Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Becomes Thane of Falkreath

And now to check in with my Argonian Finds-The-Way, and her Skyrim playthrough in German, where every noun is longer. Especially the ones involving gauntlets.

Main action: running the In My Time of Need plot, in favor of Kematu; getting the Silver Armor for Lydia, and later replacing it with the Daedric Plate; furnishing the rest of Breezehome; going to High Hrothgar to speak to the Greybeards; fighting my first Dragonborn cultists; running Shroud Hearth Barrow; beginning the Daedra’s Best Friend quest; becoming thane in Falkreath; beginning the building of Lakeview Manor; acquiring Hendraheim; and killing a whole passel of bandits.

(Yep, there’s a lot in this post! And a lot of language commentary, in particular.)

Play by play

  • Play dates: 7/23, 7/27, 7/31, 8/1/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 5-8

Sunday the 23rd

  • Picked up where I left off in Whiterun
  • Went down to the Bannered Mare and talked to Saadia to pick up the next stage of her quest; got the directive to go find the prisoner in the Dragonsreach dungeon
  • Slept in the inn until morning, then went over to speak to the prisoner
  • Got M’Sharra’s confession from behind the chest
  • Paid the prisoner’s bounty to get him to talk, and left him to try to convince the guards to let him out
  • Headed out to go get Lydia the silver armor
  • Noted en route:
    • Probable mercenary in steel armor
    • Talsgar the Wanderer
    • Three Thalmor that stopped to kill some wolves
    • Imperial squad
  • Actually fought en route:
    • A random Khajiit
    • Assorted wolves
  • Reached Rorikstead and then Lund’s hut just beyond it
  • Killed assorted skeevers outside as per usual
  • Got the armor out of the hut and took a few other things while in there
  • Got the East Empire warden and two mercenaries when I came back out; took all of them out with Lydia’s help
  • Retrieved my horse who’d run off down the hill
  • Overloaded so fast traveled straight back to Whiterun, and sold assorted things to get back under carry weight
  • Had enough silver ore for three ingots, and used those to improve Lydia’s silver armor before handing it off to her
  • Went back out again, this time to go hit Swindler’s Den
  • Flyby dragon by the Western Watchtower
  • Got vampire masquerade–but only killed two vampires and only found one dead Vigilant? Lyds must have killed the third vamp but I didn’t find a third body
  • Killed another wolf en route to Swindler’s Den
  • Ran the place as per usual, and took out assorted bandits
  • Took Kematu up on his offer and hit the boss chest on the way out
  • Fetched horse and fast traveled back to Whiterun
  • Got Saadia to come out to the stables, though she got stuck at the gate and I had to go back and fetch her
  • Handed her off to Kematu and got 500 bounty from him, which put me up over the amount necessary to buy Breezehome
  • Sold a few more things to Belethor to nudge my gold amount up a little further
  • Bought the house, unlocked achievement! \0/
  • Didn’t see an appropriate prompt on Proventus to also buy decorations for it, so went to go visit the place and take ownership first, then returned to Dragonsreach to talk to him again
  • Bought bedroom and living room decorations, which let me stash stuff I didn’t need to carry and put books on the bookshelf
  • Took Amren’s quest to get his family sword, which was for White River Watch this time
  • Took Ysolda’s quest to get her a mammoth tusk
  • Horse was not at the stables for some reason so I just fast traveled to the stables to make Kara catch up, then rode over to White River Watch
  • Passed Talsgar again
  • Took out outside bandits, then took out all the bandits inside (except for the blind guy)
  • Leveled up to 9 while in there
  • Only looted the place on the way back down from taking out the bandit chief, but did loot the hell out of the place; took a full set of fur armor from in there, too
  • Let the wolf out of its cage and yep it sure did attack me, so Lyds and I had to kill it
  • Cleared an iron vein and got a lot of mushroom samples
  • Overloaded when I got out but that’s what the horse is for!
  • Fast traveled back to Whiterun and sold a boatload of things to Elrindir
  • Got enough coin to buy the rest of the Breezehome furnishings, once I’d waited enough hours for Proventus to be awake and in the main hall so I could talk to him
  • Had enough left over to buy Candlelight, Magelight, and Clairvoyance spells from Farengar
  • Took the level up at this point, took Health bump and Novice Illusion perk
  • Got courier with note from the Jarl of Falkreath
  • Dropped off a bunch of things at Breezehome and made some food
  • Gave Lydia the Orcish battleaxe and bow I got out of the bandit loot, and rode out with her for the Throat of the World
  • Killed a hostile Dark Elf at the spawn point near White River Watch
  • Valtheim was still bandit free
  • Found the Orc who wanted a good death at the bridge near the stairs up to Hillgrund’s Tomb
  • Gave the Orc the death he wanted, then took his sword and looted the sabre cats he’d killed
  • Rode onward and took out a few hostiles on the way up the mountainside:
    • Another sabre cat
    • A skeever
    • A fire atronach who’d taken out a Vigilant of Stendarr
  • Lost track of Lydia somewhere around here
  • Looted the little ruin with the Conjuration book
  • Reached Ivarstead and rented a room
  • Got a bounty for taking out the bandit leader at Broken Helm Hollow and the quest pointer to investigate Shroud Hearth Barrow
  • Slept the night; got up the next morning and Lydia still hadn’t caught up
  • Took Temba’s bears quest and Klimmek’s quest to take supplies up to the Greybeards
  • Started making my way up the steps on my own just to see if I could do it
  • Killed once by a frostbite spider, but only rolled back to the previous emblem because I quicksaved!
  • Got the spider the next time through, and also killed two ice wolves
  • Leveled up to 10; took Magicka bump and first Lockpicking perk; unlocked ‘Adept’ achievement!
  • Made it up to the frost troll, and after some searching, found the vantage point to take potshots at it with the Bow of Shadows and the stock of ebony arrows I’d gotten with it until I took it out 😀
  • Retrieved a bunch of the arrows I’d shot into the ravine, then made it up to High Hrothgar
  • Did the Greybeards’ trials and got the second word of Unrelenting Force and the first word of Whirlwind Sprint
  • Also got the quest to get the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
  • Unlocked achievement for finishing The Way of the Voice
  • Fast traveled back down to Ivarstead straight from the courtyard, and Lydia caught up at that point
  • Cue the courier with the note about Hendraheim
  • Also cue the Miraak cultists, which Lydia, the Ivarstead guards, and I swiftly dispatched
  • Went back into the inn after, rented a room again, and saved there until next time

Thursday the 27th

  • Picked up again in Ivarstead
  • Went up to run Shroud Hearth Barrow
  • Killed by Wyndelius first time through, bastard zapped me to death; came back for round two and got him with no trouble
  • Went back out to the inn and got the sapphire dragon claw from the innkeeper, then came back in to run the rest of the barrow
  • Lydia got stuck at the first draugr room, so I ran part of the rest of the dungeon without her, including dropping a fire lantern on the skeletons and taking them all out at once (very effective!)
  • Got an Oakflesh spell out of that first draugr room, useful!
  • Also kind of neat to be able to dive underwater and get stuff without having to worry about running out of air, which let me do a bit of easy extra looting
  • Lydia caught up with me after I changed zones, in time for the final room
  • Got overloaded (unsurprisingly) but Lyds and I cleared the room without too much trouble
  • Got the Kyne’s Peace word off the Word Wall, and boss loot
  • Leveled to 11 and then to 12 while running the dungeon; took Stamina bump and Apprentice Lockpicking perk at level 11; took Health bump for level 12
  • Came out of the ruin and was met by a courier with the invitation to dinner at Bloodchilll Cavern
  • Mounted up on Kara and returned to Whiterun
  • Sold a boatload of stuff to Elrindir to get back under carry weight
  • Did a little smithing at the forge
  • Slept the night at Breezehome; got up in the morning and sold more things
  • Got a bunch of spells from Farengar, and got his quest to give frost salts to Arcadia
  • Took the Crimson Dirks quest out of the Dragonsreach dungeon; also took the other quest hook out of the guards barracks for the armor in Embershard Mine
  • Rode out to go to Falkreath and talk to the Jarl
  • Cut through Riverwood on the way–and DRAGON
  • This was a frost breather and actually circled the town several times before actually coming down to fight; crashed right in the middle of the town :O
  • Fortunately didn’t seem to kill anybody, and I got lots of “Gasp! Drachenblut!” from NPCs
  • Got a screencap of a cow right under the bones LOL
  • Rode on from there towards Falkreath
  • Passed a noble + Imperial soldier escort, also a hunter who shot at something I didn’t see
  • Saw a burst of fire in the distance but no sign of what made it
  • Made it into Falkreath, and got the guard who asked me if I’d seen a dog; told him no
  • Rented a room for the night at the inn, then went to see the Jarl and agreed to help him with his bandit problem; as I hoped, he sent me off to Embershard
  • Tried to investigate the carriage wreck on the way, only to realize that’s like the last carriage you’re supposed to investigate 😛
  • Tried to roll back from that only to discover that my last save was before Shroud Hearth Barow, so had to re-do the whole thing, argh
  • Did it more quickly this time though and Lyds didn’t get stuck
  • Leveled up to 11 and 12 again; took same Stamina and Health bumps; took Appprentice level Lockpicking for level 11; took perk for 10 percent chance of critical hit in Archery for level 12
  • Came back out again and once more got the courier with the dinner invite
  • Back to Whiterun take two; this time, FUCKING SAVED
  • Merchants seemed like they were in the same state they were in before I rolled back though, they had some stuff I’d sold them and also hardly any gold, so that was weird
  • But still got some spells from Farengar, and gave Arcadia the frost salts
  • Took the quest hook book from the dungeon
  • Spotted the commander of the guard actually swimming in the pool underneath the bridge into Dragonsreach :O
  • Went down to check out that pool; discovered a skeleton and salmon
  • This time took the cart directly to Falkreath
  • Once again got the guard asking about a dog, and got the prompt to talk to Lod
  • Got the quest to take out bandits, but this time for Knifepoint Ridge
  • Visited Edward’s grave
  • Talked to Runil the priest of Arkay to get his quest for his journal, then rode off to Knifepoint Ridge
  • Did double duty here, took out the bounty hunter wearing the Daedric Plate armor, then took out the bandit leader inside the mine
  • Looted a bunch on the way out
  • Leveled up to 13; took first perk in Sneak and Magicka bump
  • Returned to Falkreath, and got pointer from the Jarl to become thane and objective to help his people
  • Returned to Whiterun to do inventory managing and selling and things
  • Parked in Breezehome until next time

Monday the 31st

  • Started in Breezehome; did a little crafting and selling in Whiterun
  • Gave Lydia the Daedric Plate armor and took back the Silver, which I then sold to Warmaiden’s
  • Rode out to hit Darkshade for the quest to get Runil’s journal
  • Killed frostbite spider on the way, after overshooting access to the cave
  • Horse ran off and I couldn’t find her, so just hoofed it to the cave with Lydia
  • Killed all five trolls in there and hit all three gold veins
  • Got the journal and other boss chest loot
  • Came back out again and fast traveled to Ivarstead to follow up on getting the quest reward from Klimmek; found him instantly and got that sorted
  • Blipped back to Whiterun to sell loot
  • Rode out from there a little ways towards Riverwood
  • Killed a thief on the road to Riverwood (and spotted M’aiq the Liar behind her)
  • Got a couple pieces of elven armor off of that
  • Cut through Riverwood and made it to the crossroads near the bandit camp
  • Spotted Talsgar the Wanderer killing a frostbite spider
  • Then got bored with riding and just fast traveled to Falkreath
  • Found Runil in the inn and gave him his journal; found Thadgeir and got his quest to give Runil his friend’s ashes, and since Runil was right there in the inn, well, how convenient
  • So that was two of three favor quests in Falkreath sorted
  • Saved there until next time

Tuesday the 1st

  • Picked up again in Falkreath
  • Got my third favor quest just by selling Mathies some veg
  • Spent the night in the inn, then got up the next morning to talk to the jarl and get him to proclaim me thane
  • Did not have enough money to actually buy the land for Lakeview yet, so my plan was going to be to go run Embershard
  • But as soon as I came out of the Jarl’s longhouse, DRAGON!
  • Barely had to shoot at it, Lydia and the Falkreath guard force did a good job taking it down with no casualties! Go team!
  • Then I went to go run Embershard, and did so with no trouble, with the combo of flame atronach + Lyds in the Daedric Plate armor
  • Killed all the bandits, then looted the mine; got the Orcish Plate armor to resolve that quest; hit various veins and looted the various chests on the way back out
  • Looting one of the chests got me Meridia’s Beacon!
  • Looted all the bandits to get the extra pieces of Orcish Plate
  • Pretty sure in here was where I leveled up to 14? Took Stamina bump and Novice perk in Conjuration
  • Came back out again, mounted up, and boinged back to Whiterun
  • Sold things until I got up to like 7K
  • Bought hunting bow with a soul trap enchantment on it so I could learn the enchantment
  • Bought dwarven arrows from Belethor; this triggered a courier with a Calcelmo letter
  • Returned to Falkreath and bought the land for Lakeview
  • This triggered the “Landowner” achievement, awesome 😀
  • Got a bounty for a dragon off of the steward; pretty sure the location was Ancient’s Ascent, will have to doublecheck with the map
  • Headed out to ride over to Lakeview
  • Passed a group of Thalmor + prisoner who, oddly, were just standing around by the road, not far from the bandit ambush point; took out the bandits, but did not have to engage the Thalmor
  • Went over to start building Lakeview; did the small house structure and built a few of the amenities until I ran out of logs
  • Didn’t have enough mats on me to make a bed to sleep in the house, so boinged yet again back to Whiterun
  • Dropped off a few things and did a little alchemy
  • Headed out again with the intent to ride to Hendraheim
  • However, got sidetracked with an attempt to hit the Golden Saint bandit camp–which was a mistake, they totally killed me, and this threw me back to Whiterun
  • NEW PLAN! This time I boinged to Falkreath to go find Barbas and launch the Daedra’s Best Friend plot
  • Agreed to help Barbas out and as per usual he led me off to Haemar’s Shame
  • Ran the place without issues, had to only fight a couple of the hostiles directly myself, mostly Barbas mowed everybody down and Lyds and I followed in his wake
  • Agreed to go get the Rueful Axe
  • Did minimal looting, only grabbed small things, except for the boss chest
  • Mounted up again and boinged from there directly to the Western Watchtower
  • Golden Saint bandit camp, take two: HI BANDITS MEET THIS DOG, HE’S ACTUALLY A DAEDRA, WHAT A GOOD DOG! <Barbaschomp>
  • Kept as far away from bandits as possible and shot them with the Bow of Shadows while Barbas and Lyds did the up close and personal fighting
  • Cleared the camp and freed the Elytra Nymph
  • From there, headed towards Hendraheim
  • Flyby dragon overhead on the way
  • Fought sabre cat at the crossroads that branch off towards Rorikstead
  • Forsworn vs. peddler at the crossroads by the secret exit into Fort Sungard
  • Took out the Forsworn via the power of Barbas so hurray, the peddler gets to live! Bought a bunch of stuff from her
  • Gear on the Forsworn set the new record for longest German word observed so far: Abgeschworenenpanzerhandschuhe 😀
  • Rode from there to Hendraheim
  • Hey, got your mail, what’s this about then OH SHIT YOU WANNA FIGHT ME goddamn you mammals are weird (and this is why I brought the Team Dragonborn posse, I barely had to hit her)
  • Hendraheim is mine! Dropped off assorted bits of armor and weapons, including the scout armor, as I switched into the armor Hendraheim’s previous owner had been wearing
  • Also claimed her sword with the fire damage enchantment
  • Destroyed the hunting bow on the enchanting table so I could pick up that enchantment–which unlocked the ‘Artificer’ achievement for smithing a thing, making a potion, and making an enchanted item
  • Saved there until next time

How not to make friends and influence Argonians

This many playthroughs in on Skyrim, I’ve definitely come down in favor of Team Saadia when it comes to running the In My Time of Need plot. But not in an unmodded playthrough. I don’t want the warriors to get stuck at the Whiterun gates for the rest of this game, and it also annoys me that the warriors keep hassling random Redguard women even after the quest is done, too.

So I did play the plot this time in favor of Kematu. I figure Finds probably laughed audibly at Kematu’s implication that Saadia appealed to her hormones–a line that definitely hits differently if you’re playing an Argonian. Especially a female Argonian.

Kematu: “Did she appeal to your sense of honor? Your greed? A more… base need, per–“

Finds-The-Way: <hiss-laughs out loud>

Kematu: “I’m sorry, what did I say?”

Finds-The-Way: “I erect the spine of What On Nirn Are You On About. Do you assume that just because I’m an Argonian female, I must be like the maid in that stupid play? Do you know how many drunken half-wits have made jokes at me about rising loaves ever since I set foot in this cold northern land? You don’t appear drunk, so what’s your excuse? Because insulting the fugitive you seek, not to mention me, is not a good strategy to get me to help you, human.”

Kematu: “I… my apologies. Consider that remark retracted. It was out of line. May I try again?”

Finds: “I’m listening.”

And heh, pick it up as per usual from there. (And yes, I’m interpreting Kematu here as having enough class to apologize for saying something shitty if he’s called on it.)

Now, after having discussed this with Paul and Dara, I’m also thinking my headcanon will be that Finds burns any copies of The Lusty Argonian Maid that she comes across. Sadly, I have no way of actually doing this in the game, so I will have to settle for it being my headcanon. ;D And as the Dragonborn and a budding mage, she will have multiple creative ways to set copies of that stupid play on fire!

Take that, frost troll!

Now I have confirmed why it is a very, very good idea to run the Bow of Shadows quest before you get out of the vicinity of Whiterun in a new playthrough: because you also get a good number of ebony arrows when you get the bow off of the assassin.

And with those, once you go to High Hrothgar to see the Greybeards, you are very well equipped to take out that fucking frost troll around the fifth emblem, as long as you climb up onto the hill overlooking the ravine and get to a point where you can shoot at the troll in safety.

This worked very, very well on this run. 😀

And it’s probably also a good thing that Lydia wasn’t with me at the time. Because I’ve also seen on multiple playthroughs that if Lydia isn’t outfitted well enough, that frost troll can kill her. So part of your High Hrothgar plan should definitely be to bump up Lydia’s gear, and ideally, also hand her some healing potions.

Noting for benefit of Future Me as well as other players who might read this!

Mind you, this strategy only works if you’re running the Anniversary Edition, or you have access to the Creations that went into making the AE. This also applies to my current strategies for getting better armor onto Lyds before hitting High Hrothgar. The plot to get the Silver Armor (When The Cat’s Away) is a good option for this, especially since it kind of overlaps a bit with In My Time Of Need–you can get the confession that tells you where the Silver Armor is in the Dragonsreach dungeon, when you go in there to interrogate the Alik’r prisoner.

Beyond the Grave, the plot to get the Daedric Plate armor, is another good option. You just need to be powerful enough to take out the exterior bandits at Knifepoint Ridge, because the bounty hunter wearing the armor will be outside. (Of course, you can take out the rest of the bandits too, including the bandit chief inside the mine, if you’re packing enough of a punch!)

A few new observations in Whiterun this time

This is not Whiterun-specific mind you, it’s just that I observed this in Whiterun: when I accidentally rolled back to before running Shroud Hearth Barrow, I didn’t seem to lose my prior transactions with merchants in Whiterun. I.e., returning to a previous save did not reset the merchants. According to the wiki page on Merchants, this is a known bug. I think this is actually the first time I’ve personally seen it, though.

A thing that I saw that is Whiterun-specific, however, is that somehow I never managed to notice before that there’s a pool right underneath the main bridge into Dragonreach. Well–I knew intellectually that there was water down there. But this time through, I actually saw the commander of the guard swimming in that water. I’d never paid close enough attention to that pool to realize NPCs could swim in it!

Finds, I think, was probably surprised and pleased to find a pool down there. It’s not the same as the environment she grew up in, to be sure. And given that it’s a pool in a city in Skyrim, it’s probably also much colder water than she’d prefer. But still, it’s water. And if nothing else, for the health of her scales, she’ll appreciate having a place in Whiterun to soak. Especially now that she’s seen other people swimming down there.

That said: I do have some questions about why, exactly, there was a skeleton in that pool. And why a skeleton has continued to be in that pool even though people in Whiterun regularly swim in it. Hasn’t somebody thought to take that poor schmo out of the pool and put him in the Hall of the Dead where he belongs?

(Though to be fair, given that the skeletons in the Hall of the Dead have a way of getting up and walking around, maybe they decided it would be safer just to leave the skeleton where it is? That’s day to day calculus you have to make as a citizen of Skyrim!)

Some thoughts about Darkshade

See below for some thoughts about how this location got translated in German. But for this part of the post, I’ll focus on how there’s apparently also a known bug where this location is physically in Eastmarch, but I was sent there for a Falkreath quest! (This is one of the bugs fixed in the USSEP, but since this is an unmodded playthrough, that doesn’t apply.)

But also, this time through, I was kind of struck just by the general state of the place. This is only the second time I’ve hit Darkshade at all; the first time was way back in Merawen’s run. And I hadn’t noticed at the time that the mix of dead bodies in there is kind of striking. Some of them are tagged as bandits, but some of them aren’t.

And there are multiple wrecked camps in there, too. This suggests one of two possibilities to me, and I’m not sure which is more plausible.

First scenario: different groups, bandit and non-bandit, came in there at different times to seek shelter–and were attacked by the trolls. But this also presupposes that those groups didn’t register the grisly signs of death in the place, that they were desperate enough for shelter that they didn’t care, or both.

Second scenario: all the groups in there were part of one big group, with some who were functioning as actual bandits and others who were possibly captives, or dependents, or something. But if it was a group that was not adequately armed, even then, they could have gotten swarmed by a big enough group of trolls.

Either way, I also noticed that at least one of the non-bandit dead bodies was an Argonian. I think Finds felt a pang about that, and couldn’t help but wonder how many of her people in this land have had such trouble finding shelter that they were driven to die in a grisly cave full of pissed-off trolls.

So how exactly do Argonian tails work anyway?

A thing I noticed while riding around on my horse: my tail bends to the left and drapes down on that side, right behind my leg. This struck me as odd, just because visually speaking, it looks like that’d be making my tail bend at an extremely uncomfortable angle. Which seems, shall we say, biologically implausible.

I told Dara about this, and she laughed and was all, “That’s the part you find biologically implausible?”

Which, fair point! Here I am playing a lizard woman, who, despite being in theory of a reptilian people, shows aspects of being an amphibian and aspects of being a mammal. I mean, Argonian women have boobs, for fuck’s sake, and why in the world do they have boobs if they’re a species that lays eggs most of the time to reproduce? (The lore says they can apparently also do live births in inhospitable climates, and, well, hello, Skyrim… but that doesn’t mean they’re also going to nurse their young, I should think?)

My handwave for all of this is, if the Argonians were created by the Hist trees, the Hist just cobbled them together out of various aspects they somehow managed to observe of men and mer, without those aspects necessarily normally fitting together. Because WTF is a race of sentient trees going to know about the differences between reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, amirite?

Still though: that tail angle seems super uncomfortable to me. Unless the bone and cartilage structure in an Argonian tail is really, really flexible.

Achievements unlocked

  • Citizen: For buying a house
  • Adept: For reaching level 10
  • The Way of the Voice: For finishing the quest of that name
  • Landowner: For buying a plot of land (i.e., the land for Lakeview)
  • Artificer: For smithing a thing, making a potion, and also enchanting a thing

Current achievements count: 10.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Idolaf Kampf-Geborener: Idolaf Battle-Born
  • Aldmeri-Bundes but also Aldmeri-Bund: Aldmeri Dominion
  • Gefangener der Alik’r: Alik’r Prisoner
  • Schwindlernest: Swindler’s Den
  • Rorikstatt: Rorikstead
  • Brisenheim: Breezehome
  • Dunkelelf: Dark Elf
  • Alter Ork: Old Orc
  • Einen würdigen Tod: A good death (lit. “a worthy death”)
  • Feuersalze: Fire Salts
  • Wächter von Stendarr: Vigilant of Stendarr (lit. “Guardian of Stendarr”)
  • Orichalcumerz: Orichalcum Ore
  • Gasthaus Vilemyr: Vilemyr Inn (lit. “Vilemyr Guesthouse”)
  • Ivarstatt: Ivarstead
  • Schneebeere: Snowberries
  • Stimme des Himmels: Voice of the Sky (maybe also “Voice of Heaven”, in translation?)
  • Hoch-Hrothgar: High Hrothgar
  • Wirbelwindsprint: Whirlwind Sprint
  • Jurgen Windrufer: Jurgen Windcaller
  • Gotteshaus: House of worship, used in Arngeir’s line about the ancient fane of Ustengrav
  • Saphirdrachenklaue: Sapphire Dragon Claw
  • Innener Ring, Mittlerer Ring, Äußerer Ring: Inner, middle, and outer rings of a dragon claw puzzle door
  • Eichenhaut: Oakflesh
  • Höherer Draugrfürst: Draugr Overlord (lit. “higher draugr lord”)
  • Kynes Frieden: Kyne’s Peace (as in, the Shout)
  • Die Dämmerwacht: The Dawnguard
  • Vampirgefahr: Vampire menace/danger
  • Wahnsinnerzbarren: Madness Ingot (lit. “Madness ore ingot”)
  • Junger Vampir: Vampire Fledgling (lit. “younger vampire”)
  • Nordstahlpanzerhandschuhe: Steel Nordic Gauntlets (25 characters!)
  • Einrichtungsgegenstände: Furnishings (23 characters!)
  • Eisenerzader: Iron Ore vein
  • Alchemielabor: Alchemy Laboratory
  • Falkenring: Falkreath
  • Hellsehen: Clairvoyance
  • Kerzenschein: Candlelight
  • Magierlicht: Magelight
  • Goldene Rubinhalskette: Gold Ruby Necklace
  • Feuerschleierhügel: Shroud Hearth Barrow
  • Messerkamm: Knifepoint Ridge (lit. “knifecomb”)
  • Schattenhain, but also Dunkelschatten: Darkshade
  • Abgeschworenenpanzerhandschuhe: Forsworn Gauntlets (30 characters!)
  • Silbener Amethysring: Silver Amethyst Ring
  • Silbener Rubinring: Silver Ruby Ring
  • Frostsalze: Frost Salts
  • Blutroten Langdolche: Crimson Dirks (lit. “Crimson Daggers”)
  • Der Tod eines Blutroten Langdolchs: The Death of a Crimson Dagger
  • Liebestrank: Love potion
  • Glutsplittermine: Embershard Mine
  • M’aiq der Lügner: M’aiq the Liar
  • Falkenring: Falkreath
  • Langhaus des Jarl: Jarl’s Longhouse
  • Lynly Sternen-Sang: Lynly Star-Sung (lit. “Lynly Starsong”)
  • Veredeleter Bernstein: Refined Amber
  • Kaiserlicher Kurier: Imperial Courier
  • Einsamkeit: Solitude
  • Golderz: Gold Ore
  • Golderzader: Gold Ore Vein
  • Heugabel: Pitchfork
  • Holzkelle: Wooden Spoon
  • Kupferdiadem mit Onyx: Copper and Onyx Circlet
  • Wertsachen: Valuables
  • Feuer-Atronach: Flame Atronach (lit. “Fire atronach”)
  • Schlammkrabbe: Mudcrab
  • Schlammkrabbenbeine: Mudcrab Legs
  • Orkische Plattenrüstung: Orcish Plate Armor
  • Orkische Plattenstiefel: Orcish Plate Boots
  • Orkische Plattenhelm: Orcish Plate Helmet
  • Orkische Plattenpanzerhandschuhe: Orcish Plate Gauntlets
  • Honigwabe: Honeycomb
  • Meridias Stern: Meridia’s Beacon (lit. “Meridia’s Star”)
  • Beschlagene Rüstung: Studded Armor
  • Klinge: Blade
  • Zaubertrank der Wasseratmung: Potion of Waterbreathing, a thing which is entirely superfluous in this playthrough
  • Vogt: Steward
  • Haus Seeblick: Lakeview Manor (lit. “House Lakeview”)
  • Meinungsverschiedenheit: Disagreement (23 characters!)
  • Daedrafürst: Daedric Prince (lit. “Daedra Lord”)
  • Vampirdiener: Vampire Thrall (lit. “vampire servant”)
  • Schrein des Clavicus Vile: Shrine of Clavicus Vile
  • Reiffelsenhöhle: Rimerock Burrow
  • Kläffer: Mutt (lit. “yapper”)
  • Blasenschoten-Kappe: Blister Pod Cap
  • Wahnsinnige Elytra-Nymphe: Manic Elytra Nymph
  • Käfer: Beetle, bug (used in the player’s dialogue to the Manic Elytra Nymph)
  • Die Axt der Reue: The Rueful Axe
  • Händler: Peddler, merchant
  • Eydvina Schildfeuer: Eydvina Shield-Hearth (lit. “Eydvina Shieldfire”)

In addition to noting the translation of “Battle-Born” here, I also got a screencap of Idolaf’s line bitching about the Gray-Manes supporting the Stormcloaks. Here it is:

“Diese Grau-Mähnen sollen verdammt sein. Wenn sie die Sturmmäntel unterstützen wollen, kriegen sie, was sie verdienen.”

The original line in English is:

“Damn those Gray-Manes to Oblivion. They want to back the Stormcloaks, they’ll get what’s comin’ to ’em.”

What interests me about the German translation here is that I do not see any obvious term for Oblivion here. According to Google Translate, the German line roughly translates back to English as:

“Those Gray Manes will be damned. If they want to support the Stormcloaks, they’ll get what they deserve.”

So, very close to the original English, except for the lack of referencing Oblivion. This seems like an odd detail to leave out. And now I’m wondering if I just missed what Tullius’ line “What in Oblivion is that?” in the Helgen sequence was, because I’m dying to know now how the game translates it. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for other references to Oblivion in dialogue, as well as in textual form–just because I’m also aware that translations are possibly going to be inconsistent between voice acting, subtitles, and in-game texts like books!

I’ve seen two different translations now for “Aldmeri Dominion”: “Aldmeri-Bundes” and “Aldmeri-Bund”. In context for the lines they appear in, I was able to figure out what both of the translations were referring to. But it’s odd to me to see two different translations here. In both examples (see the screenshots on this post for the lines in question) it seems like they’re using Aldmeri Dominion as the indirect object of the lines, but maybe “of the Aldmeri Dominion” and “to the Aldmeri Dominion” result in different translations? Any fluent German speakers know the answer to this, let me know.

Interesting to me that that the translation of Madness Ingot actually also includes “erz”, for “ore”. I’m not convinced that additional detail was necessary? But maybe it makes things clearer to German players. (Granted, I’ve written before that I do think it’s kind of goofy to call a material you make stuff out of ‘Madness’, so maybe the German translators were with me on this and just wanted to make it clearer that the ingot is made out of the material and not out of literal madness?)

It very, very much amuses me that so far in this playthrough, the longest nouns I’m running into are gauntlets. “Panzerhandschuhe” is a nice big noun all by itself, but if you stick other long things in front of it, all the better! And another note to this: I’ve seen “gauntlets” get translated so far as both “handschuhe” and “panzerhandschuhe”. Leather Scout Gauntlets for example did not have “panzer” in the translated word (“Lederkundschafterhandschuhe”), but “Nordstahlpanzerhandschuhe” does!

“Handschuhe” by itself is “gloves”, not “gauntlets”. But if you add “panzer”, then it’s “gauntlets”. So the German localizers here may have been drawing a distinction between what the gauntlets are actually made out of. Skyrim in English doesn’t draw that distinction, mostly. All the armor pieces you put on your hands, whether they’re Light Armor or Heavy Armor, are just “gauntlets”. Non-armor things you put on your hands, though, are “gloves”. Kind of neat though that German Skyrim does appear to be putting in that nuance.

I’m going to have to doublecheck translations on other light armor pieces for the hands, now.

“Feuerschleierhügel” for Shroud Hearth Barrow is interesting. “Feuer” is “fire”, “schleier” is “veil”, and “hügel” is “mound” or “hillock”. So this suggests to me that “feuer” here is automatically implying “hearth”, because of the idea of a hearth having a fire, maybe? But I can’t confirm this in my usual sources for looking up translations.

(This idea seems to be supported though by the translation of Eydvina Shield-Hearth’s name. She is Eydvina Shieldfeuer in German.)

While running Shroud Hearth Barrow, I noted that I’m definitely going to have issues figuring out translations for potions. More than once in this playthrough, I’ve caught myself having to take extra time to parse which potion is which in my inventory. The healing, stamina, and magicka potions are most obvious. But ones with more specific functions, like, say, “Fortify Conjuration”, take a bit of extra parsing. Hopefully I’ll get better at it as the playthrough continues.

Voice actor note: the guy who did the voice for the Jarl of Falkreath sounds like a very good match for how the character is voiced in English. He’s got the same sort of haughty and skeevy tone to him.

Darkshade, the location I had to go to to get Runil’s journal, was inconsistently translated. I saw both “Schattenhain” and “Dunkelschatten” as translations pointing to that location. But I’m not convinced this is the localization team’s fault, on the grounds that that location is inconsistently referred to in the English game, as well; it’s called both Darkshade and Darkshade Copse. So I could easily see the localization team deciding to not necessarily correct that inconsistency, and err on the side of just translating the game they were given.

Breaking down both translations seems to back up this theory. “Schatten” is “shade” or “shadow”, and “Hain” is “grove”, so that seems like the translation for “Darkshade Copse”. “Dunkel” is “dark”, so “Dunkelschatten” seems like the direct translation for “Darkshade”.

Since I got Meridia’s Beacon in the last of these sessions, this also let me get my first taste of how Meridia is performed in German. She sounded “older” to me in German than she does in English, by which I mean, her voice sounded more gravelly. Still absolutely haughty in that Daedric Prince kind of way, but I wonder whether the actress that voiced her in German was an older woman. Whoever she was, she did a good job.

And in regards to the commentary about panzerhandschuhe above, this set of sessions also gives me a new record for longest German noun observed so far: Abgeschworenenpanzerhandschuhe! Grand total of 30 characters. 😀 This is the translation for “Forsworn Gauntlets”, where “Abgeschworenen” = “Forsworn”. I guess in this case, the gauntlets in question being fortified with bits of bone and such was enough for the translation team to go “these are panzerhandschuhe, not just handschuhe”?

And now I’m also totally dying to know what the translation will be for Studded Dragonscale Gauntlets. 😀 I strongly suspect that’s going to be a contender as well.

I’ll also call out this full line of guard gossip dialogue:

“Man sagt, Ulfric Sturmmantel habe den Großkönig getötet… mit seiner Stimme! Er soll ihn einfach in Stücke geschrien haben!”

This is the translation of “They say Ulfric Stormcloak murdered the High King… with his voice! Shouted him apart!”

According to Google Translate the line in German translates back to English like this:

“They say Ulfric Stormcloak killed the High King… with his voice! He is said to have just screamed him to pieces!”

So a pretty fair translation. I note “Man sagt” as the translation of “They say” here. I knew “töten” meant “to kill”, though I don’t know if it specifically means “murdered” here or not. Reverso’s German-English dictionary doesn’t say.

And the second sentence certainly has a more formal structure to it than the English “Shouted him apart!” But what interests me here is the “soll/haben” construction. I knew the word “sollen” as “should” or “must”, from previous vocabulary. If I’m understanding what I see on Reverso about sollen correctly, though, it can also be used idiomatically, in the same sort of gossipy context this line has. Which I think Google Translate’s read on it picked up on.

LOLOLOL, “Orkische Plattenpanzerhandschuhe” (Orcish Plate Gauntlets) is shown as two words when I look at that item in my inventory–so it’s disqualified from being the longest observed noun! Which is a shame, because if it’d been a single word it would totally have taken over the record, at 31 characters.

With this in mind, I do now have enough vocabulary to predict what Studded Dragonscale Gauntlets will translate to: “Beschlagene Drachenschuppe Panzerhandschuhe”. But the big question here is going to be, is it going to be three words or one? That’s 43 characters with the spaces, 41 characters without.

And oh yeah, one more thing: I discovered that Jarl Siddgeir’s line “Here. You deserve a reward for your service” was not localized in German–or, for that matter, in French. Because I confirmed by going back and checking Ysani’s playthrough; she didn’t see that line translated either.

Which seems really odd. I wonder whether that line was somehow left out of the resources handed off to the localization teams when Skyrim was translated?

Next time

Finds-The-Way’s next post is going to feature taking out a whole bunch of bandits, reaching Solitude for the first time with this alt, getting Dawnbreaker, and getting the Rueful Axe!


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.