Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Begins Daedric Quests

High action in this session as I started two different Daedric quests—the ones for Clavicus Vile and Meridia!


  • Play date: 1/31/2022
  • Session number in this run: 7
  • Headed down from Dragonsreach to Drunken Huntsman
  • Discovered Elrindir has elven armor now, and this was a thing I required immediately, so slept the night at the inn
  • Sold all my dragon bits to Arcadia the next morning as well as a horker tusk, and sold a necklace to belethor; that got me enough to go get the armor, so now I have a full set of elven armor 😀
  • Also was able to get enough moonstone from Arcadia to refine it
  • Remembered that I had a treasure map, so headed over to Riverwood to take advantage of that
  • Leveled Destruction to 20 by killing a wolf; Lyds also took out a wolf and a mudcrab
  • Passed the farmers who were refugees from a dragon attack; had no gold to give them, sorry farmers
  • Lydia killed another mudcrab by the river while I tried to mine an iron ore vein
  • Made it to the treasure chest!
  • Proceeded through Riverwood and on towards Falkreath
  • Approached trio of Thalmor who ran off into the trees to fight something? Found dead hunter and a dead necromancer novice on the road they’d just left
  • Found Barbas as I approached Falkreath, so okay then, guess I’m running the Daedra’s Best Friend plot
  • Barbas discovered a couple of dead sabre cats, so I looted those
  • Had periodic issues getting him to actually keep moving along our route
  • Encountered and fought first Dark Brotherhood assassin (female Argonian)
  • Cut through Helgen as expected and fought bandits there
  • Passed hunter en route to Haemar’s Shame
  • Started running the place, and leveled up to 16; took Atromancy perk for Conjuration to double how long my atronachs hang around, fuck yeah
  • Cleared the place and got Clavicus Vile to send me off for the Rueful Axe
  • And HELLO MERIDIA’S BEACON in the boss chest! Right then I guess I get to run Kilkreath with Barbas again, fuck yeah ^ 2
  • Boinged back to Whiterun first though to sell stuff and get the carry weight down, and have enough gold for the carriage to Solitude
  • Did a little smithing and sold things to Adrianne
  • Did enchanting at Dragonsreach, destroying the vampire armor I got off the master vampire Barbas killed to get a Conjuration enchantment; also enchanted a few bits of jewelry to sell
  • Sold potions and a horker tusk and a mammoth tusk to Arcadia; got a couple rounds of Alchemy training off of her
  • Sold enchanted jewelry to Belethor
  • Did a bit more jewelry and dagger making at Warmaiden’s
  • Headed out to take carriage to Solitude, got dropped off by stables and proceeded on foot to Rimerock Burrow
  • Another Dark Brotherhood assassin, also female Argonian
  • Vampire masqeruade trio
  • Killed assorted creatures but then saw a message I didn’t catch, so I rolled back to prior auto save just before the vampires
  • Got attacked by Thalmor hit squad? Really?
  • (And now I have some Hoooded Thalmor Robes! How convenient, gosh, I wonder what use I could put these to!)
  • Killed a couple more ice wraiths, ice wolves, regular wolves
  • Found dead treasure seeker with a note pointing me right back at Valtheim Towers to fetch an enchanted weapon, lololol
  • Passed trio of Stormcloak soldiers who were not outright hostile but didn’t want me getting closer
  • Found Rimerock Burrow and ran the place; got the Rueful Axe, also a Conjuration skill book
  • Got out and on the way back and OH HEY DRAGON, which turned out to be right by Volskygge; I think a couple of the exterior bandits got into it with my flame atronach?
  • Also leveled up to 17 somewhere in here and took first perk to bump up archery damage
  • Wasn’t ready to go after Volskygge yet, and was overloaded, so off to Solitude! Whirlwind Sprinted my way over
  • Massed M’aiq the Liar, or rather, M’aiq le Menteur 😀
  • Got stopped by guard and asked to stop shouting
  • Oh hey look an execution WELP THAT’S A HELL OF A THING
  • Stayed the night at the Winking Skeever
  • For a change of pace, the inn bard was actually in the room I rented? Chatted with her
  • Got up next morning and shopped at the forge, Bits and Pieces (Bric-à-Brac), Radiant Raiment (Friperies Fantaisies), Fletcher’s (Archerie)
  • Sold a bunch of stuff and also bought fine clothes at Radiant Raiment
  • Went to Statue to Meridia to run the place
  • Passed three more non-hostile Thalmor on the way; also three Imperials
  • Started running the shrine and temple, with Lydia, Barbas, and periodic flame atronach
  • Got plate armor with a Destruction enchantment out of a chest, and then later was able to nuke it on an enchanter table
  • Dwemer boots with carry weight enchantment in the balcony chest 😀
  • Got a good ways through but didn’t finish, stopped at catacombs and saved for the night

Backstory commentary

I’m very pleased that even on my fourth Skyrim playthrough, I’m still finding things that surprise me. Case in point for this session: finding out that the Thalmor execution squads can still come after you even before you run the Thalmor Embassy!

But there I was, tromping along the road to Rimerock Burrow, when three pissed off Thalmor come running up to me and Lyds. And one of them has a note calling me an enemy of the Thalmor! Which strikes me as the game handing me an obvious sign that this has to be worked into Ysani’s backstory—because so far in-game, I haven’t actually done anything to piss off the Thalmor.

So here’s what I know about Ysani at this point:

  1. At Helgen, once I did the character setup and chose Breton, Hadvar asked me if I’d fled court intrigue in Daggerfall and sure, I see no reason not to run with that
  2. Paul had suggested somebody tried to frame me and I’m on the run from that
  3. Now I have Thalmor gunning for me, and that suggests somebody therefore ratted me out to the Thalmor specifically

Heh. Maybe I got dinged as a Talos worshipper? And whether or not it’s actually accurate, just being accused of worshipping Talos is enough to set off the Thalmor.

The fun question here is, why would I have been ratted out to the Thalmor? I’m kind of feeling like it might not have been anything I did specifically. Maybe my parents got on somebody’s wrong side, and their antagonist ratted me out to the Thalmor by way of punishment.

All of which suggests a scenario where Ysani would definitely be interested in revenge against whatever person wronged her family, as well as against the Thalmor in general. But there’s also the question here of what might set her up to not want to go back to High Rock.

Ooh I know. The person that ratted her out to the Thalmor? Her own father. I think I see a scenario where her mother was in theory the one with more political power, and her father tried to lean on her for political reasons. Maybe her father was a secret Thalmor operative and Mom only recently found out. She tried to blow the whistle on him and he struck back at her by threatening Ysani.

And Ysani knows none of this. She only knows that the Thalmor have come after her. She’s got enough innate magical ability that she and her wolf familiar fight off a Thalmor attack, and she runs home to try to take shelter. Only to find her mother confronting her father.

Last thing she sees, before she’s forced to flee and haul ass all the way to Skyrim, is her mother covering her retreat by flinging atronachs at her enemies until she’s taken down by Thalmor lightning.

I’m also going to go ahead and assume that her father was killed in this confrontation—and that all the family property was seized by the Thalmor. So that publicly their family rep in High Rock is completely obliterated, and there is no safe way for Ysani to consider going back to High Rock at all.

So she runs to Skyrim, at which point she’s arrested by the Empire, and the events of the game begin. SO BACKSTORY. MUCH DRAMA!

And now she’s discovered she’s the Dragonborn, and “whosawhatnow?”, says the Breton girl. 😉 It’s really frigging difficult to maintain a low profile and hide out from the Thalmor when you’re the Dragonborn, too!

So if this means she has to make life difficult for every single Thalmor in Skyrim? SO BE IT. Muahaha.

Meanwhile, since the mage from that Thalmor hit squad had hooded robes, this now means I have a set of those in my possession. And in theory, I could try to use them to sneak through the Thalmor Embassy! I don’t have as good a chance of pulling it off as a human as I would as an elf. But I am totally going to try it.

Also noting that I’ll have to see if I can ditch the Thalmor robes somewhere useful after I run Diplomatic Immunity. Because given this backstory, I’m pretty sure Ysani would want to set them on fire. But the game doesn’t let me do that, so I’ll have to see about ditching them, maybe in the embassy, maybe selling them somewhere later. Not in Solitude as that would be a trifle too obvious. 😉

Real interesting question here of whether Ysani’s parents had any inkling that there was something highly unusual about their daughter. Maybe Dad thought she should be under Thalmor control because he had a suspicion something was special about her?

Or, maybe Mom knew and Dad was trying to lean on her to get her to fess up to what she knew about their daughter?

Anyway, long story short (well, not quite as long, anyway), all of this pretty much took shape in my head as I thought about that attack and why Ysani would be considered an enemy of the Thalmor even before taking action against them on camera in the game. Answer: because she fought with them in High Rock! FUN! \0/

Related to all of this, given that I also had two separate Dark Brotherhood assassins come after me in this session, I hereby declare that Ysani will assume the Thalmor have also sicced the Dark Brotherhood on her. I think this’ll play hard into her joining the Thieves Guild for stealth-improving purposes, as well as destroying the Dark Brotherhood later.

Daedric quests commentary

I had not actively planned to run A Daedra’s Best Friend when I came into this session, but it did work out the way! Because the path I took into Falkreath did lead me past Barbas, so I went ahead and decided to run that quest.

I continue to have zero fucks to give about either the Rueful Axe or the Masque of Clavicus Vile. But this is a useful early quest to run just because there’s good combat practice to be had in Haemar’s Cavern, fighting with the vampires and vampire thralls there.

And the quest plot here does continue to amuse me!

Plus, this time through I had the bonus of finding Meridia’s Beacon in the boss chest behind the shrine to Clavicus Vile. Which triggered that quest, too!

Which meant that I get to run Kilkreath and get Dawnbreaker with Barbas. And that, I have quite a few fucks to give about. Particularly as a super-squishy mage who will be at risk of being fried hardcore by Malkoran.

This time through though I’m coming in with three friends, not just two. Because I’ll have invulnerable Barbas, Lydia, and a flame atronach.

When I go back and look at Delga’s post about getting Dawnbreaker, I see it only took me two tries to get past Malkoran. So the fun question here will be, can I do it in two tries this time? Or even one?

Language commentary

Another list of interesting names observed:

  • Le Chasseur Ivre: The Drunken Huntsman
  • Un Daedra pour ami: Translation of the quest name “A Daedra’s Best Friend”; this is roughly “A Daedra for a friend”
  • Vasard: Mudcrab, which is not an intuitive translation at all!
  • Honte d’Haemar: Haemar’s Shame
  • Tanière de Rimeroc: Rimerock Burrow
  • Le haut-roi: The High King
  • Ragnard pervers: Winking Skeever
  • Bric-à-Brac: Bits and Pieces, very appropriate translation of the store name in Solitude
  • Archerie: Fletcher, also a very appropriate translation of the store name in Solitude
  • Friperies Fantaisies: Radiant Raiment
  • La lumière de l’aube: Translation of the Meridia quest “The Break of Dawn”; this translates to “the light of dawn”
  • Aubéclat: Dawnbreaker; not sure if this is “Dawnbreaker” or “Dawnbreak” in French? I think it might be the latter
  • Le cristal de Méridia: Meridia’s Beacon, or, “the crystal of Meridia”

“Ragnard pervers” is an eyebrow-raising translation of “Winking Skeever”. Because pervers is the translation of perverse–so the translators here are saying “Perverted skeever”! Which, I feel, is a rather more ribald name for the place, lol.

And the translation of Radiant Raiment is hilarious. If I throw the phrase through Google Translate, I get “Fancy thrift stores”.

And if I look up friperie on the French-English dictionary on reverso.net, I get “second-hand/thrift store” as the definition of this. Which is hilarious, given how big a deal Taarie and Endarie make of how they sell the finest clothes to all the finest people in Solitude. And how much shit Taarie gives the player for not wearing an outfit suitable for the Blue Palace. And how snotty both of the sisters are when you come into the shop in general.

I’ve asked French speakers who follow me on Facebook to confirm if I’m interpreting this correctly, and so far one friend in Quebec is confirming yes, I am. I love it. Between this and Ulfric farting dragon fire, I am totally developing a healthy respect for the French translators who worked on this game. 😀

(Also, it is now totally my headcanon that Radiant Raiment was in fact originally founded as a shop where Solitude citizens could sell their old clothes. And the sisters are desperately, desperately trying to pretend otherwise, and putting on snooty airs to try to cater to higher-class clientele!)

Next time

First and foremost, I’ll need to finish getting Dawnbreaker! Then we’ll see how much gold I make it out of that temple with, and whether that’ll be enough to let me go buy Breezehome or not.

After that, we’ll see! I feel like the pending bounties are probably next.


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.