Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Gets Dawnbreaker, But Not the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller

Swinging back around to my Skyrim run in German, here’s a couple more sessions with Finds-The-Way! Main action here: getting Dawnbreaker; finishing up the Daedra’s Best Friend plot; taking out zombies at the necromancer ritual site; taking out the dragon at Ancient’s Ascent; and last but not least, running Ustengrav. Where Finds did not get the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 8/5, 8/9/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 9-10

Saturday the 5th

  • Picked up again at Hendraheim
  • Told the elytra nymph to stay there just because I do find the nymph noises distracting when it follows me
  • Got courier with a Letter From a Friend for Lost Valley Redoubt
  • Rode from there towards Solitude
  • Assassin on the way to Rorikstead, female Khajiit this time; took her out
  • Took out a couple of wolves past Rorikstead, and then hit the usual set of bandits at that crossroads
  • Was feeling hostile! So tore through Robber’s Gorge, including getting down into the cavern and swimming out to the hidden treasure
  • Looted all the bandits on the way out, and found one last bandit that Lyds and Barbas hadn’t taken out, so took him out too
  • Very overloaded, but hey, horse!
  • Rode on through Dragon Bridge and over to Solitude
  • Passed some Thalmor with a prisoner
  • Ma’dran’s caravan was on site so sold just about all the bandit loot to Ma’dran
  • Came into Solitude and cue the execution
  • Did a bit more shopping with Bits and Pieces and Radiant Raiment
  • Then went right back out again to hit Kilkreath Temple
  • Passed an Imperial squad on the way up the hill
  • Got the Elemental Fury word off the Word Wall
  • Ran the place; this time it went well, in no small part because I’d just run this same dungeon as Elessir, so the route through was clear in my immediate memory
  • Went easy on looting so I could get out without being overburdened
  • Only killed once by Malkoran this time! And let Barbas do most of the work
  • Also stayed out on the stairs, which drew Lydia out to me and kept her out of the line of fire; I threw heals on her just to be damn sure she’d stay alive
  • Once the shades were down and I saw Barbas had cornered Malkoran in the back of the room, I came in to take some potshots at him and finally take him out, and then take out his shade
  • Did the looting circuit of the room before finally taking Dawnbreaker (did not see an extra Dawnbreaker lying around anywhere, darn 😉 )
  • Unlocked achievement for getting a Daedric artifact
  • Lydia and Barbas did not follow me out, so fast traveled to the same location to get them to catch up
  • Headed north and west to go hit Rimerock Barrow
  • Killed an ice wraith, an ice wolf, and then a few more wolves on the way
  • Sebastian Lort managed to call up an extra flame atronach but this didn’t keep him from losing the fight; got the axe and looted the rest of the place as well
  • Came back out and fast traveled to Haemar’s Shame
  • Went in to give Barbas and the Rueful Axe back to Vile; got the Masque
  • Came back out again and fast traveled to Hendraheim; picked up stuff I’d left in the chest there
  • Fast traveled from there to Lakeview and did a bit more building, mostly exterior things
  • Went to Whiterun to buy more iron and corundum
  • Had Lydia stand down for now because not sure yet if I want her to be steward at Lakeview, and didn’t want her offering to do so yet
  • Checked Hendraheim one more time because I thought I had some straw on me for beds, but I must have sold it to the Khajiit?
  • Returned to Lakeview and built out the main house structure and a bunch of the furnishings
  • Boinged back to Whiterun, parked in Breezehome, and saved until next time

Wednesday the 9th

  • Started in Breezehome
  • Boinged to Hendraheim and dropped off the Orcish Plate armor and the Sapphire Dragon Claw
  • Boinged to Lakeview to check on building status
  • Got surprise bandits when coming out of the house; took them out
  • Set out with Lydia on foot (so I could use the Clairvoyance spell) to go to the zombie ritual site
  • Did not get very far past Pinewatch when SURPRISE DRAGON, so had to take that out too
  • Then finally set off for the ritual site
  • Clairvoyance spell led me astray a couple of times before finally cluing in on which way I should be going
  • Went around Helgen again, and killed a wolf up on the snowy slope
  • Where I also for the first time noticed an unmarked camp that had two dead “Flüchtlings”, i.e., refugees
  • Reached the ritual site and took out a total of 12 zombies to clear it
  • Got the Raise Zombie spell and the necromancer’s journal
  • On the way out, hit the two silver veins by Southfringe Sanctum and also the exterior spellsword
  • Overloaded from all the zombie loot so had to Whirlwind Sprint and/or sneak/bow my way along
  • Thought I was going to try to hit Ancient’s Ascent for the dragon bounty, but Clairvoyance got confused again as to what I should be doing
  • Had the Fugitive chased by Hunter encounter; gave the Hunter what the Fugitive stole
  • Finally went through Helgen on the way back (and nabbed a couple of potions while there)
  • Made it back to Lakeview; Lydia volunteered to be steward finally and I let her
  • Got her to sell me logs so I could build out more of the house, and get her and Rayya some beds
  • Made good inroads on main house furniture and cellar as well
  • Slept the night, then went out again with Lyds to go after the dragon
  • Took out the bandits by the river
  • Came up on the backend of Ancient’s Ascent; sneakily climbed down and then went at the dragon with Lyds + flame atronach
  • Got the word off the Word Wall
  • Fast traveled to Pinewatch to get back within range of the bandits we killed at the river so I could loot them, then returned to pick up the rest of the bandit loot at Lakeview
  • Took it all to Falkreath and sold a bunch of it to Solaf
  • Sold dragon bits and assorted potions to Zaria and bought a bunch of ingredients from her
  • Got the bounty payment from Nenya
  • Bought iron from Lod and also got the epilogue of 25 gold from him for Barbas being more trouble than he was worth
  • Returned to Lakeview and built more things till I ran out of iron
  • Made some jewelry to sell
  • Leveled up to 17; took Stamina bump and first perk in Pickpocketing (thinking ahead to Riften)
  • Slept at Lakeview
  • Headed out again in the morning with Lydia to go to Ustengrav
  • Killed wolf past Riverwood, fight witnessed by what was probably an Imperial courier who ran off again
  • Passed Imperials with prisoner near Honningbrew just before the crossroads
  • Cut across plains to head north
  • Passed live horse + dead bandit
  • Killed a total of six wolves in different places along the plain
  • Found a Dwarven bow just lying on the snow, no sign of where it came from
  • Came over the hills right near the shrine of Mehrunes Dagon
  • Killed snowy sabre cat
  • Went ahead and discovered the shrine for later important getting Mehrunes’ Razor purposes
  • Horse ran off so proceeded down the mountainside on foot till I got to Stonehills
  • Fast traveled to same to make horse catch up
  • Found Kjenstag Ruins
  • Mudcrab tried to start some shit just before Ustengrav; horse took it out
  • Cue the Ustengrav bandits! Lydia and horse handled that
  • Hit iron vein and collected a few deathbells
  • Took the time to actually practice how sprinting works before running Ustengrav
  • Then actually ran the place
  • Found a silver vein I don’t think I knew about before? Mined that
  • Used what I know now about sprinting to get past that gate puzzle
  • Ran the rest of the place, got the note that said somebody needs to speak to me
  • Looted the boss chest and other loot on the way out, including everything on all the fallen bandits and necromancers
  • Overloaded but got back to Kara and fast traveled to Whiterun
  • Sold a boatload of things to Elrindir to unload
  • Did some alchemy in Breezehome to burn through a bunch of acquired ingredients
  • Sold more things to Belethor
  • Went up to Dragonsreach and blew up some things on Farengar’s table to learn enchantments, including the sword from Hendraheim, because I have Dawnbreaker that’s capable of setting enemies on fire anyway
  • Bought a big ol’ pile of spells from Farengar in all schools of magic
  • Returned to Breezehome and saved there until next time, close to leveling to 18


Feeling generally surly is a good time to do a run through a bandit lair. In this case, that meant rampaging through Robber’s Gorge and taking out every bandit in sight, and then looting the hell out of the place. Take that, bandits! That’s what you get for building your fortification across a public road citizens are trying to use!

I even did the part where you go down into the cavern underneath this bandit lair and get the journal pointing at a treasure cache. And since there’s underground water down there leading out into the river, I dove into that, too! Because in this run, I’m an Argonian and can stay underwater as long as I damn well please. That was kind of awesome, actually. 😀 This got me an extra chest to loot!

I like that I have discovered a proper way to get around Helgen if I come at it from the west. This is useful if I don’t feel like cutting through there and fighting whatever bandits just respawned.

This time through, on the way back from zombie ritual action, I did however cut through the place. And I rather imagine Finds-The-Way murmuring a few prayers to Sithis as she crept through the place and salvaged what useful items she could find.

It amuses me that this Argonian may be the first character I’ve ever run in Skyrim that actually kind of likes Morthal, just because it’s near a marsh. It’s a stupidly cold marsh for her comfort level, but it’s still marshy!

And now here’s the part where I ruefully admit that it’s taken me ten tries at running Ustengrav to finally figure out how the hell sprinting works in this game. I have continually had trouble with this, because sprinting is not something I actually bother to do outside of two places: Ustengrav and that puzzle with the gates, and Koljborn Barrow and its puzzle with the pressure plates on the floor.

I’ve never felt like I’ve had any particular need to sprint on a regular basis, even though intellectually, I get that it can sure as hell be useful sometimes. Like, say, if you want to run the hell away from a bear. It’s just not anything I’ve ever instinctively thought about!

(Which means, clearly, that I should think more about it!)

This time, however, I actually took the time to not only look up what to do, but also practice it just outside Ustengrav. And I finally, fucking finally, got it right.

So let me note here for the benefit of Future Me as well as any other players who might have trouble with this:

  1. I have to be moving first
  2. Then I hit the toggle sprint button, which on my controller is the Left Bumper

(This, I think, is the exact same problem I have with doing power attacks, too. I have to remind myself of that every time I run Bloodskal Barrow on Solstheim: move first, then do the attack swing with the Bloodskal Blade.)

Taking the time to do this also taught me something else, which may be a contributing factor to why I’ve found learning how to make my character sprint to be so difficult: moving requires me to hit the Left Stick, and if I also have to then hit the Left Bumper to toggle sprinting, that feels awkward to me.

So I did a bit of remapping of the back buttons on my Deck, and set the L5 button, the lower left one, to also send Left Bumper when I hit it. Which feels like a more intuitive hand motion to me.

And this resulted in identifying a three-button sequence to do that gate puzzle:

  1. Left Stick to start moving
  2. L5 or Left Bumper to toggle sprinting on
  3. Then, as soon as I clear that last pillar, Right Bumper to throw the Whirlwind Sprint shout

And it only took me ten playthroughs to finally work this out, snerk. It’ll be interesting to see if this helps my gameplay moving forward!

I even learned something else about Ustengrav this time, which is to say: I found a silver vein in there I wasn’t entirely sure I ever knew before was there. I found it shortly after getting the word for Become Ethereal, in the same general area as the corundum vein that I did know about. I’ll need to remember that that’s there for future playthroughs.

Little side note I want to make about Nenya here, the steward in Falkreath: I only just realized as I was writing this post that she’s the only steward in the game who’s an Altmer! And it also means that Falkreath has two named Altmer NPCs, her and Runil. Which strikes me as kind of astounding for a small city in Skyrim. There are Altmer in Dawnstar and Winterhold, but only one in Dawnstar–and if you exclude the College of Winterhold (where there are multiple Altmer around), there’s only one Altmer in the town proper as well. Morthal has no Altmer at all.

And this puts Falkreath ahead of some of the bigger cities, for that matter. I can’t think of a single Altmer NPC in Whiterun or Riften. (Though I am kind of stunned that I never realized before now that Calcelmo in Markarth is in fact a High Elf! I think this must be because Calcelmo always has a hood on, and has the same voice actor as Tolfdir, so I never got a sense of what he looks like. And I have that voice mapped to “old Nord dude” in my head.)

Achievements unlocked

  • Daedric Influence: For acquiring a Daedric artifact

Current achievements count: 11.

Language commentary

interesting terms observed:

  • Assassine: (Female) Assassin
  • Die Dunklen Bruderschaft: The Dark Brotherhood
  • Räuberschluct: Robber’s Gorge
  • Banditenraufbold: Bandit Thug (lit. “bandit bully”)
  • Drachenbrügge: Dragon Bridge
  • Möge Eure Weg Euch zu warmen Wüsten führen.: May your road lead you to warm sands.
  • Zwinkernden Skeever: Winking Skeever
  • Kram mit Charme: Bits and Pieces (lit. “Junk with Charm”)
  • Noster Adler-Auge: Noster Eagle-Eye
  • Glänzende Gewänder: Radiant Raiment (lit. “glittering garb”)
  • Die Göttlichen: The Divines
  • Elementare Raserei: Elemental Fury (lit. “Elemental Frenzy”)
  • Totenbeschwörer: Necromancer
  • Dämmerbrecher: Dawnbreaker
  • Tempel von Kilkreath: Kilkreath Temple
  • Geisterhafte Überraste: Ghostly Remains
  • Tempel von Kilkreath: Galerie: Kilkreath Balcony
  • Tempel von Kilkreath: Katakomben: Kilkreath Catacombs
  • Statue für Meridia: Statue to Meridia (lit. “Statue for Meridia”)
  • Eisgeist: Ice Wraith (lit. “Ice Spirit”)
  • Höhle des Verlorenen Echos: Lost Echo Cave
  • Zweigling: Spriggan
  • Schale: Bowl
  • Axt der Rue: Rueful Axe
  • Energiequelle: Word of Power (lit. “energy source”)
  • Schanze des Vergessen Tals: Lost Valley Redoubt
  • Halbmondmühle: Half-Moon Mill
  • Quecksilberbarren: Quicksilver Ingots
  • Bruchstein: Quarry Stone
  • Säbelzahntigerpelz: Sabre Cat Pelt (lit. “sabre tooth tiger pelt”)
  • Kiefernwacht: Pinewatch
  • Flüchtling: Refugee, but can apparently also mean Fugitive?
  • Festung Neugrad: Fort Neugrad
  • Totenbeschwörer-Lehrling: Apprentice Necromancer
  • Totenmagier: Necromage (lit. “death mage”)
  • Jäger: Hunter (though really, I knew this one already)
  • Nirnwurz: Nirnroot
  • Aufsteig des Alten: Ancient’s Ascent
  • Kopfgeld: Bounty
  • Knochenfrostpassage: Bonechill Passage (lit. “Bone Frost Passage”)
  • Angebratener Schlachterfisch: Seared Slaughterfish
  • Steinbühel: Stonehills
  • Kjenstagruine: Kjenstag Ruins
  • Beschwörer-Novize: Novice Conjurer
  • Wiederherstellung: Restoration
  • Ätherische Gestalt: Become Ethereal (lit. “Ethereal Form”)
  • Tierfreundschaft: Animal Allegiance (lit. “Animal Friendship”)
  • Heilungszauber: Healing spell
  • Das Dachzimmer: The attic room
  • Gasthaus Schlafender Riese: Sleeping Giant Inn
  • Cyrodilischer Spatenschwanz: Cyrodilic Spadetail
  • Säbelzahntigerreißzahn: Sabre Cat Tooth (lit. “saber-toothed tiger fang”)

Meridia’s voice actor in German definitely comes across sounding “older” than she does in English. This was not a bad thing! But it was an interesting variation. Her German voice had a bit of aged roughness to it, and lent her more of a stern, forbidding air than I get out of the English voice performance.

Mind you, Meridia in English also sounds pretty forbidding! But in English she comes across to me more as just generally “haughty and expecting you to obey her because of course you will”. Whereas in German, it’s more like “this is an ancient entity who has roused herself to make you do something for her right the fuck now and it would be very bad idea if you refused”.

While I’m talking about the Daedric Prince voice performances, I must also give props to whoever performed Clavicus Vile, too! He sounded enough like the English version that I had to actually go look up who performed Vile in the English game (Stephen Russell), and find out whether he did the lines in German, too. Answer: no! I couldn’t find a credit for who the actor was in German, but whoever he was, he did an excellent job of matching Russell’s performance in style and tone.

(Sidebar: and now that I looked up Stephen Russell, I also gotta say I had no idea he did so many voices in Skyrim. He’s also Belethor, Mercer Frey, Barbas, Madanach, and several other ‘sly’ sounding characters. And he does a splendid job at making those characters sound distinct from one another. <3 Especially Clavicus Vile and Barbas. He’s playing both sides of those conversations, and that had to be hilarious to record.)

Drachenbrügge as a translation for Dragon Bridge surprised me–because I didn’t know the word “brügge”. The word I’d previously known for bridge was “brücke”. Complicating the matter here is that, from what I’m seeing looking it up, “Brügge” is the German translation for the Belgian city of Bruges.

Looking further, though, I found a German Wiktionary page that explicitly says that -brügge can be a suffix as part of a place name. And if I’m understanding that page correctly, that basically means that this is acting as a synonym of “bridge”. So still a direct translation!

It is not clear to me whether the Winking Skeever becomes Der Zwinkernden Skeever, or Das Zwinkernden Skeever. 😀 Much depends here on whether Skeever is a masculine or neutral noun! I will need to look for dialogue where the place is mentioned as the subject of a sentence, rather than the object. I think Sorex in Solitude should have a line that’ll confirm!

I gotta giggle a bit at the translation of Bits and Pieces basically meaning “junk with charm”. 😀 Which certainly fits with the common merchant line of “Some may call this junk, me, I call them treasures.”

The translation for Radiant Raiment appears to be using language that’s considered old, according to “Gewand” apparently has an archaic meaning of “garb” or “garments”, though the more common translation appears to be “robe” or “gown”. Honestly, I could take either meaning as appropriate here! But it would make sense to me if the German translation team for the game made some choices deliberately in favor of more archaic meanings of terms. That would kind of fit with the fantasy/medieval feel of the game.

“Zweigling” for “spriggan” is striking me as a bit of linguistic juggling, to basically get a German-flavored word that more or less has the same idea as “spriggan”. “Zweig” means “branch”, so I guess sticking “-ling” on the end of it kind of has the same feel in German?

I also gotta giggle at “Säbelzahntiger” for the translation of “Sabre Cat”. Which, while technically not a direct translation, is clearly a literal translation, because of course what Skyrim calls a Sabre Cat is a saber-toothed tiger.

“Flüchtling” is interesting just because I saw the exact same word in two different contexts: in the camp with two dead bodies near Helgen, which in English are tagged as “Refugees”. But I also saw it with the Hunter chasing a Fugitive scenario, where the Fugitive was tagged in German as “Flüchtling”. And from what I’m seeing on the page for the word, it does appear to cover both definitions.

Next time

Finds-The-Way’s next post will feature going with Delphine to Kynesgrove to take out Sahloknir, and then taking the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller back to High Hrothgar. Aside from that, don’t know yet! I’ll find out!


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.