Previous Entry: How I would have Made Skyrim: The Imperials
So, the first of the many, many smaller factions that I have included in the Civil War. This version of the Blades is quite different from the Blades in vanilla Skyrim. As, while vanilla Skyrim takes them into a sort of "we must rise from the ashes after we were destroyed by the Thalmor," angle, and is mostly composed of Delphine, Esbern, and the Player's many companions. This version is still very much up and running by the Empire's side, having not been destroyed by the Thalmor since the Thalmor haven't taken power in Summerset yet in this current time. It is also time for my constant reminder/recommendation to read my previous entry: Introduction and World, in order to not be confused when I mention and use terms such as Loyalist, Traditionalist, Oblivion Crisis, etc. Now let's get on with the Blades, and see just how they work within the Civil War.
The Blades, after the Death of Uriel Septim in the Oblivion Crisis have come to give military aid to the Loyalist forces in Skyrim, who are fighting back the Traditionalists led by Ulfric Stormcloak. They give this aid by acting as spies, organizing battles, preparing the Loyalists tactics, assassinating Traditionalist allies and higher ups, etc. The Blades(in terms of faction progression for the Loyalists), act as an optional, specialized position once the player has reached the rank of Captain within the Loyalists. Being a standard member of the Blades is the equivalent of being a Captain within the Loyalists, however even then you can progress up the Blade's own hierarchy, which in itself is full of intrigue, mystery and it's own troubles.
The leader of the Blades, as said in the previous entry is Grandmaster Volkhmund Voicebreaker, a powerful wielder of the Thu'um, and a secret worshiper of the Daedric Prince of debauchery and dark desires, Sanguine. He is a violent man who despises the Traditionalists, and believes his success in crushing Ulfric's rebellion is the only thing that will earn the people's trust in the Blades once more after they failed to protect the Emperor in the Oblivion Crisis ten years before. Volkhmund is the Half-Brother to Jarl Elisif the Fair, and is the overall military leader of the entire Loyalist forces. Quests involving him will revolve around learning of his secret devotion to Sanguine, discovering the physical and emotional abuse he puts on Elisif, and eventually, and if you decide to you can use this knowledge, or by challenging him to a duel/vote, to usurp his position as Grandmaster of the Blades(which you can give to Esbern at any time if you don't feel like it).
The Blade's Headquarters, Sky Haven Temple is no longer within the Reach, but instead it is located on the island where Volkihar castle is in Vanilla Skyrim(where the Volkihar vampire clan live/operate will be discussed when I get to Dawnguard). It is a near impenetrable fortress, and is where the Blades/Grandmaster Volkhmund will make their final stand if either you help the Traditionalists take Solitude, or if you fail in keeping the Traditionalists back in defending Solitude. To be apart of this final stand you will need to be apart of the Blades. There is a dungeon underneath Sky Haven Temple, called the Inner Sanctum. It is said only a master of the voice can open it and get past it's puzzles and tests. The reward being unknown, but very powerful.
The player, upon joining the ranks will be given two options. To become either an Operative, which would involve you actively going out into the field, uprooting any Traditionalist conspiracies in Loyalist territory, or be on the front lines when sacking a city, or defending it. Or a Chronicler, which involves delving into dungeons to uncover the secrets of ancient Nordic tombs, and working with the Mages' Guild to study any forgotten magics. It is from Operative that you then become a Spy , who assassinates specific Traditionalist allies and nobles, gather information about the Traditionalists' plans and other things in an attempt to destabilize their plans and resources. From Chronicler, you become a Loremaster, who mostly deal with rogue and unstable magic the Blades can't control, as well as deal with any magically powerful groups the Blades consider a threat(example being the Dragon Cult). Both then rank up once more, which isn't very different from their previous Rank. Spies will become the Grandmaster's personal servant/assassin called a Spymaster. The Loremaster will become the Grandmaster's personal adviser/mage called an Arch Magi. Being Grandmaster of the Blades makes you the leader of the entire Loyalist forces, allows you to give orders to anyone, allows you to make anyone your personal Spymaster and Arch Magi, and allows you to decide which cities need more or less defending, etc.
If one were to break the rules of the Blades(which is generally don't steal or kill members without good reason such as self defense), instead of being kicked out you are humiliated by being demoted to a Journeyman before being expelled from the Temple. Only able to return if you prove yourself worthy. Examples being by taking 10 Traditionalist forts, or Defending two cities from Traditionalist forces in a row, etc. Or. You can always simply return to your role of Captain.
That's basically it for the Blades, a bit of a shorter entry compared to the two previous ones. But I think that's good enough. Next time I'll be covering both the Order of the Dragon's Blood and the Redoran Elite, as they are both very connected, and are short enough I feel I can fit them both into one entry. Once again, if you have your own ideas, don't agree with mine or just have an opinion in general then comment down below if you feel like it.
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