The main achievements of this session were buying Proudspire Manor and becoming thane of Haafingar–and at the same time, finishing up the necessary number of side jobs in Whiterun to trigger the special reputation job for the Thieves Guild there.
And, a large side helping of other minor quests, including getting a new Shout word, helping out Arniel at the mage college some more, taking out another Dragon Priest, and killing not one, not two, but three different dragons.
- I was in Riften in Guild HQ when I loaded up for this session, and from there I boinged over to Solitude with the intention of buying Proudspire–but I discovered the option wasn’t available yet in my dialogue prompts with Falk Firebeard
- So I had to go ahead and do Elisif’s Tribute, which was very fast; I just had to fast travel to Shimmermist Cave, as the shrine I needed to visit was right by that; killed a dragon when I showed up, then dropped off the horn
- Came back to Solitude and bought Proudspire
- Grabbed a bunch of things out of various wardrobes and end tables, to make sure they wouldn’t vanish when I started improving the furnishings; also nabbed the Stone of Barenziah
- Went out to sell some of the things, then went back to the Blue Palace to buy the enchanter table, and also to get Elisif to make me thane–which happened immediately since I’d already done enough favor quests to hit the 5 mark
- Still triggered the bug though with that quest pointer not going away
- Boinged back to Riften, and re-robbed Clan Snow-Shod’s house to do side job number four there
- Boinged to Windhelm, but had the wrong quest active so got distracted by the wrong quest marker; wound up in Kynesgrove, where I had to kill an Elder Dragon, but I did it with my Dawnguard crossbow \0/
- Set the quest marker correctly, then got into the Windhelm stable to forge numbers in their ledger there
- Boinged back to Riften to collect fee for both jobs
- Got new jobs in Whiterun, and ran both of those at once since I just had to rob House Gray-Mane again
- Got the fees for both of those from Delvin and Vex, and also got the special job for Whiterun from Delvin
- Triggered a bug where I got a prompt again for Delvin about finishing the special job at Windhelm? I don’t know if this is because I did extra jobs in Windhelm?
- Before running the special Whiterun job, though, I decided to go do some non-Thieves-Guild things
- So I went to Winterhold to try to find the clue to Brand-Shei’s past, since its marker on the map basically signified the Wreck of the Pride of Tel Vos, which I’d seen before as Alarrah
- Killed another Elder Dragon in Winterhold when I fast traveled in
- On the way to find the shipwreck, found an unmarked location I don’t think I saw before as Alarrah; a plinth with frost runes set in front of it and the dead frozen body of Rundi, apparently a missing apprentice from the college?
- At the shipwreck, killed a couple of bandits who were outside the wreck, then found the journal with the clue about Brand-Shei’s past
- Took that back to Brand-Shei, who was very grateful and gave me the key to his stall strongbox
- Decided to get the staff for Enthir next, for Arniel’s quest; this took me to another new location, Cragwallow Slope
- This was full of various types of conjurers, none of whom actually gave me any trouble as I kept sniping them with sneak attacks
- Got the staff and took it back to Enthir, got Arniel’s Warped Soul Gem and gave that to him
- Got another round of training while I was at the college
- Boinged back to Solitude to furnish the living room and bedroom in Proudspire, also dropped off the Shield of Solitude there
- Had to go ahead and run the favor quest for Angeline just to clear the “help the people of Haafingar” quest out of my queue
- Returned to Whiterun to pick up Lydia, sighted a fourth dragon at the Western Watchtower, but it never landed so I did not engage
- With Lydia, went to go run Ragnvald to get the word off the Word Wall there and kill the Dragon Priest Otar
- Stopped in Markarth to drop off the book for the orc smith Ghorza, who bumped my Smithing up another tick for my trouble
Getting Proudspire Manor and Haafingar’s thaneship
Since I had enough gold to take care of getting Proudspire, I decided to go ahead and do that so that I’d have a safe place to sleep and store stuff in Solitude. This also basically required me to go ahead and get Elisif to make me her thane.
I do feel slightly guilty about this, just because Elisif and Falk both make such nice commentary to the player once you’re on their good side. And given that I still need to break into Elisif’s quarters and get her Stone of Barenziah, that does certainly seem like a dodgy thing to do to someone who’s gone to the trouble of giving you a thaneship!
(Likewise for Whiterun, because I also need to swipe the Stone in Dragonsreach!)
But that said, given what I know about Erikur, Elisif’s other in-game thane, I figure this still puts me ahead of him as the slightly less problematic thane in Solitude. At least I’m not going to go making inappropriate passes at serving personnel!
Doing this more or less played out the same way it did for me as Alarrah, including triggering the same bug where if you’ve already done enough favor quests to meet the requirements to be thane, before Elisif actually makes the quest active for you, then the “Help the people of Haafingar” quest gets stuck in your journal until you do another favor quest.
So I had to go ahead and do the one to help Angeline by getting Captain Aldis to fess up about how yep, her daughter sure is dead.
And now I do have Proudspire, with furnishings partly in progress, and Jordis the Sword-Maiden as housecarl number three. I did rather like Jordis when running Alarrah’s game, so I’ll look forward to trying her out some more as a follower. I’ll need to get her some ebony armor, too! You work for me, I’ll do you right with your equipment. <3
Thieves Guild business
Doing the job in Riften was easy enough–another sweep type job in the house of Clan Snow-Shod, and that worked pretty much the same way as the first time I broke into the place. Up to and including the priestess completely failing to spot me even as she was standing right there when I came around the corner.
I got yet another random job in Windhelm as well, even though I’ve already done Windhelm’s special job. This one involved breaking into the stable there and forging numbers in their ledger. I went ahead and did it anyway, just to get the fee for the job.
But this did trigger a weird little bug where I got another prompt with Delvin to tell him I’d finished the special job in Windhelm. Which means he has now paid me twice for that. ;) Which is kind of hilarious given that I am, after all, a thief. Nobody tell Delvin, mmkay?
I’ll have to see if it happens again as I try to finish up the rest of the jobs. Whiterun’s special job is now imminent, but I still need one more to do in Riften, as well as more in Markarth. So I expect to see this repro again until I actually finish off all the cities.
(And it was on the way to doing that forgery job that I actually wound up in Kynesgrove–and killed an Elder Dragon with my Dawnguard crossbow. Which marks, I think, the first time I’ve effectively used a crossbow in dragon combat. I think I’ll need to check the stats on my weapons and see if that crossbow is now doing more damage than my current ebony bow? If it is and I switch off to the crossbow as my primary range weapon, that could help me cut down on my inventory weight, too.)
Mage college business
Moved the Arniel’s Endeavor quest along a little more, by having a conversation with Enthir about getting the thing Arniel wanted from him. Note here that this time through on this quest, I’ve already gotten Enthir on my good side by doing the journal translation quest with him and Karliah.
Which means Enthir is a lot friendlier to me now, and that’s nice. <3 He even also told me to give his regards to Karliah if I see her. Yes, Enthir, I will do that, because oh my yes she and Brynjolf and I have unfinished business with Mercer “Murderous Lying Bastard” Frey to attend to, so yes I will see her! And I’ll tell her you said hi. ;)
Anyway, I went and got the staff Enthir wanted. This time through, it sent me to a location I hadn’t visited as Alarrah, Cragwallow Slope. This is in Eastmarch near the sulfurous area with all the hot springs and giants and mammoths, and also within range of Bonestrewn Crest, so I saw another re-spawned dragon for that lair flying in the distance.
Cragwallow Slope itself though is a mage lair. Not necromancers specifically, more just general conjurers–I did see three different atronachs while I was in there, two fire and one frost. But none of the mages or their atronachs gave me any problems, with my Sneak on and with my being able to snipe them from afar.
Got the staff and took it back to Enthir. This time through, as with Alarrah, he never actually took the staff out of my inventory. So I wound up stashing it in my chest in the Arch-Mage’s quarters instead.
And I got the Warped Soul Gem, which I then handed off to Arniel.
Got training from all the mage trainers, and noted with satisfaction that my general magic stats for Merawen are on average better than Alarrah’s. Four of the five schools of magic are at 40 or above for me, though my Conjuration is lagging at 35 and I need to bring that up some more. I’ve been dropping perks on Destruction, though, and I’d like to improve the other schools as well, at least to see if I can get one or more of them up to the point where I could do the higher level magic quests the college has to offer. We’ll see if I pull that off later.
Other side quests
I did Brand-Shei’s quest even though getting to the Wreck of the Pride of Tel Vos is a lot easier if you have the Clear Skies Shout. If you don’t, you pretty much have to rely upon the quest marker to send you in the right direction.
Having Volsung to wear though for the waterbreathing was helpful, since you have to do a bit of swimming to make it to the small island where the ship ran aground.
The wreck, though, was a known quantity from Alarrah’s run, and it didn’t give me any issues. I didn’t even bother to kill all the bandits there, just the ones outside the wreck, and to get access to the chest that had the target journal in it. I may need to clear this wreck properly later, we’ll see.
What was more interesting to me about this though, aside from Brand-Shei giving me the key to his stall lockbox (aw <3), was the unmarked location I found on the way. It was a small plinth, with a few frost runes laid in front of it, and the dead frozen body of Rundi–apparently one of the college of Winterhold apprentices who’d recently gone missing.
I took the various items there, including Rundi’s dagger, because he was very, very frozen and very, very dead. So it wasn’t like he was going to need it!
Meanwhile, I took Lydia with me off to Ragnvald since I had a pending Letter From a Friend quest to find the source of power there. And since I remembered Ragnvald being a large and complex dungeon, I didn’t want to go in there alone. Though as it happened, I did wind up fighting the Dragon Priest Otar alone because I’d forgotten I told Lydia to wait on one side of a swinging blade trap–and didn’t remember to go get her back until after I’d taken out Otar and tried to leave!
Otar packs a powerful punch with a lightning staff he’s got. But this is what potions of Resist Shock are for! And now I have both that staff and his mask.
After clearing Ragnvald, I popped into Markarth to rent a room at the Silver-Blood Inn, and then visit the forge so I could drop off the book that the orc smith Ghorza had asked for. She bumped up my Smithing for my trouble!
(And I think she may also have made me Blood-Kin to the Orcs? I’ll have to see if I’m able to enter any of their strongholds yet.)
I have a conversation that needs to happen with Olfrid Battle-Born! Because I hear there’s a thing he needs me to do in Whiterun. And this should give me another opportunity to nab a Stone of Barenziah.
And I think I will also go ahead and buy Lakeview Manor in Falkreath, since having at least one buildable home is useful.
Other than those two things, I have plenty of other side things as well as main quest things I could do, but I’ll play it by ear as to which of them comes next.
This time I actually have a video, lol! Because I discovered only after the fact that I’d taken a 30 second video when Merawen broke into the Windhelm Stable to screw with the numbers in the ledger there.
Apparently on the Switch, if you hold down the capture button rather than just hitting it, you’ll start recording video rather than taking a screencap. Good to know! I will have to see if I can use this new power to capture something more dramatic, like fighting a dragon or something!
Meanwhile though I did also get a couple of screencaps, But only two, because a good bit of this session was ground I’d already covered with Alarrah. I did get a couple of shots of that unmarked location with poor frozen Rundi, though!