Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Becomes a Nightingale

This session was all about revving up into my favorite parts of the Thieves Guild plotline: raiding Mercer Frey’s house, and then becoming a Nightingale! So now Faanshi has the Nightingale armor and the Nightingale Blade, as well as Chillrend. Also, I ran Folgunthur, and picked up the third of the aetherium shards at Mzulft.


  • Play date: 6/18/2022
  • Session number in this run: 27
  • Started at Lakeview; dismissed Lydia so I wouldn’t set her on fire running Folgunthur with J’zargo’s scrolls
  • Boinged to Folgunthur and started running the place; alternated between J’zargo’s scrolls and dremora to take down the initial draugr
  • Got the ivory claw and the notes off Daynas Valen
  • Killed once partway through after running out of healing potions 😛
  • But I was thrown back only to the point of finding Daynas’s body, so I didn’t have to redo J’zargo’s scrolls; picked up again from there
  • Ran the rest of the place, mostly threw the dremora at Mikrul Gauldurson and other draugr in the boss chamber; had to throw Become Ethereal once to keep Mikrul from killing me while I re-summoned the dremora
  • Got boss loot and word for the Frost Breath Shout
  • Boinged to mage college
  • Checked in with J’zargo to resolve his quest
  • Bought five rounds of Destruction training from Faralda; sold her the rest of J’zargo’s scrolls
  • Boinged to Mzulft and met up with Katria in the storeroom; got the shard and cleaned the rest of the place out of everything of interest
  • Overloaded so Whirlwind Sprinted to Riften; killed a few critters on the way
  • Passed a Khajiit skooma dealer that appeared to have killed a couple of wolves, but did not interact with him
  • Stopped at Shor’s Stone and smelted down the dwarven metal objects I could smelt
  • Made a few things and sold them to Filnjar; that got me un-overloaded so I moved rather more quickly down to Riften
  • Passed Khajiit caravan going the other way
  • Did some alchemy and enchanting at Honeyside, and also some smithing with Balimund, to try to drive my progress to level 46
  • Also sold assorted things to Balimund, Bersi, and Madesi
  • About halfway through level 45 at this point so headed on down into the Flagon to meet up with Karliah
  • Hey Brynjolf, guess what! Mercer Frey is a murderous lying bastard!
  • Cue Guild-wide “MOTHERFUCKER!”
  • Got Brynjolf’s directive to break into Riftweald Manor
  • Went and resolved Bedlam and Sweep jobs with Delvin and Vex and got another of each
  • Gave Delvin the Dwemer Puzzle Cube from the museum, and the map from the East Empire Company Warehouse
  • Got Vex to give me the tip about how to buy off Vald
  • Went topside to find Maven and get her directive to retrieve the Quill of Gemination
  • Waited until morning to do that so that I could actually see under the water and swim around freely with Volsung on
  • Got the Quill and returned it to Maven, who gave me the document to free Vald from his debt
  • Decided to rev the rest of the way up to 46 by practicing magic
  • Went back to the path that leads to Riftweald and did a bunch of practice with Telekinesis there, as well as Equilibrium + Fast Healing
  • Guard yelled at me once about dropping weapons, and also to watch the magic
  • Gave Vald his all clear to bail the hell out
  • Did a little bit more magic practice in Mercer’s actual backyard, out of the line of sight of the patrolling guard
  • Level 46 achieved! Took Magicka bump and Atromancy perk in Conjuration–which I thought I’d taken already, but maybe that got wiped out after a prior death?
  • Shot the ramp mechanism so I could get in
  • Getting through the house a cakewalk with Invisibility + Muffle
  • Returned to the flagon with my loot and my report
  • Karliah delivered her request for me and Brynjolf to meet her at Nightingale Hall
  • Went on over to do that and transact the oath to Nocturnal; got the Nightingale armor \0/
  • Also got the offer from Brynjolf to make me Guildmaster once our business with Frey is concluded
  • Time to do some more prep work before going to Irkngthand!
  • Made it topside and used the one void salt I had on me to improve the Nightingale Armor at Balimund’s
  • Then remembered I probably had void salts at the Arch-Mage’s quarters
  • Went to go look and, YES; nabbed them as well as all the other ingredients
  • Then attempted to boing to Honningbrew to sell stuff to Mallus
  • Only an Ancient Dragon showed up, chomped on a few guards, and then fried me >_<
  • Thrown back to mage college
  • Take two at Honningbrew: made it safely this time, sold things
  • Hoofed it into Whiterun; bought out Warmaiden’s of their iron and got some other building materials as well
  • Picked up assorted things from Breezehome to move to Lakeview
  • Did that once, then boinged back to Whiterun for picking up things round 2
  • Boinged back to Lakeview to work on storage of stuff and building; built out the structure for the storage wing as well as additional items in the armory
  • Stashed a bunch of armor items and weapons I won’t be using
  • And with that, time to Nightingale up and go to Irkngthand
  • Got Lydia on duty first because I didn’t want to try to go through the exterior bandits without a follower, even if Lyds couldn’t follow me in
  • Boinged to Honningbrew first
  • Thalmor execution squad at the spawn point near Fellglow!
  • Tried to sneak past the Shearpoint dragon which had respawned; however, this was not an option; Blood Dragon woke up and started some shit, so Lyds and storm atronach and I had to take it out
  • From there, snuck down the mountainside, past the giant camp, to make it to Irkngthand’s front door
  • Threw Lydia, storm atronach, and then dremora at outside bandits
  • Also made an emergency fast travel run back to Whiterun to move a bunch of loot I wanted to keep, but didn’t want to have to carry through the ruin, and didn’t want to come back for
  • Stashed a bunch of stuff at Breezehome
  • Then fast traveled right back to the front of Irkngthand and let Lyds escort me up to the top
  • Went in through the front door, got notification that my follower couldn’t follow me in
  • Saved for the night


First up: running Folgunthur. Did it without an active follower, just so that I could avoid frying anybody when using J’zargo’s scrolls. This plan worked, and I found Folgunthur easier to run than Saarthal. No doubt because I am higher level at this point than when I ran Saarthal.

I did think about running Raldbthar, but then realized it’s right there by Irkngthand, so figured I’d do Raldbthar right after Irkngthand. Though I think I’ll have to go back and fetch Lydia, who will have been marooned at Irkngthand’s entrance!

So instead I went to Mzulft for the third aetherium shard, and from there to Shor’s Stone and Riften, and moving the Thieves Guild plot further along.

I’m glad I remembered that I could work on leveling up just by practicing magic. Plus, I wanted more work on Alteration and Restoration, anyway. So practicing on that path that leads to the back of Riftweald Manor was helpful.

Even if I did get a guard yelling at me once about dropping weapons! This is what happens, though, when the heaviest thing I have in my inventory is my bow.

“Khajiit is simply practicing her magic. If you don’t want this one dropping her weapon for this practice, will you loan her your helmet? No? Then Khajiit requests you let her practice in peace.”

And after all that magic work and clearing level 46, it was game on for raiding Mercer’s house. Which was delightfully easy with Invisibility and Muffle. Got in, got past the bandit guards, and made it down to the hidden office to nab Chillrend, the Bust of the Gray Fox, and Mercer’s plans! Also the gems and other shiny baubles.

“Khajiit will help herself to as much as she can carry, yes. And in particular this fine cold blue blade, and this bust of the Gray Fox. Although this one feels that Brown Khajiit is a much more dashing name for a thief.”

Real interesting question here about how Faanshi feels about becoming a Nightingale, too. Running Ysani, I feel like it was almost more of a religion question, though certainly with a healthy amount of revenge above and beyond Mercer Frey. I envisioned Ysani as being motivated by the desire to serve Nocturnal even before she ever set foot in Skyrim.

With Faanshi, though, I feel like she’s actually more transactional about it. Which, given how it plays out in the plotline in general and how Nocturnal herself treats it, actually seems more appropriate. So!

Equally interesting is the question of how Faanshi feels about being offered the leadership of the Guild. I’d also been envisioning her as really just wanting to get the hell home to Elsweyr as soon as she has the money to do so. But here’s an entire Guild that’s basically becoming her people. Between this, becoming thane of places, and being the Dragonborn, I think she’s going to have to rethink that whole “return to Elsweyr” plan!

This was, I think, Faanshi’s first Thalmor execution squad! Which, given what I’ve set up for Faanshi’s backstory, suggests that she has a combo of “oh shit the Thalmor found this one” and “let them come, Khajiit now has the power to fight them all.”

And I did get a rather impressive kill shot screencap when I ran the Thalmor mage through with the Nightingale Blade, I gotta say. 😀

“Khajiit is not the enemy of the Thalmor. The Thalmor are the enemy of Khajiit.” <STAB>

Next time

Since I’m queued up to run Irkngthand, that’ll definitely be next. Faanshi’s next play session is going to land on a work night, so that’s also likely to be the only thing I do that run. I may or may not swing over to start Raldbthar immediately after.

Thieves Guild job status

So far, looks like Whiterun’s going to be the first city Faanshi reclaims for the Guild! We’ll see if that holds up.

CityJobs ScheduledJobs Done


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.