Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Becomes Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold

Highly eventful session with Faanshi, as I resolved the College of Winterhold plot (hurray! I’m the Arch-Mage), but also made significant progress on the Thieves Guild plotline. 😀


  • Play date: 6/8/2022
  • Session number in this run: 23
  • Hoofed it from Whiterun to Labyrinthian
  • Threw a Calm on a sabre cat just to practice Illusion
  • Killed a couple of wolves near Silent Moons Camp; also killed a couple of respawned exterior bandits
  • Made to Labyrinthian’s exterior, and started throwing dremora and Iona at frost trolls
  • Reached and ran Labyrinthian proper, pretty quickly as Labyrinthian runs go
  • Spend a little time bumping Restoration with the Equilibrium spell once I found it
  • Also let dremora and Iona mostly be the ones to take out Morokei and Estormo
  • Boinged back to Whiterun first to sell stuff and get the carry weight down
  • Boinged to mage college, and helped mages out on the bridge take out a couple of anomalies
  • Then Staff of Magnus’d my way into the place and took out Ancano
  • Hurray! I’m Arch-Mage!
  • Got four rounds of Illusion training with Drevis, which necessitated selling him quite a few jewelry items to get enough money for it
  • Sent Iona home to Riften
  • Boinged to Whiterun; did some alchemy at Breezehome, then smithing the next morning; got smithing to 60! \0/
  • Sold a bunch of things to Belethor and Arcadia, to clear out backlog of dragon bits
  • Boinged next to Markarth to take care of the Sweep Job there; snuck into the Treasury House; apparently completely eluded Reburrus Quintillius even though he came in right behind me; grabbed the three target items and scrambled out
  • Boinged to Windhelm; broke into the house of Clan Shatter-Shield and yoinked their Stone of Barenziah
  • Boinged back to Riften
  • Checked in with Delvin and got payment for job, got new Bedlam Job in Whiterun
  • Checked in with Vex and got payment for job, got new Sweep Job to hit Bryling’s house in Solitude
  • Boinged to Solitude to hit Bryling’s house
  • Boinged to Whiterun, ambled my way into the Jarl’s quarters in Dragonsreach, and yoinked his Stone of Barenziah
  • Boinged back to Riften
  • Checked in with Delvin and got payment for job, got new Bedlam job for Markarth
  • Checked in with Vex and got payment for job, got new Sweep Job for Windhelm (LOL, for the Shatter-Shield house)
  • Boinged back to mage college and buy spells from Drevis
  • Showed up, grabbed cogs from my apprentice space, and gave the cogs to Arniel for a gold boost
  • Came out of Hall of Attainment and HELLO ELDER DRAGON (frost breather); mostly hit it with the storm atronach; Onmund showed up partway through the fight and tried to engage
  • Nirya did not engage 😛
  • However, dragon killed me
  • Second time through it was a fire breather, but this time I zapped it to death with my atronach as well as my lightning; looted it and got a glass sword and the dragon bits
  • Found Drevis and OH HEY HE HAS INVISIBILITY 😀 Bought that, and Pacify, Rally, and Rout as well
  • Boinged to Solitude to pick up where I left off with Gulum-Ei
  • Suited up in mage gear and also Morokei mask to keep the magicka regeneration coming for repeated Invisibility casting
  • Made it to the warehouse! And started running it with combo Invisibility + Muffle
  • Which let me level up to 42; took another Magicka bump; took Arcane Blacksmith perk 😀
  • Also actually found where the map I can steal for Delvin is
  • Then started running the bandit grotto; called up dremora for any bandits between me and the goal
  • Ran the place and got to Gulum-Ei; got him on board as fence, and the info on Karliah
  • Looted the hell out of all the nearby chests and shelves
  • Back to Solitude to sell stuff; had to go the long way as I overshot the back entrance while Whirlwind Sprinting
  • Gulum-Ei wasn’t back in the Winking Skeever yet, so I slept the night and then sold a bunch of stuff to Sayma and Beirand
  • Bought a pair of Iron Boots of Hauling from Beirand to get the Carry Weight enchantment
  • Started improving the armor I was carrying as well
  • Boinged to Thieves Guild to report to Mercer
  • Got paid for Solitude and directive to meet him at Snow Veil Sanctum to help him kill Karliah
  • Went to Delvin and gave him the map I found
  • Went to Tonilia and got her to swap out my Thieves Guild armor for the improved Carry Weight bonus
  • Went topside and bought materials from Balimund to finish improving armor
  • Went to Honeyside and put my ebony armor pieces on the mannequins in the basement there
  • Destroyed the iron boots on my enchanter table, and did a little alchemy
  • Saved for the night


Finishing up the mage college plot was the first big important part of this session: running Labyrinthian, and then doing the finale where I return to the college and save it from Ancano.

The main notable thing about running Labyrinthian this time through was that, given my high Difficulty tier, I found it beneficial to mostly let the dremora and Iona fight everything hand to hand. Especially Morokei at the end. Notably, they chased him all the way out of the boss chamber and back into the chamber where you have the last sighting of Savos and his two surviving friends!

I was pleased, though, to get in a few whacks on him myself once Iona and the dremora had sufficiently soften him up for me.

Likewise, I let them take out Estormo entirely. I didn’t even bother to attack that asshole.

“Khajiit has no chance, you say? Then clearly she should not fight you. She will let her housecarl fight you in her stead. Have fun with that. Iona, please let this one know when you’re done. Oh, and did Khajiit mention she knows how to summon dremora lords? Here, have one of those now.”

Once I got back to the college and resolved that little Ancano problem, this also let me have training again. By which I mean: Illusion training with Drevis. 😀 I had enough money on me to get four rounds with him.

Then it was time for a bit of crafting. And then a lot of thievery! Boinged through four total jobs for Delvin and Vex, one in each city, really.

Markarth’s Sweep Job had me hitting the Treasury House, last visited during the Forsworn Conspiracy. The main interesting thing about that was that as soon as I went through the door of the place–which was open, I did not have to pick the lock–I briefly saw the back of an NPC who’d apparently come in behind me. I think it might have been Reburrus Quintillius, based on what he was wearing. But he didn’t seem to register my presence.

(As I should damn well hope not, given that I was sneaking at the time! Still kind of hilarious that he came in right behind me and had no goddamn idea I was there. Khajiit is a very stealthy cat.)

And since there were no NPCs active in the place, and Thonar had gotten himself killed by the Forsworn, I took the liberty of peeking into various containers to see if I saw anything else worth snatching. Answer: not so much. I may doublecheck since I do have a Bedlam Job for Markarth queued up now, though.

I’m pretty sure, when I boinged to Windhelm, that I saw the graveyard in the initial state for running Blood on the Ice. I am not convinced I want to bother with Blood on the Ice with this alt, given that it still doesn’t give you access to buying Hjerim. But I’ll have to check the state of the graveyard when I return to Windhelm for the next Sweep Job. I want to see if the graveyard reverts or if I can still start the plot. So I may still run it. We’ll see.

Stealing Balgruuf’s Stone of Barenziah this time was mostly notable because I tried going out a different door in his quarters–and discovered that that door was the access out onto a multi-tiered balcony that gives you a hell of a view of Whiterun. Cool. Screenshots were duly taken!

Next major action after that thievery spree was returning to the mage college, and doing the fight with the Elder Dragon. Onmund helped me fight it both times. Nirya did not. Nirya, your Arch-Mage will be taking note of this next time you drop hints about her noticing who amongst the college has been helpful and who has not.

After the dragon action, I found Drevis for a round of spell buying. And noted to my surprise that even though I hadn’t hit level 75 in Illusion yet, he had the Invisibility spell. Fuck yeah. So I bought that as well as a few others, to prep for the next serious action for the Guild: going to Solitude and finishing the Scoundrel’s Folly plot!

And here was the major thing about this: this was, I think, the first time that I actually bothered to use the Morokei mask for anything. Because it was still right there in my inventory, and because it bumps the rate of your magicka regeneration by 100%. According to the wiki, if you’re wearing multiple items that regenerate your magicka, this does stack. So Morokei bumps it by 100%, and the Arch-Mage robes also bump it by 100%. Which means I had a 200% magicka regeneration going on.

Which was incredibly helpful, given that I wanted to run the East Empire warehouse by constantly throwing the Invisibility and Muffle spells. With my magicka regenerating that fast, I was able to keep this up pretty much constantly. And make it through the place without any trouble at all.

(And here’s one other thing I note about the Morokei mask, since I just looked it up on the wiki while writing this post: apparently this mask is also supposed to shorten your time between Shouts. But this isn’t implemented correctly in the vanilla game, and it is supposed to be fixed in the USSEP. I am totally going to check this in Shenner’s run.)

Thusly geared up with mage gear, I made it all the way through the warehouse.

And, also notably, actually found where the East Empire Shipping Map was! I hadn’t found that before as either Merawen or Ysani. But note to Future Me and other interested parties: it’s up the ramp just above where the hidden entrance is to the bandit grotto. Look for the cabin, the map is in there on a table!

Thieves Guild job status

Since I did four total Guild side jobs in this session, let’s revisit where that leaves me:

CityJobs ScheduledJobs Done

So I need to do two more in Whiterun, and three more each in Markarth, Solitude, and Windhelm.

Next time

It’s Snow Veil Sanctum time, baby! And betrayal at the hands of Mercer “Murderous Lying Bastard” Frey!

And Faanshi’s next session is going to be Friday night as well, so I may also have time to make it to Markarth and hit the Dwemer Museum for the rubbing to translate Gallus’ journal. Which will, conveniently, also let me do the Markarth Bedlam Job!

Khajiit anticipates that this session will be very profitable indeed.


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.