Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Marries Her Housecarl

Very eventful session with three overall main themes: moving the main plot along enough to get to Alduin’s Wall (and by extension, getting the Blades Armor and Dragonbane); finding the Crown of Barenziah, and bringing it back to the Thieves Guild; and last but not least, marrying Argis the Bulwark!


  • Play date: 3/14/2022
  • Session number in this run: 49
  • Headed out from Markarth to go to Karthspire
  • Passed a Thalmor trio, not an execution squad; resisted the urge to poke them with sticks, kinda busy, have to go deal with the main plot
  • Made it to Karthspire and started fighting the Forsworn, but got killed by one >_<
  • Thrown back to coming out of Markarth, so going to Karthspire, take two!
  • Passed farmer wanting to go to Windhelm to join the Stormcloaks
  • Saw Thalmor trio again, and once more resisted the urge to poke them with sticks
  • Made it to Karthspire and this time successfully fought all the Forsworn; got into Sky Haven Temple with Delphine and Esbern
  • Got Esbern’s info about Alduin’s Wall, and the pointer to go talk to Arngeir about a Shout
  • Got the Blades armor and Dragonbane, but also explored around a little bit and found a back entrance that led out to a terrace; no obvious way to get down from there though, so went back out through the temple
  • Started hoofing it back to Markarth to see if I could find that prior frost dragon I didn’t actually kill yet; answer, no
  • But I did find vampire masquerade trio and take them out, also a few mudcrabs, and three Forsworn at Kolskeggr
  • Made it into Markarth; sold a boatload of stuff to Endon
  • Went back to Vlindrel Hall to sort through stuff; decided to leave the one set of light elven armor on the mannequin there, Ysani won’t wear it but she’ll keep that armor set as a trophy nonetheless
  • Did a little alchemy and enchanting as well
  • Sold some stuff to Lisbet
  • Tried to see if Ghorza had any steel ingots; answer: no
  • Sold some potions to Bothela
  • Quaffed Restoration potion to boost carry weight enchantments, then boinged to Whiterun
  • No steel there either so couldn’t work on improving Blades armor, but did do a little smithing to bump up the skill again
  • Boinged to Heljarchen and dropped off a lot of stuff
  • Hoofed it south-ish towards Riften to do the Crown of Barenziah quest; went on foot so as to get in some soul gem refilling time
  • Ore veins mined: gold, iron
  • Hostile NPCs dispatched: two bandits near Whitewatch Tower; vampire being chased by Vigilants
  • Non-hostile NPCs encountered: thief near Fellglow Keep, persuaded him I didn’t have any money, lol; Vigilants chasing a vampire; Orc skooma dealer
  • Hostile creatures dispatched: two ice wraiths, two snowy sabre cats, one regular sabre cat, one frost troll, two ice wolves, one regular wolf, three cave bears, one regular troll, two regular bear, one frostbite spider
  • Reached Tolvald’s Cave; took out three frost trolls, but killed by Falmer at the first chest though 😛
  • Thrown back to coming into the cave
  • Re-killed the trolls, and got through the Falmer okay with dremora
  • Made it to the Crown and took out the cranky elven ghosts; “Oh good,” said Ysani, “more elven armor, just what I always wanted!”
  • Derped around trying to find my way back out; finally cleared the place, including the bit with extra Falmer at the end
  • Way overloaded, though, so tromped to Riften
  • Hostile creatures dispatched: two wolves, two cave bears
  • Non-hostile creatures encountered: flyby dragon
  • While drawn-bow-sneaking my way closer to Riften, guards started shooting, which made me go wait what? But they weren’t shooting at me, they were shooting at Imperial soldiers behind me, who I then went back and looted once the guards won the fight
  • Made it safely into Riften and sold a boatload of things to Balimund and Grelka (note: Grelka sounds slightly less bitchy in French)
  • Still not enough to unload, so tromped down into the Thieves Guild
  • Talked to Vex and gave her the Stones and the Crown; got Prowler’s Profit, yay
  • Sold all the remaining extraneous loot to the various vendors in the Flagon
  • Went back topside to stop by the Temple of Mara, and got Maramal to tell me how to get married
  • Went to Honeyside; did some enchanting and alchemy to improve my jewelry and make a bunch more potions to sell
  • Hey Argis! Look what I’m wearing! Are you interested? Fantastic! Let’s get hitched, big guy ^_^
  • Arranged the wedding!
  • Sold a bunch of potions to Elgrim, and bought some of his interesting potions and ingredients
  • Slept at Honeyside, then got up for the wedding!
  • Attending the wedding: the children, and also Arniel from the mage college
  • Argis and the children boinged back to Whiterun, so I did as well
  • Slept the night and got up the next morning to do a little alchemy at Arcadia’s shop
  • Leveled up to 59! \0/ Took Extra Pockets perk in Pickpocketing finally, and got the carry weight bonus off of that
  • Saved at that point for the night

Alduin’s Wall quest

Started off this session by picking up where I left off in Markarth, and heading to Karthspire to meet up with Delphine and Esbern. This mostly played out the same as previous playthroughs, with a couple of minor exceptions.

One: I explored a little further through Sky Haven Temple and actually found a back exit, a series of doors leading out to a courtyard area with a couple of gazebo-like structures. So finding that was kind of neat.

Two; I actually talked to Esbern again on the way out, and got him to give me the Dragonslayer’s Blessing. I was hoping to get him to tell me about his research into dragons, but apparently this can only happen after I recruit some followers into the Blades? (Which I kind of want to do this time through if I can, because that’s a thing I haven’t done yet in the game.)

I did get both Dragonbane and the Blades armor. Both of which I really want to use! But they aren’t exactly compatible with the whole “playing a mage” goal of this playthrough.

That said: I’ve already written about how practically speaking, Ysani seems to be turning into more “spellsword” than “pure mage”. And I kind of like being able to swap back and forth between mage mode and Nightingale mode, as whim dictates.

Kind of wondering if I’m going to wind up with a “Blades mode” as well that’ll let me wear the Blades armor, and wield Dragonbane. This could also involve the Dawnguard crossbow just because blowing up vampires with explosive crossbow bolts is too fun not to do. 😀

Sidebar: Lisbet in Markarth

Since finishing the Forsworn Conspiracy, the last couple of times I’ve gone into Lisbet’s general goods store, she’s greeted me with a line about Madanach being free and hoping that the rumors she’s heard about my involvement in that affair are unfounded.

Lololol. I don’t remember seeing this in previous playthroughs, and I can’t find any references to this line of hers on the two wikis I use for my reference sources. So I don’t know if this is specific to the French build or not?

Retrieving the Crown of Barenziah

This likewise played out pretty similarly to when I did it with Merawen the first time. This time through though I did have the dremora to back me up as well as Argis. And that meant stealth was kind of not an option!

I tried again to not rely too heavily on the wiki, but the middle part of this dungeon is complicated enough that I kept getting turned around. Plus, the Switch build running dark visually, as I’ve lamented before, makes it easy to miss stuff.

I did however finally derp my way through the whole place. And threw a lot of Soul Trap spells around, as well as hitting opponents with my dragonbone dagger, to work on filling more of my soul gems. Which did score me a couple of grand-tier souls so I can do some more serious enchanting.

Marrying Argis the Bulwark

So yeah, married a guy this time in Skyrim, just for a change of pace, but also because I’ve gotten rather partial to Argis this time through. As I’ve talked about before, he has a rather nicer voice in the French build!

And I have to be amused at how the very straightforward marriage tradition in Skyrim seems even more applicable to Argis in particular. Dude is not, after all, a man of many words. So I rather envision it playing out like this:

Ysani: So hey Argis, you know when we went to the Temple of Mara a little while ago and I had that chat with the priest? How closely were you listening to that?

Argis: <looking slightly discomfited> He was a priest. Didn’t want to intrude.

Ysani: <brightly, gesturing at her neck> Well, just so you know, it was a very productive conversation, and now I need your opinion on what Maramal and I discussed. I know fashion choices aren’t exactly your thing, but do you have an opinion on my amulet?

Argis: <eyes wide, blushing a little> I… you… that’s an Amulet of Mara.

Ysani: It sure is!

Argis: You’re looking for marriage, then?

Ysani: I sure am! Are you interested?

Argis: I… yes. <nods firmly> Yes.

Now, the game doesn’t exactly let me do this, but I take the liberty of assuming at that this point Ysani probably squealed and threw her arms around her housecarl’s neck! Probably having to jump a little, because he’s probably got at least eight inches of height on her. 😉

Due to how the timing of events worked I didn’t have any of Ysani’s nicer clothes with me, so I opted to have her just wear the Nightingale armor, minus the hood, and plus the Amulet of Mara and the Aetherial Crown to set off all that stark black. In my opinion it worked splendidly on her!

Also, both Erith and Lucia showed up for the wedding. As did Arniel from the mage college, which surprised and pleased me. Arniel even congratulated me about the wedding when I paused to talk to him, which made me go aw. <3 Almost sorry the guy’s going to evaporate once I finish his quest for him!

Belatedly, I feel like I should have paused to talk to the kids too! I’ll have to try that on a future playthrough just to get an adopted child’s reaction to the marriage of the Dragonborn.

As of the moment I have Argis, Lucia, Erith, and Stray Dog all now situated at Breezehome in Whiterun. I kind of feel like that house is a bit tiny for that? And I also kind of feel like I’d like the kids to have a female role model around since Dragonborn Mom travels so much.

But on the other hand, my options for where to move the family are a bit limited. I could move them off to one of the built houses, but the problem with that is, proximity to regular bandit, giant, or draugr attacks.

Of the in-city residences, Riften is kind of not an option due to Thieves Guild. Just because I feel like Ysani would want her children not in the exact same place as her Guild—for security reasons, less because “holy shit this city is crawling with thieves!” 😉 I.e., if somebody wants to gun for the Guildmaster for some reason, not a good idea to give them access to her family. And certainly Ysani has reason to know that a Guildmaster of the Guild can be targeted by fellow thieves!

Markarth does not appeal to me just because fucking Markarth, man. Strong Thalmor presence—and fuck that. Strong Forsworn presence. And at least from a player perspective, that place has a goddamn cannibal cult! (Ysani doesn’t know that, but I as a player do, and fuck that, I don’t want my kids near cannibals.)

Windhelm is not an option in this playthrough unless I decide to play out the war. Not sure if I’ll do that yet.

Which leaves Whiterun or Solitude. Solitude would let me have more room for a larger family, as well as perhaps an overall safer and more secure city. Jordis the Sword-Maiden would be on hand for housecarl support as well. Number of kids available to play with is kind of the same, though at least in Solitude’s case, those kids do not include a known bully!

However, I haven’t finished building out Proudspire yet, so I don’t have kids’ beds available to move Erith and Lucia to. I’ll have to work on that.

For now though I think Ysani is fine with the family being headquartered at Breezehome. And now she has a house husband, two kids, and a dog. The only way this could get any more domestic is if Breezehome had a white picket fence. 😀

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Vrilles: Tendrils
  • Tour de Blanchevue: Whitewatch Tower
  • Grotte de Tolvald: Tolvald’s Cave (lit. “Grotto of Tolvald”)

The word vrilles was one I had not seen before. According to reverso.net, the word means tendrils. What interests me here is that Esbern’s line in French has this tendrils word in it that does not appear in English. Esbern’s line in English is:

Yes, yes. This here, coming from the mouths of the Nord heroes — this is the Akaviri symbol for “Shout.

Esbern’s line in French:

Oui, oui. Ces vrilles, sortant de la bouche des héros nordiques… c’est ainsi que les Akavirois symbolisaient un “Cri”.

So almost a direct translation, except for the “this here” part that’s shown in French as “ces vrilles”.

Next time

Damn good question! My quest list on the journal is looking pretty nicely cleaned up, so it feels like a good time to start Dawnguard!

But before I do that, I think I want to go ahead to High Hrothgar, and talk to Paarthurnax about Dragonrend, and get the Clear Skies Shout. That thing is too useful to not have!

And I want to visit Solitude and finish building out Proudspire Manor, I think. And get Jordis on board as active follower. Now that Argis is the house husband, I think Ysani will have asked him to watch over the children. Because somebody needs to do it, if the Thalmor are going to be gunning for the Dragonborn!

Not to mention this whole, well, gotta stop Alduin thing. 😉


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.