Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Joins the Thieves Guild and the College of Winterhold

An eventful session, a bit more eventful than I’d originally planned–because I got both the Thieves Guild plotline and the one for the mage college underway! And now Faanshi is officially a member of both.


  • Play date: 5/21/2022
  • Session number in this run: 13
  • Went and brawled with Haelga and Bersi, then got Keerava’s debt without hassling her
  • Returned to the guild and got inducted in
  • Also got the Goldenglow Estate job from Mercer; got armor from Tonilia; got pointer about the sewer entrance from Vex
  • Decided to go ahead and launch mage college too
  • Went outside the Riften gate to take the cart to Winterhold
  • Showed up in Winterhold to witness Birna and Ranmir arguing about his drinking
  • Went up to the college to do Faralda’s test; she had me throw a Firebolt spell at the seal, and since I had that spell already, got admitted as an apprentice to the college with no trouble
  • Ran the intro with Mirabelle and the wards class with Tolfdir
  • Strolled over to Saarthal with Tolfdir and Brelyna, though I got ahead of them
  • Stopped by a thief on the way but this time I was able to tell him I was a member of the Guild, and get him to back off
  • Made it to Saarthal without anything else stopping me
  • Mined the silver vein by the ramp
  • Started running Saarthal once the others showed up; found the rings and the amulet and had the first vision from Nerien
  • Got Tolfdir to send me on through into the ruins
  • Stretch with a couple of Draugr Wights and a Draugr Scourge gave me some problems 😛
  • Finally had to find decent places to hide, keep throwing the flame atronach, and remember to shoot the damn draugr with my bow fast enough to take them out before they found me
  • Saved for the night partway through Saarthal after killing the Draugr Wights


Decided to run the shakedown of the three merchants in Riften the same way I’d done it with Ysani–i.e., brawling Haelga and Bersi, then avoiding having to lean on Keerava about her family. Still not a fan of this part of the plot, but at least this feels like the least objectionable way to do it.

So now Faanshi is a member of the Thieves Guild!

And, as it happens, she’s also now a member of the College of Winterhold. I wasn’t much of a fan of running these in parallel while playing Merawen. But for this playthrough it feels kind of necessary. I need access to a broader pool of trainers right the fuck now, and I need the money to be able to pay them.

And at least Faanshi’s Sneak is high enough at this point that I should be able to run a lot of Thieves Guild jobs reasonably well. Starting with Goldenglow!

But with the mage college half of this session, I realized something for the first time, which is: there’s an argument you can witness on your first visit to Winterhold, which is Birna giving Ranmir shit about going to the inn to drink. First time I saw this, I thought it was a married couple arguing. But apparently Ranmir is Birna’s brother, not her husband! I only found this out on the wiki, though, because Birna’s one of the merchants I haven’t talked with much. I should see if I can actually get her to identify Ranmir as her brother in conversation.

I feel like Faanshi joined both of these factions out of purely pragmatic interest: i.e., gaining as many skills as she can to survive in Skyrim. But I also feel like it probably pleased her immensely to see that one of the other apprentices at the college is a Khajiit! So I’ll have to make a point of getting J’zargo’s favor quest. I definitely should try him out as a follower.

It was amusing to be on the way to Saarthal and have the only random encounter be from a thief who ran up to try to rob me. And for once I actually did have the option to go “whoa, don’t you recognize a fellow member of the Guild?”

Though I think what Faanshi actually would have said would be more like, “Khajiit bids you stop, brother, do you not recognize this one as a member of the Guild?”

Most of the session went to trying to work my way through Saarthal. And I got hung up at one spot in the dungeon where I was pretty sure Delga got stymied by Hulking Draugr and a Draugr Deathlord. But this time through I’m only level 26, so I had to fight a couple of Wights and a Scourge.

Which, at Master Difficulty, is still pretty fucking difficult. I briefly went “fuck it” and thought about punting back down to Adept, but then backed off of that. I really want to keep the Difficulty setting where it is if I can, that’s the whole point of trying it, and adjusting my play actions accordingly. But wow, I’m finding it a trial to make it past monsters that are having a much better time with killing me this time through.

I’ll have to see if my patience holds out for this.

Next time

Left off in the middle of Saarthal, after finally taking out the two Draugr Wights. I need to see if I can make it past the Draugr Scourge now. And hope like hell that I don’t have any Draugr Deathlords showing up.

I’ll take the mage college plot far enough along to need to go to Fellglow Keep. Then I’ll probably go run Goldenglow, and pick up the first couple of extra jobs from Delvin and Vex.

And I’ll have to put serious consideration into when I want to start Dawnguard, maybe, if nothing else just to have Serana the Unkillable as a follower.


Editing to add

  • 11/22/2023: 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.