This is the playthrough page for my second Skyrim playthrough, for the character Merawen of the Dunmer.
I began this playthrough immediately after the one for the Bosmer Alarrah, on 7/31/2021, just because there were large bits of the game I didn’t do with Alarrah and which I wanted to explore. I wanted Merawen to be my character to explore the Thieves Guild, to have a higher emphasis on using magic, and possibly also to explore the Dark Brotherhood.
I’d originally expected that the posts for Merawen’s run would not be quite as thorough as Alarrah’s, because of not wanting to write about the portions that would be the same. But as it turned out I had plenty of new material to talk about, as well as talking about the differences in how Merawen handled things vs. how Alarrah did.
Another notable difference I did with Merawen is the order in which I played major parts of the game. With Alarrah, I did the main plot first (and assorted major side plots such as the College of Winterhold), then Dawnguard, then Dragonborn.
With Merawen, I followed a track of cycling back and forth between several different things at once: Thieves Guild, College of Winterhold, and Dawnguard, with periodic diversions back to the main plot. Then I ran Dragonborn, and finally, closed out at the end with defeating Alduin and saving the world. I wound up liking this play flow kind of better, just because it seemed like a more satisfying narrative progression in terms of escalation of the stakes.
(However, I also found that cycling back and forth thing hard to keep track of, which informed my choices on later playthroughs.)
As Merawen was a Dunmer, I decided that as with many Dunmer coming to Skyrim, the eruption of Red Mountain early in the Fourth Era had to be critical to her backstory. However, I also decided she was too young to have witnessed it herself. She did, however, witness the impact of that eruption on her family.
While I never did decide for sure if Merawen’s family were Ashlanders, I was pretty sure they were–and that her family was reduced to hardscrabble existence and health issues that more or less wiped them out by the time Merawen came into the picture. She fled to Skyrim on a stolen boat, and probably got nabbed by the Empire not long after she came ashore near Windhelm.
This put her into a position to be very strongly influenced by the treatment of Dunmer she saw going on in Skyrim, particularly in Windhelm. And it informed a lot of the choices I made with her all throughout the game, up to and including her choice of spouse (Jenassa), and how Solstheim struck me very differently when I went there as a Dunmer.
All in all, it made Merawen a very satisfying character to play.
Here are all the posts about Merawen’s playthrough! They’re listed in descending date order, so the newest posts appear first. Also, note the pagination controls after the first five posts. You can page through to see the newer ones.
You can also browse Merawen’s posts via her playthrough category link.
- In Which Merawen Learns Who Took the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller - 08/07/2021In which Merawen obtains the artifact weapon Dawnbreaker; learns who took the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, sees a dragon resurrected, and then kills him; recovers a lost sword for Amren in Whiterun; and gets Lydia at her back once more as they hunt Alik'r mercenaries.
- In Which Merawen Fights Bandits, Draugr, and Another Dragon - 08/06/2021In which Merawen fights more bandits; helps a Nord out by taking on a hostile necromancer in his family tomb; takes on another dragon at Eldersblood Peak; and finds a dog in the shack previously occupied by his now dead master.
- In Which Merawen Has a Very Eventful Session - 08/05/2021In which Merawen slays two more dragons and multiple bandits; helps a young adventurer and her Argonian friend clear a barrow, only to discover the friend has less than noble intentions; recovers a lost shield; and finally nabs the item for which Vex sent her to Solitude.
- In Which Merawen Becomes a Thief - 08/04/2021In which Merawen becomes a full member of the Thieves Guild, and sets out to take on her first real job; in which she faces bandits, wolves, and spiders on the road; and in which she sees direct evidence of anti-Dunmer prejudice in Windhelm.
- In Which Merawen Flees to Riften - 08/03/2021In which Merawen, furious that the search for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller does NOT go as planned—and freaked out by this whole Dragonborn thing—orders her housecarl back to Whiterun; and in which she then flees first to Solitude, and then to Riften.
Merawen’s screenshot album can be found on the Merawen Screenshots page.