This is the 4th part of a multi-post series on the Skyrim mod, “The Forgotten City”.
Part I: LINK
Part II: LINK
Part III: LINK
After Part III, my play-through was at a 3-way crossroads: 1) find out what’s in the locked room at the top of the Citadel, 2) talk to Jarl Metellus (while in the Citadel) and accuse someone of breaking the Dwarves’ Law, or 3) go to the Palace and get that helmet for Domitus.
I did all 3.
I’ll recount my trip through the Palace in Part V. This Part will center on the other 2 choices.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST…. AND THEY WILL BE PLOT-HEAVY, THIS TIME.
First things first:
The Common Thread (BIG SPOILER)
You can choose to accuse any of the citizens in the Forgotten City (“FC”) of breaking the Dwarves’ Law. You can explore anywhere (… almost). Regardless of what you do, something will bring you back to the Lakehouse, with Jarl Metellus right behind you.
Once there, the Jarl sacrifices himself and implores you to “stop it [the Apocalypse] from happening”. The Lakehouse door starts to glow purple, you click on it…. and you are back in the FC, at the very beginning.
The Forgotten City is a Time Loop trap.
How you escape from the loop – IF you escape (and that is a big ‘if’) – depends on various choices throughout your travels in the FC, such as accusations made. If the Dwarves’ Law is broken, and those Dwarven statues come alive, you more than likely won’t survive; instead you’ll either respawn at the Lakehouse or will revive on the ground. That 2nd option means that you’ll have to find a way past a Centurion (most likely) and get to the Lakehouse, so you can “start over”. The consolation prizes: you keep whatever you found before, including knowledge and keys; few, if any, of the people in the FC remember what you talked to them about before, so you can try different conversation options and tactics; there are no limits to “restarting”: if you, say, wanted to shoot Rykas in his face, you can… but you’ll likely take a beating from Dwarven Centurions and Rykas before you get to the Lakehouse. Hey, sometimes it feels ‘right’ to put an arrow through an NPC that annoys you. 😉 Regardless, in these next few parts, I’ll mention if someone or something triggered the Dwarves’ Law.
4. a) The Locked Room
I made 3 separate Save files, one for each branch. My first stop was the locked room in the Citadel. The rationale behind that choice was: 1) I saw the room when I first arrived and was curious, 2) there was mentions of “sobbing at night” in the Citadel – maybe the cause was behind the locked gate?, and 3) Dooley’s brother not only explicitly mentioned the room, but gave me a key to it.
I climbed the sets of stone steps to get to the top of the Citadel. To the right is the hallway that leads to the Jarl’s quarters; the gate is to the left. Once the gate is unlocked, there is a very short hall that leads to a ‘T’ intersection. There are doors at the end of the left-right hallway. To the right, that door leads to an upper balcony, overlooking the FC. The door to the left is locked but will open with the key. Inside:
There is tall, long but narrow room with a fireplace at the far end. There is a broken Dwarven bust on the floor. On the right wall, near the fireplace, is a woman that is shackled. Wait…
How is she shackled to the wall, when that act would most certainly have broken the Dwarves’ Law??
That is another mystery for another time. You can (and should) walk over to interact with her. She immediately begs you to not hurt her and “don’t do it again!”. You reassure her that you don’t do either and see asks you to free her. You do have a choice here: free her, talk to her, or refuse to free her. If you talk to her, she tells you that she is… Maisi, Ulrin’s wife! The woman who you may or may not have found in the Underground Tunnels, dead. She explains that the Jarl probably planted her necklace in the Tunnels, like he definitely chained her up in this room. You are again offered the choice to free her. If you don’t free her, you tell her that you will have to find another way to free her. She’s not thrilled about that, begging you to come back. This gives you the time to look for other options, to search the Citadel, or even confront the Jarl (more on that in the “Accusations” section.
If you decide to free her, she thanks you and tells you that plans on doing some bodily harm to the Jarl. This would be baaaad, as you inform her; her response: “I don’t care”. She then asks you to help her escape.
As you both approach the now-closed gate to the rest of the Citadel, the Jarl runs up the steps, demanding answers as to what you both are doing. Maisi and the Jarl make eye contact: he flees into a nearby bathroon-type area, you open the gate, and Maisi goes into a rage, cornering the Jarl. He tells her think about her next move, since attacking him would get everyone killed. She, while conjuring up what appears to be an Ice spell, ignores his pleas. She blasts the Jarl, instantly killing him… but blowing a hole in a pipe, lining the left side wall (and blowing a hole in the wall). She shouts to… someone(s) to run, you black out… and wake up in the original timeline. There is a frozen, cobwebbed body by your feet (guess who?). The rest of the room is dark (unusual, since the Citadel and the FC is very bright) and also cobwebbed. An Imperial soldier rushes up to you, a little surprised to see you, and asks who you are and what happened. Via a few conversation choices, you can either stay in the Citadel or leave through the hole in the wall.
The soldier is Altruis, Cassia’s brother.
After stating that he’s “grateful for the rescue yet feels oddly unsatisfied”, you and him reunite with Cassia. She rewards you with a necklace that bolsters Speechcraft by 15% and give you the Bribery perk. You leave the area and the credits roll.
I can see why Altruis felt “unsatisfied”. He tells you some of the story that he found n a journal (I’ll let you see what that is), including finding your name in it, but I found myself thinking “that’s it?” with this branch of the story. It wasn’t a “bad” ending but I have a feeling that other “endings” would be more… satisfying.
4. b) The Accusation
On the 2nd story ‘road’, instead of going to the Locked Room, I went to the Jarl. I found him on the balcony where I first met him, but he could be anywhere on the top floor, so search around if you don’t immediately see him.
The Jarl wants to make sure that you are certain about your pick. After this point, the conversation options will have everyone that is available for accusation; these choices will depend on who you previously talked to and who you previously helped. These options could include the Jarl and you. If the “Jarl” option is available, there are 2 additional options that could appear, depending on past choices: 1) “it was from your commands” (meaning, ‘spy on someone, report back, oops – wrong person!’) or 2) “I saw what was going on in that locked room!”. The Jarl, for choice #2, becomes angry and tells you that “someone” is spying on everyone via the Dwarven busts, which is how the Dwarves’ law is enforced; since the bust in the Jarl’s room is broken, “I can do whatever I want in there”. He then basically throws you out of the Citadel. Choice #1 for the Jarl appears if you had to run to the Lakehouse and “restart”.
For any other character: I had a few suspects at the top of my list. I chose Gulvar, due to his talk with me in the Tavern (see Part III). The Jarl was a little surprised (he liked Gulvar) but saw Gulvar’s anger bubbling under the surface. He then tells me about the Dwarven busts and where some of their “blind spots” are: the Underground Tunnels. He gives you the key to the tunnels (if you already didn’t have it) and directs you to lure Gulvar down there and kill him, “for the sake and safety of his people”.
I found Gulvar and “lied” to him, saying that I needed his help with a way out of the city that I found in the tunnels. Once in the tunnels, I checked for Dwarven busts (there were none), then I used a combination of Shouts and arrows to kill Gulvar.
Gulvar shouts that “they didn’t see you do it but they will know that you are… a murderer!”. That ominous music plays, the tunnels shake…
Somehow, you were seen breaking the Dwarves’ Law!
If you went deep into the tunnels, you’re screwed. If you were near the entrance (like me), you will have to deal with 1 or 2 Dwarven Spiders (metal spiders, about the size of a horse) – opposed to at least 3 – before leaving the tunnels. If you can, run to the Lakehouse. Return to the “past” and look for other options.
Those “options” include the Palace.
Part V will be the Palace adventures. It might take a day or two to sift through what all was in there and type a coherent post.