I want to know what story arcs you have had with your favourite Skyrim characters.
My current character had a simple backstory – he grew up in the Imperial City, his father a blacksmith and his mother an alchemist/mage. They were vocal about the Thalmor and were mysteriously killed. My character, a Nord named Eric Odinvargr, did a bit of thieving to survive on the streets after their death and inevitably found a bit of trouble by living this way so fled to Skyrim.
Naturally he got caught at the border. We know this bit. After escaping Helgan he joined the Companions. They were his first family for a long time but introduced him to Lycanthropy. Throughout his playthrough, I’ve imagined Lycanthropy to represent his anger at what happened to his parents.
While infiltrating the Thalmor Embassy he let his anger get the better of him and, still relatively new to being a werewolf, gave into his beast form and massacred all the Thalmor there. They’ve never forgiven this and so after defeating the Alduin, Eric went on the run, avoiding cities. The Blades refused to help him as he refused to kill Paarthunax – Eric saw a little too much of himself in the dragon to kill him. He was alone again.
After living a few months as a rogue werewolf, he decided to join the College of Winterhold. His mother was a mage after all. But again the Thalmor caught up with him and he revealed who he was by using his Thu’um to defend Winterhold from Ancano’s meddling with the Eye.
He fled again. This time to the ratway, and returned to thieving, using some illusion magic he had learned at the College to stay under the Thalmor’s radar. He caught the interest of the Thieves Guild and eventually became a Nightingale. Finally, he had become no one. A shadow.
But Eric was more than a thief. He was a hero. He couldn’t find happiness in Riften. After an attack from some cultists in the marketplace, he left for Solstheim. He had been alarmed as to how they had found him, a Nightingale, and needed to investigate.
There, he met the Skaal and, after saving their village, he was accepted into their family and lived a simple life there for a time, practicing his smithing like his father and finding the inner peace to control his Lycanthropy.
Eventually, the Thalmor caught up to him again. They reappeared in his life trying to find out about the rare metal used by the Skaal. Not wishing to put his new family in danger, he left them and returned to Skyrim.
He found his old country facing a new vampire threat and decided to help by joining the Dawnguard. He met Serana, who seemed to understand what it meant to be an outsider like he was. He fought Harkon in a weakened state, half of his soul trapped in the Soul Cairn and his eyes partially damaged from reading so many elder scrolls. They battled, werewolf vs vampire, and Eric barely won.
To save his life, Serana made him a vampire. Half soul-trapped, already a werewolf, and his mind slightly corrupted from the Black Books in Solstheim, the introduction of vampire blood into Eric’s veins caused a violent reaction. All of his anger boiled to the surface and he went rogue again, hunting Thalmor and Imperials alike.
He came across a child in Windhelm who had been beaten in his orphanage. Having been an orphan himself, Eric took it upon himself to kill the lady. We know where this goes. Eventually Eric killed the Emperor – in his eyes, claiming revenge for his parents’ deaths and his treatment over the years being hunted by the Thalmor. But he knew he had taken his vengeance to far. In a moment of clarity, he rejoined with Serana, reclaimed his soul from the Soul Cairn and the two cured themselves of vampirism.
Now, Eric sought to clear his name. He just wanted to live his life without being hunted by the Thalmor. So he joined the Stormcloaks and fought for Ulfric. But he had learned secrets about Ulfric during his massacre of the Thalmor Embassy, and disliked the Jarl’s treatment of the Dark Elves and Argonians in his city. So he betrayed him, and brought the Jagged Crown to the Imperials as a peace offering, helping them to claim Skyrim on the promise that he wouldn’t be hunted anymore, that he could raise the orphans he had met in Solitude and Windhelm as his own without endangering their lives, and that the next war would be against the Thalmor.
As a reward for defeating Ulfric, Eric was given a small plot of land where he now raises two children orphaned by the civil war. He knows the next war is coming and is ready for it.
In my playthrough, I tried to incorporate all of the game’s quest lines into a coherent story. Finding a reason for my character to complete each faction quest line. My story ended up essentially as someone trying to find a home and a family for himself, looking for it in the Companions, the Blades, the College, the Skaal, even the Dark Brotherhood, but having to confront the Imperials he had been running from all game to finally get it. I’m interested in the stories you’ve made in your head from your characters’ playthrough.
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