In Which the Dragonborn Hunts for an Elder Scroll

This session was another long crunchy one, because on the night before a PTO day, I can stay up till stupid-o’clock playing Skyrim! :D

The main goal of this session was to find Septimus Signus and learn from him how to find an Elder Scroll. This required me to first find the guy, which was itself kind of challenging. Then I had to follow his request to take a Blank Lexicon to a particular Dwemer ruin, get it filled with data out of the Elder Scroll there, and bring the Lexicon back to him!

I’m going to go ahead and put even the highlights list behind the More tag, because the bullet points by themselves are long and spoilery!

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In Which the Dragonborn Destroys the Dark Brotherhood

This session was mostly all about dealing with wiping out the Dark Brotherhood, though with a side helping of tracking down the sword of Red Eagle. Highlights:

  • Sold a few things at Windhelm’s forge to lighten the load a bit
  • Spoke to Aventus Aretino in Windhelm, and even though the kid thought I was a Dark Brotherhood assassin, I agreed to kill his abuser for him
  • Went to the Windhelm docks to find the Northern Maiden; on the way, met a street kid named Sofie who was selling flowers for money to buy food; bought all her flowers
  • Tried to book the Northern Maiden to travel to Solstheim, only to find that the captain bent on never going there again; will be following up on this later
  • Then went to Riften to do the thing; was not entirely comfortable with this!
  • On the way back to Windhelm to report to the kid, had a weird dragon encounter that resulted in the dragon disappearing even though I hadn’t actually killed it
  • Aventus gave me a fairly heirloom plate
  • Headed back west in search of Red Eagle’s sword, and did battle with a whole lot of Forsworn and skeletons, not to mention Red Eagle himself, before finally claiming the blade
  • Returned to Whiterun; on the way in, had a courier deliver a note that read only “We know”
  • In Whiterun, after I did another round of saying hi to Lyds and dropping off and selling things, went to sleep—and woke up in a mysterious shack, confronted by Astrid; this did not go well for Astrid
  • Escaped the shack and hurried off to Solitude; on the way into Solitude, had another courier find me, with word that the orphanage in Riften was under new management and now publicly calling for people to consider adopting its orphans
  • Where I informed the first guard I found that I’d killed the leader of the Dark Brotherhood
  • At the guard’s urging, reported this to Commander Maro in Dragon Bridge, who sent me off to wipe out the rest of the Dark Brotherhood too
  • On the way to the Sanctuary, had another dragon encounter, and this time actually correctly fought and killed the dragon
  • Wiped them out, and headed on foot to Dragon Bridge; on the way, witnessed distant NPCs in a battle in which I elected not to interfere
  • Made it back to Dragon Bridge and reported to Maro, who was overjoyed and paid me handsomely, as well as promising to make sure the Emperor heard about what I did
  • Finally returned to Whiterun once more (with confiscated Shrouded Armor from the assassins)
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In Which the Dragonborn Quests to Repair the White Phial

This session was mostly all about the side quests, some longer than others, with the primary one being the final stage of the quest about the White Phial in Windhelm. Highlights:

  • Went back to Haemar’s Shame, a vampire nest I’d cleared out before for the Daedric quest for Clavicus Vile, to find the book Urag wanted for the college
  • Went to Lost Tongue Overlook to find another Word Wall; killed an Elder Dragon there
  • Stopped in Riften to sell things, unload, and say hi to my new housecarl Iona
  • Tried to go on the quest to get the item that needs enchanting, but discovered it’s actually in Raven Rock, which is on Solstheim, and I am not prepared to go there yet, so skipping that for now
  • Instead, took the book back to the college, and got the Illusion trainer to bump me up a couple of ticks to finish out my training for level 48
  • Then went to Windhelm to follow up with Quintus Navale about the White Phial; got the request from him to find three particular ingredients, and went off to hunt those down
  • Re-visited the top of the Throat of the World, said hi to Paarthurnax, and went a little higher this time to find the Unmelting Snow—and also, bonus enchanted pickaxe, malachite and ebony ore veins, and the gold chest full of the tunic, shield, and sword that are a Zelda easter egg in the Switch build of this game, lol
  • Second thing I had to get was powdered mammoth tusk, and for that I had to raid a giant camp
  • That camp turned out to be one of the ones within walking distance of Heljarchen, so I stopped off there to say hi to Gregor, put the Zelda gear on one of the mannequins in the armory, and do a little building of additional furnishings
  • Hoofed it from Heljarchen down to Whiterun; on the way, saw another dragon (Blood Dragon this time) attacking the Halted Stream bandit camp; tried to take on the dragon, but it never got close enough to engage and finally it flew off; discovered that yep, the dragon had killed the bandits, so I scavenged the place a little
  • Dropped off more things in Whiterun, said hi to Lydia, and proceeded to look for the third and final ingredient, a briar heart, at a Forsworn camp I hadn’t been to before
  • On the way to the Forsworn, killed another dragon, a named one this time, Nahagliiv
  • While clearing the Forsworn camp, triggered a side quest to find Red Eagle’s sword by reading one of the books they had
  • Went back to Windhelm to bring the ingredients to Quintus, who hastily repaired the Phial—and wound up giving it to me
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In Which the Dragonborn Meets the True Leader of the Greybeards

Decided to go ahead and move forward with the next stage of the main quest last night, partly just because this one was particularly important plot-wise, but also because that stage was necessary to unlock the next stage of the White Phial quest! Highlights:

  • Went back to the college to follow up with Arniel, and learned from him that he was expecting yet another thing that Enthir had failed to deliver
  • Learned from Enthir that he’d done his part of the deal thank you very much, but the courier never showed up with the item
  • Tracked down the missing courier, who was dead in a previously visited dungeon, and brought back the item he carried to Arniel
  • Watched the delighted Arniel try to finish his experiment; this did, aheh, not go terribly well for the poor guy
  • Briefly explored north of the college
  • Headed next to High Hrothgar to ask the Greybeards about this Shout mentioned on Alduin’s Wall
  • Greybeards basically went “sorry we can’t teach you this Shout, we don’t know it, you’ll have to go speak to the leader of our order”
  • Went up the mountain to do that, using the newly learned Clear Skies Shout, and met the actual leader of their order
  • Had a rather lovely conversation with said leader, but he couldn’t teach me the Shout either; he could, however, point me in the direction of what to do instead, i.e., find an Elder Scroll
  • Headed back to the college to ask Urag in the Arcaneum about how to find an Elder Scroll
  • On the way into Winterhold, got a courier to hand me two letters at once, one for the next phase of the White Phial quest asking me to come back to Windhelm, the other another Letter from a Friend with a pointer off to another Word Wall
  • Got a side quest from the enchantment teacher to get an item from a client who wanted the school to enchant it for him
  • Got a side quest from Urag to find another important book for the college
  • Got to read two books about Elder Scrolls from Urag, and one of those triggered another important quest, Discerning the Transmundane
  • Closed in Whiterun to drop off things, smooch my Lydia (in headcanon, anyway!), and prep for the next run

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In Which the Dragonborn Goes to Avanchnzel

Short-ish session last night, as Sunday is Columbo night and I don’t want to try to play Skyrim during Columbo! Highlights:

  • Popped straight back over to Avanchnzel from Whiterun, after doublechecking inventory was as light as possible
  • Got only a little ways into the dungeon before beginning to see the ghosts of the prior party
  • Main feature of this dungeon was lots and lots of automatons, including an actual factory!
  • Surprisingly, no Falmer
  • Got the Lexicon safely returned to its receptacle
  • Got safely out of the dungeon with loot, and back to Whiterun
  • Epilogue: discovered shopkeepers in Whiterun I’ve invested in are now significantly more friendly!

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In Which the Dragonborn Becomes Thane of Riften

For this session, I’d thought about hitting the mage college for the next round of Arniel’s plot, taking care of the situation with the anomaly in Markarth, and then maybe going and wiping out the Dark Brotherhood. I took care of two of these things, but not the third. Instead, I wound up becoming Thane of Riften! Highlights:

  • Got to the college to drop off the Warped Soul Gem, which Arniel happily accepted
  • Tried to fast travel multiple times over to Markarth to find the magic anomaly; had the game actually outright crash on me a couple of times, which required me to start from a prior autosave at the college
  • Third time through I actually got jumped and killed by a squad of Thalmor, see previous commentary re: fuck those guys
  • Possible root cause of crashing: one of these times through I stopped to talk to some Khajiit and was rudely interrupted by an Elder Dragon, which I proceeded to shoot the hell out of once it landed across the river; while the dragon corpse was burning, Lydia was in the middle of it?
  • FINALLY made it to the magic rupture, which required me to cut through another Forsworn camp before I could take out the three magic anomalies the rupture generated
  • Returned to the college to check in with Tolfdir, who gave me a hefty chunk of the share of the gold sent by the Jarl of Markarth for the handling of the anomaly problem
  • Decided to head south on foot to Riften and see about becoming Thane there
  • On the way, ran into Taron Dreth, Katria’s asshole apprentice from the Lost to the Ages quest, who flipped out when he saw I was carrying an Aetherium Crown; this flip out did not go well for him
  • Helped an Argonian at the Riften Fishery by giving her a healing potion to cure her skooma addiction; got her to tell me who her dealer was
  • While looking for that Argonian, actually found a second Argonian who desperately thrust me a thing called the Lexicon and begged me to return it to Avanchnzel
  • Got the Jarl’s permission to investigate, and took out the dealer and his accomplice at a warehouse
  • Wiped out the dealer home base and got the Jarl’s leave to buy property in Riften
  • Bought Honeyside and blew my entire gold reserve to furnish it out; got Iona as my next housecarl
  • Invested in Balimund’s forge because I like investing in smiths, apparently!
  • Set out west on foot from Riften to see about getting to Avanchnzel
  • On the way, passed yet another bandit fort and wound up fighting several of the bandits when they unleashed some pit wolves on us
  • Found front entrance of Avanchnzel, but realized I was close to being overloaded, so decided Lyds and I better return to Whiterun instead

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In Which the Dragonborn Learns More About How to Defeat Alduin

Since I reached level 46, it was time to proceed with the next part of moving the main questline along–and doing Alduin’s Wall! But before I did that, I took care of a bit more side quests as well, some for Riften, some for the mage college. Highlights:

  • On the way northward to get Mjoll the Lioness’s sword for her, met some bandits pretending to be soldiers
  • Recovered Mjoll’s sword Grimsever from the Dwemer ruin Mzinchaleft, where I also killed a bunch of bandits and Dwemer automatons
  • Partially cleared Fort Greenwall of bandits on the way down to Riften, but found it was a bigger dungeon than anticipated, so I’ll have to go back and clear it further later
  • Returned to Riften to give Mjoll her sword back, and to give the icewraith teeth to Marise, the vendor who wanted them
  • Stopped at Mzulft to use the convector there to charge the Warped Soul Gem
  • Went back to Deep Folk Crossing to charge the gem in both of the convectors near there
  • Killed a Frost Dragon at Dragontooth Crater while heading south for Sky Haven Temple; also killed two random Dark Brotherhood assassins, and a few Forsworn
  • Met up with Delphine and Esbern finally, and all four of us wound up having to take on a lot more Forsworn at their camp
  • Then we got into Sky Haven Temple and found Alduin’s Wall, where we learned that Alduin had previously been defeated with a Shout–but the wall didn’t say what kind
  • And now I have to go talk to the Graybeards to see if they know!
  • On the way out of the temple, got the extra-damage-against-dragons sword Dragonbane, thank you, why yes I WILL have some
  • Also, a full set of Blades armor, which is Heavy Armor so I won’t wear it but maybe it’ll look bitchin’ on Lydia?
  • Leveled up to 47 after checking back in at Whiterun for the next round of making and selling stuff; unlocked the “Investor” perk

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In Which the Dragonborn Catches a Murderer

Yesterday’s run was mostly all about doing the murder mystery plot in Windhelm, with a little extra bonus possible exorcism of Carl? Highlights:

  • Went back to the White Phial to tell the old alchemist I’d gotten his special magic bottle for him, but ohnoez, it was cracked—and his assistant was a lot more grateful about it than he was
  • Went to report to the steward in the palace to get him to allow me to help investigate the murder situation
  • Overheard Ulfric discussing plans to take over Whiterun (like four times, actually)
  • Got the steward’s permission to investigate, so went to go chat with the guard at the crime scene and look it over for clues
  • Visited the Hall of the Dead to see if the priestess there had any information
  • Found the now-abandoned house where the blood trail led, and a whole bunch of clues that led to two other people to talk to
  • Talked to a couple more people and got a pointer about a possible suspect
  • Talked to that possible suspect and got a better lead
  • Got a surprise very fast resolution as the murderer struck again, and I chased him back to the aforementioned abandoned house and took him out there
  • Got the thanks of the steward for the help and then got the hell out of Windhelm
  • Went back to Ironbind Barrow to pick up on the shiny double-enchanted weapon I’d missed before, and also killed a couple more icewraiths for the vendor in Riften
  • Headed back south again, found the Shrine of Boethiah, and then got attacked and killed by an Ancient Dragon at Kynesgrove, which rolled me back prior to finding the Shrine
  • Across the river from Windhelm, killed another generic Dragon, which may have finally exorcised Carl?
  • Returned to Whiterun and made a bunch more armor out of my excess supplies, enchanted a bunch of jewelry, and made a bunch of potions, and leveled up to 46
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In Which the Dragonborn is On the Road

I did not intend to set off plots for Windhelm in last night’s run, but I totally set off plots for Windhelm in last night’s run—along with more quests for the college, and a surprise side quest entirely because I accidentally hit the Shout button. Highlights:

  • Went to Heljarchen to try to build some shrines in the cellar, only to discover, doh, I’d left all my iron ingots in Whiterun
  • Accidentally hit the Shout button trying to get the cat out of my way
  • Cleared the inventory for questing purposes, then set out to find the three bits of equipment for the wizard in Riften
  • First stop was Ivarstead, and on the way into that, got intercepted by a courier with another Letter from a Friend, this one pointing me at Ironbind Barrow
  • So I went to that barrow next, only to discover a couple of unexpected NPCs camped out there: a Redguard named Salma, and an Argonian named Beem-ja, who insisted on accompanying me into the dungeon; this did not go well for the NPCs
  • Got the second word of the Become Ethereal Shout though!
  • Hoofed it northward from there towards Winterhold and discovered a couple more locations on the way
  • Next step: the college, to check in with Arniel, whose experiments were also not going well; he gave me back the Warped Soul Gem and asked me to take it to Dwemer convectors to charge it
  • Got the enchanter trainer at the college to give me a minor reward when I gave him some soul gems he needed
  • Also got another couple of bumps in Alteration off of Tolfdir—and a quest pointer for dealing with an aftershock from the Eye of Magnus, over in Markarth
  • Picked up Wylandriah’s next item at the inn in Winterhold
  • Decided to hoof it south to Windhelm for the third item, which let me discover a third previously unknown location
  • Found the open-air market at Windhelm, including their blacksmith, but also finally found the White Phial apothecary and triggered the quest from there to find the fabled White Phial for the shop owner; got Wylandriah’s third item while I was in there
  • On the way out of Windhelm also triggered the opening scene of the murder mystery plot there, which I did not plan to do, but I went with it anyway
  • Left Windhelm long enough to pop down to Riften and give Wylandriah her things back
  • Went to Forsaken Cave, where I’d already been, but this time I was able to get the Phial
  • Fast traveled to a nearby mill to get back to Windhelm, only HI ANCIENT DRAGON SAYS RAAAAAAAR
  • Killed the Ancient Dragon (which also killed a couple of Stormcloak soldiers), in front of startled mill NPCs
  • Was over-burdened at this point thanks to dragon bits, so had to Whirlwind-Sprint my way to Windhelm, and also make use of potions of strength
  • Found the inn at Windhelm, where I saved for the night
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In Which the Dragonborn Marries Her Favorite Housecarl

As promised, I did finally marry my darling Lydia. <3 And for a honeymoon, I took her to go kill some draugr! It’s like our first date all over again! Highlights:

  • Told Lyds “follow me. I need your help”—with getting married! ;D Off to Riften, to check in at the temple of Mara!
  • Discovered Shor’s Stone and Fort Greenwall on the way down to Riften this time
  • While waiting for it to be wedding time, wandered around Riften to find things to do and quests to pick up on
  • Got the wife of the alchemist to ask me to go get an ore sample from the aforementioned Shor’s Stone
  • Got one of the market square vendors to ask me to go get her some icewraith teeth
  • Got a bounty to go kill a bandit chief from the Jarl’s steward
  • Got the court wizard to ask me to help her go get some equipment for experiments
  • Lydia mysteriously vanished after the wedding? Apparently immediately returned to Whiterun? Also, lol, she offered to let me move in with her
  • For now, Lyds and I are still living in Whiterun, not quite prepared yet to move to Solitude? Plus I just kind of like Whiterun <3
  • Headed off to Reachwater Rock for the final stage of the Forbidden Legends quest
  • Re-killed the murderous Gauldurson brothers, and got the ghost of the father to re-forge his amulet, yay!
  • From there, went searching for Deep Folk Crossing to find the final Aetherium shard; got Katria’s ghost to go !!! and promise to meet me at the Aetherium Forge
  • And, since the Forge was conveniently where I had to go kill the bandit chief for Riften, went there next
  • Killed the bandit chief and a couple other bandits, then headed into the Forge dungeon with Lydia and Katria’s ghost
  • Found the forge and made the Aetherial Crown, and Katria contentedly went to be finally at peace
  • Back to Riften to collect the bounty!
  • Elder Dragon dropped on me right outside Riften, which startled the hell out of a nearby horse and the nearby Khajiit caravan
  • Met Mjoll the Lioness and offered to go get her lost sword for her
  • Headed back to Whiterun after that, where I had additional Carl sightings, made a boatload of daggers of various types and also a boatload of transmuted gold ore, and got additional training from Danica
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