Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Sabotages a Meadery, Helps Remnants, and Slays Potema

I just did a Finds post, but here’s another one, because I’m trying to make a hard push through clearing out my backlog!

Main action in this post: running Honningbrew Meadery for the Thieves Guild; taking the Lexicon back to Avanchnzel; building out Goldenhills Plantation; acquiring the Headman’s Cleaver from Lost Knife Hideout; running the Interception plot, and getting the Remnants gear; and doing the second half of the fight with Potema in Solitude.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 9/15, 9/18, 9/21/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 19-21

Friday the 15th

  • Picked up just outside Honningbrew Meadery
  • Went in to talk to Sabjorn
  • Couldn’t persuade him into paying me up front, but intimidating him about yelling skeever worked ;D
  • Proceeded to run the plot
  • Taking out Hamelyn took a while; he did kill me a couple of times
  • Punted to combo of Throw Voice + fire atronach and whittled him down super slow until I could finally take him out head on; he ran out of magicka so I was able to actually get him in close combat
  • (Pretty sure I leveled up to 30 while doing all of this)
  • Poisoned the skeever nest as well as the mead
  • OHNOEZ! The commander of the guard is NOT PLEASED
  • And now Mallus is in charge of the meadery!
  • Got the info out of Sabjorn’s office, and took a few other items while I was in there
  • Returned to Riften, checked in with Maven Black-Briar, and got her quest reward
  • Checked in with Brynjolf and got pointed at Mercer for the next quest
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Tonilia
  • Checked in with Delvin, gave him the decanter from the meadery, and talked through his initial convo about the Guild being cursed
  • Did not go straight to Solitude to deal with Gulum-Ei yet though
  • Instead, went back to Lakeview to pick up Lydia because I wanted to run Avanchnzel
  • Got courier with Mila’s letter about the second goldfish, though, so went back into the house to get that for her
  • Took the fish to Whiterun to drop it off with Mila
  • From there, rode out on Kara with Lydia tagging along behind
  • Sabre cat right by the bridge; it clipped right down into the road when we killed it
  • Two dead bandits at the next spawn point
  • Thought this was the encounter where I’d find another dead body and the note about the stolen necklace, but did not find that body anywhere, so just looted the bandits
  • No toll bandit at Valtheim Towers
  • Proceeded on around to the bridge near Hillgrund’s Tomb
  • Found a thief there but talked him down by pointing out I was a member of the Guild
  • Also saw leftover dead Old Orc and sabre cats from earlier encounter, they must not have despawned?
  • Proceeded onward to try to find best route to Avanchnzel
  • Ice mage vs. fire mage right by Fort Amol, which I discovered for the map
  • Found unmarked back entrance to Darkwater Pass but elected to not go in there for now because i really did want to hit Avanchnzel
  • Wound up on path to Ivarstead and that was the right direction
  • Went past an Imperial patrol who warned me off; did not engage
  • Saw the troll by the river had respawned; did not engage
  • Passed through Ivarstead and kept going; killed assorted critters
  • Reached the Alchemist’s Shack and adopted Thistle; also looted the place, and slept the night there
  • Proceeded the next morning to Avanchnzel
  • Killed more critters, and also got a trio of cultists!
  • Running Avanchnzel took a while because of course I got overloaded
  • Got through more or less okay, including at the one spinning blades trap
  • Centurion at the end was a bit of a problem because I was in fact overloaded and low on healing potions
  • But I held out long enough and with a judicious Become Ethereal that Lyds was able to take him out
  • Got out with all my loot and climbed down from the balcony to get back to Kara
  • Mounted up and boinged to Riften, and sold a whole bunch of stuff
  • Bought all the furnishings for Honeyside so Iona doesn’t have to live in a drafty cobwebby mess
  • Bought Balimund out of all his iron and steel ingots
  • Boinged off next to work on updating Goldenhills Plantation
  • But after getting there, realized I needed building materials from Lakeview; boinged back there to pick up stuff, then boinged back to Goldenhills to build things
  • Got Fugitive Chased by Hunter encounter while I was chopping firewood
  • Built things until I ran out of materials
  • Planted the five leeks I had on me in the side field
  • Then went back to Whiterun to see if I could get more straw; Belethor came through on that
  • Boinged back to Goldenhills once more to finish up building things–and one of my farm workers shrieked about INCOMING DRAGON
  • It was a frost dragon, and Lyds and flame atronach and I took it out
  • And Illia, because I saw some ice spikes being flung at it, and this is why it’s a good idea to have a powerful mage as your steward ;D
  • The dragon crashed right in the middle of my main field! Well, maybe dragon bones are good fertilizer? 😀
  • Threw a bunch of money at Illia to get her to furnish a bunch of the farmhouse, until I was out of money; will need to come back later to finish up the furnishing
  • Boinged back to Lakeview from there
  • A couple of wolves attacked at the front door, so took them out
  • Worked on a bunch more building to burn through backlogged materials; built almost all of the storage wing, and the safes in the cellar
  • Made some jewelry to use the silver ingots I stole from the meadery, and finally built myself an enchanter table so I could enchant it
  • Leveled up to 31 while working on that
  • Saved there until next time
  • Level ups:
    • 30, Health bump, Apprentice perk in Conjuration
    • 31, Magicka bump, first perk in Enchanting

Monday the 18th

  • Started at Lakeview
  • Ate one of my nirnroots by accident, oops
  • Headed out with Lydia to go run Blood in the Water
  • Got notification to go pick up money from Illia at the farm, but held on that for now
  • Stopped at the Guardian Stones and at Riverwood to fish, but didn’t get either of the fish I needed
  • Hit the iron vein just past White River Watch
  • Spotted toll bandit out again at Valtheim Towers, but was not challenged because on horse
  • Hit the iron vein just shortly before Hillgrund’s Tomb
  • Reached and started running Lost Knife Hideout
  • Killed once in the beginning of the second zone, but otherwise ran it okay
  • Git two iron veins and a gold vein while in there
  • Got the Headman’s Cleaver and took out all the assorted bandits in the final room
  • Taking out the boss bandit triggered the objective to return to Kjar in Windhelm, so I’ll need to do that later
  • Hit both of the boss chests
  • Got out through the stream exit and killed the final two bandits out there, then got out again
  • Returned to Whiterun to sell things, then boinged over to Goldenhills to pick up money from Illia
  • Did the final visit to the pantry to finish off the setting up the farm quest
  • Headed from there to Hendraheim
  • Found Stray Dog at the crossroads nearby
  • HELLO DOGGO would you like to come with me? Doggo did want to come with me!
  • It also helped me kill a nearby wolf
  • Reached Hendraheim and dropped off the Butterfly in a Jar
  • From there, rode into the Reach to head for Purewater Run to talk to Fijeh
  • Spotted Blood Dragon flying overhead but it did not attack
  • Went past some Thalmor but they didn’t bother me
  • At the bridge just before Dushnikh Yal, found witch vs. hostile conjured flame atronach
  • Lyds took out the atronach with one shot, nice shooting there Lyds!
  • Nabbed the nirnroot there to replace the one I’d eaten by mistake
  • Discovered Dushnikh Yal for the map, but wasn’t close enough to make the Orcs tell me to fuck off
  • Headed over to Purewater Run from there and got in okay
  • Nabbed the two nirnroots while in there
  • Talked to Fijeh for the next step of the quest
  • Hit the quicksilver vein
  • Then remembered hey! I’m an Argonian this time! So dove down into the water to see if there was anything interesting down there
  • Answer: yes, two dwarven chests, and a bunch of slaughterfish eggs
  • But also two slaughterfish
  • Saw the Stray Dog trying to follow me in the water, but the dog did not follow me out of the cave
  • Neither did Lydia, for that matter
  • Set up camp outside and slept; Lydia caught up with me, but dog didn’t
  • Went back into the cave and checked underwater
  • Was not sure if the slaughterfish killed the dog, and I could not find its body, boooooo. Sorry, doggo!
  • Proceeded with the Remnants plot
  • Read Fijeh’s note to activate the objectives to go to Karthwasten and Ivarstead
  • Headed over to Karthwasten
  • Passed Blind Cliff Cave, and marked that for the map
  • Reached Karthwasten, and saw the initial confrontation between miners and the Silver-Blood goons; did not engage
  • Talked to the agent behind the building and got her note
  • Fast traveled straight to Ivarstead, and talked to the other agent there to get his note
  • Boinged back to Purewater Run to get next objective from Fijeh
  • He gave me access to the chest, so I could get the Remnants gear out of there
  • Boinged back to Hendraheim and put on the Remnants gear
  • Headed over on foot to meet up with the Remnants nearby
  • Got cultists at the crossroads so had to stop to fight them
  • Then met up with the Remnants agents, and we all ran over to attack the Thalmor and free the captive
  • Very short fight, and I killed only one of them myself; mostly stayed out of it so as to not hit anybody by accident!
  • Freed the captured guy and got the Boneshaver sword off the dead traitor; also looted the Thalmor
  • Returned to Hendraheim very slowly, since I was overloaded at that point
  • Got my horse, boinged to Honningbrew Meadery, and sold a bunch of stuff to Mallus
  • Boinged to Lakeview and left the Remnants gear there for now, since I don’t think I want to wear it as Finds
  • Boinged back to Purewater Run to finish up the quest
  • From there, boinged to Solitude to position myself for Potema followup
  • Went into the Winking Skeever and rented a room
  • Heard the bard singing both Age of Aggression and The Dragonborn Comes
  • Saved there until next time
  • Leveled up to 32 somewhere in this session but forgot to note where

Thursday the 21st

  • Picked up again at the Winking Skeever
  • Headed over to the Blue Palace to talk to Falk Firebeard about his Potema letter
  • On the way, got the courier with the letter from Tyra Blood-Fire
  • Talked to Falk, and then talked to Styrr
  • Headed into the Temple of the Divines to hit the catacombs
  • Passed Octieve in the temple but decided not to get his debt quest yet
  • Started running the catacombs; no issues for most of it and in fact one-shotted a lot of the draugr!
  • Cleared the boss chamber–and then promptly got killed by Potema’s shade, ouch
  • So I had to run the boss chamber again
  • This time through we got Potema’s shade to come down off the throne and come at us
  • I let Lydia and my flame atronach wail on her while I worked on taking out the storm atronach that she summoned
  • Once the atronach was down, we were finally able to take her out
  • Got her skull and the boss chest loot
  • Went out the back way and did not bother to take the helmet off the pillar, so I wouldn’t wake up the draugr
  • Not overloaded when I got out! Well done, me!
  • Fast traveled back to Solitude
  • It was late but i checked in with Styrr anyway, and he was awake, so gave him back the skull and got his thanks
  • Checked in at the Blue Palace, and Falk Firebeard was likewise awake, as was Sybille Stentor
  • Checked in with him and got his quest reward
  • Got the letter about the bone wolf problem as soon as I came out of the Blue Palace
  • Parked by the Winking Skeever and saved there until next time


As I write this post, I realize I forgot to tell Thistle the bun to come with me, at the Alchemist’s Shack. Oops! I need to remember next time I play Finds to invoke the teleport spell to acquire said bun.

The Fugitive Chased by Hunter encounter, which I got while working on improving Goldenhills, was a little odd this time. The fugitive ran up to hand me the magical item he’d stolen while I was literally in the middle of chopping firewood; I wasn’t aware NPCs could do that? But apparently this one can!

Then I saw the guy try to hide around the side of my windmill. Snerk. My dude, that is not a very obvious place to hide.

The Hunter then showed up while I was building at the farm’s workbench. And even though I gave him the stolen item back, he didn’t run off. He just hung around leaning against one of the porch’s posts, and threw me off generic dialogue when I tried to speak to him.

So apparently the Fugitive was hiding more effectively than I thought, and the Hunter wasn’t in all that fired up a hurry to go kill him? ;D

I was surprised to discover that there are actually six ore veins in Lost Knife Hideout. I hit two iron veins and a gold vein while I was in there this time. But according to the wiki, there’s another iron vein that I missed and two corundum veins. Dang. Going to have to look for those if I send Elessir or Kendeshel in there.

There has been a very high degree of Doggo in my recent playthroughs, mostly with Kendeshel, but now also with Finds. Let us pour one out for the very short-lived Stray Dog I found in the second of these three sessions, who may or may not have been eaten by slaughterfish.

Note to Future Me: when entering the water as an Argonian, seriously, tell the dog to stay on dry land, mmkay?

Additional Note to Future Me: doublecheck if I can actually fight slaughterfish underwater. I tried to do so in the water at Purewater Run, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t work. A quick search indicates that a recommended approach would be to cast Flame Cloak! I’ll need to get my mitts on that spell for Finds, for sure.

I still like the Remnants gear quite a bit. But heh, the hood looks odd on an Argonian. I could tell my snout was poking out, since there was a large purple bump there. And the decorative gold bits in front of the purple were weirdly angled.

And of course, the hood made my horns disappear entirely. I gotta wonder if Argonians with horns should even bother with wearing headgear unless it’s explicitly made by Argonians? Some of the design aesthetics for Argonian armor in ESO are certainly making more sense to me now.

I do not remember Potema’s shade summoning a storm atronach in the final fight with her, in any of my prior playthroughs. But yeah, the wiki says she totally knows the Conjure Storm Atronach spell. Yikes. And also, zap.

Maybe I haven’t seen her do this because I’ve killed her fast enough before that she hasn’t been able to fire off a spell in time? I don’t know!

Achievements unlocked

  • Snake Tongue: For successfully doing Persuade, Bribe, and Intimidate
  • Standing Stones: For finding 13 Standing Stones
  • Explorer: For finding 100 locations

Intimidating Sabjorn by threatening to yell “skeever” at Honningbrew Meadery triggered the Snake Tongue achievement. Take that, Sabjorn!

LOLOLOL, apparently there is a bug with the Standing Stones achievement, which does not filter out repeat visits to the same Standing Stone. So I think I racked up enough repeat visits to the Guardian Stones to trigger this one, ha!

Marking Blind Cliff Cave for my map was what triggered the Explorer achievement.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Überstürzen: To rush (used by Sabjorn when I intimidated him in the meadery)
  • Bärenfalle: Bear Trap
  • Giftiger Skeever: Venomfang Skeever (lit. “more poisonous skeever”)
  • Brauer-Deckel: Brewer’s Lid (specifically, of the mead vat I had to poison to sabotage the tasting)
  • Honigbräubrauhaus: Honningbrew Brewhouse
  • Das Kommando: Command
  • Der Maulwurf: Mole/inside man (used by Mercer Frey to describe Gulum-Ei)
  • Die Ost-Kaiserlichen Handelsgesellschaft: The East Empire Company
  • Honigbräu-Karaffe: Honningbrew Decanter
  • Dunkelwasserpass: Darkwater Pass
  • Alchemistenhütte: Alchemist’s Hut
  • Distel: Thistle (as in, the bunny, though I of course saw the same word for the plant)
  • Falkenfedern: Hawk Feathers
  • Zwergensphärenwächter: Dwarven Sphere Guardian
  • Zwergensphäre: Dwarven Sphere
  • Zwergenzenturio: Dwarven Centurion
  • Beobachter-Die-Wurzeln: Watches-The-Roots (lit. “observer of the roots”, maybe?)
  • Zwergenzenturiowächter: Dwarven Centurion Guardian
  • Lexikonhalter: Lexicon Receptacle (lit. “lexicon holder”)
  • Altes Wissen: Ancient Knowledge (i.e., the Smithing perk you get from returning the Lexicon in Avanchnzel) (lit. “old knowledge”)
  • Dekorationselemente: Decorative elements (used by Anuriel when telling me to not forgot to consult my home decorating guide for the decorations I can buy)
  • Schlafzimmereinrichtung: Bedroom Furnishings
  • Goldhügel-Plantage: Goldenhills Plantation (lit. “Goldhill Plantation”)
  • Versteck des Verlorenen Messers: Lost Knife Hideout (lit. “hideout of the lost knife”)
  • Höhle des Verlorenen Messers: Lost Knife Cave
  • Banditenplünderer: Bandit Plunderer
  • Grünkappen-Bandit: Greencap Bandit
  • Worte und Philosophie: Words and Philosophy (the book)
  • Elfenbogen: Elven Bow
  • Flaschenkürbis: Gourd (lit. “bottle gourd”)
  • Weizen: Wheat
  • Wie Orsinium an die Orks fiel: How Orsinium Fell to the Orcs (which appears on the title page of the book Orsinium and the Orcs)
  • Beil der Herrschaft: Headman’s Cleaver
  • Wiedergänger: Revenant (as in, the spell)
  • Ahnenmottenflügel: Ancestor Moth Wings (lit. “ancestral moth wings”)
  • Falkenschnabel: Hawk Beak
  • Plantagengewinne: Plantation profits
  • Tornister: Knapsack
  • Banditenraufbold: Bandit Thug (lit. “bandit brawler”)
  • Streuender Hund: Stray Dog
  • Verbliebenenspionin: Remnant Spy (female)
  • Verbliebenenspion: Remnant Spy (male)
  • Bergarbeiterunterkünften: Miner’s Barracks (lit. “miners’ accommodation/lodging”)
  • Blindklippenhöhle: Blind Cliff Cave
  • Erbarmen: Mercy
  • Verbliebenkrummsäbel des Feuers: Remnant Scimitar of Fire
  • Geistform: Spirit form
  • Eine der gefährlichsten Totenbeschwörerinnen: One of the most dangerous necromancers (the plural here being the feminine form of ‘necromancers’)
  • Beinahezusammenbruch: Near collapse (lit. “almost collapse”)
  • Anwesenheit: Presence
  • Nachfahrin: Descendant
  • Ironischerweise: Ironically
  • Potemas Katakomben: Potema’s Catacombs
  • Die Heldin: The heroine
  • Wölfchen: Little wolf
  • Vampirnachtpirscher: Vampire Nightstalker
  • Ein Übermaß an Dieben: Surfeit of Thieves (the book title) (lit. “an excess of thieves”)
  • Vampirnebelläufer: Vampire Mistwalker
  • Fallenauslöser: Trap Trigger
  • Potemas Refugium: Potema’s Refuge
  • Gewetzter Alter Nordzweihänder: Honed Ancient Nord Greatsword
  • Draugrtodesfürst: Draugr Deathlord
  • Potemas Heiligtum: Potema’s Sanctum
  • Wenn Ihr in den Blauen Palast wollt: If you want to go to the Blue Palace
  • Potemas Überreste: Potema’s remains
  • Schutzengel: Guardian Angel (used in Falk Firebeard’s line calling the player a protector of Solitude)

“Giftiger” is not a direct translation of “Venomfang”, for the skeevers that specifically show up in the cellar of Honningbrew Meadery. “Giftig” means “poisonous” or “venomous”, so it’s close to the same idea. Putting “er” on the end makes it mean “more poisonous/venomous”. But there’s no connotation here of “fang”. Still, close enough for the correct idea, I feel.

Heh, as with “Honigbräubrauerei”, try saying “Honigbräubrauhaus” five times fast. 😀

“Commando” to an English speaker usually means “member of a military strike unit”, more or less. Which is why I noted this line when the commander of the guard tells Mallus he’s now in charge of the meadery:

“Ihr … Ihr übernehmt hier das Kommando, bis ich das alles erledigt habe.”

“Ihr übernehmt hier das Kommando” translates back to English as “you’re taking over command here”. Which is a pretty good match for the original English line. But it also makes it clear that “das Kommando” is in the sense of “the command/leadership of a place”, not “member of a military unit”. Even if it sounds that way to an English-speaker’s ear!

“Zwergensphärenwächter” doesn’t match the record for longest German noun observed in the playthrough, but it’s a splendid word nonetheless.

And heh, running Avanchnzel let me see “Beobachter-Die-Wurzeln” as the translation for “Watches-The-Roots”, which is also a pretty splendid name.

Noting “Versteck des Verlorenen Messers” as the translation for “Lost Knife Hideout” makes me wonder for the first time exactly how the place got called that. I’m now imagining a bunch of bandits wandering around in the place:

Bandit 1: “Swear to Divines, I know I dropped it in here somewhere, keep looking!”

Bandit 2: “Dammit, Brandulf, this is the third knife you’ve lost this week!”

Bandit 3: “You should switch to battleaxes. Maybe for once you wouldn’t actually lose your weapons!”

Bandit 1: “How the hell am I supposed to skin my catches with a battleax?”

Bandit 2: “Maybe you should have thought of that before you started losing all your knives, idiot!”

It looks like when they translated the title of the book Orsinium and the Orcs, they actually used a phrase that appears on the title page of the book in the English version of the game. Which is an interesting translation call to make, since that makes it actually slightly longer than what would have been a straight translation, “Orsinium und die Orks”.

“Beil der Herrschaft” as the translation of “Headman’s Cleaver” does not seem to be an entirely direct translation. The most common translation of “Herrschaft” that I can find seems to be “power” or “domination”, though I do also see “Herrschaften” used in the plural to mean “persons of high rank or standing”. So it’s not clear to me here whether the translation intent was “power” or the singular “person of high rank”. (Source) (Source)

“Wölfchen” is used in Potema’s dialogue when she reacts to the player coming into her catacombs. Her English line is:

“I have much to thank you for, little one. When you die I will raise you and you can take your place by my side.”

Here’s the equivalent line in German:

“Ich habe Euch viel zu verdanken, Wölfchen. Wenn Ihr sterbt, werde ich Euch wiedererwecken, damit Ihr Euren Platz an meiner Seite einnehmen könnt.”

So “Wölfchen” is getting used here where the English line has “little one”. I kind of like that as a translation choice, because it gives Potema’s dialogue an extra layer of unsettling intimacy. She’s the Wolf Queen, after all–and if she’s calling the player a “little wolf”, that puts in a nice implication that Potema already considers the player hers. Nice touch there, German translators!

Voice acting commentary

I kind of liked Styrr’s German vocal performance. That voice actor doesn’t have as smooth a voice as his voice actor in English. But he’s got a good strong gruff voice, and while that gave a bit of a different flavor to the character, I still liked it! I’ll have to look out for that particular voice actor to see if he also does Tolfdir and Calcelmo, and other old men. Maybe Skald and Korir when I get to them?

Not to mention Octieve. I didn’t pay close enough attention to him in the Temple of the Divines to get a sense of whether he sounded like the guy who voiced Styrr. I’ll have to doublecheck him.

Next time

Kinda feeling like I want to throw Finds at the College of Winterhold, actually. Well, what I really want to do is run the East Empire Company Warehouse–but not until I have an Invisibility spell, I think. And my best way of getting that will be from Drevis at the College.


Editing to add

  • 10/9/2023: Realized I missed a crapton of screenshots for this session that I’d taken to get vocabulary, plus one actual screenshot I wanted to keep. So I’ve updated the gallery to add an extra screenshot in, and also the Language commentary section to cover the additional vocabulary.
  • 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.