In Skyrim everyone is a killer. My goal is to make all those heroes and bandits look like chumps. I'm Tura Satana, a slayer of dragons and a hunter of man. Join me as I learn to stalk the most dangerous game and become the most notorious serial killer in the land. This journey isn't for the faint of heart.
I'm getting better at killing. On the path to Windhelm I encounter a pair of Alik'r Warriors. They're harassing a Redguard woman on the side of the road. But they have the wrong person – Saadia, the lady they seek, is safe and sound in a Whiterun Tavern. Mere days ago I was ankle-deep in the bodies of the Aliki'r when I murdered the Redguard traitor Kematu and his Alik'r cronies. My dagger has acquired a taste for Akik'r blood. When the men are through harassing the hapless Redgaurd woman they continue down the road to Windhelm, oblivious to my stares. I run, swift and and silent, until I catch up with the slowest of the pair. In a single, smooth motion I grab the man from behind and slit his throat with my blade. His partner, oblivious, is just as easy to gut. A flurry of stabs from behind kills him instantly.
Windhelm is a cold, dreary place – the kind of town that people plan to leave the day they arrive. Rolff Stone-Fist is one of the people that makes Windhelm such a terrible place to live.
I find him inside the Candlehearth Hall spouting bile. “We ought to dig a big hole and throw all elves and Argonians in it,” he says. Outside I met Suvaris Atheron, one of the women he's talking about burying. I felt for her plight and every word he says makes my blood boil. I confront Rolff and he challenges me to a fistfight, with 100 Septim on the line. When I throw my first punch Lufaffyn, the dark elf singer in the tavern's public room breaks into song. “Our hero, our hero claims a warrior's heart,” she sings as I pummel the bigot. “I tell you, I tell you the Dragonborn comes.” I bloody the fool with my fists until he yields. But my blood-lust isn't sated. I pull my sword and cut Rolff down. But no matter how much I hack at his back the man will not die. Skyrim is cursed forever by this immortal ass and there's nothing I can do about it.
GRELOD THE KIND
Chagrined I break into the home of Aventus Arentino. I am here because I had heard rumors of a child performing black rites – attempting to summon the aid of the Dark Brotherhood. I find the orphan performing a blood ritual, reciting a dark summoning prayer. He mistakes me for an assassin of the Dark Brotherhood. I don't correct him. The boy tells me of a cruel woman who mistreats her wards in the Riften orphanage. He begs me to end Grelod's life. I take the job.
When I walk into the orphanage I catch Grelod browbeating the children. “Those who shirk their duties will get an extra beating,” she threatens. “Nobody needs you. Nobody wants you.” That's all I needed to hear. I wait until night and creep into Grelod's room as she sleeps. I stab her in the chest and she dies instantly. I slink out of the room as quietly as I can. But soon the the crone's body is discovered. The kindly Constance Michel, the only kindhearted adult in the orphanage, panics. She is horrified that deat has come to her doorstep. But the children all celebrate. “Aventus really did it,” they shout merrily. When I leave the Honorhall Orphanage is ringing with the laughter or children, broken only by the terrified cries of Michel. The poor woman must surely feel like she is going mad.
ATAF, INGE SIX FINGERS, PANTEA ATEIA, AIA ARRIA, BENDT, GIRAUD GEMANE, ILLDI
I linger for a time in Riften, insinuating myself into the Thieves Guild. Eventually I gain their trust and earn the right to dress as they do – in strapped leather and a hood. Guild business takes me to Solitude and I remember my plot to destroy the bards. I had enjoyed killing the singer Mikael in Whiterun and had hoped to find more lecherous men like him in Skyrim's many inns and meadhalls. But I was disappointed to find many of the land's bards to be women like myself. I couldn't bring myself to kill them. But that was then.
I meed Viarmo, the headmaster of the Bards College in Solitude. The man seems haughty. I immediately dislike him. But I put on a false smile and listen to him prattle on about a lost song. I agree to seek out the verse with my fingers crossed. But rather than embark on the quest I turn a corner and sink into the shadows. Silent and unseen I creep behind a young man called Ataf, surely a bard to be, and end his life with a single slice. Inge Six Fingers is sleeping atop her sheets when I pierce her heart. Her body jerks and tumbles to the floor as her last breath escapes. I catch the master singer Pantea Ateia asleep as well and cut her dreams short, painting her headboard with a gout of blood. Aia Arria is loitering on a bench in the basement when I slip my blade between her ribs. Also dozing are Bendt, the cook, and Jorn. I gut Bendt like tomorrow's dinner, but Jorn isn't so easy to kill. He kneels, panting after I stab him. This man, too, will not die. I disappear into the shadows rather than fight him again. He soon forgets I was ever there.
I cut down Giraud Gemane in the entryway to the Bards College then make my way upstairs to hunt down stragglers. I catch the fair Illdi seated in a pew and quickly snuff her. Jorn is at rest the next row up and doesn't hear a thing. When he stands and leaves he doesn't even pay notice to poor Illdi as she bleeds out. Finally, I encounter Viarmo – the guild master himself. “I have faith you will return with King Olaf's verse,” he says to me over and over, oblivious to his dead kinsman strewn about like freshly hewn firewood. I stab and stab at him, but he too cannot die.
Frustrated and still hungry for death I flee the Bards College and stroll into the sunlight. “Solitude,” I think. “I would like to see this entire godforsaken city burn.”
– Gus Mastrapa has written about games for Wired, Edge, Kill Screen and The A.V. Club. Follow him on Twitter: @triphibian