Welcome back to Skyrim, the land of true nerds, I mean, true Nords.
One, I'm slowly heading towards the end of the game (I'm about two-thirds done with the main quest), so there are major spoilers ahead
Two, I was wrong the last time. There is no surface tension in Skyrim. I just died by jumping down into shallow water, apparently. Jumping from the College bridge into deep water is perfectly safe, even though IRL you'd get smashed into bits as if you hit concrete.
Three, Skyrim has managed to piss me off for real
for the first time.
I was in Alftand, one of the Dwemer ruins you have to visit as part of the main quest. At one point, with Aela right next to me, I decided to rest for one hour to get my health back faster. This made Aela disappear
, forever, get written out of the fucking game, along with all of her equipment, including artifact weapons like Wabbajack.
She was right there, and then she was gone. At first I didn't think much of it, because your companions get lost a lot and usually come back at some point, but she never did. Travel/rest/going to my house/going to her house couldn't bring my
wife back. And I could accept other followers as if she was gone. And I don't want to go back to get her and then fight Alduin again...
You better fix this bug in your pretty incoming patch, Bethesda. In the meantime, a long-esque update on some Daedric quests and the main storyline.
Daedric Quest: Sheogorath
The Sheogorath quest is funny. You start it by contacting a guy in the Imperial City and, and after visiting the Pelagian Wing of the Blue Peter Palace, you find yourself... in Wonderland.
Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of mock-Scottish accents, took a voice acting class since the Shivering Islands and isn't incredibly fucking annoying anymore. In fact, he's pretty cool overall.
The quest itself involves running around and zapping random things with Wabbajack to make them change shape, grow, or do other scripted things. It doesn't take too much thinking, really.
Still, I like the quest, because it's a nice reference to the previous games - Shivering Islands in particular, but I also recall the "Madness of Pelagius" that serves as the quest's basis has been available in book form since Morrowind, at least, if not the earlier games.
And you get the Wabbajack, which is actually a useful weapon this time, zapping enemies with random forms of damage or healing, or turning them into random things. NPCs can't be transmogrified, however, a copy of whatever you were about to turn them into spawns right next to them.
Daedric Quest: Hircine
In Falkreath jail, there is a man who is a werewolf (like me!) who has killed a little girl (unlike me, because the game wouldn't let me).
He asks you to appease the god Hircine by killing a white elk. The elk runs away after spotting you, so I chased it all the way into a bandit camp. After killing it, its spirit emerged as Hircine and started talking to me, while the bandits were still attempting to murder me at the same time (but they were ultimately disposed of by my flame atronach).
I think the first time I did this quest it got bugged and didn't show me the objective on the map, so I just went back to Falkreath and Sinding (who was supposed to run away to a cave) was still in jail, except in werewolf form.
I also remember the guard looking at his cell and saying something unintentionally hilarious along the lines of "I don't believe in werewolf stories," but fraps didn't capture it.
What you're actually supposed to do is go to a cave where Sinding has "escaped" and either kill him, or help him kill the hunters fighting him.
Also, hardcore scenery porn
Upon leaving the cave, Hircine shows up again (or, more accurately, clips right through your face). He's pretty liberal, so even though he asked you to skin Sinding earlier, he's totally cool with you skinning the hunters instead, and rewards you with a ring allowing extra werewolf transformations.
Somewhere in between the cave and the elk and Falkreath, you can also meet Talsgar the Amazing Levitating Man.
Daedric Quest: Bolag Mal
You can't really miss the Bolag Mal quest when you go to Markath. The quest starts out creepy but ultimately ends up a bit dull.
It involves you having to beat a guy to death with a rusted mace a few times. I didn't really like doing it that much, but it levelled up my one-handed skill over five times, so what the hell.
Daedric Quest: Vaermina
As you may remember, Vaermina's quest in Oblivion could get you the Skull of Cloning Urself. Not in this game, though, the Skull of Corruption only deals more damage after stealing people's dreams or something :(
Anyway, the quest starts when you talk to a priest in a tavern in Dawnstar. He tells you that he's going to lead you to a Tower of Whatever, and then, after getting outside, at least in my case, literally walks back and forth.
After changing direction three times, he finally started heading towards the tower. It's much faster to get there yourself, but then you have to wait for him anyway.
The plot of Vaermina's quest involves preventing the people of Dawnstar from having nightmares by destroying the Skull of Corruption by teleporting by reliving the events of repelling an orc invasion by flooding the tower with miasma by drinking a potion.
Why there is a mechanism to flood the entire tower with miasma in the first place, I'll never know. Maybe the priests of Vaermina tried playing Dwarf Fortress IRL.
At the end of the quest, the priest performs a ritual and Vaermina tells you to kill him to prevent him from turning against you. I actually thought this might happen, but if you don't kill the guy, he thanks you and can become your follower. Aww, Vaermina, you got me good :3
Main Quest: Diplomatic Immunity
The first quest you get after meeting Alduin the World-Eater, who keeps resurrecting dead dragons, and Delphine the Whoever-She-Is, involves having to sneak into an embassy party.
The mission is kind of silly in that although you're deprived of all equipment except for items you can ask your contact to smuggle into the embassy, it can play out as a regular combat mission past the very first segment.
For an arbitrary challenge, the only item I had asked my contact to smuggle into the embassy was Wabbajack, which also made the mission slightly more entertaining.
In a local jail, you meet Etienne Rarnis, who's supposed to tell you of a way out.
He approached a locked trapdoor, but didn't unlock it, so I thought the game dun bugged and killed him for the key. But he didn't have the key. Turned out I had to pick a key off a guard. What a hilarious misunderstanding. I'm pretty sure Etienne can look back at it and laugh... now that he has a lot of free time in his Sovngard afterlife.
Main Quest: Cornered Rat
Then you're sent to find a guy in the Riften Thieves' Guild area. This is cool, because it kind of fits in with where you're probably going to go anyway (as opposed to Oblivion, where main story quests had fuck all to do with anything else).
After you find the man, Esbern, the door shuts behind you. Aela wants in, though :(
Esbern follows you for a while, so what the hell, I went to sleep in inn to see if he follows me to the Dark Brotherhood initiation mission. I didn't want to do the Dark Brotherhood missions on this run, so I attacked Astrid... actually, I had first killed all the hostages, "joined" the Brotherhood, and then attacked Astrid.
At this point, Aela and Esbern rushed into the shack, Esbern and me summoning atronachs, and thus the conflict escalated into epic proportions for such a small cramped abandoned shack.
Turns out you can't have your cake and eat it too, or rather, join Astrid and kill Astrid, too. So I just attacked her to get the quest to destroy the Dark Brotherhood.*
There's been some collateral fireball damage, so the hostages died anyway. I think I don't like the Dark Brotherhood because they're not psychotic enough
Anyway, after the little sidetrack, I took Esbern back to Delphine and was assigned the task to visit Alduin's wall.
* The quest itself is extremely basic. It's just to show that, if you want to, you can
refuse the initiation and destroy the Dark Brotherhood, but without any reward apart from money and satisfaction - so that bizarre completionists of the sirXemic type won't cry at night that they had to make a choice between two sets of quests.
Main Quest: Alduin's Wall
Before you get to Alduin's Wall, you get to fight... Houdini Splicers. No, seriously, they dress up exactly the same and they shoot fireballs, too.
There's little to mess up here, but if you want to make the Alduin's Wall segment more entertaining, you can FUS RO DAH Esbern while he explains the bas-relief.
And if you choose to check out the balcony, you get more scenery porn and a chance to fight a dragon.
Main Quest: The Throat of the World
And after that, you go back to the Greybeards and get instructed to see their Master, Paarthurnax.
Paarthurnax is a dragon, and extremely annoying.
For one, he has no concept of personal space.
On top of that, he keeps talking by inserting words from Dragonese after or before their English equivalents. As you can imagine, wyobrazić sobie, this is extremely fucking annoying, wkurwiające. I wonder, zastanawiam się, for someone so skewed by their own language, język, the dragons make surprisingly little mistakes in their second language.
"He calls himself... Dohavklaimbaah... in your language, you say... he who tries riding horses up dragons' head for the lulz."
Main Quest: Elder Knowledge
Finally, you're sent to recover an Elder Scroll
. I have no idea whether there were elder scrolls in the previous Elder Scrolls games, because I never followed the the main story.
Off to a Dwemer ruin of Alftand we ride.
Alftand is fun, with traps that cut off your head and all. Of course, my character doesn't even have a head in the first place, not always
, at least, because he's wearing the Archmage's Robes + Morokei mask.
Kind of funny when I first saw it, since I had seen the "headless" bug somewhere online and thought "Oh, I'll have to reproduce that at some point", and then realised I actually am
reproducing it without knowing, because Archmage's Robes + Morokei mask is a very good mage gear combination.
Alftand also has dwarven centurions, who roughly meet the expectations set by the loading screens.
Then there's a segment involving a stone city with Felmer and their servants appearing out of thin air. I still don't get what is up with that... I'm guessing they're entering from a different area or something.
It's somewhere around this point that my wife had her code claimed by Hircine ;_;
Main Quest: Alduin's Bane
The Elder Scroll is filed under "Books", not "Scrolls". Heh.
This never gets old.
After reading the scroll and seeing a short vision (largely based around the common trope of "we need to use this weapon to save the world... but no! it's too dangerous! we can't use it! we should just let the world get destroyed! that makes a lot of sense!"), Alduin appears and you get to fight him.
The fight is extremely confusing at first. You're supposed to use the acquired Dragonrend shout to defeat Alduin... or at least that's what Saarthurnax keeps saying every 7 seconds or so.
Except Dragonrend doesn't hurt Alduin. That'd be too easy. What it does is ground him (I'm not even 100% sure about that), but to achieve that, he has to be flying pretty low anyway, and there's Saarthurnax flying in the area too, and all of 'em dragons look purty much the same, so the battle is a bit of a complete mess.
After fireballing the shit of Alduin, he finally yields. Remember to bring your horse for this segment, because once Alduin admits defeat...
...you can push him around by riding your horse into him!
I'm wondering whether I should just continue with the main quest or maybe take the Blades' side and do their quests first. I got a bit disheartened by Aela and
my equipment disappearing :<
After beating Skyrim as a (relatively nice) mage, I'll probably play it again as a sneaky thief/assassin character and do Thieves' Guild and Dark Brotherhood missions. If I do, I won't be making blogs about it, but I promise to screenshot any bizarre things I encounter.
Oh, and one final thing. If you don't actively chase down trainers and upgrade your skills through moneys every time you level-up, and instead prefer "natural" levelling-up (like me), levelling feels horribly slow. I'm level 17 IIRC, my top skills (Destruction and Conjuration) are around 50, and to get top perks (like two summons at the same time), you need the skill maxed out at 100. This is a bit annoying.
P.S. Command Creature doesn't even exist as a spell in Skyrim. Well, shit. There's a "command animal" racial skill, but I was born the wrong race for it.
P.P.S. Maybe I'll get bored and play around with the console at some point.