A bit more advancement of the main plot, as I made it up to High Hrothgar to get the Greybeards’ buy off on this whole peace conference idea. But also, I cleared Treva’s Watch and got in considerable exercise of Illusion and Destruction.
And, while on the way to Windhelm to ask Ulfric to show up for the peace conference, I finally found the Ebony Warrior!
- Found Stalleo and his bodyguard camped near Treva’s Watch
- Took Stalleo’s quest to get into the place and throw the lever to open the gate so he and his bodyguard can get in
- Snuck in the back way, and proceeded to Nightingale my way through the place
- Lots of Invisibility + Muffle + Fire and Frost Runes + Throw Voice Shout; did lots of combo of those, getting bandits to come running and blow themselves up on my runes
- Lots of bandits: “I could have sworn I heard something! Oh well, I guess there was nothing here after all.”
- Me, behind the corner of the nearby shelf: 😆
- Occasionally when bandits noticed me, I did have to hit them in the face with fireballs
- Got lots of smithing materials (iron ingots) and random assortment of weaponry
- Made it out to the courtyard and unleashed the dremora to finish mopping up the bandits
- Threw the lever to let Stalleo and his bodyguard in
- Sorry, Stalleo, didn’t see any actual sign of your family? (Two dead Nords and an Imperial who may or may not have been his family, game didn’t say and Stalleo didn’t tell me who I was actually looking for?)
- Overloaded at this point, tried to ride off on Arvak but got stuck on a ledge; so, fuck it, fast traveled to Whiterun
- Did a bunch of smithing and sold things at Warmaiden’s before heading back out again towards the Throat of the World
- Went south through Riverwood this time and cut over to Helgen
- Spotted a hunter and her dog taking out a fox on the way; lady, if you don’t want that fox pelt, I do
- Found a wispmother and wisps and took them out with fireballs
- Discovered South Skybound Watch tower, but this one is involved with the Destruction Ritual Quest, so skipped it for now
- Headed eastward; passed another hunter and probable owner of the horse I went by as well, I think I’ve seen this hunter and horse before?
- Made it to Alchemist’s Shack
- Couple of wolves kept trying to be a problem; I threw Fear spells at them and occasional Pacify to try to get them to fuck off, and a Frenzy rune as well
- I was able to do a little alchemy and harvesting of ingredients at the shack, but at least one of the wolves was still considered ‘nearby’ so I couldn’t sleep there
- Proceeded on through Ivarstead and up the Throat of the World
- Talked to Arngeir in High Hrothgar and got him to agree to host peace conference; told me to go tell General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak the Greybeards want to talk to them
- Went back down the mountain; killed a couple more trolls on the way down
- Made way north into Eastmarch
- Spotted one dragon shadow overhead near Fort Amol
- Spotted probably different dragon further along in Eastmarch; got spotted by that dragon, hi there Ancient Dragon
- Took it out with magic, pushed Destruction up to 98 doing that, thank you Incinerate spell! \0/
- Did not get a soul off this dragon, therefore respawned
- Proceeded into Windhelm and approached Palace of the Kings
- Oh hey there you are Ebony Warrior! About time you showed up!
- Ebony Warrior: ‘Only you can send me to Sovngarde with honor. Come fight me at my Last Vigil!’
- Me: ‘Uh, ooooookay?’
- Saved for the night!
It makes very little narrative sense that if you’re sneaking your way through a bandit lair, and doing a combo of stealth spells and offensive runes to take down your opponents one at a time, that your opponents would therefore not scour the place to make goddamn sure they find you.
Particularly when your opponents actually register awareness of the dead bodies of their compatriots. And they’re all “I’ll find whoever did this!” But then they completely frigging fail to find you, even if you’re in the exact same room, but over in a dark corner behind a shelf.
Behold the power of my maxed out Sneak!
Still though it’s probably for the best, for game play purposes, that I can wield that kind of stealth power with a maxed out Sneak. Because if I’d had to take all these bandits on at once, I would have been severely outnumbered! As it happened, there were at least one or two times in Treva’s Watch where I did have to take on multiple bandits at once when one of them actually managed to find me. But fortunately that was nothing my Destruction spells couldn’t handle.
All in all I completely mopped up the place, so that when I was able to let Stalleo and his bodyguard into Treva’s Watch at the end, there wasn’t anything for them to do!
According to the wiki, Stalleo won’t actually proceed to rebuild the place—he’ll just keep camping out at his camp. And Treva’s Watch will respawn with a whole new set of bandits. Which does make the overall quest to clear the places kind of, well, pointless.
Also, I have some questions about how Stalleo appeared to mistake me for a mercenary he’d contracted? Which makes me wonder what happened to the actual mercenary. And if that person’s going to show up at the place and go “I’m here to help”. And Stalleo will go “Wait, what?”
I did at least get considerable exercise of both Destruction and Illusion doing this, though, so there’s that.
Considerable practice on it as well going up and down High Hrothgar, so I could take care of getting Arngeir on board with the peace conference idea. And yet more practice, heading up through Eastmarch towards Windhelm.
It’s still a little startling to me when I’m able to take down a dragon with magic. :D This was an Ancient Dragon, so that made it somewhat easier. It’d be a real interesting question as to how I could do a Legendary Dragon takedown with all magic. Right now, I’m not sure I can. The Legendary Dragons I’ve run into so far I’ve had to go at with arrows.
Last but not least, finally found the Ebony Warrior. And I gotta giggle a bit at what he says to you when you find him—that he has no more quests to fulfill and no more villains to fight. Dude. If you’re bored literally to the point of death, that you now want to walk up to the most powerful other warrior you can find and challenge her to a duel so you can get her to send you to Sovngarde, shit, why not help me take down Alduin?
I will be literally going to Sovngarde in just a few more sessions, after all. You wanna die with serious honor? Help me take down the World-Eater.
No? Okay fine. I’ll come fight you. Hold that thought. I gotta go have a word with Ulfric Stormcloak first.
(Let us leave aside why the hell a Redguard—because according the wiki, the Ebony Warrior is a Redguard—cares about going to Sovngarde? Because that’s a question of this guy’s backstory that the game apparently doesn’t get into. Maybe he was raised by Nords? Or at least raised in Skyrim?)
I’ll see about getting Ulfric Stormcloak on board with this peace plan idea. And if he bitches about it, that’s what I’ve got the Amulet of Articulation for!
Then I’ll need to swing down through the Rift to get to the Ebony Warrior’s Last Vigil. And I’ll swing back down through Eastmarch on the way to see if that Ancient Dragon I killed in this session was the same one I saw a shadow for near Fort Amol.
After that, I’ll swing to Solitude and speak with General Tullius.
Somewhere in between doing these things, depending on when Destruction and/or Illusion make it up to 100, I’ll also need to swing back to the mage college for those quests. And also to resolve my pending Aftershock quest with Tolfdir.
As of the end of this session, my Destruction was at 98, and Illusion at 96. So these ritual quests should I think be in range for my next session. Or at the very least, the session after that.
So all of this will be at least one more session, maybe two. Starting to look like I’ll probably be taking down Alduin by this weekend? Maybe Friday or Saturday? At which point I’ll be ready to retire Merawen and start in on playthrough number three.