Fortunately, Skyrim features a save system. And I had one just after defeating the Frostbite Spider. So it was a simple case of following Arvel once again and defeating the Draugr. And sidestepping the trap door. I kill Arvel again and search him. In his possession is the Golden Claw, his journal and his clothes. I take his journal, even though I know I’m not going to read it, and leave his clothes. Not out of respect, but because they’re basically worthless to me. Such a nice way to treat a person once they’re dead.
Moving on, three from Draugr attack Salria, one of whom has a bow and arrow. After defeating them, it turns out that the Ancient Nord Bow is considerably stronger than the Hunting Bow I had previously been using.
The next area is blocked by some swinging axes. They’re conveniently spaced slightly further apart than a human (or elf) body, allowing Salria to fit in between. The chain at the end stops them swinging. Continuing through the tunnels, a Draugr approaches, giving me my first attempt to us the Ancient Nord Bow. Three shots, two of them right in the heart (or where the heart would be).
Another jumps out of the wall, and once again, three shots takes care of it. Turning a corner, I see another Draugr coming at me, and another slowly fade into existence. Clearly some sort of ghost. Or a render problem.
While my bow has generally been effective on them up until now, I’m unprepared for two at once. Backing away, I notice there are some convenient oil patches on the floor. However, it takes a worrying amount of time to draw my Mace and flaming hands so set fire to it. Nonetheless, one gets caught in the fire, and the other receives a Mace in the skull.
Checking through my inventory, I take a look at Arvel’s journel. Turns out, he had stolen it from Lucan Valerius, the owner of the Riverwood Trader. At least that explains why he kept going on about thieves. Leaving the journal for now, I try and find my way out. I can’t find it, and after a minute or so I actually find the door, a grate above the stream.
The next section is a fairly linear route featuring a single Draugr. Eventually I find a large chamber with a door at the other end. Oh, and there’s a Restless Draugr charging at me. This one proves a lot harder to deal with than all those I’ve had to deal with previously, so a lot of jumping and emergency healing hand has to be used.
When (or rather if) I get further away, I draw my bow. This proves to be the most effective method of taking care of him, only hampered by the size of the chamber. Eventually, he falls and I walk through the door at the end.
There are some more swinging axes further along this corridor. Given my past experience, it will of course be easy. Salria is hit by two of them. The next room features three more Draugr. As before, the bow is most effective. That is, for the ones that are not hiding on the walkway at the back of the room. Turns out my long range arrow skills are not good. In fact, they’re terrible.
This room, like some of the others has a very convenient oil patch. I draw my mace and flaming hand and spend several minutes trying to tempt them down the stairs. Eventually one does, so I set fire to him. The other hangs back and requires several arrows. The door on the second level leads into a long corridor and a locked door at the end.
This door is obviously some sort of puzzle. Three rings with animals on them and a conveniently shaped outline of a claw. I take a look at the Golden Claw I picked up from Arvel. It has three animals on it too: a bear, dragonfly (or something winged) and an owl. Rotating the rings to that order unlocks the door. An incredible difficult puzzle that I’m sure no-one will ever be able to crack. Unless you have the vaguest sense of logic. It’s the perfect way to guard a valuable artefact.
It unlocks. Uncrackable. The next room is large. Clearly my objective. I approach the altar.