Faanshi Playthrough

In Which Faanshi Goes to Alftand

Action for this session: acquiring a full set of ebony armor and weaponry for Jordis; going to Dragontooth Crater to take out the dragon there and get the Word of Power; and starting my run through Alftand, to get the Elder Scroll!


  • Play date: 7/17/2022
  • Session number in this run: 39
  • Started at Heljarchen
  • Boinged to Whiterun
  • Bought a bunch of iron, steel, and ebony; also an ebony helmet for Jordis, an ebony bow, and an ebony war axe
  • Boinged to Lakeview; picked up a bunch of building materials
  • Also threw dremora at a giant that spawned by the house; Rayya and Lydia also jumped in on that action; well done, Team Dragonborn!
  • Got Lydia to also buy me a horse and a cow and a chicken, and hire a carriage driver, and furnish out the rest of the storeroom
  • Got on the horse and boinged to Heljarchen with all the building materials
  • Built a bunch of things, including some beds upstairs so Gregor can actually properly sleep
  • Boinged to Solitude to give Jordis the weapons and pick her up for follower duty
  • Boinged down to Riften to see if I could find her ebony armor and shield; answer: no
  • Slept the night at Honeyside, checked Balimund’s, but no dice
  • Boinged to Windhelm to check there, also no
  • Finally boinged to Lakeview and nabbed my enchanted armor and shield for her off the mannequin
  • Boinged to Deep Folk Crossing to get to Dragontooth Crater from there
  • Encountered en route:
    • Bandits vs. conjurers fight; threw the dremora and Jordis at that; Jordis wound up yoinking a staff off one of the conjurers
    • Shortly thereafter killed a sabre cat
    • Spotted Forsworn vs. Orc hunter, the Forsworn won, but did not come after me and Jordis
  • Reached Dragontooth Crater; dragon on hand was a Frost Dragon; it periodically flew off to attack something else (possibly the aforementioned Forsworn?) but eventually came back, and Jordis and storm atronachs and I killed it
  • Got unexpected ‘Return to Esbern’ objective!
  • Looted the dragon and the boss chest; got Elemental Fury Shout word
  • Boinged to Sky Haven Temple to say hi to Esbern; saw him give his long monologue about the Alduin-related dream
  • Told him I had to go looking for an Elder Scroll; also gave him a dragon scale and bone so I could get his potion
  • Boinged from there back to Solitude to sell loot to Gulum-Ei
  • Boinged to Heljarchen as a safe place to leave the horse before hoofing it off to Alftand
  • Encountered en route:
    • Frost troll
    • Dragon vs. giant; the dragon won
    • Ice wraith
    • Wolf + ice wolf
  • Marked Nightgate Inn for the map
  • Went through Wayward Pass
  • Somebody went running past Jordis and me, didn’t get a good look, might have been an Imperial courier?
  • Made it to Alftand and began running the place
  • Crazy skooma addict J’darr hits differently when you’re playing a Khajiit
  • Was able to get Jordis past the piston trap!
  • When I hit the part of the dungeon with Falmer, started having to call up the dremora; Falmer kept noticing Jordis even if they didn’t notice me
  • Made it down to the lift where Umana and Sulla were fighting; dremora and Jordis put a stop to that fight
  • Opened the mechanism to get down into Blackreach
  • Saved there for the night


Started off this session by going on a shopping spree to acquire ebony things to outfit Jordis! Part of this is pure practicality: i.e., I’m the friggin’ Dragonborn, not to mention Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild. So if I get a new housecarl, I can afford to provide her with the very best equipment to do her job!

Plus, in Jordis’ case, I think Faanshi’s totally thinking, “This one’s new housecarl is beautiful with hair like radiant gold and a strong and powerful frame. I will provide her the finest of arms and armor. She will fight well, and be proud to serve one who can bestow upon her such equipment. This is a good plan, yes?”

Second item of note: got Lydia to buy me assorted critters for Lakeview, including a horse. Just because I know now from Shenner’s run that having a mount is super critical for my play style, particularly if I’m in “build the houses” mode and I need to move things back and forth between locations!

The trouble is, needing to remember that horses in unmodded Skyrim are squishy. So I can’t really ride a horse anywhere, with the risk that if I do, chances are a bear or a sabre cat or whatever is going to kill it. So the best I can do is remember to only fast travel to theoretically safe locations, and then hoof it from there to anywhere I actually need to get to. Unless I feel like repeatedly buying horses!

For the time being, I limited my use of this one to just fast traveling between cities, Lakeview, and Heljarchen, to move materials around and shop. But once I was ready to hit Dragontooth Crater, I left the horse at Deep Folk Crossing and walked from there. And when I was ready to hit Alftand, I left the horse at Heljarchen.

Notable thing about killing the dragon at Dragontooth Crater: I got an objective to ‘Return to Esbern’ after I killed it. I knew about this objective as part of the quest you can get to take Blades recruits out to kill a dragon, once Esbern and Delpine are at Sky Haven Temple. Which is all very well and good except for the part where I haven’t actually brought them any Blades recruits yet in this game!

From what I see on the wikis, there is known buggy behavior involved with the Dragon Hunting quest, though my specific bug scenario is not called out. Still, though, noting this for reference. It’ll be interesting to compare behavior with Shenner’s run.

But, since I did go back to Sky Haven Temple to talk to Esbern, that meant I got to see his monologue to Delphine about his prophetic dream. And I do really like that monologue, even as I gotta giggle about how much money Bethesda must have forked out to Max von Sydow to record it.

And I did get his potion to reduce the amount of damage a dragon can do to me! Which is very helpful given that I’m playing on Master difficulty here. I need all the damage reduction help I can get.

Some notes now about Alftand!

First off: the crazy skooma addict J’darr, who was already pretty pitiful as one of the last survivors of the doomed expedition in Alftand, is even more pitiful when you’re playing a Khajiit. I can imagine Faanshi being struck by the sight of this poor guy raving from withdrawal symptoms and probably also starvation. And then there’s the dead body of his brother lying nearby as well.

“This one does not wish to kill you, please do not–ow, damn it–all right. So be it. May the Mother Cat give you and your brother Her peace.”

I’d written back on Delga’s post about running Alftand, after getting Serana successfully past the piston traps, that I wondered if I could get Lydia or Jordis past them. The answer, as determined in this session: yes! Yes I can!

Jordis did seem to get wedged into place by a couple of the pistons. It looked like they tried to knock her off the edge of the ledge, but weren’t able to push her off completely? Not sure if this was a question of my having outfitted her in ebony armor beforehand, or what. But in general, I did note that as I carefully got around each piston myself, Jordis did pretty well following me. She only ran into trouble once a couple of the Dwarven Spiders showed up to try to zap us.

Now that said, even though Jordis isn’t as super aggro as Serana is, nonetheless, having a follower along wasn’t exactly beneficial to my stealth. The Falmer kept noticing Jordis even if they didn’t notice me–and given that as of this writing my Sneak is at 100, ain’t no Falmer going to notice me unless I do something really stupid. So this meant that I started having to invoke the dremora to get past particularly large knots of Falmer. Which worked quite well in general.

Next time

It’s Happy Fun Explore Blackreach Time! I think I’ll actually look for all the crimson nirnroot while I’m down there, which’ll mean this Blackreach run will probably occupy most of Faanshi’s next session.

And I know the wiki suggests that you could come right back to Alftand to get four of the five blood samples Septimus requires for that quest to advance. But I’ve kind of decided that I find deliberately returning to a known location just to harvest blood samples off dead bodies you spotted the first time through kind of ghoulish. So I’ll probably take the same approach I did in Ysani’s playthrough, and look for samples in the context of other new encounters.


No screenshots this time.

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.