Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Becomes Guildmaster and Raids the Thalmor Embassy

With this session of Faanshi’s, definitely a couple of the greatest hits of Skyrim: becoming Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild, and rampaging through the Thalmor Embassy! Which did turn out to be a rampage, because dremora.

This post is for play done on Saturday 6/25; the next one will be for Shenner’s play on Sunday 6/26.


  • Play date: 6/25/2022
  • Session number in this run: 30
  • Started in Lakeview
  • Did a bit of smithing to burn through a few materials; did some enchanting to burn through some of my soul gems; stashed everything I could stash
  • Had Lydia stand down
  • Went outside to go to Solitude, only bandits, so threw the dremora at them; killed the archer, but dremora and Rayya took out the second one and the chief; looted all three
  • Then boinged to Solitude, only, Ancient Dragon! Inside Solitude! And it landed at Castle Dour
  • I ran up there, summoning storm atronach en route, and started taking potshots at the dragon while the Imperials and Solitude guards kept it focused on them; we all killed it
  • It killed only one guard; I helped myself to his weapons (but wasn’t going to strip him naked in front of his comrades)
  • Then while everybody was gawking at the soul absorption and the bones, went down to the Winking Skeever; sold Gulum-Ei all the bandit loot and a few bits of enchanted jewelry
  • Then broke into Bryling’s house and stole the items for the Sweep Job
  • Her side door was in fact open which was surprising, and I heard a cough that suggested she was awake somewhere in the house, but didn’t see her anywhere; nor did she see me, because invisible
  • That one job satisfied both Bedlam and Sweep, so boinged back to Riften
  • Reported to Vex and Delvin, got payment; also got pointer to go right back to Solitude and talk to Erikur
  • Found him actually in the side hall by the stairs up to the court, which was a slightly less public place to discuss shenanigans than within earshot of Elisif, so there was that
  • Went out to go find the Red Wave; passed Khajiit on the way, and greetings Ma’dran, let us do some business
  • Talked to Sybine, and she’s a bitch to Khajiit too, but at least she’s a bitch to everybody and it isn’t Khajiit specific, so yay?
  • Got the key to the chest and the Balmora Blue
  • Reached the Dainty Sload
  • Made it to the door but my invisibility wore off at the last second, and I got spotted by one of the crew on the deck, oops
  • So I had to call up the dremora just inside the door down into the belly of the ship; wound up killing four of the corsairs at that point, but then went back into invisible sneak mode
  • Planted the Balmora Blue
  • Used Throw Voice to get the first mate out of the way so I could yoink the Stone of Barenziah
  • Got safely back off the ship without killing anybody else on the way out
  • Returned to Solitude and reported to Erikur that the job was done
  • Boinged back to the guild to check in with Delvin; yay! Merchant number three!
  • Had to go through several cycles of choosing a job before I finally got both Vex and Delvin to give me Windhelm jobs
  • Then I talked to Tonilia to try to sell stuff and triggered her job to take moon sugar to Ri’saad
  • Boinged to Whiterun since I saw on the map Ri’saad was still near there; tried to hoof it to catch up with him
  • Delayed by cultists
  • Also as soon as i caught up to Ri’saad, our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a dragon IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CONVERSATION; it fried me before I could do anything 😛
  • Thrown back to coming out of Whiterun, so take two hoofing it to catch up with Ri’saad
  • Elder Dragon showed up again (I think the previous one was also an Elder Dragon)
  • But this one made the mistake of being distracted off of attacking me by trying to attack the giant camp at Bleakwind Basin instead; that involved a giant and not one, not two, but three mammoths; this did not go well for the dragon
  • I snuck up in invisible mode, just close enough to trigger absorbing the soul, but could not risk lingering close enough to actually loot the dragon, lest I piss off the mammoths
  • Did a few Whirlwind Sprints to catch up with Ri’saad, and gave him the moon sugar
  • Ri’saad’s companions attacked a wolf in the background while I was talking to him, and as soon as we were done he whirled to join the fight; looks like the wolf had been attacking a courier?
  • Boinged to Windhelm to do the Sweep + Bedlam at the house of the Cruel-Seas
  • Then returned to Riften to check in, and, well, lol, right back to Windhelm to talk to Torsten Cruel-Sea
  • Let the Uttering Hills plot commence! Still wasn’t high enough in Speech to persuade Niranye without stealing the letters from her house, so did that
  • Then onward to Uttering Hills; had dremora kill a couple of ice wraiths on the way, and mined an iron vein
  • Got into the hideout without alerting anybody; however, wound up having to summon both dremora in order to clear the final boss chamber, complete with decapitation
  • Then I burned the banner, and took Linwe’s armor and the necklace for Torsten; also looted the boss chest and got Kharjo’s moon amulet
  • Returned to Windhelm to give Torsten the necklace
  • Then returned to the Guild
  • Checked back in with Vex and got payment for her last job
  • Got proclaimed Guildmaster! Go me!
  • Got the Amulet of Articulation and the tribute chest key from Brynjolf; got the armor from Tonilia
  • Checked back in with Delvin and got payment for the final Bedlam Job
  • Right then! Time to go fuck up some Thalmor!
  • Boinged back to Lakeview first and dropped off a bunch of things to whittle down to the bare necessities
  • Boinged to Riverwood to meet with Delphine and get the plan
  • Boinged to Solitude
  • Tried to go to Proudspire only to be reminded that right, Faanshi isn’t thane in Solitude yet
  • Met with Malborn for equipment handoff
  • Met with Delphine at the stables; got the party clothes and gave her the rest of my current gear
  • Hit the embassy
  • Did Razelan as my distraction again; Idgrod was on hand, but did not give me a prompt for the distraction, not sure why
  • Made it safely out to the courtyard; tried using Nightingale Subterfuge but was unsuccessful
  • Got spotted when my invisibility wore off, so had to call up the dremora and turn them loose
  • For the one Thalmor that spotted me, I had to whip out Chillrend and the Razor; the dremora took care of everybody else in the courtyard
  • Got into the solar and threw the dremora at everybody else in there, too
  • Got the evidence; got Malborn and Etienne safely out
  • Boinged back to Riverwood to meet up with Delphine and get my gear back, and told her the Thalmor were looking for Esbern
  • Returned to Riften to find Esbern in the Ratway
  • Parked on the verge of going after Esbern, and saved for the night


Aside from all the Thieves Guild and Thalmor Embassy action in this session, a notable side aspect of this play was dragons making extremely unwise life choices.

This was not the first time I’d seen a dragon attack inside Solitude. But this was the first time I’d seen one directly attack the Imperial headquarters, Castle Dour! I barely had to take a few potshots at that beast while the heavily armed Imperials and Solitude guards did a frontal assault on it.

I did throw a storm atronach at it, for hitting at range, and that did also help. But mostly it was all about the armed forces already stationed at the castle.

Afterwards, I saw only one guard killed. I did not strip him of his armor, just because his still-living comrades were right there, but I did help myself to his weapons!

After that excitement, it was time for running the last of the Thieves Guild jobs. Running the Dainty Sload was less stealthy than I prefer–just because I did get spotted when my invisibility ran out, just before I entered the body of the ship. That precipitated one of the deck corsairs coming in after me, and three more inside the body of the ship jumping in on the fray. But in my defense, I had two dremora.

The corsairs didn’t stand a chance.

That initial fight though was the only one I needed to do on the ship. I did manage to sneak past the remaining corsair–who happened to be a Khajiit!–down in the belly of the vessel. And I got by the first mate as well, though I had to do a judicious Throw Voice to get him out of the way long enough for me to yoink the Stone of Barenziah. Snuck back out again with no problems.

I got the Windhelm jobs queued up after Solitude, but I also got Tonilia’s job to take moon sugar to Ri’saad. So that led right into the other example of Extremely Poor Dragon Choices.

I.e., attacking the giant camp at Bleakwind Basin. Which involved fighting one giant, and not one, not two, but three mammoths.

This did not go well for the dragon. I just had to stand back and admire the ferocity of the battle! (I really should have taken a video snippet, but didn’t think of it at the time!) And while I was able to sneak up close enough to get within range of triggering the soul absorption, I couldn’t risk getting close enough to actually loot the dragon bones. I didn’t want to risk my invisibility wearing off while I was too close to the mammoths.

“Khajiit may be acquisitive, but she is not stupid. This wisdom has kept her alive as a thief.”

On a similar note, it was also kind of impressive seeing the whole Khajiit caravan all ganging up on a wolf attacking a nearby courier, after I finished talking to Ri’saad! This wasn’t the first time I’d seen traveling Khajiit attacking hostile creatures, but it continues to be cool to see them jumping into fights when they need to. And I’m sure the courier was grateful as well, LOL.

(Though really, I should think the couriers of Skyrim should damn well travel armed. More than anybody else except perhaps the Khajiit and the Imperial and Stormcloak soldiers, all the couriers should damn well know how dangerous it is to travel this countryside. Dudes, why aren’t you all armed and armored?)

Once that was settled, went to take care of the Windhelm jobs. Which were for the house of the Cruel-Seas. And given that I had to then turn around and go right back to Windhelm to specifically talk to Torsten Cruel-Sea, that was kind of lollertastic.

“Yes, Khajiit will punish this rival guild for you and recover your daughter’s necklace. She diplomatically refrains from mentioning that she just broke into your house. Wait, did Khajiit say that out loud?”

And as with sneaking onto the Dainty Sload, so too with sneaking into the Summerset Shadows hideout: I was less sneaky than I might have liked, since I wasn’t able to sneak past everybody. By which I mean, I was pretty damn sure Linwe would hand me my ass if I tried to take him on by myself. And then the rest of the Shadows in the nearby room would come running.

So I parked on the far side of a bookcase, called up the dremora (because now I can summon two of them), and let ‘er rip.

And because this is really kind of a theme with this session, I also pretty much rampaged through the Thalmor Embassy. Sneaking past the initial couple of guards was easy enough. But I did not have the hang yet of trying Nightingale Subterfuge, so that was a wash. And when I tried to sneak my way into the main part of the courtyard, I got spotted by a Thalmor Soldier who did not lose track of me even when I tried to go invisible again.

So that guy in particular, I had to go at with blades. Fortunately, Chillrend slowing him down helped a lot.

This time through, at the point where I had to poise myself just by the stairs and read Esbern’s dossier, I got the soldiers and Malborn spawning. And was even able to talk briefly to one of the soldiers before she started in on her scripted lines. LOL.

But because I had the two dremora already summoned, that was a very fast fight.

Got both Malborn and Etienne out safely–and honestly, I don’t remember Malborn throwing his line about the Thalmor chasing him for the rest of his life? Welp, hope he makes it safely to Windhelm nonetheless!

Then it was back to Riverwood to get my gear back. And then back to Riften, to find Esbern in the Ratway.

“Tonilia, Khajiit brings to you this fine collection of Elven armor and weaponry, please make it vanish promptly. Without questions as to where Khajiit acquired it.”

“Vekel, this one hears rumors there is an eccentric old man living in the Ratway, and seeks to know where he is. She realizes she may need to be more specific.”

Thieves Guild job status

All jobs completed! And now I’m Guildmaster! \0/

CityJobs ScheduledJobs Done

Next time

I’ll be heading into the Ratway to find Esbern and get him out safely. And will probably go ahead and escort him to Delpine, and follow them to Alduin’s Wall.


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.