Continuing my efforts to become Thane of All the Places, this session saw me make progress towards doing that in Haafingar, by doing part one of the Potema plot and buying Proudspire Manor.
Also, surprise housecarl standing down as Lydia volunteered herself to be my steward at Windstad Manor!
- Started off in Whiterun; bought iron and corundum from Adrianne, iron from Eorlund Gray-Mane, and a couple bits of ore from Belethor
- Boinged to Lakeview for materials check, nothing I wanted to pick up there
- Discovered Lakeview carriage driver couldn’t take me to any of the other houses? Boooooo
- Boinged to Heljarchen, nothing I wanted to pick up there either
- Boinged to Windstad to work on building; got the main house structure mostly completed, but ran out of sawn logs
- Boinged to Katla’s farm in Solitude to get near the sawmill there
- Officially discovered sawmill and found the worker there to buy logs from—an orc! Awesome
- Bought a bunch of logs and boinged back to Windstad to keep building; built the rest of the Main Hall part of the house and most of its furnishings
- Improved up the Blade of Hjaalmarch on general principles on outside grindstone
- However, ran out of iron so couldn’t finish all the furnishings; stowed a bunch of materials in entryway chest till I could come back, and also racked the Blade of Hjaalmarch
- Decided to do a circuit around Skyrim and see about finishing assorted quests on the list without fast traveling
- Headed west towards Folgunthur first; found the place and the journal in the camp outside
- Also found unmarked camp a little further west
- Then started exploring the tomb; cleared dungeon, got final word for Frost Breath, second bit of Gauldur amulet, Gauldur Blackblade
- Headed west towards Solitude; Lyds and I killed a couple of mudcrabs en route
- Swam across the water to come up onto the shore at the sawmill, aaaaaand ANCIENT DRAGON
- Taken down by combined forces of me, Lyds, and at least one or two Haafingar guards
- Guy that runs the mill was all ‘I’m getting out of here!’ Yes, you do that, let those of us with weaponry work on killing this beast
- Katla and the couple who runs the stable came running to gawk and be all ‘You took its very soul!’
- Okay good no NPCs got killed
- Headed into Solitude after to do a lot of selling of stuff to Sayma and Beirand
- Then headed over to the Blue Palace, and saw the intro scene to start the Potema plot
- Hit up Falk Firebeard for the info about clearing out Wolfskull Cave, and got his leave to go clear the place
- On the way: cultists! FUCKING cultists, man; increasing possibility I may go run Solstheim before I run Dawnguard, just because of cultists being annoying!
- Reached Wolfskull Cave and cleared it; disrupted the ritual to summon Potema
- M’aiq the liar sighted north of Shrine to Meridia
- Cut through the shrine area on the way south, and looted the Expert-locked chest I didn’t get on the way through the shrine before, ha :D
- Made it back to Solitude and got Taarie to give me her outfit quest on my way to the Blue Palace
- Reported to Blue Palace and checked in with Falk Firebeard; got paid for the work
- Chatted with Elisif who then asked me to take her husband’s horn to a Shrine of Talos
- Also plugged Radiant Raiment to her; got Taarie to pay me for the promotion on the way out of the city
- Boinged back to Whiterun; did a little alchemy at Breezehome, and slept the night
- Sold a bunch of elven and glass arrows to Adrianne to get over 18,000 gold
- Sold some stuff to Belethor as well
- Headed over on foot to the shrine since it’s not too far from Whiterun; dropped off the horn
- Fast traveled to Windstad to do some more building–and SURPRISE! Lydia offered to be my steward!
- Let Lyds settle in at Windstad, and proceeded to build the library wing and many of its furnishings; also built anvil in the back room, and forge, workbench, grindstone, and other things in the cellar
- Then boinged to Solitude to report in to Elisif; slept a while at the Winking Skeever
- Reported in to Elisif to let her know the horn was placed as requested; given permission to purchase property!
- But was still 8K short, so got up over 20K by shopping in all the shops
- Boinged back down to Whiterun and decided to go to High Hrothgar, but do the treasure spots I could get to on the way
- Boinged to Western Watchtower–and got second Ancient Dragon of the night! Took it out, which resulted in two different dragon skeletons right there by the watchtower because the last one I’d killed was still there
- Headed back into Whiterun, and made some more dragonbone arrows with the bones off that dragon
- Slept a few hours in Breezehome; picked up a couple more things out of the storage chest
- Sold stuff to Belethor and Arcadia, got to 22K
- Went back to Breezehome for Ring of Hircine, then went to Jorrvaskr and asked Aela to be my follower; gave her the Ring of Hircine
- Went treasure hunting for Treasure Map IV
- Hostile Argonian mage near road to Riverwood
- Wiki page that actually found me the chest this time: https://legacy-of-the-dragonborn.fandom.com/wiki/Treasure_Map_IV
- Discovered a cluster of tents right near Honningbrew Meadery that seem to be left over from the invasion of Whiterun? And one single Stormcloak soldier stuck in there
- “Legion soldiers gleam like fresh-fallen snow and clank like a kitchen. They head this way, we’ll know it.” Dude, a legion soldier is right behind you, and also, your camp is deserted
- But well he didn’t actually turn hostile at me so I couldn’t fight him?
- Passed a guard who swore he’d heard howling and that werewolf stories are true; I think Delga barely managed to keep a straight face until after he was gone
- (Also I feel like she’d try to have a sincere ‘seriously I don’t hate you even though I couldn’t be a werewolf myself anymore, are we good?’ chat with Aela on this trip)
- Passed a vigilant who’d just killed a flame atronach; yeah have fun with that, lady, said the Malacath worshipper
- Made it as far as Valtheim Towers, which had respawned; okay fine, toll bandit, let’s do this
- Leveled up to 48 while fighting the bandits; took a Two-Handed perk to bump up my damage
- Aela and I cleared out the place, and I looted all the bandits and chests
- Overloaded, so started Whirlwind Sprinting back to Whiterun
- Found a dead bandit marauder next to a live horse, no sign of what killed the bandit?
- Got on the horse and rode it over to the Whiterun stables
- Saw Valdimar on the road on the way? Dude, aren’t you kind of south of Windstad? Did you leave Lyds up there all by herself? Get your ass back there XD
- Headed into Whiterun with Aela; met by courier who gave me the followup note from Falk Firebeard
- Improved some of the bandit loot at Warmaiden’s, then sold it to Elrindir; that got my carry weight down enough that I was able to fast travel to Solitude
- Sold more loot to Sayma and also Beirand, and that got me over 25K :D
- Gave my Dragonscale armor to Aela because she specializes in Light Armor!
- Went to the Blue Palace and bought Proudspire!
- And read Falk’s letter so I could get his dialogue option for the Potema quest followup; got his request to go talk to Styrr
- Stopped at Proudspire first to resolve the ‘visit your new house’ quest
- Saved there for the night
So this was a nice big crunchy session. Nothing new quests-wise, but some new and surprising details of various interactions spiced things up nicely and made it a fun play session overall.
I noted to Dara yesterday that I’m finding myself trying to avoid fast travel when I can. This is partly to aid my sense of immersion in the world, but partly also just to see what entertaining things can happen on the road. Or off the road! Since I’m also periodically taking a page from Dara’s Skyrim playbook and cutting cross-country when the whim strikes.
So I got this idea to do a circuit around Skyrim and try to see what quests I could resolve as I did so. I didn’t quite hold to that this time, but still, I got in good road time!
Going to Folgunthur was the first big action of the session. Not a difficult dungeon for me at this level; cleared it out with no problems to speak of. Got the ivory dragon claw, the second bit of the Gauldur amulet, the Gauldur Blackblade, and the final word for the Frost Breath Shout.
Was surprised and pleased to find that the character I needed to buy logs from at the Solitude sawmill was a) not the actual owner of the place, and b) an orc! Got his ‘fight well’ farewell from him when I was done with my purchasing. Thanks, brother! I’ll do that.
Second big action of the session was to do the first part of the Potema plotline, going to clear out Wolfskull Cave. I do like that dungeon. :D And this was another instance where I voluntarily did some sneaking, just because I knew there’d be necromancers in there. And because I do have a ring to give a sneak boost. See previous commentary re: Delga not liking to sneak, but getting good enough at it at this point that she can sneak pretty well if she needs to. And a dark cave full of necromancers who can throw atronachs around, not to mention draugr who can throw Shouts around, is not a place you can charge through blindly and expect to be able to hit everything with your hammer.
That said: when we got up to the actual location of the ritual, I absolutely started hitting everything with the hammer. :D
Third big action note of the session was fighting two different Ancient Dragons, one at the Solitude sawmill and one at the Western Watchtower. Was very pleased the one at the mill didn’t actually kill anybody, though I saw it flying off to attack something else out of my line of sight a couple of times during the battle. No named NPCs got killed that I could see, and if it killed any of the guards, I didn’t find any sign of that either.
The dragon at the watchtower was entertaining just because of it resulting in two different dragon skeletons lying near the tower. I’ll have to see if they’re both there still the next time I fast travel in. If I rack up a third one that’ll be some Miraak-grade “dragon graveyard” shit going on there.
And in between all of this excitement, Lydia surprised the hell out of me by actually offering to be my steward at Windstad. I had already been planning to get a steward for the place, just hadn’t decided who I was going to recruit yet. And I’d managed to miss that any of your followers who are eligible to be stewards can in fact actively volunteer if they’re with you when you show up at the built houses.
So i was a bit startled by that! But took Lydia up on the offer. I shall take this as encouragement for the narrative that after following me loyally throughout all the war’s battles, and all the excitement since, Lyds might just have reached her “I’m done with traveling” point. And here’s this nice fancy house her thane is building!
So now Lyds can settle down there, and hang out with Valdimar, and swap housecarl stories. Which means I now have a housecarl and a steward on site for all three built houses, and in the case of Windstad, I’ve actually got two housecarls there.
This also led nicely to an opportunity to get Aela from the Companions on board as my new active follower! Which is appropriate for Delga’s overall narrative, so I was pleased to have the excuse to do that.
I made a point of giving Aela the Ring of Hircine. I’m pretty sure she won’t actually use it? I haven’t seen any sign of whether she’ll ever deliberately transform in a fight while she’s my follower. Nothing I’ve seen in reading up about the Companions suggests that they would go into wolf form outside the context of Companions-specific quests. But that didn’t stop me from giving her the ring on general principles. I feel like it would be appropriate for Delga to offer it to her, by way of attempting to make it up to her for getting rid of her own wolf blood.
Along similar lines, I also decided to give Aela the suit of dragonscale armor I’d previously made. Partly because my Light Armor skill is still not competitive with Heavy Armor, and partly because Aela’s default armor is skimpy Ancient Nord armor and seriously, I can do better than that.
And I report with satisfaction that the dragonscale does look badass on her. See screenshots! :D
There is a distinct possibility that Delga may actually marry Aela, too. Not immediately; I feel like Delga would want to travel with her for a while first, and see if Aela shows any signs of interest. And while the game certainly does not give me any opportunity to do so, my headcanon here is that Delga would try to make it clear to Aela that she doesn’t hate her, and that she’s sorry she had to reject her gift of the beast blood for the sake of being best able to fight dragons.
And I expect Aela having an opportunity to witness Delga fighting dragons firsthand will contribute to the two of them reaching an accord. <3
Whether I will actually have Delga marry Aela–don’t know yet! This will possibly depend on how Aela behaves as a follower. I’ve really enjoyed Lydia, Serana, and Jenassa all as followers, and so far they’re the characters I’ve felt most inclined to marry in Skyrim. If Aela has follower commentary that holds up to that, that’ll make her the frontrunner for who gets the marry the Dragonborn this time through!
Tangential thought to this: if Delga does marry Aela, I will probably have them settle in Heljarchen. Partly because Ria’s already steward there, partly because it’s not too far from Whiterun (and therefore Jorrvaskr), and partly because it’s outside of a city. So this would be an attempt to let Aela be somewhere where she can feel more free to be her wolfy self.
(Though I expect this will make for a very interesting conversation with Gregor. :D)
I hadn’t actively planned on re-running Valtheim Towers, but it worked out that way. And gave me an opportunity to get enough loot to sell to go back and buy Proudspire.
I foresee tonight’s action is going to be all about Solitude. Primarily finishing up the Potema plot, but also seeing if I can make progress with becoming Elisif’s thane. And seeing how fast I can get Proudspire properly furnished!