• Faanshi Playthrough

    In Which Faanshi Joins the Bards College

    Busy session! This one was all about running Dead Men’s Respite and bringing King Olaf’s verse back to the Bard’s College, and accomplishing the first of the “go get an instrument” quests. With a side helping of starting the museum quest in Dawnstar, taking out a bandit chief at Broken Helm Hollow, and coming to the attention of Brynjolf in Riften!

  • Ysani Playthrough

    In Which Ysani Retrieves Grimsever for Mjoll the Lioness

    In this post, I’m covering playdone on Sunday 5/1 and Monday 5/2. Main action here: finishing a run through all my various places, selling off a bunch of loot brought home from Solstheim. Then commencing an effort to find recruits for the Blades—and at the same time, see about rescuing Thorald Gray-Mane from the Thalmor!

    Highlights

    Monday’s play

    • Boinged from Windstad over to Dawnstar
    • Got in just in time to shop; invested in Rustleif’s and Seren’s forge; also invested in the Mortar and Pestle; sold stuff to both shops
    • Boinged next to Heljarchen; dropped off more books
    • Hoofed it down to Honningbrew
    • Found a Vigilant chasing a Vampire Nightlord, so stopped to help the Vigilant with the hunt
    • Proceeded to Honningbrew and sold a bunch of stuff to Mallus
    • Realized I was still carrying the dragonplate armor, so boinged back to Heljarchen and dropped off the armor
    • Shifted into Nightingale mode, and dual wielded Mehrunes’ Razor and the Nightingale Blade
    • Headed south on foot to Whiterun
    • Killed en route:
      • Sabre cat
      • Random Khajiit
    • Made it to Whiterun; sold stuff at Warmaiden’s, Belethor’s, Arcadia’s Cauldron
    • Lucia begged me for money! Yes, honey, you can have 1,000 gold
    • Boinged to Lakeview; dropped off books, dragon priest masks, and the amethyst half claws
    • Boinged to Falkreath and sold stuff in both shops there
    • Tried to move poor Runil’s body to the graveyard but was not good at it, so bailed and headed to Morthal
    • Gave Lami the Song of the Alchemists book and got an Alchemy bump for that
    • Boinged next to Solitude; sold stuff to pretty much everybody, except for Sybille
    • Boinged to Markarth; sold remaining sellable items to Endon
    • Tried to sell to Calcelmo but couldn’t?
    • Saved just outside Markarth gates

    Tuesday’s play

    • Cycled through checking all three of the built houses a couple of times
    • Boinged back and forth between them looking for my letters from Calcelmo; found them but they all now said the same damn thing, i.e., asking for the Dwemer bow i got from the Drunken Huntsman
    • While I was at it I could have sworn i had a second stalhrim dagger enchanted with Soul Trap but fuck if I could find it, dunno if I accidentally sold it or what
    • Also, at Windstad visit #1, fought a giant and a Revered Dragon that both showed up, giant on the side of the house, dragon in the back
    • Valdimar, Argis, and Rouleau all got in on that action; I went at the dragon with dual-wielding the Razor and the Nightingale Blade
    • Did a second circuit of all the houses throwing money at Jordis, Iona, and Lydia to finish furnishing the various rooms of the house with the accoutrements I was still missing; also had them hire bards and carriages and buy animals
    • Decided to run Mzinchaleft next and recover Mjoll the Lioness’s sword
    • Boinged from Lakeview to Windward Ruins
    • Encountered en route: flyby dragon, ice wraith
    • Made it to Mzinchaleft, but killed by initial bandits 😛
    • Thrown back to Lakeview; switched off from Nightingale to dragon armor; boinged to Windward Ruins again
    • Encountered en route: another flyby dragon, passed but did not engage sabre cat
    • This time called up the dremora as I got near the place, and they and Rouleau and Argis pretty much cut a scythe through all the exterior bandits
    • Ran the place with little difficulty; got Mjoll’s sword, and other tasty loot
    • Boinged to Riften
    • Returned the sword to Mjoll and got her to promise to be available to journey with me <3
    • Boinged to Sky Haven Temple to initiate trying to find followers for the Blades
    • Found Delphine and Esbern hanging out on the exterior patio, and listened to Esbern talking about his dream
    • Offered to bring Delphine some help and she agreed to look at any likely people I brought her
    • Returned to Whiterun and had Argis stand down, so he could stay with the kids for a while and because I needed to recruit some other followers
    • Also sent Rouleau home to Solstheim
    • Time to run Operation “Rescue Thorald Gray-Mane from Thalmor Assholes”
    • Talked to Fralia in the market place, got her request to meet her at her house to hear her story
    • Avulstein flipped out when she brought me in, but she talked him down
    • Got the story on the Battle-Borns probably lying about Thorald being dead
    • Decided to go the easy route and go confront Idolaf about the story; got him to fess right up about it being kinder to tell the Gray-Manes Thorald was dead given that the Thalmor have him
    • Got proof from him about Thorald’s whereabouts; took it back to Avulstein who immediately wanted to go rescue his brother; talked him down
    • Went to go hire Jenassa! Blades candidate number one!
    • Saved for the night

    Commentary

    This is not the first time I’ve tried dual wielding in Skyrim—but it’s been a while since I did it. First time or two I tried it, I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. This time through, though, I got it working better. It helped to see some advice about having a dagger in my left hand and a sword in my right, which seemed to work quite well.

    So since I do tend to gravitate to the sneaky/stealth character types, I feel like this is important knowledge to have! I foresee more dual wielding in my playing future.

    Lucia asked me for money, like your adopted Skyrim children periodically do, and heh I gave her 1,000 gold. Partly because Mama buggers off about the country for weeks and sometimes months on end, and Lucia and Erith gotta feed themselves!

    (Heh, I should drop a cache of gold and gems into one of the storage chests in Breezehome. Not like the game actually would have the kids or Argis use that money but it would be in character to do so! I’m already in the habit of leaving gem caches at other houses, the least I can do is put some at the house where my family is actually living!)

    I tried to move poor Runil’s body to the graveyard at Falkreath, just because I felt bad about him and Indara still lying there in the street in the middle of the town. :/ I didn’t get him moved very far though. I will have to try to move him and Indara again later, maybe. Might have to build cairns for them if I can find open ground in the graveyard, since I can’t actually move them into Falkreath’s Hall of the Dead.

    When I got to Markarth I thought I had a pending letter from Calcelmo asking to buy the exploding Dwemer crossbow bolt I’d purchased from Sorine. But when I got to him, I didn’t have the proper dialogue prompt. Oops?

    So later when I went to doublecheck the various letters I’d received from him, something weird had happened to them. I had three letters from him stashed, but all three of them had turned into copies of the same letter. So I couldn’t pick out the one that was specifically for the crossbow bolt.

    Not finding any word on the wikis about whether this is a known bug or not, though.

    Just because I could, I threw a bunch of money at Jordis, Iona, and Lydia, just to get them to finish furnishing out all the various bits of the built houses, buy animals, and hire bards and carriage drivers. Of note as part of this: I saw a horse spawn at both Heljarchen and Lakeview, but did not see a horse spawn at Windstad. Not sure if this is because I’d previously had Iona buy me a horse that promptly got killed that exact same session? I will have to doublecheck that later.

    Getting Mjoll her sword back is satisfying! At some point I need to actually try her for a follower as well. Particularly given that according to the wiki, she’s considered an Essential NPC. (On the other hand, I also see on the wiki that if you move her out of Riften, if you get her to join the Blades, and/or marry her, Aerin will still totally follow her around and generally be totally useless. Snerk.)

    Which brings me to the return to Sky Haven Temple! Took me a little bit to wander the place, but I finally found Delphine and Esbern outside, where Esbern was sharing with Delphine the prophetic dream he’d periodically had about Alduin. Which was a pretty neat moment, even though I fear I lost the impact of a lot of the dialogue he had there since it was in French. I will have to try to trigger this scene in a future playthrough just to hear Max Von Sydow’s take on the lines.

    And it was pretty neat to see Delphine wearing the Blades armor, I gotta admit. It looked cooler on her than the leather armor she’d been wearing before. I’ll look forward to seeing other characters in this armor.

    Also, regretfully dismissed Rouleau as well. Because while I like the idea of my very own Dwarven automation following me around, goddamn, a Dwarven Sphere is noisy! Which is a problem if you’re a stealth/sneak type character. Not to mention that I just found the constant clatter distracting in my headphones.

    Then, to do double duty plot fun, decided to run the plot to go rescue Thorald Gray-Mane from the Thalmor! Because:

    1. This is one of the few plots in the game I haven’t done yet
    2. It’s super appropriate for Ysani
    3. It’ll give me a good excuse to hire Jenassa as a follower, and then send her off to Delphine to join the Blades!

    So I launched the Missing in Action plot. And I gotta say, it was weird walking into Clan Gray-Mane’s house without being there to actually rob it! I have to imagine Ysani standing there as straight-faced as possible, pretending like she’s not already been in this house a couple of times and explicitly made sure Avulstein didn’t see her. And possibly also resisting the urge to wander past that chest where she’d stashed gold for the family to use. 😉

    Confronting Idolaf about the situation likewise felt a little weird. I hadn’t talked to Idolaf before in this game, so I got his opening demand to announce whether I supported his clan or the Gray-Manes. Another situation where I feel like Ysani totally bullshat her way through the conversation. And while she is no fan of either the Empire or the Stormcloaks, she told Idolaf she supported his clan just to get him to talk to her. I easily got him to hand over the proof of Thorald’s whereabouts, too. Thank you, Amulet of Articulation, and also Speech of 100!

    And deciding to not let Avulstein come with me was an easy call. Dude would apparently have brought a couple of squishy friends along with him, and none of them would be nearly as good backup as what Ysani is capable of summoning on her own.

    Which is not to say Ysani will be going to Northwatch Keep alone–because I ended the session by recruiting Jenassa! For a potential stealth operation, she should be ideal.

    Language commentary

    No language commentary to speak of this time through, aside from the remarks above about Esbern’s lines about his dream losing a bit of their impact for me because I had to struggle to translate them–since they weren’t lines I’d actually seen before in the English build.

    Next time

    I want to get some better armor onto Jenassa, because I can definitely do her better than the default leather armor she wears. And my most likely candidate for that: Ancient Shrouded Armor, since I do have a mannequin that conveniently cloned it for me, LOL.

    (She’s not getting the original set I improved up to Legendary, though!)

    So I’ll have to boing to Windstad first to pick that up.

    And after that, it’ll be off to Northwatch Keep! Where I’ll see how well Jenassa and I can sneak into the place, and how far we get before I’ll need to call in the big guns and resort to the dremora.

    Screenshots