Dragonborn,  Faanshi Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Faanshi Signs On With the Rieklings

Double session post here, since the two of them flowed well into one another, and the second session started by re-doing action I lost at the end of the first. Main things done here were resolving three side quests, A New Source of Stalhrim, The Chief of Thirsk Hall, and More Than You Can Chew. And for the latter two in particular, since I voted for Team Riekling in the Thirsk Hall plot, it means Faanshi is arguably in good with two different riekling tribes!


  • Play dates: 11/23, 11/25/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 64-65

Wednesday’s play

  • Picked up where I left off in Severin Manor
  • Went out and headed west this time up the beach
  • Fought a nix-hound, and then the reavers at the Deathbrand chest
  • LOLOLOL discovered by accident that I can in fact summon two copies of Arvak
  • Hit the gold vein and emerald geode up the hill from Bloodskal Barrow
  • Then came back down so Serana could catch up, and proceeded past Bloodskal Barrow
  • Found the random reaver muttering about Frossel treasure, and he flipped out and attacked me; threw the dremora at him; they and Serana chased the reaver into the water before killing him
  • Reached the Water Stone, where my usual melee ensued there: cultist, then Lurker Vindicator once I cleared the Stone, and then a dragon showed up; just a base level dragon so not hard to kill; and hurray! None of the sailors died!
  • Leveled up to 63 somewhere around here? Took Magicka bump
  • Decided at this point to set Enchanting legendary so I could drop a bunch more points back on Smithing; dropped all points but one on Smithing as far as I could go on either side of the tree; dropped remaining point on Alchemy
  • Overloaded by the time I looted the dragon, and had to go downhill to find where the lurker fell
  • Proceeded on around the island; fought two bristlebacks, Serana raised one and it wound up fighting the other one
  • Reached and cleared the mudcrab and rieklings spot with the next Deathbrand chest
  • Proceeded through the riekling village by Bristleback Cave, and by proceeded I mean, had to kill all the rieklings
  • Reached Northshore Landing and confronted the Thalmor; passed Intimidate check on the captain and he gave me the map without a fight, lolol
  • Since I was near the island with the stalhrim anyway, quaffed a potion of Waterwalking to get over there
  • Threw dremora at horkers and also at Skjol; mined the stalhrim; got the armor
  • Arvak’d to the Skaal village
  • Returned the map to Baldor; learned how to forge stalhrim; sold him a bunch of things and bought a couple of stalhrim weapons and raw stalhrim
  • Got Tharstan’s quest pointer for Vahlok’s Tomb
  • Arvak’d back to Raven Rock and returned to Severin Manor
  • Gathered a bunch of lower tier armor and weapons, and went back out to sell them to Glover and Fethis
  • Back in Severin Manor, did a boatload of enchanting and ran the stat clear back up to 50; burned through a boatload of soul gems; now I have a bunch of enchanted jewelry to sell
  • Did additional smithing, including improving stalhrim items, and ran that stat nearly up to 70
  • Ddid some alchemy as well to burn through ingredients
  • Attempted to go back out again but lost everything I did after this point when I was killed by the reavers at Brodir Grove
  • Thrown back to coming out of Severin Manor, so decided to just go back in and save at that point until next time

Friday’s play

  • Re-did the parts of the previous session I’d lost due to getting killed
  • Left Severin Manor and headed up behind the mine to do the two riekling-related plots
  • Found a Black Book Madman, who pointed me at White Ridge Barrow
  • Killed a couple of ash hoppers
  • Threw the dremora at the reavers at Brodir Grove; naturally, Serana raised one of them during the battle; once again saw that the resurrected reaver kept uttering coherent lines
  • Cut past Miraak’s temple and aimed for the riekling island; got the chief to fork over the sketch about what I needed to do to help them
  • Headed south-ish to catch up with the hunting party, but on the way stopped to give meat to Bilgemuck and get him back to Thirsk
  • Got that chief’s quest to get the scathecraw, then went to find the hunting party
  • Found the unmarked Dark Elf camp and fought rieklings there; Serana raised both of the dead Dunmer during the fight
  • Fought some ash hoppers and an ash spawn on the way down to the hunting party
  • Got to the hunting party and there were two lurkers, so threw the dremora at them, and then went after the netch
  • Made my way back towards the riekling island and gathered scathecraw on the way
  • Killed a few more reavers
  • Bypassed Bujold’s Retreat, then went up the hill to give the scathecraw back to the chief
  • Time to go take out the bad Nords!
  • Then of course had to take out the chief
  • Went back downhill to go to the other rieklings
  • Fought a frost troll on the way down
  • Snurched all the stuff off the fallen Nords
  • Then went back to the other rieklings
  • Tried to convince that chief to give up the idea of eating leather, didn’t work until I pulled out the Amulet of Articulation (it is still good to be the Guildmaster); cleared out the chest and got the instruction book
  • Arvak’d back to Raven Rock
  • Got courier with next letter from Ralis
  • Spent some time in Severin Manor improving assorted armor items, including the painted netch leather gear
  • Went back out and sold a bunch of things to Glover and Fethis to get unloaded
  • Parked back in Severin Manor and saved until next time


Since I know I’ve seen Arvak’s wiki page before, I know I must have read this because it shows in the list of bugs on that page–but I’d totally forgotten that you can in fact summon two Arvaks if you have the Twin Souls perk. I discovered this entirely by accident fighting the reavers at the Deathbrand chest on Solstheim’s western shore, because I’d forgotten that I had Arvak’s summon spell queued up. I thought I was summoning the dremora lords. Instead, I got two undead horses!

The wiki says that this bug has been fixed in the Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, which is part of the USSEP. And since the Switch can’t run mods, this means the Switch is going to be the only way I can actually see this bug live in a playthrough. By extension, this also tells me that this bug is still live as of the Anniversary Edition being deployed to the Switch.

I’m vaguely disappointed that I won’t see it in Harrowhark’s run! But I’m also now totally curious about what will happen if I try to summon Arvak twice in that game. I expect the second spell attempt will just fail.

Yet again, I threw the Intimidate check at the Thalmor captain, and passed it with flying colors. Which is never not funny. Seriously, for a badassed “fuck off out of here or we will totally end you” Thalmor captain, this guy does not put up much of a fight. Even when faced with a Khajiit, who in theory should not intimidate him in the slightest.

I think Faanshi may have been slightly disappointed, in fact, that she didn’t have to fight him. “Very well. Khajiit is pleased that you are wise enough to see that when she bares her teeth, she will bite. Now leave this place, before this one changes her mind.”

I don’t remember offhand whether I’d taken the “yeah I can tell this isn’t getting anywhere” tack with a Black Book Madman before. So just to vary it up a bit, tried it that way this time. “Khajiit sees that she will not progress far in this conversation, and wishes you better fortunes than what you have now.”

At which point I discovered that the Black Book Madman will attack you anyway if you try to extract yourself from the conversation, howling that no one listens to him, and demanding you do so. Which got him promptly zapped to death by Serana. I didn’t even have to hit him. (Nor did I want to, really! The Black Book Madman NPC is pretty pitiful and it’s definitely puppy-kicking territory to have to kill him.)

I observed yet again that the reaver resurrected by Serana kept uttering coherent lines. This is surely a bug with the code that drives the reavers, but it nonetheless amuses me to think of this as a sign that something about the Dunmer on Solstheim just holds up better to being reanimated than anybody else in Tamriel. 😀

Pretty sure that by way of helping the rieklings keep Thirsk Mead Hall, Faanshi must have been venting some bottled-up general pissed-offedness about the Nords generally being shitty to the Khajiit. “Come, small blue friends! This one will help you overthrow your oppressors.”

Which is not to say she maybe also didn’t feel a little guilty about it, since no Nord has been particularly shitty to her specifically. But on the other hand, she’s also probably aware that this is very likely due to her being Dragonborn! Every other Khajiit in Skyrim still gets the short end of the stick. And she is not amused.

And then of course I had to take out the chief. “So now this one is chief of these small blue friends? Khajiit does not know that she wanted that job? Also, note to self: this one should not speak of this to the Skaal.” LOL.

I think the painted netch leather gear actually looks pretty good on Faanshi. I’m still not a fan of the helmet, but I feel like Faanshi might actually appreciate it more than Shenner did. In no small part because of the protection for her sensitive eyes. The helmet shape is probably frustrating to her, though! So close to being a shape that could accommodate her ears. But the sides are still constrictive, so I feel like they’d still press her ears against her head without really allowing for enough space for the pointed tops to make it up into the sticky-outty bits.

(Note: I don’t actually know if this is canonical, but I’m assuming here that the Khajiit, being cat people, have more sensitive eyes than the human or mer races of Tamriel. My basis for this: the game letting Khajiit characters use the Night Vision ability in dark places. So I feel like protecting her eyes in Solstheim’s ashy environment would be very important to Faanshi, even if it meant wearing a helmet that looks kind of goofy.)

Next time

Faanshi’s run is close to, but not quite to, its end. I still have a few things I want to do on Solstheim, which are:

  1. Hit White Ridge Barrow since now I have a quest for it, and also hit Benkongerike, to get the two Black Books that are in those places
  2. Get the bonemold formula back for Glover
  3. Clear the stalhrim source
  4. Find Torkild
  5. Run Vahlok’s Tomb since I have the quest for it
  6. Take out Miraak

So this is at least two or three more sessions of play. After that, I’ll need to swing by Riften just to check in with the Guild, and give Sapphire Glover’s letter. And, buy Shadowfoot Sanctum while I’m there! Because I’m not stopping Faanshi’s run without doing that.

Then I’ll go ahead and do the same run through confronting Alduin and doing the end game that I did with Shenner. So I feel like Faanshi’s maybe got another week in her or so.

Part of my brain is going “but but but you haven’t even done X or Y”, and I’m gently reminding my brain that I am not required to play every single aspect of Skyrim in every single playthrough, even if I’m enough of a completist that it doesn’t feel right if I don’t. Heh. Right now though I want to move on to the Survival Mode playthrough, so yeah, I gotta get Faanshi done and dealt with.

So next time, it’ll probably be going after at least one of those Black Books. I may actually do Benkongerike first, just because that’ll get me the dremora merchant. 😀


Editing to add

  • 11/24/2023: 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.