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Diary of a Dragonborn Chapter 26: This Place Has Really Gone To The Dogs

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In which our hero goes and joins the Companions.
Previous: Chapter 25, Pretty Spry for an Old Guy


Well, Whiterun hasn't changed much since the last time I was here. Commander Caius is still a right burke, Nazeem is his understudy, and Heimskr is giving them both a run for their money. I've been to every town in this goddamn province except Morthal, and none of them are populated with decent people. I'm deliberately staying away from Morthal, too, because... well, because I want to continue to treasure the illusion that there are some nice, reasonable people there, and I just know if I actually go there I'll be disappointed. Ignorance is bliss.


Anyway, a quick jaunt around the shops to sell off some miscellaneous gear, and it's off to Jorrvaskr, where there's a fistfight going on. Right off the bat I can tell that even if the two fighters are both completely equal in stats, the woman will win, because she's smart enough to wear head protection and the dark elf isn't. I briefly try to remember if I've ever met a Dunmer in Skyrim who hasn't been both homicidal and a dumbass, but right at the moment I'm drawing a blank, so I just head on downstairs.


So downstairs there's vuKodlak, a real white-haired wolf of a man (get it? get it? huh? no? okay...), and Wlkwos Vilkas, who apparently got makeup tips from Aela. I briefly consider telling him that yes, there actually is such a thing as too much eye shadow, but I don't want to interrupt their conversation. It sounds semiserious, almost like there's a power struggle going on or something. Ooh! Maybe I'll be embroiled in an internal squabble! Politics! Intrigue! Shoot me now!


So Kodlak seems okay with my joining the Companions, but Vilkas is being a dick. "I've never heard of this person" he says. Have you been living under a rock, bro? I'm the freaking DRAGONBORN, ass. You know, savior of the city? Archmage of the College of Winterhold? Slayer of damsels and rescuer of dragons? Or something like that? You people are basically glorified thugs, and you have the sheer gall to look down on ME? I'm tempted to Fus-Ro-Dah him through a wall, but then I remember that thin wooden walls are completely indestructible in this world, plus he looks like one of those guys with plot armor, which means that even though he's a real pushover he'll still fuck me up in the long term. Boy, I wish I could just take a swing at him, though, you know? I mean... what... what did you just say to me? Test my arm? Dude, you're pretty enough, I guess, but I'm just not into guys who use that much eye shadow, alright? You want somebody to "test my arm" you'd better call your brother. He's more my style.


Anyway, outside I get my wish, I get to take a swing at the dumbass, who proceeds to cry like a little girl after one hit. What a whiner. I thought you guys were tough. I remember idolizing you people for taking down a troll not that long ago. Truly, the scales have fallen from my eyes. He tries to regain some of his lost manhood by ordering me to have his sword sharpened. I walk on up to the forge, wearing a smirk, because I know damn well that his pathetic attempt to demean me won't work, and also because I'm daydreaming about taking the newly sharpened sword and sticking it in one of his orifices.


The smith, with whom I've had dealings before, is just as grouchy and cantankerous as always. Or maybe not quite as much... it seems that now I'm a Companion, I'm entitled to a bit of respect from him. I briefly consider mentioning that I'm the Dragonborn and thus already worthy of respect, but I don't, because I'm scared he'll just stare at me and say "Yeah? So what?" and I'd have absolutely no response. So I drop off the sword and pick up a shield to give to Aela... it seems as though my primary responsibilities as a Companion will be ferrying weapons and armor back and forth. I'm okay with that, actually... it makes a nice break from assassination. Still, this is ostensibly an organization of warriors, and I'd like to get out and do some fighting.


And Kutya Farkas grants my wish. Finally, I get to do something decent, something worthy! I will use my combat prowess in a noble and moral quest, I will protect the weak against the evil strong and bring glory and honor to my new brothers. I will... ah, shit, you want me to what? To go out and intimidate some guy, beat him into submission? Fuck that, dude, I'm not some hired thug, not just a pair of fists for you to... wait, who do you want me to beat? Umm... hmm.


Crap... I'm really torn here. On the one hand, I find this sort of intimidation morally reprehensible. On the other hand, it's Sven, the tremendous dickhead, I'll get to kick around some. On the other other hand, he's still in Riverwood, and I really want to avoid going back there again. On the fifth hand (I never was very good at counting), it's fucking Sven.


After a hefty internal debate, I decide I might as well go through with it. Maybe this is just an initiation thing, a one-off job and afterward I'll get back on the straight and narrow. Quick trip to Riverwood, one beatdown later, and back to Whiterun. One would almost think this Companions business is just another generic bunch of dudes who hand out standard fetch or kill quests in a bland, all-purpose way, but I'm sure that's not the case. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? I get sent to explore another Nord ruin or have to find another Macguffin or something? Ha ha! I laugh with scorn!


I've decided that since I'm a Companion now, I need companions of my own. Aah, the good old days in Oblivion, when every companion was called a companion, but you can't do that in Skyrim because it gets confusing with the Companions, of which several can become companions... so you have to call the companions followers. I mean not the Companions, you call the Companions Companions, not companions, because that would be confusing, even though some of the Companions are also companions in the sense that they're followers, and not all Companions can become followers. But non-Companion followers are just supposed to be called followers. Or hirelings, but those are only followers that you hire, not followers who follow you without being hired. Everybody get all that? Good.


ANYway, I've got to go get a compa... I mean a follower. To help me out in combat. The best place to find a follower is the local inn, which, according to the narrative laws of the universe and the TV Tropes page, is the best and often only place to hire adventurers for your party. So... it's off to one of the two taverns in Whiterun. I'm pretty sure there's a big Nord warrior woman waiting in the Prancing Pony Bannered Mare, so that's a good start, but I'll go check out this other tavern first, the Drunken Huntsman.


Well hell, it's not a tavern, it's a shop. I didn't even realize! I've been ignoring a place where I can sell shit for months now. I feel like a right dope. Still, there is a hireling in here. She's a Dark Elf, and we all know what that means... batshit crazy with a side order of homicidal maniac. Which is actually exactly what I want right now.


Jenassa is an artist who paints with blood. Okay, I've met some kooky people, I'm not even fazed any more. She probably went to the same art school that taught those Mythic Dawn idiots how to dye their clothes. Whatever. I'm fine with it, really. If she asks me to buy some of her art I'll lop her head off, but until then I'll just roll with it.


She's an archer, a skill in which I sorely lack, and she has nothing to do with magic, for which I hire her on the spot. Funny how she charges exactly the same amount of money to follow me around killing my enemies as Belrand did. Hmm... better not mention my follower to her. She might get jealous. Honestly, baby, he meant nothing to me! It was just a quick fling! Really quick, because he died in the middle of a dungeon when I smacked him and... hmm... better not mention my previous follower to her, she might want to know what killed him. Honestly, baby, it was an accident! My weapon slipped out of my hand!


This may not be the best way to begin a new relationship. Still, she seems eager enough. Let's go murder something.


Next: My Precious
Start at Chapter 1


Recommended Comments

The whole "Macguffin that is in multiple parts, track them all down and put them together" trope is a bit overused. There's absolutely no reason for Wuuthrad to be in pieces in the first place, and likewise no reason for it to have been scattered hither and yon. What, did other Companions take bits of it around with them for good luck and then get killed in random Nord ruins or something? And of course the final piece that completes the set is in the personal possession of the ageing father figure who dies to underscore how bad the enemy is. I can only congratulate the designers on not going whole-hog with this and making the Silver Hand the ULTIMATE EVIL that are secretly masterminding the downfall of civilization and have to be stopped, a quest that culminates in a climactic battle with the gigantic bossman. At least they never went that far in this game. *coughalduincough*

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That hireling dialogue's a good idea; trying to hire someone after getting someone else killed should give some conversation from them "what happened to the other guy?" "I've heard you're dangerous, I'm doubling my rate" "I've heard about you, you can walk in front all the time".

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That hireling dialogue's a good idea; trying to hire someone after getting someone else killed should give some conversation from them "what happened to the other guy?" "I've heard you're dangerous, I'm doubling my rate" "I've heard about you, you can walk in front all the time".

That's a great idea... if it's okay with you, it's going on my stack of things to do eventually when I get around to thinking about maybe considering cogitating about the various pros and cons of making an action plan to form a subcommittee on possibly doing some actual modding, more or less. :)

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Of course.  Wish I could contribute more than the odd idea though.


Was wondering about making an unwilling Ponygirl radiant delivery quest...thing.  Don't know where to start, although it would probably be Karnsdale Farmhouse from LAL.

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Of course.  Wish I could contribute more than the odd idea though.


Was wondering about making an unwilling Ponygirl radiant delivery quest...thing.  Don't know where to start, although it would probably be Karnsdale Farmhouse from LAL.


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Ah, time travel. Your new follower filled someone with arrows about four chapters ago.

Whoa... dude, you're right! I had Jenassa when I went into Labyrinthian, didn't I?


That was mean of me... to forget about her like that. I think I'll go apologize to her. :)


Maybe that's why she didn't stop Astrid when she broke into the house and kidnapped me. Revenge.


My question is... when the hell did I dismiss her and why can't I remember actually doing it?

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