In Which Merawen Goes to Arkngthamz

Short session because this was a Sunday, and Sundays by definition tend to leave me less time to play Skyrim. So I had time enough for only one goal in this session, and that goal was one I’d already done as Alarrah: clearing the Arkngthamz Dwemer ruin and beginning the Lost to the Ages quest.

Highlights

  • Sold stuff to Lisbet in Markarth to clear inventory
  • Headed out to Arkngthamz
  • Passed farmer NPC lady near the bridge, she was all ‘stay for a while’ but sorry lady, I got a ruin to go find
  • Passed Orc hunter on bridge heading south, he drew weapon and growled ‘that’s close enough’ but didn’t try to engage me and Lyds so we didn’t have to fight him
  • Took a different way south this time and actually found the Orc stronghold Dushnikh Yal from the other side
  • Went around the backside of it and passed Stormcloaks
  • Also three different bears and a couple of animals the bears had killed
  • Had to backtrack and come back around the Orc stronghold to get to the front though because there wasn’t good passage through to get to Arkngthamz that way
  • Nobody in the hold challenged my passage this time because already Blood-Kin
  • Got to Arkngthamz (including initial alarming earth tremors) and found Katria’s ghost, got the quest underway
  • Played out faster than Alarrah’s run had done, just because the dungeon was familiar territory; also because I didn’t try to look for all the loot, just focused on getting Zephyr and solving the tonal resonator puzzle
  • Initial resonator gave me some issues until I realized that I could just duck through the gate that kept opening and closing
  • Tried to practice the Telekinesis spell to get Zephyr off the log, but couldn’t figure out how to get the spell to function as expected? Wound up just getting the bow by going out on the log and picking it up
  • Having one of the shards already did impact my final conversation with Katria once we solved the puzzle
  • Since I wasn’t overloaded I was able to get out the fast way, though I did the jump into the water only with precaution of Become Ethereal
  • Even without being overloaded the water current was a challenge and it took me several tries to make it back out of the water on the other side
  • Lydia did not obviously follow me out but she was with me when I got outside, so that was all good
  • Returned to Whiterun and saved for the night

Commentary

Since the Lost to the Ages quest is one I did before as Alarrah, playing it out this time was mostly familiar territory and I won’t recap all the details that I talked about in Alarrah’s post.

I will though talk about a few ways this time through played out differently!

Coming at Arkngthamz from the direction of Markarth as opposed to the direction of Whiterun impacted my route down to the place. I wound up coming down on the backside of the Orc stronghold Dusknikh Yal. I did wind up having to backtrack a little to get around to the front side of the stronghold, because I couldn’t find a good way through.

This time through I’m also already Blood-Kin to the Orcs, so I didn’t have the initial thing happen with a guard at the gate challenging me as I went by.

I’ve written on recent posts about how dungeons are taking me less time as Merawen, not only because of a bunch of the dungeons are ones I know already, but also because I’m just not bothering to get every last scrap of loot. Both of these applied here.

Likewise, I didn’t bother to engage most of the Falmer we saw. Mostly they ignored me because my Sneak is so high—when they did see us, they were responding to Lydia and Katria, not me! And Lyds and Katria did most of the fighting, though I did take out a few Falmer myself when I could. (Trying to hit them was often a bit of a challenge in the dim light, because of wanting to avoid hitting either Lydia or Katria.)

Arkngthamz is a pretty big and complex dungeon, with a lot of bits where you’re expected to climb up pipes or traverse bridges to get to the next place you need to reach. So it wasn’t like i could just whip through the place, per se. I did still have to take some caution with the tricky parts.

That said: I did kind of whip through the place. I definitely ignored at least a couple of Dwemer chests I could have looted. The two main interesting things in this dungeon are Zephyr, Katria’s bow, and the Aetherium Shard at the end once you clear the tonal resonator puzzle.

One difference trying to get Zephyr this time was that I did have the Telekinesis spell, and getting Zephyr off the log where it landed after the fall that killed Katria seemed like a good opportunity to practice that spell. However, I could not for the life of me figure out how to get it to work.

I thought that if I just pointed my aiming pointer at the bow and threw the spell, that would work, but apparently not? I couldn’t seem to actually do anything to specify “I want this object”. I will clearly need to practice in a safe location with this.

I ultimately just decided to go out onto the log and physically pick up the bow, the same as I’d done with Alarrah! As long as you’re careful, this does work. You just need to avoid falling off that log!

Anything above and beyond Zephyr and the Aetherium Shard, though, was entirely optional. Plus I remembered that getting out of that dungeon again is a pain in the ass if you’re overburdened, so I wanted to avoid picking up stuff unless I knew for sure I wanted it and that I had the inventory room for it.

Which worked out well. I was well under my carry limit by the time I cleared the dungeon and was ready to leave!

Getting out was still tricky, mind you. Because the shortcut way out still does require you to jump down off a high ledge into fast-moving water with a strong current, and you have to navigate that to reach the far side of the river, to the exact right spot where you can climb out and get to pipes. Which you then also have to climb up.

And even without being overburdened, dealing with that current was still tricky. It took me several tries to reach the bit I had to climb onto, and that required precision timing with the X button.

Lydia didn’t catch up with me as I took this route. But she appeared behind me again properly once I actually made it outside, so that was all to the good!

And I bounced back to Whiterun. I did wind up grabbing all the treasure out of the final room in Arkngthamz so I got out with some Dwarven metal ingots, as well as a few things to melt down into additional ones. Which let me improve Zephyr up to Legendary.

With that, I saved for the night.

Next time

Since I already have the shard from Mzulft, I have only two more to find. So I’ll probably go for one of the two, as well as aiming for at least one Stone of Barenziah!

And I need to find somewhere safe to practice Telekinesis as well!

Screenshots

Again, no screenshots this time, because this was familiar territory.

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