Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Skyrim: Miraak

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Why read books when you can do this?

To keep my end of the deal with Hermaeus Mora, Sero and I returned to Frea's village where I rather easily convinced her shaman dad to surrender his secret knowledge of horkers (walruses). The daedric prince took it in a most violent fashion (involving tentacle insertion) and then kept his end of the deal, giving me a dragon shout that could counter Miraak. Humorously enough, to reach this final mission I simply had to read a black book in my backpack, which transported me near Miraak's temple in Apocrypha.

After the usual shenanigans with the resident abominations, I finally got to use my fully powered Bend Will shout on one of Miraak's dragons which let me mount it for some pretty cool (and quite uncontrolled) dragon flight. After a short jaunt, it set me down at the temple's summit to face his old master who was nice enough to talk first before starting the duel.

So shiny it hurts my eyes...

Miraak's use of dragon shouts was indeed impressive. He even had one which absorbed his remaining minion dragons to fully heal himself which was pretty cool. He was actually dangerous enough to convince me to use my swords too (I started by using fists, just to savour the combat). Ultimately though, Hermaeus Mora stole my kill and ended Miraak once and for all. Death by tentacle insertion. 

Miraak got raped. :P

The only worse fate is for your enemy to then make a stuffed figure out of you.


Monday, 29 August 2016

Skyrim: Off to see the Wizard

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Our reward for protecting the councilman from his enemies was citizenship and a house in Raven Rock! This is great as it provides a spot to unload all the junk I've been collecting. Since the quests in town have dried up, Sero and I head off to visit the wizard Neloth who literally lives in a giant shroom while his servants live in smaller shrooms. These dunmer are funny.

Kill... all... organics!

Neloth is the local guru of Black Books it seems and agrees to help me stop Miraak if I help him get his hands on the book at a nearby dwemer ruin, which also holds the new ballista bot enemies which are pretty cool. The whole steam powered place is sinking into the ocean, and getting power to open the book case from the lower levels involves a bit of swimming and water puzzles. The hunters necklace of water breathing is really useful here!

Hate to be the one to put those pages back where they belong!

With the target book finally in our hands, Neloth lets me read it first leading to the longest and coolest map of Apocrypha so far. Hermaeus Mora (who seems to come right out of the HP Lovecraft mythos) chats to me at the summit, revealing that he has been training Miraak all this time but now that Miraak is abandoning him, he will help me instead - if I give him access to some secret knowledge Frea's shaman dad was hiding from him. I don't really have much choice in the matter it seems.

Mr. Know it all.

After sending me back to Solstheim my little group is attacked by one of Miraak's dragons who was sent to assassinate me. Hah, an assassin dragon! As you might have guessed, it stood no chance.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Skyrim: After the Fact

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Continuing East, Sero and I came across an archeologist named Ralis who believed he had found the tomb of Ahzidal, but since it was covered in ash was looking for a financial backer to help him dig it up. Since gold is not something I'm short of, I gave him the 1,000 pieces he needed to get started then continued on the hunt for the source of ash spawn.

Apparently they were coming from some run down fort, and their general had some foreign ore keeping him alive (much like a briar heart). A few backstabs later and we were reporting our success back at Raven Rock, but our task wasn't finished. The guard captain suspected that a rival house had spies in town and so I got to teach Sero about breaking, entering and snooping. Or at least tried to.

He just couldn't control himself.

A mother, daughter pair were the prime suspects so while I cautiously snuck into their house like a shadow, Sero pulled out his sword and gutted them both. Fortunately we found proof that they were indeed guilty after the fact, as well as a location where their main force was waiting. The local councilman was nice enough to sent two guardsmen ahead but by the time we got there they had already been killed by the inhabitants of the place: Morag Tong assassins. They had some interesting traps in there, but nothing that posed any trouble for me or my bodyguard and soon they were the ones either getting backstabbed or ragdolled across the halls.

And you call yourselves assassins...

Back outside, we noticed the sun stone nearby we decided to free that too. Again Sero almost died but was ultimately successful against the lurker, saving one of the enthralled people. I think he's getting the hang of this.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Skyrim: Shouting at Stones

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

With my new dragon shout prepared, Sero and I headed for the nearest obelisk: the wind stone. Just like shaman dad said, a single yell was enough to destroy the corruption from it - freeing the enthralled people. It also freed a lurker (fishman) from the dark world of Apocrypha though which succeeded in killing all but one of them. I probably could have saved more but I wanted Sero to learn how to fight these things.

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!

The beast stone was next, and was a lot easier for Sero since the enthralled reiklings nearly killed the lurker themselves! At the water stone Sero is lucky to survive, saving only one person and needed saving himself at the end especially since a wandering dragon joined in the fight. I killed it easily once I could get up to it, but Miraak absorb-blocked my devouring of it's soul. That's ok, I have 60+ spare.

The earth stone, back at Raven Rock summons two lurkers but Sero finally gets the hang of things and saves everybody! Good job henchman. It's time to go exploring Eastwards and we don't get far when we run into the guard captain fighting off ash spawn near a dilapidated farm. After assisting him, he asks us to find the source of these creatures and end them. I love a good extermination!

Because Veleth can't win against three of them apparently.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Skyrim: First Encounter

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Miraak's Temple was near those Nords Sero and I assisted last time. It too had a mind-control stone and a lot more people working on it than in other places. The warrioress Frea was also here, trying to wake up her people to no avail. In true Nord fashion she then turned to me and asked for my help in killing everyone responsible. Hell yes! We go down into the depths of the temple underground, easily dealing with Miraak's cultists (side note: he has the smallest cult ever).

Pendulums, why is it always pendulums?

Near the base is another black book which I use to warp to Apocrypha but this time get stunned by Miraak's magic cutscene! Apparently the ex-dragon priest and self proclaimed "first dragonborn" now resides in this realm and has not only a few dragons under his command but all the horrible fish men too. Then he does the traditional bad guy mistake of letting me go. Guess he hasn't read the tomes on being a genre savvy villain!

I made friends with Cthulhu.

Back at Solstheim, Frea takes Sero and I to her village which her shaman dad protects with magic, just not very good magic since half his villagers are working on a nearby obelisk. Shaman dad tells me that I might be able to free those stones from their corruption with a new shout. Finally, a way to get back at Miraak - by yelling at his stones! That sounds like a job for a hero... :P

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Skyrim: Ewok Slayer

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

After inadvertently reopening the local mine, much to Raven Rock's benefit, I decided to hire a local sellsword named Teldryn Sero for the low price of 500 gold and began exploring the island - discovering more of those strange mind-controlling obelisks, hostile blue ewok goblins called reiklings, and that bandits here prefered to be called reavers, because it sounds cooler. We also take down a local serpentine dragon, massacre the reikling ice castle, and find hints of some pirate treasure.

We also help some reiklings whose chief can speak broken English. At least up to the point where he asks us to kill Nords, the same "weak ones" that ran from their own meadhall. We instead ally with said Nords to slaughter the blue dwarves and given that there was only one friendly casualty in the encounter - and that Sero and I hung back and watched - I'm wondering how the they lost to the reiklings in the first place. Getting their leader banished afterwards is a step in the right direction I think.

Obviously I'm also collecting a bunch of new shouts and boosts from the ever entertaining black books. The ones where its really dark and that "the darkness hurts you" are my favorite ones. Also all the moving corridors are great, but the collision detection sucks balls requiring me to learn the power-hack tcl (no clipping mode) to get through those areas without falling through the floor into the acid muck below.

Before I knew it we had explored around 75% of Solstheim!

Skyrim: Familiar ash, unfamiliar Darkness

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Hey, I remember climbing that.

Apparently Solstheim island is part of Morrowind, which is cool in that you can see the ever active Red Mountain in the distance. The small town of Raven Rock is where BT and I make land fall, meet the locals (mostly dunmer as expected), and get a bunch of quests like hunting netch (flying jellyfish), clearing out ash zombies from the temple, and investigating a strange stone that seems to make people mindless zombies who want to build - something. Even BT began getting entranced by it.

BT: "It's just sooo big..."

An adventure into the local mine to find the remains of some guy's missing relative also leads to familiar looking ruins and even more familiar looking draugr. There's even a cool lazer sword inside, too bad it's kinda weak. While the enemies are no problem, the last pendulum blade hall proves too much for B.T. and she is cut to pieces half way.

At the end of it I find not only a new dragon shout, but an odd black book which warps me into the black/green/tentacled realm of Apocrypha. With walls made of books and scrolls it's easy to see why its ruler, Hermaeus Mora, is regarded as the prince of knowledge. There are some abominations lurking in there, but none really pose a challenge. Having a choice from three boons at the end of the level is a pretty good idea too.

Walls of books go well with Cthulhu.