Monday, December 17, 2012

With a Dragonshout: he cried Thalmor, more, more.

Hidey-ho, fellow readers!

Monday came far too quickly, so here's today's post.  I finalize (for now) some of my home renovations, and then finally go check up on Delphine.  Poor gal's been waiting on me forever to go see what she wanted to do 'bout them dragons coming back and being all dragon-y up in everybody's face. Which is quite an important task, to be sure.

Meanwhile, at home:

I unload some stuff at the ol' Homestead, 'cause its getting cumbersome and tiresome to haul everything around all the time.  Recent additions are mostly located in my trophy room, which isn't creepy at all.

He WAS fuzzy, wasn't he.

Not so happy now, aren't you mr. bear!  Took that smug grin off his face.  Shortly after, I heard a further rustling outside my bedroom window; killing off the bandits brought the attention of some wolves, who were warded off by them, I guess.  Such a weird progression, but whatever.  I've taken it upon myself to turn a bad situation (i.e. wolves) into a good one instead (i.e. decor.)

"Yes Virginia, you are a stuffed animal."

Lydia's taken to her job as Steward of Lakeview Manor well; in that she's constantly complaining about how I'm never there, and just use her to carry my gear around.  Whatever.  AND she hovers around my bed.  It's kind of unsettling.

Oh Lydia...

Awkward.  So I figure Delphine's had enough time to figure what is up with all them dragons; might as well head on over to Riftwood.  Riftwood's the first actual town you encounter following the sacking of Helgen by that dragon, and the whole avoiding being executed bit.  Fun times!  Except this is how I'm greeted in Riftwood.

'Bout to ask him what he and Batman have in common right now.

I'd be lying if I said I was expecting better from a villager whom I've saved from dragons and other monsters, but honestly in Skyrim, ALL the children are horrible.  I mean it, children in this game they are absolutely despicable and spoiled.  I can't wait to adopt two rotten kids of my own.  I'm not kidding, that is something I can do.

Delphine's got her shit together though, and gives me her best-laid plan: I am to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy's fancy cocktail party, and find out what they know about the dragons.  Delphine suspects them to being behind the whole ordeal, because the Thalmor are kind of dicks.  So its an assumption, but a plausible one, at the least. Problem is, I don't fit the bill, visually.  Being dressed in sabretoothed cat furs is a social faux-pas or something.  So I'll have to meet up with her friend in Solitude and have him smuggle in my gear.  Ok, whatever.  TO SOLITUDE!

Solitude: pretty happenin' place, where the hottest bar (see: ONLY bar) is the Winking Skeever.  Gross.

I'm looking for a guy named Malborn; so he can take everything I will need at the embassy and have it smuggled in.  This also means my actual armor and stuff.  Thankfully I don't need weapons, but I'd at least like my armor available to me when I attempt this.  So I go about giving Malborn everything I'll need, much to the displeasure of the local barflies.

Your Thu'um is showin'.  BEEFCAAAAAAAAAAAAKE.

I didn't realize right away that giving my armor to be stashed meant I was gonna be nude; so I hoof it back to my home, and grab some fancy clothes, hopefully they'll be swanky enough for the party.

These belonged to a vampire; they're chic and fashion-savvy, right?  Vile's helm is also featured.

There.  Now my lil'dragonborn isn't flappin' around all willy nilly.  Willy.  Penis.  Enough hit-whoring.  Delphine told me to meet up with her outside Solitude when I was ready, so now that I'm clothed, lets get this over with.

Jeez, you're no fashion plate yourself, lady.

Way to be judgemental about my looks, Delphine.  To be honest, the vampire's duds I stole look WAY more fancy than this oven-mitt of an outfit she has me wearing.  I don't care that they ARE called Party Clothes.  But whatever FINE.  I'll put them on.


What a bitch.  Last of your order?  GOOD.  I hope you die a swift and degrading death.  Like you get killed by a beggar or something.  Or a scared mule.  Whatever, party time.

Greetings, I am Ge'ek Outt Dragonpuncher, the Dragonborn... dragon... puncher?

Well Malborn & Delphine came through, at least.  Everybody acts as if I'm supposed to be here.  So; time to check this party out.

♫ Party people in the embassy, tonight; gonna have a real alright time. ♫

Wow.  Bumpin'.  Malborn wants me to cause a commotion, so I can steal away into the kitchens with him.  How romantic!  He doesn't tell me how to get that done though.  Because he's useless to me.  So; I try bugging a guard, the time-ol' classic move.

And I'm not supposed to be fed after midnight.  Rules Schmules.

Thankfully the chap next to the guard was more than willing to help out if bribed with wine.  Of which Malborn had more than ample supply.  The dude proceeds to then get drunk, and offer an absolutely condescending toast to the host, invoking prostitution and slave trading, because classy.  Malborn's since smuggled me into the kitchen's larder, where my gear awaits.  He tells me I should make for Elenwen's study, as this is where the information I'm looking for would probably be; he also tells me to be quiet, and sneak around if possible.


It wasn't possible.  I mean the SECOND I step out of the larder, guards get all suspicious, and I gotta fight my way out.  While on fire.  OK.  A little roundabout inside, I'm lead down a corridor that tells me I have to exit the main hall, and cross the embassy courtyard to get to the good stuff.

Sure; no sweat.  That's a 20 yard dash, tops.  No biggie.

Looks simple enough; right?


IT NEVER IS.  Seems that immediately around the corner, there's a pesky Thalmor mage, and he's quite potent.  So; lets try this again.

STEALTH MODE: attempted.

Stealth isn't my strong suit.  In fact, because I'm wearing heavy armor it makes me super noisy and not stealthy at all.  However I had juuuuuuust enough stealth to get rid of the initial guard who spent his merry time knifing me in the ribs.  Then I met this guy.

Behold THIS!

Frost Atronachs.  OK Game, I see you're bringing the heat as it were; fine.  I manage to get rid of the evil giant ice cube and into Elenwen's Solar.  Which is a fancy word for apartment, in this case.  An apartment filled with evil wizards!

OOH! Right in the Ley Lines!
These guys were discussing something about spies in Winterhold or whatever; I was far too busy rushing them to care about their political dalliances at this point.  Let's see if he had anything of worth on him.


Interrogation chamber key?  Good to know!  I find a whole mess of documents incriminating Elenwen in various plots to overthrow Skyrim's current ruling class, and install puppet governments in their stead, but that's not interesting.  Baked potatoes however, ARE.

Also secret rape-dungeons within embassies.  I feel like I'm in a Tom Clancy novel!  What could be in store for me down there!?

They better be on Dantooine, kid.

Poor guy.  All mal-nourished and having absolutely nothing to do with either Dragons OR Delphine.  I let'im go, because I'm Good Guy Dragonborn over here, where he tells me we have to go crawling down the abandoned mineshaft that they use for corpse-dumping.  Brilliant.

Good luck on ye, random tortured dude.

I feel a bit bad for letting him loose like that, without a shirt or shoes, or a weapon of some sort; there was a cave troll down there, and he kinda ran for cover while I took care of it. Some people just aren't cut out for this hero-work!

Next time on Geeking out in Skyrim: Delphine makes sense of the information I got her!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Double Dragon Digest: Saturday is the new Friday.

Greetings all!  Late post is late, as yesterday a flurry of converging forces caused me to be occupied for the vast majority of the day.  I'd apologize, but I had great fun yesterday and it was totally worth it.

However, to make it up to you all, I'm gonna essentially make today a HUGEBIGLARGE post!  Hooray!  Joyous, isn't it?  I can hear your hearts all a pitter-patter with excitement; its OK.  Today's installment is pretty much the conclusion of the Clavicus Vile arc within the game, and my further adventures as a homeowner.  Lakeview Manor's shaping up!

Grand Theft Axe: Vile City

So; when we left off, I had just tore through a gaggle of vampires to get to Clavicus Vile's statue, deep within some forgotten cave.  There, accompanied by useless-but-faithful Barbas the Hobo; Vile started on about how Fate's awesome and stuff.  Those vampires?  His devout followers!  The reason they were there? Asking Vile to cure them of their vampirism.  Then, as Vile puts it: "You showed up, and provided to be a better solution than I could have ever dreamed of!".  Great.  So I just helped him out already, by killing his followers, as 'death' is technically a solution to 'vampirism'.

Moving forward, he's not too happy Barbas is there.  Mostly because he too knows Barbas is kinda shit.  He does offer me a quest though, which he says he will even wave the standard WHAT A TWIST! surprise bad ending for me at the end if I help him out, because hey!  He's kinda sick of being stuck here, in this ol' cave by his lonesome, being worshipped by sycophantic vampires.  SO: I need to get him an artifact called The Rueful Axe.  Full of Rue, or whatever.  He gave it to his most devout worshipper, so he could cure his daughter of her delusions of joining a cult.  (Coming from a Daedric Prince, this is hilarious.)  Thing is the Rueful Axe forces the dude to kill his own daughter (effectively ending her stint in that cult.)  And y'know, well; that kinda makes it DUNZO between dude and Vile.

I don't care really; if it gets me rid of Barbas, I'll punch a baby.  Straight up punch a kid in its fat cherub-like face.  So I head out of Vile's shrine, and figure I'll make a pitstop at my new digs before heading on out to get me some o' DAT AXE.


Of course.  I forgot!  Its never that easy.  Whatever, its not like these guys are particularly hard anyways.  I clear out the small but well-organized snow bear infestation immediately outside Vile's cave (Possibly drawn to the smell of freshly slain vampires, a Skyrim delicacy?)

Ain't got time for no bearnanigans!  I got stuff to do!  People to punch! Et cetera.  Quick jump home though, and I come to a sad realization:

Gotta pay the troll toll.

The moose was scaring off the troll from hangin' around my house.  Moose > Troll.  This is maths.  I cannot abide anything lolligagging on my land, so of course this new culprit just HAS to go and get git got gone.  That taken care-of, Time to head on out to get that axe.  Which of course means I'm gonna trek all over Skyrim again; which supposedly is something retarded like 43 square miles of in-game land.  Fast travel is a godsend when it can be used.  And then you find this:

Spider vs Spider ACTION!

Two large frostbite spiders, just fightin' it out.  With a tiny guard 'helping'? out one of the spiders.  Who then turned on the guard.  This is quite possibly due to those minor glitches in the code where NPC pathing gets too close to another, and their Hostile/Ally flags make it so that when they actually do eventually cross paths, they fight.  Even though the spiders don't hang out in the middle of the road at all, they must've been too close when the guard was off the beaten trail, as it were.  Imagine it to be like asteroid orbits gettin' too close to one another, and they get into this douchy "COME AT ME BRO!" fight, but in space.  with asteroids.  But its actually spiders, and a guard.   And totally not in space at all.  Yeah.

While treking through the mountains to get to the shrine where Axe-Man is at, I found a dragonshrine!

Its like Christmas in Skyrim!

These are the huge stone slabs with dragon words written on them for me to learn and add to my dragonborn shoutin' repertoire.  Also; usually guarded by a dragon.

DraGOB: "I've made a huuuuuuge mistake."
Cats are immune to this shout, as they are bastards.

ANIMAAAAAAL.  Unfortunately, this does not summon Animal from the Muppets to be my faithful drumming companion.  I looked it up, and all it does is make surrounding wildlife be your friend for a bit, and protect you.  Essentially you become Ace Ventura, minus the speaking out of your butthole bit.  Moving on.

I find the dude's hideout!  Its a cave!  Caves are cool; infinitely more cave-y than in Oblivion, which kinda used the same 4 cave maps to every cave.  Mind you, that might be due to limitations in the game at that time, but these caves feel more 'alive' as it were.  Also, I'm starting to stumble onto the more powerful enemies in the game as it starts scaling up to my level.  Behold, the fire atronach.

Burn baby, burn.

Its kind of an interesting fight, as the Atronachs have elemental abilities, resistances, and different 'logic' as it were compared to the mortal enemies.  Most humanoids will ask to surrender.  Its a feint, but still.  Atronachs however will stone-cold eat a bitch and never surrender.  In fact, Flame Atronachs have a nasty habit of...


That's right.  When they die, they go out in a blaze of glory that would make Mr. Torgue weep tears of exploding joy.  This cave in particular was a short affair.  Just beyond the atronach was dude in question, and the axe.  A quick crack on the jaw, and he was done.


So, lets head on back to Vile, now that I have his precious bauble that he assures me will in no way cause him to rescind on his deal of not boning me hard on our deal.  At all.  Ever.

What's that I hear in the distance?  Kind of like a flapping sound...

Falkreath has a dragon problem.  In that it has a dragon.  This is a problem for any place, really.

Dragons are to Skyrim, what Oblivion gates were to Oblivion.  Except unlike the gates which can effectively be ignored aside the main quest gates, Dragon can and WILL prevent you from doing shit if you're not actively taking care of them.  Also they're fucking DRAGONS.  RAWR.

Cows runnin' scared 'cause of dragons.  Balancing ontop of a fence: check.

This guy kind of blew my mind; look at that grace and poise; the sheer skill of this cow, to be able to perform this balancing act despite a very dangerous dragon attacking the everlovin' shit out of the village.  For you cow, I shall save your tiny hamlet.  Never again will you be forced to perform your tricks in fear; but for the joy of all, but mostly the joy found within your large bovine heart!


C'MERE DRAGON!  Ooh Frost dragon, these're new!  Sucks for this guy that as a Nord, I'm 50% resistant to Frost damage.  He didn't do squat to me other than annoy me.  And y'know, annoy this guy too.

Yeah, I'm not cleaning that up.  Sorry.

I hope this guy is dead, or doesn't care he now has a giant dragon carcass infront of his house.  'Cause I sure don't care about it.  I like to think the guard's more in awe that I'm just leaving it there, rather than seeing a dude kill a dragon bare-handed.

WELL whatever.  I'm not going to stick around for the Falkreath Homeowner's association to come yelling at me for not respecting the city code for oversized garbage left out on non-designated large collection days. Clavicus Vile waits for no ma-- well no, he's waited a whole bunch, he can keep waitin'.  Gonna take my sweet time.  Maybe go back home!  chill for a bit, even!

Settlin' down in style.

Progress on my no-longer-so-humble abode: I've turned my initial house into the foyer, built a little pen for livestock, and stables.  No sight of any further trolls or moose, so far.  Could my troubles have finally ended, at home?  Probably not.  Started construction on some beehives, hopefully will be able to wickerman some poor sap to get a good crop this year, then its off to Vile again.

GUILTY: of trying to look too much like the dude in my blog banner.  Also: vampirism.

Of course more of Vile's followers showed up, and they're all vampires again.  I'm unsure if they're vampires because of the quest itself, or this is the game adapting to the installed Dawnguard DLC, and thus populating more areas with vampires.  Its still pretty cool though.  I of course, go through them like a hot bullet through warm butter.  BLAM.

Take my breath awaaaaaaay
I wonder if a vampire fledgling's soft down sells for a lot on the black market.  They're like birds, right?

So.  Vile has his axe, and Barbas is there, not-yapping his head off.  I'm now worried.  I was right to be worried, because Just like Loki, Vile's offering me to change the parameters of the deal; he says I can keep the Rueful Axe, if I use it to kill Barbas.  He really hates Barbas as well, and for good reason, but still; Barbas just wants to get back with his BFF, despite Vile being a belcrico de merde.  I also think its fitting that Clavicus Vile be saddled for the rest of eternity with Barbas again, because fuck you Vile, you a dink.

Not convincing me you're not gonna backstab me at all there, bro!  Sweet dog statue though.

This is what I like about the game though; small details like that give me a sense of progression as well as affecting change onto the world around me, other than just having random villagers coming up to me and thanking me for killing that dragon that what was attacking their village.

Time to head on home, and get some rest.  Maybe stop off in Dawnstar for a pint or two, since its on the way ho--


Screw it.  That guy looks like he has it handled.  Who am I to interfere?  I can't always be the hero every time, and this is like the 4th dragon I've encountered today.  I'm literally swimming with dragon souls, and have no shouts left to improve just yet.  Its like having multiple personalities, except they just bicker about how you're a dick for killing them. (Note: this is not actually a game mechanic of having multiple unused dragon souls.  They don't talk to you.  They should though, and they should critisize your outfit and be catty bitches.)

Armory expansion'd.

Home sweet home.  Few more additions, notably the armory there, and some lights outside.  How they stay lit in the pouring rain?  Dunno.  But there's a noise a comin' from behind the house.  Better not be some sort of Moose/Troll hybrid...

And now: BANDITS.

So the Moose was scaring off the Troll, who was scaring off the Bandits.  Damn things were lingering around my beehives like I was just givin' away the honey!  Which I wasn't.  Ever.  Somewhat curious as to what will plague my neighborhood now that I've killed off the bandits.  Might as well do an inspection of the whole place, see that they didn't get into the garden or whatever.  Bandits are effectively like rascally badgers.

Che-k'n Kau

A KINGDOM FOR A HOR-- oh.  Nevermind.

Looks like everything's in order!  Its good since I've asked Lydia (My Housecarl from Whiterun, remember when I purchased my first home?) to become stewart of Lakeview Manor.  Well more like she immediately offered when she came by the place.  Probably because her room is way bigger.  I don't blame her.  I've not fully started decorating yet, but I am glad that I now have space to hang up some of my mementos and keepsakes, now.

Its like a nightlight in my bedroom, preventing me from stubbing my toe on any of the 50,000 dressers and chests I have.

Well that's it for this weekend's double digest edition!  Took us a while, but we got through it.  Next week, maybe we should go see what Delphine is up to!  Or find out about this Dawnguard nonsense and vampires! Only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let sleeping Daedric dogs lie their asses off.


Let's see; we should take a look at that ol' laundry list of exploits so-far:

  • Kill dragons and other stuff with my bare hands.
  • Become a homeowner.
  • Eat ALL the meat and ALL the cheese.
  • Do a quest for a Daedric creature, masquerading as a common dog.  In this case, looking quite a bit like an Irish Wolf Hound, the hobos of the canine world.
  • Sit-ups!

Well then.  This is new.  For those not in the know; Daedric creatures, commonly referred to as Daedra, are from alternate dimensions, that exist simultaneously to Tamriel.  They can connect to Tamriel via portals, and each Daedric realm is ruled by a Daedric Prince.  Or Princess in some cases; they're never really clear.  These guys are your usual 'evil' section of deities within the game's pantheon, with the 9 divine being the 'good' versions.  Technically these guys could be Daedric in nature too, at this point it doesn't really matter.  They aren't actively attempting to fuck our shit up, so they get a pass.

BARBAS!  Scrappy ol' Barbas the talking dog.  What a cut-up! Ha Ha!  Oh it is to laugh!  He wants me to go find his master, Clavicus Vile.  Who is essentially the Elder Scrolls' version of Loki.  Which in the case of this being Skyrim, REALLY fitting with all the Norse themes and imagery.  Anywho.  As with all recurring themes in this game (And any previous incarnation of the Elder Scrolls, or Bethesda's versions of Fallout) my target location is at the ASS END OF THE GAME WORLD.  So.  Before I head out, I might as well stop off at the ol' homestead and get some suppl--

Moose caboose.

MOTHERFUCKER.  Ok, that's IT.  I am sick and tired of this moose scampering about my land, like he owns the damn place.  Next thing you know he'll get into my vegetable garden and then there's NO getting rid of him ever!  Time I take action.

I admit it; I might've overreacted a bit.

That'll teach'im.  Scamper on MY LAND?  Hell naw.  And I won't leave it at that; oh no.  No no no no.  I ain't havin' none of that shit.

Chuck Testa can get bent.

Now that my moose infestation's settled, I can get back on the road and deal with Barbas' incessant barking; dude seriously loops the barking NONSTOP.  Like a tiny yapper dog, only man-sized.

Oh and some bandits showed up on the way there.  One of them thought he'd be clever, and taunt me.  Y'know the kind; that roguish cocky asshole who always thinks he's the best there ever is and was because he can rock a leather outfit and a ponytail.

Honourable mention: Your GP or your HP.

I both love and hate ranged enemies right now; because they can really open up and pour out damage on me while I close the gap to get at them in melee; but when I do get in there, they're pretty weak and go down fast.  Also it looks really, really cool.

"To the knee, you say?  Please, tell me how that stopped you from being an adventurer."


This move is called "Boromir's Elbow"  It's hard to perform because: Arrows.

Barbas didn't even help.  He just stared the whole time; my guess is his dog-form compelled him to chase loose arrows as if they were sticks.  The poor bandit's mage companion didn't fare any better, either!




Let's get an instant replay of that! OOH LAWDY.  Barbas, keeping a silent (FOR ONCE!) vigil throughout all that.  "Yeah no; he's good.  He's got this."  Then he glitched on/in a door for about 5 minutes.  That or his Dog A.I. is so well-programmed he forgot how to get out from behind an open door for 5 minutes because LOL DOGBRAIN.

Halfway there!  I mean there's probably nothing left between me and Vile's cave-shrine, right?  Dawn's breaking, usually the worst offenders of the enemies' list kinda shy away from the sun's piercing rays, right?

Bird? Plane? Birdplane? No.  Fuckin' dragon.  Again.

It never gets easier, does it.  Back to work!  I had to run around the forest a bit and find a clearing so the horrible bastard could land and be punched.

Shouting match between Dragon & Dragonborn.

Using shouts on dragons is fun because it essentially devolves into a giant screaming match; that firebreath?  That's them talking to you.  But their voices and words are so intense that stuff just magically happens because of it.  Like the fire.  Or for some other dragons, ice.  Fus Ro Dah (used in this case) is effectively a BACK OFF!  GET YOUR OWN SANDWICH! slam in Dragonese.  It's quite effective, as it'll stop a dragon mid-shout, and knocks'em off-balance.


See? Works like a charm.  Alright!  Just gonna climb on up this here mountain for a bit, ain't nothin' gonna stop me n--


Dude looks WAY too happy to see me.  I bet I'm all looney tunes in his eyes; just this burly T-Bone steak with arms and legs.  But now he's a mass of fur in my backpack, ready to be turned into a stuffed conversation piece back at Casa Del Dragon-Puncho.  Silly ol' bear.


This whole time, Barbas?  USELESS.  He'd either get in between me and the target, or off to the side, barking his head off.  Anyways, time to enter the dark dank cave and see what more horrors lie in wait for me before I get to Clavicus Vile, Daedric Prince of hairdoos. (Commerce actually.  Like trades and pacts, but you always get screwed over.  So like a car salesman, basically.)

Vampires!  It's like Lost Boys all over again, except there's 200% less Cory action!

Vampires, or at least these ones, weren't very tough; they also seemed to look quite malnourished.  One of them even exploded into fire from being punched.  I don't think I had anything specifically to do with it, unless Dawnbreaker's magical effects are active just with it being in your backpack the whole time.  Still hadn't sold it.  Shut up.  I'm sentimental.  So yeah; magical explody punch-death for some vampires a-comin' right up.  Feelin' close now.  So close.  Few more vampires and I should be ther--

" 'SUP.  Up top, c'mon!  Don't leave me hangin'."

OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD SPIDERRRRRRRRRR.   UGH I had forgotten how much they creep me out; this one decided to dingle-dangle its ass down from the ceiling and chitter-chatter about a snow-laden stone floor to make the least amount of sound possible, but at the same time what amount of sound was produced was the most horrific thing I've ever heard.  Spiders have the sound to terrorizing ratio down cold. I didn't wait around for him to tell me what he wanted, which was probably for me to be his meal.  I gave'im 8 black eyes.  Also death.

He even has the Loki helmet.

FINALLY made it to Clavicus Vile's statue within his shrine.  He better be damn well appreciative I brought him his dog, because Barbas sure has been zero help at all; figurative and literally.  He's provided no information as to why I should even be here at all, AND he sucks in a fight.  Dang as dang dog.

Friday's edition of Geeking Out in Skyrim: Vile makes me several offers I could easily refuse, but DARE I!?