Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Fights Bandits, Spriggans, and a Dragon

This session was all about fairly minor side quests, the sorts of early-stage stuff in the game that lets you get your feet under you as you level up. Mostly, this meant setting the stage to become thane in Falkreath.

Got in a lot of bandit fighting, though, as well as multiple spriggans and a dragon. And practice with the whole strategy of throwing my best spells as soon as I see a combat situation coming, and getting the fuck out of the way so Lydia and my atronach can charge at whatever’s about to attack.


  • Play date: 1/30/2022
  • Session number in this run: 6
  • Blipped back to Western Watchtower, got flyby dragon
  • Headed into Whiterun and sold a few things to Elrindir
  • Did a little tramsuting of ore and smelting, and made a couple pieces of jewelry to sell
  • Slept a few hours at the Bannered Mare—and heard “Ragnar the Red” for the first time in French 😀
  • Sold things to Belethor and Arcadia; made a few extra healing potions
  • Bought a steel battleaxe for Lydia at Warmaiden’s, also some steel boots and three steel ingots to improve those, as well as the steel helmet I found in Saarthal; gave Lydia all of these things
  • Triggered her ‘I’m sworn to carry your burdens’ line and am deeply disappointed she doesn’t sound nearly as cranky about it in French 😉
  • Also bought some elven gauntlets from Adrianne
  • Took the carriage to Falkreath
  • Guard at the gate gave me the pointer about looking for a dog; talked to Lod to get the fresh meat to look for this alleged ‘dog’
  • Tried to go into Gray Pine Goods to sell stuff; asshole brother was in there but not the other brother, so went to Dead Man’s Drink and slept the night
  • Got up the next morning and talked to the Jarl
  • Sold stuff to Solaf finally at Gray Pine Goods
  • Set out for Embershard Mine
  • Cleared Peak’s Shade Tower (and had to let Lydia handle the spriggan)
  • Got past the bandit stop over the road without much trouble, I think the flame atronach took out the bandits? Lydia and i got through with no trouble once the boulder traps were triggered
  • Proceeded to Pinewatch and then cut through the future site of Lakeview; mined the two iron ore veins there, and Lydia killed the mudcrab at the lake
  • Killed total of four wolves and got Destruction boost
  • Passed noble on horse + Imperial soldier escort; Imperial killed a nearby skeever when it attacked me
  • Proceeded on to Embershard; Lydia took out the bandit outside
  • Cleared the mine, got four veins mined
  • Headed back out to return to Falkreath
  • Cleared the bandit camp with treasure map 1, also the bandits at the camp with a slain Dunmer
  • Leveled up to 14 and took first Magic Resistance perk in Alteration
  • Reached Angi’s Camp, and got Angi to give me her first three rounds of training; failed the fourth one though >_<
  • Back to Falkreath! Sold stuff at Gray Pine Goods and also to Lod the blacksmith
  • Reported in to the Jarl, got permission to buy property, got his pointer to become thane
  • Fast traveled back to Western Watchtower to check in and sell stuff
  • Made jewelry at Warmaiden’s, also a couple of armor pieces
  • Sold stuff to Elrindir, including my enchanted bow, and bought a Dwemer bow off of him
  • LOL, cue the messenger with a note from Calcelmo who really wants this bow; well, he can damn well wait till I get an elven bow or better, because I need this one
  • Went up to Dragonsreach and enchanted a bunch of things; destroyed a couple of things on the table; put a frost enchantment on the Dwemer bow
  • Also did some alchemy
  • Leveled up to 15; took Restoration perk for casting Apprentice spells at half magicka
  • Slept the night at the Bannered Mare; first hearing of Age of Aggression!
  • Sold potions to Arcadia and enchanted jewelry to Belethor; bought some leather at Warmaiden’s and re-made myself a suit of leather armor
  • Headed out to go to Valtheim Towers
  • SURPRISE DRAGON by Honningbrew Meadery! Took it out with Sparks spell 😀
  • Encountered Frightened Woman who escaped from Mistwatch, so now that’s on my map
  • Made it to Valtheim Towers only to discover that the bandits let me waltz right into the place, lololololol; so I grabbed all the interesting things, including Amren’s sword and the enchanted bow behind the bandit chief; walked right back out again and headed back to Whiterun!
  • Killed by spriggan who’d fought with a hunter, but got it on the second time through
  • Made it back to Whiterun and sold a few things at Warmaiden’s
  • Gave Amren his sword and got him to bump my Block and One-handed skills; also got one round of One-handed training from him
  • Went up to Dragonsreach and destroyed several things on Farengar’s enchanter table to get new enchantments; enchanted a steel dagger from Warmaiden’s as it’s lighter than the Dwemer dagger I sold them; and now I have a dagger with a fire enchantment!
  • Bought several more spells from Farengar
  • Saved for the night


The first really notable new thing I did in this session was to finally find Angi’s cabin, and get Archery training from her. This was surprisingly fun! <3 I like Angi as a character, and I like the background that this woman is in hiding after killing a couple of Imperial drunks who attacked her. A bitter backstory for her, but one with some heft.

And I appreciated that I was able to convince her to train me by assuring her I wasn’t there to harm her. You are given the option to attack her, which just seems cruel. And stupid. Because if you kill her, you lose access to six free rounds of Archery training!

I made it through her first three rounds, but the fourth one is going to be a problem. Because you have to hit all four of her targets in 10 seconds, and I definitely had trouble hitting that last one. I’ll need to come back later and see if I can hit it better when I have Eagle Eye, or maybe the Slow Time Shout.

Second notable thing is a thing I’ve learned for the first time, only just now on my fourth Skyrim playthrough! I.e., if you pay the toll to the Valtheim Towers bandits, they actually turn non-hostile. I had no idea. This meant that I was able to waltz right into the place and grab everything I wanted, and the bandits were just all “do you need something?”


Told Dara about this and she giggled and went, “You’re the first one who’s ever given us money! Do you want some merch? (Do we have merch?) Can you help us make some merch?” 😆

Part of me wants to be vaguely miffed at having to pay the toll to the bandits, because fuck bandits. But on the other hand, Ysani actually talking them down to fifty gold instead of two hundred, and then having them actually be non-hostile, seems like a very in-character thing for her.

See previous commentary re: small and fragile. She doesn’t have the firepower yet to be able to succeed at challenging bandits by herself, and making Lydia wipe out an entire camp of bandits on her own just seems unnecessarily mean to my housecarl!

And I am deeply amused by how I was just able to walk right in there and take stuff out of all the chests, including Amren’s sword. And just scootch around the bandit chief and take the enchanted bow off the table by her, too!

I think one bandit might have been a problem; when I got close to him, he drew his weapon. But he immediately sheathed it when I backed off. So I didn’t try to get past him to get the interesting-looking things behind him on the alchemy table.

Takeaway on this is, it seems appropriate for Ysani’s narrative that she’d learn that a little judicious bribery might be helpful in defusing enemies. And given that she is a future member of the Thieves Guild, having a few bandits not be hostile to her is arguably even wise!

The fun question here is going to be whether these bandits are going to stay non-hostile the rest of the game. And whether the chests and other furniture I just looted will respawn even if the bandits don’t!

Language commentary

This session let me hear both “Ragnar the Red” and “The Age of Aggression” for the first time in French! Because both of them got performed while I was sleeping at the Bannered Mare.

Which was delightful. I noticed right out of the gate that the sung lyrics did not match the subtitles, and I’d wondered if that was going to be the case. It very much sounded to me like the sung lyrics were redone to make them scan to the existing tunes, whereas the subtitles were just straight-up translated over from the English.

So the subtitles were a closer match to what the English lyrics are. But the sung lyrics actually scanned. And I’m real curious now as to whether I can find a transcription of what the French voice actors for the bards are singing! I’d love to be able to compare.

I’m also super curious as to how they’ll do “The Dragonborn Comes”. I have enough French vocabulary that I can make a stab at translating the first two lines, but in order to get them to scan, I’d have to drop the repetition of the words at the beginning of the lines. In English the lines go like this:

Our hero, our hero, claims a warrior’s heart
I tell you, I tell you, the Dragonborn comes

In French, it’s a little trickier. The game is using “Enfant de dragon” as the translated term for Dragonborn, and that’s five syllables, not three. So it’s a bit tough to get that to scan in the existing tune. My crack at translating the lines therefore looks like this:

Notre héros prétends un cœur guerrier
Je dit l’Enfant de dragon vient

We’ll see how close I am to right!

Also, as a fan of Quebecois trad music, it was very odd to hear a song sung in French that did not involve call and response. And now I totally want to hear a version of “Ragnar the Red” performed Quebecois style, complete with call and response. And podorythmie. 😀

I also got to hear “Age of Aggression” sung at the Bannered Mare, and I’ll touch briefly on that too, because one of the lines I saw in my screencaps I took for reference stood out to me:

Mort à Ulfric le tueur de roi. Le jour de ta mort, nous boirons et chanterons notre joie.

This is the line that goes like this in English:

Down with Ulfric, the killer of kings! On the day of your death, we will drink and we’ll sing!

But they adjusted the wording here a bit, to make “roi” rhyme with “joie”, I think. So that last phrase translates more to “on the day of your death, we’ll drink and sing our joy”. A few too many syllables to really scan to the tune, though. I’ll have to try to listen more closely next time I hear it and see if I get a better idea of how it’s actually sung.

Also, I noted that they used “ta” here for “your”, not “votre”. Which makes absolute sense, because fuck no, in this version of the song, they wouldn’t want to use the polite form!

Meanwhile, let it be noted for the record that I am deeply disappointed that Lydia’s “I’m sworn to carry your burdens” line doesn’t sound nearly as bitchy in French as it does in English. LOL. At least not to my Anglophone ear! I’m very curious as to whether she still sounds bitchy to a Francophone!

Falkreath is definitely not getting consistently translated. The map is still calling it Falkreath, and so did the new location discovery alert that got triggered when I showed up. However, I keep hearing it called Épervine otherwise. This seems like the same kind of thing that impacted the translation of the songs? That maybe it got translated in spoken dialogue, but not in textual references…?

(But that’s not a hundred percent consistent, either. Because I’ve also seen it be Épervine in miscellaneous quests, such as the one for going to talk to the Jarl once I got his letter. Not a complete localization job, is what I’m saying here.)

And speaking of incomplete localization, I also noticed when I returned to the Jarl of Falkreath that one of his lines in the subtitles to me was in fact still in English. So the localization team missed one! Oops. (The actual spoken dialogue was in French, though, so I suppose they decided that one untranslated subtitle was not a shipstopper.)

Next time

I have several options before me at this point:

  1. Two pending bounty quests, one for the dragon at Mount Anthor in Winterhold, and the other for the bandit leader at Treva’s Watch in the Rift
  2. Favor quests at Falkreath to become thane
  3. Go after the Shalidor writings for Urag
  4. Go after the other book Urag wants
  5. Go after the three books for the mage college main quest
  6. Do the In My Time of Need quest and the Saadia plot
  7. Go after the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
  8. Run the Daedra’s Best Friend plot now that I have the pointer for that

Some of these seem likely to be harder than others. But I’m kind of leaning towards doing some of the smaller things on this list first before I swing back to the mage college. We’ll see!


Editing to add

  • 11/21/2023: 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.