Pilgrimage to the Angry Dead

Amazingly, the nobility are not jerks to me. Prince Naemon was quite nice even. Clearly they know what a close, personal friend of the Queen I am.

So last time on <Elder Scrolls Online Adventures without a Name because Naithin is Bad at Planning>, I wrapped up saving Queen Ayrenn and was thus rewarded with an invite to come along with her in pilgrimage. This seemed like a lovely invitation for a job well done at the time. Now I learn this isn’t your average pilgrimage. This one involves unhappy Spirits and clergy-folk in need of rescue.

Shouldn’t these only be out at night or something? It seems far too lovely a day for this sort of carry on.

One spirit in particular — Colonwe — was angrier than the others. And quite intent on seeing my face introduced with the earth. I started checking the Journal to see if I had perhaps missed that this was meant to be a group quest, perhaps?

But no, this was just the first ‘git gud’ check I’d encountered. Do you know when to block? When to dodge roll? No? Hope you brought some res stones then.

Between performing better — and a timely full charge of my ultimate — I ultimately took Colonwe down. It seems she was willingly in support of the ‘Veiled Heritance’ group I’d been hearing whispers of in the last town and who seemed to be behind the assassination attempt.

Clearing the corruption with a loaned Altmer holy symbol

Other spirits in the area however had been corrupted, rather than willingly complicit. I cleared the corruption as well I could in the hopes that they may eventually come to their senses.

Queen Ayrenn suspects a fellow called ‘Norion’. I think she is right, given his signature had been over notes just left absolutely everywhere around here. Either that or it was the worlds clumsiest frame-job. Either way, we’re about to go find whoever it is in the crypts below.

The Queen and I fought I way through the minions, growing ever more curious who we might find behind it all.

Ah. Norion after all. Have at thee, fiend!

Coming down the stairs, the battle with Norion was joined. He realised quickly the Queen was the more competent fighter than I and tried to remove my head from shoulder.

The fight with Colonwe earlier had put me in better stead to beat such an opponent where there was more to it than simply getting out of the red bits. So without need of a res stone, I put Norion’s plotting days to an end.

Two things are becoming clear to me though:

  1. The Veiled Heritance are clearly bad, this doesn’t seem to be just a minor political difference in views… But,
  2. They also seem to think their claim on the throne is legitimate. I’d dearly love to find out why.

Perhaps I’ll find out in Mathiisen, where I’m being sent next to meet up with Razum-dar again. The town has been infiltrated it would seem and this is very much not a good thing as Mathiisen is a forge town — responsible for the provision of weapons and armor to the region.

Mage Tower in the Vale

I almost made it directly there too, but I happened across a rather upset looking lady sitting alone around an encampment altogether too big just for her.

A mage has taken the rest of the entourage — they fell behind Queen Ayrenn, being the fast, independent traveler that she is — and is experimenting with their minds.

I managed to rescue all three trapped members of the entourage, getting them out from their personal hell’s. These places were not entirely immaterial it seems, in the last realm I found the corpse of one of the mage’s past assistants. In their final hours, trapped here in the cold, they took the time to document the changes seen in their master. How toying with the minds of others had warped his own.

Despite our deal, I was fairly confident the mage wasn’t going to let me go after this experiment was over. I was also confident that I couldn’t let him continue with such experiments in the future. I was right. And I was the only one to leave his tower when our ‘discussion’ on this was done.

Onward, to Matthisen

The Sewers under Matthisen

Compared the Mind Mage, clearing Matthisen seemed almost mundane. Of course, Raz was right. This place was rotten to the top. Whether for money or a sense of belief in the Veiled Heritance’s claims, I don’t know. But they were supplying refuge and weapons to the enemy and could be shown no mercy.

After our initial investigations were complete, Raz had what he clearly thought to be a ‘great plan’ for getting my rather unstealthy-self inside. That plan? Get myself captured. On purpose. Walk right up on in there all pompous-like and announce myself. Play to my strengths, basically.

This pretty much worked and I came out little worse for wear, other than a new bump on the head to add to the collection. Raz came in how Raz does and let me out, then we got to work.

One of the leaders was down before they even knew what was going on. The other managed a temporary escape through the sewers, shown above. It was a short-lived flight however, and Matthisen rests once again in the hands of loyalists.

Raz is going to meet me further north, but first, a detour.

Level 15, now able to weapon swap between Destruction and Restoration staves at will.

A Detour

Teleported back to town to deal with my ever increasing inventory problem and to learn crafting. By level 10 if I haven’t started down a crafting track I start getting antsy. Which is odd, because depending on the game, I may not ever touch it again until max level. Especially not when you can gather everything without having picked up the skills like you can in ESO.

Nonetheless, I could feel my 5-levels-overdueness, so I started learning Woodworking from the Certificate Master type person. After I’m certified for this, I’ll likely take a look at Clothier. They seem like good fits for a Sorcerer type.

I uh, also happened into the Inn (but definitely not to talk to a quest-giver off the main path… >.>) and was presented with what at first seemed a rather saucy offer. A lady in there wanted to show me into a room.

Turned out to be nothing so untoward. I think I might be an ESO influencer now? She wanted me to take a room, as having and using one in Inn’s she owns would increase their prestige.

So I’m the proud owner (rent-free squatter?) of an Inn room. I haven’t quite worked out how to decorate it yet. But uh. It’s also pretty small.

Iiiitty bitty room.

The Time for Talk is Over

Oops.

Hrm. So, last time I maaaay’ve been a tad… overconfident… in my abilities to persuade everyone of doing things my way. I thought I was done with Khenarthis Rest — war averted, shoulder armor equipped, day saved.

Not so much, as it turns out. The Maormer (Sea Elves) were still very much in favour of attacking the port, in order to express their vast dissatisfaction with the Dominion coming in and laying any sort of claim to the area.

Yelling ‘I come in peace!’ seemed to have little impact.

Plan B: Kill the bad guys, steal their electricity.

So after being tricked into experimenting with extremely high voltage lightning pillars armed with only a lodestone — and surviving, it was time to move to plan B.

There was a small army inside this place, but I still managed to take away all their zappy-zap-power. Unfortunately, they did still have one trick up their sleeve.

I get to summon a tiny goblin thing, and they get this?? The distance belies the scale.

Luckily, the Maormer only had a very tenuous control over this titanic elemental beast. So once I disengaged their safeguards it was more interested in slaughtering its captors than anything else. Moral of the story: It’s not the size of your summon, it’s how you command it.

I decided after releasing it though to make a quick exit. What could really go wrong with just leaving it be anyway? A trifling detail, one I saw no need to rain on the party with as my success against the Maormer was being celebrated in the ruins of town.

… In unrelated news, I’m off by boat to Vulkhel Guard in Auridon.

Vulkhel Guard

Much better. Far less fire and destruction going on here.

It was upon reaching Vulkhel Guard that I decided to reassert the original plan upon myself. Ignore all side content, work through only quests required for the main storyline.

That’s. All. THAT’S. ALL. … Unless this happens. WHAT IS THIS?

There’s a Stargate in my sky. It… appears to be trying to float away? I don’t know. I should go investigate.

I fought against the G’ould Daedra coming out of the Stargate Dolmen alongside a number of other folk ranging in levels from 7 to 40-something. It reminded me a lot of rifts in, uh, Rift.

I returned in short order though and spoke to the Guard Captain like Raz had asked me to.

I’ll spare some of the details here for those who may yet wish to go through it themselves, but I ended up saving the day again (properly, this time) and joining Queen Ayrenn’s secret service.

This is essentially where I wrapped up the last two nights of play. I’m level 11, almost 12 and about to embark on a pilgrimage of sorts with the Queen it would seem.

I really want to keep to the main path. I’ve been pretty good at steadfastly ignoring all the other quest pick-up markers on the map in Vulkhel Guard. But I know me. And after even just these few posts, you might have an inkling too.

Once I leave town and see the compass map-markers in every-which-way around me…? All bets are off.

Restarting in Tamriel

The other day, I rather naively had a bit of a panic about what to do since the Anthem demos were finished. You see, I thought everything was going to go into this… sort of… rumbly quiet of anticipation. Instead we’ve had post-launch updates announced and I managed to get into The Division 2’s Private Beta thanks to Skill-Up.

But! But! I still did get into The Elder Scrolls again. *cough* For that one day. By the time I get back in we’ll be down from 9 days til Anthem early access to… Less. I’m unsure how much more time I’ll give to The Division 2 beta, but I would guess another day at least to cover the Darkzone and PvP.

Anywho, ESO!

Getting Started

If you’re unfamiliar, The Elder Scrolls Online scales to the player level. Everywhere, everything. You can waltz into any zone at all, and it’ll be your level.

When you own the expansions for ESO, freshly created characters will start in the latest content. I guess the thinking being that the latest content is the freshest, the benefit of the most updates to the capabilities of the game etc.

But if you want to follow the story of the new area…? Well, good luck. It’s not impossible by any stretch, but only if you don’t mind wondering, ‘Who’s that and why do they know me?’ every few minutes.

This was one of the factors that lead me to drop the game last time around.

The Plan

I didn’t end up going with a Ranger/Bow type character, no, instead I made a Magicka based Breton Sorcerer. Full on caster. Rar.

I also planned on skipping the tutorial and then immediately getting away from Summerset Isle (the latest expansion) and finding my way back to the starter zone for my faction. … I almost don’t want to say, but I went Dominion, largely because I’ve never done them before. Not last time I played, nor back in the beta.

So that put me into Khenarthis Roost. Apparently if you want to do the main quest, the tutorial is absolutely not optional. Because:

Here we are. The tutorial. After, might I add, quite a brutal scene of being knocked unconscious and then being dragged away to be sacrificed! :o

Not to worry, I’ve played through this tutorial thing a few times now so I blasted through it in no time.

Now, surely, I would adhere to the critical path story only. I wanted to experience the story, sure, but I also wanted to be efficient in getting through it. So when Razum’Dar — the definitely-not-a-spy Khajit — told me I could either investigate a couple of side things or head straight up north to meet him, I knew what I had to do.

The Reality

Not shown: Also going to join the Mage’s guild, the Fighter’s guild and the Undaunted. Er, and also then trying a dungeon. Solo. (It didn’t go well.)

I ended up putting a struggling family in prison for Skooma manufacture. I’m still not sure I did the right thing here. I think I did. But I’m not sure.

What I basically noticed though is that my character is either a much bigger deal than I thought, or I have accidentally been spending all my points each level on Persuasion rather than Magicka like I thought I was.

Because everyone simply does what I say. From vengeful grieving widows to officers of the law who moments ago were eyeing me as the prime suspect. I say, they do. Always. Except for that talking Skeleton guy. He was mean.

The good news is, I did actually get around to finishing off the main questline in this area… I think. I mean, I stopped a diplomatic incident from escalating into out and out war.

And it was around that time that I received my first piece of shoulder armor. That’s when you know you’ve made it to the big time. I don’t really know why I had such sway over the NPCs before — but they’d certainly better listen to me now! I got shoulders!

So I ended my adventures of a few nights ago at level 9 and feeling quite positive about the game. Had I not been distracted by The Division 2 and the Anthem news blow-out, I would be back already — as it is, I will be going back soon and I can’t wait!

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