Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Quests Through Benkongerike, Kolbjorn Barrow, and All of Skyrim

Another double session, covering play done on Saturday 4/23 and Sunday 4/24. Main action: running Benkongerike (and picking up the Black Market power!), running phase three of Kolbjorn Barrow, then doing a grand tour of Skyrim to a) do a loot selling run, and b) work my way over to Lost Valley Redoubt so I could inspect a briarheart for Neloth.


  • Play dates: 4/23-4/24/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 87-88

Saturday’s play

  • Picked up in Raven Rock; dropped Horksbane and other items back off in Severin Manor to pull down the load
  • Headed north of Raven Rock past the mine; found Brodir’s Grove and fought and dispatched reavers there; looted the place and got another pendant out of the chest
  • Reached and cleared Altar of Thrond
  • Spotted White Ridge Barrow again but decided not to engage for now since Benkongerike was higher priority, with the dremora merchant!
  • Reached and ran Benkongerike
  • Leveled up to 72 while there; took a Stamina bump, and dropped first of restored perks back on Enchanting to try to run that back up again
  • Hit all four silver veins; got other assorted nifty loot
  • Got the word for Cyclone off the Word Wall
  • Got the Black Market power to summon the dremora merchant! Sold him a shitton of loot and also got Daedric gauntlets of smithing, fuck yeah I’ll have those 😀
  • Dipped the taproots in the Headwaters of Harstrad, but got ahead of Argis while heading there
  • Got to Skaal village just after 8 so nobody was still out; waited by the forge until morning since there isn’t anyplace to actually sleep there
  • Did a little shopping with Baldor, then resolved the quest with Edla
  • Fast traveled from there to Tel Mithryn, at which point Argis caught up
  • Also got the courier with the third message from Ralis
  • Went in to tell Elynea I’d dipped the taproots; she kept two and told me to go next door with the other one
  • Also asked her if she’d seen Varona; that gave me the pointer to find Varona’s body and also the three ash spawn clustered near her; fought them and returned to Tel Mithryn
  • Talked to Neloth and first told him Varona was dead; he gave me the pointer to find him a new steward
  • Also told him I had a taproot for him and he told me to plant it in the wall
  • Got five rounds of enchantment training from him
  • Went back outside again to go tell Elynea the taproot was planted, except HELLO REVERED DRAGON
  • Called up Durnehviir to see if I could get some dragon battle action going on; answer: YES
  • Durnehviir gave me the third word of the Soul Tear shout and then started fighting the Revered Dragon with me and Argis, complete with summoning a few extra buddies from the Soul Cairn
  • Once Argis and I finally killed it, returned to Elynea to report in on the taproot being planted
  • Came back out again and was overloaded so Arvak’d to Raven Rock; rode Arvak straight to Severin Manor’s front door
  • Grabbed ALL the loot out of the armor/weapons chest and all of my smithing materials; geared up for alchemy and smithing
  • Improved a boatload of things including the heavy stalhrim armor, and gave that entire armor set to Argis \0/
  • Leveled Smithing up to 100 again just by working on the stalhrim!
  • Then called up the dremora merchant again and sold him a boatload more stuff
  • Resorted assorted books, did a little more smithing, and then stashed the dragon armor in favor of light stalhrim, and enchanted that armor up
  • Slept a few hours then sold stuff to vendors, then popped into the Netch to recruit Drovas to be Neloth’s new steward
  • Headed out alongside Drovas just to see if I could escort him safely to Old Attius Farm, but the cultists that spawned there were WAY more interested in me than him; Argis and i took them out
  • Went to Kolbjorn to see what Ralis was on about this time; OH SURPRISE, there’s more draugr!
  • Parked at door of Kolbjorn and saved for the night

Sunday’s play

  • Did next round of Kolbjorn Barrow; got the Ring of Arcana and Gauntlets of Warding, and paid 5,000 gold to Ralis
  • Tromped over towards Tel Mithryn; fought and dispatched random hostile Redguard en route
  • Reached Tel Mithryn and reported in to Neloth re: Drovas; got him to pay me and give me access to his staff enchanter
  • Also got his quest to go find a briarheart, and five more rounds of enchantment training
  • Returned to Severin Manor to prep for a circuit of all the places and to go hit Lost Valley Redoubt for the Word Wall and a shot at a briarheart
  • Grabbed as much loot as possible, and Arvak’d to Windhelm
  • Sold stuff to all vendors and traded off several high grade weapons for a bunch of building materials and soul gems and potions
  • Bought all of Sofie’s flowers
  • Boinged to Riften; hit the Thieves Guild first and sold to Tonilia and all the vendors; got a boatload more smithing materials
  • Slept the night at Honeyside; got up and sold stuff to Bersi and Balimund
  • Went out the back gate and then Arvak’d to Fort Dawnguard
  • Checked in with Sorine and gave her the schematic; also sold stuff to Florentius and Gunmar
  • Built an enhanced Dwemer crossbow, fuck yeah
  • Arvak’d to Dawnstar
  • Got courier from Calcelmo who wanted the exploding Dwemer crossbolt bolt I’d just bought from Sorine
  • Also got a flyby dragon just as the courier was talking to me and that alarmed the poor guy–but at least the dragon didn’t land, that would have been a LOT more alarming 😉
  • Sold stuff to Rustleif and Frida
  • Arvak’d to Whiterun; got in late so started burning through a lot of the building materials
  • Erith found me there and gave me a flower <3
  • Made and improved a lot of stuff and sold a lot of it to Elrindir
  • Popped into Breezehome and summoned the dremora merchant and sold him a bunch of stuff
  • Went back out when it was morning
  • Sold stuff at Warmaiden’s and Belethor’s
  • Leveled up to 73 while i was doing that; took another Stamina bump, and took Investor perk in Speech!
  • Invested in Belethor’s shop, then went over to Arcadia to shop and invest with her, and back down to Warmaiden’s to invest with them
  • Went out through the gate and found the Khajiit, sold a bunch of stuff to Ri’saad and finally got under weight!
  • Went to Honningbrew and sold stuff to Mallus
  • Boinged to Morthal; invested in Lami’s shop and got her quest to get the Song of the Alchemists book
  • Boinged to Solitude; sold a bunch of stuff to Gulum-Ei; slept the night at Proudspire
  • Did the rounds of Solitude vendors to shop and invest
  • Boinged next to Falkreath
  • Got in late and heard distant echoes of what sounded like a dragon but one never showed up; discovered two dead bodies lying by the street though, Runil and Indara Caerellia 🙁
  • Invested in Solaf’s store, even if his brother is a dick
  • Boinged next to Markarth; parked in Vlindrel Hall for the night, and picked up ingredients stash there
  • Invested in Lisbet’s store
  • TRIED to invest with Ghorza but couldn’t, likewise I could not invest with Moth
  • DID invest in Bothela, and then Calcelmo, and also sold him the crossbow bolt he wanted
  • Headed out from there and hoofed it towards Lost Valley Redoubt
  • Spotted flyby Revered Dragon
  • NON-flyby frost dragon buzzed me several times while a noble on horse + Imperial escort rode by; frost dragon eventually flew out of range, so I didn’t kill it
  • Saw the noble going back the other way, alone, and then found his escort dead–oops
  • Killed a bear shortly after that; not clear if the dragon or the bear got the Imperial escort
  • Argis took out a mudcrab
  • Passed three Imperials just as we got close to Lost Valley Redoubt
  • Ran the place with Argis + fire atronachs (tried summoning the permanent ones but they were killed) + dremora
  • Got the briarheart inspected for Neloth
  • Also got the final word of Become Ethereal and took out the hagravens at the wall
  • Did NOT do the Bard’s Leap just because my speech is already 100
  • Boinged from there to Windstad for loot check; grabbed extra copies of Ancient Shrouded Armor to sell
  • Boinged to Lakeview and picked up some of the ingredients in the alchemy tower
  • Boinged to Heljarchen; picked up the ingredients stash, the smithing materials stash, and a bunch of rubies, sapphires, and amethysts to make salts
  • Arvak’d to College of Winterhold and tromped down into the Midden
  • Hit the Atronach Forge and made a boatload of salts to go use to make crossbow bolts
  • Saved for the night


I may have said it already in a previous playthrough, but just in case I didn’t, I’ll note here that it’s slightly vexing that the Skaal village doesn’t have a place that the player can sleep. There’s not a single bedroll to be loaned to the Skaal-friend who broke everybody out of the trance at the Wind Stone? Seriously?

I expect this is way more of a problem with Survival Mode, given how the village is in the snowy party of Solstheim. So it’s got to be continually cold as fuck in that environment. Therefore hanging around outside is going to be a problem.

Once I’m able to run mods, I’ll have to see if that unusable bedroll in the square becomes usable. Or, alternately, figure out where I could drop a campsite, with or without Survival Mode.

Noting for reference for Future Me: summon Durnehviir as often as possible to fight dragons. Because two dragons fighting is badassed, and there’s not enough opportunity to see that happen in this game. 😉

On the downside of dragon action this session, though, I discovered both Runil and Indara Caerellia lying dead by the street in Falkreath. They must have been killed by the last dragon I’d fought there, fuuuuuuuck. And while I’m sure the game didn’t actually do this on purpose, I remember thinking at the time that Mathies looked highly unthrilled in that screencap I got of him with the Falkreath guards once I absorbed the dragon’s soul. If the damn beast killed his wife, of course he’d look pissed.

And it sucks, this is the guy whose daughter also got killed by Sinding. So now I gotta think about whether I will need to swing back to Falkreath and clear up that little werewolf problem.

Sad that the dragon killed Runil, too! I liked Runil! And it’s especially awkward given that he was after all the guy running Falkreath’s Hall of the Dead. In theory Falkreath actually has one, so why did the game leave those two NPCs lying in the street? o.O Clearly, Runil’s backup is not doing his job correctly!

Meanwhile, the Thalmor that tromp around through Understone Keep did not attack me on sight. Clearly, I need to kill more Thalmor.

And as y’all can see, a great deal of this pair of sessions went to just making and selling stuff. I’m definitely at the stage of a Skyrim playthrough where you have a perfectly ridiculous amount of money as well as loot!

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Grotte de l’autel de Thrond: Altar of Thrond Cave
  • Hutte de riekelin: Riekling Hut
  • Grande salle de Benkongerike: Benkongerike Great Hall
  • Livre noir – Les légendes inconnues: Black Book: Untold Legends
  • Marché noir: Black Market
  • Marchand drémora: Dremora Merchant
  • Bersi Main-de-Miel: Bersi Honey-Hand
  • La Crevette sauteuse: The Pawned Prawn (lit. “prawn frying pan”?)
  • Redoute de la Vallée perdue: Lost Valley Redoubt
  • Sommet du Barde: Bard’s Leap Summit

Stumbled across an oversight in localization in Riften! When you’re at the door of the Pawned Prawn, the prompt to hit A to enter the shop is still in English. But if you go in and talk to Bersi, his dialogue definitely has the name of the shop translated.

I’m not sure if I am translating “La Crevette sauteuese” correctly, though if I am, the joke clearly doesn’t seem to make it from English to French. I’m going to have to go back to talk to Bersi and get him to tell me the story of the shop’s name, just to see if it still makes sense given how the name is translated into French.

Next time

I’ve already done a bit of play for my next round, but I can go ahead and say here that the next major action back on Solstheim will be concluding Kolbjorn Barrow. After that, I still need to do the following before returning to finish off the main Dragonborn plot:

  1. Highpoint Tower
  2. Kagrumez
  3. White Ridge Barrow
  4. Finding the bonemold formula for Glover Mallory
  5. Deciding how to go with Thirsk Mead Hall; Team Riekling, or Team Nords?
  6. Vahlok’s Tomb
  7. Fahlbtharz
  8. Taking out Karstaag
  9. I kind of want to find that trader that shows up at the Ramshackle Trading Post
  10. Finding Torkild for Wulf Wild-Blood

So plenty of stuff to do on Solstheim still. I can also say that now that I’ve hit level 73, I’ve now tied Delga for character level. Merawen made it to 85, so we’ll see if Ysani gets there! I think I’ve got a pretty decent shot at it.


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.