Please read this first.

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).


If you have visited this blog before, thanks and welcome back!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Dark Brotherhood, Part 7 (Bound Until Death) (Katnys)

After reporting back to Nazir and collecting both praise and gold, Katnys learned that the time had come for her to report to Solitude for Vittoria Vici's wedding.  As she prepared to make her way north, Katnys realized that she had been so caught up in thinking about killing the Emperor's cousin that she had neglected to plan the details of the assassination.  Fortunately, her "family" had already been doing the planning for her.  Babette pointed out the loose statue above the balcony where the bride and groom would be addressing the crowd, while Nazir and Veezara both pointed out the difficulty Katnys might have in making her escape from such a public killing.  Gabriella had even found a way to leave an enchanted bow for her in a temple parapet with a sniper's-eye view of the wedding.

As she considered her options, Katnys took a moment to appreciate the Brotherhood's kindness.  Having just met Katnys a little while ago, this band of killers had not only entrusted her with the most important contract they'd had in years, but were also going out of their way to advise and provide for her -- even though they would not individually benefit from her success.  She was especially touched by Gabriella's gesture, which demonstrated her countrywoman's respect for Katnys's skill as an archer.  So, it was decided: Vittoria Vici would die by the bow. 

Katnys and Jenassa had little trouble infiltrating the wedding and finding Gabriella's "care package."  The hardest part was the waiting and listening to the smarmy cheers and well-wishing of the crowd of Imperial boot-lickers, entirely unconcerned that their beloved Emperor was both a coward and a tyrant.  Well, today, Katnys was going to show them how thin the walls of Solitude really were!

When Katnys grabbed the bow Gabriella had left for her, she felt the enchanted chill run up her arm.  While she appreciated the gift, Katnys selected her own fire-enchanted bow for the task; she thought that watching the Emperor's kin go down in the flames of Red Mountain might be sweeter.

She thought right.

As Vici's burning corpse slouched onto her horrified groom, Katnys suddenly realized what Nazir and Veezara had been worried about.  The crowd erupted in panic, and despite Katnys's best attempts at stealth, she and Jenassa had been spotted.  Thinking a direct escape might be best, they jumped down into the plaza, only to find Veezara himself clearing a path for them.  After a brief exchange of words, Katnys and Jenassa slipped out of the pandemonium while Veezara stayed behind to protect them.

Note that Astrid sends Veezara to provide assistance after the deed is complete.  Had she only cared about the target, Astrid could have left Katnys twisting in the wind.

As she closed the iron door behind her and looked out onto the Sea of Ghosts, Katnys paused for a moment to reflect on the Brotherhood's deeds that day.  Not only had she killed a member of the Emperor's own family, but a member of her own new family risked his own life to protect her.  Surely this was a sign that Katnys was on the right path.

Glowing from her flawless success, and from the love of the Brotherhood, Katnys and Jenassa journeyed back to the Sanctuary to bring the good news back to Astrid.


  1. I have to wonder, what did she think about the storm cloak family that was attending the wedding, the Snow-Shods? I mean Vulwulf is about as devote a storm-cloak follower as it gets, and while the same can't necessarily be said for his wife, Nora, she still doesn't seem entirely thrilled with the situation. Granted, Asgeir doesn't have even remotely the same conviction that his parents have regarding the Empire (he just seems to want peace between everyone, despite the Empire having taken away his sister. And he genuinely seems to love his wife, Vittoria)

  2. Well, she did refrain from killing Asgeir. Which is quite benevolent, for Katnyss.

    1. To be honest, Asgeir wasn't even on her radar. Her priorities are: 1.) strike at the Empire whenever possible, 2.) help her new family, the Dark Brotherhood, 3.) everything else. Had she killed him as collateral damage, she wouldn't have lost any sleep over it (he was marrying into the Imperial family, after all), but she wasn't going to risk her neck to take out such a non-entity.

    2. What about the rest of the snow-shods, Vunwulf and Nora? Also, Katnys is really slipping further and further off the road of sympathy; at this point, she's basically got anti-social personality disorder, or perhaps borderline-personality disorder is a more appropriate diagnosis (I really need to have a refresher for those psychological terms). I eagerly await her mental processes hitting a brick wall when she actually faces Titus Mede in person and sees how he faces his death with the utmost dignity, and only asks her to kill Mottiere as a request, not a demand.

      (I swear, if she winds up killing grandpa Paarthy when the blades demand it, I will officially both hate AND be terrified of her. None. Touches. The grey old Dragon.)

  3. Ever read this, btw:

    very different and strangely entertaining approach to roleplaying Skyrim.

  4. I'd love to hear your opinion on the Pale Lady quest, and what you would choose to do with the blade you 'receive' in said quest, if you have the time that is.

  5. I hope you're looking into buying and playing Fallout 4, as I would be interested in reading your escapades in a post apocalyptic United States. If you haven't already played other games created by Bethesda Studios, you are missing out on some of the same story elements that may have drawn you to the Elder Scrolls franchise.

  6. ok m new here and uhh dont think of me as a new person with no image i have a face of me in a ghost image version of myself and so you could bareley see my face thats why my name is darkray355