|Map of Solstheim|
|A pretty cool shot of a victorious General Tullius and I|
|The bodies of Ulfric and Galmor at the feet of Brunwulf Free-Winter|
I then went down to the docks, got on the ship and set sail to Solstheim where after a brief loading sequence we arrived at Raven Rock, the main town of Solstheim. It’s a mixture of Nordic and Dark Elf architecture with those underground hovels that they have, I also noticed the pillars of black stone, the dead trees and ash everywhere, I also saw the odd looking shrine thingy that some random people were building a weird monument around an All-Maker Stones which are similar in nature to Skyrim's Standing Stones, as well as Cyrodiil's Rune Stones and Doomstones. Everybody sounded a little unfriendly except for the blacksmith who was actually Nordic and asked me to retrieve his Ancient Nordic Pickaxe from Crescius Caerellius in the nearby mine.
first I thought I should research what houses I could get in Solstheim and the
only one was Severin Manor and to do that I had to do a series of
quests, one of which, The Final Descent involved the nearby mine and
the dude with the pickaxe himself so I went in and spoke to the old geezer and
his Dunmer wife then went down the mine where I saw this mysterious new ore
which is apparently some kind of enchanted ice the ancient Nords used to seal
their dead for protection and it can only be mined with you guessed it, an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. I then found Bloodskal Barrow and the Bloodskal Blade which I hoped to be a new weapon
and armor type that you could create but it was apparently unique, it emitted
some sort of energy blast when power attacking and you need to use this to open
the door which took me a few tries but I got in and took on a dragon priest Zahkriisos
and got the first Dragon Aspect shout and I wish I actually got the
rest and used it as the effect would be very impressive indeed.
This first quest
is also where I found the first Black Book and had my first trip to
the plane of Oblivion belonging to the Daedric
Prince Hermaeus Mora who says hello when you first arrive,
and man is it funky, fighting goddamn Seekers and Lurkers and those freakin
annoying tentacles coming out of the water not to mention the darkness that
apparently hurts you. So all in all it’s a pretty dangerous place but necessary
in order to become powerful enough to defeat Miraak through getting more shouts
etc, at the end of these Black Book “Trials” you come across this freakishly
large book, the first being The
Winds of Change which gives you three options of hidden knowledge and boy Companion's Insight was a no-brainer, my
brother had told me about it before and man not having to look out for your
companion when attacking man that was good. After doing this you get warped
back to Solstheim being in some kind of trance before. So I emerged from the
barrow about halfway up the coast and sprinted back to Raven Rock where I talked
to Crescious and got my Ancient Nordic Pickaxe and ran back down to mine the
Stahlrim in the hopes of using it for weapons and armor.
|The Ancient Nordic Pickaxe, pretty coool lookin'|
|The entrance to Bloodskal Barrow and the Bloodskal Blade|
|Hermaus Mora says hello when you first come to Apocrypha|
I fight some seekers then get stuck on a puzzle
After that I had to find somewhere to stash my treasure as I couldn’t carry it around till I had gotten the house so after some research I chose this small island off the coast of Raven Rock which apparently had a chest that your stored items didn’t disappear from. So I drank a water walking potion (which were very useful) and cleared out the Ash Hoppers that were there who sort of fall apart when dead but I still had the corpses of two Reavers who are Dunmer bandits you find around Solstheim. When returning to Skyrim I had forgotten about the /disable command and tried to chuck them off of the side and into the water in the hope that they’d float away which they didn’t until I swam them out into the ocean. But anyway I offloaded my things into the chest and continued on with March of the Dead where I had to kill a bunch of Ash Spawn and defeat their undead leader at Fort Frostmoth. On the way I met some this weird guy and helped fund his excavation of a Nordic Tomb but never got it finished unfortunately. I was finally able to do Served Cold and investigate the murder plot, and after storming Ashfallow Citadel, with Lydia and I clumsily getting hit by a bunch of traps I finally got rid of the killers and was rewarded Severin manor which I quickly moved into. It’s a very roomy underground house which is certainly much better than a damn island, I found once I had cleared the mine everyone was much friendlier towards me and congratulated me on a job well done.
I seriously did not remember you could just /disable
After that it was time get on with the main quest and I started with The Temple of Miraak where I saw more enthralled people working on the Temple and met Frea who was trying unsuccessfully to free her Skaal brethren, we then headed down into the temple and kicked ass defeating whatever was in the way and we eventually find another black book Waking Dreams where you come face to face with Miraak himself who remarks about you killing Alduin and how he’s so powerful and he will return and Solstheim will be his blah blah blah. I then go with Frea to the Skaal Village. And meet her father Storn Crag-Strider who tells me to go to Saering's Watch and learn the Bend Will shout in order to purge the All-Maker Stones and free the people there from the influence, I did this with the wind stone then a goddamn Lurker appeared and did all those people who should be grateful that I saved them come to help noo they did not, Lydia and I had to take them on ourselves. I read that when you know all three words to this shout you can use to tame and ride dragons which I did for a short time in the story, (more on that later) while exploring the world and Cleansing the Stones I found a few interesting creatures such as the jellyfish-like Netchs and the goblin-like Reiklings who I was either massacring in large numbers or strangely doing quests for them. As you find a fairly intelligent English speaking Reikling who have taken over a mead hall, I didn’t end up finishing their quest to find their Bristleback but may go back there again and help the survivors retake Thirsk mead hall as the quest looks fairly interesting.
I meet Frea at the Temple of Miraak then get attacked as usual.
I traveled around the island for a while doing various quests and investigating caverns and barrows and sometimes finding more black books and also fighting dragons with Miraak appearing and stealing their souls so I couldn’t get them, what a prick. I also got a bit sick of using Mac and Shield at this point and fashioned myself a Dragonbone Warhammer which is basically a dragon femur fashioned into a weapon and looks pretty funny when you’re bashing people with it. I wanted this cause I hadn’t used a warhammer for a while as I previously used the Dragonbone Greatsword and had used a Daedric Warhammer on my first character. One interesting and annoying thing that happened while the stones were not yet cleansed is that when you went to sleep you often woke up to find yourself working on one of the moments and have to run back to where you need to go. Though this wasn’t too hard if my horse was around, I had chosen a mottled grey horse this time as I though it fitted well with the landscape.
|My current horse, you can see Tel Mithryn and the mushroom forest in the background|
Anyway back onto the story I then had to travel to Tel Mithryn which is a giant mushroom and has lots of other giant mushrooms around it where I also met some hunter and joined a hunt for Netchs. I met Neloth in his giant mushroom house and travelled to Nchardak to find another black book and more knowledge to help defeat Miraak, after the three of us took down the brigands living there we found the Dwemer ruin was quite technical with rising water and the use of dwemer cubes to control them and the doors, I ended up getting the black book and also the Kagrumez Resonance Gem which I used in another ruin Kagrumez which is interestingly some kind of Dwemer ‘Hall of Trials’ though you need more stones to unlock its full potential.
the black book The Path of Knowledge I immediately read it
and after a lengthy sequence in Apocrypha I came face to face (or face to
whatever the hell he has eyes and tentacles?) with Hermaeus Mora himself who
tells me if I give him the secrets of the Skaal then he will grant me the last
‘Bend Will’ shout to be able to defeat Miraak.
|I sneak up on some unlucky souls in Kagrumez|
|I confide with Hermaeus Mora once again and also check out my Dragonbone Warhammer oh yeh|
You then take the book to Storn Crag-Strider at the Skaal village and he reads the book and then ‘Herma-Mora’ as they call him comes out again and takes the secrets from Storn, killing him. So then Freya is sad obviously and you know what you gotta do, so you pick up the Waking Dreams book and read it for the final quest and showdown with Miraak. This leads to quite possibly the longest section in Apocrypha with 6 “chapters” to complete but eventually you get to tame a dragon and try out some dragon combat which to be honest isn’t that good, you can’t control where the dragon goes you can only order them to attack enemies or land and if you don’t do anything they just fly around.
|"So many books!, ooh I bet that tower is where Miraak is"|
But soon enough I was at the highest point and faced Miraak, and after some chit-chat we got to it, it seems you have to defeat him three times as when he gets low health he becomes ethereal and summons a dragon and steals it’s soul restoring his health completely, he wasn’t too hard to defeat though, I didn’t have Lydia to help so I used Scroll of Conjure Storm Atronach and the Sanguine Rose to distract him while I ran in and beat the crap out of him with my warhammer. Once he gets low on health for a 4th time Hamaeus Mora appears and he’s pissed that Miraak has defied him and he raises him up and spears him with a tentacle and says that you are his new Dragonborn champion. Then you get some reward allowing you to respect skill trees but I didn’t bother as I didn’t need it.
I ride a dragon to the final showdown with Miraak, Beware Spoilers!
After that I had basically finished the main story but there was unfinished business to attend to, most notably to find A New Source of Stalhrim so I picked up the quest and rescued the Skaal blacksmith who gave me the knowledge of how to make Stalhrim and a map of a place where it can be found. I’d already found a few pieces of Stalhrim but this place had about 20 bodies all encased in Stalhrim it was like a smorgasbord but when I tried to go back to Raven Rock I ran into a big, big problem as the game would not load it just kept loading and loading.
|Soo much Stalhrim, and it's all mine!|
|This is about as close as I can get to Raven Rock now|