Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests All Over Solstheim

This pair of sessions, for Thursday 4/21 and Friday 4/22, was basic adventuring all over Solstheim to take care of assorted side plots.


  • Play dates: 4/21-4/22/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 85-86

Thursday’s play

  • Began running Damphall Mine with Argis, and also dremora
  • Decided to set my Sneak Legendary just so I could reclaim the two perk points and put them back on Smithing—and open up Ebony Smithing so I could in turn open up Stalhrim
  • Ran the mine without much trouble really; got the schematic and other assorted bits of loot
  • Took the long way out just to explore bits of the place
  • Proceeded northward and killed one bristleback
  • Found the Water Stone and freed the sailors there; however, a cultist, a lurker, and a dragon all showed up during the melee, and Benkum of the sailors died
  • Killed two more bristlebacks after that
  • Found the Deathbrand chest site with the helmet; killed a few rieklings there and also mudcrabs
  • Then found the next riekling group at the village by Bristleback Cave
  • Proceeded from there to Northshore Landing, and didn’t even bother to talk to the Thalmor
  • Ancano and his three henchelves taken out; nabbed all their stuff for later selling and also cleared the various chests and things in the beaten down shack nearby
  • Also cleared the ebony vein
  • Arvak’d over to Skaal village, and hey Baldor, I got your map! Yay! I can forge stalhrim! Also sold him a bunch of stuff
  • Got the quest hook from Tharstan to meet him at Vahlok’s tomb; hold that thought, old sir, I’ll get back to you on that
  • Fast traveled back to Raven Rock and got courier with second message from Ralis
  • Parked in Severin Manor and did a round of crafting; got almost up to level 71 but not quite there yet
  • Saved for the night

Friday’s play

  • Picked up in Severin Manor and did a bit more smithing
  • Leveled up to 71! Took health bump, and also Glass Smithing; now one hop away from re-unlocking Dragon Smithing, good
  • Went out and sold things to the vendors
  • Boinged directly to Bristleback Cave so i could walk over to the Deathbrand site nearby; confirmed I had not left the helmet in the chest there
  • Went to the stalhrim source and cleared that
  • Then boinged back to Severin Manor
  • Smithed the hell out of everything, including all the stalhrim armor I currently had, and also made a stalhrim bow
  • Then headed off to Kolbjorn Barrow for next round; cleared the place, got the Ring of Necromancy
  • Came back out again to hear a Revered Dragon roaring! Ran back towards Raven Rock to fight it–and Miraak sniped the soul 😛
  • Got it looted, though, and got a Daedric shield among other things; dropped off dragon bits and loot at Severin Manor
  • Came back out again to head towards Tel Mithryn
  • Fought cranky Argonian mage by Old Attius Farm
  • Arch pyromancer vs. arch cryomancer as I got closer to Tel Mithryn
  • Three ash spawn by the last Deathbrand chest; took them out and got the Deathbrand boots
  • Proceeded to Tel Mithryn
  • Stopped by Revus again just to get the term used in translation for Silt Strider off his dialogue prompts
  • Got Elynea’s quest to get the taproots to fix Neloth’s house; also sold her a bunch of potions
  • Got five rounds of Enchanting training from Neloth, and the quest to find his missing steward Varona
  • Came out of the tower and had Talvas beg me to kill the ash guardian he’d summoned; killed it for him
  • Then went back into the tower and bought a bunch of spellbooks off of Talvas; got him to tell me to go ask Elynea if she’d seen Varona, but it was also the middle of the night and I didn’t want to wake her up
  • Headed north; found Vahlok’s Tomb but didn’t want to run it yet
  • Found the unmarked Dunmer camp and fought rieklings there
  • Found Thirsk Mead Hall; got the scout to bring me in to talk to the chieftain
  • Got quest to go find Bilgemuck
  • Found Hilund standing outside the mead hall in Miraak trance mode
  • So hit the Beast Stone next and purified it, taking down both a cultist and the lurker that erupted from the pool
  • Reached the Headwaters but only one spriggan in there, so only got one taproot
  • Additional cultists north of that; swung back south to try to find Giant Nirnroot Island
  • Met my first Black Book madman while fighting off a lurker along the shore; got him to point me at the Black Book in White Ridge Barrow
  • Tried waterwalking potion and hey that’s actually kind of neat
  • Landed briefly on the island with angry rieklings
  • Swung south from there and landed on the island with Frossel
  • Swung briefly from there down to island with Deathbrand hoard and horkers; started running that island, cleared the horkers and got Horksbane; dove underwater for the pendant chest
  • Cleared Gyldenhul Barrow and got the Deathbrand treasure; fought all the ghosts and got Bloodscythe and Soulrender
  • Went north to hit the Giant Nirnroot Island; fought the spriggans there and harvested the nirnroot
  • Quaff traveled back to Raven Rock to drop off and then sell things
  • Saved for the night


This time through, when cleansing the Water Stone, I saw afterwards that one of the sailors had been killed. Not sure what killed Benkum, though, because the melee involved a cultist and a lurker and a dragon.

I also followed the three surviving sailors just to see what they’d do. Answer: hang out at their boat, apparently? According to the wiki they disappeared from the game as soon as I left the area, so presumably that means they returned to their ship and went back to Windhelm. Hopefully they made it there safely, though it’s sad that they’ll have to go explain to any family of Benkum’s what happened to the poor dude.

Bit of a brief scare with the Deathbrand helmet. Thought I’d lost the damn thing, since I couldn’t find it in Severin Manor after I got it–so I wound up returning to the site for that chest just to confirm I hadn’t left it there, since I was pretty sure I hadn’t accidentally sold it to somebody! Thankfully, I later found it properly in Severin Manor’s chest.

And heh, it felt appropriate for Ysani to not even bother to try to talk to the Thalmor. I went straight to “you fuckers have committed crimes against the Skaal and I am here to deliver retribution”. 😉 I think that puts me at 30 total Thalmor killed in this run!

This run’s first Black Book madman was notable for showing up while I was trying to fight off a lurker along the shore–and then, after he ran off, trying to actually punch a horker! I ran over to keep the horker from killing him, not like that was actually going to do anything, just because he did of course eventually attack me. But it seemed the right thing to do! And I was kind of impressed that the guy tried to punch a horker in the face.

Notable new thing I tried: a waterwalking potion. And that was actually pretty neat, to be able to walk across the water to the smaller islands near Solstheim’s shore. Definitely interesting to note for future playthroughs, particularly once I’m able to try out Survival Mode. Being able to walk across cold water seems a lot more likely to be survivable than having to swim in it! But waterwalking potions are rare and the only artifact in the game that has this enchantment is Ahdizal’s boots. So I’ll have to watch out for potions in future playthroughs and be mindful of how long they last.

Definitely easier to fight all of the pirate ghosts with a party of four. Thank you, Argis and dremora!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Pierre de l’Eau: Water Stone
  • Mauviette: Weakling
  • Grotte du sangliogre: Bristleback Cave
  • Quai de la côte nord: Northshore Landing
  • Marambleur: Silt Strider
  • Maitre-sorcier: Master Sorcerer
  • Gardien des cendres: Ash Guardian
  • Tombeau de Vahlok: Vahlok’s Tomb
  • Salle des banquets de Thirsk: Thirsk Mead Hall
  • Pierre de la Bête: Beast Stone
  • Source de l’Harstrad: Headwaters of Harstrad
  • Grotte de l’Harstrad: Harstrad Cave
  • Tertre de Blanchecrête: White Ridge Barrow
  • Île aux horqueurs: Horker Island
  • Horqueruine: Horksbane
  • Tertre de Gyldenhul: Gyldenhul Barrow
  • Animortis: Soulrender
  • Sangalfange: Bloodscythe

Boinging all over Solstheim and spotting a lot of locations I hadn’t been to yet this time did mean I got a lot of translations to record!

Mauviette is actually off one of the lines Ysani’s dremora regularly throw: “Ah, vous voilà, mauviette!” This translates to “There you are, weakling!” This time I finally actually looked up what mauviette meant.

Sangliogre is the term the game’s using for the bristlebacks. As near as I can tell this is probably another portmanteau term, possibly sanglier + ogre, where sanglier is translated as wild boar.

Went back to Revus and got confirmation that the term he used for Silt Strider is Marambleur. Again, probably a portmanteau term. The ambleur part seems to specifically come from a term used to describe horses. But I’m not at all sure what the mar part of the word is referring to, since it doesn’t appear to match up with silt or ash, and I can’t find a good candidate for what it might be.

Thirsk Mead Hall appears to have become Salle des banquets de Thirsk. And Salle des banquets is basically a banquet hall. Sort of the same idea, only without mead being specifically involved. Maybe they went this way with the translation because it’s a known term that’d make sense to French players? But salle d’hydromel doesn’t seem like it’d be significantly longer a term or all that weird in a game that also contains the term hydromellerie? I dunno!

Horqueruine is definitely another portmanteau: horqueur + ruine.

Animortis, the translation of Soulrender, seems like another possible portmanteau but the pieces are harder to track down. The French word for soul is âme, so not sure why that’s not showing up here. The closest match I’m finding for the ani- part of the name is animé, an adjective meaning animated/full of live, and the verb animar, meaning to animate. Mortis by contrast seems obviously death. So maybe the idea here is life-death?

Sangalfange, the other scimitar out of the Deathbrand hoard, likewise is a portmanteau and one teaching me a new word. Sang is blood, I knew that already, but alfange seems to be specifically a word for a Moorish scimitar. Which, legit. And arguably a more literal choice of name than the more poetic scythe, I guess, but not inappropriate!

Lastly, just wanted to note that every time I hear any of the characters saying “Solstheim” in the French build, it always sounds slightly strange to my ear. Because as far as I know, there isn’t a long I sound anywhere in the French language, and this makes it very clear that Solstheim as a name is not derived from the same set of phonemes!

Next time

The following things are likely to happen soon, though I’m not sure what order I’m going to do them in:

  1. Return to the headwaters and dip the taproots
  2. Return to Tel Mithryn to give the taproots to Elynea, and also get her to tell me where the hell Varona went so I can go find Varona’s dead body
  3. Get Neloth to give me the quest to track down Ildari so I can run Highpoint Tower
  4. Return to the Skaal village and resolve Edla’s side quest
  5. Go run Vahlok’s Tomb
  6. Go run Benkongerike so I can get the Black Book that gives me the Dremora merchant 😀

Hmm, writing all that out, I think I’ll aim for Benkongerike and then work my way south. That seems most efficient!


I took a screencap of Galdrus Hlervu being an asshole during Delga’s run, and as it happened, he threw Ysani the exact same line he’d thrown Delga, only in French. Delga’s post with the English version of his line about the call of gold sending the Dragonborn scurrying like a rat can be found here.

Also, here’s a bonus video! This is Ysani getting in a critical strike on the dragon at the Water Stone.

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.