Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Becomes Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold

Et voilà, the conclusion of the mage college plot! With a side helping of the usual crafting and selling, a bit of training, progress on a couple of mage college side plots, and the inevitable surprise dragon.


  • Play date: 2/7/2022
  • Session number in this run: 14
  • Started where I left off at Hamvir’s Rest
  • Did some more power leveling of Conjuration to get it up to 75
  • Also did some power leveling of Illusion
  • Leveled up to 34, took final magic resistance perk for Alteration
  • Started throwing some Clairvoyance spells to also work on Illusion, and to work out the best way to get to Labyrinthian
  • Spotted a render issue with a floating mammoth lololololol
  • Critters fought en route to Labyrinthian: a few mudcrabs, one sabre cat, two frost trolls
  • Started running the dungeon
  • Worked on leveling Restoration when I found the spellbook for Equilibrium
  • Also tried to stay in sneak a lot so enemies would bypass me and head for Lydia or my active atronach
  • And wielded a lot of lightning!
  • Had no trouble with Morokei what with letting the frost atronach do the close up fighting; I hit him with the Bound Bow from above
  • Got the staff and the mask
  • Fuck you Estormo, all Thalmor get the fuck out of my way
  • Quaffed potion to fast travel back to Whiterun for loot drop
  • Courier with new Letter from a Friend for Vileserre, which is Hag’s End, and fuck yeah I’ll get to that later
  • Leveled up to 35 after refining glass greatsword to give to Lydia, with some of the malachite out of Labyrinthian; took Dwarven smithing perk because I really need to work on my smithing
  • Did a bit more selling to everybody and then dropped off things; notably, got a glass bow from Elrindir, and improved that with the rest of the malachite from Labyrinthian
  • Boinged back to Winterhold to run up to the college and WELP THIS SITUATION LOOKS DIRE
  • Stand aside, y’all, let me take down this Thalmor asshole with this shiny big stick I brought with me
  • YAY! I’m the Arch-Mage! Je suis l’archimage d’Académie de Fortdhiver!
  • Bought Ebonyflesh spell off of Tolfdir 😀
  • Bought Conjure Storm Atronach and Conjure Dremora Lord off of Phinis, fuck yeah
  • Dropped off cogs with Arniel
  • Since I’d picked up the staff for Enthir separately, went ahead and did Onmund’s quest to get the staff out of my inventory
  • Went to go try to get training from Faralda, except HI SURPRISE FROST DRAGON, so threw Lydia and my shiny new storm atronach at it 😀
  • Got two rounds of training with Faralda
  • Boinged back to Whiterun to decide what to do next, probably a side quest before starting Thieves Guild
  • Saved for the night


Okay so now we’re talking.

Not only because to date I’ve always loved running Labyrinthian and doing the mage college finale, but also because I’m now reaching a point where I’m starting to feel pretty badassed as a mage!

Ysani may in fact be the first character I’ve run who became Arch-Mage with some of her magical schools actually being pretty damned good, actually. With Conjuration and Alteration both over 75 (I think I may have picked up a couple more points on them while running Labyrinthian?), that puts her into Expert range in two different magic schools.

Plus, it was very satisfying to be able to buy Ebonyflesh, Conjure Storm Atronach, and Conjure Dremora Lord. All of these are going to stand me in very good stead in future battles.

And while I was at it, I was pleased to go ahead and get Onmund’s side quest dealt with, since I’d picked up the Grand Staff of Charming necessary for that plot to work. Equally pleased to get Arniel his cogs, since those things are heavy and I didn’t want to lug them around any more!

Language commentary

Not much to note language-wise but I will call out that in Morokei’s dialogue to the player, I saw that he used tu when he thought I was Savos Aren–but switched to vous when he realized I wasn’t. Which raises interesting questions about how Morokei must have perceived Aren vs. me.

We know from what clues are given during running Labyrinthian that the place pretty much destroyed everybody in the party except for Aren, and that he had to leave behind two of his compatriots, forcing them into thrall to keep Morokei contained. So is Morokei throwing tu at me out of contempt for Aren? Or would he normally throw tu at everybody, but he’s hitting me with vous because maybe he senses I’m the Dragonborn?

Not enough info to go on based on what you get out of the game. But it’s an intriguing question to consider, and one you wouldn’t get from running the game in English. It’d be interesting to compare to how the German and Spanish translations handle this, since those languages also have formal and informal versions of you.

Next time

For Ysani, there’s extra satisfaction for taking out not one but two Thalmor assholes! But also some level of alarm. She already knows the Thalmor are pissed off at her, and now she’s gone and killed but not one but two more of their agents. That’s got to be making her some degree of nervous.

She’s the Arch-Mage now, and has a school full of mages that are very grateful she kept them from being blown up by the Eye of Magnus. And who specifically helped her take out the primary of the two aforementioned Thalmor assholes. But she also now has even more reason to know what the Thalmor are capable of. And I feel like this’ll feed into the narrative of why she buggers off from the college for a while.

I figure her train of thought will go like this:

  1. Holy shit, I just killed two Thalmor, they are so coming after me.
  2. And if the entire mage college pissed them off, are they going to bring a large force here?
  3. I need to learn more about being Dragonborn.
  4. I need to learn more about defending myself, and not just with magic, either.
  5. I know from Delphine that she thinks we should break into the Thalmor Embassy and see if they know what’s going on with the dragons.
  6. GOSH what Guild do I know that’s gifted in the art of breaking into places? And who’s already encouraged me to check them out?
  7. Conclusion: I need to go talk to the Thieves Guild.

So yeah, Thieves Guild will be my next major activity. But before I do that, I’ll do at least a couple of side things.

Of immediate interest: I now have two Letters from a Friend pointing at highly interesting locations. Hag’s End has the other word of the Slow Time Shout that I can go get. And High Gate Ruins has Storm Call, as well as the chance to get the Conjure Flaming Familiar spell.

Secondary interest: now that I know I can take out a dragon priest, this means Volskygge is now higher priority. Which would let me get Volsung and the final word of Whirlwind Sprint.

And, since I’ll be joining the Thieves Guild, this also means I really ought to go hit Shearpoint too and get the Throw Voice Shout.

Since I’m already thane in Falkreath, I really need to buy the property to build Lakeview. Not only for a place to start dropping my stuff, but also for an opportunity to work on leveling Smithing.

So my next immediate activity is going to be running one or two of these Shout locations, just to get all the necessary gold for buying Lakeview and beginning to build it out.


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.