Looking for other Skyrim Speedway posts? Part One has links to them all!
Orc Orcerrson is still in Solstheim, former home of the Dragonborn Miraak and current location of some sidequests that need to be done to get the Dragonborn DLC’s last achievements. First amongst those is the one for unlocking the secrets of five Black Books!
This takes us to a dig just outside of Raven Rock where this dude has a dig into an old Nord barrow underway that has stalled due to lack of money.
As an expert archaeologist himself, Orc has a good feeling that this guy’s onto something and there are valuable
loot artefacts inside, specifically one of Hermaeus Mora’s Black Books! Hiring more diggers to uncover the barrow proper is only 1000 gold, so Orc invests. We’ll have to drop by later to see how they’re getting on.
While we’re waiting for that, let’s see if Master Neloth of House Telvanni is willing to let us read his. However, on approach to his mushroom tower we spot something grim.
Ah. The poor steward of the tower seems to have met an unfortunate end right on the front doorstep. Surely Neloth will be hugely upset that the tower’s security is so poor that a key member of his household can be killed so close oh nope he’s just upset that there’s no-one to bring him tea. Wizards!
On learning that Orc isn’t any good at tea-making, he sends us to Raven Rock to get a new steward immediately. Orc doesn’t have a choice in this, but Neloth assures us he is held in awe there and that any citizen would jump at the chance to serve such a prestigious master. The citizens of Raven Rock have a slightly different interpretation; “unhinged”, “looney”, “dangerous madman” and “absolutely no way” all crop up more than once.
Luckily, the cook at the local tavern is desperate for a new job, desperate enough to works for someone with a poor track record of employee safety. The reason for his desperation? His current employer doesn’t let him drink on the job. Sounds to me like they suit each other! Neloth is happy enough with this and gives us access to his unique Staff Enchanter, next to which is his Black Book!
This Book leads to another fairly short instance, although it does have a quite annoying moving walkway section I had to retry more than I’d have liked… nevertheless, one more down!
Oh, helping out Neloth with the new steward also got us the “Sideways” achievement for doing 10 sidequests! This was a little surprising, as I thought something this small would fit more into the Misc. quests category; most of the Side Quests are actually fairly lengthy. For reference, the quest we did for the Temple Of Mara back near the start is a Side Quest and that had what, 5 distinct phases that had us travel to a different place each time? Still, I’m not complaining!
The next Black Book is in White Ridge Barrow on the North end of the Island.
That’s the entrance, with what I think is the Skyrim mainland off in the distance. The Barrow is an interesting place, where the descent starts with a whole heap of dead bandits and spiders, and progresses to dead Draugr, live spiders, spider eggs that hatch when they detect movement and bandits controlled by parasite spiders. You know, just in case the big spiders in the main game hadn’t scared all the arachnophobes out there enough! Once again this is the work of a rogue mage, who this time didn’t survive his own spider breeding experiments. His magic spider breeding machine IS still there for budding arachnomages, but Orc decided to give it a pass. The Black Book isn’t actually involved in this, the Dragon Priest’s chamber it rests in was still sealed off.
Well, it was sealed. All the stuff in here including the now dead Priest’s mask belongs to Orc. Notably, the loot is not just the Book we were after but also the first Word for the “Cyclone Shout”. This is the 20th Shout Orc has learned, so the game crowns us with the “Thu’um Master” achievement! (“Thu’um” being ancient Nord for “Shouty magic”)
On to the secrets of this Book. The little piece of Apocrypha this Book connects too is very dark and damages you if you’re not under one of the moving lights. Or, if you have incredible damage resistance and a huge health pool you can just sprint to the end no problem in under 2 minutes. Here’s the end from the previous Black Book because I didn’t space out my screenshots very well!
The reason I didn’t space them is because the “Hidden Knowledge” achievement for finishing 5 Black Books popped at the end of this one. I hadn’t realised that the main quest ones counted and so we didn’t need to do all five of the optional ones!
So on that bombshell, we’re going back to Skyrim! The sole remaining Dragonborn achievement is to tame and ride 5 dragons, which we can do with the plentiful dragons on the mainland.
Farewell, Morrowind callback island, I enjoyed the visit!
Time Elapsed: 30hr 37m
Achievement Progress: 65/75
Next time on Skyrim’s Most Wanted: Have you seen this Orc?