Skyrim: A Nord’s Tale, Part 4

I formally joined the Companions, and learned that the Circle, that group that is the central leadership of the Companions, all are werewolves. I heard through the grapevine that players who join the Circle can also become werewolves. Since I’ve committed to the Companion track, I think I’ll gun for that.

I also took down two more dragons and learned a little more about that storyline. It looks like there’s a big master dragon that’s resurrecting other dragons. I forget his name, but he mocked (pitied?) me when he resurrected another dragon in front of me. Curious. I need to explore that more.

In light of the limitation on how many skills you can master, I’ve stopped exploring alchemy and magic in favor of my skill focuses – Heavy Armor, Two-Handed Weapons, Smithing, and to a lesser degree, Enchanting. I may drop Enchanting, depending on how easily I can acquire magical items in the future. I like the idea of smithing magical jewelry, and I’m starting to amass quite a collection of components for that.

My most recent perk acquisition is Dwarven Smithing. Dwarven armor seems to be just a little better than steel armor, so I’ll be upgrading my armor as soon as I can to that standard.

Skyrim: A Nord’s Tale, Part 3

So I finally solved the Sapphire Claw dungeon… something Shroud Barrow. Ended up being a Draugr corpse blocking my ability to depress a button to lower the drawbridge. I had to use my Unrelenting Force Shout to move it aside so I could lower the bridge.

Once that happened, though, things got awesome. I fought more Draugr, took out a new Draugr Overlord, and learned a new Shout… which I haven’t yet tested out. On the way back, I found a bandit hideout with an AMAZING view of Whiterun. I may run that dungeon again just to see the view. It’s simply awesome.

I went out looking for iron ore deposits, because I was excited to try out mining. I found a few, but the highlight of that particular adventure was when I was wandering along a path and, all of a sudden, a dragon dropped out of the sky right on top of me. Scared the crap out of me! I dodged out of the way and let Lydia shoot it with her bow while I hammered away at the thing with my Whiterun Axe. Eventually it went the way of its predecessor (Dragon Kill Count: 2), but that certainly was not something I was expecting. The long run to Whiterun hauling massive amounts of dragonbone was a very anticlimactic aftermath.

I’m getting closer to my goal of owning a house in Whiterun. 3,000 gold down, 2,000 to go. I’m trying to level my smithing and enchanting skills too, but those are expensive, since I don’t always have the ingredients I need to craft things. Enchanting in particular is pricey.

The Big Story wants me to head northwest to a far-away town. Eventually, I will go that way, but for now I’m concentrating on exploring the area around Whiterun.

Skyrim: A Nord’s Tale, Part 2

Alchemy in Skyrim is vaguely unpleasant at first, since in order to discover the first alchemical property of something, you must taste it. This is all fine and good, but some of these ingredients are less than appetizing – skreever’s tails, for example.

On the other hand, blacksmithing is a real gem. I’ve learned how to create steel items now, though I don’t yet have steel ingots. I discovered something interesting – iron ore deposits. I didn’t have a pickaxe with me at the time, and apparently that’s required to mine ore. I’m excited about this development, though – it means I don’t have to buy ingots or ore!

I became a Thane of Whiterun by helping defeat a dragon, and the Jarl assigned Lydia to me as my own housecarl. She’s come in very handy, though her pathing AI has been very irritating at times. She was probably the only reason I survived an encounter with an ice troll, though she herself didn’t remain conscious for the entire event. Trolls are brutal, especially if left to heal for a few seconds.

After ascending the Throat of the World to meet with the Greybeards, they gave me additional Words of Power to give me one new Shout and beef up my existing one. I like the Norse feel of the draconic language; very different from the usual Elvish/Latin draconic languages.

Returning from Hrothgar, I solved the mystery of a ghost in a nearby barrow, only to discover a very complex dungeon hidden beneath it. As of this writing, I’m stuck on a puzzle in its depths. Supposedly, I should be able to rotate four stone pillars to lower a wooden bridge, but despite doing what I thought was the correct pattern based on clues in an adjacent room, the bridge remains stubbornly vertical. No idea how I’m going to fix this one.

Skyrim: A Nord’s Tale, Part 1

Last night at midnight, I purchased Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for Xbox 360. This morning I got up at my usual 5:30 and went straight down to the living room to play.

The next few blog posts will be brief updates on my adventures in Skyrim. They’ll be out of character, more a log than a story.

After a dragon’s attack conveniently freed me from captivity and nuked my captors, I was spirited away to a Nord village by a fellow survivor. As a Nord myself, it was interesting to see the culture surrounding the village, and how the villagers reacted to my chosen race as a familiar stranger.

Of the massive arsenal I acquired in the hour or so of play this morning, the weapon I’ve used the most has been a two-handed battle axe. I loved that I could, straightaway, put the axe on the grindstone and use an iron ingot to turn it into a [Fine] Battle Axe. Crafting systems ROCK!

I’m a little overwhelmed by all there is to do. With so many choices and quest givers practically throwing themselves at me, I just shut down and ignored the quests, opting instead to do some exploring. I plan on delving into the inventory/item system next, checking out what I can do in that arena.

I want to see if there’s something to these spider eggs I picked up on my flight from the dragon…