I’m currently spending far too much time playing Skyrim Special Edition for Xbox One. I’m not very good at it. I currently have several characters saved that I’ve played through to a point and then abandoned. It’s always a different place where I give up, I decide I don’t like the character anymore, and start a new one.
For those that have been living in a box, mods are unofficial changes to the game. Almost all of these plays have several mods activated. The most recent one has mods that let me level up faster, disenchant anything I don’t already know the enchantment for, give me several additional followers, upgrade the vampires, and several new locations and quests.
One mod in particular had me so creeped out and intrigued that I had to tell everyone how awesome it was. It’s called Clockwork by Anistar, and it adds Clockwork Castle and a unique series of quests to the game. I had started the game as a vampire this time, thanks to another mod, so when I get attacked by some chap called Isidor I drained him and found a note on his body.
I much prefer this method of integrating a mod than having the courier deliver a message. The note told me where to go to find his partner, a woman who’d told him to jump someone on the road for their gear and then come join her for a delve job.
As a vampire I’m a fan of exploring dungeons and caves, though I’m usually disappointed when there aren’t enough mortals to feed on. I’ve had some trouble in previous plays where I went to long between feedings and the people of a town mob me.
This fortlike doorway the note leads you to collapses behind you as you go in. This is supposed to leave you alone in the dark, but I have a mod follower that comes in with me. I go into sneak mode anyway to keep her quieter (even then she doesn’t shut up, but at least she talks in a whisper.
I’ve learned I can feed on her though, which is going to be useful since this place seems to be completely abandoned. At first I think this is just so the mod designer can show off how intriguing this place is, and begin to become impatient for an encounter.
And then she shows up. She’s not your typical ghost, but you know instantly that she is one. She stares at you from behind a fence, no matter where you go. I can’t tell you how many times I said “creepy” as I played though this mod. I begin to wonder which mod I’m playing as I’m running for my terrified life. When you do finally get out of the labyrinth it collapses behind you.
I actually sigh with relief as I see the Clockwork Castle ahead. At last I recognise the mod. The castle is a steampunk glory.You’re greeted by a ‘gilded’ called Lehar, a dwemer looking steam-powered robot, who shows you around the place and introduces you to another gilded who tells you how to leave.
I begin to feel disappointed. Is that it? What are these things? I have so many questions! Who is that ghost and why does it scream like an air-raid siren! Yeah. Weird and creepy. The machine that would transport me back to Skyrim doesn’t work though. It turns out it’s fallen into disrepair and I have to go down into the city beneath the castle where the gilded are aggressive.
They begin to build the creep factor again as you pass through the mausoleum to get down there. You find yourself in a cage, surrounded on three sides by gilded. Maybe they’re nice and will help you out? Nope. Very glad I’m not alone as the creepy automatons drop the bars and rush us saying all kinds of creepy stuff as they wail on us.
We knock then down and take their dwemer gear, and I realise that half of this things golden face is a skull. I notice as I’m fighting several others that there’s a skeleton inside everyone of these machines. What are these things? I see when I’m looting while crouched, that I can feed on these things, despite the fact that the splatter from these mechanical horrors is clearly oil and not blood.
This might be an unintentional interaction between mods, or it might be deliberate, but either way it really adds to the creep factor. Then I use their forge to make a silver sword, and their enchanting station to bless it with ‘turn undead’. It carves through these gilded things like butter and occasionally, makes them run away.
Despite feeding on them and shredding them with a holy sword, the buggers all reanimate as I make my way back up. I can’t seem to feed them a second time though, and they only have a dagger or no equipment at all if I took all their stuff before, but it’s still creepy watching them get up.
When you get back to the house the portal has been repaired. You can now leave. Still I find myself disappointed. I still don’t want to leave. What’s going on? You still can’t leave though, and a deeper layer of the story is revealed.
When the quests are finally completed, and you’re thoroughly creeped out by the experience, you get to come back and use the house whenever you want and teleport from there to any city in Skyrim. It has everything a Skyrim house can offer, with a few unique steampunk features.
That’s all I’m going to say about it for now. If you’re a PC or Xbox One user and haven’t played the Clockwork mod yet, I highly recommend it. Antistar put a lot of work into this.I don’t know him, I’m just really impressed with his work. You will be too.
Do you have a favourite Skyrim Mod? Tell me and I’ll give it a try. I might even write an article! 🙂