Dragonborn,  Faanshi Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Faanshi Does More Side Questing

Another double session post, in which I’m basically finishing up the most critical things to do on Solstheim before I go after Miraak. Main actions: clearing White Ridge Barrow and Benkongerike, and getting both of the Black Books there; and also, clearing Vahlok’s Tomb.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 12/3-12/4/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 68-69

Saturday’s play

  • Picked up at Severin Manor
  • Swapped back into the netch armor for damage bonuses
  • Went out and found Revered Dragon skeleton still wiggling outside
  • Went up behind the town to head towards White Ridge Barrow
  • Stopped at unmarked locale with a couple of emerald geodes and gold veins and dead miner, I’d seen this one before; mined the geodes and the veins
  • Proceeded on past Abandoned Lodge and reached White Ridge Barrow without any trouble
  • Did a super quick surgical strike on it; only killed enough baddies to make it to the Word Wall, the dragon priest Dukaan, and the Black Book
  • Did have to kill Merilar Rendas because she’s scripted to attack you, but didn’t bother to go looking for the trapped bandits or the infusion chamber to make spiders
  • In the boss chamber, mostly threw dremora and Serana at Dukaas, but finally took him out and got his mask
  • Got the word off the Word Wall
  • Ran the Black Book mostly relying very heavily on the dremora, though I did have to take some swings at the second of the two lurkers, which was a Vindicator
  • Took Seeker of Might for the combat abilities bump
  • Returned to Tamriel and went out the original way through the barrow
  • Fast traveled back to Raven Rock
  • Got courier with third message from Ralis
  • Slept the night, then got up and sold a bunch of things to merchants
  • Went to go run Kolbjorn again
  • Mage fight at Old Attius Farm
  • Kolbjorn round three: got the Ring of Arcana
  • Headed back out and paid Ralis his 5,000 gold
  • Returned to Severin Manor for loot dropoff
  • Came back out again and found that the dragon skeleton had clipped almost all the way through the ground, so nothing left but skull
  • Boinged to Benkongerike
  • Did an abbreviated run of the place; avoided rieklings when I could and didn’t jump down to do the lower water level or the silver veins
  • Got the word off the Word Wall
  • Took the Black Market power off the Black Book, dremora merchant baby! \0/
  • Boinged back to Raven Rock
  • Cue incoming new Revered Dragon!
  • Took it out after it crashed behind the town, where Veleth and Serana both were in on the final fight, way to go Captain Veleth
  • Looted the dragon and tromped back down to Severin Manor
  • Put away a bunch of things
  • Called up the dremora merchant and sold him stuff!
  • Saved there for the night

Sunday’s play

  • Stashed a few things at Severin Manor, then went out to run Vahlok’s Tomb
  • Took the route up behind the town
  • Went by the Ramshackle Trading House on the way; looted the strongbox there for the pendant and other treasure
  • Reached Vahlok’s Tomb without encountering any hostiles; ran it as per usual, cleared it with no trouble
  • Spotted a couple of my rieklings on the way out!
  • Got back outside and boinged back to Raven Rock
  • Sold a bunch of things to all three vendors
  • Did a bit of all three types of crafting in Severin Manor
  • Then saved for next time


This was definitely the fastest I’ve ever run White Ridge Barrow. I did the very barest minimum necessary to get through there, killing just enough baddies to hit the major parts: the Word Wall, the dragon priest Dukaan, and the Black Book.

I also killed Merilar Rendas, because she’s scripted to attack you. But I didn’t go after the trapped bandits or seek out the infusion chamber, for two reasons:

  1. I’m kind of in a hurry at this point to finish Faanshi up, and
  2. I also figure Faanshi’s legit squicked by the spider infestation in the place

Because I expect a Khajiit would be especially horrified by the profusion of webs that could get stuck in her fur. Yuck.

Mostly, I let the dremora and Serana handle Dukaas. Not only because I’m running this run on Master difficulty, but also because I think I was taking shock damage from Dukaas–and kept having to quaff healing potions just to stay alive. But I made it through without dying!

My runs of Benkongerike and Vahlok’s Tomb were just about as quick. In Benkongerike, I tried to avoid killing any more rieklings than absolutely necessary, and deliberately avoided some of the areas of the place I didn’t have to go to.

In Vahlok’s Tomb, main item of note was that unlike Rulnik and Gogh in Shenner’s run, Serana did not fall off the magical blue bridges, I think. But she did take potshots at the shades moving around down in the water, because she could!

Next time

I am severely curtailing my usual Solstheim activity here. I’m not going to get Neloth his new steward, or heal the mushroom house, or help Talvas out with his summoning, or go after Ildari. And I’m not going to go after Karstaag. I want to go ahead and get Faanshi done so I can proceed to the survival mode playthrough.

So next time, I’m going after Miraak. I’ll have to see if I get the courier with the fourth and final letter from Ralis, too. Because I do want to finish up Kolbjorn Barrow as well.


Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: 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.