, but kindly don’t look over here while I steal your logbook
  • Went next door and handed the logbook over, and got directive to go to Dawnstar to find the pirates
  • But first quested a little north of Windhelm to find Sands’ torch
  • This turned out to be in Stillborn Cave, so I ran that place and took out assorted Falmer
  • Discovered here that I could in fact summon three daedroth so that’s ridiculously OP and badass 😉
  • Found the torch and Sands’ bag full of a bunch of fragments
  • Then finally returned to Solitude and did a fuckton of display managing
  • Used a bunch of the fragments to make new things at the Archaeology table, which ran my Archaeology skill clear up to 30, so took the Dwemer speciality perk off of that
  • Created a bunch of replicas and put them on display on the racks in the reception hall
  • Also created replicas of various Wyrmstooth items and put them in the Wyrmstooth room
  • Finally made a replica of the Rueful Axe since I had a stock of ebony ingots
  • Created replicas for the blank Lexicon and assorted Rare Curios ingredients
  • Filed a bunch of books in the library and the Mara’s Wrath spellbook in the Hall of Wonders
  • Refined some amber and put that ingot in the Hall of Wonders as well, along with a Dark warhammer
  • Lastly, did a bunch of alchemy to try to update my potions knowledge
  • Just looked up a bunch of ingredients on the wiki so I could figure out how to make potions out of ingredients I hadn’t ID’d yet, just because I didn’t want to bother to do random selections
  • Saved there until next time

Lakeview vs. Proudspire Manor

Only a tiny bit of Wyrmstooth-related action in this session, as I went back to the island just long enough to resolve the quests with the three mercenaries. I have several more Kendeshel sessions I need to post about, and this was the last bit of Wyrmstooth action in any of them. Which probably means I’m done with Wyrmstooth, for this run. So I’ll try to put up a proper review post about the mod some time soon.

I may or may not swing back to check out more of Wyrmstooth in this run, but currently leaning towards “not”. Just because Kendeshel’s now up into the 60’s for level as of this writing, and I still need to run Dawnguard and Dragonborn with her, not to mention the rest of Legacy of the Dragonborn’s content. So I have a lot to do. I’m fine with leaving more of Wyrmstooth to discover next time I play it, because there will be another run of Wyrmstooth in a later playthrough. And it’ll be nice to save some stuff I haven’t done yet for later.

Meanwhile, I spent a bit of time building out more of Lakeview. I don’t really need to this run, since I’m headquartered in Solitude, but it’s helping me run the Smithing stat back up.

And honestly, after losing three different named NPCs in Solitude so far (more to come on this in later posts, where I lost both Evette San and Pantea Ateia), I’m halfway tempted to move the family to Lakeview. If I do so, I’ll need to make sure there are children’s beds ready. But I’m torn about this, and not committing to this yet. It’s annoying to me as a player to be losing so many named NPCs in Solitude, but on the other hand, the RP need that made Kendeshel settle Rulnik and the girls in Solitude hasn’t changed. At least not yet. She may have to change her mind if the city keeps getting strafed by dragons!

On the other hand, another thing I have coming in this playthrough will be Kendeshel becoming a werewolf as part of the Companions questline. And I’m not sure really that Kendeshel will be comfortable being a werewolf and possibly putting her family at risk. That might be enough cause to keep her out of Solitude for a while. I’ll play this by ear.

Winterhold has a jail? Who knew?

When I headed north to find Septimus’ outpost, I actually overshot it and wound up finding the Chill, Winterhold’s jail. This was the first time I’d ever found the place, in fact. It wasn’t terribly notable, aside from having multiple frost atronachs guarding it. Which was pretty much “oh hey look, free frost salts!”

About the only other notable thing there was courtesy of the dolls mod I’m running–I found a Winterhold Guard doll there! So that made it a worthwhile stop, anyway.

The Chill is even further north from Winterhold than Septimus’ outpost, which raises two questions for me:

  1. How the hell does Winterhold manage to haul off any miscreants that far north of the town without putting the guards at risk? Wouldn’t it be more practical to put any lawbreakers to work for the town? There’s an entire mine nearby, not to mention old broken buildings that somebody should damn well rebuild. (But I suppose that the mine is one of the few things that Winterhold has in the way of industry, and if a lawbreaker was already a miner, I guess it’s not much of a punishment to make them just keep working in the mine…)
  2. Does this also mean the people of Winterhold have somehow managed to not stumble across Septimus up till now? Or does Winterhold know he’s been camping out there and they just don’t care?

And oh yeah, one other question comes up here, too. I found four, count ’em, four frost atronachs there. Somebody had to have summoned them, or otherwise slapped some enchantment runes on the place to spawn atronachs in case of a prisoner escape. And that in turn suggests that somebody at the College of Winterhold was involved in setting up the security for this prison.

Which seems odd to me, given how surly the town is about the college in general!

Running the Fall of Winterhold quest again

This time through on the Fall of Winterhold, I actually picked up a few extra details I hadn’t noticed before, so that was cool.

In the creepy room near the forge in the Midden, the one with the draugr and the hostile shades, I finally found the journal hidden under the draugr sitting in a chair. And that finally gave me the story on what the deal was with this room. The shades were guards who’d been trapped in there by the Great Collapse–and they’d killed and eaten each other. Yikes.

I’m not sure if I quite buy the logistics of this as a plot detail, given that the Midden is under the college, and it’s known that the college survived the Collapse. Or at least, I thought the Midden was supposed to be right under the college. And the smithing area added in by Immersive College of Winterhold isn’t that far removed from the rest of the Midden. So I parsed this as still being under the college. But if the guards got trapped in there, that suggests it was an area not under the college originally.


But I already know from running Fall of Winterhold with Harrowhark and Elessir that the entire structure of ruins makes no spatial sense to me, anyway. Because you delve down pretty deep and wind up coming up at Skytemple Ruins, north of the college. And that suggests that a bunch of the area here is supposed to be parts of Winterhold that no longer exist. I have a hard time visualizing it geographically, though. I’d love to see somebody draw out a rough map of where all this stuff is supposed to be.

Last but not least, I had a little surprise when I reached the point of the fight with the dragon Kahvozein and the dragon priest Beinaarkh. Namely: an extra dragon showed up. So that made things rather more exciting.

I was honestly surprised I had to do the fight only once, after it being a rough go for both Harrowhark and Elessir. But this was another place where being able to summon three things at once was certainly useful, I’ll give Project AHO that! I started the fight by trying to call in a dremora squad, but quickly punted to storm atronachs instead, as those are much more useful in a fight where dragons are involved.

Next time

Kendeshel’s next post will feature finishing up the Saints and Seducers plot, getting married to Rulnik, officially moving the family into Proudspire Manor, and claiming Dead Man’s Dread officially.


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.