In Which Delga Visits Alduin’s Wall and Becomes Thane of Hjaalmarch

This session saw advancement on the main plot, wherein Delga caught up with Delphine and Esbern and learned the lore of Alduin’s Wall. After that, I went to Morthal to investigate a house burning, killed some vampires, and became Thane of Hjaalmarch!

Highlights

  • Boinged from Whiterun to Karthspire to run Alduin’s Wall quest
  • Came immediately into a bumper crop of pissed off Forsworn, and also not one but two Frost Dragons
  • I managed to kill the first dragon but not the second one, so in retrospect, maybe fast traveling directly to Karthspire was not so brilliant! >_<
  • This didn’t stop me from doing it a second time though, and the second time I only got one Frost Dragon
  • Between my flame atronach and Esbern throwing magic and a storm atronach around, this time we prevailed and headed on into Sky Haven Temple
  • Did the dragonborn-themed traps as per previous playthroughs
  • Got Esbern’s analysis of the wall
  • Got Delphine to grumpily tell me to go talk to the Greybeards about the Shout we need to know about
  • Stopped in the room to pick up the Blades armor and Dragonbane :D
  • Headed back outside; no sign of any second frost dragon, so fast traveled back to Whiterun to see about getting steel to improve my shinies
  • Point of interest: watchtower has been deserted last several times I’ve fast traveled in, is it possible to clear it of guards? o.O Or is it clear of guards because the Imperials now hold Fort Greymoor nearby?
  • Took the time to find and clear a couple of iron ore veins near the tower since I saw on the wiki that there were apparently a couple I hadn’t known about before
  • Headed into Whiterun, and got enough steel and quicksilver to improve the Blades armor and Dragonbane \0/
  • Collected stashed stuff at Breezehome
  • Sold a bunch of things to Belethor and Arcadia
  • Headed out on foot to Heljarchen, killed sabre cat en route
  • Built a shrine for Stendarr in the cellar, also added missing small chandeliers upstairs
  • Headed out on foot towards Morthal
  • Lydia killed snowy sabre cat en route
  • Got near Skyborn Altar, and killed the Frost Dragon that was the dragon for that lair, using Volendrung :D
  • Mined three orichalcum veins
  • Found Skyborn Altar properly, just down the mountainside; got the second word for Frost Breath Shout, and cleared the boss chest
  • Came down the slope into Labyrinthian, near Lost Valkygg dungeon
  • Creatures killed en route to Morthal: two frost trolls, one snowy sabre cat
  • Got the pointer to the Laid to Rest quest from innkeeper in Morthal, also bounty for killing Eldersblood Peak dragon
  • Was not able to enter Jarl’s hall, was given trespassing warning so had to leave
  • Overloaded, so quaffed potion of strength to boing to Solitude and sell stuff to Beirand and Sayma
  • Boinged back to Morthal to try Laid to Rest again; got the Jarl’s quest to investigate what happened
  • Proceeded through quest as per previous playthroughs; got thrown off a little by quest marker for the dragon bounty, which I had to deactivate
  • Initially sneaked through the first couple bits, but Movarth and his minions in the final chamber spotted me so sneaking was no longer useful
  • Burned through a lot of healing and cure disease potions; also wound up fighting them in a dark spot of the room which was a little challenging
  • Took out final thrall in the back room with the boss chest as well
  • Got Helgi’s thank you on the way out before she finally vanished for good
  • Returned to the town to report in and was rewarded by ldgrod, who also gave me the pointer to becoming her thane; started working on that, and poked around the town a bit looking for people to help
  • Got Gorm’s letter that he wanted delivered to Aldis in Solitude
  • Tried to peek into the alchemy hut, nobody in there, came back out and OH SHIT ANCIENT DRAGON
  • Dragon was a hard fight, it eventually flew off, came back, fought some more, and killed me >_<
  • Not thrown back too far though, still had Gorm’s letter; still no sign of Idgrod the Younger around the place
  • Thankfully no return of the dragon, so quaffed a potion to be able to boing to Solitude
  • Stayed the night at the Winking Skeever, then sold stuff to Radiant Raiment and Bits and Pieces; bought Smithing necklace and ring from Radiant Raiment
  • Dropped off the letter with Aldis
  • Boinged back to Morthal and finally found Idgrod the Younger; got her letter to take to Whiterun
  • Boinged to western watchtower and got two dragons; dead one, generic dragon, fell out of the sky; live one, Elder Dragon, put up a fight; got souls and bones from both
  • Tromped very slowly into Whiterun
  • Picked up alchemy gear from Breezehome; made some potions of Fortify Smithing
  • Improved another round on the Blades armor and on the dragonscale; also made a bunch of dragonbone arrows, which got the carry weight down nicely
  • Boinged to Heljarchen and built Talos, Zenithar, and Kynareth shrines in the cellar
  • Boinged back to Whiterun to drop off the letter with Danica
  • Came across a fight in the Wind District square! Whiterun guards vs. Stormcloak courier! What?
  • Boinged back to Morthal and got the thaneship, and the deed for the land for Windstad Manor, and Valdimar as housecarl
  • Headed over to start building Windstad, and killed a group of bandits + necromancer near Ustengrav
  • Built the Small House layout; left several materials in outside chest
  • Headed for Eldersblood Peak to kill dragon there
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: couple of Vigilants on the road
  • Hostile creatures encountered: frost troll
  • Eldersblood Peak dragon was a Blood Dragon, dispatched it; got word for the Disarm Shout
  • Headed back down towards Morthal; found entrance to North Cold Rock Pass on the way down the mountain
  • Hostile creatures encountered: another frost troll
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: Hunter camped out, from whom I bought assorted pelts
  • Returned to Morthal, and chatted briefly with Falion who was out walking
  • Slept the night at the inn, and got the bounty reward from the steward in the morning
  • Returned to Whiterun, and parked in Breezehome to save for the night

Alduin’s Wall quest

Main item of interest here was just fast traveling straight to Karthspire—because I’d found it in earlier explorations. And I wasn’t feeling terribly guilty about dropping a fast travel dragon on the place by going there directly.

But that said? Two fast travel dragons at once is a bit much. ;D Particularly in combination with a bunch of pissed off Forsworn!

Still though, I accomplished the big important things, which were getting the next quest pointer to go learn about Dragonrend from the Greybeards, getting the Blades armor, and getting Dragonbane!

Now that I’ve got the armor, I like it on Delga as much as I did on Merawen. It’s not quite as awesome in terms of protection as the ebony armor is. But I just like the style of it better, and it’s less blatantly boobtacular. Improving it up a couple of rounds makes it still quite effective, and the weight isn’t too much more than the ebony, either!

So as long as I’m running with Heavy Armor as my primary armor skill, this will probably remain my primary armor till I get some stalhrim on Solstheim. And for the time being, I’ve stashed the ebony at Heljarchen.

What’s up with the Western Watchtower?

As noted above in the highlights, I’ve been seeing the western watchtower completely deserted last several times I’ve fast traveled in. Usually I see at least a few Whiterun guards there. But they’ve stopped being around and I’m not sure why?

I don’t know if this is because all the guards got killed and didn’t respawn, or if this is a result of the conclusion of the war. I saw on the wiki that it’s apparently possible for the tower to lose its guards if the Stormcloaks take over Whiterun. But in my case, they didn’t, Whiterun was successfully defended and remained in Imperial control.

I’ll have to see if any guards eventually show up there again. It is my preferred location for fast traveling in to go to Whiterun. Once I start Dawnguard, it’ll also mean I see more vampires there. So guards may show up again at that point?

Laid to Rest quest

This played out more or less similarly to the previous two times through. The flow of play was a little janky in places, but well, that’s part of the entire Skyrim experience for me at this point!

Janky places included:

  1. Thonnir showed up at the place where Helgi’s coffin is buried as soon as I activated the coffin, and he looped through his “oh shit my wife was a vampire?!” dialogue until I was done talking to Helgi’s ghost and was able to actually talk to him
  2. The villagers stayed outside Movarth’s Lair while Lydia and I ran in to clear the place, as they’d done before; this time however, after I came out, they actually had lines about “shit, that place looks scary, and it’s full of vampires? NEW PLAN: let’s let the ones with actual armor and weapons go in!” Pretty sure they were supposed to say that when we got there, not sure if this is because I never tried to talk to anybody in the group before I entered the lair?

Other than that, worth mentioning that when I searched Alva’s house, I had no problems picking the lock to get in. So Delga’s good enough at sneaking at this point that she can at least pick a lock undetected in Morthal.

Alva was not in the house when Lydia and I broke in. Hroggar was, and he was immediately hostile. But I didn’t even have to kill him, because Lyds dropped him with one blow.

I only needed one go to get through Movarth’s lair this time. Did the initial bits of it in sneak, taking potshots at the spiders and thralls I found; I figure Delga didn’t like it much, but a practical warrior must realize when it is in fact appropriate for her to sneak!

However, I had to go into melee mode in the final chamber. Movarth and his minions spotted me, at which point it was time to whip out the sword and shield, and start swinging.

I did wind up having to burn through multiple potions of healing as well as cure disease. Had I been more clever, I’d have put on my necklace of Disease Immunity, but I didn’t think of that! Made it through nonetheless as I was very well stocked with potions.

Whiterun guards vs. Stormcloak courier: Fight!

This was a little bit of weirdness while I was in the process of becoming thane of Hjaalmarch, and on my way to drop off the letter for Danica Pure-Spring. While I was cutting through the square in the Wind District, I saw signs of a fight in progress.

It all happened too quickly for me to really get a good look at what happened, but I heard one or two NPCs exclaiming in alarm, and I saw one subtitle fire off attributed to “Stormcloak Courier”.

So apparently a Stormcloak courier got caught in the middle of Whiterun?

Which is really weird given that I’ve actually finished the war at this point. So it seems like the game isn’t keeping proper track of war-related activity? The wiki indicates that even if you do finish the war, a bunch of NPCs will still act like it’s going on. It doesn’t change dialogue options you have with people, for example.

And apparently Stormcloak couriers can still get caught running around?

So while the root cause of this appears to be “because the game doesn’t properly resolve the war for NPCs”, it brings up amusing questions of how to explain this from a narrative perspective. Last-ditch desperate Stormcloak trying to sneak into Whiterun? Maybe trying to reach an undercover Stormcloak sympathizer?

Or a not undercover Stormcloak sympathizer? Clan Gray-Mane, I’m looking straight at you.

Next time

Heading into the weekend, so I have a number of interesting things to pursue in the weekend’s sessions:

  1. Working on building out Windstad
  2. Gotta find me a steward to hang out there with Valdimar
  3. Three more thaneships to get, Solitude, Markarth, and Windhelm
  4. Should go find the rest of those Aetherium shards
  5. May or may not run the Forbidden Legend quest?
  6. Dawnguard is likely imminent
  7. And oh yeah I should go have a word with Arngeir about that Shout, and stuff

Screenshots