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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim!

edited 2013-02-16 12:08:55 in Liveblogging
If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an odd game. The gameplay's frankly pretty shit, the story of the game is boring as hell, the narrative lacks any depth, and your decisions throughout the game barely decide anything more than what quest item you receive at the end of a quest and if the guardsmen in a town pick up a new line to hiss at you.

Despite all that, however, it's one of the most beloved games of recent years, with millions of people playing and owning the game, and large numbers of people having hundreds of hours logged into the game.

Why, you say? Well, Skyrim is an extremely open-ended game. It's got a huge world, which can take you many dozens of hours to fully explore, and there are many secrets to uncover. It's got a pretty great backstory and setting, which is relayed to you primarily through books and NPC's, which present biased views of events, present a very vague version of history that may or may not be true, and is full of metaphysical instances that only make sense when you realize that Skyrim is explicitly a video game, and the setting is influenced by people actually playing the game.

Anyway! Enough with the chatter. We'll see enough of this as time goes on.

The game opens up with you being escorted in a cart.

You're being trundled off to Gods-know-where with three other prisoners; Ralof, Ulfric Stormcloak, and a horsethief named Lokir.

Ralof of Riverwood:

Ulfric Stormcloak:

The game establishes the sequence of events; you were trying to cross the border, and you walked right into an Imperial ambush and were captured, along with Lokir and the Stormcloaks you are in a cart with.

The truth soon comes out as the cart continues forward. The man bound and gagged next to you is Ulfric Stormcloak, the leader of the Stormcloaks, and the true High King of Skyrim, according to Ralof.

Lokir soon realizes the implications of this. If the Imperials have captured the leader of the rebellion against the Empire- then where are they taking you?

The answer is soon revealed; you are being taken to Helgen, a town under Imperial control. When your cart enters the town, you see General Tullius talking to a Thalmor elf.

General Tullius:

Eventually, the carts trundle to a stop. Lokir begins to have a panic attack- this is the end of the line.

The prisoners are called over to an Imperial Captain, one by one. Ralof and Ulfric are called up first, followed by Lokir. Unfortunately, Lokir panics and runs, and is shot down.

We are called over next. Hadvar notes that we aren't on the list, and asks who we are.

And we are... a female Orsimer, known as Croa!


After this, we are lined up for execution.

At this point, it's becoming pretty obvious that we're in a situation that's way over our heads. Stormcloaks? Imperials? Voice? Murder of the High King? Thalmor? General Tullius? Ulfric Stormcloak? What's going on?

The lowdown on the situation is, Skyrim is currently in the midst of a civil war.

About thirty years ago, there was a war in Cyrodiil (the land of the Imperials), known as the Great War. The Thalmor, leading an army of Altmer (the High Elves) invaded both Hammerfell and Cyrodiil.  There was a long and bloody war, lasting about four years, that resulted in the deaths of many Imperial citizens and the sacking of most of the major towns in Cyrodiil. In the end, the Imperials agreed to sign the White-Gold Concordat, a peace treaty that specified that the Empire had to give Hammerfell to the Thalmor and outlaw the worship of Talos (I'll get to all this in more detail much later during the liveblog).

Earlier this year, Ulfric Stormcloak raised a stink about this, and raised a rebellion to kick the Thalmor and the Imperials out of Skyrim, urging everyone to exercise their right to worship whoever they will. The Empire, needing stability to rebuild their forces for the inevitable re-emergence of the war with the Thalmor, sent the Fourth Legion to Skyrim to quell the Civil War.

Back to the game!

As Tullius continues to give his speech to Ulfric, we hear a strange keening sound. Nobody can pinpoint the source.

A Priestess of Arkay, the God of the Cycle of Birth and Death, is interrupted by a Stormcloak, who walks up to the chopping block and demands to get it over and done with.

... And, in one of the bloodier moments of the game, you get to see his head chopped off, blood spurting out of his neck as his body slumps to the side.

We continue to hear the strange cry as we are called to the chopping block, but nobody can pinpoint the source of the sound, so it is ignored.

We are treated to a lovely view of the Stormcloak's decapitated head, before we are lain on the chopping block.

The headsman raises his axe, and...

It's difficult to convey the sheer 'HOLY SHIT' this opening conveys upon you. You open to find yourself being carted off to your execution alongside the leader of a rebellion, meeting many of the most important people in Skyrim along the way, until suddenly, your execution is interrupted by the arrival of a Dragon.

Needless to say, there's a sense of magnitude to the event, but without prior context, it's hard to say exactly what's going on. Still, that's why we'll continue to play through!

Up next: Gameplay begins, and we run the fuck away from this dragon!



  • One foot in front of the other, every day.

    > Let's Play Skyrim
    > not using Randy Savage mod


  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    I have mods equipped, but not that one. I'm trying to be as lore-friendly as I can so that I can explain the game to people who haven't played it yet.

    I'll list the mods I am using once I have finished typing up the next post (I'm about halfway done).

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:08:11
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    We begin immediately with Alduin attacking, calling up a meteor storm out of nowhere. He follows up with a blast of pure force, before flying away.

    Apparently, this snaps the bindings on your legs, because now, we are able to get up and move around on our own!

    Once we get up (the screen gets all disoriented and blurry here, which I feel is kinda cool, but it's disappointing that the game never does this again), Ralof calls for us to follow him into the keep. We do, and we're treated to an unbound-and-gagged Ulfric speaking to Ralof.

    "Jarl Ulfric! What is that thing? Could the legends be true?" Ralof asks.

    "Legends don't burn down villages," Ulfric replies.

    No, you fuck, but dragons do. Screw you, I'm outta here!

    I head upstairs, around the circular stairs with no handrail (this is a serious safety hazard game seriously), only to be... knocked off my feet as Alduin bashes the wall in with his head and roasts a random Stormcloak alive. Seriously, Alduin? Wow.

    With a hole in the wall now, I jump down, landing in a tavern. Interestingly, the tavern has a giant hole in the roof; perhaps this was where Alduin landed to knock the hole through the wall?

    We jump down the next hole in the tavern, and reappear on the ground.

    Here, we are treated to a nice little scene of Hadvar trying (and potentially succeeding, but we don't know) to save a child from Alduin. It's a good way to establish that Hadvar is a nice guy, and we'll see why in just a moment.

    Alduin ignores the kid in favour of roasting the corpse there some more for some reason, and Hadvar and I make a break for it.

    Have some beautiful destruction while we're at it.

    Anyway, we run around for a bit- at one point, hiding under Alduin as he roasts people alive- and eventually make it to the keep.

    Ralof confronts us, determined to make his escape. At this point, we have a choice: Escape with Hadvar, or escape with Ralof?

    > dumbfuck who doesn't know what a dragon is
    > dude who went out of his way to save a kid

    Not much of a choice, really. We escape with Hadvar, into the Keep.


    At this point, we're finally given true freedom; we can move around now! This means that we can pick up items, and equip things.

    We run around and pick up some armour and weapons for a sec. There's a pretty huge abundance of swords in here; I pick up three, and move on.

    We proceed forward, and are met with a group of Stormcloaks.

    Well, we can't. Sorry, Hadvar. We're attacked on sight.

    I pick up their weapons as we go, due to a mod I have equipped (which I'll detail after this post). Currently, we have:

    - An Iron Greatsword;
    - An Iron Mace;
    - An Iron War Axe;
    - Three Iron Swords;
    - An Imperial Light Helmet;
    - An Imperial Light Armour; and
    - Imperial Light Boots.

    We also start off with two spells; a Destruction spell called Flames (which shoots a flamethrower, dealing a fair amount of damage a second and costing 8 Magicka per second) and a Restoration spell called Healing. I have an Iron Sword equipped in my right hand and Flames equipped in my left.

    After this, we head down into the Torture Room. (Hadvar makes a note that he wishes they didn't need one of these, but they do, unfortunately.) Here, I decide to be a dick, and I kill the Torturer and his Assistant and loot all their stuff, before picking the locks on one of their cages and stealing a dead man's stuff. (Four Gold, three Minor Potions of Magicka, a Spell Tome for Spark, a Novice Hood, and Novice Robes).

    After this, Hadvar and I proceed further down into the cellars, and eventually find... a hole in the wall that leads to a natural cavern? If I didn't know better, I'd suspect someone was tunneling their way in!

    Anyway, we proceed through here, slaughtering everything in our way (more Stormcloaks and a bunch of Frostbite Spiders, which are spiders about half the size of those found in Australia and about 1/4 as deadly).

    And, incidentally, one of my favourite things in the game:

    Setting everything on fire.

    Eventually, we come across the last encounter of the caverns: A bear. Bears are some of the most dangerous creatures in Skyrim, containing a fuckload of health, the ability to maul you to pieces, and they will chase you to fucking Sovngarde itself.

    Luckily, we dispose of this one with a single arrow.

    If we decide to go down the Thief route, we will soon come to love that 'Sneak Attack for X times damage' message.

    Anyway, we eventually make it out of the caverns. Hadvar tells me to head for Riverwood, where his uncle lives, and heads off. I follow him, because I'm not going off on my own in the case of bear attacks.

    And, eventually, we come across the Three Stones; the Thief Stone, the Mage Stone, and the Warrior Stone.

    And this is where I leave it up to you, audience. Is Croa the Orc going to be a Thief, a Mage, or a Warrior?

    As a general warning, if you pick one, I'm going to exclude skills from the other. If you're a Warrior, we'll be running around in Heavy Armour, but there'll be no Sneaking or Pickpocketing, and the only magic we'll be using will be Destruction and Restoration. On the other hand, if we go the Mage route, we'll be running around in robes, and wielding all five types of magic but no weapons beyond Bound weapons.

    So, what'll it be- Mage Stone, Warrior Stone, or Thief Stone?

  • edited 2013-02-15 02:05:12
    Give us fire! Give us ruin! Give us our glory!

    Warrior. We're in Vikingland, let's do it like Vikings.

    Also, will you be covering any of the DLC?

    And can we request mods, given that they're not lorebreaking?

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!

    Thief. Play against type.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Now, for a list of the (non-aesthetic) mods I'm using.

    I'm mostly using three mods. These are:

    PISE- Pluto's Improved Skyrim Experience, which makes combat a bit harder by making the AI a bit smarter, giving them healing potions to use, increasing enemy spawns, and so on.

    Warzones- Civil Unrest is a pretty great mod that enhances the feel of the Civil War, making it feel like an actual war. It's really tough to get into at first, because of the strength of the enemies, but it's well worth the effort.

    Amazing Follower Tweaks basically allows followers to level up with me (which they don't in the vanilla game, handicapping their usefulness after a while) and increases their AI.

    Beyond that, I have a few lesser mods:

    Crafting+: Weapons and Crafting+: Armour allows me to melt down weapons and armour for ingots (and strip down leather armours for leather), allowing me to get ingots out of them- although less ingots than it takes to make them.

    Bandolier- Bags and Pouches allows me to craft pouches and things that increase my carrying capacity.

    And, lastly, Lightweight Potions and Poisons and 5kg Dragon Bones save us a lot of inventory space.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Also, will you be covering any of the DLC?

    I may cover some of the DLC at some stage. Unfortunately, I do not own any of the Skyrim DLC at the moment, so I can't promise anything unless I get enough money at some stage to get it.

  • edited 2013-02-15 02:15:37
    No rainbow star

    I'll break the current tie and vote for Thief Orc

    Don't forget to put Illusion magic under thievery!


    ...Also I still don't get the unofficial bug patch's choice to make archery a non thief skill. Just... Guys. Thieves have NO DAMAGE BASED SKILLS OTHERWISE. It's OBVIOUS that Archery goes under Thievery!

  • I like Thief.  I usually play something rogue-like when I play D&D anyway.

  • edited 2013-02-15 02:20:21
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Don't forget to put Illusion magic under thievery!

    Skills for each stone:

    Warrior Stone

    - One-Handed
    - Two-Handed
    - Heavy Armour
    - Restoration
    - Destruction
    - Block
    - Smithing
    - Enchanting

    Thief Stone

    - Archery
    - One-Handed
    - Sneak
    - Pickpocket
    - Speech
    - Restoration
    - Illusion
    - Alchemy
    - Enchanting
    - Smithing

    Mage Stone

    - Conjuration
    - Destruction
    - Illusion
    - Alteration
    - Restoration
    - One-Handed (limited to wielding daggers)
    - Alchemy
    - Enchanting 

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:07:37
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    And Thief it is, it looks like!

    With that out of the way, we pocket our Flames spell forever, and rely purely upon our sword and our Healing spell.

    We head off over to Riverwood with Hadvar. Here, we meet his uncle, Alvor, and his uncle's wife, Sigrid.

    Continuing on in the fine Skyrim tradition, Alvor gives us some stuff (a Gold Necklace, an Iron Ingot, three Potions of Minor Healing, and a Ring of Minor Alteration, plus a bunch of food I don't take), and I walk around his house taking everything that's not nailed down and/or marked in red (which means that taking it is stealing, and would get me arrested). I then head outside to his forge, and take MORE of his stuff, plus strip down the armour I got earlier.

    Totally not awkward.

    The Cave Bear I killed dropped a pelt, which I strip down for 4 leather, plus three wolves attacked Hadvar and I on the way, and their pelts were worth one Leather each. Added to the various Imperial Armours I have picked up along the way, I have enough leather to make two Pouches with the Bandolier- Bags and Pouches mod, increasing my maximum carry weight to 400.

    Alvor asks us to alert Jarl Balgruuf about the Dragon Attack. We have nothing else we want to do here (just yet, we'll come back in a bit later); so off we head to Whiterun!

    And here's a little secret many Skyrim players never take note of. Ants!

    Scattered around Skyrim are a bunch of stumps, with ants on them. I think this speaks incredibly well of the developers, that they even bothered to put details like this in.

    This particular stump is found just outside of Riverwood, across the bridge on the Whiterun-side of the town.

    Along the way, we run into an Imperial patrol, which is escorting a Stormcloak prisoner. But, because the Stormcloaks are dicks, we don't rescue him and kill the soldiers, even though that would totally give us heaps of Leather to make pouches with.

    Interestingly enough, if you've accrued a bounty in Whiterun by this time- by attacking somebody, stealing something, or killing a chicken- these Imperial Guards will forget all about their prisoner and attack you on sight.

    We continue along the way,

    ducking under a bridge along the way to get some Nirnroot (Nirnroot is a rare Alchemy ingredient, marked by the distinct sound it makes when you're close to it. It is only found on the edge of water, it doesn't respawn- unlike pretty much every Alchemy ingredient in the game beside it- and you need 20 of it for a quest later in the game), we make our way to Whiterun.

    (Just as an amusing aside.)

    We proceed on in, and listen to some guy called Idolaf Battle-Born tell Adriane Avenicci, the local blacksmith, that he's willing to pay whatever it takes to get more swords for the Imperial Soldiers. Adriane promises to do what she can, but tells him not to expect any miracles.

    Anyway, from here, we head up to Dragonsreach, to tell Jarl Baalgruff thatHAHAHA AS IF.

    Nah, I'm just joshin' with ya. From here on out, we're free to do what we want, when we want, and fuck the dragons in the meantime.

    So, I head over to Adriane's smelter, and smelt down all those weapons and armour I picked up earlier, just to clear up some inventory space.

    Now, for all those experienced Skyrim players reading this thread: What shall Croa do next?

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!
    I think following the main quest long enough to get shouts would probably be good.
  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Well, without anything significant to get (You can't get Soul Trap, because no Conjuration), we may as well go get that. Very well, post upcoming.

  • For some reason I've always felt the shout idea is a bit "unsexy" (in the sense of not really cool).  Oh well.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    For some reason I've always felt the shout idea is a bit "unsexy" (in the sense of not really cool).  Oh well.

    I've always felt that it was a nice concept, but the implementation is really stupid. Shouting makes a bunch of effects now? Uh, why?

    Oh, so they can claim "A fight between dragons is actually a deadly verbal debate." Okay.

    That said, it's like free magic, and there's some really cool Shouts out there, so I'm fine with it.

    (Post like 3/4s done. Hard to type and play simultaneously, especially when also double-checking lore as I go.)

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:07:11
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    So, we head up to Dragonsreach and talk to Jarl Baalgruff.

    Interestingly enough, the Steward here- Proventus Avenicci- is the father of Aveline Avenicci, the Blacksmith. Eventually, Proventus will sell us a house in Whiterun, located right next to his daughter's smithy. I am forced to assume that he wishes us to hook up with her.

    Baalgruff says thanks for bringing the news to him, and then asks us to help Farengar, his court wizard, with a project. I agree, and go to speak to Farengar.

    Farengar, you asshole 

    Balgruff wanders over about two seconds later, and Farengar goes into butt-kisser mode. No matter what dialogue options you choose, he's polite, affable, and so frigging condescending that you could probably wipe your ass with all the condescension he's dripping.

    Anyway, we decide to be an asshole to Farengar, and we go over to his enchanting table and disenchant all the stuff we have (the two pieces of the robes we found on that dead guy, that Ring of Alteration). This bumps us up enough levels to go to Level 2! Needless to say, the points go straight to Health and we take the Steel Smithing perk. No more Iron weapons for us!

    I wasn't actually quick enough to catch her this time, but if you follow Irileth out when Balgruff sends her to go send a detachment to Riverwood, you can see her gather a group of guards and send them to Riverwood. You can follow those guys all the way to Riverwood, and they stay there for the entire rest of the game. It's pretty neat.

    Anyway, Farengar wants us to go find some Dragonstone or something. I dunno lol

    Interestingly enough, it's totally possible for you to already have the Dragonstone. If you go into the Riverwood Trader, the only store in Riverwood, you'll catch the guy who owns it (I forget his name) arguing with Camilla, who may be either her father or her husband, I dunno. If you speak to them, they tell you about a dragon's claw that is missing from their store, and send you to Bleak Fall's Barrow to get it.

    We didn't do that, because there's a scene you can only get if you wait to get the Dragonstone until after Farengar asks you to.

    So, let's head off to Bleak Falls Barrow!

    Or not. Nrrrgh. Fucking bandits.

    Oh well. One drops a full set of iron armour (too bad we're not a Warrior, eh?), and we find our first treasure chest!

    This is what I refer to as a 'minor' treasure chest. It usually contains small treasures; 50 gold, maybe a potion or two, an unenchanted weapon, etc. This one gave us 41 Gold, an Iron Ingot, and a Potion of Minor Healing.

    With that out of the way, we head up to Bleak Falls Barrow, and deal with... more bandits lol

    You see that bandit? No? Welcome to the life of an archer in Skyrim.

    Immediately once inside, I go into Sneak Mode and assassinate the two bandits waaaaay over the other side of the room. (Unfortunately, Skyrim does not reward you for difficult shots any more than it does easy shots.) My Sneak rises to 17 by this point.

    Walking further in, I discover a dead bandit and about fifty dead Skeevers all over the room.

    They're like bloody rat-wolf hybrids. With the plague. Christ.

    A treasure chest later, we proceed further in.

    There's a dude further on in here whose only purpose is to get horribly murdered by poisoned arrows (which, funnily enough, only deal like 10 damage to us). Already knowing how to proceed, I just shoot him in the back.

    I want to praise Bethesda for being clever with their puzzles, but they use the same goddamn type of puzzles every. single time.

    Essentially, you have to line the three pillars up to match with the three symbols up ahead. Obviously, the snake symbol on the ground has fallen from its position in the middle. So, the correct solution is snake > snake > whale.

    That out of the way, we proceed forward to find an empty Soul Gem and our first major treasure chest (which contains 10 Steel Arrows and 21 gold, goddammit). Then we are attacked by a skeever and contract Ataxia. Goddammit this is just not our fucking day. Lockpicking and Pickpocketing are 25% harder until we get cured. Luckily, there's Shrines of Talos everywhere, including one back in Whiterun, so it's not too much of a bother, as a blessing from Talos will cure our disease.

    We head further in, and find Arvel the Swift being held captive by a giant spider.

    Ducking in and out of the room, we manage to shoot it to death without getting hurt too much, and proceed to level up to Level 3 due to the increase in our Archery. This perk goes straight to Stealth, needless to say.

    And, of course, our final arrow sent the giant murderous spider flying back into the opposite wall. Just for kicks, you know.

    We cut down Arvel the Swift and horribly murder him because he's a dick who runs off with your treasure if you don't. Looting his body, we find the Golden Claw! (This is the item the shopkeeper is after, by the way. It's also necessary to proceed through the dungeon.)

    Proceeding down, we meet out first Draugr!

    We assassinate one with a bow, and the one near him wakes up and begins wandering around. I back up, ready to assassinate him...

    ... But not to worry, he sets off one of his own traps and kills himself.

    We assassinate the other Draugr and hurry on in, skirting the trap for now.

    In the next room, the Draugr is too tough for me to assassinate. (He's a Restless Draugr.) So, time for one of my favourite activities in the game:

    Letting a weak Draugr beat me up so I can heal myself and level Light Armour/Restoration!

    We level Light Armour to 21 and Restoration to 16 this way, getting us to Level 4, where I take the first Restoration perk (allowing us to cast Healing for half Magicka) and increase our Magicka pool by 10. I then let him whale on us some more, increasing our Light Armour to 25 and our Restoration to 17.

    Okay, so! Time for a bit of explanation on the Draugr.

    Once, long ago, there were people who worshipped the Dragons. These people were known as the Dragon Priests, and they achieved a form of immortality.

    They live in Nordic Tombs. The Draugr are their servants.

    Each Draugr in the tomb has a tiny bit of life in them. Every day, a different set of Draugr get up and go worship the Dragon Priest, expending that bit of life to sustain the Dragon Priest, and then meticulously clean the tomb.

    This also explains why you can't actually kill the Draugr. No matter how many times you sweep through the same tomb, their numbers will never decrease, because come morning they just come back to life.

    Anyway, proceeding through, wegoddamn it

    Swinging axe trap. Yes.

    Also, if you're curious, if you get hit by these things, you can contract Ataxia.

    We continue through the dungeon, assassinating Draugr and letting the ones that don't die beat us up. In fact, we do this so often that we increase to Level 7, increasing One-Handed, Light Armour, and Archery with a perk (increasing damage with one-handed weapons and bows by 20%, and giving us a 20% extra armour bonus on light armour).

    And later again, we level up to 8 by... breaking open the lock on a chest? Okay, whatever. Increased Stealth again.

    Anyway, assassination, proceed, assassination, proceed, etcetera. Eventually, we enter Bleak Falls Sanctum!

    Assassination, proceed, and we come across another puzzle!

    Wat, you say flatly. Wat.

    Never fear, for there is an answer!

    Remember that Golden Claw we picked off of Arven the Swift way back at the start of the dungeon?

    Yep. It actually has a picture on it, relating to the code.

    The answer is Bear, Butterfly, Owl:

    And onwards we proceed.

    Here, we enter into the last room of the cavern, and are randomly attacked by bats. (Not really, but they do fly everywhere and it's rather startling.)

    We proceed up the stairs, and find a wall. Now, strange things start happening.

    Funny noises start happening, and a word on the wall lights up. You proceed to walk over and investigate, and...


    (I accidentally hit Print Screen instead of F12 here, so I was a bit late grabbing the screen. Not the first time I've done it, but the first time where it's interfered with getting the words on-screen I wanted. For reference, it says: "Word of Power learned- Force, Unrelenting Force".)

    Then we meet this asshole.

    I died seven times to this asshole. Fuck him.

    Draugr Overlords are basically the boss Draugr, comparable (but weaker because low levels) to the Draugr Deathlords. He knows the Unrelenting Force shout, which pushes you back, and he wields an enchanted weapon that deals additional Frost damage. He also has too much health. And, worst of all for a Thief character, he only springs up when you go learn the Word of Power, so you can't set yourself up for a Sneak Attack.


    Anyway, we're heading back down to Riverwood to trade that Golden Claw in for lovely gold, then heading back to Whiterun to get cured and grab the next scene. Seeya next post!

  • Swinging axe trap. Yes.

    Also, if you're curious, if you get hit by these things, you can contract Ataxia.

    Well, you'd be at axe, ya.

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:06:37
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Dun dun dun. Hello, Delphine!

    Delphine is a character that we may have run into already. I've deliberately avoided her so that it comes as a surprise to anyone who hasn't played the game though.

    Anyway, I gave the Dragonstone to Farengar, and then Irileth ran in.

    Oh, for reference:

    This is Irileth, Jarl Balgruff's Housecarl.

    This is Farengar, Jarl Balgruff's court wizard.

    And this is Jarl Balgruff, also known as "The only competent Jarl who is also a decent human being and is concerned with his people in the entire game". You will love him.

    Anyway, Irileth runs in and tells us that a dragon has attacked Whiterun. Being the asshole that I am, I decided that it would be a good idea to stick around and disenchant all that loot I got in the tomb. (A Nordic War Axe of Frost, and a Ring of Smithing, meaning I now have Fortify Smithing, if only I had a decent way to get filled Soul Gems.)

    Eventually, I go up, and a guardsman informs us that a dragon attacked the Western Watchtower. Irileth transforms and rolls out heads out to gather the guardsmen.

    Jarl Balgruff asks me to go with them. I say okay, why not, not like you've NEVER ASKED ME TO GO INTO MORTAL DANGER WITHOUT RECOMPENSE YOU ASSHOLE.

    At which point, Jarl Balgruff tells me that I am his friend, and tells me that Proventus Avericci has been instructed to let me purchase property in the city. He also gives me a gift out of his personal armoury. D'aww.

    The Whiterun section is my favourite part of the game, really.

    The Watchtower isn't even that far out of town, scarily enough.

    Aaaand the Watchtower's been completely wrecked. Fun.

    Oh, great. Just what I needed to fill out my day.

    The atmosphere for the build-up for this fight is actually kind of awesome. You start off hearing mournful cries, as the Guardsman tries to warn you off. Everything's on fire. And then, you start hearing beating wings, and then, suddenly, dragon.

    Unfortunately, after that, the fight is pathetic. The dragon takes about thirty seconds to knock down.

    (For those of you who are curious, this dragon is called Mirmulnir.)

    We get a bunch of loot- 100-odd gold, a bunch of Steel Arrows, a Circlet of Minor Alteration, and some dragon bones and dragon scales we're presumably bringing along because hey maybe they'll be useful one day???

    Anyway, after this, we proceed back to Jarl Balgruff, with our new Force shout equipped.

    Along the way, there's this cool scene where the screen shakes and some extremely loud voice calls "Dovahkiin!". Unfortunately, I can't screencap it because it's all to do with the movement of the camera and the Shout isn't subtitled.

    We head back up to Jarl Balgruff, who explains what the hell just happened. Apparently, that Shout was the Greaybears summoning you from High Hrothgar. He tells us to go immediately; it's a tremendous honour. (lol as if)

    After that, Jarl Balgruff names us as a Thane of Whiterun because we like killed a dragon to keep his city safe and all. He gives us an Axe of Whiterun (which I promptly disenchant to learn Damage Stamina), and assigns us Lydia as our Housecarl!

    And with that done, we have now unlocked random dragon attacks, gotten ourselves our first Thane-hood, our first Housecarl (and our first companion, and a decent one at that with my Fixed Followers mod), and unlcoked the ability to learn Shouts!

    So, players of Skyrim: What now?

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    And now, to post skills!

    Sneak: 22
    Lockpicking: 16
    Pickpocketing: 16
    Speech: 16
    Alchemy: 15
    Restoration: 24
    Enchanting: 25
    Smithing: 20
    One-Handed: 23
    Archery: 20
    Light Armour: 41

    Yeah, Light Armour sort of shot up out of nowhere. 

  • edited 2013-02-15 09:59:01
    But you never had any to begin with.

    ...Also I still don't get the unofficial bug patch's choice to make archery a non thief skill.

    That's not the patch. That's the vanilla game.

    Also, go to Windhelm, become a hardened killer. The power of blood compels you.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    But I can't! Everyone I want to kill in Windhelm is essential, damned Ulfric :<

  • edited 2013-02-15 10:02:34
    But you never had any to begin with.

    I meant the other killing related thing in Windhelm. :|

    ...Or the other other? Jesus, Windhelm has too many things to do with death.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Oh, right. I've never actually done that questline.

    Although I think that should probably wait a while, it seems like a late-game questline.

  • Give us fire! Give us ruin! Give us our glory!

    Ditch Lydia, she's kind of boring and she'll fuck up your attempts at being sneaky.

  • But you never had any to begin with.

    Alternatively, sacrifice Lydia to a Daedric Prince.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Ditch Lydia, she's kind of boring and she'll fuck up your attempts at being sneaky.

    Unfortunately, she is necessary at the moment.

    You will see why soon.

    At the current point in time, a companion with a good set of armour and a lot of health is worth a lot more to us than a better Sneak attempt, especially when we can just tell Lydia to wait at the start of a dungeon.

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:06:04
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    So! An introduction to the Warzones mod.

    Essentially, the Warzones mod adds in a bunch of Warzones to the game- if I'm not mistaken, there's many dozens of them.

    Outside of Whiterun, just east of Halted Stream Camp, you can find one.

    Well, Nova, you say, how bad can it be? The wars in the game are pretty small, right? Five, six enemies maximum?

    That's not... so bad, you say, looking at the compass. Half a dozen enemies at once, on Master difficulty? Should be overcomable even at Level 8.

    Well... Yeah. Unfortunately, that screenshot was of me gazing to the side.

    Wat, you say flatly. Wat.

    Unfortunately, I didn't have time to screenshot the righthand section of the army, because I was too busy fighting for my life against an army of bandits.

    Needless to say, I was fighting against 15+ Bandits at once, at Level 8, with Imperial Light Armour on.

    Eventually, I won, by sheer virtue of tagging the enemies, leading them up to Whiterun Stables, and picking them off one by one as they tried to enter. But yeah.

    So hopefully now you can see why Lydia is a necessity until we become master assassins.

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:05:41
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.


    Oh sweet, this stuff is worth a lot. Maybe I'll be able to afford-

    This is because I'm an Orc, isn't it 

  • edited 2013-02-16 12:05:06
    If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Okay, so. More fucking around before a proper update tomorrow.

    Went back to Halted Streams Camp, and went into the mine there. I killed all four bandits inside, and mined the place bare.

    After melting down all the weapons and armour from everyone, and smelting all that ore (over 50 pieces of ore), I am left with 115 Iron Ingots, 83 Leather Strips, and 39 Steel Ingots.

    A classic trick in Skyrim is to grab the spellbook you find in the Mine, Transmute Minerals, and Transmute all 50-something pieces of ore into Gold Ore. You can then turn two pieces of Gold Ore into two Gold Rings. It's one of the most efficient ways to train your Smithing outside of Dwemer smithing, and it's valuable, too, as each Ring can then be Enchanted (in the end, leveling Alteration, Smithing, Enchantment and Speech).

    We can't do that, though, so we're just going to make Steel and Iron Armours.

    And it turns out we can make a lot! 8 Steel Armours, and 18 Iron Armours, each leveled to be Superior, to be precise. Of course, it massively overburdens us even with all our pouches- 984/525, to be precise.

    We increase to 33 Smithing and go up to Level 10 (I skipped over Level 9 post before last, where we leveled into Health and put a perk into One-Handed). We put the perk into Elven Smithing, allowing us to craft and improve Elven Armours!

    And, by the time we've sold all that, we've gone up five Speech levels to 21, and have 3224 gold. Getting closer to Breezehome, guys!

    After that, we head up to Dragonsreach, to disenchant the Poacher's Axe we picked up in the Mine. While we're there, we sell all our extraneous magical stuff- two Circlets, a Necklace, and Alteration and Destruction spellbooks we picked up along the way- and increase to Speech 22! At this point, we're getting visibly better prices.

    We head down to the marketplace and meet Ysolda. Giving her a Mammoth's Tusk increases our Speech to 23!

    A Mammoth's Tusk, with a base value of 150, is now selling for 29 gold. Moving up in the world, guys!

    Heading into Belethor's after that, we sell off our extraneous stuff- gems, mammoth tusks, firewood, and a dragon bone- and we hit Speech 24.

    Lastly, we head into Agatha's and sell off all our unnecessary potions. With this, we hit 4545 gold. Less than 500 gold until Breezehome, woo!

    And that's it for tonight; it's 4:15 AM. Woo.



    So, instead, I'm going to show you the scale of the Warzones.

    I ran around the entire area, searching for bodies. (At once point, the Warzone got so hectic that 7 wolves, a Mammoth and an entirely unrelated group of Bandits were drawn in.)

    How big this Warzone is on the map.

    How far is that on-screen, you ask?

    It stretched from here to the far end of that camp...

    And from here to the far end of that camp. (I circled the camp in red in case you can't see it.)

    Honestly, that wasn't the full fight, but beyond that, the bandits were just stragglers.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    And, at this point, we have two things to do tomorrow (unless people say otherwise):

    - Join the Dark Brotherhood
    - Get a new companion. (This one also involves buying Breezehome so Lydia has a place to sleep.)

    And, okay. That's it for today!

    If anyone wants me to do anything else tomorrow, please, post it (and try not to make it so ridiculously challenging that I spend the entire day on it instead of other challenges). 

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