For those of you who don’t play the video game The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, this will be seriously confusing. Suffice to say, it’s a game modeled after the classic formula of Dungeons & Dragons, by way of World of Warcraft: you play a lone hero who completes various quests while working toward your destiny as the “Dragonborn,” the only one who can save the world from being taken over by the reborn dragons. (For those who do play it, please bear with my intro)
It’s good stuff, well thought out, with a vast array of adventures and choices for your character. Do you make him a noble knight, choosing to be the savior of the downtrodden, or do you make her a skulking thief in the night, assassinating unsuspecting townsfolk for their meager treasures? Plus, it’s a really pretty game, where you travel through a fantasy analogue of medieval Scandinavia, mead-halls and fjords and trolls, oh my.
Your character starts out the game captured by Imperial (think Roman) soldiers while crossing the border into the province of Skyrim. You choose the form of your character, be it human Nord, cat-like Khajit, elven archmage, or anything in between. Then, the dragons attack and the game begins. Every quest, every town, every person you talk to, offers a new opportunity to choose your character’s path, be it Light Side or Dark. You even get to create magical weapons, naming them if you want (which is how I end up with things like the Ebony Helm of Aimbotting and Yet Another Really Holy Sword of Gwildor). “Spear and magic helmet,” indeed!
Of course, me being me, I can’t help but wonder what happened before…what brought the Dragonborn to Skyrim? What happened back when he was an unsuspecting tool of fate, unknowingly waiting for the prophecy to take hold of his life? What events occurred, brought on by destiny, to prepare him to face the dragons…and hopefully defeat them, saving the world entire? (You can tell, the whole fantasy schtick really grabs hold of my style…forsooth, yon language is florid beyond the ken of mere mortals!)
My version of the game (here’s where the movie starts in my head) opens with a young man, Nord by birth, returning to a homeland he’s never known. Events have transpired (one would almost say, conspired) to bring him here, to the border of Skyrim, on the eve of the dragons’ rebirth and seemingly inevitable conquest. As dawn begins to drape the snow-capped mountains, so begins in earnest the Saga of Mikaël Stürmhand, Thane of Whiterun and Markarth, Knight of the Northern Marches, the Anointed of St. Gwildor, Dawnbreaker of Meridia, Kinslayer, Kyne’s Wolf, Trollsbane…the fabled Dragonborn. But he was not always so…
[To be continued]