Fun Fact of Skyrim: Anise’s Cabin

Anise's Cabin is located across the river and a little northwest from Riverwood. Anise, the harmless old woman living in the woods.

Anise’s Cabin is located across the river and a little northwest from Riverwood. Anise, the harmless old woman living in the woods.

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before. Earlier as I was playing a new game as Sapsorrow, my Dunmer mage, I was returning from Bleakfalls Barrow on foot to Riverwood. I had passed up Anise’s Cabin and saw two dots appear on my compass guide at the top of my screen. Uh-oh, bad guys. I go into a crouch and sneak around, but they don’t see me. They do see Anise, however. Anise always used to say to me that she’s just an old woman, and I always noticed that she’s a bit of a strange old hermit, living alone in a small cabin in the woods. Well, to my surprise, she gets up off her chair, conjures a familiar that dies almost right away as the bandits attack her. Shocked, I turn back and help defend her. Then once both bandits are dead, she attacks me!

I’m thinking to myself, WHAT THE HELL!?

Then I did some research of my own. It turns out that Anise was really a witch. Shouldn’t surprise me since her sister is a Hagraven. Wait, let me back up. It all started when I participated in a drinking contest with a man named Sam… After having one too many drinks, I wake up in the temple of Dibella in Markarth. After cleaning up and apologizing, the priestess tells me that while most of what I said when I arrived was slurred, she was able to understand something that sounded like Rorikstead, so I go check there. Turns out I stole a farmer’s goat and sold it to a giant. I threaten the farmer, telling him to tell me what I said or he would end up like his goat. He then tells me that I left a note, most of which was smeared, the only legible parts being “After repaying Ysolda in Whiterun.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. Finally I get to talk to someone reasonable. After all I gave her a mammoth tusk once, and I occasionally sell her sleeping tree sap when I find any. So you can imagine my surprise when she greets me rather angrily, demanding her ring back if the wedding wasn’t going to happen. I tell her I don’t care about the ring, just tell me where Sam is! She points the way to Morvunskar and that’s when I discover the whole thing was a sort of prank played on me by Sanguine, the deadric prince of debauchery. He does give me a nice weapon, one that looks great on the wall in Breezehome, and then he teleports me back to the very inn we had our drinking contest in the first place.

As for the ring, I never went after it. Turns out the ring was given to a hagraven named Moira in Witchmist Grove. Moira, I always knew from my research on the Skyrim Wiki, is actually Anise’s sister, the Anise who lives just outside of Riverwood in a shack. I always thought it was interesting, but never paid it much more mind than that.

Normally I've just stolen her book and left. It might explain why I've always overlooked this trap door in the floor, which is located near the dresser and bed in one corner of the cabin.

Normally I’ve just stolen her book and left. It might explain why I’ve always overlooked this trap door in the floor, which is located near the dresser and bed in one corner of the cabin.

Turns out there was more than meets the eye here. When I was travelling past the cabin, a pair of bandits ran past and attacked Anise. She retaliated, then turned on me. Once she was dead, I decided that there would be no harm in my examining her home and taking things. That was how I found out about the trap door.

I've been in here before as Sapsorrow, now Amaki'dar comes in to visit. Wow. Whatta place!

I’ve been in here before as Sapsorrow, now Amaki’dar comes in to visit. Wow. Whatta place!

Almost 1500 hours played in Skyrim and it took me this long to find a trap door? Then again I wasn’t looking for this one! I pick the lock and head inside, and my jaw drops! An alchemy lab and an enchanting table? A satchel for storing alchemy ingredients? And whats this letter? Oh wow. Apparently Moira was supposed to come over along with someone named Helgi. Hmmm!

“Helgi, dear, why do you hesitate? You can feel the power coursing through your blood! You have only to reach out and grasp it! Renounce that boy of yours and come, come live with me in the forest. My sister will be here soon. Together, we can form a proper coven, and your training will truly begin.”

Hall-ooooo… Well, looks like their coven won’t ever be formed. Thank goodness! I mean hagravens and a witch coven right outside of Riverwood, the first real nice town I encounter when I first entered Skyrim? No thank you! And Helgi… Helgi was the name of a little girl that died in a house fire in Morthal. No others with the name Helgi that I know of!

Back off, witch!

Back off, witch!

I exit the cellar and go outside, and Anise puts a shield up around herself and says that no one can know about her secret, the fact that she’s a witch. Well, too bad, I’m gonna blog it, wretch! And whoa, she’s attacking me with her flames spell. At the moment I’m playing on Amaki’dar, my level 78 khajiit in dragonscale armor. “Hey, that tickles. Cut it out Anise!” I shoot her in the face with one dragonbone arrow from my dragonbone bow. Maybe I should have just scratched her with my claws… oh well. Too late.

Well, now that I’ve killed her I can expect to encounter hired thugs, maybe. We shall see!

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Amaki’dar: A Kajiit’s Travels Through Skyrim

So we get retirement benefits and a good health plan in here, especially since we’re working out of the cistern? Right?

I decided to take a trip back into Skyrim on my level 50+ kajiit, but when I started to suffer one crash after another I decided to look it up. I lowered my shadow qualities to the lowest setting (which is “low”) and set Two settings to zero… And I noticed two things. One, the graphics in the game were not as smooth as they used to be and shadow quality is low of course; and two, the game seems to be performing better. I noticed getting onto a horse is faster now for some reason. I started a brand new game to be sure that my issues were resolved, but after participating in a drinking contest with a fellow named Sam down in the Bee and Barb in Riften, the game froze on the loading screen where it was all black and nothing happened. So much for wishful thinking. I shrug my shoulders, restart the game, and re-accept the drinking contest challenge from Sam. This time it worked and I woke up in Markarth as intended. Occasionally I still encounter a few errors, and I don’t know why they occur. I removed most of the mods I had installed and also installed two mods that were called “unofficial patches” for Skyrim and Dawnguard that fixed many issues in the game, like the tree that didn’t update itself when you completed a quest chain, or Lydia sitting in your bedroom all the time and never sleeping in her own bed, and many others I won’t name because there’s too many!

In any case, I started a new game, and it works a little better as far as gameplay can go… and it doesn’t crash as often. So maybe the issue is over level 50… I’ll find out eventually, I’m at level 25 right now.

Basically, my tale may not be as epic as an illusionist in Skyrim, which is a person who only uses illusion magic and… nothing else. But I’m more adaptive. More learned. More furry, to be sure. So let me go ahead and give you my two septims of the day…

It’s been about five days since I escaped from Helgen. I was simply trying to cross the borders of Skyrim and I got busted. It’s what happens when your sneak skill is low, you’re wearing light colored clothes, and it’s broad daylight I guess. Rule number one from now own: work from the shadows… at night! So just before they could chop my head off and feed me to the dogs, a dragon shows up and wreaks havoc. The Nord soldier Ralof had chatted with me on the ride into the village, and I felt more sympathy to him than to the guards, so when the dragon was wheeling about overhead, I was faced with two options. I could enter the keep with Ralof, or I could enter another part of the keep with one of the guards. Now this guard didn’t find my name on the list and was told to send me to the block anyway, and he did nothing to prevent my possible execution. The moment the dragon arrived, it was Ralof who helped me to my feet and led the way into a tower for some reasonable shelter from the dragon. Guess who I went with? So long Imperials. I’ll scratch your faces later! Let’s go Ralof.

After several adventures, I discover that I am Dragonborn. Basically I can slay dragons and steal their souls and learn how to shout like them. Shortly after that I hear that I can learn more of The Voice from the Graybeards, but they’re located way up on a mountain top, and I was in no mood for climbing. Instead I took a carriage to two different cities. First I went to Riften. No real clue led me here, but it was the only city on the other side of a mountain I didn’t want to climb, so I went there. After shaking down the guards, I get in and chat with a guy who’s watching the streets. I bribe him and ask him several questions about The Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves Guild, and about the Black-Briars, the family that seems to have Riften in their pocket, and the thieves guild at their back. I ask how to join up and I get pointed to a man name Brynjolf. He offers a job right there and then. Fortunately it’s something I was somewhat familiar with. Lockpicking, yes… pickpocketing, no… but I handle the job without getting caught. Then I make my way up in the ranks until I got the goldenglow job. I figured if I was going to open the safe I’d need a key, so I decided to brush up on my pickpocketing, just in case.

And that led me to Windhelm, where I found a beggar who offered training in the art of sneaky pocket picking, and each time I paid her for the training, I picked my gold right back out of her pockets. So I learned twice as fast!

Now I take you to last night. I was walking through a mountain pass, trying to avoid climbing the thing, and I saw three people off the side of the road. “You there! Traveler!” I froze. Being a Kajiit, I had night vision, which meant I could see them so well they might as well have had spotlights trained on them. The one who spoke wore vampire armor, and from the look of his nicely trimmed-bearded face, I could swear he was a leader. Yet glancing at the other two people who stood before him, they were Vigilants of Stendarr, people who hunted down Daedra worshippers, werewolves, and vampires. For a moment I was in actual doubt. I thought maybe they were accusing him of being a vampire and he was calling out to me for some reason, maybe to plea for his case.

Instead, since he saw me already, I readied my daggers.

The moment I got close enough, they started to attack. Yep. They. Turns out the two Vigilants standing by were vampire initiates, wearing the vigilant armor. They had this trap in mind for a while. Hang out on a country road at night and ambush a wary traveler. Nice. I kill the head vampire first… and the rumors are false. I knew it. So killing the lead vampire won’t topple the fledglings. Shame they aren’t that fragile… So now I have to kill the other too. Once they’re dead, I notice the two corpses of the real Vigilants of Stendarr nearby, stripped naked and only having a few gold coins on them. I guess I came along before the vampires could take all the loot. Either that or vampires don’t like gold.

Well, I love gold, so I don’t think I wanna be a vampire. Unfortunately, I contracted the disease that would make me one in a few days unless I cured myself in time. Tick-tock, tick-tock! I turn tail and run back towards town. Across a river I draw my bow and aim up, and fire… the hawk lands a few feet from me and I collect it’s beak and three feathers… I eat one of the feathers and just like that – cured of Sanguinare Vampiris! Easy Peasy! I just hope I wont get a hairball from this.

I head back down the road once again and I find myself at the same spot of the vampire attack. It’s been hours since I was there last; in fact, it is now daytime, but one thing I notice is that the bodies are all gone. The other thing I noticed was a kajiit. It was a thief, just like me, and he came up to me and said, “Hello, sister! I saw you approaching and I thought you could use these. See you around!” and he gave me five lockpicks and left! Guess thieves won’t try to hold you up on the road when you’re wearing thieves guild armor! HA!

See ya later, brother… I guess I was one of a litter of three… and he was the one they kept… I’m the one they threw away. =^.^= Meow.

Well, no sense putting off this mountain climb. They say there’s no refusing the summons of the Graybeards, yet I lasted this long. Let’s go see if they’re put out by how long I’ve keep them waiting.

One Crazy Week

(Told from the Khajiit’s point of view, my character Amaki’Dar, in Skyrim)

The forgemaster is dead, long live Amaki’Dar, Forgemaster of the Aetherium Forge! I claim this place in the name of moonsugar!

Well, I managed to get to the last Aetherium shard and I found out where the forge was. It was hidden deep underground, far deeper than any place I had been to yet, and the forge itself had several defense systems in store. The moment I arrived there was steam everywhere, and I had to turn two wheels to shut that down. That triggered the machinery. Mechanical spiders and the like came out, and I had to cut them down. Then the largest of them all, a centurion, came out of the lava, much to my amazement, but I managed to make that one fall to pieces.

At last we shut down the steam and got to work on the forge. It meant destroying the key I had with me, and all those Aetherium shards I had collected, but now that the forge was opened, there was no need for it, and the Aetherium itself was very rare indeed. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find any more of it. So I had the option of forging one of three items. One was a head piece that would let me have two standing stone blessings at once. It sounds nice, but it would mean giving up my helmet and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that (in order for the two standing stone blessings to work you have to have this head piece on). The other was a shield that could turn enemies ethereal for 15 seconds when they are bashed so they cannot harm me and I cannot harm them. Sounds like a nice tactic but I’m an archer, and I sometimes wield daggers or swords in close combat. Shields is a bit harder to do. So I passed on that. The last thing is a staff that would summon a Dwemer Spider or Sphere for 60 seconds. Sounds like fun! I go ahead and make that.

And I still haven’t used it.

In between the last shard and the forge however, I made a visit to a new city, or old one anyway. Riften has a sinister reputation, from what I’ve heard. It’s supposed to be home to the thieves guild. Being a grave robber and tomb raider myself, I figured, what difference would it make? As I approach, the city guard tells me to I have to pay the visitor’s tax, which I didn’t pay as I told the guard this had to be a shakedown. He told me to keep my voice down and he let me inside the city with no charge.

I walk past some locals who say they had a run-in with the thieves guild, and I pass one guy who looks like a bouncer for a bar and I manage to bribe him to get more information. Turns out a family called the Black-Briars have Riften in their pocket, and they run the thieves guild and have good contacts with the Dark Brotherhood (which is a group of assassins). 

I go into the inn, and a man named Brynjolf, who owned a potions stand in the marketplace. Turns out he was one of the higher members of the thieves guild looking for new members. He asks me to steal a silver ring and plant it on another person, and I do so easily without getting caught. Brynjolf thinks this looks promising and  decides to extend membership to the guild. Once I got in good with them, I went to Goldenglow estate to clear out the safe and burn down three (out of six) bee hives. Turns out there was a bill of sale in the safe along with a  little gold, and I bring it to Brynjolf. This doesn’t look good, and then I go see Maven Black-Briar, who sends me to Whiterun to help take over Honningbrew Meadery. Short version of that story is it’s now being converted to the Black-Briar Meadery West. And yet before I did the Honningbrew Meadery job, I met a man named Sam who challenged me to a drinking contest. I won, but woke up in Markarth after a night I couldn’t remember. I ended up traveling all across Skyrim following a trail of clues to find Sam, because he owed me a staff for winning that drinking contest. Eventually I found him, and it turns out Sam is Sanguine, the Deadric Prince of Debauchery. Knowing I was dealing with an immortal and very powerful being, I didn’t dare insult him or get angry with him. He wound up giving me the staff I had been looking for, and then sending me back to the tavern in Whiterun! “Now… where was I? Oh yeah, Honningbrew… right.”

Along the way I take on small jobs to pick locked safes in shops and change the numbers in their record books, all of which profits the thieves guild. I found a golden honeybee statue in Goldenglow estate, and a golden beehive stature in Honningbrew. Both of these items are on display that the thieves guild HQ, though I wish they were still mine and that I could have a trophy curio cabinet to put them in. Oh well. I got good gold for those items anyway.

Pardon me. Do you have any Gray Poupon?

I took the jump off the Bard’s Leap and lived to see a ghost congratulate me. I also spot the Headless Horseman… this is the third time I’ve seen him actually, which is sort of creepy. He’s pretty easy to spot in the distance, and up close you can plainly see that he head is gone. He never stops or says anything. Maybe one night if I see him again I might try to chase him. But it’s hard to do that on foot. over 10,000 gold pieces and I don’t have a horse. My feet are killin’ me!

At one point I had to go to Solitude to do several things. Firstly I had to speak to an Argonian who had ties to the thieves guild, and see if he can tell us the person who’s been buying our customers. I manage to persuade him to tell me as much as he can but he won’t give me the name of the buyer. He eventually leaves, and I tail him all the way down into the warehouse for a big trading company. He winds up going down into a series of caverns where I discover bandits that are smuggling goods out of the company… So… turns out our Argonian friend is a very naughty lizard. I manage to get to him and he comes clean, telling me that the buy was Karliah. I then learn that she used to be in the thieves guild, but had killed the previous guild master and was on the run. Now armed with that info, and a vague clue of where she currently is, I return to solitude to do another job.

The second job I had to do was talk to a wood elf, who would smuggle my things into the Thalmor Embassy for me. Meanwhile I’d go into the Embassy through the front door as a party guest. I came face-to-face with Elenwen, who seems to be the leader of the high elven group. I manage to avoid giving her my name and I seek out a patron to chat with. One person is Maven Black-Briar, but I avoid her. No need to let people know we’re connected via the Thieves Guild, but I do wonder what she’s doing here. I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I saw that the Jarl Idgrod Ravencrone was there, and I’m Thane of Hjaalmarch, so I ask her to cause a distraction, which she agrees to, saying “an old woman can get away with anything!” I wish I could stay and listen/watch what goes on during the distraction, but I had a job to do. If I could, I’d have started a food fight. Instead I slip into the kitchens and head through the backdoor and start to infiltrate the embassy. My job: to find out what the Thalmor know about the dragons returning.

Turns out they knew nothing at all. Then I looked into some of their info-books, and I saw they had books on Ulfric Stormcloak and on Delphine. They don’t knwo where Delphine is, and as far as Ulfric is concerned, it seems the Thalmor would prefer that the civil war remains the way it is now. They don’t want an imperial victory, but a rebel victory is also to be avoided. Hmmm! So the Thalmor don’t care who wins in Skyrim, as long as the war remains stagnate. Maybe I’ll go kill that ice wraith and join up with the Stormcloaks. I’d rather join them instead of the Imperials any day, considering that the Imperials planned to chop of my head on day one!

I go down into the dungeons and find that the Thalmor were torturing a prisoner for information, and it was a member of the thieves guild. The Thalmor now know there is a Blades agent in the Ratway, the underground area of Riften. I save the thief, being one myself, and rescue him. The wood elf who helped smuggle my things in is caught, and i saved him as well. Now the Thalmor will be after him for the rest of his life. Well… now’s a great time to travel the world, always be on the move! Haha.

I tell Delphine about Esbern, the other Blades agent in the ratway, and I go and save him. Once these two are reunited, they tell me about Alduin’s Wall, which is a wall carving that contains history and prophesy. It showed that Alduin was defeated once before, and that the warriors who brought him down used a shout. I don’t know which shout it is yet, but I’m hoping I’ll find it.

Before I return to the Greybeards though, I join up with the Companions. I’m a werewolf now. A Khajiit werewolf. A cat that turns into a dog. Go figure!

So yeah… lots of stuff going on. Whew!

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