In Which the Dragonborn Hunts Basement Skeevers

Last night’s Skyrim run basically continued the theme of “get more money so I can afford to buy Proudspire Manor in Solitude”. So I did more making of things, and selling of things, and hunting of things—and by “things” I mostly mean “bandits”. But also, basement skeevers!

Main accomplishments:

  • More hunting around Whiterun
  • Leveled up to 31, after doing enough smithing to roll me over
  • Also leveled smithing up high enough to pass 60, which meant I was able to unlock arcane smithing and be able to improve magical items
  • Took a Whiterun bounty on a bandit leader who turned out to be in the nearest camp out in the plains, so I didn’t even have to fast travel
  • Visited my property at Lakeview Manor to do more building there and have Rayya get animals and a bard, but also discovered the skeevers in the cellar

Came out of my last save almost late enough in the game day that I didn’t have much time to go sell stuff at shops. So I stashed a bunch of things in one of my chests in Breezehome, and headed out onto the plains for another evening hunting run!

I encountered only one NPC out on this hunting run—who turned out to be a Redguard woman who was also a Vigilant of Stendarr. She was not doing anything particularly interesting that I could see, she was just walking back and forth a bit, so I dunno what she was on about? Maybe thinking about whether to set up a camp. :D

I pinged a couple of her dialogue prompts just to see what she’d say. But given that Alarrah has had several dealings with Daedra at this point, and given that she had Azura’s Star on her very person at that exact moment, engaging the Vigilant in depth didn’t seem exactly wise. I went about my business, and let the Vigilant go about hers.

Not longer after I took down a couple of wolves, and one of the damned things gave me Rockjoint. This time I did see the message trigger about it, and I immediately quaffed a potion of Cure Disease, or so I thought? I was apparently mistaken.

Came back in from the hunting run (tally: two wolves, a deer, a sabre cat) to commence the next day’s smithing and shopping. And when I was on my way to Belethor’s to sell him stuff, his employee Sigurd went by me and said something to the effect of “No offense, but you don’t look good, are you okay?”

Which seemed weird to me because I thought I’d quaffed a potion before. So I tried again and this time it actually took. That sorted, I went about my business.

I next popped into the inn to see if I could pick up any tasty bounties from the innkeeper, since the Stewards at various places apparently don’t give those out? So I got one for taking out a bandit chief—and it turned out to be a camp within easy walking distance of Whiterun.

So back I went to Breezehome, to get Lydia and go bandit hunting!

The target locale for this time: Halted Stream Camp. I’d seen this place from afar on hunting runs, just hadn’t gone near enough to it to actually engage any bandits. This time Lyds and I charged right in.

Nobody in the bandit crew gave us any real trouble, including the bandit chief. So I cheerfully looted the lot of them, as well as everything else lying around the camp. And since this place was also a mine, I also took the time to mine every single vein I ran across—a total of like five different iron veins, as well as a corundum one.

Noted as well that these guys were apparently mammoth poachers. Lots and lots of mammoth tusks in this lair, as well as other remnant bits of mammoths. Part of me was “aww poor mammoths” and part was “wow, these guys were lucky giants didn’t stomp all over them”.

Sent Lydia on home ahead of me since we cleaned the place out without any effort, and I didn’t anticipate any other problems getting back either. By then I was overloaded with all the loot, so it took me a little longer to get back myself!

But then, overloaded with loot also meant I had a lot more stuff to sell the next day in game time. :D

I even wound up improving some of the items I swiped from the bandits, just to make them more valuable to sell. I also got Arcane Smithing finally unlocked, since I’d gotten my smithing over 60 finally. Which meant I was now able to improve some of my shiniest things! Like Dawnbreaker! And my glass bow!

I also made myself a Nordic bow and got that improved up to ‘Flawless’, which meant it does the same damage as the glass bow. But it also weighs less. This may now be my new favorite bow. I also improved a Nordic shield up to Flawless for Lydia, but realized she wasn’t actually using it—Lyds does favor two-handed weapons, so a shield really isn’t useful for her.

Between that and selling all the mammoth tusks to Belethor, I got my gold tally nearly up to 8K… but I also had a lot of iron.

So I ultimately decided, hey, if I had all this iron, it’d be good to actually improve the furnishings on one of the places I already owned before worrying too much about getting Proudspire Manor.

Next stop: Lakeview!

Dropped some gold on Rayya to get her to replenish the stock of sawn logs, and then proceeded to build the hell out of a bunch more things. Rayya warned me there was a potential problem in the cellar; she’d heard skittering noises. So I went down to check it out and found skeevers in the cellar!

Fucking basement skeevers, man! The bane of Skyrim homeowners!

(Also, I feel like Basement Skeevers ought to be a band name.)

But, as the Jarls and their stewards do not provide you anti-skeever homeowner’s insurance, my only recourse was to stab all the skeevers. Whether their bodies will still be there next time I visit this house, I dunno yet!

Once I sorted that problem, though, I built up a whole bunch of stuff in the cellar, including wall sconces to light up the place. And I discovered you can also build a shrine in your cellar, which seems super-helpful for disease-curing purposes! So I built the base for that too.

And I did more furniture upstairs, while also observing that the only access into the cellar was down a ladder. Nord architectural styles are clearly not placing very high priority on the non-able-bodied getting into cellars! I suppose the Nord answer to this question would be “that’s what your housecarl is for”. Hear that, Rayya? If your thane ever retires to this house, and can’t make it down the ladder herself, you’re going to have to be the one to kill the basement skeevers.

I also threw more gold at Rayya to tell her to hire a bard, a thing I’ll also be doing at Windstad. Not that I actually plan to spend much time in either of these places right now, but at least from an in-character perspective, I feel like Alarrah would do that just to make sure her housecarls in both places have actual company on-site. Same for hiring a carriage driver.

Dara says having NPCs and animals on site just means they’ll be likely to get killed by giants, and I’m given to understand that if you lose your steward at a location, you can’t hire another one… but eh well, it still seems like the correct in-character thing to do!

And I’ve planted a couple of things in the garden at Lakeview as well, just to start building up a source of easy-to-find alchemical ingredients. Plus, I had Rayya get a cow and a chicken.

Then that got me to “time to go to sleep both for device and player” time, so the device went to the dock, and I went to bed!

Next time: I think it’s time to do more actual questing. And to go sort out this nightmares problem in Dawnstar.