In Skyrim it isn't hard to wet your blade. But I'm out to do more than spill a little blood. I'm Tura Satana, a dragonborn serial killer. My quest is to become the most notorious murderer in Skyrim and I plan to make the town of Solitude my claim to fame. Read on and witness the brutal conclusion of my gory death trip.
ODAR, ERDI, UNA, SYBILLE STENTOR, SOLITUDE GUARDS
This is where it all ends. I've left a swath of death across Skyrim's countryside. And I've finally developed a taste for innocent blood. There are a half-dozen bodies in the bard's college to prove it. And they're just for starters. I plan to make the city of Solitude my own personal abattoir. So I work methodically, starting at one end and killing everything I find as I move my way towards the other.
I'm bold, but not stupid though. I begin in the basement of the Blue Palace, picking off the weakest stragglers. Odar the chef dies where he lived – in the kitchen. I catch Una, the servant, asleep in bed and make sure she never wakes. The maid Erdi stumbles upon the murder scene. “Oh no,” she screams. “By the gods, this can't be happening.” But it is. My daggers make those words the last she ever speaks.
The gods turned their backs when I killed the help, but intervened for the more powerful denizens of the Blue Palace. The jarl, Elisif the Fair, and her steward Falk Firebeard are immune to my blade. I stab and stab at them, but they do not die. Sybille Stentor, the court wizard, is beyond the help of the gods. I sneak up behind her and slit her throat. “Murder! Murder!” The alarm is raised. The guards come to her aide, but it is too late. I fight for my life against three of the town's protectors. But they are no match. By the time I leave the bloodied halls of the Blue Palace it is dark. I slip into the shadows and cut the throat of the town guard posted outside the main doors and move into the residential district to continue my evil work.
IRNKSKAR IRONHAND, EVETTE SAN, AHTAR, GRETA
Day dawns, but many of the townsfolk are still asleep. I kill Irnskar Ironhand while he slumbers. Outside on the main path the dirt-stained Evette San hawks her wares. “Keep the cold at bay with our spiced wine,” she shouts. A flurry of my blades cut her down. I leave her body to cool in the morning sun. The town's children barely notice Evette's body even though her legs stretch out onto the stone path. They skip past as they play, oblivious to the corpse. But they do spot me hiding in the shadows. “Are you in trouble,” one child asks. “Is that why you're hiding like that?”
I am in trouble. My notoriety is so great in Solitude that the guards come running as soon as I step into their view. I can't fight them all at once, so I duck in and out of homes trying to evade them. If I can catch one alone, I'll creep up behind him and slit his throat. But these men are sturdy and don't always fall with my first jab. So I find myself in more than a few duels, trading blows with sword and fending them off with shield.
Between run-ins with the town guard I kill as many of the villagers that the gods will allow. Solitude's headsman Ahtar is abed with his axe when I fill his back full of holes. When I find the homely Greta she is sitting stiffly in a chair, staring at a shelf full of cheese. I'm sure that the place I sent her to was more interesting than this dreary larder.
RORLUND, ADDVAR, JALA, SAYMA, ANGELINE MORRARD, ENDARIE, TARRIE, VIVIENNE ONIS, LISETTE
Word of my ill deeds hasn't made its way to Solitude's market. The air is abuzz with their pitches for produce. I give my blades a rest and notch an arrow. One hit kills the hooded Rorlund – his body tumbles against one of the stalls. The hubbub of the market stills for a moment. “By the gods,” Addvar the fishmonger proclaims. “Did that just happen?” But then two seconds later he's back to his business. “Fresh fish! Straight from the fjords!” I stab Addvar between the shoulder-blades. Jala gets the same.
I move on to the finer shops in Solitude's business district. Sayma, the proprietor of Bits and Pieces dies behind the counter of her shop. The guard are alerted when I begin to wreak havok in the apothecary. I kill three of the warriors as Angeline Morrard watches. Then I impale her with an arrow. The force of the blow sends her corpse sprawling across the room. Endarie of Radiant Raiment, the tailor's shop, falls dead with her hands reaching towards me. Her sister Taarie, on the other hand, tumbles to the ground as if giving up on life. I catch Viviene Onis with a blade to the throat just as she's opening a door. My slaughter reaches a fervor in the Winking Skeever. Lisette, the fair bard I'd once spared, is the first to die. She strums her lute and begins to sing, “We drink to our youth. To the days come and gone. For the age of aggression is just about done.” I cut her life and song short with an arrow, then begin to make a pile of bodies where she lays. More guards try to stop the slaughter, but I don't let them. By now I am to busy killing to note the names of the dead.
AN END TO THE KILLING
All good things come to an end. As do all terrible things. I plan to make my last stand in Castle Dour – the base of operations for the Imperial Legion. There are many men with sharp swords and thick armor inside. If it is the will of the gods that I pay for my crimes this is where I will be punished. But the men inside the fortress are surprisingly easy to defeat. The soldiers are sleeping their quarters when I attack. One dies quickly and the rest put up a fight.
In the war room I interrupt General Tullius and his guard as they pore over a map of Skyrim. I hack at Tullius until he falls to his knees, but I cannot kill him. Finally, his aide Legate Adventus Caesennius calls for an end to the violence. “You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her people,” he bellows. “What say you in your defense?” I've gotten my fill of death. “I submit,” I tell him. “Take me to jail.”
I wake in my cell stripped of my weapons and armor. I have a single lockpick on my person, but I don't waste it on the cell door. Instead I push the crumbling rear wall of my cage and crawl through the hole I've made. I navigate dark, cobwebbed caves until a shaft of light alerts me to another broken wall. I reach through, pick the lock on a chest and reclaim my arsenal. Further exploration leads me to a ladder. I climb and find myself in Solitude under the moonlit sky. I need only kill a few more guards before I am free of this town and unleashed upon an unsuspecting Skyrim. I am done killing. For now.
– Gus Mastrapa has written about games for Wired, Edge, Kill Screen and The A.V. Club. Follow him on Twitter: @triphibian