Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Seeks a Black Book and a New Source of Stalhrim

This post covers play done on Tuesday 4/19 and Wednesday 4/20. Main action: running Nchardak with Neloth and Argis! Hunting for Deathbrand treasure–and stalhrim, after queuing up the fun side quests available in the Skaal village!

And of course, fighting dragons and dealing with that soul-sniping asshole Miraak.


  • Play dates: 4/19-4/20/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 83-84

Tuesday’s play

  • Started running Nchardak with Argis and Neloth, and occasional dremora
  • Doublechecked the wiki for a couple of the steps to get the control cubes, also how to get to the room with the resonance gem
  • Fought two different centurions and assorted ballistas
  • Neloth got stuck in places a couple of times, but caught up as the event scripts dictated
  • Saw him get shot once by one of the ballstas, and ow
  • First time through the Black Book, misjudged how I needed to get onto the bendy bridge, and fell into the water and died; second time through, muscle memory kicked in and i got through okay
  • Dremora very helpful against Seekers, since those bastards tend to multiply!
  • Made it through to the end of the Black Book level; got Hermaeus Mora’s ultimatum to get him the secrets of the Skaal, and also got the second word of Bend Will
  • Exited the ruin with Neloth and Argis; cue Krosulhah!
  • Neloth buggered off, so I quaffed up with potions (because overloaded) and fast traveled back to Raven Rock
  • Put away a bunch of loot in Severin Manor, and saved for the night

Wednesday’s play

  • Picked up at Severin Manor; did a bit of smithing, alchemy, and enchanting
  • Went out to sell things, except DRAGON (like ya do)
  • This one, Revered Dragon, perched on top of Severin Manor and the other nearby building a few times before finally crash-landing behind the mine
  • Saw a couple of hunters when I came back down the hill from that, and also a random dead deer lying next to Garyn’s chest
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Glover, Milore, and Fethis; got rid of several extra loot weapons
  • Popped back into Severin Manor to drop off some things, then headed out with the vague goal of starting Deathbrand treasure hunt
  • Random pissed off Breton near Old Attitus Farm; she had mostly ebony armor but iron boots, and kept throwing fire at Argis
  • Arch pyromancer vs. arch cryomancer fight near Dusty the Silt Strider; threw the dremora at them as the cryomancer took out the pyromancer
  • Stopped to talk to Revus Sarvani; bought a few things from him, including resonance gem number two, and netch jelly number four
  • Two lurkers between Tel Mithryn and Nchardak, at the shore line
  • Random pirate vs. pirate mage encounter, oddly they didn’t seem interested in attacking me, just in fighting each other?
  • Skirted around Bujold’s Retreat since I didn’t feel like dealing with them close up; found a dock with two boats right by their camp, which I hadn’t seen before, apparently that was also considered part of their camp
  • Made it to Haknir’s Shoal, and yep, them sure were some cranky pirates!
  • I finally used the Wabbajack in a fight and wound up turning one of the pirates into a bunny XD
  • Got the treasure map and the Deathbrand helm
  • Mined a couple of orichalcum veins on the little shoal as well
  • Went from there to the Skaal village; witnessed the exchange re: Baldor’s disappearance, asked Deor what was up, agreed to track down Baldor
  • Talked to Wulf Wild-Blood, agreed to look for his brother; also got five rounds of Two-handed training from him
  • Talked to Edla, bought a few things from her (including the fifth and final netch jelly)
  • Agreed to talk sense into her son, then did so
  • Set out next to go fuck with some Thalmor! Took the long way to get there though because I misjudged the route
  • Killed a snow bear, after fighting it with the Wabbajack and briefly turning it into a mudcrab, LOL
  • Discovered Hrothmund’s Barrow, and Moesring Pass
  • Killed a total of three frost trolls, and an assortment of rieklings
  • Headed south from there in the right direction finally
  • Passed the Altar of Thrond (sit tight, hagravens, I’ll get back to you)
  • Finally made it to the Abandoned Lodge, and oh hey look! Thalmor! Total Thalmor killed this game: 26, I think this makes 😉
  • Baldor found and freed, got his quest to go retrieve the map
  • But first boinged back to Raven Rock to drop off a bunch of stuff; did more smithing and enchanting
  • Tried to sell things, only to discover nobody’s inventories had reset yet in the Raven Rock shops, so dropped off stuff again at the manor
  • Then headed out to go find the rest of the Thalmor
  • Backtracked to go up behind the Raven Rock mine to see if I could find a way to Damphall that didn’t involve going through Bloodskal Barrow; answer: yes!
  • Attacked by cultists as soon as i came up the hill, near where the last dragon skeleton was still visible; took ‘em out with help of dremora
  • Found unmarked miner camp with a gold vein and two emerald geodes, and a dead miner
  • Also found almost direct line north to the Abandoned Lodge, which brought me down past rieklings, and I killed one on a charger before continuing on
  • Made it to the front of the mine where a reaver came at me, and Argis and I took him out
  • Saved for the night


Huh! Four playthroughs in and I’m only just now figuring out that the food vendor who works in Raven Rock just by Milore is in fact her husband. And I only learned that because I was trying to identify him on the wiki. I never actually talk to him just because I’m not terribly interested in buying food from him!

But nice to have that little bit of data now. And maybe in a future playthrough when I’m running Survival Mode, Garyn will be more interesting!

Meanwhile, I’ve started noticing, when I’m attacked by random Breton mages, if they have a physical type similar to Ysani. The woman in ebony armor who attacked Argis and me near Old Attius Farm did in fact remind me of me! Mind you, this didn’t stop me from being all hey bitch you’re flinging fire at my husband, back the fuck off. 😉

The pirate vs. pirate mage encounter was a new thing. It’s rare at this point that I trigger random encounters I haven’t seen before, but it’s nice to see that there are still some ones I can find! And this one was kind of unusual in that the two combatants weren’t actually hostile to me, just to each other.

This session also saw the first time I actually tried to use the Wabbajack in combat! I’ve been carrying it around all this time, and only just this time remembered HEY. So tried it out, both with the pirates at Haknir’s Shoal and again later when fighting a snow bear. The effect of transformation clearly isn’t permanent, so what this tells me is, if I turn somebody or something into a less powerful thing with the staff, kill them quickly before they turn back.

This also triggered an amusing discussion between Dara, Paul, and me, as Paul brought up the very legit point that if you’re carrying around the Wabbajack and you run into the random madwoman who really really really wants you to Wabbajack her, it’s entirely unfair that the game counts this as assault. We all decided that consensual Wabbajack should not ding you for a bounty.

(Also, Consensual Wabbajack ought to be a name of a band. I am, however, not at all sure what genre of music they’d play!)

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Salle de lecture de Nchardak: Nchardak Reading Room (lit. “chamber of reading of Nchardak”)
  • Ville aux cent tours: City of a hundred towers
  • Atelier de Nchardak: Nchardak Workshop
  • Grande salle de Nchardak: Nchardak Great Chamber
  • Aqueduc de Nchardak: Nchardak Aqueduct
  • Gemme de resonance de Kagrumez: Kagrumez Resonance Gem
  • Livre noir – Réflexions épistolaires: Black Book: Epistolary Acumen
  • Poussière: Dusty (i.e., the Silt Strider) (lit. “dust/speck of dust”)
  • Banc d’Haknir: Haknir’s Shoal
  • Déor Hachebois: Deor Woodcutter
  • Baldor Taille-Fer: Baldor Iron-Shaper (lit. “Baldor Sharpens-Iron”, I think?)
  • Lupe Sang-Féroce: Wulf Wild-Blood (lit. “Wolf Fierce-Blood”)
  • Ours-garous: Were-bears
  • Tertre de Hrothmund: Hrothmund’s Barrow
  • Col de Moesring: Moesring Pass
  • Autel de Thrond: Altar of Thrond
  • Gîte Abandonné: Abandoned Lodge
  • Mine d’Humidhall: Damphall Mine

Just about all of the terms I’m noting here look like pretty straightforward translations. I’m a little sad though that I didn’t catch a proper screencap of Revus’ dialogue where he mentions what kind of creature his Dusty is. Because I’m pretty sure that the term he used in dialogue wasn’t the one I’m finding as the translation of Silt Strider on the wikis? I’ll need to talk to him again later, I think, next time I swing past Tel Mithryn.

Next time

Going to run Damphall Mine and finally get that last schematic for Sorine! And after that, swing further north to have some stern words with some more Thalmor.


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.