Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Slays Sahloknir and Joins the Thieves Guild

A three-session post, just to clear my queue! Primary action here is slaying Sahloknir at Kynesgrove, and also joining the Thieves Guild! With a bunch of side action involving bear hunting, getting the plot started at Largashbur, raiding Lost Valley Redoubt for the Word of Power there, and finding out where the location is for some of the Anniversary Edition content I haven’t actually run yet.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 8/14, 8/17, 8/21/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 11-13

Monday the 14th

  • Picked up in Breezehome, and rode from there to Riverwood
  • Passed mead revelers on the way; also killed a wolf
  • Reached Riverwood and met up with Delphine about the horn; talked her through to the point of going to Kynesgrove, then set out
  • Revelers were still there when we went by!
  • Killed a couple more wolves on the way to Valtheim Towers
  • Exterior bandit there got into it with Delphine, which did not go well for the bandit
  • At this point, in the interests of keeping up with Delphine, did not bother to get back onto the horse
  • Encountered en route:
    • Some Stormcloaks, non-hostile
    • A couple of wolves and a bear, all of which were hostile
    • A random hostile Argonian (SETTLE DOWN MY BROTHER)
  • Went through Mixwater Mill
  • Made it to Kynesgrove, cue the frightened innkeeper and incoming Alduin!
  • Took out Sahloknir and cue Delphine being all holy shit you really are Dragonborn
  • Set the plan to meet up with her later at Riverwood about getting into the Thalmor Embassy
  • Overloaded after looting the dragon, so trudged slowly back down the hill towards Windhelm
  • Heard another dragon in the distance but not sure if that was still Alduin or a new dragon; didn’t see one to engage
  • Looted dead Stormcloak on the way out
  • Reached Windhelm Stables
  • Khajiit were on site so sold stuff to Ma’dran
  • No longer overloaded, but went into Windhelm anyway long enough to get the book for the dragonscale armor quest
  • Did not rent a room at the inn on general “I’m an Argonian, fuck this racist city” principles
  • Went right back out again and saddled up to head for Yorgrim Overlook
  • Killed an ice wraith en route and more wolves
  • Reached Yorgrim Overlook, killed skeletons, got armor
  • Boinged from there to Whiterun to sell stuff and also buy a fresh supply of iron and corundum
  • Boinged to Lakeview and did a bunch of building
  • Created the Bedroom Wing and built a lot of its furnishings, also put more stuff in the cellar
  • Did some improvements on the dragonscale armor but it’s not ready for prime time yet, so kept to the scaled armor for now
  • Slept the night; got up the next morning and set out again on Kara to go to High Hrothgar to turn in the horn
  • Decided to ride the whole way to see if I could hunt bears
  • Mead revelers still at the spot where they spawned! They must have had a whole lot of mead XD
  • Killed yet more wolves
  • Valtheim Towers threw a red dot up onto my HUD but I didn’t linger in the vicinity long enough to fight bandits
  • Hit iron vein on the road towards Hillgrund’s Tomb
  • Went by Stormcloaks again but they didn’t say anything
  • Spotted dead Orc lying nearby and pretty sure that was the one I gave a good death to before?
  • Went off road and up the zig zag trail
  • Found another bear! And also wolves
  • Crossed the river and found the troll had respawned
  • Also nearby: Imperial squad with prisoner, and the prisoner actually ran over to punch the troll
  • Rode slowly behind them not to piss them off
  • Then we got to Ivarstead and yikes the Ivarstead guards started in on a fight with the Imperials, killed all three of them and their prisoner :O
  • Did not interfere in that fight, and instead derped around Ivarstead looking for more bears to kill
  • Hit Pinepeak Cavern right near the bridge up to High Hrothgar, took out two bears there and got an extra bear skin off a dead hunter
  • Swung just south of Ivarstead and killed two more bears at Honeystrand Cave, which got me up to seven total skins
  • Rented a room at the inn and slept the night
  • Got up the next morning and headed up the 7000 steps again, to see if I could kill any bears; answer: yes, one!
  • Also killed two ice wraiths, and re-killed that frost troll! Much more directly this time because now I have a flame atronach ho ho ho
  • Read all ten of the emblems again to reactivate Voice of the Sky
  • Reached High Hrothgar, gave the horn to Arngeir, and got recognized formally as Dragonborn
  • Got Arngeir to give me a pointer to a Word of Power—in Hag’s End, awesome!
  • Saved at the point of coming out of High Hrothgar for next time

Thursday the 17th

  • Started at High Hrothgar
  • Hoofed it down the mountain and back to Ivarstead; killed an ice wraith on the way
  • Found Kara hiding by the bridge, then mounted up and headed out
  • Found that yeah, Voice of the Sky kinda means it’s harder to hunt bears, oops; was not attacked either by wolves or by a bear, although they did attack poor Kara
  • No effect though on the random cranky Imperial who picked a fight with me, which did not go well for him
  • I think I leveled up to 19 here? Took Health bump and Elven Smithing perk
  • Bear that attacked Kara though chased her off and by the time I caught up, the bear was killing a mercenary
  • Found Kara again finally and rode onward; outran at least one more bear and also some wolves before they could get at the horse
  • Reached the vicinity of Largashbur
  • Found a goblin hunting party, who attacked me, as they were also not affected by Voice of the Sky
  • Lydia got pissed off at Kara during the fight and started attacking her, so my stupid horse ran off again, leaving me overloaded to tromp over to Largashbur and start shooting at the giant stomping around nearby
  • Atub’s dialogue triggered, but Ugor’s did not; I think Ugor got killed by the giant?
  • Got the directive to get a Daedra heart and troll fat though, and headed on from there
  • Did a bunch of Whirlwind Sprint and drawing the Bow of Shadows to get myself to Riften
  • Went past a couple of female Vigilants of Stendarr
  • Reached Riften’s south gate and the guard ordered me around to the north gate, as they do
  • Tromped very slowly around the city wall, made it to the north gate, called the guard on his bullshit, and got him to let me in
  • Spotted Mjoll and Aerin
  • Had initial convo with Maul and bribed him for info
  • Went into the Bee and Barb to rent a room, and was immediately greeted by Brynjolf
  • Agreed to talk to him in the market about his plan, but for now went over to chat with Keerava
  • Got multiple quests off of Keerava, got Bones for a Crow, the Missing Merchant quest for Daedric mail, and Blood in the Water quest to go get the Headman’s Cleaver
  • Also rented a room from her; slept for a few hours since it was already nearly 5am
  • Then went out into the market
  • Sold things to Balimund and got his fire salts quest, also bought a bunch of iron
  • Sold things to Bersi
  • Parked Lydia inside the inn just in case the pickpocketing went badly
  • Then talked to Brynjolf and game on
  • Was successful stealing the ring out of Madesl’s strongbox, with the help of the Bow of Shadows to go invisible
  • Was not initially successful stashing it in Brand-Shei’s pocket though; he spotted me the first time
  • Second time was successful, though I wound up with a 25 gold bounty in the Rift
  • Got Brynjolf’s directive to go find him in the Ragged Flagon in the Ratway
  • But first, headed out on foot to go take care of the bandit leader bounty at Broken Helm Hollow
  • As soon as I came through the north gate, dragon! A frost breather
  • Lydia, my flame atronach, guards, and Hofnir from the stables all took it out; nobody appeared to die, good
  • Headed on over to take out the bandits; no issues doing that, cleared the place (though I skipped the hidden room since I didn’t have the quest to find the missing husband)
  • Fast traveled back to Riften to make sure Kara would teleport to the stables, and did a circuit of getting other quests
  • Hit the graveyard to search the dead body of the thief for the Gray Cowl quest
  • Headed out to the fishery to get the initial quests from Viriya and Swims, and the Avanchnzel quest hook from From-Deepest-Fathoms
  • Came in back in to look for Wujeeta, and found her in Haelga’s bunkhouse; gave her the healing potion to get the quest going for Riften thaneship
  • Finally headed down into the Ratway to find the Ragged Flagon
  • Got the objective to go beat up some shopkeepers
  • Went ahead and paid my bounty to a guard to get that out of the way
  • Then beat up some shopkeepers, specifically Haelga and Bersi, because not beating on a fellow Argonian (and I did just brawl with them, rather than threatening the Dibella statue or the Dwemer pot)
  • Reported back to Brynjolf
  • Got the quest to hit Goldenglow Estate
  • Talked to Tonilia to get my Thieves Guild armor; also sold her some stuff
  • Talked to Vex to get her tip about the sewer entrance
  • Paid Vipir the Fleet for five rounds of Pickpocket training
  • Then headed topside (which discovered the Thieves Guild entrance officially for my map)
  • Boinged to Lakeview to do some building and inventory managing
  • Built out more things in the cellar, in the Bedroom Wing, and on the second floor
  • Did some alchemy
  • Leveled up to 20, took Stamina bump, took next perk in Pickpocketing
  • Saved there until next time

Monday the 21st

  • Picked up again at Lakeview and did some building
  • Couldn’t find Lydia so boinged to Whiterun to see if she was there; no, but slept the night and then bought a bunch of iron
  • Boinged back to Lakeview and started building more stuff, built out things in the Armory Wing
  • Got courier with level 20 notice of museum in Dawnstar as I came out with materials to use on the Armory Wing
  • Found Lydia outside by the smelter, oh good
  • Saw the courier then working at my outside tanning rack, LOL
  • Built as much of the Armory Wing as I could until I ran out of iron
  • Got Lydia on duty, mounted up, and rode out
  • Stopped at Guardian Stones to fish (note: rainy weather, so fishing in the rain)
  • Blood Dragon showed up; long fight, and it killed me >_<
  • Thrown back to Lakeview, so riding out, take two
  • Got Blood Dragon again at the Guardian Stones but this time it was a flyby, and I successfully fished at the Stones
  • Got some pogfish, also got a pearlfish I’ll need for later, and the Juvenile Mudcrab for Viriya
  • Mined the iron vein
  • Proceeded on to Riverwood and fished there; got two spadefish and another pearlfish
  • And the Ring of Kynareth! Saved at this point to make sure I don’t lose that 😀
  • Fast traveled to Whiterun to sell clutter and potions and thing, then decided it was time to go fuck up some Forsworn
  • Rode out from Whiterun and headed towards Hendraheim
  • Encountered en route:
    • Refugee farmers, gave them 5 gold
    • Giant and cow, gave them a wide berth
    • Thalmor with prisoner, but they were too far away to be annoyed by my presence so I didn’t bother them
    • Sond and Bottar; bought some Dwemer scrap off the kids and also got the marker for Deep Folk Crossing
  • Parked Kara in the stable at Hendraheim, then headed next door to Lost Valley Redoubt
  • But first killed a bear! Hurray! Bear number 10!
  • HEY FORSWORN! Neighbor here, can I borrow a cup of WELP I GUESS NOT
  • Proceeded to kick assorted Forsworn ass, including initial Briarheart
  • Mined silver vein
  • Made it up to the Hagravens and Briarheart at the Word Wall
  • Took them out and got the second word for Become Ethereal
  • Since I was in the neighborhood, hoofed it over to run Cradle Stone Tower and took out the hagraven in there
  • Checked out the entrance to Runoff Caverns; mined another iron vein there
  • Found the body of the Dwarven Horse
  • Hoofed it back over to do Bard’s Leap Summit; did that and found one Forsworn survivor who shot at me while the bard ghost was doing his thing, HOW RUDE
  • Called up the atronach to set him on fire, got the Speech boost off the ghost, and went over to finish off the Forsworn
  • Looted three chests on my way out
  • Went over to get Gloomreach on the map though wasn’t in the mood to run it, really; boinged back to Hendraheim instead
  • Enchanted a few minor things just to bump the stat 
  • Leveled up to 21; took Health bump; took Novice perk in Restoration
  • Grabbed assorted random useful items scattered around the house, then slept
  • Dropped off the scaled armor since I know i won’t be wearing it, and I still feel like it’s appropriate to just display that armor in honor of the house’s previous owner
  • Went back out again and mounted up; headed off to start running Goldenhills
  • Got a sabre cat though on the way down to the road; took that out
  • At crossroads spawn point, got bandits–four of them, which was confusing
  • Last bandit freaked and ran, but Lyds took him out anyway
  • Looted everybody, and got overloaded; mounted up and boinged back to Whiterun to sell loot
  • Had a bit of oddness with sound and with Steam losing connectivity, but was able to confirm a good save, so left off with that for the night


Lately it’s occurred to me to try to get a better sense of how long in game time it takes to get from point A to point B. So in the first of these two sessions, I noted that it took me about an hour to ride on my horse from Whiterun to Riverwood. Later, I noted that it took me about five hours to ride from Riverwood to Kynesgrove, following the route that Delphine usually takes if you do the whole journey with her.

And this was me riding my horse not at top speed, just because I feel like it’s cruel to go too fast when my housecarl or whatever other follower is jogging along on foot behind me! So my usual riding speed on a horse is pretty comparable to my usual running speed–which I got confirmation of by the way, when in Elessir’s playthrough I tested how long it took me to get from Whiterun to Riverwood on foot. That was also about an hour.

Let it be noted for the record, though, that Finds was a lot more cordial to Delphine than Elessir was!

But because Delphine does have a way of buggering off on you in the middle of the journey to Kynesgrove (or at least she does if you’re me), I didn’t bother to get back on Kara at Valtheim. I did dismount there, just because Delphine fought the exterior bandit, and I was half-expecting her to start charging through the place and killing the rest of them. She did not, in fact, do that!

Still, I didn’t bother to remount. Just because I wanted to see if this made it any more likely that Delphine would stay nearby. (But for narrative purposes, let us assume that Finds was not so stupid as to leave her horse in the proximity of bandits. Because that would be stupid, nicht wahr?) This did seem to help, since I made it all the way to Kynesgrove at Delphine’s side.

Lesson to be learned from this: next time maybe leave the horse in Riverwood?

I was rather startled to go by the same set of mead revelers three different times, across a couple of in-game days! Clearly, those guys must have brought a ton of mead along with them. But at least this time they were partying somewhere reasonably safe. ;D

Also rather startled to see the Ivarstead guards get into a fight with the Imperial squad with their prisoner! And I shouldn’t have been, really. The Rift starts off under Stormcloak control, so of course Ivarstead has Stormcloak-sympathizing guards. I thought it was a bit harsh though for them to also kill the Imperials’ prisoner! Because that guy is also supposedly a Stormcloak, and I should think that Stormcloak-friendly guards would want to free him, not kill him!

And this was extra startling because I’d literally just seen that exact same prisoner have the guts to run over and punch the troll by the river, just before I’d come to Ivarstead. Which was hilarious. There I was thinking that the Imperials should have let him go for bravery alone, or maybe tried to recruit him, but nope! Ivarstead guards killed the poor dude.

Meanwhile, getting the Thieves Guild plotline started in Riften, I fucked up the first attempt to pickpocket the ring onto Brand-Shei. He spotted me! And I didn’t quite realize what had happened until I saw that Brynjolf’s little distraction tableau was still in play. I was all “wait why are they all gathered around Brynjolf still–oh“.

So I had to go back for a second attempt, and fortunately that one worked.

It dinged me with a 25 gold bounty in the Rift, though. And I started getting guards saying “Hey, I know you” at me. And since that was not a thing I wanted to have to worry about, I went ahead and paid the 25 gold bounty. Finds is, after all, not trying to make waves.

I never did do Runoff Caverns, the main ruin for the Forgotten Seasons Creation, in any of my previous playthroughs. And I didn’t start it here, either, even though I found the entrance. The reason for this: I haven’t done this before, and I figured I should not do a brand new thing for the first time in German. I don’t think my translation skills will be quite up to the task of reading any relevant notes or anything totally from scratch.

So I’ll hit this place as Elessir. But now that I know where it is, I can also maybe come back and hit it as Finds, since I can fast travel right back to it now.

The bandits encounter I got coming out of Hendraheim was confusing. There were four of them, which didn’t match most bandit encounters I’ve had, where there are typically three. I’m not sure if they were fighting each other or what; I saw somebody chasing somebody else.

This might have been the “three bandits intimidate an NPC to find out where a thing is” encounter that I see referenced on the World Interactions wiki page, but I’m not sure. I didn’t see dialogue thrown before I reached the fight. And then everybody attacked me, Lydia, and the horse, so I had no chance to figure out what was going on!

Any way you slice it, though, bad day for the bandits. ;D

Last but not least, finished off the third of these sessions with a bit of weirdness. A thing I’ve seen periodically happening on the Deck is that if you bring it out of hibernation, the sound can get wonky. This happened again in this session, so I saved the game with the intent to just close it and restart.

But then I also noticed that Steam was having trouble syncing to its cloud. So I tried to restart the entire device, and when it came back up, it wouldn’t even let me log in! Steam must have had some sort of brief glitch with its backend auth servers or something.

I was able to kick the device into Offline mode long enough to confirm that I had a good save in Whiterun. And I took that as a sign to go ahead and save for the night!

Achievements unlocked

  • Words of Power: For learning all three words of a Shout
  • Hero of the People: For completing 50 miscellaneous objectives; I think I got this when selling stuff to Tonilia
  • Taking Care of Business: For joining the Thieves Guild

Current achievements count: 14.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Kyneshain: Kynesgrove
  • Das Düsterwald: The Braidwood (i.e., the inn in Kynesgrove; lit., “the Mirkwood”)
  • Wohlschmeckendes dunkles Bier: Tasty dark beer
  • Die Klingen: The Blades
  • Angas Mühle: Anga’s Mill
  • Beschlagene Drachenschuppenhandschuhe: Studded Dragonscale Gauntlets
  • Höhlenbärenpelz: Cave Bear Pelt
  • Kieferspitzenhöhle: Pinepeak Cave (lit. “pine peaks cave”, I think?)
  • Fuchspelz: Fox Pelt
  • Trollfett: Troll Fat
  • Daedraherz: Daedra Heart
  • Ställe von Rifton: Riften Stables
  • Rifton: Riften
  • Mjoll die Löwin: Mjoll the Lioness
  • Die Diebesgilde: The Thieves Guild
  • Maven Schwarz-Dorn: Maven Black-Briar
  • Falmerblut-Elixier: Falmerblood Elixir (hee hee hee)
  • Bersi Honig-Hand: Bersi Honey-Hand
  • Das Verpfändeten Pfifferling: The Pawned Prawn (lit. “the pawned mushroom”)
  • Der Rattenweg: The Ratway
  • Bienentisch: The Bee and Barb (lit. “bee sting”)
  • Die Zersplitterte Flasche: The Ragged Flagon (lit. “the shattered bottle”)
  • Blutdrache: Blood Dragon
  • Bruchhelmtal: Broken Helm Hollow
  • Festung Nebelschleier: Mistveil Keep
  • Fischerei von Rifton: Riften Fishery
  • Schwimmt-in-tiefen-Wasser: Swims-In-Deep-Water
  • Aus-Tiefsten-Tiefen: From-Deepest-Fathoms (lit. “from the deepest depths”)
  • Hewnon Schwarz-Skeever: Hewnon Black-Skeever
  • Gian die Faust: Gian the Fist
  • Handschuhe des Faustkämpfers: Gloves of the Pugilist
  • Taugenichts: Lowlife (lit. “good-for-nothing, ne’er-do-well”)
  • Die Zersplitterte Flasche: Zisterne: The Ragged Flagon – Cistern
  • Abwassertunnel: Sewage Tunnel
  • Stein von Barenziah: Stone of Barenziah
  • Angelzubehör: Fishing Supplies (lit. “fishing equipment”)
  • Dämmerstern: Dawnstar
  • Schmelzhütte: Smelter
  • Lachs: Salmon
  • Ostflügel: East Wing
  • Waffenkammer: Armory
  • Schnutfisch: Pogfish (lit. “snoot fish”, maybe? Not sure)
  • Dornenherz: Briarheart
  • Abgeschworenenkopfschmuck: Forsworn Headdress (25 characters!)
  • Abgeschworenenstiefel: Forsworn Boots
  • Hexenrabenfedern: Hagraven Feathers
  • Hexenrabe: Hagraven (lit. “raven witch”, or maybe “crow witch”?)
  • Wiegenfelsturm: Cradle Stone Tower (lit. “cradle rock tower”)
  • Bardensprungspitze: Bard’s Leap Summit
  • Wacholder: Juniper
  • Wacholderbeeren: Juniper Berries
  • Dunkelfeste: Gloomreach (lit. “Darkhold”)
  • Bratspieß: Cooking Spit
  • Cremiger Krabbenbiskuit: Creamy Crab Bisque (lit. “creamy crab cake”)

Delphine’s conversation with the player, and specifically the part where she asks if you can devour a dragon’s soul, doesn’t quite translate over exactly. I think. I got the vibe of that while actually playing through that part of the interaction, but had to actually go back and doublecheck my screenshot to confirm.

Here’s what Delphine’s line is in English:

“You’re the only one that can kill a dragon permanently by devouring its soul.”

And here’s what she said in German:

“Ihr seid die einzige Person, die einen Drachen dauerhaft töten kann, indem sie seine Seele in sich aufnimmt.”

If I throw this through Google Translate to kick it back to English, this is what I get:

“You are the only person who can permanently kill a dragon by absorbing its soul.”

So a fairly close match, but not exact, at least on a cursory read. The key difference is the verb at the end—”devouring” vs. “absorbing”. The German verb is “aufnimmt”, which is a conjugation of “aufnehmen”. According to, this verb is appropriate for the sense of “absorb”. I don’t see the connotation of “devour” in that set of definitions, though.

However, if I go look on, I see that the first line of its definition references “sich nehmen”. And that translates over to “eat” in English. So maybe there is a “devour” connotation here, on a deeper-than-cursory read! I’d need a fluent German speaker to confirm, though.

While running with Delphine to Kynesgrove, we went past some Stormcloaks. And one of them threw a line that I think was the German equivalent of “Talos guide you”, which is a line listed on the wiki that random Stormcloak NPCs can say if they’re not hostile to you. But I didn’t catch the subtitle so I don’t know what the translation was. I’ll need to watch for that in future Stormcloak encounters in this run.

What was clear, though, is that “the Blades” gets translated over to “die Klingen”. And as a Star Trek nerd, I am legally obligated to snerk at this. 😆

(I suppose it does make Delphine and Esbern’s insistence on Paarthurnax dying make a bit more sense? Because HONOR!!!!! or something? Snerk.)

I am deeply disappointed that the translation for Studded Dragonscale Gauntlets is not one word. Dang! But still, “Beschlagene Drachenschuppenhandschuhe” is still an impressive mouthful. I note with interest though that the second word here does not include “panzer”, as other types of gauntlet have done. Which suggests perhaps that “panzer” is being added only for gauntlets that are obviously made out of metal? And admittedly, dragonscale gauntlets aren’t, at least not entirely.

Hmm, “Höhlenbärenpelz” appears to be built out of at least two plural nouns? “Höhlen” is plural of “höhle”, which means cave. And “Bären” is bears. I wonder why the word isn’t “Höhlebärpelz”?

(Also, should I be tracking a record for highest number of umlauts observed in one word? This is German, not Finnish, so I’m pretty sure I won’t get over two. But as of this post, the record definitely stands at two!)

It’s a bit weird to me that Riften gets changed over to Rifton in the German game. I don’t have a language basis at all to understand this change, though.

The Pawned Prawn shop does not get directly translated, interestingly–specifically, the “prawn” part. “Pfifferling” apparently means “chanterelle”, i.e., mushroom. There is a word in German for prawn, “Garnele“. This smells to me like a translation change to get something that has a bit more of an alliterative flow with “Verpfändeten”, though.

And now that I know this, I’m totally going to have to talk to Bersi and get his dialogue option for the story behind the name of his shop. I want to know how they’ve changed it, if they’ve changed the name of the shop!

Likewise, the name of the Bee and Barb seems to also have been changed. “Bienenstich” translates over to “bee sting“. Which does not exactly seem like an inviting name for an inn! But according to that dictionary page I linked to, it is apparently also a kind of cake? So it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the connotation meant here. An inn named for cake sounds a lot more friendly to visit.

“Die Zersplitterte Flasche” for the Ragged Flagon is also not an exact translation. But I like the idea of an inn called the Shattered Bottle! This seems very appropriate and in spirit for the bar run by the Thieves Guild.

I’m a bit confused by “Bruchhelmtal” as the translation for Broken Helm Hollow, for two reasons:

  1. “Bruch” is a noun meaning “break”, which is close to the right idea, but not the adjective I expect? But if I look up how “broken” translates to German, I find a bunch of longer and more complex words. So maybe they just wanted to keep it simpler.
  2. “Tal” means “valley”, and that’s weird on the grounds that the place in question is a cave.

But maybe for some reason they didn’t want to do Bruchhelmhöhle?

Interestingly, “Gian die Faust” does not mean “Gian the Devil”, as I automatically thought. Nope, it is in fact a literal translation of “Gian the Fist”. So an English speaker’s connotation of Faust as in “Faustian bargain” is not appropriate here.

Finding Brynjolf in the Ratway gave me an opportunity to learn an idiom I didn’t know before. In English, if you’re playing a female character, his line would be:

“Well, well… color me impressed, lass. I wasn’t certain I’d ever see you again!”

In German, this is the line he had:

“Sieh an, sieh an… ich bin beeindruckt, Mädchen. Ich war mir nicht sicher, Euch jemals wiederzusehen!”

Two things of interest here:

  1. “Sieh an” seems to basically be the German equivalent of an English speaker saying “lookie there”; it’s a conjugation of “ansehen”, “to look at”.
  2. He’s also addressing me with the formal you, as indicated by Euch. Which is kind of hilarious given that he’s also calling me “Mädchen”, “girl”, which doesn’t exactly come across as formal-you phrasing. 😀

“Cremiger Krabbenbiskuit” as a translation of “Creamy Crab Bisque” is weird to me. For one thing, “bisque” is a soup. But “biskuit”, as near as I can tell on or, is either what an English speaker would call biscotti or a sponge cake, neither of which is anything like a soup.

I don’t think I object to this change in concept for this food, necessarily, just on the grounds that a cake-like thing certainly seems more portable on the Dragonborn’s adventures than soup! But it does strike me as a weird decision. I wonder if they were just going with “biskuit” because it looked closer to “bisque”, rather than going to “Krabbensuppe” or something?

Also, “cremiger” can apparently mean both “creamy” and “creamier”. But I’m not sure how you would decide which meaning you want.

Last but not least, let me call out catching the translation of the merchant line “Some may call this junk. Me, I call them treasures”:

“Für manche ist es Ramsch. Für mich sind es Schätze.”

Pretty close translation back to English in Google Translate!

“For some it’s junk. For me it’s treasure.”

Ha! 🙂

Voice acting commentary

Alduin’s voice acting in German is pretty damned close to the English, especially when using the dragon tongue. The speech of dragons in Skyrim is already quite guttural, so tone-wise, it fits really well in a German playthrough. Maybe a bit too well! It was still obvious to me in terms of specific vocabulary when Alduin switched from addressing Sahloknir in the dragon tongue to addressing me in Tamrielic. But tone-wise, if I hadn’t been paying active attention, or if I hadn’t had subtitles on to be sure, I might not have been able to catch the changeover.

Sahloknir, likewise, sounded really good in German. I expect other dragons with dialogue will follow a similar style; looking forward to hearing what Paarthurnax sounds like!

Switching over to the Argonians in Riften, all four of the ones I heard dialogue from, Keerava, From-Deepest-Fathoms, Swims-In-Deep-Water, and Wujeeta, surprised me with a stylistic quirk in their performances that is not present in the English game. All of them spoke with hissing, drawn-out s’s and z’s, which made them sound like talking snakes.

I’m pretty sure this doesn’t have a solid basis in lore. I haven’t seen any suggestion that Argonians have forked tongues, and my overall understanding of them is that they’re more “amphibian” than “reptile”, even though they’re commonly called “lizards” by non-Argonians. But it was an interesting performance style decision, and since I’ve heard it now out of three different Argonian characters, it definitely seemed like a decision that the German voice actors made as a group.

Switching over to the Thieves Guild, wow, it’s weird hearing Brynjolf in German. I definitely miss his pseudo-Scottish accent from the English version, just because that makes Brynjolf very distinctive. <3

It was even weirder hearing Mercer Frey in German. He sounds a lot more different from his English counterpart than Brynjolf does his. German Mercer has a higher pitched voice, and he’s kind of weaselly sounding, honestly. I’m not sure I approve. It makes it a bit too obvious that he’s an unsavory character, even considering that he’s Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild.

Next time

I do not want to try to tackle Goldenglow Estate until I know for damn sure I have a confirmed means of invisibility, and enough of it. Right now that means Invisibility potions, since I’m not powerful enough to have the spell yet. I do have a couple of invisibility potions, just from what I’ve seen trying to translate the potions in my inventory, but I’m not sure two is enough.

Ideally, I’d also like to get in there with the Throw Voice Shout. So I need to get to Shearpoint next time I run Finds.

But before I do anything else, I think I’ll return to what my goal had been at the end of Finds’ last session: do a rough circuit up from Hendraheim, and swing around towards the College of Winterhold. Which will let me first run Goldenhills Plantation, and then probably swing up to Solitude and get the Bards College going.

Mind you, I don’t think Finds is particularly musically inclined. Or at least, not in any way that non-Argonians are likely to recognize. ;D But the skill bumps off running the “get the instrument” quests are too useful to not do.


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2025: Restored missing gallery, and also removed garbage characters that must have resulted from my screwing up the editing of this page when I first posted it.

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.