Skyrim is a bloody place. Murder is commonplace, but not all slayings are created equal. My name is Tura Satana. I am The Dragonborn and a Nord serial killer in the making. Follow me as I cut a bloody swath across Skyrim and attempt to find my place amongst the land's most notorious criminals. I may not have what it takes. Read Part One to see how I began my bloody murder spree.
The old woman in Fort Greymoor is the only one I spare. “I just cook and clean and do whatever it is they ask of me,” she bleats while munching on a loaf of bread.
The bandits she feeds and mops up after are killers like me, so I cut them down to the last. But Agnis seems as blameless as straw on the floor of this shabby fortress. This kindness doesn't seem terribly becoming of a serial killer. I'm still trying to find my voice as a mass murderer. Random slayings don't seem my style.
The caves, forts and camps of Skyrim are brimming with villains that need ending. I go about my job happily – piercing their flesh with arrows and hacking away at the limbs of those hardy enough to withstand a bowshot.
In the far end of one cave I find Kematu – a Redguard thug scouring Skyrim for a woman I promised to help. He's surrounded by guards so I plan my attack with care. Rather than charge his mob blindly, I set bear traps in the shallow water between me and my quarry. I announce my intentions with a single arrow, and the fools run right into my trap. Soon a half-dozen bodies bob limp in the water.
I watch Kematu floating lifelessly and it occurs that a killer such as myself shouldn't just leave bodies in her wake. I should leave a message. I drag Kematu's body out of the water and position it next to a chest. The scenario, though gruesome, lacks power. So I hoist his corpse again and drape it across a large stone, allowing rays of sun to spotlight the body. I try to leave a flower – a piece of thistle – as a calling card. But the herb keeps tumbling to the floor. I'll get the hang of this eventually.
It is in the Bannered Mare – an inn in Whiterun – where I find my calling. Mikael, the local bard, strums his lute smugly next to the fire. He thinks he's the gods' gift to women. I vow to bury this singer the way I did Sven, but I can't lure the man away from the crowded inn. He hovers between the bar and his favorite seat. I try to hide in the shadows, but the nosy Uthgerd the Unbroken keeps spotting me as I move to stab Sven in the back.
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Undaunted I rent the big loft room for the night and retire to my quarters. From the balcony I can see Sven cozy up to the bar again and decide he'd look better with an arrow in the back. To my surprise the shot doesn't kill him. The singer runs to confront me, his dagger drawn. A single sword stroke puts an end to his womanizing ways.
LYNLY STAR-SUNG, LISETTE AND LURBUK
The Whiterun guard don't appreciate my murdering ways. I lead them in a game of cat and mouse, hiding in shadows only to be spotted again. My plan is to make my way to the main gate and muscle past the guards. But I'm stopped in my tracks and arrested for my crimes. I pay my bounty with coin I took from Mikael's pockets and leave Whiterun a free woman.
I have a plan now: I will visit every boarding house in Skyrim and murder every bard I find.
Executing my plan is harder than I thought. Many inns are too remote to support a musician. And more than a few of the singers I encounter into are women. I can't bring myself to put down Lynly Star-Sung – the barmaid in Ivarstead. Lisette, the resident bard at the Winking Skeever in Solitude, is both comely and friendly. I feel a kind of sisterhood with these women, despite their distasteful choice of careers.
My ill luck ends in the dreary town of Morthal. Lurbuk plays to an empty house in Moorside Inn. But when I speak to the orc he is friendly and polite. He doesn't leer and preen like the other men I killed. And he reminds of that first, nameless orc I killed so haplessly at the beginning of my spree. What if she was his sister? Or his lover? Empathy is beginning to put a real damper on my mayhem.
I take out my frustrations on a lone figure standing far away in the woods. I'm too far to see who they are. I can't tell if they're a man or a woman, friend or foe. I draw my bow, notch an arrow and hold my breath. The shot is true, killing my target instantly. My victim was a woman. But I feel nothing for her. I star coldly at her body, noting the way her neck has bent impossibly to the side.
Her friends in the camp nearby don't know what I've done. I charge into their camp blindly – waving my sword at whoever stands in my way. I kill the lot of the but for one. Their leader, inexplicably, refuses to die. I cut him down and he stands right back up again. Rather than try to make sense of this impossible miracle, I steal a horse and flee.
I know in my heart that I'm a better killer than this. I just need the proper inspiration. I have a suspicion that I'll find it in Windhelm.
Part three is coming next week, so keep checking TheFeed for more!
– Gus Mastrapa has written about games for Wired, Edge, Kill Screen and The A.V. Club. Follow him on Twitter: @triphibian