Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Let’s take a moment to assess how this Skyrim “speedrun” is going. Our journey thus far has taken us nearly 11 hours and we’re just over 1/3 of the way through the achievement list. We’ve done the Civil War quests, about half the main quest and almost 2 Guilds, plus a sidequest or so, but still have 2 Guilds and 2 entire DLCs to go. Hopefully, we’re also ticking along nicely on the various “do X thing a lot” achievements, but it’s hard to tell.
Honestly, I’d say we’re pretty on track here, although I really should start skipping through dungeons more. The things holding me back from that are a) not wanting to mess up the delicate scripting that Skyrim quests run on and b) I quite enjoy smacking enemies around after being forced to sit through NPCs talking at me.
On with the show! As foreshadowed at the end of the last update, we’re back in the Riften sewers. On behalf of Orc, I noclipped through the little maze here to the objective. I could really use a summon or companion to clear up enemies when doing this: something to think about later. We easily find the dude- Esbern- we’re after.
He’s a touch fatalistic because he believes the long-prophesied end of the world is coming and only a Dragonborn can stop it. Imagine how chuffed he is when Orc reveals his dragon-ness!
Sadly we’re interrupted by the Thalmor showing up, so we have to lead him back to Riverwood. An escort quest means Orc has to slog through the whole sewer system anyway. Sigh.
Back in Riverwood, Esbern tells Delphine that the prophecy was handily jotted down by the ancient blades on a gigantic stone mural and that we might find clues to thwarting the end of the world on it. As that isn’t too portable, so we have to go to it’s location in the secret blades temple. It’s over near Markarth and nowhere near any map markers we can fast travel to, so I teleport myself there.
The camp is filled with angry locals and an equally angry dragon, so Orc and the crew have to do a little bit of fighting before we can find the temple entrance.
On the bright side, the guy who spent his whole life studying dragon knowledge is very impressed when Orc eats the dragon soul. It’s nice to be able to bring joy to an NPC’s life!
The temple is, naturally, sealed behind ancient, deadly and easily disarmed traps, but further needs a blood donation from a Dragonborn to this big giant head before it’ll let us in. Magic, eh.
SHOW ME WHAT* YOU GOT!
Once the statue is satisfied with Orc’s pint of Type Dragon Positive, we’re in. Esbern is like a kid in a candy store, stopping to talk about everything and he can’t be hurried. Meanwhile, we get the “Alduin’s Wall” Achievement and take this ancient relic selfie (Orc must be in the running for Archeologist of the Year at this rate). I actually wander off for 5 minutes to do some laundry while he’s rambling about dragons and prophecy.
It’s a nifty scene, but I’ve heard it a few times before. The short version is that the dragons are being forced to be evil by Alduin, who will compel them to destroy the world. The wall mentions an anti-dragon shout, which seems useful so Orc heads over to the Greybeards to see if they know it.
We divert slightly on the way because a Standing Stone is visible from the temple exterior: here’s the temple (slightly right of centre above the bush) from the Stone.
The Greybeards are slightly miffed that Orc is consorting with the Blades; it goes against their hippy peace and meditation thing. For the same reason they also don’t know the Shout.
Orc demands to talk to the manager.
You may remember the chief Greybeard lives on top of the mountain, currently wrapped in a blizzard. The Greybeards teach us the “Clear Skies” Shout, to let us survive the trek and – much later – to ensure every holiday Orc every takes goes perfectly.
I can’t resist another scenic shot. The Special Edition is noticeably prettier than the original version of Skyrim and I really dig this colourful night sky. A shame the other moon couldn’t be wrangled into the shot though!
Anyway we reach the top. Surprise!
Yeah, the leader of the Greybeards is a dragon. Who saw that coming! He teaches us how to breathe fire as a greeting (dragon tradition!) before telling us he can’t teach us the anti-dragon Shout because as a dragon, he can’t say it.
He also reveals how Alduin returned to cause dragon related havoc: One thousand years ago, the ancient Nords (with this dragon’s help) on this very mountaintop shouted Alduin through time itself with the aid of an Elder Scroll and he just now popped back into the timestream.
This is not particularly weird as far as Elder Scrolls plots go.
Our new pal informs us that if we brought the same Elder Scroll back here, it’d probably rip time open again and we could learn the Shout from the ancient Nords directly. this sounds solid, so we head to Winterhold College where they know about such things.
The College apparently won’t let you in just to ask questions even on end-of-the-world business, so we have to pass their entrance exam before we can go any further. Orc is an excellent wizard, but we cheat anyway by Shouting at the examiner. Dragonborn, NERDS!
This counts and we’re now an apprentice magician. We get an Achievement too.
Looks like Orc is going to
Hogwarts The College Of Winterhold!
Time Elapsed: 11hr 36m
Achievement Progress: 30/75
Next time: Orc Potter And The Large Ball Of Secrets