Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Fresh from uncovering the source of Miraak’s power- our dear chum Hermaeus Mora is giving to him- Orc head back to the Skaal village to ask them for some secrets. This journey will be smooth and…
Haha no, Orc and Neloth are jumped by a dragon before I can even get the fast travel menu up. To show his disdain for this turn of events, Orc lets Neloth handle the dragon solo.
Anyway, soon after Orc reaches the Skaal village. The shaman is surprisingly keen to give up his ancient ancestral secrets – there’s an incredibly helpful Skaal prophecy that says one of the shamans will have to give up their secrets to save the island- but refuses to help until we free the other Stones from Miraak’s domination. Essentially, he wants a downpayment on worldsaving. Welp, back out we go.
One of the Stones is easy to get to as it’s in the outskirts of Raven Rock, insofar as a town with six buildings can be said to have an “outskirt”, but the other one is in the northeast of the island, far from anywhere we’ve been (and thus can fast travel to). Looks like Orc’s in for a trek. Luckily, he has an ace up his sleeve…
Vampire Lords can float across water. The last stone is more or less a straight line form Raven Rock following the coastline. We free the stone easily and take the long way back to the Skaal village. One reason is to discover 30 locations for the “Solstheim Explorer” achievement, which we duly get. The other is to pick up some of this stuff:
That’s Stahlrim, enchanted ice used to preserve ancient Nord VIPs on Solstheim. So yes, we are mining graves here. Orc doesn’t have the knowledge to craft with stalhrim yet, but this’ll come in handy when he does.
After these little diversions, Orc finally arrives back at the Skaal village and the Shaman is ready to hand over the secrets. It doesn’t go quite as he expected, I think.
Yeah, you can tell by the expression he didn’t anticipate the tentacle through the brain. Few do, but that’s our Hermaeus: tentacle-happy! Still, HM did stick to his end and give us the final Word of Power. Armed with all he needs to defeat Miraak, Orc opens the book and travels back through to Apocrypha.
We’re back where we first saw Miraak, but there’s no Miraak or dragon at the moment. What there is is a fairly long dungeon crawl, where passages shift as you travel through them to lead somewhere new if you try to backtrack and everything’s green. As you might expect from a place that prides itself on being a repository of hidden knowledge, there’s a lot of skill books lying around as loot. One of them gives Orc the “Reader” achievement for reading 50 different ones. Literacy rules, says Orc!
Eventually we puzzle our way to the end of the realm, where there’s an apocrypha-y word wall with another word of Dragon Aspect and also a dragon. Orc shouts at him with fully upgraded Bend Will and…
Yep, Orc now knows how to train your dragon, Miraak. Our new dragon pal flies us to the top of the tower, where Miraak is waiting. Orc leaps into the attack, and ruins Miraak! And by “ruins Miraak” I actually mean “broke the fight”; the fight is supposed to have phases where Miraak heals by sacrificing a dragon, but Orc took so much health out at once (or something) that Miraak got stuck in that healing state.
Notice how Miraak is a ghost and so neither Orc, the Super Dremora Bros or our dragon chum can hurt him? Yeah.
One quick reload later and the fight goes more normally, Miraak sacrifices his dragons, gets beaten up more then tries to sacrifice our new dragon mate, whose soul likes us a lot better and so weakens Miraak instead, at which point Hermaeus Mora does the tentacle trick to kill him for being unworthy.
You know, a pretty standard fight. Orc also gets to absorb all the dragon souls that Miraak had stolen, including our now skeletal dragon bud’s. And as is pretty standard for Orc, this means new outfit time: we’re now dressed like a Dragon Priest, apparently Miraak never changed once after renouncing his dragon masters? This outfit has the hidden attribute of exploding into tentacles whenever you get hit, which is kind of funny but hard to screenshot!
We also get the ability to re-allocate perk points by coming back here and using the glowing green icons, which is slightly more convenient than having to relearn the skill each time you want to do it. More importantly, we also get the “At The Summit Of Apocrypha” achievement for finishing Dragonborn’s main quest!
Despite that, we’re not yet done with Solstheim though, there’s a few more achievements we need to get here. For a start, we need to buy property in Raven Rock! Sadly though, this ash-covered monster-besieged hamlet in the frozen north of the world is extremely concerned about gentrifying yuppies from the mainland buying up holiday homes they’ll never be in, so Orc can’t just throw money at the problem. No, he has to Get Involved In The Community.
Time Elapsed: 28hr 49m
Achievement Progress: 58/75
Next time: The property market is ridiculous, even for legendary heroes.