As happens I got tired of merely going into the forts and caves surrounding the Imperial City. I had to back out of a cave with a couple of Conjurors who just flattened me. :(
I have always played with Claymore in hand and heavy armor and have used little magic. Now that I'm depending on magic I really need some strategies for dealing particular kinds of enemies. Conjurors. Imps. Bandits respond nicely to Flare and Shock.
I decided I should go ahead and start the main quest after all and also join the Mages and Fighters guilds.
This brought me to Kvatch and the Oblivion Gate. Lootmeister that I am, I'm stopping and gathering every bit of Blood Grass and Harrada Root I come by. I'm going in any doorways I find such as the Sump of Misery and its extension the Desolate Well. I love those Fleshy Pods. My gold level is going up nicely.
Entering the Tower Portal to the Blood Feast (don't you love these names) I thought I was getting a room with two Imps who succumb nicely to Cold Touch, but to my shock a Dremora Churl came running out of a doorway on the right and I was fighting two Imps and the Churl. I fought rather long and desperately but died. :(
Re-entering I went left to try to get rid of the Imp there first. I got him down quickly but the Churl was suddenly right there. In a better fight I killed him and restored enough health and magicka to get Imp two.
I'm getting solid non-freezing play sessions now using compatibility settings for Windows Service Pack 3.
For some reason, though I went in and changed the settings, I can't take screenshots anymore. I'm not willing to tempt fate by going in and changing the config again.
Picture me dead beneath the feet of a Dremora for now.
The UESP Wiki Map of the Kvatch Oblivion Gate World. Printed for myself too so I can get all the loot :)