Stay Off The Road

The second time I approached Whiterun, I was on official business. Ulfric Stormcloak had tasked me with delivering his ax to the Jarl of Whiterun. By this time, I was a rising star in both the thieves guild and College of Whinterhold. I’d travelled across Skyrim, making friends and enemies. I was thane of two holds, with promising revenue streams from blacksmithing and enchanting.

Jarl Balgruuf the Greater took King Ulfric’s ax, but wouldn’t respond to the matter until I’d taken care of this dragon problem for him.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

I arrived at Helgen a Nord woman, with no memory of my crime and nobody willing to so much as tell me what I’d done to deserve beheading. As I stood in line to die in Helgen’s town center, a dragon attacked. Consciously or not, that dragon saved my life.

Fleeing from Helgen’s ruin, a fellow member of the condemned told me that, if I could find my way to Riverwood, his friends there could take care of me. He set off at a run down the road to Riverwood, but I knew better than that. I was a fugitive from the Empire, and the roads were exactly where the Empire would be looking for me. So I beat my way into the brush, crossing through streams to throw off my scent.

Apparently, this means I missed the Guardian Stones, which would have increased my experience points for fields within a chosen class. I would find these shortly after my return to Whiterun.

The guards in Riverwood didn’t seem to recognize me. Or maybe they were letting me off easy because I was a Nord. Either way, I wasn’t going to wear out my welcome. The people of Riverwood were mostly hospitable, and they’d asked me to get word to Whiterun about the dragon. So I went north.

From what I knew at that point, Whiterun was at the center of an ongoing political storm over Nord independence. The Empire had been working hard to convince the jarl to join them, and that would mean not only more soldiers, but better informed soldiers. The dragon was apparently heading that way, and the hope was that I would rouse an amalgam of Whiterun and Imperial troops to bring the lizard down.

So the notion was that I would side with the Empire that had almost just killed me in order to kill the creature that had just saved me.

When the Whiterun guards told me entry to the city was restricted to official business only, I turned east. I didn’t know much about who I was, but I knew that I was wanted and undesired. I headed east.

When I returned some time later, I was well respected in the east. I was thane of Windhelm and Riften. I had a name for myself and an official duty to perform in Whiterun. I’d seen the political mess at Solitude, the pitiful remains of Winterhold, and the underhanded strength at Riften. I’d even briefly witnessed the strife at Markarth. I’d read many books about the history and politics of the Nords, and knew that even folks in Solitude understood that Ulfric had acted within traditional rules for contesting the kingship. I’d spoken with Ulfric and come to the conclusion that, although I disagreed with the way he let non-Nords be treated, he had a modesty and passion for others that I thought desirable in a leader. And apart from the Grey Quarter and a serial killer, Windhelm seemed to be one of the better run holds in Skyrim.

Honestly, by that point I’d like to meet the knee-stricken guard who could stop me from entering Whiterun.

I entered Whiterun and immediately made enemies with a man whose clan was backing the Empire — obviously the Empire hadn’t tried to kill him yet — which tipped me off to the residents who supported Ulfric’s claim.

I approached Jarl Balgruuf, a lanky man strewn across a throne. I didn’t like him.

He sat up when I gave him Ulfric’s ax, but he wouldn’t respond. He had to think about it, later. Apparently they’d heard a bit about the dragon. They wouldn’t deal with Ulfric until I’d help them learn more about the beast. Fine. Iona and I will slink through some crypt for you, and I’ll carefully walk her around pressure plates in the floor. This wouldn’t be the first time I’d gone through the motions with carvings of snakes, wolves and whales. Maybe there’d be another dragon claw made from an expensive material. No doubt there would be some tormented ancient Nord to battle and prove my worth. There would likely even be some crazy text scrawled on a wall that would flash and suck me toward it. I’d stumbled into one of these before I’d even made it to Windhelm. No big.

Not that I expect that impressing Jarl McLankyarms with my physical prowess will do much. He and his court don’t much strike me as the working-out type. Maybe I should just leave Whiterun to the dragon, but for the poor souls in Riverwood and Clan Grey-Mane.

Comments

Frankly, I'd rather read more of this than go back to playing Skyrim.

garion333 wrote:
Frankly, I'd rather read more of this than go back to playing Skyrim.

He's a witch! May we burn him?

garion333 wrote:
Frankly, I'd rather read more of this than go back to playing Skyrim.

I'll wait for the movie adaptation.

Coldstream wrote:
garion333 wrote:
Frankly, I'd rather read more of this than go back to playing Skyrim.

He's a witch! May we burn him?

I'll wait for the movie adaptation of the witch burning.

Coldstream wrote:
garion333 wrote:
Frankly, I'd rather read more of this than go back to playing Skyrim.

He's a witch! May we burn him?

Don't be ridiculous.

Witches don't burn.

And I agree with him. The first Bethesda RPG I played was Fallout 3, which made me think I like Bethesda RPGs. Then I tried Oblivion and hated it. Then I played New Vegas and hated it. Then I played Skyrim and was massively indifferent to it. They all started out strong, but they all seemed to have a high percentage of what I call the Roy Philips type quest. Roy Philips was a ghoul in Fallout 3 that gave me a quest which

Spoiler:
rewarded me with good karma for doing something that led to mass murder. Then gave me bad karma for killing the murderer.

I almost quit Fallout 3 over that quest.

It seems like most quests in Oblivion, New Vegas and Skyrim were like that. Try to do the right thing, then get jerked around because the writers have a nihilist streak. Everybody in the world is an a**hole, and you've got nowhere to call home. Fallout 3 had Megaton with Lucas Sims and Moira, and Three-Dog chronicling your adventures. The other games had no roots, nowhere to come back to that felt like a good place to be.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
Everybody in the world is an a**hole, and you've got nowhere to call home. Fallout 3 had Megaton with Lucas Sims and Moira, and Three-Dog chronicling your adventures. The other games had no roots, nowhere to come back to that felt like a good place to be.

I think that's part of how my playthrough has worked so far. I started off feeling accutely aware that I didn't have a home and wasn't welcome in Whiterun Hold, so I moved on until I found a home. I intend to play through again from the other side, as a Kajit or Argonian probably, and see how that drives me.

This comment:

"I almost quit Fallout 3 over that quest. "

I felt the very same way. I had played Oblivion to a stuttering middle before I played Fallout 3, and I was dreading the idea of plodding through a Bethesda game, especially since I loved the first and second Fallout games so much. I was immensely relieved when Fallout 3 did not suck (minus the grey green quality to 98% of the game).

At this point I have no interest in Skyrim, because to me it looks like Oblivion with different graphics. I think I'll keep playing CoD: MW3 and maybe try Dark Souls (I had a love-hate relationship with Demon's Souls a while back).

I love reading in-character stories from Skyrim. "MORE!," I roar.

Dakuna wrote:
This comment:

"I almost quit Fallout 3 over that quest. "

I felt the very same way. I had played Oblivion to a stuttering middle before I played Fallout 3, and I was dreading the idea of plodding through a Bethesda game, especially since I loved the first and second Fallout games so much. I was immensely relieved when Fallout 3 did not suck (minus the grey green quality to 98% of the game).

At this point I have no interest in Skyrim, because to me it looks like Oblivion with different graphics. I think I'll keep playing CoD: MW3 and maybe try Dark Souls (I had a love-hate relationship with Demon's Souls a while back).


It is a much better game than Oblivion. I think people are pretty unanimous on that.

Fascinating. I hadn't realized how much my conception of my Skyrim character necessitates a sort of forced amnesia about the game's opening.

The game's like a wonderful, wide open Disney ride, but it can be a tough place to role-play.

In the 201st year of the Fourth Era, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by an Imperial court for a crime they didn't commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Nord underground. Today, still wanted by the Empire, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.

It's annoying learning these force-push shouts when I have un-souled shouts with much cooler descriptions behind them. The Airzooka doesn't compare to my mental image of "Marked for Death."

Quintin_Stone wrote:
In the 201st year of the Fourth Era, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by an Imperial court for a crime they didn't commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Nord underground. Today, still wanted by the Empire, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The Ej-Team.

Fixed for Norseness.

I always assumed that at the start of the game, I was on the block for a paddling, not a beheading. So I didn't hold it against the Empire.

IMAGE(http://images.memegenerator.net/instances/260x260/9339486.jpg)

I just need to know if they ever the stupid stolen merchandise issue.. Where you steal something once from done guy on they other side of the planet and every indeed of those items ares new listed as stolen. Even if you throw them all onto the ground then go buy some more. Those too ate stolen .

Nosferatu wrote:
Even if you throw them all onto the ground then go buy some more. Those too ate stolen .

I'm pretty sure that's no longer the case, at least on PC. I believe one bad apple still ruins the barrel, though.

Nosferatu wrote:
I just need to know if they ever the stupid stolen merchandise issue.. Where you steal something once from done guy on they other side of the planet and every indeed of those items ares new listed as stolen. Even if you throw them all onto the ground then go buy some more. Those too ate stolen .

The marker beside the item in your inventory indicates that 1 or more is stolen. If you start dropping them on the ground one by one, only the stolen ones show as stolen.

I did this a lot when enchanting necklaces and rings. I prefer to enchant the non-stolen ones so I could sell them at a boosted price.

I do wish the game had a better method to separate out your stolen/non-stolen merchandise.

Obligatory.

Bethesda bugs have irked me in the past, but between Steam-served patches and the confidence that the PC's ~ gives me, the biggest annoyances I've had are directing housecarls around pressure plates and the need to trap souls.

You're really missing a ton of story and fun by avoiding Whiterun at the start of the game. I recommend, if you're willing to do a different playthrough, that you enable subtitles for dialogue and try first person during a lot of conversations. There's a lot of subtext that is easy to miss otherwise.

I highly recommend doing the dragonstone/golden claw quest after first checking in with Jarl Baalgruf and Farengar right after you first go to Riverwood. When you come back with the stone, hang back by the door of the wizard's room as he and another NPC have a conversation that is quite easily missed or interrupted.

Without doing the dragonstone quest right off, the rest of the game is crippled, really.

Repub_Arnaz wrote:
You're really missing a ton of story and fun by avoiding Whiterun at the start of the game. I recommend, if you're willing to do a different playthrough, that you enable subtitles for dialogue and try first person during a lot of conversations. There's a lot of subtext that is easy to miss otherwise.

I highly recommend doing the dragonstone/golden claw quest after first checking in with Jarl Baalgruf and Farengar right after you first go to Riverwood. When you come back with the stone, hang back by the door of the wizard's room as he and another NPC have a conversation that is quite easily missed or interrupted.

Without doing the dragonstone quest right off, the rest of the game is crippled, really.

The game allows for playing through it in many different ways. You could say this is a journal of taking "the one less traveled by," ... except that poem is horse hockey.

One thing about Skyrim is that it makes it very difficult to completely miss anything.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
One thing about Skyrim is that it makes it very difficult to completely miss anything.

Like what kind of weapon warriors from Hammerfell have.

Stengah wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
One thing about Skyrim is that it makes it very difficult to completely miss anything.

Like what kind of weapon warriors from Hammerfell have.

Is it the race card?

wordsmythe wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
One thing about Skyrim is that it makes it very difficult to completely miss anything.

Like what kind of weapon warriors from Hammerfell have.

Is it the race card?


Curved. Swords.

Wordsmythe, I bet you wish your house in Windhelm had a swank basement?

http://tinyurl.com/hjerim

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Wordsmythe, I bet you wish your house in Windhelm had a swank basement?

http://tinyurl.com/hjerim

I don't have one. Currently, I believe Windhelm is very much on fire.