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MrChewie avatar 1:07 PM on 11.29.2011  (server time)
Tales from Skyrim: Ascent to Madness

SPOILER ALERT! Contains minor information about the Dark Brotherhood quest line

Whiterun was a decent place to start up my new idyllic life. After my time fighting for the Empire, Jarl Balgruuf was nice enough to offer me a home in his city as thanks for my staunch defense of the gates. Needless to say I accepted. It was of appropriate size for a man of my standing, and near the forge. I am just a humble blacksmith, spending my days at the forge and my nights with my lovely wife.

I may have slayed several dragons and quelled a rebellion, but this moment was far more satisfying

Day in and day out I worked the forge, slowly mastering my craft. Many of my old brothers-in-arms urged me to continue my life as an adventurer, but I had a family to take care of. The life of a smith was more satisfying than that of an adventurer, believe it or not. When I hit the steel with my hammer it would sing to me, not unlike the way a bandit would sing after I buried my axe in them. albeit less haunting. I saw immediate results from work, the more I forged the more ornate and extravagant my work became. My wife made life even better, though marrying me did crush her dreams of joining a caravan she did not resent me. She managed to open a small shop, and with the armor I forged for her we did well for ourselves.

Nothing like a day of honest work

My wife may not have held anything against me, but I felt as though I was holding her back. My armor was of legendary quality, but without any buyers I was getting desperate for means to make money to give my wife the life she deserved. I was invited to Solitude by my friend's at the Bard's College, and that's when I saw it. Proudspire Manor. That's the house my wife deserved, not that their was anything inherently wrong with our home in Whiterun. As soon as I returned, I got to work. I would make as much armor as I could, and travel through out Skyrim selling my armor to whoever would buy it. I spent hours, even days, at the forge, and it started to take it's toll.

Things started to get strenuous at home

I started becoming desperate for gold. Whatever I would make off my armor, I lost in buying supplies. I had to find more work. I heard of a boy in Windhelm, attempting some sort of ritual. I figured if I got him back to the orphanage I would be offered a modest sum. Instead the boy offered me a contract. Kill the wench who ran the orphanage, and be rewarded. Now I had no intention of killing the woman, until I met her. Grelod the Kind was a vile woman who seemed to take pleasure in abusing the children, but she still didn't deserve what I did to her. Even the children cheering over her body did not help me sleep at night. As I tossed and turned in my uncomfortable straw mattress at the Local Inn, I was kidnapped. I awoke in a shed, and a woman clad in black told me that I owed the Dark Brotherhood for taking their contract. In return for killing one of three people in the room, she offered lucrative work which promised precious rewards. I could only think of one thing. Gold. I accepted.

How could I refuse?

I was shockingly good at being an assassin, and as I got more work I could feel myself slipping. I killed everyone I could for even the most meager of profits. Flower Girls, Cooks, Bandits, Grave Robbers, Bards, no one was safe. What started off as a way to get my wife a new house became my life. I spent days at the Sanctuary, practically forgetting my wife altogether. I had started off the year as a man of simple means, but by the end of the month I was responsible for the death of the Emperor.

I am ashamed to admit that this was the highlight of my life

I had not known that madness plagued me by the time I was able to afford fully furnishing my wife's new home, but she did. My behaviour became erratic. I was prone to violent mood swings, and self-destructive activities, like eating poisonous herbs. My wife thought perhaps working at the forge again would help, so she sent me back to Whiterun to work for awhile.

Even forging didn't feel the same as it used to

I never did see my wife again. Well I never saw her alive again. I returned to Solitude to find her on our dining table with her throat slit. Had I done this, and just blacked it out? Did someone perhaps hold a grudge against me? How could this have happened? To this day I don't how she died, but I did know I was alone. Alone and Free, and what better way to celebrate freedom than with unabashed wholesale slaughter. Thank you wife, If not for you and your constant need for appeasement I would have never embraced my gift. As my good friend Cicero the Jester says " Just... Stab, stab, stab,stab! And then... Stab, stab, stab,stab!"

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