Arrows in Skyrim Falling Short

I noticed something that is pretty annoying in Skyrim, and I’m sure that any player who has played as an archer will know what I’m talking about. Every so often, when you’re not noticing because of all the fun you’re having, for example you’re killing draugr in a crypt, you’re still using those old iron arrows because heck, it’s a new game and you have yet to craft better ones, and the steel arrows are adding up in your inventory in the mean time – you have better ammo but you’re saving it for later. (Personally, when I run out of iron arrows I try to never use them again and almost consider them a trash item from that point onward).

2016-01-10_00001Well, anyway, you’re in a crypt, sniping draugr, and all of a sudden your arrow falls short by about 2 feet instead of sailing straight and true to your target. You’re like, “What the hell?” and you frown curiously, “Not this bug again.” Another arrow and it falls short.

I think I figured out the bug. Lets say you start off using iron arrows, and all of a sudden you run out. The game knows you still have some arrows though, and it automatically will equip the next arrow type to be used. Could be steel, could be forsworn, falmer, ebony, any arrow will do. The problem is this auto equipping. When the game autoequips your next arrow, your character will fire it only a few feet.

I believe that the way to fix this is simple – the moment you realize you’ve run out of ammo and you’re using a different arrow, go to your inventory (on PC press “I”; XBox users, you’re on your own!) deselect the ammo you’re currently using and select it again. In other words, manually unequipping and reequipping arrows fixes the problem. In a way this is good because sometimes you might not want to use the arrows the game automatically has you using, like say you ran out of ebony arrows and you’ve automatically switched to the Falmer arrows when you really would like to use your glass arrows next? Naturally you’ll switch them out manually. Falmer arrows belong in a museum!

So if ever you’re hunting or whatever in Skyrim and your arrows are falling two feet away from your bow, un-equip and re-equip them to fix the bug. Hopefully my theory is correct and it works on everyone. Let me know in the comments if you can.

One other thing to note, I have not altered my bows and arrows by modding in any way, except for the spinning arrows mod, which makes my arrows spin so it looks cooler during kill camera events in the game. Also it’s more realistic, since arrows do actually spin in flight and it helps in making the arrows fly in the first place. So if you’re bored with an arrow moving to your target by kill camera, get that Spinning Arrows mod and cackle maniacally as you watch the arrows spin and sail right into your targets’ eyes. Bullseye!

Adventures of Amaki’dar: Thugs from the Dead!

A dark and rainy night in a new game, and I'm walking back to Whiterun Hold, a torch in my hand, and walking in the rain because I'm over-encumbered. Darn those mammoth tusks!

A dark and rainy night in a new game, and I’m walking back to Whiterun Hold, a torch in my hand, and walking in the rain because I’m over-encumbered. Darn those mammoth tusks!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Amaki’dar’s many adventures in Skyrim. Well as a heads up, I’ve started a new game. Basically one of my favorite addons was updated and it seemed best to start a new game, at least according to the mod makers. If you didn’t there were ways to safely install it, but I couldn’t be bothered.

So this is what happened to Amaki’dar so far. After escaping Helgen, she talked to the blacksmith in Riverwood and helped him forge a dagger and helmet. At one point, when she was going to improve the fit of the helmet, she turned to the workbench, and grabbed a steel ingot by mistake. Of course if it was real life it’d have been no mistake, but being a video game it’s different; I had turned towards the table, but my cross hairs were down on the steel bars when I hit “e” to begin using the table, and that was how I ended up grabbing the steel ingot by mistake. Try to explain that in real life, you’d only get a confused look… and then handcuffs probably…

Anyway, in game, Amaki’dar accidentally grabbed a steel ingot, and the blacksmith of course sees and says, “Hey! You can’t take that!” and the steel ingot was automatically taken out of my inventory. What a lousy start for a Khajiit thief, huh? But beyond this, he did not get hostile or anything, possibly because I was helping him at the forge. I work on the helmet, and he tells me the usual, keep that dagger and helmet and remember him when I’m making skyforge steel. Heh, I thought to myself, I bet you’ll make me think of you long before then by sending thugs after me, right!?

I complete a few more quests, one involving killing a dragon and then climbing up the path to High Hrothgar to visit the graybeards. I now have to journey halfway across Skyrim to find a tomb and retrieve a horn. Joy. What fun. I was walking north down a mountain path when I encountered an argonian who was selling skooma and moonsugar. Naturally I pickpocket the lizard and kill him. It was then I remembered that I needed to return to Klimmek! I had taken supplies up to the graybeards for him, I needed to tell him I was finished with the task.

So I got back but he seemed intent on staying indoors, with the door locked. Picking the lock and breaking in… well of course that’s breaking and entering, tresspassing, invading, and I knew if I did that I’d get nothing out of Klimmek except, “You’re not supposed to be in here!” and possibly a bounty if I didn’t leave straightaway.

I wait outdoors instead. Literally, pressing “T” to bring up the wait option and waiting an hour at a time. Before I knew it, “We’re here to teach you a lesson!” comes from behind me. Uh oh.

Three thugs! I knew it! My drawrven bow and iron arros didn’t even dent their armor, so I looked in my inventory and pulled out an elven mace and nettlebane. I start slashing and smashing away and I get the three down a bit faster than if I had used my bow. It pays to be prepared for the melee.

I loot their bodies, finding 100 gold on each, and one had the contract. I read it expecting to see the blacksmith’s name on it. Instead, the contract was sent by one “argonian.”

Dead thugs in Ivarstead. Oh what a fine mess!

Dead thugs in Ivarstead. Oh what a fine mess!

“WHAT!? That stinking lizard is DEAD! I killed him myself when he saw I was… pick… pocketing… er… ahem…”

Amaki’dar then whistles nonchalantly and walks past the staring guards, and considers finding that argonian and find out exactly how dead bodies can hire thugs!

Top Searches – An Owl’s Perspective

Okay, so it’s not really my top searches, but according to my blog stats, I’ve seen that people found my page by searching for Skyrim things, like “skyrim conjurer/illusion build,” but this one caught my eye: “skyrim how to fight conjurers.”
Being the type who plays with a bow and arrow in Skyrim, nearly always, my answer to that is simple: An arrow to the face… or the knee if you’d like. That’s how I’d fight a conjurer. Kill the magician, and it’s summoned minion should vanish automatically.
Of course, there are times when you find a conjurer fighting something it’s conjured, and in cases like this, the mage cannot control it’s minion and is now fighting it to the death. My answer woulds till be the same: arrow to the head or knee… and that goes for both the mage and the rebellious minion!

Snow Veil Sanctum Answer

I was looking at my blog stats this morning and came across something interesting. In one of my stats I get to see how people reached my blog, and one of them is searches. One of the searches was this:

snow veil sanctum after you are shot you end up outside is there any reason to go back in

I never went back before, to be honest. Snow Veil Sanctum is only accessible during the Thieves Guild quest line, and going in there not only gets you ahead in the quest line for the Guild, but there are some rewards to discover as you go through the tomb. The dungeon is almost a test of your skills, but sometimes Mercer Frey will attack when you’re trying to sneak past a group of draugr, or you try to kill one and he wakes the other five nearby.

However, there are some notable items that can be found in the sanctum while you are tripping the traps and waking angry demented zombies:

  • Model Ship can be sold to Delvin Mallory (when attempting to pick up the model ship, avoid shooting the explosive lanterns above, as they will throw items nearby all around the area making it difficult to loot some of them).
  • Light Armor skill-book Ice and Chitin in the same room as the Dragon Word Wall
  • Skill book, Three Thieves – bone chimes room.
  • Word Wall – Disarm

The word wall for the Disarm shout is one of the last things of interest in the ruins, except for the quest itself. Once you’re shot, the quest ends and the new one starts when you recover outside. The last room in the dungeon is locked with a puzzle door, and Mercer Frey uses his own “key” for unlocking it, and if you’ve completed the entire quest line, you’ll know which key this is. When you go in, you get shot and a cut scene occurs. Once it’s over you’re outside the sanctum. The only thing worthy of note in that last room is a skeleton, presumed to be Gallus.

If you managed to find the skill books, the model ship, and the dragon shout, and if you completed the quest in question, then there is no real reason for going back in there unless you wanted to sneak past Draugr that might have respawned. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone back, never saw a need to since I always get the word wall and the model ship, which are the two things I recommend getting if you never want to go back in there again.

I hope whoever was searching for the answer to their question reads this, and I hope it helps.

Eyes open. Walk with the Shadows.

Heimskr… Fixed by Unofficial Skyrim Patch, and Scorned by Inigo!

Behold Heimskr! This resident can be a target for the thieves guild on occasion, but once his house is destroyed by the civil war he no longer can be robbed or anything like that. But perhaps this character in Skyrim is more known for standing in front of a statue of Talos and giving his speech all day long. He is a priest of Talos, and a doomsayer of sorts. His sermons can be heard as you head to the temple of Kynareth, or up to Dragonsreach, or over to Jorrvaskr where the Companions are located, so odds are you either stood nearby to listen to the whole thing, or you heard bits and pieces of it over time and heard the whole thing anyway. Some players may kill Heimskr just to silence him. I did in one game, and came to regret the decision because as I would traverse Whiterun from the shops in the market up to the palace, I’d hear nothing; it felt as though something was missing.

After I completed the civil war questline… I probably should mention that I always join up with the Stormcloaks, mainly because first thing in the game you are a prisoner of the Empire and are about to have your head cut off. Given the choice, I’d go with the Stormcloaks any day of the week. That being said, I’m not sure what happens to Heimskr after the battle for Whiterun if you sided with the Imperials, but I do know what happens when you side with the Stormcloaks and win the battle for this city. As far as Heimskr goes, his house is destroyed, but I think that along with Severio Pelagia’s house is always destroyed no matter which side you are on. However, Severio will always die, but Heimskr will live. Heimskr’s house being destroyed, he will set up a tent between Jorrvaskr and the statue of Talos. Since I never side with the Imperials, I don’t know if he continues to deliver his sermons in front of the statue or if he’s arrested and thrown into the jail in Whiterun. But if you sided with the Stormcloaks, he sleeps in his little tent at night and delivers his sermons during the day in front of the statue.

To the left you can see Inigo, and behind him is what's left of Heimskr's house. To the right you can see Heimskr himself, fully clothed and preaching away.

To the left you can see Inigo, and behind him is what’s left of Heimskr’s house. To the right you can see Heimskr himself, fully clothed and preaching away.

The only problem before was this: After the battle for Whiterun(Stormcloaks), Heimskr would be in rags instead of his robes. A bug to be sure. My thoughts would be that when you deliver the axe to the Jarl, he tells you to take it back and then asks his Steward to get some ink and the good parchment, so he can send a letter to Solitude to officially side with the Empire. Once the Imperials arrive, have to enforce the White-Gold Concordat, they arrest Heimskr for worshiping Talos. Then the battle for Whiterun occurs. Unbeknownst to us, the Stormcloaks release Heimskr from prison so he can resume his sermons to the great and mighty Talos… but thanks to a bug in the game, they forget to give him his clothes.

And that is why, folks, Heimskr will preach Talos in rags (or undergarments if you wish to call it that).

Fortunately there is a way to fix that. A certain series of mods that applies fixes to the games is available, the one in particular is called “Unofficial Skyrim Patch,” written by a team of programmers I assume who devote themselves to discovering bugs and repairing them as well as editing graphic problems, fixing broken quests, audio and subtitles, you name it! I can’t begin to explain all their fixes, but suffice it to say that they’re constantly doing what Bethesda is not (or so it seems to me), and that is making sure the game continues to run as best as possible.

The most recent file was released on February 19th, 2014, as of this blog anyway. I’m sure they’ll come out with more fixes in the future, but there was one fix I saw in their changelog that made me laugh out loud. I quote:

  • One more chance Heimskr, either you’re fixed now or we’re undoing everything we’ve been trying to fix for you!

I saw that and laughed to myself, and I guessed that this was in reference to the fact that after the civil war quest is completed on the Stormcloak side then he’d still be cloaked in rags. So I updated my mod and loaded the game and went straight to Whiterun, because he was still in rags to me and I wanted to see if it was indeed fixed.

Unfortunately he was still in rags. So I fast traveled to the stables nearby and made a fresh save (I’ll call this “Save A”). Then I exited the game and opened my Nexus Mod Manager(NMM), the program I use and recommend for adding and organizing mods to Skyrim, and I unchecked all the Unofficial Patch mods so they would not load. Then I loaded the game and “Save A” at the stables, and immediately saved it as a new file, let’s call it “Save B”. Once saved I exited the game again, then in NMM I reactivated the Unofficial patches and reloaded the game, and loaded “Save B”… Save B was the clean save, so now with the patches activated, it should work correctly. I fast travel to Dragonsreach so I can run down the steps and see Heimskr.

Sure enough, performing a clean save uninstall/re-install worked like a charm. Heimskr was delivering his sermons as usual, and he was wearing the orange and yellow robes of the priesthood like he was supposed to. Congratulations goes out to the Unofficial Patch Project Team, it works as far as I can tell! Fixed for sure!

Now I do use another mod, called Inigo. It adds a unique follower to the game that has many dialogue options, witty comments in casual settings or in combat, and even tells you how he thinks you’re doing if you ask him. He’s a khajiit, with a unique coloring of fur that is not seen on any other in the game, and he behaves like any other follower in the game, except he’s more chatty and witty. Normally I never play with a follower in tow, but after I discovered this mod, I never go anywhere without him.

Inigo's comment about Heimskr.

Inigo’s comment about Heimskr.

So today as I was testing out the fix for Heimskr, Inigo and I were near him, and he made a few comments I never heard him say before, and it made me laugh.

If I were to recommend some mods for this game, one would be the Unofficial Skyrim Patches, and they have more than one, so if you have the addons for Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and even the High Resolution Packages, then you’d want to have the Unofficial Patches for those too. The other mod I’d recommend would be Inigo. Take him with you wherever you go. Granted, there might be a few places he can’t go with you, like to jail or the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in Falkreath for example, but in all other places, he’s a riot! A must have for you adventures in Skyrim!

Talos be with you!

Dragon Attack kills horse. Grr

So I have a manor in Falkreath and I read a book recently on a legend about a famous mage being murdered, something about his three sons, and the whole thing being stricken from the records of history, yet the legend remains. I decided to use my horse since it would be a bit faster for me to get from the south all the way up tot he ruins mentioned near Solitude.

So about one minute after I hit the road, riding along on my horse, did something large go WHOOSH right over my head. Oh bother, I think to myself, another dragon… well, when it comes to dragon bones, scales, and souls, enough is never enough. So I dismount and shoot an arrow at the dragon.

He breathes fire at my horse and kills it.

Now I’m really pissed off. I mean sure, with my perk points in speech, I can sell dragon bones for almost 1500 gold pieces, but still, MY HORSE!!! YOU KILLED MY HORSE! TALOS DAMN YOU!

Then he flies back to my manor and kills my chickens. Thankfully my highland cow made a run for it while my steward tries to go blade to tooth with the dragon while I sprint back to the manor. All the way back I’m yelling, “OH NO! NO! THAT IS NOT WHERE YOU GO FOR BREAKFAST! DON’T – YOU – DARE!!!

So yeah, I get there and all three chickens are dead, I don’t see the cow, and at this point I’m thinking it either ran away safely, or the dragon ate it. Thinking of the latter, I’m thinking, DAMN IT! TALOS TAKE YOU AND ROAST YOU ALIIIIIIIVE!!! I shout my frost breath shout at it, but it’s only two words instead of three.

Then he lifts off and goes hunting some wolves, forcing me to run over grass and rocks and fallen tree trunks after it. I’m shooting arrows at it like a machine gun (or like those automatic crossbows from Shrek 2) at this point, and Inigo finally gets to confront the dragon on the ground with his Blades Sword and Ebony Blade. Maybe I should have given him the one enchanted to do more damage to dragons… oh well. We managed to down it in the end, and upon closer inspection, I realize it was an ancient dragon, far more powerful than the whelps I’ve fought before. No wonder he was smart enough to avoid me and kill everything else.

Damn dragon killed my horse and chickens.  So I kill him and take his soul... eye for an eye I guess.

Damn dragon killed my horse and chickens. So I kill him and take his soul… eye for an eye I guess.

I head back to the manor, overlook my dead chickens, recall my dead horse by the damn lake, and see my long haired cow mosey on back into his pen. Yeah, don’t need a cow herder to do that, haha. Smart animal that one… as for the chickens, well, no wonder I’ve called them “bird-brain”.

After I catch my breath and store the dragon bones and scales inside, I head back out to check on my steward and ask her to buy me another horse and some more chickens. Maybe next time I go for a ride, and giant freak lizard won’t dive bomb me and cook my horse. >.< FML.

Markarth Conga?!

Hey look! It's the Markarth City Conga Line! Ya-dada-dada-da-DA!

Hey look! It’s the Markarth City Conga Line! Ya-dada-dada-da-DA!

Happy New Year!

2014-01-06_00002Happy New Year, from Amaki’dar. Traveling on horseback through The Rift, where the snow won’t fall, we’re heading to Riften to get some Black-Briar Mead to celebrate the new year. Later in the night, I suppose I can shoot off fire arrows into the sky to celebrate since I never bothered with destruction magic spells.

At any rate, welcome to 2014 to all fans Skyrim!

 

A Conjurer in Skyrim Part 2: Windhelm and High Hrothgar

Rynn the ConjurerI haven’t played as a conjurer in a while, so I thought I’d dust off this old save file and summon a flame atronach and conjure a sword and go adventuring. I went up to Windhelm to visit for a bit. I get a quest to collect Queen Freydis’s Sword from a spider lair, and then go into the Forsaken Cave to find something called The White Phial. Considering that the White Phial is for an alchemist, I’m sure it’s not something to help with fingernails. Phial, not file. Anyway I go, I get them, I get back. While the blacksmith rewarded me with an increase in my smithing skill, the alchemist gave me a scant 5 gold. Now I can imagine that the sword must be covered in rust and spider webs, but the blacksmith was more rewarding than the alchemist. True, the phial was cracked, but he’s spent his whole life looking for that artifact, and he only gives me five gold. I tell off his assistant, who pays me 500 gold for the bother. THAT’S BETTER! Humph!

Hey, the greybeards are summoners too! How 'bout that!

Hey, the greybeards are summoners too! How ’bout that!

Then I head on south to the foot of High Hrothgar and climb the seven thousand steps. All this time I’ve have Lydia with me, and by now I’ve given her a dwarven shield I found (I think I found that when I was killing spiders while looking for the queen’s sword), and I’ve gotten some robes of conjuration.

There’s something weird about all this. Whenever I start a new game, I pick something like archery, or destruction, or conjuration, and level up those skills as best as possible, but when it comes down to it, I don’t get any gear to drop in chests of off monsters that give me bonuses in that area, like destruction spells cost 12% less magicka to cast, or deal more damage with bows and arrows, that sort of thing. NO! It’s always the things I don’t use, like two handed weapon bonus, or alteration robes, or heavy armor. I usually have to save up enough gold to buy the items I do want if I’m lucky enough to come across them. And then guess what happens? The next thing I kill or the next chest I loot has an item I’ve been looking for. Like say I just bought a leather helmet that does 10% more damage in archery, then a few minutes later I’m in a cave, I unlock a chest, and lo-and-behold, there’s an elven helmet that deals 15% more damage in archery… and then I’m like, Why didn’t you appear in the last chest I opened?!

Calcelmo runs into the White Phial Store when I try to kill him before he kills someone else. I backstab him with my conjured sword. Sorry about the mess, mister cheepskate alchemist!

Calcelmo runs into the White Phial Store when I try to kill him before he kills someone else. I backstab him with my conjured sword. Sorry about the mess, mister cheepskate alchemist!

Anyway, I’ve managed to get a few things, set my skills up so when I kill something with my sword then it fills a soul gem, if I have any empty ones anyway. In this way I can level up my enchanting as well. And considering that I’m conjuring a sword and using that all the time, I put a couple of perks into the one-handed tree and one in the light armor tree (I’m wearing vampire boots I enchanted to resist fire and some leather bracers to increase my magicka).

Up on High Hrothgar, I learn the second word for Unrelenting Force and the first word for Whirlwind Sprint. Now I get to go all the way back down the mountain and tell Klimmick that a climb this trip had been. Of course, I decide to avoid mentioning my training with the Greybeards, since they live in seclusion after all and I assume there is a reason three of the four are pretty silent most of the time. Master Arngeir is the only one who’s tongue isn’t tied.

Then I head back down the mountain and tell Klimmek that I delivered his supplies to the Greybeards, and shortly after that, two weirdos in orangy robes ask if I’m the dragonborn. Uh oh.

Whatever you're selling, I don't want it!

Whatever you’re selling, I don’t want it!

I try to deny it, after all I’m only just now learning how to use the voice thanks to the Greybeards, but they call my bluff, saying something about Miraak and how he’s the true dragonborn and that all imposters will be killed or something to that effect, and they attack me. I summon my flame atronach and my sword and defend myself, Lydia starts shooting arrows, and the town guard of ivarstead rushes in to help kick some arse. Once the cultists are dead I check their pockets and find a note. Seems they came from an island called Solstheim and that one Miraak sent them. Huh. Well I’m not in the mood to get sea sick and hunt down other dragonborns, if any. Instead, I pocket the letter and leave.

Time to head out.

Bandits, Hagravens, and Ghosts

Sapsorrow, now at level 7, has just finished clearing out the Halted Stream Camp. Before returning to Whiterun to collect the bounty and giving one mammoth tusk to Ysolda, I decide to grab the Family Sword from Valtheim Keep for Amren. So with Faendal coming along we cut across the tundra and kill three bandits that are attacking Whitewatch Tower, and I level up to 8 after hitting the bandits with a couple of fireballs. Yay! I take a few things from the bandits and give the arrows to Faendal, as well as a few other things to help ease my burden.

We follow the river, killing all the mudcrabs and slaughterfish that we find, and then assault the tower full of bandits. Normally, if you approach from the road, there’ll be one bandit that stops you and demands you pay about 200 gold to use their road. There are some speech options you can try to increase your speech skill with, but this time I didn’t have the chance to initiate the conversation. Turns out I scared an elk when I came out of the river, and the bandits tried to kill it. I guess elks refuse to pay tolls all the time. So since the bandits were already in a fighting mood, I had no choice but to start fighting them. I guess I can see the logic of the situation, I mean after all it’d be a lot easier to count out our coins when we’re dead. Forget the toll business, let’s just kill them!

Well, after the toll booth bandit is dead I run inside and go upstairs and start casting fury at some of the bandits. All the fighting has caused the bandit leader himself to come down from the tower on the other side of the river, and I had just hit a bandit on the bridge linking the two towers with fury. Naturally the bandit leader kills him quickly and then comes after me. I hit him with a combination of fireballs and my frostbite staff. Once he’s down the remaining bandits go down one after the other. Fury helps with multiple enemies, it makes them fight among themselves if you use it right. I find Amren’s Family Sword and then we head out, going back toward Whiterun.

Along the way we kill four wolves, and then we spot a fire atronach. Atronachs are elemental creatures that are summoned from Oblivion, and it looks like someone summoned a fire elemental and it killed it’s master. We shall see. I equip an ice spike spell in my right hand, and three spikes takes it down. As I examine the atronach, I see a dead witch nearby. That’s what I thought… a summoning gone wrong. Tsk tsk tsk.2013-07-08_00009

Once back in Whiterun, I head into the Bannered Mare, and the innkeeper says, “Here’s a gift. If you don’t like it, too bad,” and then she gives me a bottle of Alto wine. WOW! Nobody ever gives me a bottle of wine in real life, haha! I ❤ Skyrim! I purchase a room at the inn and spend the night; got quests to turn in and bartering to do in the morning.

As I sell the extra things to Belethor, I check to see what wares he has and I spot one rare find – a necklace of waterbreathing. It set me back by about a thousand gold, but fortunately I had a great deal of things to sell. In the end Belethor had zero gold and I had to go to Warmaidens to sell the rest. Then its off to Dragonsreach to use the enchanting table. I disenchant the necklace to learn the water breathing enchantment, then enchant several rings and another necklace with waterbreathing, then sell the extra rings and keep one necklace on hand.

After leaving the keep, a courier comes up and delivers a letter from the Jarl of Falkreath. Apparently my good deeds in Whiterun has reached Siddgeir, and he wishes me to be his thane. It would give me another housecarl and the right to buy land in Falthreath hold so I can build my own home. Hmmm, I haven’t even bought Breezehome yet. Methinks I’ll hold off from visiting Falkreath for the time being.

For now I walk all the way to Orphan Rock to get Nettlebane, a special old dagger used by a hagraven to make sacrifices of spriggans. Spriggans are kind of like atronachs, only these are of the element of nature and are usually found guarding trees and such, and no mage can summon them or control them. Why hagravens like to chop them up for sacrifices, I don’t know. I can do better with sage sticks and quartz crystals myself. Or maybe it’s through the sacrifices that the hagraven is throwing huge firebolts at me that explode when they hit me. ACK! What the hell! I hide behind a tree stump and drink health and magicka potions and then run across a fallen tree that acts as a bridge to get to the hagraven, and then I zap her with sparks to help drain her magicka. No Magicka means no healing and no firebolts. HUMPH!

Now with Nettlebane in my possession, I decide to head on around the mountain and get to Ivarstead. When I rent a room for the night, the innkeeper mentions the haunted barrow outside the town. I ask for more information, and he tells of the time when someone named Wyndelius claimed to be a treasure hunter and went exploring the barrow, and the following night they all heard screams from the barrow and never saw him again. Some time after the innkeeper himself claims he saw a ghost wandering about the barrow, so he and the villagers keep their distance from the place.

As I approach the barrow the next morning, Faendal, who’s right behind me, saus, “Look at these ruins. Might be gold inside!” I laugh to myself and we go in, and we discover that Wyndelius never did die. According to his journal he came up with a potion to make him appear spectral and he used this illusion to scare the locals into staying out of the ruins so he could explore them alone. However he could not find the dragon claw to unlock the door and delve any deeper, and so prolonged isolation, or maybe the potion itself, drove him insane, making him believe he was a ghost haunting the barrow and had to protect it from invaders. I kill him and then take the journal to the innkeeper. So that’s one myth busted, and the innkeeper is relieved to know the truth. Wilhelm gives me something as a reward for my efforts – a sapphire dragon claw.

Ironic. The treasure hunter had no idea that the locals had the claw. Hah! I take the claw and unlock the ruins and go exploring. Then we get to one of the last chambers, a room full of sarcophagi. Oh boy. The last time I came in here with a follower, I went rushing on in ahead and the gate closed on me and my follower was locked outside, thus forcing me to fight off the zombies alone. Not gonna happen this time!

I turn to Faendal and say, “I need you to do something.”

“Alright, what is it?”

I turn and tell him to wait there, and he walks right past me and into the main chamber. Now, an evil part of me wants to get locked outside and, well, Let’s see how he likes it! But I’m just not that evil, so I run in after him, and now we’re both inside and the gate locks us in, and skeletons and draugr start to rise from their resting places. Now this is what teamwork is really about Faendal! We kill all of them and head into the last chamber to loot a treasure chest and learn a word off the wall at the back of the room. So now I know the first word for Kyne’s Peace, but I lack a dragon soul to unlock it. Well… when am I ever gonna use this one anyway?

Now I’m at level 11, and I have two perks in the conjuration tree now so I can cast Soul Trap with less magicka used. This will help with filling soul gems for enchanting needs. I do have one perk in illusion and six in the destruction tree, with one perk point unused for the moment. Illusion is at 24, Conuration 26, Destruction 36. Just so you know my leveling progress. Of course sneak and lockpicking are up a little too, but I haven’t spent any perk points in those areas yet. I’m biding my time.

For now, I check my bags, and all the soul gems I got are now full, so I dual-equip firebolt and start climbing the steps to High Hrothgar…Sapsorrow

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