Elder Scrolls Online,  Marwyth Playthrough

In Which Marwyth Quests through Eastmarch and Aids a Guild Compatriot

First catchup post for Marwyth’s action on ESO, dating from the first week in January. Main action here: continuing the Mages Guild plotline, and also the Ebonheart Pact plotline in Eastmarch; helping Walks-Softly of the Thieves Guild with an issue from his past; and trying out my first Thieves Guild heist.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 1/1-1/7/2024
  • Session numbers in this run: 81-85

January 1st

  • Rejiggered Marwyth’s damage build’s skill points a bit so I could unlock a couple more skills for the build I wanted; did this at the Stendarr shrine since I wanted to hold my Skill respec scroll in reserve
  • Tried to run another delve in Vvardenfell but forgot I overlapped into the next day from running the previous delve, so ran a delve in Northern Elsweyr instead
  • Got the daily job for the Desert Wind Caverns delve, and ran it with Ember
  • Did not find the local quest, but maybe that’s because I came in from the wrong direction?
  • Fought a dragon on the way to the delve; hard fight, died a lot, but got the loot!

January 2nd

  • Turned in an Imperial writ at the New Life festival site, and did another Deep Winter writ
  • Boinged around Summerset some trying to find wood to harvest to get more heartwood
  • Ran the Welenkin geyser near Alinor; died a lot, but got loot!
  • Fought assorted critters
  • Did get some more heartwood, but not enough to fill the next Deep Winter writ I wanted to do

January 3rd

  • Ran Circus of Cheerful Slaughter to move Marwyth along in the Mages Guild plot
  • Paid a bit more attention this time through to the backstory visions for both Valaste and Shalidor
  • Accidentally toasted Marwyth’s Thief build because I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN as soon as I set her up on the Armory station, but oh wells
  • So had to spend some time at the Stendarr shrine again and set her back up on the Thief build
  • Ran around a lot with the rejiggered Thief build to work on harvesting resources for writs, since giving it more craft points meant I had to find a bunch of different resources not in my current stash
  • Did a lot of resource hunting on Summerset, with Ember as backup
  • Also ran a bunch of surveys
  • Finally boinged back to Eastmarch to run more of the Ebonheart Pact plot
  • Went to Wittestadr to try to find the vampire there
  • Came across a woman fleeing the area who told me she’d abandoned her friend Imhey there when they got attacked by bloodfiends
  • Finally found Imhey, an Argonian who’d been bitten by a bloodfiend, and who’d been found by the vampire I was seeking, Valeric
  • Valeric was non-hostile and asked for my help in defeating the bloodfiends, who’d been created by his father; he wanted to take down his father Majorn, who fully embraced his vampire nature and killed and fed without hesitation
  • Agreed to let him try to stabilize Imhey, and he sent me out with a liquid to try to protect some hunters his father had targeted
  • When I came out of his manor Tunus, a Dark Elf representing Majorn, found me and asked me to come speak with his lord
  • Went over to have that conversation and Majorn pitched his case to try to get my support
  • His claim was that his son was going to cause way more deaths than he would, because he and his followers would put more of Eastmarch at risk by eventually losing control over themselves and killing a lot more people
  • Refused to side with Majorn, and he warned me he’d be an enemy as soon as I left his house
  • So that left me to go help the hunters as Valeric requested
  • This required me to actually pick fights with the hunters to get their attention and splash the liquid on them
  • Accidentally killed a few of them, but eventually successfully splashed five of them
  • Returned to Valeric and got the next objective, namely, killing his father
  • Returned to Majorn’s manor and found one of Valeric’s followers had taken out Tunus, the Dark Elf servant, and was feeding on him; managed to talk her down
  • Then headed down into the crypts to take out Majorn
  • Had to kill a bunch of his servants on the way in, but finally took him out and returned to Valeric
  • Got Valeric’s agreement to give me some of his blood to go save King Jorunn
  • Then proceeded to go find the Dreamwalker for the other round of helping the king
  • This was an Argonian healer, Stormy-Eyes, who’d attracted the wrath of a Redguard because he’d failed to save the guy’s wife
  • This Redguard, Asmalah, was responsible for exposing Darkwater Crossing to troll attack
  • He tried to get me to let him go, but Marwyth was out of fucks to give for a guy who’d deliberately let an entire village be destroyed by trolls
  • So I didn’t find the reagents Stormy-Eyes needed to save the life of one of his patients, but he did give me the reward for the quest, and agreed to come try to help the king
  • So went to the Ternion monks to try to help the king
  • Got the monks to send me into Jorunn’s dream
  • This took three rounds, where I had to free fractured bits of Jorunn’s spirit, and one of these was particularly crunchy with ongoing deep cold damage
  • But managed to save the king, and when i came out of the dreamscape, learned that Jorunn’s brother Fildgor was trying to force their sister’s spirit to merge into his body to set himself up as the rightful worthy ruler
  • Got the next quest objective to meet up with the king’s forces at Jorunn’s Stand
  • Left off there for the night

January 4th

  • Ran Walks-Softly’s side plot which involved him wanting to break into the house of an old friend and steal some keepsakes made out of old scales he’d molted and such
  • This was more difficult than I would have liked, as I got spotted a couple of times and had to blow a few counterfeit pardon edicts
  • Got the keepsakes, but got discovered by the ‘friend’, who pontificated about Walks being her ‘pet’
  • Walks and I got out safely and returned to the Thieves Den
  • Had a followup chat with Walks in which I basically went ‘my dude, you were a slave’, and he was kind of gobsmacked by this
  • Came out of that conversation, and then saw a new note from Walks had spawned for me in the main area of the den, which gave me the second phase of his plot; decided not to engage for now
  • Instead, went to go talk to Velsa outside the den and picked up the quest to be able to run heists for the Guild; she directed me to a Khajiit, Fa’ren-dar
  • Signed up to do heists with him and tried one
  • This directed me to the Secluded Sewers
  • At which point I discovered this heist was going to be a timed activity, and there were traps all over the damn place, and getting spotted knocks time off the timer
  • So yeah that was a bit of a mess, but after a couple of tries finally finished the heist and get the reward for it
  • That unlocked a new achievement
  • Jumped over to Gyllerah to make some Invisibility + Speed potions to use for further heists, so hopefully those will be less of a mess

January 6th

  • Got Marwyth’s first Undaunted runs tonight
  • Swapped alts in the middle of running pledges with Swamp Haven group, so was able to run Marwyth as a DPS for the first time in a group, fuck yeah
  • Also got a chance to run Fungal Grotto and get the Kra’gh monster head piece
  • Got a whole pile of loot, assorted transmute crystals, and Undaunted keys!

Circus of Cheerful Slaughter

Heh, I think Marwyth’s a bit more SURE WHY NOT than Gyllerah is, when it comes to dealing with Sheogorath. Gyllerah has little patience for his shenanigans. But Marwyth? Marwyth takes him as a challenge. Which is probably indicative of how Marwyth is a little closer to being one of Uncle Sheo’s own than she’d like to admit.

This time through, I tried to pay more attention to the visions that hinted at the backstories of both Valaste and Shalidor. I don’t think I’d previously caught on to how Shalidor’s own wife left him because of his obsession with Eyevea! And I like that as a character history detail. It certainly ties in to how Shalidor remains thoroughly obsessed with Eyevea even after his death, enough to hang around and work with the Vestige and Valaste through the entirety of the Mages Guild plotline.

I do wonder if Shalidor’s spirit remains on Eyevea forever after? It’d be kind of hilarious if he just stays there and peacefully haunts the place, as opposed to heading off to Sovngarde!

Rejiggering Marwyth’s build some more

I had another Accidental Armory Incident, Marwyth’s first, because of course that was going to happen as soon as I got her set up on the Armory station. Snerk.

So this caused me to have to rejigger her at a Stendarr station twice in three sessions. I put more points into her crafting, because at least as of that point, I was thinking I’d do the same thing with Marwyth that I did with Gyllerah, and have one build be the one that gets all the craft points.

Mind you, this is a line of thought I’ve kind of abandoned since. I now have a third alt, Veghra, whose initial goal will be crafting and resource harvesting, which frees Marwyth up from having to worry about being able to craft things.

I keep waffling back and forth about this, though. I like having multiple characters that can craft things. In general, it’s useful and I do enjoy making things. But on the other hand, it takes a while to build up crafting skills to the higher levels, and those are skill points that arguably could be put to better use on combat skills. Especially if you already have an alt capable of crafting higher level things.

So we’ll see. As of this writing, I have rejiggered Marwyth’s build even more to try to get her DPS up, and have pulled her crafting skills back down closer to where Veghra is. Because with Marwyth in particular, yeah, her priority is now higher for actual combat skills since I’m learning how to do her as a proper DPS character.

Also, I abandoned the idea of maintaining two separate builds for Marwyth on the Armory station, specifically so I could keep the second slot open for her to reset her if I need to. That practice has proven itself too damned useful. Maybe eventually, when I’m able to subscribe to ESO+ or otherwise be able to buy crowns off another player, I’ll open up a third slot for her like Gyllerah has, so I can actually maintain multiple builds for her.

For now, though, I’m relying on the Dressing Room add-on to use different sets of gear and different skill bars for her.

Action in Eastmarch

Regarding this post’s action on the Ebonheart Pact plot, I enjoyed the vampire plot in Wittestadr! And happened to notice that Majorn, the master vampire, sounded awfully familiar. I can’t find an actual confirmation of this, but I’m pretty sure he was voiced by Michael Gough–the same voice actor that did Jarl Balgruuf and a bunch of other characters in Skyrim, as well as Arch-Mage Shalidor in ESO. IMDB only credits Gough with playing Shalidor, though. So I don’t know for this for sure.

Nonetheless, I wound up with the back of my mind going “OHNOEZ JARL BALGRUUF IS A VAMPIRE” all while playing this plot, heh!

And the plot itself was fun. I liked the conflict of Valeric at odds with his own father about whether or not to kill humans at will.

Rather curious about the backstory on this family, though! The wiki says that Valeric and Majorn are vampires of the Volkihar bloodline. It does not say whether Valeric is Majorn’s actual biological son, or if Valeric is Majorn’s “son” in the vampiric sense, i.e., that Majorn converted him to vampirism. If we assume that Majorn is Valeric’s actual biological father, that raises fun questions about how and when they were both infected. Was this a situation similar to Serana’s backstory, where her entire family were Molag Bal worshippers and she and her parents were all given the “gift”?

We know from Skyrim, and in particular Babette from the Dark Brotherhood, that a child infected with vampirism is going to be a child forever. So this says that Valeric had to have been infected as an adult. Was it voluntary? Or did his father forcibly convert him? That Valeric is balking hard about killing needlessly, and that he’s trying to make other vampires (who may also have been converted by his father?) accept his principles, suggests that he may not have been entirely on board with this whole vampire gig to begin with.

I played this plot in favor of Valeric, anyway. Marwyth, I think, was not entirely unsympathetic to Majorn’s claims that his ways would ultimately result in fewer deaths… but on the other hand, she’s also down with the whole idea of avoiding killing needlessly.

Plus, she was not down with Majorn’s whole “I kill whoever I damn well please and if you’re not going to support my doing that, I will kill you“. Because that’s blackmail, pretty much, and Marwyth’s instinctive answer to that is “come at me, asshole, we’ll see who kills who”.

So that left me to go carry out Valeric’s plan to save the hunters his father had targeted. This did not go as well as I’d have liked. I wound up actually killing a few of the hunters, or else Ember did. And I was worried about that, since I wasn’t sure if it’d count as murder or not! I think I must have missed the prompt to splash the liquid on them a couple of times, or else Ember killed some of them so fast that the prompt just did not have a chance to appear.

That kind of quest objective, “fight an opponent down into a weakened state and then use X on them to do Y,” makes me nervous now. Particularly if the opponent started as peaceful to begin with, and you explicitly have to pick a fight with them.

Also, I just didn’t like it from a narrative perspective! Was actually talking to the hunters not an option? I couldn’t come up to them and go “hey, so, there are vampires about and I’ve killed a few of their creatures stalking you, I have an elixir that can protect you, it smells horrible but it works”? Though to be fair, I suppose the game writers were trying to avoid a perfectly reasonable response to this approach, which would have been the hunters asking who the hell I am and where I got this elixir from. I can’t argue with the hunters not taking well to my saying “from a vampire”.

Still, though, I could see less violent ways to accomplish the goal. Like, say, sneaking up behind some of the hunters and just throwing the damn elixir on them. Or quietly setting some traps that would trigger a massive stink if one of the bloodfiends activated it, to send them scurrying off.

I realize my objecting to this while playing Marwyth, i.e., my stabby, stabby DPS thief girl, is a little silly. But see previous commentary re: Marwyth not liking killing needlessly, by which I mean, her player doesn’t like it. It makes little sense to want to protect hunters from being killed by vampires and/or their bloodfiends, only to accidentally kill some of those very same hunters yourself.

After that point, the Eastmarch plotline got more interesting. With the help of the Argonian Stormy-Eyes, I got sent into King Jorunn’s dreams to try to break him out of the coma he was in and save his life. This also let me learn what his brother’s overall plan was: i.e., to force their dead sister’s spirit to integrate into his body, because this would apparently let him be recognized as the rightful ruler.

And… well… whut? 🤨 How exactly was this supposed to work? Did Fildgor think Nurnhilde’s spirit was going to peacefully go along with this? Did he think he was going to somehow just have Nurnhilde’s aura or something to make him give off “rightful ruler” vibes? Because I mean honestly, this just spells “Fildgor spends the rest of his life with his dead sister giving him constant shit for pulling her soul right out of Sovngarde” to me. Let’s see how long you last as the ruler of Skyrim with your dead sister’s ghost haranguing you inside your head, asshole.

All in all Fildgor’s grand plot to take over Skyrim just seems pretty fucking random. Let’s kill my brother during the festival in Windhelm! Whoops, no, that didn’t work. Um, okay, let’s get a Breton illusionist to pretend to be Jorunn, while I kill the actual Jorunn and then get the people to believe I stepped in after my “brother” proved to be a shitty ruler! Damn, no, that didn’t work either. Okay okay THIS TIME FOR SURE, I’ll yank my dead sister’s soul right out of Sovngarde and force her into my body! Because then I’ll be the rightful ruler!

In short, he’s a rampaging egomuppet who couldn’t stand that his brother got chosen as king instead of him, and who was so desperate to be king that he was willing to kill a bunch of people and hijack his dead sister’s ghost. Because nothing spells “worthy to be the ruler of Skyrim” like “killing a bunch of innocent Nord citizens and pulling the soul of a beloved queen out of her final rest in Sovngarde”. Fuck this guy. He gets what’s coming to him, later! More on this to come.

Thieves Guild action

I’ve written before that I like Walks-Softly as a supporting character. I still like him. But I legit gotta question exactly how observant this guy is, if he managed to spend his entire childhood and adolescence not realizing that the Velmont family considered him a slave. At least not consciously, anyway. Dialogue I had with him later at the Thieves Den establishes that he did know deep-down.

This does suggest that the Velmonts maybe thought the word “slave” was distasteful? And what were they expecting to do with him, after acquiring him as a child and allowing him to learn to imitate their mannerisms and fashion?

I still need to run the followup quest for this, so I’ll see if some of these questions get answered.

Meanwhile, I tried my first heist for the Guild just to see what that would be like. Answer: vexing. I was not happy to discover that heists are apparently timed activities, and as I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of timed challenges. Not sure I’m going to run many more of these. But since I did figure out how to make invisibility + speed potions, I should at least try that once to see if I have better luck with that kind of aid.

And I should try wearing Darloc Brae + Night Mother’s Embrace gear for that, too, since I think I have enough of both now to get the full set bonus on them. So that should help too.

Undaunted runs

This set of sessions saw my first outing in Undaunted dungeons as Marwyth, and I need to do more dungeons with her, that was fun. 😀

Particularly now that I’m gathering better gear for her, this should make it easier for me to run her as a DPS in Undaunted dungeons!

A note about the Grim Focus permaglow

As I’ve noted in the screenshots for this post, these sessions marked when I discovered that slotting Grim Focus on my bars made my weapons glow red. Even when I’m not in combat, and even when the weapons are sheathed.

From what I’ve seen on the ESO forums, this is not well-received amongst Nightblade players. And I gotta say, I’m with them on this. Because the permaglow is goofy.

I’m also given to understand that nobody sees the glow except you. Other players don’t see it. So what exactly is the point of having those weapons glowing? It’s visually distracting, especially when you’re trying to sneak around and such. Because that’s what Nightblades do.

I’m putting up with it for now, because the Grim Focus skill and its morphs are considered critical for Nightblade skill bars in group play. And I have indeed seen, in learning about Nightblade skills, how big a punch Grim Focus can deliver.

But when I take Marwyth out for solo play, I’ve kept a separate set of skill bars for her to swap to just so I can turn the damn glow off when I’m tired of looking at it. (Thank you, Dressing Room addon!)

Next time

Marwyth’s next post will feature some cracks at the Infinite Archive, picking up Mirri as Marwyth’s second available Companion, finishing up the Eastmarch plot, and beginning Clockwork City!


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.