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About this blog

Greetings everyone! This page contains my various Bethesda blogs. At the time of this update, it contains my troubleshooting playthrough series, my Skyrim modding diary, my mod cleanup case study series, and my Shout Like a Virgin beta test blog. You can access all the entries from the sidebar on the right side of your screen.

 

Playthroughs

I've recently exceeded the 1000 mod threshold, and it's time to start periodically doing brief playthroughs to ferret out hidden conflicts and other bugs. In this series, we'll do shorter, more focused adventures where we try to tell an interesting story and also talk about what problems we ran into them and how we addressed them.

 

  • Charley's Story: Charlotte Ellison survived a nuclear war by spending more than two hundred years in stasis. Now she has to survive in a very new world, facing very new threats. A Fallout 4 playthrough.
  • The Spider's Web: Kirstia's search for answers has taken her to the island of Solstheim. Now she must uncover the secret of The Teacher - also known as Mephala - and continue the journey to master her powerful magical heritage. But can she survive as her enemies, new and old, close in? 
  • The Curious Case of Forrien Hlaalu: A year after she returned to Northpoint, Kirstia is back in Skyrim and looking for answers. The strange events that occured during her search for Sybil Fjotra continue to trouble her, as does the ongoing influence of the strange gods of the Forsworn. After a chance encounter over drinks, a wizard from the College of Winterhold sets her on the trail of a scholar who may have the answers she needs...
  • The Search for the Sybil: Exiled from Skyrim to the remote land of Northpoint, Kirstia Bjissen has fallen on hard times. Just as she hits rock bottom, a voice speaks to her and charges her with a sacred quest that will take her back to her native land - and likely into danger. Can Kirstia find the new Sybil of Dibella before her past catches up with her?
  • Shout Like a Virgin: Miraculously saved from death, Monilee of High Rock finds herself in Skyrim, a land riven by civil war and harboring dark secrets. While she tries to build a new life in this foreign land, she's haunted by half-remembered dreams, and in chasing them she discovers her role in the turning of the ages. However, Monilee has not gone unnoticed by powers outside the mortal realm. Used as a pawn in the struggle between Nocturnal and Dibella, it will take all her wits, endurance, bravery, and stubbornness to reclaim sovereignty over her body and her soul.

 

Modding Diary

This series tracks my modding projects in-between playthroughs and case studies. The main focus will be on the technical processes of cleaning, editing, and integrating mods into a large load order configuration, including managing emergent multi-mod interactions. 

 

Modding Case Studies

This blog reviews the tools and techniques that authors and end users can apply to make their mods as stable and compatible as possible, as well as how end users can integrate complicated mods into a large load order setup. In addition to coverage of well known techniques such as automatic mod cleaning, this blog delves into more complicated issues such as navmesh repair. 

 

Entries in this blog

Consequences (Monilee's Adventure, Part 27)

"I've been meaning to ask you something," Lucien said, "got a moment?"   Monilee nodded her assent as she lounged on one of her new home's comfortable chairs.    "Look, you know I'm not very good at practical things. You know... combat."   Edippa chuckled, "I don't know, there's plenty of... practical things you're good at."   The scholar blushed for a moment before driving on. "What I mean is, I rely on you to win our battles and... I shouldn't. So I supp

Defiance (Monilee's Adventure, Part 26)

After her and Lydia had redressed, Monilee asked her if she was alright.   "That was amazing," the warrior answered.     "I cannot deny it," she continued. "You're a lover like none other."    "I'm glad I made you happy, Lydia."   They talked for a time longer on the road back to Whiterun. Lydia shared her misgivings, her concerns that Balgruuf might have failed to live up to his promise to see that she was valued and cared for. They talke

The Problem with Lydia (Monilee's Adventure, Part 25)

They were back in the Moorside Inn, doing their best to ignore the fleeting, curious glances from the other patrons. Whispers of Dragonborn occasionally reached the table and Monilee had to suppress a great urge to stand up on her table and harangue the barflies, demanding some quiet and privacy.    "If you're thinking what I'm thinking," Shayna said, "it would be even better if you took the opportunity to demonstrate your thu'um. That'd shut them up."   Monilee scoffed, "Oh,

Searching for the Horn (Monilee's Adventure, Part 24)

Monilee closed the book with a thump, trying to digest the words she had just heard in her mind.   "Everyone," she said, "Nocturnal is up to something."    Shayna smirked. "When isn't she?"   "True enough," Monilee conceded, "but I think we have only a little time before we're caught up in her schemes again. I think the time's come for us to retrieve the Horn."   "At last," Lydia said, "I was starting to think you had forgotten about it entirely."  

The Mysteries of Dibella (Monilee's Adventure, Part 23)

"What happened?" Lydia asked, "you vanished... and now you're back."   "It was Nocturnal, she summoned me to her... to somewhere else. Wait," she paused for a second, "how long was I gone?"   Edippa chimed in, "Just a few minutes. We were getting ready to start searching for you when you returned."   "Hmm," Monilee said, "it felt like I was gone for... a day, maybe more."   Shayna considered that, "You may have been in the Evergloam. Sometimes time, especi

Winning Favor (Monilee's Adventure, Part 22)

Exhausted and thoroughly frustrated, Monilee did her best to wash herself of the mess the ritual had left behind, gratefully accepting a helping hand from Edippa.    "You have to trust in Dibella, my daughter. If the time was right for you to be free of this curse, she would have interceded. Sir Biggs meant well, but he tried to defy destiny, and that can never end well."   "Perhaps," Monilee conceded, "But I was so close. I could feel myself break free from Nocturnal, but ju

Freedom Restored? (Monilee's Adventure, Part 21)

Auryen Morellus looked positively giddy as he took the jade warrior off of Monilee's hands.    "You've found it? Oh, you have! Excellent. Yes, I have just the place for this. Thank you, here's your reward."   Handing over a small purse of coin, the Altmer added, "What about the other relics? Any luck?"   Monilee shook her head apologetically, "I'm afraid not. We've run into some... complications." She had gotten better at speaking through the metal contraption Noctu

Recapitulation (Monilee's Adventure, Part 20)

Lucien Flavius' eyes gogged back and forth between Monilee and Shayna as he digested what he was hearing.    "Oh yes," Shayna said with an over-the-shoulder poke of her thumb, "I was sitting right over there. I was like 'oh, look at me, I'm the mighty hero, would you like to leave something special in my ass?' It got poor Monilee so worked up."    As the party worked on their ale and venison dinner, the Winking Skeever hummed with life around them. If anything, the crowds in

The Iron Mask (Monilee's Adventure, Part 19)

The battle began instantly. As soon as the Monilee opened the crypt doors, Draugr poured forth and the party rushed to meet them. Edippa demonstrated her claim to power against the undead, wreathing the deathless warriors in fire that quickly consumed them. But a more potent foe led the charge - a masked woman in splendid white robes, wielding a beautiful curved sword in the Akaviri style. Quickly, she focused on Monilee, who reached for her own sword only to find her wrists yet again bound toge

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A Quest For Dibella (Monilee's Adventure, Part 18)

Author's note: During her analysis of a papyrus log - see notes below - @VirginMarie noticed unexpected behavior that is likely to cause long term problems with this save; specifically, on-load update functions for Toys and SLaVE were not appearing in the log when expected. We're still analyzing, but to ensure that we are generating accurate test data, it's likely that will soon export my characters and start a new game using version 8.0.1 (or whatever the latest release is at the time). Hopeful

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Witnessing the Sunrise (Monilee's Adventure, Part 17)

The following morning, Edippa helped Monilee thoroughly wash up. The dirt of the road had infiltrated deep, and with all her little cuts and bruises a gentle, second pair of hands made all the difference in the world. As they washed, Edippa offered to help Monilee change her hair.   "A pretty woman like you should always try new things, after all."   "Why thank you, mother," Monilee said cheerfully, "why don't you show me what you're thinking of."   The two tried a

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Markarth, City of Stone (Monilee's Adventure, Part 16)

With the jade statue carefully wrapped and packed away, the party set forth on the final leg of their journey to Markarth. Following a road around a craggy hill, at last they could see the full glory of the City of Stone. Clouds rolling off the mountains shrouded the upper reaches of the city, but the imposing city gates and the phallic protuberance of its armory tower were readily visible in spite of the distance.      As they drew closer, Monilee could only look on in awe

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Detours (Monilee's Adventure, Part 15)

After taking some time to gather supplies and warm clothing for the mesmerized slave - they couldn't get her to cooperate with putting any of them on - the party took stock of their situation.   "It's a long way back to Solitude," Monilee started, "I think we need to stop back in Falkreath to stock up on supplies."   The others nodded, but Edippa added, "Why not stop at Markarth instead? It's on the path anyway, and the Temple may be able to help you resist Nocturnal's influe

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You Are Exactly What I Was Looking For! (Monilee's Adventure, Part 14)

The bear's roars and the fleeing men's screams faded into the distance, but the dog remained, carefully considering Monilee and her party. Then he spoke.   The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition 2021.04.24 - 20.42.48.02.mp4   Monilee had seen her fair share of strange sights, but a talking dog was a new one. Maybe she was still a little stunned from the ambush, but the best she could manage was an incredulous, "Did you just talk?"   The dog cocked his head

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Perseverance (Monilee's Adventure, Part 13)

"My Thane! My Thane!" Lydia shook Monilee and called out to her as the Graybeards looked on silently. Watching. Judging.    Pain brought Monilee back to the present. Pain in the sensitive places now skewered by finely wrought metal. Pain in her wrists, and ankles, and throat where she'd been suspended by spectral bindings. Pain in her chest where a harness now held her tight. Pain in her knees and and elbows hands where the cold floor chilled her to the bone even as she lifted herself

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The Seven Thousand Steps (Monilee's Adventure, Part 12)

Author's note: this one is lengthier than most of the entries so far, as it was intended to be two sessions (12 and 13) but was compressed because of schedule constraints. Please be aware that the final video is lengthy and large (it depicts the entire opening scene of Shout Like a Virgin's main quest). I recommend downloading it rather than attempting to stream it.    "Can I give you some advice?" Shayna asked as the trio finished breakfast. Monilee nodded assent and the doppelganger

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Letter From a Friend (Monilee's Adventure, Part 11)

Monilee staggered through the destitute throngs camping outside Whiterun's gates. Some just stared, others mouthed questions. The dragon - is it dead? Are we safe? Monilee had no answers for them. Her full focus was on putting on foot in front of the other on the long path to the Jarl's palace. Silently, the guards opened the gates for her, their eyes gleaming silent questions through their close-faced helms. How had the battle gone? Did it end in victory? Were their friends coming close behind,

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The Dragon Returns (Monilee's Adventure, Part 10)

As soon as Farengar started to describe the stone tablet, Monilee was pretty sure she knew where it was at. In the cavern with the Word Wall, Monilee had seen a sealed sarcophagus next to the large treasure chest she'd looted. Indeed, she'd been sorely tempted to try and pry it open - a move that, in retrospect, would have saved her a lot of time. But after her encounter with the choking collar, she'd been wary of tempting fate too much when it came to sealed containers. The treasure chest had b

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Words of Warning (Monilee's Adventure, Part 9)

Monilee took one last walk through Helgen, looking for any sign of survivors. There were signs of battle, for certain - and signs of the dragon's fiery wrath. Corpses as well, some fresh, some charred to cinders, and judging by the smell more buried in the ruin of Helgen's homes and businesses. But no signs of life. And as the dragonfire-warmed stones began to cool, the chill wind made the gutten city less and less comfortable by the minute.    So returned by the way she came, forging

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Catastrophe at Helgen (Monilee's Adventure, Part 8)

Lucan Valerius seemed positively delighted to have his treasured claw back.   "You found it? There it is. Strange... it seems smaller than I remember. Funny thing, huh?"    "That's what she said," Monilee's doppelganger interjected.   Lucan's face darkened at that, "You should be grateful that your master is such a good friend - that's totally uncalled for."   "No, I mean that's literally what she said - what Monilee said when she found it. It looked small

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Bleak Falls Barrow (Monilee's Adventure, Part 7)

Camilla Valerius had warned Monilee about the old watchtower, perched high up about the White River. Crawling with bandits, now, and so she gave it wide berth. She didn't have the same luxury when it came to the actual entry to the Barrow, however. Fortunately, the bandits were cowards - despite holding the high ground with superior numbers, as soon as the third one fell to Monilee's bow, the rest turned tail and fled. Those few that remained - archers high up and with no easy escape route, fell

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Chasing a Dream (Monilee's Adventure, Part 6)

That smell carried on the wind from the south... pine and lavender. Monilee barely remembered the dream; indeed, she had forgotten most of it by the time she was fully out of the river, but the smells stayed with her.    As the memory pulled at her with greater and greater vigor, Monilee stopped short of Whiterun's outer gate. She turned to her doppelganger, ready with a question, and then stopped short.   "Dibella's breath, what happened to you?"   Out of the gloom

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The Road to Whiterun (Monilee's Adventure, Part 5)

There are two overland routes to Whiterun from Solitude. Straight south to Rorikstead and then east, or east through Hjaalmarch and into the Pale, then south by way of Fort Dunstad. The Pale route was longer, and colder, and given her lack of a proper tent or fur cloak Monilee quickly decided to take the route through Rorikstead. She figured that if she could make Dragon Bridge by midnight, she could find a reasonably comfortable spot to sleep till morning and then continue on with the advantage

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Money Won't Make Itself (Monilee's Adventure, Part 4)

After quenching her thirst at the well, Monilee took a moment to count through her coin purse. It didn't feel like the kennel keeper had stolen any of her money overnight, but she didn't really trust him. Moreover, she wasn't completely sure just how much she'd taken from those bandits on the road. 91 copper septims was the answer. Enough that she could buy a modest breakfast without too much concern, but not enough for much else - probably not even the gate toll to leave the walled part of the

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Shoestring Budget (Monilee's Adventure, part 3)

It was raining again. Of course it was raining. At least Monilee's hooded cloak kept the wet from soaking her to the skin, but ducking her head to avoid the hammering precipitation made it a lot harder to appreciate Solitude's splendor. Yes, Solitude was an old city, and yes, it had seen better days, but compared to the crumbling ruins she'd seen during her recent travels, this was a living city. And compared to the rickety wooden shanty-town of Morthal, this was, in fact, a city. Perhaps it was

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