Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests for the Bards College

Primary point of this session was doing the instrument finding quests for the Bards College, and getting the resulting skill bumps from them! And I began running Mzulft for the mage college plot.

(Also, this is not actually yesterday’s session–this is the session from Saturday. I never did put up this post yesterday, because of being out for a good chunk of the afternoon running errands. The post for yesterday’s play is forthcoming!)


  • Play date: 2/5/2022
  • Session number in this run: 12
  • Did a bit more crafting and shopping in Whiterun
  • Got a couple more points of smithing and got to improve my new ebony sword
  • Boinged to Solitude to report to the Bards College with the verse; did the presentation to Elisif; burning of King Olaf is on!
  • Did more shopping in Solitude while waiting for that and bought more outfits from Radiant Raiment
  • Did the burning of King Olaf, hurray I’m a bard
  • Got the quest to go get Pantea’s Flute
  • Went out to take the carriage to Winterhold so I could hit Hob’s Fall Cave
  • Killed by sabre cat en route and thrown back to coming out of Solitude
  • This time when I took the carriage to Winterhold, a Blood Dragon showed up, but we took it down and I threw lightning at it, for my part \0/
  • Killed a couple of wolves, another cave bear, and the aforementioned sabre cat on the way to the cave
  • Ran the cave and took out all the necromancers; Lydia and the frost atronach took down the boss necromancer for me! Got the flute and a few other tasty bits of loot
  • Boinged back to Solitude
  • Gave Pantea the flute and got all my magic skills bumped \0/
  • Also got the quests for the other two instruments, and a round of Speech training off of Giraud kind of by accident for not parsing his dialogue lines correctly
  • Off to Halldir’s Cairn, let’s see if I can get that last bear I need on the way hmm?
  • Took the carriage to Falkreath; bought fire salts number 10 from alchemist there
  • Set out on foot to find Halldir’s Cairn; found abandoned hunter camp and read skill book there for Sneak
  • Reached Halldir’s Cairn and started running it; killed once by Halldir’s final clone
  • Second time through got in there without Lydia being trapped on the other side of the gate, so she and my frost atronach were able to take out all three Halldirs
  • Killed by bad jump down through the trap door, but second time made it okay, and remembered I have at least the first word of Become Ethereal now
  • Off to Falkreath to sell some of this loot!
  • Stayed the night at the inn, and HI SAM, yes I see you there, no I don’t want to have a drinking contest with you yet
  • Crafted a few armor bits and sold them to Lod, as well as at least some of the weapons out of the Cairn, then sold additional items to Solaf
  • Fast traveled to Angi’s camp to see if I could do the rest of her training, then realized no I want to try this later with Slow Time Shout
  • Fast traveled to Alchemist’s Shack to see about that last bear; got the bear found and killed at Honeystrand
  • Returned to Ivarstead to give the skins to Temba, and got the payment for that
  • Boinged to Riften and hung out at the forge till Balimund showed up, and gave him his fire salts
  • Tried to leave to go on foot to Stony Creek Cave but a dragon showed up; made the mistake of trying to throw the Ice Form Shout at it, which pissed off a guard I hit, so a guard killed me AUGH
  • Take two coming out of the Riften gates; a dragon showed up again, this time a frost dragon; participated in the battle by hitting it with lightning, and this time we all killed it
  • Remembered I should damn well get quests queued up with Wujeeta and From-Deepest-Fathoms before any more dragons show up around Riften, so went back into the city to do that and then set out on foot for Stony Creek
  • Went through Shor’s Stone and smelted some iron ingots there since Riften doesn’t have a smelter
  • Killed a few wolves on the way
  • Hit Stony Creek and cleared the place
  • Chief bandit also turned out to be Kjar’s missing crewmember, so I’ll need to follow up on that in Windhelm even though I never did actually take that quest on purpose
  • Got the lute and fast traveled back to Solitude; returned the lute and got the skill bumps for stealth
  • Leveled up to 28; took Eagle Eye perk for Archery
  • Sold a bunch of things at Bits and Pieces, and bought a couple of filled Grand Soul Gems
  • Went back to Bards College and returned the drum; got combat skills bumped and another round of Speech training \0/
  • Boinged back to Whiterun for a round of crafting and selling
  • Got three rounds of One-handed training from Amren and maxed him out for how much training he can give
  • Destroyed weapon with Banish Daedra enchantment
  • Also dropped a carry weight enchantment on my boots and a light armor enchantment on my gloves, to use those Grand Souls Gems
  • Did a little alchemy and bought a round of training from Arcadia, which finished my training quota
  • Sold stuff to Belethor
  • Went back to Warmaiden’s and smithed some stuff
  • Leveled up to 29; took first enchanter perk to make enchantments more powerful
  • Took another crack at getting Noster’s helmet
  • Killed by frost troll; second time through: ice wraith, then the frost troll, but this time finally got to the cave
  • Killed two trolls in there, thank you Bound Bow, Lydia, and flame atronach
  • Got the helmet; also got ebony boots out of the boss chest, so oh good Lyds gets another present
  • Back to Solitude! Gave Noster his helmet back and got my Sneak bumped \0/
  • Fast traveled to Stony Creek Cave next to get back to Mzulft
  • Flyby dragon
  • Started running Mzulft
  • Fire atronach actually pissed Lydia off by hitting her by accident, oops; Lydia smacked it back to Oblivion; NOW NOW girls, you’re both pretty
  • Stopped about halfway through Mzulft, about to enter the boilery
  • Saved for the night


Fairly hefty dragon action in this session, particularly in Riften. And this is a lesson I think I should have remembered from previous playthroughs, but I’ll note it again here: when fighting a dragon next to a city, make goddamn sure to not hit the dragon with anything that would hit guards by accident. Boy howdy do they not like that. Oops.

And speaking of that dragon at Riften, that did remind me that it’s best to queue up the critical Riften quests if I want a proper crack at being thane. Hence making a point of going to find both Wujeeta and From-Deepest-Fathoms.

Second lesson learned from this session: be cautious about when I invoke the flame atronach. Because if I’m in tight quarters and the atronach happens to accidentally hit Lydia, Lydia will not take well to that. I already knew she doesn’t like being set on fire–hell, I’ve even pissed her off myself by accidentally setting her on fire with J’zargo’s scrolls.

As I get more powerful I’ll have to consider the possibility of just having Lydia stand down, I guess? Because once I’m able to summon storm atronachs, that has “risk of electrocuting my own housecarl” written all over it.

And in general I’m definitely feeling the higher level of difficult on this playthrough, at this point. I’m getting killed multiple times per session, way more often than in previous runs. More on this next post as in the session after this one, I took some steps to help address that problem!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • La Crémation du roi Olaf: The Burning of King Olaf, literally “the cremation of the king Olaf”
  • Palais bleu: The Blue Palace
  • Elisif la Juste: Elisif the Fair
  • Grotte de la Chute d’Hob: Hob’s Fall Cave
  • Cairn de Halldir: Halldir’s Cairn
  • Noster Oeil-de-Lynx: Noster Eagle-Eye

The translation of the Burning of King Olaf raises my eyebrow, just because of the term crémation being used here. In English, cremation would specifically refer to the burning of a dead body. But that’s not what’s actually happening in this plot–the burning is of an effigy, not of an actual dead body.

So it’s not clear to me whether this is an error on the part of the translators, or whether the word crémation in French actually does have the right connotation for French players. My usual sources are not clear on this. I’ve asked French speakers who follow me on Facebook to see if I can get any clarity!

Second linguistic thing I want to note here is the translation of Elisif the Fair to Elisif the Juste. This struck me in no small part because up until now I’d been assuming Elisif was called the Fair because of her beauty, and it never occurred to me that she might have gotten that name because of her just treatment of her subjects!

And that’s on me. The game’s never given me an indicator of Elisif being called the Fair because of beauty–I was just assuming. And as I think about it, based on the evidence given by Elisif’s behavior in the game, the other connotation of “Fair” here is entirely legit. And I’m pleased to have achieved that realization.

(Note to self: confronting your internalized misogyny is a never-ending work in progress!)

Lastly, I want to remark upon Noster Eagle-Eye’s name being translated to Noster Oeil-de-Lynx. Apparently oeil de lynx is a straight up translation here, aside from how lynx in French means exactly what it does in English, i.e., the big cat. So same idea here, just different critter.

Next time

My next post will feature finishing running Mzulft, as well as the immediate aftermath of that in the mage college plot–the death of Savos Aren, and having to defend Winterhold from the magical anomalies. And a side helping of power leveling of Alteration and Conjuration!


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.