Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Saves Dawnstar from Nightmares

The main objective of this session was to run the Vaermina nightmare plot in Dawnstar, by way of getting ready to get the thaneship there. But I also worked on side quests for getting the thaneships in both Dawnstar and Winterhold, bought the land for Heljarchen Hall, and began the plot to seek Mehrunes’ Razor. Busy session all around!


  • Play date: 2/25/2022
  • Session number in this run: 32
  • Set out from Shrine of Azura to head to Snowpoint Beacon
  • Iona killed an ice wolf
  • Got Alftand onto the map for later convenience since I went by there
  • Found dead bandit with living horse next to it
  • Hi horse! You look like a nice horse! And I’m going to ride you, because I am overburdened, and I apologize in advance if I get you killed by the next frost troll, snowy sabre cat, or snow bear I see
  • Rode through Wayward Pass
  • Spotted Imperial courier who ran up, and then ran away again back the same way without coming near me
  • Iona killed a frostbite spider before it could get to me or the horse; thank you Iona, sorry for making you walk!
  • Passed Silverdrift Lair, may come back to that barrow later?
  • Dismounted from the horse when we reached Snowpoint Beacon; horse didn’t actually leave, and actually killed the first exterior bandit for me, lololol
  • Called up one of the dremora to take out the bandit chief inside the beacon tower
  • Headed to Dawnstar with intent to return to Winterhold later to collect the bounty, once I get the Helm of Winterhold back
  • Got Duskglow Crevice onto the map while riding
  • Horse ran off when a frost troll showed up, and I had to dismount to call up the dremora boys to take it out; bye horse! You were nice while you lasted!
  • Safely arrived at Dawnstar and oh hi Khajiit! Sold a bunch of stuff to Ahkari, and got Kharjo’s amulet quest ^_^
  • Went in to get a room at the night, cue initial scene with townsfolk freaking out at Erandur about the nightmares
  • Hey there, priest of Mara, you look like a fine upstanding fellow; can you tell me what’s going on? Nightmare problem? Let me help you out with that
  • Ran the temple; had to roll back once when Erandur got stuck in the library after we fought a couple of the Vaermina priests and an orc; otherwise went smoothly
  • Returned to Dawnstar to report to the jarl; got Skald to ask me to go kill a giant
  • Came out of his longhouse and HELLO ANCIENT DRAGON; dragon slain! Heartscales gotten for the Alteration Ritual quest!
  • Sold dragon bits to Frida at the Mortar and Pestle; also bought her out of most of her ingredients
  • Sold a bunch of loot armor and weapons to Rustleif, bought him out of iron
  • Went over to check out the museum; hi Silus, Madena clearly thinks this place of yours is a bad idea, but i’ll humor you, okay fine tell me about this stuff
  • You want me to go get what now? This seems like a dubious idea but okay fine, I’ll go get the dagger bits, I need money to go after the Thalmor
  • But first! I’ll go after a giant for the Jarl! Went to Red Road Pass; took out the giant; also the mammoth and the three bandits that were fighting it; thank you Iona and dremora boys
  • Back to Dawnstar! Hi Jarl Skald, I killed the giant for you; I can be your thane if I help your people? Groovy! Also, sell me some land please; right then Heljarchen Hall, I’ll get to you
  • Queued up favor quests: book for Rustleif, Ring of Pure Mixtures for Frida, Fine-Cut Void Salts for Captain Wayfinder; two of these three places I’ve already been in, but that’s fine!
  • First up: Swindler’s Den; re-cleared the place with Iona and assorted conjurations, got the book
  • Boinged to Whiterun to sell some extraneous stuff, then boinged to Windstad to drop off some materials
  • Iona volunteered to be steward of Windstad! Okay then! She can keep Valdimar company here!
  • Started in on a bunch of building
  • Leveled up to 51; took Muffled Movement perk in Sneak for important Thalmor-Embassy-raiding purposes
  • Did a bunch of alchemy as well
  • Blew last few soul gems charging weapons
  • Saved for the night


Ysani’s run is beginning a rather nice pattern of encountered friendly animals lasting longer than I expected them to! I have a dog now at Breezehome, and with this session, I actually successfully rode an unowned horse from point A to point B without it getting killed on the way.

This was not the first time I’d tried to ride an unowned horse encountered in the wild–I think I triggered that “horse next to dead bandit” encounter before. But this time, I actually got to ride the horse to where I was going, and observe its behavior when I got there. I was kind of surprised to see that the horse didn’t immediately run off! And it actually started fighting the bandit on the bottom level of the Snowpoint Beacon tower, too, once that bandit came out hostile.

Which is pretty awesome for a random horse I’d just happened to commandeer, as opposed to a horse I actually bought and owned. I then tried to see if I could ride the horse all the way to Dawnstar, but that didn’t happen–since the horse freaked out when a frost troll showed up, and it bolted.

All of which seems in keeping with horse behavior I’ve seen in Skyrim before. Horses do seem mostly prepared to jump into a fight; I’ve even seen the Riften stable horses respond to dragon attacks! But I’ve also seen horses freak out and run off in combat, too. It’s not clear to me though what makes a horse stay and fight, and what causes it to freak out and flee?

Nothing new to say about the nightmares plot, really, aside from the difference in performance of Erandur; see below on that. Still steadfast on never killing Erandur on this quest, too.

And I’ll say this: yep, Jarl Skald sure is an asshole. I am still pondering what this means re: playing out the war as Ysani, because both Skald and Korir of Winterhold are for my money much in need of being swapped out for their Imperial-supporting counterparts. But I’m not convinced yet that Ysani will want to commit to the war, just because I have a real hard time imagining how she’d want to support the Empire given how anti-Thalmor she is.

If anything, I should think that her being anti-Thalmor would explicitly push her to the Stormcloaks. But as a player, I’m just not convinced I’d want to actually fight for the Stormcloaks!

Also? As with several other things the last several sessions, taking out that giant at Red Road Pass was way easier with two dremora at my beck and call. I need to get better at flinging Destruction spells around, though. Just because having the dremora able to kill things for me does mean I’m finding things a little less challenging than I’d like! Which is kind of hilarious given that I’m playing this run on a higher difficulty level!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Camp de Neigemont: Snowpoint Beacon (lit. “Camp Snowmount”, I think?)
  • Col de l’inconstance: Wayward Pass (lit. “Pass of Inconstancy”)
  • Repaire de Brisargent: Silverdrift Lair
  • Fissure d’Aubeclaire: Duskglow Crevice (lit. “Crevice of Dawnglow”, maybe?)
  • Le Temple de Sorguevoix: Nightcaller Temple
  • La Marche onirique: The Dreamstride

It interests me that Snowpoint Beacon got renamed essentially to Camp Snowmount, or maybe Snowmount Camp? The part that interests me here being the use of the word camp, which in French is about what you would expect in English. (source) I’m a little surprised by this word choice, as opposed to any of the words noted on reverso.net, such as phare or balise or fanal. I wonder though if those other words might carry more of a connotation of a lighthouse or a more modern type of beacon, as opposed to what this is in the game, i.e., a small tower with a watchfire on top.

Duskglow Crevice startled me just because of the part of the name involving “Aube”, which is dawn, not dusk. But the word I’m reliably finding for dusk is crépuscule, and it’s kind of hard to smoosh that together with claire, I guess? So this means the place gets the same idea in its name, only for a different time of day. Which might be a meaningful worldbuilding difference depending on why the place got named what it did? But the wikis don’t have data on that, so one can only speculate.

Sorguevoix is a tough one. I knew that voix is voice. But I did not know the word sorgue, which in this particular case does appear to be an actual French word! According to the fr.wiktionary.org entry, it’s a word for night out of some French dialects. So this would make the translation of the temple’s name Nightvoice Temple, maybe.

Onirique is another instance of an unfamiliar term being an actual French word, so yay, I have a new word for my vocabulary! It means dream or dreamy. Marche is pretty much what you’d expect if you’re English speaker, so you wind up pretty much with the Dreammarch, here. Very close to the English.

Last but not least, I note that a couple of times now, I’ve seen Daedric Princes who present as female specifically called Daedric Princesses in the French translation. I saw it earlier with Meridia (I think I saw that on the loading screen about her), and I saw it here in this session with Vaermina as well, in Erandur’s dialogue.

This is despite the fact that info on the UESP wiki explicitly says that the Daedric Princes are almost always called princes, regardless of what gender they choose to manifest. I expect this is probably due to French being a more gendered language? And possibly due to prince and princess also pretty much translating straight over.

Presumably, the translators thought that the idea of using prince as a gender-neutral term wouldn’t work with the French player audience?

Running the nightmare plot this time also gave me the opportunity to interact with a Dunmer character a lot. Erandur comes across to my ear much differently when performed by the French voice actor here. In English, Erandur has a vaguely northern-British-ish kind of voice, and the actor who voices him uses much the same accent for other Dunmer he plays as well. In French, at least to my ear, that accent flavor isn’t there.

It’d be real interesting to know whether there’s an accent flavor in play here for a French speaker, though!

Next time

I’ll finish up the favor quests to get the thaneship in Dawnstar, then go after that helm for Winterhold, and see about getting the thaneship there, too.

Then I need to work on the Mehrunes’ Razor quest! This will probably be my main action for the next session.

Time permitting, I’ll also see about initiating building at Heljarchen Hall.


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.