Friday, July 26, 2013

Dawnguard chasin' waterfalls; please stick to the vampires & dragons you're used to.

Hidey-ho avid readers-of-mediocre-text/lookers-of-fine-screenshots!

Today we finally (!!!) finish the Dawnguard saga; Yes it all comes to an end today folks.  This means the following, for the uninitiated/thick:


The dénoument as-it-were of Dawnguard's DLC will happen, so for anybody wanting to preserve that experience for themselves, please skip this entry altogether.  Now if you're not a TOTAL WUSS, keep readin' on because I'm just gonna smooth over ALL the nuances anyways and what little I'll spoil you on the story, you won't care.  Also: there's the option of totally being an evil dickbag and ushering in the vampire prophecy you could do and that'd be like all this never happened somewhat and you'd have a new adventurestory to tell.  Go do that.  I'll wait.

So, last time Gelebor sent us off to collect water from wayshines to offer to the temple of Auriel, because now that there's only TWO frost-elves left and one's clearly evil as fuck and we gotta deal with that.  A few falmer were stragglin' round, and we (Me and Serana) went about cleansing their underground village.  Because clearly they're too far gone and there's no hope for them at all.  What no you have proof?  Too bad, cleansing.

Houses made of bugstuffs; that's cool.  Cool.  Not scary at all.  Nope nope.
 Falmer essentially make everything they can out of the Charus, except eat the damn things.  Food OR Shelter, I guess.  Well it doesn't stop them from breeding the bastards everywhere and using the molten chitin to fashion tents, weapons, armor, and decorative table jettés you can display at you next book club meeting.

 Oh look; someone's puttin' that mixed media art degree to good use!  Sad part is they went to all that trouble, and no one was around to jump out and go BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOO! then get punched.  Oh well.

Nursery rhyme fetch-quests get my testes in a twist.
 Ewer? I didn't even touch'er!  HORT HORT HORT!  I feel that Serana and I are essentially playing the roles of Jack & Jill, fire brigade sent to the well to fetch that water needed to douse Granny's shoe-house fire.  Except far more elaborate than that, but I still get my head caved in.  The first wayshrine turns out to also be a Brundle(tm) Telepod, which sends me to a scenic and majestic frozen valley where the other 4 wayshrines lay, as well as the innermost sanctum of Auriel.  Good times.

Scenic route
 Look at all that majesticness.  Mmmmm drink it in.  Speaking of drinks...

They don't make "resist irony" potions, unfortunately.
 Poor guy was holding a "Resist Fire" philter; now I know his bones are half-sunk into the ice there, but underneath all that snow, they're pretty charred.  Kinda feel bad for'im, but finders-keepers, I muscle on across the frozen lake to the next wayshri--


 GODDAMNIT GUYS.  Two fire-breathing dragons at once, tandem circling above and diving through the ice, creating large holes where if you fall in, you have to swim out of 'em to get into attack range.  My health potion reserves went from AMPLE to DRASTIC in no-time.  Mostly because I forgot to use those two recently pilfered Resist Fire philters I got off that skeleton-guy a few yards back.  Oops.

Treading on thin ice over dragon-infested waters.
 I'm surprised the remaining ice sheet over the lake is still holding; those two idiots plunged in and out of it a good 5-6 times,  and their skeletons are just weighing down that thin section there between the two holes.  Maybe its magical ice.  That's what I'm going with for now.  That sad, if this ice is magical, the cave I'm being lead into is probably arcane as fuck because its glowing and there's a weird hum that I can hear.

And I was under the impression that a troll-infested ice cave smelled quite pungent from the outside!
 Trolls; trolls everywhere.  What was once a feared enemy for its tough skin and regenerative powers, they just don't cut it anymore challenge-wise.  I am the trollmaster.

Ye Olde Tamriel-esque Helm's Deep.
 Hewn into the mountainside, only one entrance, the urge to toss dwarves off of it left and right, yep.  It's a Helms Deep kinda place alright.  Points for the fact that Frost Elf architecture is unique and not similar to other elven places / dwarven places.  I like it.

Ancient like 4,000 years ago or some nonsense ancient, girl.
 The grandness of scale these frost elves built to is impressive to say the least.  They made stuff that hasn't withstood the test of time as well as the dwarves did, but seeing as the frost elves still have 2 active members and a shitpile of falmer to the dwarves being dead as fuck?  Frost elves win.

Lets get on gettin' on in the inside.

Now they're just being mean.
Ouch.  That's harsh.  Some wicked freezer burn on that one.  You could argue that the philter didn't work, but to be fair only the bottle isn't frosted over in a thick sheen of ice.  I take it, and move on.

 So being the Elven God of the Sun gives you the ability to... flesh-freeze evil-doers within your most holy of holy-sanctums instead of I DON'T KNOW... BURNING THEM WITH YOUR FIERY RETRIBUTION.  Whatever.  Frost elven deities suck.  There's a little game of putting the filled ewer on some pedestals to open some doors and soon enough I find the Lich King Gelebor's HERMANO.

This doesn't look like a trap at all!
 Pro-tip: it was a trap.  He just puts up an ice wall infront of himself then systematically 'wakes' everything in the room while causing mini cave-ins to really just mess with you.  Then he wants to parlay; presumably because you survived and that intrigues him.  Yes he's THAT kind of villain.

Is he flipping me off?
 He expositions a bit, but remains cryptic; only saying that he's the one who turned on his brethren and let all the falmer in because 0 fucks were given.  I guess when you've lived that long, you kinda find your own way to pass the time, and his was creating this elaborate heist to take his own life.  Far be it for me to judge anyone who wants to decide on how they punch out in life, but there's easier ways, dude.

So he starts a fight with me.

"Almost out of health; time for a monologue that can't be skipped!"
 Aaaaaaaaaaaand for those wondering, here comes the brunt of Dawnguard's spoilery bits:

Vyrthur was turned into a vampire years ago, when one of his acolytes came back to the temple, infected.  He's also the Arch-curate of Auriel who really. Really. I mean REALLY. Hates vampires and other undead.  So now he's lost his God's favor, and while the sickness overtakes him, and his god forsakenin' him, he plots reveeeeeeeeeeeenge.  He creates this cockamamy prophecy about Auriel's Bow and the Moon and eternal darkness, stating that if the bow's ever acquired and dipped in some vampire blood well that means Auriel done fucked up and his most prized possession is now in the hands of his most hated enemy.

This means free reign for vampires on Tamriel because Auriel (As a Sun God[?]) would just go WELP, TIME TO HIT THE OL' DUSTY CELESTIAL TRAIL and mosey on elsewhere, plunging the known world into eternal darkness.  A plus for vampires everywhere.

Thing is, it can't be picked up BY a vampire.  I have to do the heavy lifting and get it from that chest over there.  Now the whole corrupting of the bow?  It can't just be any ol' blood.  No no no.  It has to be a Daughter of Coldharbour's blood because they are extra-special vampire ladies on account of being so rare and delicate after enduring the horrible rituals to become a vampire, other than get bit, become Irish-of-skin.

THIS IS ALL IN HIS MONOLOGUE, BY THE WAY.  He just knelt down and started talking.  I was unable to 'finish the job' as the game threw me into dialogue mode, and I was forced to 'humor' him for a bit.
The bow however can also be used to get everything BACK into Auriel's favor if you use it to kill a vampire lord or something.  We never really find out if Vyrthur was telling the truth and that as Arch-Curate he really did know of the prophecy as he would be pretty chummy with Auriel before being turned into a vampire, or if he just made it all up to get back at Auriel for abandoning him, like a jilted lover would try to smear a former lover's reputation or something.

Enough talking has happened, and I crush Vyrthur's head in like an otter cracking open a clam.  Gelebor shows up (!) using the wayshrine teleportation system now that Vyrthur's influence has dissipated, and forks over Auriel's Bow, telling me to go have at it on them vampires.  Joy.

 Isran takes the news of my success well enough that he figures with our daedric artifact McGuffin in-hand, now's a good time as any to just go on ahead and storm the castle. I don't really get a chance to tell him maybe we should hold off a second that he's rallying the troops and out the door.

Gettin' real tired of your shit, Isran.
And he's also very addleminded if he didn't remember me being at Ft. Dawnguard FIVE MINUTES AGO.

Boromir's older, tougher brother.
 Storming the castle proved to be a giant clusterfuck, but Celann, man HE DON'T MESS AROUND.  He still killed that vampire lord and two death hounds, before asking for a timeout to go empty 50 gallons of Potion of Extreme Healing into his gaping wounds.  RESPEK.

In the vampire language, 'Pathetic' actually means 'Awesome'.  I don't think he's aware of what he's saying.
 Harkon's hiding out in the castle's old chapel, which has been repurposed into a vampire chapel.  Same use, different gods / rituals.  Also there's some witty banter between Serana and her dad, where he calls me pathetic.  Shows you what he knows.  I'm awesome.  Everybody loves me and wants to come to my birthday party where there will be a water slide AND a bouncy castle and HARKON CAN'T COME SO THERE.

It's not that a complicated prophecy actually, Serana.
 Again as Vyrthur pointed out, its pretty simple Serana.  Use Auriel's Bow for evil, Sun goes away.  Use it for good, Sun stays, but fucks off every night because he's got other shit to do than babysit us all day long.

 So the fight begins!  Note the drained mana & stamina & low health bars!  This was one rough fight!  Also notice the giant nipple piercing.  LOOK AT IT.  LOOOOOOOOOOK AT IIIIIIIIIIT.

Activate cheap game-mechanics: NOW!
 OK; here's where I get kinda sad.  I had played the game so-far on this run without using a single weapon; Not even a shield.  No magic other than restoration to get my health back up, and when possible no companions.

Dawnguard FORCES you to use Auriel's Bow on Harkon when he's in his bubble, to essentially get him OUT of it.  This sort-of breaks my vow I made Mr. Siskoid of not using weapons, which up to this point I had completely abided to.  However, using the bow to burst Harkon's bubble (hort hort) doesn't cause any damage.  It just negates the bullshit invincibility effect he gets, and starts regenerating.  Yeah I found that out when I went wailing on the bubble just to watch him get back to FULL HEALTH.

Got'im in my sights...

Bubble Bubble Bubble POP
 Not bad for someone used to hitting stuff with his bare hands and just yelling really loud at stuff all the time!

Wipe ya-self off man.  YOU DEAD.
 Eventually, the hide-and-seek fest ended (He teleports around the room as a wave of bats, in betweens going into bubble-mode) and Harkon lay dying (again?) at my feet.  Serana's left with more questions than answers, but we're now sure that Eternal Darkness WON'T be ushered in (Unless I y'know, do it.  Which I won't.  Maybe.)  And after a little celebratory congratulations all around at Ft. Dawnguard, she decides that she'd like to keep adventuring with me because I am a really cool guy.

I do not blame her one bit.  I am totes to the coolio, dudes.

I however, do not need a companion right now, so I send her back to Ft. Dawnguard where they've come to begrudgingly accept her and her vampire ways, kind of like Angel when he ran the Scooby Doo detective agency and sang karaoke to divine his future.  Or something like that.  They're not trying to outright kill her, s'what I'm saying.

Me?  Time to go back home.

Time too relax.

Time for a cuppa'.

Also to put the latest trophy up on the wall: Auriel's Bow!  Right next to that sweet katana I stole from Delphine's room at the Riverwood Inn.  haw haw.

A fine decorative piece!
 After all that adventuring, I sure could use a quick Staycation; maybe get some reading done on my outdoor patio, soak up some of that glorious sunlight I just busted my ass to preserve.

Hmm, let's see what Lydia's stocked in my library...

A choose-your-own-adventure book, but better!
This looks interesting!

Next time, rebuilding the Blades' organisation, Skyrim politics, and Alduin the World-Eater!

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