In Which Delga Becomes Thane of the Pale and Investigates Arkngthamz

Back to more typical Skyrim quest territory in this session! Main highlights: doing the Waking Nightmare quest in Dawnstar, becoming thane for the new Jarl Brina Merilis, and commencing the Lost to the Ages quest.

Highlights

  • Ran the nightmare quest in Dawnstar, pretty much the same way I did on previous playthroughs, letting Erandur destroy the Skull of Corruption (because fuck you, Vaermina)
  • Read the Lost Legends book while I was in Nightcaller Temple, which triggered the Forbidden Legend quest
  • Also cleared the various caches of ingredients in Nightcaller Temple, including a couple of Daedra hearts
  • Went to the inn and slept the night; got up the next morning to talk to the new Jarl
  • Got her offer to make me thane if I helped the people of the Pale; the quest auto-completed immediately, and I’m not sure why? I gave a bottle of wine to the drunk guy outside the inn, but I’m not sure what other two actions I did that qualified as favors for the Pale? But okay, I’ll take it!
  • Couldn’t buy the land for Heljarchen yet though, as I didn’t have the gold
  • Decided to boing back to Whiterun for shopping and crafting, but realized all my materials were stashed at Lakeview, so boinged there instead
  • Couple of wolves charged at us right by the house, but Lyds got them
  • Made some Daedric gauntlets to try them out, other armor pieces, and a gold diamond ring; also did a bunch of enchanting and alchemy
  • Boinged back to Whiterun to sell things
  • Decided to hoof it to Markarth and take care of pending things in the Reach
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: Vigilants of Stendarr; Blooded Vampire that oddly enough didn’t attack, and kept hiding and at one point making herself invisible; painted cow and giant
  • Critters fought: wolf
  • Hostile NPCs encountered: cultists
  • Made it into the Reach and decided to go start Lost to the Ages, and visit Arkngthamz
  • Flyby dragon
  • Fight observed over the hill at what was probably a Forsworn camp; was warned off, and did not feel in the mood to go fight them
  • Found entrance to Reachwater Rock, but heh, not time for that yet, I just got the pointer for that quest (Forbidden Legend)
  • Mined iron ore vein
  • Additional hostile NPCs encountered: Argonian thief; trio of Forsworn who’d taken out a couple of Imperial soldiers
  • (RIP, sword-brothers! I’m going to take your studded armor, but only with the utmost respect)
  • Discovered Valthume, will come back to that locale later
  • Made it to Arkngthamz, and started running the dungeon with Lydia and Katria’s ghost
  • Much the same as Merawen: emphasis on getting in, getting Zephyr, getting to the tonal resonator puzzle
  • But boy howdy, did I have trouble getting past this one cavern with a couple of chaurus hunters in it; took me four tries, damn bugs kept killing me and throwing me back to the first resonators
  • What finally worked: summoning my flame atronach and letting it, Lydia, and Katria help me beat down the bugs
  • Made it to Zephyr on the log; don’t have Telekinesis yet, so just went out on the log to physically fetch it
  • Got Katria’s request to take good care of Zephyr for her, and saved at that point for the night

Commentary

Back into more familiar territory with this session. Nothing particularly new here, except for there being a new Jarl in Dawnstar now that the Empire has put down the Stormcloak rebellion.

I really do like that the new Jarl in Dawnstar and her housecarl are former Legionnaires. It makes me feel like Delga would be able to relate to them pretty damned well, And vice versa!

Plus, Brina just seems a lot more laid back than Skald, similarly to how Kraldar over in Winterhold is a lot more laid back than Korir. So I’ll appreciate having a couple of Jarls I like better in these places!

I am however confused by how I didn’t appear to need to do favor quests to get Brina to make me her thane. Or at least, as many as I expected. I know that giving a drink to the drunk guy at the inn counted as a favor, but I’m not at all sure what the other two were. I’m wondering whether just doing the nightmare quest counted?

According to the wiki, if Brina replaces Skald as Jarl, she’s automatically friendly to me so I don’t have to do the Waking Nightmare quest. And also, given that that quest boosts the disposition of people in Dawnstar across the board, that by itself might have counted? But I’m not seeing a definitive answer on this in my searches.

Still, though, I’ll take it! And now I have Gregor available as a housecarl. As soon as I’ve built my gold reserve back up, I’ll be able to buy the land for Heljarchen and start building that place.

This does mean though that I’ve still got several potential favor quests to do in Dawnstar, as well as the quest for Mehrunes’ Razor. (Which I’m not sure I want to do again? Though I might still do it, and this time actually spare the guy and let him keep the Razor shards. Just thinking about the value of accessing Dagon’s shrine and fighting the Dremora there!)

Once Dawnstar was sorted, and after I did some crafting and selling of things, I decided to head towards Markarth. And eventually, to go ahead and start the Lost to the Ages quest! Which is familiar territory at this point, but it is one of my favorite quests in the game. And I do find the Aetherial Crown quite useful.

The two most notable things about the trek towards Markarth were:

  • The Blooded Vampire who specifically did not attack us, and who kept trying to hide. I saw her cast a spell to make herself invisible at one point, too. The wiki page for general world interactions in Skyrim suggests that this might have been “Desperate vampire seeking shelter from the sun”, but it wasn’t an exact match for what I saw just because I wasn’t in a dungeon at the time.
  • Finding a trio of Forsworn who’d apparently taken out a couple of Imperial soldiers. I decided to nab the Studded Imperial Armor off of one of the soldiers, just because it’s a unique type of armor and not craftable. (Vexingly, it’s also not able to be tempered, but I kind of wanted it anyway. I want to compare it to the other type of Imperial light armor and see whether I like it better.) I felt a little guilty about taking a fellow Imperial’s armor! But on the other hand, ain’t like he’s gonna need it anymore…

Next time

Finishing up the run through Arkngthamz, building up enough gold to go build Heljarchen Hall, and probably stopping in Markarth to take care of that purchase order favor for Bolli in Riften!

And maybe swinging over to Ragnvald. I hear rumors there’s a source of power there!