Finds-The-Way Playthrough,  Skyrim

In Which Finds-The-Way Finds an Oblivion Gate

Keeping this post to a single session, just because Finds-The-Way’s posts get longer than average from language geekery!

Main action in this one, though, was running the rest of The Cause. I’ve done that a few times now so nothing terribly new about that. So this post will mostly be language geekery!

Play by play

  • Play date: 12/6/2023
  • Session number in this run: 39
  • Picked up again at Lakeview
  • Boinged to Honningbrew Meadery to sell stuff to Mallus
  • Then boinged to Arcwind Point to run Rielle
  • Got overloaded again pretty quickly–in other words, standard dungeon carrying status ūüėČ
  • Besides that, this went pretty much like previous playthroughs; got in, killed assorted elven wights
  • Got the four elemental shards and placed them
  • Summoned Staada regularly to help Iona with fighting
  • Took out Norion the Undying
  • Minimized how much involvement in the Vigil vs. Cultists fighting I did on the way out (because overloaded)
  • Boinged to Riften once I got out
  • Got courier with a Letter From a Friend pointing at Ironbind Barrow (fuck yeah!)
  • Triggered quest to join the Stormcloaks but not sure how? I think it was off of a random comment from a guard as I was selling things to Grelka? Regardless, pretty damn sure the Stormcloaks don‚Äôt want an Argonian XD
  • Went out through the gates in search of Dwarven Horse but got a dragon that needed killing
  • Went over to Merryfair Farm try to give Dravin his bow, but this was unsuccessful; fairly sure Dravin is dead?
  • Then headed up to run the rest of The Cause
  • Took out the usual three bears at the spawn point just off the road coming out of Riften
  • Passed another thief and talked him down with the ‚Äúdon‚Äôt you recognize a fellow member of the Guild‚ÄĚ schtick
  • Came up to Red Scar Cavern from another angle this time, and took out the guard just outside
  • Got in wearing robes I‚Äôd taken off of assassins back at the shrine
  • Made it down to the temple and took out Vonos and other cultists there, then ran the Deadlands
  • Killed the two primary Dremora as well as others
  • Got a bunch of loot, and also Scourge, Torment, and the Summon Daedric Horse spell
  • Boinged back to Riften and dropped off Scourge and Torment in Shadowfoot Sanctum
  • Boinged to Heljarchen and immediately got a couple of bandits, but Iona, Gregor, and I killed them
  • Saw I was pretty short on supplies at Heljarchen
  • Built some stuff in Heljarchen‚Äôs kitchen though since I had some iron on me
  • Dismissed Iona
  • Boinged to Windstad for supplies check, short there too
  • Boinged back to Lakeview
  • Sofie gave me some trama root!
  • Prepped to get all my supplies and do a building and selling circuit next time

Commentary

Running Rielle this time through went pretty much like it did with previous playthroughs, including getting overloaded fairly quickly just after coming in. But there were a couple of minor exceptions to the pattern here.

Entirely by accident, I think I may have stumbled across the back way to get to the area with the shards. I need to note this for future reference, if this means there’s a route to mostly avoid the platform trap. And I need to find out if I can open the gate out of the shards area from the other side.

Elessir has already run Rielle in his playthrough, so this’ll have to be something I check out further as Kendeshel.

And there was a minor consequence of being overloaded: i.e., I had trouble getting around the square platform trap. I’ve been using the strategy of jumping over its corners diagonally. But this works less well if you’re overloaded!

To my surprise, though, the trap didn’t actually kill me even when I triggered it. Take that, platform trap! Bet you weren’t expecting a well-armored Dragonborn Argonian, were you?

I tried to go to Merryfair Farm to return Dravin’s bow to him. But I could not find him for love or money. I’m fairly sure he’s dead. But confusingly, his wife Synda threw a line about the robbery making him more bitter, and how he hates the place. Present tense. So even if Dravin’s dead, his wife’s still set to throw lines that assume he isn’t.

General note about the Deadlands: wow, that environment must be hell on Argonian scales. I feel like Finds would need to do some intensive scale care for a week after getting back out of there.

Language commentary

Interesting terms observed:

  • Varlaish√∂hle: Varlais Cavern
  • Ayle√Įdenfass: Ayleid Cask
  • Ayle√Įdenurne: Ayleid Urn
  • Geist: Wight (lit. “ghost”)
  • Orkabenteurer: Orc Adventurer
  • Ayle√Įden-Elementarsplitter: Ayleid Elemental Shard
  • Geistgebieter: Wight Lord
  • Krypta von Rielle: Rielle Crypt
  • Elementarsplitter-Halterung: Elemental Shard Holder
  • Gro√üer Welkynd-Stein: Great Welkynd Stone
  • Schalter: Switch
  • W√§chter-Vollstrecker: Vigil Enforcer
  • Befehle des W√§chters: Vigil’s Orders
  • Tagebuch des W√§chter-Vollstreckers: Vigilant Enforcer’s Journal
  • Eisenbundh√ľgel: Ironbind Barrow
  • Sch√∂nwetterhof: Merryfair Farm
  • Rotnarbenh√∂hle: Red Scar Cavern
  • Wache der Mythischen Morgenr√∂te: Mythic Dawn Guard
  • Betritt das Tor ins Reich des Vergessens: Enter the Oblivion Gate
  • Die Totenl√§nder: The Deadlands
  • Harrada-Wurzel: Harrada Root
  • Fleischiger Beh√§lter: Fleshy Pod (lit. “fleshy container”)
  • Blutgras: Bloodgrass
  • Spiddal-Stock: Spiddal Stick
  • Qual: Torment (the weapon)
  • Die Bestraften: The Punished
  • Vulkanglasstiefel der Muskelkraft: Glass Boots of Brawn
  • Gei√üel: Scourge (the weapon)
  • Zauberbuch: Daedrisches Pferd beschw√∂ren: Spell Tome: Summon Daedric Horse
  • Bachbarsch: Brook Bass
  • Die Konsequenzen: The Consequences (the quest)
  • Die Gnade von Stendarr erstreckt sich nicht auf die Daedraanbeter.: The Mercy of Stendarr does not extend to Daedra worshippers.
  • Geheiligter Eisendolch: Sanctified Iron Dagger
  • Tramawurzel: Trama Root
  • Ihr findet mich bei Eurem Haus, wenn Ihr mich braucht, Thane.: You can find me at your house if you need me, Thane. (Iona’s line when I dismissed her)

Something I’d like to call out right out of the gate here is that the German build of Skyrim puts an umlaut over the letter i in “Ayleid”. I didn’t know that was possible to do in German! I’ve always understood German to do that only with a, o, and u. And my attempts to look up more about this on DuckDuckGo are so far not successful. I’m getting a bunch of sources that call out the a, o, and u as the standard vowels that can take umlauts in German, and in fact, √§, √∂, and √ľ are considered separate letters from a, o, and u. I am not finding any references to √Į as a valid German vowel at all.

So damned if I know what’s going on here. But I can make a hypothesis, at least based on what I know about German. “Ei” is a known diphthong in German, and is pronounced with what an English speaker would hear as a long i sound. Example: “Fr√§ulein”, a German word many English speakers should know at least from various movies, which lands in an English speaker’s ear as “froy-line”.

If a German speaker looks at “Ayleid”, I could see that “ei” in the second syllable being confusing. Canonically speaking, the word is supposed to be pronounced “Ay-lee-id” (c.f., dialogue in Oblivion). But German doesn’t break up e and i like that. So my hypothesis here would be that the translators put an umlaut on that i to maybe try to guide German players closer to the canonical pronunicatioin.

Mind you, I still don’t know how “e√Į” should be pronounced, vs. “ei”!

The various elven wights were tagged as “Geist” in German. I knew already that this word means “ghost” (c.f. “poltergeist”). One could argue that this translation isn’t entirely on the nose, just because the elven weights are corporeal. And therefore are not actually ghosts as most people would understand it. They’re undead, like draugr.

However, from what I can find out looking it up, “wight” in English doesn’t directly translate over anyway. According to Wikipedia, German does have the word “wicht”, but that has connotations in modern usage that wouldn’t be appropriate to apply here. Reverso.net has the same idea. The closest connotation the word has that would be relevant to Skyrim is “goblin”, and that’s definitely not appropriate to apply for an elven wight, particularly given that the game contains goblins too. Also, there’s a connotation here of smallness, and that too fails the relevance check.

So I’m not surprised that the translation team chose another word. “Geist” at least does have the advantage of being another single-syllable, five-letter word! So it even fits in the same visual space that the English build uses.

“Reich des Vergessens” shows up again here to refer to Oblivion.

Next time

Finds-The-Way’s next post will feature visiting Septimus Signus, fighting mudcrabs in Dawnstar, assorted thievery action, running Ironbind Barrow, taking out the Summerset Shadows, and last but not least, finally crossing paths with the Dark Brotherhood!

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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.