Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Escapes the Destruction of Helgen

Let’s get this party started, shall we? Playthrough number five begins with Faanshi of the Khajiit, and also with returning to the English build of the game!

Short session, just enough to get the initial escape from Helgen done, and get the character set up with her starting gear. Got as far as getting the objective to go to Bleak Falls Barrow.


  • Play date: 5/9/2022
  • Session number in this run: 1
  • Began Faanshi’s run!
  • Died once in Helgen because i missed the jump out of the tower to the inn
  • Second time through made it to the top floor and safely past it to the point where I meet up with Hadvar
  • Decided to go ahead and follow Hadvar out mostly just because i like Hadvar better than Ralof (and I suspect Faanshi isn’t exactly enamored of any of these humans in Skyrim, but at least Hadvar was trying to nice and was trying to protect a child)
  • Set difficulty up to Master
  • Grabbed a lot of supplies on the way out of Helgen, and a mix of armor, both Imperial and Stormcloak; also got the novice mage gear and Sparks spellbook
  • Tried out Night Eye ability once going through the cave system
  • Decided to sneak past the bear rather than shoot it, because I’m a Khajiit now, I should be sneaky
  • Took the Thief Stone at the Guardian Stones
  • Made it to Riverwood with Hadvar after encounter with wolves
  • Got Alvor’s request to go to Whiterun to report what happened to the Jarl, but did the forge tutorial first just to get the additional gear from that
  • Headed to Whiterun; killed another wolf en route
  • Spotted Imperials with prisoner further ahead on the road; cut cross country to avoid them
  • Overheard Companions fighting the giant at Pelagia Farm but stayed away, pretty sure the Companions are not this character’s speed
  • Got the guard at the Whiterun gate to let me in by saying Riverwood calls for the Jarl’s aid
  • Reported what happened to Balgruuf, and got steel armor from him
  • Had conversation with Farengar re: fetching the Dragonstone
  • Saw Irileth organizing the detachment on the way out out of the city
  • Avoided the guards heading to Riverwood along the road
  • First sighting of M’aiq the Liar! YAY!
  • Determined that yep, even if Alvor and Sigrid are friendly, their house is locked so i can’t sleep there
  • Rented a room at the inn, and saved for the night


Running the opening sequence this time, the main difference was of course setting up a Khajiit in the character UI. With my other playthroughs (elf, human, orc), there are a bunch of character sliders that give you detail and nuance to your skin tones. With a Khajiit, those sliders give you additional fur marking details, which i appreciated.

And I have to admit that I was ridiculously charmed by how I mostly wanted to pet and smoosh all of the various female Khajiit character designs!

One thing that did actively surprise me here though was this: I don’t think I’d ever really grasped that Khajiit can have hair in addition to their fur. But the character UI did in fact show me several hair options similar to the ones worn by human or elf women. Why Khajiit would have hair in addition to fur didn’t make much sense to me until Dara quite correctly pointed out that this is exactly the situation with horse’s manes in real life. And of course, more relevant to Khajiit lore in particular, lions have manes.

Once I was done setting myself up, I immediately noticed that the Imperial captain giving the orders for the executions referred to me as ‘cat’. Yeaaaah, I expect that’s going to happen a lot.

I was slightly chagrined to fuck up the part of the escape sequence, though, where you have to jump through the hole in the tower wall over onto the second floor of the inn. That put me into a position where I couldn’t proceed further, because the damn place was of course on fire, and I couldn’t find a way around.

And I’m also not sure what actually killed me. I didn’t see anything actually hit me, but from what I see on the wiki, it was probably Alduin spitting fire. Apparently, if you linger in one spot for too long, Alduin will target you.

Second time through, though, the escape went smoothly. Two major things of note:

  1. Remembered to try out the Night Eye ability, which was one of the major reasons I wanted to try a Khajiit, and yep that seems potentially very promising
  2. Noticed that the various little grunts and exclamations, noises of exertion and such, are definitely voiced differently from my previous characters–so it’ll be interesting to hear how her Shouts sound

It’s interesting to think about the choice of whether to follow Hadvar or Ralof here. You’d think that a Khajiit, even more so than a human or mer, would be disinclined to turn to one of her captors for help to get out of a town under dragon attack. Yet, as I’ve noted before, Hadvar does come across as sympathetic from the very first moment you see him. And I’ll also note here that even though Ralof urges the Dragonborn to follow him into the tower where he and Ulfric and other Stormcloaks have retreated, none of those assholes actually untie your bonds.

That cannot have escaped Faanshi’s notice. So she turns to following Hadvar instead–and her instinct proves true when that guy actually takes the time to free her hands first thing.

(And yes, I know Ralof would actually also untie you at his first opportunity! I did after all follow him out as Merawen. But Faanshi doesn’t know that!)

I feel like sighting M’aiq the Liar should come across differently for a Khajiit! I’m not sure whether Faanshi will think him a skooma hallucination, have a bit of a crush on him, or both at once. ;D

Next time

Next up: Bleak Falls Barrow! Which should give me a very nice practice run with Night Eye, and plenty of opportunity to bump my Sneak!


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.