Skyrim Journal 1-spoilers abound

November 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm (Games)

Alright, so I went to the midnight release of Skyrim last Thursday night, and decided that I should keep a journal and post my adventures here on 4geekreviews. I will attempt to post weekly, but there is no guarantee that that will happen. And as a forewarning, this will  be filled with spoilers, so if you have yet to play the game yourself and wish that first moment to be as pure as possible, go ahead and wait. I’m not going anywhere, and it’s on the internet so I doubt it will ever leave. Ok, now that we’ve got the grounds set, here we go.

Entry 1:

                Upon returning from the midnight release, I, like any good and sensible human, made a beeline for the X-box and put it in. The X-box itself began to glow, and my controller lifted from the ground and floated into my hands, and at that moment, I knew that this was right. Like all the other Elder Scrolls games, I begin as an unidentified prisoner. The game begins, and I am in an open carriage (as in it has no top. It’s basically a pickup, but drawn by horses) sitting across from another prisoner. There are more wagons in front and behind me. The other prisoners begin to talk and I discover I have been caught with a group known as the Stormcloaks, rebels of Skyrim, who claim to be trying to liberate Skyrim. The carriages eventually reach a town, and the prisoners are taken out. I soon realize we have all come here to be executed. After calling everyone’s name, they realize that I have not been accounted for. I now have a chance to choose my appearance and name. I immediately choose to be a Wood Elf (as I always do first) with long black hair and red face paint splattered across my eyes. My name is Lare Halfmoon (as is my gamer name). I watch one of the rebels’ execution. I am chosen next. I walk over to the chopping block and kneel and rest my head on the block. As I am about to have my head chopped off, a giant black dragon lands on top of the tower behind the executioner, thankfully throwing him off balance. I get up and go into the tower with one of the Stormcloaks, with whom I am eventually separated and must continue on with one of the Imperials.  

We, after running through the town, its dungeons, and underground caves, eventually come out into Skyrim, where I am free to do just about whatever I want. After seeing my skill, the Imperial suggests I go join the Imperials in Solitude, one of the nine regions of Skyrim. He then suggests we meet up again in a nearby town called Riverwood. I follow his suggestion and meet him in Riverwood, where I meet a friend of his, who is a blacksmith. At his home are a forge, a workbench, a tanning rock, and a grindstone. I soon discover that you can actually make and improve your own weapons in Skyrim. The tanning rock is used to turn pelts into leather, and leather into leather strips, both of which are needed for most items you will be creating. The forge is used to actually create armor and weapons. You will commonly need both or one of leather and strips, and the appropriate ingot(s). To make elven, orcish or higher, you will need to gain the appropriate perk under your smithing skill. The grindstone is used to make your weapons stronger, but you will need the primary ingredient of that weapon, so to improve an iron sword, you will need an iron ingot. This will turn give it a “fine” status and improve its attack by about two. The same applies to armor, but at the workbench rather than the grindstone.

Ok, let me take the time to explain a few things here. First of all, you do not have any major or minor skills this time around. If you level up any ten skills, you will level up. Racial bonuses still apply, as for being a Wood Elf, I had a slight head start with my archery skill. You start out with 100 of each stat (health, magicka, and stamina). I would imagine if you play as a High Elf or Dark Elf, you might acquire a magicka bonus, but I am not 100% sure. You are not born under any sign, rather you must go find the blessing stone to gain those same effects, so you can choose whichever one you want at any time, but you can only have one. Finally, each skill has its own set of perks. Most of them have the first perk as something that makes it 20% better (such as archery) and can be taken five times, but can only be taken every 20 levels in that skill (so by level 100 you can double your efficiency). Each perk requires a certain level in that skill, and you are awarded 1 perk per level. I believe, at this point, that the highest level you can attain is 50, as there is an achievement called ‘Master’ for accomplishing it. 

After chopping some firewood for the sake of doing it and acquainting myself with the new smithing system, I continue on to Whiterun, the first major city you will probably visit. Here, you can join the Companions, a new faction in Skyrim who I think are supposed to be the Fighter’s Guild. So I did, but I only got as far as getting the achievement for becoming a member. I have decided that I will go back after I have become a higher level so that I might get better quest items. After messing around the main town, I go to Dragonsreach, where the Jarl of Whiterun resides. I tell the Jarl that I escaped Helgen (the village that was attacked by the dragon) and have come here to request aid for Riverwood. He agrees, and for whatever reason asks me to help his court mage with his study of dragons. The mage asks me to go to…uh…someplace whose name is apparently not all that important, and recover a tablet that should help him. Instead, I go do a quick bounty hunt in a completely different direction. Along the way to the hideout of the bandits I have been hired to kill, I see a symbol of a mammoth on my minimap at the top of the screen, and then I come across a bonfire, and two giant figures and a mammoth. Before I do anything, I save. Then I go up to one of the huge humanoids, thinking that it might simply be an orc (as I have yet to see one at this point in the game). It becomes painfully clear that this is not the case, because as I close the distance between us, his health bar comes up onto my screen. I attempt to simply run backwards and shoot at him with my bow. This is when I remember reading that the creators made going backwards considerably slower, to my dismay as the giant runs up to me and simply kills me before I even realize what’s going on. My game reloads, and this time I attempt to snipe the giant. I hit him, and about half a millimeter of his health bar goes away. He starts running towards, and the ground literally starts to shake. So I run. For about ten minutes. Along the way, I convince a couple of wolves to tag along and chase me too. This basically goes on until about the point on my map where the hideout of my bounty is. With my newfound knowledge of not to mess with giants ever, I enter the den of the bandits. After some reloading and frantic eating of whatever food I can find, I eventually complete my mission. After killing my mark, I decide to test out the new cooking feature of Skyrim. I make about five rounds of apple cabbage stew, and return to Whiterun to collect my bounty.

Now that I have gotten the hang of Skyrim and accurately evaluated my abilities, I go to recover that tablet from that one place. Long story short, I get to the end of the temple/dungeon and come across this strange writing in a huge semicircle wall. A small part of that writing begins to glow, and this weird force comes out of the glowing words into me. After the light show, I turn around, and of course, the coffin lying in the middle of the room opens up. I pull out my short sword and hide shield and we begin to fight. But the thing is, this Draug (zombie) isn’t like the others. He starts shouting at me, which somehow becomes a repulsive force that knocks me back and damages me somewhat. I eventually kill him and exit the dungeon and go back to Whiterun to give the tablet that I found somewhere in that place to the court mage.

I think that is enough for this week, so I will take my leave, but fear not, for  I will write again for next week.

 

Pick up the game and strategy guide play along

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