Monday, 30 April 2012


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

Revisited Red Belly mine and found spiders respawned in the now "safe" mine - attacking the workers within. I managed to save all except for a young lady who became spider chow. I then pushed on to Darkwater Crossing to pickup my old dragon buddy Derkeethus. Three hired goons showed up as well, but they didn't attack me - they just followed me like puppies and helped me collect some Jazbay grapes and defeat a blood dragon. I was beginning to take a liking to the three stooges but I knew that they had been sent by daughter Black-Briar (since I managed to pickpocket a contract from them).

Decided to hand in the grapes at the Sarethi farm first - took awhile to find the damn things, I had this quest before I fought Alduin (like 10+ chapters ago). Unfortunately the dunmer lady would not be able to make use of them as she and her daughter rushed to the aid of a wandering nameless khajit under attack by... the three stooges. Having forced my hand, I aided the farmers but could not kill the heavily armored warriors in time to prevent them doing painful looking finishing moves on them. Derkeethus did one of his own with his daedric axe as the finishing blow.

Marched straight back to Riften to confront the alchemist daughter about this and she feigned ignorance. However she let slip again that she wanted to become a necromancer and practice dark arts so without further hesitation I put an arrow into her face and tossed her body down one of the murky canals leading into the sewers. With that done we revisited Esbern, the last remaining blade as Mjoll was still MIA. He had no more dragons to hunt so Derkeethus and I returned to my Solitude home to rest up with the others: Njada, Jordis, Wynna, Rayna and Anni for whatever next adventures lie ahead.

There were still khajit caravans to stop, places to clear, and plenty of falmer to slay but they could wait for another day. With that I am taking another break from Skyrim - for how long? Who knows.

When the time comes, we'll be ready.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Lioness

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

Before reaching Mjoll I stopped at the tavern I had dismissed Rayna at and to my surprise she was still there! Got me thinking that I could/should start building up an army for the impending war against the Thalmor and/or the falmer so I took her to my house in Solitude where she was happy to keep Njada and Jordis company. Anni the elf archer and Wynna the mage soon followed suit, though Wynna helped me retrieve a number of dwemer cogs for a dude at the mage academy first, and slay the thief-allied mage there while we were at it.

At Skyhaven Temple Mjoll agreed to join me but there was something she had to do first (she wasn't following me) so I watched as she and spy-gal Delphine went to the outer courtyard, saluted and began to spar. At least I thought it was sparring - until Mjoll sliced Delphine's throat with her axe! With Delphine dead on the ground we were off next to fight an ancient dragon for Esbern. This one was particularly nasty but Athis, Mjoll and I took it down all the same. Ofcourse now that I knew Athis was turning into a draugr I couldn't let him live and yelled him off the mountain.

Next stop was the Nightingale Sanctuary where I let Mjoll duel Karliah (a battle she won easily) before storming the Ragged Flagon in Riften itself. In the bloody combat that followed, every single thieves guild member save for Brynjolf (protected by threads of fate) were slain and looted, but our task wasn't done. It was evening time when we returned to the surface and we found the imperial-loving, thieves guild supporting Lady Black-Briar at the tavern. I used a mayhem scroll to make the fight seem natural and managed to kill her and her husband in the melee. Somewhere during this Mjoll ran outside the door for some reason and that was the last I saw of her. She was gone without a trace.

The guards of Riften were mainly in the Black-briar pockets so I did not hesitate in slaying every single one that dared get in my way, as well as a bunch that wanted to hide in the barracks and castle. I made sure to visit just to check who would and who wouldn't attack. Now I know which are my friends, since all my enemies are dead.

Or so I thought.

I completely forgot about the god-damn Batman.
Good thing he's not in this game. :P

Gyromancing the Stones

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

Calder and I continued the hunt for the stones, looking through the Markarth and Falkreath areas with no luck. At the Pinewatch bandit place where Dex was previously arrowed to death, Calder also died after being hacked, stabbed, and taking two arrows to the face. Unfortunately the stone there was already gone too so he died for nothing. It was around this point that I noticed Shadowmere was no longer following me, probably due to its old master turning into dust before its eyes.

No matter, next stop was Whiterun where I knew the guards wanted my head. Nice of them to still ask if I'd like to surrender though, and one of them was even so nice as to ask me to stop all the yelling as it was frightening people (i agreed) - just before trying to kill me. Got into the local pub which was quickly being emptied of inhabitants but found Rayna an ex-imperial soldier willing to follow me into battle. She probably was impressed by my Stormcloak killing ability.

After clearing the streets we checked the crypts where we didn't find a stone but instead found fresh coffins for a whole group of familiar names. Always wondered what happened to Uthgerd - turns out she was moved down here awhile ago. Next stop was Dragonsreach itself, so after fighting through more guards we made our way past the slain Jarl Vignar (from my last visit) to his quarters and there waiting for us is Jarl Bossman! He had returned from his exile in Solitude and seemed to now be running the show again, and he was still pissed off from our last meeting. Fought our way past him (a few times) but alas, there was no stone to be found up here either.

A true nord never backs down. Just like Aerys Targaryen?
(art by GoranGligovic)

Luckily the next spot, a keep full of necromancers did have one. Decided to dismiss Rayna back to Whiterun since she was a handy asset to have in that location when I picked up the mage Ralan. Unfortunately he was a complete loser who wouldn't want to go past the entry points of the next few places I explored (including a charrus infested lighthouse) and soon met his end (via friendly fire arrow) against some conjurers in a cave where again - there was no stone.

Replaced him with a barbarian lady named Sunni who showed off her skills by slaying a brash redguard right in the tavern I found her in. With her I found the last two remaining stones and was tasked to retrieve the crown they sat on from a falmer infested cave. The crown was retrieved but Sunni was left floating face down in a pool of water after getting eviscerated by the falmer bastards. Having completed the "end game" for the thieves guild I figured it was time to go get the person who most wanted them dead - Mjoll the Lioness who now resided at Skyhaven Temple.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

They know what I did last Blogger

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

Picked up Raven, a pretty blades archer (because she had their armor) near Windhelm to clear the nearby lowlands and she was put to work early with a blood dragon and a Shadow Nightingale coming out of nowhere to attack us! The Nightingale was damned tough and when we finally killed her she vanished into a puff of black smoke. I'm beginning to think the thieves guild is on to me if they're sending assassins now, so I went directly to them while playing "dumb" to see if anything was amiss and sure enough there were strange things afoot. Brynjolf was too busy to talk to me, Delvin began talking about a contract at Solitude mentioning the name "Erikur" as the contact but the quest never generated, nor did he ever speak of it again, and the task I did get was to chase a khajit caravan far away. Sure felt like they didn't want me around.

I let it slide for now and decided to clear out another cave full of conjurers I stumbled across. Seemed like the whole conclave came at us at once, and a master wizard zapped Raven to death in the battle. Decided to pick up my Windhelm housecarl Calder who was getting bored of sitting at home and growing his enormous sideburns. First stop was a dwemer ruin high in the Eastern mountains. The initial, empty hall turned out to be an elaborate pit trap that nearly killed Calder in the fall. Couldn't help but wonder if the nightingales were behind it as we fought our way out of the falmer infested caves back up.

Hoofed it across the map and finally cought up with the khajit caravan I was tasked to deliver drugs to. Seems that for a small amount of catnip these furry traders were willing to smuggle stuff for the guild, and not just this caravan - all of them! Damnit, I like the khajits - but criminals do not deserve jail; they deserve death. And that is exactly what I gave him and his friends.

Obey or die.

After fighting a giant we stopped by Morthal since I was in the area and the entire guard contigent decided to fight me for killing their previous leader. Idiots. The ancient dragon that showed up midway through actually helped me out quite a bit. When the streets were littered with the dead and dragon bones we pushed on to Solitude where I found out from Njada and Jordis that "Erikur" was a thane of the local court. They had also been doing research on a bunch of stones Vex was looking for and gave me a list of where I could possibly find them. The only catch was I had most of them already (missing only 4) and I had forgotten where I got them.

This meant I simply had to visit each and every spot on the list, the first being the Blue Palace itself, so we marched straight back in there and slaughtered this Erikur person. No upstanding citizen would contact the thieves guild anyway, and the guy was a bit of a douche. Nice to see all the dead bodies still in the basement where I left them too - but the stone here was already gone (in my pack). More disturbing, Jarl Bossman who was one of the survivors from my previous rampage here, was nowhere to be found.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Southern Patrol

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

Took a break from the cloak and dagger of the thieves guild to patrol the Southern border of this fantastic land. Most of it I'd mapped already, but there were some fun parts including revisiting Helgen and eradicating the bandit scum that had taken residence in the ruins. Ren became frost troll chow a few caves later and I met an isolated archer girl called Angi who I wish I met earlier in the game. Pity she didn't want to join my team. I easily won her fun archery practice game and was glad that there was another imperial hating awesome archer in the land. Since I was in the area I decided to revisit the Falkreath Sanctuary and using my weeeeak magic decided to bring zombie-Astrid with me to Riverwood to see if anyone wanted to join my travels.

Unsurprisingly, the Whiterun allied guards there along with a few townsfolk I had -thought- were my friends all came to attack me. Zombie-Astrid did pretty well but was turned to ash by the mill-woman's rusty knife. After killing all those who opposed me I found the bard Sven who for some reason wanted to come along with me - most likely in hopes to have some of my fame rub off on him. He was a good guy, refusing to attack anyone (bandits) I asked him to. Alas the guards at the next town of Falkreath where I was to collect a bounty (from a friendly maid turned town steward! Awesome!) thought differently and ripped the aspiring bard a new one... With a war axe.

Apparently, it makes you sing better.

Found an ex-imperial named Conner to take his place at the Old Hroldan inn. Stayed the night too as I don't remember the last time my character slept. Woke up due to some screaming and a ghost looking for a sword. Finally I could get that thing out of my inventory. Continued exploration/clearing and after killing a Blood Horker pair I revisited the cave where the Redguard Alik'r Kematu was camped out. I asked him what he was still doing there having captured the girl he was looking for much earlier, and of the recent wandering Alik'r that attacked me. He offered no reply, and given that his men had unsheathed their weapons I figured the answer was clear.

After wiping him and his team out Conner and I found a bandit hideout near Whiterun I had completely missed. While he dueled a skilled blind bandit at the entrance I handled the rest of the scum and finished first before he finally ran the blind guy through. At the top of the summit was the bandit leader and Conner wanted to duel the guy so I let him. Conner was terribly outclassed but pulled off a fantastic last move - as the leader shoved his two handed sword through him, Conner somehow managed to push the guy off the platform sending both of them to a very messy and crunchy death on the jagged rocks below. I really wish I managed to video it.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Unsupported Preparation

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

Slew a named dragon (something like Nasalgift?) and cleared out a mine that dug too deep to draugr territory, then decided to visit the Dawnstar Sanctuary again since the quests for the Brotherhood seem to have dried up. When we arrived the redguard and the female initiate were busily torturing the prisoners. Having had enough of these posers, Cleve and I wiped them out and freed the captives from their bondage. Alas the vampiric child was still protected by threads of fate so we instead just buried her alive with the talking corpse. Hey, at least she has company.

Not that she will talk much though.

Ran some more thief jobs in Solitude which is costing me some money (each time I do a job I leave gold to compensate the target, after all I don't really want to support the thieves guild). Also protip for the silly guards: if I save you from an ancient dragon, do not try to arrest me right after. Found an imperial supporting ex-Jarl that escaped the palace butchering at the tavern and got Cleve to eliminate her bodyguard while my daggers found her back. Also revisited Jzargo's cave -again- to retrieve a stolen necklace. I am beginning to suspect the dead khajit is actually leading these respawning bandits somehow.

After helping the Blades (Athis & Mjoll) hunt another dragon we were tasked to find and eliminate a rival thieves guild - the Summerset Shadows. Found their lair easily enough since I had been there previously, and managed to slow mo one-shot all of them save their leader who was an absolute tank. His daedric arrows were too much for Cleve (in full ebony armor) who ended up as a broken pincushion. After eliminating them I returned to Windhelm where Torsten Cruelsea and a fence named Niranye offered to support the Riften thieves. Needless to say they too felt my daggers sting, having outed themselves as criminal supporters. There was no one to witness their deaths.

Picked up the dark-elf archer Fynn at the run down pub then proceeded to Markarth for another "special" thieves task. On the way Fynn got himself eaten by the first normal dragon we came across so I got the barbarian Ren to join me once I reached the city tavern. Our contact, a local silversmith wanted to get his silver mold back - an item which I already had. He was so overjoyed he made the mistake of offering to support the thieves. So unfortunate that this otherwise good man would be so easily corrupted. Ren didn't hesitate when I asked him to bury his axe into the smith's skull right in the middle of the tavern's happy hour. Strangely, no one saw it happen. I suppose that is what happens when you drink to much mead.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Enemy Number One

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

Marne and I found another falmer cave after dispatching a wandering blood dragon. Once inside I was hit by a new spell that took me (or should I say, my power supply) out of commision for a bit, but once I recovered it became pretty straight forward to clean out - I even jumped across to the opening that led to the "end" of the cave and cleared from there while Marne fought her way through forward. Once cleared we made our way to Whiterun for a few more misc thiefing tasks and to their credit, the guards again tried to arrest me.

They managed to slay Marne on the streets and chased me into the pub where they and the bartender inexplicably began attacking the new (companion mod) patrons there. With their help all my pursuers were slain and I decided to take a large barbarian dude called Cleve with me. After completing the thief tasks without incident I decided to stop by the Companion's hall to see if there were any more draugr to be lurking around. Farkas and Torvar were still dead and naked on the fire where I left them, but downstairs I found Ria who had revived from being crushed by a giant. I immediately set Cleave on her as a test and he easily ended her undeath with his heavy axe.

We then headed up to Dragonsreach to collect a bounty where again more guards got in our way. I left Cleave to distract them while I snuck to the castelan who was happy to pay the gold. Used the balcony exit to escape and fast travelled to hand in tasks at the mage guild, the "guardian" hunter" and Riften. I was a bit surprised when I noticed Cleave was no longer with me. I figured the guards got the better of him but then out of nowhere a thin lanky guy runs up to me - someone I recognize. The dark brotherhood initiate!? Is he a draugr too? Can't be sure as it may just be his twin brother...

Because everyone has an evil twin.

Got a special task from the thieves guild up next, again in Whiterun so we quickly made out way there and managed to return before the guards could replace most of their numbers. Seems that a clan of self confessed imperial lovers needed help in falsifying some records for one of their wanted kin. I begrudginlgy accepted and made my way back up to the Jarl's place where suddenly Cleve rejoined my group! He was also being chased by a small army of guards but between the three of us, they were all taken out. We fought our way up the castle again and since it worked well last time, I let my followers handle the defenses while I snuck around to complete the task.

Turns out I missed quite a battle as when I returned only Cleve and one guard was left standing, everyone else including the assassin, the new jarl and most of his court were all dead. To balance this out, after completing the task for the imperial loving Battle-born clan I decided to wipe them out as well in their own house. Conniving bastards didn't deserve to live in the first place. Will be interesting to see if Whiterun can still grow and function in its current state, but as of now I think I'm enemy number one.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Palace Guardians

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

I learned some disturbing rumors at my stay in Solitude. Both the girls thought that the local reagent, Jarl Elisif the Fair, was housing all the deposed leaders who had allied with imperial scum during the war. This was unacceptable to me, as every single imperial loyalist must be executed. With that thought in mind I told them to sit tight as I didn't want them involved with what was to happen. Found my executioner friend Ahtar who owed me for killing a bandit he had a grudge against and took him to the palace basement where we did indeed find a -lot- of people, all of whom were unhappy to see me. Ahtar was steadfast in his imperial ways though and refused to execute them in cold blood, so I started things off myself with a backstab or three and it became a pretty big battle as Elisif, the members of her court and the palace guards all joined in the blood-letting.

"We heard you were having a party downstairs."

At the end only Falk Firebeard the slayer of Ahtar, Jarl Bossman, some kid (all of whom somehow -still- had threads of fate protecting them) along with two of Elisif's lowly servants were left. Having made my point I snuck out of town and went to the Dawnstar sanctuary where I picked up a dark brotherhood initiate guy. Continued East into the frost to hunt the guardian sabre cat but first ran into a group of hired thugs gunning for me. The initiate proved his skills with an awesome finisher in that fight, but when I asked him to then kill a lone bandit he was absolutely owned and she put him down like the dog he was. After avenging him, I backtracked a little to recruit the "hot" fire mage Selina. She made short work of a wisp mother while I took out the guardian kitty and was awesome in defeating a giant frost atronarch duo attacking a follower of Stendar. Then we found a falmer cave and things didn't end very well for her when the scum and their charrus pets managed to close the distance.

After clearing the rest of it I passed by Windhelm and picked up the lady knight Marne at the tavern before continuing on to Riften to hand in and complete more thiefy tasks. Headed back towards Whiterun where surprisingly, I had missed a lot of locations including the cave containing the guardian troll which we dispatched easily.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wizards and Warriors

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

Bree the blade joined next and she was a powerhouse! She helped defeat the guardian mudcrab, skeever and bear, 2 ancient dragons, a frost dragon, laid waste to an imperial camp, single handedly killed a warlock and his assistant who were turning people into ghosts (after she fell into his trap while I didn't), and stood up to multiple draugr death overlords. She even won an archery duel against the hunter in Whiterun, and melee duels against a random Alik'r redguard and a bodyguard to the Jarl of Falkreath. She also killed an old maid targetted by the brotherhood with no remorse (though I had to pay a fee for that, I guess they were pissed -I- wasn't killing the marks so I personally one-shotted the next marked criminal mage hiding in some dwemer ruins).

There seems to be a steady stream of unsigned letters being delivered to me too, sending me to word walls in dangerous spots. Either my incognito friend(s) travelled to these places themselves or they are trying their best to kill me. One such spot during our exploration of the South turned out to be a wizard coven and with their combined spells finally managed to explode Bree into little pieces. Cat the ranger filled her shoes nicely though, especially when I gave her twin mage staves, it was she who was tossing the wizards around!

Wasn't to last long however as on our return trip to Whiterun for more thiefing jobs one of the guards attempted to arrest me. This led to a pretty large scale battle in the city streets and out of nowhere Vilkas, in full blades attire, appeared to assist the guards, forcing me to kill him (again?). During this, Cat took an arrow to the head so I quickly ducked in the tavern and found Lea the knight to continue the melee. Also went into the Jorrvaskr and inexplicably found both Torvar and Farkas alive once more, and hostile! Its almost like all the companions are destined to be draugr. After killing them we completed our remaining task and left the city. Hopefully they stay dead this time as I got their inheritance letters!

Came across another falmer cave in the Northern mountains which was easily cleared, then pushed forward to the next brotherhood contract - a pirate named Safia. I hate pirates. Found her ship and killed her quickly as she ate a leek. Her crew put up a better fight though, and Lea was beheaded by a daedric axe. The lady wielding this weapon was the last alive and when I accidentally put my weapon away, she did the same willing to call it a draw. I took the opportunity to slit her throat when the idiot turned around. It's a good trick though, wonder if I can use it on more people? Anyway, since I was nearby I decided to drop into my Solitude estate to drop off gear and visit Njada and Jordis for a well earned massage. ;)

That's a pretty lousy last meal.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Team Wipe

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

Roggi was soon gutted by a backstabbing falmer, and his replacement Thea the ex-imperial lost to the first falmer scum she met. Fortunately her compatriot Leif lasted longer, past a giant frost atronarch, a handful of corsairs, hagravens and some strange magic spiders before also being slain by the falmer. Recruited Tish the miner/knight next who seemed to do better against the falmer scum. We then came across a dumb khajit who was marked by the brotherhood and simply egged him on to fight us - he obliged and was promptly killed by a patrolling stormcloak guard. Since Tish wanted to fight a dragon we stopped by with Esbern and got the blades into action. I had also learned Meeko wasn't obedient and left my Solitude house so I decided to bring him too. The ancient dragon managed to roast Mjoll's boyfriend Aerin to crispy pata but it soon was dead.

Meeko claims he was delicious.

I had intended to travel with the blades members (Mjoll, Vilkas, and Athis) back to Sky Haven Temple but for some reason they all seemed to pick different paths so instead I explored around that area and found some dude in a hut who tasked me with hunting various "guardian" critters. Also came across another imperial camp which we wiped out. Meeko was slain in the battle. After killing an alpha sabrecat that ripped apart a stray dog Tish and I made it to arc wind point and fought past another ancient plus death overlords. It is a pity that she died against simple bandits at the next ruin we visited, having her jugular slashed open.

Cali the archer was next to join and while she had an early victory against a blood dragon, a strange encounter with a banshee, bear, tiger and mage left her charred corpse in the middle of nowhere. Recruited a khajit thief named Dex at the ragged flaggon for my next job of scouting out Pinewatch lodge - which turned out to be a huge bandit base. Dex was arrowed to death early, and his replacement Jala the elf archer was axe-murdered in her first fight by the same gang further in.

Found the guardian wolf nearby after that. Or rather, it's location. There was a troll party happening in that forest when I arrived and after a few minutes I got the message that the wolf had been killed. Mission accomplished despite me never seeing it. :/

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Bad Guys and Allies

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

Cleared a few more caves, ruins and groves of various scum (including a spectre, which I haven't encountered before) in the region before finding the heavily fortified Fort Greenwall. Even with Odahviing's support, the bandits there were so numerous that Anneke's archery skills couldn't save her when we got separated from each other. I tried, but was too just too far and could only watch as they butchered her before I reached them. This angered me somewhat and I figured it was time to make use of all those 40 dragon souls I had stored up, learning all the shouts I had in reserve with a few more souls to spare. After dealing with them I pushed North to Kynesgrove and picked up Roggi Knot-beard who owed me for retrieving his shield much earlier on and after a brief stop over at Windhelm for a thief mission we proceeded to Dawnstar for a letter delivery run, taking out large snow cats, more bandits and a revenant(!?) on the way. Also ran into my other cat friend Kharjo on the road ("This one says Hey.") and noticed that since the war was over, there were awhole new bunch of mercs waiting around taverns looking for adventure (thanks to the "CM New Companions Mod").

The new Dark Brotherhood sanctuary is looking pretty spiffy too and already there are two new nameless assassins on the payroll. Seems they also kidnapped a bunch of prisoners while I was away, each of whom eagerly told me of a treasure in hopes for freedom. Alas, I can't free them yet or it may blow my secret plan. The redguard also asked me to kill a few more people so I tested Roggi's loyalty with the nearest target, an argonian vulture who if you read between the lines, may actually be causing ships to crash (remember someone actually goes through a pretty intense ritual to mark all these guys). Anyway, Roggi had no problem murdering the scum in his sleep.

With a two handed sword.

Also decided to hit three of the nearby imperial camps, slaughtering all the imperial allied losers we found. Just so happened I also had a task in Dragonbridge to talk to an imperial agent about brotherhood business. After he gave me his gold I promptly eliminated him and all of his compatriots, lessening the imperial taint on this glorious land. Soon after we came across a shack with a shaggy dog named Meeko who was looking for a new home. Given my track record for "surviving npc helpers", I decided to adopt the fellow to my house in Solitude. Njada always had wanted a dog, and I think she is safer now with both Jordis and Meeko looking after the place.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Heroes of Darkwater

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

Decided to return some books to the Mage's college and promptly found that no one would talk to me because I had been expelled (from the last entry). Ironically the reasoning for this was not because I am an arch-mage with no magic, but because I got one of their own killed while hunting down said books. Talked to Tolfdir regarding this and apparently the going price for life here is 250 gold, which I reluctantly paid just so I could get rid of these tomes. I was almost tempted to leave the ancient dragon attacking the place out of disgust but I figured I shouldn't let such a thing roam around freely. Afterwards I decided to get the hell out of there and back to the warmer climates of the South.

With a new personal goal of finding and clearing all the areas in the land of those that oppose me, I found myself in Darkwater Crossing again and remembered something about one of their number missing upstream. Found a cave pretty high up near the waterfall inhabited by even more falmer, and during my cleansing of the place came across captured lizardman Deerkeethus who decided to tag along with me after I set him free. Turns out he must have dragon blood or something, as he survived numerous bandit camps, burial cairns, caves with alpha sabrecats, big mammoths, and my becoming Thane (finally) in Windhelm - no wonder the falmer just imprisoned him. During our travels we also found a tower full of witches and tried to help one of them (Illia) stop the others. Alas half way up Illia was eaten by a troll but we continued her task and slew her mother. Afterwards we revisited a cave I had already been in to eliminate another bandit crew that had taken up residence. The battle was somewhat made more complicated when we were knocked down into a lower cavern and had to fight our way back out. Was good to see J'zargo again - even though he was dead.

... Or asleep. Hard to tell with cats.

Back at Darkwater Crossing, Anneke Crag-jumper was so amazed by my skills that she wanted to leave her miner husband and come adventuring with me. I figured Deerkeethus was due for some rest so I agreed to take her along in his place. Wiped out -all- the slavers at Mistwatch tower and an elder dragon with her before heading to Riften (due to a questmarker regarding the Dark Brotherhood) where I formulated a plan. With the "No essential NPCs" mod I knew the thieves guild and brotherhood scum that had survived so far were no longer protected by their threads of fate, however I wouldn't kill them just yet. I figured if they actually became successful then perhaps I could attract all the scum to the one area and kill most of them in one fell swoop - or at least learn of who the scum are hiding in other cities, so with an evil grin I decided to buy all the upgrades for the Dawnstar Sanctuary and began picking up little thieving tasks to do at a later stage.

For now, I think there are still lots of areas here in the Southeast section of the map to find and clear out.

*As an unrelated aside, two of my favourite webcomics have combined powers this week with "Axecop and Lolbat"! Funny to see what Malachai does to Scott Kurtz's character. :D

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Back in the Saddle

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

After my much needed R&R, I decided to continue my adventures after feeling a strange shift in the air. Why were Jordis and Brelyna now wearing strange face paint? Why does Njada look more plain than usual? Oh that's right - because I am fooling around with a few of the many, many available mods for the game, the main ones being "Deadly Combat" and "Wars in Skyrim 4". After ditching some excess gear Brelyna and I head out to the city where I immediately notice some evil, pixelated fog. Turns out this was due to a driver update for NVidia rather than my custom mods so I fixed that by turning of FXAA (anti-ailiasing).

Decided to go for a ride out at the Whiterun plains and warmed up my killing skills on a bandit fighting a wolf, followed by battling a peculiarly named ice-breathing dragon who had great difficulty damaging me (I think this was due to "Deadly Dragons Lite" being incompatible with other stuff so I removed it). We then came across a shallow cave and proceeded to empty it of its undead inhabitants, led by a Volhikar master vampire. He put up a good fight but since he refused to follow me into the sunlight he became easy pickings for my bow (which now features more regular "slow mo kill shots"; sweet).

Confident in my abilities I then added the "Intense Difficulty x32" mod and promptly ran into a thief wearing full daedric gear whom I couldn't hurt (with a x16 backstab) and with one swing of her dagger sent me flying across the landscape (yeah that required a reload). Undeterred I then checked my journal and found we had an outstanding quest to find some writings for the mages guild. Brelyna's pointy ears perked up when she heard that. So off to another dank cave we went and the first critter we encounter is a Giant Frost Bear. The fight lasted for 30 minutes and took over 400 arrows. That was so ridiculous that right after, I removed the x32 difficulty mod.

Even the bear found it stupid.

Proceeding deeper we fought past some frost trolls and came upon a chest that just screamed "I'm a trap". As predicted upon touching it, two side doors opened and in came those bastard white elves, the falmer. Brelyna and I were doing a good job hiding in the shadows though as they seemingly patrolled past us. After a little while of patiently waiting and watching one of the scum I managed to slit his throat silently - then noticed Brelyna was gone! Greeeeat. Then I get a message that I've been expelled from the Mages College (magically I suppose)! What the heck is going on?

Continued backstabbing and archering the falmers and their pets to death as I proceeded down what turned out to be a pretty big cave. Further along I eventually did find Brelyna's body, planted face first on a mound of charrus eggs with her blue posterior presented invitingly between her spread legs. Not sure how the she got there (and in that position) but it looks like the falmer and/or the charrus had their way with her. Eventually found the item I came for and managed to exit via the neat little "shortcut" that's been designed into pretty much all the dungeons in the game - a feature I think that is really neat!