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DAWNGUARD (Part 3)

March 30, 2015

TESV 2014-12-14 20-31-22-51

Well off into the Shadow Realm Soul Cairn!

We descend down a huge flight of floating stone rocks that sort of resemble a stairs, and the first thing I notice is how gloomy the place is. Not only that, but it’s filled with dead people, ghosts, more dead people, and emo dead people.

...Thanks for the warm greeting.

…Thanks for the warm greeting.

Now, Serana mentioned that if you aren’t a vampire, your health and stamina and magika will suffer in the Soul Cairn. She wasn’t fucking kidding. They’re so heavily nerfed, your regeneration is slower than molasses, and you’re pretty much fucked whenever you try to fight or flee from enemies. And not only that, there’s these fucking huge ass soul gems that drain all your health as soon as you get close to them. For the longest time I just avoided the shit out of them, but turns out if you eat a shit ton of soul husks you find growing on the ground you’re temporarily immune so you can find some treasure, which is usually…well, more soul gems. And after hobbling around so severely crippled and lost, I fucking finally realized I could just abuse the shit out of being a werewolf, and ended up running around and getting shit done 5x times faster…when I wasn’t lost.

And I was pretty much always lost. Seriously, this area is HUGE. It’s hard to navigate, you have to make mental landmarks on differently shaped stones and towers, and even then I’d forget where shit is. It’s probably just me though, I mean I know there’s a map, but I’m a bit navigationally challenged, so.

Eventually I hear about Arvak, an undead horse that runs around in the Cairn aimlessly. Sounds pretty cool, a steed would’ve been handy, so I set out to find his skull.

About a week later, fighting skeletons and those fucking annoying ass Boneyard Keepers, I manage to stumble upon his skull, completely by chance and hooray! I manage to collect it and tame the undead beast.

He's cute...for a skeleton.

He’s cute…for a skeleton.

Eventually after wasting more time, I happen across a castle which is home to Serana’s mother, Valerica. And goddamn. The good-looking genes run in the family. Talk about milf.

Anyway, she tells me in order to get the Elder Scroll she holds I need to kill all the Boneyard Keepers in the spires scattered across the Cairn. Goddamn. Not again. So I go get lost for a few more hours, but luckily by chance I’ve already killed most of them, so that’s a relief. I come back and we talk about how Harkon’s key to the Tyranny of the Sun is not just the Elder Scrolls themselves…but he also needs Serana. Or something like that. I can’t remember.

Can we nominate Harkon for Tamriel's worst father?

Can we nominate Harkon for Tamriel’s worst father?

Anyway, there’s this bad ass undead dragon that happens to take notice that I completely fucked with the Boneyard Keepers, and he gets super pissed or something so I have to fight him. Let it be known him summoning more skeletons and doing weird soul tearing shouts is not my idea of fun.

Me: “GODDAMN IT JUST DIE ALREADY!”

Dragon: “I’m already dead!” 😀

I finally managed to down him with a shit ton of arrows while hiding under a stony ledge (I guess Serana and Marcurio helped a bit…hehe). He then introduces himself as Durnehviir. He explains he was tricked by the Ideal Masters to guard Valerica until she died, but seeing she’s an immortal vampire he was stuck in the Soul Cairn forever.

He offers a pact with me in the sense that he can leave the Cairn for short periods, so I can summon him back in Tamriel whenever I need his help. Which kind of cool, I love dragon summons, and since I haven’t completed the main quest yet, having an early dragon helper was pretty cool. Plus it turns out for the first three times you summon him, he’ll teach you the words of the Soul Tear shout.

So after getting the other Elder Scroll (which by the way, is the same one you get via Blackreach, I’ll spare you a paragraph of my frustration about how much I fucking hate Dwemer ruins and Falmer), we arrive back at Fort Dawnguard. It’s suspiciously quiet, and when we enter the common room we find Mr.Dexion sitting by the fire by himself, blindfolded.

Me: “Oh no…”

Dexion: “Yes, I’ve been blinded by the Elder Scroll.”

Me: “Damn it!”

Dexion: “…So due to my foolishness I can’t read the other two.”

Me: “…Fuck. So let me guess, I gotta do it.”

Dexion: “Bingo!”

He then explains I must undergo the Ritual of the Ancestor Moth so I can read the two other Scrolls. Fine. I have to cut up a tree with a draw knife, get some bark and a shit ton of moths will give me the sight needed to read the Scrolls. Sounds kind of weird, and I wasn’t exactly faithful in Dexion’s explanation, obviously he rushed into reading the Scroll without the proper precautions, who’s to say I wouldn’t fall to the same fate?

Me: “Alright, how do I find this place?”

TESV 2014-12-28 19-34-31-45
Me: “OKAY!! LET’S ROLL!”

So in between fighting dragons and punching all of Falkreath’s werewolf guards in the face, I find the hidden cave, known as the Ancestor Glade.

And woah damn, this place might be the most aesthetic place in all of Skyrim, next to the Eldergleam Sanctuary. Of course I entered with caution, but it wasn’t necessary, I think the only thing I had to fight was a grumpy bear. Other than that it was completely tranquil. I used the draw knife to gather some bark, and immediately I’m surrounded by fuzzy moths. Oh boy. But apparently I needed more moths so I walk around and enjoy the scenery while being a walking moth magnet.

So pretty.

So pretty.

At some point I become so surrounded by moths I can barely see myself, so I figure that’s enough and head back down to the center tree, standing in the column of light pouring in from the top of the cave. I pull out the Scroll and WOAH! suddenly I’m surrounded by light and I’m blinded and oh fuck–the Elder Scroll always fucks with you. But suddenly I’m seeing a map of Skyrim and a mark gets burned into it near Markarth–marking the next place I need to go to.

The location of Auriel’s Bow.

Next post: The Forgotten Vale. And hopefully the end of the quest, because I’m still having a hard time finding the shit I need to find. Damn it.

Image Credits: All screenshots were taken by me. Please do not repost without my permission.

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