Alchemy in Skyrim is vaguely unpleasant at first, since in order to discover the first alchemical property of something, you must taste it. This is all fine and good, but some of these ingredients are less than appetizing - skreever’s tails, for example. On the other hand, blacksmithing is a real gem. I’ve learned how to create steel items now, though I don’t yet have steel ingots. I discovered something interesting - iron ore deposits. I didn’t have a pickaxe with me at the time, and apparently that’s required to mine ore. I’m excited about this development, though - it means I don’t have to buy ingots or ore! I became a Thane of Whiterun by helping defeat a dragon, and the Jarl assigned Lydia to me as my own housecarl. She’s come in very handy, though her pathing AI has been very irritating at times. She was probably the only reason I survived an encounter with an ice troll, though she herself didn’t remain conscious for the entire event. Trolls are brutal, especially if left to heal for a few seconds. After ascending the Throat of the World to meet with the Greybeards, they gave me additional Words of Power to give me one new Shout and beef up my existing one. I like the Norse feel of the draconic language; very different from the usual Elvish/Latin draconic languages. Returning from Hrothgar, I solved the mystery of a ghost in a nearby barrow, only to discover a very complex dungeon hidden beneath it. As of this writing, I’m stuck on a puzzle in its depths. Supposedly, I should be able to rotate four stone pillars to lower a wooden bridge, but despite doing what I thought was the correct pattern based on clues in an adjacent room, the bridge remains stubbornly vertical. No idea how I’m going to fix this one.