Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests Through the Reach

Did not yet advance the main Thieves Guild plot in this session, but did do some general thievery! Also, running a few side quests in the Reach, including getting the third aetherium shard for Lost to the Ages!


  • Play date: 2/16/2022
  • Session number in this run: 23
  • Did more smithing work at Lakeview to burn through materials
  • Boinged to Honningbrew to sell stuff to Mallus
  • Went into Whiterun and shopped with Warmaiden’s, Belethor, Arcadia
  • Boinged to Riften and enchanted a bunch of jewelry at Honeyside
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Tonilia at the Thieves Guild
  • Got Bedlam Job from Delvin for Whiterun, then nabbed a Sweep Job for Whiterun as well to stack them; target, House Gray-Mane!
  • Broke into House Gray-Mane, nabbed the three items; left 3,000 septims in a chest; had to roll back once when Avulstein spotted me
  • Returned to Riften to collect payment
  • Got new Bedlam and Sweep jobs, again in Whiterun, this time targeting House Battle-Born
  • Boinged back to Whiterun but decided not to do the jobs yet, as I needed more money to plant
  • Set out on foot towards Fort Sungard to get the skill book for Tacitus
  • Flyby dragon at watchtower
  • Female Khajiit assassin, had to take her out with dremora because she was fast and I couldn’t shoot her
  • Wolf, also taken out via dremora
  • Passed a couple of the Khajiit from the caravan parked at Whiterun
  • Cultists, took out one with Nightingale Blade, dremora took out the other two; only looted two, didn’t have time to find the third one because HI SURPRISE TWO GIANTS TIME TO RUN AWAY
  • Made it to Fort Sungard to get the book; let the dremora take out a few Forsworn; that cleared the way for me to swipe the book, did not otherwise clear the place, got safely out though
  • However, had to deal with rolling back to exiting the place twice due to getting killed by things when I tried to go it alone on the plains, and RIGHT THEN, remember not to travel without a housecarl
  • Fast traveled back to Whiterun to see about those other two Guild jobs
  • Sold some gems to Mallus and Belethor and some potions to Arcadia, which got me up to 4000 gold
  • Nabbed the stone of Barenziah from Dragonsreach and left the Jarl 1000 gold in the end table
  • Broke into House Battle-Born and barely avoided Idolaf twice, only to be spotted by Lars, DOH, but Lars didn’t stop me from getting out of the house, whew (and I left them 3,000 gold)
  • Back to Riften; checked in with Vex and Delvin; got two more jobs, this time stacked up in Solitude
  • Sold some stuff to Balimund
  • Went to Honeyside to pick up Iona
  • Boinged to Western Watchtower
  • Attacked by hostile Dunmer; made exception to the no looting armor rule because she had ebony armor on, so I went ahead and nabbed her stuff; gave the armor and helmet to Iona
  • Passed Khajiit and WTF?! Ri’saad was clipping into the road as they walked, and eventually he vanished?
  • Spotted Thalmor shortly after, fighting a sabre cat, which apparently killed their prisoner; Khajiit were in range so I reluctantly decided not to fuck with the Thalmor, just so the Khajiit wouldn’t be at risk 😉
  • Shortly thereafter: cultists! Took them out with Iona + dremora + Nightingale Blade
  • Locale for the Forgemaster’s Fingers: Red Eagle Redoubt, so I guess I’m running the Red Eagle quest!
  • Ran the place and got the sword as well as the Forgemaster’s Fingers, and an extra set of ebony armor I’ll need to hold in reserve for either Rayya or other housecarls
  • Fast traveled to Markarth
  • Dropped off the book with Ghorza, and sold her a bunch of things
  • Set out from Markarth, tried three times, first two got killed by random encounters
  • Third time through: flyby dragon
  • Dunmer assassin that vanished as soon as Iona killed him, I think he clipped through the ground somewhere? o.O
  • Couple of sabre cats fighting a bandit
  • Mudcrab
  • Derped around till I found Deep Folk Crossing and the third aetherium shard
  • Boinged back to Markarth to sell stuff to Ghorza and Lisbet
  • Started working my way east to hit other random quests
  • Passed Imperial soldier + noble on horse
  • Reached Broken Tower Redoubt for Forsworn bounty; tried to run it once, got killed by spike wall trap, thrown back to front door
  • Saved for the night

General acts of thievery

I have decided that from a narrative perspective, Ysani definitely isn’t quite as into thievery as Merawen was. She’s considering it more of a necessary evil. She’s in it for access to training in the art of stealth, and she’s even willing to consider committing herself to Nocturnal if it gets her what she needs to fight the Thalmor. But she’s not willing to make innocent citizens suffer for that.

Which means, therefore, while she’s willing to steal expensive objects to further her association with the Guild and get them to train her, she’s not willing to let families or shops suffer for it. So if she steals something, she’s going to almost always leave gold in its place. I’m setting her compensation price at 1,000 septims per expensive item stolen. This applies to any Stones of Barenziah stolen out of Jarls’ quarters, too.

Likewise, Ysani will be limiting herself to thievery jobs, because that’ll make it most likely she can get expensive items. She’s not going to do anything that’ll require her to frame someone, or plant evidence, or screw with a shop’s books.

But Bedlam Jobs, Sweep Jobs, Heist Jobs, or Burglary Jobs, those she can do. Those will put her into a position to distribute compensation gold.

I’m very aware this has no actual impact on the game! This is purely for roleplay purposes. And also, for an excuse to actually do something with excess gold, because I’ve learned from prior playthroughs that by the time I’m a high level Dragonborn, I’ll be swimming in gold anyway whether or not I’m in the Guild.

Plus, it amuses me to think about how this must impact the gossip spreading through cities about the Thieves Guild re-establishing itself. Because thievery is happening—and yet, what’s up with this mysterious gold showing up all over the place, in places where items have gone missing?

This would probably also result in quite the conversation between Ysani and Brynjolf, too.

Brynjolf: “Lass, you’ve been doing a great job bringing coin to the Guild and getting word out about us again. But we need to talk.”

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Brynjolf: “I keep hearing rumors mysterious gold is showing up wherever items go missing. Do you have anything to say about that?”

Me: “Plenty, actually. Do you want the short answer or the long one?”

Brynjolf: “How about you start with the short one, and we’ll go from there.”

Me: “Sure. Short answer: if the Guild gets the object and profits from it, why do we care if the person it’s stolen from is compensated?”

Brynjolf: “Lass, you do realize we’re thieves, right?”

Me: “Which brings me to the long answer. You all keep sending me to rob homes and shops you think are wealthy. But what I hear when I go to the cities says otherwise. I hear family after family talking about how they’re barely making enough money to feed and shelter their children or keep their shops open. Just because a house has a golden candlestick in it or a shop has a perfect emerald doesn’t mean they can afford to lose their item. The war is making it hard for everyone. I’m not willing to make it even harder for the people of Skyrim by taking items that might be the only thing between them and starvation.”

Brynjolf, frowning: “…”

Me, grinning slightly: “Besides, look at it this way. You want the Guild to thrive? Then we need the population thriving. More gold in everyone’s hands means more shiny items for us to take. And more chances that those in power will be a little more willing to turn a blind eye to our activities.”

Brynjolf: “Or, they could take that extra money and pay for more guards to keep us from taking their shiny items.”

Me: “Then we up our game to compensate. Are you telling me the Guild’s not up to handling a few extra guards?”

Brynjolf, laughing: “Most of us? Right now? Not so much. But you… yes, actually. I can believe that.”

Me: “Then you let me worry about where I’m getting the gold to plant wherever I steal an item. I won’t touch the Guild’s funds to do that, it’s out of my own pocket. And if I choose to use my share of any Guild profits to funnel back to helping the people, that’s on me. The Guild won’t have to care.”

Brynjolf: “All right, lass. I’ll trust you know what you’re doing, for now. Don’t prove me wrong.”

All of which brings me to robbing House Gray-Mane, House Battle-Born, and the Jarl’s quarters in Dragonsreach. That’s seven thousand septims distributed in Whiterun while I nabbed a few items, and four jobs down out of five in that city. I’ll need to get another Bedlam Job to satisfy by nabbing that Stone of Barenziah out of Kodlak’s quarters in Jorrvaskr!

And then I’ll need to finish up Solitude, Windhelm, and Markarth. I gotta remember that I do not actually need to run jobs in Riften! The Thieves Guild actually already owns the place, lol. (Which is good, because I find running the Thieves Guild side jobs tedious, for reasons I already wrote about in Merawen’s playthrough.)

Weirdly disappearing characters

Two separate incidents of characters mysteriously disappearing in this session, in ways I haven’t seen before now.

The first one was Ri’saad walking in and out of the road while I passed the Khajiit! And that was just generally alarming, particularly how he walked into the road and never came back out again after the first time I saw him do this. The other Khajiit kept walking as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

The second one was the Dunmer assassin whose body promptly vanished as soon as Iona killed him. Where’d he go? No idea! But if he also clipped into the road this suggests something weird for rendering the road in general was going on for me in this session. I’ll have to see if this keeps happening on further sessions where I actually walk from point A to point B.

Side quests

One day I may need to actually clear Fort Sungard rather than ducking in there to take the skill book for Tacitus. But this was not that day! So I still have no idea what the majority of that locale is like.

And I wasn’t actively planning to do Red Eagle’s quest again, but the game had other ideas! So this time through I only went as far as getting to that boss chest to get the Forgemaster’s Fingers, as well as taking the sword from the Briarheart. I didn’t bother to go on into Sundered Towers, though. I’ll swing back to Rebel’s Cairn later.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Temple de l’Aigle carmin: I’m not sure whether this was supposed to be Red Eagle Redoubt or Red Eagle Ascent, given that “temple” is the same word in English and French? Literally, this phrase is “temple of the carmine eagle”
  • Les Mains du forgeron: The Forgemaster’s Fingers, or, literally, “the hands of the blacksmith”

Next time

A few more side quests, I think, and some training to finish off level 45. Then I’m back to Riften to raid Mercer “Murderous Lying Bastard” Frey’s house!


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.