Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
On the last instalment of The Skyrim Speedway, noted assassin and wanted murderer Orc Orcersson had decided that Skyrim was perhaps too hot a place for now. And so, at the Windhelm docks, he took the first boat he could find heading out of the province.
This means one thing: we need a title change!
Welcome to The Solstheim Speedway, where we attempt do finish all the achievements available on the island of Solstheim as fast as possible! Just like the horsecart ride at the start of regular Skyrim, we get an intro boat ride into the island.
And we’re off to a great start, we got the accolade “Outlander” just for showing up!
Yep, this is the proper start of the Dragonborn DLC, which you may remember was initiated when Orc was jumped by strange cultists aaaages ago. It’s basically a huge callback to Morrowind, reckoned by a significant percentage of Elder Scrolls fans to be the best game in the series. That game was set on the island of Vvardenfell, home of the dark elves/dunmer and their weird and wonderful ways, with Solstheim appearing as part of the Bloodmoon DLC. The settlement the boat dumps us out at is Raven Rock, a former Imperial mining colony (that the Bloodmoon player could help set up) that has since been absorbed by House Redoran, one of the governing factions of Vvardenfell.
If you look closely enough, you can actually tell all this by the architecture: Redoran and Imperial building styles are markedly different. Oh, and as for that smoking volcano in the far distance? That’s Red Mountain, the volcano that comprised Vvardenfell. As you can see, it’s since erupted so there’s nothing left of where you were in Morrowind. Terrible shame.
The eruption has also covered the southern half of Solstheim in a thick layer of ash, which luckily Redorans are used to! Unfortunately, the ash is forming itself into human shapes and attacking the town, which they’re not used to. We save the captain of the guard from one such attack and he asks us to look into it, but more importantly we score a locally made set of armour off one of his less-competent guardsmen! Not a moment too soon, the imperial finery was starting to look ostentatious in such rugged environs.
As for the reason we’re here, asking around town about “Miraak”, the name on the cultist’s orders, only gets us confused looks. As an archmage and not an idiot, Orc can immediately tell these people are clearly under a powerful enchantment and some of the stronger willed townsfolk manage to tell us about a temple in the centre of the island. Sounds good!
Stopping to pose in our new Bonemold armour with some Netch, which are basically weird Morrowind floaty cows. Morrowindy!
The Temple Of Miraak is more or less in the middle of the island and not too hard to find. It’s got a lot of enchanted thralls working on it, but also someone who isn’t under the spell. Her name is Frea, and she’s here from Skaal, a nearby village of Nord natives, trying to free members of her tribe from the enchantment. She offers to come with Orc as he investigates the Temple and we can’t turn the offer down so why not!
She’s pretty good with those axes so between her and the Super Dremora Brothers Orc barely has to fight any of the draugr down here. The Temple extends fairly far underground and by the point of the screenshot the architecture had changed from standard draugr tomb to having these odd fish looking statues and dragon bones. On the way, Frea explains that Miraak is an ex-Dragon Priest who found out he was Dragonborn and turned on the dragons to try and conquer Solstheim. Of course, he was thought to have been dead all these thousands of years -killed by none too happy dragons- but you can’t keep a good villain down.
Past all the undead, traps and guardians we reach a small chamber with an odd book on it. Could it be HowToThwartMyEvilSchemes.txt?
Nope, it teleported Orc to a strange realm. Hmmm, where have we seen green tentacled voids associated with books before? Anyway, Miraak is there glowing ostentatiously. He taunts us a bit then has us banished back to the real world while he flies off on a dragon. As you do. We at least get the “Temple Of Miraak” achievement for beating the Temple, and Frea invites us over to her village to plan the next move.
Skaal village is a cozy Scandinavian looking place with barely any inhabitants right now. The few people left are desperately trying to shield the village from evil mind-control magic, including the local Shaman, Frea’s dad. While he’s a bit occupied, once he learns Orc is also Dragonborn he does offer up some ideas we could check out.
Time Elapsed: 26hr 56m
Achievement Progress: 53/75
Next time: We will check out those ideas he had!