Harmugstahl

Glory to the Companions!

Glory to the Companions!

Khajiit welcomes you, friend. Today I slid down a mountain and realized I was more in The Reach rather than Haafingar. Proof you ask? How about a tent that seems to be made of animal skins and twigs? Add that to the two Forsworn guarding this path that they have set up with bear traps? Well I loot the items in their tent as they won’t be needing them anymore, then slit their throats. I just barely manage to kill the second one as quietly. The sun has risen, and I can no longer rely on the shadows.

Then as I walk through the bear-trapped path, a polar bear comes charging out from around a rock. I ready my daggers once more, and slice at the beast a few times… as it runs past me! I turn around, and blink in surprise. Farkas, Ria, and Athis come running up and start attacking the bear. Aha. The Companions must have been after this bear. Considering the fact that the reach is mountainous and slightly green, this bear kinda stood out. Maybe Farkas and the others have been after this one for miles… I help slay the bear. After all, I am Harbinger of the Companions now. Might as well lend some steel… or glass actually, my daggers are made of glass.

Somebody's home...

Somebody’s home…

After the bear is dead we part ways, but those three sort of sparked my desire to hunt for a bit. I kill two each of some sabercats, goats, and wolves in that order. Then I spy a mountain that has a sort of mist, or smoke wafting from it. I go to investigate. I find the remains of a tower and some dead bodies that looked as if they were burnt to death. I hear something move and look to my right. Yep. Dragon. Shoulda known. The dragon flies up and then lands… I guess just to prove that it can, the big scaly show-off. Then he breathes frost at me. I slash up his snout and then he dies. Death by nosebleeding for the win! Then I spot the word wall and learn the last word I needed to know for the Elemental Fury shout.

The area has burnt bodies strewn about, and they were killed by a frost dragon? Yeah right...

The area has burnt bodies strewn about, and they were killed by a frost dragon? Yeah right…

As I’m leaving I pass the dead bodies again and I pause. Wait a second… if that dragon was a frost breather, how the heck did these guys die? I look around. No signs of any fire-breathing dragons. I shrug and make my way back down the path. Maybe the fire-breathing dragon moved out and the frost one took up the rent. Or maybe they all died to pyro-mages and the dragon ate them and left the others for later… How would I know?

Yeah buddy, you go have some tea and cake, I'll take care of the magic spiders!

Yeah buddy, you go have some tea and cake, I’ll take care of the magic spiders!

Along the path I come upon what looks to be some sort of fortress that was built into the mountainside. This might also coincide with the tower up by the dragon’s lair, though I saw no trap doors up there in that tower when I had investigated it for pyro-mages. I did find some potions up there though. Interesting. Maybe they’re all inside here, really. I head in. Consulting my map, I learn that the place is called Harmugstahl.

*snort* magic spiders! HAHA, BAH! Right! As if there's a such thing as a-holy smoke! That spider's on fire!

*snort* magic spiders! HAHA, BAH! Right! As if there’s a such thing as a-holy smoke! That spider’s on fire!

Once inside I hear a man’s voice say, “Thought I heard something…” followed by the sound of a two-handed mace squishing something very big. I creep into the main chamber and an adventurer talks to me. Something about magic spiders. As if having too many legs was bad enough, but magic? Hmm. The adventurer leaves. Clearly this is too much for him. Once he’s gone, one of the dead spiders glows as if it was one fire. My eyes wide, I think to myself, Yep. Gotta be a mage in here somewhere!

I make my way through the fortress, occasionally finding a spider or two. I found a journal lying on an alchemy table and I read it. Turns out this guy has been experimenting on the spiders here, trying to imbue them with magickal powers. Geez, isn’t their poisonous venom enough? Apparently not since this mage is trying to make fire, frost, and shock damaging type spiders. Maybe he’s really trying to make his own Pokemon? Gotta squish ’em all, I think to myself as I impale another spider with my dagger.

((I probably should have mentioned the fact that in Skyrim, the spiders are not your usual 1/2 inch to 3 inches big… No. For some bizarre reason, all the spiders are either as big as a beagle to as large as a small car.))

I have you now! *stab!*

I have you now! *stab!*

Now, being a master of sneaking about, I manage to kill all the spiders unseen. I just sneak up on them and stab them with my daggers. One of the spiders, however, discharged a burst of lighting at me when I killed it, making me jump in shock.

Moments later I realized it made all my fur stand on end. I look like a freaking porcupine now. Considering all the other spiders around, I almost wish I were! Smoothing my fur down again I set off.

I eventually enter a room and look down on the mage. He seems to be talking to himself and I realize that he’s an Altmer, or high elf. I hate high elves with a passion. I then realized he had three spiders locked up in a small cell, which he was facing and talking to, or so it would seem. And the lever to open the cell was right in front of me. Still well hidden and out of sight, I pull the lever.

“What the– NO! GET BACK IN THERE!” The altmer cries. He fires off lighting bolts at the spiders and kills them in seconds. Then I sneak up behind him and slit his throat. There! Now there ought to be no more giant mutant magic spiders in Skyrim! Then I finally leave the fortress and set off down the road. The nearest down is Karthwasten, but I’d rather go to Markarth since it has shops where I can sell all my plundered goods. Spider venom and whatnot… So much for the pyro mage theory I had about that stinkin’ fortress. Ah well.

Amaki’dar in Volskygge

Volskygge“I’ve been looking for you,” the courier said to me the other day. I smirked and thought to myself, Yes, I am quite hard to find with such a high skill in sneaking. “I’ve got something I’m supposed to deliver, your hands only.” I nod and think, That explains why my housecarls never give me mail.

“Lets see here… Got a letter, not sure who from, he wouldn’t say, just that he was a friend of yours. Well, that’s it. Got to go!” The courier leaves. I smile as I unfold the letter. I sometimes like to think that this friend of mine is really the courier, but I have no way to prove it of course.

The letter once again says I caused a bit of a stir when I used my Thu’um. I checked the location. Funny. I used it in a bandit’s hideout. I could have sworn I killed everyone there… hmm. Then again when the Greybeards shouted you could hear them all the way from Whiterun, so who knew? At any rate, now I am being pointed to a new place to unlock more dovakiin powers… in… Volskygge. Hmm. I sigh and put the letter way and head off.

Warm sands, friend. I am Amaki’dar.

My archery skills have reached their very best. I could possibly be the best archer in all of Skyrim, maybe even all of Tamriel. I probably am not, but I have yet to be invited to a contest for such skills. I’d win first prize maybe.

So why was I sneaking into some old ruins with my daggers in my paws instead of my trusty bow? Experience. I felt it was time for me to sharpen my skills with the one handed weapons, pun intended, and so I sneaked along the ruins and back-stabbed almost anything I came up to. The first half of the ruins was being occupied by bandits. You almost have to admire their bravery, camping in some old ruins where the undead were bound to rise from their tombs and attack. But they were unprepared for the Shadow Paw!

In one section there were various rooms and I stalked one bandit down the hallway. I came up behind her and slit her throat before she could shout. Then I went into one room to look around. Seeing nothing of value I considered checking the other rooms when I heard a human say, “I’m gonna find whoever did this!”

Whoops. Guess this Khajiit forgot to hide the body. No biggie. I move to the side of the door and wait. The human bandit walks in the room, and I kill him too. I glance down at the body, then shrug and move on. Why bother hiding the bodies in a crypt anyway?

Then I came upon a room. It had four switches, each marked with the symbol for an animal, and four large tombs standing upright int he center of the room with sconces on top of them. No way I could light them, so I look around. A book on a nearby pedestal catches my eye, and I read it…

All four are bound to the same land as we,
Some lay low, consumed in shadow,
Others stand tall, stretching their necks to see.
While none live in this sacred barrow,
They all demand your attention if you are to proceed.

The first fears all,
the second fears none.

The third eats what it can,
preferably number one.

The fourth fears the second,
but only when alone.

All must be activated in order,
if you wish to go home.

Aha. A puzzle. Nice. I glance around at the animal symbols, then back at the book. I set the book down and get to work. I knew the bear would fear nothing, and it doesn’t. I’ve seen bears attack dragons sometimes. So the bear had to be the second one. The fourth fears the bear, but only when alone? That has to be the wolf because they’d hunt in packs. That left the snake and the fox. I thought of the fox being the first because it would fear all, but then the third one “eats what it can, preferably number one”… a snake eating a fox? Can’t be right… Would a fox eat a snake, and would it be their favorite? I thought foxes liked chickens.

I shrug and pull the lever behind the snake symbol first. I knew that if I was wrong, then the tombs would burst open and I’d have to fight some draugr. I pulled the lever… and nothing happens to the tombs, but one of the sconces lights up. Snake was first indeed. How many snakes are there in skyrim anyway? I wondered to myself. I never see any.

I finish pulling all the levers. Turns out the solution was as I thought it would be: Snake, Bear, Fox, and Wolf. The gate ahead opens and I proceed into an area the bandits could not… maybe they could not read? Or maybe they never went this deep into the catacombs. I shrug and move on.

I discover later that the crypt I was in led up higher into the mountain and it opened up onto a peak. I found a word wall, and now know the second word for Whirlwind Sprint, and no sooner had I learned the word, a sarcophagus bursts open and a dragon priest comes out and sees me. Oh, bloody hell.

No longer stealthing, I charge at the priest, daggers flashing and slicing through the air! The dragon priest, named Volsung, conjures a frost atronach behind me. I ignore the atronach and slash away at Volsung, meanwhile Volsung proceeds to hit me with ice spikes. My stamina drains out of me from the cold spells, slowing me down, and Volsung tries to get behind me while the frost atronach tries to pound me into the ground. I spin about, drink a stamina potion very quickly and move in for the kill. Volsung goes down, turning into ashes as he crumbles, leaving only his armor behind for some reason, and without it’s master, the frost atronach melts away into nothingness.

I investigate the armor and find Volsung’s mask. Light armor, that’s always good. Fortify’s barter and carry weight by 20, that’s nice… and allows breathing underwater! That’s nice since I seem to have misplaced my necklace of water breathing! Sweet! I take the mask and pocket it for the time being.

Instead of making the trek back through the depressing crypt, I decide to slid down the snowy mountain. As I descend, I think to myself, Vol means horror in the dragon language… Vol-sung, eh? Must have been a horrible singer when he was alive. Well, I’m off to the nearest town to see if that stalker courier delivers another one of those notes of his telling me I caused a stir in a place where I left no survivors to tell about it. Should be interesting!

May your road lead you to warm sands!

Stop Thief!

I can see two arrows sticking out from him here, maybe  a third out his back. I wonder which arrow killed him though...

I can see two arrows sticking out from him here, maybe a third out his back. I wonder which arrow killed him though…

So I’m running into Riverwood in the middle of the night, and I see a thief being attacked by some guards. I’m a new member of the thieves guild, but I can see no way to get him out of this mess…. I might have been able to calm to guards and cast fear on the thief to make him run away, but I dunno if that’ll work… I might get a bounty you know. I shrug my shoulders and draw my bow. Sorry bud. Old habit.

Once the thief is dead I go to collect my arrow. I see one arrow sticking out of his head where a guard had shot him, but I think my arrow was the one that killed this poor guy… can you see where it landed? O.O Trust me. “OOOOO… That’s gotta hurt!”

Latest of Amaki’dar: Still Alive in Skyrim

Khajiit welcomes you, friend.

I have heard about the illusionist of skyrim. So foolish. Only resorting to illusion magic to defend yourself. The best way to survive in Skyrim is to attack. And Khajiit sees no benefit to being a vampire if only to boost the illusion school of the magical arts. Sarah the Implausible is dead now. I heard all about it. She contracted vampirism and did not cure herself, and then she let it progress to the highest level so everyone knew what she was, and they tried to kill her on sight. Granted, she was able to calm General Tullius, but not he rest of the room full of soldiers stabbing her with swords. Escaping to the balcony in broad daylight was not a bright idea. She died the moment the door closed behind her, and the soldiers just left her there.

They call it "Bloodlet Throne" I'd wager all my gold there's vampires in there!

They call it “Bloodlet Throne” I’d wager all my gold there’s vampires in there!

I am a khajiit, and we khajiit are not like this illusionist. When I came to Skyrim, I was nearly beheaded. But then a dragon attacks and I escape. I decided that the best way to attack a dragon is from far away, with a lot of well-aimed arrows. And if I had to deal with any men or mer on the ground, then my daggers would suffice just as well. On my first visit to Riften, I met a man named Brynjolf who let me into the thieves guild, and since then my talents for sneaking in the dark unnoticed have been very valuable.

Understand, it’s just for business and survival. I know a lot of folks would think that it’s wrong to be a thief, but is it also wrong for a thane to take all the money from the taxes imposed on the villagers and use it to buy fancy clothes and jewels and ignore the needs of the people?

Well, that is why I am “Shadow Paw.” That is why I work for the thieves guild from time to time. So I can rob from the rich… and keep everything for myself.

I use my zoom in function to look closely at this vampire. Some reason this blood-sucker is eating BREAD?! O.o

I use my zoom in function to look closely at this vampire. Some reason this blood-sucker is eating BREAD?! O.o

My archery training is at 98 now, and this Khajiit has just left Angi’s Camp to go exploring in the mountains just south of Falkreath. I found a small fortress. My map says it’s called the Bloodlet Throne. I was willing to bet there were no Spriggans inside. Sure enough, the first things I see along the walls inside the keep are bloody human skulls. The place reeks of death, but not the draugr kind.

Vampires. Sure enough the place is filled with them. My archery skill is so powerful it only takes one shot to kill most of them. Only once did I get scared, my fur raising up and my teeth bared in a sharp hiss, when a gargoyle burst out of it’s stone skin and tried to attack me. A few well-placed arrows takes care of the fiend, and upon inspection it had some ore and gemstones.

I see blood and dead bodies beyond this gate. This must be their commissary.

I see blood and dead bodies beyond this gate. This must be their commissary.

The master vampire resided on the throne in a room that overlooked a bloody pit. He unleashed three death hounds. I unleashed three arrows. The death hounds are now more aptly named. He leapt down into the pit to try and attack me, but you see, I never stopped crouching low, so I was still mostly hidden in the shadows. A couple of arrows from my bow ends the vampire’s reign in this castle.

Well, that takes care of that. Time to ransack the place for gold and whatnot!

Well, that takes care of that. Time to ransack the place for gold and whatnot!

Now I exit the castle and look around. I take a few steps and realize something… my bags are so full of heavy junk that I can barely walk. I scowl in frustration and drop a heavy two-handed axe, some vampire armor, and a burned book that somehow found it’s way into my sack. The items drop to the snowy ground with a large crunch, and I start to walk away.

I must find a caravan. They must surely be interested in all the extra items I have. Dragon scales, weapons, poisons. Who knows.

Bottom line, I am still alive. I can’t say the same for the vampire Sarah the Implausible. Her immortality as a vampire does not mean she could not die, after all, and her illusions could only do so much. Turn invisible only once a day? Vampires are not as powerful as one might think.

That’s why I’m glad I’m a werewolf. I can become a werewolf only when I desire to, and I am not weakened by the light of day. Vampires usually use magic, but in the day time their health and magic do not regenerate, so once they are out in the sun and they run out of magicka, they’re pretty much done for.

Rest in peace, Sarah the Implausible. Amaki’dar is done talking. I’m going to bother somebody else…

Amaki’dar and Angi: Archery 101

Khajiit welcomes you, friend.

My archery skills are splendid, but I lacked several lessons before I could deem myself a master of the bow. I cannot stand to use a crossbow, I don’t think I ever will. I also forgot to refer to myself in the third-person like most Khajiit. Shame on Amaki’dar! Amaki’dar will strive harder to stay in character in case the Thalmor spies are nearby and reading this. Hopefully they won’t or they might catch wind of the Imperial killer living up in the mountains. Yes, you heard Amaki’dar!

Her name is Angi, and if I tried anything stupid, she says she would not hesitate to put an arrow in Khajiit’s head. Amaki’dar thinks she’d be dead before she’d try. Instead, Amaki’dar asks if Angi is any good with her bow, and when asked the same, she replies, “Let’s just say Hircine would be jealous.”

“Well, if you want to practice anyway, just let me know,” Angi says. I accept. And bit by bit I learn more about her during the lessons.

Angi lives in seclusion in the mountains because she used to live in Helgen. She must have moved out before Amaki’dar arrived in Skyrim, because shortly after that was when the dragon Alduin had attacked and destroyed the village. Angi’s family had been killed by two drunken Imperials who thought they were above the law. Ioffered to kill them, but Angi says she already took care of that… part of the reason she’s living out here now.

Her cabin is small, just enough room for one person, and it is just her there. She set up a small area to practice with her bow so she will not get rusty. I do not see how she could get rusty if she is not made of metal. Not likely she is a dwemer spider in disguise, is it? Still, she practices and tells me to hit targets with my practice arrows. I hit all three, and with each hit in the first lesson, I get one skill up in my archery skill.

The second lesson she teaches me speed and composure. This is a good lesson, one I learned long ago during the war when Stormcloaks went to capture a fortress. So many targets, so many arrows to pick up and pull out of bodies. Here though there are three targets. I had eight seconds to hit them all. Amaki’dar never missed. Another skill up for me.

Third lesson. Precision. Methinks this will be easy… Oh. Wait. Fourth target, way in the back. I must aim a hair higher. When I strike this target, Angi is pleased and the lesson is over. Yet another skill point. I am happy, but not done yet. One lesson remains.

Fourth lesson. She talked to Amaki’dar of speed, composure, and precision. Now, ’tis time to use all three! Oh, divines… Now I must hit all four within ten seconds. This one is rather difficult, she says to me. I may not get it right the first time, but that’s what practice is all about. I have 10 seconds… I aim the farthest one away first. Four arrows later and Angi congratulates me. Shame she had no skooma to share. I have some, but it has bad effects on non-khajiit, so I don’t share at all. Never.

I ask her if there is anything else she can teach me, and she says Amaki’dar already knows everything she knows, and it scares her when she thinks about it. I pat her on the shoulder and tell her not to worry. Angi gives her family bow to Amaki’dar. Too many painful memories she says. I nod and take it and look it over. It’s a hunting bow.

I have a glass bow of epic quality with a life drain enchantment. Give Amaki’dar one good reason not to trade this bow for a bowl of moon sugar!

((Out of character)) Angi’s Cabin is located south of Falkreath, but not directly. In order to reach her, you must take a winding path up the side of the mountain. Best directions I can give to reaching her is just across Pinewatch there is a path which leads to a bandit camp by the river (there is a fallen tree with a dead elf lying over it near a tent with a satchel at her feet) Take a right and keep following the path. First picture in my gallery shows what to look for if you stick to the road. When you get to the two stone markers with bear traps on the ground, watch your step and follow the path to the left. As for the archery training, this is a guaranteed easy level up, you can get 7 points from this. Six from the training, and one from a book in her house you can read: The Gold Ribbon of Merit (unless you already read it elsewhere). I highly recommend waiting till you level up your archery to 90. You can pay trainers to level up faster, but 90 is the maximum you can go as far as paying for it. The rest of the way is in constant use, but this gives you at least a 6 point boost free of charge. I’d say train with Angi after you have 90 skill so you can get to 100 faster. 😉

PEACE!

Needing in LFR. Ninjas of Today’s WoW

My Pandaren Monk on her Jade Cloud Serpent.

My Pandaren Monk on her Jade Cloud Serpent.

Meet Kanzaki. My level 90 Pandaren Monk.

Since today was a Tuesday, that naturally meant I could proceed into the LFR Mogushan Vaults (MV) and try and get some loot. All I got today was gold. Naturally. So now I’ll have to max out of Valor Points and see if I can buy some better gear, a maximum of one no doubt, and see if it puts me high enough to do LFR Heart of Fear. Odds are it won’t so I’ll have to wait another week to do another MV and cap out on VP before I can buy another piece of gear… shall I go on? Yep. Trying to get gear this expansion sucks. Revered with various factions is nice, but when you are limited by how many valor points you can get in a week, it makes buying the gear you need extremely limited, in my opinion.

And that’s only one of my pet peeves of the Looking For Raid tool. The other is ninjas. Despite Blizzard’s attempts to stop ninjas in the game, there still seems to be some ways to steal. I know it’s all virtual and not real, but it’s the morality of the thing. You take something from an LFR for yourself without any regards to other players, then people will never want to play with you again. Of course there are millions of players in WoW at any given time, but still, you could get vote kicked from a raid for rolling need.

Of course, the one thing Blizzard did was make loot more personal. Most of the time all I get is gold, but sometimes I get lucky, or the Random Number Generator (RNG) will have mercy on me, and I’ll get a decent piece of gear. This of course applies to every boss that you kill in LFR.

The one thing they did not do was improve the way trash drops are handled in LFR. For example, the Ghost Iron Lockboxes. These boxes are locked and can only be opened by a rogue, or a blacksmith who has skeleton keys. I’d have also included Engineers with their seaforium charges and whatnot, but I haven’t seen any new ones for this expansion, so Engineers cannot open these in particular. With these lockboxes I say the rule should be that you only roll GREED on it, and never hit the NEED button. Period! That is the rule I go by, and I would think everyone would agree.

So today in the first half of LFR MV, a lockbox drops and I rolled Greed… and when the roll went out, I saw someone else had rolled NEED instead. The way it works is that if you and everyone else hits greed, then everyone gets a fair chance at winning it. But if one or more people hit need, then everyone who hits greed will not be able to roll on the item in question at all, except for those who had hit the need button. See how unfair this is? I called out on that player who hit need on the lockbox, and he only laughed and said, “QQ! Everybody does it!”

Not half an hour later I was in the second half of LFR MV, and another lockbox drops. I rolled need on it this time to see what the reaction was. The effect was instant and short. Part of the reason was that someone activated the last boss fight, which closed the doors to the room, which effectively locked out the tank. So the outrage could have gone either way, except one player said in chat to kick me.

I never got kicked from the group. Ironic, eh? It’s shame this didn’t happen in the first group where I encountered that ninja who stole the first lockbox, so in this second raid I could have greeded and seen if everyone else did too. Instead I hit need, and people complained. Now if what that ninja said was true, that everyone needs on the lockboxes… then why were other players complaining? For the same reason I complained that first time. Because it’s false. Everyone hits greed for green items and lockboxes. Nobody should ever hit NEED.

So I submitted a suggestion to Blizzard and I recommend that everyone copy and paste the suggestion to Blizzard if you agree and you want to stomp out ninjas for good. “Take away NEED option in LFR Raids and Dungeons. NOBODY should be able to NEED ROLL on ANY Greens or Lockboxes for any reason!”

And for those of you who want to get the “Needy!” achievement, in which you “Win a need roll on a superior or better item above level 185 by rolling 100.” I have to tell you that it will not work on Lockboxes. Also Rogues do not have to level up their lock picking skill so they don’t need the lockboxes for that. In fact for a rogue to open these lockboxes, their skill HAS to be at 450, which they don’t get until they’re at level 90, so they certainly do NOT need to practice. Absolutely NO need to roll NEED on a lockbox.

From now on, I’ll be rolling GREED on a lockbox. And if someone rolls need and uses the excuse “Everybody rolls need” then I’ll report them for cheating and then vote kick them out of the instance. If that fails, then I’ll roll need on the next one, and if I win it, then Fair play to me if EVERYONE rolled need on it!

Let his be your motto: “No Need To Roll Need!”

I’m gonna go garden now. It’s the only place I can loot items and not be disappointed.

PEACE!

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