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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

A Letter Home (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Epilogue)

Dear Mother,   I hope this letter finds you well. When we parted company earlier this year, I was eager to discover the secret behind the strange forces influencing my fate. I'm pleased to tell you now that while I haven't unraveled the mystery, I may have at least found a thread to start tugging on.    I think you would have enjoyed the adventure my search took me on. I met a number of interesting people, overcame difficult challenges, and set my eyes on some truly wondrous

Final Examination (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 15)

The sky was starting to shade into dusk as I crossed beneath the gate of Larak's fortress. As before, I found him near the entrance and waved in greeting.   "Chief Larak," I said, "I trust all is well?"     "Aye," he grumbled, "little has changed since you left. Were you successful in your quest?"   I gestured towards my pack. "I was. I'm on my way to tell Millonce the good news right now."    "And the cave, did it offer you a suitable challenge

Battle on Ice, Snow, and Marble (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 14)

If guards or sentinels hadn't already seen me it would have been a stroke of incredible luck. Consequently, I didn't take any chances. I drew out my bow and advanced as fast as I could without the risk of slipping on an icy spot. I've never been a very good snap shot with my bow, but if archers were waiting in ambush it was still better than rushing in with sword in hand. Worse come to worst, I could always switch weapons on the fly if I needed to.    As it happened, I was right to pre

The Frozen Lake (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 13)

The ghostly figure stood before me, for the moment at least making no acknowledgement of my presence. I approached him slowly, trying to close the distance without making any move that her might see as agression. Soon I stood face to face with him, and his cold eyes watched me impassively.   "Who are you?" I asked.     "It is not time for me to answer that question," he replied. "We will meet again, but for now, I am content to watch."   When he chose to

The Living Depths (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 12)

While I'd been resting, I had taken a moment to look through the abandoned books on the shelf. Most of them concerned the mythology of the Dark Elves, but one stood out amongst them: Ayleid Inscriptions an their Translations. I flipped through it, with my bauble helpfully hovering over my shoulder to illuminate the pages. I admit I was more skimming than properly reading, but my eyes passed over some interesting bits of advice: 'wisdom learned by pain is a reliable guide in dark times,' for one.

Spiders and Bears and Trolls (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 11)

I descended into the dark carefully, not sure what to expect. Certainly, I knew I had to be on the watch for Falmer, but I recognized there were other threats as well. Certainly, the copious spider webs warned that I might encounter hungry arachnids. I could only guess at what other sorts of monster hid in the shadows. My little bauble seemed equally concerned, flitting about left and right and zipping off towards any little sound that broke the silence.   "Hey buddy," I whispered afte

Departures, Hugs, and Spanks (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 10)

I dozed on and off through the day. As it turned out, I was a lot more tired than I'd thought, and the time I'd meant to spend preparing my gear for exploring the cave ended up getting used for rest instead. Fortunately, Millonce was kind enough to let me use her bed; while it didn't compare with the wonderful mattresses and blankets at the College, the bedding was good enough that I could regain a lot of my spent energy.   While I dozed, I dreamed. I was crouched under Millonce's tabl

Prurient Interests (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 9)

I dreamt again of Nelacar. He had followed me to my tent in the wilds west of Dragon Bridge, begging me all the way to dominate and humiliate him. The more I ignored him, the hungrier and more desperate he began. At last, I relented and started to mock him for the size of his small penis. A perverse smile spread over his face and all he could do was whisper, "more, more!" as I hurled progressively more hurtful insults at him.    And then, just like that, he was torn apart by wolves. I

Old Problems (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 8)

It didn't take a second demand for me to leave the Arcanaeum; indeed, now that I had a lead on Millonce Curio, I resolved to leave the College campus in its entirety as quickly as I could. I gathered up my gear as quickly as I could; I had a strong suspicion that if I lingered for any length of time, then I'd find myself given little choice but to remain. Certainly at least until the mages had satisfied their curiosity about me. Right until the moment I reached the bottom of the bridge, I was ex

Scholarly Pursuits (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 7)

Evening was starting to settle over Winterhold when I reached the base of the great bridge. Fortunately, the wind had largely subsided and while the air still held a chill it was entirely bearable. As I climbed the smooth ramp at the foot of the bridge, and elven woman stepped from the shadows to confront me.   "Cross the bridge at your own peril," she intoned. "The way is dangerous and the gate will not open. You shall not enter." Her words had a ritual character to them, as if she'd

Dreams and Reality (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 6)

I dreamt of warmth. I was at the fire pit, not just lying beside it but actually atop its iron grille. Waves of heat flowed through my body, but I didn't burn. I only felt a deep, intense sense of relief as all the aches of the road fled my body. Then a warm hand brushed against my thigh, and I rolled my head to the side, lazily opening my eyes.    A golden-skinned elf stood over me, his hands brushing lightly against my body. It took a moment before I recognized him: it was Nelacar, t

Back Into The Cold (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 5)

So after all that, I was heading back to Winterhold. Rather than reverse my course - and risk crossing the front lines of the civil war again - I decided to make my way north to Dawnstar and then hire a boat to take me to Winterhold. While the old city itself was perched high on a cliff, there was a small landing at its base from which I could ascend to the city - and its college. The backtracking part of my journey - passing through Whiterun Hold by way of Riverwood - was uneventful, though as

A Hidden Place (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 4)

When I wiped the oily fluid away from my eyes enough to see, I quickly realized that I wasn't at the lake anymore. No longer in ankle deep water, instead I was lying on a rough stone floor. My armor and weapons, which I'd set aside while I used the standing stone, were nowhere to be seen - nor was winged bauble.    I seemed to be at one end of an underground passage. Some light cast down through cracks in the wall and ceiling, so I couldn't be too far underground, but I had no idea whe

Misplaced Toys (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 3)

I have to admit, if I didn't know he was a Hlaalu, I would have mistaken Forrien for a Wood Elf. The antlers just screamed 'Bosmer.' But then again, I had antlers, and I'm not a Bosmer, so perhaps it was just evidence that this was indeed the mer I needed to speak with.   Unfortunately, I wasn't going to be doing any speaking with him. His loose-fitting robes might have hidden the most graphic signs of his violent end, but rolling him over I could see the slit in his robe where a sword

A Late Arrival (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 2)

This awaits you on the path you have chosen...   I fought for a while to catch my breath, those whispered words echoing loud in my head. Even though what I'd experienced had clearly been a dream, it had set my heart racing and filled my gut with ominous tension. The fact that The Teacher's children started shifting, agitated, inside me did nothing to salve my discomfort.    I kept thinking of The Teacher's words as I ate my breakfast. If her intention was to warn me away from

Chasing Answers (Kirstia's Second Adventure, Chapter 1)

It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since Mother and I sailed for Northpoint. The time we spent there, if not especially exciting, was important to me. Not only could I show Mother where I'd spent the last twenty-odd years of my life, but we settled a lot of unfinished business during our time there. We even bought back Father's house, and arranged tenants to maintain it in our absence. A wise move, as it happened, because the longer I stayed there the more acutely I felt the the call t

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