In Which Delga Goes to Mzulft for the College of Winterhold

A good bit of this session’s action was just building, crafting, and selling things—but there was also progress on the main plot for the mage college!

Highlights

  • Loaded up on stuff to take to Heljarchen, including Dwemer cogs
  • Tromped up to Heljarchen, and dropped off a bunch of smithing supplies; also converted a bunch of iron ore to gold so I could make jewelry, which got me under carry weight
  • Fast traveled to Stony Creek Cave to get Shalidor’s writings for Urag; got those, and did not bother to loot the bandits
  • Boinged to Riften to catch up with the Khajiit and give Kharjo his amulet; got him to promise to be my follower if I needed him ❤️
  • Also traded a bunch with Ahkari
  • Boinged to Shrine of Azura to go to the college
  • Hostile creatures fought en route: ice wraith, snowy sabre cat
  • Made it to college, and gave Sergius some Grand Soul Gems
  • Did the cleansing of focal points quest for Drevis
  • Got training from all five trainers
  • Returned all books to Urag and got training books in return
  • Proceeded through main college plot: talking to Tolfdir, visit from Quaranir (and suspicion from Ancano); seeking out the Augur of Dunlain and getting instruction to find the Staff of Magnus; reporting to Arch-Mage and getting pointed at Mirabelle; Mirabelle telling me that the Synod researchers may have gone to Mzulft to look for the staff
  • Hostile creatures fought in the Midden: ice wraith, a couple of skeletons, frostbite spiders
  • Off to Mzulft! Headed south from Winterhold
  • Hostile NPCs encountered: cultists
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: trio of Thalmor
  • Hostile creatures encountered: snow bear, ice wolf
  • And killed by bandits, dammit; thrown all the way back to college
  • Heading south through windhelm, take two
  • Snow bear and Thalmor encountered as before
  • Additional hostile NPCs encountered: Dark Brotherhood assassin; pair of necromancers wanting revenge for Malyn Varen
  • Additional hostile creatures encountered; snowy sabre cat
  • Got bandits again, but this time Lyds and I took them out
  • Stormcloak soldier near a Stormcloak camp not far from Windhelm, warned me to back off; I backed off and headed on into Windhelm
  • Whoo boy, the smiths are definitely pissed at me now in Windhelm, so I didn’t do any business with them (though I did use their equipment while they weren’t there); sold stuff to Niryane instead, and then Revyn
  • Decided to boing to Western Watchtower
  • Ancient Dragon! Lydia and i started fighting it, only it flew off to just north of the tower—and dammit, it killed the stray dog 😢
  • Also spotted the Khajiit caravaners all kneeling by that Orc skooma addict I’d killed earlier, with their hands over her; they looked simultaneously endearing and a little creepy, uh, are you all trying to raise her, or what?
  • Did some alchemy in Breezehome, then sold a bunch of potions to both Belethor and Arcadia
  • Boinged back to Heljarchen, and built out both of the enchanter tables there
  • Also hit all of the sacks and barrels to see what food items I had, and made a lot of food at the cooking pot and oven in the kitchen
  • Boinged back to Riften to sell things; came in at Fort Greenwall and didn’t have any fast travel encounters triggered
  • Sold a bunch of crafted armor from Heljarchen to Balimund; also sold several things to Bersi at the Pawned Prawn
  • Dropped off several things at Honeyside to lighten the load, then set out for Mzulft
  • Hostile creatures encountered: four different wolves, one single bear, one single cave bear, one cave bear that had apparently been part of a two-bear attack on Imperials + Stormcloak prisoner?
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: last surviving member of trio of Imperial soldiers with prisoner, the others had been killed by bear and cave bear
  • Made it to Mzulft; visited storeroom first, and found Katria waiting at the locked door
  • Opened the door so we could get in and get the shard, and Katria vanished to go looking for shards three and four
  • Cleared the two chests in the storeroom, and also picked up all the ingots, but left behind the scrap metal as it’s too heavy to carry
  • Went to Mzulft main entrance and saved there for the night, as this is a big dungeon and I didn’t want to try to start it after 11pm

Commentary

For the record, I’m a little sad that the smiths in Windhelm are now super-pissed at me. But there’s nothing to be done for it, really; this is a consequence of their being ardent Stormcloak supporters, and I did sorta kinda participate in taking over their city and bringing about the death of their Jarl. Even if I didn’t kill Ulfric myself, that’s still a very bitter pill for them to swallow.

I’m a little surprised, however, that more people in Windhelm aren’t super-pissed at me? Granted, most of the Windhelm NPCs I regularly deal with are non-Nords, so it’s plausible for them to be relieved now that Imperial forces have taken the city.

From what I’ve been seeing on the wiki, though, even putting Brunwulf Free-Winter in charge in Windhelm doesn’t dramatically change things for the better there. Dude’s apparently having an affair with the proprietor of the Candlehearth Inn, Elda, and she’s actively bigoted against non-Nords and particularly Dunmer. Brunwulf doesn’t allow Argonians to set foot in the city, either.

Also, the two dickweeds who harassed the Dunmer woman, and whose idea of a good time is to go through the Grey Quarter at night shouting abusive remarks, show no particular sign of improving their behavior. Apparently it is possible to get into a brawl with Rolff and punch the shit out of him to make him treat you better, but that doesn’t improve his behavior to anybody else.

All of which adds up to my being ambivalent about whether to go for being thane in Windhelm now that that’s actually possible. I may do it anyway just because it’s a new thing I haven’t tried yet! But from a narrative perspective, I feel like Delga wouldn’t want to try to throw her weight around in Windhelm too soon. Particularly not to the Nords.

There are real interesting questions here though of how much the city in general was behind Ulfric. And the game at least does drop indications that Brunwulf Free-Winter will try to take the city in a better direction.

In the meantime, though, while I’m waffling about whether to go for being thane in Windhelm (and doing the murder plot again so I can get the house there), I worked on advancing the mage college quest.

Now I’ve gotten to the point of the really fun stuff there—going to Mzulft to get the clues about the Staff of Magnus, and going to Labyrinthian after that to actually get it! And as a side bonus, going to Mzulft let me get the second of the Aetherium shards as well.

But none of that is new territory at this point, so I have nothing necessarily new to say about this plot other than, yep, still enjoying it!

One more thing I will touch on though is that I’m enjoying playing with the kitchen wing I built at Heljarchen this time. It’s kind of hilarious to me that I can now do cooking in both of the games I regularly play on the Switch, Skyrim and Animal Crossing! But in Skyrim, the food is actually slightly more useful as you can eat it to get health points. And depending on what you make, you can get other benefits as well.

(I feel like this will be a hell of a lot more interesting to me once I finally get hold of a Steam Deck and can play a build of Skyrim that’ll let me do survival mode!)

Next time

I’ll be picking up where I left off and running the Mzulft dungeon! That will probably take up most if not all of the session. But, time permitting, I may also try to do the next round of building, crafting, and selling. And if I level up to 46, I’ll need to get in another round of training.

Screenshots

Just the one this time!