If you’ve never played the epic epicness that is Skyrim, or you have but you love a shiny collector’s edition, you’re doubtless salivating over the impending release of the Skyrim Legendary Edition. Coming on June 7th, the Legendary Edition will feature the most up to date version of Skyrim, along with the Hearthfire, Dragonborn and Dawnguard DLC.

With this delightful package peering over the horizon and tempting me with it’s come hither eyes, I decided to blow the dust off of my copy of Skyrim and dive back into Tamriel, with every intention of clearing up a few achievements along the way.

One particular bloop I planned to pop from the get go was the “Skill Master” cheevo, for levelling any skill up to 100. You see, during my previous adventures in Skyrim I discovered a nifty trick to help level up quickly. Trainers. Not the footwear, of course, but the kind folk you’ll meet on your travels through the northern holds of Tamriel who’ll be willing to teach you a trick or two in exchange for ALL THE MONEY.

Yup, it’s not cheap to get training but there’s a way you can get it for free, without even having to bash the trainers head in with a mace! Good times. Let’s start from the very beginning, which is a very good place to start…

The sun was high and my pants rode low as I set out on a brand new adventure in the world of Skyrim. Having fled like a screaming pansy from the dragon at Helgen, I found myself on the road to Riverwood with a pocket full of dreams and a stolen long bow. Arriving in the quaint town, I soon made the acquaintance of a delightful, if dead-eye elf, by the name of Faendal, who found himself in a bit of a love triangle situation. Now, once you’ve helped him out, Faendal will be available as a follower, willing to risk life and limb for you, the brave soul who delivered a letter for him.

Here’s the handsome chap

So far, we’ve established that the people of Skyrim have a very over-developed sense of duty and little to no sense of self preservation, but what of skill trainers? Well, punters, Faendal is an archery trainer at the Adept level and can train you all the way up to level 50. Of course, you’ve still got to pay him, but as he’s your follower you can just turn around afterwards, rummage through his pockets and take the gold back without so much as a “You thieving git!” from your pointy eared compadre. Yes, life with Faendal is an absolute treat.

ME: “Faendal, old friend, it seems we find ourselves in another dungeon.”

FAENDAL: “With you by my side, companion, I fear no darkness.”

ME: “But you brought the torch, right?”

FAENDAL: “Well yeah, I’m not an idiot.”

ME: “Right. Let’s crack on then.”

We advance

ME: “Egads zounds and gadzukes! Bandits!”

FAENDAL: “E-what, who and where now?”

ME: “Just shut up and shoot them, I’ll smack their heads in with an axe.”

FAENDAL: “Well why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”

ME: “Look, do we HAVE to argue every time I take you somewhere?”

FAENDAL: “I’m sorry, it’s just been a stressfu-oh right, the bandits…”

Bloody battle ensues

ME: “I shall let fly a hail of arrows, the better to smite mine enemies from afa-LOOK OUT YOU SPOCK EARED PILLOCK!”

Faendal takes an arrow to the kn…throat

FAENDAL: “Tis merely a flesh wound!”

ME: “You’re a zombie, aren’t you?”


And so it went for many hours of high adventure and higher blood pressure. Of course, after level 50, Faendal’s useless. OK, that’s a little harsh. He’s still a loyal companion who’ll happily take an arrow for you, or indeed from you on many a notable occasion, given his love of diving in front of you every six seconds. But, he can’t help your training any from here on in. Luckily, I know a were-woman who can. Aela the Huntress.

Aela can be found in the Companions hall and after completion of the quest titles “Glory of the dead”, is quite willing to be the new Faendal, only with more terrifying primal rage and less pointy ears and dodgy ponytail. As a Master trainer, this most useful lady can train you all the way up to level 75 and once again you can cheerfully take back the gold after you pay, muttering “I mean, after all I’ve done for you it’s only fair” or words to that effect.

She’s certainly better looking than the last one

After Aela has taught you all she knows, there’s Niruin at the Thieves guild who can take you up to 90. So, with the help of these three Skyrim sucke…citizens, you’ve just 10 levels to go. You can cheat another five by being on the lookout for training books, namely “Black Arrow Part II”, “The Gold Ribbon of Merit”, “Vernaccus and Bourlour”, “Father of the Niben” and “The Marksmanship Lesson”. These self help tomes may not be the height of literature but each will bump your archery rating up a notch.

For the last five levels, I’m afraid you’re going to have to get out there and kill some stuff. With your bow. I mean, I thought that bit was obvious but you’d be amazed…

Check out Jamie’s previous Achievement Punting escapades as he puts his sanity to the test each week by clicking here.


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