In Which Delga Regains Winterhold for the Empire

Short but plot-relevant session, as I rescued prisoners from Fort Kastav and helped Imperial forces take the fort. And, by extension, regain Winterhold for the Empire!

Highlights

  • Boinged to Lakeview to drop off a few things
  • Did a little bit of smithing and also charged up various weapons; that got me leveled up to 40, and I took a Block perk
  • Boinged to Western Watchtower to hoof it north from there into Winterhold
  • Creatures and/or NPCs fought: two wolves, a giant frostbite spider, and a farmer who turned into a werewolf; werewolf gave Lydia quite the fight
  • Reached Winterhold camp; got Rikke’s orders to meet the men who will be breaking into Fort Kastav to rescue Imperial prisoners
  • Started hoofing it to meet them
  • Snuck past two giants and a mammoth and got a little lost
  • Fought a couple of Silver Hands at Driftshade Refuge since the place respawned
  • Finally just fast traveled to Ironbind Barrow instead to come in towards Fort Kastav from the south
  • (Note: Salma had not returned to her campfire)
  • Reached Hadvar and his men hunkered down south of the fort
  • LOL, Hadvar has a line about Legate Rikke not even knowing his name, probably because he’s not “the Dragonborn”; geez, dude, issues much?
  • Got the plan from him to sneak in and free the prisoners, and he and his men would charge in once they hear fighting
  • I had a dialogue option for saying I’m not much for sneaking but didn’t bother to take it; Delga isn’t much for sneaking, but I think she also wouldn’t have actually bitched about it, so
  • So she snuck! And Lydia also snuck! Way to go, Lyds, nice job not giving us away ;D
  • We snuck in through the grate, took out the three guards, and freed the Imperial prisoners, then swept out to charge through the fort and take it over
  • Hadvar gave me a ‘great job’ and told me to report in while he and his men clean up the place
  • Boinged back to Solitude to report in to Tullius, who promoted me to Legate and gave me ebony armor
  • (Diplomatically refrained from mentioning to the general that I had literally better improved and enchanted ebony armor right there in my inventory)
  • Sold soldier loot to Beirand, and also sold stuff at Bits and Pieces to lighten the load
  • Hoofed it out of Solitude on foot
  • Went through Dragon Bridge, and then swung to the east once I was across the bridge
  • Passed a Nord that called me a milk-drinker; did not bother to fight
  • Dark Brotherhood assassin, this time a Dunmer; took him out
  • Sighted Meeko! Hi Meeko, you are a good dog!
  • Random hostile Nord; took her out
  • Passed a dead horse and cart with a dead person in the back of it; took a few things out of the cart, sorry, dead dude, I need these in the name of the Empire
  • Thalmor and prisoner not far from Red Road Pass giant camp; did not engage, kinda busy
  • Passed Fort Dunstad and saw it was indeed garrisoned with imperial troops
  • Additional creatures fought: ice wraith, three different snowy sabre cats (one alone, two together), frostbite spider, bear and wolf who attacked me at the same time, single bear, skeever, cave bear
  • Vampire masquerade! Broke out Volendrung for this on general principles
  • Thief near Anga’s Mill; yeah dude, don’t have time for this <HAMMERCLANG>
  • Went by some Stormcloaks who did not react to my passing, possibly because I switched off to ebony armor? Not obviously imperial?
  • Orc that called me a milk-drinker (wow, that’s two NPCs in the same session that dunked on me, did I smell of milk or something?)
  • Found a Vigilant of Stendarr vs. Ancient Vampire; Vigilant did pretty well, actually! Lyds and I tried to assist, but she actually had it, well done there; Ancient Vampire ran off, but the Vigilant pursued her and took her out
  • Finally made it to the Eastmarch Imperial Camp and reported to Legate Rikke; ordered to rendezvous with the men about to take over Fort Amol and assist them in the attack
  • Saved for the night

Commentary

So far this was the least complicated “go take a hold back for the Empire” endeavor I’ve done. I guess this makes at least a little sense? Winterhold is arguably the most pitiful of all the holds in Skyrim, with only one settlement to speak of. And that settlement being Winterhold proper, which, as I’ve previously observed, is a pit.

So it’s not like the Empire has to work very hard to take the region back.

Hadvar’s line about Legate Rikke not knowing his name ridiculously delighted me. Not only because I wasn’t entirely sure whether he was being bitter or plaintive or maybe a little of both; it’s excellent demonstration of character. But also, this was perhaps the first time I’d seen any character outside the main plotline and/or random guard gossip actually identify me as Dragonborn!

Certainly the first character I’d seen do so in the civil war plotline, too. Tullius and Rikke certainly talk about me not being regular soldier material, but they do not explicitly acknowledge that I’m the Dragonborn. And in general it’s a refreshing change of pace to see somebody besides main plot characters actually acknowledge this to my face. If nothing else just because I’d think more people would react to this than actually do in the game!

Meanwhile, I expect that Delga was not a big fan of having to do yet more sneaking. As I said in the highlights above, I did get a dialogue option with Hadvar that would have let me outright say I’m not much for sneaking. But I also feel like Delga’s probably not much for bitching about that, either. So she did it. She just didn’t like it. ;)

I suspect Delga’s going to wind up being better at sneaking than she’s at all comfortable with, by the end of her run! (Sorry, Delga, but as your player, trust me when I say this’ll keep you alive better.)

Was quite pleased, though, that Lydia for once managed to not give us away, either! Which helps feed my narrative of her actually giving Delga stealth pointers. Lolololol.

Next time

This felt like a brief respite, almost, before moving into the final phase of the war plotline: taking Eastmarch for the Empire.

And by extension, Windhelm. Which means taking out Ulfric Stormcloak.

NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING.

Screenshots