For my “weekend” session I had several goals:
- Max out my Smithing skill
- Complete my Retrieval quest for the Companions
- Reach Riften
- Join the Thieves Guild
- Join the Dark Brotherhood
And I’m happy to say I accomplished all five goals.
I spent my first hour or so maxing out my Smithing skill, mainly because I wanted to craft Dragonsacle Armor. When hunting dragons, save either the dragon bones or scales, depending on if you wear heavy or light armor respectively. At a skill level of 100, you can buy the perk to craft dragon armor, which is the best armor in the game (at least rating-wise). It took a bit of time, mainly having to wait for the shops to restock supplies, but it’s not hard. I’ve mentioned it before, but if you didn’t read my previous posts, to max Smithing just keep making iron daggers. They’re the cheapest item resource-wise to make, only requiring one iron ingot & one leather strip. Making nicer items doesn’t net you more experience, so just keep making daggers. It worked out very nicely for me, with reaching level 100 pushing me to level 25.
I also learned, while traveling to Riverwood for supplies, that dragons can spawn at villages. Any outside area can be attacked by dragons. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty sure you can’t be attacked by one while you’re inside a city. Because cities are completely within walls (& separate loading screens) they don’t technically exist in the same world space as Skyrim proper. Villages, mills & other settlements that don’t require entering a separate world space can be attacked. On the plus side, all other characters will help you fight the dragon. But now I’ve got a dragon corpse in the middle of town.
With my first goal done, I finally set off for Faldar’s Tooth to retrieve another piece of the Wuuthrad. Things were pretty standard, but learned two helpful tips, one generic & one related to this fort. *General Tip* Melee enemies will not attack you if you go a little ways out in the water. Ranged enemies will, though. *Fort Tip* If you have Lockpicking skill, unlock the gate on the side of the fort. The piece is actually on top of the tower. If you don’t pick the lock, you’ll have to go through the long dungeon to reach the inner courtyard. Picking the lock bypasses all of this.
Riften was a short swim from there. Actually, it was kind of annoying getting in. The manor I reached first had no way to get in, so I had to swim all the way around. Then when I tried to enter from the south the guards told me to shove off. So I had to swim all the way back around to the north entrance, where the guards tried to shake me down for an “entrance tax.” But thanks to my winning personality, they let me in for free. Yay, persuasion.
I really like Riften, both the design & the atmosphere. I like the lower dock level, it gives it a sort of Venice slums vibe. I won’t go into the quest details, but I joined the Thieves Guild with little trouble. Although I realize now I’m going to have to work on my Pickpocketing. I got some cool Thieves Guild armor for joining, which I switched my Dragonscale Armor out for because it’s got good enchantments. I can now fence stolen items, because somehow store keepers can automatically tell when something’s stolen. Also, the other members are really nice, unlike those in the Companions.
I’ve completed two of the main Thieves quests so far, & I’ve really enjoyed them. The first quest had me sneaking into previously mentioned impenetrable mansion to burn the guy’s bee hives down. Then I sneaked into his house, stealthed past all the mercenaries, picked the key from the owner’s pockets, sneaked back down & stole everything from the safe. And I still contend that no FPS can match the exhilaration of carefully sneaking through a door with a guard standing one foot away, watching tensely to make sure he’s not going to turn around. The second mission involved poisoning some mead. A little less exciting by no less fun to watch the outcome. I also picked up some quests to forge business ledgers & plant stolen property on people.
Since I was already in slightly less wholesome territory, I decided to start on the quest to join the Dark Brotherhood. I picked up the rumor early in the game about a boy trying to summon them. Long story short, you have to kill a mean orphanage mistress. It was actually quite funny. I waited for the old woman to go back into her room & stabbed her in the back while she was sitting down. But then her dead body teleported back into the main room. The other woman started freaking out, running around & shouting for mercy. I was like, “Chill, woman. I’m not after you.” The funniest, part, though, was the kids. They applauded me. Plus I felt I got to corrupt them a bit, since one of the girls said something along the lines of how killing one person can help so many. This is also one of the guilt-free murders. If the speech you hear upon entering isn’t enough to convince you the woman’s evil, there’s a room with shackles in it.
I think I had a bit of a glitch with the next part. You’re supposed to get a note from the Brotherhood saying they know what you did. I never got that. Instead, I slept, & was transported to a creepy shack. A woman named Astrid told me that to make up for stealing the Brotherhood’s kill I needed to take another life. She reminds me a bit of a macabre Cheshire cat. You have to kill a prisoner (Or you can try to kill Astrid, but why would I do that? I want to join.). You an kill any combination of the three prisoners. I went with the Khajiit, because he was just so smug & arrogant I couldn’t stand it. I probably would’ve killed him even without the quest. If you played the Brotherhood quests in Oblivion, you know the drill from here: go to sanctuary, use password, get initiated.
On a side note, I was attacked by a blood dragon the second I stepped out of the shack. It was a tough fight because I was all alone. I leave my companions behind when engaging in… morally questionable quests. But I managed to take it down by running to the other side of the house when it spit fire at me.
The sanctuary door is in an odd place, if you ask me. It’s not in an abandoned house, but under a bridge. Again, my “family” is nicer than some of the other people I’ve met. Even the requisite cranky old man. There’s also a little girl named Babette who’s a vampire. And a pet spider. Ugh…
I switched out my Thieves armor for the Shrouded armor they gave me. It’s very cool. Black & red, & very ninja-esque, especially with the cowl. *Note* If you’re going for the unarmored mage character, you can pick up some Shroud armor robes in the first room. They have basically the same perks, except the robe decreased Destruction spells costs & the hood increases sneak.
The last thing I did was complete the quest “Unfathomable Depths,” which took me to my first Dwemer ruin. I loved the design. I missed the Dwemer in Oblivion. The elven ruins just weren’t as cool. Avanchzel has lots of steam machines, gears, & just basically looks like something from a different game. There’s a lot of loot here, so I highly recommend it. *Tips* I died once in this ruin. There’s a door just after the explorers’ camp that shoots out spinning blades as soon as you open it. I couldn’t find a way to turn them off, so after reloading I made Lydia open the door. Also, at the end be prepared to face a giant steam centurion guardian.
And thus I ended my escapades for the night.