Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way is Revealed as Dragonborn

Typical initial action for one of my playthroughs, getting started as a Dragonborn, getting thaned, getting Lydia, etc. But this time with lots of German language geekery.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 7/14-7/15/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 3-4

Friday the 14th

  • Picked up where I left off in Bleak Falls Barrow
  • Ran the place with no particular surprises, except that I did get out without getting overloaded, LOL, go me
  • Leveled all the way up to 5 on my way through
  • Sneaked where I could, and got several Sneak bumps, particularly when taking out that single draugr at the door partway through
  • Came out to daylight hours
  • Swam across the river to get back to Riverwood (underwater the whole way, because I am an Argonian!)
  • Came out fairly west of Riverwood and hoofed it the rest of the way back along the road
  • Passed an “Ork” who was probably the “what’s a milk-drinker like you” type of NPC but did not engage
  • Got the courier with the note about the necromancy ritual on the way into Riverwood
  • Sold a bunch of stuff at the Riverwood Trader and also gave Lucan back the Golden Claw, as you do (at least if you’re me)
  • Lucan had Leather Scout Armor so bought that from him
  • Finished the forge tutorial with Alvor and bought Leather Scout Boots from him
  • Headed back to Whiterun to check in with Farengar
  • Passed a thief on the road out of Riverwood, killed same
  • Hey Farengar, have a Dragonstone–OH SHIT wait what there’s an actual dragon?
  • Wait what, you want me to come with you to help fight the thing?
  • Do you weirdo mammals think I actually destroyed the dragon at Helgen myself, WTF? IT’S NOT LIKE I ACTUALLY EVEN FOUGHT IT but okay fine
  • Headed out with Irileth and her mustered men
  • Oh shit the watchtower is on FIRE
  • Pretty sure I noticed Mirmulnir throwing dialogue during this fight? Even aside from the “DOVAHKIIN NOOOOOO” thing
  • Leveled up to 6
  • Cue everybody going OH SHIT she’s Dragonborn! Cue the Argonian going noooooo, I’m marshborn, wait, what you’re serious? Look, mammals, I may look sorta kinda like a dragon but that doesn’t mean…wait, you are serious. Um. Right then, I’ll go back to Whiterun like the housecarl says
  • <GREYBEARD BOOM, and Argonian going WUT>
  • Made it back into Whiterun
  • Spotted the Alik’r warriors at the gate
  • Cue Balgruuf making me thane and also HI LYDIA
  • Paused at the point of getting Lydia as housecarl

Saturday the 15th

  • Picked up where I left off with Lydia
  • It was in the evening, so headed from Dragonsreach down to the Bannered Mare
  • Took a room from Hulda and slept the night in the inn
  • Got up the next morning and asked Hulda for a rumor; she gave me the pointer to the Shrine of Azura
  • Also asked her for work, and she gave me a bounty for the bandit leader at Silent Moons Camp
  • Sold more stuff to Belethor
  • Did some alchemy in Arcadia’s shop
  • Went out to do the bandit quest, realized I wasn’t sure which bandit lair I was headed for, and realized belatedly that the translation was in fact for Silent Moons
  • At which point I also realized BOW OF SHADOWS
  • Headed back into Whiterun to stack the quests
  • Went back up to Dragonsreach and found Proventus out on the porch
  • Got the quest pointer from him to investigate rumors of an assassination attempt
  • Went back into Arcadia’s shop and chatted with her (but also realized, oh right I gotta get the quest from Farengar to bring her frost salts)
  • Took the business ledger copy
  • Went to the Hall of the Dead, but restricted action in there though
  • Fought a couple of skeletons
  • Read the skeever note but did not take it
  • Came back out again and headed down to the stable
  • Got Adrianne’s quest to take the sword to her father
  • Found the dead stablehand and took his note and the rest of his stuff
  • Got the pointer off to Silent Moons for further evidence of the assassin
  • Also realized I had enough gold on me to get the Wild Horses map 😀
  • Got the map, then tamed the nearby Wild Red Horse with the usual three tries
  • Got the stablemaster to sell me armor for the horse; took the Steel Armor
  • Registered a name for the horse and the one chosen was Kara
  • Then rode on over to Silent Moons
  • Took out exterior bandits, and the horse in fact did most of the work, well done there horse
  • Found the assassin’s diary
  • Looted the Lunar Forge
  • Got overloaded at that point but recovered by tempering a few things at the forge
  • Went down to take out the bandit leader as per the bounty; limited my looting in there but still came out kinda overloaded a little
  • Stopped at the two silver veins
  • Fast traveled straight to Whiterun
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Elrindir
  • Headed up to Dragonsreach to deal with the assassin! Lyds and I took him out
  • Heard guards shouting once the commotion broke out, but nobody ran in to help us since it was around midnight game time
  • Went to go wake Proventus up though and tell him the situation was sorted; also got him to pay me for the bandit bounty, and gave him Adrianne’s sword
  • Stopped at Farengar’s enchanting table and nuked remaining Lunar Axe for the enchantment; also blew up the Novice Hood and Robe I’d brought out of Helgen
  • This let me level up to 7; took first perk in Destruction, and Magicka bump
  • Saved just outside the entrance to Dragonsreach for next time


This many playthroughs in, you’d think I’d have noticed before now that Mirmulnir does seem to throw dialogue during the fight at the Western Watchtower? But swear to gods, this is the first time I actually noticed it. Presumably because every other time I’ve fought this dragon at the tower, I’m too focused on actually trying to kill him, and of course there are half a dozen other NPCs in the area trying to do the same.

The main wiki use for my reference, the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, doesn’t list dialogue lines on Mirmulnir’s page. The Elder Scrolls wiki, however, has the lines on Mirmulnir’s page there. Maybe I just noticed the lines this time through because of the translation into German? My ear’s not as attuned to that in Skyrim as it is to the English dialogue, so it stands out to me more.

I went back and doublechecked; I don’t have any commentary about this in previous posts. But now that I know Mirmulnir has lines, I will listen for them more closely! It does make sense that he has them; I’ve heard dialogue out of other named dragons the player has to kill, too, like Sahloknir.

Mirmulnir wailing “Dovahkiin noooooo” is still goofy though, no matter what language you’re playing in.

This time through, I also realized for the first time that it’s kind of unfair to Irileth and her men that they didn’t get any obvious reward for helping take down Mirmulnir. They did do most of the work. And yet I’m the one that gets thaned, apparently because I’m the Dragonborn?

I feel like Irileth and the surviving guards should damn well get raises, at the very least.

After a few times playing with the Anniversary Edition now, I’m settling into an extended set of things I know I want to do before I try to go to the Throat of the World. Namely:

  1. Get the Red Horse, because I find having a horse too critical now, and
  2. Get the Bow of Shadows, because I damn well want that bow before I have to deal with the frost troll on the way up to High Hrothgar.

So it was extra special handy to get a bounty sending me off to Silent Moons, so that I could stack the quests.

And now I do indeed have the Red Horse, who in this game got randomly named Kara when I registered her at the stable. While learning at the same time that the stablemaster can armor a horse, as well as a smith! Good to know for later.

Lastly, I’m getting the sense that Finds is perhaps very, very laid back about the world at large… mostly. Except when she has to be among humans, since humans are fucking weird.

Achievements unlocked

  • Dragon Soul, for absorbing Mirmulnir’s soul
  • Bleak Falls Barrow, for completing same
  • Apprentice, for reaching level 5

Current achievements count: 5.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Skeeverschwanz: Skeever tail
  • Begräbnisurne: Burial Urn (lit. “funeral urn”)
  • Zaubertrank der Geringen Ausdauer: Potion of Minor Stamina (lit. “Magic potion of lowly endurance”)
  • Banditengesetzloser: Bandit outlaw
  • Fackel: Torch
  • Zaubertrank der Kleinen Heilung: Potion of Minor Healing (lit. “Magic potion of little healing”)
  • Seelenstein: Soul Gem (lit. “Soul stone”)
  • Dietrich: Lockpick
  • Schwaches Gift der Lähmung: Weak Paralysis Potion
  • Rolle des Feuerballs: Scroll of Fireball (lit. “Scroll of fireballs”)
  • Skelett: Skeleton
  • Verwundete Frostbissspinne: Wounded Frostbite Spider
  • Granatstein: Garnet (lit. “Garnet stone”)
  • Eibeutel: Egg sac
  • Spinnenei: Spider egg
  • Einbalsamierungwerkzeug: Embalming tool
  • Gewöhnlicher Seelenstein: Common Soul Gem (lit. “More ordinary soul stone”)
  • Alter Nordstreitkolben: Ancient Nord Mace
  • Truhe: Chest
  • Lehrling: Apprentice
  • Du trägst zu viel und kannst nicht rennen.: You are carrying too much to be able to run. (Lit. “You carry too much and cannot run.”)
  • Alte Nordkriegsaxt: Ancient Nord War Axe
  • Alter Nordkriegshammer: Ancient Nord Warhammer
  • Knochenmehl: Bone meal
  • Kette: Chain
  • Spitzhacke: Pickaxe
  • Eisenerz hinzugefügt: Added iron ore
  • Sammeln: Harvest (lit. “collect” or “gather”)
  • Schmimmerpilze: Glowing Mushrooms (lit. “shimmering mushrooms”)
  • Ruheloser Draugr: Restless Draugr
  • Winziger Seelenstein: Petty Soul Gem
  • Ödsturzhügelgrab: Allerheiligstes: Bleak Falls Sanctum (lit. “Bleak Falls Barrow: Sanctum”)
  • Goldene Klaue: Golden Claw
  • Schlüsselloch: Keyhole
  • Wort der Macht: Word of Power
  • Unerbittliche Macht: Unrelenting Force (lit. “Unrelenting power”)
  • Höherer Draugrfürst: Draugr Overlord (lit. “Higher draugr lord”)
  • Welkynd-Stein: Welkynd Stone
  • Zaubertrank des Ritters: Potion of the Knight (lit. “magic potion of knights”)
  • Zaubertrank des Berserkers: Potion of the Berserker (lit. “magic potion of berserkers”)
  • Schürfen: Mine
  • Corundumerzader: Corundum ore vein
  • Ork: Orc
  • Kurier: Courier
  • Das Buch von Drachenblut: The Book of the Dragonborn
  • Himmelsschmiedenstahl: Skyforge Steel
  • Kriegsjungfer: Warmaiden
  • Kampf-Geborener: Battle-Born
  • Belethors Gemischtwaren: Belethor’s General Goods
  • Schmückstucke: Trinkets
  • Krimskrams: Bits and pieces
  • Farengar Heimlich-Feuer: Farengar Secret-Fire
  • Anerkennung: Appreciation, noted when Jarl Balgruuf tells the player that as a token of his appreciation, you can now buy property in the city
  • Das ist kein Himmelfahrtskommando: This isn’t a death or glory mission (lit. “This is not a suicide mission”)
  • Sturmmäntel: Stormcloaks
  • Westlicher Wachturm: Western Watchtower
  • Schrei: Shout (though I think this is also literally “scream”?)
  • Drachenblut-Angelegenheit: Dragonborn business (lit. “dragon blood matter”)
  • Graubärte: Greybeards
  • Hoch-Hrothgar: High Hrothgar
  • Drachenfeste: Dragonsreach
  • Drachenknochen: Dragon bones
  • Drachenschuppen: Dragon scales
  • Krieger der Alik’r: Alik’r Warrior
  • Rothwardone: Redguard
  • Rothwardonin: Redguard woman
  • Ulfberth Kriegs-Bär: Ulfberth War-Bear
  • Trunkener Jägersmann: Drunken Huntsman
  • Bogen der Schatten: Bow of Shadows <3 <3
  • Banditenanführer: Bandit leader
  • Festung Valtheim: Valtheim Towers (lit. “Valtheim Fortress”)
  • Jagdbogen der Verminderung: Hunting Bow of Diminishing
  • Stahlzweihänder der Himmelschmeide: Skyforge Steel Greatsword (little surprised I got one of these as bandit loot?)
  • Grau-Mähnen: Gray-Manes
  • Stab der Raserei: Staff of Frenzy

Hands down, my favorite German word observed during these sessions was Skeeverschwanz, which translates to “skeever tail”! Which of course you find a bunch of, running Bleak Falls Barrow. I feel like it should be a standard Nord insult, if you’re playing a German-speaking version of Tamriel. 😀

I figured out pretty quickly that “Zaubertrank” is the word for potion. Or, to be more specific, “magic potion”, where zauber = magic and trank = potion/drink.

“Zaubertrank der Geringen Ausdauer” was clearly a potion of Stamina, but I was only able to tell that because the bottle was green. “Geringen”, according to Google translate, means lowly/minor. Which leaves “Ausdauer” as endurance/stamina.

“Banditengesetzloser” is a fine example of a German compound noun, though my English-speaking brain keeps wanting to translate it to “Bandit sit loser”. I did know that “Gesetz” means law, though. Only 19 letters here, so so far the record is not broken!

“Dietrich” surprised and pleased me as the word for lockpick, because my only previous exposure to that word is as in “Marlene“. (And somehow I had not actually ever know that she was in fact German!)

It’s kind of hilarious to me though that the word for “Gold” is just “Gold”. So I’ll be looking at my inventory and it’ll be all “German, German, German, Gold!, German, German…”

Important safety tip to other English speakers trying to play Skyrim in German, and also to Future Me: the word “Gift” in German means poison. Do not fucking drink a potion if it’s tagged “Gift”!

Check out the three consecutive s’s in “Frostbissspinne”!

“Einbalsamierungwerkzeug” is embalming tool, which you do see all over draugr hives in Skyrim. But even at 23 characters, this is not the winner for longest word in this post.

Yeaaaah, I feel like “Du trägst zu viel und kannst nicht rennen” is a message I’m going to be seeing a lot of in this game. Because I know me, and I know I’ll be yoinking all the loot no matter what language I’m playing in.

I knew German has gendered nouns. But it’s good to see that obviously in play for the various Ancient Nord weapons in barrows. The ones that start with “Alter” are referring to masculine nouns, and the ones that start with “Alte” are pointing at feminine ones. Kind of funny that of the weapons I noted in this run, axes are apparently considered feminine nouns? Snerk.

“Knochenmehl”, for “Bone meal”, is another word that really just rolls right off the tongue, I think.

“Ruheloser” gives me a bit more context for “-loser” as a suffix, though. I know that “Ruhe” is quiet, and I also know that the single draugr by the door, who I always like to snipe, is generally a Restless Draugr. So “Ruheloser” is restless, literally “without rest”. I’ve seen “-los” as a suffix before in my German vocabulary (e.g., “arbeitslos” for “unemployed”), so this makes sense.

I’m making an assumption that a “Winziger Seelenstein” is a Petty Soul Gem, just because I don’t get a direct translation off of Google Translate for that. But the words I am given are all similar enough that I’m assuming it’s Petty by association.

I only caught part of the translation when the message came up about my learning the Word of Power off the Word Wall. But yeah, near as I can tell, “Unrelenting Force” translated over into “Unrelenting Power” in German. Pretty close match.

At this point I’m familiar enough with Skyrim’s randomly encountered NPCs that I can usually pick out the “what’s a milk drinker like you doing out here” type of NPC on sight. And usually I don’t bother to engage with them. I ignored the one I saw this time by force of habit–but next time I get a chance, I’ll need to talk to that NPC! I want to see how German translates “milk-drinker”.

And now we come to a highly critical vocabulary word in German Skyrim: Drachenblut, the word this translation is using for Dragonborn. It literally translates to “Dragonblood”, which I think is a close enough match! It has the benefit of looking a lot like “Dragonborn” to the eye if you have subtitles on, and an attentive ear trying to learn German might be able to pick it out, too.

“Himmelsschmiedenstahl”, the word for Skyforge Steel, comes in as this post’s third longest German word at 21 characters!

Warmaiden’s, I note with interest, gets translated as “Kriegsjungfer”. Which is “Warmaiden”, singular, according to Google Translate.

“Belethor’s General Goods” has no apostrophe in “Belethor’s”. I also noted multiple times that other characters pronounced his name as “Bell-e-tor”, with a t sound, not a th.

I got Belethor’s “Trinkets, odds and ends, that sort of thing” line when I asked him what he had for sale. And his answer gave me what I expect is going to show up again in Solitude! Because “Krimskrams” means “bits and pieces” according to Google Translate, so I guess that’s what the translators decided to use for “odds and ends”. Again, a close enough match in spirit! Plus, “krimskrams” is a great word in general.

I gotta giggle a bit about Farengar’s last name being translated to Heimlich-Feuer. Now I’m going to be spending the rest of the game wanting to see him save somebody from choking with a judicious application of fireballs.

“Sturmmäntel” stood out for me when I saw a guard throw the line about “Stormcloaks, Imperials, dragons, I don’t care what I kill, let them come.” Of note here: the umlaut on the a in this word. Which means it’s plural. Which also then means that Stormcloak, singular, should be Sturmmantel. I’ll need to keep an eye out for that for the next mention I see of Ulfric.

“Drachenblut-Angelegenheit”: because LOL, apparently some German words are long enough that they have to put a hyphen in them for readability? And yet, this word does not in fact break the record! It’s only 25 characters!

“Thane” also translated straight over, but I noticed it being pronounced with two syllables, again with a t sound rather than a th, and also with that last e not being silent.

And I giggle at “Drachenfeste”, too, just because it totally sounds to me like it ought to be “Dragon festival”.

When I got into the Bannered Mare, I did notice that “Ragnar the Red” had been translated! And as near as I could tell, they tried to do a translation that preserved a rhyme scheme. I took a bunch of screenshots to get subtitles, but turns out I didn’t need to, because the lyrics are totes transcribed on the German page for the song on the Elder Scrolls wiki!

Next time

Not really in the mood to take this character out of range of Whiterun yet. I want to try to get Lydia some better armor and preferably a better weapon as well, before I fling her at that frost troll. So I may go ahead and run In My Time of Need, and then head over towards Rorikstead so I can get Lyds the silver armor. We’ll see!


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.