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!

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Bandits, Hagravens, and Ghosts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Alright, what is it?”

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

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

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

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. 😛

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. ^-^

Watch the sky…

Thanks for dropping in!

Thanks for dropping in!

“I’ve got to keep my eyes open! Damn dragons can swoop down at any time!”

I rolled my eyes as I walk past the guard who says this to me, and I say, “Yeah yeah, here, have some coffee. That should help keep you up tonight… ” Then as I cross a bridge I keep talking to myself, “but if only I had a septim for every time I heard that. I mean seriously. This never happens. NEVER! I mean a guard says the dragons can swoop down at any time, oh sure. At ANY time… except at that very moment. I mean what are the odds? A guard says that the dragons can swoop in at any moment and a dragon attacks right after that? Yeah right. That’s never gonna–”

SWOOSH…. a familiar black shadow crosses the bridge so fast I can’t get a screenshot, but I do stop and think, “No… EFFING…. WAY!” and turn around. Sure enough, said damn dragon is now attacking the guards!

WOW!

It’s one of those moments. It commonly happens in the morning when I start playing. I think of something, and… well… SWOOSH, in this case.

I run  back across the bridge and join the attack. At first the dragon breathed fire at the guards just outside of Honningbrew… erm, Black-Briar Meadery West, and now he’s flown off to the other side of the river to attack the farms. Oh sheesh. Being a Khajiit, I HATE WATER! Oh well, it only goes up to my knees. GRR.

A short battle later and the dragon dies and I take it’s soul.

Next time a guard says something like, “Watch the skies, traveller.” or “…damn dragons can swoop down at any time.” Then you know where I’ll be looking.

UP!

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/

What the– A FOX?!

I’ve started another game of Skyrim leveling a dunmer mage. I’ve gotten to level 21 so far, and my magic usually consists of destruction. Fire, ice, and occasionally lightning. I’ve gotten a house in Whiterun, but I’m also building one out near Falkreath. One day I head back on into Breezehome and nearly trip over a unidentified object on the floor. I stare down at it in disbelief.

Then my little daughter, a girl named Lucia, comes up to me and says, “Look who I’ve found! Can I keep him please?!”

“A fox?”

“Pretty please?”

“…Okay, but you’re responsible for it!”

“OH YAY! Thank you! You’re the best mommy ever!”

Yeah yeah, yadda yadda. Then Lucia goes outside and the little fox starts walking towards the back of the house where the dining table and food is kept. Oh no you don’t! Then again I wondered what would happen if I did kill this little animal in my own home. Poor Lucia would cry an ocean probably, and I don’t have flood insurance. I better lock up the food stores then!

I’ll call him “Socks”

So now my little girl has a pet. As if bringing home Meeko is not enough! I get us an Irish Wolfhound, and my kid gets a freaking chihuahua! And how the heck did she find this little thing? When I encounter a fox in the wild, it turns tail and skedaddles! What’d she do? Feed it bread and cheese to get it to some close to her? Or maybe she’s really “The Little Prince” and she’s tamed the Fox. Who knows… I did give her a dagger after all… she’s only missing a coat, a rose, and a sheep. God, I hope she doesn’t bring home a cow next… but next hing I know, I bet this kid will be asking for a horse! I don’t even have a horse either. Geez.

See folks — this is what you get when you adopt a child… the child adopts a pet and they both wreak havoc while I go out to fight dragons and vampires. Swell.

Then I whirl around to face Lydia. “Why didn’t you keep her from getting a fox!? Aren’t you sworn to carry my burdens!? ARGH!”

Your burdens, not the kid’s!”

*sigh*

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!

Adventures of Amaki’dar: The Shadow

After having to deal with the Blackblood Maurauders and a few local vampires and Potema summoners, and after doing a few side quests involving showing off a dress to the Jarl of Solitude (Don’t mind the hole in the back, that’s just for my tail to go through) and being told to check up on a spice shipment down at the port, I finally go and get a drink down in The Winking Skeever. I ask the bartender about the name of his pub, and he explained that he had a pet skeever when he was younger. They were smaller back then. If I had a skeever for a pet it would be just so I could eat it for dinner. Still I smile politely and find the lizard I’ve been looking for.

You can drop the act now, lizard. I’m here about Goldenglow Estate.

Gulum-Ei is an argonian, and has been working at the docks for the East Empire Trading Company, which is a very big company that’s backed by the empire. Wonder what’ll happen to them if and when Ulfric Stormcloak wins the civil war… Hmmm… Maybe we’ll tax them for trading in our country. Anyway, Gulum-Ei is also a member of the thieves guild that operates in Solitude, so he’s a potential fence.

Or was… When I start talking to him, he claims that he doesn’t work for the guild anymore. I ask him about Goldenglow Estate, and he said he doesn’t know anything about it. But after a successful persuasion, I get him to talk. Turns out the buyer came to him and gave him a big sack of gold to act as buyer for Goldenglow estate. Then he says he didn’t know the name of the buyer, but I felt he was lying.

He says, “Look I’ve told you everything I know. I never said I’d have all the answers. Now that our transaction is completed…”

I frown at this. I glance around. Maybe he was pretending we were discussing trades in case we were being overheard. We were in a pub remember. But still, I was a dis-satisfied customer. And what do I do when I’m unhappy with my transaction? I find out where they live, sneak inside in the middle of the night, and steal everything!

He has to be lying. He knows whom I seek. Time to follow him like a little lost orphan kitten. Meow!

So naturally as Gulum-Ei started leaving, I started to follow him at a pace, always keeping him in sight. We go down to the docks and I end up pausing by the kiosk and talking to Vittoria Vici and persuading her to release a shipment of supplies to a shopkeeper up in Solitude. Once that is done I spy Gulum-Ei going into the East Empire Company Warehouse. I go up to the door and notice it’s locked. Heh. As if locks can keep me out. I easily pick it and slip inside unnoticed.

Wow. He’s in the warehouse for this big Imperial Trading company. Being a thief himself I bet he’s smuggling contraband. ^-^

The warehouse has guards patrolling along the gangplanks and boats that are inside. Shelves of crates and goods, armor, weapons, and food, and other things besides draws my eye. It’s a thief’s shmorgasboard in here! But I keep my paws off everything and keep my eyes on the real prize, the sneaky lizard who doesn’t get hassled by the guards at all. I keep to the shadows at all times and tail him… until he doubles back and goes down a ramp and into some water. What the…

I growl to myself since my fur is wet again and notice that there is another ramp leading up and out of the water, much to my delight, and it leads to a path hidden behind a shelf of crates… and to a door in the cavern wall. The whole warehouse is really a very big cave, and my guess is someone must have found a way into another series of caves and kept it hidden. I sneak through the door and find some bandits on guard here.

Soooo, that’s what the lizard is up to! He’s turned his back on the thieves guild and is now pirating goods from the East Empire Trading Company to a bunch of bandits! RAWR! I shoot an arrow into one bandit and then slit the throat of the other. Several more bandits later I have Gulum-Ei cornered.

After killing the other bandits who were in on this smuggling operation, I corner the lizard and get him to talk.

“Now look, there’s no reason to do anything rash!” he says.

And I say, “Hell with that, scale-face. I’m soaking wet, I smell like tuna, and I’m not in a good mood! Now look, Mercer Frey doesn’t have to know about all this, so I’ll forget all this, including my dry cleaning bill, if you’ll tell me who the buyer is!”

“The name of the person you’re after is… Karliah!”

“….erm… Never heard of him.”

“She’s the one who killed the previous guild master, and now she’s after Mercer Frey.”

“Oh that guy… gal… Great. Thanks for the info. By the way, do you know where she is?”

“She mumbled something about, where the end began.”

“Right. Okay. See you later.”

“You’re coming back?!”

“Yeah, I stole some nice things from a shop earlier, I thought you’d fence them… unless you’d rather I killed you?”

“No no, I’ll buy whatever you’ve stolen.”

“Cool deal. Smell ya later.”

So yeah, the slimy lizard lives. I left the caves and came out just north of Solitude. After a quick stay at the inn I decide to head back down to Whiterun where my new house is and drop off some of the things I stole from the cave I found Gulum-Ei in. Before I leave I take one last walk around Solitude. I did a great service for these people in stopping the summoning of Potema the wolf queen not too long ago, so I was fast on the way to becoming a Thane in Solitude. Finally I leave the city and start my long walk to Whiterun.

Hey, I can see the lighthouse from here!

In Whiterun I store some cool weapons I don’t want to get rid of, I disenchant a couple of items and then I mix a few potions and sell them. I was just on my way to the blacksmith when a courier comes up to me and delivers a letter.

It’s from Falk Firebeard in Solitude. He wants me to come back immediately.

Facepalm. I just left there last night and he wants me to come back?! ARGH! DUDE! Why didn’t he say something before I left!? I sigh to myself and think, Oh hell with that, I’m going back to the thieves guild!

But oh wait, while putting books in a chest in my house, I come across the letter I got from the tomb of the Windcaller. I have to track down whoever took the horn and get it to the Greybreads as soon as I can. The Sleepy Giant Inn, eh? I know the place, it’s in Riverwood, just south of Whiterun. Guess I can drop by and see what’s what…

Amaki’dar and the Graybeards

The Seven Thousand Steps

After returning to the Thieves Guild, I’m told to visit Maven Black-Briar herself. I asked if I’d come out of it alive and was told if it was like that, she wouldn’t call upon me… she’d be calling the Dark Brotherhood. Nah, this is business. So when I go to see her, she tells me to head over to Whiterun and meet with someone there.

Along the way I head towards High Hrothgar, which is that big old mountain I’ve avoided climbing all this time. I start heading up the seven thousand steps, and before I get too high up the path, I hear a roar and look down. The village I had just left is now under attack from a dragon.

I roll my eyes and say, “Why weren’t you there five minutes ago!?”and start sliding down the side of the steep slopes of the mountain in a rush to get down there and save the village.

“There’s the occasional wolf pack or stray” Why didn’t he tell me about the freaking trolls!?

One dead dragon later, I continue on my journey up the mountain. Now before I left, I asked one villager if there was anything to watch out for on the climb, aside from my step. He tells me the occasional wolf pack or a stray. Sounds easy enough. Tell that to the cave bear, snow bear, and two ice trolls I encountered. It made me want to go back down and slap the guy in the face, or FUS RO DAH him into the river… but doing that causes a bounty and I’m in no mood for paying 40 gold shouting fees. Freedom of speech… why don’t they have it in Skyrim?

This is where the Graybeards live. Being on top of the mountain, I imagine they get great reception up here.

So once I get to the top, I find the small keep, or monastery as it’s called. Inside are four men, the Graybeards, and they ask me to shout at them. Okay, so maybe I can do this without getting fined for it. Once I’ve proven that I am dragonborn, they proceed to train me. Hard to believe that I’m dragonborn. It’s a Nord legend, but I’m a Khajiit. How I came to be a dragonborn I have no idea.

After learning two new shouting words, they give me a final trial. I have to go retrieve a horn that once belonged to their founder and bring it back here to them. I think to myself, “Oh great, more traveling. Joy.” and depart. Now I’m off to Whiterun to see what Maven wants me to do. It had better not involve fighting trolls or bears…

Throat of the World

I took a trip to one mountaintop where a dragon was sitting around and killed it, and I saw a Dragon Priest, a long dead mage of sorts that revered the dragons back when he was alive. Now undead he pops out of his coffin and tries to kill me. I wind up killing him and getting a mask, a staff and three words off the wall. That’s right, three. Zul Mey Gut, which translates as Voice Fool Far. This shout is really whispered, and in the distance the Thu’um is heard, thus confusing the enemy. While they’re busy trying to find the source of the shout, I could slip in behind them or pass them up entirely, and they’d never see me at all. Being a thief I know this will come in handy.

In other events, I had traveled with the two surviving members of The Blades up near Karthspire, fighting the forsworn so we can get access into Sky Haven Temple, which has Alduin’s wall inside. After discovering that a shout was used to battle with Alduin, I’m asked if I know of any shout. Since I don’t I head over to the Greybeards at High Hrothgar. The monks up there don’t know of the shout, but they point me to their master Paarthurnax.

Paarthurnax is actually a dragon who has lived for thousands of years, and his age is clearly visible in his wings and scales and one of his broken horns. He does teach me the last word for the Fire Breath shout, which makes it more powerful. It was just the word I was looking for, but not the one used to defeat Alduin. Paarthurnax tells me of what happened when Alduin was last in Skyrim. It turns out that Alduin was trying to dominate all the races off the world and three Nord heroes stopped him. It was an epic battle, but it looked as if Alduin might not be slain. At the last moment, an Elder Scroll was used to cast Alduin out of the world, where he became lost in the currents of time itself. When that happened, time was shattered there on that mountain peak, up on the Throat of the World. So if I can bring an Elder Scroll back to the peak, then I might be able to learn the shout I need to defeat Alduin. I might bring along a follower for this one though… If three Nords couldn’t bring low Alduin, how could one Khajiit solo him?

So I leave Paarthurnax and head back to the Greybeards to tell them what I know. They never messed around with Elder Scrolls, but point me to the mage’s college in Winterhold. I have never been there since I don’t mess with magic so much, but now I have a reason to visit the campus – to gain access to their library… and maybe I can boost my magic skills while I’m at it.

For the meanwhile I head back down to Whiterun. It’s dusk, and a few people are walking around, preparing to head home for the night, and I decide to mess with them. I try to shout Zul Mey Gut, but instead it comes out as Yol Tor Shul! Thankfully I only shouted the first two words, so it wasn’t too powerful, but I nearly roasted Belethor alive!

He drops down to one knee, scorched, and yells, “I YIELD! I YIELD!”

My eyes widen in shock and I earn myself a 40 gold price over my head in Whiterun. There ya go, my first official offense. I sheathe my bow quickly and a guard behind me tries to arrest me.

At this point I had many options. I could use my right as Thane and order them to unhand me and thus dismiss my criminal record. I also could bribe the guard by giving him about 400 gold pieces, but that doesn’t clear the charge permanently and other guards will still say, “Wait… I know you!” and if they press me they’ll say, “You’re a wanted criminal!” and try to arrest me all over again. Then again I could also say that I’m with the thieves guild and give him 20 gold pieces to clear my bounty instead of 40 gold. The other options are the normal ones, like pay off my bounty fully, the whole 40 gold; or I could go to jail and serve my time; or I could fight my way clear and forever be a wanted criminal.

So pay my bounty or serve my time… for shouting? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? I shrug my shoulders and pay 20 gold. I was lucky my shout didn’t incinerate Belethor, because then it would have been a thousand gold, and I’d have lost another vendor. I already lost Adrianne a while back due to a vampire attack.

Speaking of vendors, I’ve been able to invest 500 gold into each salesperson I could in Whiterun and in various other holds besides. I’ve been able to make expensive potions that I was able to sell off for quite a profit. The end result, I had over 100,000 gold pieces. (and I was worried about a 40 gold price on my head? BAH!)

I blew most of it buying a house in Solitude, but I can make it up pretty quickly, what with being a member of the thieves guild and all. But hands down, potion making is my profession for sure. Way better than Brynjolf’s fake concoctions in Riften. 😉

All this time, I’ve been putting off the civil war. I think I better meet up with Galmar Stone-fist before he freezes out there. We’re on a mission to retrieve the Jagged Crown for Jarl Ulfric before we being the war in earnest. I think I’d like to get this war over and done with before I go hunting for Elder Scrolls.

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