In Which Delga Acquires Remaining Lost Instruments and the Hammer Volendrung

This is the post for my session on Friday the 12th, primarily featuring getting the two remaining instruments back to the Bards College, and also getting the hammer Volendrung! With a side helping of discovering that boy howdy, Cragwallow Slope is hard to run if you’re not running a stealth character. :O

Highlights

  • Boinged down to Falkreath
  • Headed for Halldir’s Cairn to get the drum
  • Cleared the place and got the drum and other loot including Halldir’s staff (of which I got the expected two copies due to a bug with this dungeon)
  • Managed to kill myself jumping down the trap door on the way out though; had to remember how to jump down that shaft in stages! ;P
  • Boinged back to watchtower to sell stuff in Whiterun; sold a bunch of stuff at Warmaiden’s, and leveled up to 27 while doing that
  • Sold a few more things to Belethor and Arcadia
  • Popped into Jorrvaskr
  • Bought five rounds of archery training from Aela, who dropped heavy hints about me taking the fight to the Silver Hand; yes yes I’ll get to that, be back in a bit gotta go take the fight to a bunch of other places too! ;)
  • Fast traveled to the Steed Stone to look for Ravenscar Hollow
  • Quicksilver ore vein
  • Passed Wolfskull Cave; hold that thought, Potema, I’ll be back for you
  • Ice wraith
  • Sabre cat in front of Ravenscar Hollow, down on the beach
  • Killed three hagravens
  • Let a bandit out of their cage, and then killed the bandit when he threatened me
  • Found the Iron Sword of Souls in the boss chest
  • Destruction skill book
  • Mined a corundum vein
  • Boinged to Cragslane Cavern to get to Stony Creek Cave
  • Killed by bandit chief throwing lightning; second time through, Lyds got to her first and we were able to take her out
  • Turned out she was also the missing crewmember from Windhelm so got mini-quest to return to Kjar
  • Did a little alchemy on the alchemy lab there
  • Did not take the “unusual gem”, lol
  • Did however find the lute
  • Cleared the rest of the dungeon by getting the bandit in the back and mining the moonstone veins there
  • Caught a few fish on the way out
  • Onward to Cragwallow Slope
  • Came up behind three Stormcloaks fighting and killing a bear
  • Overheard two of them exchange the exact same “why did you join the Stormcloaks” conversation
  • Found Cragwallow Slope but got ahead of Lydia, had to wait 1 hour for her to catch up
  • Also heard distant dragon
  • This place kicked my ass, tried to get through multiple times, but each time was overwhelmed quickly by conjurers and atronachs; couldn’t make it through with Sneak or even turning into a werewolf
  • NEW PLAN! Rolled back and went to Solitude instead to return the instruments and unload previous loot
  • Sold things to Bits and Pieces
  • Found Giraud outside Bits and Pieces and gave him the drum; he bumped up all my combat skills \0/
  • Sold stuff to Beirand at the forge
  • Headed over to Bards College to look for Inge
  • Dropped off the lute with her and she bumped all my other skills
  • Leveled up to 28; took additional Heavy Armor perk
  • Boinged back to watchtower to craft in Whiterun
  • Smithed a few things and sold a few things to Elrindir
  • Decided to move the dead cultists out of the way
  • Could not take them into the Hall of the Dead, damn, so I put them by the graveyard instead
  • Discovered in doing this that I can in fact kind of float an object in front of me while I’m dragging it? Including a dead cultist body. NOT THE SLIGHTEST BIT CREEPY OR ANYTHING :O
  • But I suppose that’s the closest I can get to actually carrying the body
  • Slept at Breezehome; dropped off a few books
  • Sold things to Belethor and also to Arcadia
  • And THANK FUCK Arcadia finally had a Daedra heart!
  • OFF TO LARGASHBUR
  • And okay yep Ugor sure is dead found her at the gate
  • Cleared Fallowstone Cave, RIP Yamarz, and now I have Volendrung!
  • Went back to Riften, even though Largashbur is very close to Avanchnzel, and before tackling Avanchnzel I had to lighten the load
  • Sold a few things to Balimund and Bersi
  • Parked in Honeyside
  • Did a little cooking with the ingredients i had on me
  • Said hi to Iona
  • Destroyed some things to learn more enchantments and saved for the night

Commentary

I started this session with the plan of knocking down a whole bunch of miscellaneous quests:

  1. Getting Rjorn’s drum from Halldir’s Cairn
  2. Getting the Iron Sword of Souls from Ravenscar Hollow
  3. Getting Finn’s lute from Stony Creek Cave
  4. Getting Queen Freydis’ sword from Cragwallow Slope
  5. Recovering Grimsever from Mzinchaleft

I knocked down 1 through 3 with no problems, but never made it to 4 and 5. Because Cragwallow Slope totally kicked my ass. See below!

But first: Halldir’s Cairn, Ravenscar Hollow, and Stony Creek Cave

Two of these three locations were familiar territory so I’m not going to go into them again in depth here.

One note I will leave for Future Me, as well as any other Skyrim players who see this post, is that I did manage to kill myself by accident after taking out Halldir. Because you’re expected to jump down through a trap door to get out of the dungeon–and if you just jump straight down it, the fall will kill you.

So note for Future Me and Other Players: make sure to carefully jump down to the wooden ledges sticking out of the sides of the shaft, in sequence, to get safely down!

Ravenscar Hollow was new, so that was good. Not terribly large, and the hagravens in there weren’t too much of a problem. I don’t recommend taking this dungeon on though until you’re ready to take out hagravens!

The bandit in a cage begging you to let him out and then attacking you as soon as you do was a nice touch, too.

And the main item of interest about Stony Creek Cave was actually after, when I overheard a trio of Stormcloaks talking. Whenever you find a trio of Stormcloaks in the wild they will often have a conversation about why they joined Ulfric’s forces, and one variant of that conversation goes like this:

Stormcloak 1: “What’s your take on all this?”

Stormcloak 2: “My cousin disappeared one night. Some say the Thalmor grabbed him. It wasn’t long before I found myself under Ulfric’s banner.”

This time, I heard the exact same two Stormcloaks have this conversation twice, switching off which one had the first line and which one had the second.

Lol. Apparently a lot of disappearing cousins in Ulfric’s forces? I cannot help but imagine:

“My cousin disappeared one night. Some say the Thalmor grabbed him–“

“And by some you mean, you. Dammit, Ralf, your cousin fell down the well. The Thalmor had nothing to do with it.”

“I said, the Thalmor grabbed him!”

And after that…

Not ready for Cragwallow Slope, apparently

Cragwallow Slope is the locale I have on tap to get Queen Freydis’ sword for Oengul the smith in Windhelm. I’d been to this location before as Merawen. It’s the cavern that’s laid out in kind of a circle, and it’s full of conjurers who are able to whip up atronachs.

I ran this dungeon without incident as Merawen. But the critical thing to note here is that Merawen was super sneaky. Delga is… not. So sneaking through the place was very not an option. Didn’t stop me from trying it, but it became very clear that Delga’s sneak is not up to snuff.

I even tried actually turning into a werewolf for the first time to run this dungeon. That only let me get a little farther than I did the other half a dozen times, before getting overwhelmed again by at least four conjurers and their atronachs.

(Side note: it was at least interesting to try the whole werewolf thing. It amuses me that this does not damage any of your equipment in any way whatsoever. I suppose it’d be irritating from a gameplay perspective to have your armor destroyed every time you wolf out, but it does raise all kinds of interesting questions as to in-game explanations for how the hell this is supposed to work.

I don’t think I’m a fan of the forced third-person perspective while you’re in wolf mode, though.)

After having my ass fried by the conjurers at least half a dozen times, I finally bailed on the place and punted to the plan of going back to Solitude to turn in the two remaining Bards College instruments.

New plan: returning the missing instruments, and going back to Whiterun

Got the instruments sorted, and then returned to Whiterun to take care of more shopping and crafting.

While I was there, I decided to try to see if I could do something about the lingering cultist corpses, since the game hadn’t properly cleaned them up. And I was tired of NPCs going past them going “What happened?” Or the kids squealing and going “AAH! Dead body!”

It seemed reasonable to try to take them to the Hall of the Dead. Which is, after all, where dead people in the city are supposed to go.

I already knew from derping around with moving objects in my houses that you can park your pointer over an object and hold down your A key to pick it up and move it. What I did not know before is that if you do this with a large object (like, say, the dead body of a cultist), and then you move, you can totally float that object along in front of you.

This was simultaneously neat and kind of creepy, given that the thing I was moving was in fact a dead Miraak cultist, still in all their cultist gear.

I quickly discovered however that I could not actually take the bodies into the Hall of the Dead. The game doesn’t let me move them through the doors. So I had to punt to plan B and leave them right by the graveyard. At least there they are out of the way! And I don’t have to worry about the citizens of Whiterun repeatedly flipping out about the bodies lying around.

But the most important thing about this Whiterun stop was that Arcadia finally had a Daedra heart in her inventory. Which meant I was able to completely changes gears–and return to Largashbur to work on the Cursed Tribe quest. :D

Cursed Tribe quest and getting Volendrung

This played out almost identically to how Merawen did it, with the exception of Ugor dying the first time I’d found Largashbur, so I didn’t get to hear her arguing with Atub about whether I should be permitted to enter the stronghold.

Also, when I came back from Fallowstone Cave, Atub bitched at me about not belonging in their stronghold. Uh, you were the one who asked me to come in the first place?

But, well, the whole Cursed Tribe quest did seem rather buggy in Merawen’s run, so I wasn’t surprised to see oddities this time through. The main important overall point here being: booya, I got the hammer. :D And this is going to be my new favorite two-handed weapon for a while!

It was interesting though coming at this as an orc. I had to figure, Delga undoubtedly had a different perspective on the whole affair than Merawen did. She may be kind of a renegade/outlier kind of orc, but she’s still an orc and Malacath is her god.

Malacath: YAMARZ, YOU SUCK. Bring me the club of the giant leader!

Yamarz: Wait what, why is this a me problem? Hey outsider, this is all your fault, you’re coming with me!

Me (since Delga does want to help everybody): Sure! Can do! Let’s go kill it!

Yamarz: Here’s a fun idea, howsabout you kill the giant, and we tell everybody I did it?

Me: Uhhhh NO. Malacath said you should do it, and do you really want to piss off Malacath any further? Seriously, that seems like a bad idea.

Yamarz: Okay fine, I’ll kill the giant, sheesh!

Narrator: He did not kill the giant.

Me: Wow, Malacath was right, he really did suck!

Malacath: You, take the hammer back to Largashbur and cluebat everybody with it!

Largashbur orcs: Shit, Yamarz is dead, now what?

Malacath: This other guy is in charge, try not to suck any further. Also, YOU, put the hammer on the shrine, you’re the only one who doesn’t currently actively suck.

Shagrol’s Hammer: <turns into Volendrung>

Me: OOOOOO NEAT can I have it? Can I take this, Malacath, is that okay? Yes? Awesome, I’ll just be going about my business now, the rest of you orcs, try not to die, okay? 🤩

Next time

As of this writing I’ve already done the next session, that post will be coming shortly. Main features of that will be running Avanchnzel to return the Lexicon, and then doing the quest In My Time of Need!

Screenshots

No screenshots this time, as I am still working on fixing my broken galleries.

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