Saturday, November 12, 2011

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter One: Another Fine Myth You've Gotten Me Into


My name is Matthias and I am a prisoner. Close as I can figure, the year is thirteen hundred A.D and I'm being dragged to my death. It wasn't always like this, I had a real life, once. A job. One where I got to dress fancy and use a chainsaw!

I was a courier. I remember a desert. A vast, endless desert. I remember my one companion - a quiet man whose spoke softly but carried a big rifle. I remembered fighting a wicked tribe of cosplayers and LARPers who took their love of ancient Rome way too far.

Mostly, I remember becoming a king by my own hand. King of a radioactive wasteland, true, but a king nonetheless. And I remember her by my side. A fire-haired wench with lips like wine who really, really liked punching stuff yet still appreciated feminine things like a pretty dress. My queen. My Valkyrie. My Felicia.

But she, like everything else, was in the future. The far future. My immediate future was looking rather bleak. I quickly found that the other men in the prison cart with me were rebels against a tyrannical empire. Well, most of them were. Apparently I was in the wrong place at the wrong time... as per usual, along with an unfortunate horse thief. Also, as per usual, The Powers That Be decided it was easier to kill me and be done with it even though they had no record of my name on the bounty list of undesirables who needed killing. Story of my life. Lives. Whatever.

Fortunately, a sudden dragon attack made cutting my head off less of a priority. Unfortunately, I was still bound and weaponless in the middle of a quickly collapsing keep. Thankfully, my instincts for knowing when to walk away and when to run served me well. I wound up falling in behind one of my would-be executioners and then ran into the rebel leader, Ralof Both told me to follow them to safety.

Hmmm... follow the Imperial who wants to see me dead or run away with my fellow prisoner? REAL tough choice.

Ralof was generous enough to let me have all the gear of his dead companion. We fought our way through the keep, killing what meager Imperial forces remained, arriving just too late to stop a female rebel from being tortured to death. I quickly found my pockets growing heavy with all the surplus loot I was taking from the dead Imperials and was forced to leave a small fortune in fancy armor behind as we found a collapsed passage leading into a secret tunnel. How giant spiders and a bear were able to set up camp in what was clearly meant to be a well-traveled path out of the keep is a question best answered by Ralof, who I found out served the heir to the throne of Skyrim as a personal guard.

Ralof: Ah, we're free of that dank dungeon! Just feel that balmy Skyrim fall weather!
Me: *shivering* Balmy?
Ralof: Oh, aye! Snow hasn't come down to the lowlands. The river hasn't even frozen yet!
Me: ...
: But I do owe you my life, Breton! I'd never have survived in that place alone. But now I must leave you.
Me: What?! Why?!
Ralof: The Imperials will be chasing after me soon. We'll stand a better chance of getting away apart.
Me: You mean YOU'LL stand a better chance of getting away. I have no idea where we are or where I'm going.
Ralof: Ah yes. Well, my sister runs the mill at a village not far from here. She will give you some help.
Me: Really?
Ralof: Help, in this case, meaning food, gear and perhaps a job.
Me: A job, eh?
Ralof: Get your mind out of the gully! *

* In the medieval realm of Skyrim, it is, of course, impossible for one to have one's mind in the gutters on account of the lack of paved roads and sewers.

Parting ways with Ralof, I headed in the indicated direction, sneaking quietly in the hopes of avoiding more of the dangerous animals I had encountered in the caves. The good news is that there were no giant spiders or bears on the path to the next village. The bad news is that there were wolves. Numerous wolves. Thankfully, the wolves proved little challenge with the gear I was packing at that time and I figured the skins would bring a fine price once I found the market.

Me: What the... how is this wolf wearing a ring? Unless it is a werewolf! But then why would it be wearing a silver ring? Gah, this world is so confusing!

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