He’s always out running around Skyrim making money, hardly ever home, because dungeons just don’t loot themselves. He got his family out of Whiterun after overhearing Jarl Asshat’s plans for invasion, but the lakeside manor keeps getting attacked by giants and bandits. He’s on his third horse already, thanks to bandits! (I note that the coachman and the coachman’s horse sit placidly by and never get attacked...Murderface should probably consider what that may mean.)
Housecarl Valdimar’s pretty good at defending the place and Murderface’s daughters are charmingly bloodthirsty, but still there’s only so much one housecarl can do to protect two girls, three chickens, a cow, and a horse when multiple bandits attack. And what of times when Valdimar has to go into town for supplies? And once the girls get a little older, there’s maybe going to be...girl stuff, right? Women’s mysteries? Murderface is pretty sure that there’s a whole world there he’s unfamiliar with and doesn’t understand and maybe he should really outsource that particular education. And finally, he hasn’t been getting a whole lot of action with his current setup, despite trying his best. Women of Skyrim historically haven’t responded well to his signature moves of bumping into them and trapping them against counters, staring at them mutely, jumping up and down on their tables, and reverse-pickpocketing items into their inventories.
So Murderface has finally looked facts squarely in the face, and made what might be the toughest, scariest decision of his life.
Murderface was gonna go kill himself a motherfuckin’ dragon!
...but first he had to get out of Saarthal, the dungeon that he’d accessed by enrolling in mage school and going on a field trip. It didn’t take much; the boss fight was anticlimactic and he one-shotted the head undead dude after Teacher-Bob disrupted his ward by sending a spell against this weird, giant glowing orb in the room, and then picked up the third fragment of the amulet.
You’d think an amulet thought to be this evil would be guarded by someone stronger but oh well. It still needed to be forged back into one piece to be of any use, but Murderface had better things to do first. He did have one last errand for the school--Teacher-Bob asked him to go back and tell the Archmage that they’d found this giant weird glowing orb in the Saarthal ruins. So he picked his way back out of the catacombs and once he got outside, teleported back to the mage college.
Seeing as how Murderface isn’t a courier by nature and the brain cells that aren’t occupied with fighting are mostly dedicated to trying to get laid, I picked the option of telling Archmage-Bob “Uh, we found a sort of … orb thingy.” Archmage-Bob nodded sagely and said perhaps Teacher-Bob would have more details, then foisted a Staff of Magelight off on Murderface as a reward. Which, tbh, is sort of a dick gift because all it does is shoot a ball of light at something, where it stays for 60 seconds. So basically a flashlight. And it’s even worse because Murderface already knows the Magelight spell, which means he can fob a light ball at something then immediately switch to another spell. With the staff, he’d have the thing occupying his hand, taking up valuable space that could be better served by, say a fireball spell or maybe a vicious axe.
Another round of selling loot and storing some in his house later, we reached the point at which I stopped to explain to Toby all of Murderface’s reasoning that I had up at the top of the post, triumphantly announced “And now Murderface is going to go kill himself a motherfuckin’ dragon!!” and then proceeded to bang him into the wall on either side of the doorway FIVE TIMES before successfully steering him out of the room while Toby laughed his ass off in the background.
I don’t have any photos of the dragon fight because it all took place so fast. Murderface headed out to the western watchtower at which he’d been detailed to meet Irileth, the Whiterun jarl’s woman-at-arms, many in-game months ago. She and her troops were standing by and the dragon hove into view shortly after Murderface arrived. Not that he saw it, as he was inside the tower at the time.
He ran outside and saw it and then, after Toby explained that the best strategy for this site was to go up a couple of floors in the tower and shoot arrows at the dragon, ran back inside and did so. It didn’t take much to take this dragon out, probably because it’s assumed most players will try to go for it significantly earlier in the game than Murderface did.
Afterwards he descended the tower steps and went to loot the dragon’s corpse, er, I mean, stand around and kibbitz with the guards who were marveling at the size of the thing. And then a strange wind picked up. The dragon corpse collapsed and something insubstantial rushed at, and then into, Murderface.
Murderface stood about, confused.
“What?” cried a guard. “Can it be? You absorbed the dragon’s soul! Are you the Dragonborn?”
Murderface remained standing about, confused.
Irileth shouted down her men. “That’s just a fairy tale! There’s no such thing as the Dragonborn!”
The guard turned back to Murderface. “Let’s see! Try a Shout!”
The mysterious magical words Press R2 to Shout hovered in the air before Murderface, and he obligingly did so, directly at the guard. “FUS!” he thundered. The guard staggered backwards under the force of the Shout!
Irileth remained unimpressed!
Seeing as he certainly wasn’t going to get any action from Irileth plus he’d already looted the dragon, there was no point in hanging around any longer. Murderface teleported back to Whiterun to see what payment he could wring out of the Jarl. As he arrived, a courier ran up to him and pressed a letter into his inventory which identified itself solely as a Letter from a Friend and which encouraged Murderface to turn his attention towards something or somewhere called Valthaume.
Not that he had much time to contemplate that as a great Shout echoed over the land, staggering everyone, causing the controller to buzz, and confusing the hell out of Murderface. Weirded out, he continued to the Jarl’s keep. When he got there, the Jarl explained that the Greybeards, mysterious monk-like dudes who hung out at their home on top of the mountain occasionally training people such as Jarl Asshat in the use of the Nord magical tradition of Shouts had summoned the newly discovered Dragonborn.
Murderface was not entirely happy that here was yet another damned thing someone was telling him to do. But then the Jarl bestowed the title of Thane of Whiterun upon him, and that cheered him a little. Now he’s a triple Thane! That’s got to be good for at least a few free drinks, if not getting laid. And he got another housecarl, Lydia. Alas, he could not install Lydia alongside Valdimar in the lake house, so he dropped her off in his Whiterun house.
Might as well go to the Greybeards and figure out what this Shouting thing is all about. He teleported to the closest area that he could find to the Greybeards’ mountain, which was the White River Watch where he’d killed a bunch of bandits and looted some nice stuff a while back. Much to his surprise the bandits had respawned, so Murderface happily cleared them out a second time, and cheered up even more when he discovered that the good loot had also respawned. Also, now that he had Muffle cast on his boots, he was silent when sneaking around and enemies would walk right by him, saying “Is there someone there?” so he could shoot them from point-blank range and not waste as many arrows.
Back to Whiterun to sell all this loot, then back to the mountain to try again. He found the road that led up to the Greybeards’ settlement. He also found a goat. Thanks to his Muffled boots, he was able to sneak right up to it and shoot at point blank range but, confusingly, somehow missed. The goat leaped up and ran up the road, disappearing over a small rise. Murderface cursed silently, and turned to follow.
A few seconds later, the goat came running back! Murderface raised his bow to shoot, loosed the arrow, and then, right on the goat’s heels, an angry cave bear thundered over the rise and attacked him. That damn goat led the bear right to him! A couple of arrows and one dead cave bear later, Murderface looted the bear’s corpse. When he looked around, he spotted the body of the goat and looted it also, with great satisfaction.
Murderface found the final stretch of the road to the Greybeards’ home, named the 7000 Steps or some such, and climbed it. When he got to their stronghold, they invited him in. The Greybeards turned out to be four or five old human men, all satisfyingly bearded, who’d devoted their lives to studying the mysteries of the Thu’um, or Voice. The spokesbeard explained that the others didn’t talk because their voices were so powerful as to be deadly. He added that mastering the Voice usually takes years of study and practice, but that the Dragonborn has the ability to master it by slaying dragons and absorbing their souls. There hadn’t been a Dragonborn in centuries, but Murderface appeared to be it.
He asked Murderface to demonstrate a Shout, so Murderface obligingly FUSed him, and watched happily as the spokesbeard staggered back. The spokesbeard had another beardy teach Murderface the second word in this particular Shout, Ro, by magically inscribing it on the floor and having Murderface stare at it while it inserted itself into his brain. They had him practice it several times, so Murderface FUS ROed at each beardy in turn. They then took him out back and taught him the first word in the Whirlwind Sprint Shout, which allows him to use superspeed over a short distance. The spokesbeard claimed great awe at how fast Murderface learned the Shouts, which made him feel warm and fuzzy inside until the spokesbeard dropped yet another damn quest on his head.
Go get us the Horn of Whatshisnuts, our fabled leader, he said. We’ll teach you the last part of the FUS RO Shout when you do, he said. Godsdammit, Murderface said.
Murderface stomped out of the keep in a terrible temper. You do something for people and the reward you get is being asked to do something else. Nobody asks: do you want to do this? What do you want? He was tired of this shit, tired of being pushed around and taken for granted. He was three bloody Thanes and the Dragonborn, and what did it get him? More damn quests!
“Fuck it,” he said, clutching the Amulet of Mara in his pocket. “I’m getting married.”
NEXT TIME: You guessed it. :)
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