Skyrim Scripted, Page 13

After coming down the Throat of the World I’m clearing up some things for the good people of Ivarstead.

Narfi now knows that his sister has died; while not good news at least he knows what’s going on.

The “Lifting the Shroud” quest at Shroud Hearth Barrow ended up being much more than I expected with several expansive areas and mind-work to be done, but it was a great use of space and environment. A word wall, climactic draugr fight – this space had it all.

And what of the tragic tale of Wyndelius Gatharian! The adventurer who would locate the Sapphire Dragon Claw, only to lose his mind in the very barrow where he thought all his dreams would come true? To have the local barkeep have that very claw behind the counter while our man Wyn lose his sanity to the catacombs? For the secret passage to the secret secrets that Gathager was secretly searching for be RIGHT NEXT to his bedroll? In secret? Oh the irony! Oh the humanity!

skyrim wyndelius gatharian

Pity this Dunmer. Pity him.

Wow. I just feel bad for the guy.

Completed Quests:

  • The Straw that Broke
  • Lifting the Shroud

 

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Skyrim Scripted, Page 12

After so much time securing Winterhold and the College, it’s funny to be surprised that yes, there’s more to Skyrim. With that in mind I found myself continuing the main quest and climbing The Throat of the World to the settlement of High Hrothgar.

skyrim throat of the world mountain

The path of 7,000 steps

On the way up the mountain I met Karita, a fellow pilgrim. God speed my friend.

I didn’t remember that the entire group of Greybeards was composed of only four guys, but they get the job done. Great voice acting done for Arngeir by Christopher Plummer.

On my way back down the slopes a dragon soared by, roaring Continue reading →

Skyrim Scripted, Page 11

Destroying my first dragon meant I was now Thane of Whiterun Hold, so the current title list is:

  • Thane of Winterhold
  • Arch-Mage of The College of Winterhold
  • Thane of Whiterun

Since I’m now a thane of the hold I need to keep helping the populace and my next stop was Orphan Rock to retrieve nettlebane. I remember fighting these hags from the first play through and it was fine with me to stomp them down again.

skyrim orphan rock

Good school district, great views; ignore the hagraven and you’ve got a fine piece of property

Danica Pure-Spring needs the nettlebane to revitalize the tree in the center of town (the Gildergreen), so that quest is one step closer to being complete.

In my wanderings it was great to walk through Helgen again, the place where it all started. Of course now it’s a deserted waste of a town and bandits had moved in, but still my memories of my original trip to my execution remain golden.

I cleared the North Skybound Watch and in so doing popped out at South Skybound Watch! Why the previous sentence warrants and exclamation point is due to coolness of the game taking into account the space you travel underground.

I assumed I would simply exit on the other side of the mountain but emerging at the South location was a great visual confirmation of the distance I’d traveled. Moments like this make the game seem more real and it was well done.

Still in the “making-it-feel-more-real” category was the hunter I passed while going through the narrow mountain pass close by the Skybound Watch. He was just traveling through, singing to himself and it made for a great moment of camaraderie; just two travelers passing on the road.

On the other side of the pass the foliage changed and even in the pouring rain you could feel and see it. After quickly taking a look inside the Alchemist’s Shack (read the journal there but otherwise no sign of life) I passed over to the village of Ivarstead where I was finally able to rest my head at the Vilemyr Inn.

Even though this is virtual traveling the sight of a warm file and soft fur bed is always welcome.

skyrim fireplace inn

The promise of rest and food – both welcome!

Skyrim Scripted, Page 10

It was back to main-questing as I headed off to Bleak Falls Barrow sent by the court wizard of Dragonsreach, Farengar Secret-Fire.

During my trek in the deep I cut loose Arvel the Swift but he betrayed me and took off running (“swift”, remember?). I ended up losing him in the dark and had to go to my trusty cheat room in order or get the Golden (Dragon) Claw needed to progress in this quest. 

There was a cool looking large fireplace in the center of one of the lower rooms under the barrow and a word wall which had the unmistakable feel of epic to it; the game continues to work hard to make its many dirt holes (caves) as interesting as possible.

I returned to Whiterun with the Dragonstone (a location marker for the various dragon burial sites) but this triggered the dragon attack at the Western Watchtower. We (myself and several of the jar’s soldiers led by Irileth) rushed to the location and I had my first dragon-battle proper.

(Note: the above paragraph had the word “dragon” in it no less then four times. You’re welcome.)

skyrim western watchtower dragon

Things are about to get epic

It was awesome in all the right ways – the guards shouting and cheering me on, the dragon flying and slashing as we fought – all goodness.

In the aftermath, with only the bones of Mirmulnir remaining as a testament to the fight, we victors headed back to Whiterun to report what had happened.

Not to be forgotten I returned the Golden Claw to Lucan and Camilla Valerius who were very happy to see it back. You’re welcome economy of Riverwood!

Completed Quests:

  • Bleak Falls Barrow
  • The Golden Claw

 

 

Skyrim Scripted, Page 9

I cleared out Stillborn Cave and I liked how the exit of the cave dropped me off at a different access point. It was unexpected and added to the sense of distance I covered in the cavern.

M’aiq the Liar was hanging outside the cave; dude gets around.

I needed to into that forsaken cave to retrieve Urag gro-Shub’s copy of N’Gasta! Kvata! Kvakis!, and I did just that. I’m hoping with that task done he’ll forgive all my late fees.

skyrim quest library

“Disrupt my Arcanaeum, and I will have you torn apart by angry Atronachs. Now, do you require assistance?”

Even as the new Arch-Mage I don’t think he’d let me cancel my own fines; he’s a real stickler that guy.

Speaking of my being Arch-Mage I set about doing what Arch-Mage’s do – tracking down lost students. It’s my school man, we’ve got to solve these mysteries! Borvir, Rundi, Ilas-Tei and Yisra were Phinis Gestor’s missing apprentices and moving about the surrounding landscape of the college I located the final resting places of all of them. Continue reading →

Skyrim Scripted, Page 8

So after trekking across (what felt like) a third of Skyrim I had the Staff of Magnus and was able to break through Ancano’s spells and rid the college of his presence. Quaranir and other members of the Psijic Order appeared and took the Eye “somewhere,” so the world is safe for now … at least from that threat.

Eye of Magnus light show

The Eye of Magnus Light Show

The end game of this quest was well done, with the Eye of Magnus going crazy and adding the drama needed to the fight. I originally had a long-fought battle with the elf but Phinis Gestor somehow wandered into the battle and was caught in the crossfire.

This meant that when the fighting was over he would still attack me anytime he saw me, and we can’t have that – so I restarted the battle and ended taking out Ancano with a single shot. Not bad.

And now I’m the Arch-Mage! New robes, new digs and the front parking space. I like the idea of me being the president of a small academic institution since I won’t be staying there very much or running day-to-day operations (or fundraising!). Sadly Mirabelle is gone so Tolfdir is now second in command and I’ll trust everything to him.

So now that the college is safe I can press on to other adventures, but this quest did have a grand feel to it. With all the character and places involved if this quest would have been the main game it would have worked well.

With the College back to “normal” I thought it best to focus on the town of Winterhold more, so I went in search of the Helm of Winterhold per Jarl Korir’s request. It was located at the wreckage of Hela’s Folly and to get there I traveled the upper coast and ice drifts.

It had an almost other-worldly feel to it and I enjoyed the journey; the northern lights were spectacular and with the epic landscape of Skyrim only enhanced the sense of wonder the skies projected.

While wandering I came across several stories of note:

  • There was a small camp with a note “For Shelly” – very poignant
  • I came across two vampires who attacked me out of nowhere, and then I found there original victim a little further up. She was avenged
  • A skeleton at the top of ice float with a red flap waving in the wind and a copy of “The Knights of the Nine” at his or her feet. What’s the story there I wonder?

I made it to Hela’s Folly but it turned out the Helm of Winterhold was in the chest (square wood chest not beating heart chest) of Deekus. In order to get the helm I had to steal it from said chest, and when I did he called me a thief but didn’t pursue me. This is the first thing I’ve stolen in the game.

On the way to deliver the helm I came across Ilas-Tei, one of the missing apprentices (which I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for UESP) near a Shrine of Talos. Whatever happened to her it was unfortunate.

When I returned the helm the Jarl was pleased – he said I could become a thane of Winterhold if I helped the local residents, and since I had already done so through other quests it happened automatically.

Jarl's house Winterhold

Come closer my son, for you are now a Thane of Winterhold!

So I’m the Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold and Thane of Winterhold. Score.

Completed Quests:

  • The Staff of Magnus
  • The Eye of Magnus

Skyrim Scripted, Page 7

Now with the Staff of Magnus in my position I’m heading for the College of Winterhold and what I hope will be an end to Ancano’s antics.

I’ve never walked through road before and it was a little more forested then I’m used to, great sights to see.

I met Aleuc in the Stonehills mining settlement; he asked for an investment in his business and I gave him five hundred. He said it was a good idea, and I’m basing it on nothing, so we’ll see what happens!

Along the road there was an overturned cart and horse; bandits had attacked a conjurer and novice conjurer, and then the bandits attacked me.

I made short work of them but it was cool to see these little side stories along the road, hitting at lives beyond my main quest.

Speaking of things on the side I ran into Mzinchaleft, a large Dwarven ruin. I cleared out the rabble at the entrance and explored the outside, but I’ll save venturing in for another time.

I discovered the Weynon Stones and cleared the area, the Shrine of Talos looking on approvingly.

Weynon Stones

A place for silent reflection. And ice wraiths.

I also cleared the Yorgrim Overlook, a small Nordic ruin with a good view on a overlook right before you take a left to get to the college.

Skyrim Scripted, Page 6

Middas, 3:45pm, 3rd of Heartfire, 4E 201

Making my way back to the college with the news of where the Staff of Magnus is located I came across Anga’s Mill. Nothing noteworthy (although quests may be revealed here later) but I mention it because it’s something I enjoy about the game – the NPC’s going about their daily lives while I take care of mine.

Because there were only three of four residents of this location there was much more evidence of their lives going on, more than when I was in Riverwood.

But enough of the simple life – there are crazy things happening up at the college and I have to get back.

Once I made it back terrible news was waiting to greet me – the Arch-Mage is dead and Ancano warded himself off in the main chamber. With the fate of the college and perhaps the known world hanging in the balance, I head off for Labyrinthian to recover the famed Staff of Magnus.

On my way there I stop at Whiterun and spend the night at the Bannered Mare. It’s fun to start to feel familiar with certain places, and also to see them from (literally) different angles and I continue to travel the world.

On my way up the mountain I came across Hamvir’s Rest, a small graveyard to the northwest of Whiterun. Someone – I’m guessing Hamvir himself – popped out of the main sarcophagus and scared the crap out of me. He was easily defeated but I hope he wasn’t part of a quest that I’ll now miss out on later.

The ruin of Labyrinthian was fantastic; it’s a great example of how the designers “hide” huge areas just around the corner so it seems like it’s revealed every time you come back to it. It was a huge area and I knew underground would be just as large.

Labyrinthian

Expansive Yet Hidden

In the center of the ruins there was a Wooden Mask, but I’m not quite sure what it’s for. I have yet to put it on so we’ll see.

I entered Labyrinthian and was greeted by the Force ghosts of Savos Aren and his fellows students; they were discussing going further into the ruin. It seems like a bad idea, but they pushed ahead.

This was a cool concept well executed – the ghosts telling the story of what happened, how you see Savos pushing everyone else along to their eventual destruction (and his remorse at doing so), etc. It was well done.

The skeletal dragon in the huge chamber you come across was impressive and a fun battle. According to UESP this is the only skeletal dragon you come across, so I’m glad to have found and fought it.

Down in the ruin I learned my second dragon shout in the ancient language. Nice.

The battle with Morokei was crazy, with two of the lost student still trapped in this thrall. Believe me, even with the “God cheat” on I felt like I wasn’t sure if I was going to beat him.

But beat him I did, and with the staff and his mask secured it’s back to the college to confront Ancano.

Morokei_Mask

The Mask of Morokei

Before I made it there one of Ancano’s lackeys, Estormo, came out of nowhere to fight me in the ruin. After that huge battle with the dragon priest he was more of an annoyance, but I dealt with him nonetheless.

 

 

Cowboy Bebop, interrupted

cowboy bebop

Classic.

Cowboy Bebop is something I’ve heard about for years but never dived into, always hanging on the edge of “I’ll get to it.”

I seem to remember it playing on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network back in the day and I thought it looked interesting. Since then the vibe I’ve gotten about it is that it’s the greatest thing that has ever been done; or maybe it’s even better then that thing.

I’ve always been susceptible to the suggestions of others when it comes to something being “classic.” I’m defining “classic” here as something that is above any questions of “good” or “great”; the thing that is suggested is something that I have a duty to not only watch and/or listen to but to esteem and appreciate as something that enhances the human experience, that in some way pushes us towards a time when we experienced things as they should be – before the Fall.

Cowboy Bebop has that aura about it. I completed Session #5 “The Ballad of Fallen Angels” before things were brought to an abrupt halt; Amazon no longer has them for free on their streaming service.

So far it’s not a “classic” (using the definition I laid out earlier) to me yet, but we’ll see. I’m on board with Jet, don’t really get Spike, and am surprised that Valentine was more brat then femme fatale.

Those are my personal calls on the media so far but we’ll see where the series goes when I have access to it again.

See You Space Cowboy … (sometime)