Dragonborn,  Ysani Playthrough

In Which Ysani Explores Fahlbtharz, Kagrumez, and White Ridge Barrow

This double session post covers play done on Wednesday 4/27 and Thursday 4/28. Main action: exploring more of the side locations on Solstheim, namely Fahlbtharz, Kagrumez, and White Ridge Barrow!


  • Play dates: 4/27-4/28/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 91-92

Wednesday’s play

  • Started at Castle Karstaag Caverns
  • Popped in there long enough to get the bonemold formula off of Esmond Tyne’s dead body; didn’t want to run the place as nothing else hugely interesting in there
  • Popped back to Raven Rock and returned the formula to Glover; got the key to his basement and permission to take the stuff there, oh hey an interesting letter!
  • Meanwhile went back to Severin Manor and crafted a bunch; also sold more things to dremora merchant
  • Slept the night, then came back out and sold things to Glover and Milore and Fethis
  • Headed up past the mine to go north
  • Battled en route: two wolves, and rieklings outside Fahlbtharz
  • Started running the place, and my own rieklings showed up
  • Got through the place safely enough and got Visage of Mzund and other loot
  • Returned to Raven Rock
  • Finished up with more crafting at Severin Manor before saving for the night

Thursday’s play

  • Started at Severin Manor
  • LOL, dragon skeleton fell RIGHT on my head as I came out to begin play
  • Headed out north of the town via the mine path
  • Fought and dispatched en route:
    • Two frost trolls
    • One burnt spriggan
    • Five ash hoppers
  • Reached Kagrumez; no corpse in tent outside, but this time all bandits were actually present and accounted for, so got the full set of resonance gems
  • Ran the place! Took the Steadfast Dwarven Sphere as follower, and got Dwarven Black Bow of Fate <3
  • Tried to trigger the trader at Ramshackle Trading Post but no luck, so got the pendant and returned to Raven Rock
  • Revered Dragon! Killed it up behind the mine, and Miraak soul sniped it
  • Returned to Severin Manor for crafting, but lost track of Argis? He got lost somewhere between Kagrumez and Raven Rock, and didn’t make it back to the manor with me
  • Leveled up to 75; took another Stamina bump; dropped a perk back on Steel smithing to begin building that tree again
  • Came back out again and fast traveled to stalhrim source, at which point Argis caught up
  • Re-mined all the stalhrim
  • Saw respawned dragon flying near the Water Stone but didn’t go after it
  • Instead, ran White Ridge Barrow; got the word for Cyclone off the Word Wall
  • Ran the Sallow Regent Black Book and took the Seeker of Sorcery power
  • Fast traveled back to Raven Rock for loot drop and saved for the night


I could have run Castle Karstaag Caverns properly, but decided not to. As I’ve seen in previous playthroughs, not really down with fighting rieklings unless I have a separate objective in a given space. Just because Dragonborn vs. rieklings is, to me as as a player at this late stage of a Skyrim run, even less of a fair fight than Dragonborn vs. anything else. So I limited myself to popping in there long enough to grab the bonemold formula to satisfy Glover’s quest.

I do like Glover Mallory though, so I like running his quest for him. Even if the two times I’ve run this quest so far have not resulted in me actually wearing the Blackguard’s Armor, or using anything else he lets me help myself to from his basement! And I do feel slightly dodgy still about swiping that private letter to take to Sapphire in Riften. 😉

Fahlbtharz at this point in my Skyrim experience falls squarely into the category of “optional, but still fun to run”. I’ve gotten better about running the big room with the rotating gears in it. (And it occurs to me to wonder, as I write this, exactly what all those giant gears were originally for. The place is a Dwemer ruin, so presumably the Dwemer were using those gears to accomplish something? But it’s still not clear to me what mechanism those gears might have been a part of.

It was a pleasure to be able to actually run Kagrumez correctly this time through. I still triggered the bug with the corpse of the researcher missing in the tent outside the place. But at least this time the reaver lord was present, so I was able to get the full set of gems. And yet again, having the dremora on hand was super helpful, particularly against the ballistas. Also helpful to have the Steadfast Dwarven Sphere once I got that particular automation on as a follower.

Not sure where the hell Argis disappeared between Kagrumez and Raven Rock. But at least he did catch up again the next time I fast traveled. Curious from a technical perspective as to what happens to your follower in the game when this situation triggers. Apparently the game loses track of how to render them?

Lesson learned at White Ridge Barrow this time: if you have a regular follower, an animal/creature/mechanical follower, ability to summon two conjured entities at once, and rieklings periodically prone to show up and give you fighting support, you can have a hell of an entourage following you through a dungeon!

That’s seven, count ‘em, seven followers I took through White Ridge Barrow. Argis, the Steadfast Dwarven Sphere, Réjean and André, and the three rieklings. Quite the exploration party!

And now I have multiple entities interacting with me that really probably need names. French, probably, because Ysani is a Breton! So I officially dub the following:

  • Steadfast Dwarven Sphere: Rouleau (roller)
  • Dremora Merchant: Pierre-Luc
  • Riekling trio: Olo, Nico, Simon

(And yes, the merchant and the rieklings are all totally getting named after more of my favorite Quebecois musicians. The rieklings specifically will be Olo and Nico as opposed to Olivier and Nicolas, just because little guys get little names!)

(I am on the fence though about how long I’ll keep Rouleau around. I am deeply amused by having a mighty entourage to follow me around, but on the other hand, a dwarven sphere is awfully noisy.)

Additional lesson learned at White Ridge Barrow: the Mind Control Spiders are even creepier than I’d previously appreciated. I finally got a proper couple of screenshots of one of the mind-controlled reavers, and YOW that spider on the shoulder gave me shivers. So did how the reaver’s entire face was covered in yellowish webbing.

I did not make any of the spiders. Just because I know now from prior experience I will never actually use them in combat, and also, CREEPY MUCH? I feel kind of obligated to go against Skyrim’s trend of making all the mages be all ‘I will do this creepy experiment because EXPERIMENTING! And never mind how creepy it actually is!’

Mages played by me: not so much. I am down with calling buddies out of Oblivion to make war upon my enemies! I am not down with making creepy spiders to take over people’s brains.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Couloir de Fahlbtharz: Fahlbtharz Corridor
  • Brasserie de Fahlbtharz: Fahlbtharz Boilery
  • Grand hall de Fahlbtharz: Fahlbtharz Grand Hall
  • Sphère dwemer inébranlable: Steadfast Dwarven Sphere
  • Arc noir du destin: Black Bow of Fate
  • Comptoir Commercial Délabré: Ramshackle Trading Post
  • Tertre de Blanchecrête: White Ridge Barrow
  • Sanctuaire de Blanchecrête: White Ridge Sanctum (lit. “Sanctuary of White Ridge”)
  • Livre noir – Le régent au teint jaune: Black Book: The Sallow Regent (lit. “Black Book – The regent of yellow tint”)
  • Quêteur au sorcellerie: Seeker of Sorcery

Next time

Last two major interesting things I have left to do on Solstheim are go after Karstaag, and clear Vahlok’s Tomb. So those are likely to be my objectives for my next couple of sessions.

I’m closing in on Take Out Miraak Time, though. This will probably happen some time this weekend.

(Don’t know yet how fast I’ll move back to the main plot for confronting Alduin once I’m done with Miraak. Still musing on how much more I want to run with Ysani. Fair bet I may be finishing her up within another week or so though.)


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.