Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests for the College of Winterhold

And here’s the post for Sunday’s play! Main highlights here: finishing running Mzulft, and returning to the college to witness Ancano making his play for the Eye of Magnus, the death of the Arch-Mage, and the attack of magical anomalies on Winterhold.

Also of note: why it’s bad for your housecarl to piss off the Master Wizard of the mage college you’re a member of.


  • Play date: 2/6/2022
  • Session number in this run: 13
  • Started running the rest of Mzulft
  • (Note to self: frost atronach super helpful against the chaurus, remember this for running Arkngthamz and other Dwemer dungeons)
  • Leveled up to 30 and took next tier of mage armor perk on Alteration tree
  • Finished running the dungeon and got the pointer to the Staff of Magnus being in Labyrinthian
  • Boinged back to Whiterun for some crafting and loot dropoff and selling, and to get the other cogs to give to Arniel
  • Improved Lydia’s ebony boots and gave them to her! \0/
  • Did assorted other smithing, alchemy, and selling of things
  • Boinged to mage college to catch up on that plot
  • Got training from Phinis and sold him assorted things
  • Got training from Tolfdir and got spellbooks from him for Telekinesis and Waterbreathing 😀
  • Found Arch-Mage and Mirabelle at the ward around the hall of elements, and WELP THAT LOOKS BAD, but BRB
  • Gave Shalidor’s book back to Urag
  • Got training from Colette
  • Then came back out to see about helping the Arch-Mage, except Ancano made everything go boom
  • Sent by Tolfdir down to help Winterhold
  • Cue fighting with all the anomalies; got killed by them once, thrown back to coming out of the hall again
  • Second time through, got a goddamn frost dragon and had to kill that first
  • Ran down to try to deal with the anomalies; killed again but this time not thrown back as far, only to the bridge
  • Finally killed all the anomalies, and ran back up to report to Mirabelle; got the quest to go to Labyrinthian
  • Headed back out and TWO MORE ANOMALIES WTF; tried to fight with them but one of them went back up towards the college
  • Mirabelle called up a flame atronach–and that hit Lydia and pissed her off, so she got into a fight with Mirabelle and NO NO NO STOP IT LYDIA DO NOT FIGHT WITH THE MASTER WIZARD
  • Rolled back to prior auto-save, just coming out of the hall from reporting to Mirabelle
  • This time Lyds and I fought the two extra anomalies on the bridge and I actually shot one with my physical bow, go me
  • Made it out through Winterhold without any further alarms
  • Fast traveled to Whiterun for a round of loot drop and crafting; smithed and sold stuff to Adrianne, Belethor, Arcadia
  • Went up to Dragonsreach for some enchanting; dropped fire damage enchantment on the ebony sword
  • Leveled up to 31; took next level of enchantment perk
  • Went out into the plains near Whiterun to practice magic
  • Played telekinetic catch with a book, my glass dagger, and the ebony sword; got alteration up to 75 doing that, fuck yeah
  • Also leveled to 32; took final mage armor perk
  • Then shot a stag with my bound bow, and practiced throwing Soul Trap at the fallen body to level Conjuration; got Conjuration up to 72
  • Leveled to 33; took next magic resistance perk on the Alteration tree
  • Ready to go say hi to Morokei? LET’S DO THIS
  • Snuck across the plains; Lydia killed a wolf and then a skeever that attacked me
  • Tried to climb past the top of Hamvir’s Rest, but got spotted by skeletons; threw fire atronach at them
  • Draugr popped out and Lydia jumped down to fight with it, while the atronach set it on fire and I pegged it from above with arrows
  • Saved for the night


Pretty much all of this session was devoted to moving the mage college plot along, and all of that is familiar territory to me at this point. But a few things are worth mentioning.

First, I lucked out in a couple of ways while running Mzulft. Being able to summon a frost atronach was very helpful against the chaurus I kept running into in that dungeon! In no small part for purposes of slowing the bugs down before they could get to me. I’ll definitely need to remember that once I hit Arkngthamz, Irkngthand, and other major Dwemer ruins.

And also, apparently I wasn’t quite high enough level to trigger the final automation in the dungeon being a centurion. Whew. Not quite ready to take on a centurion, I think. But I will be very soon.

Second, I had not realized before that even after you do that initial round of fighting the anomalies in Winterhold, more of them can show up until the plotline is finished. I think I managed to miss this up until now because with prior playthroughs, I never actually tried to leave the college on foot after reporting to Mirabelle and setting out for Labyrinthian. I’d always fast traveled out before.

This time through, I tried to walk down through Winterhold with Lydia, but nope, two more anomalies! Which led to a) getting to see Mirabelle actually in action, but also b) seeing her piss off Lydia, ooooops.

Lyds honey, please don’t piss off the Master Wizard and get me kicked out of the college, mmkay?

As for fighting the anomalies in general, that was significantly harder this time through. I don’t yet have enough magical oomph to take them out–a problem I need to fix. So mostly I had to fight them with melee strikes. Which meant with the ebony sword I’d enchanted with fire damage in the previous session, once I realized that that was doing more damage than Dawnbreaker.

I also had to make a point of keeping a healing spell queued up on my left hand, because those glowy balls of doom did a lot of frost damage. I also had to keep stopping every so often to burn through potions to restore health and magicka, and to replenish frost resistance. Also had to keep throwing the Ironflesh spell.

In short: a hard melee fight as a mage is a lot more complicated than just straight up “beat on it with your sword” as I had with Delga.

The latter bit of this session wound up being where I started trying to work on not having enough magical oomph. By which I mean: leveling up Alteration and Conjuration to really get to the point of being magically powerful. Getting Alteration to 75 means I’ll be able to hit up Tolfdir for the Ebonyflesh spell next time I see him. And once I get Conjuration to 75, I’ll be able to nab Conjure Dremora Lord.

Leveling Alteration was actually kind of fun, since it involved playing fetch with objects in my inventory via the Telekinesis spell. I’ve written in previous playthroughs about how I keep having trouble with that spell, so the opportunity to practice it properly was great. I’m hoping this’ll stand me in good stead later on when I need it for actual spellcasting purposes–like getting that ring in the Kolbjorn dungeon on Solstheim!

Also deeply amused by the visuals of practicing first with a book, then with my glass dagger, and finally with my ebony sword, while Lydia looked on. I think this must have simultaneously alarmed and impressed Lydia.

I initially thought that she might be all “my thane, do you really need to risk hitting yourself in the face with your own sword?” But Dara pointed out quite correctly that Lydia is after all a Nord. And if there’s any culture in this game that’s likely to be impressed by magically fetching your weaponry, it’s the Nords. Lol.

Plus, I just liked it for the Jedi-ness of it all, summoning your weapon to you with the sheer power of the Force your ability to cast Telekinesis. 😀

I was slightly surprised to learn about the trick of leveling Conjuration with Soul Trap, though. Literally all I had to do was throw Soul Trap a lot at a dead body. It didn’t even still have to have a soul in it, this still counted for purposes of exercising the skill!

Language commentary

Nothing immediately interesting from a translation perspective in this session. What terms I noticed were ones I’d already noticed in previous sessions so far this run.


No screenshots this time either.

Editing to add

  • 11/21/2023: 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.