Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests through Folgunthur and Speaks to Maven About a Job

Short session, since this was a work night. Main action was running the Folgunthur dungeon, fighting my first Ancient Dragon of this run, and meeting Maven Black-Briar about a special job she wants done by the Thieves Guild!


  • Play date: 2/10/2022
  • Session number in this run: 17
  • Blipped to Whiterun; bought iron and corundum from Warmaiden’s
  • Got Lydia from Breezehome
  • Boinged to Lakeview
  • Lydia volunteered to be steward! Okay!
  • However as soon as she did that, what sounded like a bandit trio tried to spawn. Couldn’t find them though? Circled the house a couple of times and no sign of them, and nobody inside the house either
  • Proceeded to work on filling in furnishings until I ran out of sawn logs
  • Then activated the Forbidden Legend quest
  • Boinged to Morthal to walk from there to Folgunthur
  • Fought on the way: a few mudcrabs, a couple of chaurus, a frostbite spider
  • Began running Folgunthur; got through that dungeon okay, got the ivory claw, got the amulet fragment, got the Blackblade, got the next word for Frost Breath Shout
  • Boinged back to Whiterun to sell stuff, and buy more building materials and sell a few things
  • Attempted to boing back to Lakeview by way of Pinewatch—FOUR FUCKING TIMES, because an Ancient Dragon kept showing up and chomping me to death
  • Fourth time through finally killed it
  • What worked: staying in sneak, using the Slow Time Shout, hitting it with repeated stalactite spells while Lydia and dremora lord beat up on it up close
  • Saw it chomp the dremora lord once but that’s less alarming than if it’d chomped on Lydia! The dremora at least probably just went right back to Oblivion
  • Leveled up to 38 in the middle of the battle, lost once in rollback, but got the level up back on the fourth time through; took perk to up the damage of frost spells in Destruction tree
  • Once that was finally done, went to Lakeview for real; confirmed Rayya was still alive and kicking
  • Got Lydia to supply some more sawn logs now that she’s steward, and built out more things for the house
  • Boinged back to Whiterun to drop off a few things there and do a little bit more selling
  • Boinged to Riften to go see Maven about her special job!
  • She was waiting in the Bee and Barb; Maramal’s speech about Mara got triggered when I went in, so heh, Talen-Jei didn’t get a chance to be cranky at me
  • Got Maven to brief me on what she wants and that i should go see Mallus
  • Boinged back to Whiterun
  • Saved there for the night


Not too much to say about Folgunthur since this is a reasonably low-tier dungeon, not difficult for me at this point. And the Forbidden Legend quest is known to me at this point. I’m doing it again mostly for the chance to practice my spells in combat!

The Ancient Dragon action was a lot more hardcore. This was the first Ancient Dragon I’ve seen this game, and it was a hard fight. Particularly given that the damn dragon kept flying off in between engaging me, Lydia, and my summoned creatures. It kept flying between us, the bandit fortification further down the road, and even to Lakeview, where Rayya got in on the fight a couple of times as well.

I tried a couple of different strategies to go at it, and even tried getting into the Arch-Mage robes at one point to up the pool of magic I had available. That didn’t actually help.

What did help was a more souped-up version of the same strategy I’ve successfully used already this run: i.e., staying in Sneak, letting Lydia and whatever other creature I’ve summoned handle the up-close melee fighting, and hitting the target from afar with spells.

I figure narratively speaking, Lydia has probably advised Ysani to take cover any time a fight breaks out, because Lydia knows Ysani is small and slender and not likely to survive taking much damage.

Also, this gives me more to consider re: the question of how long to rely on mage armor spells vs. actual armor. During the fight with this dragon, I know my casting of Ebonyflesh ran out. And that’s a big problem if a higher tier dragon is spitting fire at you, and your armor rating suddenly drops from 350 down to 50. This tells me I really need to keep at least one set of actual armor in my inventory so that if I need to armor up for a hardcore battle, I can.

And that means I need to get Arcane Blacksmithing unlocked, so that I can work on getting some armor better improved. Also, I clearly need to be on top of making sure Lydia and all my other housecarls are wearing the most badassed armor I can get them.

Last but not least, I went back to Riften long enough to find Maven at the Bee and Barb and make progress on doing the Dampened Spirits quest. And I gotta say, I like the voice actor they’ve got doing Maven for the French translation, she sounds absolutely appropriate and haughty for the character.

Language commentary

A couple of language notes to make here.

First, when the bandits attempted and failed to spawn at Lakeview, I caught a subtitle attributed to ‘Malandrin’ in passing, which was a word I was pretty sure I’d seen when I ran Stony Creek Cave. I wasn’t sure what that was at all, and thought it was a name at the time.

However, I looked this up and figured out it was not a name, it’s the general term the French translation is using for the highest tier bandit that isn’t a bandit chief. In the English game, that tier of bandit is ‘Bandit Marauder’.

When I looked up the word malandrin, this seemed like a decent translation. (Source) It more or less means what you’d expect, i.e., vagabond, miscreant, etc.

Second, I noticed this already even before this session, but I don’t think I called out yet that Maven’s last name, Black-Briar, is translated to Roncenoir. Noir I knew already as the word for black/dark, so that leaves ronce to mean briar, or bramble. So pretty much a direct translation.

Lastly, another word I’ll note as one I’ve seen before in the game but also in my vocabulary app: chambellan, the French translation of chamberlain. Which is an appropriate word to use here for the position of steward in Skyrim! (Even if steward of a country house like Lakeview is arguably not quite the same level of prestige as, say, steward to any of the Jarls in their palaces.)

Next time

Going to try to run the meadery job! Time permitting I may also try something non-Guild related, but I’m not sure yet what that’ll be. I’ll see what I’m in the mood for once I finish making Sabjorn’s life difficult.


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.