Chapter 1 – Dwarves of the Mountain was one of the several mods that always on my list of mods that I wanted to play (like Path of the Skull-bearer). I cannot remember entirely the reason why I ended up skipping it. It might be because back then, I had a lot of trouble trying to get OBSE and the Universal Silent Voice to work, that or my game was at the stage of constant crashing for whatever reason. This mod requires OBSE, Universal Silent Voice, Shivering Isles and the Orrery dlc (you will see why you need the orrery in one of my screenshots).
The mod begins in Bruma where you can talk to anyone about a recent event that has happened recently, being eventually directed to a local inn. Where the adventure involving Dwarves begins. There are 18 quests for the main quest line with only 3 side-quests to occupy your time if you decide to take a break from the main quest-line.I really liked the one side-quest since you get a really cool reward. The reward actually changes based on what you decided to do out of the three options. I picked the good option since my character is morally good. I really ought to create a new save or a new character for just pure infamy. No idea if I am going to go through with that thought or not.
The Dwarven City was relatively small, I was expecting to be a lot more grander for some reason. Might be because I was thinking of LOTR or The Hobbit among other things which made me think of grand cities built by Dwarves. Oh, it might be the combination of that and how the dwarf you talk to says how the city’s mines are rich with precious minerals. I do like how some of the stores were set up, especially the one magic store and the store called Solidified Heaven if I remember correctly. It was a store that had gems everywhere and sold both jewelry and gems that was mined by the dwarves in their mines *insert the dwarf mining song from Snow White* which you do eventually get to see for yourself later on during the main quest line.
The mines itself were very impressive, seeing the dwarves mining the various precious stones for the city. Followed by the throne room of the King with his throne right in the middle of the room and surrounded by his guards. I like the touch of what I am guessing is a tribute bowl where his subjects put various gemstones into the said bowl, as homage to the king. His custom armor is a nice touch as well, seeing how it was subtly different from the default Dwarven armor. A custom helmet or crown would be a nice touch to go along with the look though.
The Geomancer’s conservatory was just a tower filled with pure awesome. I loved the addition to the Orrery in the tower and the mechanical robots he had throughout the lower tower, his little throne room upstairs was equally impressive. Shame you could not keep the tower. It would be a really nifty tower to own, especially if you could had found a way to recreate the machines. I am guessing that I should had activated the orrery dlc which I did not when I was doing this play-through. The mod functions fine without it enabled, but you will have missing textures and will not get the true effect of the tower’s awe-inspiring sight.
The main quest line was very solid. Not many issues were encountered while I was playing it. I do like the plot twist towards the end of the quest line, although it became rather obvious when you talked to the king. Especially since the real villain was really shifty, considering how he was rather condescending about the dwarves as well. I just ended up suspecting that little guy after that. The few issues I encountered were usually resolved by reloading the save. Except for two issues I had encountered. The first issue I encountered was during the sea-captain quest when he sends you to locate a shipwreck. I swam all the way there but could not see the shipwreck, turns out it was hidden under the floor of the sea bed that I was looking at, so I had to swim under the supposed seabed in order to actually see the shipwreck itself. I am actually glad I dived all the way down to make sure it was actually there, especially because I was close to being frustrated at not being able to locate the shipwreck. On that note though, the underwater cavern was extremely neat and swimming in the shipwreck that was wrecked on an odd angle proved to be quite a challenge to swim through.
The other bug only applies to players using custom races. This occurs towards the end of the main quest line prior to your confrontation with the antagonist of the story. You are given an amulet that is supposed to reverse the illusion spell placed onto the player, however the spell ONLY works on the default races. It will not work on the custom races. So either you use a default race for this mod or use the console. I used the console to change my race to one of the default races (High elf in this case since it was the first default race to pop up), reactive the console so I would be able to save my game (do not click done or next in the menu since that will reset all of your character’s skills and attributes) then load that save. Use the spell to revert the illusion spell then use the same console process to go back to my custom race. After that, proceed the remaining quests as normal. Not sure if anyone understood that explanation properly, if you did not just leave a comment and I will give a better explanation.
I also noticed that during the confrontation, you are given ice armor and weapons to equip onto yourself so you could fight. The shield and helmet looked fine, meaning they did look like they were made out of snow/ice but the rest of the armor looked like amber armor from Shivering Isles. It makes the armor set look rather mismatched, whether this is a case of the textures/meshes not being done for rest of the armor or I messed up something during the manual installation of the files (which I highly doubt happened as I double checked before launching the game). The final fight was challenging, I ended up having to use healing spells and destruction spells before finally risking to go in with melee to finish the battle off. Still a little upset that the jerk managed to escape. I will get my revenge somehow on the jerk somehow!
Other than that, as I said before the mod is extremely solid. Not many issues were found during the play-through. Loved the addition of the dwemer into the mix of the story and how varied the dwarves looked from each other. Some of them actually had hilarious faces and some of the conversations were hilarious. Especially the second time you get thrown out of the city and telling your friend how you got thrown out a second time. That conversation was epic.As well the conversation with the Elven smith, that one was particularly funny.
Thoroughly enjoyed Chapter 1 and looking forward to playing the second chapter shortly. Seeing how the third and final chapter is for Skyrim, it would be a good motivation for me to get around back to playing Skryim. I really look forward to seeing how this little trilogy reaches the final conclusion in the end. If you love dwarves or looking for a real solid quest mod to play, the Dwarves of the Mountain is a good candidate. Go download it!