Meet Sapsorrow

The Legendary Dragon

The Legendary Dragon

Amaki’dar has reached level 78 at last, and managed to find and kill a legendary dragon, thus getting an achievement on Steam. That makes the last achievement she can get until I decide to buy the Dragonborn expansion. Till then I’ve pretty much done everything there is to do in the game. So I decided to start a new game as a Dunmer mage specializing in destruction magic. Dear readers, meet Sapsorrow!

I'm unbound and about to burn my foes to cinders!

I’m unbound and about to burn my foes to cinders!

During my escape from Helgen I chose to side with the Stormcloaks as usual. I ignore the advice that Ralof gives me about giving the axe a few swings, but I do take his gear. I’ll need armor after all. I equip a fire spell in one hand and a shock spell in the other, and once we get into the torture chamber I obtain a wizard hood and robe, which I don for magics sake. While I’m in there, I take the opportunity to pick all the locks on the cages and dungeon cells. Yep. My inner thief is peeking out. Next thing I know I’ll be heading to Riften instead of Whiterun first thing upon escaping Helgen. Sure enough I escape the dragon attack and my own execution at Helgen, and now I have the freedom to do as I see fit in Skyrim. Maybe I will become a thief int he long run, but in the meantime, I follow Ralof towards Riverwood and pick some plants along the way. I’m planning ahead, wanting to make some magicka potions when I reach town so I’ll have some on hand.

Once in Riverwood I meet Faendal, a wood elf who’s vying for affection from Camilla. Problem is he has competition. A bard named Sven is after her too, so Faendal has an idea. He gives me a letter to give to Camilla and say that it’s from Sven. When I do so, Camilla tells me to tell Sven that she’s not seeing him anymore. I tell Feandal that Camilla won’t be spending much time with Sven anymore, and he gives me 25 gold, the money he’s earned from working at the lumber mill. Sweet. Not only that but I can now ask him to follow me. A free sellsword. Nice.

Yeah, I help him cozy up to another woman, and then I ask him to come with me on many adventures. No logical, just evil. :P

Yeah, I help him cozy up to another woman, and then I ask him to come with me on many adventures. No logic, just evil. ūüėõ

While visiting the Riverwood Trader, Lucan happens to have a few things for sale that I’d like to have. Novice Robes of Destruction for example, and a Circlet of Minor Illusion. If only I had 3856 Septims! Sadly I only have 299, after buying spell tomes for Frostbite and Fury. Swell. Lucan did suffer from a break in recently though, and he promises me some gold if I get his golden dragon claw back. Hmm!

First I head into Embershard Mine, kill all the bandits and take what I can. Back in Riverwood I sell it all and found that I make about 1100 gold in the process. Sweet. Now I’m up to 1305 gold, but it’s still too little to buy either of the items I want from Lucan. Rats! Well, C’mon Feandal, let’s go to Bleakfalls Barrow and get this over with! We go through the ruins, get the claw, I find a stone tablet and some nifty things to disenchant later, and return to Riverwood. Now I have enough gold for the robes of Destruction. Sweet! I leave and go into South Brittleshin Pass to kill a bunch of skeletons and a mage, and then use the enchanting table to disenchant the various items I found so far.

Let's see whats behind door number one!

Let’s see whats behind door number one!

Upon reflection, the way enchanting works in Skyrim is very different from World of Warcraft in many ways except one: when you disenchant an item, you destroy the item. Now in World of Warcraft, you learn enchantments from trainers, vendors, and from random formulas that you might find from monsters all over Azeroth. You disenchant magical items (armor or weapons) to get materials you need to create new enchantments that can be placed on armor or weapons, and you can either enchant your own items that you are already using or put them on enchanting velum to save them for later or store them in the guild bank so others can use them.

In Skyrim on the other hand, you learn the enchantments by disenchanting armor and weapons, and you only have to do this once per enchantment. Then in order to enchant an item, you need the item in question, a learned enchantment, and a filled soul gem. Soul gems are usually empty, so either you use a weapon that has a soul trap enchantment on it, or you cast the spell Soul Trap on an enemy. Either way, when you use Soul Trap on an enemy and kill it in time, then their soul gets trapped in the soul gem, and then you can use it to create new enchantments or recharge enchanted weapons. Very different ways of enchanting, eh? I think I prefer World of Warcraft’s version, in the sense that you don’t have to kill and use the souls of living things to power enchantments. Skyrim’s version is a little darker, but then again it is simpler than WoW’s. In WoW, there are a lot of different enchanting materials, some of which are hard to come by and more expensive to obtain.

To the batmobile Robin! Wait... wrong batcave!

To the batmobile Robin! Wait… wrong batcave!

So when I was finished disenchanting some items and learning new enchantments in the process, I leave the caves through the northern exit. Faendal says, “Hey, look! A cave! Wonder what’s inside!” I glare at him and say, “You block-head! We just came from there!” I wonder if he’s on Skooma. We head east towards Whiterun and help the Companions kill a giant and offer me membership. Not sure if I’ll join right now. After all I am a spell caster, not a warrior. Then on inspiration, I head on east even further and go into another cave, this one being a bandit lair called White River Watch.

First thing I know is that I’m being greeted by a blind bandit who mistakes me for someone else and tells me that the boss is waiting up at the summit, and that I better not keep him waiting. Ah. Thanks for the heads up there, human! I then cook him in his own armor and proceed. Next are some bandits plotting a mutiny. I cast Fury on one of them and he gets killed in the ruckus, then Faendal and I kill the others. Then we overhear some bandits talking over a captured wolf, trying to decide whether or not they can tame it. I find a chain on the wall and pull it. The cage door opens and the wolf attacks the bandits. In the end we kill all the bandits, including their leader, and then head back down to Whiterun.

I steal some Argonian Ale for a beggar, discuss how we might repair the tree in the center of Whiterun, and then check in at the tavern for the local gossip before getting some rest. I learn of a face sculptor in Riften, the Shrine of Azura, the Companions are hiring, and that the Jarl put out a bounty on some bandits in Halted Stream Camp. The next morning it’s raining, and I go talk to Ysolda and Amren, and now I get to find a mammoth tusk and a Family Sword. Yep. I like to be kept busy!2013-07-07_00012

So now I got tell the Jarl of Whiterun about the dragon attack on Helgen, and then we visit with the court wizard named Farengar, whom I tell, “Look out! You’re about to step on your own Shock Rune!” He says, “What, I never even cast a… ah I see. You have some knowledge of the higher art,” and then he starts to tell me about his research and asks me to go get a dragonstone from Bleakfalls Barrow. But I’ve already been there so I already have the stone.

Next is when I go out and slay a dragon. At level 6? Good thing I have reinforcements! Ireleth and the guards come with me, but Faendal is nowhere in sight. Where is that wood elf of mine? By now I have a few perks invested in the Destruction tree and I tookt he precaution of buying some new spells from Farengar, namely Firebolt and Ice Spike. When the dragon attacks, sure enough he’s a fire breather, so I attack with Ice Spikes. After a nice little battle, the dragon dies and I take his soul and shout, “FUS!”

When I head back to Whiterun, a courier comes to me with a letter from a friend. Turns out some folks were uneasy by my shouting at the Western Watchtower. It seems to me that unless my voice carried that far, the only folks who heard the shout was Ireleth and the guards who were with us. So if they were the ones who knew about my shouting, why is it that they’re over there and the courier is coming from the city? I shrug my shoulders and accept the delivery. This guy oughta work for FedUp. I read the letter, turns out I can learn a word of power at Northwind Summit, which is somewhere between Riften and Windhelm. Joy. Rapture.

I get back to the palace and tell the Jarl that the dragon is dead and I am Dragonborn. And oh look, it’s Faendal!¬†WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!?¬†I give you a hide helmet of minor archery and you hide in the map room while I go kill a bloody dragon? BAD WOOD ELF! Gimme that helmet back! DISENCHANT!

Now it’s time to go everywhere and do everything. ^-^

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Bug Found: Kjar and the quest “Harsh Master”

It was a fine Fredas day for Amaki’dar when she decided to visit the docks of Windhelm, where she meets all the argonians working there. After a quick chat with some of them, I discover three quests that have thus far escaped my notice. The first is to steal some Double-Distilled-Skooma for an argonian names Stands-In-Shallows.

I pause for a moment and ponder. The names of some of these lizards make me think of “Dances With Wolves.” Stands In Shallows sounds like a name given to an Indian boy who was afraid to go swimming with the other kids, or maybe he caught fish that way, by standing in the shallows and throwing a net out or something. Hmm. It makes me wonder, as a Khajiit, what would my name if… hmm, how about Paws-At-Fish? Meows-A-Lot? Wind-In-Her-Fur? Pounces-With-Claws? Waltzes-With-Skeevers? Scratch that last… >.<

The second quest comes from an argonian who seems to stay happy no matter how bleak things are. Although she wishes she had her amulet. Shahvee asks me to go find it and I agree to help her out, if only because her outlook on life is an inspiration.

The third quest is from a human, a nord if I’m not mistaken, who is a captain of a ship named Kjar… no, the captain is named Kjar, I don’t know what the ship’s name is… Anyway, he talks about how one of his crew members ran off to be a thief instead of living the hard but worthwhile life of a sailor. I clamp my mouth shut and don’t say a word; I’m a thief myself, and being a cat, I don’t like the idea of being on a boat. I’m on one right now talking to him, and he’ll be lucky I don’t cough up a hairball due to seasickness. At any rate, he asks me to go find his ex-sailor-turned-thief of his and do him in. If I kill him, then Kjar will give me a years worth of pay. I have no idea how much a sailor makes of course, but the idea of getting paid is to my liking as long as I don’t have to be on the freaking boat. I accept and leave the docks.

Turns out that two of these quests leads me to old places I’ve been in and encounter old enemies. As I’ve said before I finished all the main quests, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at Gallows Rock and discover that the Silver Hand are there. I could have sworn I killed them all when they killed Kodlak Whitemane. Nevertheless, this group is dedicated to hunting werewolves, and they’re sworn enemies of The Companions since the inner circle is comprised of werewolves. I’d better get rid of this bunch before they attack Jorrvaskr again. In the last chamber, it seems that Krev the Skinner is alive, again! Turns out, according the the Skyrim Wiki, that he can respawn after the quest is completed. I kill him again anyway. “AND STAY DEAD!” I yowl. Then I take the necklace and leave. Why werewolf hunters would steal a necklace from a lizard, I really do not know…

The second quest I undertake is killing the bandit leader. This time I go to Uttering Hills Cave. It sounds familiar and I remember why when I approach and see two men in what appears to be thieves guild armor. Yes, of course. The Summerset Shadows! There was a quest for the Thieves Guild where one of the locals lost a family member and some thief stole a necklace from them. The Summerset Shadows breaks into the hall of the dead and steal from people’s graves, though the guild leader also threatens to kill, and often does kill his targets. Their guild was trying to muscle in on our territory, so I went in and cleared them out, and burned their banner as well. Yet it looks like they’re back, just like the darn old Silver Hand. ARGH! So I go in and kill all the thieves, I notice that the banner is still burnt to dust, and then I look in the boss’s room and he’s not there. Wait. What?

This is where I found the bug. I did some digging and I found this information. Apparently this bug can happen on the PC, PS3, or Xbox versions of the game. From the Skyrim Wiki:

  • If the special job in Windhelm for the Thieves Guild has been completed ,wiping out the Summerset Shadows, they will again appear¬†in Uttering Hills Cave. The problem with this is there is no leader where the map marker points making it incompletable as it is assumed it is¬†Linwe.

When I went into the room where the bandit leader normally is, the marker was there at about head height, but no target was under it for me to kill. Fortunately, for the PC version of the game, there’s a way to fix it.

  • It is possible to bypass this bug on the PC by typing into the¬†console¬†“setstage FreeformShipsWindhelm 15” (without the quotation marks).

So I loaded the console, typed in the setstage thing, and the marker vanished from the room. The quest was completed, return to Kjar! Nice! Does that mean I could have completed the quest while standing in front of the guy and never going out to the cave at all, maybe so, but that would be cheating. In my case, it’s fixing a bug.

And another thing I noticed under this article:

  • If¬†Krev the Skinner¬†has been killed during the quest of¬†the Companions, it’s possible that he/she will reappear at Gallows rock due to both Companion quest bug and this quests bug.

Oh, VERY FUNNY! Of course!!! Well I don’t know of any bugs I’m encountering in the Companions, so maybe that was fixed but not this one. Hrm.

Anyway, Now that the bandit is *cough* dead, I can go turn the quest in and steal some skooma. I hope this blog helps out anyone who’s ever got the misfortune to encounter this bug and I also hope it helps. Warm sands, friends!

What To Do When you’ve “finished” Skyrim. (part 2)

So I finally found the time to stop by the orphanage in Riften and talk to the matron there. They are allowing adoptions at last, though I’ve been hesitating to get a second kid so far. The first was the little girl begging in Whiterun. Before I can adopt, the matron asks a few questions. First, “What is your name?”

“Amaki’dar.”

“What do you do for a living?”

…. I have to think about this one. Firstly, I am Dragonborn. I am also Harbringer of the Companions, Arch Mage at the College of Winterhold, I am an adventurer, but also a mercenary, an assassin, and a thief. Gee, how shall I answer. Just for the fun of it, I answer that I’m an assassin, and then a thief. Both times she asks if I am joking. Finally I tell her I’m a mercenary and she agrees to let me adopt a child. I pick one kid, ¬†boy named Samuel, and he starts packing for the house in Solitude where my other orphan resides. Now, time to go earn enough gold to support my family! So much to do!

"I'm a lot of things. Talk about multitasking!"

“I’m a lot of things. Talk about multitasking!”

I decided that in order to tell this story I’d come up with a few rules as I play the game. For example, I am addicted to fast travel, so I decide to see if I can traverse Skyrim for a while without doing so. I will also avoid using carriages as that is also fast travel in a sense, this time anyway. Another rule is I will not use the wait feature, so if I have to wait for a certain time, I’ll wait naturally by twiddling my thumbs.

With this story, I start off at Fort Dawnguard. I already have several quests. I have to perform a heist and a numbers job for the thieves guild, go talk to a corrupt agent in Dragonbridge to see who he wants me to kill, and I have to collect a couple of books for the orc librarian in the College of Winterhold. I need to visit the Companions to see what they can offer me though, but it’s on my way. Lastly I had gone to Fort Dawnguard, where I get an assignment to kill a vampire who’s masquerading among humans in Kynesgrove.

Now that I’ve loaded the game and reviewed what I have to do, I come up with the rules: No using the wait feature, no fast travel. The game is being played at Legendary difficulty, and this sneaky archer is now at level 72.

The Journey Begins

Hey M'aiq! What's new?

Hey M’aiq! What’s new?

It’s 2:35 AM, on Tirdas, and I’m leaving Fort Dawnguard on foot, and not too far outside the gates I encounter two vampire scouts. I had always fast-traveled out of here before, so this was quite a surprise to me! After killing the vampire scouts I exit the valley and turn North to get to Kynesgrove, and the first encounter I get is M’aiq the Liar! I grin, stroll up, and hear his words of wisdom. He mentions how people in Skyrim are much more openminded, then goes on to tell me that the Falmer’s blindness was not due to the dwemer’s disappearance, concluding that he has heard that it is dangerous to be my friend. I nod to myself and think,¬†Then M’aiq does not wish to see Amaki’dar’s enemies.

I take my leave and move on. After all, he’s tired, but it’s 4 AM, so no wonder. I can’t sleep either for that matter. While trekking North through the woods, I spy an epic battle between two arch mages, one with frost magic and the other with fire. I kill them both to save time and when I looked through their robes, I saw that the fire mage was using a staff! The cheater!

It is now 7:10 AM the same day. I just get out of the woods and hills of the Rift and am standing near the ashen plains. Kynesgrove isn’t much farther away now. And as I walk down the road I see a familiar orange robe. M’aiq!? But he was just outside Dayspring Canyon, how’d he get to this volcanic area before me I have no idea! So I stop to chat with him again, and this time he elaborates on dual wielding weapons and the benefit of adventuring alone so you don’t have to split loot with your friends. “M’aiq knows many things, no?” More confused than ever about how he got ahead of me so fast, I press on.2013-05-31_00004

Kynesgrove only has one building, and that’s the inn. Since it is daytime now, the vampire is inside the inn. At the moment my archery skill is reset to 15, so I’ll be attacking this guy with no perks. This means he won’t stagger when I hit him with my arrows and I won’t get that many critical strikes. Twenty arrows later, the vampire lies dead on the floor of the tavern, and the game text scrolls up, saying, “Completed: Discretely kill the vampire.”

Discrete? You call this discrete? I shoot the dude 20 times with my bow while he drains my blood and tried to hit me with other magic spells, and in the end my last shot knocks him off his feet, literally flying into the wall next to the bar, all this in front of the innkeeper and a drunken patron. That is discrete?! Discrete equals 20 arrows in front of civilians? Fascinating!

I like this game!

To Windhelm, Fellglow Keep, and Whiterun

I leave good old Kynesgrove and head to Windhelm. For this heist, I have to steal a flawless ruby from The White Phial. It is now 9:30 AM. Easy enough! I go into the store and buy up all the alchemical ingredients (I have a hoard of such in Breezehome) then I dash upstairs and quickly pick the master-level lock on the strongbox and snatch the ruby. Quintus, the shop keeper, reaches the top of the stairs to see what I’m doing, but he doesn’t witness me taking anything. I walk outside whistling merrily.

Trying to lighten my load a tad.

The Windhelm Marketplace.

While in Windhelm I sell several things to lighten my bags, chop some wood and use it and some bones to make a few dragonbone arrows, and eat some Horker Stew. ¬†Now it’s 11 AM, and I check my map to see where to get to next. One of the books for the College of Winterhold is in Fellglow Keep, and that’s between Windhelm and Whiterun. I adjust my bandolier and head on out. (remember, no fast traveling!)

My archery skill is now at 24 and my sneak is at 33, so I get to discover how well I can sneak kill mages with arrows. I get detected easily enough, but it’s okay. I eventually find the book I’ve been looking for and head on out, but as I walk through the mountains I come under attack by some bandits. As I shoot some arrows at them, other arrows sail in from behind. Next thing I know, three imperial soldiers run past me and start fighting the bandits! When the bandits are dead, the imperials start to march away, telling me to keep an eye out for stormcloak spies.

I raise my eyebrow and watch them walk past. Clearly they don’t know me. I joined the Stormcloaks and liberated Skyrim of the Empire. To me, they are the spies. Then I ponder for a minute on the best way to dispatch them, and I wonder to myself how they’d react if I cast Fury at them!

Let me guess, each of you thinks the other ate the last sweetroll?

Let me guess, each of you thinks the other ate the last sweetroll?

The result is that two of them are affected by it and are crossing blades, but the third one was farther away and escaped the effect, so he came after me. One arrow and he’s dead, and then I step back and watch the swords clash. The fight between these two soldiers draws out too long and I have to recast the fury spell as well as invisibility to get them to ignore me and focus on killing themselves. It works and again they hack and slash at one another. Eventually one goes down, and the other performs a killing blow move where he impales his comrade with his sword. Then he turns to me, and I kill him with one arrow. Chuckling to myself, I head downhill towards Whiterun.

As I arrive in Whiterun, a guard suddenly runs up to me with a two handed axe drawn and at the ready. Uh-oh. Somehow I have a price on my head. I have no idea what it’s from, but look over the options anyway. I could bribe the guard for over 700 gold, but it’s not a permanent solution, I know. I could also make a run for it or go to jail. I look at the other options. I can either pay the fine of 40 gold, or I can use my influence as a member of the thieves guild and pay only 20 gold. The guard accepts the 20 gold and tells me to move along before I get him in trouble.

Completely confused as to why I had a price on my head for a mere 40 gold, I head to Jorrvaskr, mead hall of the companions. Vilkas gives me a task to perform, kill an escaped criminal thats here in Whiterun Hold. I accept the task and head on out. The criminal is already in some armor and with a weapon and was actually walking up the road near Whiterun Stables, as though she was about to walk right into town! I kill her, and yet as I attack her, a horse and two stable workers run up and help kill her. I resist the temptation to offer them a place in the Companions. I return to the mead hall and Vilkas gives me 300 gold for my efforts. Then I talk to Aela and she tells me an animal has moved into a house up in Winterhold and they need me to clear it out. ¬†I can’t help but wonder why the mages up there can’t turn a snowy sabrecat into a rabbit? I shrug and resolve to adjust their curriculum when I get the chance!

Chillin' like a villain!

Chillin’ like a villain!

I wait in the inn for a few hours, chilling out, and then after midnight I pick the lock on the backdoor to Arcadia’s Cauldron, sneak upstairs, and commit a forgery in the record books. Arcadia is sound asleep and I sneak out without being detected at all. Oh yeah, it’s easy to be a thief. Walk with the Shadows!

Whiterun to Dragonbridge

Now it’s time to head to Dragonbridge and see who needs who killed. And this is how the worst night of my life started. Turns out it was my night for vampire encounters galore.

First, just after the Western Watchtower in Whiterun hold, I encounter Babette, the child who became a vampire centuries ago. Turns out she was out hunting. As leader of the Dark Brotherhood, I leave her alone. She along with Selena are the only two vampires I’d never harm. I walk on, and eventually I hear a man shout, “You there! Traveler! Over here!” I sigh and draw my bow. A minute later and 3 vampires are dead. It’s a ruse where they kill three members of the vigilant watch and two of the vampires done their robes while the third, usually their leader, remains clothed as he is. The deception makes it look as if two member of the Vigilant Watch are causing trouble for this man who calls out for assistance at any passersby. This lulls the victim into a trap where they realize that all 3 of them are vampires. Still, I’ve encountered this before, and I manage to kill all the vampires. I press on. So much for the vampire ambush.

Then shortly after that I hear something, the same sound you’d hear if you summoned a minion from Oblivion like an atronach. The sound comes from a vampire suddenly appearing and yelling “Death to the Dawnguard!” It’s a vampire assassin. I remember thinking to myself that if I joined the Dark Brotherhood, then all the assassination attempts on me would stop. Looks like I was wrong. The vampire raises a skeleton to help fight for her and she hits me with powerful lightning spells. I eventually kill her and her minion, using health potions like I rarely do, but then I only recently set the game to Legendary difficulty.

After the vampire assassin I encounter yet another vampire, this time it’s just one being chased by a Vigilant of Stendar… a real one. So naturally I try to help kill the vampire. One of my arrows hits the Vigilant however and he turns onto me. I sheathe my weapon immediately, and he says, “You’ll live for now.” I sigh and resume attacking the vampire who has by now run around a boulder and was cowering. After this vampire is dead I move on, and another vampire assassin pops up and tries to kill me! “Death to the Dawnguard!” “What the–?!”

I mean seriously, what’s with all the darn vampires tonight!? First Babette, then a trap of 3 vampires, then an assassin vampire, then a yielding vampire, and another assassin vampire. 6 vampires, not counting Babette. Wow. All these between Whiterun and Rorikstead!? Jeez.

Fortunately as I pass through Rorikstead the sun starts to rise, so encounters with vampires vanish along with the morning mist, thank Talos. Now it’s 5:31 AM of Middas, so in game time I’ve been running about for over 24 hours.

A lumberjack eh? Did he not follow through on an order of wood for ya or something? Cold night I take it?

A lumberjack eh? Did he not follow through on an order of wood for ya or something? Cold night I take it?

The trip from Rorikstead to Dragonbridge is as uneventful as can be. Only a group of bandits near a wagon with a chest in it halt my journey for a moment. No more vampires are encountered. Once in Dragonbridge I go into the Penitus Oculatus HQ, and a corrupt agent tells me to kill an intinerant lumberjack in Morthal. He pays me 1200 gold in advance and I leave.

Daylight Again

Now that it’s daytime, I figured that attacks from random events won’t occur as much, so I decide to summon Arvak to cut down on my travel time. I cross the bridge and turn north along the road and head towards Morthal, and lo and behold, there’s M’aiq again! He wonders about more than I do apparently. This time he comments on how Nord armor has fur on it and that is makes M’aiq nervous. Him and me both I guess. Then he says that some people believe that Alduin is Akatosh, and some people say that M’aiq is a liar, and then tells me not to believe either of those things.

So wait, if he tells me he is a liar and then tells me not to believe him, ¬†then he’s lying so I have to believe that he’s lying but if he’s lying I can’t believe him. (If you are a computer, you would have crashed with that logic puzzle.) Then M’aiq tells me to think about soul trapping. He says that he was soul trapped once and that it was an unsettling experience. I had to agree. I had my soul trapped to gain access to the Soul Cairn once, and I had to travel through this spirit plane of existence to get that gem back and restore my soul to myself. I swear, I’ll never forget the tingling sensation of being soul trapped even partially. Worse than when my feet or tail falls asleep.

I arrive at Morthal and find the lumberjack. Thonnir and Jorgen are already working at the mill, one is sawing logs int he mill itself and the other is chopping wood at a chop block. The itinerant lumberjack is also chopping at a block and standing right behind him in a crouch I remain unseen. Nobody seems to be looking. I decide that the safest way to dispatch this guy is to poison him.

Look at all that lint in that pocket. Hmm? Of don't mind me, I'm just poisoning you.

Look at all that lint in that pocket. Hmm? Oh don’t mind me, I’m just poisoning you.

The method is known as reverse pick pocketing. Normally a pick pocket would take items from a person’s pockets, but in this case I’m putting stuff into his pockets instead. In rare cases, this is handy when you want to plant contraband on someone and tip the town guards to frame the victim for a crime. Most of the time though, when I put something into their inventory it’s to poison them. Now I don’t know how it really works. I mean the vial of poison gets put into their pockets and it magically reduces the health of the target. Kind of like the hypo sprays used in Star Trek, it doesn’t have to penetrate the skin. My guess is you put a bottle of poison in the victim’s pocket and it magically dissolves into their clothes and gets absorbed into the skin and hurts/kills the target. That’s magic for ya I guess.

It takes several bottles of poison to kill the lumberjack, once he drops dead, nobody so much as turns a head. I stand up and summon Arvak. As I ride away, I think to myself, Hail Sithis!

Riding on Arvak from Morthal to Winterhold. Ride to live, live to ride!

Riding on Arvak from Morthal to Winterhold. Ride to live, live to ride!

Now I make my way to Dawnstar and visit the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary. Now the Nightmother tells me of a wary outlaw in the tavern of Riften, and she tells me to accept his gold and then eliminate the target. I listen to Cicero babble for a minute before exiting the sanctuary and summoning Arvak once again. I travel along the northern coast, avoiding most wild horkers and bears that I pass along the way. Once I get to Winterhold, I race up to the College and hand over the book I found to the Orc Librarian. He then tells me of yet another book I an acquire for the college and I accept his task. As I leave the college, I can’t help but feel a tad insulted. I mean I’m a cat, so why am I collecting books like the family mutt picking up the newspaper from the front lawn in the morning? Why am I playing fetch all of a sudden? HAH!

Returning to Fort Dawnguard

Before I depart from Winterhold however, I remember to step into somebody’s house and kill a snowy sabrecat for them. Now I have to return to Jorrvaskr and tell Aela that that’s taken care of, but first I’ll head down to Riften. I’m now at the phase where I’m turning in quests and getting new ones, like what I just did at the college. So I set out on Arvak at 3PM, and I wonder if I can get from Winterhold to Riften before the sun sets so I can avoid mass vampire attacks. On a horse? Let’s see!

You again? Got Skooma?

You again? Got Skooma?

As I get closer to Windhelm, I encounter M’aiq again. How many times does that make this? It’s the fourth time so far. Wow. Good thing I like M’aiq. Curiosity gets the better of me and I dismount for a quick chat. I swear he’s like David Copperfield, disappearing and reappearing randomly all over Skyrim.¬†POOF and suddenly he’s right in front of you even though you went past him miles ago! This time he tells of how Skyrim was once known as the land of many butterflies, and now… not so much. And now he gets contradictory. First he says there’s so much snow in Skyrim. Enough snow! M’aiq does not want it anymore! And then he says that snow falls. Why worry where it goes? M’aiq thinks the snowflakes are pretty. And here I’m thinking to myself,¬†Wait, first you say you don’t want any snow, and now you’re commenting on it’s beauty as if you like it?¬†I try to press him for more information, but then he says, he’s done talking. I sigh and move along.

Farkas and two other companions attacking a bear. Glory and Honor my friends!

Farkas and two other companions attacking a bear. Glory and Honor my friends!

The only other encounter I come upon is Farkas and two other companions in the wilderness of The Rift, fighting a bear. I help them kill it, then return to my trip. I reach Riften before it gets dark. Hurrah! In the Bee and Barb, I find the wary outlaw and accept his gold. I’ll go kill his target later. In the meanwhile I slip into the cistern the visit the Ragged Flagon. I turn in my two quests to Vex and Delvin and get two more to do. After all this I slip out of Riften and head for Fort Dawnguard. It’s night now, but it’s still a bit early. My guess is the vampires are just having their coffee and croissants before they head outside.¬†Now back at Fort Dawnguard I tell them the vampire in Kynesgrove is dead (and then some), and now I have a quest to retrieve an axe. Marvelous!

Epilogue

What a long, strange trip it's been!

What a long, strange trip it’s been!

Now it is Middas at 11:35PM. This¬†No-Fast-Travel adventure spanned about two days of in-game-time. I killed a lot, stole some things, and ran till my paws were sore enough to summon Arvak. Who says there’s nothing to do in Skyrim? Try to avoid using fast-travel and do Radiant Quests. If done at night with Dawnguard installed, I promise you it won’t be boring!

As always, thanks for reading! May your road lead you to warm sands!

Continued in part 3 –¬†https://amakiowlaf.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/what-to-do-when-youve-finished-skyrim-part-3/

Harmugstahl

Glory to the Companions!

Glory to the Companions!

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

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

Somebody's home...

Somebody’s home…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have you now! *stab!*

I have you now! *stab!*

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

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

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

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

R.I.P. Adrianne and Belethor

Well at long last I started the Companions Quest line. The first random quest I did with them involving getting into a brawl with Carlotta. I remembered I helped her out once by brawling with the bard to get him to leave her alone. Now I had to beat her into submission for someone else. I wonder who. Haha. Then I went to retrieve a fragment of Wuuthrad, which is a legendary two handed axe that once belonged to Ysgramor, the founder of The Companions. As a side note, the name Wuuthrad means “elf grinder,” and Ysgramor was part of the war to rid Skyrim of the Snow Elves, so the name seems to fit. At some point in the past, the axe was broken into pieces, and the Companions of today wish to find them all and see about restoring the axe. I go and get a piece for my trial and once done, I’m a member of the companions. Then I go kill a wolf that had somehow gotten into some mill worker’s house, and then Skjor and Aela decide to reward me differently… The give me Lycanthropy… aka, they make me into a werewolf.

I’ve been putting this off for quite some time, because when you get lycanthropy, you no longer get benefits for resting, but I’ve been itching to get this done, so I finally went ahead and got it. After all, my sneak and archery skills are maxed out, and those two skills are the ones I rely on the most anyway. The rest will just take a little longer to level up, but then again I haven’t been sleeping in game as much anyway.

So the night of my first transformation, I run rampant in Whiterun, attacking guards, but I tried to be careful to avoid striking the civilians. I didn’t want to lose any merchants in the game. But eventually I started to get overwhelmed and just as my health was almost gone I made a run for it, heading between Arcadia’s Cauldron and Belethor’s General Goods with guards and civilians on my tail, literally. Then the screen fades to black, and when I can see again I’m in the woods with Aela. It’s time to go after the Silver Hand, the sworn enemies of The Companions, or so I believe. They hate werewolves, and so Aela and Skjor wanna wipe them out. Skjor had gone on ahead without us as I was recovering from my first transformation, so we gotta catch up.

Yet as Aela and I make our way into the keep where the Silver Hand is currently staying in, I can’t help but notice the lack of blood on the walls and dead bodies… then again I did pass up a door that was barred from the other side, so my guess is when Skjor went in there, someone might have locked the door to prevent others from following him. Guess we better find another way around.

Eventually we kill the leader, who calls himself “The Skinner.” Once he’s dead we realize that Skjor is dead as well. Aela wants revenge and tells me where to find another head honcho of the Silver Hand, and I leave the keep. Directly south of it is a lumber mill, and just then a courier comes out from around a building and delivers a letter… something about my inheritance? Oh no… With a sense of foreboding I open the letter. Seems Adrianne Avenicci has died. Well, guess that means I won’t be hearing her working the forge whenever I walk into Whiterun.

Later on when I return to Whiterun I make my rounds, going from store to store to sell a lot of the junk I’ve collected from my many adventures in Skyrim… Then I went into Belethor’s General Goods store, and instead of Belethor behind the counter saying, “Come on in! I’ve got something for just about anybody in here.” I hear a feminine voice saying, “It’s a fine day with you around.” I blink in surprise and I realize that Ysolda is behind the counter. While I did refuse to return a borrowed ring, I did help her get a mammoth tusk and some sleeping tree sap, so her reactions toward me are usually friendly. What was confusing to me though was what the bleep was she doing behind Belethor’s counter!? I thought she wanted to buy the inn and run that place? In fact, upon talking to her, she still seems to wish so! ¬†Then as I browsed her wares, I saw that she was selling, among other things, a mammoth tusk!

Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to visit the hall of the dead, which is an underground area where the dead are interred, like a walk in crypt with a lot of hallways. (Every city has one of these places, so if you notice that an NPC missing, you know where to find them if it’s the worst case scenario.) I go inside and I find two new-looking coffins. One is for Adrianne, and the other, as I feared, was for Belethor. Yet when I got the message from the courier, he only gave me one letter of inheritance… then again Belethor never gave me any quests, so since I didn’t do him any favors, I guess that means he never decided to bequeath anything to me.

So now it seems that Ysolda has taken over Belthor’s General Goods… though I’d have thought his assistant Sigurd would be running the place. Maybe he’s content getting firewood for everyone. Fine by me! Thanks for the wood Sig! Just set it down right there, thank you so much!

Just for the record, I didn’t kill them, haha. At least I don’t think I did… I blame the vampires.

And while I’m in the catacombs, I loot the coffins for the store keys. Hey, I¬†am in the thieves guild… might as well be prepared!

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