Welcome to Norway, I mean, Skyrim!
It's been over a month since I began trekking through the holds of Skyrim. During this time I've slayed countless dragons, became arch-mage, saved lives, considerably thinned the local wildlife (I try not to, but Skyrim beasts are a bloodthirsty lot), worked to fulfill my destiny as Dragonborn, met M'aiq the liar and rode to the farthest reaches of the province. And I had a blast doing all that!
Skyrim is that rare game that just makes you want to talk about it. I want to know how others went about their adventures, what path they took, how they played, and share my own tales. And the C-blog is a great place to do just that. So if you will indulge me for a bit, allow me to regale you with the tales of Legolas (I know, I know. I can't help it!) the wood elf.
The first thing I want to mention: mods. I can not stress this enough. If you are playing Skyrim on a PC and didn't bother with mods because you think it's hard to find or complicated, stop what you are doing right now, download the Nexus Mod Manager and start downloading. It couldn't be simpler. Really, do it. You'll thank me later!
The mods really make an already pretty game a gorgeous one as well as adding and improving content. I use several enhancement mods like hd textures, improved water, smoke, blood, map, night sky, objects, horse armor, more armor types, new interface and more. It makes a world of difference, and even after 120 hours I sometimes still pause to gawk at the scenery.
I like to stay within the boundaries of the game world and lore, so I mostly downloaded cosmetic mods and small additions that make sense within the game world, but if would rather go wild and use, say, a rocket launcher, you will find what you want.
Enjoying the night sky.
Now on to the exploits of my wood elf proper. As you've probably guessed, I'm playing as a sneaky archer, with a bit of magic on the side. I started a 2-handed warrior to choose a different side in the civil war and join different guilds, but every time I played 10 minutes with it I found myself itching to get back to Legolas, so he's now my only character.
Speaking of the civil war, I had a really hard time deciding who to help! I wanted to choose the best for Skyrim (as long as the resulting Skyrim didn't purge non-nords). Given that the empire was going to kill me "just because" and the emperor seemed pitifully weak (and selfish) by capitulating to every Thalmor demand even though the Redguards pushed them out on their own and Talos is a core part of the identity of the Nords who sacrificed themselves to retake the imperial city, my first stop was the Stormcloak headquarters.
I started having second thoughts immediately after setting foot in Windhelm. Ulfric quickly came across as a power-hungry egomaniac, and the fact their version of Skyrim had no room for a non-nord like me sent me in the Empire's direction. I came close to having a change of heart after meeting the Thalmor for the first time. I haven't been so immediately repulsed by a "villain" in quite a while, so kudos to Bethesda for that. I wanted them out of Skyrim no matter what, even if it meant siding with the racist Stormcloaks. In the end, my allegiance to the empire was sealed after talking to the level-headed Legate Rikke and understanding that separating Skyrim from the Empire would cut off High Rock from Cyrodil, effectively dissolving the Empire altogether and handing Tamriel to the Thalmor on a silver platter.
Die Thalmor scum DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Despite a harsh life of incessant fighting and riding and selling, I somehow managed to find love between my many battles for lord, land and dragon. I was smitten by my first Housecarl, the beautiful Lydia, and we eventually married. We adventured together as husband and wife for a while, but the mere possibility of losing her was to much to bear, so I convinced her to go to the safety of our home. The fact that she doesn't regenerate her barter gold while accompanying me may have played a tiny, marginal, insignificant role in this decision. Now she kindly awaits for me at home while I slay Dragons with the creepy Jenassa watching my back. Our marriage is going well, though it's suffering from a sort of identity crisis...
For the last time woman, I am your HUSBAND, not your thane!
There is so much more I'd like to write, but I've already written far more than most will be bothered to read and time is short. I enjoyed writing this, so I might share more of Legola's escapades later I hope Skyrim fans enjoy the read, and feel free to share your own adventures!