It has come to my attention that I COMPLETELY MISSED a Skyrim write up. Because I have also done the first of the two quests fearing the Wolf Queen, Potema! This was done for Sunday’s run, between the Thalmor Embassy (and the two minor quests in Solitude), and the Mind of Madness Quest.
I did actually try write this up before, but I think I accidentally deleted it without meaning to. Oops. So let’s try this again, shall we?
One of the first things you may have happen when you set foot in the court of Elisif the Fair in Solitude is that you may hear some of her courtiers reporting to her that a citizen from Dragon Bridge has brought word of dire goings on in a particular cave system. At first, Elisif is eager to lend her aid and promises to send an entire detachment to check it out—but her courtiers talk her down, because they don’t believe anything is actually going on.
Enter the Dragonborn. After taking care of the two minor quests for Angeline and Noster, I decided to swing back to the Blue Palace and have a word with the steward, Falk Firebeard, about the problem of what exactly’s going on in that cave.
He was perfectly happy to let me go look into it, on the general grounds of “don’t know if you noticed but we do have a war going on, kinda busy at the moment”. Therefore, Lyds and I tromped off to go check out the problem.
The locale for this was the charmingly named Wolfskull Cave. (Seriously, so many locales in Skyrim have ever-so-charming names!) This turned out to be not too far north of the Statue of Meridia, so I used that for my landmark to fast travel to.
Popped out of fast travel and boom, obligatory dragon. Which Lyds and I promptly engaged. But I’m pretty sure as I write this that I lost track of the beast—I think I thought it flew off or something. But I did wind up hearing the by-now familiar musical hit of “Word Wall alert”, which I had somehow failed to miss when visiting the Statue of Meridia before. I poked around a little until I found the Wall in question, which turned out to give me a word of the Elemental Fury Shout.
From there, I headed on up to the cave. Getting to it was not terribly difficult, and even before we actually set foot in it we got a bit of a spoiler as to what to expect—because a couple of skeletons tried to ambush us at the entrance.
It is very satisfying how skeletons go clack when I hit them with Dawnbreaker. :D
From there, once Lydia and I got into the cave system, the only serious challenge was in the initial stage, and this is why: this cave involved a lot of having to jump to get to next rooms, and I didn’t realize this at first. In the middle of a fight with a frost atronach I wound up plummeting down into a lower chamber. I’m not sure what actually killed me, the fall or the atronach, but either way I had to start the entry into the cave over again.
Other than the frost atronachs (of which there were two as I recall), the only other opponents in the dungeon were assorted draugr and necromancers. None of which put up any real fight, particularly once I started shooting necromancers with my new favorite toy, the Elven Bow of Thunderbolts.
Because anything that doesn’t explode because I can’t get at it with Dawnbreaker can explode real good if I hit it from afar with the Thunderbolts bow. :D
Some way into the cave I finally got to the central chamber where I found a pretty ominous-looking light show going on, all swirly purple streams of magic. And there were voices chanting an invocation ritual to the Wolf Queen, Potema, a former queen and would-be empress of Skyrim. Oh yeah, and did I also mention, powerful necromancer herself?
I also heard what seemed to be Potema’s own voice, urging the ritual participants on—as well as a voice (probably the ritual master?) calling out an alert about something being wrong, and that there was an intruder.
Alarrah: “Um, hi, yeah? That’d be me. Hiya! I’m the Dragonborn. Meet my friends Lydia and Dawnbreaker!”
But I was able to take out the ritual participants pretty quickly, and that turned out to be the only real thing I needed to do to finish this quest. So Lyds and I took our leave, and I think it was on our way out from this adventure that I found an Elven Shield of Magic Suppression as loot.
I decided to not fast travel back to Solitude, in the name of not dropping a dragon at Solitude’s gates, and because it wasn’t too long of a walk. Two things of note happened on the way.
One, I found a stray dog. Not Meeko, of whom I have heard rumors from friends (hi John!), this was an unnamed stray dog. And apparently just talking to it let me recruit it as a follower as far as the game was concerned–but it didn’t actually follow me anywhere. So I don’t know if the dog still counts as my follower. Two, when I made it back to the Statue of Meridia, I found a dragon corpse waiting. I was initially shocked by this–I didn’t think I’d killed a dragon there–but in retrospect I’m pretty sure this was the dragon I confronted fast travelling to the statue to begin with on this adventure. Either way, the corpse did the burning up thing, and the soul did the being-absorbed-by-me thing, and at this point I think I have like half a dozen dragon souls stored up.
Clearly, I need to go find more Word Walls! Tried to hoof it all the way back into Solitude, but wound up getting stuck in a weird crevasse on the side of the mountain. So I did finally say “fuck it” and fast travelled back to the Solitude gates. Fortunately, nothing showed up to bug me this time. Since I had surprise dragon bits, I went to go sell those and take care of other general shopping–not only Bits and Pieces (the general store), but also the forge and Fletcher’s. In Fletcher’s, I tried the dialogue option this time about “I need arrows that can take down a dragon”. Which apparently generates a snide response from Fletcher about how “and do you also need a bow that shoots rainbows?”
Still, he also did the “perhaps I’ll be seeing more of you” line on my way out. My dude, you’d be more likely to get my business if you didn’t laugh in my face when I tell you I need dragon-worthy ammunition. But well, on the other hand, I have been killing dragons with my swords, so? :shrug:
This was the last thing I did in this run, though, and I wound up saving right on the ramp down from Castle Dour, just underneath where the forge is. And this was the place I was in when I picked up with the stuff in the Mind of Madness post!
Sometime in the near future presumably I’m going to get the quest hook for the rest of the Wolf Queen questline. Because, spoiler alert: that ritual wasn’t as failed as it looked.
And summoning the spirit of a powerful necromancer really, really isn’t a good idea.
P.S. Let it also be noted for the record that I keep totally trying to read “Potema” as “Polima”, which only makes sense to fellow Great Big Sea fans. But this also means I totally keep hearing Great Big Sea belting out “THERE’S NOT ANOTHER WHALER THAT SAILS THE ARCTIC SEA CAN BEAT THE OLD POLIMA” in the back of my head when thinking about this quest.