Owlaf’s Adventure in Skyrim

(This is me typing in my experience from my more recent playthrough. I’ll try to keep a consistent character and limit fast travel as much as possible. I’m using a variety of mods, today’s highlight being Frostfall and Campfire, as well as Alternate Start: Live Another Life, and Become a Bard.)

It has been three days since I awoke at a strange place in the middle of nowhere. It was like I was on top of a glacier with stone towers jutting up out of the ice. The remains of a campsite was all around me, tents ruined, corpses burned. It was amazing that I was still alive. Whoever attacked us clearly didn’t want to leave any survivors.

Yet who could do such a thing? Why attack a mining expedition, if the manifest nearby was anything to believe. If there was an expedition, they must surely have died too.

I shivered. I suddenly realized I was only wearing a set of old mining clothes. I had a few apples, but that was it. The nearby chest was locked, but I had no lock picks. Not even a bobby pin.

I started running across the snow, hearing my boots crunching, just barely audible over the howling wind. Ah yes. Of course I would wake up in the middle of a freak blizzard over a freak glacier in the freaking north! Curses! I could barely see in front of me, which was why I almost ran into a man in black robes and nearly knocked him over. I skidded to a stop just in time, only to see him create fire in his hands and threaten to attack me. Nearby in the snow I saw another dark shape. A corpse. Freshly killed. I smelled it now. With the wind blowing so fiercely, it was hard to pick up any scents.

The mage tried to burn me, but I grabbed him and punched him in the chest, hard. And then he fell over dead. I was shocked he went down so easily, but then I realized maybe they were both mages and they just had a duel, so the fire mage was still injured when I happened upon them.

All well… they had robes. Much more coverage to protect me from the harsh elements. I slipped the robes on, as well as a hood, took whatever gold and other items of note they had on them, and then I continued to run south, through the blizzard, stumbling in the snow drifts as I went.

I seemed to travel up to a mountain, and through a narrow pass, then down the snowy slope. I smelled no further trouble, but my teeth were clattering. I was getting colder and colder by the second.

Then I smelled wood burning. Food cooking. People… I followed the smell as best I could, but as I got colder, I moved slower. I dragged my feet and eventually saw the building. Stumbling up to structure, I found a trap-door set into the ground right next to the building. I yanked on the ring, but the door was locked! I looked left and right, but I saw no other door.

Oh Gods above! Don’t tell me the door is on the other side of the house!?

I walked around the building. Around the first corner was only windows. The second corner revealed piles of firewood, a wooden porch, and the door! At last!

I took two steps… and then I fell to the ground and everything went black.

Hours later I awoke. Turns out I was just outside an inn, a tavern just off the road that was to the west of Windhelm. The Nightgate Inn, I discovered. I recovered slowly from the blizzard outside, sitting by the fire. I offered what little gold I had to the innkeeper, but he told me to keep it. He said it was the least he could do to save a poor soul from freezing to death. Of course he did offer food and drink for a price, but I barely had any gold to begin with. I asked for a map and he provided me with one. I guessed where I had come from and traced the route with my finger, stopping to tap the map over Nightgate.

It looked like I had quite a few options. The icy road would lead me east to Windhelm or west to other places. The road split into three directions, one going east to where I was at now. One south to Whiterun, one went west that eventually led to either Dawnstar or Morthal.

I had had enough of the northern parts of this realm… Skyrim is it? They should have called it Cold-Biting-Snow-rim. In fact, forget the “rim” part. Land of Cold-Biting-Snow would suffice. A bit long though, so Skyrim it is.

I rolled up the map and headed for the door.

“Are ye mad? There’s still a blizzard out there!”

“Oh, so I should just sit here, and do nothing whilst imposing on your hospitality without paying you any recompense? I can’t just sit and do nothing.”

“On your own head be it, but just remember if the snow doesn’t get to ya, the bandits will!”


“There’s a whole group of them hiding out in an old draugr crypt nearby, just to the east along the road. They’ll cut you to pieces if you don’t freeze to death first.”

I shrugged and said, “I have my fur, and I have my claws. I will return someday and repay you for your kindness, unless I become preoccupied with other things and then I forget. Warm sands friend.”

The moment I was outside, I started running again. I remembered smelling people before I collapsed outside Nightgate. The smell out here was not like the smell from in the tavern. The tavern smelled cleaner. Out here though, the blizzard wind brought me the bandit’s scent. I just didn’t realize it before.

If they could camp out here in the middle of nowhere and survive, then they had supplies, and who better to steal supplies from than from a den of thieves? Nobody would miss these bandits at all.

*   *   *

Night was falling. I had left the bandit’s lair well behind me. I found the place where the road split into three and I took the path that led me south. I had managed to pilfer quite a lot from the bandits’ lair. Mostly food that was still fresh, extra clothing, and some items I thought might be useful to sell. I also had a variety of weapons. Swords, daggers, a bow and some arrows. When I first approached the bandits I used my claws to attack the two sentries standing guard outside, but since then I decided to use a sword for attacking. For one thing, I couldn’t block as well with my fists, and for another thing the sword reached slightly longer than my claws could. I planned to use the bow to hunt for food, but the only thing to attack me on the roads was a pair of wolves.

Farther south I went until I finally was out of the blizzard. Night was almost here however and I knew I would have to find a place to bed down. Maybe there was another inn or tavern nearby. No, wait, that was a farm. I ignored it. The next two buildings were also farmhouses. Whiterun hold was nearby, but if I recalled right, the Nords didn’t like Khajiit in their cities. It was also why it was so hard for me to find work.

The land was no longer covered in snow at least. Tall yellow grass grew from the ground, fields of it rolling to the west while mountains rose to the east. And still I kept going south.

It was dark by the time I made it to a small village called Riverwood. I heard music cheerfully being played in the tavern called The Sleeping Giant. I remembered being a bit of a musician myself. I no longer had the instruments…

Thinking fast I went over to the lumber mill. I found a wood cutters axe and used it to chop firewood. That alone could have come in use when camping in the wilderness, but I had other plans. I had some animal pelts from the wolves I had killed earlier, as well as some of the supplies I had gotten from the bandits.

A few hours later I was ready.

I headed into the tavern and asked one of the owners if I could perform there. “Of course,” he said. I had to ask their local bard to take a break, then I produced my newly fashioned lute and played a couple of songs. The night was old though, and there were few patrons still there. Understandable. I did arrive in town just after the work for the day was completed, and I had to craft my musical instruments in the near-darkness of the blacksmith’s forge, but I had excellent night vision to aid me. And I could polish and style the lute later. For now, as long as it played music, it would do.

Once I was done, I collected my little pay from the innkeeper, and as a bonus he let me have a room for free. It was midnight when I finally laid down on the straw mattress and sighed before finally passing out.

Survived being frostbitten, killed bandits, and worked as a bard in a tavern. Not a bad day I guess. Not too bad. Bad for bandits, but not for me.

* * *

Rumors of unrest reached my ears the next morning. While I had breakfast of cheese and tea, I eavesdropped on a couple of farmers. Not too hard to do considering my ears. According to the gossip, the Jarl of Windhelm supposedly rode to Solitude to visit with the Jarl there, who was also known as the High King of Skyrim. From what I understood about the political workings of Skyrim, each hold in the land was governed by a leader called a Jarl, and one of those Jarls ruled over the others as High King, and the High King had to answer to the Emperor of Tamriel. From what I heard, it seems it’s not uncommon for a Jarl to travel to another hold to meet with their neighboring Jarls to discuss business or even just for a social visit, but that wasn’t the case a few days ago. It seemed Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak went to Solitude and challenged High King Torygg. A lot of the gossip is saying it was murder, and some even say Ulfric shouted at Torygg. I know not what he shouted about, but I figured they must have had an arguement and then Ulfric slayed the King with a sword or axe or something. But shouting him to death? Right. Sure he did.

Rumor had it that there was something going on at Helgen keep, a military outpost of the Empire. Maybe the Imperials were marshaling their forces to try to apprehend Jarl Ulfric, who knows. There was a caravan of horses and carts a few days ago in the mountains, according to some other gossip. The only other thing I heard was the tavern wench yelling at one Orgnar to get a fresh batch of ale in. Potatoes in his ears, really! I chuckled at that under my breath. I left a septim on the table as a tip for my breakfast, then I shouldered my backpack of things and left town.

I was somewhere between Riverwood and Helgen when I thought to myself, Wait… wasn’t there a general goods store where I could sell this junk I looted from the bandit lair? Bugger! Growling to myself, I trudged uphill, slipping occasionally on an icy rock. I was walking through small amounts of snow again before long.

Once the walls of Helgen appeared at the top of a rise I quickened my pace. I was very close when I heard a large beast roaring. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I saw it. A DRAGON! A large black creature with two hind legs, the front limbs being massive wings that made the air vibrate when it flapped them, long neck and tail, the tail ending with barbs and spikes, and the head roughly triangular with impressive looking horns and fiery eyes. It roared again as it flew up into the air.

I ducked behind a rock as it flew overhead, and I turned and watched through a shrub as the beast flew off into the distance. When it vanished over the mountain ranges in the north, I looked back at Helgen expecting more dragons to appear. None did, but I did notice the smoke rising from behind the city walls. The wind shifted so I could see it now, and it also brought horrible smells to me. Burned wood, charred flesh, blood…

I ran up to the gates of Helgen and pulled them open. A scene of devastation met my eyes. Houses that once belonged to simple people were burning down. Rubble from one of the towers lay across the road. I could see bodies burnt beyond recognition. I went through the village trying to search for survivors. When I saw a woman holding an infant, both of which were burned to death, I lost hope. There were no survivors at all.

The last corpse I examined had a journal that miraculously escaped damage. It told of how the guards captured Ulfric Stormcloak and a band of his rebels, as well as a horse theif. They had stopped at Helgen and they were prepared to execute Ulfric and his men. My guess was the journal was actually more of a log-book and the soldier who owned it was some sort of scribe, writing down events for posterity.

I flipped through the book. One of the last notes was that the horse-thief tried to make a run for it and was shot with arrows. The first person to be beheaded was a soldier who shirked his last rites. A note about loud roaring in the distance.

Then the lower half of the page was covered in ink. My guess was the scribe got quite startled when the dragon attacked.

Sure enough on the next page, the writing was no longer neat and well written, but messy and jagged as if hastily scrawled by a shaking hand from a panicky person. It told of how a dragon suddenly appeared. Of thunderous noises, rocks falling from the sky for a brief moment, then the dragon flying around and breathing fire. The scribe took refuge in the building, writing down the sounds of devastation around him. The last things he wrote was some dribble about the end-times, and noting some soldiers went into the keep to find some escape tunnel that let out to the north of town.

I closed the book and left the city, heading back north to look for a cave of some kind.

* * *

An hour or so later, I left the blacksmith’s house. Hadvar would be staying over for the next few days, but I decided to move on. Hadvar was the only survivor from Helgen, who was injured in the tunnels leaving the keep. Luckily I had a healing potion that I had looted from the bandit lair the day before and he was able to drink it to heal himself. Afterwards I escorted him back to Riverwood, where his uncle was a blacksmith. Hadvar told us much of what I already read in the scribe’s journal, about how a dragon attacked the keep just before Ulfric could be executed for murdering the High King of Skyrim. I was right about one thing at least: The Imperials were marshaling their forces to bring justice to Ulfric, but I never would have guessed they could capture Ulfric so soon, or that a dragon would appear. Hadvar thinks Ulfric Stormcloak escaped in the confusion. I only hoped there were other survivors besides soldiers. Women and children lost their homes today.

I had been about to set out on my journey again when a passing courier offered to sell something. The Black Horse. I once heard of it. It had been a newspaper that was originally printed in the Empire, but for the last two hundred years or so it hasn’t been printed. It used to be founded by the Empire so every copy was free. But now, sadly, it wasn’t. I had to buy the latest edition. The courier offered a subscription, but I refrained since I had little gold.

The latest edition talked about the rumors of dragons and of the attack on Helgen (A pretty fast publication I thought), and of vampire attacks in cities. The article on vampires mentioned the Vigilants of Stendarr. Vigilant, eh? A word that means someone who takes the law into their own hands. Apparently these vigilants hunt down daedra, witches, werewolves, and vampires. Their hold was up north. I decided to check them out and see if it was a faction worth joining.

* * *

Most likely not. While the leader of the Vigilants offered restoration magic training, I refrained from doing so because of the little gold I had. I also had no love for their holdings. Their headquarters was surrounded by snow. Enough snow! I had enough.

Before I left however, I did look around and saw they had a great many items of worth. I decided if they wouldn’t offer me membership, then I might as well take some of their supplies off their hands before I headed out to the cold, unforgiving wilderness.

My packs were much fuller before I left, but I did manage to steal many alchemy ingredients, potions, and a mace.

I know. I was trying to turn a fresh leaf, but I thought to myself, when would I ever set foot in the Hall of the Vigilants ever again?

* * *

And now here I was. Trudging along the path at night. A single torch I had stolen from the Hall, illuminating my path ahead, my boots crunching on whatever snow covered the cobblestone path.

When I awoke a few days ago at those ruins on the glacier, I had no memory of how I got there. I didn’t seem to remember my life before then, but I was beginning to feel a bit familiar with what I was doing now. Travelling from place to place, robbing from the rich, and keeping everything for myself. Well, maybe not entirely true… I had to get rid of my stolen goods to a fence after all. And then there was the incident in… in… Cyrodiil? Did I live in Cyrodiil and some point in my past?

Yes! I was born in Elsweyr, but I had traveled north to Cyrodiil to seek my fortune and I had ended up stealing from a great many houses in my time there. The last burglary I attempted failed abysmally, and they threw me into a jail cell to rot in for the rest of my life.

I wound up becoming so thin that I was able to squeeze through a drain in the floor and dig my way into the sewer system and make my escape. I had decided it wasn’t safe for me to rob anyone in Cyrodiil for a long while, so I fled north to Skyrim. For a time, I considered I should try to go straight; just stop stealing for a change and try to be an honest khajiit. I figured I should keep a good profile and stay out of trouble, or eventually I would be unwelcome in every province in Tamriel.

Well, the last job I took was that excavation team in the far north. I wasn’t the only khajiit on the team, our group was quite large in fact, but after that bandit raid, I was knocked unconscious and they thought I was dead. When I woke, I had lost my memory.

And now here I was, becoming a thief all over again. And after all the trouble I went through to avoid trouble! I growled to myself. What was the point of trying to go straight when there was always a bandit or another thief that would take advantage of you anyway? Maybe that’s why I wanted to be a thief more than anything: so I could steal from others before they stole from me.

I frowned and glanced over my shoulder. Nobody was following me. As I went on, I decided on a pact: I would not steal from anyone unless they could afford it, or they had stolen first. Bandits and other highwayscum was fine. Nobility in the cities, probably okay. Somebody who vexed me or who I didn’t like, definitely. But never from farmers or poor people. Didn’t seem fair to me that a miner who broke his back day after day break stones apart to find gemstones should get paid a pittance when the gems went right to a fair lady who did absolutely nothing to earn it, you know? People who never did an honest day’s work in their lives but were filthy rich anyway? Yeah, share the wealth! I’d be willing to steal from the rich and give to the poor in some way.

I resolved to steal gold from the next rich person I saw, and use the septims to buy some produce from the market and share it with the next beggar I saw.


The cold air blew gently, and I tugged on my hood a little, trying to block it from my face. I walked on, and on…

I’d would have run if I wasn’t carrying so much!

* * End * *


(This is a work of fiction based on my gameplay of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Some of this is based on actual gameplay while other parts will be invented by my own imagination. No copyright infringement is intended.)


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.

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