It took me a long time to continue the Main Questline in Skyrim – I probably had Diplomatic Immunity sitting in my journal for fifteen levels or so. However, in due course I visited Solitude and started the whole affair. In fairly short order I completed that quest and also the next quest – but then I was faced with a choice. To travel with my allies to a particular place, or to travel separately and meet them there. I choose the latter – I figured (in character) it made sense to split up so as to make it harder for our opponents to track us. Yes I know that is all make-believe, but it works for me 🙂
So I went about preparing for the Civil War itself. My family currently lives in Whiterun, but I know enough from various overheard conversations Whiterun will, at some point, become a battleground. So I am building up Windstad Manor – the home you can construct with the Hearthfire add-on in the Hjaalmarch (governed from Morthal). That is now mostly complete, and I will shortly be moving my family there. I also made a did some tasks for the Mages’ College at Winterhold – and then become serious sidetracked by the College of Winterhold questline. Suddenly there was a real sense of urgency about the quests, a definite feeling of “this has to happen NOW”. Of course many quests in RPGs or MMOs try to convey this through quest text or the like, but it can be pretty hard to suspend one’s disbelief when one knows how the mechanics work. In this case however the accompanying storyline did all the heavy lifting.
This means I have now completed two of the Faction Main Questlines (The Companion questline I completed a long-time before, though there appear to be an almost infinite number of semi-random “follow-up” quests one can do with them, and I am expecting the same will prove true for the College). I have also now visited all the hold capitals apart from Markath, and have now reached level 42, which I think puts me about half-way to the level-cap for the game. In no way do I feel I am half-way through the game, though. So many more places to uncover – most of my activity remains restricted to about half the map – and I know in that half there is plenty left to do.
My next step in the game is to finish building up my house, then move the family there, and then most likely continue on with the main questline. Probably. This game has a truly wonderful ability to sidetrack me.