Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Begins Work for the Thieves Guild

With this session, I get the Thieves Guild’s plotline underway in earnest! And set some beehives on fire, and filch an incriminating bill of sale!


  • Play date: 2/8/2022
  • Session number in this run: 16
  • Went to go do the intimidate the merchants plot, see below
  • So welp now I’m a thief
  • Got the orders to go burn the beehives at Goldenglow
  • Got Vex’s pointer to the back way into that place
  • Also got Vex to tell me what the unusual gems are! of which I now have two
  • Got Thieves Guild armor from Tonilia
  • Came out the secret way from the Guild into the graveyard and was immediately greeted by the sight of the guards yelling “ARRÊTEZ LE VOLEUR”
  • I was all “wait what I didn’t even steal anything OH NOT ME”
  • Waited for guards to disperse and went over and stole the guy’s loot
  • Had Iona stand down for now at Honeyside
  • Blipped off to Lakeview to do some building; built the main house basic structure and also started on making a library wing, until I ran out of corundum
  • Blipped off to Western Watchtower next, triggered fast travel frost dragon
  • Helped the guards take out the dragon—and also stunned to see Talsgar the Wanderer also on hand for the fight
  • Time for shopping at Whiterun! Sold a bunch of stuff, including the weapon from Jarl Laila, ‘cause honestly lady I don’t need it, sorry (but not selling it in her territory, that’d just be rude)
  • Got balance back to about 2200 or so
  • Boinged back to Riften and landed after dark, so went ahead with the quest to hit Goldenglow
  • Suited up in Thieves Guild armor, boots, and gauntlets, and Volsung to swim to the island
  • Zorched three beehives with Flames spell
  • Snuck in through the sewer, then got into the house
  • Made it up onto the second floor and into Aringoth’s bedroom, but it looked pretty likely I wouldn’t get through there without him spotting me; so fuck it, snuck back out and down to the basement so I could just pick the lock like I did with Merawen
  • Had to roll back once when an attempt to distract a mercenary with Throw Voice Shout didn’t work the way I wanted, and he spotted me and attacked
  • Second time through, i used Throw Voice + my last invisibility potion to make sure I could get past him
  • Made it down into the basement and broke into the chest down there, as well as the safe to get the bill of sale
  • Safely escaped through the sewer and back out into the water; swam back to Riften and got in via Honeyside
  • Returned to Thieves Guild and reported in to Brynjolf, who paid me for the job and pointed me at Maven for the next one
  • Went to the keep and bought upper floor furnishings for Honeyside, so it looks actually lived in now and Iona can have a kitchen
  • Saved for the night

Taking Care of Business quest

Still not a fan of this quest, but since it’s required to actually be able to join the Thieves Guild, tried to do it in the least annoying way possible.

Made sure to do Haelga, then Bersi, and then Keerava. And this time through, unlike what I did with Merawen, I actually brawled both Haelga and Bersi rather than threatening the Dibella statue or the Dwemer vase.

Went that route just because I personally find it slightly less distasteful than threats—and partly because I’m just amused by the idea of my little wisp of a mage actually brawling. Mind you, I think she was more evenly matched against Haelga and Bersi than she was by, say, Hofgrir at the stables.

But also, it occurred to me that at this point, Ysani is very aware she’s rising in power as a mage. And also very aware that she’s carrying around a big pile of pent-up rage, which she needs to express somehow, and doing it with her fists is arguably safer than unleashing magic on somebody. Or, for that matter, Shouts.

And I’m pretty sure that while she’s not above joining the Thieves Guild to take advantage of their training in her quest for revenge against the Thalmor, she doesn’t like the idea of threatening people. She has no issue with Bersi or Haelga or Keerava, and she’d much rather just fight with them rather than threatening precious possessions or family members.

Talsgar the Wanderer, bard—and mage?

I’m accustomed to seeing Talsgar the Wanderer at this point, but I was kind of surprised to see him present for the battle with the fast travel dragon at the watchtower this time! And I was more surprised to see him actually throw a mage armor spell on himself.

The wiki says he actually knows a few lower tier spells, and Stoneflesh is one of them. He also knows Calm, Lesser Ward, and Fast Healing. So defensive stuff, actually totally sensible for somebody to know if he makes his living wandering the countryside.

And, lol, the wiki also says that apparently he sometimes wanders into Honeyside from the back door and plays songs for free? Snerk. Maybe he’s having an affair with Iona? Oh I am totally shipping that now.

The game has no way of getting into his backstory, but the game does often have basic spellbooks available for sale by merchants. So maybe this dude just picked up a few basic spells to protect himself while wandering the land to look for inspiration for music. He could have just enough magical power to not necessarily be a candidate for the College of Winterhold, but certainly enough for basic spells.

Or hey, maybe he does actually have more magical power than you’d think, but he loves being a bard better, and prefers to wander the land rather than being holed up at the college.

So that makes him a bit more interesting to me as an NPC. <3

And also? This is now totally my headcanon for who writes “The Dragonborn Comes”, and gets it propagating through the inns of Skyrim!

Loud and Clear quest

Wound up playing this almost, but not entirely, the same way I did in Merawen’s run. The main difference here was, I did try to get up onto the second floor and see if I could steal the key off of Aringoth, as well as getting the Queen Bee statue for Delvin.

The answer to this was, no. My Sneak was good enough to get me past all the mercenaries, but the layout and lighting of Aringoth’s room was such that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to get to that statue without him seeing me.

And also, I didn’t have a high enough Speech skill yet to actually get the key off of him in peace. Nor did I want to attack him.

So I settled instead for just going down to the basement floor and picking the lock as Merawen had done before, because lol, keys. What self-respecting thief needs keys to break into a safe?

The one hiccup I had was triggering one of the basement mercenaries seeing and attacking me, but that happened only once. And second time through I still had an invisibility potion left, so I was able to use that to get by him.

Note to self: start getting more invisibility potions!

One other thing to note here was that the Volsung mask was actually useful for being able to stay underwater longer. And therefore being harder to detect. Plus, I kind of like the idea of Ysani specifically having that mask on to hide her face when she’s doing Guild work.

Wouldn’t do, after all, to have her face be visible and someone go HOLY SHIT THE ARCH-MAGE IS STEALING STUFF WTF. 😉

Still though there’s an interesting question here: can I come back and get that Queen Bee statue later? The wiki thinks Aringoth will be crouching by his shelves for the rest of the game. So does this mean he won’t interfere with me if I come in later with a higher Sneak? Will have to investigate this!

Language commentary

I kind of miss Brynjolf’s voice from the English version of the game, just because the actor that voices him in the English version has such a great north British kind of accent. But that said, I kind of like his French voice as well!

Also amused that he keeps calling me jeune fille, which seems like an appropriate equivalent to lass. (Which makes me wonder if he’d call a male character jeune garçon? Or maybe jeune gar?) And also particularly apt for my little wisp of a mage.

Next time

Next big action on the Thieves Guild plot will be hitting the meadery near Whiterun, and getting Mallus set up as the first available fence.

Double checked the post in Merawen’s run about running the meadery just to remind myself of how that worked. With Merawen, I had no shock resistance—but right now Ysani has a necklace that’ll give her 50% shock resistance, so that should be helpful.

But I also have a Sneak competitive with what Merawen had at the time. And more importantly, I have Conjuration and Alteration leveled up way past what Merawen had. I can come in here with Ebonyflesh cast, and I can call up either the dremora lord or atronachs.

So that suggests to me that Ysani will have less trouble with Hamelyn than Merawen did? We’ll find out!

Parallel to this, I want to keep working on building out Lakeview, as well as finishing furnishing Honeyside.


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.