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Jul. 14th, 2013 @ 11:49 am More Skyrim quest mods
Current Mood: pensivepensive
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I've played throuh the two remaining 'Fight against the Thalmor'-quest mods for Skyrim.

The third installment is The Aldmeri Domain. The Domain is a large mansion, not far from Solitude and the existing Thalmor Embassy. It is meant to be a replacement of the Embassy -- after Elewen's failure in the previous two mods, her star is falling in the Thalmor firmament and the Thalmor leadership are ready to replace her.
As such, a large concentration of Thalmor councillors and their attendant revenue of guard and justiciars are holed up in the mansion. Because Skyrim is (technically) still Empire territory, the Emperor has also sent a detachment of Penitus Oculatus agents along with them -- but the Thalmor make sure to keep them out of their 'private' business...
The mod is very large, with many areas that only open up 'staggered': first you have to take care of the guards (Thalmor and Empire both) outside, then one of them has a key to the storage area. Then in there you find someone with a key to the barracks, etcetera. And in every area, you find orders or journals that hint that not everything is what it seems!
Characters with high Sneak and serious backstab or Archery skills will be most effective here -- just charging in will put in you some serious hot spots! Also make sure that your Lockpicking is up to snuff, because there is a lot of loot stashed in locked chests or behind locked doors.
I had a lot of fun cleaning out the mansion with my sneak-archer, but it does get repetitive after a bit. The ending fight with three councillors (and the daedra they summon!) made it all worthwhile, though. And once again it was proven that the Thalmor are up to no good!

The fourth (and last) is South Dragon Bridge, which adds a village to the south of the Dragon Bridge. The village itself is not that interesting and consists only of three houses: a blacksmith, a Thalmor Barracks and a locked house that belonged to someone who left town quite some time ago. There's also a large inn (with a river-side fishing spot!) upstream of the Karth river. Even further upstream is the Valgus Mine, reportedly a goldmine.
And that's where the action is. The house that's locked is from Valgus, who retreated into his mine. To protect himself, he drafted a large group of bandits. And now the Thalmor are after him: they want his gold!
The mine is four levels deep. Near the top you find Thalmor and dead bandits, but when you've found the Thalmor advance party, you then encounter bandits from then on. It's big and challenging, and the loot is pretty good: I had to make a few trips to unload everything and then coming back to continue delving deeper.
However, there's a bit of a flaw in the deeper levels, and especially in the lowest one. The dungeons are partitioned by drawbridges, with levels to lower them hidden around. If you're a sneak-archer like me, it's easy to pick off all the bandits behind the drawbridge, and they never get the idea to lower the bridges to go and check out where all those arrows are coming from! The deepest level should be the most challenging, but I managed to kill everyone, except for three bandits who were hidden away somewhere. There was not much of a challenge like that... Still, the dungeon is really impressive, and the notes, orders and journals really add to the atmosphere.

In a way, the last three mods are a bit depressing. They're interesting and fun from a game-play view, but the only way to 'clear' them is to kill everybody. There's really not much choice if you want to progress into the dungeons. Especially in the fourth: maybe you'd want to talk to the bandits and warn them of the coming Thalmor invasion, get a reward or something. But no: first you have to kill your way through the Thalmor, then you kill your way through the bandits, and finally you kill Valgus himself (who wasn't a really nice person, but still).
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Viking!