It’s been a couple of days since I last played, & the game must’ve been really excited to see me again, because I had a very interesting day. It all started with my first random dragon encounter. From what I’ve read, as you advance further in the main story, random encounters become more numerous, similar to the Oblivion Gates from the previous game. However, I think there are certain locations you may randomly encounter them, rather than truly being random. I’m not positive; I’m just going by what I’ve read. It’s probably a statistics thing (25% chance to encounter dragon at such & such place, for example).
Anyway, the encounter was actually at the place I fought my first dragon — the watchtower. I was riding by, on my way to a bandit camp (I think Silent Moon Camp), when I heard a roaring sound. Of course I stopped & looked around, but I couldn’t see anything. “What the hell?” I thought. I was almost ready to dismiss it as my horse being uncommonly loud, when I noticed Lydia pulling out her bow. I quickly dismounted, just in time for the dragon.
Hoping to repeat my earlier strategy, I ran inside. It didn’t work so well, mainly because the dragon apparently became bored & flew off to start torching the countryside. Seriously. There wasn’t even anything where it landed, unless maybe it had a burning hatred for rabbits or something. In hindsight, I should’ve tried to lure it to the giant camp. But I had little trouble fighting it on my own. Compared to the dragon at Shearpoint, it was a piece of cake. Random dragons probably are scaled to your level. So I absorbed its soul & used it to unlock Fire Breath. Let me just say right now, get this shout as soon as possible. Holy crap, I love this shout! It’s similar to Unrelenting Force, but with fire. It has a longer recharge time, but for normal enemies it’s a one-hit kill.
With my new power, I easily took out the bandits on the surface of the camp. But not before I ran into a guy taking a sacrificial cow to the giant camp. I think I could’ve offered to help, but screw that. I’m not going anywhere near those things right now! Back on subject, there’s a barrow above the camp with a forge, & two Lunar weapons. At night they do extra damage to enemies, so I had to take them both.
I’ve actually been using my dual swords more often, & enjoying it. I get those cool cutscene-finishing moves more often. Nothing makes you feel more powerful than stabbing a bandit through the chest with both swords at once.
I cleared the camp out fairly easily, but I couldn’t carry all the loot with me. Upon writing this, I remember I need to go back & finish looting the place (making mental note). But I finally had enough money to buy my first house. The Whiterun home is called Breezehome, & cost 5000 gold. It’s a nice little house, especially after you buy all the upgrades. I just have two small things to say about the house:
(1) Placing items in the world is a little easier than in Oblivion… but not by much. I wanted to display my butterfly in a jar, but it’s a pain to place things properly. You can’t manually turn items, so you have to move around to get things facing the right way. Even then my jar keeps falling to the floor everything I re-enter the house.
(2) Bookshelves! Sort of a strange thing to get excited about, but you can actually place books in a bookshelf. You open the shelf up like any other container, & when you close it the books actually appear on the shelf. No more tedious stacking. The only downside is each shelf can only contain a set number of books, & you can only place books in them.
With my home situated, I returned for my bounty on the bandits & my Companion reward (convenient that the bounty was for the same people I already had to kill). Instead of giving me a new job, Farkas told me that Skjor wants to see me. Instead of telling me upfront, he gave me the runaround & said to meet him at night.
I don’t want to give everything away, so I’ll just say at this point I became a werewolf. Normally I avoid becoming a werewolf/vampire/whatever because it’s too restricting, but at least being a werewolf is just a power & not a daily requirement. It’s brief, but you can extend your time as a werewolf by killed people.
After my initiation, Aela joined me on an assault on a Silver Hand base. Since I can only have one companion at a time, Lydia went back to my home. A few interesting things happened at the base.
- I accidentally shot Aela. That’s the thing I hate most about followers, they always get in the way. In the dark, it’s hard to pick out which of the three people fighting are enemies. Fortunately I didn’t kill her.
- Aela got stuck in sneak.
- A werewolf thanked me for releasing it from jail by trying to eat my face off. So if you see one here while you’re on this quest, leave it locked up.
- I found a chest with a master lock, which I couldn’t open. I broke five lockpicks trying. I’ll just have to remember to come back later.
- I died again. The boss, Krev, killed me the first time. After reloading, I took out two guards in sneak. An important thing to remember about Sneak is unless an enemy has detected you & is coming at you with a weapon, if you stay still you can usually got undetected. I literally sat still in the doorway after taking out the first archer & no one saw me. It wasn’t even dark. Once they forgot about me, I took out the female archer. I found it funny, because she was standing over the body of her dead friend saying she would find the person who did this, & I was like, “No you won’t.” Stealth shot. “Because you’re dead.” I couldn’t kill Krev with my Fire Breath alone, so I kept backing up & healing before attacking again.
Aela left me after the quest was over & sent me on a revenge mission against more of the Silver Hand. But not before I stopped back in Whiterun to sell my loot & pick Lydia up.