Skyrim Scripted, Page 17

One of the larger plots I’ve gone through so far in Windhelm is the “Blood on the Ice” quest, where a serial killer is loose and terrorizing the town.

The quest was well set up and I started it almost immediately upon entering the town, so it was a great way to get more familiar with the location and meet people.

It’s neat how murder investigations just bring people together, right?

While I made some mistakes during the investigation I did think something was off about Calixto Corrium, and when it turned out he was the mastermind all the pieces fell into place. I wasn’t able to stop him from taking one last victim and for that I was sorry; but the mystery is solved and the city (relatively) safe.

Secret Skyrim room

Secret room, tragic origin story – “Blood on the Ice” had it all

There were a lot of cool twists and turns to the mystery – the secret room in Hjerim, trying to see what part (if any) Jorleif that Wuunferth played, etc.

But there are more things going on in fair Windhelm then the body count rising! The docks have revealed the way to face Miraak, the false dragonborn, and I’m excited to take that ship … but not yet.

Also on the docks I’ve stumbled onto feuding “dock clans” (for a lack of a better word – they’re two rival companies), Suvaris Atherona – perfectly nice dark elf who I met when I first entered the city turns and out to be skimming of the top – and finally Scouts-Many-Marshes, who I was able to help receive a more fair wage at his job.

The final notes here include an unusual gem that I found in the upstairs of the palace and a courier was waiting around Candlehearth Hall for a while that gave me a “letter from a friend.” Who is it from, and will I ever find said “friend”?

Quests Completed:

  • Blood on the Ice
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Skyrim Scripted, Page 16

A bounty on a nearby giant is what sent me there, but the city of Windhelm has much more to offer. This was my first time walking up to the imposing gate and taking the in sights, and the city looks amazing.

City of Windhelm

Home of your Friendly Stormcloak Rebellion

I love the architecture, the windows, etc. The whole place has a Viking-vibe that I appreciate and it was great to be in another fully-developed city besides Whiterun.

Don’t get me wrong, Whiterun is great – but variety is always welcome.

A new city means new people, and the Continue reading →

Skyrim Scripted, Page 15

What had originally started as an ambient quest to get Roggi Knot-Beard’s family shield back ended up pulling me into a much larger quest that ended up being more epic then I ever saw coming.

One of the (many) things I enjoy about Skyrim is how the questing unfolds; some of them you know they’re going to be epic in scope, others seems like a drop in the bucket of the world and yet they pull you in deeper then you ever saw coming. The Ansilvund quest is the latter.

Two tragic love stories – Fjori and Holgeir and Lu’ah Al-Skaven and Saeel – are woven together in the depths of Ansilvund and I was surprised at the depth this story offered.

Lu’ah using her power to raise Fjori and Holgeir as her pawns to attack me, wanting to extract vengeance on the Imperial Empire for the death of her husband Saeel (after losing him to the senseless war), then the two attacking ghosts being at peace after it was all over and thanking me; it’s these surprises and extra narrative layers that make this game so special.

The interior space of was great to explore as well, having Lu’ah’s draugr mine what they could, the one follower just sitting there supervising. Ah, the life of an evil lackey.

Skyrim Ansilvund quest

“When I signed up for this, sitting in poison while making Draugr dig holes is not where I thought I’d end up”

The most comical moment was when after all this – all this story and adventure I didn’t expect – Roggi Knot-Beard just said, “thanks for the shield.” I guess he can’t be blamed, that’s all he cared about.

My travels next take me the capital of the Eastmarch hold. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

Skyrim Scripted, Page 14

There was a journal by the side of a fallen adventurer right next to the Mzulft ruins, and it points me to the next step in the Lost to the Ages quest.

At this point I’m not sure if I was deliberately trying to start that quest, but I know I’ll pick it up when my travels take me to the right spot.

Those travels have currently landed me in Kynesgrove where my first task was helping Iddra the barkeep out with Roggi Knot-Beard’s too-high tab.

I listened to the troubles of Ganna and Gemma Uriel, but it seems there’s little I can do to help the Imperial sisters as they try to carve out a living in the town. Continue reading →

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

 

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 an exclamation point is due to the 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 fire 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