Shenner Playthrough

In Which Shenner Impresses the Jarl of Riften

Fairly eventful session, even though a good bit of it went to discovering that I am not yet ready to take on the bandit boss at Traitor’s Post. What I did accomplish: getting a few more quest pointers! Building out the rest of Goldenhills Plantation! Taking care of the skooma dealer problem in Riften—and getting Laila Law-Giver to offer me a thaneship!

(I’m posting this on 6/9 but this is for play done on 6/7.)


  • Play date: 6/7/2022
  • Session number in this run: 15
  • Started at mage college
  • Got Savos Aren’s directive to talk to Urag and the Staff of Magelight
  • Took a little extra time to explore the Arcaneum this time
  • Overheard conversation between Urag and Nirya that I don’t remember hearing before, in which Nirya gets snippy about Urag asking her about how much time she’s spending with Sergius, LOL
  • Found the spellbook for Telekinesis arrows; learned the spell
  • Also found the journal pointing to info about finding a unicorn; got that quest started
  • Got training with Drevis, Phinis, Sergius, Faralda, Colette
  • Sold Faralda a staff so I could get back under carry weight
  • Boinged to Hendraheim to drop off stuff
  • Smelted the iron and silver ore I was carrying
  • Put armor for Whiterun and Winterhold guards onto a couple of the mannequins in the basement
  • Did some enchanting and alchemy work; learned enchantments for Fortify Alchemy and Fortify Smithing; dropped alchemy enchantments on gloves and ring and necklace, to make up for the gauntlets I blew up
  • Dropped off several books in a bookcase, and papers in the drawer
  • Boinged to Whiterun and sold assorted items to Elrindir to get the carry weight down further
  • Popped into Breezehome to pick up my spare Amulet of Talos because yeah actually having that on to shorten time between Shouts is helpful; also, Shenner is a Nord, she totes worships Talos
  • Bought some iron
  • Boinged to the farm to see if I could build anything–and HELLO BLOOD DRAGON! Killed it
  • Reailzed I needed building materials stashed at Lakeview
  • Boinged there and grabbed a bunch of stuff out of the cellar
  • Came out and HELLO BANDITS; took them down with help of the flame atronach; but only found two, couldn’t find the third? Might have been another instance of bandits spawning weird at Lakeview?
  • Boinged back to the farm; built out all buildable things! Also had Illia buy livestock, and furnish the dining room of the main house
  • Brenuin was still in beggar clothes and had the usual dialogue prompts but also the prompt set up by the Gray Cowl quest
  • Ran out of gold so boinged back to Lakeview and grabbed bandit loot out of the outdoor chest; built out a few more furnishings, and began work on the bedroom wing till I ran out of iron
  • Got Lydia on duty
  • Boinged to Hob’s Fall Cave to get within range of Snowpoint Beacon for doing the bounty
  • Found Wayward Pass, Nightgate Inn, and Silverdrift Lair on the way
  • Killed frost troll on the way to Wayward Pass, and passed Imperial trio going through the pass
  • Spotted probable Stormcloak courier who ran towards me, then turned around and ran off
  • Killed a couple of bandits and an ice wolf by Silverdrift
  • Reached Snowpoint and killed the regular bandit and bandit chief there, then boinged to Winterhold to collect the bounty from the steward
  • Hoofed it down to Windhelm; killed snow bear and a couple more wolves near Whistling Mine
  • Killed another bear when I veered off the road, and four more bandits as we found them traveling and they came at us
  • Overloaded at that point, so quaffed a potion to fast travel to Windhelm; sold bandit loot to Oengul to unload
  • Attempted to make a run for Traitor’s Post but got killed both times, Erwan is still too well armored for me; both times also saw a dragon show up; killed it the first time but Erwan killed me shortly after; second time the dragon was a flyby and then Erwan took me out
  • NEW PLAN! Boinged down to Riften and got a room at the Bee and Barb, and a dragon bounty from Keerava to take out the dragon at Lost Tongue Overlook
  • Gave the juvenile mudcrab to Viriya at the fishery and got her next fishing job, taking a glassfish to Zaria in Falkreath
  • Also went to go tell the Jarl hey you know there’s a skooma dealer around here, right?
  • She gave me the key to the warehouse and told me to go take the guy out discreetly; took him out, but you can argue whether it was discreet 😉
  • Unlike Faanshi, Shenner didn’t steal everything in the place but she did confiscate the moon sugar
  • Went back to the Jarl and got her objective to go to Cragslane
  • Wound up doing that by fast traveling to Stony Creek; fished there for a bit, got carp and one of two required glassfish (since Swims’ quest also wants one)
  • Went and ran Cragslane; killed once as I got outnumbered; second time through I broke out the ebony crossbow and did a powerful amount of sneak attack damage with that thing, so that way I cleared the place
  • Returned to Riften
  • Started running favor quests; queued up Balimund’s fire salts and got Sapphire off of Shadr’s back
  • Went down to Elgrim’s Elixirs and queued up Hafjorg’s ore quest and Ingun’s ingredients quest
  • Hoofed it to Shor’s Stone and got ore sample from Filnjar
  • Also spotted the new NPC Azadi who tried to brawl with me, but I passed the Persuade check to avoid having to bother; he gave me a note saying “we’ll be in touch” and disappeared
  • Time to return to Riften! Gave Hafjorg her ore sample
  • Got Harrald’s sword quest for favor quest number three the next morning
  • Got Mjoll’s quest for her sword, then got Douchebag McGillicutty’s sword back to him, and got the Jarl to promise me the thaneship if I buy Honeyside
  • Decided to boing next to Falkreath to talk to Zaria; gave her the glassfish
  • Also got a surprise extra task from her as she gave me a secret letter from the Jarl who had asked her to create a disguised potion of invisibility (apparently one of the guards is a skooma addict and they needed to get him to reveal himself and come clean)
  • Passed the disguised potion off to the guard and got him to out himself
  • While I was in there snuck a peak at the dossier on the table, and got the quest to go take out Asrael for the elven hunter armor
  • Came back out and got the courier with a letter asking me to meet Fijeh, the leader of the Remnants, at Purewater Run
  • Told Zaria the guard was taken care of and she rewarded me with the Ring of Surroundings
  • Shopped with Solaf and bought the fishing map for Falkreath
  • Boinged to Lakeview with intent to fish; wound up fighting a Blood Dragon with Lydia, and had her stand down after that
  • Did small amount of smithing, then set out to fish
  • Found the fishing spot near the Guardian Stones and fished there, as well as at a spot in Riverwood
  • Notable fish caught: spadefish! Also got a few more carp, river betties, histcarp, salmon, and multiple pogfish to satisfy Swims’ quest
  • Boinged to Goldenhills
  • Collected farm profits from Illia, and got her to furnish the rest of the farmhouse–and wound up doing it twice, because i discovered that the prior family’s alchemy lab had a couple of Song of the Alchemists in it! Did not want to lose that when the room reset!
  • Saved there for the night


Couple of things about poking around in the Arcaneum this time through:

One, I noticed a lot more books in there. But I think this is purely a matter of how much detail I tend to process on the small Switch screen vs. how much I can see at once on the PC. Because in Faanshi’s session last night (6/8), I checked her Arcaneum, and saw the same books in the same places.

Two, I overheard a conversation between Nirya and Urag that I’m not sure I ever heard before. Urag observes to Nirya that she’s been spending a lot of time with Sergius, and she immediately takes this badly, interpreting this as Urag asking if they’re spending time together romantically. Urag gets grouchy back at her and says he was just trying to ask if they were doing research, and this is why he doesn’t try to be social. Heh.

Next up, I have decided to have a little competition with myself. As long as I’m going to run parallel playthroughs, I want to see whether Faanshi or Shenner will be the first to acquire a full set of guard armor from all nine Holds. So far Shenner has Whiterun and Winterhold. Faanshi has Markarth, and as of her session last night, she also has a Solitude guard shield. Shenner however will have the advantage of more mannequins to display guard armor on! There are a bunch in the basement in Hendraheim. I’ll be putting her guard stash there. 😉

Another thing I’ve noticed while playing Shenner: Amulets of Talos are actually really frigging useful, since they reduce the necessary time between Shouts by 20 percent. So this playthrough is the first time I’ve actually bothered to wear an Amulet of Talos. Bonus that Shenner is a Nord, so it’s totally in character for her to worship Talos.

I think it’d be more amusing though if wearing an Amulet of Talos caused passing Thalmor to attack me on sight. I feel like that’s a thing that should happen. “RAR! DIE, HERETIC!” I mean, not like you can’t provoke a Thalmor into attacking you anyway! But if you’re openly wearing an Amulet of Talos, I feel like that ought to immediately escalate any passing Thalmor to come at you.

Did a whole lot of building out of Goldenhills Plantation in this session, too. I’m kind of digging the farm. It’s a nice variation on what you can do with the Lakeview, Windstad, and Heljarchen properties. And I like that you even have the opportunity to hire multiple NPCs to work for you, though I’m a little surprised that you’re limited only to hiring four specific named beggars. I would have liked to see that opportunity extended to all beggars, maybe.

(Particularly given that Angrenor Once-Honored is one of the two dickweeds who harasses the Dunmer in Windhelm. Fuck that guy, I don’t want to hire him. And why can’t I hire Edda in Riften? Or Noster Eagle-Eye?)

Also, if you’re going to be hiring beggars as your farmhands, and you are able to go to the trouble of building them an actual comfy bunkhouse to live in, I should think it’d behoove you to give them some actual decent clothes as well. Raggedy beggar clothes are not exactly the sturdiest of gear for them to be wearing if you want them out in the fields working! Let me give them some farmer clothes, ffs.

I did also note that Brenuin had the option for dialogue created by the Gray Cowl quest, though. So apparently I get to give that code phrase to any beggar, not just the two in Riften? So apparently all beggars know this phrase? This strikes me as weird.

(Side note: still not sure yet if I want to run that quest.)

I was pretty sure that I would not be able to tackle taking out Erwan the bandit at Traitor’s Post yet. I was correct. However, not for the reason that I thought. Erwan is the boss bandit for the Missing Merchant quest, which leads you to acquire the Daedric mail armor. But she’s not actually wearing it. She’s wearing scaled armor. Which is not as good as what I’m wearing–i.e., the alternative dragonscale!

However, Erwan is also a mage. And when she took me out, she did it from a distance with a fairly powerful magical punch. What this tells me is, I need to make sure and improve my magic resistance when I come back at her later.

Next new thing of interest was finding the NPC at Shor’s Stone that kicks off the Remnants quest, Interception. Gotta admit I’m looking forward to this one as another excuse to beat up on the Thalmor. 😀

Also, it was amusing that all I had to do to get Azadi’s attention was be there for him to try to brawl. I imagine Shenner kind of rolling her eyes at this guy being aggressive at her. Which is perhaps less Nord-ish than most Nords might be, but hey, there’s a difference between being ready for a fight, and being ready for a fair one. Dude was only clad in beggar gear, and being aggressive at a woman armed to the teeth, in dragonscale armor no less, with another heavily armed woman escorting her.

And yet. Passing the Persuade check to get out of the brawl seemed adequate, because the dude handed me a note and disappeared. Cue Shenner and Lydia probably looking at each other and going “What just happened?”

I’ve also now moved Riften’s thaneship far enough along that I just have to get the money to buy Honeyside now. Then that’ll be Shenner’s third official thaneship.

(Also possible competition with myself: will Faanshi and Shenner get all the available thaneships at a similar rate? Let’s find out!)

Going to Falkreath to get Zaria her glassfish had an extra surprise: another little side quest that involved sneaking a disguised potion of invisibility to a guard in the Falkreath barracks! Amusing just for the mild subterfuge in getting the guard to out himself, but also for getting the Ring of Surroundings, which has a Sneak bonus. Nice!

Plus, took the opportunity to get the quest pointer to go kill the bandit with the elven hunter armor. Apparently zero guards in Skyrim care if I just wander right up and look at the dossiers they have lying out in their barracks. Hopefully this guy will be a bit less difficult to take out than Erwan? We’ll find out!

And when I came out of the barracks, that got me another quest update, with a courier showing up for me with a letter from Fijeh, the leader of the Remnants, asking for help rescuing an operative of theirs from the Thalmor. CAN DO.

I’m a bit surprised and pleased that I’m actively enjoying the fishing stuff. Partly because there’s more to it than just the fishing, but also just because it’s kind of relaxing. Like Animal Crossing! So it combines the relaxing part with having actual quests to satisfy.

And there’s a bit of challenge and fun to actually find the proper spots to fish, too.

Last but not least, I’m also enjoying the farm more than I thought I might, as I said above. I did discover at least one game-crashing bug, though! When I had Illia re-furnish Rin’s bedroom into a library and display room, it turned the table into a place where I could put a shrine. I chose Kynareth. And then as soon as I tried to put books on the bookshelf to the left, the game crashed.

So that will be a thing I’ll need to keep an eye on. I’ll have to see if the other shelves work, and likewise the mannequins and weapons plaques created in the room.

Next, I checked the pantry. This is apparently important for the farm because that pantry apparently auto-stocks with your harvested things. So when I checked it, it was chock fulla brand new food items. For this playthrough this might mostly be interesting for purposes of selling stuff in town, I guess? Though for Survival Mode this strongly suggests getting this farm as a known reliable source of food is a damn good idea. Note to Future Me once I do a Survival Mode playthrough.

One other thing worth noting here–I also had Illia refurnish the alchemy lab, turning it into a combo alchemy/enchanting room. Which blew away all the previous content that had been in there. Including, very notably, a copy of Song of the Alchemists. I’ll need this to bring to Lami in Morthal! So I didn’t want to lose that copy of the book, and rolled back from Illia refurnishing that room.

Interesting checkpoint time. This is Shenner’s 15th session, and as of the end of this session she was level 25. (Forgot to record her level ups in my notes this time, oops.)

By comparison, Faanshi has just finished her 23rd session (see the forthcoming post on that), and she’s reached level 42. So she’s eight sessions ahead of Shenner in terms of advancement. But if I go back and look at Faanshi’s 15th post, she was up to level 28 by the end of that. So not too far ahead of Shenner in terms of rate of advancement, maybe?

Some of that may be explainable though by Faanshi having a higher Difficulty setting on her game. I’ll be interested to see if when Shenner hits her 23rd session, will she be up into the forties on level yet? Or still in the thirties? Let’s find out!

Next time

I went into this session hoping to pull down the number of objectives open in my journal. I fear I did not accomplish that, LOL. So I still have a boatload of quests to pursue, the majority of which is brand new stuff.

But I’m starting to get a sense that a lot of this brand new stuff really wants me to be a bit more powerful. So I’ll have to think about which of the older, more familiar stuff I might want to do in the meantime, in order to build up Shenner’s power level. We’ll see how tonight’s session plays through!


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.