Dragonborn,  Faanshi Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Faanshi Ventures to Kolbjorn Barrow and Miraak’s Temple

The big news item with this session of Faanshi’s is that Nintendo dropped a surprise release of the Anniversary Edition to the Switch! And I did of course buy it, so now Faanshi’s playthrough actually has access to the AE content, woo!

Meanwhile, she went to check out Kolbjorn Barrow, and then Miraak’s temple.


  • Play date: 9/29/2022
  • Session number in this run: 60
  • But for now at least, picked up again in Severin Manor
  • Did a little bit of sleeping, and woke up at the Earth Stone; got more commentary out of Neloth which was kind of hilarious
  • Triggered the line with a subtitle of Miraak’s chant getting stuck on screen again, so fast traveled to Raven Rock to get rid of it even though Raven Rock was right there
  • Returned the folio to Cindiri
  • Sold East Empire pendant to Fethis and a few other things as well
  • Then headed out to Kolbjorn and temple
  • Pyromancer vs. cyromancer at Old Attius Farm; threw dremora at them
  • Stopped at Kolbjorn and talked to Ralis, and initiated his plot
  • Heh, Serana actually did a little digging with a pickaxe too; hon, are you volunteering to help the dig?
  • Onward, though! Two different burnt spriggans en route to temple
  • Made it to the temple and actually spotted Frea before her dialogue started, but couldn’t talk to her; had to actually make it to the temple to trigger her scripted lines, apparently?
  • Began to run the temple with her, and heh, she bitched at me for heading back to the door; hon, I was just coming back up here to TALK TO YOU 
  • Got as far as the large area where Frea laments the bodies in the cages, and says there might be something valuable further up; tried to look for what that might be this time, but couldn’t find a way up to the platform
  • Proceeded on down into the depths
  • Saved after killing a few more draugr


Okay so yeah, SURPRISE! I’ve got the Anniversary Edition on the Switch now!

Which means that yeah, this is now the second time I’ve paid for it, but LOL, I paid for Skyrim itself twice, once for the Switch and once for PC/Deck. And I determined very quickly that I like the AE content a lot, so I absolutely was willing to pay for it again on the Switch.

As I noted in this post, right now I’m thinking this will only have a partial impact on Faanshi’s playthrough. Some of the stuff I’ve done with Shenner is stuff I am less inclined to pursue with Faanshi this late in her playthrough. But I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for how well the Switch runs the AE content in general, and anything I don’t do with Faanshi specifically I will likely test out in a playthrough after hers.

So far, the only AE-specific thing I noted for her in this particular session was that the Conjure Haunting Spirit spellbook showed up in the inventory of a cultist I took out in Miraak’s temple. That tells me at least that the Necromantic Grimoire Creation is certainly active!

Here are the AE things I think I may actually want to do with Faanshi, in the meantime:

  1. Shadowfoot Sanctum seems pretty obligatory, as she is the Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild
  2. Likewise the Bow of Shadows, a Nightingale should have possession of an artifact of Nocturnal 😀
  3. Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, same notation
  4. Saints and Seducers
  5. The Cause
  6. Ghosts of the Tribunal
  7. And oh yeah: since now I have access to the Camping functionality, making a campsite by the Skaal village is necessary, I found that useful as Shenner

Anything above and beyond that, not sure yet. And I reserve the right to shorten this list if I get to a point of just feeling done with this character!

Meanwhile, in terms of actual play in this session, I did trigger another random boing to an All-Maker Stone. And this time it was the Earth Stone again, which was certainly convenient. This gave me an opportunity to try two things:

  1. Seeing how much snarky commentary Neloth had about the situation (answer: LOTS of snarky commentary)
  2. Seeing if I could make it past the bug with subtitles of Miraak’s lines getting stuck on screen once I break out of the trance (answer: not quite, but I don’t think I let his chant finish?)

And even though Serana is less chatty on Solstheim than she is in her actual DLC, she’s still prone to absolutely utilizing any crafting stations in sight. Or, as it happens, picking up a pickaxe and trying to dig. While I was talking to Ralis at Kolbjorn, I saw her taking swings at the ash. Ha!

“Khajiit is certain, friend vampire, that the Dark Elf appreciates your efforts. But Khajiit reminds you that she is fond of breathing, and you are stirring up the ash.”

After that, reaching the temple had at least a bit of an interesting different start. I spotted Frea before I actually reached the center of the shrine, because she apparently spawned at that point? She looked like she was attempting to walk, too. But I couldn’t interact with her there. Only when I got down to where the quest marker wanted me did that actually wake Frea up. Apparently my reaching the quest marker is explicitly needed for Frea to begin her scripted lines.

Frea also actually bitched at me a little when I turned back towards the door of the temple where we came in. But I was trying to come back up close enough to actually talk to her.

“Khajiit understands the gravity of the situation. She suggests that perhaps you should give this one a chance to speak when she approaches, rather than chastising, if you wish her to provide you her assistance.”

Had a brief amusing instance of Serana and Frea driving a draugr ahead of us, and we finally killed it at the gate that led out into the big open area with the balcony. The draugr fell over right by that gate, and when I pulled the chain to lift it, the draugr got caught on it and rose up with it. Snerk.

Didn’t get too far into the temple yet, though. When we got out into that open area, I tried this time to actually get up there, since Frea gives the player a line at that point that there might be something valuable up there. The wiki says I should be able to climb up there. But I didn’t figure out how to make it work. I’ll have to try that again in a future playthrough, I think.

And oh yeah, one more thing: now that I’m on Solstheim in Faanshi’s playthrough, I can definitely confirm that Red Mountain’s ash plume is not as detailed as it is on the Deck. On the Switch, I just basically see an ashy plume extending into the sky, with no active motion within it. On the Deck, however, that ashy plume shows visible motion and dimension, ash visibly spewing into the air.

Next time

Finishing running the temple, and most likely also the Black Book and the initial confrontation with Miraak. Time permitting, I’ll also follow Frea home and get the directive from Storn Crag-Strider to cleanse the All-Maker Stones.


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: Restored missing gallery.

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.