At the encouragement (read: fun stories) of some friends in a Slack I’m in, I decided to jump back into Skyrim. (The Special Edition, on PC, and unmodded, for those of you keeping score at home.) And what better way to bring you all along on this adventure than a series of Let’s Plays? With that in mind, let’s begin.
We start the game with at atmospheric, incredibly slow carriage ride (see up top). Then there’s some with a dragon and potential executions and Helgen getting destroyed, but screw that. That’s not important. What is important?
This guy. Awesomenus Lizardus Maximus, who is also Spartacus. By which I mean K’lathan. I ran with an Argonian because I will always run with Argonians until I die. I’ve decided this time around (read, seconds after I took this screenshot) to make a mage, because I’ve never done it before. Also killing things with fire sounds fun, and the potential for mayhem with imprecise spell casting is not to be underestimated.
I rolled with Hadvar on my way out of Helgen, because the Stormcloaks are xenophobic dicks and I don’t want to deal with that. Besides, I’m totally innocent of whatever the Imperials think they caught me doing, so clearly I have nothing to fear. No one has ever, EVER been executed for a crime they didn’t commit before. Ignore that moment twenty minutes ago. Anyway, Hadvar’s nice! After our little adventure he tells me to go Riverwood, then proposes splitting up. I’m like “fuck that,” and run with him. Which mostly means I get a great view of his back.
Well, at least he looks great in a leather skirt.
I stop a few times to just take in the scenery. This is a beautiful game, and though the special edition’s new coat of paint can’t completely mask the age of the engine, there’s still a lot of beautiful landscape to be had.
We make it to some standing stones, and I, $charname, finally get to make a decision: do I want to be a fighter, a mage, or a thief? Truly the most subversive choice in any Western RPG. Regardless, I choose mage, cementing my semi-impulsive decision made while running down the road with Hadvar.
Hadvar then immediately says “Well, to each their own.” Hadvar, you shade-throwing bastard. I LOVED YOU. But now you’re off the list and are on my middle tier of potential victims for a magic apocalypse. So, you know, we’re still friends. I’ve just acknowledged you’re flammable.
On the road, we are attacked by wolves. Because nothing attacks humans more than one of the more intelligent species of animal that really just want to go eat a deer. Anyway, I help Hadvar by setting them on fire, and they die almost as terribly as this screenshot’s legibility.
Finally, Riverwood! Civilization.
Hi, Hadvar’s Uncle, sir. I have already forgotten your name, but thank you for your kindness and hospitality. I’ll just be—oh, wait, you want me to what? Deliver a message? Sure, that sounds easy enough. Though it is urgent. Time to book it out of town without engaging with any of its residents! Meep meep! * dust cloud *
I also continue my career as an amateur postcard photographer.
On the road I find an elk, and do as all right thinking folk with magic fire at their disposal would do. I try to set it on fire. It escapes into the river, showing a remarkable amount of tactical acumen.
This rabbit proceeded to hop directly in front of me, and I was more successful. Strangely, I then looted a raw rabbit leg from it. What’s the point of fire magic if you can’t charbroil your enemies and then eat them?
Oh, right, THIS is the point. Take that, wolves!
A nice sunset appears!
I get my first view of
Oh shit, the fuzz! I bail off the side of the road and down the hill rather than risk catching up to them wearing a uniform looted from their barracks. Also, Hadvar, MY ONE AND ONLY FRIEND IN SKYRIM, told me to lay low until I could get my pardon confirmed by General Tulius. I fully expect this to be followed up on by him in a timely manner, so I’ll stick to his advice.
In a nearby field a local metal band is attacking a giant, and I join in, because flamehands. Aela gives me compliments and suggests I might want to try The Companions. Which, I’d have given a different name to your metal band, but I guess that works. I’ll check it out! Maybe! How much fire can I use?
Heading into the city I ask Bjorlam the Cart Bro about the city. I learn that there’s conflict between two families, and I should keep out of it. DONE.
I also find an escaped NPC from The Witcher.
The family conflict meets me at the gate, in the form of one of them demanding a ridiculous number of swords from the local blacksmith. She puts him in his place before accepting the job, and seems badass. I hope she will be my friend.
THE FAMILY DRAMA CONTINUES, in the form of one kid threatening the other for his money. Good, start ’em young.
Lars, despite being a pushover, is weirdly forthcoming when a strange adult lizard comes up and asks him what he does for fun. Climbing to the top of the Dragonsreach is pretty badass, kid. Don’t let your dad tell you what to do! Climb up there and find more birds eggs! Live life on your own terms!
What a nice garden you have. Full of flowers.
WHICH ARE NOW MINE.
I head up to the fortress to deliver my message, and Irileth comes at me with steel drawn. So that’s great.
As I explain myself, the game takes a moment to rotate my view and make sure I really admire that floor texture.
The Jarl’s a chill dude! I deliver the message, he has a little freakout and argues with his staff, and then he gives me a reward. Perfect. I’ll just be going–
No, wait! I don’t want to do anything else for you! I’m just a messenger! LET ME LEAVE.
Dammit. Now this bozo wants me to go find a stone tablet down in some ancient crypt. Are you even going to pay me? How will a stone tablet help you fight dragons? Why should I care? Does it let me throw more fire? He does give me a lead on a mage’s college, though, which I appreciate.
As I leave, fully intending to let Farengar find some other stooge to send to his death in search of something that might not even be there, I’m pleasantly surprised to find Irileth doing her job incredibly promptly. Fear not, Riverwood! These guards will help you evacuate and limit the number of you eaten by any passing dragons. To, like, six, probably. So half the town. Better than all of it!
I am sure these symbols were left by local youths and have nothing to do with any guilds whatsoever. Wait, did they also carve that into the rock?
I finish up the night by renting a bed, and falling asleep to the dulcet tones of the local bard singing about the Age of Aggression…
A song I then wake up to six hours later. Way to party all night, Whiterun! Look at those sweet moves!