Dawnguard,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Helps Repair the White Phial and Rescues Florentius

See subject for the two main bits of action in this session: fetching the ingredients that let Quintus repair the White Phial in the last-ditch attempt to heal his master Nurelion, and then finding and rescuing Florentius from Ruunvald for the Dawnguard!


  • Play date: 3/26/2022
  • Session number in this run: 61
  • Boinged from Fort Dawnguard to mage college, picked up all the stuff I’d stashed there, and also grabbed all the ingredients stocked on the shelves to merge with my stock at Heljarchen
  • Boinged from college to Windhelm, and sold a bunch of stuff to both Oengul and Niranye
  • Popped into the White Phial to tell Quintus I got his letter, and he asked me to fetch him the ingredients to repair the Phial
  • Boinged to Heljarchen, and had to kill a giant right by the house; threw the dremora at him and they knocked him over right into my garden
  • Went inside and dropped off most of the mage college loot
  • Did some more alchemy to try to burn through ingredients
  • Picked up Chillrend just to have a better sword for a bit
  • Attempted to but could not improve the dragonbone bow (guess I need to drop points back on smithing)
  • Headed out from Heljarchen to go to the nearby Stonehill Bluff for the powdered mammoth tusk
  • Successfully used a pacify spell on the first of two giants, after quaffing a potion to boost my illusion; that got that giant to settle down so Serana and I could get past him
  • Quaffed another potion to be invisible long enough to scamper up and snurch some powdered mammoth tusk, then ran like hell so we wouldn’t have to fight the second giant
  • From there, boinged straight to the Throat of the World, and got the Unmelting Snow, but had to ignore Paarthurnax to do it, and well lololol: see below
  • Boinged from there straight back to Windhelm; got in after hours but the White Phial shop was unlocked, so I went on in; see below
  • Once I got Quintus up, I was able to get him to make the mixture, repair the Phial, witness Nurelion’s death, and conclude the encounter
  • Boinged to Snapleg Cave next to head to the Rift Watchtower and get that next schematic
  • Attacked by trio of vampires as I came up the hill, so I threw dremora at them to even the odds
  • Then Serana and i took out the bandits in the little tower and got the schematic
  • Boinged back to Fort Dawnguard to report in
  • Gave Sorine the new schematic; sold her my old crossbow and got the better replacement, and sold her loot from vampires and bandits; got her quest for the next schematic
  • Talked to Isran about finding Florentius
  • However, still pretty heavily laden so decided to stop at Thieves Guild first for loot selling purposes
  • While there set Enchanting to Legendary to get some perk points back; dropped points on Smithing, Illusion, Light Armor, and One-Handed
  • Sold stuff to Tonilia, Arnskar, and Herluin; bought several potions and ingredients off the alchemist; bought ebony arrows from both Arnskar and Syndus
  • Exited back out of the Guild, and boinged to Tolvald’s Cave to get to Ruunvald
  • Actually found the locked back exit first this time!
  • Couple of wolves came at me but Serana threw ice spikes at them
  • Flyby dragon
  • Quicksilver vein
  • Made it to the Ruunvald Excavation; nabbed Volk’s journal and the Dawnguard axe outside
  • Ran Ruunvald, definitely not in sneak mode, and again let Serana and the dremora mostly take out the Vigilants; was able to actually hit them briefly with Pacify, but it didn’t actually help much, they attacked again as soon as it wore off
  • Partway through the dungeon Serana managed to hit one of the dremora with enough ice spikes to piss him off so he started fighting with her; un, André? She’s invulnerable, this is not going to end well for you
  • (Narrator: It did not end well for André)
  • Went through the place mostly wielding the Razor myself; I think i actually took out Minorne with it? She dropped immediately as soon as i hit her
  • Got Florentius freed!
  • Cleared the boss chest and got a few more things on the way out
  • Boinged to Heljarchen
  • Did enough enchanting to regain quite a few Enchanting points
  • Leveled up to 62; took additional Archery perk to bump up the amount of damage I do with bows
  • Did some smithing
  • Saved for the night


Memo to Future Me: if you’re doing these minor quests that require you to react to letters received from NPCs and then go find those NPCs to follow up, you really gotta actually read the letters in order to get the right dialogue prompts. I made this mistake earlier in Ysani’s run coming back to touch bases with Falk Firebeard, and I did it again here with Quintus!

That said, I did have no other problem getting the ingredients for the repair of the White Phial.

Fetching Quintus his ingredients led to my first successful use of a Pacify spell on a giant, so that was kind of cool. It lasted long enough for Serana and me to scamper past him, and then make it into the main part of the giant camp and figure out how to deal with the other giant. Mostly, I’m pleased I got that powdered mammoth tusk without killing either giant!

And that led right into showing up at the top of the Throat of the World to get the Unmelting Snow while also having all three of the Elder Scrolls in my inventory. Which is how the timing of events in Ysani’s run has worked out!

As soon as he saw me, Paarthurnax started in on the spiel about my needing to take the Dragon Scroll to the Time-Wound… and I had to specifically avoid engaging with him. I did feel slightly guilty about ignoring him! Because it totally felt like I was going “Uh hi, yeah, Paarthurnax? Hold that thought, would you please? I know it’s important for me to learn that Shout to defeat Alduin and all, but I really gotta go over here and get a handful of magic snow for this guy in Windhelm who really, really wants me to help him repair this enchanted bottle to heal his master. BRB, I swear! I mean, after the part where I also go keep a vampire lord from blotting out the sun. Alduin can wait that long, can’t he?”

From there, I boinged straight back to Windhelm. And was slightly shocked to discover that, even though it was after hours, I was totally able to enter the White Phial shop. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have bothered–but I figure that under the circumstances, given that Nurelion’s life was at stake and all, Quintus would forgive me for intruding after hours and waking him up.

It was slightly dodgy getting Quintus to actually go to the alchemy table to make the mixture to fix the bottle, though. Because Serana kept being in his way, and I kept having to figure out how to move to get her to free the way for him. Eventually, though, it worked, and I got the rest of the encounter to play out as expected.

Plus, I was pleased to not reproduce the previously observed bug with Quintus not actually taking my briar heart. So that’s a thing I don’t have to worry about having stuck in my inventory for the rest of the run. This time through, I did just have the one heart; I think my previous encounter with that bug was caused by my having two.

Went ahead and decided to set Enchanting to Legendary, just because I was getting frustrated with not being able to smith things well. Plus, I can level up Enchanting super quickly, and my other top skills are not expendable. Conjuration and Alteration are staying damn well put. So something else had to go!

Playing through Ruunvald mostly went as per previous playthroughs. I think I prefer running it in Sneak mode, though!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Falaise du Tertre pierreux: Stonehill Bluff (lit. “Cliff of the stony hill”, I think)
  • Temple de Ruunvald: Ruunvald Temple
  • Site de fouilles de Ruunvald: Ruunvald Excavation (lit. “Excavation site of Ruunvald”)

Next time

Sorine’s next schematic is at Smuggler’s Den, so looks like I get to run that place yet again this game!

So I think I’ll swing over there, and then to Ancestor Glade.


No screenshots this time.

Editing to add

  • 11/21/2023: 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.