Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-the-Way Becomes Thane of Haafingar and Saves the Gildergreen

There’s a bit of advancing the Thieves Guild plotline in this pair of sessions for Finds-The-Way, but mostly, this is all about a bunch of side questing since I’m trying to kill some time and get her more leveled up before I push the Guild plot further along. Main highlights here: running Mara’s Eye Pond, Cronvangr Cave, the Blessings of Nature quest, dropping off the horn at a shrine of Talos for Elisif, and two different quests for Forsaken Cave. And I got Proudspire Manor, and became thane in Haafingar!

Play by play

  • Play dates: 10/15, 10/19/2023
  • Session numbers in this run: 26-27

Sunday the 15th

  • Picked up again at Lakeview
  • Boinged to Whiterun to sell things
  • Initial thought was to head to Mzulft, so rode out from Whiterun
  • At spawn point near White River Watch, got frostbite spiders but also got the Aspiring Mage, who was unfortunately killed by the spiders, ohnoez
  • Stopped at Valtheim Towers to hit the treasure chest there; was not bothered by bandits
  • Cut across the river and hit the iron vein there
  • Tried to find a way down the mountainside, but got turned around and wound up back at the river
  • Tried another angle from that spot, and wound up pissing off the giant at Cradlecrush Rock
  • Took him out and then looted the camp
  • From there, aimed a bit northward
  • Found Mara’s Eye Pond and ran the vampire lair there
  • From there, went down to the Riverside Shack; took out the bear there and then looted the house
  • Ran Cronvangr Cave next
  • Even though I’m kinda not a fan of the pet spider, went ahead and picked up Arachnia anyway
  • Ran the rest of the cavern, and took out the monster mother spider at the bottom
  • Got the Fists of Randagulf and the Ice Blade of the Monarch
  • Came out of there and was pretty damned overloaded
  • Thought of trying to aim for Windhelm to sell stuff or maybe looking for the Dwarven home
  • Passed Eldergleam Sanctuary and realized I had not run Blessings of Nature with this alt yet
  • Marked it for the map for later convenience–but got a dragon attack!
  • This was parallel to a vampire masquerade attack as well but the dragon wound up killing the vampires for me, LOL
  • Also got a deer that was clearly controlled by a spriggan since it was glowing, but no sign of the actual spriggan
  • Took out the dragon–and then realized it was probably the Bonestrewn Crest dragon
  • So tromped up there very slowly to get the word off the Word Wall there, and hit the boss chest
  • Dropped a bunch of stuff into the chest temporarily so I could fast travel right back to the same location and retrieve my horse, then mounted up and boinged to Riften
  • Hit the docks first but was still on the horse so then just fast traveled to Riften proper to put the horse at the stables
  • Tromped slowly down into the Ratway, and dropped off a bunch of stuff in Shadowfoot Sanctum
  • Tromped slowly over to the Ragged Flagon and picked up there with Karliah and talking to the others in the cistern
  • Once I played through that, got the directive to search Mercer’s house
  • But first stopped and sold a bunch of stuff to Tonilia
  • Did not however want to proceed with the Thieves Guild plot yet, need to level up more to get the best Chillrend
  • Did some boinging back and forth between Solitude and Whiterun
  • Whiterun:
    • Got the Blessings of Nature quest from Danica
    • Rode out from Whiterun through Riverwood and past Helgen
    • A bandit might have spotted us as we went by, but nobody actually shot at us or tried to attack us, so kept going
    • Ran Orphan Rock with no issues and got Nettlebane
    • Returned to Whiterun to check in with Danica
    • Got directive to go to the Eldergleam
    • Maurice asked to join me and I told him he could
    • Fast traveled straight back to the Eldergleam Sanctuary since I’d conveniently marked it earlier in the session
    • Took Maurice in there and ran the “get the sapling” version of the quest as per usual
    • Came back out and boinged back to Whiterun to give Danica the sapling, and close out the quest
  • Solitude:
    • Got the quest from Elisif to take her husband’s war horn to a shrine of Talos
    • Returned after doing that, and got permission to buy property
    • Brought Adonato Leotelli’s book to Giraud at the Bards College
    • Bought Proudspire Manor from Falk and several of its furnishings
    • Got immediately thaned up since I already had five favor quests fulfilled
    • Checked in at Proudspire, and HI JORDIS!
    • Racked the Sword of Haafingar there
  • Saved in Proudspire Manor until next time

Thursday the 19th

  • Picked up again in Proudspire Manor
  • Had the “help the people of Haafingar” quest still stuck in my journal, so went out to do another favor just to clear the quest
  • Took Evette San’s quest
  • Went down to the docks to talk to Vittoria Vici and got her to release Evette’s shipment
  • Returned to Evette and got her to give me spiced wine for my trouble
  • Rode out from Solitude
  • Headed around Dragon Bridge rather than through it this time just to stay out of NPCs’ ways
  • Took the road towards Morthal
  • Spotted Meeko! But did not engage, sorry doggo, if I pick you up you’ll get squashed by something
  • No sign of hostiles spotting us at Fort Snowhawk
  • Killed a bunch of frostbite spiders just trying to get to Morthal
  • Made it to Morthal and saw opening conversation about the Jarl being weird, and about how nobody likes the wizard
  • Since Jorgen was in that convo, went right up to him and asked about the Razor hilt
  • Outright paid him for it and he gave me the key to the chest
  • Nabbed the hilt out of his house, and just because he was so obliging, didn’t take anything else 😉
  • Since I was now in the vicinity, went over to claim Myrwatch
  • Slept there for the night and set out in the morning
  • Hit the bandits vs. conjurers fight along that stretch of road
  • Got ahead of Lydia and into a fight with a frost troll
  • Recovering my horse led me to realize I was right by Frostmere Crypt
  • Saw opening fight between Eisa Blackthorn and her fellow bandits
  • Eisa challenged me as she does and washed her hands of the place, taking her leave
  • Did not however want to run the place without Lydia, so backtracked a bit
  • Fast traveled to Dawnstar while mounted to get Lyds to catch up, so I could sell stuff to Rustleif
  • However, dragon showed up when I got there so had to fight it
  • Sold a bunch of stuff to Agrane at his camp, then sold stuff to Rustleif
  • Since i was there anyway, stopped in to talk to Frida the alchemist
  • Got her quest for the Ring of Pure Mixtures since I knew i’d be heading to Windhelm and could get the quest for the White Phial
  • Fast traveled back to Frostmere Crypt
  • Managed to get the horse into the sheltered nook by the door, LOL
  • Started running the place and got overloaded again, of course
  • Put the Pale Blade back where it belongs, to make the Pale Lady settle the fuck down
  • Got the word off the Word Wall for Ice Form, and got boss loot off the chest
  • Tromped slowly out of the place with Lydia
  • Cleared the initial Seducers bandit camp
  • Went to Windhelm and sold a bunch of things to assorted people to unload
  • Took the quest for the White Phial from Nurelion
  • Boinged briefly down to Riften and dropped off stuff in Shadowfoot Sanctum
  • Boinged back to run Forsaken Cave
  • Got in there, sniped a bunch of draugr, and got a bunch of silver bars as you do
  • Got the Ring of Pure Mixtures, and the cracked Phial
  • Got the word off the Word Wall for Marked For Death
  • Returned to Windhelm and gave Nurelion the cracked Phial
  • Quintus gave me 500 gold since Nurelion is a stingy old git 😉
  • Boinged back to Shadowfoot Sanctum to drop off more things
  • Saved there until next time

A note to Future Me about how to find Gallows Hall

A note to Future Me: Gallows Hall is apparently right in the immediate vicinity of Mara’s Eye Pond. I need to remember that, as this is one of the few locations in AE content I haven’t actually explored yet. I am not quite convinced any of my characters I’m currently running are the sorts who would actually use such a place as a home. But I feel like Kendeshel at least should check it out for display purposes.

As for Finds-The-Way… dunno. But since this is another piece of content I haven’t seen yet, I want to see it in an English language playthrough before I try to run it in German.

Mara’s Eye Pond

Ran this mostly because I just happened to stumble across it, not entirely realizing where I was on the map. I haven’t visited this spot much in prior playthroughs, so it was nice to refresh my memory of it. Mostly though it was notable because of my having finally figured out that it’s the landmark to look for if I want to locate Gallows Hall.

Cronvangr Cave

Second of three locales in this pair of sessions that I don’t normally visit in any playthrough. SO MANY SPIDERS. Including the spider pet you get in the AE, which… yeah, not so interesting to me, really.

But I picked up the quest just because it is one I haven’t done much, and it’s nice to vary things up a bit. Even though I have zero plans to actually use the pet spider. Or the Fists of Randagulf and the Ice Blade of the Monarch, for that matter.

(But I need to doublecheck if I can improve that blade well enough to make it useful. If I can, I may actually keep it in Finds’ inventory for a bit.)

Running the Blessings of Nature

This is possibly the fastest I’ve ever run this quest, since I actually found Eldergleam Sanctuary before I ran it. And I was therefore able to fast travel right to it, once I got Maurice on board as a follower.

Though let it be noted for the record, Maurice is as annoying in German as he is in English. ;D

Running Frostmere Crypt

This is another of the locations in Skyrim I haven’t visited as much as others. Checking my post history, I see that I ran this as Alarrah, Merawen, and Delga, i.e., my first three playthroughs. And I ran it again as Shenner. I did not run it as Ysani, Faanshi, Kendis, or Harrowhark.

I do kind of like the plot hook that gets you in here, though, re: a dispute amongst bandits. Though I definitely now lean in the direction of appeasing the Pale Lady by putting the blade back where it belongs. As I’ve written before, it’s not an interesting enough sword on its own to stand against any of the other enchanted blades you can get in Skyrim. Or the ones you can damn well make yourself. So I see no harm in just appeasing the wispmother and letting her have the sword if it makes her happy.

And I know there was another chest in the immediate area of the wispmother that I didn’t reach. But didn’t bother to look for it, since I was already overloaded, and not likely to find anything super-useful in that chest.

I’m only just realizing this time through though that Eisa greets you with “Who in Dagon’s name are you?” Which means she’s enough of a worshipper of Mehrunes Dagon that she will in fact swear by him. And this may well explain why she took to banditry!

Running Forsaken Cave

I’ve gotten into the habit of pairing up Frida’s quest for the Ring of Pure Mixtures with the quest to get the cracked White Phial for Nurelion in Windhelm, just because Frida’s quest usually points me at Forsaken Cave and I can generally run both of these quests at once.

Though truth be told, as soon as I finally get the White Phial, I tend to forget I have the damn thing! So the journey here is more interesting than the destination. I do like running Forsaken Cave, anyway. So I wasn’t sorry to revisit it, here.

Achievements unlocked

  • Sideways: For completing 10 side quests, unlocked when I finished The Pale Lady.

Achievements count as of this post: 23.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Aufstrebender Magier: Aspiring Mage (lit. “aspiring magician”)
  • Schmetterwiegenfelsen: Cradlecrush Rock
  • Maras Auge: Tümpel: Mara’s Eye Pond
  • Maras Auge: Höhle: Mara’s Eye Den (lit. “Mara’s Eye Cave”)
  • Flussuferhütte: Riverside Shack
  • Cronvangrhöhle: Cronvangr Cave
  • Blutiger Vampir: Blooded Vampire
  • Vampir-Experimentator: Vampire Naturalist (lit. “vampire experimenter”)
  • Die Brutmutter: The Web Mother (lit. “the Broodmother”)
  • Grenwulf der Schläger: Grenwulf the Brawler
  • Fäuste von Randagulf: Fists of Randagulf
  • Holrik Frost-Schwert: Holrik Frost-Sword
  • Ahnenschimmerheiligtum: Eldergleam Sanctuary (lit. “ancestors glimmer sanctuary”)
  • Knochenspitze: Bonestrewn Crest (lit. “bone tip”)
  • Argwöhnen: Suspect (used by Karliah when she tells the player some of the people in the Ragged Flagon may already suspect who she is)
  • Gildennachwuchs: Young footpads (lit., “Guild youth”) (used by Brynjolf when he talks about thinking the Nightingales were a tale to keep young footpads in line)
  • Gut Riftwald: Riftweald Manor (Mercer Frey’s house)
  • Instandhaltungskosten: Upkeep (lit. “maintenance costs”)
  • Unangenehmer Typ: Unpleasant guy (used to describe Vald, who is described by Brynjolf in English as “a real piece of work”)
  • Der Güldengrünbaum: The Gildergreen
  • Die Anhänger: The followers (used by Danica Pure-Spring in speaking of the followers of Kynareth)
  • Ahnenschimmer: Eldergleam
  • Nesselfluch: Nettlebane
  • Waisenfelsen: Orphan Rock
  • Sehenswürdigkeiten: Sightseeing features (used in the dialogue where Sond asks the player if you’ve come to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Eldergleam Sanctuary)
  • Gewalttätig: Violent
  • Mischlingsstumpf: Mongrel Stump (used by Maurice to describe the Gildergreen after he realizes what your purpose is in the sanctuary)
  • Widerwärtig: Disgusting (used by Maurice when bitching about your intentions)
  • Barbarisch: Barbaric (again, used by Maurice when bitching about your intentions, tell us how you really feel here, Maurice)
  • Düfte: Scents (used in Maurice’s final farewell when he tells you “may Kynareth’s wind bring only the sweetest scents”)
  • Ahnenschimmersetzling: Eldergleam Sapling
  • Gesindel: Rabble
  • Setzling: Sapling
  • Gut Stolzspitze: Proudspire Manor
  • Jordis die Schwert-Maid: Jordis the Sword-Maiden
  • Schaufelblätter: Shovel Blades (used when Jorgen tells you his mill sure could use some new blades)
  • Myrwacht: Myrwatch
  • Galerie Myrwacht: Myrwatch Gallery
  • Eisa Schwarzdorn: Eisa Blackthorn
  • Frosthauchkrypta: Frostmere Crypt
  • Frosthauchtiefen: Frostmere Depths
  • Die Bleiche Fürstin: The Pale Lady
  • Lähmende Rune: Paralysis Rune (lit. “paralyzing rune”)
  • Schäbige Robe des Überragenden Beschwörens: Vagrant Robe of Eminent Conjuration (lit. “shabby robe of superior summoning”)
  • Verführer-Bandit: Seducers Bandit
  • Anführer der Verführer-Banditen: Seducers Bandit Leader
  • Schwermütige Elytra-Nymphe: Demented Elytra Nymph
  • Schuppenhornrüstung: Scaled Horn Armor
  • Die Fertigkeiten eines Meisteralchemisten: The skills of a master alchemist
  • Handschuhe der Dunklen Verführer: Dark Seducer Gauntlets
  • Helm der Dunklen Verführer: Dark Seducer Helmet
  • Rüstung der Dunklen Verführer: Dark Seducer Armor
  • Schild der Dunklen Verführer: Dark Seducer Shield
  • Stiefel der Dunklen Verführer: Dark Seducer Boots
  • Dunkelbogen: Dark Bow
  • Dunkelkriegsaxt: Dark War Axe
  • Dunkelschwert: Dark Sword
  • Verlorene Höhle: Forsaken Cave (lit. “lost cave”)
  • Verlorene Krypta: Forsaken Crypt
  • Todeszeichen: Marked For Death (the Shout) (lit. “signs of death”)
  • Alte Schale: Ancient Bowl (the bowl you have to pour Nurelion’s mixture into in Forsaken Cave) (lit. “old bowl”)
  • Ein Spiel beim Bankett: A Game at Dinner (the book) (lit. “A game at the banquet”)
  • Kaputtes Weißes Fläschchen: Cracked White Phial (lit. “broken white bottle”)

“Vampir-Experimentator” is not a direct translation, but this character was clearly the “Vampire Naturalist” who was responsible for initially taming Arachnia, the spider.

Likewise, “die Brutmutter” is not a direct translation for the name of the boss spider at the bottom of Cronvangr Cave. But “the Broodmother” is also a pretty fabulous name for that spider, so this seems like a close enough translation for the idea of the monster!

“Knochenspitze”, yet another not entirely direct translation, possibly because getting the idea of “bonestrewn” in there would have made for too long and unwieldy a place name?

Here’s an entire line of dialogue I want to call out. This is Delvin, when Brynjolf has him use his key on the treasure vault in the Thieves Guild:

“Aber die Schatzkammer ist noch immer so fest verschlossen wie die Rezeptschatulle des Feinschmeckers.”

This translates roughly to:

“But the treasury’s still as tightly closed as a gourmet’s recipe box.”

The original English line is:

“… but the vault’s still locked up tighter than a drum.”

So that’s an interesting switch, apparently “tight as a drum” is not an idiom that translates well over from English to German. I like the idea they used here of a gourmet’s recipe box for a thing that would be tightly closed, though.

Slight translation difference when Maurice bitches at you for being a woman/man of violence:

“Ich wusste nicht, dass Ihr so gewalttätig seid.”

This translates back to:

“I didn’t know that you were so violent.”

So this is actually a situation where the German translation is not gendered, where the original English was! Which is kind of a refreshing change of pace.

“Schaufelblätter” is a case of the German translation getting a bit more specific than the original English line. This shows up when you pass the bribe check to get the hilt of Mehrunes’ Razor off of Jorgen in Morthal, and he’s all “Divines know the mill could use some new blades”. He only says “blades” in English, but in the German, this word seems to specify “shovel blades”. I say “seems” because it’s tough to tell from my sources whether a German speaker might take a connotation here of “the blade of a mill’s mechanism” that an English speaker wouldn’t? (Source)

It kinda tickles me that the translation of “Myrwatch” to German just involves rearranging three consonants. 😀

Heh, interesting to me that “Eisa Blackthorn” gets a translation of her surname that’s almost identical to what you get with “Maven Black-Briar”. It’s Schwarzdorn vs. Schwarz-Dorn. The translation team must surely have noticed this? It also makes me wonder whether the Blackthorns and the Black-Briars are offshoots of the same family ancestors!

Here’s another full sentence I have to call out, because LOLOLOL. I’d already been deeply amused in Ysani’s playthrough when I discovered the change to Frida’s line about the Jarl of Dawnstar, which changed from Skald thinking Ulfric “spits” dragon fire to Ulfric “farts” dragon fire. I can now confirm this change also applies in German! This is Frida’s full quote:

“Er ist ein Dummkopf, falls Ihr ihn noch nicht kennt. Hält Ulfric Sturmmantel für unbesiegbar und glaubt, er furzt Drachenfeuer.”

I am now really curious about whether this change applies in the other translated versions of the game. And since I know how software localization often works, it feels very plausible to me that the various translation teams that localized Skyrim may have been given an earlier version of the line–which then maybe also got a last-minute change in the English build, too late to update the translations.

Next time

Finds-The-Way’s next post will feature getting the pieces of Mehrunes’ Razor, reassembling them, and having to fight Silus at Dagon’s shrine; acquiring Azura’s Star; and running 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.