Elessir Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Elessir Slays Mudcrabs and Commits Thievery

Back to Elessir! This session, his last from January of this year, was a mishmash of side questing, pretty much. Lots of fishing and thievery!

Play by play

  • Play date: 1/29/2024
  • Session number in this run: 45
  • Picked up again at Lakeview and did a little inventory managing
  • Then boinged off to Alchemist’s Shack to get within range of Sarethi Farm
  • Started hoofing it just because I was in the mood
  • Passed mead revelers and also Faldrus the pilgrim
  • Just east of the shack had a critter melee break out: Ancient Dragon, two wolves, and a frostbite spider
  • Made it over to the farm
  • Avrusa was still out, so I gave her the crimson nirnroot and the Jazbay grapes, all in one go
  • While I was having the conversation with her, Lucien and Serana took out a troll nearby, and killed it before I had to intervene! Way to go team!
  • Next stop: Bloodchill Cavern, where I dropped off the Armor of the Gods and also vale deer hide, since there was a display space for the latter
  • (Still not sure what the hell I did with the Draw Knife?)
  • From there, hoofed it over towards Dawnstar
  • Killed a couple of ice wraiths and some ice wolves en route
  • Reached Windward Ruins, and took out a giant frostbite spider and skeevers there
  • Shortly thereafter, also took out bandits from the nearby camp and a Blood Dragon
  • Looted the camp, and also the bandits
  • Overloaded at this point, so tromped slowly on over to the beach
  • Got invisible mudcrabs again this time, but only mostly, some of them I could actually see
  • Serana raised Seviur, LOL, as she does
  • Got his journal though and directive to return to Viriya
  • Killed a cave bear by the fishing spot, then fished and got all four arctic fish
  • Mined the quicksilver vein
  • Summoned Arvak and boinged to Windhelm
  • Told Serana and Lucien to stay outside while I robbed Brunwulf Free-Winter’s house
  • Which, oddly enough, was not locked; wikis do not mention this as a known bug, so I dunno WTF
  • Got in though and nabbed the items for the guild jobs, then got out again safely
  • Arvak’d back to Riften and turned in jobs with the Thieves Guild, which put me at four in Windhelm
  • Took two more jobs in Windhelm anyway even though I only needed one (for the extra gold)
  • Sold a bunch of loot to Tonilia, then went topside and sold stuff to Balimund and Bersi
  • Talked to Viriya outside the fishery to turn in her quest
  • Got the Alik’r Fishing Rod, and the quest to go take out Fangtusk in Windhelm–sorry, Lucien we gotta go back there one more time
  • Got the courier with the note from Swims-In-Deep-Water, so went in to talk to him
  • (Yes, Swims, I am so badass a fisherman that I have the fish you wanted right here with me)
  • Turned in the arctic fish to close that quest immediately, and proceeded to the quest for the underground fish
  • Popped into Honeyside and shelved a few of the books I was carrying
  • Continued sightings of both the puppies, which were still not following me other than showing up when I fast travel
  • Set out from Riften on foot and tried to head northward back to Windhelm
  • Got a game crash just shy of Shor’s Stone, and thrown back to the Riften gates
  • Heading north, take two! Heard mysterious bangs near the gate but didn’t see what caused it
  • Later passed the Khajiit on the way to Riften
  • Also spotted a Vampire Mistwalker looking for shelter, and being attacked by a bear; dispatched the bear
  • Killed a few more wolves
  • Lucien and Serana got into a fight, and I had to fire up the console and hit them both with StopCombatAlarmOnActor
  • Shortly thereafter, ran into dremora vs. Vigilants of Stendarr encounter; took out the dremora
  • Also found two dead Vigilants and nearby dead frostbite spider
  • Serana raised a goat that must have been lying dead nearby
  • Heard a bear roaring nearby, but it didn’t get close enough to engage
  • And suddenly saw that Rigmor the unicorn had in fact caught up with me; forgot I left her on follow! Handy, because I was overloaded again
  • Tried to camp by the road since it was late and dark at this point
  • Got message that camping there was illegal, but decided fuck it, camping anyway
  • Got same warning when I tried to start a campfire
  • Saw I had a camping perk available, and took that; boost to Stamina when using a walking stick, apparently?
  • Finally killed that cave bear, or at least a cave bear, just shy of Mzulft
  • Lucien started taking potshots with lightning at trolls just off the road, so had to kill the two trolls
  • Sighted Talsgar the Wanderer
  • Realized we were within range of Narzulbur, so tromped slowly up there and sold a bunch of stuff to their alchemist and smith
  • Used some deadwood I’d harvested for the campfire to make a walking stick and try that out
  • From there, hoofed it back down to the road and reached Windhelm
  • Went into the city to fish for an arctic grayling at the dock, then came back out again to go find and fight Fangtusk
  • Passed two snow bears but did not engage
  • Did engage with the Revered Dragon that showed up (amusingly, fought that dragon right after I found a Blood Dragon lying across the road)
  • Called up Fangtusk, killed him, and got the Vampire Ring and other loot
  • Returned to Windhelm, and LOL, corpse of Blood Dragon spawned right inside the gates
  • Too late to report to the steward at this point, so broke into the Atheron house
  • Waited by the brazier just outside the Palace of the Kings, because fuck Candlehearth Hall
  • Then went in to talk to the steward and collect that bounty
  • Boinged straight back to Riften at this point, and saw both puppies when I went into the Thieves Guild
  • Turned in jobs with Delvin and Vex, and got special job for Windhelm
  • (And Vex, you literally just told me to get Delvin’s special job done first and then we’ll talk, don’t give me shit about walking away from you without taking one of your jobs)
  • Went topside, and found a guard who was all “All hail the Dragonborn”
  • Another one warned me that Riften was not the safest place for a nighttime stroll; nothing to see here, just a peaceable normal citizen going to his normal citizen house
  • Confirmed Iona was still around at Honeyside; she was hanging out in her room downstairs
  • Did some enchanting at the enchanting table
  • Slept the night
  • Got up and talked to Viriya again; got her quest to do the fishing lesson in Markarth
  • Saved in Riften market until next time

Serana vs. mudcrab necromancer

A lot of this was familiar territory, so not too much to go into detail on.

I will however note that I got invisible mudcrabs when playing the fishing quest for going to the beach near Dawnstar, an issue I’d had in previous playthroughs. But this time, the problem was only partial! Some of the mudcrabs I could still actually see.

And it was a good thing I had Serana and Lucien with me. Because, being overloaded, the invisible mudcrabs got in some good licks on me.

And since I was in fact running Serana as a follower still, she raised Seviur during the fight, as she does! Too bad we couldn’t seize the opportunity to question him about what the deal was with the mudcrabs! I feel obliged to totally make this my headcanon for what happened there, though.

Elessir: “Whoa, hey, what are you doing?”

Serana: “I do need to keep in practice. And hmm, maybe I can make him tell us what he was doing here.”

Seviur: <necromantic zombie moan>

Lucien: “I think it’s blatantly obvious what he was doing here. Trying to raise mudcrabs just like you raised him. Is that really necessary?”

Serana, her lip curling as the corpse disintegrates: “True, he does seem to have been a rank amateur. Mother taught me to raise mudcrabs when I was twelve.”


See, Serana? This vampire thinks I’m hot

I’ve seen a few vampires running for shelter in daylight before, but I think this marked the first time I actually saved one from a bear. And this also marked the first time I had a vampire NPC call me handsome! Which both surprised and amused me. This far in on Elessir’s playthrough, I can still be slightly surprised when I’m reminded that I am, in fact, playing a dude in this run.

I’m pretty sure Elessir wouldn’t have realized that the woman he saved from the bear was a vampire until he actually got a good look at her. I’m also pretty sure Serana absolutely knew the other woman was a vampire, even from a distance. And I’m now totally envisioning Elessir with a brief moment of surprise at a) whoa hey she’s a vampire, isn’t she, and b) she thinks I’m handsome? Well then.

Cue the large rakish grin. ;D

Camping mod is awfully finicky about where I can camp

I was rather confused about trying to camp and getting a message that pitching a camp where I was was illegal. I don’t know why, because I wasn’t anywhere near a city–unless the Campfire mod thought I was close enough to Shor’s Stone for that to count?

Got that same warning when I tried to start a campfire, too. And mind you, I’ve seen the game bitch about my trying to build the Anniversary Edition campsites too close to cities, too. C.f., previous issues I’ve had trying to pitch a camp near the Skaal village on Solstheim.

I’m still deeply confused though as to why the game, modded or otherwise, cares about where I drop a campsite. From a purely in-character standpoint, I’m not sure why any guards would give a flying fuck about my camping, regardless of how close I was to the nearest city or town? For that matter, if I’m camping by the open road, do any guards actually have jurisdiction over that?

Or is this a question of any guards anywhere in a Hold having authority over anybody within that Hold’s territory?

Still, why would guards care if a traveling party set up camp just off the road? I could get that some guards might be suspicious of campsites in the wilderness meaning bandits. Or perhaps, depending on the local allegiance, enemy troops. I could definitely see Rift guards, for example, being suspicious of campsites of seemingly innocuous travelers actually containing Imperial spies.

And hmm. Now that I’ve written that out, that actually seems plausible, and I’ve un-confused myself!

All that said, I’m also fairly sure Elessir would have zero fucks to give about any guards who might be all “it’s illegal to camp here!” The Dragonborn says otherwise, Chet. Do you really want to tell the Dragonborn where he can and cannot camp? I didn’t think so.

Elessir won’t admit it, but he does have at least a bit of conscience…

One of the jobs I picked up for the Guild during this session for Windhelm pointed me at the Atheron house in the Gray Quarter. I don’t think Elessir was happy at all about the prospect of robbing fellow Dunmer, especially fellow Dunmer in Windhelm.

But as he is a goddamned professional, he override his conscience on this one, and did it anyway. Which is I feel true to his namesake. Also true to his namesake: doing it quietly, and taking only what Vex sent him in for and nothing else.

(Heh. Had I thought of it at the time, Elessir would totally have left them some gold, too.)

… but not as much awareness of maybe how his followers might not want to freeze their asses off?

As I write this, it occurs to me that heh, Elessir would absolutely have waited outside next to a hot brazier all night rather than take a room in the inn run by the racist Nord woman. It may not have occurred to him, however, that maybe Lucien and Serana might not have wanted to join him outside.

Serana doesn’t care as much about the cold, a perk of being a vampire. But I can totally see Lucien giving a long, plaintive look at the inn while not actually complaining about the cold, particularly after he sees the stony look on the Dragonborn’s face.

Next time

I have one more set of Elessir notes in the backlog after this post, and that’ll cover some more thievery action as I do that special job for Windhelm; a bit more fishing, this time in Markarth; and kicking off going for the thaneship of the Reach.


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.