Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Invests in Merchants and Slays Ildari Sarothril

This double session post covers play done on Monday 4/25 and Tuesday 4/26. Main action: a lot of investing in merchants when I unlocked the right perks in Speech! Finishing Kolbjorn Barrow! Confronting and slaying Neloth’s mad apprentice Ildari Sarothril! And committing to Team Rieklings, in the question of who needs to control Thirsk Mead Hall!

And as always, lots and lots of dragons, as well as rearranging perk points after setting a couple of things Legendary!


  • Play dates: 4/25-4/26/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 89-90

Monday’s play

  • Picked up at mage college, Arvak’d down to Riften
  • Invested in Balimund, Pawned Prawn, Elgrim’s Elixirs
  • Tromped out the back gate and got an Elder Dragon!
  • Unfortunately killed Leonara Arius at Snow-Shod Farm though, will have to see if it killed anybody else as it buzzed Riften >_<
  • Took it down along with a bunch of Riften guards and Auriel’s Bow
  • Arvak’d to Fort Dawnguard
  • Made a bunch of exploding crossbow bolts
  • Sold stuff to Gunmar, Florentius, and Sorine; also bought five rounds of archery training from Sorine
  • Did a bunch of smithing and alchemy
  • Arvak’d to Solstheim and tromped back to Severin Manor
  • Did more smithing, alchemy, and enchanting; got some serious improvement on several critical armor pieces and weapons, Chillrend took over briefly as best sword
  • Went out to sell stuff the next morning, then headed to Kolbjorn Barrow
  • Arch pyromancer vs. arch cryomancer at Old Attius Farm
  • Did last round of Kolbjorn Barrow; hit both of the stalhrim deposits; got the armor and helm
  • Ran the Filagree and Filament Black Book and took Secret of Arcana power
  • Decided to spare Ralis
  • Arvak’d back to Raven Rock to return to Severin Manor
  • Did more crafting!
  • Set Light Armor Legendary and got a bunch of perk points back on that; went ahead and unlocked Dragon smithing so I could burn through a bunch of the backlogged dragon bits, including making a bunch of dragonbone arrows
  • Made remaining bits of a heavy armor dragonplate set to go with the armor I left at Heljarchen
  • Dropped a couple more perk points on speech to make it up to the Master Trader perk; also unlocked the Fence perk so I can sell stolen stuff to anybody, LOL
  • Once I got all the Dragon smithing done and stalhrim things improved, re-Legendary’d Smithing so I could have those perk points to spend as well
  • Dropped a boatload of perks on both Alchemy and Enchanting to run those up again

Tuesday’s play

  • Did additional enchanting in Severin Manor; sold enchanted jewelry to dremora merchant
  • Sold things to Glover, Milore, and Fethis
  • Set out for Tel Mithryn
  • Bypassed netch hunters by Old Attius Farm
  • Other hostiles dispatched:
    • Single ash spawn by Fort Frostmoth
    • Cultists
    • Three ash spawn and burnt spriggan by stream near Tel Mithryn
    • Additional three ash spawn closer to Neloth’s house
  • Sold Elynea some of my potions
  • Reported to Neloth re: the briarheart, and proceeded to next phase of Ildari plot; got the ring to track the ash spawn
  • Killed ash spawn at Ildari’s open and empty grave
  • Reported back to Neloth; got his directive to take out Ildari at Highpoint Tower; set out to do that
  • Hostiles dispatched: ash hopper, random orc
  • Game crashed when I threw a Candlelight spell; only thrown back to coming out of Tel Mithryn though so didn’t lose much
  • Hostiles dispatched: ash hopper, arch pyromancer vs. arch cryomancer
  • Reached and ran Highpoint Tower; sicced dremora then storm atronachs, and Argis, on Ildari
  • Returned to Raven Rock, Revered Dragon! Fought it with crossbow, but Miraak soul sniped it after it crash landed up behind the town
  • Right after taking out that dragon, Torkild the werebear showed up, SURPRISE! And oh shit he mad, also oh shit he bear. Had to take the poor guy out and then get his letter to his brother
  • Returned to Severin Manor and worked on some smithing and enchanting
  • Leveled up to 74; took health bump; dropped another perk on Alchemy
  • Headed out to Tel Mithryn
  • Cranky Imperial at Old Attius Farm
  • Made it to Tel Mithryn to report to Neloth that Ildari was dead; got him to make me a member of his house
  • Went to look for Bilgemuck, only to discover oops I had no meat for him
  • Bounced back to Severin Manor to pick up meat from the food barrel
  • Bilgemuck take two: got him some meat!
  • Reported to the chief and got the quest to go find 10 scathecraw
  • Re-fought bandits at camp I’d fought before, they’d respawned
  • Also fought Elder Dragon at the top of the hill near Vahlok’s Tomb
  • Returned to rieklings and gave the chief the scathecraw; got his request to help them go wipe out the Nords
  • Fought a troll with the rieklings on the way down to the camp; then, after taking out Bujold’s group, took out the chief
  • Proceeded to Skaal village from there
  • Checked in with Wulf about Torkild; got skill bumps to Block, Heavy Armor, Archery, One-handed
  • Did a little shopping with Baldor
  • Headed from there to search for the bonemold formula for Glover
  • Passed Benkongerike on the way and discovered the Serpentine Dragon at Saering’s Watch respawned; fought and dispatched it, but Miraak soul sniped it
  • Note: first sighting of my new rieklings showing up to help me in combat!
  • Also fought a troll while fighting the dragon, and a new troll once headed onward
  • Hit a couple sapphire geodes en route
  • Made it to Castle Karstaag Caverns; saved there for the night


Last few sessions have been kind of bad for dragons killing NPCs, yowza. This time, RIP Leonara Arius of Snow-Shod Farm. 😢

Reminder to Future Me: be very careful when fighting lurkers on open platforms in Apocrypha. Because if the lurker knocks you off, you will fall into the oily waters and die.

And really I had a scary moment when that happened. I didn’t land in the water immediately; rather, I landed on a bit of a ledge. Trying to figure out how to recover from there was what resulted in me falling into the water.

Decided this time through that Ysani would fall on the side of sparing Ralis, at the end of Kolbjorn Barrow. At this point in her run I feel like Ysani’s in a position to understand people on the wrong side of moral questions!

Made it all the way up to the Master Trader perk in Speech, and it sure as hell seems helpful to be able to throw more money at almost every single merchant in the game. On the other hand, I’m also to the point where I’m swimming in a ridiculous amount of gold. So I don’t really need to worry about all the merchants having extra gold to buy my stuff!

Ildari is a formidable mage, but then, so is Ysani. And I threw both dremora and storm atronachs at her, and that gave Argis enough cover to get up there and fight her directly. I followed shortly thereafter.

And now Neloth’s made me a member of House Telvanni! I think Ysani’s reaction to this is mostly “Yay?” But she also kind of appreciates the gesture. Partly because Neloth is also a formidable mage, and Ysani respects that even if he’s also a dick. 😉 And partly because she has no actual house of her own anyway, since the Thalmor destroyed her family. So if nothing else, knowing that House Telvanni could have her back if she ever had to flee to Morrowind is a bit of reassurance, maybe?

(Even if a pale-skinned Breton would be blatantly obvious in a nation full of Dunmer, heh.)

I was quite surprised that Torkild the werebear showed up out of the blue just as I was killing that dragon right behind Raven Rock. Usually I have to go actually hunt him down.

This time through I felt legit kind of sad about helping the rieklings kill the Nords. Partly because I did see Hilund in trance mode before cleansing the Beast Stone, and I talked to Kumar after doing that. So I feel like Ysani got direct evidence that she’d saved this exact set of people from Miraak’s shrine—only to turn around and kill them because the rieklings asked her to.

I’ve written about the food for thought this particular quest has given me in prior playthroughs. This time, the question became one of pondering who exactly qualifies as people? Who qualifies as worthy of saving? Because the rieklings were also enthralled by the Beast Stone.

And they may be tiny, and blue, and primitive… but this batch of rieklings, at least, actually made an effort to communicate with Ysani. Which moves them into the realm of “people”, as opposed to “hostile little blue bastards who keep trying to poke her with sticks”.

Surprisingly, the respawned Serpentine Dragon at Saering’s Watch did deliver a soul. Even though Miraak sniped it. Usually I expect respawned dragons to not deliver souls. So there’s a question here of whether it worked differently this time because it was a Serpentine Dragon, or whether Miraak sniping the soul happened?

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Livre noir – Filament et Filigrane: Black Book: Filament and Filagree
  • La Tour de l’Apex: Highpoint Tower
  • Chef des riekelins: Riekling Chief
  • Herberouge: Redgrass (what the rieklings call scathecraw)
  • Grottes du château Karstaag: Castle Karstaag Caverns

I still have to giggle at chef being the French word for chief. Because I look at chef des riekelins and I keep thinking “Chef? They have a chef? How many different ways can a riekling chef prepare bristleback meat?”

Next time

Going to run Castle Karstaag Caverns, and get that lost bonemold formula. Time permitting, I will also actually go find Karstaag’s skull so I can summon and fight him.

Also, whoa, this pair of sessions takes me to the 90 mark for number of sessions Ysani has run so far. I think some of why she’s having more sessions is because a bunch of her sessions have been shorter? So I’m not going through everything in the same amount of time as Merawen, the closest character to match her now.

And this strongly suggests I will easily pass the 100 mark. We’ll see if I get to level 85 by that point. I think there’s a safe chance Ysani will match Merawen for level by the time she’s done, if not surpass her.


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.