The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor has been playable for two weeks now (on PC, it landed yesterday on console). I already made up my mind about the dark new chapter for the MMORPG (spoilers, I liked it, check out the review here) and now it's time to dive deeper into the stories that Western Skyrim has to offer. The seven chapters of the main story lead us through tall mountains and then deep under the earth, where Blackreach awaits. The two new regions have more to offer than just the main plot, however, since the side-quests let us experience convincing narrative content as well, I picked five favourites that I don't think you should miss out.
The Long Journey Home
The first quest on our list brings us to Morthal. During the main storyline, we meet Jarl Reddharn of Morthal and learn about the loss of his daughter, Freiwen. When you enter the city the next time you can see the Jarl's wife, Lady Ninetha, talking to two upset villagers about some paranormal sightings in the area. As soon as you talk to her about these occurrences you can slip into the role of a paranormal detective.
The quest leads you into a region plagued by blizzards. Piece by piece you unveil the history behind ice covered humans and animals that attack from everywhere. The Long Journey Home is one of the longer questlines and appears to be surprisingly complex, even offering some nice twists along the way. In fact, the next entry on our list basically counts as an extension of this and continues the story around Morthal's population.
Of Ice and Death
Without revealing too much, this side-mission focuses on the actions of Maxten, a death mage who is supposedly involved in Freiwen's disappearance. The quest starts as soon as you find a ship called The Silver Cormorant south of Solitude, stuck in the ice. The crew needs our help to find their missing crewmates (including the captain of the ship), who went overboard during the blizzard. As soon as you are able to soothe the stormy weather, a hidden Nordic ruin will be revealed: Verglas Hollow.
Because players are able to play through the two quests independent from each other, the happenings around Morthal can be interpreted in different ways, and you need to finish both of them in order to find out what really happened in this region.
The Lady of Blood
The Lady of Blood is located in Blackreach, deep beneath the ground where the vampire army known as The Gray Host has settled. The quest starts when you talk to Gwendis, a vampire of the House of Ravenwatch, on a cliff right in front of Greymoor Keep. If you are already familiar with the details around the story of Greymoor, you know that our vampiric companion Fennorian is also part of the House of Ravenwatch, so Gwendis is also one of the peaceful vampires in Western Skyrim.
While talking to Gwendis we learn that a powerful vampire named Lady Essenia has taken Gwendis' sister, Adusa-daro, as a prisoner for horrible experiments. Besides, more and more vampires went missing after entering the Greymoor Keep, which is why we sneak in to find out more about the dreadful experiments and eventually save Adusa-daro. This side-quest holds a lot of new information about the story of Greymoor and, with Greymoor Keep as location (as well as an interesting boss fight), it gives us a nice mix of everything.
Because of its presentation and overall depth, The Lady of Blood could almost pass as part of the main story. In case you'd like to know more about Tamriel's vampires and their plans in Blackreach, you definitely shouldn't miss this one. However, before you start the task you should make sure you have played the main storyline until "Greymoor Rising", the second-to-last quest. Otherwise, you will spoil some highlights from the main story.
The Pale Man
"The Pale Man" is probably our shortest mission on this list, but it still presents a nice story that reminded us of urban myths like Bigfoot. Here, an old man named Aerolf complains about his miserable harvest and his overall unfortunate situation. The culprit is supposed to be the Pale Man, a mysterious figure who, according to Aerolf, kidnapped his brother several years ago - and he has been on the hunt for the monster ever since. While talking to other villagers, we slowly realise that this maybe isn't just a figment of an old man's imagination.
The presentation of the quest reminded me of a simplified hunting contract from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, since it tells a short, entertaining story about some of the many mysteries Skyrim has to offer. Aerolf's farm is located near the crafting location Hunter's House, near Dragon Bridge.
The Fate of the Frozen
This quest doesn't shine because of its interesting story, but rather because of the gameplay experience. In case you've already played the new 12-player trial, Kynes' Aegis, you have already been in contact with the Sea Giants. In The Fate of the Frozen, the so-called Frostbite Bandits were blindsided by a crew of powerful half-giants on the icy coast. These enemies can be quite a challenge in a fight, depending on your level. Once you've fought enough of them off, a final boss battle with a Vikingesque Sea Giant awaits - the head of the crew. Besides getting a fun fight out of all this, I would have loved to have learned more about the lore behind these mysterious creatures, but it seems I'll have to enter the new trial in order to do so.
There they are, my five favourite side-quests from The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor. Regardless of whether you do these missions for the rewards and achievements, or because you'd like to collect every bit of the story that's hidden away, the quality and diversity of these quests speaks for itself. I liked certain missions, such as The Lady of Blood, almost better than some parts of the main storyline, which fell just short of our expectations. Therefore, a small detour to visit each of the regions is definitely worth it.
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