The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of few games that I was not readily able to put down for quite some time after starting a playthrough. I found myself completely enthralled and immersed in the game and it was a rarity to catch me playing anything else within the subsequent months. However, like with all games that I find myself infatuated with, there is a cool down period in which I’ll play every other game except the source of the infatuation, leading up to the inevitable once-again immersion. The cool down period for Skyrim was brought on by the unavoidable staleness I’d brought on by continuously playing the game, having it take up a larger percentage of my life at the time. In lieu of this, I’d desired to play anything but Skyrim. The cool down period lasted for quite some time and I did not pick the game up again until this past Christmas when I’d received a Microsoft Points card as one of several gifts and used most of it to purchase the Dragonborn add-on for the game. Luckily, it was more than enough motivation to get back into the game—I mean, who wouldn’t want to explore Solstheim?
I was always an explorer at heart when it came to open world games with so much to offer, as is the nature of the Elder Scrolls series. With Oblivion, the predecessor to Skyrim, I spent a greater portion of the time I’d put into it exploring the game world. The story and side missions were forced to take a backseat while I executed a graceful swan dive into the pool of what the game had to offer—Skyrim was no different. Having put over 50 hours into the game to date, I’ve still not progressed further than the first segment of missions in the main storyline.
Before I dedicated so much time to the game, I was very temperamental with my character, and understandably so. After all, aside from the face sculptor in Riften (a new feature courtesy of the Dawnguard add-on) there’s no way to change your character in terms of gender or race. When I first started the game, I chose a female Nord with the intentions of honing her into a seductive and well-trained assassin and thief. After a few weeks of gameplay, I deleted the saves and started fresh with a new character. This phase went on until I’d settled on a male Bosmer, or Wood Elf, and found myself growing increasingly attached to him. With the progress he and I have made so far, I feel proud and accomplished.
I would have started this journal off with a bit of back story on my character, but I won’t bore you any further with inane details. All you need to know for now is that his name is Zevran. Now let’s get into it.
25 of Frostfall, 4E 210
Yesterday was an interesting experience. I’d spent the time following up on a contract I’d taken on from the Dark Brotherhood. I was ordered to go to Ivarstead and kill a beggar named Narfi. It was a simple enough contract, so I’d made haste with the intention of finishing things up quickly. I arrived in the small town with mead in Zevran’s belly and legendary crafted Nordic bow (courtesy of the Dragonborn add-on) tightly gripped in-hand. As I took up a position across the river with Narfi in my sights, I pulled back the ebony arrow and launched it across the stream of water, hitting my target off-centre in the neck. What I was not aware of was that another character, Klimmek, who I’d previously helped by delivering his supplies to the Greybeards, was standing perhaps thirty feet to my right looking across the river as well. He’d witnessed my target’s death but was oblivious to the fact that I’d killed him. What brought my attention to Klimmek’s presence was when he shouted, “Ysmir’s beard!” At that point, I had to pause the game to have a laugh that was so developed, it was hard to breathe.
After I was able to collect myself, I left Ivarstead and made the walk to Riverwood. Occasionally, I find myself opposed to fast travel in lieu of the daunting loading screens and will sometimes inadvertently walk or ride a horse to my destination. I have a thing for small towns in Skyrim. While they’re more prone to random vampire or Dawnguard invasions (depending on which side you choose) as well as dragon attacks, they’re quaint, cozy, and closely knit—so I tend to spend a lot of time in them just hanging out and observing the NPCs. This usually takes place when I’m not in the mood to complete a mission, but don’t want to stop playing either.
I arrived in Riverwood and headed over to the Sleeping Giant Inn, but before I could enter and rent a bed for the night, I had a run in with a few vampires and a death hound—that’s ironic—that ended up killing two guards and almost killed the bard, Sven. After making short work of the Cullens, I was in the mood to kill some more people, so I left Riverwood immediately and followed a bounty quest I’d picked up from an innkeeper in Morthal, I believe.
What I didn’t realise was that Zevran was being followed.