Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Saves Dawnstar, Catches a Murderer, and Robs a Museum

Swinging back around to my Skyrim playthrough in German, starring the Argonian Finds-The-Way. Main action here: running the nightmares plot in Dawnstar; running Yngol Barrow near Windhelm; catching the murderer in Windhelm for the Blood on the Ice quest; and continuing Thieves Guild action, from running Snow Veil Sanctum, to robbing the Dwemer museum, to getting Enthir to translate the journal and receiving the Nightingale Blade from Karliah.

Play by play

  • Play dates: 10/9, 10/12/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 24-25

Monday the 9th

  • Picked up again at Whiterun stables
  • Mounted up and headed along the roads north-ish to Dawnstar
  • Got dragon right by Honningbrew
  • Saw Cicero and his wagon still at Loreius Farm which made me go WTF, see below
  • Proceeded along the roads, and took out a frost troll
  • Saw Imperials + prisoner heading west-ish
  • Since the road pretty much leads straight to Silverdrift Lair, marked that spot for the map for later
  • Saw the Imperials and their prisoner stop to fight a frostbite spider before they turned north-ish off the road
  • Meanwhile Lydia and I also got frostbite spiders
  • Marked Fort Dunstad for the map
  • Wound up fighting some of its bandits because they saw us going by, but only took out the ones that came out to fight us, did not bother trying to clear it
  • Found the destroyed Hall of the Vigilant and poked around in there some
  • Found Red Road Pass but didn’t hang around long enough to piss off the giant
  • Found Windward Ruins
  • Stopped to buy the Saturnalia gear from Agrane but did not bother to buy the reindeer with this alt
  • Headed into Dawnstar and saw the initial ‘oh shit we’re all having nightmares’ convo in the inn
  • Rented a bed and slept the night, then got up in the morning to talk to Erandur
  • Took his quest and headed with him up to Nightcaller Temple
  • Killed three snow bears outside, then ran the place as per usual
  • Did a lot of summoning the flame atronach to help kill the Vaermina cultists and the Orc raiders
  • Not killed during the main run of the place, though that last Orc I always miss in the dark corner did kill me on the way out, so I had to re-run the ending once
  • Specifically ignored that guy the second time through and made it back out again
  • On the way back to Dawnstar, got intercepted by three hired thugs, which did not go well for them
  • Took all their stuff to add to the loot I got out of the temple
  • Returned to Dawnstar and sold a crapton of stuff to Seren
  • Also got Rustleif’s quest to bring him Night Falls on Sentinel
  • Boinged to Whiterun to finish selling stuff there
  • Boinged to Lakeview for inventory coordinating
  • Ended session on level 35, and saved there until next time

Thursday the 12th

  • Picked up at Lakeview
  • Had Lydia stand down for a while because I explicitly wanted to run Thieves Guild content, and also use J’zargo’s scrolls
  • First up: boinged to Windhelm stables to get within range of Yngol Barrow
  • Got a dragon though so had to stop and fight that
  • Fought a couple of critters on the way over to the barrow
  • Started running it but was killed by Yngol’s shade the first time through
  • Got through okay the second time; got the helm and other boss loot
  • Pretty sure I leveled up to 36 somewhere in here?
  • Tromped very slowly back out again and returned to my horse
  • Then headed over to Windhelm to try to do my thieving jobs for the Guild
  • Broke into Belyn Hlaalu’s house and took the three items for the Sweep Job, which also satisfied the Bedlam Job
  • Tried to go find Silda to get Pickpocket training off of her, but she was already parked in the graveyard along with the other NPCs for the start of Blood on the Ice
  • So ran this pretty much as per previous playthroughs
  • Had to get a room in the inn a couple nights in a row to have enough time to run the plot, and to catch Calixto in the act at the right time of day
  • While doing that, also picked up the two additional quests in Candlehearth Hall, the quest to take the book back to Giraud, and also the quest to find the lost adventurers in the cave
  • Also took the time to blithely hang out near Wuunfurth’s quarters and then swipe the Stone of Barenziah
  • Made it through the quest okay and got it resolved
  • Found Kjar out on the docks and got him to pay me for the crewmember of his I’d dispatched
  • Then was finally ready to head over to Snow Veil Sanctum
  • Hit an iron vein and a corundum vein on the way
  • Finally reached Mercer and started running the place, which took a while
  • Finally got to the cutscene with Karliah, and ran that as per usual
  • Woke up out in her camp, again as per usual
  • Got out of the conversation and killed the troll (clearly I’d recovered from Karliah’s sniping of me, LOL), and then finished my conversation with her; she pointed me at Enthir
  • Headed back towards Winterhold
  • Got chased by a couple of ice wolves and also spotted a dragon shadow flying overhead
  • Wound up at Snow Veil Sanctum’s alternate exit which I think i may have seen before? But I’d forgotten that that existed
  • Killed the ice wolves by that exit, then headed into Winterhold
  • Bypassed the snow bear on the road and outran it on the way in, thank you, horse!
  • Made it into Winterhold and chatted with Enthir in the inn
  • Got directive to go talk to Calcelmo in Markarth
  • Boinged back to Lakeview and got Lydia because I wanted her on deck for at least some of this
  • Did supplies check and inventory managing
  • Stopped at Hendraheim and dropped off the coral dragon claw there
  • Boinged to Kolskeggr Mine to get within range of Markarth, and had to take out the Forsworn there
  • Rode over into Markarth and entered the city, and cue the Forsworn attack!
  • Played through to getting Eltrys’ note
  • Got Margret’s key off of her since I didn’t reach her in time to keep her from getting killed
  • Went into the inn and took a room
  • Popped into the other room to get the quest hook for the Spell Knight armor (though I didn’t take the book for it)
  • Slept in the room and then got up the next morning, and went up to Understone Keep
  • Saw initial convo re: the Hall of the Dead but did not engage
  • Went in to talk to Calcelmo and sold him the Dwemer arrow he wanted
  • Got the quest to go take out the spider for him to get access to the Dwemer museum
  • Had Lydia wait by the gate because I didn’t want to try to take her through the museum
  • Went back in to run the museum, and got that Stone of Barenziah as well
  • Then started running the lab and everything after
  • Tried the dwarven spider, but the first guard destroyed it, so that didn’t last long
  • Had issues getting past the next set of guards, they kept spotting me and I kept having to roll back a little because they kept attacking me, oops
  • What finally worked was combo of Invisibility potions and Fortify Sneak potions; that let me get past them and get the first important door unlocked
  • Once I was past that point it was pretty smooth sailing; played through to getting the rubbing
  • Spotted by Aicantar on the way out, but he didn’t intercept me, and I made it out okay
  • Returned to Lydia and got her back out of wait mode
  • From there, boinged back to Winterhold to check in at the Frozen Hearth
  • Used the Whistling Mine as a fast travel point–and it was a damn good thing I did, because I got a dragon
  • And LOLOLOL I also got some bandits pretending to be Imperials, who thought it was a good idea to hit me up for money just as I was absorbing the soul off the dragon; this was not a sound life choice on the part of the bandits
  • Cleared Journeyman’s Nook since I was there anyway
  • Played through handing over the journal to Enthir to get him to translate it
  • Got Karliah to give me the Nightingale Blade and ask me to meet her at the Ragged Flagon
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Enthir to clear my inventory
  • Finally boinged back to Lakeview for inventory managing
  • Leveled up to 37 while doing a bunch of smithing work, and unlocked Arcane Blacksmithing
  • Saved there until next time

Weirdness with Cicero

I learned to my surprise that even after you finish Cicero’s quest with his broken wagon at Loreius Farm (at least, if you take the route I did and ask Loreius to help him), then Cicero may actually still be there if you come back later. And if he is still there, he’ll stay there until you either join or destroy the Dark Brotherhood.

But I didn’t know this–so you can imagine my surprise when I came back through there and Cicero and his wagon were still there! I had a burst of da fuck is this, until I looked on the wiki and saw that this is a known issue with the wagon quest.

I don’t see a note on the wiki though about whether this is a thing that’s been resolved in the USSEP. I think I’ve ridden through there again as Elessir, but will have to try it again just to be sure.

Just to see what would happen, I tried to talk to Cicero again. He threw a line about waiting for Loreius. Apparently Loreius is taking his sweet fucking time bringing those tools down. XD

But at least it wasn’t a matter of my having actually broken that quest somehow, which is a relief! I’m just glad I don’t have to do that quest all over again.

No no, that was some other Argonian stealing stuff in that warehouse

Meanwhile, running the nightmare plot in Dawnstar was fairly standard–except for the part where I got Hired Thugs on the way down from the temple, afterwards. LOL. They were after me, apparently, because of having robbed the East Empire Company Warehouse on my way through there. The contract one of them was carrying was signed by one of the wardens there!

I can just imagine Finds going “I’m sure you must be mistaken, I was never there”, as she stabbed them into the snow. 😉

Action in Windhelm

I hadn’t intended to run Blood on the Ice in this playthrough, but it kind of worked out that way, just because of looking for Silda and only finding her at the graveyard with the other NPCs for the start of that plot!

<sighs in Jel> Okay fine, guess I’ll help you mammals with your murderer problem. Even though you’re super shitty to my people, and even though I still can’t buy Hjerim without being thane here. ;P

It was slightly challenging getting the Stone of Barenziah in Wuunferth’s quarters, and I actually learned something new about the game this time through–namely, that not all of the Stones of Barenziah are free to take! Some of them are marked as ‘Steal’! So I got caught taking the one in Wuunferth’s quarters, and had to roll back a bit from that to get around that problem.

Second time through though I waited until Wuunferth had left the room and the servant hanging out had gone to sleep. Then I dropped into Sneak, and was fine taking the thing.

Other than that, I tried to get into Calixto’s museum to talk to him, but he apparently has a tight window of time in which that building is actually open. I did a lot of waiting at his door to find a time to get in there when I wouldn’t have to actually break in. And in general, the quest markers for the quest didn’t seem terribly consistent.

But then, it is known that Blood on the Ice is buggy as fuck, which is part of the reason I don’t run it often, even when I am intending to become thane in Eastmarch.

Snow Veil Sanctum

For the record, Mercer Frey is definitely as much of a dick in German as he is in English! Though I’m pretty sure he never actually snarked at me about my sneaking skills, while running Snow Veil Sanctum. 😀

It is still never not funny to see Mercer handed his ass by eight draugr at once. Though this time through, that particular point of the dungeon was also problematic for me! A time or two they actually spotted me and swarmed me, so I had to run that bit several times.

What finally worked was slowly whittling them down with my flame atronach, while still letting Mercer do most of the work. Once we were down to two or three draugr left, then I was able to actually start sniping them.

But overall, yeah, coming in there at level 36 was cutting it super tight.

The one other amusing thing about Snow Veil Sanctum this time was that once I got out and did the scene at Karliah’s camp, a fucking frost troll showed up in the middle of our conversation! And my horse Kara started attacking it while I was talking to Karliah. LOL. I wound up having to break out of the conversation to kill that troll, and then finish up talking to Karliah to get the objective to talk to Enthir.

Dwemer museum, and returning to the Frozen Hearth in Winterhold

This went mostly as per previous playthroughs, but I do have one note I can make here. I finally realized why I keep getting spotted by Aicantar on the way out of the tower!

I never bother to actually kill him–and after he bitches to the guards about finding me, he sits right there by the door. So of course he sees me.

From what I saw on the wiki, there’s a way I can sneak past him better. I’m going to have to try this in Elessir’s playthrough.

Regardless, it’s a damned good thing he doesn’t follow you out through that door, or else I’d have been fucked!

I also realized that running this stage of the plot would get me the second highest tier of the Nightingale blade. But that’s okay–because that’s the highest tier one that can actually be tempered, if you’re not running a modded playthrough. So this is the best version of the blade to get for Finds anyway.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Frostdrache: Frost Dragon
  • Drachenseele Aufgenommen: Dragon Soul Absorbed
  • Silberstromhöhle: Silverdrift Lair (lit. “Silverstream Cave”)
  • Festung Dunstad: Fort Dunstad
  • Halle der Wachsamkeit: Hall of the Vigilant (lit. “Hall of Vigilance”)
  • Todeshund: Death Hound
  • Vampirmeister: Master Vampire
  • Junger Vampir: Vampire Fledgling (lit. “young vampire”)
  • Rotpfadpass: Red Road Pass (lit. “Red Path Pass”)
  • Windseitige Ruinen: Windward Ruins
  • Dämmerstern: Dawnstar
  • Albträumen: Nightmares
  • Der Tempel des Nachtrufers: Nightcaller Temple (lit. “temple of the nightcallers”)
  • Der Schädel der Korruption: The Skull of Corruption
  • Die Traumreise: The Dreamstride (lit. “the dream journey”)
  • Vaermina-Gläubiger: Vaermina Devotee
  • Orkischer Angreifer: Orcish Invader (lit. “orcish attacker”)
  • Flüssigkeit: Liquid (used in Erandur’s line about alchemy and the blessings of the Divines distilled into a liquid)
  • Versuchskaninchen: Test subject (lit. “test rabbit”)
  • Allerheiligste: Inner Sanctum (lit. “holy of holies”)
  • Machenschaften: Machinations
  • Bezahlter Raufbold: Hired Thug (lit. “paid bully”)
  • Das Museum der Mythischen Morgenröte: The Museum of the Mythic Dawn
  • Der daedrische Fürst der Zerstörung und der Veränderung: The Daedric Prince of Destruction and Change (i.e., Mehrunes Dagon)
  • Die Oblivion-Krise: The Oblivion Crisis
  • Mehrunes’ Klinge: Mehrunes’ Razor
  • Brandy-Krug-Hof: Brandy-Mug Farm
  • Torsten Grausam-Meer: Torsten Cruel-Sea
  • Hlaaluhof: Hlaalu Farm
  • Frostdistelhof: Hollyfrost Farm (lit. “frost thistle farm”)
  • Yngolhügelgrab: Yngol Barrow
  • Toter Gelehrter: Dead Scholar
  • Besatzungsmitglied: Crewmember (used when reporting back to Kjar about his rogue crewmember that needed killing)
  • Wache von Windhelm: Windhelm Guard
  • Friga Schmetter-Schild: Friga Shatter-Shield
  • Das Haus der Kuriositäten: The House of Curiosities
  • Der Mühlstein: The Wheelstone (i.e., what Calixto claims the Necromancer’s Amulet is, when you bring it to him) (lit. “the millstone”)
  • Wuunferth der Unlebendige: Wuunferth the Unliving
  • Totenbeschwörung: Necromancy
  • Der Schlächter: The Butcher
  • Schneefuchspelz: Snow Fox Pelt
  • Schneeschleierzuflucht: Snow Veil Sanctum (lit. “snow veil refuge”)
  • Schneeschleierkatakomben: Snow Veil Catacombs
  • Knochenglocken: Bone Chimes
  • Vorbeizuschleichen: To sneak past (used by Mercer Frey to describe Karliah getting past the draugr)
  • Höherer Draugrtodefürst: Draugr Death Overlord (lit. “higher draugr lord”)
  • Eid: Oath
  • Nachtigall: Nightingale
  • Pfeifende Mine: Whistling Mine
  • Die Falmersprache: The Falmer language
  • Der Hofzauberer: The court wizard
  • Brandschatzer der Abgeschworenen: Forsworn Pillager
  • Salviushof: Salvius Farm
  • Ställe von Markarth: Markarth Stables
  • Festung Unterstein: Understone Keep
  • Handwerkskunst: Craftsmanship
  • Die Vergiftete: The Poisoned One (i.e., Nimhe the spider)
  • Dwemerrätselwürfel: Dwemer Puzzle Cube
  • Gesellenwinkel: Journeyman’s Nook
  • Das Dämmergrab: The Twilight Sepulcher (lit. “the twilight tomb”)
  • Klinge der Nachtigall: Nightingale Blade

I want to call out an entire line of Erandur’s here. This is from when you talk to him in the inn in Dawnstar, to get the nightmares plot underway, and he tells you that the nightmares come from the Daedric Prince Vaermina:

“Diese Träume wurden von der daedrischen Fürstin Vaermina erschaffen.”

The part here that interests me is “von der daedrischen Fürstin”. “Fürstin” is a feminine noun, and from what I see in my translation sources, primarily translates to “princess”. But it’s apparently also possible for it to mean “ruler”. (Source) (Source)

What I wonder here is this. The English game doesn’t make “Daedric Prince” gender-specific–which I really like, actually. Azura, Meridia, etc., are Daedric Princes, not Daedric Princesses, in typical lore. But would a German-speaking player interpret this the same way? I’d kind of think not, given that from what I’ve seen so far in this run, “Fürst” is getting used for the Daedric Princes that present as male. (As you can see later in my terms above, for the term to describe Mehrunes Dagon.)

And the rest of the grammatical construction of the phrase “von der daedrischen Fürstin” indicates feminine noun usage, even though the word “der” appears here and that’s usually associated with masculine nouns. German does funky things with cases, though, and this particular phrase is dative case, so it’s kicking the “die” article for “Fürstin” over to “der”.

I’m interested by the word “Gläubiger” used for the Vaermina devotees in Nightcaller Temple. The German verb “glauben” means “to believe”. So It’s reasonable to interpret “gläubiger” as “believer”. But the interesting part I see looking this up is that there’s often a financial connotation to that word, and it leans towards meaning “creditor” in particular. With the context that someone who’s willing to lend you money is someone who believes you’ll eventually pay it back. Not applicable in this particular context, but interesting nonetheless. (Source) (Source)

I wrote in an earlier post about being unsure how the German version of the game translates “Oblivion”, and now I have an example that contradicts an earlier example, so still not sure! I saw “Vergessen” in that earlier post, and here I see “Oblivion” used straight up as part of the word for the Oblivion Crisis. Which is, unsurprisingly, shown as a compound noun here.

“Mehrunes’ Klinge” as the translation of “Mehrunes’ Razor” baffles me a bit. I knew “Klinge” as the word for “sword”, which doesn’t seem entirely appropriate to me given that the Razor is in fact a dagger. But maybe they thought using “Dolch” wouldn’t flow well in the German name of the weapon? And also, a quick search of my sources shows only translations of “Razor” that specifically means “the thing you shave whiskers with”. I could easily see the localization team deciding not to confuse matters by going with “Klinge” instead. And that word does at least seem to carry a general connotation of “blade”, too, which still kinda fits the Razor.

“Der Schlächter” is not a new term for me as of this post. It’s also the term i saw for the boss bandit in Cragslane Cavern! And it’s only just as of this post that I realized that two different characters have that sobriquet in the game. 😀

“Knochenglocken” is a straightforward translation but also very fun to try to say!

This entire quote of Enthir’s about Calcelmo is worth calling out:

“Calcelmo ist so dickköpfig wie ein Maultier.”

This means “Calcelmo is as stubborn as a mule”. Though I gotta LOL at the word “dickköpfkig”, which is surprisingly close to the English “dickhead”. LOLOLOL.

Next time

Finds’ next post will feature some side questing, becoming thane of Haafingar and getting Proudspire Manor, and heading off to Mzulft for the College of Winterhold plot!


Editing to add

  • 11/26/2023: 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.