Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Joins the College of Winterhold

Getting the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller is going to have to wait a bit! I have important magical training to get started on. ;D


  • Play date: 1/29/2022
  • Session number in this run: 5
  • Started running the rest of Shroud Hearth Barrow
  • Times killed: 3
  • Notable loot: elven boots!
  • Level ups: 10, took Mystic Binding perk on Conjuration; 11, took Soul Trap perk to make bound weapons automatically soul trap
  • Word for Kyne’s Peace Shout acquired! Shout name in French: Paix de Kyne
  • Finished the barrow and fast traveled back to Western Watchtower
  • (Interesting, Falkreath is still Falkreath on the fast travel map? Not Épervine?)
  • Aaaaaaand killed by fast travel dragon
  • Second time through the guards mostly got it but I helped, and that was enough for dragon soul and dragon bits 😉
  • Sold stuff to Adrianne
  • Oh hey Durak! He wants me to join the Dawnguard! Hold that thought, Durak, I’ll get back to you
  • Sold dragon bits to Belethor
  • Up to Dragonsreach to turn in the sword for Adrianne; got a few gold for that
  • Also bought more spells off of Farengar: the rune spells, Ice Spike, Calm, Stoneflesh, Magelight, Fear, Ice Spike
  • Sold him some of my extra books that I’d found just to pull down the weight
  • Dropped enchantments on a couple of things; notably, my bow and dagger now do frost damage
  • Then decided to find the Lord Stone and go ahead and get that armor class and magic resistance bonus
  • Did a bunch of sneaking and also casting the Muffle spell to level Sneak and Illusion
  • Snuck up on the bandits camping at the Lord Stone
  • Fired an arrow at them to wake them up, then sicced Lydia and the flame atronach on them
  • Leveled up to 12; took Conjuration perk for casting summons to have twice the range
  • Bandits sorted and looted; activated the Lord Stone
  • Bounced back to Whiterun to sell bandit loot and remaining dragon scale
  • Got enough gold to buy elven shield from the Drunken Huntsman
  • Took the carriage to Winterhold (Fortdhiver)
  • Did not dismiss Lydia; yes Lyds, you’re going to be bored as fuck watching me practice wards, just hang in there, we’ll get to beat up draugr very soon
  • Met Faralda on the bridge; she wanted me to cast fireball, one of the spells I had not yet in fact bought from Farengar
  • I had to sell her some of the other stuff on me before I could take her up on her offer to sell me the spell for 30 septims, but once I had it i was able to pass her test and gain admittance to the college ^_^
  • Not sure if French Tolfdir has the same voice actor as French Arngeir? He does have the kindly old man feel to his voice, anyway
  • Went with Tolfdir and Brelyna to Saarthal
  • Fight with a snowy sabre cat on the way, which let me get to see Brelyna cast her own flame atronach, neat
  • Ran all of Saarthal though it took a bit to get through some of the tougher parts; didn’t kick my ass as hard as it did for Delga, but it helped a lot to have Lydia and the atronach
  • Also helped that I now have a frost enchantment on my bow, that let me deliver the killing blow to Jyrik Gauldurson, and also slow him down a bit while Lydia was wailing on him
  • Leveled up to 13 while running Saarthal; took first Mage Armor perk on Alteration
  • Notable loot: other than getting the staff and the amulet bit off of Jyrik, I also found some studded Imperial armor
  • Went back to mage college to report in to the Arch-Mage (L’archimage)
  • Did the Hitting the Books quest; went to have first chat with Urag, got him to point me at the stolen books, also got his two side quests to go get Shalidor’s writings and another requested book
  • Saved for the night


It felt a little weird charging off to the mage college even before I ran the quest for the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Narrative-wise, I think Ysani may justify this on the grounds that if she needs to make a recurring habit of delving into ruins, she needs to be much better at defending herself. And right now, her best chance of doing that is with magic.

Now that said, I don’t think I’m going to charge straight through the mage college plot, either. I want to swing back around and do some of the other lower-tier early quests, like getting the thaneship at Falkreath. And now I’ve racked up a couple more bounties to run as well, and I’ve got the quest for dealing with Saadia. I need that stuff not only to work on my fighting strategy with this character, but also to build up a reserve of gold. I need it for training, and I really do need to buy Breezehome!

Also critical: I’m far enough along that I should be able to run Fellglow Keep, but I am not far enough along to hit the major locations after that. I’m not ready to run Mzulft yet, or Labyrinthian. So I’m going to have to do some of the other smaller quests first regardless.

It also felt weird pulling Lydia along with me through the first part of the college plot, too. But the game in general mostly never has anybody complain to you whenever you bring a follower in somewhere. The only exception I’ve seen to this is Serana making you send a follower home when she leads you into Castle Volkihar. So for the college, I figure that narrative-wise, Ysani probably did tell the college, “Look, she’s with me. I’m the thane of Whiterun and she’s my housecarl. Is bringing her in here with me going to be a problem?”

I figure if it had been a problem, Ysani would have been prepared to go about her own business. She’d already acquired a bunch of spells from Farengar, after all, and was probably feeling pretty good about how well she’d picked up using them. She wants the college to train her… but she also likes Lydia, and appreciates having someone guarding her back.

And having Lydia along in Saarthal was kind of critical. Since Ysani is super squishy, I really need Lydia’s backup as well as the ability to conjure the atronach.

Found a set of studded Imperial armor as chest loot. Which was a little helpful in that I realized I’d actually sold the leather armor I got earlier off the thief! So this’ll have to stand me in good stead till I level up enough to get some elven armor.

(I want to like the studded Imperial armor but it still vexes me that you can’t actually temper it. So I will probably wind up selling this armor as soon as I can get something better. And if I do wind up fighting the war for the Empire again, I’ll be defaulting to light armor when I’m sent off to Beirand to get outfitted!)

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Tertre de Voilâtre: Shroud Hearth Barrow
  • Paix de Kyne: Kyne’s Peace
  • Déplacement rapide: Fast travel
  • La Guerriere: Warmaiden’s
  • Eorlund Grisetoison: Eorlund Gray-Mane
  • La Garde de l’aube: Dawnguard
  • Pierre du Seigneur: Lord Stone
  • Sbire: Minion
  • Smilodon des neiges: Sabre-toothed tiger of the snow, i.e., snowy sabre cat

Tertre de Voilâtre is not an exact translation. Voilâtre, according to Google Translate, is just “veiled”, so this essentially becomes “Veiled Mound”, and you lose the bit about “Hearth” in the name.

I don’t think I mentioned in a previous post so I’ll note it here: Warmaiden’s gets translated over to La Guerriere, and I do like that! Because la Guerriere = the female warrior. So a very apt translation.

(And heh, it occurs to me as I write this that it makes it more amusing to walk in there to shop as a woman, and be greeted by Ulfberth War-Bear with “Now you, my girl, have come to the right place.” And apparently this is a thing that changes depending on your character’s gender? He has a different line to male characters!)

Interestingly, in the line Adrianne greets you with when you come up to her at Warmaiden’s, in English she always talks about how Eorlund Gray-Mane’s steel is legendary. In French, her line is “ses armes sont légendaires”. Armes is weapons, so the French line makes her comment a bit more general. I think I like that. It broadens out the idea of how good a smith Eorlund Gray-Mane is supposed to be, because it’s nice and all if your steel is particularly high-quality, but you still need to actually be able to make decent armor and weapons with it. So this delivers the connotation of his actual smithing work with the material being legendary as well.

(Mind you, I’m also assuming here that “the man’s steel is legendary” is just shorthand in the original English, and that any citizen of Skyrim would reasonably interpret that to mean “this man is a hell of a smith”. But that’s a shorthand that might not necessarily translate well over into French or any other language! So the translators’ choice here makes sense to me.)

Also in that line, I was finally able to see Gray-Mane translated to Grisetoison. Toison means fleece, so the game is basically calling him Eorlund Gray-Fleece here. I kind of like that just because it gives the sense of the Gray-Manes having wool-like hair running in the family. And I feel like that’s a thing that an agrarian culture would remark upon.

When Durak showed up to recruit me for the Dawnguard, I was pleased to see that that got translated directly over to “La Garde de l’aube”, which is about exactly what I expected. I’d run into the word aube for dawn before, in my vocabulary work on my SuperMemo app.

The Lord Stone got translated over to Pierre du Seigneur. Note the du there, though. That makes the name Stone of the Lord, as opposed to Lord Stone. Which makes me wonder if the Lady Stone will be Pierre de la Dame? We’ll find out!

I actually wound up nabbing a screencap of one of Heimskr’s rants in the square in Whiterun, just because it had a word I didn’t recognize: sbire. Google Translate thinks this means “minions”. Which does fit in with the original, which is:

“For we are the children of man! And we shall inherit the heavens and earth! And we, not the Elves or their toadies, will rule Skyrim! Forever!”

Here’s what he says in French:

“Car nous sommes les fils de l’homme! Nous hériterons des royaumes de le terre et du ciel! Et c’est nous, débarrassés du joug des Elfes et de leurs sbires, qui régnerons sur Bordeciel! Pour toujours!”

Now, this isn’t quite an exact translation. This line translates roughly back to English as:

“For we are the sons of man! We will inherit the realms of earth and heaven! And we, freed of the yoke of the elves and their minions, will reign over Skyrim! For always!”

The part about being freed from the yoke of the elves is the part that stands out to me here. I’m not sure it was really a necessary tweak, but on the other hand, I can also see the translators making that call to add a little bit more force to Heimskr’s argument. The rest of his speech makes it clear that he believes the Thalmor and the Empire are enslaving the Nords, but this change also makes it clear that he foresees the Nords ruling Skyrim specifically free of the Thalmor.

Last but not least, I was amused to see snowy sabre cat translated over to smilodon des neiges. I thought I remembered hearing the word smilodon before, and it’s actually a legit word in English as well; essentially, another term for saber-toothed tiger. So I can see why the translators grabbed this term, just for brevity if nothing else.

Next time

I think I’ll bop down to Falkreath and visit the Jarl there. And see about running Embershard Mine! And oh yeah: seeing if I can find that bandit camp near the Guardian Stones, too. I want their treasure map. 😀

Also, I have aspirations of finally finding Angi’s Camp and seeing about getting archery training from her, because that’s a thing I have yet to do in the game and it’d be nice to do a new thing.


Editing to add

  • 11/20/2023: Restored missing gallery, and added play date and session number markers.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.