[Fanfic] The gall of some bandits.

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[Fanfic] The gall of some bandits.

Post  Minus2Degrees on Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:28 am

Note: This is a dramatization of an in-game experience as it actually happened. Contains Companions quest line spoilers.


Kodlak Whitemane was dead, slain by the Silver Hand.

In his last conversation with me, in the anteroom of his quarters in Jorrvaskr, he had related his wish to not spend eternity on the ethereal Hunting Grounds with Hircine -- as would be his fate, as one with the Beast Blood -- and preferred being amongst the heroes of Sovngarde. He tasked me with helping him cure himself, to leave this world pure, without the curse of the wolf.

Being a member of the Circle, and sworn to duty under Kodlak's command, I had pursued this task. I didn't like it, of course -- I had also taken part in the ritual that imbued me with the howling spirit, and I had welcomed the unbridled power, surpassing even the rage of my Orcish blood. Harnessed, the evil could be turned against itself.

I now had abilities beyond reason, and I would not relinquish them. But my commander, the Harbinger of the Companions, wished that I help him rid himself of the beast, and that is what I would do.

But I had failed. Damn myself to Oblivion, I didn't make it.

-------

I had slain all the Glenmoril Witches, whom had first brought the werewolf power to the Companions -- ensuring that the Circle alone would forever possess its secrets. But I returned to Jorrvaskr to find I was too late. Kodlak Whitemane was dead. Slain by the Silver Hand.

My shield-brother Vilkas and I had taken our revenge on the werewolf killers that night, taking back the pieces of the legendary Wuuthrad battle-axe they had stolen, and removing them from this world. I admit to a bit of a personal vendetta against those fools (something which a true warrior should avoid), but it was less because they had killed my leader than because I had failed in doing my duty. They paid for that with their lives.

I was determined not to fail Kodlak Whitemane again.

Eorlund Gray-Mane had repaired the Wuuthrad, and had revealed to me that there was still hope for Kodlak: By visiting the tomb of Ysgramor, the founder of our order, it was still possible to relieve Kodlak of his werewolf burden, even across the void. "Just because something is, doesn’t mean it must be," he had said.

Then he gave me the Wuuthrad, that massive weapon of which songs were sung and tales were told. I had one more chance to do my duty, to fulfill the promise I had made.

--------

I jogged along the northern shore in the black of night, the flakes of a howling blizzard stinging my face.

It was just another hour or two, now, before I would meet up with my fellow members of the Circle, at Ysgramor's final resting place. I would fulfill my duty as a Companion... and with it, my duty to myself. It would be a bit of a personal rite of passage, a doorway through which I would step to re-enter Skyrim a grown Orc. Wiser. Hardened.

I was brought up short by three dark shapes, just slightly blacker than the surrounding frozen hell. Presently, they formed humanoid figures, and the flicker of a torch glinted off steel raiments. Imperial raiments.

Troops of the Empire, obviously, but there was something about them... I hesitated, listening to a sixth sense alarm bell being rung somewhere in my hindbrain. Orc Intuition, you might call it. We seem to know when something is off, and as I looked at the three "soldiers" standing before me now, something was definitely off.

"Hold, citizen," one of them intoned, holding out his hand. "This is a... restricted area. No civilians!"

I really couldn't see how a total wasteland such as this would need to be guarded by three lousy Imperial troops at two o'clock in the morning during whiteout conditions, but I let that be for a moment. I let them continue with their pitch: if something was off, it would make itself known soon enough.

"Access to this area is going to cost you. ... uh... 100 gold?"

Indecisiveness? In a soldier of the Empire? I thought. The alarm bell was being hammered violently now.

And that is when I saw it, farther down the road behind them, just barely visible in the wall of blowing snow: three bodies. Stripped of their gear.

Imposters, these were. Bandits, who had ambushed an Imperial patrol, and now wore their uniforms.

I was not yet amongst the ranks of the Imperial Legion, but I suddenly felt a connection, between me and those others who had been doing their duty only to be interrupted by mingling fools. And these, who had resorted to sneak attack, and deception...

My Orcish blood boiled.

Between me, and my duty to the spirit of Kodlak Whitemane, stood three wretches.

What I said was, "100 gold? Try to take it."

What I thought was: Funerals for the three of you will cost less.

And then, saying a short prayer of apology to the ghost of Kodlak -- who awaited deliverance to Sovngarde in the distant tomb -- I summoned the dormant wild energy, the gift the Companions had given me.

The three bandits froze, watching, paralyzed with fear, as I began to transform.


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Re: [Fanfic] The gall of some bandits.

Post  Herxes on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:19 am

Nice read, I find some of the stuff mobs do in this game amazing.

I'm an out and out melee warrior couple of days thought I'd just roam about with a bow and see how that works.

I was astounded when I came across a sabre cat and later a bear and hitting them with arrows invokes the behaviour you'd expect in the real world, they're trying to attack the arrows that have hit them, they're flailing around confused at where the attack is coming from, crazy.

Equally I've encountered bizarre behaviour once I was fighting a dragon a bandit joined in, once I'd killed it the bandit went for me, I was like dude you just watched me kick the crap out of , mount and drive my sword through a dragons head, you're wearing fur armour and have an iron waraxe, really?!

I've seen wolves flee when a pack member is killed that's cool.

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Re: [Fanfic] The gall of some bandits.

Post  EvilNerd on Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:02 pm

I like this very much! The story is so important...

I think the difference between role players and power gamers is that we role players have an internal narrative going on in our heads all the time. In game descisions are not made lightly and we consult our character's back story and history to drive the way we play. At times I do this at the expense of easy kills or buckets of loot. The story is the point. These kinds of stories personalize the experience and give the game a depth that enhances the entire experience. I have skipped entire quest lines simply because I know that the objectives were not in sync with my characters goals or personality.
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