Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Works Her Way Towards Markarth

I was in the mood to go overland from Riften to Markarth, and knock down several side quests on the way to getting to Calcelmo and doing the next phase of the Thieves Guild plot. This let me finish off not one, not two, but three different side quests! So a productive and action-filled little session.


  • Play date: 2/14/2022
  • Session number in this run: 21
  • Set out from Honeyside with Iona
  • Swam the lake for part of the way to avoid alerting Faldar’s Tooth bandits
  • Flyby Blood Dragon over the lake
  • Also attempted to avoid Largashbur, partly because not really interested in getting Volendrung for this character, but also just not wanting to kill all the orcs there by passing by and generating giants
  • Heh, heard a bear a few times while sneaking up on Avanchnzel but bear never found us, guess my Sneak is good enough to elude a bear now!
  • Worked on running Avanchnzel!
  • Leveled up to 42; took Arcane Blacksmithing perk \0/
  • Finished the dungeon and thankfully didn’t have to beat on the centurion myself
  • Boinged to Whiterun for crafting
  • Did some smithing and finally got the scaled armor up to Legendary; also improved the Guild armor some
  • Decided to go ahead and finish up the quest for Saadia
  • Went to Dragonsreach to question prisoner
  • Headed off to Swindler’s Den to take on the bandits and Alik’r warriors
  • Took Saadia’s side this time as that seemed appropriate, and let Iona and the dremora take out Kematu and his men in the chokepoint at the tunnel
  • Quaffed potion to get back to Whiterun and sell stuff, then told Saadia she was safe and got her payment
  • Sold additional stuff at Warmaiden’s, and yep there are the two warriors stuck at the gate but ah well
  • Boinged to Lakeview for some additional smithing of stuff; HI LYDIA! HI RAYYA!
  • Smithed more things in the house
  • Tried to leave and head out for Reachwater Rock to finish up the Forbidden Legend quest, but fought three wolves before I got very far, and then an Elder Dragon showed up 😳
  • Took it out with help of Iona + storm atronach + Slow Time Shout; left dragon bits in the outside Lakeview chest, because those things are heavy, yo
  • Got on the road finally
  • Additional creatures fought: two skeletons, two separate bears, two skeevers
  • Other encounters: Headless Horseman; Imperial + noble on horse
  • Got ahead of Iona going up a cliffside
  • Engaged two simultaneous cave bears myself in hand to hand, may be a mage, but I need my sword practice!
  • Got jumped by a couple of Forsworn and took them out, first Forsworn of this game; circled hard around their camp to aim for destination
  • Made it to Reachwater Rock; mined silver and iron veins outside
  • Ran the place with little trouble; got brothers defeated, amulet reforged; boss chest had Command Daedra spellbook!
  • Made it into Markarth
  • Tried to see if I could save Margret from Weylin’s attack when I came in through the gates but didn’t kill him fast enough, even though I used the Slow Time Shout on him, damn; should have armed myself with the ebony sword instead of the dagger
  • Proceeded on into Understone Keep to find Calcelmo
  • Saw Thongvar bitching to the priest of Arkay about the disturbance in the catacombs, and yeah I know what that plot’s about, hard pass
  • Proceeded to go talk to Calcelmo; sold him the dwemer bow he wanted, but he wouldn’t let me see his work; went for getting his favor by promising to kill the spider for him
  • But that’ll be next time!
  • Saved for the night


As noted at the top of the post, this session was all about trying to clear out side quests from my journal, and also to get in some overland time as I worked my way towards Markarth. Which allowed me to clear not one, not two, but three different quests!

Did the Unfathomable Quests run through Avanchnzel, to take the Lexicon back there as per the desperate request of From-Deepest-Fathoms. The perks gained off this quest are only half interesting to me; even when I’m playing a character who likes Heavy Armor, I never like wearing Dwarven armor, just because I find it unattractive. But the Smithing boost is very appealing.

And while I am playing a mage who’s mostly avoiding armor this run, the ability to smith is still pretty critical for making money. And for outfitting my housecarls. If I’m not wearing armor and using the most badassed weapon I can get my hands on, this just bumps the priority for my housecarls to be geared up as best they can, because they have to guard my back. And to do that for them, I need smithing!

(I’m still on the fence about whether to keep going pure-clothes vs. wearing light armor. I’m to the point now that my light armor will give me a slightly better rating than the pure mage armor perks do, and I’m concerned that this will be a problem as I continue to level up. Plus, I’m very close to getting the Nightingale Armor, which is just too damned cool to not wear. I suspect transitioning to more of a spellsword situation is in Ysani’s near future.)

Next quest finished up was In My Time of Need. I still dislike that this quest is buggy if you finish it on Saadia’s side, leaving two Alik’r warriors stuck at the Whiterun gates for the rest of the game, as well as the random encounter of Alik’r warriors harassing Redguard women playing as well. Still though, given what I set up about Ysani’s background, it seemed extremely appropriate that she would one thousand percent support anybody who’d spoken out against the Aldmeri Dominion. (Sorry, Kematu!)

Next up: interlude at Lakeview, where I got the rare situation of having not one, not two, but three different housecarls in my immediate vicinity.

(I think I could make it as far as four, if I happened to marry one of my housecarls and also had them on site? Lol, I’ll have to try this. So that’s:

  1. Housecarl that’s the official one for the house
  2. Housecarl serving as steward
  3. Housecarl currently following me
  4. Housecarl I’m married to, also on site at the house

This would only work at Lakeview, Windstad, or Heljarchen, though! I could only make it to three housecarls at the in-town properties since you can’t have separate stewards for those.)

More importantly, though, the surprise Ancient Dragon attack gave me another opportunity to practice the Slow Time Shout. And boy howdy was that critical. I was frankly kind of surprised that it worked, too! But with the help of that Shout—as well as Iona and my storm atronach—the dragon was within my ability to take down.

From there, the next major action was hitting Reachwater Rock for the conclusion to the Forbidden Legend quest. And this went rather easier than I expected, possibly because I ran it at level 42? But I certainly didn’t complain at the ease of running the dungeon. 😁

And by the time I did that, I was within good range of Markarth. So I took the time, coming into the city for the first time, to see if I could actually save Margret from Weylin’s attack as soon as I came through the gates. This, again, required me to try the Slow Time Shout. But I didn’t actually take Weylin out fast enough—possibly because I hit him with my dagger rather than my sword?

My thought here had been, I’d hit him with my dagger to minimize the chance of hitting any bystanders, especially guards. But I didn’t give him enough damage on initial strike to take him out. This is what I get for not having spent any perk points on One-Handed weapons, to speak of! But if I’d hit him with a spell, I feel like I’d have been at risk of hitting somebody else?

But anyway, this means I do now have the Forsworn Conspiracy quest opener done. I’ll have to think about whether I want to run that quest later with this character.

For now, my priority is getting into Calcelmo’s museum. Which means, dealing with Calcelmo. So I went to talk to him for my last action of the session, selling him the Dwemer bow he wanted, and then offering to go kill the spider in his excavation for him to get access to see his museum.

Language commentary

  • Sac de couchage (À quelqu’un): Bed roll (Owned), lit. “Sleeping bag (to someone)”, I think)
  • Parjure: Forsworn
  • Rocher d’Eaulointaine: Reachwater Rock (lit. “Rock of far/distant water”, I think?)

Next time

Definitely hitting that museum, and after that, we’ll see how much farther I get through the Thieves Guild plot. High chances of getting that Nightingale Blade at the very least! I may or may not make it all the way to the point of becoming a Nightingale. We’ll see!


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.