Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Slays an Undead General and Solves a Mine Mystery

Single session post this time! With a lot of action packed into it, cleansing the Earth Stone by Raven Rock, killing the undead general sending ash spawn after Raven Rock, and solving the mystery of what happened to Gratian Caerellius in Raven Rock Mine.


  • Play date: 4/16/2022
  • Session number in this run: 80
  • Picked up by Sun Stone, and headed back towards Raven Rock
  • Encountered en route: burnt spriggan, one ash spawn
  • Reached Old Attius Farm and found Captain Veleth fighting the ash spawn; stopped to help him out and get the quest to clear Fort Frostmoth
  • However, before doing that, decided to stop to rest up at Raven Rock
  • And just outside the gate, got attacked by ash spawn and a Revered Dragon; took out the lot of them
  • Slept a few hours at the Retching Netch
  • Stashed a bunch of stuff in an urn by the door of the inn so I wouldn’t be overloaded, then headed off to Fort Frostmoth
  • Stopped at Kolbjorn Barrow on the way since the quest marker pointed me close to that direction, and I was within earshot of Ralis doing his digging
  • Stopped to chat with him and got that whole quest launched by giving him 1,000 septims
  • Then off to Fort Frostmoth! Killed a few ash hoppers en route
  • Cleared the place with Argis + both dremora
  • Got the Champion’s Cudgel, also a tasty daedric sword, and first of the East Empire pendants
  • Headed back towards Raven Rock, and stopped at the Wreck of the Strident Squall to get the folio
  • Cleared that place with Argis + both dremora; got the folio, also got an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe even before getting Glover’s specific one back
  • En route back to Raven Rock, fought and killed cranky Khajiit
  • Got into the town very late so first things first, cleared the Earth Stone; that triggered two Lurkers! So that was quite the lively little battle
  • Then did some smithing and alchemy to pass the time
  • Checked in with Veleth to let him know Fort Frostmoth was dealt with; also got his quest to find the stash of wine and got payment for that
  • Handed out the rest of the sujamma, including a couple bottles to the Severins (lol), then reported back to Geldis and got his payment for that
  • Proceeded to Raven Rock Mine to begin that quest; came in on conversation between Crescius and Aphia
  • Got Crescius’ request for help, and also got Glover’s pickaxe
  • Ran the place with occasional dremora help, dremora definitely useful for large swarms of draugr, like the round chamber partway through, and the multi-tier chamber with the waterfall
  • Got all the stalhrim, the Bloodskal Blade, and Gratian’s journal
  • Got Argis safely past the gauntlet of swinging blade traps
  • Threw dremora at the dragon priest Zahkriisos, and I think Argis actually may have taken him out? Way to go Argis!
  • Got the second word of Dragon Aspect Shout
  • Ran the Winds of Change Black Book
  • Hermaeus Mora says HI THERE
  • Threw dremora repeatedly at seekers and lurkers on this level
  • Took Companion’s Insight power again as it’s useful!
  • Came out the book to run the rest of the dungeon and get out through Bloodskal Barrow proper
  • Took out the reavers there, and got full set of Nordic armor off the reaver lord
  • Came out and cleared the towers as well, though that took a little doing as I was overloaded; kept throwing flame atronachs and dremora at the last couple of reavers
  • Then got on Arvak to head back to Raven Rock
  • Sold a bunch of things to all the vendors, both stuff I was carrying and stuff pulled out of the urn stash
  • Took the folio back to Cindiri and concluded her quest
  • Reported back to Crescius and concluded his quest
  • Got Veleth to come tell me Adril Arano needs to talk to me–and oh hey look assassination plot is ON
  • Agreed to go talk to Geldis Sadri to find out what to do next
  • Saved for the night


I actually remembered to look at Delga’s post for Bloodskal Barrow, just to remind myself of how the hell to do horizontal power attacks with the Bloodskal Blade. Four times through and I still don’t have that down yet. Which suggests that I ought to try to get better at using power attacks in general in combat.

I feel like being better at those would probably add a dimension to my hand to hand combat that I haven’t had up till now? Because just running up to the enemy and hitting them with my sword certainly works well enough, but I expect it’d be cooler to be able to do it with some finesse.

And looking at Delga’s post was interesting as well given that I had a harder time with Bloodskal Barrow as Delga than I did as Ysani! Particularly at that multi-tiered chamber with the waterfall that it took me several times to get through as Delga. Being able to throw the dremora in ahead of me while Argis and I hung back at the entrance helped a lot. So did being able to come in just far enough to be in range to fling dremora up onto the upper tiers, while I was under cover, and therefore harder to hit from above.

Unlike with Delga, yeaaaah I gotta think that Ysani may actually be a bit tempted by what Hermaeus Mora can offer her. This is the woman who, after all, pursued devoting herself to Nocturnal for the ability to take down the Thalmor. Narratively speaking, I feel like Mora could really take advantage of her if he pitched the Bend Will Shout at her as the real means for her to wipe the Thalmor off the face of Tamriel.

The game doesn’t offer me that narrative hook, but if I were writing Ysani’s story out as fanfic, it would have to come up. Old Herma-Mora would be very aware that if he really wanted his tentacles into this new young Dragonborn, he would emphasize that the power he offers would not only let her take out Miraak, but all her other enemies as well. Alduin… and the Thalmor.

A possible balance to this, though, would be that she’s got access to a not dissimilar power as an agent of Nocturnal–i.e., the Agent of Subterfuge power, which Ysani saw Mercer Frey use in Irkngthand. And she already turned down accepting that power.

If Hermaeus Mora were clever, though–and he’s supposed to be, after all, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge and Fate–he’d play on that. And Ysani would have to actively repudiate using any power, from Mora or Nocturnal or whatever other Daedra, that would give her such influence over anyone.

For extra special narrative punch, I could see her having to refuse to use it once she encountered the specific Thalmor who killed her mother. It’d be particularly lollertastic, for example, if Ancarion was part of the party who’d come after her and her mother!

Aside from all that narrative speculating, though, the other thing worth noting here is that I hadn’t previously realized that I need to do both Fort Frostmoth and Raven Rock Mine before I can get the assassination plot. I spent a good chunk of this session wondering why I wasn’t getting Captain Veleth to tell me I had to go talk to Adril Arano–that was why. Both quests are required, not just March of the Dead.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Engeances des cendres: Ash spawn
  • Fort Molène: Fort Frostmoth
  • Mont Écarlate: Red Mountain (lit. “Scarlet Mountain”)
  • Égorgeur: Slitter
  • Livre Noir – Réveries: Black Book: Waking Dreams
  • Sautecendres: Ash Hopper
  • Tertre de Kolbjorn: Kolbjorn Barrow
  • Longsanglot: Mournhold (lit. “long sob”?)
  • Dépôt de coeurs de pierre: Heart stone deposit
  • Gourdin du Champion: Champion’s Cudgel (lit. “Bludgeon of the Champion”)
  • Pendentif de l’Empire Oriental: East Empire Pendant (lit. “Pendant of the East Empire”)
  • Épave de la Rafale stridente: Wreck of the Strident Squall
  • Folio de la Femme de Chambre Argonienne: Lusty Argonian Maid Folio
  • Vin de Tisebraise: Emberbrand Wine
  • Mine de Corberoc: Raven Rock Mine
  • Arrière-grand-père: Great-grandfather
  • Gisement de stalhrim: Stalhrim deposit
  • Tertre de Skalsangue: Bloodskal Barrow
  • Lame des Skalsangue: Bloodskal Blade
  • Aspect Draconique: Dragon Aspect (as in, the Shout, lit. “draconic aspect”)
  • Livre Noire – L’Heure du Changement: Black Book: The Winds of Change (lit. “Black Book: The Hour of Change”, I think?)
  • Sagesse du Compagnon: Companion’s Insight (lit. “Wisdom of the companion”)

According to the sources I’ve been using for translations, molène is an actual French word and refers to a type of tall flowering weed. Which is very much not what’s evoked by Frostmoth in English! The words I know for frost and moth are gel and mite, respectively. So maybe the translators didn’t want to just smoosh gel and mite together? So in this case, I gotta whole lotta nothin’.

Égorgeur apparently can mean strangler or cutthroat, which is very appropriate for Slitter, Mogrul’s henchman in Raven Rock.

I’m making a very rough guess about what Longsanglot means. If I translate it literally I get “long sob” and I suppose that’s kind of appropriate for a place called Mournhold in the English version of Elder Scrolls lore?

Pendentif is a weird word to me, heh, just because it looks to me like it ought to be an adjective. But it’s apparently not? (Source)

It definitely amuses that the Lusty Argonian Maid gets translated here to La Femme de Chambre Argonienne. At least if you translate it literally, the “lusty” part of the title isn’t there. But hell, who knows, this is French so maybe the “lusty” part is implied? 😀

The braise part of Tisebraise is ember, but I’m not sure about the tise part of the name.

Arrière-grand-père was a new word to me entirely in French, and it kind of charms me that it rhymes internally.

Interesting that two different words, dépôt and gisement, are used to refer to heart stone and stalhrim deposits. Not sure what the distinction between them is supposed to be here.

Next time

Time to run the assassination conspiracy plot, and expose and take down the Severins! I’m sorry, y’all, you’re assholes and I’m going to have to commandeer your house. This is what you get for trying to assassinate your local leader!


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.