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Welcome! This blog is devoted to considerations of morality in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda. Rather than a fansite, review, or walkthrough, it is a serious attempt to examine the game through a moral lens. Please note that the purpose of this blog is to discuss morality within the context of the game, not to determine whether playing the game is immoral in and of itself; the latter type of "discussion" tends toward tedium and inhibits, rather than promotes, a meaningful conversation.

If you have not visited this blog before, it might be helpful to read the posts labeled "Orientation," most of which are the first few entries in the blog archive (see right). These posts include a short introduction to this project, a content-specific author bio, and a few other pieces that explain key concepts relevant to this study. These posts are of particular use to those readers less familiar with Skyrim (or video games in general).

PLEASE NOTE: HERE BE SPOILERS!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The Way of the Voice/A Blade in the Dark (Katnys)



After the rush of consuming the dragon’s soul and letting out her first shout, Katnys needed some answers, but she was eager to get to Windhelm to continue her personal war against the Empire.  This “dragonborn” stuff seemed like a lot of Nord nonsense that would only distract her from her mission, but she couldn’t deny what was happening to her.  

In the midst of this internal debate, a new thought dawned on Katnys: if she was going to take on the Empire, she would need all of the power she could muster.  She had a dedicated, like-minded follower in Jenassa, and was earning friends wherever she went, but what if all of that wasn’t enough?  Her skills, her allies, and her rage were strong, but could they alone make the Empire pay for its treachery?  Perhaps this “dovahkiin” business could provide the means for the destruction of the Empire.

With these thoughts in mind, Katnys and Jenassa reported back to Balgruuf, followed his directions to Ivarstead, and then climbed the 7000 steps to High Hrothgar.  While the Greybeards and their monastery were impressive enough, Katnys could never quite take their pious detachment seriously, and just wanted to get on with it.  After all, here was this group of men who possessed immense power, but remained secluded and aloof from the world around them.  Their homeland was under attack by both the Legion and the dragons, but they just wanted to meditate on their mountaintop.  Katnys resolved to jump through their hoops, learn what she needed to learn, and move on.

It therefore came as a profound disappointment when she found Delphine’s note instead of the Horn.  Once again, she would be forced to delay her trip to Windhelm and go down yet another rabbit hole.  As it turned out, however, she didn’t mind this detour quite so much.  Like Katnys, Delphine was a woman of guile and action, so following her to Kynesgrove seemed less pointless than delving into the Greybeards’ dusty dungeons.  Sure, Delphine tended to go on about the Dragonborn and all that, but if what she was saying about the Blades was true, then Katnys needed to be a part of that for two reasons: 1.) a cadre of dragonslayers would be a valuable tool, and 2.) if the Blades had, indeed, protected the Emperor before the Great War, Katnys needed to keep them from returning to that role.

All plotting aside, the encounter with Sahloknir and Alduin at Kynesgrove unsettled Katnys.  Once the shock of seeing Alduin again wore off, she had to wrap her mind around a few disconcerting facts:

  • Alduin was raising dragons from the dead with his Thu’um, while Katnys could barely push people around with hers.  Had she bitten off more than she could chew?
  • If Delphine was to be believed, the Thalmor were behind all of this, and now Katnys would have to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy.  Ambushing a small group of Justiciars is one thing, but this might be more than she could handle.
  • A few days ago, Katnys was a lone Dunmer just trying to spill some Imperial blood in memory of her sister. She now found herself in the middle of a civil war, a political conspiracy, and some kind of crazy prophesy – none of which she had in mind when she and Prym left Hammerfell.

Hammerfell.  It was that last thought that drove her back to Whiterun.  After returning the Horn to the Greybeards and enduring their pompous (though admittedly impressive) Dovahkiin ceremony, Katnys decided to return to Whiterun to talk to the Redguards she had seen hanging around the front gate.  Before, she had been in too much of a hurry to speak with them, but now that she needed some time to think, a conversation with some Alik’r warriors might help her regain her footing.

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