Faanshi Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Faanshi Steals a Horse and More Stones of Barenziah

The Steam Deck may be the cool new kid in my slowly growing assortment of “things I can game on”, but I’ve still got a Nintendo Switch! And last night I played more of Faanshi on it, just to move her along a little more. Main action: running the Promises to Keep plot, and helping Louis Letrush steal the horse Frost from Black-Briar Lodge; and stealing a couple more Stones of Barenziah.


  • Play date: 8/29/2022
  • Session number in this run: 54
  • Started in Heljarchen Hall
  • Had Jordis replenish the log supply
  • Built the library wing and a bunch of its furniture, as well as furniture in the cellar and bedroom wing; stashed a bunch of building materials in the cellar
  • Enchanted a couple of pieces of jewelry
  • Boinged to the Thieves Guild; sold enchanted jewelry to Tonilia
  • Went topside to talk to Louis Letrush about stealing Frost
  • Went to the jail to talk to Sibbi Black-Briar; Amulet of Articulation let me stroll right in
  • Sibbi apparently is not above flirting with Khajiit females, either; milked him for the key to his stash, because Khajiit does not like this man
  • Then headed off to break into the lodge
  • Flyby dragon near Snow-Shod Farm
  • Encountered bandits masquerading as Imperials; threw the dremora at them
  • Dremora shortly thereafter ran off to fight with a spriggan and a bear who’d attacked a hunter
  • Dropped into invisible Sneak and dodged a couple bears and a troll on the way to the lodge
  • Also a vampire masquerade; the vamps tried to come after me but they lost track of me <silent Khajiitlaugh>
  • Strolled right into the lodge; got the lineage papers and the 250 gold out of the strongbox
  • And then strolled invisible upstairs to get the Stone of Barenziah
  • Came back out again to hear a mercenary apparently stuck in an “I’m warning you back off” loop?
  • But not sure if he was reacting to me or maybe the vamps who’d tried to come after me?
  • Looped wide around the lodge and came up on the opposite side to get the horse, then mounted up and rode like hell!
  • Wolves tried to come after us but Frost galloped like a boss
  • Finally made it to Louis and handed off the horse; decided I’d follow him to see where he goes and if i was going to have to rescue his ass
  • Rescued him from:
    1. three cave bears
    2. fourth one just up the hill after
    3. a couple of trolls
    4. bandits at Fort Greenwall
  • Louis dropped me a comment about not getting near him with “that spell on me”; don’t mind Khajiit, she and her dremora companions are just here to make sure you get safely to wherever you’re going, and also Khajiit is curious to see how Maven will kill you
  • Reached Shor’s Stone; not far after, Louis dismounted to fight a bear
  • But Frost ran off the other way–and Louis apparently lost track of the fact that he was no longer on the horse? He ran off along his route to Whiterun and didn’t come back
  • I went back for the horse and was able to ride him, but that counted as an extra theft
  • I tried to catch up with Louis but went the wrong way apparently; tried fast traveling to Whiterun but he wasn’t there yet, and getting back on the horse cost me a bounty 😛
  • So I rolled back to a prior autosave just after the fight with the bear
  • Caught up with Louis and escorted him all the way to Whiterun, fighting a few more critters in the process
  • He took the long way, going up past Kynesgrove and Windhelm and then south again, similar to the route Delphine follows to get to Kynesgrove
  • Found fighting mages near White River Watch; threw the dremora at them
  • Made it to Whiterun, where Louis promptly vanished right by the stables
  • Hello Ri’saad and fellow Khajiit! Shopped with Ri’saad on principle
  • Went in to Whiterun to sell things and buy iron
  • Boinged back to Shor’s Watchtower to see if i could find the horse; answer: no
  • Boinged to Lakeview to do a supply check and check on my horse, because I remembered it had run off before; horse confirmed safe and stabled! Clearly Lydia and/or Rayya went and fetched it, well done there housecarls
  • Sofie adopted a bunny! <3 Of course you may keep a bunny, dear
  • Did a little alchemy
  • Then jumped on the horse and boinged to Heljarchen to build more things, and then to Windstad to build additional things
  • Boinged to Riften stables to see if Frost had wound up there; answer: no
  • Went into Riften
  • Did some Smithing till I leveled up to 59; took Stamina bump and Night Thief perk in Pickpocket to open the way to Extra Pockets
  • Took four rounds of training with Balimund for Smithing
  • Then went down into the Thieves Guild; sold a bunch of things to Tonilia and Herluin; got one round pickpocket training with Vipir
  • Went topside again to get my horse
  • Flyby dragon! Didn’t realize it was a flyby so summoned storm atronachs
  • Then atronachs and horse ran over and killed a troll; what a good horse and atronachs!
  • Got back on horse and boinged to Windhelm stables
  • Hello Ma’dran and fellow Khajiit! Also shopped with them on principle
  • Then went into Windhelm; sold remaining dragon bits to Aval
  • Tromped into the palace and snurched the wizard’s Stone of Barenziah; 19 down 5 to go
  • Noted that the Blood on the Ice plot was still queued up to go but not sure I want to run it again
  • Tromped out to pick up my horse and boing back to Windstad instead; built out the enchanter tower and most of its furnishings till I ran out of iron
  • Saved for the night


The primary action of this session was the Promises to Keep plot, which I’ve run a couple times now, but I still had some amusing new things to say about it here.

First up: Sibbi Black-Briar is still a sleaze even if you’re a Khajiit. He will apparently flirt with any female, no matter her species, LOL. I imagine Faanshi being slightly taken aback by this.

“Khajiit is surprised to see that you have a broader definition of beauty than most of your people. She is, however, unmoved. And you will tell her what she wishes to know, if you do not wish her to speak with your mother.”

I did in fact threaten to tell his mother, which got him to fork over the key to the strongbox with some extra gold in it. Nice. 😉 I’ll have to see though if this triggers Maven sending thugs after me later. Khajiit wishes her luck with that.

Getting to the lodge had some unexpected LOLs. Just for the snicker factor of throwing dremora at the bandits in stolen Imperial gear, for starters.

Orc bandit in Imperial officer armor: “Pay up, citizen!”

Me: “Khajiit will pay you if and only if you can defeat her friends from Oblivion. She wishes you luck with that.” <summons dremora>


Orc bandit: “SHIT.”

Also, I keep periodically thinking I should reset my Sneak to Legendary. But then I have things happen like “being able to entirely elude the vampires masquerading as Vigilants of Stendarr”, and that’s too damned funny to not keep doing. 😀

There I was, in Sneak, with both Muffle and Invisibility spells active, when I heard “Hey you! Traveler! Over here!”

While invisible, mind you, so presumably the random encounter was scripted to trigger regardless. In-character, I’ll grant the vampire being able to smell my presence, okay yes fine. But this time I just kept sneaking about my business.

The vampires tried to find me. They were not successful. Heard one of them bitching about the trail going cold, and also noted when I spotted them that they were still tagged as “Vigilants of Stendarr”, too. Snerk.

Khajiit sees you, false Vigilants. And as a member of the Dawnguard she should slay you where you stand, but she will let you live for now because she has other business to attend to.

Once I actually reached the lodge, there wasn’t much substantial difference in how I played this out. I was still able to waltz through the place almost entirely unnoticed–I say “almost” just because of the one mercenary outside who seemed to be stuck in a loop of “I’m warning you, back off” when I re-emerged. And I was able to get on the horse and gallop off with him at top speed.

I was vaguely tempted to threaten to go to Maven again, just to make Louis surrender the horse to me. But I decided to go easy on him this time, partly because I was actively curious to see if I could follow him all the way to Whiterun. Which was where, according to the wiki, Louis should in theory eventually wind up if he wasn’t killed on the way.

The main obstacle to this: Louis himself! I had to rescue him from multiple attacking critters, because he kept insisting on getting off the horse and running off into the nearby trees to fight trolls or bears.

And even more hilariously, partway through the journey he actively lost track of the horse. Frost ran off back the way we’d come after one bear fight, and the NPC AI that powers Louis apparently completely lost track of where the horse was. Louis did not show any signs of trying to find the horse, and just returned to his scripted “go to Whiterun” action. On foot the entire rest of the way.

I imagine that at some point in the journey this conversation must have happened:

Louis: “You’re still here? Didn’t we conclude our business?”

Me: “Khajiit is curious if you will notice you’ve forgotten something.”

Louis, checking his pockets: “No, I don’t think so…?”

Me: “It has not occurred to you that we’ve been walking on foot for the past three hours?”

Louis: “DIVINES DAMN IT. You couldn’t have said something earlier, cat? The damned horse has probably run all the way back to Black-Briar Lodge by now, if some bandit hasn’t already taken it!”

Me: “This one has already stolen that horse for you once, she is not doing it again. But she will guide you back to the place where we last saw Frost, if you wish.”

Louis: “How very magnanimous of you. What stake do you have in this?”

Me: “Khajiit is very curious as to how exactly Maven Black-Briar will kill you for taking her horse, and it would be a shame if a bear killed you first.”

Louis: “I might point out that you were the one who stole the horse.”

Me: “This is true. But this one is a professional thief and knows exactly how to hide. She evaded three hungry vampires on the way to taking Frost for you, a wolf pack, and every mercenary within the lodge. If you could hide as well as Khajiit, you would not have had to hire her. So the question now is, how confident are you in your fortunes? Are you prepared to hide from Maven Black-Briar for the rest of your life?”

Louis: “…”

Me: <smiles toothily, tail twitching>

Louis: “I-I…. uh… don’t suppose you’d consider letting me hire you to escort me to Cyrodiil?”

So that was fun. Still not sure where the horse actually wound up, or if it and Louis have now both disappeared from the game. I may fast travel once back to the lodge to see if Frost actually returned there. LOL.

And meanwhile, I did pick up a couple more Stones of Barenziah–one from the lodge while I was in there (which was the whole point of my going there to begin with, really), and the other from the wizard’s quarters in the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm. I just waltzed right into the place and took it. Didn’t even have to sneak. LOL.

Next time

Five remaining Stones to go after: four in dungeons that’ll need running, and the fifth once I destroy the Dark Brotherhood!

So that’s probably two or three more sessions of play, right there. Not sure yet which I’ll be in the mood for. Probably doing a circuit through Sunderstone Gorge and Rannveig’s Fast first, then I’ll hit Yngvild and Ansilvund. And save the Dark Brotherhood for last. I want to get my Pickpocket up over 50, just so that I can try to take out Grelod the Kind via poison this time, just to switch it up a bit!


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.