Farming in World of Warcraft. Argh

After harvesting crops, the soil could become “occupied” meaning there are virmen hiding under the dirt. Today I got 4 in a row. What the—!?

Seriously?

At exaulted with the tillers, you get 16 spots to plant seeds in, and therefore you harvest 16 plants a day. I’ve been farming Songbells, which grant one mote of Harmony with each plant, so every day I get one Spirit of Harmony and six extra motes to hang on to.

The problem is every single patch of soil has it’s problems, whether you plant something or harvest it.

Today as you can see in the picture, I have 4 occupied soils, which is clearly noticeable by the patches of dust flying up from the ground… I’d hate to think how “busy” those virmen are down there! I better get rid of them soon. I thought it was crazy and silly, however, that all four of them are in one single row!

All in a day’s work… ARGH!

So I tilled the soil around it for the time being and planted more songbells… and I hesitated tending the crops so you can see for yourself the trouble I have to go through. Aside from the 4 occupied soils that I have yet to tend to, I have the following problems:

  • 3 Runty Songbell
  • 3 Wild Songbell
  • 2 Parched Songbell
  • 2 Infested Songbell
  • 1 Smothered Songbell
  • 1 Tangled Songbell

The Runty ones I just have to click on, and it makes me kneel down and then I hit the spacebar to make my toon jump, and it pulled the runty plant up and it grows normally. Easy enough. The Parched ones need water, the Infested ones I have to spray bug spray on them. Smothered has an encroaching weed I have to click on and then spam a button to pull it up. Tangled I click on and move away to sort of pull the weeds out, slightly different from the smothered type. And the Wild ones are a pain. I have to hop onto the long tendrils and wrestle it to show it who’s boss, and it occasionally smacks me into the ground.

It’s all too much, really.

So if Blizzard ever reads this, I hope they see my suggestion here: Why can’t we put a seed in the ground and just have it go directly to “growing”…. I mean sometimes, very rarely, the seed can go directly to bursting, which lets you harvest it right away and then plant something else! Why not have all these problems be less common, but not entirely rare… Let the “Growing” happen a lot more often so we don’t have to spend ten minutes dealing with wild plants, ravenous virmen, and swooping birds!? THANK YOU! %)

So I go ahead and fix all these problems, clear out the 4 virmen in the occupied plots, till the soil and plant 4 more songbell seeds. Two are Runty, one is Infested, and the last one is wiggling. I KNEW IT! I just knew they were doing SOMETHING down there!!! ARGH!

So yeah, if ten or twelve of these plants can just go to growing when I plant them and then I have 4 random problems with the others, then I’d be fine with that… but all 16 plants with various random things happening to them!? Grrr… It’s a bit much!

WTS old defective scarecrow, paying all that glitters!

Adventures of Amaki’dar: The Shadow

After having to deal with the Blackblood Maurauders and a few local vampires and Potema summoners, and after doing a few side quests involving showing off a dress to the Jarl of Solitude (Don’t mind the hole in the back, that’s just for my tail to go through) and being told to check up on a spice shipment down at the port, I finally go and get a drink down in The Winking Skeever. I ask the bartender about the name of his pub, and he explained that he had a pet skeever when he was younger. They were smaller back then. If I had a skeever for a pet it would be just so I could eat it for dinner. Still I smile politely and find the lizard I’ve been looking for.

You can drop the act now, lizard. I’m here about Goldenglow Estate.

Gulum-Ei is an argonian, and has been working at the docks for the East Empire Trading Company, which is a very big company that’s backed by the empire. Wonder what’ll happen to them if and when Ulfric Stormcloak wins the civil war… Hmmm… Maybe we’ll tax them for trading in our country. Anyway, Gulum-Ei is also a member of the thieves guild that operates in Solitude, so he’s a potential fence.

Or was… When I start talking to him, he claims that he doesn’t work for the guild anymore. I ask him about Goldenglow Estate, and he said he doesn’t know anything about it. But after a successful persuasion, I get him to talk. Turns out the buyer came to him and gave him a big sack of gold to act as buyer for Goldenglow estate. Then he says he didn’t know the name of the buyer, but I felt he was lying.

He says, “Look I’ve told you everything I know. I never said I’d have all the answers. Now that our transaction is completed…”

I frown at this. I glance around. Maybe he was pretending we were discussing trades in case we were being overheard. We were in a pub remember. But still, I was a dis-satisfied customer. And what do I do when I’m unhappy with my transaction? I find out where they live, sneak inside in the middle of the night, and steal everything!

He has to be lying. He knows whom I seek. Time to follow him like a little lost orphan kitten. Meow!

So naturally as Gulum-Ei started leaving, I started to follow him at a pace, always keeping him in sight. We go down to the docks and I end up pausing by the kiosk and talking to Vittoria Vici and persuading her to release a shipment of supplies to a shopkeeper up in Solitude. Once that is done I spy Gulum-Ei going into the East Empire Company Warehouse. I go up to the door and notice it’s locked. Heh. As if locks can keep me out. I easily pick it and slip inside unnoticed.

Wow. He’s in the warehouse for this big Imperial Trading company. Being a thief himself I bet he’s smuggling contraband. ^-^

The warehouse has guards patrolling along the gangplanks and boats that are inside. Shelves of crates and goods, armor, weapons, and food, and other things besides draws my eye. It’s a thief’s shmorgasboard in here! But I keep my paws off everything and keep my eyes on the real prize, the sneaky lizard who doesn’t get hassled by the guards at all. I keep to the shadows at all times and tail him… until he doubles back and goes down a ramp and into some water. What the…

I growl to myself since my fur is wet again and notice that there is another ramp leading up and out of the water, much to my delight, and it leads to a path hidden behind a shelf of crates… and to a door in the cavern wall. The whole warehouse is really a very big cave, and my guess is someone must have found a way into another series of caves and kept it hidden. I sneak through the door and find some bandits on guard here.

Soooo, that’s what the lizard is up to! He’s turned his back on the thieves guild and is now pirating goods from the East Empire Trading Company to a bunch of bandits! RAWR! I shoot an arrow into one bandit and then slit the throat of the other. Several more bandits later I have Gulum-Ei cornered.

After killing the other bandits who were in on this smuggling operation, I corner the lizard and get him to talk.

“Now look, there’s no reason to do anything rash!” he says.

And I say, “Hell with that, scale-face. I’m soaking wet, I smell like tuna, and I’m not in a good mood! Now look, Mercer Frey doesn’t have to know about all this, so I’ll forget all this, including my dry cleaning bill, if you’ll tell me who the buyer is!”

“The name of the person you’re after is… Karliah!”

“….erm… Never heard of him.”

“She’s the one who killed the previous guild master, and now she’s after Mercer Frey.”

“Oh that guy… gal… Great. Thanks for the info. By the way, do you know where she is?”

“She mumbled something about, where the end began.”

“Right. Okay. See you later.”

“You’re coming back?!”

“Yeah, I stole some nice things from a shop earlier, I thought you’d fence them… unless you’d rather I killed you?”

“No no, I’ll buy whatever you’ve stolen.”

“Cool deal. Smell ya later.”

So yeah, the slimy lizard lives. I left the caves and came out just north of Solitude. After a quick stay at the inn I decide to head back down to Whiterun where my new house is and drop off some of the things I stole from the cave I found Gulum-Ei in. Before I leave I take one last walk around Solitude. I did a great service for these people in stopping the summoning of Potema the wolf queen not too long ago, so I was fast on the way to becoming a Thane in Solitude. Finally I leave the city and start my long walk to Whiterun.

Hey, I can see the lighthouse from here!

In Whiterun I store some cool weapons I don’t want to get rid of, I disenchant a couple of items and then I mix a few potions and sell them. I was just on my way to the blacksmith when a courier comes up to me and delivers a letter.

It’s from Falk Firebeard in Solitude. He wants me to come back immediately.

Facepalm. I just left there last night and he wants me to come back?! ARGH! DUDE! Why didn’t he say something before I left!? I sigh to myself and think, Oh hell with that, I’m going back to the thieves guild!

But oh wait, while putting books in a chest in my house, I come across the letter I got from the tomb of the Windcaller. I have to track down whoever took the horn and get it to the Greybreads as soon as I can. The Sleepy Giant Inn, eh? I know the place, it’s in Riverwood, just south of Whiterun. Guess I can drop by and see what’s what…

Services in Solitude

Well, first off I made it to Solitude. This is supposed to be the place you go when you’re siding with the Imperial Army, but that’s not what I’m after. First I sneak into a shop and make changes in their ledger for the thieves guild. Then as I’m looking around an Argonian speaks to me, telling me that if I ever get bored, then I should talk to him. I already have a lot on my plate, but I chat with him anyway. Seems he has a job to do and is willing to hire me to get it done. He works with/runs the Blackblood Marauders and since the city knows them, it’s pretty risky for him to even be in town. So since his boys can’t do the job, a Purr-fect stranger could. He hires me to go put out the lighthouse so a ship can crash into the ice… The Icerunner is gonna go run upon some ice apparently. I take the job on the promise of some extra loot to gain.

My associates are the Thieves Guild. You REALLY want me to tell them about your profitable little store? *snicker*

Before I leave however, I decide to lighten my load as much as I can. I sell extra weapons, armor, and gems to the local shopkeepers. As I finish one particular transaction, the shopkeeper tells me to be sure to mention her business to my associates. I turn away and grin, and I walk outside and notice the shadowmark just next to her door. If I’m not mistaken, they’re already well aware.

Now being a member of the thieves guild, I wonder if this lighthouse job would clash against them, but I decided it probably wouldn’t. After all, it’s more gold for the guild, right? Why not. So I run down to the lighthouse and put out the big old bonfire on top of it. Then I race back to the docks to meet up with the lizard, Jaree-Ra. He tells me to meet up with his sister Deeja at the wreckage for my cut and then I part ways with him, opting to swim across the river to the marshes and make my way north to the wreckage.

I look bored? You look lazy!

By the time I get there the ship is crawling with marauders, who pay no attention to me, except to tell me to go down below where Deeja is. As I go through the ship I notice they already cleaned it out of most of the loot. Chests are empty, supplies mostly gone. I get a little suspicious, especially when I find Deeja and see that she’s standing near a couple of open and empty chests. She then tells me that the loot is already taken out, and that my reward is to be a swift death. I slash her to pieces and the marauder that comes in from behind me and then immediately settle into a crouch. Time to sneak out of here, kill the pirates, and find out where the loot is. I look through Deeja’s pockets. She had a note from Jaree-ra saying to send to loot to Broken-Oar Grotto. So, after slashing the throats of the rest of the marauders, I check my map and start running to my new destination.

Several dead marauders later, I steal whatever I can find in the caves then go back up to the city and sell it. Now Jaree-Ra said that the things on the Imperial ship would not be missed, and I was thinking I’d help the war effort in favor of the Stormcloaks by taking a lot of weapons and armor away from the Imperials… Yet where do I sell all this stuff I’ve pillaged? In Solitude.

Facepalm.

So I do a few side jobs in town. I show off a dress to the Jarl of Solitude, the woman who’s claiming to be high Queen of Skyrim even there was no vote on it. When a King dies in Skyrim, a moot, which is a meeting of the Jarls, is supposed to happen where they get together and sort of appoint the next high king. Well, Jarl Ulfric challenged the old high king to a duel and killed him, and his wife is now the Jarl of Solitude in that high king’s old place, and she thinks that also allows her to assume the mantle of High Queen of Skyrim. That just doesn’t seem right to me, especially as I walk in I witness a meeting. A villager is asking for help with something, and at first the Jarl says she’ll send a whole military force to help with this problem, but then her advisers dissuade her… so I feel like this Jarl is more of a puppet. Well, I guess we all know who I won’t be voting for if ever I’m asked to take part in the moot. Anyway, one of the advisers sends me to the cave to check it out and see if it’s just animals or something more sinister. Another adviser is a wizard who sends me to kill some vampires.

Now why would someone go through the trouble of building a castle underground and put on a light show?

Deceased Vampires and summoners later I return. The vampire job was easy peasy, but the other quest was not. Turns out there was a summoning ritual going on to bring Potema back to life. I disrupted it gloriously, and get rewarded for my efforts.

Now I head into the Winking Skeever next and find another Argonian. Yep, this is my day for lizards. Why do I wish I was wearing a pair of alligator skin boots suddenly? Ah well. Now I’m on business with the thieves guild. Time to get some answers!

Owlaf and the Anglers

Well, I got to exaulted with the Anglers today on my main toon Owlaf. There are only three dailies for this reputation, although there are also some fish you can fish up that can be turned in once a day, but these fish are rare to catch. Not only that but those fish are the only way to gain rep with Nat Pagle, so I know getting exaulted with him will take forever since I don’t fish a lot.

The Azure Water Strider

But still, I’m exaulted with the Anglers, and that means I was able to buy the Water Strider mount. It’s considered an insect, although only four of its legs are most noticeable, the smallest two appendages are just under the creature’s mandibles. But the best benefit to getting this mount is for it’s ability to walk on water (in non-battleground areas), so this mount is a must-have for when you go questing as a low-level character and you haven’t gotten flying yet, or are in an area that has no flying… and lots of water.

The Water Strider runs low to the ground, and it’s long legs stretch out on either side of it, which probably is what contributes to it’s water-walking ability. Now just about everyone can ride on a mount across a lake without being a shaman or a death knight, and without an elixir of water-walking.

Cancel all orders on Elixirs of Water Walking. Everything under the carapace is okay!

The best thing I love about this mount is the “/mountspecial” action it does. As with all ground mounts, all you have to do is hit the space bar, or whichever is your jump button, while your mount is not moving. The critter will bring his feet in right under his body and thus raise itself up into the air and look around. The first time I did this, I said to myself, “YOW!!! WHOA!” and laughed at the action it did. Imagine you’re in a car and you press a button and the car raises itself up by about twelve feet into the air in two seconds, like in those spy movies. That’s what it looks like. ^-^

Even weirder when a moonkin is on it.

The strength this Strider has is incredible. Capable of stretching itself to full height even while supporting a Moonkin. This probably also applies to Tauren as well.

Ustengrav: The Hunt for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

Mages raising the dead to dig in the ruins… whatever for? They’re mages, not miners.

Upon entering the crypt called Ustengrav, I find several dead bandits and sneak along, and then I eavesdrop on two magic users nearby. From their conversation it seems they’re raising dead minions for their digging operation. What they are digging for and why I don’t know. They hear something and leave the room to investigate, leaving me free to look through their things and see what I can find. Once I take a few books and herbs, I head down the tunnel after the two mages.

And that’s when I find out that they’re fighting several Draugr in the tunnel just ahead. I stay back for a minute or two and watch the show. Fire and ice spells against the undead? Wish I had popcorn! This is wicked cool. Eventually the shouts from the draugr die down and I move ahead. The Draugr won of course. The mages are all dead, and I pick off the undead fiends one by one from the shadows before moving ahead. One I reach the door that takes me into the depths of the place, I bet that I won’t be seeing any more mages at all.

They managed to take down maybe a few Draugr, but they got overwhelmed in the end. Quite a show though.

Interestingly, when I first saw the mages when I came in, I prepared my bow with some spider venom I had, but I hesitated to attack them. After listening to them and letting them go on ahead I didn’t have to kill a single mage at all, so my poisoned arrow was first used on a draugr instead… turns out they’re immune to poison. *Writes down on paw* Draugr and Vampires immune to poison. Never use poison on them ever again!

As I descend into the depths of the crypt, I see one Draugr coming towards me, but he hasn’t seen me yet, so I shoot at arrow at him. I went on down to collect my arrow, and saw where it hit. right between the eyes! Actually the arrow almost went into his left eye, and seems to be just a quarter inch shy of the tear duct. Whatta shot! I even cast a magelight to be sure. Gotta practice my magic anyhow.

After finding another word wall, this one with the word FEIMupon it, i try it out. It seems to make me ethereal. It prevents harm from coming to me, yet on the other paw it prevents me from doing harm to others. I’ll have to experiment with this one. ^-^

The three glowing stones for the gate trigger. Get ready to shout your way through.

Moving along I come upon three gates and had to levels or buttons or pulleys of any kind, but they did raise up when I stood next to some stones, which glowed in response. The result of the gates opening was temporary, as was revealed when I stepped away from the stones to go through they gates only to have them slam shut on me once more. Stepping back to the rocks so they glow again, I wait for the gates to come up, then WULD! And I shoot right through them before they shut. Once I’m on the other side, they stay open for some reason. I roll my eyes and think to myself, Why didn’t you stay open a minute ago?!and move on.

No epic fights in here. Just four big dragon-ish statues coming out of the water and an ominous note.

After killing several oversize spiders that would give R.O.U.S.es trouble, I finally make it. The tomb of Jurgen Windcaller. But the horn isn’t there. Instead there are two dead draugr and a note written by a friend, or so it’s signed. Turns out someone wanted to meet me and stole the horn first. Great. Now whoever it is has got the bait and they’re dangling it at… *uncrumples parchment note and holds it up to candle light* at the Sleeping Giant Inn? In Riverwood? You’re kidding me! Was it Ralof? The Stormcloak soldier who helped me escape Helgen during the dragon attack? I would consider him a friend, but why didn’t he just come to me in person? Why sneak in through the backdoor and… hey! WAIT A MINUTE! I scoured the place clean! I took every gold coin from every urn and treasure chest, I checked all the walls for secret passageways and such. Wha– how did this note-giver get in here!? How come they get to go through this secret entrance in the back of the room? Why the heck did I have to go through all the trouble of fighting mages and draugr and spiders?!

…Then again if I hadn’t done all that I wouldn’t be nearly over-encumbered with loot and I wouldn’t have found the shout for Become Ethereal. So I shrug my shoulders and go through the door behind the tomb, and to my surprise, the “friend” left all the loot untouched. Hmm. I pick up what I can carry, all I can get, and head on outside.

All those hawks up there… All the fish in the river leading out to sea… Khajiit Paradise. I think I’m gonna LOVE Solitude!

A quick run to the west and a nice swim later, I’m on the docks just below the city of Solitude. I wonder if I’ll find Clark Kent here… Nahh.. But looking up I do see a lot of hawks flying around. You’d think it would be seagulls. All the same I draw my bow and arrow and manage to shoot down half a dozen at least, then jump back into the water to collect the beaks and feathers.

Good to be a cat. =^.^=

Amaki’dar in Morthal

Well, when I finally arrive in Morthal, there’s a group of men gathered just outside the building where the jarl resides. Seems like the town is upset about a couple of things. One is a resident wizard who’s moved in. I go chat with him and he seems to be a nice fellow, and I buy as many spell books as I can and learn a lot of magic spells. I doubt I’ll ever cast them and it takes time to level those kind of skills, but you never know when you might need it!

This lady speaks in riddles and rhymes… makes me wonder if her grandfather was Dr. Seuss or Alan Poe…

The other issue is a little more stressing. It seems a house was burned down recently and two people died in it. The basic story I learn is that the man, named Hroggar, who lived there had a wife (who remains nameless) and daughter named Helgi, and those two perished in the house fire. The very next day,  Hroggar had moved in with some other woman named Alva. The whole town thinks he set the fire and murdered his family so he could pursue this younger love interest of his. The jarl asks me to find out whether this really was an accident or a murder. So I go to the remains of the house, which already has a layer of snow settling upon it.

That’s where I found the little girl ghost. I try to ask her some questions but she wants to play hide and seek first… and I have to wait till after dark to find her. Spooky. First I deal with ghosts in Rannveig’s Fast, now this? I’m starting to wonder if I’m turning into a Ghost Buster or something. I’m certainly not Scooby Doo… I’m a Khajiit, not a Great Dane! Still, I shrug my shoulders and head into the inn to wait until nightfall…

I’ll have a Whopper with extra lettuce, hold the mayo… large fries… and a chocolate shake… make it thick!

I can’t find the ghost girl in the village, so then I try the graveyard. That’s where I see one of the graves has been exhumed, and a woman is standing over it. The woman tried to attack me, and I realized she was a vampire and killed her before she could harm me. Then I hear the little girl’s voice coming from the coffin. It was Helgi alright, and she explains that the woman I just killed was Laelette, and that she was trying to make Helgi into a vampire but the fire got to her first. As Helgi finishes talking, a man approaches.

This guy’s name is Thonnir, and he recognizes Laelette, and discovers to his horror that she’s a vampire. I asked Thonnir about Laelette, and he said he thought she went off to join the Stormcloak Rebellion, which was why she disappeared for a long time. He did notice she started spending a lot of time with Alva before she disappeared, and yet weeks before that she despised Alva. I assume that Alva might be a vampire as well, which meant that Alva made Laelette into a vampire in the first place. Thonnir denies it, though, trying to convince himself that Laelette met her fate in the swamps, but I decide to try and prove that Alva is a vampire.

I sneak into Alva’s house, and sure enough Hroggar is there, and he tries to kill me when I come in. I ended up killing him in the end, and I go into the basement where I found an empty coffin and a journal belonging to Alva. Turns out Alva was sent into town on orders from a master vampire named Movarth Piquine to kill the guards in the town of Morthal, and then the coven of vampires could move in and have a constant source of blood for their powers as well as protection from the sunlight. She seduced Hroggar and enslaved him, then made Laelette into a vampire to serve as a sort of handmaiden and told her to kill Hroggar’s wife and daughter, but something went wrong and sprouted all the suspicions and that’s when I came into the picture with my investigation.

I bring the journal to the Jarl, and she commends me for finding out the truth and asks me to finish things up by slaying Movarth. Half the town is waiting outside for me, including Thonnir who wants vengeance for Laelette (thankfully he’s referring to Morvarth and Alva’s turning Laelette into a vampire and not to me killing Laelette the vampire. Whew!). We head off to Movarth’s lair and when we get there I ask if I have to do this alone, and Thonnir wants to come. I tell him it might be better if I dealt with this alone, and he agrees, saying that he’s not the fighting type. Then he and the other villagers walk away calm as anything.

WAIT! That’s it? No arguments!? I thought you wanted revenge! GET BACK HERE YOU— oh nevermind!

I roll my eyes and head on into the lair and kill all the vampires I find, including Movarth. Staying hidden in the shadows and striking out with my bow and arrows is my primary tactic. One thing I did learn was the vampires were immune to poisons… but their thralls aren’t. Thralls are mindless servants of the vampires, like Hroggar was. They may be slaves, but they’re still human at least, so I save my poisons for them.

Once I’m done cleaning their clocks, I head outside and run back to Morthal to report my success to the jarl…

WHOOSH!

Never fails. I come out of a vampire lair and a dragon swoops by to attack the village.

I stop… and look up… and see a dragon flying past me and roaring a challenge. Oh joy. I draw my bow once again, wondering why I even sheathe my weapons around here at all, and prepare to fight.

Wanderings of Amaki’dar

Can you see the dragon here?

Being a Khajiit, I have the mindset of a cat that can do whatever she wants. I have to go to Solitude and talk to an Argonian about the buyer of Goldenglow Estate and find out who it is, but right now I don’t wanna. There’s just too much to do in Skyrim. So many caves and ruins to explore. Elk to shoot for venison and hides. Skills to level up. (Being a werewolf takes away the rested bonus when you let your character sleep every so often, so I’m putting The Companions quest line off for the time being. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a werewolf in this game, but I wanna make use of rested XP bonuses while I can.)

During my journeys I come across a tower with a dragon hanging out on top of it. I kill it after a short fight by firing arrows at it. It was a fire dragon, so I used my frost breath shout to try and give him a chill pill. Once he’s out cold I climb up the ruins and find a word wall. The word in question was KRII, which means kill, and is a shout that is supposed to weaken my foes. Marked for Death is the name of this shout, and I decide to try it later on.

I try to take a shortcut through the mountains and end up sliding down a slope and entering a valley that led to some more ruins. Fighting draugr and skeletons along the way, I eventually encounter another dragon and decide to try me new shout. I notice a slight difference and try to keep it up as often as I can. The Dragon keeps landing nearby and breathing ice at me (so my own frost breath wouldn’t work as well – hence I unlocked the Marked for Death shout to try it out), and I keep ducking behind some pillars. This helps shield me from his breaths, and as soon as he stops I can step out and shoot an arrow up his nose, which makes him fly up, circle me in the air, then land once again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Unfortunately all of our activity wakes up a very powerful draugr and it starts to attack me as well. So I’m trying to avoid frost breaths from a dragon and stay out of range so it won’t bite my tail off, and now I’m constantly moving about, shouting KRII at the drauger now as well as at the dragon, and trying my best to avoid the draugr’s sword. Talk about multitasking! Eventually both go down, and I move along and find the word wall that they were protecting. This one has the word GAAN on the wall, and is the first word for Drain Vitality… which is similar to Marked for Death in a way.

“You know, I really thing these word walls are really a dragon comic strip about a character named ‘Drake.'”

And after grave robbing a lot of things, I become overburdened. Rats. So I use my emergency course of action – I drink a stamina potion which increases my carry weight by about 20, just enough to no-longer be weighted down by all the loot I have, and then I fast-travel to Whiterun. The instant I arrive it’s nighttime, and the potion has worn off of course. So now I walk… slowly… miserably… snail-like… all the way to The Drunken Huntsman. The elf inside keeps his tavern open 24/7, so I’m able to see the weapons and armor I’ve looted. Now that I’m no longer overburdened, I run to Breezehome and drop off the 6 dragon bones and scales into a cabinet for later use. I perform some cooking and alchemy while I’m there, contemplate joining The Companions, decide against it for now, then get some sleep.

The next day I wake up and decide to go for a long walk out of Whiterun. I know of a cave that can take me from the south side of one mountain to the north side, and it should be a nice short-cut to Morthal, so I head in that direction. On the way there, I met a farmer and his cow. The farmer was taking his cow to a nearby giant camp as a sort of peace offering. Doing this annually tends to keep the giants from attacking his livestock, or so he’s claimed because I don’t know how long he’s kept up with this tradition. The funny thing was he put paint all over his cow… it’s to let the giants know it’s for them somehow. I just scoff to myself and say, “well good luck to ya!”

So, what’s the paint on the cow for again? O.o

Now an interesting side effect of Skyrim is that when you’re in a conversation with someone, somebody else could sneak up behind you at any moment and would have something to say to you, and they never interrupt you. It could be a courier with a letter, it could be a fugitive who gives you a random weapon he stole from a hunter, it could be a gang of thugs who are out to teach you a lesson. This time though, as soon as I’m done talking to the farmer, my view immediately swivels around to the next person who’s been trying to speak with me, and it’s a thief. Amazingly, it looks exactly like the same thief I encountered the last two times. The first time he was about to rob me but then saw I was in guild armor and left me alone while wishing me luck, and the second time I saw him he gave me five free lock picks. This time it’s the same guy, same thief, and once again he gives me free lock picks before departing. The only problem I had was when I finished talking to the farmer and the thief started chatting with me right away… and well… it scared the crap outta me. I thought maybe it was thug or a bandit or an assassin that was trying to attack me. Don’t do that again, you! And thanks for the lock picks!

Hallo, buddy! Thanks for the lockpicks!

Anyway after those two encounters I make my way to the foot of the mountain and start looking for the caves that would lead me to the other side. I find some ruins called Rannveig’s Fast… dunno what’s fast about it, but it seems to be haunted by ghosts who try to attack me. As they attack, and as I kill the ghosts, they say things like how they don’t want to do this, or this isn’t what they want, or that they’re sorry. Something is up. Looks like these ghosts are being held here against their will somehow. Gotta be something I can do. As I approach the ruins, I make note of the stone steps that lead up and above them and decide to follow them later, and I head inside.

A treasure chest and a word wall. YAY!

After killing a few more ghosts, I find a chamber with a word wall and a big treasure chest in plain sight. I run forward, very happily and ready to loot the spoils and learn a new dragon shout.

And then the floor opened up below me and I slide down into a trap. YIKES!

“It worked! Ha ha! Greed makes for an excellent lure!”

I look around and there’s Sild the warlock. I’ve fallen into a cage that has water at the bottom of it, as well as three corpses of adventurers and bandits. A few other dead bodies are nearby in cells, and one is on the floor with a satchel at her side… this was Sild’s assistant. Sild gloats on how well his trap worked and turns away from me, talking more to himself as he decides on what poison to use to kill me quickly. Now normally I’d either pick the lock and escape or rummage in the satchel for the key and get out that way. However, thanks to an unknown bug or some other glitch, the door of the cage that I fell into is amazingly open, and Sild didn’t even notice it. So calm as anything, I settle into a crouch, sneak up behind Sild, and slit his throat before he can decide whether I’d like deathbell or nightshade.

Sild the warlock had been enslaving spirits for his own use. Glad I “dropped in” to end his little operation.

I find Sild’s journal, which chronicles his use of this trap to get bandits and kill them and use their souls as his slaves, which explained the ghosts in the area. I take everything I like; potions, ingredients, gold, weapons… and then I make my way back to the main chamber. The word on the wall was KYNE, for Kyne’s Peace. Oh, and that chest in front of the word wall? It was empty. Figures. After making sure the rest of the ghosts are gone, I leave the ruins and head up the stone path over the ruins. Up the steps I find a cave called Cold Rock Pass, and the skeletons, blood, and dead skeever is a sure sign that something’s living in here.

They oughta put a sign here that looks like a deer crossing sign on the road, only up here it would warn travelers of trolls, dragons, and skeevers.

Sure enough, I sneak inside and see a frost troll up ahead. It takes three of my arrows to put the thing down so I can get through the cave and exit to the other side. Whew. I can see the town just down the mountain from here, and I start to follow the path down. Morthal, here I come!

I wish I knew what these banner things were really for… maybe someone went to the beach and left this towel out to dry…

The Honningbrew Meadery Job

I arrive in Whiterun and perform the usual tasks. Selling weapons and armor that I don’t need, brewing fresh potions for my own use, then storing the extra ingredients in my house. Interestingly, my house has a name. “Breezehome.” Well, I only know Drew Brees doesn’t live here. ^-^ Thanks to the unofficial patch I have installed, Lydia no longer sits in my bedroom, and now occupies one of the two chairs in the loft. So now when I close the bedroom door, I don’t wake up to see my body guard standing over me saying, “Honored to see you my Thane.” The wall and door now provides the privacy it should!

Anyway, after a good night’s rest I head into the Bannered Mare and meet a man named Mallus Maccius, who sounds a bit like Stephen Russel for some reason. He’s the man Maven wanted me to find, and I found him sitting at a table in the tavern’s kitchen. If you sit down in this inn, the assistant to the innkeeper will come over and ask if you need anything, so I remain standing. Mallus tells me that Maven has plans to take over the meadery here in Whiterun, and Mallus will be managing it.

Honningbrew Meadery… for now…

Right now, Sabjorn is the owner of Honningbrew meadery, and at one point in the past, Mallus asked to borrow money from Sabjorn, and he hasn’t paid it back yet. This forces Mallus to work for Sabjorn for practically nothing until he pays his debt back. So yeah, Mallus has a reason to send Sabjorn to jail. Mallus tells me the plan. I have to just happen by on poor Sabjorn and offer to help take care of the pests. Mallus already found the entrance to the tunnels where the rodents live. I’ll be going down there to kill those rats and poison the nest. Then I have to sneak into the building where the mead is made, and put some of the poison into the mead.

Right now, Everyone in Whiterun knows about this pest problem. When the captain of the guard comes by to inspect the place, no doubt he’ll taste the mead as well. When he sees how bad it tastes, Sabjorn could end up behind bars… and that’s the plan. Once Sabjorn is out of the way, Mallus can take over and convert the place into the Black-Briar Meadery West!

So I leave the city of Whiterun and head on down the road and find the meadery and I head on inside. Sure enough there’s a dead skeever on the floor along with a pool of blood. Sabjorn has his hands full alright, and the captain of the guard could be here any minute! I ask him if he needs any help, and he said that he hoped I didn’t expect to be paid for it. I said, “You better, or I yell Skeever!” (I felt like Ferris Bueller at that moment, “You touch me and I yell rat.”)

“Okay okay! No need to say or do anything rash! Here’s half. You get the other half when your job is done.”

I smile and take the poison and head on into the basement while Sabjorn cleans up the mess in the main room. Yep, this guy sure is smart. He could have had his assistant Mallus do it, but instead he hires a cat. Good thing.

Once in the basement I see a few bear traps set down, and I know if I step in them my foot will find a new adventure in pain. A few skeevers come out of the hole in the wall and die in the traps. R.O.U.S.es… Rodents Of Unusual Size.  I sneak my way down the tunnel and find a whole series of caverns inside. Making my way through it I find several spiders in there as well. And to my amazement, it takes more than one arrow to kill some of the skeevers, and when they bit me, the bite wound itched for a bit. Poisonous skeevers? That’s unusual.

Then as I approach the nest I see a man who’s been living in the caves with the skeevers. His back is to me, so I shoot at the skeevers. “What was that!?” he says and summons a magic spell of some sort and turns in my direction. Whatever he was selling I didn’t want it… so I turned tail and rolled out of the cave before he could find me. A minute or so later I sneak back down and the magic-caster is back at work on his own alchemy. I shoot him now that I’ve gotten the rats killed. He goes down after about three arrows. Now that the caves are all clear I come out of the shadows and look things over.

The guy I killed was a madman. Apparently, according to his journal, he escaped from Whiterun and was plotting revenge by raising the skeevers and making them into his own little army. I bet it was his alchemical experiments that came up with the venomous skeevers. So the nest is right there, I poison it, then find another tunnel that exits out into the basement of the building where the mead is brewed. I slip the poison into the vat and head back down the tunnels and reenter the main building. I didn’t get to see, but I’m guessing while I was on my way back through the tunnels, Sabjorn must have come in and gotten a keg full of mead from the vat I had poisoned. When I get back into the main room of the meadery, the place looks cleaner than it did before. Dead skeever is gone and the blood has been cleaned up. Mallus is there, and he says to be, “I can’t wait to see Sabjorn squirm!”

I tell Sabjorn that the job is done and that I wanted to get paid, and he tells me off by saying he had to stall for time while he waited for me and now I’d have to wait until the captain of the guard was gone. So now I stand back and watch. Since he now knows the pests are dealt with he turns his attention to the captain of the guard, who is in the room now waiting to be served.

“Where’s the pretzels?”

The captain drinks the mead, and noticed it’s taste is all wrong and promptly arrests Sabjorn while telling Mallus that he’s in charge until this mess is all straightened out. Sabjorn is escorted out of the building at sword point, and Mallus is now the new owner of the meadery! YAY!

“You didn’t tell me about that lunatic in the tunnels, man,” I say to Mallus.

“I didn’t want to risk you turning your back on the job. At least this way we save on hiring a mercenary to deal with him.”

So basically I saved Maven a bit of coin. Nice. Joy. Rapture. I ask to see some of Sabjorn’s things and I’m given the key to his room upstairs. After a few minutes of rummaging around, I find something that’s promising. Seems Sabjorn was going into business with the same mysterious person who bought out Goldenglow Estate. The same odd symbol is on the note. Someone is definitely trying to drive a wedge between the Thieves Guild and Maven Black-Briar.

Now Mallus has some work to do, converting the meadery so he can sell Maven’s brew in Whiterun. Meanwhile I have to head back to Riften and tell Maven that the job’s done.

Amaki’dar and the Graybeards

The Seven Thousand Steps

After returning to the Thieves Guild, I’m told to visit Maven Black-Briar herself. I asked if I’d come out of it alive and was told if it was like that, she wouldn’t call upon me… she’d be calling the Dark Brotherhood. Nah, this is business. So when I go to see her, she tells me to head over to Whiterun and meet with someone there.

Along the way I head towards High Hrothgar, which is that big old mountain I’ve avoided climbing all this time. I start heading up the seven thousand steps, and before I get too high up the path, I hear a roar and look down. The village I had just left is now under attack from a dragon.

I roll my eyes and say, “Why weren’t you there five minutes ago!?”and start sliding down the side of the steep slopes of the mountain in a rush to get down there and save the village.

“There’s the occasional wolf pack or stray” Why didn’t he tell me about the freaking trolls!?

One dead dragon later, I continue on my journey up the mountain. Now before I left, I asked one villager if there was anything to watch out for on the climb, aside from my step. He tells me the occasional wolf pack or a stray. Sounds easy enough. Tell that to the cave bear, snow bear, and two ice trolls I encountered. It made me want to go back down and slap the guy in the face, or FUS RO DAH him into the river… but doing that causes a bounty and I’m in no mood for paying 40 gold shouting fees. Freedom of speech… why don’t they have it in Skyrim?

This is where the Graybeards live. Being on top of the mountain, I imagine they get great reception up here.

So once I get to the top, I find the small keep, or monastery as it’s called. Inside are four men, the Graybeards, and they ask me to shout at them. Okay, so maybe I can do this without getting fined for it. Once I’ve proven that I am dragonborn, they proceed to train me. Hard to believe that I’m dragonborn. It’s a Nord legend, but I’m a Khajiit. How I came to be a dragonborn I have no idea.

After learning two new shouting words, they give me a final trial. I have to go retrieve a horn that once belonged to their founder and bring it back here to them. I think to myself, “Oh great, more traveling. Joy.” and depart. Now I’m off to Whiterun to see what Maven wants me to do. It had better not involve fighting trolls or bears…

Hallow’s End is Coming!

Well another year, another stretch of holiday festivals. Starts with Labor day, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Although in some places they may celebrate holidays sooner or later, and some might be performed differently like Hanukkah, but they all seem to have a similarity of sorts here and there. In the World of Warcraft perspective there is no Labor Day, but they do have Brewfest, and right after that they have what’s called Hallow’s End, which is their version of Halloween.

Now they used to have this thing with the holiday achievements where if you complete all the meta achievements for the holidays, you get the violet proto-drake mount, which is a sort of flying dragon, and it used to award the player with Master Riding for free. Now you can still complete the achievement “What A Long, Strange, Trip It’s Been,” and it will still give you the Violet Proto-drake, but it no-longer will reward you with the top level of flying skill, so now we have to buy that level.

It costs 5000 gold to be able to buy the Artisan Riding, which lets you ride flying mounts at 280% speed, and Master riding costs the same amount of gold and increases your flight speed to 310%. An extra 30% for 5k gold is a bit much in my opinion and I never bought it for that much either. Instead I did all the holiday achievements on every character in the game I had, and once they got the Violet Proto-Drake, they get the extra 30% flight speed for free. Now though, it doesn’t do that anymore. So I don’t know if I’ll be doing all the achievements over again on my alternate characters this year.

SO! Anyway!If you’re thinking to yourself what should I focus on the Hallow’s End this year, let’s see what we can come up with. 

Hallow’s End is based on Halloween, and usually runs for two weeks up until Halloween. Now Halloween itself is a holiday based of of Samhain, which is a wiccan holiday that symbolizes the end of the year when they’d collect their harvest just before the winter season. In World of Warcraft, the slight similarity can be seen at the wickermen festivals. On the alliance side, the Wickerman will be ignited my Genn Greymane, the leader of the Worgen who joined the Alliance during the Cataclysm. The Worgen brought along their traditions of the Wickerman festival. Meanwhile on the Horde side of things, the Forsaken (who were humans once but are now undead) mark Hallow’s End as the time when this group of undead broke free from the Scourge and became known as the Forsaken, and they burn the wickerman as a celebration for regaining their free will and they smear ashes on their faces.

One of the more fun things to do is fighting the shade of the Headless Horseman. Yeah you heard me! The Headless Horsemen (also termed HH in the game) makes an appearance in World of Warcraft. His horse is black with hooves that glow green, similar to the warlock’s summonable horses, and the rider himself is headless, yet he still can be heard yelling as he assaults the villages. Players who complete the Fire Brigade quests, which teaches you how to use the water buckets, can summon the HH to come and try to burn down the village. The HH will fly around, cackling and taunting and yelling the usual speech that I have come to memorize: “Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled. Shelter your weak. your young and your old. Each of you shall pay the final sum! Cry for mercy, the reckoning has COME HAH-hahahahahahahaha!”

When you hear that, you know he’s coming. Click on the big bucket of water and then run to wherever you can see fire on the buildings and use the bucket to throw it at the buildings. But be careful, and be fast, because the fires tend to spark and spread, and if left unchecked it can cover the entire rooftops of the buildings. Now most players who have a speed buff, like shaman with ghost wolf form, druids with travel form, rogues with sprint and etc., can probably do this without help. But sometimes you might have to for a relay. When you pick up a bucket of water, you don’t have to throw it at the building – you can actually throw it to another player, so one method of doing this is to designate a spot to throw the buckets of water at, and while one player stays by the main bucket to get the pails of water, another player stands as far away as they can. They’ll have to be in reach of the throw distance for the pail of water though, so forming a group and using ground raid markers can help. The player by the bucket and click on it to get a pail of water, and then throw it at the designated spot, and if the player at that targeted location is here and does not have a bucket in their bags, they will catch the water pail and will be able to throw it to yet another player or onto the building. This can create a relay that helps get the water buckets to people standing at strategic points around the village which can help get the fires down faster. If you find yourself in a situation where you fail repeatedly to save the village from the fires, consider forming a party and coordinating a relay to throw water pails. Sometimes it takes more teamwork to get the fires under control. Once you have saved the village, the HH will come down and you can try to kill him. Once that is done, a large pumpkin will appear on the ground in the center of the  village, and every player will have the chance to smash the pumpkin and get loot out of it.

The rewards from putting out the fires (which is a daily quest) is a crudely wrapped gift, which players can open to receive a random prize. Mostly you might get candy or flimsy masks, but you do have the rare chance to get the Sinister Squashling pet or the Hallowed Helm, which is a low level head item that looks as though you have a jack o’ lantern on your head.

There is an item that is not bound on pickup (I must have dozens of these on my bank toon), and is more for vanity and fun than anything. It is used for an achievement called, “Check your head,” in which you target a player and click on the item in your bags (or set it to your action bar.) The Weighted Jack-o-lantern is what you use, and when you throw it to your target, they appear to have a jack-o-lantern on their heads. It’s a buff that can be removed manually from players if they wish, and the achievement requires throwing this item onto each race in the game, like onto one Dwarf, one Tauren, one Gnome, etc. Now Goblins and Worgen were added to the criteria way back when, and I have no word yet if you need to throw one onto a player who is a Pandaren, but you might as well! No reason to exclude them! ^-^ I’d say make them check their heads, just to be safe. So in a sense, you can give everyone the appearance of wearing the Hallowed Helm for a time, but for the achievement, you might wind up traveling to neutral cities or to the enemy capitals and hanging around outside to try and throw these things onto the players of the other faction. Good luck, especially if you are on a pvp realm. Another place to try this achievement is on the battlegrounds. Before you go to grab the flag, throw the pumpkin on the enemy player, and there you go!

Other things to do for this holiday is talking to the inn keepers. Once every hour, you can ask them “trick or treat” and you’ll get either a bag of  treats, or a trick played on you where your character can get turned into a bat or a cat or some other odd thing for hallow’s end. The “trick” debuff only lasts several seconds though, and then you can can wait an hour to trick or treat again. Also scattered in taverns and inns all across Azeroth and Outlands are Candy buckets. You can visit all of these and click on them to get a handful of candy, and also get a chance for the rare items like the pet or helm.

So for all levels of the game, even low level players, you can do the daily quests for smashing the pumpkin after you put out the fires, and that can be done in any of the following villages: Alliance sideGoldshire, Kharanos, Azure Watch. Horde sideRazor Hill, Brill, Falconwing Square. Players can also go trick or treating by talking to the inn keepers, and they can visit every inn that has a candy bucket and get a handful of candy from each of them. Bear in mind when you get a handful of candy, you have to open it to loot the candy/items before you can grab another handful.

As for the max level characters, at level 89-90 you can join the dungeon finder and cue up for a run in the Scarlet Monastery. Considering the fact that they revamped the entire instances, making the 4 dungeons into 2, thus combining some of the wings together for simplicity’s sake, it makes me wonder about the good ol’ HH. Before now, you would go into the Graveyard portion of the instance and click on the grave of the Headless Horseman to start the encounter. In this 5 man fight, the Headless Horseman fight is the usual tank and spank, but at some point he gets off his horse and walks about is if dazed or stunned, and he yells, “GET OVER HERE, YOU IDIOT!” (that phrase is a nice macro I sometimes use on my Death Knight’s Death Grip ability.) When this happens, you need to switch targets to his head, which can be seen somewhere nearby floating about on it’s own. Once the head dies, it goes right back onto the HH’s body and the fight resumes as normal. Usually, the head phase occurs three times. Once he’s dead, you get the achievement, “Bring Me The Head Of… Oh, Wait.”

Now the best thing is, the HH has a chance to drop the flying horse mount, which looks just like the one the HH uses, and shares a model along with the horse that drops in Karazhan, only this horse is all black with glowing green hooves, and acts as a flying mount if you have the skill, and at level 90 you should! ^-^ Nowadays though the mount is account bound, so if you have an alt that got the HH mount in previous years, log onto it even if only just for a moment, and then all your characters who has a riding skill can use this mount.

The only other reason to go for this holiday boss would be because he drops rings, and hopefully this year they’ll have it all completely updated. Not only do they need to update the boss to accommodate the new instance they revamped it into, but they’ll need to make sure the rings can be used by players who are at max level. Other wise there won’t be much reason to go for this holiday boss unless people want the mount.

We shall see soon enough. Hallow’s End starts in a few days, so I’ll be there to see these changes, if any! See ya there! ^-^

Edit: actually just now saw their website come back online. They’re half a step ahead of me, looks like the HH fight will be up to par with the expansion. I didn’t see the loot, but hopefully the rings will be worthwhile! http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/6180725/

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