Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Steals a Horse and More Stones of Barenziah

This session continues my campaign to get the rest of the Stones of Barenziah! But with some careful judicious horse theft as well. Though arguably, really, is it actually horse theft if the owner of the horse knows in advance that I’m stealing it?


  • Play date: 3/3/2022
  • Session number in this run: 38
  • Boinged from Riften to Hob’s Fall Cave to see if I left a Stone of Barenziah in there; answer: yes! But I got in and out without having to fight a single hostile, thanks to Invisibility + Silence spells, and got the stone
  • Boinged back to Riften to commence horse stealing
  • Fought on the way to Black-Briar Lodge: one cave bear, one frostbite spider; somebody shot at both of them while I was fighting, but not me? They both had iron arrows when I looted them
  • Made it to the lodge only to realize shit I hadn’t talked to Maven yet, so I broke in and yoinked the lineage papers to avoid the whole bug with the quest marker not working if I talk to maven first, then I boinged back to Riften
  • Slept the night at Honeyside
  • Popped into Maven’s house the next morning to go ‘hey did you know Louis and Sibbi are conspiring to steal your horse?’ Got her leave to go through with the plan
  • Time to resume the plan! Went out the back gate only to realize it’s kind of the wrong way? So circled back around
  • Killed one frostbite spider only to discover dead giant frostbite spider and a dead cave bear right behind it; then killed two more cave bears
  • Spotted third cave bear near steps up to Lost Tongue Overlook but did not engage; decided to go after the dragon instead! Turned out to be a frost dragon, so took it out with storm atronachs + Nightingale Bow
  • Proceeded onward to the lodge; came in while it was still daylight and a couple of the mercenaries spotted me before I went invisible again
  • Waited until dark to break back in via the cellar
  • Got through the place with no trouble, got the stone and left Maven 1,000 septims for it
  • Got back out again, exterior mercenary almost saw me but I kept throwing Invisibility and he never twigged to where I was
  • Frost was still standing down near the path so I went and got him and rode him safely to Louis
  • Didn’t feel like trying to convince Louis to give me the horse so let him pay me and take him and ride off (because a level 25 horse is not much of an improvement over level 4 when I’m 55 and climbing)
  • And lololol not long after that, as Louis got ahead of me on the horse, i found him under attack by a vampire that had killed a Vigilant
  • A less scrupulous thief would have let the vampire kill him, but I threw the dremora at the vamp for him so he could still ride off with the horse; successfully kept him from getting killed
  • Initially thought to proceed to Ansilvund, but then decided to see if I could see Louis making it to Fort Greenwall, and to see how long he actually stayed alive
  • Backtracked some; discovered entrance to Greenwall Cave
  • Came close to Imperials vs. Stormcloaks fight; the Stormcloaks won but one of their guys was killed, so I yoinked weapons off the fallen to take and sell; surviving Stormcloaks did not appear to mind, so okay then
  • Tromped back into Riften; saw guards going after not one but two different random thieves
  • (Geez am I going to have to have words with Brynjolf about the quality of recruits we’re getting in? Because I mean honestly)
  • Took loot off both of the thieves, then went right into the Guild to sell all the loot and weapons to Tonilia
  • Came back out again to derp around a little and see if I could find any sign of Louis and Frost; no, but did find another living horse with dead bandit
  • Rode that horse around a bit until I got back near the lodge
  • Got off the horse when I spotted a thief; thief did not acknowledge my being in Nightingale Armor, booooo; I did at least persuade him I didn’t have any money
  • The horse wandered off as soon as I dismounted
  • Made it back to where the dead bandit had fallen, and saw the horse catching up with me to come back to that same spot; let it stay there though
  • Proceeded northward to Shor’s Stone; stopped there to smelt a little ore and smith a little armor and sell it to Filnjar
  • Killed en route to Ansilvund: one cave bear, one frostbite spider
  • Reached Ansilvund and threw the dremora boys at the conjurer outside the tower; then for good measure and funsies, they also killed a nearby frost troll; nice work, boys
  • Headed on into the dungeon and cleared the place with Invisibility + Silence + periodic bound weapons + dremora; took out Lu’ah; got the Ghostblade and the Stone of Barenziah
  • Overloaded so had to Volsung + potion to get to Whiterun to sell stuff
  • Bought five rounds of Alchemy training from Arcadia
  • Leveled up to 56; took an Alchemy perk finally, I need better potion making 🙂
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Belethor and Warmaiden’s, and then out at the meadery to Mallus
  • Hoofed it to Heljarchen
  • HI BLOOD DRAGON, oh no you big scaly bastard, you don’t get to attack me and then try to fly off and piss off the giant and mammoths over there; took it down with my brand new dragonbone bow + storm atronachs
  • Got more dragon bits to fill out the rest of the dragonscale armor set, fuck yeah
  • Made it to Heljarchen; started building out more furnishings, and saved for the night


So I was tallying up all of my retrieved Stones of Barenziah before hitting Mistveil Keep in the previous session. At that point, I had 13 of them. But when I went down the list of places to find the Stones on the wiki, I saw I’d visited 14 of those places.

Which meant I’d clearly missed one of the Stones on a previous run. Hence the need to re-visit Hob’s Fall Cave!

I was pretty damned pleased that I got in and out of there without having to fight a single hostile. My Sneak’s gotten into the 90’s at this point, so I will very soon be at the same Mistress of Stealth levels that Merawen hit when she maxed out at 100. 😀

Most of this session was all about the Promises to Keep plot. I have to admit that I was vaguely tempted to try to take the horse from Louis. Now that I’m Guildmaster I could easily have passed the Persuade check to get him to fork over the horse by threatening to tell Maven what was going on.

Thing is, I’d already told Maven, just by way of a politically appropriate gesture from the new Guildmaster to the powerful figure in Riften who arguably helped point her into that position of power! I specifically had Maven’s–well, not blessing, exactly, let’s say permission to proceed with the plan. So given that I was already making a gesture to Maven to alert her to what was happening, it arguably would have completely ruined that gesture to then actually claim the horse for myself. It’s not like Maven wouldn’t have figured out where the horse went, after all.

Also, as one of three unique horses in the game, Frost is a little less fragile than most horses, clocking in at level 25 vs. level 4. But level 25 is still significantly more fragile than a Dragonborn at level 55, and therefore easily slain by the higher-tier sorts of opponents I will continue to fight as I progress. All of which adds up to, I really just gotta hold out for Arvak.

(Because Shadowmere is a level 50 horse, but I can’t get him without joining the Dark Brotherhood, and yeah that’s not gonna happen, so.)

There are apparently bugs with Louis that might repro later on in the game? He’s apparently got a bug where he shows up clipped into the ground at the Whiterun stables once you do this plot. I’ll have to see if I see any further sign of him, or if I see Maven’s henchpeople going after him later.

And as of this session, I now have an official first full set of dragonscale armor, and some dragonbone weapons made as well. I made a sword and a greatsword, and I suspect the greatsword is probably going to Argis!

Also? I have an Amulet of Mara finally, since Belethor had one for sale this session. So now I can finally think about who Ysani might marry. I might actually switch it up a bit and marry a dude this time, just because Argis does look pretty tasty in that ebony armor I gave him. 😉 But haven’t committed to that yet! Still also considering Ysolda in Whiterun as an option too!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • L’Exode: The Exodus (Restoration skill book)
  • Cap de Languemorte: Lost Tongue Overlook (lit. “Dead Tongue Cape”)
  • Gite Roncenoir: Black-Briar Lodge (lit. “Black-Briar holiday cottage”)
  • Pedigree de Glacier: Frost’s lineage papers (lit. “pedigree of Frost”)
  • Fort Tiremuraille: Fort Greenwall

A little baffled as to why Lost Tongue Overlook got translated to Cap de Languemorte, but only for the Cap part of the name. Because as far as I know that’s the word for cape (in the geographic sense), and Lost Tongue Overlook isn’t anywhere near water? It’s up on a cliffside like a bunch of other dragon lairs in the game, and doesn’t overlook any bodies of water.

Languemorte is easier to suss out though. Langue in French can mean language, but it can also mean tongue in the anatomical sense. In ancient in-game lore the Tongues were people who are able to wield the power of the Thu’um, i.e., the ability to use Shouts like the dragons do. (What differentiates them from the Dragonborn, i.e., the player character, is that they have to study to hone this skill; for the Dragonborn, it’s natural instinct.) The history of actions of three of the Tongues are in fact critical to the main plot.

So given who the Tongues were, it seems reasonable to use Langue for the translation. And equally reasonable to use morte as the other part of the name, i.e., dead. So the name of the place becomes Dead Tongue Cape. (Still confused about that Cape part, though.)

The horse called Frost, I note, was called both Glace and Glacier depending on what bit of translated text I saw. His lineage papers that I had to steal specifically called him Glacier, as did the dialogue I had when I went to spill the beans to Maven.

However, when I got to the actual horse, he was called Glace. Which means ice, not frost, but is close enough for the idea. (The actual word I know in French that means frost is gel.)

And here’s the fun part of this discrepancy: the word glacier can have two meanings. It can be the same as the English word glacier, as you might expect. But it’s also a word for an ice-cream maker! As in a person who makes and sells ice cream, as opposed to a machine that makes it. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t intend to name the horse Ice Cream Maker, but it’s still funny to think about. 😀

I’m legit stumped about Tiremuraille, the translation for Greenwall in the name of the fort near Riften. Muraille is the wall part of this name, but Tire is a tough call. It’s a verb with a lot of meanings according to fr.wiktionary.org’s definition for tirer as well as reverso.net’s definition.

But I don’t know if the Tire part of the name is coming out of that verb, or from some other usage. I’m not coming up with a good match for a potential portmanteau as I’ve seen with weapon names.

I could make a guess as to which of the meanings of tirer might be applicable here, but I’d be very much guessing. Tirer does get used in the term vol à la tire, which means pickpocketing, and I suppose that’s kind of appropriate for a fort that’s been taken over by bandits?

Next time

16 Stones of Barenziah down, 8 to go! The Stones I have yet to acquire:

  1. The one in Elisif’s quarters in Solitude
  2. The one in Proudspire in Solitude
  3. The one in Wuunferth’s quarters in the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm
  4. The one in the house of Clan Shatter-Shield in Windhelm
  5. The one in Rannveig’s Fast
  6. The one in Sunderstone Gorge
  7. The one in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
  8. The one in Reeking Cave, your secret path out of the Thalmor Embassy

The ones I’ll be targeting next are probably the ones in Windhelm! Which by extension probably also means I’m about to run Blood on the Ice. And after I do that, since I’ll be in Windhelm anyway, I think I’ll see about checking on that Aventus Aretino kid!

Because yeah that Dark Brotherhood kinda needs destroying. They’ve been sending too damned many assassins after me!


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.