Kendeshel Playthrough

Playthrough Info
Game Skyrim Anniversary Edition
Race Redguard (half Altmer)
Playthrough Dates Begun 9/4/2023; in progress
Platform Steam Deck and Win11 VM
Language English
Difficulty Adept

This is the page for my eleventh Skyrim playthrough, for the Redguard character Kendeshel.

Kendeshel is take two of my doing a Skyrim run inspired by Kendis Thompson, the heroine of my Free Court of Seattle books, Faerie Blood and Bone Walker. Kendeshel is the name Kendis’ mother gave her at birth, so I’m bringing that in here.

This is a modded playthrough that includes RaceMenu, so I explicitly designed Kendeshel to try to mimic her namesake’s canon appearance as best I could, and to reflect that this version of the character is half-Redguard, half-Altmer. And since this playthrough also includes Alternate Start – Live Another Life, I’m taking advantage of that to come up with Kendeshel’s backstory for her run.

The primary goal for this playthrough will be to run Legacy of the Dragonborn. But just because I can, I am also trying out some other content mods I found interesting: Wintersun – Faiths of Skyrim, Moon and Star, Project AHO, and Wyrmstooth. Alternate Start will, likewise, give me the chance to see what a Skyrim run that doesn’t start in Helgen is like!

Kendeshel’s Backstory

The Fourth Era lore says that Hammerfell rejected the White-Gold Concordat in 175, and continued to fight with the Aldmeri Dominion until 180. Kendeshel’s parents were actively involved in that conflict. Her father Dhajid was a Redguard warrior; her mother Elanwe, a powerful Altmer mage in service to the Thalmor.

They met on the battlefield and fell in love despite themselves, a full on enemies to lovers scenario–and a deeply dangerous and tragic fate for them. The Redguards weren’t about to accept an Altmer among them even if she was a Thalmor defector, and as for the Thalmor, they were out for blood as soon as they realized one of their own had turned against them.

Dhajid and Elanwe met maybe in 178 and had to go it alone for a while, seeking their own shelter in the Alik’r Desert. Kendeshel, named by her mother, was born in 179.

And the Thalmor caught up with them in 180. Even if Hammerfell and the Aldmeri Dominion officially ceased hostilities, the Thalmor took it very, very badly that one of their own had defected, and they had an execution order out on Elanwe. This order was executed, and Dhajid was likewise slain as he rose to his wife’s defense.

Only the intervention of Agifa, Dhajid’s sister, saved the baby’s life. Agifa had been the one member of Dhajid’s family who hadn’t turned against him, and had come to find the couple in search of a reconciliation with them. As their last act before the Thalmor descended upon them, the two parents urged Agifa to flee their little settlement with the baby and take her far out of Thalmor reach. Agifa adopted the little girl, and raised her as her own.

Thus Kendeshel grew up in Redguard traditions, and learned to fiercely identify as a Redguard even though the signs of her mother’s blood were very visible on her, in the shape of her ears and eyes and an unmistakable Altmer tinge to her skin.

While she could not help but gain competency in weaponry growing up in the Alik’r, such skills were not where her main talents lay. She began showing signs of a gift for magic, inherited from her mother–and moreover, an intellectual curiosity that drove her to solitary explorations of ruins and other ancient locales. Once word of her roving got out, her family rejected her, accusing her of violating the sanctity of honored dead by investigating ruins–and at least one or two of her most hostile relatives called her a budding necromancer.

Highly offended, and already having grown up having to fight for her place in a family already hostile to her, Kendeshel set out on her own to find acceptance elsewhere. In the aftermath of Hammerfell’s abandoning the Empire, she decided in spite to head for a place most likely to anger as many of her family as possible: the Imperial City in Cyrodiil.

When she arrived, a travel-scarred and prickly young woman on the verge of adulthood, she found a place at the Gwylim University and threw herself headlong into the study of the history of Tamriel. Thirst for knowledge also drove her to seek training at the Arcane University, to give herself a grounding in the magical gifts she inherited from her mother.

Now in her mid-twenties, she has established herself as a skilled relic hunter. Enough so that it’s brought her to the attention of a certain museum in Solitude, who has decided to engage her services….

Playthrough Posts

Here are all the posts about Kendeshel’s playthrough! These are dynamically updated, so a new post should appear here when it goes up. They’re listed in descending date order, so the newest posts should always appear first. Also, note the pagination controls after the first five posts. You can page through to see the older ones.

  • In Which Kendeshel Becomes Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold - 11/03/2023
    In which Kendeshel learns from the Augur of Dunlain that she must seek the Staff of Magnus; returns the Lexicon to Avanchnzel; quests through Mzulft to find Synod researchers; witnesses the death of the Arch-Mage; defends Winterhold from magical anomalies; recovers the Staff of Magnus from Labyrinthian; and slays Ancano at the College of Winterhold, ending his threat to the college and to all of Skyrim, and becoming Arch-Mage of the College in the process. Contains post-plot spoilers for the Project AHO mod, as well as spoilers for the beginning of the Legacy of the Dragonborn plot Shattered Legacy.
  • In Which Kendeshel Takes Windhelm for the Empire - 10/26/2023
    In which Kendeshel concludes helping the Empire unify Skyrim by capturing Fort Kastav, Fort Amol, and Windhelm; slays Ulfric Stormcloak; is contacted by Redguard Remnant agents; slays a dragon at Northwind Summit; disrupts a skooma den at Cragslane Caverns; is named thane of the Rift by Maven Black-Briar; resolves the curse on the Orcs of Largashbur; and discovers a shard of what may prove an important treasure indeed. Contains significant spoilers for the Legacy of the Dragonborn mod: services available from a particular NPC, some hints about backstory for Auryen, and the kickoff of the "Shattered Legacy" plot.
  • In Which Kendeshel Takes Fort Greenwall and Joins the College of Winterhold - 10/19/2023
    In which Kendeshel blackmails Riften's steward in the service of the Empire, and learns from her about a wagon to commandeer for Imperial forces; helps the Empire capture Fort Greenwall; helps Largashbur with a giant attack; recruits Latoria for the Explorer's Society; joins the College of Winterhold; discovers a powerful artifact in Saarthal; and travels to Fort Kastav to lend aid to Hadvar's squad intending to take over that fort. Contains minor spoilers for the Legacy of the Dragonborn mod, re: where to find Latoria.
  • In Which Kendeshel Fights for the Imperials and is Inducted as a Companion and a Bard - 10/16/2023
    In which Kendeshel begins recruiting for the Explorer's Society; helps Whiterun fight off an attack by the Stormcloaks; recovers a fragment of Wuuthrad and is inducted into the Companions; returns Olaf's Verse to the Bards College and is inducted into the College; takes Fort Dunstad for the Empire; recovers missing instruments; and finds the Minor Lord's Mail.
  • Making my first patch in xEdit - 10/12/2023
    I interrupt my usual playthrough posts for some in-depth modding geekery, as I learned how to make my very first patch in xEdit! This let me correct a cell height problem that was causing a stupidly high number of dragon attacks in Solitude.


Kendeshel’s screenshot galleries can be found on the Kendeshel Screenshots page.