Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
In instalments of the Skyrim Speedway that are now in the past, Orc Orcersson obtained 14 artefacts of immense power but minimal actual use. Let’s finish the set.
The final Daedric Quest is located way up in the frozen north of Skyrim and, as mentioned, is also the next stop on the main quest. Our goal is this tiny, remote cave in the icefield.
It’s very pretty up here, in a stark kind of way.
Inside the ice cave is the very same Septimus who wrote the insane book about the Elder Scrolls, just as we’d hoped. Sadly, he’s still of questionable sanity and is trying to break into this locked Dwemer cube vault, which has been sealed for centuries.
Conveniently, the missing piece he needs to solve the lock puzzle is exactly where the Elder Scroll is stored, so he’s happy to send us on our way. On the way out of the cave though, we’re stopped by a multidimensional assemblage of tentacles and eyes.
Surprise! It’s Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of Secrets!
He indicates that breaking into the dwemer vault is something he, H. Mora, is quite keen to have happen so maybe we could actually return here once we have the key instead of just taking the Scroll and never returning? We tell him…well, that doesn’t matter, he assumes you’re going to do it no matter what you say. Also, we are, so….
Anyway, the secrets of the Dwemer civilization aren’t just lying around for anyone to take. Septimus points us to the ruin of Alftand, a Dwemer city split in half by a chasm that an ill-fated expedition has tried to explore.
I ignore all of that and cheat myself inside the exit lift, because I know what’s coming. Inside that is another lift, that we can open with a gadget Septimus gave us. This new lift takes us to…
Honestly one of the weirdest and therefore coolest parts of Skyrim, Blackreach is a gigantic underground cavern under Skyrim that links 3 large Dwemer ruins together. I really dig how strange and otherworldly it is, but a lot of players hate it for a few reasons: because it’s a big area you can only get to through one of three other large dungeons, because the map is borderline unusable inside it and probably also because it’s full of Falmer and Dwemer machines, which aren’t the most fun enemies to fight. It’s actually a lot tougher than it was at release as well, the Dawnguard expansion added a lot of new much tougher Falmer enemies which show up in the main game too. It also added a little secret, which is that if you use your Shout on the big sunsphere, it releases a dragon.
Orc doesn’t have time to poke around all the pumping stations and city ruins, he’s here for the Tower Of Mzark, which contains another of those big Dwemer sphere machines. Once we arrange this one just right, it opens up to reveal an Elder Scroll! The Elder Knowledge achievement is ours! We also get the thing Septimus wanted, but we’ve spent so long getting this, let’s use it first.
From the deepest depths to the highest peak! Paarthurnax seems to have had some time waiting for us to arrange a particularly cool pose.
Orc reads the Scroll at the time wound and gets treated to a 5 minute cutscene of ye olde nord heroes failing to dispose of Alduin properly. We do get the Dragonrend Shout out of it, which forces a dragon to land immediately (well, if the game feels like it). We also get an immediate opportunity to test it as Alduin wanders over to see what’s up.
Eat Dragonrend, nerd! Obviously we can’t kill him permanently this quickly, so he’s allowed to fly off, probably muttering about how he meant that to happen. Paarthurnax says he’s just going to keep doing that unless we find where his lair is, so maybe we should capture and interrogate a dragon to find out where that is? He remembers that the Jarl’s palace in Whiterun was designed especially for that purpose, so perhaps a little chat with the Jarl is the next step?
We’ll leave the Jarl of Whiterun blissfully in the dark about what we want him to do for now, it’s time to go back to Septimus. With the thing from Blackreach we got for him, he determines that opening the lock is easy, it just needs a drop of Dwemer blood. Unfortunately, the Dwemer are extinct.
After a bit of thought, Septimus reckons that maybe the lock could be fooled if blood from all the Dwemer relatives was combined; that is, all the Elf races. He hands Orc a needle and tells him to find some corpses.
One quick sweep of some suitably diverse and corpse-filled bandit camps later (they weren’t originally corpse-filled, Orc had to do that) and we have the blood mix. Poor Septimus is quite disappointed that after all that effort, all that’s inside is the Oghma Infinium, Hermaeus M’s tome of forbidden knowledge. Ol’ Hermy M isn’t pleased by that attitude and vaporizes him, so by default the book is ours. That’s 15 artefacts so we’ve achieved the title of Oblivion Walker now!
H-M shows up again to tell us good job. He actually used to be a glowy blue ball, just like the Augur underneath the College but the Dragonborn expansion changed him into the eye-tentacle thing. We’ll be seeing a lot more of Herm when we do that, but for now we’re done.
So, where to next? We seem quite close to solving the dragon crisis once and for all, but there’s so many other things that need our attention. Find out which way we go for tomorrow!
Time Elapsed: 18hr 38m
Achievement Progress: 37/75
Next time: Adventure awaits!