Faanshi Playthrough,  Skyrim

Final Thoughts on Faanshi’s Skyrim Run

Here’s the obligatory Final Thoughts wrapup post about Faanshi’s Skyrim run!

Favorite Follower

Since this was a non-AE run for the most part, except for the last several sessions on Solstheim, I am going to give this to a non-AE follower: Serana. Because I had her not only for her usual Dawnguard action, but also in Dragonborn!

Favorite City

Yep, still Whiterun!

Favorite Daedric Quest

No changes here really from prior Switch-based playthroughs. Since Faanshi was a thief, certainly the Daedric Prince most relevant to her was Nocturnal. So I’ll go with that.

Favorite Non-Daedric Plot

I’ll give this to my old standby, the College of Winterhold! And the non-Nocturnal portions of the Thieves Guild plotline.

Favorite Armor

Since I didn’t have access to the AE armors for most of this run, with the exception of the tail end of Dragonborn, most of my usual choices would apply here…

Except for one thing. Because Faanshi was a Khajiit, I found almost all of the armor choices frustrating with how helmets looked really weird on her head. I couldn’t stop thinking about how uncomfortable it must be for Khajiit ears to jam helmets on like that.

But with that caveat, I think I’ll go with the dragonscale. Just because of the various standard helmets, that one seemed shaped at least to theoretically give space for Faanshi’s ears. And this was the armor I wound up wearing the most through most of her run. Nightingale comes in a strong second, though, just because the Nightingale Hood would also in theory allow for less pressure on her ears.

Favorite Weapon

Oddly enough, I think I’ll go with the Ebony Sword of Damnation which wound up being the sword I wielded the most, even though I had Chillrend. Just because of the hefty Soul Trap enchantment on it, which allowed for filling soul gems if the opponent died within 20 seconds of being hit.

Favorite Named Dragon

Paarthurnax and Durnehviir remain the dragon kings!

Things I Actively Disliked

In Faanshi’s run, I really felt the weight of playing at Master Difficulty, enough that I think I may actually be put off of playing on Legendary. The reason for this: the even greater reduction of amount of damage Faanshi could do, and the increase of damage she took in combat. This made a lot of areas of the game take me way longer than they’d done in previous playthroughs, such as Volunruud, just because I kept getting killed over and over and over.

And after several Skyrim playthroughs, I feel like I’ve got enough data about how I play to know that after a certain point, that just stops being fun. More often than not, I found it frustrating rather than challenging.

I got this mitigated somewhat by making use of assorted means to bolster my damage and my armor protection–i.e., jewelry and armor with appropriate enchantments, as well as the correct types of potions. But even with taking those steps, most of the time I just wound up throwing the dremora at anything I needed killed, and I got in a lot less up close and personal fighting–or even archery, really. Because that hit to how much damage I could do also applied to how much damage I could do with bows and arrows.

Things I Wish I’d Done Differently

As I write this post, it occurs to me that I probably should also have taken appropriate perks in Sneak to get my archery damage bonuses up while sneaking. That could have helped with the damage problem.

And I should definitely have taken the Extra Pockets perk in Pickpocketing sooner.

Lastly, I feel like I’ve been paying way less attention to Lockpicking in my thief playthroughs than I should. I’ve never bothered to spend perks on Lockpicking, just because after several playthroughs, I’ve got the hang of Skyrim locks pretty well. And after a while, I’m usually swimming in so many lockpicks that it’s no big deal if I spend a bunch of them opening a specific lock.

But I feel like it might be nice to actually take the time to bump up the skill tree and actually make it easier to open locks. And I cannot help but notice that Unbreakable perk further up the tree. I’ve never tried that, and I kinda want to! It would definitely make not keeping the Skeleton Key go over a lot better.

And Now, Some Stats

  • As of her final session, Faanshi had 131,798 gold.
  • She was thane of every hold except Eastmarch.
  • She owned the following properties:
    • In Whiterun Hold: Breezehome
    • In the Rift: Honeyside, Shadowfoot Sanctum
    • In Falkreath Hold: Lakeview Manor
    • In Haafingar: Proudspire Manor
    • In Hjaalmarch: Windstad Manor
    • In the Pale: Heljarchen Hall
    • In the Reach: Vlindrel Hall
    • Other: Severin Manor
  • She was a member of the Bards College in Solitude
  • She was Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild
  • She was Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold
  • She did not choose a side in the civil war

As of when I took the videos of Faanshi’s final stats, the amount of gold she had on her, 131,798, was also the most amount of gold she’d ever carried at once.

Faanshi’s best skills were her magic ones (Conjuration, but also a fair amount of Illusion), and Stealth (Sneak, Lockpicking, Archery). Her One-handed and Light Armor skills were both pretty close to maxed out by the end as well, in no small part because I never set them Legendary. So I didn’t do the thing I often did with previous playthroughs–i.e., switching a character between Light and Heavy Armor, and One-handed and Two-handed weapons, just for the sake of having something to level for them.

This was not a thing that I consciously planned, I think? But it turned out to be for the best, just for maintaining what ability Faanshi had to do damage, and to protect herself.

I did less setting things Legendary in general with Faanshi than I’ve done in other playthroughs, too. The only skills of hers that I did this with were Smithing and Enchanting.

As with Shenner, I did a lot less gathering of Shouts with Faanshi than I’ve historically done in Skyrim. And Faanshi’s Shout gathering was kind of comparable to Shenner’s. She had 51 dragon souls collected, 27 Shouts learned, 26 unlocked, 14 mastered. And as with Shenner, I didn’t even finish out several of the Shouts I typically to finish.

No known bounties other than for the Forsworn Conspiracy plot. Four total murders, though. Not entirely sure who I murdered, unless somebody I sniped wasn’t hostile when I did it?

Here’s the video for Faanshi’s stats:

And here’s the one for her skills:

Other commentary

As with Shenner’s playthrough, Faanshi’s playthrough looks longer on paper than it actually was. I started playing her on 5/9, and stopped last night, on 12/7, roughly six months.

Faanshi had a total of 71 play sessions, just a few under Shenner, which puts her at two months and change, not quite two and a half months. Definitely one of my shorter playthroughs. And at level 66, she’s coming in at just over four levels past Alarrah, who finished at level 62.

As with Shenner, I skipped a bunch of the game that I’ve played on the longer playthroughs. But in Faanshi’s case, this was more of a matter of skipping a bunch of the standalone dungeons where I’ve gotten Shouts and dragon priests masks and such. I don’t know yet if this is going to be a trend I’ll continue with Harrow’s and Kendis’ playthroughs? We’ll see.

Dara asked, so I feel it’d be amusing to note here, how the rest of Faanshi’s life might go. I feel like she’ll probably stay in Skyrim long enough to raise Sofie and Runa, and then arrange to leave the properties she controls to her daughters, and perhaps some of them to her housecarls as well.

As she gets older, I see her really wanting to go home to Elsweyr. She has a found family in Skyrim–but Skyrim is still a land that by and large really does not like the Khajiit, and that has got to wear on her. She’d try to use her position as the Dragonborn to intervene for Khajiit traders as she could, to try to get them permission to at least set foot inside cities. Just so they could stay in inns, for fuck’s sake.

I could see her maybe having enough pull in Whiterun that she might even get Balgruuf to be willing to let Khajiit actually settle in the city if they wanted. She’s possibly also got enough pull to get them access to Riften, now that Maven Black-Briar is Jarl there and kinda owes her position to Faanshi. Other cities… maybe not so much.

She could also try to leverage her power as Arch-Mage to encourage other Khajiit besides J’zargo to join the College of Winterhold.

But she’s also got some less publicly savory power she wouldn’t be above employing, either–she is also the Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild, I’d also see her absolutely working with the caravans to get them profits, even if she can’t necessarily get them legitimate access to cities. I could easily see her helping Khajiit get into the Guild.

And she’d have some real interesting choices to make about when, exactly, to clue in Sofie and Runa about her shady past, and how to balance that against how her people are treated in Skyrim. She might even voluntarily step down from the Guild just so she could hand it over to a trusted lieutenant and work instead on bettering the lives of her people.

But as she gets older, she’d definitely miss Elsweyr more. I think once Sofie and Runa are grown, and maybe if Jordis dies, she’d take one final journey down to Elsweyr to die amongst the sands as a proper Khajiit should. And leave it to the daughters of her heart to carry on the legend of the Khajiit Dragonborn amongst the Nords. <3

Next time

Onward to playing Kendis of the Redguards! With extra fun Survival Mode action!

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.